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Painting Guide - Equipment

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Having spent quite a bit of time, not to mention a few thousand words, prattling on about the colours (and paint codes) that I use to paint my toy soldiers, it is probably only right and proper that I discuss the hardware carried, and worn, by soldiers. This is an excuse to share lots of little bits of information that I have come across whilst researching my armies, and wider questions such as coat colours. Don't be surprised if there is a digression or three.
Caveat: these are my observations, with a smattering of references thrown in for good measure, they are in no way definitive. They could never be. The best we can ever aspire to, when modelling soldiers of the English Civil Wars, is a pastiche. This is what works for me. If it helps you out - great.

Personal Protective Equipment (to coin a modern term)

Buff coats were traditionally made from buffalo hide, but were invariably made from cow hide (not many buffalo roaming around Blighty). Modern day testing shows that they could …

The Battles of Powick Bridge 1642 and Worcester 1651

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The ECW Travelogue packed it's passport and headed down south again, this time revisiting Worcester. This time I looked at a lot more than just the Commandery.


The Battle of Powick Bridge, 23rd September 1642



Powick is often called the first battle of the English Civil War: which fails to acknowledge events in
Ireland, Hull, Southam, and Portsmouth. Plus the term 'battle' is over egging the pudding somewhat.

More accurately a cavalry skirmish Powick saw the well led, and enthusiastic royalist cavalry of Prince Rupert, come up against well equipped but far less effective Parliamentarian cavalry under Nathaniel Fiennes. The Parliamentarians were routed, fleeing back across the bridge giving the Royalists a major propaganda victory.

The Battle of Worcester, 3rd September 1651



Worcester is also somewhat inaccurately termed the last battle of the English Civil War, although this time the claim is a little more accurate than that claimed for Powick. Worcester was the last major batt…

Sir William Brereton's Regiment of Horse

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Another interesting local (to Château KeepYourPowderDry that is) regiment. Sir William was commissioned as a Captain of Horse in 1642 - Manchester University holds his original commission. He and his troop fought at Brentford, it is thought he may have raised a second troop in and around London before returning to Cheshire.


In February 1643 the Regiment consisted of five troops, by 1645 the Regiment was effectively a double regiment of 1000 men. It would appear that rather than there being a number of small Regiments of Horse in Cheshire, all troops were subsumed into the one Regiment.


I have chosen to represent the Regiment with Sir William's own troop, as we know what his cornet looked like, and we also know that he purchased black taffeta trumpet banners in 1643. A number of headswaps with this unit, mostly for lobster pots with open visors. These were finished ages ago, and were sat waiting to be based for a long time - no idea why, as I quite like basing.

In May 1643 two diff…

Battle of Winwick, 19th August 1648

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The Battle of Winwick, also known as the The Battle of Winwick Pass, and the Battle of Red Bank (I've also seen it referred to as the Battle of Warrington) was the culmination of the Battle of Preston . The defeated Scots Royalist Army had fled from Preston pursued and harried by Parliamentarian soldiers from The New Model Army and The Northern Army. Those soldiers who hadn't deserted the Scots/Royalist Army rallied and mounted a last stand on the outskirts of Warrington at Winwick.

As the fighting was almost continuous over the course of three days, Winwick is often described as a continuation of the Battle of Preston.

The now mainly Scottish Army loyal to the Crown formed their lines along Red Bank (which is now the course of Hermitage Green Lane), the steep banks on either side giving an indication why the Scots chose this to boost their defences. Hamilton had taken most of the cavalry to defend the route into Warrington (a vital river crossing over the Mersey) but carrie…

The Army of Montrose

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As I have almost run out of Royalists and Parliamentarians to paint, and I have a small Covenanter force it would make sense to create the Army of Montrose. Something I have been shying away from for a very long time due to tartan*, but anything is preferable to painting Napoleonic Austrians.


My Covenanters, and the Scots from the Army of Montrose, could also be combined to form a Scots Royalist Army for the Preston and Worcester campaigns.

We know very little about about Montrose's Army; the Scots seem to swap sides and allegiance at the drop of a hat, so much of what we know about Montrose's men dates from a short period of their existence when they fought for the Covenant. Montrose never really had a base for his army, the bigger Scottish towns and cities were firmly with the Solemn League, Montrose drawing soldiers from many much smaller settlements (where diarists and chroniclers, on the whole, were notably absent).

My sources are the ever present Men-At-Arms volume "…

Houses of Interest: Oxfordshire

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The first entry in the Oxfordshire Houses of Interest post isn't a house, it's a castle.


Broughton Castle to be precise, home of Lord Saye and Sele. And what a castle! Broughton is a fourteenth century moated manor house.


William Fiennes, the 8th Lord Saye and Sele, emerged as one of the leaders of the Puritan Parliamentary group in the 1630s who were opposed to the autocratic (and religious) behaviour of Charles I. He earned the nickname 'Old Subtlety' because of his meticulousness in outwitting the King's advisors.


Among the fine collection of miniatures on display is one of John Pym
William was one of the founders of the Providence Island Company: the Company met frequently at the Castle - although those meetings were often a front for covert meetings of the opposition to Charles I. Attendees included John Hampden and John Pym (two of the 'birds' that famously flew the House of Commons); Lord Brooke; the Earl of Warwick; and Sir Henry Vane.


Colonel Nathanie…