Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Militia Skirmishers #1



Looking to build some forces for AWI Sharp Practice 2. I already have plenty of units based up in formations, but didn't have any single based figures for the skirmish elements or officers on foot. This represents my first set of 6 militia men and an officer(red sash).


I plan on trying out the Sharp Practice supplement The Swamp Fox which takes place in the southern theater. It follows the exploits of Francis Marion "The Swamp Fox" and his efforts to fight the British after the defeat of  of the Americans at Camden until the American army could regroup and reform. This will require quite a bit of militia for both rebels and loyalists so I will need to do some more line units in addition to the skirmishers and cavalry.


AWI has always fascinated me so it's really not a surprise that I decided to play Sharp Practice 2 in addition to Black Powder and British Grenadier for this period. I haven't tried FOB2 with it yet but I plan on doing that as well at some point. The period has a certain atmosphere to it that no other does and I honestly can't exactly say why other then it just does.


The AWI period really does give you a huge diversity of troops types from rebel militia to loyalist militia ,state and regular troops, cavalry, Indians, artillery, Grenadiers, light infantry, riflemen, mercenaries etc involving  Americans, British, Germans and French, Spanish plus more fighting from Canada onto virtually the entire east coast of the US all the way down to the Bahamas and crossing over to Europe! The amount of modeling and army building for this period is staggering imho.


These figures are a mix of Perry and Foundry miniatures. The foundry figures(also by the Perry twins) were given an extra coin to bring them up to the same height as the Perry figures. I have a love/hate relationship with Perry figures as the casting makes cleaning and painting them a right pain in the backside, but once finished they really do look very nice and have excellent proportions.


The figures were painted using mostly Foundry colors with some Vallejo and MIG pigments to round everything off. I already have the second group of militia finished and just waiting on their photography session so stay tuned.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Perry, Foundry

Monday, July 23, 2018

James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose


Hello it's been a bit of space since my last post, but not so much because of productivity which I've actually been getting things done in spite of the heat and have several things to post, but rather the fact that with work, heat, family, painting and keeping up with what others have been doing has resulted in one thing having to be neglected and that has been the blog. I enjoy blogging so no worries this blog will stop as I will continue to march on for the foreseeable future as I still think it's the best medium in presenting what you are personally doing be it past, present and future plans without all the noise other mediums usually have.


James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose aka "The Great Montrose" is thought by many to be the best commander to come out of the ECW and a tactical genius for his daring surprise attack victories against  forces larger and better equipped then his own. While first supporting the Scots Covenanters for a short period he later switched sides to support King Charles I which eventually cost him his life.


He represented the Royalist cause in Scotland during the reign of King Charles I fielding an army of mostly Irish mercenaries and Scots Highland clansmen vs Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll leader of the Covenanters.While many like to debate if Montrose was a patriot or traitor most agree militarily he was a superb tactician with a string of famous victories in 1644 - 1645 at Tippermuir, Aberdeen, Inverlochy, Auldearn, and finally culminating in the coup de grace at Kilsyth making him all but master of Scotland in effect crushing his rival Argyll. However, with King Charles defeat at Naseby Montrose had to try and save the king so had leave before he could consolidate his grip on Scotland, but lost his highlander support along the way leaving him with a force to small to resist the Leslie Covenanters blocking him thus leading to his defeat at Philiphaugh.


In 1649/50 Montrose once again tried to rally the Royalist cause in Scotland to avenge the death of Charles I and support a return of Charles II but failed to get enough highlanders to join back up resulting in a defeat at Carbisdale. He escaped capture only to turn himself into Neil MacLeod who he believed was friendly only to discover he was a political enemy and was soon after hanged in Edinburgh. Ironically just a short time later the Scots Covenanters supported Charles II attempt to regain his throne and were soundly defeated by Cromwell's New Model army thus depriving themselves of an excellent commander who may have been able to change the outcome or at least mitigate the defeat.


