Wargaming the English Civil War, American War of Independence and Sudanese campaigns in 28mm

Friday, 17 December 2010


I've just textured the Marines' bases and thought I'd do a quick update. It took me about half an hour to texture all the bases with tile grout which I didn't think was too bad considering I'd never done it before! I think they're looking good so far and can't wait for them to dry so I can crack on with the painting. It takes around 24 hours for the grout to dry hard so I've got a bit of time to wait but once dry, I will make sure all parts of the model are painted black before dry brushing some grey onto the areas I want to be black/dark (guns, flak jackets, webbing, etc) before focussing on the flesh and camo.

This is the black tile grout I bought on the recommendation of David Imrie (Saxon Dog). He didn't recommend this specific brand, merely that it be black tile grout. I picked up this large tub from B&Q for around £10 which should last me a long time! I hope the fact it's 'waterproof' doesn't affect the glueing of sand and dry-brushing of the base later in the process.

This is the tool I used to apply the grout. It is part of the modelling tool kit sold by Wargames Foundry. I used the larger 'spoon' end to pick up a pea-sized amount of grout and then spread it on the base. I used the pointy end to add some texture or spread it around between the legs where necessary.

This is a close up of the 1st Squad Sergeant showing the basing and fantastic detail put into every Peter Pig model. Once the model is fully painted, patches of fine sand will be glued onto the base and then dry brushed with various colours. Once this is dry, static grass and silflor tufts will be applied to bring the base and the model to life.


As part of my Ambush Alley/modern project I want the main Western force to be the Americans (not sure which period/uniforms to go for yet). I have quite a large number of figures and more than enough to create an entire platoon. The figures below represent the 1st Squad of that platoon which is made up of Fire Team Alpha, Bravo and Charlie and a Sergeant (top). 1st Squad will be mounted in three Humvees which I'm currently waiting on Irishserb to deliver.

I've realised it's cheaper to mount the 15mm figures on real money as opposed to wood or metal washers so I've based these on English pennies and undercoated them in black (this needs a little bit of touching up in some areas). I also plan to use a black putty filler on the bases before I begin to paint the marines.

The keen eyed of you will notice that I've added another two figures and they are the two AT4 gunners at the front. As this Squad is large enough to game with when finished, I wanted a few heavy weapons to be able to be interchanged into various fire-teams based on the scenario.

Ambush Alley allows each player to only field a handful of troops for each game which makes it perfect for a non-prolific painter like myself! So, my primary aim is to finish these Americans and their mounts before finishing off the technicals and a rebel force to wage war against!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

New project - 15mm Moderns

Just thought I'd update you on a new project I'm working on. I picked up a few packs of Peter Pig 15mm moderns a couple of weeks ago and am going to have a crack at painting them up. I've never painted anything smaller than 28mm before so this could be interesting! However, if all goes well, it could open up a whole new world of wargamming and finally allow me to recreate larger engagements such as the American Civil War and Napoleonic conflicts on a scale large enough to do justice to the immense nature of the conflicts.

Here are a few Toyota 'technicals' which I plan to play around with and do a bit of conversion on.

Here's the current WIP of the cars in the 'shop' as the Americans would say! Glue drying and 'green stuff' setting are just some of the things that can be seen in this pic. I've converted the car on the right to have a different gunner on the back and have changed the angle of the MG to suit the figure. The car on the left will have a number of troops mounted in the back hitching a ride and firing as they go. It should be an exciting project and one which can include a lot of character and personality.

After these are completed, I'll work on a few of my Americans. Make sure to check back of the next few days to see the progress.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Field Marshall Montgomery meets a relative!

I was going through some boxes that have been stored under my bed and came across this photograph. It was given to me by my Great Grandmother or 'Granny' as she was affectionately known, some years ago (she's since sadly passed away). It shows her brother, Harry, with Field Marshall Montgomery, head of British operations during the Second World War. Harry is the chap who appears just above the nurse dressed all in white, posing for the sneaky photograph.

