Wednesday 23 November 2016

Additional real estate

Finally I have an opportunity to breath a little life into this blog - apologies for a lack of posts, but I've not added anything new to my HYW armies recently as I've been focussing on other armies. However there will be future postings as I intend to refight more battles next year. In the meantime, I have had some spare time to paint up Hudson and Allen buildings which I've had lingering.

One is an extra section of castle wall, to add to those which John Boadle converted and painted for me several years ago. Most of the walls that I have shown some degree of damage from siege activity and I wanted another which was intact. No conversion work on this one, just cutting out the crenallations and adding a wash and skimming of plaster to the walls followed by the biggest challenge of matching John's paintwork. I can confirm that painting individual tiles in three shades is more than a little tedious(!), but I'm happy with the final results when they're lined up together.

The barn is also a Hudson and Allen casting; I love the fine detail on these models which really is evident once you start adding washes and dry-brushing. I cut away most of the larger surrounding base of the model, to get a smaller footprint, and glued it to a thin plasticard base. It was then a case of simply painting to match other buildings I have (the rendered walls are a little less yellow that on these photos). I will add some farmyard clutter when I can locate the castings I have squirrelled away!

Toddle pip.

Monday 18 July 2016

Hounds - castings restock

I have finally got my act together and received more casting of the hounds. They are nice, crisp castings by Griffin Moulds.

If anyone you're still interested, they are available for purchase and will be:
£4.75 for pack of 4, including UK postage
£6.50 for pack of 4, including EU postage.

I can take Paypal payments
If another means of payment is required, please feel free to get in contact with me via this email address.

All the best.

Sunday 24 April 2016

Agincourt demo game at Royal Armouries

Our contribution to the Royal Armouries Gaming Event at Leeds was to re-run the demo game of Agincourt. The 'we' were Stuart Mulligan and Stephen Hall, using my figures and terrain.

The set-up reflected the French battle plan, drawn up a few days before the battle but not implemented on the day. This had crossbowmen positioned in the van and three main battles of men at arms, with small wings of mounted men at arms. We used 'Hail Ceaser' rules with the amends made by Alan & Michael Perry (thanks to them and the others at the event who kindly rallied to the distress email sent out on Friday evening when, sitting in a Leeds pub, I realised that I'd not packed any rules!). We'd planned to run the game twice during the day, using Impetus for the second one, but both time and energy ran out on us.

The French attack stuttered a little at the start, but Stephen made headway with his mounted wing and Duke of Orleans battle, only to meet an effective arrow storm which inflicted casualties and stalled the advance. In the centre the crossbowmen got into range and exchanged shots with the English archers.

The French nobility pressed on and the attack progresses in echelon, with the right wing advancing slowest, probably resulting from Stuart's dice throwing! The centre battle finally made contact - sweeping aside the first line of longbowmen and then pressing home into hand to hand melee with the English centre, including King Henry and the leading nobility. This seemed like the pivotal moment, as the French had superior numbers in support to exploit an advantage gained. However they narrowly lost and as they were carrying casualties from the advance under arrow shots, they retired and broke.

On the English left the archers managed to stall the advance of the last French advance, again the accumulation of casualties from arrow storm seemed to be the main factor.

So, Henry's God-given rights to the French crown were upheld, and on St George's day to boot!

The day seemed well attended, with a good flow of visitors from mid morning - including a good number of wargamers who were aware of the event, but some of the visiting public who were brave enough to enter a room full of folk hunched over tables and moving model soldiers about! We did our best to convey what we were trying to do with the game. There was a good selection of other HYW games and related societies.

It was great to talk to everyone on the day. Another highlight was the informative illustrated talk by Dave Marshall and the Perrys on planning and constructing the Agincourt 600 diorama, which we had a quick look at in its permanent location at the Armouries. Sadly we didn't have time to take in all the armour galleries.

 Alan and Michael sharing info on the resin blocks used for the French forces in the diorama 

The Wargames Illustrated WotR game, using the Perrys figures and terrain.

The joy of commerce! see Stuart's forthcoming blog post for details.

Thursday 21 April 2016

Supply Wagons - completed

Just finished off the English supply wagons, to be lurking behind the archers and ready to keep arrow stocks replenished. Although done at a brisk pace, I'm very please with them.

Sunday 17 April 2016

Supply wagons for Agincourt game.

Another interim posting on progress towards the Agincourt demo game at Leeds Royal Armouries on 23 April.

All of the extra French dismounted nights and men at arms have been done. This will create 18 additional bases of figures (I use 50mm square bass for my HYW). The highlight of these are the expertly painted knights which Stuart Mulligan has completed and sent to me. You can see more of these on his blog.

I’ve decided to leave the basing until the final stage next week, as I can complete these as a production line process. Therefore I’ve dived into creating a couple of wagons carrying supplies of arrows, to sit behind the English lines, as a non-gaming vignette. The inspiration came from the Agincourt 600 diorama, now at the Armouries. Exchequer accounts for 1415 demonstrate that huge numbers of arrows were purchased by the government and were supplied in boxes and barrels for transportation to France. Arrows were usually packed in bundles of 100 per box, along with bowstrings. The finds on the Mary Rose of arrow boxes also confirms the continuation of this practice by English armies.

