Thursday, August 04, 2022

Willie Franco-Prussian War

 Not too long back, I was gifted by the very kind and generous GW a pile of Willie Franco-Prussian War figures that had come to him from Larry Brom.

This is a period I don't know a lot about, but do rather enjoy the uniforms of. That's more than enough excuse, correct? Free figures, pretty uniforms and a War with a reputation for dash and occasional atrocity.

So, off I went and plunged in with a vague idea of building a small collection that might work with Featherstone's rules as laid out in "Tackle war Games This Way". 12 figure infantry units, six figure cavalry units, a gun is a battery and so forth. Stuart Asquith wrote up a version which float about online. 

I thought it best to start with the Zouaves. Get them out of the way and everything else seems easy by comparison!
The flag is by Warflag, representing the First Regiment of Zouaves, First, Division, First Corps, Army of the Rhine under Marshal MacMahon. I agonised somewhat over the basing, thinking I might even Plinth the stands on nicely polished quarter inch timber. Then sanity prevailed and I went for Renedra treated with Acrylic oils to simulate timber grain, sealed with varnish then garnished with figures, terrain paste and a variety of tufts and static grass.

Prussian Uhlans awaiting their treatment. What gets me about the older production Willie figures was how they would arrive in the post (presumably) with their weapons soldered into their hands. Oh, how I sigh for times past. 2nd Pomeranian Uhlan Regiment Nr 9 if you want their full title!

...and based on my lunch-break.


Monday, July 11, 2022

Shiny or Not

 What a conundrum.

I know that group memory has it that all toy soldiers painted in the 1960s and 1970s were all preserved in an amber of thick yacht varnish. But... were they? Or at least, were they all?

I have been looking at my various picture books about old toy soldiers, and it seems very apparent to me that that shiny was not always the norm at all. It may well have been for certain very famous painters like Messers Gilder and Mason, but I think this was not the norm, yet looking at the visual record I see a lot of matt enamel paint. I'll follow up with some images over the next day or so.

I have a small project going on whereby I need to justify some of my decisions to myself.... Entirely self serving of course.

Monday, June 20, 2022

What to do with the ECW

What to do indeed!

Here's what I am thinking in terms of the general situation.

A small troop of Royalists under that rollicking old pirate, Sir Marmaduke Young control good old Pook Manor - erstwhile property of Sir Maxtible Grant, MP. They have thrown up some rudimentary earthworks and installed a cannon or two. Their forces are no more than a Company of Dragoons with Firelocks, a company of infantry with muskets and a good troop of Horse.

Their modus operandi is to use their musketeers for base security whilst the cavalry and dragoons go on the rampage in the local countryside. You know, beating up Parliamentary convoys, raiding local villages if they are not co-operating. Generally being a nuisance to the local Parliamentary Commander.

So then, Sir Maxtible is decidedly unhappy. Being as he is the leading man in the district for the Parliamentary cause, and concerned for the state of his wainscotting, he has determined that Sir Marmaduke needs to pack his bags and skedaddle.

He has roughly twice the force of Sir Marmaduke, viz: His Own troop of shewe in the form of some of Cuirassiers, two troops of grim-visaged Ironsides and four companies from a London Trained Band; two with pikes and two with muskets. He has two light and two heavy guns. More than enough force to grind out a pesky nest of Royalists, correct? His only complication is that every week he must safely convoy through the area supplies for the nearest Parliamentary city that is being beseiged by the King.

This feels rather like a small campaign.

The Royalist goal is to be a pest as long as is possible. The Parliamentarians must smoke out the vipers infesting Pook Manor whilst at the same time making sure that 'x' number of convoys make it through the district/parish/shire. A points system comes to mind. The Parliamentarians start with 20 points and lose one for every convoy lost or village raided. They lose if the total dips below 10. Something like that.

Thoughts and comments? How does the force balance feel? A troop of horse might be as many as a dozen figures, a company of foot 18. It would be nice to do this with less than a hundred figures. Hm, perhaps something like 140.

