Wednesday 31 May 2017

Dark Age Warriors

A few more Dark Age figures have marched off the painting table in the last few days.

First is the second Saxon unit and the Saxon leaders.

And then the Vikings and their leaders.

Still to arrive to finish this collection are another 40 warriors and 30 archers,  to be shared between the two sides.

Sunday 28 May 2017

A English Civil War Game

Today's game was an English Civil War game. A Royalist force of six pike and shot units and five cavalry, supported by four guns, were holding a vital road junction. A reinforcing column of three pike and shot units and a cavalry unit were marching to their support. Facing them was a Parliamentary force of eleven pike and shot units, eight cavalry and five guns. 

For we Parliamentarians it was an awkward approach through a series of woods that acted pretty much like a funnel. Knowing out opponents well, we expected the Royalists to come forward in an attempt to try to  prevent us from deploying while their reinforcements came forward. We planned to take advantage of this. For this we pushed the cavalry forward on the wings while the infantry in the centre was to move to drive a wedge between them.

Unfortunately they got the jump on us and moved and took a good position that indeed delayed our deployment. On our left flank the cavalry clashed first and the Royalists got the better of us, routing one of our units then pursuing it to destruction. But that Royalist unit then found itself well in front of its lines and was caught in the crossfire of two pike and shot units and destroyed. 

On our right the cavalry also clashed. While one of our units was driven back, the other routed the enemy and then broke through on a raw pike and shot, routing it also. At the same time a unit of highlanders attempted to charge against one of our pike and shot units, but it was shot up and halted then destroyed when we advanced.

Things now began to turn against the Royalists and they attempted to pull back, with some success at first, but when we wrested back the initiative we managed to attack their retreating units, breaking two of them. 

On our right the Royalist reinforcements came up and took position on the heights in front of the churchyard. There they made a good stand, resisting our attacks for several turns. But numbers began to tell and we managed to over run the Royalist left centre and the cavalry was passing beyond their left flank. 

Here the game was called as a Parliamentary victory. 

Saturday 27 May 2017

Busy Times

It’s been a busy week.





Not only have I completed a regiment of Russian Napoleonic Dragoons - the Smolensk Regiment (as above), plus another 12 Dark Age Saxons, and glued together the final ten Saxons up ready for painting, but I have also been extremely busy at work, having seen the exist of one staff member, got everything in place for the replacement and having seen a project go live that is the culmination of eighteen month’s work. Then there was a wargame last night (a Wars of the Roses Game using "To the Strongest" rules of which a few photos are below) and another game on Sunday...





On top of all of that I have actually had time to complete the final work on the content of my magnum opus, a book on the Franco-Prussian War battles of Spicheren and Froeschwiller. This amounted to finishing the final read through (with one or two corrections) and the creation of two more maps.
I started work on this book way back in 1992, but a  lack of access to source material, the theft of my PC with all the soft copy on it, a change in domestic arrangements and a career change saw the project stop and start several times. It wasn’t until 2005 when we went to France on holiday and I was able to purchase a number of secondhand books that the thing really began to take shape. Aided by the digitisation of much of the source material I was able to launch back into the project with some vigour, and by 2012 the basic text was complete. It has only taken another five years to get to here. There is still a little work to do, for some reason the index is not generating correctly and I need to spend a little more time on it, but I am pretty happy with it otherwise. For anyone interested it will be published under Amazon Create Space in due course.

The work is approximately 480 Pages with 70 maps and diagrams. A sample with the first few pages taken from each chapter can be found here: 

Saturday 20 May 2017


I have had this, my first unit of Vikings, finished for more than a week, but only in the last couple of days have I had the time to complete the bases.

There is another batch the same size as this well under way and another unit of Saxons ready to be assembled.

Friday 19 May 2017

Russian Napoleonic Peasants (2)

Last night I completed the last few figures of this second unit of Napoleonic peasants, from the Perry Miniatures Russian range.

This is the last of the Russian winter dress figures  I am doing, although I do have one small unit of Imperial Guard Chasseurs to finish the Retreat from Moscow collection.

Wednesday 17 May 2017

More Russian Jägers

Last night I finished the second (and final) unit of Russian jägers in winter dress.

Again these are the Perry figures with the addition of an officer from the plastic line infantry command sprue.

I have just another six peasant infantry to do now to complete the Russians in winter dress. They will be finished by the week's end.

Sunday 14 May 2017

Dark Age Saxon Infantry

Three words that I never thought would be seen to describe part of my collections - Dark Ages Infantry, because at heart I am a horse and musket man and it was my intention to pretty much stick to the 19th century. But here we are with with a unit of Saxon Thegns.

The figures are from the Gripping Beast plastics range. There will be another unit of Thegns and two of Viking Hirdmen. They will be joined in time by a couple of units of warriors and some archers. This project has been inspired after watching all four seasons of "Vikings" pretty much back to back over the last few weekends and a desire to create some sort of adventure game around the series. There is an ulterior motive, not for discussion here, that might become clearer as this mini project develops.

Initially I was going to base them all on individual bases, but they just didn't look right to me - they were just spaced too far apart so I kept with my usual 50mm diorama bases, with five figures to a stand.

So here they are, set against of the background of the Dark Ages building posted last week.



Saturday 6 May 2017

As the Boys from Monty Python would say...

...and now for something completely different.

These three Dark Ages buildings are a part of a new project that will take shape over the next few weeks.

The first is a plain A frame structure with sod roof. The basic form was simply a cardboard form, over which I glued matchsticks as the base timber structure and then a pieces of twigs from the garden as framing. The sod roof was created by covering the cardboard with foamboard with one face of the card cut off, to give it an irregular surface, and the edge were carved into shape. The whole roof was then coated with PVA and a coarse sand was applied. After the roof was painted I added some flock, grass tufts and sisal tufts.

The second structure is a pretty standard thatched building. Again the form is card covered with matchsticks. The roof is carved foamboard covered with a finer sand.

The third is a meant to be a farm house with a barn attached. To give it some real interest I created an odd bend in the structure and used a mix of matchsticks and sand on the outer surface. The thatched part of the roof was made from carved foamboard and sand, while the wooden roof was made of matchsticks.

And so there is the beginning of a village. There is much more to come here yet.