Saturday 25 March 2017

East African Plantation House - Part 1

With the lead pile exhausted I have spent the last week working on items for the East African WWI project.

First up is another eleven pieces of jungle/bush. These have varied in size and height, with some of them being made from 10mm foam board, stacked four levels high. Large rock formations have been been constructed using pine bark that is painted with a thick black undercoat and then drybrushed various tones of grey.



There are now 36 pieces of jungle/bush made, with about an equal number to go.

The main focus of the week, however, has been the construction of the plantation house.

My plan for this building was to be a square two storey structure with a broad verandah on three sides. So first up was to cut the base from foamboard and the walls of the main structure from a heavy cardboard, with windows and doors removed.

The main strucure and its roof  was then roughly assembled. 


The verandah sides were then cut from foamboard and fixed to the base.


The two components dry assembled.


The next task was to contruct the windows from plasticard and fix them in place.



The whole model then had to be painted because once the verandah roof goes on I won't be able get at parts of the structure. The basic model is painted white, with the deck of the verandah grey. This isn't the finished paint job and there will be quite a few final touches that will be applied when the roof is completed.



Then the verandah roof is fitted.



The basic shape is now complete, it just needs the corrugated iron roof, a final brush of paint and the final dressing pieces to be added. But somehow the back of the building is...well...boring.

The answer was to add a kitchen as an extension on the back, with a chimney.


And so the bulk of the model is finished. Some finishing around the lower part of the base is in place and the steps are fixed, but I have run out of corrugated iron plasticard so here development stops for a while. 

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Russian Opolchenie

Over the weekend I finished another battalion of Opolchenie for my Russian Napoleonic armies. 

This battalion I have done in brown coats of varying tones.


I particularly like the officer nonchalantly leaning on his sword. 

Below are all three battalions - the new brown coated unit to the rear, with the green/brown coats on the left and the grey coats on the right.


Sunday 12 March 2017

Another First Carlist War Game

Today's game was a First Carlist War battle.

Because this needed to be a morning game only, so that a different game could be played in the afternoon, I kept the scenario simple. A combined British Auxiliary Legion (BAL) and French Foreign Legion (FFL) force is charged with clearing a Carlist force out of the monastery of Juan de la Carretera that dominates the road to Bilboa. 

The BAL and FFL force consisted of:
   2 battalions BAL infantry (Raw)
   1 battalion Royal Marines (trained)
   1 field battery (raw)
   1 rocket battery (trained)
   1 squadron of BAL lancers (raw)
   4 battalions FFL infantry (trained)
   1 mountain battery (trained)
   1 squadron of Polish lancers (trained)
   2 battalions of Spanish line infantry (raw)
   2 battalions of  provincial militia (raw)

The Carlists occupied the Monastery with:
   4 battalions of infantry (trained)
   1 field battery (trained)

A Carlist Relief force was approaching, consisting of:
   2 battalions of infantry (one trained and one raw)
   1 mountain gun (raw) 
   1 squadron of Ontorio Hussars (trained)
   3 squadrons of lancers (raw)

The monastery stood on a low hill while another higher hill rose to the east. A rough sketch of the terrain (North up) is below.

The Carlists Deploy in the Monastery

The BAL and FFL deploy

The fight was pretty straight forward. The Spanish moved to intercept the relief force while the BAL and FFL move to take the monastary. But the Carlists got the jump on their opponents and the Carlist cavalry dashed across the Spanish front. 

The FFL was forced to turn two battalions  and the Polish lancers to face right. The relief force infantry was getting the better of the Spanish infantry, but a charge by the Polish lancers turned the tide and drove off first off a battalion of Carlist infantry then broke through onto a Carlist cavalry unit, driving that off too.

The Polish Lancers Charge

But it all got too much for the French cavalry and they soon decided that they had had enough and quit the field, as did two of the Spanish battalions.

Two Spanish battalions face the Carlists relief infantry and artillery

Meantime a determined attack by two battalions of the FFL stormed the church yard, but a second attack failed to drive off the Carlist gun (although after continued round of fighting the gunners were driven off).

The FFL form up...


...and attack the churchyard

An attempt by the Marines to take the western face of the monastery ended badly, as did all other attempts to to drive the FFL from the churchyard. 

The BAL attacks.

Then, with a need to end at lunch time, we called the a draw, since neither side fully controlled the monastery.

The second game was ancient galleys. This was a bit of fun, but we struggled with a lack of knowledge of the rules. 

We had a fun time while parts of Auckland - not too far away from where we were playing - suffered from flash flooding after a sudden downpour.

Friday 10 March 2017

Russian Infantry Completed

Last night I finished the last battalion of my Russian infantry division.

This is the last of twelve battalions, eight musketeer an four jäger - a total of 288 figures, all Perry Miniatures plastics. And here they are...

The whole division drawn up in brigade masses, the first musketeer brigade on the left, the second musketeer brigade in the centre and the jäger brigade on the right.

The First Musketeer Brigade

The Second Musketeer Brigade

The Jäger Brigade

In the coming months the three supporting batteries will be added, along with some supporting cavalry - a brigade of dragoons and a brigade of cuirassiers. The Cossacks are already on hand.

Saturday 4 March 2017

Another Work in Progress Report

WSince the last WiP report much has been completed.


First of the blocks is a battalion of Russian line jägers – there is one more battalion of these to go. I have struggled a bit with these and they certainly are not my best work.

 Second is the second unit of Opolochenie – wonderful figures, full of character. Again there is another unit of these to go.


Third is the store house for the East African Railway Station set. This was in danger of being quite a bland piece, so I created some interest by providing lots of different textures.


Here is the completed set.


Fourth and final is a group of East African bush/jungle pieces. These have been building up over the last month or so. These 15 pieces were made from less than a single “sheet” of the plastic foliage. I have another two sheets to go, so I hope that when completed, over the next few months, I will have close to 80 pieces, or about 6 linear meters. The idea is that these irregularly sized and shaped pieces can be grouped in any number of combinations to create a maze of bush or jungle. By leaving gaps between the pieces tracks and paths can be represented.


On the table at the moment is:

•  The next batch of Russian jagers – the final battalion.

•  More bush/jungle pieces

•  The first of the next batch of East African Buildings – one of two plantation houses.