Sunday, 23 October 2016

One nineteenth of the way there!...

Hi all

Quick post this time - and apologies for the poor quality of the pictures! The next two figures for my Sudan project have rolled off the production line - more Bija tribe warriors. This time there's a fellow with spear and throwing stick, then he's followed by a more well-to-do chap in a triangle pattern hemmed jibbeh.

As usual (so far for this project!), they are Perry plastics, completed yesterday and today. Next time, I'll have a more detailed post about my force compositions for my two 'Field Forces' for TMWWBK, and the next figures for the project. Hopefully the pics will be better as well!

The warrior with the throwing stick was the first one done...

...followed by the chap with the rather dashing jibbeh!

As for the title of the post - well, with these first four done, then that's 1/19th of the way to getting my Mahdist army done!

Just keep painting, just keep painting....

'Til next time!


Thursday, 20 October 2016

All of a Sudan...'the sun's gorn to 'is 'ead!'

Sooooo...... it's been a while! But with the nights drawing in, and more painting time, comes a whiff of a new project. My ECW Donnybrook project has come to a natural break (although I'll post more about it over the coming months), and thoughts turn to (wargaming) pastures new.

Over the last month, I've meandered around with a few ideas and rules sets clunking about in the old grey matter - anything from Dark Ages and Dux Bellorum, to AWI using the new Sharp Practice rules, to a Crecy-era game using Lion Rampant. However, the release of Dan Mersey's The Men who would be Kings (TMWWBK) has proved to be the catalyst I needed, and I'm heading off to sunnier climes and The Sudan!

So to start off with, a little light reading - a copy of TMWWBK picked up from the Derby World Wargames show at the start of the month - a bargain from Wargames Foundry at £9! Then a copy of Go Strong into the Desert by Lt. Col. Mike Snook - well worth a read! Finally (for now), Blood on the Nile, the Warlord Games Black Powder supplement for the Mahdist Wars in the Sudan.

In terms of figures, then the Perry Miniatures range for the period 1881-1885 seems to be the best one around at the moment, and will have everything I'll require. A few months ago, I picked up a box of their plastic Mahdist infantry, more out of curiosity than need, and painted a test figure up. Anyway, now that I plan to build up two 'field forces' for TMWWBK, then these will do very nicely. TMWWBK allows figures to be based up in small groups or individually, but I quite like the look of the single figure bases I created for my ECW Donnybrook project, so that's going to be the way forward. The release of the Perry Plastic British infantry for this period will also help out.

The first chap I painted is on the right...

...with the second chap in his plainly decorated jibbeh on the left.
So, what's the plan? Well, two forces worth 24 points for TMWWBK - one Mahdist and one British. Along with this, I'll be making some new terrain - I don't have any desert-like terrain boards at all, so I'll be starting from scratch with these, and getting hold of some Middle Eastern real estate (ie. buildings!) No doubt I'll throw in some other bits and bobs, like civilians, and 'fluff' (market stalls, trees and vegetation, vignettes, and so forth), and do a whole load of play testing. I want to try and get this all done by the start of the spring, so I've a proper job on. However, I do like a challenge! Oh, yes, and try and blog about it as well....... now that will  be something to marvel at!

See you soon, as I 'go strong into the desert'!

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Summer days...

Well, the post-Partizan ‘slump’ in production and engagement with the hobby predictably happened – all the energy that one throws into a project, the big day, and then a lull – and the blog and painting took a back seat over June. However, July has proved to be quietly productive, and after a short write-up, I’ll let the pictures do the talking!
The completed 4 point Scots Covenanter Faction - Hero, characters and shaken markers included

The end of June and the early part of July saw a bit of a watershed moment – I managed to finish off the last two figures of my planned Scots Covenanter Musket, which gave me my completed 4 point basic Covenanter Faction. I could now put 2 points worth of ‘trained’ shot, 1 point of ‘trained’ pike, and 1 point of ‘elite’ dragoons onto the table, with their Faction Leader ‘Hero’ character. This was the original plan of some (?)2 years ago, and on the 7th of July I breathed a massive sigh of relief when I added the static grass and scenic materials to the last musketeer’s base. Job done!

