Friday, 19 July 2019

Gallic Horse

Here are some photos of my extended and re-based Gallic horse. These are, strictly, part of my Gallic army as seen  at Salute in April, but they weren't needed for the Mancetter battle. Shaun McTague very kindly painted a dozen more for me, which I mixed in with the 36 I already had, to give me a generous total of 48. Each unit now consists of a whopping 16 miniatures. This gives me a broadly similar representational scale between my infantry and cavalry units. I'm gradually adding extra cavalry to bring my other armies up to the same standard.

Almost all of the minis are Wargames Foundry. I took the opportunity to "tart up" the existing figures and re-based onto my 20cm grid-half bases, which fit together to make a unit 19cm wide by 13cm deep for the 20cm grid. The photos don't do them justice.  :-(

These are half the heavy cavalry that I require for my 2020 To the Strongest! Salute game. The other half will be "Romanised" Gallic horse- semi-uniformed types, proto auxiliaries, in fact.

I've been basing a lot of other great stuff- I hope to post some more photos, next week!

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Royal Dragoons WIP

I've been very busy painting and basing, recently, too busy to post very much, although I will catch up. But here is a WIP shot of the Royal Dragoons, for a future Sedgemoor project. They are North Star 1672 minis, very nicely painted, mostly by chum Steve Spence, although I couldn't resist painting a couple, myself. They are nice Copplestone-sculpted minis, with a fair few variants, and (very conveniently) North Star have recently begun to extend the range with some new dragoon command groups and rumours of Spaniards.*

I've decided to go with the dragoons as a 24-man unit which (at least for Sedgemoor) will operate in two halves, on the wings of the Royal army. I also plan to do the unit dismounted, with all 24 horses and horse holders. Raising a regiment of dragoons is a serious commitment, and not for the fainthearted!

*Some grenadiers in furry hats, with firelocks, would be a splendid addition, Nick  :-)

Thursday, 4 July 2019


Here is the first finished battalion for my Late c.17th project, in fact the very minis that attracted me to the period. David Imrie very kindly sold me these miniatures some five years back. They represent a battalion of around 1690 from the French Regiment Tournaisis, which served in Ireland and elsewhere. The picture is clickable. David's painting is superb- I can't get anywhere near this standard.

All of the miniatures are from the superb Front Rank Late c.17th range, and the flags are Flags of War. Having bought the 40-odd minis from David, I find that I have bought some four hundred and fifty more painted minis from various sources. Eventually there will be a set of rules and a display game, but don't hold your breath. :-)

It took me years to decide how to base them, and I settled on two wings of 12 shotte, 8 pike and a command stand of 5. My friend Ian Notter and I designed a series of wobbly-edged bases to carry them. There are four bases which means I can swap out the command stand for one with different flags, from a different nation, perhaps, or swap out the pike for an extra stand of shotte so that I can use the minis for the early c18th. The new bases can be found in the BigRedBatShop, here.

Finally, here's a closeup of the command stand. What I love most about this period is the cut of the uniforms, but I'm also mad for the floppy hats with ribbons around the edges.

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Louis Quatorze's Warses

This week I've had a really heavy cold and haven't been fit for much other than some light basing duties. Here are some miniatures that David Imrie (Saxon Dog) painted that I've finally managed to re-base onto one of my wobbly-edge command bases. They will lead a brigade of French that I am slowly building (one of the battalions also painted by David); pictures to follow next week.

I'm also basing my first British battalion, Kirke's Lambs. These incorporate minis from three or four different painters, including myself. Much better photos and more details of the completed unit are to follow in a week or so. I absolutely love the Front Rank minis; it is entirely possible to build a 37-man unit with 37 different variants.

Eventually there will need to be some rules so that I can put the minis on a table. The working title for these is Louis Quatorze's Warses, which name was picked at the end of an evening of brainstorming (=heavy drinking) before Colours, last year. I won't start on the rules before I've finished Renaissance, however.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Wargaming Butterfly

Much of the time I'm painting and basing on some huge project or another, against a tight deadline. At the moment, though, I'm not and consequently I'm flitting about, completing projects that have been on hold for six months or more, just for fun.

This weekend I've been painting Kirke's Lambs for the battle of Sedgemoor, 1685 (a long range project that probably won't be delivered for three or four years). I blame David Imrie for this 'cos he sold me some stunning French, three of four years back, and the project has subsequently ballooned into an obsession. There's something I love about the cut of the uniforms; also the relative obscurity of the period.

Today I more-or-less completed the 37 minis for this regiment, there is the work of three painters in this (including me). I have decided to ride roughshod over my mild OCD and have painted the minis with colour variations in the tunics; some are bright reds, and others a subdued madder red, with the facings in various green hues. I think it will look unusual and interesting, once based in a week-or-so.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Florentine Mounted Crossbows

These are the mounted crossbows who will accompany the recently-posted Florentine swordsmenSome people think that Italian chaps such as these might well have ridden to the battlefield but dismounted to fight, which means that these minis are somewhat redundant. Others claim that they are a valid mounted troop type, equipped with a lighter crossbow. I'm conflicted; I need to do more reading to establish how both they, and the equally tricky mounted arquebusiers, will work in the Renaissance rules.

At the moment, pending eventual rule/list changes, these guys perform a vital role, screening the advance of my Milanese knights and skirmishing on the flanks, and generally looking rather dashing!

You will be able to see them in action if you sign up for the To the Strongest! "Knight Fever" tournament in the London Games Tourney on September 15th. So far we have 13 TtS!ers signed up for this massive gaming event- the largest in the world, I believe, with getting on for 1K entrants.  It'll be the familiar 130 point 28mm army format, drawn from any of the three Medieval army list booklets. You could field plucky Normans, for example, or steel-encased Italian later knights, or even an army of Mongols- all of these were at the last tournament. Teutonic knights are very popular. Many different Medieval armies are available in plastic and I reckon quite a few different armies could be built for under £100. I will have some spare units that I can lend out, and will provide terrain if necessary. There will be four games in the day, with modest prizes and great glory for the victors!

Details are at  Knight Fever Details, and you can book your place at Knight Fever Bookings. This will be a terrific event and mustn't be missed!

Friday, 14 June 2019

Machiavellian Swordsmen

Here is my first completed Florentine unit, some unusual-looking Italian swordsmen; I just love the character of these chaps. It's quite uncommon to find infantry equipped with just a sword and no missile weapon, and very little armour. There are very few in the army lists.

This unit has been a slow burner; I bought 16 of these Perry metal minis around two years ago, mostly painted, from a chap in Sweden who had been planning to use them as soldiers from the Free City of Braavos. Chum Shaun McTague painted 8 more and I highlighted and painted the shields, which I based on Florentine heraldry and guild symbols. The flag is from Pete's Flags on eBay. I have based them on my FK&P6 bases; this means I can use them either as three bases on a 20cm grid, for shows, or, dropping a base, two on the 15cm grid we often use for To the Strongest! competitions. The bases came out really well; its hard to see the joins, and the wobbly edges vanish into my gaming cloth.

I suppose that having these (and some Florentine mounted crossbows that will follow) necessarily means that I am building a Florentine army. Machiavelli would be delighted! :-)