Here's the photograph previously mentioned. Harry, who I think would be my Great Great Uncle, served in the Medical Corps during the war but I know very little else about him. He was one of 6 or 7 brothers who were in service during the war but I can't remember anything my Granny told me about them.

The photograph was sent back to his father during the war and this photo shows what was written on the rear. In case you can't make out the handwriting, it reads:

Dear Pop,
Here you are - a
picture of Monty AND your
sour-faced son - all for yourself.
Best wishes

It's a fascinating piece of history and I'm proud to be in possession of it after all these years. My Granny gave it to me when she learnt of my boyhood fascination with all things WWII and I've kept it safe in a photo album ever since. It was damaged when I received it but I've managed to keep it in the same condition as when I got it and I hope to keep it for many years to come.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Yorktown T-Shirt

I thought I'd post a picture of the t-shirt I've just won in an online auction. As you can see, it has the word 'Yorktown' and a picture of a Continental infantry man on the front, most likely paying tribute to the combined American and French victory over the British in 1781 at the Siege of Yorktown.

I look forward to receiving it and it will take pride of place in my wardrobe. It will be used as my 'wargaming' tee. Atleast, for gaming in the Americas.

This picture shows a close up of the detail.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

LCpl Hugh Ross, Seaforth Highlanders

I've spent the last few months researching the soldier listed above who died on the 10th May 1915 during one of the many actions of the First World War. The reason I'm so interested in this soldier is because he is my Great Great Grandfather and at the time of his death he was aged 21 which is how old I'll be on the 10th May of next year (although this isn't my birthday).

My search began during a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London where I found his service record. This gave his full title - Lance Corporal Hugh Ross of the 4th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders and his number - 1810. It also gives his date of death as the 10th May 1915, aged 21 years. No other information is given as the free service offered by the Imperial War Museum is meant to merely act as a starting place for further research.

His date of birth is unknown to me but at a guess he was born around 1894. My next aim is to try and find his individual service record which should show where, when and with which unit he served during his time in the army. Unfortunately many of the records who his regiment were destroyed during WWII but if I'm lucky, the National Archives will still keep a copy of his record.

I received an email back from the Highlanders Museum up in Scotland who keep certain records including the War Diary of the 4th Bn and a general history of the Bn written at the time. According to the researcher, there is no mention of a LCpl Hugh Ross but there is a Sergeant Hugh Ross written about on the 9th May, a day of heavy casualties for the Bn. This entry was written about an action that happened at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle whose objective was to capture Aubers Ridge at which I'm sure the Hugh Ross I'm related to died in. Interestingly, the researcher at the Highlanders Museum states that the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders weren't serving on the line on the 10th May, the date of his death, so he suspects LCpl Ross may have died the following day of injuries sustained during the battle. He also suggests that LCpl Ross and Sergeant Ross might be the same person as many NCOs died during the battle and LCpl Ross could have been handed a short-lived promotion but this is a long shot and may be difficult to prove.

My next step will involve searching for Hugh Ross' service record from the National Archives and to continue my dialogue with the researcher from the Highlanders Museum to try and discover more about the action of the 4th Bn Seaforth Highlanders on the 9th and 10th May 1915. I will also try and confirm whether or not LCpl and Sergeant Hugh Ross are the same or different persons.

This is an ongoing project to discover more about members of my family who served their country during the First and Second World Wars and I will continually revisit this over the coming year. Please let me know if you found or would find something like this interesting and if you're new to the blog, sign up and 'follow' it or leave a comment!

Sunday, 17 October 2010


I thought I'd just give you an update on what's going on with me at the minute and apologise for the lack of recent updates!

Some of you may know that I'm still a young chap and am still at University. As this is my final year I have a lot of work and subsequently my hobbies will have to suffer - especially being separated from all your paints and figures by a 90 minute train journey! But don't worry, I've been keeping up with historical reading and so expect a few articles in the coming weeks on various subject matters including the American Revolution and the British intervention in the Sudan. They'll also be a few pictures of some terrain pieces I worked on before I went off to University and a few buildings made for me by Paul Darnell.

