Thursday, 18 May 2017

15th Century Burgundian Infantry and Knights

Taken a bit of time to get this post set up, my PC ended went to the big electronic graveyard last week and getting used to a laptop takes a while.
Two sets again. This time, RedBox´s 15th Century Burgundian Infantry and Knights sets 1 & 2.
A lot of them can be added to the Ultima Ratio Swiss infantry sets or mixed with other Redbox WotR´s  sets, the only small Problem, the embossed burgundian crosses need removing on a few of them.

Set one.
Mainly heavy infantry. Nearly half of them have Bannerols (Little pennons/flags) on their helmets. While this isn´t incorrect, a bannerol was carried by the Squadron leaders, Conductors and Chief de Chambre , it does seem excessive with nearly half of them having one. Still, it gives a choice as to which bod is a leader type and they are easy enough to remove.
Set 2
Mainly pikemen. Again, a lot of bannerols but again, easy to remove.
The molded pikes? IMHO, too thick and a wee bit too short for my liking, not only that, one or two suffered from "brewers droop"  so I replaced them with Florist wire.
Not only  are the molded pikes  (IMHO) too short, thick or droopy  but a couple of poses have got  a lot of extra plastic between the pikemen´s bodies and the pikes. Along with the pikes, this all needed removing.
The two at the front have had head swops

Some of these, the pikes and halberds, will, along with a few others, form a Mk2 Burgundian pikeblock. The rest will fill out the infantry blocks.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Swiss Infantry - Uri and Bern

Two sets this time..
Both sets are made by Ultima Ratio and are supposed to represent the Cantons of Uri and Bern
The Reviews on the sets are up at PSR (Uri HERE and Bern  HERE) so you can stop reading here and look at the pics or read my consideration on them.
Basically, a lot of conversions. Flags removed, in one or two cases, the embossed crosses removed and some have had halberds swopped for pikes.
Some have also decided to join the ranks of a (in Progress) Burgundian Pikeblock (Mk2)
Hornblower. Originally the pose has the bod carrying the flag, which is just wrong. Either he´s the horn blower or the Standard bearer, not both!! It´s not too  too difficult to remove but a pain nonetheless.

"Mancatcher". A great idea, especially as seeing there´s (as far as I know) never been one represented in 1/72nd but the pose is,  IMHO, as disaster. He´s Holding the Catcher the wrong way around, ie; Left handed! While  this isn´t impossible it seems highly unlikely and with  three  in the set, more than highly unlikely.
The fowl hanging from the bod on the right  is an Addition since the set came out in metal
The Crossbowman. Basically a poor pose as he Looks like he´s sneaking about trying not to get noticed,  so I haven´t bothered to paint him 
The rest are nice poses and the Halberds can be swopped quite easily for pikes, which means, after the flag has been removed, you end up with a possible 11 usefull poses.

The better of the two sets as every pose can be used . Three of the halbardiers can have the halberds swopped for pikes which gives a possible 11 usefull poses, the same as the set from Uri but a lot less work to get the numbers up.

The Standard bearer. Basically the lack of armour makes him not 100%  in his role but removing the flag and downgrading him to a pike man is a pain, but not  too difficult.

A total of 16 bods in both sets, with conversions you end up with 22. Not a bad Basis for a block of halbardiers and as the size and style fit well alongside the halbardier bods from the  RedBox sets,   the Continental Mercenaries,  or Hussite Infantry for example.

Interesting is that some of the poses turned up a few years back, around 2012, in metal.
The set originally contained a mix of the poses from both the new plastic sets.

Back then I painted them up as members of the Medieval Pike Block which,  embarrassingly, after nearly 4 years, still isn´t finished but now some of the above can join the ranks.

Both the Standard bearers, Left Bern, Right Uri, with the big lumps of plastic removed.
Basically, a plea too all bod manufacturers;

"Please Don´t add  flags, plain or otherwise, to the Standard bearers. Both Versions are pain to paint and if part of the bod, a pain to remove! Just give us the Standard bearer without the best with just the pole, we can add our own flags!!!!"

