Saturday, 30 November 2019

The French in Ireland

Hello again.

Phew!!! I just about managed to get in a post before November is out as, yet again, the out of kilter work/ life balance, the poor light and life in general has slowed progress to a crawl. Never mind.

By a lucky coincidence, a chap named John asked a question on the French regiments in Ireland in and around 1690 on a Facebook group a few days ago and, as it was something I had delved into in some small way, I was able to help. I also informed John that I had finally finished a couple of regiments and said I would post a few pictures, so here we are. I believe the Facebook group was "Pike & Shotte Wargaming", aimed at the Warlord Games rules but far wider in scope and knowledge than a single rules set. So, for John, and hopefully a few others out there, here are some more figures it has taken me about seven years to varnish and base after initially painting them back around 2012.

The figures are again the old plastic Wargames Factory ones, with some conversion work, the flags hand painted onto calico following originals depicted in the excellent Mark Allen series on the French army of the time way back in the early 90's in "Wargames Illustrated" magazine. I believe these works have now also been collected in one of the "Century of the Soldier" works (from Helion, I think) covering the army of Louis XIV.

Will I be painting up more French?

Unlikely, in truth, because I want to concentrate on the Jacobite regiments and William's army to oppose them. Painting more French would, I think, steer me more towards the Marlburian War and thereby diminish any focus on this specific project, which is taking me forever anyway! I do fancy doing the Zurlauben Regiment though, if only to get some bluecoats on the field amid all the grey and red. The flags are pretty distinct too.

If you are in Birmingham, England, tomorrow, I am sure you can get a copy of this book and lose yourself a load more cash at the "Wargamer" show at the King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy. Sadly, I cannot make it, despite the best laid plans, so I will have to content myself with walking the dog, sorting stiff out and possibly, just possibly, getting a little painting done...



Regimental flag to the fore, Colonel's flag behind.


Regimental flag to the fore, Colonel's to the rear. Lots of puddles on bases - this is Ireland, you know!

Just an overhead shot to show my basing method, with these troops set to feature in games of "Beneath Lily Banners" ultimately. 50mm square bases with five or six infantry figures on them.

Monday, 21 October 2019

More Jacobites Ready For Action!

Hello again.

Hot on the heels of Lord Louth's Regiment of Foot come the first of the regiments and units I first painted back in 2012, but have only just got around to finishing off. This project really has been a triumph of perseverance over planning!

Formed from a variety of converted and "as is" Wargames Factory plastic Marlburians, these were inspired originally by a few things - the "Beneath Lily Banners" rules, Mark Allen's work on the French army at the end of the 17th and into the 18th Century, the Jacobites featuring specifically in Wargames Illustrated issue 54 for March 1992, some very nice looking games at shows, the availability of the aforementioned Wargames Factory figures and various bits of reading matter, such as Michael McNally's "The Battle of Aughrim, 1691". Apart from the plastics, which enabled me to get into the period cheaply and paved the way for relatively easy conversion work, which I was "into" at the time, there were also several ranges of metal figures available to fill out what I expected to be a considerable number of regiments.

Of course, as is always my way, the wind changed and so did my tastes, as other projects came and went to match show games with anniversaries (Bannockburn, Malta, etc) and these figures languished in storage until now. I added more figures to what I started with from the likes of Reiver Castings, Copplestone and Foundry, but they are only now starting to make it to the painting table, as first evidenced by Lord Louth's Regiment.

As usual, the flags are my own hand painted on calico types. So, without further ado, I give you the regiments of the Earl of Antrim, the Lord Grand Prior and a couple of light guns to add a bit of extra bang for the proverbial buck.


Hinchliffe guns from my spares box with a couple of converted Wargames Factory plastic crew figures and tools again from the spares box.

The Earl of Antrim's Regiment of Foot.

Identifiably Irish given the "In Hoc Signo Vinces" motto on the flag.