Thanks for your continued interest in my hobby and a big welcome to the three new followers who have taken the time to follow this blog over the weekend.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

South Staffordshire Regiment - uniform help needed

I'm currently painting up a few test figures for my Sudan project in the colours of the South Staffordshire regiment and wanted your opinion on their trousers.

Below are two images, both from the Perry Miniatures website which demonstrate the uniform worn by the South Staffordshire regiment during their time in the Sudan. As you can see, the trousers are two different shades of grey, a lighter and a darker, but I wondered which you preferred?

Currently, the figures I'm painting are wearing the lighter shade on the left but could just as easily be given darker trousers such as those on the right.

Please let me know your opinions by leaving a comment. Thanks!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Battle of Olite - Partizan 5th September

Here are a selection of photos of the demo game I helped put on with Paul of Touching History. It's centered around the Spanish town of Olite, Navarre, at the end of Napoleon's campaign in Spain. Captain Aubergine (me) had been tasked with protecting the road to the North, covering the retreat of Napoleon's armies but spied an opportunity to snatch a last minute victory from the allies and regain some lost pride for the French. Now follows some photos of the game, all taken by me except for two which were taken by Paul, and a sort of battle report (annotations of the pictures follow below each one - they are also clickable).

This picture shows the game's initial set up. The town is held by a small detachment of the 95th rifles and a horde of Spanish guerillas who are defending the bridge. My small skirmish force is at the other end of the board, near the barn.

My scouts had reported a strong defensive position held by the Spanish on the other side of the bridge, so in light of this, I chose to advance through the fields to my right to attempt to enter into the town via the unguarded ford...

...I should have known better than to have expected the 95th to leave such a strategically important location unguarded and as I advanced through the field came under heavy fire from the British sharpshooters, losing two in the heated exchange. The 95th pulled back across the river to take up defensive positions with my light company is pursuit.

The 95th opened fire on my light company from across the river before they could get into position but only scored one kill, the rest of their shots ricocheting of the low stone wall before them. My French company returned fire and killed three riflemen, forcing their retreat (picture by Paul Darnell).

As the 95th pulled back (once again) on the left hand side of this photo, Captain Aubergine (me) ordered his fusiliers and grenadiers to advance in force and storm the heavily defended bridge, supported by another company of lights. Aubergine's tactic of 'Guerre de Foudre' or 'lightning war' was again very successful and the speed and efficiency with which they advanced took the Spanish defenders by surprise as the French steamrollered over the bridge and into the town. Those that weren't killed in the initial assault broke and ran back to the market in the centre of town (picture by Paul Darnell).

This photo shows Lieutenant J. Cousteau of the light company triumphantly leading his men along a side road after forcing the 95th to retreat. There were a number of snipers dotted around the town and no less than 8 or 9 shots were taken at my Lieutenant but none so much as left a scratch! He's a very lucky man. Had Sharpe, Hagman or any of the others been there on the day, Lieutenant Cousteau's life may have been more endangered!

Here is one of the snipers previously mentioned but his efforts didn't amount to much on the day.

It ended in a heroic victory for the French but could have ended very differently if Paul's dice throwing had been better (he must have averaged ones and twos the whole day!) or had the French reinforcements arrived in more spaced out intervals. Paul and I have however agreed to stage a refight so it could go very differently for the French (here's hoping it doesn't).

Expect a couple more photos of the game over the next week or two, along with some of a few other games at the show. Also expect to see some pictures of how my Sudan project is coming along!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Battle of Charlotte - Partizan 5th September

I had a fantastic time putting on my first demo game at Partizan in Kelham Hall and really enjoyed my day. I've just been looking through my photos and I took quite a lot! It'll take me some time to go through them all and write a proper battle report of our Napoleonic game but that will come in the next few days, along with a few photos of some of the other games I saw whilst I was there.

Firstly, I'd like to show you some photos I took of the 'Battle of Charlotte', an American War of Independence engagement put on by Steve Jones of paintingshed (his blog is definitely worth a look!). You can read more about the scenario on his blog.

