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The English Civil War in Colour Photographs.

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I find that it is all too easy to become jaded and lose focus when trying to paint 'uniqueness' into a painting block of 30+ infantry figures. Napoleonics are easy, especially if you go for the box fresh parade ground look (which, let's be honest, is the big appeal of Napoleonics) as everybody is exactly the same.


Random trouser colours, and shades of red coats? All too easy to slip into formulaic convenience for speed.


The English Civil War in Colour Photographs by Honeywell and Spear is a gem of a book. It really helps give inspiration for the 'variations on a theme' notion of colours. Plus it is a pretty good starting point when picking out colours for your palette: what colour for the funny little bottle on a musketeer's bandolier, for example. For those just starting out with an ECW project, the eye candy inspiration is second to none.

The authors have followed Sealed Knot and ECWS reenactors at various events, taking pictures to tell a story about a battl…

Pre-Salute challenge

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The annual consumerist festival at the Docklands ExCel Centre is fast approaching, and those nice people at Peter Pig are offering 10% discount... well, it would be rude not to, wouldn't it? The upshot being another eight regiments of horse have been ordered, and four light artillery pieces and crews. Yet more additions to the baggage train (this time from Donnington Miniatures), and a new vignette for the townspeople (inspired by an Easter showing of Cromwell, Fairfax's coffin will be making an appearance).

To balance the universe I have set myself a pre-Salute challenge: to finish the current occupants of the painting pile.

This means completing two more foot regiments of Covenanters; four more wagons for the baggage train; and four more light limbers. The wagons and limbers can't be finished completely as their drovers (dragoon horseholders) will be waiting for me at Salute.

Not too onerous a target, apart from having to drill out the hands of the lowland pikes. Having …

Basing

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One of the reasons I started this blog was as a repository for all the scraps of paper that constituted my notes/research for this project. This post is, therefore, a blatant example of a note from me, to me. It is an attempt to save myself having to go and measure bases every time I want to order some more.

Basing is a bugbear of many gamers: rulesets are often very specific as to the number of figures to bases ratios, and base sizes. I can see the point for competition gaming, or gaming against a number of regular opponents. As I don't do any of that sort of nonsense, and provide both sides, as long as I am consistent there isn't really a problem.

All my bases are Warbases premier 2mm thick bases. Sabot/movement trays (2mm top layer) and casualty markers are also from Warbases.

Bases are finished using a variety of muddy brown paint/grit mixes, then adorned with Antenocitis' DecorPlus gamer static grass and a variety of tufts from MiniNatur (short tufts codes beginning 7…

Gaming aids

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The devil is in the detail or so they say. I must have been been bored one day whilst on the old interwebs, or I am the son of Satan. I'd say the former... some may disagree.

I managed to pick up a couple of brown leather money pouches from a LARPs seller on fleabay. They weren't expensive and are really well made (they smell wonderful too); they make excellent, atmospheric dice bags.


Needless to say, the Parliamentarian  player has orange dice, the Royalist player red. I also picked up orange and red arc of fire templates from Warbases, to complete the theme.

Rather than having ugly tape measures I plumped for brass and aluminium measuring sticks from Products for Wargamers. Extravagant but lovely.

Red and orange felt folding dice trays from All Rolled Up complete my gaming aid sets.

If you aren't familiar with All Rolled Up's dice trays, they have a black faux leather outer and a felt inner. A clever combination of poppers allows it to fold flat when not in use, or pi…

Horses

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I must confess that I am not the biggest fan of horses; I blame having a horse mad older sister, who didn't have a horse but had a little brother she could bully.

So I always used to paint horses as quickly as possible, dark brown, with dark brown manes and tails, and dark brown tack. My token gesture to 'not dark brown' was the occasional white flash or sock.

Here is my horse formula. Well it works for me, and my horses look, well, horse like.


Colours: I avoid greys and blacks unless absolutely necessary (commanders being known for only riding horses of a specific colour, or certain Napoleonic cavalry units). So my horses are almost exclusively chestnut, bay or dun. My starting point is Coat d'Arms horse tone paints. They look awful when block painted - chestnut is too red, bay looks orange. Bear with it! Next up I paint in manes and tails (black for bays and chestnuts, and bone for duns). Next I dry brush their legs black. This really tones the block colours down, an…

Storage

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We all know where a general keeps his armies*, but where do you keep yours?

My 6mm Heroics and Ros ECW armies lived in a Cadbury's chocolate fingers tin. Handy, but useless. Probably explains why the pikes looked like over cooked spaghetti.

As my 15mm Napoleonics armies grew to silly numbers, storage became an issue. At the time Sally 4th came up with their Warchests boxes and lids.


Warchests are laser cut MDF boxes which come in kit form. You'll need PVA glue and some elastic bands to assemble them. Easy to assemble, but for some reason I find the 52mm boxes the most tricky, often falling apart during that awkward act of putting the elastic bands on (to hold them together whilst the glue sets).

They now come in a number of variations (clear panel, pre-coloured, different sizes, magnetic bases etc). Mine are the basic ones: I use 35mm height boxes for casualty markers and villagers; 52mm for cavalry, dragoons and artillery; and 70mm for foot regiments.


A smart and simple solut…

Scotland the Brave: Part Two

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As I have little to no patience, I have decided to go the route of drilling hands out to take separate pikes, rather than waiting on the off chance that Peter Pig would produce some open handed lowland pikes.

Drilling the hands out was horrible, the pikes are cast on to bodies, heads and legs (great for casting and stability of the model, but a beast to remove).


(Completed, and salvaged Scots command - I was a bit heavy handed with the spray varnish.)

It was time to put paint on pewter and get some Scots ready for the battlefield. With some suitably named paint colours from Foundry: arctic grey, granite, quagmire, moss, storm blue, drab, peaty brown, I was ready to start.





Quite like the laissez-faire attitude of the pikemen, some of those positions are not in the drill manual.

I decided that my lowlanders would all be wearing hodden grey - although I fancied a mix of greys rather than a uniform shade of grey. The arctic grey and granite are my hodden grey shades, look markedly differe…