Friday, 16 September 2022

Partizan Preps

It’s been a while, and I apologise for not posting over the past few weeks.

Some will have noticed from the Partizan website that I am putting a game on at the show on Sunday 9th October so much of my hobby time has been invested in getting ready for that. I’ve got a few vignettes and special stands I have been working on and another unit of Pils-Holstein infantry that are almost complete.

It will be the first time the full Wars of the Vaubarian Succession (WVS, 1704) collection has been seen in public. It’s not a huge collection (amounting only to something like 350 infantry, 80 cavalry, a few guns and mortars and vignettes) but for me the big prize is to be able to see the fruits of my labours laid out on the tabletop ready to do battle.

I am indebted to Steve Gill who has been a ‘sounding board’ throughout the project, offering advice and ideas, and who will be joining me to present the game on the day.

Other than that, this is very much a “One-Man Band” effort and all figures, flags, buildings, and terrain were painted by yours truly.

I hope to show that, beautifully impressive as they are, not all ‘display/demo games’ need to consist of huge museum-quality sculpted terrain boards made by professional modellers adorned by hordes of figures painted by an army of pro-painters!
It just takes a little focus and discipline and you can create a satisfying game by your own hand too.

For those who are coming to the show, please do pop by the table and say hi. For those who can’t make it to the show, I will post a few photos of the game afterwards.

Meanwhile... a few pictures of the collection to whet the appetite.


See you at the show...

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Second Brigade

The Astrovian 2nd Bde on the march.

For no other reason than I had them set out on the table and thought they made a good photo...



Friday, 22 July 2022

Another battalion

The final Astrovian battalion for my 1704 WVS project.

This is IR6 - Schindler.

Being the final battalion, you might say that they complete the list, but that would be such an awful and contrived pun that it would be wrong to try it.

I quite like the dark grey with yellow cuffs combination, although most of the Astrovian units are in light grey or white. I suppose it's nice to have some variety.

Not sure what I will tackle next... I do have a few things in the pipeline. I rather like switching between mainstream units and then a vignette or two. Having got to 'critical mass' in terms of line troops for now, the vignettes are a luxurious relaxation that I am relishing.

Hope everyone has a good weekend lined up. Hopefully will have another update before not too long.
Best wishes to all...

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

A few vignettes

Here are a few recently completed little vignettes for the 1704 WVS project.

First up, Astrovian infantry Brigadier von Freud:

Plus ... a couple of Cossacky/ Croaty pieces with some left-over figures.

That's all for now... I'm almost finished another infantry battalion, so that will be coming sometime soon.

Meanwhile, thanks to my regular band of followers and commenters. Much appreciated.

And amidst the soaring temperatures, stay as cool as you can. As wargamers, of course, we're already pretty cool dudes, right?!

Monday, 11 July 2022

On the march

Having recently finished all 6 of the Vaubarian infantry battalions for the 1704 WVS project, it seemed timely to lay them out on the table, with brigade commanders, wagons, the marching band, and Markgraf Karl von Orff, Vaubarian Field Commander himself.

Numbering from the right, battalions are:

IR1 Leibgarde (white cuffs)

IR2 Dremel (yellow cuffs/ facings)

IR3 Breitner (red cuffs/ facings)

IR 4 Electoral Grenadiers (claret coats, Vaubarian blue cuffs/ facings)

IR5 Ratzinga (pink cuffs/facings)

IR6 Augenthaler (green cuffs/ facings)

By many standards, it's certainly not a large array, but it is neat and meets the design criteria I had in mind for this army at the outset.

I am, in fact, rather pleased with it.

All figures are Front Rank,. painted by myself. All flags, hand-painted on aluminium foil by my own unsteady hand!

Next, I hope to have a similar array of the enemy (Astrovians) to show in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for looking in...

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

An all Hellenistic affair

The weekend past saw The Old Berks (Steve Gill, Andy Moran, John Kersey, and myself) gather for a game of WAB. We pitted my Rise of Macedon army against Andy's Greeks and fought out a hugely enjoyable and tense encounter, interspersed with banter, refreshments, and a bit of show n tell of our individual projects and lots of chatter about the hobby in general as well as some plans for future games and campaigns.

I have to report that myself (Philip of Macedon) and Steve (a young Alexander the Great) changed the course of history by losing badly to the Greeks under Andy and John's expert command. The Sacred Band, in particular, fought with considerable pride.

Most important... it was fun.

Here are just a few snaps of an enjoyable afternoon...

Thanks to those visitors who have commented on recent posts regarding the WVS project. There will be more photos of that in the next few days...

