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Sunday, 22 April 2018

Minor progress in my ECW project.

 Progress on my ECW Hinchliffe project has been a little patchy but I have completed a couple of regiments of Parliamentarian horse and some new commanders. Not my best work, but hopefully with some practice I hope to get the best out of Gilder's wonderful range.

 When I was expanding my Seven Years War armies I took to buying old painted figures from E Bay and then touching them up. The ECW armies will be supplemented by the same method. I bought a unit of Parliamentarian heavy cavalry and gave them a touch of paint. Below is the before and after.

 No self respecting ECW wargamer should be without Arthur Haselrigge's  cuirassier regiment and I always loved the Hinchliffe figure so I had to have the unit.. Sir Arthur after Marston Moor was detailed to oversee the quelling of the North East and was billeted at the Bishop Durham's palace a short distance from where I live. From what I have read he didnt endear himself to the locals and managed to kill the last of the famous white deer herd that grazed in the palace grounds.Nice chap.

 Here are the two units brigaded together. A lot of iron to see off the cavaliers. So progress is being made albeit not as quickly as I would like.

A Pike and Shotte ECW game.

Its often difficult not to give the impression that I wargame infrequently, when in reality John and I attempt to have a battle once a week. If we are fighting at John's I normally dont take images of the battles, which is a shame given the quality of the battles.I feel however they are John's personal collections and I feel like a fraud if I report on the battles. It would look like I was claiming credit for them.
 Anyway, this week we staged a large Pike and Shotte ECW game to show how the rules worked for an old wargaming friend, Steve Taylor. So John kindly brought his lovely 15mm ECW armies to my home, to fight over an 8 foot battlefield.

Steve and I were the Royalists and were paired up against John. Now normally I manage to fail the odd command throw as is expected in the Pike and Shotte games.
 Steve, who was in command? of Rupert's cavalry, the best we had and Newcastle's infantry which were very decent as well managed to exceed my usual dismal throwing.
 Rupert has a very high command rating of 9 and it is basically a given that his brigades will move when required.Not this day. In the opening three moves Steve managed to fail Rupert's command rating. So between command failures and the odd Blunder any Royalist plan soon went out of the window, followed by my dice.
 Meanwhile I was left facing the bulk of the Parliamentarian army and Cromwell with his invulnerable Iron sides. From the images, any units with an S or a D are invariably mine. S stands for shaken and means they are shot to pieces, D stands for disordered. S and D together means they are in deep doo doo. One may notice I had a lot of S+D 's.

 At one stage the Royalists were doing so badly I used King Charles to make a 'follow me ' order and lead a weakened cavalry regiment against the  Brooke's raw foot regiment due to the centre of the Royalists being repulsed by heavy musket fire.
Surprisingly I didn't get the King killed which was a novelty. Unfortunately the wild charge didn't break the Parliamentarian centre either. That damned hedgehog rule. John never failed to pass the test to form a hedgehog while the Royalists couldn't form a queue never mind a hedgehog.
                  This unit? of raw peasant recruits was all that I had left facing Cromwell. The game was up.
Some of my causalities from the right wing.

 The battle was a salutary lesson for the Royalists. Rupert finally got his troops moving and they managed to sweep away a brigade of Parliamentarian cavalry before being wiped out by a second brigade when they lost control. Still a cracking game albeit a heavy loss.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Like buses.

 My posts tend to come along like buses.Just to prove that I am still chipping away at the ACW. I finally based up another rebel unit that I painted. I was inspired after I saw the self same unit in Dave Thomas's display at York. The regiment was painted by Tony Runkee and looked wonderful. So like a magpie I had to have the same regiment, except it isn't as good as the one Tony painted.
 My wife had very kindly bought me the Sarissa ACW train for Christmas and I have now managed to paint it up. Being almost autistic when it comes to kits I got John to put it together and he did his usual first rate job.So there you have it,  anew project to potter on with and a new train to attack, what could be better.

A Large Dollop of Nostalgia.

I have deliberately not posted since I returned from my holiday until I had something to write about. Well actually that's not strictly true because I could have posted about several wargames related things but they would have probably pissed someone off somewhere, as is my wont. Anyway I digress as usual.
 I have been looking for a new challenge ie. project and after a long think and such I finally decided on what I wanted to collect and paint next. I get a bit sniffy about words like 'project' and also announcements re such things because if one then fails to carry it through it basically makes a mockery of posting such things.
 I basically wanted several things from my next painting project. It needed to be of historical interest to both me and John. It had to be doable. It also needed to have a set of wargames rules that I was happy with. More importantly it needed to be relatively cheap to complete and also be a pleasure to paint. Lets be right whats the point if there is no enjoyment in painting the figures.
 So after being inspired by a wargamer who had just completed two English Civil Wars armies made up of Hinchliffe castings I got thinking about such a project. [I apologise for forgetting the blog, it was a wonderful achievement and deserves recognition.]
 Ian Hinds was advertising a 25% reduction on Hinchliffe castings which are already pretty good value. I was always envious of John's wonderful Civil Wars armies that he painted back in the 1980's and of course the figures had been created by Peter Gilder.
 Anyway I got down to the project....
 I have now watched my Cromwell dvd to get a feel of the period. I have purchased another copy of Philip Haythornwaite's generic ECW book and I have set to it. To offset any would be detractor of my extensive research I would like to stress that my intention is to create two English Civil Wars armies, a la Hollywood.
 So its going to be uniform regiments, bright colours and of course my favourite civil war regiments.Additionally I want to make these armies glossy. I cant replicate Gilder's of John's wonderful armies simply because I dont have their ability and also I no longer use enamels and oils.  But I will give it my best shot.
 Of course I had to start with the iconic Connoisseur figures, 'Rupert's Charge.' When Gilder created these figures and they appeared in the wargames magazinesall those years ago I was blown away by their beauty. I knew I had to have them again. I'm not totally happy with they way they came out but I did find it difficult to get the effect I am wanting. Perhaps I should have started with a more mundane regiment. Anyway I am now painting Haselrigges lobsters so hopefully they will turn out better. Still I have a start. 

