Friday 29 December 2023

Look back on 2023

In an effort to boost my enthusiasm for the hobby I did a bit of a look back over this year. Overall on the painting front, it is the best year I have had since keeping records and by some margin. 2,581 against a previous best of 1,454 in 2013. Those 80 figure Epic battalions have certainly helped as can be seen in the breakdown, with 15mm the standout and a welcome return to probably my favourite scale.

6mm foot - 20

6mm vehicles - 12

10mm scenic/building - 12

15mm artillery - 9

15mm foot - 1947

15mm vehicles - 20

15mm mounted - 253

15mm scenic/building - 30

28mm artillery - 3

28mm foot - 216

28mm monster - 8

28mm mounted - 9

28mm scenic/building - 33

28mm vehicles - 9

So what did I paint? well it can be easily broken down into 3 distinct periods. At the start of the year I was well into my 28mm Back of Beyond and Russian Civil war collections, with a couple of big games at the club. I also interspersed these with the first 15mm in a Trojan War collection inspired by the figures from Museum miniatures. Then in July I switched over to 15mm 40k figures, courtesy of Dave and his 3d printer.

From August though my attention moved onto the English Civil War and Warlords epic scale figures. I've spent the last 4 months of the year exclusively painting up this collection. I also then had the idea of a display game at my local show for next year, The Marston Moor project was born and I'm about 75% of the way through the required figures.

So what are the plans for 2024, well more English Civil war, in particular the Scots Covenanters to Complete Marston Moor. I also have a hankering on some smaller scale WW2, Mitch has the O Group rules, they look a decent set and I have ideas for battles in North Africa. After that I have no plans, nothing new has grabbed my attention, I'll probably concentrate on expanding existing collections such as the Trojan War. No doubt attendance at one of the shows will inspire me to do something new. In the meantime I just need to get Simon's figures off the painting table and get back to stuff for me.

No doubt this will be the last post of the year, so wishing you all a Happy New Year and all the best for 2024.

Sunday 24 December 2023

Sunday 17 December 2023

Project Update

It has been a slow month trying to get anything done for the Marston Moor Project. Things have not been helped by a new job, which requires extra travel, the dark nights and trying to get Simon's figures done. Speaking of Simon's figures, I did get 2 more infantry regiments done and another is nearing completion. So only another 5 to do after this.

For my own project I did manage to complete the last 2 resin officers, so I can at least scratch them off the list.

Luckily I managed to pick up a bundle of painted figures from EBAy for a very reasonable price. They are from a seller I've bought from before, they match in well and just needed their bases done to match. So far I've done 4 regiments of horse, 3 officers and some commanded shotte. The first 2 regiments will actually complete Rupert's cavalry. While the commanded shotte, leaves just one more unit to do.

The other 2 regiments will be used for the Eastern Association to help Mitch replace the 2 regiments that he had damaged. That leaves him just 3 more to do.

There were also 3 officers which all had red sashes, I did think to re-paint them orange but decided to leave them as is for the Royalists.

So how is the project going so far? well here is a bit of a breakdown


                                                        Required    Completed

Horse and Dragoons                        18                    18

Pike/Shotte + Cmd. Shotte               21                    14       

Artllery                                               5                       5

Officers                                              13                     13   


                                                        Required    Completed

Horse and Dragoons                        17                    14

Pike/Shotte + Cmd. Shotte              13                    11       

Artllery                                              0                      0

Officers                                             9                       9           

 Scots Covenanters

                                                        Required    Completed

Horse and Dragoons                        7                     2

Pike/Shotte + Cmd. Shotte              12                   1       

Artllery                                              2                     2

Officers                                             6                      1           

So as can be seen the Royalist are just about done, just need the last 6 Pike and Shotte regiments and a commanded shotte to be done. Likewise the Parlaimentarians just need 3 horse regiments and a couple of units of commanded shotte. The bulk of the progress that's required is on the Covenanters. At least I now have all the figures that I need to complete them. I also have a few more buildings from Battlescene to complete the 2 villages and then a lot more hedges will be required, probably double what I have currently done. It's not an insurmountable challenge, but my enthusiasm is waning, I may take a little break in January before coming back to this project as I have until September to get everything done.            

Sunday 26 November 2023

A slight interruption

So a slight interruption to my plans for Marston Moor. A friend of one of the club members asked if I could paint up some of his epic ECW stuff as due to a failing eyesight and other health conditions, he would be unable to do them. At first I thought about refusing as I didn't want to burn myself out painting epic stuff. However as the Marston Moor has reached a good juncture, in that I just need to work predominantly on the Covenanters. I decided, why not. So figures were dispatched on to me with a rough outline of which regiments he wanted done, 12 in total. I just wish he hadn't given them a black undercoat. It's been years since I have, and I much prefer a brown undercoat for the epic stuff.

