Sunday, 16 July 2017

Movement bases, Ironsides and Clubmen.

I started this collection with the intention of using them to fight battles with, not just sit on the display shelves, but it has quickly become apparent that the WRG basing style was going to involve an awful lot of moving of figures based singly and in twos. After much racking of the old brainbox, and having determined NOT to rebase, I decided that the best solution would be to place each unit on a sabot, or more accurately a movement tray. This is the solution I came up with up and having done the first few pike and shot units I'm very happy with things. Each pike block of 12 figures is placed upon a single large base with the 3 command figures sitting behind them, a 10mm strip is left along the rear edge for a unit designation label. The musket sub units (under WRG rules) are each on single bases, this has made a massive difference to my ability to shift the things about. Each Horse regiment - I now have 15 such varying in number between 8 and 12 figures - will sit upon a single large base in two ranks. I will engage the wonderful Tony Barr of East Riding Miniatures to lazer cut all the required bases, although I have cut these first few by hand from a stack of 100mm x 100mm MDF squares bought ages ago from ERM. Overall I'm happy with the look and feel, they retain an Old School charm but with a practical basing system that will enable me to use micro casualty dice to record losses.

Latest Horse Regiment re based.

A quick note on the WRG rules casualty system - I'll be using the alternative casualty system found in the back of the rules rather than recording losses up to 20 before removing a figure. This is quite simple and requires no book keeping and carrying over.

Surely one of the most iconic of the Hinchliffe ECW range is the 'Roundhead' trooper charging? The latest unit of such up for restoration are shown below, 15 figures and they include a wonderful hand painted flag, a trumpeter conversion and a magnificent falling trooper, his horse down on it's front legs and the rider being thrown forward. All have had their original swords replaced with flattened pins, skillfully done, and arms bent into different positions. There is just a little chipped paint here and there to touch up and two swords to replace but otherwise they are in lovely condition. They have been given an initial clean with water and soft brush and will be re based as per usual.

Also in the pipeline will be another Regiment of Foot, this time with pikes forward. I might need to add a few more musketeer figures to complete this one, but it's another project I will enjoy.

I had been searching for a source of Clubmen and these lovely old Minifigs seemed to fit the bill perfectly. They will also get the once over and I'll add a few musket carrying figures to them, but they have a unique charm of their own and fit well with my Hinchliffes. Aim is for a 20 figure unit with mixed improvised weapons.

Finally, I keep finding the odd unknown little gem among the figures bought Painted from Ian Hinds, I have no idea what these are, but I absolutely love them! Any ideas on the skinny chap especially?

Friday, 14 July 2017

Dirty Dragoons, Dapol church & ECW25.

With the family (wife, 3 daughters and 2 Grand daughters) away to Brighton for a few days this week I have been able to make good progress on the ECW front. Having put together the Dapol Country Inn last week I thought I would tackle the Church. I had seen it on 'Strykers' Hinton Hunt blog and read his account of putting the kit together so decided to do mine. It was definitely more of a struggle than the previous kit, and as in Ian's case I ended up with a few gaps that will need to filled before painting, but overall it's a very nice little model, slightly underscale for 25mm but I was keen to avoid huge model buildings for this project and they fit the retro theme nicely. I still have three of the thatched cottages and a second Inn kit to do, the latter will become a country manor house.

I took delivery of another Horse unit yesterday from Ian Hinds, this time a Dragoon regiment. As previously it arrived quite dirty, but I know that with a good clean up some excellent painting skills emerge so I'm not letting that put me off. Looking through the Hinds Figures ECW lists I also picked out two more units obviously by the same skilled painting hand as previous purchases and they are now on their way to me, another 24 Horse. All will get the usual clean up and rebasing before joining the ranks of my collection, I must now try to resist buying more as the total number of painted cavalry will be 145 with the new arrivals!

Amazing what emerges after a good clean!

Ooh shiny!

Having been looking for a source of 'Clubmen' I also took the opportunity to purchase a unit of 18 painted Minifigs as Hinchliffe never made these, but more on these in due course.

