Sunday, January 29, 2017

William of Orange - Warfare Miniatures by Mark Allen

Mark Allen was one of the main influences on my obsession with the period which has given its name to this Blog. I drooled over Mark's inspirational figures and games photographed so carefully by Duncan Macfarlane as far back as 1991 when they were a staple of Wargames Illustrated. His series on the armies of the period is still a go to resource for me and I am certain, many others.

It therefore gives me extreme pleasure to show case Mark's wonderful interpretation of William of Orange using Warfare Miniatures. Mark continues to show an interest in the period and he and I exchange correspondence on various aspects now and again.

Thanks Mark for the inspiration which has sustained a 24 year fascination for the period and driven my own efforts to bring some ideas and information to my fellow gamers as you did to me.

Enjoy folks!

For those curious about the unusual base shape Mark intends to put a staff group on another base behind but also use the two pieces separately.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Countdown to Tactica 2017.. Buildings

1st Corps Russian Church - nice model and enjoyable to paint

When we decided that our Tactica offering was to be GNW based Toggy ordered a wadge of buildings and accessories without telling me exactly what would hit the mat!

A concession to frippery during the industrial production of the village

A large box arrived and I unpacked it to reveal a church, some farm accessories and three wooden houses with bits and pieces. Wow! - will I have time to paint this stuff considering I only have 13 nights at home between Jan 10th and February 20th. I needed a plan and a method.

Log cabin with added straw and chickens!  I enjoyed painting the poultry!

I quickly decided on the method - big brushes, emulsion paint and ink washes. I do not try and pick out minute details on 28mm buildings but prefer to create a 'look'. The look I have decided on is weathered wood, relatively unadorned and inconspicuous.

I did a fair bit of cosmetic dressing on this piece including rope and buckets

Here is the technical bit:

1. Wash all pieces in warm soapy water.
2. Undercoat all components in dark chocolate emulsion with a very large brush and allow to dry for        48 hours.
3. Coarsely drybrush (drybrush coarsely?.. no swearing chaps!) with a stone grey type shade and        allow to stand for 48 hours

The church from a different angles

4. Drybrush again with a lighter shade of the stone grey emulsion - leave to dry as per before
5. Finally highlight in a drybrush with the last shade mentioned + a white addition - leave to dry as before.

The weathered wood look came out exactly as I wanted it - busy poultry!

6. Now wash  down in a mix of artist's inks - 5 parts Burnt Umber, 5 parts India Yellow, two parts black, 20 parts water.
7. Fill in window detail, internal chimney breasts, external chimneys, smoke blackening of chimney and fires, onion domes dress the bottom edges of the buildings with a layered drybrush - chocolate brown, leather brown, khaki.

I wanted the church to be ordinary looking and understated

Additional details such as static grass, poultry, ropes for the well, green moss on the cut wood, yacht varnish in the well water, straw added afterwards.

pieces going together pretty well here (no pun intended). My rooster was fun to do.

I completed about 7 feet of fencing using the same method. I am very pleased with the result when you compare the output versus the macro techniques and minimal time used to complete.

The hay pile is static grass over painted in emulsion and acrylics

 All done now and ready to be garrisoned by the Swedes against a large Russian horde.

A taste of some of the troops painted by Rob Goodyer and coming in the next Tactica preparation post...

A large Streltsi unit... sans etandard

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Battle of Aughrim 1691-2016 325th Anniversary

I am delighted to feature a post by Alan Larsen explaining the role his Re-enactor group 'The Troop' played in the commendable commemorative event which took place in the Summer of 2016.

Photo: John Finnerty (By permission)

As many readers will know, Aughrim tends to be the forgotten major action of the Williamite Wars in Ireland. This is quite remarkable given that it was a larger and more decisive battle than the better known affair at the Boyne river the previous year.

League of Augsburg aficionados will be well aware that cavalry were a powerful and decisive force on the contemporary battlefields of Europe. The determined charges of both Jacobite and Willliamite Horse had been part of what had been a seesaw battle throughout the day, indeed the remarkable charge of the Earl of Oxfords Blues [two abreast down a causeway into heavy enemy fire] had -along with the spectacular decapitation of Marshal St Ruth -been the key turning points of the battle.