This is my Montrose command stand to lead my Scots Royalist forces and is on an 80mm round base. The figures are from Bicorne and the flag is from Flags of War. The figures are large 28mm and a pleasure to paint and the flag I believe represents the severed head of Charles I so would place this command vignette just after Montrose ill fated attempt to retake Scotland in 1649/50 although I will use this stand for the entire service of Montrose in Scotland, but included the flag as I felt it was such a striking symbol. I removed the blood droplets from the head as I wish to interest people in the composition and not turn any off to something some may find gruesome although my flag still has the drops on the actual flag. I'm quite pleased how the overall piece turned out.  I still need to make some more commanders for both sides so expect more to come. Eventually I will get a game of Baraque I tell you! Don't arch your eyebrows at me!:-)


Plenty of more material for the blog waiting in the wings already finished just waiting for me to do some write ups like AWI, ECW, Terrain and CoC battle reports so more on the way for those interested!

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company-Bicorne Miniatures

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Warner's Extra-Continental Regiment "Green Mountain Boys"



After seeing Giles Alison's superb version of the green mountain boys here many moons ago I knew that I had to do my own version.When painting for the horse and musket period I particularly like green so this regiment comes as no surprise in hitting my painting desk. I've had this regiment finished for months, but just recently got around to posting it.


To give a very brief background.The Green Mountain boys first came into existence as a militia organization in the 1760's in what was the New Hamshire Grants later the state of Vermont acting as a deterrent to New Yorks attempts to control the territory.
On  May 10,1775 under Ethan Allen they famously captured Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain with a couple hundred men and mounted additional incursions into Canada. These actions helped the Continental Congress to recognize and support them as an official regiment under the title The Green Mountain Continental Rangers commanded by Seth Warner.
In 1777 Seth Warner went on to lead them in notable battles like Hubbardton and Bennington until they disbanded in 1779(other sources say 1781).



Like Giles I painted my troops in various shades of green, but couldn't bring myself to try the  pistachio color and stayed with medium colored greens with nothing to dark or light. I mixed up the uniforms a little bit as I like to do that with my American regulars albeit not as much as my militia so they are still easy to tell the difference.


I purchased a new photobox recently and wanted to try out a black background. At first I used lighting inside and the black went gray so finally I just turned all the lighting off using only the light that was coming in naturally from outside the box and adjusted the shutter speed and white light on my camera and presto it worked! The inside of the box has a shiny silver surface so I think it attracts just enough light from the outside allowing your camera to reduce the shine on the black to utter black without dimming your figures. I'm guessing cause I don't know other then the fact that I made it work! You see folks I'm not the sharpest piece when it comes to technical things like camera's and computers so I usually stumble around till I get what I want. Now am I perfectly satisfied with how things came out....well no, but I rarely am when it comes to my own photography however I am pleased in how it turned out which is enough for now. The first pic at the head is to see the unit "live" so to speak and the black background ones allow for a closer look without distractions.


The figures are all Perry to include their own brand and the ones they did for Wargames Foundry. The flag is GMB designs. They were painted using mostly Foundry paints, some Vallejo and the ground work was my usual mix with some MIG pigments for dust effects.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures, Wargames Foundry

Thursday, April 5, 2018

CoC Airborne vs Fallschirmjäger around Carentan

Overview of the battlefield
Nick and myself first tried Chain of Command or CoC last year because Bolt Action wasn't giving us enough "crunch" in our WWII gaming and although BA is a good game it just wasn't enough anymore. We liked Chain of Command so much we decided it would now become our go to WWII rule set and fact we are so hooked we haven't played anything but CoC since trying it which has been months now with no end in sight. I've always been an avid Dark Ages/Horse and Musket player/painter with a interest in WWII, but this game has now really lit my hair on fire for WWII with all kinds of future plans for the period! Now will WWII overcome my love of North American conflicts then probably not, but it sure has moved up the ladder of significance.

