Saturday, 28 March 2009

Quiet day in Blogland wonder If a Big Show is on Today!

Yes there is silly me!!! it's that show again Salute & again I cannot make it as it's conflicting with my busiest time at work & 'poorest' time of the year....o well....violins etc. Hope everyone enjoys it and buys loads of goodies except don't exhaust Brigade Models Belgian cavalry stocks too much!!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Free Warlord Games Figure painted as Fairfax's Regiment New Model Army

Free with April's Wargames Illustrated, is this 'taster' of the new Warlord games plastic Figures being launched at salute this weekend and for non attendees like me on their web site next week! With the Copplestone range emerging for post ECW this is a bumper time for 17th Century enthusiasts.

Run Away!

Forward view on super micro Digital camera setting Musket a little blurred!

I went for Fairfax's Regiment of the New Model Army after referring to my favourite ECW book 'The English Civil war 1642 - 1651 An Illustrated Military History' by Philip Haythornthwaite. Plate 24 on page 119 shows Musketeers wearing the new model uniform armed with firelock muskets with a cartridge box suspended from a waistbelt instead of a bandolier.Wearing red coats with blue facings fairfax's Regiment were 'firelocks all'.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Belgian Great War Cavalry By Brigade Models Launched at Salute

There I was thinking it was dog carts next from Brigade Models for the 28mm 1914 Belgians & here are the cavalry!! Released at Salute and from the web site straight after...the lot please!!!

From their web site Salute Page:

Belgian Great War Cavalry
'Absolutely hot off the presses, so much so that we only have a limited number of photographs, we present three types of Belgian cavalry including officers and buglers. All cavalry troopers are supplied with seperate arms allowing them to be equipped with sabres or lances.'

GW-1117 Senior Officer £1.50
GW-1118 Lancers in Czapka (x2) £5.00
GW-1119 Lancer Officer £3.00
GW-1120 Lancer Bugler £3.00
GW-1121 Guides in Colback (x2) £5.00
GW-1122 Guide Officer £3.00
GW-1123 Guide Bugler £3.00
GW-1124 Chasseurs in Shako (x2) £5.00
GW-1125 Chasseurs Officer £3.00
GW-1126 Chasseurs Bugler £3.00
GW-1127 Mounted officer in Field Cap £3.00

Above 'pony' may be a 'nosebag enthusiast'! but definitly a time to raise a glass of the fellows at Brigade Models!!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Belgian Carabiniers & Maxim Gun Team 1914

The latest figures to be painted for my Belgian 1914 army are some carabiniers with their madly inapropriate for modern warfare Tyrolean headgear! Included in my batch of 5 figures to go under the brush was a Maxim Team all Brigade Models figures.

There are some great Photographs/Postcards of the Carabinier maxim teams in action or posed as if so and these make for excellent references. These images were found as before on my earlier Belgian 1914 blog posts from some excellent web sites.

The back view of the 2 man team supplied showing spare Ammo box & Mauser rifle placed on the base.

I presume the ropes the gunners have about them were used to help carry the gun?? The Germans had Maxims on ‘sledge’ type stands and wore towing belt arrangements to help pull/manoeuvre the gun.

I referred to various sources to paint the Carabiniers, like the postcards on the web as below

Also two volumes of the Funcken series 'Arms and Uniforms the First World War part 1' and Arms and Uniforms 18th century to the Present day. I decided to go with the basic dark green coats , grey trousers etc and left off yellow trouser stripes etc.

Above is my reference chart for painting these chaps again which helps my what colours did I use/mix? and hopefully a starting point for others afflicted with researching what colours to paint WW1 Belgian Carabiniers of 1914!!

Behind You!!

About face!

Basing the Figures

The figures was based on a Renedra Plastic Stand (bought with an order from Gripping Beast) covered with B&Q ready mixed filler to the depth of the figures metal stand. Builders sand was washed and left to dry and then the base with wet filler dipped in it. When dry a well pigmented wash of GW Graveyard Earth was applied then a darker well thinned down black brown wash was added & just started using the new Citadel washes ‘Devlan Mud’ useful for bases. When dry highlighted with graveyard earth lightened with white. Finally Hornby Light Green Grass R8863 was cut to length and glued in place using B&Q wood glue (dries clear) and a few tufts of GW static grass.

To seal the paint onto the figure & protect it Humbrol Matt Varnish was carefully sprayed on.

