Wednesday, 18 January 2017

S range Sardinian General - yet another conversion!

I saw this picture and was inspired to have a go at making a general for my Sardinian contingent.

I thought he looked like a Hussar with a Kepi.  My original thought was to use the head of the French Crimean War/FPW general on the body of a British Hussar Officer.  It turned out that I didn't have a spare head and being too lazy to set up my melting pot to cast one figure, I settled for the head of a Silesian figure I had left over from an earlier body/head swap.  I cut of the small pommel and it left me with a creditable head with a kepi.  Then it was a simple drill and glue to produce this figure.  I decided to leave the sabretache.

Not the best, but he will do for now. 

I promise this isn't just turning into an S range conversions site!  Hopefully, my cold permitting, Bob, Jack and I will be meeting for our first game of 2017 this week - err Crimean or Franco Prussian with - err - S range figures - oh dear! 

Friday, 13 January 2017

72nd Foot - S range conversions - Command and Musicians

No games because of the holidays and clashes with other things so instead I have been painting new units for my Crimean War army and reorganising others.  I have also been busy with converting figures and slowly getting the 72nd Regiment together.  These are some of the command.

This has to be my favourite conversion to date it is a straight head swap, and a bit of rubbing down with wet and dry sandpaper to remove the extra shaping on the cap of the FPW figure to get a sort of 'Glengarry'. 

 Highland Piper and a FPW Grenadier of the Guard head swap.

Produces a 72nd Regiment of Foot Piper who paints up rather smartly. I think I should have tried for a 'groove' down the centre of the cap.

The pictures I have seen of the 72nd foot Buglers show them in a white tunic. I wasn't sure if this was a 'dress/undress uniform' or not so, I have painted him in a red tunic. It was a simple conversion using the British light infantry bugler and a straight head swap from the Highlander advancing pose.  

The drummer again is a simple head swap.  Although I was asked by John Cunningham to make this conversion and had in fact already made one, I can't find any reference to the drummer wearing 'trews' rather they seem to imply that they wore a kilt. 

I haven't given the standard bearer a plaid as the original standard bearer in a kilt doesn't have one. Not sure is this is right?

Not sure I have got the plaid right but this was my second attempt and things weren't getting any better!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

S Range Sardinian Lancer Conversion

I liked the look of a Sardinian Lancer in a helmet for my Allied Crimean War forces, so set about converting a FPW French Dragoon.  The figure would also work as a  Lancer for the Italian Wars of unification.

No head swaps on this occasion, just a scalpel and a bit of 'wet and dry' sand paper and a pair of thin nosed pliers. Slowly cut away the horse hair and then clean it up with the sand paper. Then using the pliers just bend over the end of the metal 'comb' that is left once the horse hair has been removed.  The cut off the musket and drill through the hand an insert a brass rod.  

I also tried the same conversion using a Carabineer, but I think both the helmet and the  crest are too high, although the horse furniture is nearer the mark.

Unfortunately the website 'An Illustrated History of Ottoman Uniforms & Insignia 1600 till 1923 has been revamped and whilst still a superb port of call for information on Ottoman uniforms, all the pages which used to appear on the site about Sardinian uniforms in the Crimean War seem to have been deleted.  These pages used to carry some excellent illustrations by C Flaherty on of all branches of the Sardinian Army in the Crimea, including the lancers shown above, a very real shame and a loss. Hopefully these pages will reappear again.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Battle of the Bridge. A Thirty Years War Pike and Shotte Game

Our last game of 2016. We fought the battle at Bob's using his figures and he helpfully wrote up this report of the game for our blog.

This game was based on the mercenary captains’ campaign in the Pike and Shotte Devil’s Playground supplement. Three mercenary captains each leading a brigade must fight a series of battles on their way to meet their employers. The first is to take and hold the only bridge over an unfordable river.

Alan took the part of Officer Ensign Hakan Nilson Skytte, the senior officer of the three Swedish Protestant captains – I was the Catholic German Fullkwin von Brunn. The three brigades on each side were diced for and each was different.

The table was set up by random dice throw. 

Alan won the imitative (all captains were rated 7) but failed to get any of his 3 brigades to move. I managed to get 2 of my brigades onto the table and my dragoons raced to the bridge and dismounted ready to fire at any one coming from Alan’s side.

 followed by German infantry


Alan was now able to bring his troops on and deploy his guns

He ordered his Swedish Cuirassiers to gallop over the bridge 

They smashed into my dismounted dragoons who fired and then evaded.  

