Thursday 16 December 2021

The Tangier Regiment- twice

Here's the second regiment of my 1672 force- the Tangier Regiment, AKA Kirke's Lambs. This regiment cut it's teeth defending the British outpost in Tangiers and later fought at Sedgemoor. 

Most of the minis are by an unknown painter but chum Dave Millward filled out the ranks of musketeers, I highlighted and mounted the Flags of War flags- the billows came out particularly well on these. Ian Notter flocked the FK&P6 bases, and I tufted.

This is my second take on this iconic unit, I've also raised it (below) using Front Rank Miniatures. The original unit had a bigger frontage (25cm as opposed to 19cm) - it is rather less practicable, for that reason, but looks magnificent. Armed with snaphance muskets, it's better suited for the 1680s than my current 1670's obsession, and I'll probably use it for Sedgemoor. You can read about my other battalion here. I think I can live with the new, smaller unit size (above) - it'll be much easier to fight large battles with this size of unit, and rather less painting per unit, which means 50% more units. Of course, there would be even less painting if I'd gone for 2 ranks, but then one must suffer for one's art.

In other news, I've finally bitten the bullet and am in the process of painting the actual BigRedBatCave, photos next week, hopefully. Until then, stay safe everyone!

Friday 10 December 2021

1st Foot Guards finished

Here are my first battalion for my 1670's project, the 1st Foot Guards ca. 1683. Strictly, they are outside the 1667-1672 period that I'm concentrating on but I had them mostly painted and couldn't resist finishing them off. The minis are North Star 1672. Unfortunately they have been in my "reserves" boxes for so long I can't recall who the original painter was, but chum Dave Millett very painted up a few more to match and I detailed and finished them. The flags are from Flags of War. The bases are my FK&P06's and they were beautifully flocked by my chum Ian (I tufted).

This will be my personal standard for the period, 28 foot on three stands 19cm wide, a practical size for gaming. The third rank is largely superfluous but helps to make the unit look a little more like the period engravings. I hope to eventually raise 30-40 battalions, and as many cavalry regiments/batteries, primarily Dutch and French (including Swiss and Walloons) but also Spanish, English and Scots. Eventually I'll need to write a set of rules or perhaps an add-on to the For King and Parliament set.

If anyone has any spare 1672 minis, painted or unpainted, I'd be keen to buy up or swap for them to swell the ranks, you can email me at the address on the left.

In other news, I've recently had a couple of big restocks in the BigRedBatShop and now have pretty much everything in stock, particularly bases and the splendid coloured activation chits

I have quite a few units underway and hope to be able to post one a week for the next month or so.

Monday 6 December 2021

Régiment Pfyffer WIP

Here's my fifth 1672 infantry battalion, the Swiss Pfyffer regiment in French service. I love this regiment's jaunty yellow tunics! I picked up some mostly-painted minis for this unit on eBay, painted some more myself and the remaining minis were painted by Richard O'Connor. 

They are on bases but not yet grouted (I find it best to mount the flags before grouting, and the flags that chum Ian is making aren't quite ready yet).

I really like the North Star Swiss minis- they have bags of character. Most of my infantry units will have the same basic structure as this one, which has six pike, two sergeants, 16 musketeers and four officers. They are in three ranks on three of my FK&P6 bases so around 19cm wide. I'll take proper photos when they are finished.

Friday 3 December 2021

Régiment de Douglas

Here's a WIP shot of Régiment de Douglas, later the Royals Scots, Dumbartons etc, in French service in the early 1670's. These minis were mostly painted by Richard O'Connor, although I painted one pikeman and someone else a single musketeer. Richard did a lovely job. They are all from the North Star 1672 range, and include an OOP Spanish piper who has changed nationality. Next week I'll pass to chum Ian for flocking. I'll take proper images when they are finished.

Including these, I have four battalions mostly finished, and another 6 or 8 well advanced. I also seem to have accumulated enough unpainted infantry minis for another 30 or so battalions, plus horse, dragoons and artillery. :-)

Thursday 2 December 2021


In the (no doubt temporary) absence of any meaningful numbers of mid c.16th miniatures in the BigRedBatCave, I've been mocking up a couple of armies from wooden blocks (Jenga and birch cubes). This is a portion of the units- the big blocks represent roughly 3000 pike, the smaller blocks arquebusiers. The taller blocks to the right are cavalry, there are also guns (not shown). Eventually I plan to put flags on the tops which will show facings. I have most of the minis for Ceresole 1544 which I plan to use as the first test game for Renaissance, I'll probably also look at a French Wars of Religion battle, too, to test troop types such as Reiters that weren't present earlier on.

