Wicker Man

Those of you 'tuning in' expecting an homage to 1960s/1970s 'journalist who travels' Alan Whicker - you misspelled Whicker... you forgot the 'h'. This post does tip its hat to the seminal 1970s horror masterpiece 'The Wicker Man', which was released almost exactly 50 years to the day that this post was published.* As part of my side-project, dabbling around in C17th supernatural gaming courtesy of Witchfinder General  I keep an eye out for suitable figures. I came across a wicker man resin figure available from eBay seller Dreamholme Scenics. It always seemed to be out of stock, and only ever 'in stock' when the household budget was a bit tight. Well ,the stars have finally aligned, and I have bought one. This is one of, if not the best resin casting I have bought. Clean, no bubbles and a perfectly smooth, flat base. The arms are separate, and there is a separate door. Also supplied are two tiny, blink and you'll miss them, magnets. The model

Captain John Mortimer’s Troop of Dragoons

Whilst technically a Confederate troop of dragoons, Mortimer's did their soldiering in Scotland as part of the Irish Brigade. But as I apply a fantasy football league style approach to the composition of my armies, I'm having them! There once was a troop o' Irish dragoons Cam marching doon through Fyvie-o And the captain's fa'en in love wi' a very bonnie lass And her name it was ca'd pretty Peggy-o The Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie Raised in March 1645 from  Colonel Manus O’Cahan’s Regiment of Foot  they weren't exactly dragoons as we know it. They were musketeers put on horseback. Captain John having served as an officer in O'Cahan's. As with so many Irish units from the Wars, we know very little about them. Mortimer is believed to have been a Scot, rather than an Irishman. They fought at Aberdeen, Kilsyth, and Philiphaugh. At Philiphaugh it appears that they fought as a troop of horse; Mortimer is thought to have been captured following the battle a

Battle of Middleton Cheney, 6th May 1643

The battlefield at Middleton Cheney has recently been surveyed and an interpretation board installed by the Battlefields' Trust. So it would seem impolite if the ECWtravelogue didn't make a visit... A newly unveiled memorial in the churchyard This night late came a messenger with an Expresse from Banbury to Oxford, declaring what an absolute victory it pleased God to grant the Earle of Northampton over the Rebels at Middleton Cheney, not farre from Banbury Mercurius Aulicus, 6th May 1643   Garrisoned at Banbury the Earl of Northampton received intelligence of  a Parliamentarian force advancing towards Banbury from Northampton. He deployed with his own Regiment of Horse and the Prince of Wales’ Regiment of Horse,  initially to monitor the advance. To avoid the well defended bridge at Banbury, the parliamentarians cross the River Cherwell at a ford close to Bodicote. As they neared the ford they saw the Royalists deployed on the opposite side of the river with a detachment moving

Houses of Interest: Powys

The firstly overtly Welsh post for the now inappropriately named ECWtravelogue sees a venture across the Welsh Marches into Powys. The main focus of this entry in Montgomery and its battlefield. And to the man who was wandering into the castle saying to his family "I think there's a load of Civil War stuff here, I looked on KeepYourPowderDry but there wasn't anything" - here it is! Good views of the battlefield, and an information panel can be found in the castle's outer ward Montgomery Castle was originally a motte and bailey castle built in the mid-eleventh century, being replaced by a stone castle in the thirteenth century. Having walked, or more sensibly driven up to the castle, you'll understand exactly why the castle was built where it was. The walkway crossing the ditch into Montgomery Castle's inner ward Fast forward to the Civil Wars: most of Wales supported the Crown. Montgomery Castle was garrisoned by Royalists, under the command of the elderly

Warlord Pike and Shotte Epic Battles: the Scottish sprue

Another 'freebie'* with  this month's edition of Wargames Illustrated, so I thought it was my duty to pick up a copy and  review them. Hopefully, my latest review of an Epic product won't generate the hate mail that my original posts did. Warlord's Epic Pike and Shotte is, let's be honest, a bit of a Marmite thing (you either love it, or hate it). I probably fall between the two camps: a bit disappointed with the figures, specifically the cavalry sprue; hopeful that other manufacturers will produce stuff to support the range; and, of course I am all for a new range of 'true 15mm'** figures that covers my favourite period (particularly from a company with the 'reach' of Warlord Games). This is, by necessity, a one sprue fits all solution, so combines, foot, artillery, dragoons and horse. Let's look at the sprue in detail. The Epic look is not for everyone, but the foot strips are crisply detailed, no strange hands on pikes this time (maybe War

Houses of Interest: Shropshire

A major revamp for the Shropshire entry. Shropshire was a hot bed of Royalist support. The ECW travelogue takes in not just those sites associated with the fighting of the Wars, but also the many places that claim to have helped save the life of the future Charles II. And, of course, an infamous oak tree. I’ve wanted to visit Stokesay Castle ever since I discovered that it was in fact a real castle and not somewhere made up. The gatehouse at Stokesay has to be up in the premier league of timber framed buildings Cared for by English Heritage, Stokesay Castle is "one of the best-preserved medieval fortified manor houses in England" (English Heritage castle expert Dr Henry Summerson - makes a change from the traditional quote from Pevsner). A seemingly eclectic building programme over 400 years has resulted in the site that we have today. Owned by Sir William Craven, an ardent supporter of the Queen, providing considerable sums of money to the Royalist war effort; Stokesay had