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Novelty and Change

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The weather is rubbish: it doesn't feel right painting in the summer, but it is much too cold and wet to go on a big ECWtravelogue day out... so expect rather a lot of book related posts of the coming weeks. Helion curate a number of regular conferences linked to their extensive book series. I was lucky to attend the most recent Century of the Soldier conference as a guest of series editor Charles Singleton. The lectures given by the speakers are collated and published  by Helion with the subtitle of "Proceedings of the... Helion and Company 'Century of the Soldier' Conference". I must be clear and point out that Helion sent me this copy for review. So, what is this? A nice souvenir for everyone who attended? Or the 'handouts' for everyone who couldn't be bothered taking notes? If you didn't attend, is it worth splashing the cash? Clearly, at a very facetious level it is both a nice souvenir, and the 'handouts' from the lectures, for those

Soldiers' Clothing of the Early 17th Century

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The latest tome from Helion focuses on an issue that is right up there in the list of favourite topics at Château KeepYourPowderDry. Occasionally Helion send me books to review, for clarity I bought my copy. I might not be the intended audience for this book, as I know a little bit about the subject, and my bookshelves groan with the weight of Civil War books. But I bought it none the less. Laurence Spring is one of those Civil War historians/researchers whose books will always make me sit up and take notice.  This volume, unsurprisingly, takes a long hard look at clothing issues to soldiers both in Britain and also on the continent. I'm going to be honest, I've not read the 30YW chapters (plus I feel unqualified to comment upon their accuracy), but I have read the 'British' chapters four times. Yes, four. I'm that sad. On the subject of my copy being well thumbed, the cover is, somewhat disappointingly, already delaminating. Not good. This book is chock-full of acc

Prison Wagon

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I've watched enough nonsense on the telly box to know that every historical/supernatural setting requires a prison wagon (effectively a cage on wheels) in which the good people round up witches/monsters, or alternatively the evil henchmen (who are all, almost certainly, called Igor) round up innocent civilians to aid their master's fiendish plans. (delete as appropriate). In fact, spurred on by a regular reader (hello), and their questions about Witchfinder General they asked me where my prison wagon was. Well, as I didn't have on, nor any excuse to not have one, I was spurred into action. I decided to utilise the chassis of Donnington Miniatures' CB14 Open 4 Wheel Wagon. The wagon comes as a kit, flat bed, separate sides and baggage. I ditched the sides, and will utilise the baggage elsewhere. Four Museum Miniatures' draught horses from my spares box will pull the cart. But how to fabricate the 'cage'? A few test pieces proved that I could utilise matches a

Colonel Ruari McGuire's Regiment of Foot

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I started this blog many moons ago as a repository for all the little bits of paper I wrote to myself... coat and flag colours, base sizes, paint colours, basing routine and so on. As I think I have finally worked out a way of drilling Irish hands that doesn't result in having to remake hands from Milliput, here's a note to myself, and anyone else who orders Peter Pig's Irish pike, when they meant to order Irish pike open hand:- Pikemen legs wide apart: trim away pike, including between the hands.  Then gently cut a notch in the back of both hands, smooth and widen 'hole' for pike with round file. Place pike in position then push foot of pike into a 'better' position. Pikemen legs apart (the slightly more difficult one): cut away pike (including between the hands), careful of sword guard, make sure that the cut below the bottom hand is square; start drilling upwards from the cuff. Top hand cut and file a groove. Pikemen legs together: trim away pike, leave p

Amsterdam

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 Amsterdam? English Civil War? Surely a questionable/tenuous link... or an excuse for a 'jolly'. Amsterdam, party capital of the low countries, is not too synonymous with the Civil Wars, standing in the shadows of Breda and The Hague. Detail from 'Militia Company...Bicker' Breda's claim is strong, where many adventuring young gentlemen learned soldiering before the outbreak of the Wars; The Hague, where so many Royalists exiled themselves during the Interregnum/Protectorate.  Amsterdam wasn't too popular with exiled Royalists; however, it did become home for many exiled republicans once the Restoration had returned the monarch to the throne. These exiled republicans would help build Amsterdam's wealth. What Amsterdam does have is a city landscape that very much entered its golden age during the mid seventeenth century. Amongst the pungent aroma of cafes, stroopwafels, extortionate chocolate shops, frites and ladies whose virtue can be easily bought, are a wh

Sir Phelim macShane O’Neill's Regiment of Foot

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I finally return to painting Irish Confederate regiments of foot: is the delay down to the fact I ordered the wrong figures, so now  have to carefully cut away cast pikes and drill out hands; or, is it because I can't face researching regiments due to inconsistent spelling of names, and the fact that Irish gentry thought it would be a jolly wheeze to give every male in the family the same name? It matters not. Ladies, gentlemen, and everybody in the middle... I proudly present Sir Phelim macShane O'Neill's Regiment of Foot. And there's the start of my woes. Sir Phelim O'Neill. 'Cheife Traytor of all Ireland'. Apparently. Known for his flamboyant colourful clothing that 'set off his red hair'. Phelim, sometimes Felim, Phillom, Féilim; O'Neill, sometimes O'Neil, Néill, and all combinations of the two. I'll stick with Phelim O'Neill, if it doth offend thine eyes - sorry. Phelim was born on 1604, eldest son of Turlough O'Neill of the