Tuesday 30 August 2022

Infanterie Regiment van Birkenfeld


This is my first Dutch Regiment, van Birkenfeld. It was raised by Holland in 1672 and commanded from 1673 by Johann Karl, Prins Palzgraf von Birkenfeld (below). 

Johann started his military career as a cavalry commander in the army of a Palatine cousin, Charles Gustav, who, in 1654, became Charles X King of Sweden, and fought in the Denmark campaign. Later, he fought against the Turks in Hungary, before entering Dutch service. As a Colonel, he led his eponymous regiment at the Battle of Seneffe in 1674. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General of Foot in 1688.

Most of the 1672 minis came from an internet purchase, which I overpainted, but I did the officers from scratch. The early 1670's uniforms of this unit are unknown, so I went with pale grey coats, lined red with red breeches, as these were recorded as worn by the unit a few years later. The officers have coats in contrasting colours, which makes for a brave look (and which must have rendered them a not-inconspicuous target!). The bases are as ever my trusty FK&P6 bases, flocked by chum Ian and heavily tufted, dry brushed and matt varnished by me.

The flags were tricky- no one makes them and the design is not certain. However, there is an image of a fragment of a flag recorded for Birkenfeld in Triomphes that appears to depict the lion of Holland, so I copied and resized a Holland flag image from t'Internet, and then created a greyscale version for the colonel's flag (which make or may not be correct in the Dutch army at this time?). I then overpainted both flags which came out pretty well, I think. This is good as I will need to make other flags from scratch in this somewhat-too-obscure-for-flag-manufacturers period.

In other news, I'm finishing the last minis for the extended Roundway Down game at Colours in Newbury on Saturday 10th September, where several chums will join me to put on the game (shown below at Partizan). If you'd like to play, please email me.

Friday 26 August 2022

Régiment de Pfyffer

This is another regiment for my progressing-in-the-background 1672 project. This is Régiment de Pfyffer, circa 1672, a Swiss regiment in French service, painted for the Franco-Dutch War. The photo is clickable.

The minis are from the 1672 range, owned by Nick at North Star. The Swiss are some of the finest minis in this fine range. I painted the pike and most of the officers, the other minis were beautifully painted by Richard O'Connor. My friend Ian designed the flags; because of the way I folded them, half the detail (like the painting of the annunciation on the Colonel's flag) is, unfortunately, obscured. :-/  The wobbly-edged bases are my own trusty FK&P6's, with built-in magnets. Ian also flocked the base, which I tufted.

Above is the eponymous Colonel, that's one of my favourite sculpts, reminds me very much of the 1950's Disney Captain Hook. The colonel is on a separate base because I need some officers to command brigades. Battalions will typically be grouped in brigades of four (representing 8 real-world battalions), in two lines. 

I have five battalions finished, and perhaps 15 more mostly painted, but which I am struggling to get over the line, due to other commitments. I'll try to finish one a month over the winter, which will give me enough for a small battle in the spring.

Thursday 11 August 2022

Swiss army- first muster!

This is my Swiss army, forming up for its first outing at the weekend.

At the moment I have four decent pike blocks, a couple of units of halberdiers, six units of skirmishers and various command stands, heroes etc. 

And a bear.

A lot of the minis were painted by Shaun McTague, but David Imrie painted some fantastic ones with great faces, which I mostly used in the front ranks or as officers.

Here's a video of the army, where I talk about what's what and my plans for it.  

I'd say there are perhaps 170 points-worth of troops in To the Strongest! terms, and I can only take 140 to the tournament (Britcon in Nottingham, this weekend). I'll try to get some images of the army in action. It is going to be a very odd army to use- I won't have played a single practice game. I'm not sure whether I'll get any wins with it, but I'll have fun trying!

Monday 8 August 2022

Flockbox Monday

Usually chum Ian flocks my bases, but recently I've been basing so many things I have felt I should help to lighten his load, somewhat, and so have taken my trusty Flockbox out of storage.

The Flockbox is brilliant at some things- terrain, flat bases and skirmishers. It's much less effective at crowded bases with strong vertical elements, such as 28mm cavalry and pike. Ian does much better at these with his trusty Noch puffer bottle- he really gets between the legs. Luckily, this week's basing don't include anything difficult - the Swiss for this weekend's tournament and the baggage train for Roundway Down. I made the point of re-reading the instructions that come with the box which are very helpful. If you don't have one, and do a lot of basing, I'd recommend buying one, you can easily find it via Google.

Friday 5 August 2022

Cranking out crossbows

Next weekend I'll be at the Britcon tournament. I'll be taking a Swiss army along; my earlier Condottieri plan was cancelled for fear of an excess of enemy elephants, which they lack an answer to, other than dismounting on which point the rules were a little... opaque. The Swiss, on the other hand, don't care about elephants- in fact, they don't care much about anything very much at all! You plonk them on the table, facing straight ahead and they do, or die. A perfect army for a morning's gaming with a hangover.

A second feature of my Swiss is that they are mostly plastic and so sufficiently portable for a train journey. Although I luckily had just enough pikes and halberdiers, I still need generals, heroes and crossbowmen, so I'm busily basing up some minis from "the reserves". Most of these came from David Imrie's collection- I swapped him for them- they are lovely minis and should look brilliant when based. With any luck it'll give me the push I need to finish the rest of the Swiss army, which has been languishing in storage for far too long.