Friday 19 November 2021

Royal Regiment of Dragoons

Here's another WIP unit of 1672 miniatures- the Royal Dragoons circa 1685. It's not a good photo, I'll take a proper one when they are based. These minis were mostly painted by chum Steve Spence a couple of years back. I eventually plan to have 34-such mounted dragoons (and 34 dismounted and 34 standing horses- don't you just hate dragoons? So much work!).

I'm mounting the minis in eights in two ranks, two bases to a unit. I think the extra rank helps create an impression of mass. I'm particularly pleased with the way the Flags of War guidons came out. I've gone back to including a strip of metal foil, which is great since I can let the flag's glue dry completely before adding billows. Also I've worked out how to create the tasseled edge using a blunt-ish pair of snippers- I might go back and gild the edge. 

My 1672 project is now well and truly underway, I have quite a few battalions on the verge of completion and hope to be able to finish one every ten days or so, and have enough units for a small game by the spring.

There is a paucity of suitable flags for the period, presumable due to its relative obscurity, and my chum Ian is making up some of the more obscure ones for me.

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Kirke's Lambs (again)

Here's a WIP shot of my third 1672-era battalion, the Tangier Regiment (later known as The Queen Dowager's Regiment or by its nickname as "Kirke's Lambs") in the 1670s. Behind them are the Foot Guards I finished a week or so back. 

Interestingly, this is the second time I've modelled this unit. I have a larger version in this older post using Front Rank minis. Golly they look good, I'd forgotten! The later unit is better for Sedgemoor in 1685, having flintlocks instead of matchlocks. At the moment I think I'll have two separate collections- one for the 1670's and the other for the 1680's and 90's, using 1672 and Front Rank minis, respectively. It's a bit mad but the styles of the two ranges are quite different, and there was a fair amount of innovation in uniforms and weapons between 1670 and, say, 1690.

The new unit is (again) based to my intended standard for the period - 28 foot on three stands that will work on a 20cm grid. The minis are all North Star 1672, very graceful. I really like the look of the apostles and the sea-green facings. The drummer has reversed colours, very tasteful!

Again, I don't know who the original painter was (he used an interesting non-metallic metallic technique that I can appreciate but can't match) but chum Dave Millett very kindly painted up a few more minis to match and I detailed the minis, and Flags of War flags. I'll get these off to chum Ian later this week, with the Guards, and we'll see how they look, flocked! Proper photos in a few weeks.

In other news I'm very pleased with sales of the new For King and Parliament ECW scenario book "The Siege of Norchester" by Robert Avery that we launched on Friday- if you missed it you can find it here.

Friday 12 November 2021

The Siege of Norchester Scenario PDF published

Today I'm publishing the digital edition of the "Siege of Norchester", a scenario book written by chum Robert Avery. The Siege of Norchester is a supplement for TtS! For King & Parliament that contains twelve free-standing, fictional scenarios in a loose chronological order. 

The 66 page PDF tells the story of the investment of the fictional, Royalist-held city of Norchester. It starts with the Parliamentarians gradually pushing the Royalist foraging parties back into the city itself, then looks at the Royalist attempts to delay the construction of encircling works. There’s an assault on the outskirts of Norchester and then a Royalist attempt to get a messenger through to the King to ask for aid. Finally, there’s the arrival of a Royalist relief force, the fall of Norchester and the attempted escape of the main Cavalier protagonists.    The same officers and units are used throughout the campaign, and it is hoped that the players will come to adopt and recognise them as their own or the enemy. 

The pack is designed to give players who don't have enough time to write their own scenarios a number of games that they can play with little or no preparation. All you have to do is print out the game and player briefings, set up the table according to the map, break out the figures and cards, and start the first turn. You don't even need to print the pack out in full: just the pages you need for the scenario you're going to play.