Some of the halbardiers converted to pikemen
The bod front left. Originally half his helmet and face were covered in plastic from the Halberd shaft. It was way easier to simply remove and replace his head along with the Halbard.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Hastings 1066: Norman Army - Strelets

The New mounted bods  from the Strelets "Big box, "Hastings 1066: Norman Army"
14 bod poses and the all too familiar Nags. Not too much wrong with the nags, they have thier faults but seeing as they Feature in nearly all the Strelets Norman Range and a few other medieval /Dark Age cavalry sets, tis bout time some new nags twere sculpted methinks.

As with my previous efforts at Normans, I´ve stuck with the red/White shield Patterns..I know, not historically correct but I like it  and anyways,  I can use them in a Fantasy role alongside the Dwarves and elves in keeping those pesky orcs in check.

A couple of the nags got swopped for ones from other makes, the standard (originally a moulded flag) got removed and replaced with a paper one, one or two weapons got swopped, Lances and an axe or two
A couple of Close ups
Odo of Bayeux, half-brother of William
William the Conqueror . I´m not sure why he´s brought his Teddy along to the fight

Massed Norman cavalry.
46 in total, mainly Strelets but with additions of 4  from HäT´s  El Cid Spanish Heavy Cavalry and 4 metal ones (I´ve forgotton which make)

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

War Trolls - Olog-hai

The First Batch of Trolls from RedBox´s Alliance Fantasy range.
8 Trolls in 4 poses. Minimal Flash which is a doddle to remove due to them being made of fairly hard plastic.
My choice of Skin colours? As These are supposed to be Olog -hai, a new type of troll bred so they are faster, more intelligent and less vulnerable to sunlight, they were probably cross bred. To reflect that (theory) mine  Show animal characteristics, the pinkish Skin and troll ones , the Grey cracked Stone like Skin.
There have been scans of other trolls being made by RedBox (Catapult Crew etc) so  Hopefully they will appear soon.

You´re soldiers of Gondor, no matter what Comes through that gate, you will....
......oh sh.....!!
Close ups. Timmy and Terence....
 ...Trevor* and Troy.
My favourite, Timmy The Troll
Size comparisons.
Considering they are created specifically for 1/72nd, and even after taking the added height of the basing into consideration, these beasts are still  BIG!
Poor Legless faces up to Timmy...He´s got no hope I´m Afraid.

The 28mm Bod may think he has some sort of Chance.. my bet is on Timmy

 *Trevor Looks very much like the Troll at the battle of the black gate in the third LotR film.
My Money would, if the fight between him and Aragorn had been for real, been on Trevor.

In the book, Peregrin Took actually Kills one at the Battle of the Black gate! Considering the size Ratio, the only way he could have possibly have done that is to jump into it´s mouth and use his Body to block it´s throat and  thus choke  it to death, very much like What Alfred ends up doing (against his will) in the Battle of the Five Armies

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Medieval Camp followers - Finished

Finally the planned two stands of Camp followers are finished.
I went for a  miserable woe is me  look, a huddle of miserables trudging along at the back of an army, too lowly and unimportant  to have any sort of armed escort.
New additions
The man with a child on his shoulders and the pair pushing the wheelbarrow are from the Strelets Crusader Transport 2. 
Would have been pushed or pulled ? ..Logic seems (to me anyway) that , like a horse powered one, pulling it would make more sense.
The bod sticking his finger up his beak is from the same set but has become a pedestrian after a lower Body swop.
The cart came with a single box as the load  which is small and doesn´t really seem to Warrant the use of a  wheeled platform. It would make more sense to load the Contents of the box into two sacks. Also it was meant to have  spoked wheels. Seeing that These are peasants,  I reckon it´s slightly unrealistic. The load I replaced with some toilet roll soaked in  PVA, The wheels are  from the Airfix Ancient Britons set.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Airfix ACW - Battle of Cannon Farm - Pt 2

Using the Airfix ACW rules with slight adjustments to move and range differences. All troops have been graded the same, ie; no Advantage as veterans or disadvantage as raw recruits and the Addition of a "funny coloured stick"
The Confederate cav form column and move against the Union right flank. The Confederate artillery open fire on the single Union gun on the opposing hill but all shots fail thier target or cause no damage as one of the gunners throws a save.
Three regiments of Confederate inf advance against the Union left flank and come under fire from the single Union gun. The Union aim goes of to the left and hits (on a bounce) the 28th NC, who loose a man. The 3rd South Virginians break free of the Woods and make a dash, hoping to beat the 84th New York and the 7th Winsconsin infantry to the fences.

"The funny coloured stick? " you ask *See below
The Union cavaly and inf on the right flank move into the Woods to oppose the advancing Confederate cavaly. The Union inf fire upon McNiells Rangers taking out 2. The Union cav swerve to the left to avoid the larger confederate cavalry force. The Union guns fire on them  but miss.
The 22nd USCT has now reached a cornfield and Comes under fire from the confederate guns and looses two bods.
The 3rd South Virginians reach the relative cover of the fence before the Union bods but as the Union has moved it´s gun down from the hill, they come under a withering fire.
The conferate artillery try thier best to hit the 84th New York and the 7th Winsconsin but both shots go wide, a third bounces over the Zouaves line.
The  Fire fight intensifies with the 84th New York and the 7th Winsconsin moving slowly Forward with their supporting gun moving into cannister range. The 3rd South Virginians , despite the soft cover, loose another bod to the combined rifle fire and Grape shot, thier own return fire missing it´s mark or causing no damage due to saving throws. ...maybe they can´t see anything due to the Cotton wool?
Grapeshot /Cannister marker made as per the Airfix rules
The Union cavalry, just manages to avoid a clash with the numericaly superior Confedrate cavalry.  McNiells Rangers, who are in hot pursuit come under fire from the 22nd USCT and loose a further two bods..they throw for morale, fail and head for home, running into thier own cavalry causing a bit of a jam.
On the Union´s right flank, "Jennison's Jayhawkers" sieze thier Chance and swiftly ride around the confederates left attack the confederate guns maybe?
The Confederate guns? What have they been up to? During all this they´ve had only one target, the 22nd USCT but seeing as they are now behind hard cover thier fire has had no effect. Firing on anything else would mean the possibility of hitting thier own so they Choose not to.
The Union Cavalry engage the 3rd Texans, each side recieving one casualty
Both the 84th New York and the 7th Winsconsin Charge the 3rd South Virginians, who by now have lost 8 bods, throw for Moral, loose and run. This has a ripple effect along the conferate infantry line, with the 3rd Texans and the   28th Regiment, North Carolina both throwing loosing Moral scores. The Union cav now cut across to the left and slam into the fleeing 3rd.
The single Union gun fires at the advancing Confederate cavalry but misses.
The Conferate artillery continues it´s futile attacks on the 22nd USCT.
On the Union  right  "Jennison's Jayhawkers" are still advancing and the Union artillery has hitched up. The only Confederate inf still active, the 3rd Texas Infantry are undecided as to form up to oppose the Jayhawkers or the approaching 51st Pennsylvania  and 22nd USCT. With the Union artillery on the move, they settle for the luxury of hard cover and ignore the cavalry.
The conferate cavalry hoping to catch the Union cavalry napping, Comes under cannister and rifle fire, 4 bods go down..and now more Union cavalry is approaching.
The  28th  North Carolina rallies but for how Long ?
Finally, the Confederate guns have a score!!! One shot bounces into the Union artillery taking down 2 bods on a single bounce!!
The Confederate cav run into the 7th Winsconsin, the Union Cavalry that was persuing the  3rd South Virginians has lost them into the Woods so turns to take on the Confederate cavalry. The already weakened 28th  North Carolina is just about to recieve another cavalry attack.
At this Point,  it ´s all Happening at once.
The fight on the road intensifies. The  7th Winsconsin loose 2 bods, the Confederate cav 1, the Union Cav loose 4, the Confederates, 2, the Union throw for Moral, loose and run for it.
The 14th new York fire into the Conferate cav but take None due to misses or saves
The 28th NC fire on the Union cav taking 2 but loose 4 on contact
The  3rd Texans and the 3rd South Virginians have again failed to Rally and leave the field.
The conferate guns turn to face "Jennison's Jayhawkers" who have now rounded the hill and formed a line. One " Jayhawker" is taken, the other confederate gun yet again misses the 22nd USCT.
The "Jayhawkers" wheel into the 3rd Texas Infantry , who seeing the possibility of being surrounded have moved onto higher ground
The confederate guns fire again on the 22nd USCT...and the USCT´s luck holds..misses or saves.
The fight on the road reaches it´s conclusion. The conferate cav, now surrounded, loose another 2 bods but take another 2 Union cav. Both throw for Moral and both run. The remaining Conderate cav takes 4 7th Winsconsin for no losses but being entirely surrounded loose the Moral throw and leave.
On the hill, the 3rd Texas Infantry get mauled, loosing 6 and  taking only one Jayhawker in return.
At this Point, with virtually all his infantry and all his cavalry either in retreat or having left the field, General S. Tore, throws in the towel...hitches up the guns and leaves.
The 3rd Texas Infantry down Tools and surrender.
John & Victoria come out of thier hiding place under the bed to find a couple of dislodged Roof tiles.
Posties rejects dice?

The Airfix rules are a bit "stumpy" , the firing tables for a start are a bit odd, but they appear to work fair enough. I set up the field "blind"..first randomly Setting up the Terrain then putting troops as the ground allowed. When I´d finished,  I thought "the Union is going to get a kicking" but they won Hands down...possibly too well.?
Anyways, the next battle I´ll test the  rule set   "Charge Boys Charge !" by Andy Copestake with my daughter taking Charge of one of the sides.

*The funny coloured stick? " It´s my idea for an artillery measuring stick. It aint in the Airfix rules, there it´s suggested that Players "judge" the distance to the target, then measure it out...and bla bla.
I thought to add two firework rocket sticks (saved for constructing a 1/32nd scale Trebuchet) together and use that for measuring the range ..but then I thought "but cannon balls bounce" so I added the Loop bits (coloured Artistic licence? )  to represent a ball  loosing power and bouncing less and less higher and further.
Then I thought "as they bounce, sometimes they are Close to the ground, then up in the air, then Close to the ground before they bounce again etc..and as they are Close to the ground they would hit things, men horses etc"  So I marked those zones before and after Impact as,
Red for anything up to 2 cm´s tall (infantry) and ...
Yellow for 2 to 2.5cm´s tall (cavalry)
The green bits are where the ball would be too high.
At the Business end I added a movable square . This was to replace the suggested marker that would indicate wether a shot had gone off target.
Lay the stick onto the centre of the target. Throw a one, the shot goes to the right, a 6 it goes to the left red marker.(the bold red marks..not the faint ones..they were a mistake)

Obviously, I never thought about the "danger zones" before adding the "hoops" and I could remove them but ...what the heck? ...and obviously the hoops are  a Basic representation, as  a cannon ball wouldn´t bounce as far in muddy ground or it would bounce further on rocky ground or it would hit a rock and alter course but ...!!!!...??! ARGH!!! Although that might be fun for someone to come up with a realistic calculus for such stuff..and then do it for 12 and whatever pounder guns...I just think, In trying to Keep within the Spirit of "old School" wargaming, I´ve already gone too far with the funny coloured stick......and had to remind myself..."it´s  just a bleedin` game!!!"