It was to portray Jacobite horsemen -specifically the Kings Lifeguard of Horse that “The Troop” travelled to County Galway in July 2016. As some readers may be aware The Troop is a multi- period cavalry re-enactment group that has taken part in various mounted commemorations over the last 20 years -in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Spain, Malta, Russia, and Africa. However never before had we travelled as a group to militarily historic, rural Ireland.  In the event the expedition proved to be everything we had hoped it would be, from both an equestrian and re-enactment point of view.

Photo: John Finnerty (By permission)

The performance of the Jacobite Horse in Ireland from 1689 to 1691 was agreed by contemporary observers to be of a high level.  Pre-eminent amongst these units were James IIs Lifeguards. Amongst their actions were the determined, repeated, downhill charges on the Dutch Foot Guards at the Boyne and Patrick Sarsfield’s legendary ride to and destruction of William IIIs artillery train.  They were certainly motivated soldiers-many of them had become exiles by virtue of remaining true to the oath taken to their Monarch.  This level of loyalty had proved to be somewhat lacking in the British Army in the years preceding Aughrim…

Alan as Bonnie Dundee (photo BH)

The Troops success in undertaking mounted re-enactment around the world has been underpinned by a fortunate ability to source local mounts and to safely introduce the occasionally reluctant equestrian recruits to a wide variety of potentially worrying weaponry and accoutrements -to “have the conversation” to use a delightful Irish equestrian phrase.  In Galway, our remount task was made comparatively straightforward by Oliver Walsh and his staff at Flowerhill Stables -a superb Irish Hunting Yard. Oliver’s big bold and yet steady Hunters took to period tack and weaponry with little difficulty. The horses even took their first sight of grown men wearing massive plumed hats and large beribboned curled wigs in their lengthy stride…

Drummer of the period (photo BH)

In the event the only horse training required in some cases was “neck reining“ that is to say steering ones mount with the left hand only-an understandable requirement when the cavalryman’s right hand is occupied with sword carbine pistol or, most challenging, the Trumpet. As can be seen from the accompanying photographs we could mount our troopers on suitably coloured horses and our Trumpeter on a striking grey-it had in fact been James II who had formalized this arrangement [which is continued in the Household Cavalry to this day] in 1685.

The Earl of Antrim's Regiment (Photo BH)

The commemorative event at Aughrim 325 was organized by Tomas O’Brien of Oireas Historical with support from a number of sponsors whose help is gratefully acknowledged. The programme consisted of talks, wargames and re-enactment displays. The Troops contribution on the day was an arena display of mounted drill and Skill at Arms along with the opportunity afterwards for the audience to meet the riders and horses -and to ask any questions about 1680s cavalry that had been keeping them awake at night.

Ensign David O'Brogain (Photo BH)

The arena itself was part of the original battlefield -in fact it adjacent to the original causeway along which the Williamite cavalry had charged. Our appreciative Sunday audience was swelled in numbers both by the patrons of Valeries Bar -and by the local priests’ suggestion in Sunday Mass that morning that his flock attend!

Officer of Horse (Photo BH)

It was a great honour to be asked to participate in the Aughrim 325th anniversary and it is to be hoped that further expeditions will be possible. A re-creation -at least in part- of “Sarsfield's Ride” through the beautiful and relatively unchanged Irish countryside holds considerable appeal [as must any historical event involving a character called “Galloping Hogan”.. ]

As always, The Troop will ride again.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Snowstorm? Brainstorm? Fraudstadt.. League of Augsburg style

Looking from the Swedish right towards the Russian positions

I honestly thought I had blogged our Fraustadt refight(s). Clearly I had not! A request to know more on another thread has prompted me to go to the archive and pull out some pix and scour my memory for what actually happened on the day (s) we ran this in Dumfries two or three years back.

The Swedish Army from its left wing looking long the line

I felt the table was a fairly accurate representation of the battlefield and our order of battle for each army represented every unit making for a nice multi player game.