I didn’t really get on with the Citadel/GW Inks but the Washes are very useful especially as it saves time watering down paint to the right consistency to run into creases/along belts etc. The Ogryn Flesh is particularly handy for faces.

Phew thats it for now

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Waterloo to Mons Miniatures Excellent New Miniatures Producer

Just a heads up on a new enterprise which is worth supporting even though first choice of figures is a little esoteric but thats what appeals to the majority of us unfocused Wargaming/ Military historian/ modelling/painting types! surely!!I am commited to WW1 with an interest in 1914 Belgians (a post of latest paint jobs by tea time tomorrow), a huge interest which has been growing since this time last year with the period 1660- 1720 all thanks mostly to Steve the Wargamer and Ralphs excellent daily reading material on Wars of Louis Quartoz and then I start reading matts blog with the title inspired by one of the Cassell's History of warfare books and I'm learning about something else. Not starting with the usual suspects like Franco prussian War etc his new enterprise Waterloo to Mons Miniatures has kicked off with figures for the first Schleswig-Holstein War of 1845-1850 in footballing terms Denmark V Prussia! Thats as Much as I know but I'm sure I've got some uniform details in a Blandford somewhere!!

Having sent Matt some rules from an old Airfix guide via his blog I thought what the heck I'm not going to salute (I'm not going to salute...I'm not going to salute repeat 100X)lets get a few sample figures and see how they paint up (yeah I know just as I am getting into the swing of a small production line of belgians etc I get sidetracked...hell I enjoy my hobby! I am by training a Countryside Manager & diversity is important!!)

Now I know he's just started so won't have a massive order book but I ordered them at midnight wednesday, got despatch e mail yesterday friday and they are on my doormat this morning saturday excellent service!!

What they like well not massive lumps of metal like most of us are seeing these days and my Belgians are such beings being tall chunky figures, these and its the Danes I invested in first (uniform more appealing & sympathies lay with Denmark as a country more than Prussians in Historical terms)are slim, more accuratly proportioned like the mainstream Plastic figures and best quality Hinchcliffe like...If I knew where my Hinchcliffe's were I would compare directly. Not hugely chunky belts and exagerated creases in clothing which make painting a doddle but good engraving which will take paint and detail well. Two things stand out....The heads are not exagerated Hurrah & twice more hurrah and a very nice Flag chappie comes with a very well cast flag which slots into position perfectly (glue needed of course)The Danish Infantry Advancing in Shako and Cap 1842 uniform are at the top of the page and have not been cleaned up just straight in front of the camera lens.

The Command Group straight out the packet

Some painted Danes from the web site

The web site and ordering system could not be easier...Highly recommended....Now finish my Warlord Minis free plastic ECW freebie given away on Wargames Illustrated (note 'wallet warning' lots of tempting adverts in this pre Salute issue!)and get my sons Birthday card & pressie which sadly won't be wargames figures being of the XBox Wii generation!!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Richard Scollins Military Artist

Richard Scollins Artist 1946 – 1992

The book ‘The Soldier’ Richard Humble and Richard Scollins, Crescent was recently obtained via an Amazon seller (not the speediest in delivery but a good clean book!) Is a ‘unique pictorial history of the fighting man, from the dawn of history in the 3rd millenium BC to the wars of the 1980’s’. The book presents the finest works of Richard Scollins, a military artist hitherto best known to specialist uniform and military modelling enthusiasts with text by his friend and colleague, military historian Richard Humble’.

It is a great compilation of his work and a huge thanks to Scott for pointing me in the direction of this fine ‘tome’. As the jacket states and anyone who has admired the work of Richard Scollins knows the illustrations are not ‘parade ground’ but captures the real face of soldiering, the fatigue despair courage dust and grime with depictions showing stained and torn uniforms sore feet and brocken boots! The book depicts the defiant Spartans at Thermopylae to Napoleons old guard at Waterloo, ECW, Roman Legionary and the Para in the Falklands. The illustrations are in Colour and black and white (just like the old MM articles) with 40 group works and 150 single figures.

Richard Scollins was born in 1946, was educated at Ilkston Grammar School, Derby and Newport Colleges of Art, and the Faculty of Education, Cardiff University. He was a part- time lecturer in Art, and as a free-lance artist been involved in a wide range of work from book and magazine illustration, comic strips, and LP covers to package design, pub signs and television graphics. Richard was a co-author on a number of books and produced an LP record on the Derbyshire dialect!. He was also a member of an English country dance and folk song band. His main interest was in in all aspects of the arts, social and military history and English Customs and folklore. (it is noted on several publications that he was a pacifist but had a feel for the grimness of the reality of war I sympathise totally with this viewpoint!)

I have some of the Cassell History of warfare series in my library including the often quoted ‘Warfare from Waterloo to Mons’ by Michael Glover, and check out the great blog by matt inspired by that book and his brand new website with his brand new Danish figures of 1846 Waterloo to Mons Miniatures…I have succombed in a minor way! (See I cant go to Salute the bank of Scotland group would need re financing again!! Plus all the sherpas I would need at £12 a ticket each to enter afformentioned wargaming extravaganza to carry the bounty away!!) also Warfare in the Age of Bonaparte by Michael Glover and Warfare in the Ancient World by Richard Humble these all have some of Richards illustrations in, amongst others but sadly I cannot see accreditation to his artistic skill in the books anywhere.

Of course he was a regular illustrator for Military Modelling and where I enjoyed seeing his work…please bring back more of this artistic depiction wargaming/ modelling magazines!!

Finally he illustarted Osprey books as well and below is their thubnail sketch of Richard on their web site

Osprey publishing
Rick Scollins was one of the most popular artists ever to work for Osprey. He was born in 1946 and pursued a career as an artist after four years at art college and a postgraduate teaching course at Cardiff. Rick quickly developed a distinct style and, despite being a pacifist, he gained a feel for military subjects. His artwork was always realistic and is highly sought after by collectors. Rick Scollins died in December 1992.

Summing up I believe Richard Scollins was one of the best military artists and I for one miss his work in books and magazines. I am just pleased that he was as prolific illustrator as he was but what more would he have produced?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Battlefields Trust Conference this Weekend

The Battlefields Trust is hosting a conference at the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London, this weekend (14/15th March) on the subject of Battlefields at Risk. Speakers include Robert Hardy and Richard Holmes.

All welcome (you do not have to be a member of the Trust to attend), no need to book ahead, just turn up on either day.

The full programme is at The National Army Museum website

Unfortunatly working today & doubt family commitments will allow a trip tomorrow looks a good programme and might join the Battlefields Trust as have always been interested in our native battlefields with Seymour, Smurthwaite and Kinross books within easy reach of this keyboard.

Friday, 13 March 2009

1st Regiment of Foot Guards 1685

After a nasty brush with the thoughts of buying plastic ECW's below (which I know will happen!) but if I avoid 'Salute' with all its goodies it should be a 'managable' acquisition!! I am returning to the late 17th Century with the Foot Guards. In the 1980's I used to attend toy fair swapmeet extravaganzas often at Sandown or Kempton Park racecourses. This was due to having for the first time a full wage packet in my pocket and to try and obtain Airfix, Frog etc kits and plastic figures. Now as ever I went off on a tangent and collected diecast/metal artillery pieces (I have stil 2 or 3 Astra pre war models, Britains etc) and cigarette/tea cards (I love the tea cards a real reminder of childhood why o why dont they do it now instead of silly knitted monkeys!)

I have a couple of sets of Cigarette cards depicting military uniforms including a set from 1976 by Carreras ltd called simply Military Uniforms. They are a series of 50 and are basicaly the uniforms of the guards regiments as they evolved over time from Card 1 depicting a musketeer of the King's Royal Regiment of Guards of 1660 to card 50 of a regimental sergeant major of the Grenadier Guards in 1960. They are very nice illustrations if a bit 1970's!!

Above is card No5 depicting an officer of the First Regiment of Foot Guards in 1685. On the reverse it states 'At the coronation of JamesII, officers of this regiment were magnificently dressed, some in coats of cloth of gold, others in crimson velvet and some of fine scarlet cloth. the second regiment was also splendidly dressed but the officers had buttons of gold thread wheras the First had silver plate. The men of the first had blue breeches and stockings while those of the Second Regiment had red.'

Anyway I've got a few Belgians Carabiniers from 1914 to finish this weekend and must order a few Parkfield Mini's for Sedgemoor!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Plastic 54mm Model Soldier Figures & Two Good 'recruiting sources'

Above is my attempt at painting a 'Call To Arms' 1/32nd scale ECW musketeer, they are great fun to paint, this one was completed a few years ago now when they were first released, but a joy to paint! the figures are very nice and a relief to paint especially after smaller scales like 15mm and being glued to the PC for work or on this blog!

