Saturday, 30 July 2022

28mm -Grand Manner - Late Medieval Buildings

Recently Grand Manner had a sale of unpainted buildings.  Usually they sell only their painted resin buildings. I have eyed their superb buildings for many years but the painted goodies were beyond my pocket.  The unpainted buildings were a different matter though. 

Firstly I bought some Dark Age (early medieval) Buildings which I painted up, to a better standard than I thought I could (I'm a figure painter really).  These featured in a post a few months back.

I liked those buildings so much that I took the plunge and ordered a large set of late medieval buildings.

The numbering in the above picture was done by me so I didn't get confused as to which bit belongs to which building! I had lovely afternoon sat in the sunshine with a bucket of water and a nail brush and had an enjoyable unwrapping session followed by cleaning off the resin residue.

I have to compliment Grand Manner on their packaging.  Their care and attention is on another level altogether. I should have taken photos of the neatly individually bubble wrapped parts, with polystyrene foam inside supporting walls and beams.  As a result each building was most definitely undamaged and arrived very safely.  It was a joy to unwrap them and examine each one in turn. If it wasn't for the intense heat of the blazing sun, I would have said that it felt like Christmas!

The sculpting on the buildings is magnificent. On the market square buttercross above, there are even pigeons sculpted on. Quite wonderful!

Close up - the blurring is down to my poor camera-work!

As you can see there is a market cross and stocks too

And lots of buildings and also cobbled streets.  

I thought I would post the pics of these now, because it will probably quite some time before they all get painted up!

Their uses will be frequent though, and I suspect they will become part of St Albans for the Wars of the Roses, and numerous English Towns for Civil War battles too.

Monday, 4 July 2022

28mm - Napoleonic British - 69th South Lincolnshire Regiment of Foot - Perry Miniatures


Napoleonics...probably my first real wargaming interest.  I started with Airfix 20mm plastic figures like so many of us, after having collected 1/32 plastics and loving the box art.  20mm gave bigger battles and with tape measures and dice instead of throwing marbles.  I don't need to go down a well trodden path, I think we mostly share the same journey.

I then had some of the 25mm Prince August moulds and in the late 1980's and made some lead figures on my dad's electric cooker in the kitchen.  I added some Minifigs from the shop at Devizes in Wiltshire and made some units. I still have memories of the shop keeper going back to the back of the shop after every hand written order line and checking to see how many he had.  Sometimes, a few...sometimes none.  Making full units was hard in those pre-internet days!

I properly got back into wargaming when I bought my first house and took over the spare room in 1993.  This is the Status Quo. There has been no change, other than the troop numbers and storage boxes in my spare room...which have got larger and larger and larger...

..and Napoleonic armies have been stop/start ever since. I can barely call them armies. I'll paint a stand and then stop!  Then I'll try 15mm then 6mm and then back to a stand of 28mm after a gap of several more years. It's odd. I have probably 10-15 wargaming periods that I play and Napoleonics has always been neglected since that early start in my teenage years.  Is it the lace and detail? Probably - I can paint American Revolutionary War troops, lace too with no qualms.  Napoleonics always seems a level too far. I can paint a unit of 30 Normans in the time it takes me to paint 6 Napoleonic figures.

I started this Regiment back in 2015, inspired by the Waterloo 200 years commemoration.  They are the wonderful 28mm plastic British Infantry produced by Perry Miniatures.  I painted a stand at time to get into it it and then just stopped.  Reading some Napoleonic memoirs recently and also purchasing an original Napoleonic carbine a few weeks ago, inspired me to look at my collection again.  

I had one stand with flank company men and the command stand to go to complete the Regiment...the dreaded command stand.  Research was required on the drummers uniform, drums, officers lace etc etc nothing was straightforward!  I just had to go for it.  Three weeks later they were done!

The flag is by GMB. This is slightly larger than the prints that the Perry's thoughtfully provide on their on painting guide in each box.  I like the flags by GMB so try to use them whenever possible.  However they did require some trimming to fit on the gap between finial and hand.  I did kind of wish I used the Perry's supplied flags with just a bit of extra highlighting afterwards.