  Invariably I start by painting a few generals. I find it gets me into the groove. Naturally I had to paint Rupert and 'Boy' his dog.So we have a start, lets hope I can fulfill my ambition.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Im back.....

Well I'm back. Jet lagged, exhausted and frankly in need of some bed rest. Apologies to any followers who thought I was disappearing into some abyss of despair but I really dont like to say when I am not at home. Instead of misery I have just spent two and a half weeks tramping around Cambodia and Vietnam and thoroughly enjoyed every experience including an attack of the trots, insect bites and a bad bout of bronchitis. The ordinary people of these two countries make one realise just how pathetic are the gripes of certain elements of the UK. In Cambodia, where a quarter of their people were wiped out by genocide that the Western world refused to stop and in Vietnam where a series of civil wars and of course the war that framed the US consciousness for a generation have bounced back and are dragging their countries towards their dream of a better life. Yes there are many things wrong with their governments but they seem to be determined to succeed and just get on with life. God knows what they would have made of the morons who called 999 when KFC ran out of chicken. Truly the Vietnamese are the 'happy' people. Anyway this post is purely to say I am climbing back into the wargaming saddle and have framed my painting plans for this year and no its nothing to do with a South East Asian army..... Onwards and upwards..

Monday, 5 March 2018


 While at the York Show which seems like an eternity ago I had a conversation with Tony Runkee and Shaun Bryant, both master painters. Unfortunately they pointed out the issue that I had ignored ever since I started my ACW project. Bases. When I first started painting the ACW figures the only bases I had were 50mm square so the first units were set on them. John when he saw the units loved the painting but suggested they would look better on smaller bases. I knew he was right but to be honest I couldnt face it. So when Shaun and Tony had a heart to heart with me they also pointed out the same issue. The figures looked too spaced out.
 When three veteran wargamers talk about the same issue one should take notice, and to be honest I had been mulling it over for months.Anyway Shaun very kindly volunteered to rebase them for me! How could I say no, because Shaun is an expert in basing and does all of Dave Thomas's figures.
Anyway Shaun has been busy and has sent me a few images of the new basing.They look great and I cant wait for the whole collection to be completed. The problem will be how I match his standard if I paint up more units.
 The blog by the way will go quiet for a few weeks as I will be unavailable. I will be back, hopefully.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

New Dice, same old throws.

I have been remiss in not posting as often as I should but sometimes I struggle to think of something that may be of interest for any wargamers who pop in. To be honest since the hiatus of finishing my ACW project I seem to have painted my self out.
 John and I have managed three games however and all have been brilliant affairs. Very tense and hard fought as only wargamers who have known each other for a long time can be.
Two of the games were a rare affair for us. Matching Normans against Vikings.
 Only John would have kept a set of rules printed in Miniature Wargames and painted two armies up to use the rules.
 The actual rules were in issue 370, February 2014 and were written by a Stuart Smith. They were titled Invader 1066, Rules for the Norman Conquest and Beyond.Funnily enough the same magazine contains the last article I submitted to the MW, serendipitous.
 Anyway I found the rules very easy to follow and was very impressed by how well they worked. What I particularly liked was the use of some event cards to throw some friction into the mix. Mr Smith did a cracking job of creating a set of rules that seemed to capture the flavour of the period. Shield walls, berserkers, mailed knights and housecarls.
 We managed to fight two games in one session, swapping sides to try the armies out. The battles were one of those days where I could do no wrong. Need a six,check. Need a double one, check. Wipe out the guard housecarls, easy.
The games were coincidentally  the first time that I was able to use my 'new' dice commissioned by Stuart Mulligan for the renaissance period. So although the dice were an anachronism I was determined to try them out.... And as I said I could do no wrong.

 Last week we managed to fight a big malburian game using Black powder with their Last Argument of Kings supplement.It was back to normal for me I'm afraid. Blunders seemed to appear at the least appropriate moment, my British cavalry had no stomach for the fight and were scattered by Bavarian cuirassiers? I foolishly thought I could march through the French centre whilst ignoring a large brigade of dragoons sweeping around my rear. It was still a great game and the British nearly succeeded.
 Three great wargames, no arguments, some gentle sledging and lovely colourful figures to move about a great set up. Whats not to like.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating