Friday, 25 June 2021

Something a bit different for next week.

With John C's plastic WSS cavalry completed and stored away I'm going to be painting some Ottomans for him next. Currently on the desk are 6 Delhi Light Horse (Ral Partha) and 12 Janissary musketeers, delightful figures again by Ral Partha and dated 1979 on the bases. The horses are done but the riders still some work to do, I really like the winged shields which are often shown as gold so I used a bronze drybrush first then picked out a few highlights with gold. They will be carrying lances once finished. 

Also more or less finished is the white coated ECW regiment, just need to finish off the basing. That is now 11 foot regiments of 27 figures so things are progressing nicely. As painting ECW infantry can be a bit repetitive painting for John alongside is perfect because there is so much variety in what he sends me. I also have another batch of Peter Pig Confederates arrived from Graham C so all in all I'm keeping busy.

Pictures show the above plus a couple of shots of the completed Strelets before they left the desk.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Work in progress & a new chair!

I removed the previous interim video post, with apologies to Phil who left a comment. Fact is that I was far from happy with the aesthetics, the grid lines are way too heavy and the hills require a lot more work. Overall, that is not what I envisage for my ECW games, I want the terrain to look more natural, don't mind at all something a bit Old School, but if I am to play in a gridded table then the effect must be far more subtle. Plenty for me to think about.

Meantime I'm bashing on with my painting, the 12 Strelets cavalry for John, some ECW clubmen, a couple more field guns and starting a new regiment of foot in off white coats. 

The cavalry are not finished yet, more detail work and finishing off the horses, but I like it when I get to this stage of all the main colours in. The flag will be hand painted of course, probably more an impression than a detailed flag but should compliment the regiment OK. There is lots of yellow lace here which gives them a nice lift and I have tried to vary the horse colours while keeping the overall look hopefully in balance. 

The new chair was a Fathers Day present from my youngest Daughter and her partner, as chocolates and alcohol are out for me they thought I deserved a comfy painting chair, quite a surprise I must say, unusual  but very welcome. 

Thursday, 17 June 2021

More ECW units and a terrain dilemma.

Painted another 70 figures for the ECW project this last week, 2 more pike heavy foot regiments and 2 more of horse. They are each of 8 figures but all based in two's so that I can make smaller or larger units as required. Forlorn Hope uses a ratio of 1 figure represents 33 men so roughly between 2 and 3 figures represents a troop. Between the numerous cavalry packs there is plenty of variation in equipment which makes for nice units, but I have tried to keep the majority in buff coats, pot helmets and back/breast armour for that 'Popham Horse' look (below). A few soft hats and coats mixed in give a good overall ECW look I think.

This weeks output, all just need a good brush over to remove that static grass before they go in the box.

I have now decided to use two flags for each regiment of foot on the command bases. Having experimented with drilling out and adding slightly longer shafts to allow for larger flags I'm going to stick with the 14mm one's I have used so far simply because it's a lot of extra fiddly work and time that could be spent painting, and to be honest at 14mm they are very close to historical size. Ordering 'special packs' is quite straightforward at PP so I have a pack of each of the two command pack standard bearers coming, 8 of each. They cost a £1 more for a special pack at £4.50 but as the rest of command castings go back in the pot as it were, well worth it. I'll also do a few head swaps to add some helmeted figures.

By the weekend I should have a total of 350 painted figures towards the project upon the completion of the  4th 'pike heavy' unit. That's sufficient for two 10 unit armies to get started with, each of 5 foot, 3 horse, a dragoon and an artillery unit plus the general. That leads me onto a rules dilemma that I have been thinking about.