Once I finished these today, I just looked at them and wondered why I don't paint these and nothing else.  I am really pleased with them. There is something so iconic in that Waterloo campaign uniform, with oilskins over shako caps and grey overalls. A mix of the decorative and practical that shouldn't work but somehow does.  The Perry's did a wonderful job in giving each figure character and the right look.  They were a joy to assemble too.  I could have gone more regimented with their appearance, but I wanted a line of battle appearance, when fire is coming in and hearing goes!

Will I be painting more of these...oh yes.  When will it be?  I don't know.  I put excessive detail in (again) for wargaming figures, despite telling myself that I wouldn't.  I feel like doing something lace free now.

I suspect that once I take my Paget carbine down the range the inspiration to paint more will come straight back again as soon as I get the whiff of powder!

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Battle of Southam - 24 August 1642 - 28mm Pike and Shotte Rules



It's not often that I do write ups of the games I play.  I think its more to do with the fact that I don't really take photos all the way through the game to create a good narrative.  I also forget what happened! It's also considerably easier and less time consuming to show painted figures instead.  

However, I should really do more write ups, if only to remember the really great games that I played.

The battle that Ian and I played the other week was from the excellent series of scenario books produced by Caliver Books entitled 'English Civil War Gaming Scenarios'. This battle is from Volume 3 by Robert Giglio.  The books are excellent in that the scenarios are transferable to any set of ECW rules and the information contained within is just excellent.

This battle looked interesting for several reasons. Not least because it was actually before Edgehill, and its not really that well known. The armies are a mix of troop types and it is not totally equal.  One side is stronger in infantry but weaker in cavalry.  Both sides are largely raw troops care needs to be taken to avoid units breaking too soon.

The above image shows the start dispositions.  The horse units on the furthest end have been labelled as 'wings' for image space.  The Royalists have the River Itchen and bridge to their rear. The road runs from Coventry, behind the Royalists towards Southam, behind the Parliament army.

Above we have the Royalist foote unit of the Earl of Northampton's Regiment (though it is actually painted up as a Cornish Regiment with possible flag colours - there can't be many ECW wargaming armies with correct flags throughout!).  Stand-in units playing the part of the historical unit are going to be seen throughout this blog ignore the flags!  I think only my Northampton's Horse regiment has the correct flag.

A view from behind the Royalist right wing. These cavalry troops are from the Redoubt Enterprises range which still look good, but when they came out nearly 30 years ago, were just incredible.

Still behind the Royalist lines. The light gun and Saville's Dragoons get ready in the Royalist Centre.

View from behind the Royalist Left. The cavalry are a mix of Redoubt and Bicorne figures.  This Royalist wing refused all orders to make it move throughout the entire game!)


The left half of the Parliament army arrayed above.

Another overview shot

A close up of fine Bicorne Miniatures cavalry

A rare sight, some of the English Civil War cavalry produced by Front Rank (closest to camera).  I painted these in around 1991. They have been re-based several time but they have held up well to the decades.  The Royalist cavalry have the better of the fight on their right and push break the Parliamentarians. Above, the reserve Parliament line attempts to make a charge to hold back the tide.

On the Parliament right, things should have gone much better. The Royalist cavalry they were facing consistently disobeyed the orders they receive to charge.  As my Parliament cavalry wing receive the order to advance to take advantage, they 'blunder' their order and move off to their left oblique to stand in front of my infantry.  This was not the 'infantry protection' movement that they were intended to make...someone blundered for sure!

A view of Northampton's Infantry from the point end.  Figures are Bicorne with possibly some of the old Renegade troops mixed in.

With my left wing of horse routing and my right blundering, it was down to the infantry to save the day. my Parliament army was stronger in Infantry so I had to make use of it. I decided to advance down the hill and attack.  Unfortunately the cavalry blunder blocked my infantry from moving, except for Col Denzil Holles's Regiment.  A raw regiment but imbued with courage (or imbued with something!)

It was a bloody affair.  The red marker shows they unit has become spent and the cotton wool smoke is disorder.  The Royalist light gun and infantry fire poured a deadly fire into Holles's men.  It was too much for them and alas they discarded their arms and broke and ran.

That was effectively the end of the battle. My narration makes it seem short but the game lasted a few hours and several game turns (we chat lots too!).  It played like many of the smaller battles of the Civil War historically seemed to.  Raw troops fighting with major collapses once things start going wrong.

With one broken cavalry wing and my Infantry brigade with most of its units spent, this meant that 2 of the 3 brigades were counted as beaten, so the last brigade had no choice but to turn tail and flee.

All in all it was a great game and made me wonder how 3 years could go by without playing one of my favourite periods (and probably with my biggest collection).  The game played well and it was brilliant to read about and play another battle in a war that set the whole area around where I live between Oxford and Burford, ablaze with battles, sieges and skirmishes.

In the actual historical battle, it appears that Colonel John Hampden's Parliament regiment made a determined assault down the hill, with the light guns advancing and firing to support with grapeshot at close range, causing the Royalists to break and flee (offering to sell their weapons in the nearby townes 'for 12 pence a peece'). So in history it was a Parliamentarian victory.

I look forward to playing more Civil War games soon, though with the arrival of hot weather, my mind often wanders to the Western Deserts of WW2...

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

28mm Greek Casualties - Wargames Foundry


Not the most delightful of figure types, but for fitting in with the battlefield and avoiding obstructive markers, these are a necessity.  Here we have casualties for Ancient Greece.

These are Wargames Foundry figures, which have stood the test of time very well indeed.  They were just what I needed for the inevitable casualty/strength record keeping that is an essential in our particular hobby.

These are based with 'Hail Caesar' rules in mind, with the left hand dial keeping track of the unit 'Stamina' level and the dice square on the right to keep a track of the excess casualties which will need to be checked on break tests. 

The figures are up to the usual standard of Foundry. You do tend to know what you are getting with Foundry (except with some of their weird 18th century figures with odd square chins) and these are excellent.

I didn't want anything too gory, there is no extra red paint splashed about on these! So these are perfect.

Some Spartans are also mixed in and these are very effective too.

The shield transfers are a mix - I can't recall which company did the Spartan transfers but the remainder are from Little Big Man studios.

The dial turning casualty bases are from Warbases, as are the dice squares.  I bought a huge batch of these bases in 2013 (yes I actually still have the receipt!) but have  recently used the last one up.  I ordered a good number more the other week and was shocked to find nearly half of the dials did not turn.  

I have to hand it to Warbases, as soon as I told them, they sent more out to me and they will be receiving the sticking ones back to see what caused the glues to jam movement.  Hopefully their 'post-mortem' of the stands will sort the problem out.  I do like good customer service.

Overall I am very pleased with the way these have turned out.  These 21 bases took me a couple of weeks to paint and prior to that I was painting Union and Confederate dead on dial turning bases too.  More than a month of painting dead figures has left me a bit jaded though. I feel like painting something a bit more alive now.

Hopefully this will keep me going for a couple of decades.  The way I hop about between time periods it will probably be months/years before I do anymore Greeks - though I am awaiting an order of Spartans from Victrix.  I just need to get some more command stands painted up and then I can declare my Greek armies to be of a properly playable state..I just need more units now though!

Friday, 13 May 2022

Dark Age Buildings - Part 3

 Only two more buildings to go, so I thought I would include these so they were not left out.  These are great as they are livestock buildings, so a little different to the dwellings that I have painted and posted previously.

Building 6

Building 7

I'm delighted with these building and I do have a use for them, being used primarily for Dux Britanniarum rules by the Too Fat Lardies.  These will play a crucial role. I would also like to play some of the lesser known Dark Age battles such as the one at Nether Wallop near Winchester in Hampshire UK.  This was also known as the Battle of Guoloph.  The only issue will be the Order of Battle, the terrain and the exact location...but hey, we are wargamers, since when has that ever stopped us! 

On a different topic, I have received my massive parcel of Medieval buildings now from Grand Manner. These are all from the magnificent unpainted limited sale from earlier in the year. To say they have been lovingly individually packed is an understatement.  They are clearly very customer service focussed as they were determined that they arrived in a superb undamaged state.  I have not finished unpacking them yet, but my goodness, they look superb!  The Battle of St Albans and many others including English Civil War, will be played out with these new buildings...when I get around to painting them!  First of all, I really need to paint some soldiers!