Friday, 30 October 2009

Sconce Update - Part 4

The construction of this bastion is now finished. This has been primed black so now it only has to be painted and propped.

Close up of 'damaged section'. The breach is big enough to allow the 40mm square to pass through it. If, and more importantly, when I have the time (2011'ish I reckon)  I'll make a damaged corner bastion. Now back to the infantry.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Sconce Update - Part 3

Just a quick work in progress to show latest work on the sconce - work has been delayed over the weekend because I've run out of coffee stirrers. Hopefully I should be able to pick so up on Tuesday when I nextg visit the gym).
Perry's Demi-Culverin (ECW 13) shown to give a sense of scale.

Plan view of bastion (ever so slightly out of focus)

Detail of wall section. I wanted to create crenellations and realised that it would be easier to create these using barbeque sticks rather than trying to do this using foam board.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

ECW Whitecoats update

Blimey I've actually managed to paint some more figures this week! Must be all this sunshine we're enjoying at the moment.

Via the internet I’ve been able to look with more detail into the history of Marquis of Newcastle himself. William Cavendish was a fascinating character. The more you read about him the more remarkable he seems but I’ll post further information when I’ve completed the regiment.

A couple of weeks ago I received several items from GMB Flags (currently no website unfortunately) and, as usual I wasn’t disappointed. The Osprey illustration of the Whitecoats at Marston Moor show them carrying a red flag with small white crosses. From GMB’s catalogue description I chose ECWP41 and it was exactly what I wanted. I’ll be painting the flag bearer from the metal Pike and Shotte command pack to show him carrying the plain red Colonial’s flag (easiest one to paint!)

After numerous recent purchases the Whitecoat regiment will now consist of :
6 x 4 musketeers = 24
9 x 4 pikemen = 36
1 command group = 4

Total = 64 (yep, that figure has increased)

Last picture taken with flash.

The final set up of the figures will be different  from that shown above. I intend to mix the figures wearing the berets with figures sporting more regular head wear although they will of course be wearing white coats.

Again apologies for the quality of the images. One of the problems with taking photographs on a basic mobile phone I suppose. It doesn’t help that they are taken under artificial light as I now leave home before sunrise and return after sunset. Hopefully I’ll have completed a few more figures by the weekend when I can take better images in natural sunlight.

I'll also managed to 'liberate' a number of wooden stirrers from a well known coffee range. They are are ideal 5 x 2mm by 160mm (approx) long. I plan on using these as boarding on the sconce project so hopefully I'll be the advance that project as well over the coming week.

Whitecoats countdown:
21 down, 43 to go.

Friday, 9 October 2009

ECW Metal Armoured Pikeman No.1 of 4

First off from the pack of Armoured Pikemen I bought earlier in the year and now a member of Newcastle’s Whitecoats regiment. The metal pikemen provide a necessary degree of variation to the blocks of pike.

It’s easy to see why a number of people still prefer metal figures as there seems to be more detail and definition than I’ve seen with any plastic minis.

Picked up the Fire and Brimstone set from Warlord Games this morning. They actually arrived Wednesday morning but I didn’t notice the delivery amidst the junk mail. I had inquired about them at the Derby show last week but one of the Warlord chaps had forgotten to bring them along. I ‘purchased’ them there as they said they would send them post free (which is nice). Decent customer service can make a vast difference to someone’s perception of a company.

Three figures in this set include: Cleric, Ranter and a Preacher. The Preacher’s face may be difficult to paint as he has his nose in the Bible. The ranter looks familiar as I’m sure his direct descendants hanging round in Dudley town centre on Saturday mornings.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Sconce - Part 2

Quick update on the sconce project.
Apologies for the quality of the photographs, they were taken this morning before the sun had reached any of my rooms.
I'm pleased with the overall scale of the fort, the dimensions look 'right' although I'm still not sure about the height of the parapet yet. I'm undecided whether to have the gun ports cut into the parapet or leave the walls low so the cannon can point in any direction. Left low I could place gabions (purchased a few single items from Front Rank recently)inside to protect the guns and crew. Gun ports would be harder to make but they would look more impressive. I am tempted to have a go at the gun ports as time isn't a factor with this project.

The connecting wall section isn't quite right. I've been a bit too heavy handed with my craft knife as you can see with the figure base overhanging the parapet. I'm tempted to use this as a damaged section.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Sconce (or random ECW side project) - Part 1

In 1796 two future Presidents of the United States stood on a small hill and addressed a group of people saying, “And do so soon forget the ground where liberty was fought for? Tell your neighbors and your children that this is holy ground, much holier than that on which your churches stand. All ... should come in pilgrimage to this hill, once a year."

John Adams, accompanied by Thomas Jefferson, wasn’t referring to Bunker Hill or any other location associated with the recent War of Independence but a small area just a few minutes walk south east of Worcester cathedral. This hill is now a small park, but it does contain the scant remains of Fort Royal.

