ALY MORRISONS "BUTTERFLY" ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF WARGAMES AND TOY SOLDIERS

Monday, 31 July 2017

The War of Spanish Succession

My wargames butterfly is always stimulated by a good game of toy soldiers.
As far as this flutter with the War of Spanish Succession is concerned it was 2 games of toy soldiers...


In June I attended a weekend get together of members and associates of the A Military Gentleman Forum... This is a group formed of people who bought the book 'A Military Gentleman of the 18th Century' by John Ray...on buying the book you were given the chance to enrol in the forum.


Johns blog is here... http://amilitarygentleman.blogspot.co.uk/


Over the weekend Paul Robinson of the Grimsby Wargames Club put on an excellent battle of Ramillies game which I played on both days...day one as the French and day two as the Allies (or the Maritime Powers).







Day one...







Day two...


See Pauls blog for more coverage... http://grimsbywargaming.blogspot.co.uk/?view=classic
                                                          http://www.grimsbywargamessociety.com/


This was easy temptation for me as I have 'history' with this period, having painted up a number of Prussian units and built the terrain boards for a large Blenheim game put on by my friend Adrian Shepherd some twenty-five years ago.


Instead of just jumping in and buying hordes of toy soldiers, I have just picked up two units of infantry, both eighteen figures strong.
One unit of Allies which I am painting as Prussian Kronpinz regiment and one of French which will be the Royal Italien regiment.


Both units came from Front Rank's excellent range... https://www.frontrank.com/product-category/18th-century/spanish-succession/


While I was waiting for my toys to arrive I got stuck into some reading...




This a great little book a good primmer for Marlborough's campaigns...


Although it did make me smile at the part where he refers to Marshal Tallard being held captive at Nottingham Castle...you might be forgiven for imagining a dank castle dungeon...





Not quite...




Charles Grant's books ...a must have...
http://www.caliverbooks.com/Partizan%20Press/partizan_phm_3.shtml
http://www.caliverbooks.com/Partizan%20Press/partizan_phm_4.shtml






A few more from my library...some old some new...




Now these are really useful,available from Baccus 6mm...
https://www.baccus6mm.com/catalogue/WSSUniformCDs/


There are of course many more books available.
If you are a newcomer to the period I would suggest a look at the Wikipedia page on the subject...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Spanish_Succession#Leadership.2C_strategy_and_contending_forces


One of the surprising things I like about the War of Spanish Succession is the fact that there was wide spread use of mercenary troops...especially on the Allied side...you tend to think of this practice as a Renaissance thing ...for me this means lots of pretty uniforms and flags.




Hurrah! a painted toy soldier...


This is my test figure... I don't normally paint eyes in but these guys seem to suit it...
I didn't paint in the whites, I just put a dark brown dot for the pupils.



Everything is blocked in with flat colours...





Then given a coat of Aly's Brown Liquid...




Its not as bad as it sounds, it is a wash made up of...






40% Agrax Earthshade, 40% Seraphim Sepia and 20% Lahmian Medium...
The final ingredient is a few drops of Drakenhof Nightshade...
The colour you are looking for is not quite Brown any more but not entirely Payne's grey.
I usually put in a drop at a time and check the colour on a piece of white plastic or paper.
When painting figures with white uniforms I dilute the wash further with Medium.


Well so far so good...
 I didn't get any more painting done this weekend as I was off playing toy soldiers with my friends ...


To be continued ....


All the best.   Aly









Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Zombies

While I was putting together the basing tutorial I decided to finish off this glamorous couple...








They are a couple of figures from one of the Zombicide expansions.
All they needed were the bases finishing... I had put off doing this for ages as I wasn't taken by the moulded on ones that the figures came with.
In the end I cut them off and used good old 25mm MDF from warbases.
I stippled the surface with lightweight filler... I used a finer brush than normal as I wanted to get a more urban feel...the yellow lines are just built up layers of paint and the leaves are by Model Scene. Which I got from Great Escape Games.
http://www.greatescapegames.co.uk/basing-materials/loose-foliage-and-leaves.html


I am rather pleased how they came out ...I am sure my wargames butterfly will return to this subject.


If you haven't encountered Zombicide here is a link to their site..
https://zombicide.com/en/


Next time..






The War of Spanish Succession..


All the best.   Aly

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Basing tutorial

The lovely Phil Robinson ask me about my basing...
So I have put together a little tutorial on how I do my simple but (hopefully) effective bases.


WARNING... this post contains obvious and unashamed product placing...









The first stage is to texture the base...
I get all my bases from War Bases... https://warbases.co.uk/


I apply a thin layer of lightweight filler to the surface of the base.