The Infantry, with the Saltire leading the way, sergeants marshalling the rear

A bird's-eye view

Captain Drummond's Company - these chaps have had their final two figures added this month

Close up of the unit - worth 1 point in Donnybrook  - a unit of regular musket

The rear of the unit - the tartan's been a real pain, but worth the effort

Mcleod's Company - the next 'point'. These chaps have slightly different coloured coats to distinguish them from Drummond's company

Hodden coats of the Scots Government troops
A rear view. The movement trays are from Warbases, and help moving the figures around. If the shot are on these trays this means that they are operating in close order, and gain an advantage in shooting. The edges also define the 'shooting corridor'

Mackintosh's pike - a mixture of coat colours here, reflecting the musket unit coats as well. These are the third point. I could theoretically split this unit in half so that I have two small Scottish regiments of 12 figures each when combined with the musketeers, when using different rules.

The pike about to charge.... I love the chap second from the left in the front rank, shouting battle cries...

Gordon's Dragoons - only 3 figures strong, these are worth 1 point in Donnybrook, as they are 'Elite'. Here are the mounted and dismounted versions, horse holder 'marker' and shaken marker.

Close up of the Dragoons

The dismounted marker

Peeping over the top...

Since then, I’ve steadily added to the faction, in terms of characters. I already had an ensign for my Scots, but I’d planned to have four characters for my factions (alongside my heroes), one for each ‘points worth’ of troops. So, with two units of shot, two sergeants seemed appropriate, to help them reload quicker, and I also had a rather lovely Perry Miniatures piper to paint up as well, who will help out with morale checks. I’ve now got these completed as well – the last sergeant was done on the 27th of July, and the whole faction has now been completed to its original plan! There are moves afoot to add another 2 points worth of troops and characters to bring it up to a 6 point faction, but for now I’m concentrating on getting my New Model Army faction finished off.
Tam McLeod and his 'boys'... Hero and characters of the faction

Gordon Blair..... dour but slippery...... a real mixture of inspiration in his name...
Close up of Sergeant Blair - a Perry Miniature figure. He will sergeant for Drummond's company of shot.

Roy Armstrong - sergeant of McLeod's company of shot.

Another Perry figure - his plaid is more greenish than shown in the daylight.

Hamish McLeod the piper.... who's just ...loud...

Another Perry figure - I imagine him to be a relative of Tam, and part of the McLeod clan

I've not really done any particular tartans - just 'homespun' patterns with muted colours. I tried something a little different here, and It's worked out well.

Jamie the Ensign. A hand painted flag that was based on real examples.
Another Perry Figure, one of many drawn from their English Civil War range/Scottish line.
On that front – there’s success as well. Last night saw me complete my NMA Ensign, Nehemiah Cotton. His colours have been finished off for a while, and it was just him that needed some work doing to get him done, but the holidays and fine weather have helped. Just two more character figures for the NMA faction now, and then they will also be completed.
Nehemiah Cotton, with his activation card.

A close-up of Ensign Cotton. This flag, with one 'wavy 'pile' on it, represents the Major's colours.

A view from the rear - realistically he could portray an ensign from many regiments of the era.

The fine weather has also allowed me to get outside and take some pics of the completed Scots faction, and some battle action. I’m staggered at how much more detail one can pick out in real daylight – a no-brainer really – but as it’s the first time I’ve done it, it’s really blown me away! The hedge next to the front lawn really adds to the backdrop of a foreboding Scottish wood, so I’m really pleased with how these photos have come out. More of this I think in the future, weather depending!

'Forward!!! For Christ, Crown and the Covenant!!'

Hodden grey and Venice red clash somewhere in Scotland

A view along the battle lines..

Thomas Playwell the fifer keeps spirits up...

'Cast about and make ready!...'

