Saturday, 18 May 2019

The Hardest Blog to write?

Well went to see the doctor with a bit of indigestion at the beginning of March and by the end of the month was told it was terminal cancer.  No cure months, not weeks at least!

Having been a gym person and passed all my medicals up to this point it was a bit of a surprise but I guess we all have a shelf life and mine is coming up.  So back home and then looking at 40 years or more collection of Wargame stuff and where to start to sort it all out?

Bit of a bummer as I had cast up figures for my ongoing 1866 project and they sit and stare at me.  Decided that I may push on with these for a bit.  But what to do with them all?  So many home made moulds.  Quality varies but they work.  Castings and other bits and pieces.

Last week, John has sent me examples of the various Belgium/Austrians and French in Mexico figures I made up for him.  The castings look very nice and are available from him.  Annoyingly, as I can see how some of them could fit into my French 1870 army.  I hope to paint some of these too show the finished article. 

So I am looking for advice, rather than sympathy.  The 15mm Napoleonic stuff should be easy to move as their are many collectors but when it comes to the old S range it is a bit more selective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder so to speak. Not everyone's period either.

The question is do I sell all my S range as a collection, or in parts?  My desire is for them to go to someone who would appreciate them for what they are and maybe keep altering them.  But, by the same token, that’s a big ask and there may be many who would like some, but not all and what price does one ask?  It is not an immediate issue.  I am told that since I am ‘fit and well’ (bit ironic) that starting the treatment early means I have a chance of responding better and (maybe) some extra time. 

Before getting a chance to post this l got rushed into hospital this time last week.  If someone had told me it was all over I would have been happy.  But the brilliant nursing staff and doctors at our local NHS hospital got me back home 'fit-ish and more important mentally well enough' to at least post this blog and continue the clear out. 

Setting myself goals and milestones Christmas being the first, then see how things progress.  You never know.

Still aim to wargame with Jack and Bob for as long as I can and hopefully post lots of pictures.  Promised Jack a Franco Prussian/Austrian/Allies mega game with my S range figures may look silly getting everything onto the table but what the hell.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

28mm Pike and Shotte Ottomans V Poles - Part 2

As I mentioned in the earlier blog Bob set this game up and after a bit of a ‘test’ we decided that the Polish Winged Hussars, whilst looking spectacular in a mass, were just a bit too powerful all together.

Bob reset the table and we met to replay the game.  The scenario was the same.  In essence the Turks had to get the pillaged supplies back to their base.  The Poles aim was to free the captives, take back the supplies and see the end of Gothrin the mad who had led the raid of the Polish frontier and if possible his father Etrogul the Brutal.

Gothrin the Mad and his train and captives.

Bringing up the rear he has his main force led by his infantry

The revised Polish lines

Gothrin managed to get this train moving towards the safety of his father's ‘field army’  

We allowed the Turks a two move start but not everyone got the message!  The Poles begin their assault. On the right the Polish light cavalry spotted the horde of Ottoman irregular infantry and charge!

Some pathetic archery doesn't stop the Poles from ploughing in.  However the sheer size of the Ottoman unit holds the Polish cavalry – just.

In the centre a unit of Hussars senses the opportunity to attack the stationary Etrogul and his field army and charges  his elite bodyguard infantry

In support some of the Polish infantry move forwards slowly but many stay put.  Elsewhere the other Polish heavy cavalry advance slowly.

On the left the light cavalry move forward cautiously.


In the centre the Polish Winged Hussars don’t have it all their own way against Etrogul’s elite infantry bodyguard but eventually they break and run.  At the same time Etrogul seeks shelter behind his mounted bodyguard.  The Poles surge forward in a sweeping advance and crash into them.

Whilst they weaken the bodyguard it is a step too far and they are eventually broken and flee!

Gothrin decides to send his cavalry to ward of the advancing Poles whilst staying with the train to ‘guide it to safety’!  The cavalry charge an infantry unit whilst the horse archers fire at the supporting Hussars.

The cavalry are already carrying casualties and suffer at the hands of the ‘two handed’ axes wield by the poles.  The fail a ‘Break Test’ and are pushed back.

Meanwhile of the right the Polish light cavalry have seen one unit come from the fortress to support Etrogul and decided to act launching a charge on the Hungarian infantry defending the gates.

The Polish Winged Hussars who had been supporting the infantry take advantage of the push back of the Turk cavalry and charge.

