Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Kings Lifeguard on parade!

The flags for the Kings Guard arrived next from Wargames Designs, at offered me a choice of 4 different flags for this unit and the sheet also included the Queens Regiment of Foot plus Rupert's Regt, for a fiver per sheet I'm very happy with them, all of my units so far have flags by WD with the exception of the hand painted ones.

So here is the unit based and flagged, 40 figures painted over several weeks. Of course Charles I has come out to review them (he in the armour) and The Kings Gentlemen Pensioners also turned out to accompany him. The 'Pensioners' are awaiting a new flag from WD as I messed up the first one, they are for the time being bearing a standard of the Kings Lifeguard of Horse. I went with cuirassiers because (A) I like the Hinchliffe cuirassiers and (B) being men of great wealth and status it seemed reasonable enough to give them 3/4 armour. All are Hinchliffe figures save for the standard bearer on the command base who is a lovely Garrison figure.

This collection has now topped the 600 figure mark including 200 cavalry/Dragoons, but it will continue to grow and underway is the next unit, Lord Brookes Purplecoat Regiment, in keeping with the early war/Edgehill theme. As you can see they are looking somewhat Psychedelic at the minute, but hopefully will tone down once finished! I have also added the Essex Preacher to my Oliver Cromwell mounted figure, I think he looks OK scalewise, slightly larger head/face perhaps but not bad. Following a suggestion by 'Big Andy' I have mounted another Essex personalty figure on a Hinchliffe horse and he fits in quite well too, we shall see once painted.

I intend to print and add a label to the rear of each pike base using Old English font.

King Charles (in armour) and aide. I just might replace him with the Essex version in due course.

The picture that inspired this regiment, Peter Gilders unit.

Monday, 6 November 2017

About done!

Finally, the 40 Hinchliffe figures that comprise the Kings Lifeguard of Foot are all painted! This unit seems to have taken me ages to complete, but as I explained on my other blog recently there has been considerable domestic upheaval and things are just beginning to settle back down to normal again. They do of course require basing and flags, but I hope to get that done this week. The unit consists of 12 pikemen, 24 musketeers plus the 4 figure command group who will sit behind the pike block as usual. As it's bit of a special unit I decided to go with 2 standard bearers, both the same code, although I am still in two minds about replacing one with the splendid Minifigs casting you see below from which I removed the moulded flagpole and drilled out the hands. It's one of the few Minifigs that I have but it has a character all of it's own, I acquired him ready painted but over painted the red uniform to bring him into line with the rest of the unit.

The Minifig standard bearer, I will probably use him in the command group.

ECW musketeer retro style!

Seven of the pikemen are conversions with head swaps to helmets and painted tassets to give a good mixed armoured block look, I wanted to keep the red quite bold and dark so started with Vallejo Burnt Red followed by two coats of Flat Red. The musket blocks were painted in batches of 6 figures at a time and I included a couple of officers, one for each 'wing'. I have a yearning next to do another big unit, this time representing Rawdons Yellowcoats.

A few weeks back I ordered a few samples from Essex Miniatures to see how they measured up to my Hinchliffes, unfortunately they are a little too chunky as you can see from the Priest figure that I painted. He will be used on a command base with my Cromwell figure, but the rest are up for grabs if anyone can use them? Only a few mounted command figures with horses (the horses are huge!) plus a few sample musketeers, no point bothering with eBay so if you can use them just contact me as usual. I have to say they are lovely castings with large detailed faces and hands.

L to R Hinchliffe, Minifig & Essex.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Kings Lifeguard ... slow progress.

I'm not sure where the last couple of weeks went, but I have been busy on the domestic front with our house going up for sale, and the game remains set up just as it was. I have however made a bit of progress on painting what will be my ninth regiment of foot, The Kings Lifeguard of Foot. The 12 pikemen are finished as are the three command figures. I am still toying with the idea of having two flags on the rear of this regiments base but not sure yet. The pike are a mix of two codes, ECW4 (Pikeman plumed hat, pike up), with head swaps to helmets on some of them and all with the buff coat fronts painted as tassets, and ECW22 'Pikeman at ease in helmet'. These two codes work well together to produce a nicely varied armoured pike block. The drummer is code ECW 32 'Drummer marching', I drilled out his right hand and added a couple of drumsticks, as he looked a bit odd without them!

