Tuesday 31 March 2020

Burgundian Arquebusiers

Here are the last of the Burgundians, for the time being, a unit of skirmishing arquebusiers painted, once again, by Lionel Bechara. These Perry plastics are superb minis- feather-trimmed hats off to the brothers!

I've just realised that this is my 11th blog post in March, the most blog posts I have made in a single month since March 2016. A Covid dividend! I do hope you all stay well, out there, as I plan to do, here.

Monday 30 March 2020

Burgundian Crossbowmen

This unit of crossbowmen is my favourite Burgundian unit, so far. The Perry plastic minis were all painted by Lionel Bechara, although I did the Little Big Men Studios pavises and (with the help of Ian Notter) the basing.

It's a most unusual unit, because it looks better from the back (below) than it does the front, where you can see the details of the reloading crossbowmen (protected by their pavises). So I will be able to enjoy both the appearance of the unit and the effect of its shooting!

Above; lovely painting by Lionel! Below, I used the flag image from the Perry box.

Finally, you can see I've again used three of my favourite FK&P6 bases, so that I can field the unit either on a 15cm or on a 20cm grid. From this angle, you might also be able to make out the arrows stuck in the ground and pavises.

Sunday 29 March 2020

Swords to ploughshares II

Here's the second in what will be a very occasional series of posts on the garden work that I'm doing when I really should be basing minis.  ;-)  The plan is to grow tons of vegetables that we can eat or give way in the summer/autumn/winter of Covid.

Above is the new small terrain feature (=vegetable patch). This is shady, so it'll only suit root vegetables. We took tons of rock, stones and roots out of this.  That bush got chopped, this afternoon.

And above is the new two-box terrain feature; a massive 16' x 8' potato bed, on the site of a long-defunct play area formerly covered in gravel. The soil here is really cloggy, since there's lots of clay mixed in and poor drainage table, so it qualifies as rough ground. This was an absolute back-breaker; we found a stone path buried 6" under the surface, that we had to remove. I bought a cheap rotavator from Aldi, that worked wonders on breaking up the clumps of soil.

And last (and least) a trough that we built last year, when Covid was but a glint in the Grim Reaper's eye. Although small, this proved fertile ground for green beans and lettuces. 

So the hardest part of the work is done and I hope to get back to writing, next week, interspersed with a little digging and planting. And some modelling. Huzzah! 

In other news, if you play TtS!, there's a new version of Even Stronger! out, you can download it from here:

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Blue horsemen

Here are some minis I bought on eBay a while back, and retouched and rebased. They are a somewhat generic troop of Late c.17th horse, that I'll later expand to a full unit. I'm not sure what I'll use them for, exactly, perhaps militia; I've not come across a regiment that is recorded as having worn uniforms in these colours. They are a tough-looking bunch! Front Rank Minis, of course.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Burgundian archers

Here are two new companies of Burgundian archers, painted by chum Lionel Bechara. I'm really pleased with how they came out! They are on four of my FK&P6 bases; more than ably flocked by my chum Ian Notter. The flower tufts are mostly from Debris of War. You can click the image to enlarge it.

I've made stakes for one of the units, I'll need more. It's a pity that I didn't see images of the period Burgundian mixed unit etchings until after I'd already based these; I'd love to depict bows or crossbows screened by men-at-arms or pike, and I also suspect they would be more effective on the "To the Strongest!" battlefield. I'll certainly do a polearm/mounted archer unit, later on.

Saturday 21 March 2020

First Burgundians

Here's a modest beginning to my new Burgundian army. It's a vintage Citadel gun with two Perry and two vintage Citadel Brettonian crewmen that I must have owned for at least 20 years. Hopefully it'll do sterling work against the feared Swiss pike blocks! Most unusually, I painted these myself.

Friday 20 March 2020

Swords to ploughshares I

I've been working on a new terrain feature for BigRedBat Mansions (above). The feature is designed to fit a 300cm grid, and the 180cm mini is included for size comparison purposes, only.