The Lord Grand Prior's Regiment. As Mark Allen kindly showed grenadier caps in his artwork back in the March 1992 issue of Wargames Illustrated, this regiment was provided with a couple of grenadier figures for some variety.

I like a few puddles on my Irish bases. If you have ever been to Ireland, you will know why!!!

Monday, 14 October 2019

Lord Louth's Regiment

Hello again.

Way back in the heady days of July, 2012, with the London Olympics around and about and dear, old Blighty feeling good about herself for at least a couple of weeks, I posted what was, then, the last pictures and words for my then vogue "1690" project. The post was about a squadron of the "Montpuillan Horse" I had made from the Wargames Factory Cavalry set, the first of my planned Williamite cavalry to feature and, so far, the only squadron of Williamite cavalry I have built!

The project took a back seat for seven, long years, whilst I busied myself with Medieval English and Scots, 16th Century Mediterranean figures, Dark Ages, Swiss, Burgundians and French and Indian Wars stuff for various show games. I kept buying a few figures here and there with the intention of returning to the period, but nothing happened. Until now, that is!

Way back in 2012, I used the Wargames Factory infantry as the basis for an element of pikes, simply adding brass wire to the plastic bodies, and that element was painted as Lord Louth's Regiment, with mostly grey coats and feuille morte/ filamot ("dead leaf") facings. I had every intention of adding the rest of the battalion, but that did not happen, until now that is!

Lord Louth's Regiment of Foot in all its glory.
 After seven years, I finally got around to painting the rest of the battalion. Unlike the pikemen, theses are almost all Copplestone Castings, the exception being the Reiver Castings Officer front and centre. The are several problems with having such a gap in progress on a project and, more specifically, a single regiment.

  1. Exactly what colours did you use for the figures painted all those years ago?
  2. What style or techniques were you using to paint figures back then?
  3. Do the exact colours still exist?
  4. If you based the figures, as in texturing those bases, what materials and colours did you use? Can you match the new ones to the old ones?
  5. Has research material moved on to show regiments and/or their flags differently to what we used to think?
As is the norm with my regiments of supposedly identical figures, I like to vary things a bit. Hair colour is the main difference, but, with something like a Jacobite force in the field, with fresh recruits mingling with older hands and inadequate supplies, some further variety can come in with breeches, stockings, hats, weaponry and pose if desired. Look closely at the photo above and you will see some variations in coat colour but more in breeches and stockings.

The colours, taken from Michael McNally's book "The Battle Of Aughrim, 1691". The motto is what I would call a typical Irishism - "Festina Lente" translates as "Hasten Slowly"...They are my usual rectangles of calico attached to brass wire and hand painted.
 As I mentioned above, research can and does move on. The flags are taken form McNally's book, mentioned in the above caption, but Mark Allen's work back in "Wargames Illustrated" issue 54 (March 1992) draws on other sources and shows them differently. There is also a query around exactly what feuille morte/ filamot looks like. It simply means "dead leaf" and Allen (see above source) quotes it as "yellowish brown". Out with my dog at this time of year, I am seeing all sorts of dead leaves in all sorts of vaguely brown colours! Mine may be a little too tawny, but I am happy with it. As Lord Bellew's regiment may feature soon, I need to be happy with it as he used the colour of his flags and cuffs too!

Captain and unshaven drummer.

The regiment laid out as it will eventually feature on the table top under the "Beneath the Lily Banners" rules.
So, it remains to be seen whether I get distracted again, especially for seven years, but this project at least has nudged along a smidgen. With so many other desires and potential distractions, it might in truth be a while before it nudges along some more, but, the good news is that I have started texturing the bases for the other 10 regiments I painted back in 2012, along with a couple of light artillery pieces, and have spray undercoated a regiment I believe will become Bellew's in the not too distant future, so I am at least optimistic of some progress very soon!


Saturday, 5 October 2019

Better Loot Than Never...

Hello again.