It's worth noting here that the original range as issued ran from ECW1 through to ECW 22, that was the full extent of the infantry range back in the late seventies when I was buying them originally. Codes ECW 23 to 34 were later additions and look to be by a different designer as the figures are slightly larger and chunkier with noticeably different facial features, not the fine features of the earlier figures. These latter codes are marked  with the year '1980' on the bases so can be easily identified, the drummer figure shown below is one such.The vast majority of my collection is from the earlier figure codes of the original range as designed by Peter Gilder.

Now working through the 24 musketeers in batched of six at a time, this will be another 39 figure unit when finished. One slight issue I have had from the start is that some of the musket rests arrived broken or with some missing below the hand. However, it has been a very quick and easy repair job to make good the rests, simply by cutting away the cast rest and replacing it with steel rod superglued into position. I'd say about 10% of the musketeers required this fix, but no problem and worth the little effort.

Broken musket rests require to be cut away with snips.

And replaced with a length of rod, quick and effective.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Lights, Camera, Action!

Time seems to have flown by since my last post here. I have managed to finish painting the 20 musketeers which complete Regiment of Foot number eight, another blue coat regiment, and also the 12 pikes for my planned 'King's Lifeguard'. In addition I have painted a couple of baggage wagons that will be useful for a planned scenario these are both Front Rank models but with Hinchliffe pre Napoleonic heavy draught horse code EH7  to bring the scale down slightly as the Front Rank models are 28mm scale, I think they look OK though.

It is now time to get a small game on the table, and I have decided how I want to approach this. I'm not great at writing up battle reports and tend to get bogged down in the detail and lose interest. What I plan for this blog is a more general narrative style, move by move and with decent quality images, something I have struggled with previously. However, I now have the loan of my youngest daughters Cannon E05 camera and soft boxes to improve the lighting.

Below you can see the wargame room set up for the opening battle, note the table size is 5' x 5' as it's about the most practical size I can fit up there, but it's a permanent hobby room and can be left set up out of harms way. I'll describe the set up and scenario in my next post, the old Osprey 'Naseby' book I used to carry  the newly completed Blue regiment and wagons upstairs and forgot to remove it for the pics, but somehow it's fitting as it was a big influence on this retro project.

The battle is going to be a smallish game with just 6 units per side and loosely based upon the game described in the Airfix ECW book. It will feature a Royalist advance column escorting gold coin, powder and match across the table to the relative safety of Effingham Hall. At a time determined by dice throws Roundhead forces will attempt to intercept the column and capture the wagons. This will be a test run through of the WRG rules that I have not played for about 30 years! I should add this is also inspired by my re watching of the entire series of 'By The Sword Divided' and I must say I enjoyed it even more than I remembered it before. You can find all episodes on YouTube from episode 1 'Gather Ye Rosebuds' through to the final episode of series 2 'Restoration'.

A few pics of the general set up.

Royalist entry point, near corner, you can see Effingham Hall in the distance. Roundheads will enter from the corner hill (by the radiator) and attempt to capture the wagons.

Latest regiment of foot, 12 pike, 20 muskets and 3 command.

Wagons by Front Rank, horses by Hinchliffe.

Retro Airfix buildings.

Effingham Hall, will the Royalists be able to get the coin and powder safely there?

The White Horse Inn.

Hinchliffe musketeers, a few wearing helmets but who cares!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Test conversion for the King's Foot.

As mentioned in my last post I have been planning to build the King's Lifeguard of Foot and want to do something a bit  special with them. My attempts at tracking down any Garrison pike have hit a wall, Rob Young who owns the moulds has no plans to give the casting machine a spin any time soon, which is a bit of a shame, but it was at least worth the enquiry. So, I looked once again at the Hinchliffe range and thought I might try something using 'ECW4 Pikeman in soft hat, pike up' as a basis. I liked this figure 35 years ago, but the flamboyant plumed soft hat on a pikeman was not going to pass muster these days! It struck me that the extravagant buff coat might possibly work as tassets at the front, and with a head swap to a helmet could produce the type of fully equipped pikeman one might have expected to find serving in such a prestigious regiment.

ECW4 is holding his pike upright at order, his body is inclined slightly to the right with turned head. I wanted a forward facing pikeman, hand on hip with helmeted head. I note that still after all these years the sword belt (baldrick?) that goes across the front of his armour disappears at the shoulder and thus would need to be added from green stuff on the back. The result is as you see below, head taken from ECW6 Musketeer at present in helmet, buff coat fronts painted to represent tassets and belt added at rear. I think he presents the kind of impressive fully armoured pikeman that I wanted for my Kings Guard. It will mean sacrificing 15 musketeers to obtain the heads, but at Hinchliffe prices that won't break the bank and they will be unique! I'm pleased how well the tassets work with just a paint job to fool the eye?