Monday, 12 March 2018

WMMS Time!!!

Hello again.

Just a quick reminder to any who might need it that the West Midlands Military Show is on this Sunday, 18th March, at the Aldersley Leisure Village, Aldersley Road, Wolverhampton, WV6 9NW. According to the advert in the March issue of "Wargames Illustrated" (issue 365), entry is a paltry £4 for adults, half that for Concessions and free for children, so get yourself along to spend BIG at upwards of 40 traders, enjoy games of various hues, both participation and demo, and enjoy the ambience of what is undoubtedly one of my favourite shows of the year.

It is with a little sadness that I must report that we at the "Wyrley Retinue" will not be laying on a game this year, as life has sort of got in the way of things, but I shall be there as a punter and will have a sum of filthy lucre in my sweaty mitts that I will be my usual eager self to part with. It is the first time in around six or seven years that we will not be there with a game, but we WILL BE BACK!

Whatever your gaming persuasion in whatever scale, I am certain you will find the vast majority of your desires at the show, just as I hope to.

So, get yourself along there this coming Sunday. I will post some photos of my day there assuming:

a) I do not forget my camera, as I seem to do all too often, and,
b) it is actually charged when I come to use it!

See you there!


Wednesday, 28 February 2018

An Attempt At Command

Hello again.

Having painted up the rank and file a week or two back, I thought it high time I put the command element of His Majesty's 58th Regiment of Foot together as well. And here they are.

As previous readers may recall, I had a choice of five regiments from which to choose, all of whom had contributed towards my Combined Grenadiers, and the prospect of black facings and yellow lace won out, hence the 58th "getting the gig" this time around.

The figures are an equal mix of Eagle Figures (the drummer and national flag ensign, albeit converted slightly in the latter case) and Redoubt. When the photos were taken, they still needed to be varnished and, of course, added to their parent units, which still needs the bases texturing. I will post the complete unit once it is complete.

The flags are my usual hand-painted on calico affairs, a time-consuming but surprisingly pleasant affair this time around. I even almost managed to get the straight lines straight too! The flagstaves are brass wire. I chickened out of trying to paint the regimental number in the centre of each flag and used a gold pen with a narrow nib, courtesy of Daughter Eleanor's art materials. It was still a bit of an "ask" writing so small and getting it neat...


Eagle Figure converted slightly by the removal of his original cast-on flagstaff.

Redoubt officer

Redoubt ensign

Eagle Figures drummer

Saturday, 17 February 2018

1st (Tsarevitch) Dragoons

Hello again.

It is almost a year since I bought the first of my 10mm Crimean War figures at the WMMS show last March. I painted up all except the cavalry unit I got with that first purchase - one of Pendraken Miniatures' Russian Army Packs - within a few months, but that final unit of dragoons lay dormant whilst I moved onto other things and did a bit of on/off research.

That research largely concluded with the purchase of Laurence Spring's "Uniforms of the Russian Army During the Crimean War 1854-1856" at the Derby show last October. Talk about a one stop shop for Russian uniforms! Well, almost. I have other books with colour pictures!!! What Spring's work does include however are orbats and, under the auspices of the 2nd Reserve Cavalry Corps is the 1st Dragoon Division under Lieutenant General Montressor. The 1st Brigade consists of 1st (Tsarevich) Dragoons and 2nd (Grand Duke Constantine Nicolaevich's) Dragoons.

The Tsarevich Dragoons can now take the field with their foot-slogging comrades.

I have really enjoyed painting these 10mm figures and will be doing more, not only the ones I have already bought, but I foresee some others coming along too.

What do I like so much about the 10mm I have done so far?

  • They are obviously a LOT EASIER than my usual 28mm figures!
  • As a result of that greater ease, they can be finished a lot more quickly.
  • When I paint 15mm or 20mm, I feel obliged to paint them like smaller 28's, i.e. still with attempts to shade and highlight accurately. I still do this with 10mm figures, but it somehow seems like the effect is easier too and not just because of the size differential and reduced workload. They just seem to suit the style I paint in.
  • They cost a lot less, although this is partially offset by the need to paint more figures and the need to buy more as I want bigger units.
  • It is worth putting in the extra bit of effort with 10mm compared with 6mm figures, as you can still see it, especially en masse.
  • Easier storage, less weight on the shelves and all those other practicalities that prevent my house from collapsing under the weight of lead in my proverbial mountain!
In truth, I have only painted Crimean War Russians so far, which are hardly the most difficult paint jobs around. I may feel a little different when it comes to the rather more sartorially-dressed British. Also, my other purchased range so far is American Civil War, so that should not tax my skills too much either, but we will see. I like the scale/ size so far and expect to continue to. Watch this space!!!

Anyway, the pictures show my Tsarevich Dragoons in all their "glory". I have another complete Pendraken Miniatures Russian Army Pack to paint, so the 2nd Dragoons will ultimately join the 1st to form the whole brigade. However, that is it for now whilst I finish my latest FIW regiment.