Doesn't time fly when you get back into your work schedule and, as the annual peak period of the year builds, lose all track of time?

It has been almost two weeks since the Chillcon show in Derby, back on 22nd September. I was in two minds whether or not to go. I checked out the traders and, to be honest, whilst there were some gems, there were others I had not heard of or, on the face of things, was unlikely to be particularly interested in. Oathsworn would be there and there stuff is great, but I did have that feeling that I had probably done enough Burrows & Badgers stuff for now. Colonel Bill would be there too and there second hand options are always worth a look to find those hidden gems. Laser Cut Architect could tempt me with some more "Necromunda"-esque MDF terrain, but I have not painted a gang or built the stuff I have already yet. Crooked Dice were there and I had seen mention of a "Grandville" line of figures in honour of the graphic novels by Bryan Talbot, so I fancied a look at that. They might even convince me to add more to my B&B stuff. But there did not appear to be any real draw for me.

Of course, I did venture along to Derby and, in addition to what I had seen advertised, was pleasantly surprised to find Warlord there with a very full range and others too. And, as always, there was plenty to tempt me. Why would I doubt there would be? I think because, not having played anything for months and with my work/ life balance all out of kilter for a while now, I am struggling to get into anything. Quite simply, however, games or no games, time or no time, I realised again just what this hobby does for me, the release painting even a couple of miniatures provides.

So, where did I spend my hard-earned money?

Read on...

I did see this advertised and it appealed on a number of levels. To top it off, I got this for £31!!! It retails for £40!!! It ticks a number of boxes - limited figure requirement, an interesting period of history, expandable to other armies and not just Romans and Celts, simple rules. Only around a sixth of the rulebook is rules, the rest being scenarios, background, etc. I look forward to trying this rules set out and painting a few Celts. I would like to do some Roman Civil War stuff I think - Celts, Spanish, Numidians, Germans and Romans all freely mixed across the two "Roman" armies.
Thanks to "Mighty Lancer" game for this bargain!!!

I also had my eye on "A Dark And Bloody Ground", buying this from Warlord so I could get the "free" figure - a Woodland Indian peering over a large rock. This period is one for which I have some forces and was the subject of the last game I took out on the road at the Barrage show last year. I am still part way through painting the 35th Foot! The "Age Of Caesar" book I bought for some further background for "SPQR" really and the "free" figure is a Roman officer, so usable for that too.

I saw this on Nephew Nick's "Sleeping Dragon Hobby Shop" stand and immediately saw some potential for old mine works in my "Burrows & Badgers" games.

From "Laser Cut Architect" I acquired these sets to add some buildings to either my "Strontium Dog" set up or for "Necromunda"

Nephew Nick supplied this kit for two Biohazard tanks and, with two in the pack, it will be one each for "Strontium Dog" and "Necromunda". The other kit is a two tier medical block which will have to feature in one or the other game.

Pretensions towards using my Ancient Indians as a Great Kingdom in "SAGA: Age of Magic" saw me buy this figure from "Crooked Dice". Not cheap but, I am sure you will agree, very suitable for a fantasy Indian army!

These two "Crooked Dice" figures I had seen advertised and fancied as a crime-fighting duo for Scarsburgh, my fictional Burrows & Badgers town. "LeBrock" is a badger, but is rather smaller than the Oathsworn versions, so he will be painted as some other type of animal. "Ratzi" will do nicely as a rat, however! So, I give you Hemlock Holmes and Dr. John Ratson.

 A little, light, flavoursome reading from Oathsworn Miniatures is this small collection of newspaper-style articles and titbits. Having done a campaign newsletter or two in the past, I really appreciate this sort of thing.

Finally, I could not resist adding a few extras to my Burrows & Badgers collection. The main set will happily form part of my "Molegrew Haulage" company from the dockside area of Scarsburgh and you can never have too many wagons. The two ladies to the right I see as proprietrixes for a high-class/ lowlife nightclub in downtown Scarsburgh, with the odd talon or claw in the criminal underbelly of the town. The archer and fox figures will fit pretty much anywhere in my existing stuff.

