Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Skirmish set up on the war gaming table.

This will definitely be my last update of 2014. I have set up the skirmish battle involving Colonel Septimus Gryndell with the Hull Trained Band plus Captain Hotham's regiment of horse and Brigadier Sir Royston Twiston-Rawlings regiment of foot, an attachment of horse and the carts carrying the family plate to York. (Don't know what I am talking about?) Shame on you, read the Civil War diary entries on this very blog.
Alas, the battle cannot be fought yet, as the two main protagonists are both still in the process of being painted for the occasion. However, I have included some photos of the forces in position, minus the aforesaid gentlemen, to give a taste of what is to come in January.

Looking along the York Road from North-West to South-East, York is a few miles behind the camera and Market Weighton, Beverley and Hull, are further along the road in the distance.

From the other end of the table, The royalist train passes sheep grazing as they approach the wood.

Another similar view of the advancing royalist train. Ploughed fields to their right.

 The Hull Trained Band, hidden in the wood.
Quietly waiting to give the royalists a warm welcome.

Captain John Hotham's horse await on the road known as 'The Balk' which leads to Pocklington.

Some general views of the table and forces.

There will be at least one further diary entry before the battle takes place and I shall do a full battle report of the proceedings. The outcome of the battle will, of course, dictate the diary entry after that. Will Septimus relieve Sir Royston of his loot? or will our royalist hero, come good and vanquish the forces of parliament? Just like you, I shall have to wait and see.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Part 06 - A March North. The next instalment of the Civil War Campaign Diary

For your enjoyment the next instalment is published. This will probably be my last blog of this year.
This entry is leading nicely to a table top battle involving Septimus and Sir Royston.
I would like to thank you for reading this blog and wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

A March North.

The Meeting room in The White Hart Inn, Hull.

22nd March 1642. 11:30pm.

Sir John Hotham, the governor of Hull invited his guests to take their seats. 'We have just received some very good information that a convoy of plate and other valuable items, will be travelling from Twiston Hall to York on the morning of the 25th! Sir John looked around the room to see the surprised looks on their faces. 'Mr Pelham has kindly brought this information to my immediate attention.'

Peregrine Pelham, the MP for Hull, smiled and nodded, his network of spies and informants was already keeping him informed of everything that was worth knowing about the royalists in York and the surrounding areas.

'How reliable is this information,' asked Captain John Hotham, the son of the governor and commander of a regiment of horse.

'My dear captain, I can assure you this information comes from a very reliable source, one who is well placed to continue to feed me with good intelligence.' Pelham answered in a smug tone. He had deliberately said me and not us.

Colonel Septimus Gryndell, Colonel of the Hull Trained Band, the fourth person in the room spoke for the first time. 'I know the area well, I grew up in a village close by. I could take my regiment and be in a position to intercept the convoy, if so ordered Sir.' He looked directly at Sir John.

The governor nodded and unrolled a map on the table before them. 'You will need more than just your regiment Septimus, the informant also told us that as well as Sir Royston's newly formed regiment of foot, an escort of horse will also be protecting the convoy. I propose my son accompanies you with his regiment of horse.'

Captain Hotham's eyes lit up with the prospect of action, It would be an honour to serve under you sir! He said, smiling at Septimus.

'You will make excellent company, captain and I will not turn down your marvellous troopers, my men are drilled and trained well enough, time to see how they put that into use in a battle.'

Sir John looked down at the map, 'Can you get into a position to intercept in the time available?'

'Aye, that I can sir,' he leaned over the map, 'We leave the town at first light in the morning.' His finger ran along the road to Beverley. 'A column of troops leaving Hull and marching to Beverley will not cause too much of a stir, any spies will believe we are just reinforcing the town. The men can be fed on the Westwood and then we march along the York Road, but then leave it here.' His finger pointing to a spot two miles North of Beverley, 'We swing North of Market Weighton and make camp for the night. It is a quiet area well away from the York Road. The following morning, we continue our North-Easterly march, on quiet cart tracks and rejoin the York Road, just here!' His finger tapping on a spot just South of Pocklington. 'There is a small road, known locally as The Balk, it runs down from Pocklington to the York Road, there is a wood there large enough to hide six regiments let alone two. We camp there the night, next morning the convoy comes to us!

'Excellent plan Septimus,' said Sir John. 'Are you certain he will use the York Road?