The complete unit so far, all seven bases of it. I may add more in due course.

A quick close up.

The command element.

And the whole army. One Brigadier (actually a Dragoon Officer figure from the pack - I only needed 14 figures out of the 15 in the pack for the unit), 2 battalions of Jager, 1 battalion of Naval Infantry, 3 battalions of the Minsk Regiment, 3 artillery pieces and the dragoons.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Big Men With Tall Hats

Hello again.

It is done. Not partly done. Not almost done. Just "done".

After many weeks of scratching away at a few figures at a time between work, sleep, Winter light conditions and the odd festive celebration, I have finally completed the second unit of troops for my "proper" Seven Years' War/ French & Indian Wars collection with the Combined Regiment of Grenadiers. Obviously, I have built up a reasonable collection of the skirmishing types for games such as "Muskets & Tomahawks" already, but these are "proper" troops because they stand shoulder to shoulder!

For those who have missed previous posts on my schemes in this area, I am building 24 figure regiments of British, using mainly Eagle Figures, which nicely devolved into "companies" of four figures and six "companies" per regiment. In truth, I simply cannot remember how many companies per regiment British units had at this time (and nor do I really care!), but I like the aesthetics of 24 figures in two lines using six bases. That is my raison d'etre in this case, as simple as that.

Anyway, painting six bases each of four figures from six different regiments nicely tied in with the sort of size of force I wanted to create for a show game set within the French & Indian Wars. A teeny bit of research later gave me six different regiments that fought in North America and Canada at this time, all with the desired different facing colours, thereby keeping a nice, distinct definition between contributing parties for this unit but maintaining a sort of homogeny at the same time with their nice, red coats. I now have to paint the parent unit for all except the Royal Americans, who were the first ones I did for this project. (What do you mean, you missed the posts on that???)

I selected:
27th Inniskilling Regiment - buff facings, white lace;
35th Regiment - orange facings, white lace;
43rd Regiment - white facings and lace;
46th Regiment - yellow facings, white lace;
58th Regiment - black facings and yellow lace;
60th Regiment (Royal Americans) - blue facings and no lace.

All of them featured at one or more of the battles/ encounters in North America at this time according to the various orbats I have.

Purists will no doubt argue that lace and other distinctions would have disappeared very quickly on campaign in the wilderness of North America, but I do not care, as this project is as much about aesthetics as anything else. I suspect that there are one or two inadvertent errors in the uniforms too, but then even sources cannot agree on what some of the troops looked like, especially the French, who did not necessarily wear their usual uniforms in North America as they were supplied differently for this conflict. I do have a 30+ year old copy of "Military Modelling" lying around somewhere with a detailed coverage of British grenadier caps in it, but do you think I can find it anywhere? Nope! So these at least are a tad conjectural in some cases. It is also a departure from my usual fare as I am painting red, which is not exactly my favourite exercise! Besides which, it is important these guys look their best when going off to engage in every Englishman's favourite pastime of fighting the French!!!

So, in all their "glory", I give you the Combined Regiment of Grenadiers.


The complete regiment. I was going to deploy them in regimental order from right to left, lowest number first, but gave the 27th the honour of the command element instead. The rest are on order, however.

Right flank

Left flank


The contingents from the 58th and 60th regiments

The contingents from the 35th and 43rd regiments

The contingents from the 27th and 46th regiments

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Too much time at the gym

Hello again.

What do you get if you cross The World's Strongest Man, a bumper lot of steroids and protein shakes, a few severe knocks to the head playing rugby or American Football, some serious bad attitude and a cache of firearms?

The answer is a gang of Goliaths, of course.

The whole gang of ten.
I recently spent a few happy hours cutting and gluing these boys together, newly released from their sprues within my copy of the "Necromunda" boxed set. I built them pretty much as per the instructions, but have a number of parts left over, so if I want more with two-handed weapons or want another heavy weapon or two, I simply buy another box of these figures and build what I want, now I have an idea what goes with what.

They were very simple to construct and the shaped shoulder joints made fitting the arms a lot stronger in the join than previous GW kits, which were basically just flat faces butted together. My only quibble was with the two figures below.

The "quibbles".
These two were a tad problematic because they were running, with just one foot in contact with the ground, which means a greater risk of breakage. Now, the question of whether to pin these kits together or not is an oft-asked one, but I tend not to bother as my experience of these kits has not seen me break too many as a result of simply gluing them together. I am personally more likely to break off weapon putting them back into a foam storage tray! However, I decided to pin the left foot into the base on both of these and, with the one on the right still looking a little tenuous in his connection, I glued a piece of sprue rubble under his right foot for extra stability too. Job done.

