Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Favourite troop types

Like, I suspect, a number of people, I have favourite troop types.

As a child, it was French Napoleonic Cuirassiers, inspired by the Airfix set we all no doubt had loads of at one time or other. I like cuirassiers of all sorts in truth, and heavy cavalry in general, but the French heavies are still a big favourite. Moving on through life, along came Spartiates, Sassanid clibanarii, Swiss pikemen, Indian elephants and, the subject of this little feature.....


What more could any guy want? A horde of well-trained, well-armed, disciplined regular troops fired by that extra-special religious fervour borne of the convert, equally able to shoot you down or hack you to death in the ensuing charge. And they look so cool!!! I want a zerkulah!!!!! (That's the hat, by the way).

The figures are again Old Glory, from pack OXT 8 I think. The 30 figures include 6 command figures, 2 each of musicians, standard bearers and officers, which very nicely provides 3 drilled units for Donnybrook plus enough characters to give some good options to accompany them.

So, here are the first of the Janissaries, with more to follow if you count those in the picture (11 missing from the pack of 30, you see!) I wonder if I will ever get around to the Sassanids and Spartiates......


Lots of figure variety again to start with, with heads at different poses, arquebusses at different angles and so on. Add in my usual different sash colours, sash patterns, hair colour, undergarment colours, arquebus colours and patterns and I have my desired variety.

I like different metal and leather colours too. Janissaries could famously choose whatever weapons they wanted from the armoury before leaving for campaign, so variety was a given.

A variety of sash colours and patterns, as well as undershirt colours.

And patterns on weapons to add some detail.

The three command to go with the blue Janissaries. I should probably have gone to town on patterning the officer's robes...

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

New Project Time!!!

With the success of our Kirkburn Bridge offering at WMMS still fresh in mind, we Wyrley Retinue bods were not keen to rest on our laurels and put our heads together for 2015's excuse for a day out at a show. Inspired as usual by the relevance of the year to some 50th/ 100th anniversary or other, we plumped for.....

Malta, 1565. (450 years ago next year if you can't do the maths after a tough day at work...)

No, we will not be doing the siege, but the game will be an amphibious assault set in that theatre in that time, much like Kirkburn wasn't actually Bannockburn, but that theatre, etc.

I got the figures to do, all 300+ in the eight months or so till December, whilst Nephews N & P are sorting out terrain. We have been trialing "Donnybrook" as a ruleset which, with our house tweaks, we are quite pleased with. Loads still to do, but since I started the figures in the middle of March, I have so far managed a total of 83, the first of which I show for you here.

I had a very slight head start in that I bought a number of bags of Turks for yet another stalled project many years ago at a Partizan show. I also acquired a handful of Border Reivers at the same show, both lots of figures languishing on the slopes of the lead mountain ever since. All 83 painted specimens so far have been mined from the mountain and I have another 50 or so to go before I need more purchases. That is excepting the various conversions I have attempted from Perry Mahdists, some spare plastic musket arms, drawing pin head shields, the odd ACW zouave, etc, which puts me up to around 150 effectives so far.

So, first up are some Old Glory North African Marines.


All figures for the project will be singly based to allow for maximum flexibility of use in what will be a grand skirmish in effect, but also to allow them to rank up on movement trays for more conventional games.

Two shy Berbers....

These are of the solid and dependable category of wargames figures and highly suitable for such a project IMO.

As is customary in even my most uniform of armies, I like to ring some changes in pose, hair colour and skin colour where appropriate. I think I used five different ways to get skin tone on these 31 figures, each giving something slightly different.

The dentists in Algiers must be good...

"How do you play this £$&%*& thing?"

A little more variation is afforded by simple patterning of clothes and sashes.