At about 9:30, half an hour before the show opened, I noticed the light pouring into the hall and beautifully dappling across the game board. I rushed over to his table and starting snapping away and got a couple of great photos! They look very realistic and it looks almost like the sun is bursting through the clouds. The main hall at Partizan is well known for being poorly lit and some of my photos of my own game didn't come out too well but these look great.

The American militia advance towards the British line whilst some sharp shooters protect the neighboring farmhouse from attack.

The morning light reveals the American position along the edge of the wheat field.

Some American militia hold off the British advance further down the line. However, the rail fence offers little protection from the British muskets!

Steve made all the terrain himself and also converted a few Hovells buildings to his own specification. As far as I know, he also painted all the figures but please correct me if I'm wrong. It was a very impressive board with some wonderfully painted miniatures on it. I'll post a few more photos of the whole board in a subsequent post.

You can find Steve's blog at - http://paintingshed.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Partizan Reminder

Just a little reminder that I will be putting on my first game at the Partizan Show at Kelham Hall in Newark tomorrow (Sunday 5th September). Doors are 10am - 4pm and I think it's £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.

It's a Spanish Peninsular Napoleonic game which features 3 companies of French pitted against Sharpe and his rifles (assisted by some pesky Spanish Guerillas). I'll be in command of the French and Paul Darnell of Touching History will be in charge of the combined allied force. The photo at the top of this post shows the terrain we will be gaming on!

In this photo, my mighty French force is advancing along an exposed road, open to fire from Sharpe and his 95th rifles (hopefully they wont be as accurate as they're famous for in tomorrow's game!)

Another French force advance towards the town using the cover of the farmer's fields and a low stone wall to avoid the fire coming from the guerillas holed up in the town.

I think our game will be in the main hall so it should be easy to find. I should also be easy to find if you fancy a chat! Just look for the young looking chap next to the game and that'll probably be me - I'll have a checked shirt on if it's any help.

I'll post pictures of most of the games on show at Partizan throughout this coming week along with photos of our game and a battle report. I look forward to meeting those of you who visit the table and fancy a chat.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Partizan - 5th September, Newark

I'll putting on my first ever demo game with Paul of Touching History at next month's Partizan which takes places at Kelham Hall, Newark, on the 5th September.

The game is set in 1813 on the Spanish Peninsular, during the Napoleonic Wars. France are all but defeated in Spain and their main force is on the retreat. However, 3 companies of the 45th have been posted to the small town of Olite with orders to defend it and hold Wolf Pass, the road to the North. I am in command of the French and will be trying to resist the advance of a unit of the 95th rifles, aided by a large band of Guerillas.

The French skirmish with some pesky Guerillas on the rocky slopes of the Spanish countryside.

The photo above shows half of the terrain Paul has made for the game and it looks beautiful! I'm so excited for the game and hope I can bring some honour back to the French after a series of humiliating defeats. Viva La France!

I hope to see you there.

These pictures come from Paul's fantastic site - Touching History
For more information on the upcoming Partizan show, click to view their website - Partizan

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

British 6pdr WIP (3)

I wasn't happy with how the cannon looked as I mentioned in my post yesterday and have decided to add a coat of Army Painter's 'Dark Tone'. This was in response to AD's comment on the last post, informing me the metal should be very dark (almost black). I have to admit, I went off a mixture of sources for the painting style, primarily from the way other bloggers have painted similar models or those models on the Perry site which seem to vary from a very bright silver to almost black (or silver with 'black lining').

I think it looks quite good after being 'dipped'. I used a brush to paint the dip onto the metal areas and removed any that settled on the lighter wooden areas. This was to darken the silver and add a black line around the outside of it. It will be varnished again once the model has dried (around 24 hours after application). I think it looks quite good like it is now (I couldn't bare another re-paint!) and will look even better once based and the crew have been added.

Once again, please leave your thoughts and feelings as a comment on this post as they are invaluable to the project, other gamers and myself.

Monday, 21 June 2010

British 6pdr WIP (2)

Here's the completed British 6pdr. It's been painted and varnished, no dip this time on the advice of Giles Allison. I'm fairly pleased with it but I have to say, the metal seems a little too light (not sure whether the dip would have made it darker and shaded it).