Steve Westons Toy Soldiers in their words 'We offer some of the finest Plastic Toy oldiers from around the Globe'

Specializing in 1/32 - 54mm scale, but also offering 1/35th - 50mm and 1/24th - 60mm scales.We have the 2009 edition, 40 page Catalogue showing 400 items. Now I like the look of the Replicants ECW superb ...

and the cavalry.......

I will order some of these in the near future for some summer relaxation painting. Another good source of plastic figures is Harfields Military Figures who also do 1/72nd scale and having looked at 'Table Wars' blog with some well painted Viking and Saxon Revell & Emahar 1/72nd plastics they can look as good as metal in many instances.

Of course in America there is the Michigan Toy Soldier Company but there are many sources out there worldwide and in 1/72nd plastic figures reading The Plastic Soldier Review is well worth it if you are interested in that scale and want to mail order some figures after knowing whats in the box!!

Plastic ECW Warlord Games .....I Surrender!!


Ok I have only succumbed to 1 box of Warlord games plastics so far, and I am most definitly not a metal/plastics snob, as I'm happy to work in both mediums and having been fundamentaly an aircraft modeller for years I like plastic. I have got a box off Victrix and some Perry plastic ACW cavalry and french very nice....but these new ECW are probably going to tilt the balence they may be convertable for post ECW as well without to much trouble but I have a feeling as long as they price them right and don't start taking the mickey price wise like games Workshop then I might as well inform my employers to divert my wages direct and cut out the middle man (If your reading this 'Hazy' only joking on that point!)

A jolly drummer

An OK Officer and I know valuminous clothing & sashes were all the rage with kevin keegan hairdoos in the ECW but he looks like he needs to attend a few weightwatchers meetings!

Nicely painted pike

Shooty types

Sprues etc on Warlord games web site......all in all very nice and if compatable with existing Perry/Foundry ECW I will try some packs especially the cavalry.

This is a late entry on the Blog as I spent the evening actually wargaming for the first time in ages!!!! Now D & D roleplaying started with friends from work 18 months ago (after 20+ year gap)and this evening wasn't the historical stuff which I'm predominantly interested in but the dark side 'warhammer'!! now I have got a partly painted dark elf army, cos I like to paint models but have only just played my first game & it was fun thanks to Ryan from work who hosted the game and knows the rules back to front etc etc. it was a fun game my 'Wood Elves' got thrashed by the Green Orc types 948 points to 631 with only my cavalry surviving having taken out the Goblin rider chaps on wolves and his artillery but it was fun....and that is what it should be all about. Anyhow Ryan and his uncle who works for a military history publishing company game other stuff including WW1 Belgians!! how mad is that!! so that will be a future game.

Monday, 9 March 2009

1st Captain's Troop, the Royal Regiment of Dragoons


In December 1983 Military Modelling is an interesting article by S Ede-Borrett on the Cornets, Colours and Guidons of the Army of JamesII, 1685-88. Above is the guidon of the 1st captains Troop, the Royal Regiment of Dragoons. The Colonel's troop bore a guidon with CharlesII's cypher (two interlaced'c's) on it; The other seven troops used various royal badges, each under a gold crown.

Although Dragoons were mounted infantry their guidons had closer similarity to horse's cornets than to the foot's colours. Dragoons guidons were fringed and tasselled & often made of damask. Following the lead of the Horse, Colonels of dragoons usually added a personal device to their own guidon but left the others of their regiment plain. Guidons were about two feet by three and a half feet and carried on a pole.

Dragoons first made their appearance in the English Civil War, and were raised again in the early 1670's.

Little pictoral evidence of what Dragoons looked like remains but some documentary evidence from clothing lists etc have given some idea. When the Tangier Horse was converted into the Royal Dragoons in 1684 the regiment was 'coated and cloaked red lined blue with the holster caps and housings 'embroidered with blue and yellow upon red with the royal cypher. Dragoons had caps as well as hats, the former probably being a bag cap with fur surround.

Dragoon boots were cheaper than the cavalry variety being probably shorter with the need to fight on foot. In addition to carrying pistols a dragoon was armed with snaphance musket fitted with a sling a waistbelt with frogs for a sword and bayonet, a cartouch box slung from a shoulder belt, and a hammer hatchet. All belts were buff leather. Amazingly sergeants still carried halberds and in the Royal Dragoons corporals had partizans. Officers coats were paid for privatly and were prbably ostentatious with gold braid and laced waistcoats they did wear the same gorgets as the foot with captains being gilt, lieutenants black with gilt studs and cornets silver. the other main mark of an officer was the scarf or sash of crimson silkand gold orsilver fringe worn around the waist.

