Saturday, 16 January 2016

Napoleonic French Division/ Corps Commander

The last pieces of wargaming work I finished in 2015 consisted of a mounted Divisional/ Corps command stand and a couple of terrain pieces. I was short of a proper senior command stand for my 28mm French Peninsula army so I thought it wouldn't take me long to paint one up. How wrong I was. I had the Front Rank and Brigade Games figures undercoated for months before I got around to finishing them off. However, I'm happy with the final result which is loosely based on Soult and his ADCs. Apparently Marshal Soult had an ADC who wore a yellow coat that would have made him stand out on the battlefield. The terrain pieces consist of a scratch-built fenced field and a cemetery using headstones from 4Ground. I'm not totally happy with the look of the headstones which might need a bit more dry brushing in 'Stone wall grey' to get the desired look.
A French general and his staff observing a battle 

The yellow-coated ADC and the gemeral are from Front Rank, while the two ADCs to the right are from Brigade Games

A scratch-built fenced field intended for my AWI and ACW games

The new versatile cemetery using 4Ground headstones 

Until next time!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Jacobite dragoons - Lord Dongan's regiment in Ireland 1690

As it is the last day of my summer holiday I thought I would use the time to update my blog. Following on with my project to build a Jacobite force to defend King James's realm in Ireland, the dismounted troops of Lord Dongan's Regiment of Dragoons was the last completed unit to emerge from my painting table in 2015. I'm not far off completing the mounted stands for this unit and hope to have them ready by next week. The figures are by Front Rank and the flag is from the 'Warfare' range as can be seen on the superb 'League of Augsburg' website. The foliage is once again supplied by Rodger Wood Wargaming Enterprises. The basing is to that suggested in the 'Beneath the Lily Banner' rule set, with only 5 figures per base for dismounted dragoons compared to 6 for infantry. The Southern Strategists are planning to put on a demo game of the Williamite War in Ireland at the annual Conquest convention here in Christchurch in October, so I still have plenty of painting to do to ensure the Jacobites have a strong force to deal to the Protestant usurper, William of Orange. Apologies for the poor image quality as I was lazy and just used my wife's 'point and shoot' camera which I'm still learning to use properly.

There are only 2 stands for this unit's firing line, taking into account troops needed as horse-holders in the rear 

The command stand

The horse-holder stand represents the troops required to remain in the rear with the horses 

The senior mounted officer is not part of the unit and will be used to command a brigade

These are two spare figures that I thought would come in handy for defending buildings  I intend to make for the project 
     Until next time!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Trip to Wellington - Part 2

As promised, I've assembled more images of our family visit to the Great War Exhibition and Te Papa in Wellington. The Te Papa exhibition focuses on a number of over-sized models of individual New Zealanders who served at Gallipoli, as well as some dioramas and inter-active displays...truly fantastic! The Te Papa exhibition and the Great War Exhibition compliment each other and visitors should set aside a whole day if they want to take in both in one day.      
Lt. Herbert Westmacott of the Auckland Infantry Battalion who was wounded at Gallipoli on the day of the landing. This Weta Workshop model at Te Papa is so detailed you can even see the sweat on his face

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Trip to Wellington - Part 1

Way back in September the family and I travelled to Wellington during the school holidays primarily to visit the Great War Exhibition and the Gallipoli display at Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum. For the past year and a half I had been doing some contract work for WingNut Films, some of which has been used on interpretation panels in the Gallipoli Room of the Great War Exhibition. Unfortunately, my father died suddenly a week after our return from holiday and I've only now got around to updating my blog. The 'Old Man' had been a great role model, not just to me, but to many others and this was reflected in the 450 people who attended his funeral and after-match function. I'll certainly miss his sound advice and support.    

Brian Stack (1942 -2015) - All Black test reserve 1966 - R.I.P.

The trip to Wellington was fantastic, with the highlight undoubtedly being the guided tour of the Great War Exhibition by the Executive Director and recently retired Chief of the NZ Defence Force, Lt-Gen. Rhys Jones, a fellow wargamer and genuine top bloke. We were privileged to get a personalised tour of the exhibition where Rhys gave us several hours of his time to explain the background to setting up the displays and the vision that Sir Peter Jackson and his associates had for this world-class museum. Most of the original items on display were from Peter's vast  personal collection and I think the nation is very fortunate in having someone like him with the passion for its military history and philanthropic outlook to create what hopefully will become a permanent national museum.    