On 3rd September 1641 Fort Royal was a key location during the final battle of the Civil War. It was built overlooking Sidbury Gate, the main southern entrance into the city. Once the fort was overrun by the Essex militia the guns were turned on the Royalists as they, including King Charles himself, ran through the streets of Worcester to escape.In David McCullough’s biography of John Adams he describes the future President as being "deeply moved" but disappointed at the locals' lack of knowledge of the battle and gave the locals an "impromptu lecture".

Things haven't changed too much over the years. A friend of mine lives in a flat right next to the park containing the fort. She knew of the fort existed but she wasn't aware of the history changing events that had occurred there. When my brother and myself went to have a look we managed to work out the position of some of the earthwork embankments. Roughly half of the fort has now been lost through housing developments, but due to the very nature of their construction hardly any of this type of fortification have survived. A notable exception is the Queen's Sconce in Newark. A detailed illustration is shown in Osprey’s ‘English Civil War Fortifications 1642-51 (Volume 9 of Fortress range).

Staring out the window at work I can see a small plot of land where earth had been piled up to form something that looks like a earthwork fort. With a few minutes to spare I sketched a plan of a fort and quickly realised that to create the distinctive arrow bastions is easy using a CAD system. Scouting round the office I found a few bits and pieces I could use, expanded polystyrene foam (used to as packing) and various MDF panels. In a short time I knew I could make a small fort. After spending more time detailing the plans I was then able to transfer the plans onto the MDF panels.

I'm planning on having a small straight section of embankment measuring 155 x 75mm (should have been 150mm long but you can’t be too fussy when it’s free). The illustrations from the period tend show the forts being almost square in plan view. A 'complete' fort i.e. four bastions, would measure 655mm square, in my miniature world, although I only intend to make one side, or two bastions with the relevant wall sections.

Two boards showing basic outline of fort bastions. To achieve the same look shown in the Osprey book the bastions will have to be a mirror image of each other. There will be, eventually, a small section of wall 155mm long placed in between the main boards.

Each individual board measures 250 x 250 x 4mm thk.

Cross section showing the construction and base. The expanded polystyrene (EPS) board is taken from spare packing hence why I've had to cut and carve the shapes.  The smaller square on top of the foam board is 40 x 40mm (standard infantry base) to give a sense of scale.

Missing corner in place.

Incomplete corner bastion, waiting for upper wall section. The EPS boards are pinned together using barbeque sticks.

Updates for this project may be pretty random as I'm trying my hardest to get the ECW figures painted, so they will have priority.
A very interesting website worth visiting is Fortified Places

Old Glory World Wargames Show (Derby)

It was the first time for me attending this show held at Derby University. It’s a decent venue with enough space and good facilities. I didn’t manage to take any photographs as I was far to busy spending money. Mainly bought for projects that I'm currently working on (or hope to work on in the near future).

Perry ECW infantry and cavalry,
Renegade Covenanters Regiment (yep, even more ECW figures),
Scarab WWI French infantry and command,
Front Rank War of the Roses ranges (something to play with whilst I look forward to the Perry's plastic range is released),
Numerous books on the medieval period including Edward III campaigns and War of the Roses from Dave Lanchester – got a decent discount being a member of the Lance and Longbow Society (hurrah),
More characters from Warlord Games, had a look at the new cavalry sprue (very nice) and got talking to the chaps on the stand. They have some interesting items due for release.
Various of flags from Redoubt Enterprises.

Had a nice chat to the main man at Scarab Miniatures who had a very nice display game laid out. Rob was so nice in fact that I bought a few packs of his French infantry figures. It’s good to know I’m not the only person who likes the late WWI French because of the colour of their uniform.

A particular attractive pack is the communications team that includes pigeon handler. The sculptor even asked a neighbour who was a pigeon fancier (that sounds wrong!) to get the posture correct. Very good looking mini.Scarab Miniatures

After leaving the show we drove just up the road and visited Kedleston Hall and All Saints Church. The mainly 13th century church contains numerous items of interest including several medieval stone and brass effigies, a copy of the Curzon battle standard, a Norman doorway and two very unusual circular monuments sunk into the floor. Well worth a visit is you are in the area.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Newcastle’s Whitecoats update

I completed painting these Whitecoats last night (apart from the lips, it was long day and I didn’t want to the minis to look like the 18th century fops) using a slightly different technique. The white highlights were blended in. This technique is quite time consuming, i.e. the highlights are blended in using a soaked brush ‘pushing’ the paint around. Previously I’d use this method on large scale figures (1/35th, 54mm etc.). Think I’ll have to go back to using the basic highlight method, otherwise I’ll never finish this regiment never mind the army.

This regiment will consist of :
6 x 4 musketeers = 24
7 x 4 pikemen = 28
1 command group = 4

Total = 56

The extra pikemen come from the ‘spare’ plastics and the additional metal purchased recently


Musketeers (you can tell I was getting tired because the eyes started 'looking' in different directions).

Musketeer firing line, obviously there will be an additional mini on this base as and when I've painted him.

This probably won’t be the final configuration of the figures. That will be decided when the majority of the figures have been completed.

Whitecoats countdown:
10 down, 46 to go.