Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pike and Shotte Command from Warlord Games

2015 has one been off to a great start with massive inroads into my English Civil War project . . . okay; I painted regiment of foot (plus markers) and a brigade command stand for Victory Without Quarter.  I’ll chock that off and put it in the win column!

Next up will be a rounding out the King’s Oxford muster by adding Talbot's regiment of yellow coats. In addition, I am going to put together my “final” list for the armies I plan to fight with Victory Without Quarter. I have been designing my forces not based on a particular order of battle or muster list; but, on a set of forces that would provide an enjoyable game and provide the flavor of the period.

In order to flush out my own order of battle, I wanted to give the upcoming regiments some more variety in their command figures.  Thus I purchased Warlord Games’ Pike and Shotte Infantry command pack. In bold italic is the description from the Warlord site with my comments:


Officer.  Lifted straight from page 116 of Wagner's classic TYW book, this officer is a classic study. He is richly dressed, in old fashioned jacket and possibly has served on the continent himself. He will be ideal for all early armies, as Royalist, Parliament or Covenanter and will serve as a captain or lieutenant of foot. He has a partizan and sword, and a pistol hung down from his belt. A lovely study. 


I love the expression on his face; this is a no nonsense officer from the new school who believes in training his own company. The arm with paritzan comes separately and fits perfectly with a little super glue with no gaps. Looking at the picture of the back of the figure I just noticed a mold line from the middle of his hat to what appears to move down to his sash.



Ensign. This fellow is taken from the wonderful Haythornthwaite ECW book, and is a classic Ensign, with sword drawn and dressed in a cassock. Again he could be used in all armies, Rebel, Royalist, Scots or Montrose.  Love the figure but I was disappointed with the quality of the casting. This is the first time I have received a Warlord figure that had so much flash and mold lines on it. Not sure what happen with this figure as it is not their usual quality.  It took me about 20 minutes to remove the excess flash and file down mold lines. Not a great job but after painting it should look okay. I still need to fix that funky looking sword. I'm not sure what regiment he will be with but I look forward to painting the flag.


Drummer.  Every Company fielded at least one drummer and our fellow is neatly attired in a posh jacket with ribbon and braid attached. He wears a jaunty Montero with feathers too, something that the Colonel has thought it worth dipping into his own pockets for, which was common at the time. Being a Warlord Drummer, although he is not carrying a sword, he is still packing a pistol for close defenseWith the Montero cap the drummer will end up with the King's muster in Oxford and will be joining Talbot's regiment. 


Sergeant. We asked for this sergeant to be a hard-bitten professional who has seen a thing or two in his time. He wears a Burgonet and sleeveless buff coat and is doing what sergeants do best, shouting! He could be slotted into any Civil war army.


Once I figure out the rest of the regiments I am painting this guy is definitely going to be leading a pike block!




Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vallejo Paints at Hobby Lobby

Did I just see what I thought I just saw? Yes!!!  For those of us that live in the Colonies (the United States), Vallejo Paints are now carried by Hobby Lobby in the model section.  I counted 50 + colors in the local store here in Alabama.  It appears that they are carrying their most popular colors and for us gamers and model makers, the colors we need most.Tthe price is (gasp!) $2.99 a bottle and is also available on their website for order: Hobby Lobby Vallejo Paints.

The Hobby Lobby website each week has coupon specials and every week there is at least 1 40% off one item coupon.


Bless you Hobby Lobby.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Manus O'Cahan's Irish Regiment of Foot

My first Irish regiment is complete and I have decided that this will be Manus O'Cahan's Regiment of Foot.  Many of the soldiers in his regiment had fought on the continent during the 30 Years War. Their European combat experience made them some of the most experienced soldiers serving in the Civil War.


They fought for a year under Montrose and O'Cahan stayed with Montrose as he started to prepare for the advance to the Scottish-English border when others had deserted the army.





Unfortunately, the increasing collapse of the main Royalist forces in England meant that more Scottish Covenanter forces could now be sent back to help defeat Montrose and his allies in Scotland. David Leslie (Warlord Games has an excellent figure of Leslie), a highly experienced soldier and Covenanter, attacked O'Cahan's men as they were just waking up at an encampment in Philiphaugh on September 13, 1645.


O'Cahan's forces and those of the other Irish units who had stayed with Montrose found themselves under severe attack and hopelessly outnumbered. Within hours they were reduced to less than five hundred men but they fought on valiantly.