So a couple of weeks in and the 1st four regiments are done, at least I haven't had to base them as Simon wants to do that and add the flags. I also have a 5th regiment nearing completion. To get around the black undercoat I gave each sprue a drybrush of chocolate brown. Definitely helps with the muskets and pike. So regiments bagged up and waiting for the rest to be done.

I haven't been totally idle on the Marston Moor project. I picked up 3 more buildings from Battlescale. A 2-storey timber framed building and two wood cottages. I think the cottages are more suitable for ACW but they will mix well in a rural setting.

I've also prepped a Covenanter dragoon regiment and a couple more mounted officers that I will slip in between painting stuff for Simon.

Friday 17 November 2023

A battle to bring the floor down!

So last night the ECW collection got its first run out. 7 players, lots of troops and a collapsing floor. With the Royalists having slightly more troops, they were commanded by myself, Sean, Mitch and Thom. The traiterous Parlaimentarians and Scots were commanded by Neil G, Neil B and Robbo.  It was also a chance to dust down and familiarise with the rules. I also made a few adaptians, changing the order cards to brigades and not individual units, we had around 50+ plus units on the table. I don't have a blow by blow account as unfortunately the game was brought to an abrupt close as after a loud crack came from one of the floor joists (The floor of the room is raised by about 18 inches) we suddenly had a number of very loose floorboards on the Royalist side of the table which kind of made it rather unsafe. Thankfully the guys who run the  building are in today to make repairs.

Royalist cavalry getting ready

Royalist infantry occupy the village of Perky Bottom

Langdale's cavalry showing Rupert how it is done

Advancing Parlaimentarians

Parlaiment bring forward their horse

The horse clash on the left wing

Infantry lines closing in

During the game many of the Royalist commanders were dumbfounded when Rupert abandoned the right wing and went on a tour of the battlefield looking for Cromwell. Obviously some slight needed to be avenged. The issue was he took 3 regiments of veteran horse with him. This left Langdale holding the right flank, who in true Royalist fashion, charged straight into the enemy. At least he had some support from Vaughan, but not enough to exploit his advantage over Copley's horse.

In the Centre The Royalist infantry brigades struggled to get forward. With the Parlaimentarians lining the hedge and showing no urgency to advance, both sides saw little action. On the Royalist left wing, movement early on was hampered by a couple of missing cards in the maneuver deck ( 1 on each side). The cavalry though both eventually got stuck in. With Byron leading off he clashed head on into Fairfax. This was an even contest with neither side really gaining an advantage until Fairfax himself was unhorsed. The timely arrival of Cromwell and his brigade of horse preventing Byron and Goring in support exploiting the gains.

Overall a good run out of the rules, shame we had to end early though. The players all seemed to enjoy it. Now to arrange a new game. One advantage though was I gained a good idea of table size for Marston Moor. We used 8ft by 4ft and still need to add another 18 infantry regiments and 11 cavalry regiments. I reckon 10ft will suffice.

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Mustering for battle and some extras

So in preparation for tomorrow's game I went down to the club tonight to set up the table and get the troops out ready for the game. Will save some time tomorrow night. I also need some more hedges. The game will be a simple affair, a straight up fight to test the rules. I've made some changes to activation, using brigades instead of individual units. Should help speed up the game.

The Royalist will have slightly more troops split into 8 brigades, whereas the Parlaimentarians will have 7 commands. Mitch will be bringing along 2 commands worth of infantry to bolster their numbers.

Royalists -Vaughan, Rupert, Byron and Tillier

Royalists - Goring and Langdale

Royalists - Mackworth and Kirkbride

Parliament - Fairfax and Copley 

Parlaiment - Cromwell and Leslie

Parlaiment - Ashton, Crawford and Pickering, both awaiting their troops

The players will be randomly assigned their commands tomorrow night. On the painting front I did manage to muster out some extra troops for the game. Like the last batch I need to finish the bases when my static grass arrives. First up is three more commanders from the resin sets.

Then there were a couple of field guns, one each from Warlord and Peter Pig. I mixed the crews together to allow both guns to be fielded for the Covenanters. I also completed the first regiment of Scots Covenanters. So much better when you don't have the individual pikemen to paintup. The flags are from Wargames designs.

Looking forward to the game now.

Saturday 11 November 2023

First Covenanters and Buildings

Just a quick post as I managed to get a few more things completed this morning. First up is the first of the Covenanters I need, 2 regiments of Harquebusiers. Not lancers this time, though the other 4 regiments I need will be when they get done. The figures are all from Alternative armies and 1 officer from Peter Pig. Went for a quite uniform approach and buff jackets instead of breastplates.

The other addition was a mounted officer from the new Plastic sprue and a pair of light guns from Peter Pig. I just need some static grass to arrive to complete the bases.

