Sunday, 12 March 2017

S Range Conversion - Turkish Electric Telegraph Detachment

My latest conversion, is a little bit eccentric. I came across reference to the Turkish Electric Telegraph Detachment (http://www.ottoman-uniforms.com/1855-till-1858-anglo-turkish-contingent/). which was part of the Anglo Turkish Contingent in the Crimea.  There was only one unit.

The Anglo Turkish Contingent were a 'mercenary' corps with British Officers and Turkish recruits.  Amongst the force was a telegraph detachment which was equipped by the British.

The uniform interested me because it was so different and worthy of a simple conversion.



In the article http://distantwriting.co.uk/telegraphwar.html the rider above is referred to as a Heavy Cavalryman but is in fact a member of the telegraphic unit in the helmet with plume.



I did my usual head swap, I thought about the British Heavy Cavalry helmet, but decided upon the Russian Guard helmet instead as it was taller.  I added some green stuff to make the plume.  The horses are the S recast range Artillery Horses from John Cunningham.  The wagon is from Hinchcliffe.  The drawing above has a 'rubber boat' on top of the wagon so I made one out of cardboard - not quite right. The plume and helmet should probably be the same colour but I gave them a bit of contrast with different shades of red. 

The Turkish rider is the Turkish Officer with a head swap as described above.  To fit him on the horse, just use a pair of 'snips/metal cutters' to cut away the horse blanket right up to the legs and smooth off with a file.  You may or may not need to 'spread the legs' with the aid of a pair of pliers! 

The odds that the rest of the unit wore the helmet on duty are probably remote but I thought I would make some anyway.  I had some spare Turkish Artillerymen holding a cannon ball so I used them as the basic conversions.  The individual head swaps give a bit of variation in pose.



The pick axe is from Irregular Miniatures and I just drilled a hole in the underside of the hands and slipped it in.

This was a bit more fun.  Again same figure, I drilled a hole through the hands on the figure on the left and threaded some cotton from the cable reel through it.  The other figure has a snip cut in the front of the hand and a cocktail stick glued in place (first drill a hole through the top of the stick to take the cotton).  I then painted the cotton with copper paint.  Most cables were laid underground but I thought my would be 'bridging a stream' so I would have a low pole to carry the cable over the water.




I had a few bits and pieces so I made  another piece.


 The Anglo Egyptian Contingent Officers wore peaked caps.


I used the Turkish Officer body with a Saxon Officer's head to make the dismounted officer. On reflection I could probably just have painted the Saxon Officer but the pistol holster would need to be removed.


The mounted officer is a paint job on a conversion I made for John Cunningham in the past.


The cardboard boats lifts off and here are the crew in action!

To add a bit of fun I have converted a Russian Light Dragoon into an draught horse rider and given him a 'whip' instead of a sword so if we want to we can play a scenario where the Russian try to steal it away! 




Saturday, 4 March 2017

28mm ACW Black Powder game

Bob came over for a ACW Black powder game the other week.

I set up a scenario whereby a Confederate Brigade was holding a farm on the main road. 


They were outnumbered by 3 Union brigades including a Zouave brigade. Waiting to come to their support was a large Confederate force which would even the forces.  The Union also had a small brigade off table. Bob rolled for when my reinforcement would arrive and I diced for his.  The result was that his came on in move 2 and mine in move 4. 

Bob's Union Forces.






My Confederate forces









Bob won the initiative.  We reduced movement from inches to centimetres to control some of the large moves that can happen.

The Zouaves  decided that it was too early and didn't move, but had a think about it!



On my far left Bob's brigade swept forward to the edge of the stream by the corn field. 



In the centre there was a slightly slower advance.  There wasn't much for me to do except open fire with my artillery which hit one of the Black Hat regiments forcing them into disorder and opened fire with my hidden skirmishers in the cornfield inflicting casualties and stopping one regiment.   I deployed these before Bob arrive, took a picture to show their location and then removed the figures, to ensure the surprise!




The next move saw the Zouaves on the move and brigade on the stream fail to move. In the centre Bob's remaining Black Hats closed for a fire fight.





Both sides inflicted casualties in the centre in an inconclusive exchange.  



On the left the weight of shot caused made me voluntarily withdraw my skirmishers before they could take too much punishment.




The next move saw Bob's reserves enter the table.  He chose to bring them on on his right, my left.  Fortunately for me they didn't seem that keen and inched (centimetred) forward.



At last the Zouaves were in the game and making an impact my right hand brigade was heavily outnumbered they held for two rounds before half the brigade was destroyed.




In the meantime my Louisiana Brigade moved onto the table. Their first move resulted in a double 6 Blunder Test!  Fortunately, it only resulted in one move to the front. The skirmishers rallied and moved forward.

 

Bob in turn was faced with a Blunder Test for his centre brigade.  This left one of his Black Hat regiments charging down the face of my artillery and into disaster. 


