Saturday 26 March 2016

Thirty Years War Commanders.

Now I've decided on using 'Pike and Shotte' as my rule set, I needed to get some General figures done  . Here is the commander of the Catholic League Army Count von Tilly .

The standard bearer is a converted artilleryman and the drummer pinched from an infantry box of figures . The standard is a vaguely Habsburg one as there is not a lot about flags in the early period of the 30 Years War.

The opposing Bohemian commander Prince Christian of Anhalt . Once again the standard bearer is a converted artilleryman and the drummer was a French dragoon originally .

The flag is an odd one off the Internet - there's even less info about the Protestant flags than the Imperial ones . The wet weather this Easter is preventing any gardening projects so I'm maxing out painting and basing to get enough figures done for a small trial game next week with 'A' .

Sunday 20 March 2016

Thirty Years War Horse.

Been busy this week painting cavalry and have got quite a few done - they are not the hardest figures to paint being clad mainly in darkened armour . 'Mars' seem to go for rather dramatic poses which means you have to be careful how you arrange them on bases and look a bit odd to gamers used to the more staid metal figures.

I've also been in a quandary on the bases - the large green expanses didn't look right to me , so I've started covering them with 'Basetex' , dry-brushed then added green flock which I think looks better.

Mounted Harquebusier (that word has driven 'spell check' crazy !) - a nightmare to base up as you don't want people shooting their comrade to the right/left in the head , sorry for the rather blurry photos I've not come to terms with the latest edition of 'Photo shop' yet - which doesn't seem as good as the old one - or it might just be me . (click on them to enlarge)

I tried a small game using the Featherstone rules but ran into problems because it assumes you are using single figures , I decided to base the plastic figures on multiple bases because of speed of movement and to protect the figures from paint chipping - so I've decided to swop rule sets and use 'Pike and Shotte'  a version of  the 'Black Powder' rules I already use for my Napoleonic and 1860 Italian collections . I've had a small test game and they seem to work okay - about 75% of the rules are common to both systems so learning them should not be a problem . I need more Command figures though for these rules so they are next up for painting .

Sunday 13 March 2016

A Great Gunne.

Been cracking on with my TYWish armies and I've got a gun and crew finished .The gun was a bit of a pain to de-flash (the wheels especially) but at least they fit onto the axles perfectly .

I decided to base the crew separately on pennies and leave the gun unbased . The colour scheme for the gun I found on the Internet.

The gun and crew are displayed on a 'Imex' resin redoubt I've had for a while and have just got painted up. Got a cavalry regiment almost finished - they only need varnishing so things are speeding along nicely.

Friday 11 March 2016

Ouch ! Or The Down Side Of Plastic Figures.

Been busy getting figures ready for spraying and painting . This gun and crew is the second one I've done (the first is being painted) and had very little flash on the castings and were easy to get ready . However.........

The box of Mounted Aquebusiers were heavily flashed and were a total pain to clean up - note the razor blade converted into a craft knife - 'do not try this at home!' when my scalpel failed to cope with the cleaning .

To get the riders to fit the horses I drilled into the saddle and pushed in a pin then cut it off .

Next I had to drill into the rider - I can't look at this photo without wincing ! - That's gotta hurt !

And it did hurt - ME !!!! , managed to jab my finger with the pin drill - Ouch ! . The language was disgraceful ! - the cat left the room ! the dog looked alarmed as I danced about sucking my finger .

Having made the 'blood sacrifice' to the Goddess of Wargaming I've got half the unit sorted out and temporarily based . The problem with figures shooting from horseback is they always look that they are about to shoot their comrade to the left/right , so I've tried to base them so that they are shooting in the general direction of the enemy . I've nearly got a gun and crew painted also a cavalry unit which I will post when completed and varnished . 

Wednesday 9 March 2016

The Bohemian 'Blue' Regiment.

Well I've cracked on and got the first unit of my TYWish project done . Here we have the Bohemian 'Blue' Regiment of the rebel army of Prince Christian of Anhalt .

