Thursday, 14 December 2017

Four down Six to go !

I present the first four Regiments of Foot completed with the additional standard bearer figure added to to the rear of the pike base and the third rank added to each musket wing. It's proven to be slightly easier than I had anticipated in terms of re positioning of the figures etc, requiring just a bit of making good on the filler. I also added four more figures to my unit of 'Commanded Shot' using code ECW25, a code I have not used before and again one of the later additions to the original range, the bases being dated 1980 rather than 1978. This unit is advancing with Firelock muskets.

Prince Ruperts Regiment of Foot carry their distinctive flags and again the pike block comprises a later figure code, these were bought painted from Ian Hind back in the Summer and are one of my favourite pike blocks featuring a couple of clever conversions such as the figure with his left arm in a sling and another with helmet falling from the back of his head.

Lord Brookes Regiment still require better flags as I hand painted these over red flags from Wargames Designs and it has not worked too well. Lord Brookes was an ardent Puritan and his foot were unique in wearing Purple coats, they served at Edgehill and the Storming of Brentford.

I'll continue to work on expanding my other six regiments over Christmas and hope in the New Year to present all Ten regiments at 40 figures each. On the cavalry front I have 200 painted Horse plus 24 mounted Dragoons, but I still want to add a unit from the 'Prince Ruperts Charge' codes, again later additions and slightly chunkier but not noticeably so if not mixed with the earlier codes. My aim is to do something 'Edgehill' themed in the New Year, possibly along the lines of the ' Naseby' project (see link at right), a travelling demo game that often sets up for public display at various locations. Well worth a look at the Naseby blog if you have seen it before, it's a very clever 15mm folding terrain board based on a pasting table!

Right then, here we go with the pics, I also set up some Horse in both Dutch and Swedish style representations, just nice to get some of them out of the boxes for a while. The Horse are a mixture of new castings and original 'vintage' castings, the bulk of those you see in these shots are those I bought ready painted and are clearly by the same skilled hand and painted in what I would describe as an earlier style, the classic 'Cavaliers and Roundheads'.

Prince Rupert's Regiment of Foot.

Lord Brookes.

Note the conversions, especially the arm in sling, as bought.

Commanded shot rushing forward with Firelocks.

Hinchliffe General on fancy horse! 

This guy is I'm pretty sure an old 30mm figure.

Royalist Horse drawn up in Swedish Style.

I left Ruperts Regt in the storage box! These are all old Hinchliffes bought ready painted in the Summer.

When I bought them they were covered in dust and dirt, this wonderfully bright paint job only emerged after a good clean.

And 3 deep Dutch Style.

Roundheads one and all.

A very solid looking body of Horse.

A fast trot! Note the crashing trooper conversion.

So just these Six regiments to go! All need an additional standard bearer on the pike base plus 8 additional musketeer/officer figures to bring them up to 40 figures, 3 deep.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

A fiddly job.... lining up the pike blocks!

By the weekend I should have both the Kings Lifeguard and Lord Brookes Regiment completely finished in the new format of 3 deep shot wings, its just down to a bit of basing. One of the fiddliest bits of every unit is setting up the pike and command bases, especially when using the pike forward/up codes ECW1 & ECW2. I like to use 4 x ECW1 as the front rank and 8 x ECW2 as the second and third ranks, this gives the appearance of a pike block in the action of forwarding the pikes ('Charge Ye Pike'). The wire pikes are those supplied with the figures, although I cut them all down to a standard 80mm length, which looks about right to me. From regiment number 1-(and Brookes is number 10 ) I decided the easiest way to base the blocks was to stick them down on card in fours, this enabled me to get the filler onto the bases much more easily, and then one all glued down in place on the MDF its a simple matter of touching up here and there. The filler/grit/glue mix I use is now pre-coloured by adding Medium Olive Green paint, once dry this is then drybrushed with Lemon Yellow.

Pikes are glued to figures first and then carefully placed in position on the card, a bit of patience is required here to get all the pikes correctly lined up. I use gel superglue for all of these jobs.

In addition to adding a third rank to all musket wings I have also decided to add a second standard bearer to the rear of each pike block! This is going to involve a little bit of work to the rear all the completed  pike blocks, but the beauty of using filler is that its fairly easy to cut out the rear command rank with a scalpel, add the extra figure and then make good the filler around them. Once again it will be worth it as the visual appeal of the second flag is an improvement. This will also standardise all regiments at 40 figures strong.

So far so good then, pics will follow at the weekend of the first two fully finished units and I'll work through the rest over Christmas and New Year. All that remains now is to address the issue of the Horse ...... Dutch Style, Swedish Style, 6 ranks deep, 3 ranks deep, now how do I represent that? I'm thinking 2 deep for Swedish Style and 3 deep for Dutch style, certainly my units are large enough at 12 to 18 figures in size.

Musket bases require drybrushing with yellow.


First a dry run for position.

The wire pikes will also get a final touch up.

The once happy stick them to the card bases.

Ready for texturing, second standard bearer will be added.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Biting the bullet!