It sits in a formerly unused portion of the garden that was formerly a dump for unwanted paving stones.

On Wednesday I had an excellent chippy build a wooden retaining wall, so two sides are now fortified, with impassible terrain on a third.

Flippancy aside, this is going to be one of a number of a number of garden projects that I plan to fit in alongside the wargaming, this year. In response to Covid, I intend to turn a good portion of the garden over to vegetables, with the intention of feeding the family and, hopefully, generating a useful surplus that we can give away, locally, since food is likely to be at something of a premium later this year. We are all going to be spending more time at home, and I can testify (after digging just a single square metre of the new area) that gardening is excellent exercise! March/April is also a great time of year to be planting stuff out. Feel free to join me "Digging for Victory over Covid!" Stay tuned for more posts over the coming weeks...

Monday 16 March 2020

Indian elephant progress

I'm plugging away at two new herds of Indian elephants, for the Ipsus game, This is the first, and more advanced, herd, consisting of Indian elephants with Indian escorts. The nellies are painted and based, but need more tufts and crew to be added- oh, and one elephant is still with the painter, although the base is done (there's a first!). The elephants are mostly Aventine with some Essex and Vendel. The Aventines are superb.

The second (similarly-sized) herd will have Macedonian ride-on crews and Greek archers escorting.

Obviously in the current difficult times, we don't know whether Salute is still happening- I hope so- but if not I still plan to have the minis finished in time and will run the game at the earliest opportunity once normality returns. Stay safe, everyone!

Thursday 5 March 2020

Knights of Terra Firma

Here are some more minis for my Italian Wars; these are Venetian men-at-arms. Unusually, I painted these myself (well, I partially repainted some older minis and added some new ones) so they are a little rough around the edges, but acceptable. I decided to give them a Venetian red theme with some golden yellow details. For some reason, the bases came out particularly well.

At the moment, I'm pushing hard to finish the many elephants and scythed chariots for a huge Salute game. Post Salute, when I have more free time, I plan to add a second rank of coustilliers to complete a unit of 18 figures, and, later, I will add a second unit of 18. I also need several more Venetian infantry units.

The middle flag is one of Pete's excellent flags from eBay, and the left flag is an image I found on the 'net. 

These were painted a month or so back, and saw action at the Godendag and Chalgrove To the Strongest! events, where they performed well. This is the first time I've had a chance to photograph and post them. 

Monday 2 March 2020


It is safe to say that I have come late to the Renaissance, but come, I have! These beautiful Perry stradioti, painted by Shaun Watson, are Balkan light cavalry, originally of Albanian origin, who served in the Venetian and other armies.

I really like their natty top hats, especially the officer with feather (below). Move over, Noddy Holder!

Finally, here is a top-down view. I've mounted them on my FK&P6 bases. These days, I mount most of my minis on them, because I can use them both on 15cm grids (two bases wide) and 20cm grids (three bases wide). For the 15cm grid my light cavalry units will be 3-4 men strong, and for the 20cm stradioti grid they will be 10 strong, as below). I have a second unit under way, which I hope will be enough for my Venetians, and I also hope to muster two units of 18 vero armigero (men-at-arms) and various militia types (archers, crossbows, spearmen) by the summer. We'll see!

In other news, chum "Balkan" Dave Watson has written nine new army lists, which I've combined with the four existing lists to make a comprehensive booklet of  no fewer than 13 Medieval Balkan lists for To the Strongest! There are some super new lists- not least the Catalan Company, Vlad III "the Impaler's" Wallachians and Skanderbeg's Albanians. Oh and there's a Venice Abroad list with lots of stradioti. :-) You can download the booklet, for free, from here.

Sunday 1 March 2020

Nobody expects...

... Perry 28mm Italian clergy, painted by Shaun Watson. These are lovely minis and he has really done them justice! The dismounted versions have already seen To the Strongest! action in Cardiff and Chalgrove, where their divine intercessions saved more than one game...