Behind the Russian Corps' positions

Saxon Dragoons and Cuirassiers on the right wing

Laying traps amidst the frozen ponds - Saxon Dragoons

I filled some gaps in the Swedish army by speed painting three or four battalions using the slap n' dunk method of flat colours and army painter. The results were pretty pleasing and the overall look of the army was super.

Swedish infantry get ready to march forward

Gunter Heim re-flagged some of his Saxon battalions to provide the Russian contingent. The terrain was Adrian's and the use of some Woodland Scenics snow scatter really created the right effect.

Attacking the Saxon right wing - massed Swedish squadorns

I calculated it was probably a full day game for 3-4 players per side. In the end we ran it twice as a historical re fight with the Swedes achieving to my recollection a reasonable but not spectacular victory once but on the second occasion coming such a cropper than we stopped the game - allowed the Swedes to disengage and re set with the Swedes fighting a rear guard action along the lone of the road which ran through their deployment area left to right.

During the game that ended in victory for the Swedes - the last stand of the Saxon centre

The cavalry led counter attack by the Saxons I seem to remember caused absolute chaos and Fraustadt become a dramatic Swedish defeat.

Swedish Vallack Allies charge Russian infantry

The troops came from the collections of Gunter Heim and your truly. I don't remember the guilty parties on either side but do certainly remember Gunter, Paul, Adam, Les, Mike and Jim at the table at various times.

The Saxon Guards

Maybe some of the lads will chip in with denials or claims of victory.

The armies close on  to contact on the third game - Swedish fighting retreat

It was a great game anyway.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

GNW Swedish units.. the long road since 1996

Foundry+ conversions + Dixons and Redoubt components - The Dal 1996.. sadly gone

I have a nice archive of my GNW efforts form the time when there was pretty much nothing available, through various iterations to now when I am pretty much writing my own ticket with GNW releases.. a kind of fantasy come true.

Plenty of conversion work Ducker's Dragoons 1997 - the cape is milliput - still have these

I thought it would be nice to share some of these units and figures which have taken between 30 minutes and six hours to complete including conversion time and scratch building.

SYW Russians dressed up as Swedes.. I am very proud of this unit. LivGard 1996

I have painted pretty much everybody's stuff sine the first Foundry models were available. Musketeer, Reiver, conversions, doing Dixon's stuff as substitutes, using First Corps sculpts and Stratagem Marlburians.

Uniforms now proven inaccurate but a nice unit of Life Guard Grenadiers from about 1996

Seven Years War Russian Corps of Observation models in waistcoats 'depping' as Swedes sans surtouts.. I was desperate.. you know!

Vignette basing OD - Ostgota with plenty of conversion work and SYW Russian officer

I have had endless fun with the period and been pretty pleased with various attempts even the slap and dip units I rustled together for Fraustadt a couple of years back.

Height of the base  - the groundwork was a lot of work

part of the same unit Ducker's Dragoons with conversions - buttons on sleeves, I know

I have experimented with base sizes, deep bases, shallow bases, wide cavalry bases, close order cavalry bases, skirmish bases, bases with height up to about 40mm from the surface and  even hexes.

Warfare Skane War/Grand Alliance period Swedes

Maybe there are some ideas in here for blog followers. I still have much of this stuff but a few units precious units were sold off over the years in moments of poor judgment.

Slap n' dunk mix of Warfare and Footsore - about 2 hours from start to finish

As a comparison about 25 hours work including hand painted cotton flags

How about these Laddies! Unreleased sculpts from Rob Baker

Slap n' dunk but the results are nice - Warfare meets Footsore

More rarities and mixing Baker with Thornhill

And another Warfare meets Footsore

Chevron effect exactly as I wanted it - Warfare Miniatures

Saturday, January 14, 2017

More new GNW Russians

Brief post to update you on the latest available GNW Russian codes.

The long awaited Russian Musketeers with bayonets in the defending position are now available and here they are:

Also, as a result of several requests we are making a slightly unusual pack available - Streltsi/Early Musketeers  x4 with an additional officer in traditional dress. pack R12

Here they are:

All packs in the GNW Russian infantry section of the shop.

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