They are not exactly top of my painting list at present, but they will be done at some point. I also have to build their opponents from the Escher gang and they look like they will need a lot more pinning to the bases for stability than the Goliaths did. Then, I might actually get a game in!


Sunday, 28 January 2018

Almost there...

Hello again.

Last time out, I postulated on the year's activities and also stated that I had still to finish the unit of grenadiers I have been working on for a good while now.

Well, in a flurry of activity, I finally finished painting the last four figures for the regiment, consisting of a base from the 35th Foot, varnished all sixteen figures I needed to do to finish the regiment to my satisfaction and even managed to base them, having previously prepared the MDF bases with a coat of earthy-coloured paint on both faces to assist against warping.

HM 35th Regiment of Foot grenadiers, newly painted as of yesterday. I wanted a mix of facing colours and this regiment featured at a number of actions during the FIW, so orange had a run out.

HM 27th Regiment of Foot (the Inniskillings). Buff facings this time and a grenadier cap a little different to the usual affair with the "GR" cypher. As this is the most senior regiment in my force, I gave them the command element to represent them.

HM 46th Regiment of Foot. My main source for this one was the colour plate depicting their ambush of French forces at La Belle Famille, as shown in the Osprey "Combat" series book "British Redcoat vs French Fusilier".

Last but not least comes HM 58th Regiment of Foot (Anstruther's), a line infantryman of which is also depicted in a colour plate in the aforementioned Osprey title. The yellow lace was a pain in the proverbial, but adds a nice contrast to the plethora of white lace shown on the other regiments.

Now, the plan was that the grenadiers would be matched by a battalion each of their parent regiment, so I have another five line battalions to do to make good on that premise. I have got as far as preparing and spray undercoating the first of these, this time using a few Redoubt command figures in the mix, with Eagle Figures for the basic line troops. I do not suppose it matters which one I do first, but as I started with a battalion of the 60th Royal Americans, perhaps the 58th should be next and I work backwards numerically. Then again, can I really be bothered with the trial of painting that yellow lace at the moment?

Either way, the plan's conclusion would see me with seven battalions of foot, including grenadiers, which is a tidy enough sum for the FIW.

To conclude, I should say that today gave me the opportunity to texture the bases on these four stands of troops, so just grass and other flora and paint effects to do to see them properly finished. As I said at the top of this piece, "almost there".


Friday, 26 January 2018

Musings and news(-ings...)

Hello again.

No pics this time, as the weather, real life and sundry factors have limited my ability to get anything finished, let alone write about it, so I thought I would drop in a quick post about general stuff.

Item 1:
I still have not finished the unit of Combined Grenadiers for my FIW project. However, I am now painting the last four figures for the 24-strong unit and hope to get them done this weekend. I may even get around to some varnishing and basing! This has been a real labour of love and it must be two months since I started them.

Item 2:
Not having been totally idle on the painting front (see Item 1), I have also managed to cobble together the 10 Goliath gang figures from my pre-Christmas purchase of the "Necromunda" boxed game from Games Workshop. Just the girlies of Escher to do, ten on to the inevitable need to paint them...

Item 3:
Last year, I managed to squeeze in maybe a dozen games at most, with a chunk of them coming at various shows with the "Wyrley Retinue". This year, however, it looks like we are having a year off, as life intervenes for many of us. Not a situation I am happy with, but there you  go. It also means I will now have to pay to get into the shows I do visit rather than spend all my cash, not to mention of chunk of available plastic, on purchases. Ho hum.

Item 4:
The future...


I have so many potential projects, as many of you will know, and the aforementioned time constraints will mean I still have many potential projects this time next year!!!

So, what do I think I will get up to this year?

  • The FIW still holds my attention so I expect to have a few more units done over the next several months, all of which I will display here on the blog for those who want to look.
  • I also foresee the purchase of some cavalry and other bits this year to bring my FIW aims back across "the Pond" to Europe for some regular Seven Years' War activity.
  • I also expect to get my Necromunda stuff done, along with some terrain. Whilst I can foresee some MDF purchases to facilitate that terrain, I can also see a few scratchbuilt pieces coming along as the mood takes me.
  • Crimean War. Having bought loads at Derby last October, including extra reference material, this is still something I want to do soon. I can see me adding to what I have (Cossacks and Scots primarily, I think), probably at the WMMS show this March.
  • I intend to buy a load of suitable bases for my 10mm ACW lead pimple which may see me kick-start this project.

On the subs' bench are:
  • The French Wars of Religion, for which I have numerous figures already.
  • A return to my Williamite and Jacobite forces for the Irish conflict c.1690, prompted by the "League of Augsburg's" release of various uniform and flag PDF's.
  • Something totally out of the blue (as always!)
  • A return to WH40K.
  • An expansion of my Lord of The Rings forces for Mordor, now I have so many reinforcements to add to my existing stuff.
Being a less than adequate clairvoyant, who knows how much of the above will actually come to pass?