What do you think? Do you think I should leave it like it is or try and dip it to shade down the very light coloured metal (not sure if the latter will work though)?

It might look better once it's been based and the crew added but I'm not entirely happy.

Visitor Numbers Rocket!

In the last week, I've had an additional 9 'followers' for the blog (an increase of almost 100%) and I wanted to find out why. I use Stat Counter to monitor traffic coming to each of my three blogs and I logged on to check my viewing figures and this is what I found:

As you can see, from an average of about 15 unique visitors a day, I received almost 200 in one day! With Stat Counter, you can see what users typed in to Google to get to your site, or from what web URL their arrived at your site from. I followed one URL which cropped up many times and I followed it back to a link on the TMP message boards where a user (Tango01) had linked to my blog in one of his posts and I'd like to thank him for doing so!

Feel free to link to my posts or blog directly if you like my work and want to share it with others, such as other users on TMP for instance - I'm more than happy for you to do that!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Barrels and Sacks

Just finished a couple of Hovels barrels and have started work on a couple of other scenic pieces. These were filed and then washed in soapy water with a tooth brush before undercoating with black spray paint. Once dry, these get several layers of dry-brushing until they look realistic enough for the gaming table!

From the photo above, you will notice that two of the barrels have the same colours whereas the third (right) has been dry-brushed with another, slightly lighter, tone for variation. I'm very pleased with these, my first resin scenic pieces, as I think they look very realistic and wouldn't look out of place on a professionally made gaming board.

Here's a shot of a couple of other items also from Hovels that I'm painting up. It's quite difficult dry-brushing so I've mounted them on lots of different items so I don't have to actually hold the crates and sacks etc whilst I'm painting them. Some of these items include a glue stick, wine bottle top, pencil and spray paint tops!

After these come the AWI farm house and barn that I also purchased from Hovels.

If you have any advice or questions, please leave a comment. If you like what you see here and would like to be notified of future posts, please 'follow' my blog.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Reinforcements have arrived!

Whilst I'm waiting on paint to dry I thought I'd do a little update. I came home to find this on the door mat and knew that my reinforcements had arrived!

Once again, VERY quick service from Perry (ordered on Monday, arrived on Wednesday) and all in very appropriate packaging. So, here's what arrived in the post:

This now completes the purchase of my British and Hessian army with the addition of some Jaegers, Musketeers and some separate command figures to make a brigadier stand for the Hessian brigade. You may also notice some American riflemen in the top left of the photo. These will form the beginnings of my American army. I'm just waiting on some paint before I can make a start on any of these but I'm got plenty to be getting on with including the British and some of the hovels models I recently received and some terrain for the battlefield.

Friday, 11 June 2010

The Pledge

I've got to be realistic with what I can physically paint and by when so I've set myself a few targets. Firstly, I estimate the Bunker Hill project to take me two years in all to complete, figures for both British and American forces and a high quality terrain board to go with it. In the shorter term, I aim to put on a game at Christmas with my Dad, cousins and uncle who're coming to spend it with us. In order to complete this ,I aim to create a smaller force of perhaps a Brigade or two for each side with which to put on a smaller skirmish scenario, inspired by some of the scenarios in the British Grenadier books. And it is here that I'm going to commit myself and make 'The Pledge' and detail what I going to paint any by when.

British Grenadiers assault Bunker Hill (Breeds Hill)

My first goals are to complete a small British force comprising of both British and Hessians. Below is a plan of what I aim to finish by the end of August/September.

- Brigadier/CinC
- Unit of 20 musketeers
- Unit of 16 Grenadiers
- One model 6pdr w/ crew

- Unit of 18 musketeers
- Unit of 8 Jaegers

I think this is a reasonable target, given the amount of time I have and I would like to add an additional unit of British musketeers and a brigadier for the Hessian contingent but I'll have to see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

British 6pdr WIP (1)

Here's a shot of my British 6pdr I'm working on. It's not quite finished yet but I've dry brushed the chassis and gun barrel (I'll need to do this again as I've got a bit of blue on it) and just have the metal left to do. I'm also debating whether or not to use the Army Painter dip to add a bit of shading to it. As I've found in the past, dry-brushing does still show up after the AP is applied so I may give it a go. It will hopefully add a bit of depth and realism to the model. What do you think? If you have any suggestions or recommendations please leave a comment at the foot of this post.