Another unit of Hussars attacks the Horse archers

The Turk cavalry can’t stand the Charge and are beaten and flee the horse archers scatter to avoid the other unit of Hussars and suddenly Gothrin and his unguarded spoils and captives are in sight.  The Hussars push on to capture the supplies and Gothrin is taken in a battle with the ‘wagoneers’.  The captives are freed and flee towards the safety of the Polish lines.

More winged hussars push forward to support the light cavalry engaged with the Hungarians

 With Gothrin defeated and more Poles advancing Etrogul heads for the safety of the fortress supported by his bodyguard.

The Turks still didn't manage to field all their support forces before the Poles descended upon them.  But a good game nevertheless.  

Both army look superb with all their banners and pennants and you almost feel that this is one of those games were all the figures should go on the table for a 'slog it out game' just because it would look so effective.  The Hinchcliffe Polish Winged Hussars look brilliant with their huge wings and long lances.

Friday, 29 March 2019

1866 Reinforcements - S range conversions

In between the lulls in the recent battle of Idonowhere, I was filling in the spare time with painting and casting up reinforcements for both the Austrians and the Prussians.

The Saxons
I had in my spares box both enough casting for 2 Regiments of Saxons using my 16 figures to a regiment.  This is the first.  Although these are listed under the Franco Prussian War by 1870 the Saxons had adopted the Prussian uniform and the only real difference as far as I can see was a green tunic for the artillery.  These 'peaked capped' Saxons work for both the Saxon and Bavarian troops in the 1866 war.  With a khaki paint job they would pass for Mexican regulars or even Japanese troops for the Russo Japanese War.

I had already made the drummer conversion for John Cunningham so I was saved some work.  However, for some reason I didn't make a standard bearer.  Since I had some spare Bavarian standard bearers it was a simple head swap to create one.

I could have simply painted some Prussian 1870 gunners with green tunics but the pictures I had seen showed them in a peaked cap in 1866 so I did the usual one off head swap to make a couple of gunners.

Bremen Fusilier Infantry

The Bremen infantry in the picture below wear a kepi and look very much like an ACW figure so I used my home made ACW infantryman mould to cast up a unit.


One of the problems with this high port pose if that whilst it is easy to remove the rifle and convert the figure to a standard bearer using the same technique to create a drummer by bending the right arm to hold a drumstick looks a bit odd, so I settled on giving them a bugler/hornist made from a British CW rifles bugler with a kepi head swap.

I have given them the Napoleonic Flag from the Warflag site because I could find anything else at the time.  

However, later I stumbled across an interesting blog site  If you look at the November 2013 entry you will find lots of different flags for Prussian Regiments amongst them was this for Bremen.

This flag was created in September 1866 the war finished in August!  I might still swap it for the Napoleonic one!


I used the ACW figure but with the CW French Chassuers head - Jack made me a mould.  As above, I made the master without a blanket roll, I later added these using lighting cable and painted it grey with black 'ties' (see below).

Although, these were 'easy to paint' (black spray, 2 coats!) I don't like the unit particularly for some reason  They look too Napoleonic.  Again on the blog site listed above, there are some Brunswick flags.  

Backpacks and Blanket Rolls.
When I made my 'ACW infantryman mould' and 'Plumed Shako figure', I removed the blanket roll from the top of the back pack as I mentioned above.  This was so I could manage the different types of blanket rolls/tin boxes which are shown in various illustrations for the 1866 period.  These tend to make these 'kepi/plumed shako infantry' look different for different duchies/states.  Some have the blanket roll wrapped around the backpack, similar to the WW1 infantry or, the more conventional roll on top of the backpack.  Making the figures without blanket rolls meant that rather than making multiple moulds I only have to fit the blanket rolls.  The ideal would be 'greenstuff' but I struggle with this and getting them the same would be a problem - for me at least. 

I wondered about using a different material and settled on a spare bit of 3 core lighting cable which I stripped down and which one cut to length makes reasonable blanket rolls for the top of the back pack.

However, it was too thick for the blanket roll which wraps around the backpack.  After a few trials of different things, I settled on the leads off an old set of earphones - or you could use new ones from the '£ shop' or equivalent - which I used for the Nassau Infantry blanket rolls (see below). They are far from perfect but at a distance and once painted, they pass muster for me.


This is the same plummed shako figure I used for the Brunswickers but painted as a Nassau Fusilier but with a blanket roll around, rather than on top of, the back pack.  

The Nassau Fusiliers complete.