The games can be played either as a series of linked games or as a collection of one-off battles. To emphasise: each scenario is free standing and they do not have to be played in any particular order…but it is anticipated that players will play them in order as a campaign, keeping a running total of each sides’ score as they go along. The pack provides a Campaign Record Sheet as an easy way of doing so.

Finally, although specifically designed for FK&P, with a little work the scenarios can be adapted for any set of English Civil War/Renaissance rules: the basic elements of why, where and with what each side is fighting being largely common to all systems.

So whether you’re for the King or for Parliament, The Siege of Norchester gives you everything you need for many hours of joyful gaming!

You can order "The Siege of Norchester" from the BigRedBatShop or if you prefer (or if you are based in the EU) from Wargames Vault.

Monday 8 November 2021

IR Van Birkenfeld (I-59)


This is my second 1670's/80's era unit - Dutch IR Van Birkenfeld (I-59). The musketeers were painted by chum Shaun McTague, but I painted (!) the pike and command and highlighted everything. The bases are my FK&P06's, with integral magnets for storage and transit. I'll take a proper photo later- I'm going to have to make a flag up for them, unless anyone has any ideas what it looked like?

Postscript- I've found a partial flag in Hall from Triomphe 1693, against NLI38- I'll need to get chum Ian onto that!

I'm developing the impression that the majority of Dutch units started the 1670's in really bold colours (typically blues, but also reds), but by the late 1670's most had changed to shades of grey with coloured facings, possibly based on their original uniform colour or facing colours. This unit is in light grey as we know they were wearing by 1678- the socks should really be red, but I won't tell if you won't. ;-) I chose to put the officers in reversed colours. 

I'm going to concentrate on collecting units that were present at the battle of Seneffe in 1674, because it was the main field battle of the war and because we have images of some of the standards that the French captured. For this reason most of my units will be in the early, bold colours. I'd like to think I'll eventually end up with perhaps 16 battalions of Dutch foot, and nearly as many units of horse, and as many French, which would be enough for a 12-15' wide table at a show.

In other news, I'm doing The Plastic Crack Podcast from 8pm tonight. I'll be wittering on about writing rules and what I'm up to, in general, ie Renaissance, why it's been so slow coming and why its going to be so good.

Finally I've received the PDF version of The Siege of Norchester scenario book for For King and Parlaiment from Robert Avery (who also wrote the popular Marlowe to Maidenhythe scenario book). It represents a series of small battles fought around the fictional city of Norchester. It looks very entertaining and I intend to publish it on Friday.

Friday 5 November 2021

1st Foot Guards

Here's a WIP shot of my first battalion, the 1st Foot Guards ca. 1683 (slightly after the 1670 period that most interests me) armed with new-fangled snaphances.

This is my intended standard for the period - 28 foot on three stands - a smaller battalion than my ECW ones but they will work on a 20cm grid, a practical size for gaming. The third rank is somewhat superfluous, although it helps give an impression of mass, and make the unit look a little more like the period engravings than they would in two ranks.

The minis are North Star 1672. I don't know who the original painter was (he was good!) but chum Dave Millett very painted up a few more minis to match and I added some details to the minis, and Flags of War flags. I'll get these off to chum Ian next week, and we'll see how it looks, flocked!

Monday 1 November 2021

Franco-Dutch Interlude


Sorry for the lack of recent posts- I was busy with Partizan and then publishing the updated Ancient and Medieval army list books, which went out last Friday (if you've previously bought a copy, you should have received a copy or download link, if you haven't, please email me).

I've been on a brief vacation in the 1670s, painting British, French and Dutch for a new project. The above aren't yet finished but look great in the flesh as opposed to the unflattering photo. I'll take a better one when they are on bases in around a week's time. They are from the North Star 1672 range- absolutely lovely minis although the range is unfortunately not complete. I seem to have enough minis for 30 battalions, like this, and 20-odd squadrons, but they are by no means easy to paint- the innumerable buttons, and the hat bands, sashes and feathers take an eternity. Waagh!  At this stage I'm not looking to finish the armies but want to get three or four units on bases as a proof of concept, then I plan to get back to the Swiss that have been on hold over the summer.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

T'other Partizan 2021

Here are some images of Dave Lycett's wonderful 90mm Macedonians and Persians from our game at the recent Partizan show. All of the miniatures are from Expeditionary Force and painted by David. I wrote a scenario called "Gaugamesque" because of its similarity to Gaugamela, and we fought it out on a very austere table with no terrain. I posted some pics on Facebook on Sunday, but there are more here.