Note: A snaphance musket (not knowing my muskets this is all a voyage of discovery!) is a musket with a snaphance lock. This lock consisted of a flint and steel but the pan cover was separate to the steel unlike the flintlock'

A detail from a painting by Harry payne of the Kings Dragoon Guards being reviewd by James II on Hounslow Heath.

To Depict Dragoons of the period one of the sources could be Parkfield Miniatures who list:

GRC 70 General officer
GRC 71 Dragoon
GRC 72 Cavalry officer, wearing cuirass
GRC 73 Ensign
GRC 74 Trumpeter
GRE17 Dismounted Dragoon

I aim sometime to provide a summary page for figure sources for this period in the different scales shouldn't be to long!!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Great War Belgian Armoured Car Models

One of the features of the Belgian Army in 1914 was its antiquated uniforms and structure. However thanks largely to having a ‘modern’ car manufacturing industry the Belgian Army soon realised the value of armoured cars and they played their part in the early war period before the bogged down attrition of the trenches. An excellent article was written in Wargames Illustrated in September 2008 on these early Belgian armoured car engagements so I don’t want to cover that ground again but advise anyone interested to look at various web sites especially Minerva Armoured Motor car which has many great pictures and detailed history of the Minerva and Sava companies. The other reliable source of info for WW1 model makers is as always Landships on there are a couple of useful pages on Belgian armoured cars including a review of Convoys Minerva armoured car in 1/76 scale. On the web site ‘A Great War in a Different Light’ can be found some excellent photos of mostly Minerva armoured cars.

Now recently I have got hold of 3 Belgian armoured car models. The first is purely a 15mm War Gaming piece representing a Minerva armoured car and is produced by my favourite 15mm wargames figure producer ‘Peter Pig’. In their WW1 range they produce Belgians….’hurrah’ and a very simple metal Minerva armoured car in 8 pieces!! Now admittedly its only 15mm scale so you wouldn’t expect too may pieces especially if you want to retain your sanity! It is basically a one piece casting for the body work and chassis, 4 metal wheels, and 3 crew members as can be seen from the photo below.

I have cleaned and primed this model as I thought I would start with the simplest kit of the three…..good for morale!!

The next two kits I obtained at ‘Trucks and Tracks’ at Folkestone last weekend. It was my main reason for attending and its always nice to visit a show to see other modellers/wargamers work as well as look at the goodies on the stalls.

The Convoy models kit of a Minerva Armoured Car is a proper resin and metal model kit and is a more complex build. The chassis and bodywork come in two resin pieces with interior, exhaust and lights on 3 more resin sprues which have a lot of resin ‘flash’ about each part, the driver crewman is a nice little figure. The wheels and gun are in white metal and are very well cast indeed with good spoke detail not easy to cast I would imagine!

The main problem with the kit on looking at it without detailed knowledge of interiors and dimensions is that the axles are cast in resin and I will replace these with suitable dimension brass rod/thick gage wire for strength. The landships review includes pictures and is definitely worth a look.

Finally a new release is the offering from Retrokit. This is a very professional production with very finely cast pieces for a Automitrailleuse SAVA. The Chassis and main bodywork not including the turret is cast in 1 piece of resin.

with a considerable number of separate components too complete it.

The wheels are a masterpiece being cast in resin with an etched brass fret for the spokes, which if completed correctly will look stunning and advice is given on the instruction sheet for this. I would probably have preferred white metal cast wheels and spokes like in the Convoy kit as I prefer easier lazy builds! But I will give it a go!!

The biggest letdown on all three kits is the instructions!! From none with Peter Pig …but with 8 pieces you don’t need any! to 1 rough exploded diagram for the Convoy and Retrokit kits. This is often the way with these small production run resin/metal kits and it’s a shame more care is not taken with the drawings.

What is great that someone has produced these models in the first place and having seen what other armoured cars took part in WW1 a collection would be fun and Convoy also produce other kits and carry the Tommy Atkins range including a nice Lancaster AC. Really only the Peter Pig model would last being handled in a wargames environment and where ther is a gap in the market is a model of the type produced by Brittania Miniatures in 28mm well cast with enough detail and not too expensive (Retrokit was not cheap!)sadly they just do WW2 & Modern vehicles.

Ralph known for his Blog site concentrating on the Monmouth rebellion and late 16th century period in general has also another blog Ralphadeus on which there is further info on the Belgian army of 1914