The wagons are both Perry metals from the WR range, with 2 plastic figures caught in the middle of unloading by the advance of the French (using a mix of arm options). I’ve also added a couple of younger soldiers with the task of running the replenishments to the archers – one is metal peasant with plastic arm transplant to carry some sheaves, whilst the other is a Foundry HYW figure with arrow bags added from the Perry Light Cavalry plastics box. Both are in progress with the basing; paint and grasses to be applied.

I think I’ve run out of road to complete any other pieces for the game. I’ll try and squeeze in pictures of the finished figures – if I fail I’ll add them to the next post re the day. If you’re there on 23rd April, please do mosey over and say hello.

Saturday 2 April 2016

French Knights - reinforcements update

I have reached a 50-up stage for the French foot knights for the Agincourt game at RAGE on 23 April - so on track with the extra figures I've planned and just a few more to do.

All are plastic Perry Miniatures from the French Infantry and Agincourt Foot Knights boxes and all painted in the post-haste approach outlined in the last post. Any heraldry and decoration is kept to its simplest. This process seems to have worked OK; this is a personal best in terms of how many figures I've completed in a short period. I may even squeeze in a couple of other bits for the game. A deadline provides a great deal of focus!

The Perry French infantry box is an excellent addition, with loads of build options and I'm looking forward to using the remaining figures to build some crossbows and pavisers, sometime in the future.

More updates to follow....

Sunday 20 March 2016

RAGE and another Agincourt game

As many of you will know, the Agincourt diorama built by TM Terrain and Perry Miniatures for the 600th anniversary, has already moved to a permanent resting place at the Royal armouries in Leeds. To promote this, the RA have organised a Hundred Years Wargaming weekend on 23 & 24 April, entitled RAGE.

On the Saturday,  I’ll be putting on an Agincourt demo game, using my figures and terrain – effectively a redux of the game at Salute last year. Stuart Mulligan will be on hand too and we’ll consider any learnings of the last game and consider any tinkering that maybe required (it was a French victory last time!).

The French forces need to be slightly enlarged in numbers. Although they were very close to the ratios which Professor Anne Curry settled on in her many anniversary publications on the battle; about 8,500 for the English and 12,000 for the French (9,000 nobles with men at arms and 3,000 crossbow/urban militias). 

So this now requires a production-line approach to get as many dismounted knights & men at arms as possible to a tabletop state of readiness. I’ve borrowed a speed-paint approach used by David Imrie recently on HYW figures. It seems to be working OK, although the approach is very alien to me and I’ve had to resist the temptation to add another highlight/shade/lining to the figures as I’ve gone along. So assembled plastics have been sprayed with an enamel undercoat shade of silver, followed by two layers of brown/black washes (Army Painter and Games Workshop). Then non-metal areas have been blackened with a single coat of main colour and a quick highlight only on highest points of surcoats etc. If needed I may pick out highlights of pure silver on the plate harness. Heraldry on these coats will be avoided - apart from a handful of notables which Stuart is currently doing to his usual excellent standards - in the interests of time.

The pics are just of the desk, with models at differing stages. I'm using the same colour palette for groups of 8-10 figures, which will be mixed up when based. They seem fit for purpose. So far I’m on track and once the figures have been based, some flags added and in rear ranks no one will ever know (except for you, dear blog reader!). 

I’ll post up some better quality progress pics over the next few weeks.

Tuesday 8 March 2016

Steel Fist - Tudor Knights Kickstarter

I'd like to shout out for a great Kickstarter from Steel Fist Miniatures, for Tudor / early 16th century foot knights. Oliver is the designer/owner of Steel Fist, and has a great reputation for finely sculpted and meticulously researched Japanese Samurai in 28mm. This range is steadily growing and I know from occasional emails with him that he's inspired by the challenge of accurately replicating the various armour worn by Samurai armies.

Now he's turning back to western armour again and has done 6 great foot knights, which can be pledged for in pairs. More information on the Kickstarter is here - in case you're interested - it's the first one I've supported and I know its a great way for figure designers to get figures to market which may not have the wide appeal of 'core ranges'.

Oliver designed the sets of plumes that i use on my medievals and he's a pleasure to deal with. So really hoping these figures get supported - those magnificent ostrich plumes look too good to not have a chance to paint!

Saturday 6 February 2016

Perry Miniatures - new Agincourt plastics!

As I'm sure everyone knows, Perry Miniatures have two more plastic boxes ready for release later this month both for the Agincourt/English territorial expansion of 1415-30 - one of French infantry and the other Foot Knights (mixing sprues from the English and French boxes). I had a request from Alan to paint up a few of the test figures he'd received and assembled from Renedra last month.

The figures are excellent, as we now have come to expect from Perry plastics. Not only is the sculpting very detailed and the arms & armour well researched, but plenty of planning and thought has gone into these - alongside the others in this range - to maximise the opportunities for creating loads of variations. Also the poses for these figures are more active than the English box - reflecting no doubt the typical tactical approach of the two armies. Here's a few pictures I took myself before they went off to PM.

I will be getting these to add to my French - and of course now await the French mounted knights plastics with great anticipation. 

I'm hoping to expand my French army as I'm going to reprise the Agincourt game that I put on at Salute, at the Armouries in Leeds on 23rd & 24th April, when the Agincourt diorama is moving to its final resting place. A weekend event is being organised and more information can currently be found here.