I discovered this material by accident at my local Wilcos (this is a British hardware-general store)
when I picked up a tub of filler that appeared to be empty, the only way I can describe it is aerated polyfiller...it doesn't appear to have any real shrinkage and therefore doesn't cause any warping.




Wilkos lightweight filler.


Next I stipple the filler using a cheap firm artists brush...









A cheap artist brush...




I use Tamiya flat earth diluted with about 30% of Tamiya thinner.
The combination of the lightweight filler the diluted paint  and capillary action means that paint is sucked across the surface of the base, making it much easier to get between legs and other obstacles.








Tamiya paint...


I dry brush the base with Wargames Foundry's Boneyard trilogy ...











Yup!...no surprises there...


I edge the base with Citadel Dryad Bark... I like my base to have a dark edge, I feel it frames the figures... if that is not your thing , just ignore this bit...





You still get to see the paint pot...






The dry brushed base...




I apply PVA from a small bottle with a nozzle... putting it on quite thick...




And there it is...


Next I cover it in static grass and leave to dry thoroughly..




Yes its static grass... I really cant do any product placement here... my static grass is made from a mix of different materials from different sources...I put all of the flock I had acquired over the years into one box  and mixed it around until I got a colour I liked.




A grassy base...


Okay now its time for my little innovation...


I wet brush (for want of a better description) PVA onto areas of the static grass...





Then I dunk the base into K&M Medium Olive scatter material...









What I am trying to recreate is the look of the different small leaved plants that you find meadows and uncultivated ground...a bit like my garden.


K&M make red and yellow scatter so you could do some sort of floral arrangement if you really wanted to.





All done...


I hope this slightly light hearted tutorial has been of some help to you.


I have earned no money from the product placement on this tutorial.....yet!


All the best.   Aly

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

15th Century French

One of the side effects of a really good game is that it sets off my wargames butterfly...
This can sometimes lead to me dropping what I am working on to pick up a stalled project or diving head first into a shiny new one.
I have been good this time and scratched that post game itch by taking a couple of photo's of my 15th Century French.
They currently stand at three units
More of a contingent than an army...








The Scottish Archers of the Guard.


The rather English looking flag is based on the Durward (Scottish)Arms and indicates the presence of a certain Quentin Durward.
If you haven't watched The Adventures Of Quentin Durward starring Robert Taylor, you are in my opinion missing a treat.








The first unit of infantry.








The second unit of infantry.


All the flags were made by me using Photoshop although I have since over painted the French Royal Arms and will probably do the others in time...its the butterfly in me.


All the best.   Aly







Sunday, 16 July 2017

From my side of the table... Ferrybridge and Dinting Dale

I had the most enjoyable wargame this weekend, hosted by Michael Perry.


The actions at Ferrybridge and Dinting Dale ( I couldn't resist referring to them as Fairybridge and Dingly Dell throughout the game) were a precursor to the battle of Towton.
Michael used this large skirmish as a basis for a more substantial game.
Alan Perry and I took the part of the Yorkists, Alan taking control of Lord Fauconberg and I had control of Lord Fitzwalker and Warwick.
Dave Andrews and Rick Priestly were the baddies...




A green and pleasant land... for the moment.




Fitzwalkers men slumber in their camp.




Ricks marauding cavalry make an early morning call.




Fitzwalkers men, now awake form up at the front of the camp.




Fitzwalkers mounted archers wake up mount up and bugger off...
They make next to no contribution to the rest of the battle.




Ricks cavalry charge home...destroying one unit and sending the other across the river.




Warwicks men now start to arrive and make their way across the bridge.




Only to be charged by Ricks cavalry...destroying two more units.




More of Warwicks men push across the bridge.




Ricks men pull back to reform, taking the luckless Fitzwalker with them as prisoner...rumours that he was captured in the toll booth while studying his collection of dodgy illumination's are mostly untrue.



Alan (for the moment playing the part of god) looks on in despair.




Lord Fauconberg arrives (Hurrah!).




With support from Warwick's remaining infantry Fauconberg moves in on Ricks cavalry.




As Dave's men arrive on the battlefield (Booo!)




Not soon enough to stop the demise of Rick's men.




And the liberation of Fitzwalker.




The two armies close in one each other.





A state of violence, bad behaviour and name calling break's out across the battlefield, but despite some glorious actions and small victories the Yorkist's can make no headway against the forces of darkness, with all our brigades effectively broken it is time to concede the game.



Fitzwalker manages to get back to his stash of porn illuminations.




And we all had a jolly good time.


More can of course be found on the Perry Miniatures Facebook page.


https://en-gb.facebook.com/perryminiatures/




All the best.  Aly