UPDATE: Rob left a comment that for some bizarre reason, Blogger won't publish:

"Sounds fun but I think these cavalier types need another unit to balance it out. Currently the parliamentarian foot and artillery look up to taking Pook Manor as it stands. If the horse and dragoons go out raiding the solitary foot company will probably just be overwhelmed. At the same time the three troops of parliamentary horse should be more than enough to escort a convoy.

Perhaps if Sir Maxtible also had a base to protect it might see him more stretched."

And I think Rob is right, so I may add another company of infantry to the garrison of Pook Manor. And Sir Maxtible I feel will be enjoying free quarter in a local village as he plans to smoke the vile Royalists out. What a good way for the Royalists to remove points from the Parliamentarian pile. I was also thinking that every convoy the Parliamentarians get through, they ought to be able to add a few more points to their own store.


 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Prince Rupert of the Rhine. And Friends.

For no good reason I have spent the past few days renovating some old Willie favourites; their ECW range

 I think my love for these figures comes out of reading Ian Weekley terrain modelling articles in Military modelling in the 1980s. There were areticles on making ECW fortifications and Manor houses, and the scenes were liberally dressed with Willie figures. Now, my old Airfix/Dapol houses are not quite at that same standard, nonetheless, they set the scene nicely, especially the thatched cottage.

More over the next few days as I put out a few more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Chapteris Coddus Latinum

 

For various reasons, I have been painting a few random Marines over the past few weeks interspersed with other bits and bobs. Here a terrifying Black Templar in all his neo-medieval clobber.
And here a self-lacerating Imperial Fist. In a puddle of blue goo. Doubtless the remains of some Chaos horror.

And lastly, Chapteris Imperialis Hello Kitty. Raowr, purge the heretic!


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Taking to the Cruel Sea

 I am a relative tyro when it comes to on water matters, but I do know what I like and the Warlord Games "Cruel Seas" has always has quite a strong appeal. I finally pulled out the S-Boats that came taped to the cover of Miniature wargamer in 2019 out and painted them up over the weekend. They are really very pretty models and paint quite easily with some blocking in, washes and some very light dry-brushing to sharpen up the hard edges.

The model above is one of the S-100 class with the armoured bridge that appeared from from 1943. Armament was officially 1 × 20 mm in the bow, 2 × 20 mm gun amidships and 37 mm gun aft. Mine seems to have gotten a sneaky Flakvierling in place of the aft 37mm...

This is one of the S-38 Class. I am of the impression that armament was quite various and included such treats as 40 mm Bofors or 20 mm Flak aft, MG34 Zwillingsockel (twin-mount) midships. I think mine looks like it might have a 20mm or 37mm aft. Quite tempted to leave all the weapons free in their mounting points so they cam be swapped around. Warlord to a nice range of additional weapons and crewmen that might serve to dress the boats up quite nicely.
And here they are together. As to the apparent size difference, the camera and perspective are telling you lies. They are both the same length.

I have a pair of Vospers that will hit the construction and paint desk soon!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Mr Stadden at Waterloo

 Inspired by yesterdays' Minot-fondling I rose early (Was it only 05.30? Surely not!) I combed through my small collection of vintage 30mm Napoleonic miniatures. I was seeking inspiration. I found it in the form, of a Stadden British company officer - still available from Tradition. he was in a bit of a state. Originally painted in enamels, his white trousers were patchy and scarred and his jacket was much chipped. His sword was bent and one corner of his base was turned over upon itself.

Tsk! This would ever do! I cannot think of a single officer of the British Army who would permit himself to meet the enemy in such a state! So, out with the red (albeit with a dab of brown to dull it down), the grey for new trousers, a dab of bright gold here and there and a lovely bright silver for his carefully straightened sword blade.

Ready for anything the French can throw his way.

He is now able to meet the French upon terms that would not be an embarrassment.