On the infantry front I now have 5 completed Regiments of pike and shot, all the pike blocks have now been increased to 12 figures in 3 ranks with command standing in front, the muskets varying from 16 to 24 per regiment. This gives me nice big units ideal for WRG rules where 1 figure represents 20 men. The largest so far is this Red Regiment totalling 39 figures and I really like the mass appeal and the depth of the pike block.

The Blue pike block featured in my last post required 4 more pikemen to bring it up to 12. I had ascertained that the casting was ECW25 'Pikeman charging' which was not a code I had in my old collection. The base tells me that this sculpt was made in 1980, a couple of years after the bulk of the range was made by Peter Gilder in 1978. It's clearly by a different hand but fits well with the earlier sculpts and I note that several of the latter codes have the same slightly chunkier look to them. I'm keen to find out more about this and would welcome any information on the subject, I think a good starting point will be to look into Peter Gilders history to see what he was doing with the range between 1978 and 1980.

I'm currently focusing on building up the artillery before returning to more Foot.

Stop press! The figures referred to above just arrived and once again I'm blown away by the quality. The hand painted flag is exceptional and I take my hat off to the artist who painted it, it clearly is the same hand as others in my collection. Not much to do with these beyond re basing to match, possibly a slight touch up of the flag bearer.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Hunting Poodles and more Horse and Foot!

When I started this project I had planned to paint everything myself, but seeing some of the units on sale on Bay from Ian Hinds I took the plunge and invested a little of my pension money into painted units. I'm really glad I did, because every figure I have received has been a delight, and has enabled my ECW collection to grow to it's current 110 cavalry and 179 infantry, plus a gun and 4 crew. The latest units I have purchased can be seen below, Ruperts Regiment of Horse now finished, a smaller 8 figure Parliamentarian Horse regiment and a blue coated regiment of foot.

'Ruperts' were bought as a 12 figure horse unit but I tweaked them a bit and removed a couple of figures that did not quite sit right in the unit, these were added to 6 'spare' cavalry I had which included a Warrior (?) cornet with broken flag that I had repaired by drilling out the tassels and inserting a length of brass rod, to create another 8 figure unit as seen below. These were tied together by giving them a Green theme overall.

As the regiment I designated as Ruperts were in dynamic charging poses I decided to add the Hinchliffe personality figure I had already painted to them and include the dog 'Boye' on the base. The Hinchliffe dog had bothered me slightly as it looked more Lamb like to me! A quick Google told me that Boye was in fact a rare white hunting poodle and illustration of the breed at that period seemed to suggest it was a quite large breed. As I have the Warlord metal Rupert - a huge casting - I removed the dog and added it to my Hinchliffe Rupert after a white drybrush over the black base coat. He's a big beast, you would not want to mess with him, but at least he does actually look like a dog, and a giant poodle at that.

IN addition to the above I have added two more Regiments of Foot, both Blue coated units. One I painted myself from scratch  (the unit below with unfinished bases), and the other came via Ian Hind. The pikemen intrigued me, they had been beautifully converted from one basic pose I had not seen which turned out to be ECW25 Pikeman charging. A sling has been added to one figures left arm and another has had his helmet removed and his head built up. My favourite conversion is the figure with his helmet half falling off, it's been so skillfully done that I can't see any evidence of the work! These 8 pikemen required no touching up, they arrived as seen. I'm paying just £2.00 per painted foot figure which is remarkable for the quality, with the cavalry around £3.50 per figure. All have required just a good clean to reveal the varnish and fine detail.

This is the unit bought ready painted, the pikemen are untouched, the musketeers have been touched up and highlighted here and there to bring them together, they await command figures.

One slight issue I am facing is with the basing, using filler means they have a tendency to crumble so I'm looking for something to protect them and seal them.

A few what I think are Minifigs have been included with a couple of the foot units, but they are very fine figures and will remain in the collection. If anyone could confirm the make of the figures indicated below I would be grateful? I'll add to these to build another Red coated Foot Regiment this week and then it's a bash through some artillery, I have another Saker and two huge Cannon Royale models to complete, plus crews.

All below bought ready painted from Hinds Figures, I'll add more pikes and muskets to create a full regiment then rebase.


For £2.00 per figure I can't complain!