The fire fight and artillery fire tipped the balance and the Black Hat brigade lost 2 of it's four regiments and fell back.


The Zouave brigade swarmed across the river supported by an artillery battery and watched by their commander.



On my left flank it was turning into a stalemate with the reserves cancelling out one another.


But the Zouaves were making all the difference..  Having beaten back Bob's centre my right flank having collapsed all I had was my artillery battery.  They fired but failed to stopped the Zouaves who swarmed into the Farm before I could reorganise my forces.



All that was left was to concede defeat.  We had a really enjoyable game which lasted a lot of moves, but because it was touch and go for a while it didn't seem like it.

The Barn, and all the fences were scratch built by Jack (Jacklex) Alexander.  Most of the figures are Perry's with one Black Hat regiment from Old Glory, the other Black Hats being conversions made by Jack. The Zouave skirmishers are some conversions I did before Perry's bought out their plastic Zouaves. 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

S Range Turkish Standing Firing Unit complete

A few weeks ago I published some pictures of a Turkish Infantryman standing firing which I had made with a head swap of an ACW infantryman.



Well with Jack's help with mould making I am finally able to field the regiment.  



To add a little something in addition to their drummer I gave them a bugler.  Again a simple head swap.  I used the Russian Caucasian bugler as his coat is nearer to the Turkish one. Minifigs did originally list a Turkish Bugler as part of the range but it isn't available so I made my own.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

1680 English v Arabs Pike and Shotte Game

Went over to Bob's for a game this week. He diced for the position of the troops before I arrived  and amazingly all the brigades ignored the centre of the table, except for the English Guards.

I was commanding the English force made up of 4 regiments of British Infantry on the right flank, a Guards Regiment in the village, 1 Brigade of 3 regiments of foot on the left, a regiment of Dragoons and 3 regiments of horse.






Opposing them was an Arab force consisting of a lot of foot and archers, 'the Black Guard' and 2 units of heavy cavalry and 3 units of light cavalry.






Bob won the initiative and failed to move any units for the first two turns.  This gave me the opportunity to move forward and dismount my dragoons to support the Guards.




The heavy cavalry surged forward crashing into Bob's light cavalry



 


The first Arab unit collapsed and fled under the weight of the English heavy horse.  A sweeping advance brought them into contact with the second Arab unit which in turn suffered, past a break test but retired having lost the melee. We decided that the edge of the table oblivion was getting too much and retired the losing units to the edge, rather than off of it!

My supporting infantry in grey with black facing representing the undress uniform at Tangiers advanced to support the Guards and the dragoons.



My right hand brigade also advanced, moving from column to line to support the Guards.



After 2 moves of inactivity, the Arabs finally got moving in style.




 The Dragoons were forced to mount up and withdraw to avoid a fight.




With the advance of the Arab heavy cavalry, I had to decide whether to fire and take the benefit of 'first fire' and only roll 4 melee dice, or go for the Plug Bayonet give up first fire and roll 6 melee dice instead.  Bob and I discussed this for a while and also why they wouldn't have 'formed square' during this period - or a 'hedgehog'.  I decided to fire on the chance of stopping the cavalry.





It didn't work and the cavalry hit my infantry causing mayhem  Bob graciously agreed to rerun it with my infantry using plug bayonet instead just so we could learn for the future.  The cavalry caused the same damage!  Still not sure what is the best option.

Fortunately me for me, Bob's best infantry got slowed down moving through the palm trees 




The rest of the Arab infantry moved forward charging into the infantry on the right and the Guards in the centre. I decided for the purposes of these engagements to 'fix bayonets'!



This worked well and the irregular Arab infantry bounced off my infantry regiments, suffering casualties and failing their break test.




The Guards beat off their opponents and followed up their victory they inflicting sufficient casualties to break the their Arab opponents stamina.  The Break Test which they in turn failed resulting in them fleeing, but not before they caused the Guards some serious casualties.

Having dealt with the threat to my centre, I was able to reverse my right flank which brought my infantry with a pike unit to face the threat of the Arab heavy cavalry. 



On the left, the reorganised heavy horse charged forward into the remains of the Arab light horse, driving them from the field.



The next move the Horse hit the archers and at the same time the rest of my infantry on the left with 'plug bayonets fixed' charged into the ill equipped archers driving them from the table as the broke and fled.





The game was effectively pivoting with Bob's right flank (my left) collapsed and my right falling back.  Given that it would take time for me to reorganise my left flank cavalry and infantry to get them back into the game and that I would have to keep falling back to keep avoiding the threat of  Bob's heavy cavalry and 'Black Guard' we decided to call it a draw.



 We had a chat about the best tactics for the Arab infantry and archers and the ranges for bows which to me having been an archer for a few years seem short compared to the English muskets of the time.  It was nice to see Bob's 1680 English army take the field and the rules seemed to work for the mix of troop and weapon types.