So, a rewarding, if mildly expensive, visit and a most enjoyable one. How dare I think going to a show was not worth it!


Wednesday, 18 September 2019

It's been a month!!!

Hello again.

At the risk of being accused of spouting a cliché, time certainly flies, does it not?

I cannot believe it has been a month since I last posted anything, but it has been indeed that long. I will not bore you with a list of excuses for my absence from blog-dom, but at least I have not been totally idle during this time. I have finished a Burrows & Badgers house, done two more units of Jager for my Crimean War Russians and have a few more Oathsworn Miniatures figures complete, which are the subject of this piece.
Frances and Ferdinand Hapsborough are orphaned twins, whose tragedy serves as both moral and warning to all children who do not heed their parents. Constantly told to beware of predators, the two mice would happily ignore the warnings and romp gleefully around their environs, getting into whatever scrapes they thought fit. One day, however, a rather hungry owl took a shine to the two tasty morsels and swooped low to enjoy an unexpected lunch. At the last moment, the two realised their peril and fled for their lives, screaming and hollering in terror. Their father heard their cries and came running...he lost his life protecting theirs. Now these two are dedicated members of the Nutkin Wood Neighbourhood Watch, keen to avenge their father and defend their home.

Ferdinand bears a death mask on his shield, in honour of his father.

Frances bears the emblem of the Order of the Lavender Garden, which she admires greatly, but hers is black on yellow. Yellow is the colour of the wheat fields she loves to roam and the black lily is in honour of her mother, whose death when Frances was very young still cuts her deeply.

Adrienne Mole is the Nutkin Wood diarist and archivist, believed to be between thirteen and a half and fourteen years old.

The golden acorn of Nutkin Wood is her emblem.

The Nutkin Wood Neighbourhood Watch in all its current glory.

Sadly, I am now at something of an impasse with this project, as I have largely done what I wanted to do. I have a pirate warband, a Military Order one, a band of Witch Hunters, a band of street ruffians and these fellows. I still have the paltry sum of eighteen figures left to paint from the Oathsworn range, including some of my personal favourite figures, ranging from more pirates to mercenaries to religious figures to civilians, but I have a liking again for some more regimental and regimented stuff.

His Majesty's 35th Regiment of Foot has been part completed for almost a year now. My 1690 project stalled a few years back, but does still call to me, especially when I see games of that era at shows or in magazines. My French Wars of Religion project has barely got off the ground. And I have all those boxed sets to work through at some point, including Blood Red Skies, Cruel Seas, various sci-fi and fantasy offerings and more esoteric things like "Carnevale" and "Hellboy". And I still do not have any Crimean War British except for four-fifths of the Light Brigade.

So, the next post or two will feature something new at last, I think. What will it be? Your guess is as good as mine!


Sunday, 18 August 2019

Kelly le Brock

Hello again,

The lead mountain of Oathsworn Miniatures figures has been quarried, mined and otherwise abused to the point that I have fewer than a score of figures left to paint! I am down to the most recent purchases (at "Barrage" back in July) and those I have so far not really known what to do with or have held on the back burner whilst I prioritised others. All, however, are prepared and undercoated ready for their turn at the paint table.

Firmly in the "not really known what to do with" category is the subject of this post. He certainly is not a pirate, so that option is a non-starter. Neither os he a witch hunter, as clanking around in all that armour would make the sort of stealth such characters use to get close to some devilish, twisted, night  time ritual somewhat difficult. He has no Dickensian vibe at all about him. so the Dickens Street Runners are a no go too. Neither is he a civilian. He could just fit into the Nutkin Wood Neighbourhood Watch, but that organisation was supposedly about a group of put-upon small fry banding together for mutual defence and this fellow is neither small nor put upon looking at him!