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

More infantry?

The final (?) Vaubarian infantry battalion: IR6 Augenthaler.

(The use of Bayern Munich footballers' names from 1982 continues!).

Really quite pleased with these chaps.

To break up the monotony, I discoloured a couple of the coats, and instead of having all the gaiters white, a few have grey/ brown just to break things up.

The drummer is in reverse colours.

All figures are Front Rank. 

Flags are hand painted on aluminium foil.

Regimental blue flag has a Golden Hart emblem, which also appears near the flagstaff, upper, on the white colour which is dominated by the Vaubarian coat of arms in a wreath as is the standard format for these infantry regiments.

It feels like a bit of a milestone to have finished the six Vaubarian infantry battalions... not a huge undertaking by any means, but a significant point at which to take stock (and wonder whether I should expand the army with another brigade - 3 further battalions - at some point).

Thanks for looking in.



Monday, 6 June 2022

Marching Band

I have been meaning, for some time, to create a marching band for my 1704 project, The Wars of the Vaubarian Succession (WVS).

So what better way to spend the weekend, than to settle down whilst all the pomp and ceremony of HM The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations were on telly, and indulge at the paint desk for a few hours.

The result...

I thought the Trooping the Colour event on Saturday was particularly splendid this year. 

Aly M has already posted some fine 'stills' from this parade on his blog. Pop over there if you need some inspiration on marching men in uniforms.

It still irks me that the drill manual decided to accommodate the SA80 when that weapon was introduced, whereas for decades we'd been using the SLR as the standard drill weapon. The latter is much more in keeping with the "General Salute, Present Arms" order, somehow, and the longer weapon makes for a much nicer appearance when shouldered and on the march, in my opinion. They should have kept it, purely for ceremonial. After all, the red tunics and bearskins are hardly battlefield kit are they. So why have the SA80 on the parade ground?

Answers on a postcard...

Monday, 30 May 2022

Regiment von Klimt

 An interruption to the posts about my plans for the future to show the latest unit I completed at the weekend.

This is for the WVS project (c1704), Astrovian IR5 von Klimt.

Many of the Astrovian units are in plain white with a single colour for facings/ cuffs/ breeches etc.

This time, I decided to mix it up a bit. Following the previous regiment (Wittgenstein) I stuck with the grey coats, but this time combining a blue waistcoat with green breeches, stockings and cuffs. It makes for a nice combination I think.

Flags are hand-painted on aluminium foil.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Pils-Holstein Plans

As I mentioned in my previous post, this part of the collection (the mid-18th century) is a major project, and I have a very detailed order of battle for the protagonists listed out.

Above: the Pils-Holstein brigade - Regts Leibgarde, Kronprinz Grenadiers, and Oldenburg.
Below: a recent battle in full flow.

In terms of adding more infantry I am planning:

  • 1 more fictitious Pils-Holstein battalion
  • 4 more battalions of Prussian infantry
  • 5 more battalions of French infantry
  • 1 more battalion of Astrovian (Hungarian) infantry

Flags are done and already in stock (thanks to Mark Allen's work a few years ago - I stockpiled them in advance).

Most of the figures are also in stock.

Whilst I do have a list of 'must have' horse regiments, I have a looser approach to adding more cavalry, but I will over time be able to keep pace with the infantry additions I hope.

Artillery requires some attention too... somehow it's always this arm of service which seems to get left behind in the planning. Apologies to any gunners who are reading this!

The plan is to put this on as a display game once it's all finished, probably in around 5 years time (once I've completed the other projects first - namely Wars of Vaubarian Succession, TYW, and Successors).

Thanks to the many people I met up with at Partizan who said how much they were enjoying the recent posts about my plans for my various projects. Much appreciated.

On that note, Partizan was a terrific show. I took a few snaps, but nothing that you won't have seen elsewhere online. There are lots of blog reports and videos and Facebook posts circulating should you wish to see more. All told it was a good day out, and I spent much of it chatting to old friends and chewing the hobby fat. 

Finally, thanks to those who have been commenting and showing appreciation of my recent posts. 

More to come...

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

The Pils Holstein Project

Continuing my overview of the Warcabinet collection, and plans for the various projects...

In many ways, the Pils Holstein project, set in the mid 18C, is the centre-piece of the collection.

It occupies far more shelf space than any other project, and I have a significant pile of lead awaiting the paintbrush over the coming years.

Although, I haven't done much on it of late, I do have plans to expand it significantly. I even have a number of flags painted by Mark Allen which will be awarded to the units I have in my intended orbat as they are completed.

