Friday, 25 May 2018

Scottish Torture!

Back in October 2014 I completed the Highland Brigade for the Crimean War armies. After painting 54 kilted figures I swore never again

So why did I decide to model Moore's Brigade for the Egyptian campaign when it contained the 42nd (Black Watch) Regiment? I blame a sudden rush of blood to the head. What makes these highlanders even more of a pain for me is that they are not wearing the sporran so the actual area on which the tartan is to be paint is about double the area as in the Crimean figures.

Nonetheless they came with the last batch of figures and they are done...perhaps not as well as I would like, but as a unit they look OK. I have long ago lost the ability (and patience) required to paint the fine detail required for kilts, sock tops and bonnet bands. 

The completion of this unit accounts for headwear variant number 14 in this army.

Also completed with these are some pieces I have had sitting in the cupboard waiting for a few additional figures to come:

The 12th Light Dragoons, mounted...

...and dismounted.

And the 8th Light Dragoons with their distinctive grey coats and flowing horsehair helmets...headwear variant 15...

Sunday, 20 May 2018

War of 1812 Blockhouse

Half a dozen posts ago I showed a couple of images of the blockhouse component of a blockhouse and stockade model that will be used to guard a bridge in an upcoming War of 1812 game. Here is the story of the construction of the blockhouse and stockade.
For the blockhouse part of the model I wanted a roughhewn timber structure with a small stockade to one side in which a gun can be mounted on a rammed earth rampart. 

The lower level of the blockhouse was set at 60mm square and the upper level at 80 mm. These dimensions are important because I only want four stands to be able to fire from any one face of the building and since the stands size we use has a 30mm frontage it only allows for two from the lower level and two above.
The first step was to cut the basic shapes from cardboard  and glue them together.

Next was put the roughhewn or split timber on the face. For this I chose to use balsa, but not milled balsa. I had a 50mm x 50mm block left over from an earlier project, so using a straight edge and a sharp blade I cut strips from the block about 2mm thick. Because all of this was hand cut it had the advantage of creating a variable thickness for the strips, enhancing that roughhewn appearance I notched each piece to appear as though the whole structure was notch assembled.

The roof was made from thin card cut to appear like cedar shingles. I then painted it black, drybrushed a base coat of brown and then dybrushed three coats of ever lightening tan over that, finishing with a vey light dusting of white. A black wash over the shingles and a few water stains on the timberwork finished the job.

For the stockade I wanted to make something a bit different. I wanted the gun ramp to look as though it had been added hurriedly, so part of the stockade was made from rough hewn timber, layed horizontally, while the rest was to be made in the traditional form of vertical sharpened logs, which I built using twigs from the garden. I deliberately cut some long lengths with variable thicknesses and allowed them to dry out in the garage for a couple of weeks, before sharpening the ends. These cut "logs" were then set in an epoxy putty base. The gun ramp was built from a piece of foamcore board onto which I glued some matchsticks and then applied some artists modelling putty and sand to look like rammed earth.

I also needed a giun for the fort but I wanted something that looked as though it had been rushed into service, perhaps something that came from an earlier time and had been modernised. So I went to the big box of bits. I found the trail from a Krupp gun, some wheels from an old Hinchliffe British limber and the barrel from a French 6lb gun. I roughed up the trail a little and assembled it. I left it in wood tones. I think it looks just the part.

And the finished item.

The bridge that this structure will protect in the game is under construction and will be completed in a week or so.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

More British in Egypt...and some French

The latest units in the British in Egypt project are the Corsican Rangers and two 12lb guns and crew. i have also added a couple of French guns.


The rangers were another of the émigré units recruited in the late 1790s. The unit came into British service following the secession of Corsica from the French Republic and the subsequent

Anglo-Corsican Kingdom. But when the Kingdom collapsed and the British withdrew from the island a number of the secessionists fled or were exiled. From this resource a light infantry company known as the "Franc Tireur Corses" was formed at Menorca.


Brought to Gibraltar in 1800 where Abercromby was preparing the Egyptian expedition they were issued with new uniforms and Baker rifles, and placed in Moore's Brigade. After the landing at Aboukir Bay they were re-titled the Corsican Rangers and fought in all of the subsequent actions in the campaign. 


When the campaign ended the unit went to Malta, where it was disbanded.


I like this unit. It is like a precursor for the 95th Rifles with the green jackets and black facings, piped white.


The 12lb guns sets are superb…


…firing the gun and…


…running the gun forward.

The two 4lb light batteries represent the half batteries that were attached directly to fhe demi brigades.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Regiment de Roll

A couple of large parcels of the Perry Egyptian Campaign figures (mainly British but some French) arrived last Tuesday and I at once set working on the next unit.

This one is the second of the émigré units in the British Army. Like de Watteville's it is a Swiss unit in British service. In 1794 Baron Louis de Roll, a former officer in Louis XVI's Swiss Guards, recruired a regiment two battalions in his name from Switzerland, Alsace and Germany for British service and the regiment was posted to the Mediterranean with De Roll as its colonel, serving in Corsica and Elba before transferring to Portugal where it was reduced to a single battalion. Further postings around the Mediterranean continued with the regiment sent to Minorca and Gibraltar before ordered to Egypt.

In Egypt command of the regiment passed to its lieutenant colonel, Jost Dürler, another former Swiss Guards officer who had commanded the rearguard of the Guards in the defence of the Tuileries on 10  August 1792,  where he was captured, but managed to survive the subsequent September Massacres. The regiment fought with distinction at the Battle of Alexandria, where Dürler was killed, and lost so heavily in the campaign that it was forced to recruit from French POWs. 

After Egypt the regiment continued service in the Mediterranean before merging with Dillon's Regiment to fight in the Peninsular. At the conclusion of that campaign the regiment returned to the Mediterranean and was disbanded at Corfu in 1815.

This unit sports the thirteenth different type of headwear in this army of millinery oddities and there are still more hat variations to come.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

WWI Game

Today's regular Sunday game was an early (1914) WWI  game. The game was very much an ad hoc affair.  We had four players two playing Germans and one each playing British and Belgian.

On the German side there were three battalions each of four companies, supported by four machine guns, a jäger company (with a machine gun attached), a single squadron of uhlans and two guns.

The British had six companies of infantry, supported by two machine guns, two squadrons of cavalry and a horse machine gun and two guns. The Belgians had four companies of infantry, one machine gun, a squadron of cavalry, an armoured car and two borrowed French 75mm guns.

The Belgians moved swiftly to take a position on a central height, while the British marched across a canal - the reason we had a canal on the table was simply because one of the group had bought the Sarissa canal bridge and wanted to see it on the table.

The Germans took the initiative and made for the Belgians with eight companies while four companies prepared to hold off the British. The Belgians did well initially, knocking back one of the German battalions, but numbers began to tell and the Belgians were eventually pushed from the hill with heavy losses.

Meanwhile the British cavalry advanced boldly, dismounting and taking a position in a wood while the third German battalion fell back to a better position. 

As the Belgians slowly broke apart the Germans surged forward and broke the dismounted British cavalry and began close on the rear of the British Infantry. Here the game was called with the Germans having the upper hand.

So to some images, in no particular order.