Below are two of the three part-completed crew. I've painted the flesh, coats and dry-brushed their ropes (I may make these slightly lighter in colour depending on the feedback I get). I'm a little worried about whether or not the blue of the coats is right. It seems a little too blue, as in the primary colour blue. Should look OK if I dip it with the dark tone and make it a little darker.

I'm hoping to have this painted and based by the weekend. That reminds me, I still need to order some more paint to paint the base with and get some more scatter material!

Please let me know what you think and leave any comments or suggestions below.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Tough Northerner

Here's a picture of one of the 'workers militia' I varnished this morning from Musketeer Miniatures. He could be used in Very British Civil War games and other engagements during the 1930s and 40s. This is part of one of my many other projects but this one is currently on an indefinite hiatus.

I thought you might like to see it as he's got a gun! Also because he was painted using the Army Painter 'dip' technique. This one however wasn't highlighted after the dip, just varnished.

Expect an AWI update on either Sunday or Monday.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Clinton's Brigade at Bunker Hill and Partizan!

Here's a quick update of what I've been working on this weekend. I've been filing and trimming and I can hardly make out my own finger prints anymore! I've tried to be as systematic as possible when it comes to this project and so am working on a single brigade at a time. Hopefully these smaller targets will make the larger one not seem so daunting! First up - Clinton's Brigade.

This is a shot of how I'd like to base the brigade commander, Clinton. This is one of the standard infantry bases. I want to mount him like this because, if you assault fixed positions in 'British Grenadier', you need your Brigadier to be attached to your unit in order to rally off 'disruption points' or else your unit will run!

This is how he will look at the end of the 2nd Marines. Seamlessly blending in at the end of the line and looking rather good wouldn't you agree? Brigadiers are meant to be based singly, but I always like to add a little drama to a base (the guy at the front of the base is almost saying "What took you so long, sir?" and Clinton is replying "Well, I'm bloody well here now aren't I. Let's just get on with it").

This photo shows Clinton's Brigade; Clinton himself on the left, then the 63rd and then the 2nd Marines. Each unit contains 20 miniatures.

I aim to paint four figures in an evening, meaning I can complete a unit in a week (allowing for basing at the weekends) but we'll see how long that lasts!

In other news, it was Partizan at Kelham Hall in Newark on Sunday (arguably one of the best wargames shows out there). I picked up a tin of the 'dark tone' Army Painter as Secundus (Iron Mitten) recommends it for highlighting the red coats of the British so I can now get underway with my ambitious project! I have also purchased some tree stumps for use on bases as scenic pieces from the very friendly people at Redoubt Enterprises.

I took my camera to the show but stupidly forgot to take any photos (there were some great games there!). I also forgot to pick up a few packs of command figures and other bits and bobs from the Perrys. D'oh! I did however meet Paul Darnell of Touching History fame who was a lovely chap and gave me lots of hints and tips for when I come to making the terrain boards for the project. I also wanted to meet Steve Jones of paintingshed as he'd sent me a very helpful email the week before, giving me step by step instructions of how he made his terrain boards. Unfortunately, Sunday lunch was waiting and I had to rush off. Sorry Steve!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bunker Hill Terrain Project

As I'll eventually be re-fighting the battle of Bunker Hill, I'll need some terrain. I've decided to try and recreate the battlefield as closely to how it originally looked as I can. I've done a bit of research and found a couple of images of what the redoubt and battlefield looked like at the time. Hopefully this will aid you if you want to recreate it too and may save you some time! Any posts with anything to do with the terrain project will be tagged the same, making it easier to find related posts. Each image is annotated below.