The consummate tour guide -Rhys Jones and 'yours truly' in the Gallipoli Room

Many others have placed photographs of the Exhibition on their blogs since it opened back in April this year and I apologise for the repetition  in what I've included here, but the exhibition is truly amazing and can only get better with the opening of the 'Trench Experience' on Anzac Day 2016.  

Scaled replica of a German Howitzer

The most common display photographed at the Exhibition

One of Sir Peter Jackson's London buses

Replica uniforms of participating nations with weapons made by Weta Workshop

1914 German infantry uniform

Original WW1 headdress from Sir Peter's personal collection  

British trench scene 1914-1915

Large British field gun in action - the historic Dominion Building had to be altered to house this.

Helmets from Sir Peter's collection

Western Front  trench diorama

Model of the superior German trenches

British tank in action, enfilading a German trench 

German trench mortar crew being overrun

Superb detail provided by in the Weta Workshop displays

A genuine Lewis Gun from Sir Peter's collection

Master Stack examining the colourised contemporary images taken at Gallipoli and supplied by Weta Digital 

A British howitzer and Maxim machine gun display

An example of some of my work displayed in the Gallipoli room

I've got plenty more photos of the Chunuk Bair diorama and the Te Papa Gallipoli display that I'll include in Part 2. Anyone contemplating a holiday in New Zealand must include visiting Wellington to view the Great War Exhibition and Te Papa to gain a true understanding of the New Zealand experience in the First World War.

Until next time!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

18th Century Supply Wagons

Quite a few years back I bought some Front Rank wagons to use with my 18th Century armies. At that time it was usual to hire civilian contractors to do the general cartage of supplies, meaning that I could use these wagons and drivers with any of my armies of that period. The years went by and I kept saying to myself that I must paint them up...and of course that never happened, until a few weeks back when I finally made an effort. They were quick and easy to paint, and a welcoming distraction from painting up battalions-size units. I've still got a couple more to do, but these first two models are a start.

     Until next time!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Galmoy's Horse - Jacobite cavalry in Ireland 1690

I finished painting this cavalry regiment about a month ago but only just got around to photographing it this week. It's the second unit I've completed for my army of James II in Ireland and I'm half way through a dismounted unit of dragoons. These figures are all Front Rank and I chose to paint up Galmoy's Horse first as I was inspired by the same unit in the Front Rank web site gallery. I also decided to depict the regiment with figures with swords and pistols to make the regiment look less regulated compared to armies of the 18th century. The flag is from Warfare Miniatures who provide a great selection of flags for regiments of both Williamite and Jacobite forces in Ireland and Scotland. These flags are much larger than the GMB flags that I traditionally use, but are of equal quality IMHO. The foliage was made by the most-talented Rodger Wood from our Southern Strategists group.        

I decided to paint the commander in the same coat colour as the rest of the regiment, although many officers of grey-coated regiments were recorded as wearing red coats with red cuffs.
Until next time!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Jacobite artillery of James II in Ireland

I really enjoyed painting up the 54 mm figures for the Chunuk Bair diorama now on display at the Great War Exhibition in Wellington. They were quick and easy to paint, especially when using washes to bring out the detail. However, I've returned to my own projects which now includes collecting a 28 mm Jacobite force  to defend King James II's interests in Ireland, 1689-1691. As a result of family history research I became interested in wargaming the period, but thought it might be a project I would tackle in years to come. Alas, Front Rank recently had a sale on their superb range of 17th Century figures that I couldn't ignore, and in a moment of weakness I splashed out, initially buying four infantry and two cavalry regiments, along with mounted commanders and two artillery pieces. Since then I've added another cavalry regiment, as well as mounted and dismounted dragoons. Fellow Southern Strategists, Dave and Geoff, have also purchased sizable forces, mainly to portray the forces of the usurper, William of Orange. Dave is pushing for our group to have these forces all painted up for a demo game at Conquest in Christchurch in October this year, but this might be a bit ambitious given that Geoff and I aren't the fastest of we'll see. These images are of  the completed artillery stands which are the first troops I painted up for the project. Two squadrons of the grey-coated Galmoy's Horse are currently under the brush.