Leslie offered O'Cahan terms of surrender: If his men laid down their arms and agreed to leave Scotland forever they would be allowed to go free. O'Cahan agreed to this, but Leslie had the now unarmed Irish captured and O'Cahan witnessed the execution of virtually his entire army. The women and children who had followed his forces were also brutally executed, many by drowning in the rivers around Philipaugh. Colonels O'Cahan, and Thomas Laghtnan were taken to Edinburgh Castle and hanged from the South Wall without a trial.  A sad end for a professional soldier and the men he led but indicative of the fierce hostility between Protestants and Catholics and the animosity of clan warfare in Scotland at the time.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Musketeers for Montrose's Irish: A Sudden Replacement for WIP #2

I love flags. I love the aesthetics of gaming with miniature soldiers as they march across the field of battle on my dining room table. Most of all, I love my bride of 28 years who let me take a nap on Saturday. While drifting off to sleep, I had an inspiration for creating a different, "romantic" standard bearer to stir our hearts in anticipation of wild Gaels charging across the highlands and lowlands of Scotland making life miserable and down right deadly for many of my Campbell ancestors.

One of the wonderful flags from the Project Auldearn blog

With the wonderful flags available on the Project Auldearn 1645 blog, I knew I needed to get another one of them in the Irish regiment I was working on. One of the things I like with the hard plastic figures from Warlord Games is the ability to convert them. I had converted a marching pikeman into an ensign previously with Newcastle's Whitecoats. So why not do the same thing for the Irish? After adding a bonnet, snipping a pike for the flag and most importantly ADDING A BIG BROADSWORD SLUNG ACROSS HIS SHOULDER! Okay . . . I'm still a kid.

I have quite a few extra swords in sheaths from the Gripping Beast Plastic Viking box. A little super glue later and presto: Tough looking Ensign!  Sure there is no visible sling for this claymore of destruction - but it looks cool!

It is a little known fact of history that the Irish invented velcro.


With addition of the new officer, I will save the replaced musketeer for the second unit of Irish I will paint.

Sorry Aidan Guinness, it's down to the minor leagues for you!


As mentioned earlier, the ECW Infantry boxed set from Warlord Games comes with a variety of headgear including bonnets. The pole for the flag is one of the pikes from the set that I shortened. I simply sized the flag on my computer and printed it out, folded it and added some white glue. While drying a bent it to get the effect of blowing in the wind.


 Here are the three element bases that will comprise the first unit. I still need to add another coat of watered down white glue to the sand before painting the musketeer bases.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More War Poodle Information

It turns out that there is more information on War Poodles in history than I imagined. Several links were shared with me detailing the history of War Poodles and one of the most interesting is the  Poodle History Project. Wow. The sections on army and navy poodles is fascinating. I was also able to find some more contemporary art of Boye including a woodcut of his death in battle.

The Puritans claimed in the pamphlet, “A Dog’s elegy, or Rupert’s Tears” that Boye had been “killed by a valiant soldier who had skill in Necromancy.” The verse ran:

"Lament poor cavaliers, cry, howl and yelp,
For the great losse of your malignant whelp."

There are also 10 separate entries of Poodles that served valiantly in the Napoleonic Wars including Sancho:




Sancho

"Para Mi Dueno" is written on the card in the dog's mouth which translates to "For My Master", and the battle is in the background.

He was found during the Battle of Salamanca by the grave of its then former master, a French officer, who was killed in the battle. When found he was nearly exhausted and starved to death and was rescued by Henry Somerset, Lord Worcester who would later be the 7th Duke of Beaufort. Sancho became his loyal pet, and was admired by many including princesses (a great way to meet the ladies!). Sancho was also later painted with the Duke walking in Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in central London.

The Duke of Beaufort and Sancho in Hyde Park

Some more interesting images of War Poodles:




 . . . and let's not forget the French Poodle and Indian War:



Monday, January 19, 2015

Musketeers for Montrose's Irish: WIP #1

With the start of a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) during this period of Western Warfare, we start to see the transition from deciding battles with shock to that of deciding them through firepower. And if my Irish are going to keep up, even if they have a reputation for shock tactics, they will still need some firepower on my gaming table. A Christmas gift from Honorable Son #1's sister-in-law is Warlord Games Montrose Irish boxed set. The boxed set comes with 16 metal musketeers.  My forces usually have 2 stands of musketeers with 5 or 6 figures each; with the losses and attrition the Irish take during the Scottish campaign I decided to go with 5 figures each.  I had already used one of the figures as a reload marker leaving me with 15 to choose from - saving the other 5 for the next unit!


I have grouped the figures for painting on the soda lids so I get an idea how they will look grouped on the stand. The Irish figures are sculpted as if on campaign . . . and they have been campaigning for awhile. Jackets have holes, cuffs are torn and many of the figures are barefoot.  Note the hole in knit woolen hat of the figure in the middle of the front rank and the torn breaches of the bare foot musketeer to his left in the picture above.