However, he is painted, he is based and he is most definitely ready to go!

He may well end up leader of some border garrison, or perhaps the commander of a Customs & Excise force. Those mercenary figures Oathsworn have, with their Landsknecht-style costumes, have to be garrisoned somewhere, after all. The fact that I have all those Landsknecht-style figures yet to paint may well steer me that way, but I also know that further figures in that style will be part of the next Kickstarter.

So, for now, Kelly le Brock remains a solo agent, his two-handed club swung for his own, rather than someone else's, benefit.


One angry badger! Perhaps Brian May has shown up to preach...I wanted to get a drop of water in, hence he is standing on a rock at the side of a pool. Perhaps he is crusading against amphibians!?

I added a little flourish with some minor cloak patterning which, with the full armour, gives him a sense of someone who perhaps had money and influence but, as with the club rather than a Zweihander or Dane axe, has seen better days.

One of the highlights of this project is fur. Apart form the colours, which are very easy to get wrong, the simplicity and texture of painting fur is a delight.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Don't Borrow From This Chap

Hello again.

There is something rather ironic about Summer from a figure painter' perspective, I feel. You should be enjoying all that lovely, natural light, those long days that give you plenty of time to speed all those projects along, the extra free time provided by not having to do school runs and so forth.

Yet, this year, it has mostly been changeable at best, so that lovely light has been variable in quality. When it has been hot, it has led to paint drying on the brush in the man cave where I paint and work has been busier than ever, it seems. To top it all off, high winds have made prepping anything a lottery, as I like to spray undercoat figures, which is somewhat tricky in a wind!

Nonetheless, I have finally managed to finish a few figures, though it has tended to be more single figures for my Burrows & Badgers project rather than a juicy 18th Century or other era unit. Bear with me, however, as I have a yearning for something more substantial than single figures going forwards, so those units hopefully will not be too far away from taking their turns on the painting table.

However, back to the here and now. I have it in mind to base my Burrows & Badgers world in the seedier parts of the fictional town of Scarsburgh, with its docks, narrow streets, limited policing and other suitable archetypal factors that make it so suitable for crime, skulduggery and the odd game or two. Now, towns have civilians as well as fighting types and, fortunately, so does the Oathsworn Miniatures range of figures. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Shylock Smallweed. This fellow is a slippery one, not only because of his status as a frog, but also because of his general demeanour and way of life. In common with many of my recent characters, he has a Dickensian name, but I shied away from Ebenezer or Jacob (as in Marley) for his Christian name, preferring instead that "pound of flesh" merchant from Shakespeare, the idea being that this fellow would have his pound of flesh, with interest, whereas Ebenezer Scrooge was just mean, but even he turned to the light in the end. I see no turning for this character. I plan to associate him with my pug bounty hunter, Pugga Fett, (see previous post), as every good baddie needs an enforcer. The two of them will terrorise the poor and needy of Scarsburgh whilst portraying their business as honest and respectable.

I have other civilians in the queue for the painting table and big plans for some specific terrain. I have, for example, a broken toy pirate ship, so a dry dock with said ship being dismantled/ repaired might be in order. And every good dockside needs a seedy inn or two. Then there is the idea of Customs and Excise to house, warehouses for general goods, chandlers and shipwrights and sail makers, boat makers and all manner of other bits and bobs. It could be a lengthy process...

But, for now, I give you Shylock Smallweed. Don't borrow from this chap.


"Take the money! Don't worry about such drivel as interest, you need the cash, so take it."

I plan to make the bases for my Scarsburgh civilians sort of "urban decay" in nature, hence the mix of earth, grass and slabs shown here. It is not like these characters will feature strongly away from the confines of their town.

I did a fair amount of picture research for this figure, though I make no claim that he is the spitting image of any particular breed of frog, a conscious choice on my part. The eyes, however, were a part of the figure for which I deemed research essential - how they look, what colour they are, the shape and size of the pupil.