'Aye sir, with wagons or carts it is the easiest and quickest way to York from...' his finger pointed to Twiston Hall close to the village of Thorpefield, and ran it north along the road to its junction with the York Road, turned North-East and along until it passed the wood they would have spent the night. 'We will ambush them, they will of course have scouts out ahead and we must remain in cover so as not to alert them, Captain Hotham's horse can be on The Balk, well out of sight, he won't want his horses stuck in a wood with a battle ahead.' He looked up at a smiling Captain Hotham.

'Then gentlemen, it is settled. Septimus and John will leave in the morning, it appears we have much to organise before that happens, so we better make a start.'

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Painting of the leader figures progressing and another instalment of the campaign diary.

Having continued painting my leader figures over the Christmas period, the leader figures are nearing completion, some final base colours to apply before a wash and then highlighting. I am simply using the horses as holders for the mounted figures at the moment. This saves me having to drill into the metal figures and place them on cocktail sticks, they always seem to fall of at a critical moment when painting. The horses will be painted last.

The Marquis of Montrose on the left, another unnamed general, a standard bearer and finally on the right a mounted guard.
 General view of the figures.
 Front row from left to right, Charles II, Earl of Newcastle and Lord Byrom.
from left to right, the king's herald, Earl of Essex and Duke of Buckingham. 
 left to right Generals Waller, Hopton and Grenville and Lord Leven.

The figures are coming together nicely and are a joy to paint, the main decision is what colours to dress them in. Virtually all the leader figures are named, but of course they can be whoever I want them to be for any particular battle.

I have also entered the January Painting Challenge, set by a modeller on You Tube. Although I still have plenty of work to do on the leader figures, it is always good to enter a challenge to paint up a regiment in a month, give you an incentive to finish the project. I have chosen a box of Warlord Games Scots Lancers, they will be the first light horse in my armies.

 Twelve figures, well actually fifteen mounted troopers as the box included a bag of metal that contains three Moss Troopers. I shall not be using them as I have another project in mind for them later. The figures are superb moulds as you would expect from Warlord Games. When the box arrived at my home it was minus the bag of metal parts, which of course included the six arms holding lances, not much of a lancer regiment without lances! I contacted Warlord and they sent the missing bag within a couple of days, not only that. I had enquired about cavalry casualty figures for the Pike and Shotte range, they have no current plans for any but did send me three dead horses from their Zulu box set free of charge.

The plastic sprues, also comes with a metal bag of arms holding lances, different headgear and of course the previously mentioned Moss Troopers.

Finally, for this post I have penned another episode of the fictional Civil War campaign, I hope you enjoy part 5.

A Flight of Fate

22nd March 1642

Twiston Hall

James Appleton stood by the large table in the dining room, as he had done for many years. He had served as head servant to the old Lord Twiston-Rawlings, a kind, generous and caring man, the total opposite of his son, who now sat finishing his meal in the company of John Parr, the captain of the foot regiment, that was even now camped in the grounds of the hall.

But although James was silently comparing the old Lord with his only son, he still listened to every word, though most of what Sir Royston had to say wasn't worth listening to, but every now and then he would say something which was of interest to the Governor of Hull and the Parliamentarians who occupied it. The faithful old servant would carefully write a note, privately, up in his quarters and attach it to the leg of a pigeon in the coop situated in the grounds. The bird would carry these little snippets of information to the parliamentary held town, some sixteen miles away, a short, quick flight for a pigeon.

Now was one of those times when it was worth listening to the spoilt, oversexed fool who now, through no effort of his own, owned Twiston Hall and all it contained. The pair were discussing the loan that had been promised, to aid the king in gathering weapons and supplies.

'Appleton, my good fellow,' Sir Royston turned in his chair and bid James forward.

The old lord always addressed him as James, but not this young cock, oh no, he was lacking in manners to anyone who he deemed to be beneath him, thought James as he stepped forward to stand beside Sir Royston.

'How long would it take to pack up the family plate for wemoval to a safe place in York?' he said, pointing his finger to his empty claret glass.

James reached forward for the decanter, I could throw it in a couple of chests in thirty minutes if I so wished, he thought. He refilled the glasses of both gentleman. 'It would take at least two days sir, there is rather a lot of it.'

'Two days!' Sir Royston spat the words out, 'for goodness sake, surely it can be packed up quicker than that?

Not if the parliamentarians in Hull wish to intercept it and remove it from your worthless hands, thought James. 'Sir, there are items of great value, not to mention of a very fragile nature, all need to be carefully wrapped and protected in chests filled with hay. Not only that sir, I would expect that you would want a full inventory of every item that is packed for your future reference.'