Well, the die has been cast and I now have on order from Ian Hind another 60 odd musketeers 'at present' together with additional officers to create a third rank for all of my musket blocks. Going to involve a fair bit of painting - a labour of love - in order to bring my 10 Regiments of Foot to a standard 12 pikes, 24 muskets plus command figures, but I know it will be worth it and should be finished before the New Year.

Below you can see the footprint of how things will look, musketeers will be 4 ranks wide and 3 files deep, an officer figure will be included in each rear rank of each wing. I will start with Lord Brookes Regiment as they are currently on the painting bench, then work through the rest one at a time, re-basing where necessary. Bases on order from the excellent Tony Barr at East Riding Miniatures as usual.

I also have a couple of wagons on order, the lovely Hinchliffe horse drawn mortar carrier model and powder wagon.

While I'm waiting for the pikemen for Lord Brookes regiment to arrive hopefully later today I'm going to enjoy myself and paint the Essex Miniatures model of King Charles I you see below. I already have a nice Hinchliffe painted horse ready for him as the Essex horses are somewhat large and chunky, although beautiful castings. He is just so much more recognisable as the King compared to the old Hinchliffe version and I have to say I'll probably do Cromwell too next, another brilliant sculpt, with literally warts and all.

The WRG ECW playsheets I have been working on are about done finally, I just need to work out how to make them available as a PDF here for anybody who wishes to download.

Finally, 'Big Andy' he of Old Glory UK passed on some further information regarding the image in my last post showing the Peter Gilder Kings Lifeguard unit. Andy purchased the unit along with others from Doug C of 'Unfashionably Shiny' blog, who I believe obtained them from the Wargames Holiday Centre some time back. Andy tells me that he added the third rank of musketeers you see himself, and also said the original unit may well have been painted by Tony Runkee not Peter Gilder . Certainly Tony - who had worked with Frank Hinchliffe and Peter Gilder for many years -  did a lot of painting for PG of the ECW collection and the French/Italian Wars, who can forget those wonderful plumed Gendarmes that graced the pages of early wargaming magazines? I remember being stunned by the quality of the painting when I first saw them back in the early Eighties and they still look fantastic to this day.

Tony Runkee's beautiful Hinchliffe Gendarmes, now in the collection of Robbie Rodiss. Painted 35 years ago!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Reproducing ECW infantry formations.

As I continue to paint through Regiment of Foot number Ten I have been pondering the question of what constitutes an accurate reproduction of period formation. Pleased as I am with the Kings Lifeguard, there is no question looking at the photos in the previous post that the depth of the pike block should be matched by the depth of the musket wings if they are to look like contemporary illustrations such as the famous 'Naseby' image (below).

It has started to bother me that my pike blocks are three figures deep, plus an additional rear command rank, while my musket wings are just two deep. This was discussed in a couple of comments on the last post, 'Big Andy' pointing out that he thought it odd that Peter Gilders original Kings Lifeguard - which he now owns - had the deep pike block and shallow musket wings, and suggested this was because that's the way WRG rules are set up, you get a melee bonus for additional pike ranks 'Each supporting rank of pikes 2nd to 6th +1' while musketeers can only fire the first two ranks. Thus, if I was to add a third rank of muskets, the units would appear more historically accurate but there would be no advantage in terms of game play, something of a dilemma given the number of additional figures I would need to paint!

A quick Google search for Andy's 'Gilder' unit produced this wonderful image, and it actually shows the musketeers deployed three deep! There is no doubt in my mind that this looks far better than my own shallow musket wings.

Note the additional rank of musketeers at 'present'. Beautifully painted by Peter Gilder himself in 1978?

So what to do then? Rob suggested in a comment that by simply doubling up my musket bases for the King's Guard it would produce a far more authentic look, and I agree with this, however, my own inclination is to add a third rank to all of my musket bases to give depth and at the same time to standardise the muskets wings at 3 ranks of 4 figures per wing. I would need to re-base some of the musketeer bases to make this work and to paint approximately 60 additional musketeers in the 'present' pose. What I would end up with after a couple of weeks intensive painting work would be 10 Regiments of Foot of 12 pike and 24 muskets, plus command figures, 39/40 figures per unit! The main thing is that they would look not only impressive in terms of numbers but much more like the contemporary engravings.

As suggested by Rob, looks much better, but I think just 3 ranks of 4 muskets will do the job.

Does look so much more like the engravings/ woodcuts with the massed Battalia drawn up in equal depth.

Lord Brooke's Regiment will be the first to get this treatment, just 6 musketeers painted so far but I have all the figures for the full unit on order from Ian Hind. I'll order all of the additional musketeers I will need and then get stuck in to re working the other units.

Psychedelic Warlords - an old Hawkwind favourite of mine! Lord Brooke's Purplecoats.

On a side note I painted the Essex Command figure that I mounted on a Hinchliffe Horse and he really does scale in rather well with my Hinchliffes, slightly larger face but nothing that will bother me so I might do a few more down the line.

I would appreciate any comments/opinions on the above formation issue?