This image supposedly shows the layout of the redoubt which sat on Bunker Hill (it's unclear whether they actually mean Breed's Hill as they were often confused with each other as the fighting actually look place here and not on Bunker Hill). From all other sources I've read, this looks a little too elaborate for the earthworks which topped Breed's Hill. The redoubt and other defences were hastily erected and seem to consist of a mostly square redoubt with fleches so I'm inclined to ignore this image as it doesn't seem to fit the accounts.

This image is the most interesting and arguably the most historically accurate. Whilst showing the positioning of all the units and location of key features such as roads, the militia's defenses, brick kilns and marsh, it also shows where the British artillery was located and on which areas of the battlefield they were firing. This is represented by the lines which cross the map. It shows the cannon on Copps Hill across the river firing on the Redoubt and the 12 pdrs on Morton's Hill firing on the rail fence and the breastwork. You can also see the ships of the Navy and where they shelled. This image also gives a clear view of the defenses and redoubt, clearly showing the fleches on one side of the redoubt. This is probably how I will recreate the battlefield.

This image shows the possible shape of the defenses but doesn't show any fleches. It does however show the first attack and initial battle plan which was to try and flank the defenders and envelop them.

This image shows more of the same; the location of the forces and the relation of each terrain piece to the other (I didn't realise quite how far back the rail fence was from the redoubt!). The numbers of troops involved and each side's losses and included at the bottom of the map.

I want to include as much detail as I can in regards to the specific location of certain terrain pieces in relation to the others and make sure I include things like the roads, brick works, marsh and elevation as well of the most important terrain piece - the redoubt! I bought Paul Darnell's Touching History terrain-making guides which will prove very useful when starting out and I look forward to getting underway with this! I hope this post has been useful to you and has provided you with some interesting reading material!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Interesting viewing

For those of you who are interested in British history and that of the English Civil War in particular, if you tune in to Channel 4 at 5:30pm tomorrow (Sunday 16th May), you'll be able to view a Time Team special on the siege of Hopton Castle in Shropshire.

This photo (Copyright 2006, Lawson Clout) shows the castle, where 28 Parliamentarians held out against a force of five hundred Royalists for two weeks before being tricked into surrendering in exchange for their lives - only to be slaughtered as they left the building. In the programme, presented by Tony Robinson, the team uncover evidence of three fierce battles and search for the final resting place of the massacred defenders.

This programme should make for some very interesting Sunday afternoon viewing and will shed some light on this little known but intriguing Civil War encounter.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Sudan Project

Inspired once again by the work of another (Paul Darnell at Touching History), I've bought a couple of packs of British Infantry in the Sudan from Perry Miniatures. I've always wanted to do something in the colonial era ever since watching Zulu as a kid and thought The Sudan, rather than South Africa, gave me more flexible options such as wider range of troop types, tactics and opponents.

The packs I bought (pictures below) will form the start of a small British army I have planned and this will be expanded once these are painted up. I have already thought of a scenario. These British are suprised and caught out side of their camp and so have to form up in ranks to hold off the Mahdist horde. I also want to have a small town which is garrisoned by Naval and native allied troops which has come under attack from the Mahdist forces and possibly some cavalry action somewhere.

The photos below come direct from Perry's website and show the packs of British I bought. Cost me about £32 I think and that included (super speedy) postage and packaging.

This is the command pack. Some will be stood with the volleying firing line and others with the rear guard and throughout the makeshift defences.

These two packs will form the volley-firing firing line which will unleash volley after volley upon the Mahdist hordes. Can't wait to get started on these and use cotton wool on the gaming table!

This is what my British forces will look like, in the traditional Red tunic. I've done some research and it would be historically accurate to still use these tunics for the Sudan. These figures will defend the part of the perimeter which isn't under attack as guards, evenly spaced out.

This was a very interesting pack which features a stretcher team and a makeshift 'hospital' of sorts which I just had to have to add a little drama and realism to the game I'm planning.

With the plastic Mahdists the Perry brothers and currently producing for sale in a couple of months, I should be able to create a large native force at a much reduced rate than currently available through their metal range.