An extra half inch makes all the difference!
OK, so from the start I had in mind a return to Forlorn Hope. I still like them BUT the 'Foy' variant of Commands & Colors for the ECW continues to draw me to it, so best solution would be to be able to use my figures with both. I am so familiar with the C&C system and this variant because I followed it long from the early stages of development and even got to offer a few suggestions at the start and they really reflect the period very well. Above all the set of period themed command cards that Tony created for this are a joy, if you have not seen them it's well worth a look on the link on Tony's blog (HERE). In addition the introduction of the wonderful Hazzard a Chaunce cards added a new level of random events, again period specific and humorous such as 'Exceeding Nervose', 'O Bugger it', 'I shall never touch the stuff again' and 'Thumblethumbs' which requires a dice roll for a powder accident!

The problem is that the game obviously needs to be played on a hex grid and my lovely printed mat only has 125mm hexes (across the flats) and my unit frontages are 120mm which is a bit too tight when deployed side by side. It's a shame as I had spent hours making hills from MDF and foamboard topped with printed card shot from the mat to match, and then road and river sections specially cut to fit the grid. The mat is printed on a 6x4 cloth which leaves a nice black border on all sides. 6x4 is the largest size that I can comfortably fit on the dining table when covered with my three plywood boards which alone cost me £36, so you begin to see my dilemma? I had considered settling for a grid of 8 x 12 6" hexes marked up on the boards, which would still require new hills etc to be made and represents a bit of a compromise as the game is designed for a 13 x 9 grid. On discussing this with Tony he came back with a solution as to how I cold fit the full 13 x9 grid within my 6x4 table, simply use 140mm (5.5") hexes. Well of course it's the answer, but would involve a great deal of work and possibly a new printed mat. The only other thing I can come up with would be to reduce my unit frontages by 10mm or so fit the existing set up, again more work but doable. That's it my head hurts now, I shall invite comments on this matter, which would you do in this situation? 

1. Play on the 125mm hex grid, bit tight when units side by side?
2. Compromise on an 8 x 12 grid of 150mm hexes?
3, Start again with a 140mm (5.5") hex grid
4. Reduce unit frontages slightly?
5. Bugger the lot and just play Forlorn Hope?

Thursday, 10 June 2021

First of the 'pike heavy' regiments of foot - Mellow Yellow!

Having painted six of the 2:1 ratio (muskets to pikes) units I'm moving onto to a few 'pike heavy or 1:1 ratio units. These will retain the same 120mm frontage but consist of 12 pikes and 12 muskets plus the command base. 

I fancied painting a unit wearing yellow coats and having referenced the list of coat colours in both armies on this blog to see if yellow was indeed a valid colour (Sir Marmaduke Rawdon's wear yellow coats in the Sealed Knot I recall), I set to. The coats are deep yellow over a shade colour of Japanese WW2 uniform, yep, the same as I use to highlight my horses. It's important when painting yellow uniforms not to end up with a bunch of bananas, so tried to keep it fairly muted and gave them lots of grey and brown breeches to break things up a little. Quite pleased with them overall but these will probably be my only yellow regiment. Next one will be another blue unit, same 1:1 ratio.

Peter Pig figures, just need a brush over to remove static grass!

Monday, 7 June 2021

Weekly painting update.

As I'm back spending a fair bit of time at the painting desk I'm going to settle into a weekly update post of output. I find this helps me with motivation.

Since my last 'progress' post 7 days ago I have painted a grand total of 75 foot and 8 mounted figures.

32 ECW Peter Pig 15mm Rebs for Graham C.

27 figure regiment of ECW foot , with purple coats.

A gun and 4 crew ECW.

12 dismounted dragoons.

Another regiment of horse ( 8 figures)

For the week ahead are the 12 Strelets 20mm cavalry for Old John. I will them continue to focus on Johns box (which contains lots of lovely Ottomans) alongside my own ECW units. I'm finding this is a good productive method, working the two together day by day. 

As it's a bright morning here I also thought I'd lay out the ECW figures together for a few photos. At this point I can field two small forces, enough to begin play testing the Forlorn Hope rules that I have been spending time re-acquainting myself with. 

Below: latest regiment of foot, a Purple coated unit (rear).

Below: the Peter Pig ACW's painted this week for Graham C.