Scythed chariot, above and Persian foot, below- hand painted shields! All of the minis are of this quality.

Above, Dave converted some Schleich camels by adding a howdah and crew- Queen Semiramis would have loved these! Below, Darius' command chariot.

Above the Macedonian army (lovely Prodromoi in the foreground), and below the Persians.

Above, mid battle. We used To the Strongest!, of course. The Persians crushed the Macedonian left, and the Macedonians, the Persian left. 

Below Phil Garton, David and Matthew Hotston who helped us to play the game and as the Persians, eventually crushed Alexander (but not before we gave them a few scary moments!).

The obligatory picture of wargamer, pointing. ;-)

Myself, above and Dave, below!

These figures really are terrific. There's a surprising amount of variety in the poses, more than some 28mm ranges!

The elephants are also converted from Schleich models, they are huge and quite stunning. 

A huge thank you to Dave for bringing all his wonderful toys! Alas time was so short that I took no photos of any of the other games, and there certainly were some splendid ones at the show! It was a great show, kudos to the Newark Irregulars for scoffing in the face of Covid. It was great to see so many chums, after such a long interval, and oh so many miniatures!

Friday 1 October 2021

Cheesy Indians at the London GT!


Last Sunday I took my Classical Indians to the London GT tournament. This is a massive event, mostly attended by Warhammer players, but also the largest tournament gathering of historical players. Above at the Warhammer players. The historical players were amongst those in the mezzanine (below), our players are in the second photo.

We had an odd number of players so I stood down for the first round which meant I had time to take a few mediocre photos, which I present in no particular order. I took other photos later in the event.

Above Gary Stark, and below his Seleucids. The latter were an interesting blend of Foundry and Aventine- these worked together very well- something I shall have to try! A superb looking army. 

Below, there are a lot of elephants in my army, eight units for a total of sixteen models. Half of them are shown here. In one game I lost ten elephant models.

Above Steve Dover popped over for a chat. In the game I shot the Seleucids up with my Indians, killing their great leader (Antiochus Megas?) and generally gaining the upper hand (whilst losing a few elephants), although not winning outright. Below, the view from behind my lines.

Above, weedy Indian archers desperately try to pincushion the Seleucid pike before they get skewered in melee. Below Gary vs Dene Green (Lusitanians)

Above John Lavender (Principate Romans) vs. Colin Bright.

Above Steve Dover (I'm Spartacus!) vs. Andy Lyon (Gallic). Steve's army was composed of hordes of terrible-quality troops, but was very effective in his capable hands- he did some clever things with his generals.

Below Martin Sharp (Classical Indian) vs. Simon Purchon (Principate Roman).

Above Derek Pearson (Batavian Revolt Germans)- at the end of my final game. This was the only game of the six that I've played with the army where my plan (an arrow storm followed up by a big attack up the middle) actually payed off- in large part due to playing some fantastic lucky cards. An elephant trotted into the Batavian camp with minutes to spare.

Tim vs. Simon Purchon. Tim had a very interesting Galatian army, including lots of naked fanatics. Simon was using Principate Romans.

Above Martin Sharp (the other Classical Indian army) vs. Colin Bright (Middle Imperial Roman).

Above Andy Lyons (Gallic) and Dean Green (Lusitanian), and below Derek Pearson's Batavian Revolt vs. Gary Stark.

Tim has taken some photos which you can see on the forum  Tim's photos

Here are the final scores.

2Steve Dover525Third Servile War
3SimonMiller465Classical Indian
4MartinSharp450Classical Indian
6SimonPurchon438Principate Roman
7GaryStark297Selucid Imperial
8DerekPearson279Batavian Revolt German
9ColinBright259Middle Imperial Roman
10Dene Green255Lusitanian
11JohnLavender249Principate Roman

Congratulations to Tim Thompson and Steve for runner up! A huge thank you to the organisers of the event and Dave Ruddock from the BHGS, and to Tim who did the scoring. Above all, thanks to everyone who scoffed in the face of Covid, the fuel crisis and the Insulate Britain fanatics in order to participate!