The figures are my own, not commercially available, and give the collection some uniqueness. The mix of imaginary and real countries adds to the flavour too, I feel.

I will go into the expansion plans in a future post, but meantime here are a few pics, taken in Aug 2017 at Partizan, which is the last time the collection was shown in full...

Talking of Partizan, hope to see a few folk at Newark this coming weekend...

Sunday, 15 May 2022

What is 'Finished'?

Thanks to those who've been commenting on my past couple of posts about the various projects I am working on - The Grand Warcabinet "Tractor Plan".

Just thought I would follow up on the subject of the TYW and look at what I want to do to get this project "finished".

For the Swedes:

I do have some cavalry conversions that Brian Rigelsford made for me so want to paint those. I could do with a couple more regiments of Swedish cavalry in total.

I also have a rather nice Rigelsford command vignette of Gustavus Adolphus that will look great at the head of the army.

And one more unit of infantry for this army would be good too... possibly a Scots unit in Swedish service.

For the Imperialists:

A couple more cuirassier regiments would give more 'heft' to the army, and maybe another large infantry tercio.

The artillery for both sides needs some attention, and I have most of the figures I need to do this.

There are loads of special vignettes that Brian made that are lovely groupings of figures. These really add to the flavour of the display and will bring it to life.

All told, it probably amounts to around 300-350 'painting points' to do.

Then it will be "Finished"... I think!!!

At the moment, my plan is to tackle this over the two years once the 1704 Wars of the Vaubarian Succession project is complete.

Of course, every wargamer knows that "finished" is a will o' the wisp...

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

The TYW - a Display Project

The Thirty Years War collection hasn't featured much on this blog for the past few years, but many readers may remember The Breitenfeld Blog which was devoted purely to the project.

The Thirty Years War is one of those periods that many wargamers seem to love, but very few actually 'do'. I may be mistaken in that (and I am sure there are many devotees of the war who are absorbed in the recreation of it on the tabletop), but it is my overall impression that it is not much played.

Anyway, here are a few taster photos of my own set up.

I should perhaps explain what I mean by "Display Project".

The rationale behind this collection right from the outset was that although it could be wargamed with, the emphasis was on the aesthetic. I wanted big units, lots of big flags, and lots of vignettes that added nothing to the gaming, but told the story and contributed to the narrative I was portraying.

It is interesting that most wargame shows include games that are described as "Demo Games" and "Participation Games" (in the UK at least). I believe there is a third category... The Display Wargame. Not so much a game, but a display of modelling, painting, and all the aspects of the hobby we know and love. Some might turn their noses up at such things, exclaiming that these are more like static dioramas. But, I believe they played an important part in the evolution of the modern hobby, and continue to do so. After all, it was such Display tables that adorned the pages of the magazines under Duncan Mac's stewardship in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and which inspired so many. 

A "Demonstration Game" may have high aesthetics too, but it is primarily a demonstration of a full wargame, being played out as such.

A display collection is not a diorama, as it includes wargames units, based and organised as such. It looks like a snapshot of a wargame in progress... and it may even be played as such. But its "raison d'etre" is to display the art of a wargame... the figures, painting, modelling, terrain to produce a visual feast, first and foremost.

Anyway, given that this Thirty Years War project is primarily for Display, and given that it has only had one outing at a show (Falkirk), possibly 10 years ago, I think it's time it came to the fore again. My plan is to put it on at a show sometime over the next couple of years.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Sunday Morning Blog Housekeeping and Updating

"It's about time" I hear you shout! 

Yes, I have been meaning to tidy up some of the project pages for a while, especially those projects which have stalled, been sold off, and are no longer part of the grand plan. "Grand plan?" Yep... believe it or not, there is one!

This morning, listening to Sibelius 2nd symphony (an old favourite), I decided to get cracking, and you will notice the pages related to my wargames projects (links on the right) have been rearranged.

So, the Colonials, Back of Beyond, and Napoleonics photos have been moved into the Archive Gallery and since those projects have been moth-balled the individual pages have been removed.

This means the blog is now a better reflection of the projects that are ongoing - mainly:

The Pils Holstein campaign (mid 18C)

Wars of Vaubarian Succession (c1704)

Thirty Years War

Rise of Macedon and Successors Wars

Thanks to those who have commented on recent posts, and to those who regularly pop by for a look at the blog.
Following a telephone chat with John Ray yesterday evening, I'm inspired to tell a little more of what I am up to. So over the coming weeks I will outline some of the plans I have for the next steps in these particular parts of the collection, and in general post a few more updates.

All the best for now.