I also decided to go with 10mm buildings for this project. I always find going done a scale helps villages and towns actually look like one and not just a couple of buildings. I went with the Battlescale range sold by Pendraken miniatures. They are lovely models and painted up in no time at all. I ordered a mix of stone and timber framed buildings to represent the villages of Tockwith and Long Marston on the flanks of the battlefield. The advantge of these type a buildings is I can use them for a number of periods.

Mitch is also looking into a 3d printing a few more just to add a bit of variety. And the good news is the collection all gets to be used at the club on Thursday for their first game and a chance to try out the rules.

Friday 10 November 2023

Rupert's horse and foot

Finally managed to get this lot based up. 2 more regiments of horse for Ruperts' Royalists. The figures are a mix of Alternative Armies and Warlord plastics. The flags are from Wargames Designs.

These bring me up to 7 regiments, so just 2 more to do, to complete Rupert's mounted contingent. Now originally Mitch and Neil B were sharing Rupert's infantry between them, 5 regiments each. Neil B though has backed out as he can no longer commit as he has other projects on the go. This would leave us 5 regiments of foot short. Luckily though I managed to pick up 3 ready painted regiments on EBay for a very reasonable price, saves a bit of time in painting them myself when I have the Covenanters on the horizon. 

They just required some re-basing to match the rest of the collection. I also added some spare random flags I had left over from Wargames Design. At some point I'll need to pick up a couple of sprues for the remaining 2 regiments.

Thursday 2 November 2023

Dragoons and Commanders

Just a quick post as due to the incessant rain in North East England (currently a yellow warning) painting has stalled as getting to the shed involves a bit of plodging across the water logged garden. I also can't undercoat anything as the damp is badly effecting the aerosol undercoat. 

The Dragoons and commanders were actually painted last week, it's taken 4 days just to get the bases done. So here they are. The dragoons are spare and can be used for either side. Their blue coats remind me if ACW cavalry.

The commanders are three more of the resin figures from Warlord. This time Rupert, Cromwell and Waller.

Hopefully if the rain eases for the weekend I may get 2 more cavalry regiments done for Rupert. I've also been acquiring sprue to fulfill the Covenanter contingent. So far I managed to get my hands on 9 of the 12 required. 5 of which were donated freely by club members.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Royalist Dragoons

Another unit I can add to the completed pile is some dragoons for Rupert's Royalists. I went for Green coats with yellow cuffs for these. The mounted troopers are mainly Warlord plastics, 1 trooper is from Alternative armies. The dismounted troopers are a mix of warlord plastics and Peter pig.

I have nearly finished a second unit of these, but I've just realised that when I adjusted the figure ratio for the mounted troops, they will not be required for Marston Moor. Still they'll be fine for club games and may even stand in for Parlaimentarians if Mitch doesn't get his completed.

In other news I finally picked up my first sprue of the Scots covenanters from Wargames Illustrated. I have a further 3 sprues on their way after I picked them up on EBay. For the two villages I have decided to go for 10mm buildings and have ordered my first batch from Pendrakens Battlescale range.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Light guns and Commanded Shotte

Despite progress beginning to slow this week, I did manage to get the bases of some light guns completed. I have deliberately left these as fairly generic. That way I can use them for either side. They are just the light guns that come with the cavalry sprue.

The other completed work is a unit of commanded shotte for Rupert's Royalists. For these I went with red coats, purely to add a little colour to the army. The figures for these are all plastic from Warlord games. They seem to have come out ok.

On the painting table are a couple of units of dragoons. Made a good start on one of the units and hope to get it finished for the weekend. I've also ordered a copy of Wargames Illustrated to get my hands on one of the plastic sprues of Scots Covenanters. I will just need another 11 for the project.

Friday 20 October 2023

More Cavalry done

I managed to get around to completing the last 2 regiments I required for the Northern Association. Bringing them up to the required strength of 9 regiments for Marston Moor. It also means that is a second army completed for the Marston Moor project. 

Both of these regiments are put together with the figures from Alternative Armies. They are all, except 1, a part of their latest releases. There are 3 different troopers and a command set. Unfortunately they do not produce a cornet figure yet. I would also like to see a few figures in the soft hats to mix in for more variety.

The next regiment I completed was Rupert's Lifeguard. These are a mixed batch of figures. I will in future when Steelfist Miniatures are back in production pick up one of their lifeguard sets as they look rather spiffing in their fancy armour and headger. But these will do for now.

The last 2 figures I completed were 1 each from the Commanders sets. On the left is Sir Thomas Fairfax, while on the right is Charles I, think I will actually use him as the Marquis of Newcastle. These are nice castings and paint up really well.

I now have 3 light artillery pieces waiting for their bases to be completed. I've also prepped up some commanded shotte and Dragoons for Rupert's royalists.