If your looking for a game that makes you feel like your in the boots of a platoon or squad leader then Chain of Command does it better then anything I've played so far and I thoroughly recommend it if you haven't had a chance to play it yet.  Nick even commented it's the first game that makes him feel like wargamer and not just a figure painter who sometimes plays wargames.

The Rules!
Now that we have had some games under our belts we started looking at doing a campaign. We decided to use 28mm for most our games and 15mm for any scenario's with a lot of armor. I have US Airborne I want to use and Nick wanted to use his newly painted Fallschirmjäger so we started looking around for some pint sized action featuring theses adversaries and Nick found a nice campaign on the Too Fat Lardies forum called "Rendezvous with Destiny" by Will3T(sorry don't know his proper name) featuring the 101st Airborne and the 2nd Fallschirmjäger in and around Carentan which was just the ticket! I've added a page to the top of my blog to help me keep track of the campaign and add a little detail to it if your interested.

A coke bottle supervises the battlefield.
Our first game was "Charge at Ingouf farm" which went so fast I didn't take any pictures and all the pictures you see are from our second game. The scenario was a Probe scenario requiring the Airborne to get a unit off the enemies table edge while running over mostly open ground for over half the way(Gulp!). Nick's intent was to bring his FJ's on directly into close assault with my Airborne rather then shoot me as I came in, but the gamble didn't work as I rolled a double move and over ran his jump off point thus denying him a chance to deploy and covered the other FJ jumping points in smoke making it a pretty easy and quick escape for the Airborne.

Black is FJ's and Green is Airborne
The next game and the one featured in this entire post was "Fighting in the Hedges" and is a flank attack by the FJ's. Black is FJ's and Green is Airborne. I had 2 Squads of my own Airborne at 1 and 3 and support Airborne squads at 4 and 2 with Plt Sargeant Tellman and Bazooka at 2 and Lt. LaMarch  at 3. Nick had a squad of FJ's at 1 moving to assault my Airborne 1 and another FJ squad at  2 exchanging fire with my Airborne 2. In between these he had a senior leader. At 3 he had one of his own FJ squads, a support FJ squad, senior leader and support heavy MG all exchanging fire with my parartroopers at 4 and 3.

FJ's exchanging fire with my Airborne in the buildings.
In a nutshell the FJ's at the hedges exchanged fire with the Airborne in the buildings each trying to suppress the other through covering fire with the FJ heavy machine close to being removed. In the Orchard the FJ's again exchanged fire with the Airborne to little effect on each. The game decider came when the FJ's moving down the side of the orchard assaulted my Airborne behind a hedge which resulted in an almighty bloody melee with saw the entire FJ squad wiped out including it's junior leader and the Airborne only coming out a little better with the loss of 9 paratroopers and 1 junior leader leaving only the LMG crew of 2 left! This left one of the FJ's senior leader exposed who was promptly cut down by the LMG. At this point the FJ's morale dropped dangerously low and Nick decided a withdrawal was the prudent thing to do.

Another shot of the FJ's firing on my Airborne in the houses. Along with his FJ's you can also see Nick's marker which are both great!
It was a truly terrific game and I'm very curious to see if my Airborne can continue to push back the FJ's, but the next game is a night attack by the FJ's and I have no idea how that's going to turn out. While I can pump out a good amount of firepower the FJ's can really pour it on with 2 MG's per squad so I'm really curious how this will play out as all shooting will not happen except at close range (18in.) unless a flare is used, but that requires a chain of command dice so not often if at all.

My Airborne in the ruined farm house keeping the FJ at bay led by Sgt Hardwell and Lt. LaMarch 
Another shot of Airborne in the ruined farm. I really do need to work on my cobblestone roads!
I've of course started to see the short comings of my terrain and will need to paint up a lot more roads
and build a proper orchard, canal. Ah well that's wargaming always more to do!