Since the Cuirassiers had outstripped their officer and troops they found themselves losing the melee because my troops were supported and they were alone. They had taken a casualty from my artillery when they crossed the bridge. The Cuirassiers fell back to the centre of the bridge.

My artillery forced them off the bridge and Alan's artillery did damage to my German troops enfilading the brigade and breaking one of the regiments. 

Meanwhile other units on both sides moved up to the river’s edge but could not cross

I had positioned my gun on a hill within medium range and nothing could come across without taking casualties. No units could cross the river at any other point, and everyone was reduced to firing across the river at their enemies. Individual regiments took casualties but since they could not cross the river they had no real effect. Except for Alan's units of peasant's who having stood and taken three rounds of fire eventually failed a moralke test and broke.

The object of the game was took take and hold the bridge and with no other way to cross the river the game became bogged down. Alan tried to take the bridge by attacking with his pikes

I met him on the bridge with my pikes. Both troops were of equal value and on the bridge there was no way of reinforcing them.

It was at this point we decided that the game had come to an end. The rules worked but the scenario was poorly designed. With the bridge the only method of crossing the river and my gun covering it, there was no chance of Alan taking the bridge.

The 28mm figures for this game were Bob's Irregular Miniatures ECW figures, to which he added Warlord’s TYW range. All the  ECW figures, about 300 of them, were based for an excellent set of 18th century rules King of the Battlefield.  These used 3 bases for an infantry regt or a cavalry unit. I use 3 x 4 infantry and 3 x 2 Cavalry. This game used P&S rules which uses bases and does not care how many figures are on a base.

Most units have oversized flags – the Swedish and German flags are enough to change the ECW figures into the two TYW armies. There are odd conversions such as the leading Cuirassier charging across the bridge who has a cape made from a cigarette paper covered in polystyrene glue added. Perhaps more interesting are the gun crew – one is a pirate, another a Border Reiver and the last a Celt! They seem to work and neither Jack or I has ever commented on them (might notice now).

The militia whom Bob successfully drove off the field are the Perry’s Russian Napoleonic peasants. The first set of 6 have hand weapons and the second 6 captured firearms. The only figure that doesn’t fit with the 17th century is the officer who wears a Potemkin, Bob also uses the peasants with my Napoleonic Russians.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Final Post for 2016 - S Range conversion - 72nd (Duke of Albany's Own Highlander) Regt of Foot

I have a copy of Timothy Reese's Cd Uniforms of the British Army of the Crimean War which I hadn't looked at for a while and whilst browsing through it I noticed that the 72nd Foot wore trews rather than kilts.  I thought this would make a bit of a change.  I could have just gone for the British Infantry in pork pie pose, but I thought the bonnet would be more striking.

So I set about my usual head swap.  This proved a bit more difficult as the base of the bonnet is moulded against the blanket roll of the back pack.  Having done many head swaps, I got a bit too cocky and managed to slice the scalpel blade into my finger!  Lots of blood and plasters later, I took a bit more care and managed to work away sufficient metal to free the head (which in the end didn't take too long) and them it was a simple twist and 'bob's your uncle' the head came away freely and cleanly. I used the body of the line infantry with a pork pie hat as I had one to hand.  Then it was a simple paint job.  Red is the predominant colour and at one stage my figure looked rather like Father Christmas!  My apologies in advance for my attempt at the Prince Charles Edward Stewart tartan. I think I need a bit more practice!  

I am going to make a  'one off' for the Officer  - again head swap. Using the Highland Officer head and a Light Infantry Officer's body and adding a plaid from green stuff. Hopefully, this will be easier.   

The standard bearers may be a bit of a challenge but again they can be 'one offs'. 

But what about the Piper? Should he also wear trews? That could be a tricky conversion as it will probably require an upper body swap which I haven't done before. 

Or just make a drummer and/or a bugler with a bonnet which would be a much easier head swap conversion.  Any thoughts?

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

S Range Crimean Cossack Lancer conversions

A little while ago I posted some pictures of a conversion of a Russian Line Dragoon to a lancer by means of an arm swap.

John Cunningham kindly thought they were worth adding to his S Range Recast and Conversions catalogue and I have finally got around to painting up a unit as cossacks.