One of the problems with photographing long lines of figures is you have to stand well back to get them all in and the individual figures are lost. So here is the right flank 'sleeve' of muskets and officer. There are 24 muskets and 16 pike/command plus 3 officers to a foot unit .

The left 'sleeve' of muskets . There does not seem to be any uniforms worn at this early period of the war and when a unit is refereed to as "the Blue Regiment" it's because the units flag was blue .

The pikes and command block plus officer. I can now see why people who game the TYW generally go for the 'Swedish' era as there is quite a lot of information about them . I have managed to find only 3 flags that may be suitable for a early Protestant/Bohemian army . Armies tended to use 'field signs' - coloured sashes etc - but these varied from campaign to campaign , so I have settled on the Protestant/ Bohemian Rebels wearing red sashes etc and the Imperial Hapsburgs blue ones.

Here we have the officers and regimental command gathered . Overall the figures painted up quite well and as I'm only doing the basic paint job (no shading etc) I've got through them fairly quickly . Going to paint up a gun and crew next , then some cavalry . (click on photos to enlarge)

Saturday 5 March 2016

A Plethora Of Sprue.

Been buying in some more boxes of Mars TYW figures , you get about 48 foot figures, 12 cavalry and 3/4 guns and crew to the individual box , so this will have a bearing on how big my units will be . After several attempts I've come to the organisation of 43 foot to the Foote Regiment - 16 pike , 24 Muskets and 3 Officers . Some of the boxes are a bit light on pikemen - so some boxes will have to be cannibalised to get the right mix , they cost between £6 to £8 depending where you get them -  cheap enough !.

I've been playing around with base sizes and number of figures on them , again influenced by the figures in the boxes . Finally decided on 3 muskets , 4 pike and officers based singly .I decided on multi basing for the muskets/pike because of the number of figures involved , it reflects the formal nature of the period and the figures fall over to easily !. I will use a counter to mark casualties till a base can be removed.

I'm going very Old School so the bases and figures get two coats of varnish to protect them from chipped paint . The pikemen were VERY frustrating ! they come with separate plastic pike which I binned and used brass rod - But getting them to fit was very hard and took a lot of fiddling and bad language ! , I finally ended up drilling through the figures and inserting the rods, a touch of 'green stuff' and super glue  got them done .

The Featherstone rules use officer casualties in the morale system so the officer figures are mounted on pennies so they can be removed as needed. I'm using a very quick and basic paint job and hope the varnish covers any sins ! . I have nearly got the first regiment of infantry done so will post again when it's finished.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Oh No Not Another New Project !?

Slowly working out how my new computer operates , it took me 5 or 6 years to get the best out of the old one - reaching techno-nirvana just before it's sudden demise . Windows 10 seems to hide things I want and all the old familiar symbols have changed and it seems to have eaten some photos I downloaded !?. One of my New Year gaming resolutions was - no new projects! - how weak willed I am ! . 'A' and I have been playing Old School FPW and ACW using my version of Don Featherstone's rules and been having a jolly time of it  , both collections are now finished and there is nothing left to paint for them , this got me thinking (always a dangerous thing -Arty Buchanan a ex work colleague of mine used to say "your more likely to get into trouble by thinking than not !") - what new thing could I do next to capitalise on these successes ?. I'd enjoyed both of these projects - each having a planned number of figures/units so a definite target to head for  . I regularly  visit the 'Plastic Soldier Review site and marvel at the wealth of plastic figures it covers and I came across a review of some 'Mars' Thirty Years War figures ( , they were not particularly impressed with them  , but I thought them rather cute and characterful . I've been reading Don Featherstone's last book 'Lost Tales' (a quaint mix of his military career and some unpublished rules)and in them was a set for the ECW  - I thought could I combine the two ? , I know nothing of the Thirty Years War (apart from the length of time it took to resolve) but the rot has set in and I've started thinking (Arty is shaking his head!) .

The culprits

Too be continued........

Tuesday 1 March 2016

And We Are Back !

Just installed our new computer ! and am trying to come to terms with Windows 10 . Surprisingly it involved very little bad language even though the process was hindered by the 'help' of a cat and a dog !. Hopefully I can start blogging again now !?.