The figures in the box are provided randomly from Warlord Games' Irish range; the variety and mix of figures is just right allowing you to concentrate on a firing line or a line that is charging. For this unit, even though one figure has reversed his musket in anticipation of hand to hand (the command was Prepare for Pell Mell) I went with the firing line look.


I wonder if the Irishman on the left of the photo has some hobbit in him?  J. R. R. Tolkien warned us never to turn your back on a hobbit when he has a rock in his hand.


As I started painting the figures, I realized that there really is no reason why they could not be used as other Scottish units; providing variety for either Montrose or Covenant forces. I am not an expert on Scottish armies of he period, but I will do some research. Most of the figures have the ubiquitous woolen bonnet and could portray units on campaign or hastily called up local and militia forces from the high or lowlands.



Saturday, January 17, 2015

War Poodles: Rare or Special unit for Warhammer . . . um, I mean the English Civil War

Wow.  I did not know that War Poodle's were so prevalent during the English Civil War as instruments of destruction.  It is like they are a special or rare unit in Warhammer!  Maybe I can get the copy write before someone else does!



Speaking of which, since Boye was thought by the Royalists to bring them luck, I am going to work out a special rule for the use of Boye in Victory Without Quarter.  Possibly re-rolling a die of choice or taking one for the team instead of Rupert becoming a casualty?  Hmmm . . .

Anyway . . . another enjoyable project from Warlord Games complete: Prince Rupert of the Rhine. With his War Poodle Boye he is now ready to command his uncle's cavalry to glory if not always victory.







 Prince Rupert leads a squadron from his own regiment of horse.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Prince Rupert and Boye the War Poodle: WIP #2

I found a great contemporary picture of Prince Rupert and his War Poodle Boye that was distributed by Parliament as propaganda during war depicting them at the sacking of Birmingham.


It is not hard to see where Warlord Games got the idea for their figures - including the war hammer that Rupert carries.


Both Boye the War Poodle and Prince Rupert's mount are now finished. I took my time painting the horse blanket this time. The first coat is Mechrite Red from GW's Foundation paint lines. Once dry I went over the blanket with Blood Red. The fringe was Bubonic Brown (now called Zamesi Desert) which is a good yellow or base for a brighter yellow. Speaking of yellow, the highlights were done with Golden Yellow. The holster caps were painted the same.


Before using super glue to get Prince Rupert on his horse, I used watered down black as a primer. I have found this an effective means of bringing out the detail of the figure for painting and for giving a good start to the armor.


Speaking of painting, here is the finished product with the sand added to the base. Rupert's shirt was painted the same way as the saddle blanket except I use sparingly some Blazing Orange on the highlights.The Buff leather coat was painted with Bubonic Brown and the gloves and leather work on his horse was painted with Baylor Brown. His hair and pistol holsters were both painted with Skrag Brown though the pistol holsters had some Flesh Wash added to them.  Boots are Mournfang Brown with Brown Wash.

 Whoops.  With this picture I noticed I forgot to paint the bottom of the scabbard gold.

Woof!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Prince Rupert and Boye the War Poodle: Warlord Games

Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, 1st Duke of Cumberland, 1st Earl of Holderness is commonly called Prince Rupert of the Rhine.  Born on December 17, 1619 he lived a long and colorful life dieing on November 29, 1682. Throughout his life he was a soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century. The younger son of the German prince Frederick V, and his wife Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of James I of England.

 Portrait of Prince Rupert by Anthony van Dyck

Rupert is the nephew of King Charles I and is a great addition to a Royalist army.  Warlord Games' Prince Rupert also comes with "Boy" or "Boye, his poodle that accompanied him on many a field of battle until becoming a casualty during the Royalist disaster at Marston Moor.


The horse is a wonderful sculpt and the animation is superior in my opinion.  Boye is running next to where Rupert will be and is mounted on a 40 mm round stand representing a brigade commander in Victory Without Quarter.


Prince Rupert is not glued yet to his faithful steed yet as I am going to finish painting the horse before adding him. I've been switching to cheaper acrylic paints available at stores like Hobby Lobby. The paints are much cheaper and I'm getting the same results. The horse was primed with black and the base coat is painted with a dark brown called "Burnt Umber." I then applied a black wash over the body and then painted the raised portions of the body with the same dark brown paint. Later I will paint the highlights with a slightly lighter brown.

Works just as well for 1/2 the price!


Though not glued yet you can get an idea of what the finished command stand for Prince Rupert will look like.


A close up of Boye the War Poodle is easy to paint.  Base coat was a medium brown followed by a "thick" wet brushing of Bone White finished with a dry brushing of white.