Airborne engaging the FJ's trying to outflank the orchard
Front shot Airborne locking and loading and taking aim on seeing the FJ's moving in!
I've also noticed I need to paint up some more Airborne troops as I need more then I expected plus some armor here and there......

Assaulting FJ force
Quick overhead look.
This campaign will probably last us a couple months then on to the next one. Still plenty more to do in Normandy and we have most the troops we need for it, but always need more

FJ's moving through the orchard.
Nick moving to check the range for his assault.
Not sure where we will go after Normandy, but we may go into the vast expanse of Russia as we have some of the troops needed and are curious to see how the two match up.

Thanks for viewing!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

FIW Pennsylvania Provincials in light equipment


Just completed my second unit of Pennsylvania Provincials for Sharp Practice, but this time in light equipment.



At this rate I'll have FIW forces ready for Sharp Practice in a year or so I figure so I'm crossing my fingers the pace will pick up at sometime.....but if not I'll have fun along the way as the figures from Galloping Major are a real pleasure to paint.



 I picked up an excellent copy of " The British defeat of the French in Pennsylvania, 1758" by Douglas R. Gubbison that looks like with some effort I could make a campaign of sorts from the information which is quite detailed.


The figures are from Galloping Major and the paints I used were Foundry with some Vallajo here and there. I highly recommend the figures if your looking for some painter friendly figures which I quite like.


I could be taking a break from FIW for a bit to paint up some AWI for Sharp Practice which would only require me painting a few skirmish figures and officers as I already have the core formed units completed. I also would like to add a few more Airborne to my WWII collection as we are really playing a lot of the fantastic Chain of command rules and I need more options added.


 Also last year Nick beat me in the SCW points race side challenge and to my shame took me a whole year almost to get him his figure, but he of course took it all in good natured patience. The figure is an Republican officer that I had double of and that he didn't have yet so worked out great.


 
Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company-Galloping Major and Empress

Thursday, February 1, 2018

FIW Pennsylvania Provincials 1


Provincial troops are best described as a troop class that is somewhere between regular troops and militia. Unlike regular soldiers who served for x number of years or militia who were raised only for local needs in times of emergency provincial troops were formed from a province and recruited for a period of time to complete a specific military campaign or duty like transportation, manning forts etc. that could be local and further abroad.


In the French and Indian war a colonial governor would raise the provincial formation under a field officer often of high political standing with experience in commanding militia and junior officers with good standings in their local community. Were militia tended to be every man doing his duty for home that was often filled with men of some import the soldiers of provincial formations on the other hand were of less import to society shall we say and recruiting would either be voluntary through offering money to men without property and uncertain futures to a draft if needed that typically targeted persons they wanted to get off the streets so to speak. You could also pay others to take your place in the draft if you had the means.



Pennsylvania Provincials served on the frontiers manning forts and guarding against raids from Indians and French. A notable task they did take part of was the expedition against the strategically important French held Fort Duquesne that resulted in the French retreating and burning the fort down on their way out.



I decided to do some Pennsylvania Provincials because of the simple reason I like the green and red colors of their uniform. I doubt they looked this well turned out, but we as painters tend to paint things in their best light. Using the most excellent Kronoskaf as a guide I opted for a dark green on these because later I will be doing some rangers who will be wearing green as well albeit a lighter shade to help distinguish the two from each other. What he have here is a corporal and 8 soldiers wearing full equipment for my first group which will total three units in the end plus a command to be used for Sharp Practice or Muskets and Tomahawks.



I really enjoyed painting these figures from Galloping Major as they are large figures with very well raised detail and are what I like to call painter friendly making me look forward to the next batch. That said even thou they are painter friendly they still are time consuming figures to paint simply due to all the hats, buckles, straps, clothing layer etc. however when finished I do really like the look they give making the work pay off. I suppose that is the reward for painting lace war and Nap figures in the end and is what keeps us coming back.



The colors I used were once again Foundry with some Vallejo and my ever trusty Mig pigments for some good dusting on the stones.

Thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Galloping Major


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