Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pook Manor III

 Pook manor, now with all the mullions in, card brickwork added and basic assembly done. At last!
The roof formers are in and a more fiddly bit of cutting out I have never done. Nonetheless, they are there and ready for thecking.

A few minor details remain for the building - a front-dor for one and some decorative moulding from string for another. Then i can go on and plaster the whole thing and undercoat it. thatnis of course when the real fun will begin - painting it. I am planning on doing the main work with gouache washes and then finishing it off with a little light spray painting.

Then I can think about basing it and incorporating a small hedged folly of some sort.

Now, about those rules...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pook Manor II

 Well, as you can see I've spent some time cutting out and framing the windows on Pook Manor.
Millions of mullions. I have one more wall of eight windows to do then I'll put together a chimney stack and glue some sort of diamond mesh to the back of the windows to finish them. Then comes the initial assembly of the walls and the first tentative stabs at the surprisingly complicated geometry of the roof.

I intend to apply some brickwork here and there from paper, wash the entire thing over with some very runny plaster filler, undercoat and then apply my main colours. I am intending to use gouache, just to mix things up a bit.

Roofing will be from wither plumbers' felt a la Weekly or teddy bear fur if this proves to be impractical.

More cavalry have arrived in the mail, so progress will slow as I work on them in parallel.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pook Manor

Whilst waiting for more miniatures to arrive, and tiring a little of painting horses after 22 of the foolish creatures, I've decided to build some terrain.

I'd alweays wanted to have a go at the ECW fortified manor Ian Weekly showcased in Mililtary Modeling way back in December 1984 and so, 30 years later it's about time I had a go at a rather telescoped version.
 Just the foamcore shell has been cut out and blu-tacked in place to check the proportions are about OK. I think they are.
The building is about 12" wide at it's greatest measurement whilst the shorter wing is 7".

Monday, July 07, 2014

Naseby Order of Battle - Royalist

I have spent the past couple of weeks banging my head against a wall rather over a Royalist order of Battle for Naseby.

The long and the short of it is that none of the sources I have looked at so far really agree. There are some units whose strength and location on the battlefield are known - like Rupert and Maurice's Lifeguards, or the King's Lifeguard of Foot. So far however, I am coming up with strengths which vary greatly. from 3300 to 5000 foot on the one hand and 4100 as many as 5000 horse.

Currently I am strongly tempted to split the difference at the lower end and guesstimate 3500 foot and 4500 horse. Note that this is a ratio of 7:9.

I am perfectly happy to be corrected in any of this; my reading has not been comprehensive.

Translating this to the table, and keeping in mind that I think I'd like to keep this within a 4' frontage so as to allow me to represent the Sulby hedges on the Royalist Right, I'm thinking of a maximum army size for the Royalists something like 164 foot and about 200 horse. Not perfectly at that ratio, but not too far out.

I'd break the foot down into four, thirty-two* figure units and one forty figure unit. Two of the thirty-two figure units would each form the first and second lines, whilst the forty figure unit would form the reserve.

The Cavalry I would like to see in two lines, each of five units of eight figures per wing. Of the remaining forty figures, twenty-four would be stationed behind the Second infantry line, whilst the remaining two units would be with the reserve.

This is not perfect, and again, I am more than willing to be debated on this deployment. Certainly I would like to have less cavalry!

*16 muskets and 16 pike

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Pooks' Horse

The Lord of Hosts!
 Sir Samuel Pooks' Regiment of Horse. Pin-swords, bravely aloft.
All are standard Hinchcliffe castings, which range is fortuitiously being recast at this time. Good show, Mr Hinds. The only changes I made were to replace the cast swords with beheaded pins and a little animation of the castings with a pair of pliers whose jaws I padded up beforehand so as not to mark the castings.

For the most part I painted these with acrylic washes over the best white undercoat I could get onto the figures. A little lining in was done, just to tidy the shapes up. The metals were 1:1 black and GW mithril silver that I later gave a quick flick with a dry-brusk of plain mithril silver to catch the edges on their pots.

I so had to restrain myself from adding the little red hoops on the arms of the figures. Maybe another regiment.

I'm still looking for a design to paint onto Pook's trumpeter, and there are a few spots where handling has rubbed away the paint. The washes are really quite delicate like that. I found I needed to do an intermediate coat of varnich to protect the figures as I finished up the painting!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Painting Miniatures

Artwork by the Stig
A favourite for flicking through is the Blandford title "Warriors and Weapons of Early Times in Colour" by Neils Saxtorph, illustrated by Stig Bramsen. Mine is the first (only?) English edition, published in 1972 when I was four years' old and watching Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and maybe Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Sensibly concentrating mostly on European models the Danish Dynamic Duo have nonetheless made a stab at an Ironside and have sensibly done him in a rugger top with shoulder pads which as you will all know was wrong; this costume was worn only at Edgehill and soon discarded as impractical as the War progressed.

Smart-arsed niggles aside, and were one to choose to paint the legend, then the colour here is to my eye very attractive and worthy of emulation.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


It is always greatly exciting to plan a new project.

I am looking at how feasible it would be to put together Royalist and Parliamentary armies for the English Civil War.

My primary inspiration is the wonderful old (1978) Osprey on Wargaming Naseby. Indeed, how could one not be inspired? With text by Asquith and plate after plate by Gilder, the book is a feast for the eyes and the imagination. I have loved this book since I was a young fellow impecuniously browsing my local bookshop.

What shape then is this project to take? Well, as an indulgence, I feel that all I can do is try to tread the path of the great man. If you pop over to the marvellous Unfashionably Shiny blog and read Gilder's article on building a wargame army, you will see that he advocates using historical orders of battle to yield details for one's wargame units. This is good enough for me.

So then, which battle? Stick with what you know, I think. I shall go with Naseby. Both armies are reasonably small and will be not too onerous to build up over the twelve to eighteen month timeframe I'm currently envisaging. They are also fairly diverse; all arms are represented and there is plenty of scope for making vignettes and building the assorted bits and bobs we like to add to our collections. Furthermore, If I decide to slightly broaden my scope, I feel that the siege of Leicester might become a part of things and complete the picture.

So that decided, which figures? Hinchcliffe seem pretty well mandatory, I feel. Shall I try to emulate the "Gilder style"? We'll see.

How many figures? I'll work on that, but I think about 1:20 might not be too bad. Most of the cavalry units ought to be in the 6-10 figure range.

Next time... I'll start working on an Order of Battle.