In the background and throughout these pictures are my new dry-stone walls, another product of a rather positive July. I’ve followed the pattern of my previous efforts in creating and enhancing commercially bought walls – stripping off the static grass and glue by soaking them in water, spraying them black, drybrushing up the stonework, adding sand and PVA texture to the bases, painting this basework, and adding more static grass and scenic materials to the bases and walls. Rather a faff perhaps, and time-intensive, but definitely worthwhile. I’ve now got 15 wall lengths which should be enough…..for now.

The next few days should see me complete my other NMA characters, then I’ll add to my civilians. The Other Partizan is in three weeks, on the 21st of August, and the RAWGamers are putting on ‘A Donnybrook near Dunbar’ as a participation game. All these chaps (and hopefully more) will get a run out – for the last time! After that show, I’ll be starting on a new game and era – and hopefully there’ll be no ‘Post-Partizan Slump’!

As always, thanks for looking and the continued support and kind comments here and elsewhere on other forums. ‘Til next time! Ka-boom!!!!
'At the scum to the fore....Give...your...... fire!'




Monday, 23 May 2016

Partizan 2016

Yesterday saw the RAWgamers putting in an appearance at the new-look Partizan show, held for the first time at the Newark Showground. Having attended the show at Kelham Hall for many a year, I was intrigued as to how the new venue would work. The old-world character and atmosphere of Kelham has, of course, sadly gone, only to be replaced by......well, light! And air, and openness, and space and everybody all in one place. Judging by feedback elsewhere on t'interweb today, the move has proved to be a success, with increased footfall, people staying longer and really positive comments. Whether this is just a first-time 'boost' remains to be seen, but if this is the future, I'm all for it. A massive well done to Laurence, Richard and the rest of the 'Partizan/Irregulars/Newark' team, and thank you so much!
Before the mayhem started...

On to the day. 'Somewhere in Scotland, 1650' made an appearance once again, this time in an enhanced format, with more figures (and sheep), and drew quite a few favourable comments. People popped by, and said hello, asking questions about the rules, terrain and figures. At one point Barry Hilton and Dave O'Brien dropped in - we just about resisted the temptation to ask them for a rules clarification! Dave's put some pics up on the League of Augsburg Fighting Talk Forum,, and they both said some very kind words about the game - cheers everybody! We had one chap who seemed very interested in Donnybrook as a set of rules, so hopefully we've spread the message, and judging by the laughter springing from the table, we certainly enjoyed ourselves. No, wait, correction......we had a blast!!!! Some pics, in no particular order...

New Model Army shot advance over the bridge...finally!!!
The Covenanter dragoons spur into action...
Plundering the chickens - but they're tough bu@*ers!
Formed up for a volley - the chap at the back must be posing for the camera...
Major Hawkins leads his men on...
The New Model Army Musket have a target rich environment...
General fun and hilarity...
Tam McLeod makes a last stand...
The Scots pike advance after an 'epic' journey to get over the ford
....moments later, only 3 survived after a crushing volley from the redcoats
We managed to cram in 5 games, in 6 hours, with a 3-2 score line to the Covenanters versus the New Model Army. We used the 'Events' card for the first time, and it created some amazing moments, including unforeseen bogs, a desperate attack on some vicious chickens, a building setting on fire (three times! I'd check the insurance policy on that barn!), a Hero quitting the field, death or glory moments of one-man attacks on formed musketeers, some great use of the 'shadow' ploy (where you're allowed to look at and re-arrange the next six cards in the play deck in your favour), a feral creature - we used a highland cow - taking down one NMA pikeman, and quite a few passing showers of rain! Absolutely brilliant fun.

A massive thanks to all the usual gang - in no particular order, John, Alex, Luke, Neil, Jez and lastly, but by no means least, my card-shuffling wonder that is my wife Sam! Couldn't do it without you! I'm going to finish this project off over the next few months, and it will have a final run out at the 'Other Partizan' in August, then we'll be looking at something new. Thanks for the continuing support, and see you soon with more updates!