Sir Royston picked up his glass and swirled the contents around. 'Of course you are wight on all those things Appleton, an inventowy would certainly be needed. Make a start on it tomowow morning and it can be twansported in three days time on the 25th.' He turned back to face Captain Parr, send word to York that the escort of horse will be wequired to be at the hall by the evening of the 24th.'

Captain Parr nodded, 'Will we be transporting it overnight? Less prying eyes to see what is happening, he said.

Sir Royston had imagined entering York at midday, when most of the population would see the grand entry of Brigadier Sir Royston Twiston-Rawlings and his command, flags billowing in the wind. Why even the king may be among that number to see his triumphal entry, not skulking into the city during the dark of night. No, that would never do, he thought.

'No, we will leave at 8am on that morning, that webel scum in Hull are too busy wowwying about the appwoach of the king and his army, they won't be able to spare men to venture this far.'

Captain Parr said quietly, 'The king seems in no rush to travel to the town and demand its surrender, and each day the garrison grows stronger.

'I think the king and the Earl of Newcastle know what they are about captain!' Sir Royston snapped back. 'Back to the matter in hand, the webels will never know about our twansporting of the plate until it is too late for them to interfere in any way and they could never march a force up here in time, my plan is perfect.

Thanks to a little flying messenger, the Governor of Hull was reading about the plan just an hour later...

Friday, 26 December 2014

Sir Royston's Plate

The latest instalment of the fictional Civil War diary covering a campaign.

Sir Royston's Plate

21st March 1642

The King's Apartments, York.

The king held out his hand as Sir Royston Twiston-Rawlings stepped forward. 'Wonderful to see you again my dear fellow, he said, shaking hands with Sir Royston after the latter had bowed his head in respect.

Sir Royston removed his plumed hat in a theatrical swirl. 'The pleasure is indeed all mine your majesty, I have come to offer my sword in the fight against the webels, should they be foolish enough to twy to seize power.'

The king tapped him on the shoulder, 'Every sword may indeed be required and the offer of yours is most gratefully received my dear fellow.' As if by magic a young courtier appeared beside the king holding a red cushion upon which lay a rolled up scroll bearing the royal seal. The king picked it up and offered it to Sir Royston. 'This is your honorary commission as Colonel of Sir Royston Twiston-Rawlings Regiment of Foot.'

Sir Royston could barely conceal the smile of satisfaction and bowed graciously. 'You do me a gweat honour indeed and I shall not disappoint your majesty. I already have the wegiment equipped and cuwwently under training at the manor, they will be weady for such times as you wequire them.'

'Excellent news my dear fellow, now walk with me a while I have a request to make of you.' Sir Royston walked beside the king into a quieter part of the room, he was aware of the many pairs of eyes watching him and couldn't resist the wonderful feeling of importance he currently felt.

'When the war comes and believe me it will come,' the king said in a quieter tone, I will not only need the services of brave men like yourself but also gold to pay for it all.'

Sir Royston was no man's fool and had expected at some point to be asked to make a loan to the king's cause. 'It will be my pleasure and honour to pwovide all that I can your majesty, The gold and plate at the manor is not safe where it is with the webels so damn close in Hull. The manor, though a wonderful house, is not a castle and would be defenceless against a determined attacker. The contents are at your disposal your majesty and I shall gladly deliver them personally to you here at York.'

'Excellent my dear man,' the king smiled and nodded, 'it is of course merely a loan and will be paid back with a very generous interest, once this err...problem is resolved.' The king stroked his beard and looked around the room. 'I can send an escort of Horse to assist in its protection on the journey from the manor to York, a captain of horse will lead them, but of course he will come under your command.' The king laughed and slapped a startled Sir Royston on his back, 'You have only been a colonel for two minutes and now you are a brigadier of a mixed brigade of horse and foot, well at least for that mission anyway.'

Sir Royston smiled back, a brigadier, how impressive a title to announce himself as to the admiring ladies he thought. 'You honour me gweatly your majesty and I shall command with couwage and dignity.'

'I am sure you will my good man,' the king led him back into the main part of the room and Sir Royston realised his interview with the king was over.

'I shall leave for the manor tomowor and make the necessawy awwangements your majesty, once ready I will send word for the escort of horse.'

'Splendid my good sir, now unfortunately I have many others to meet and talk with and I must ask you to excuse me.' The king was already looking at the next victim from whom he could obtain a loan.

Sir Royston bowed, making another even more theatrical sweep of his hat before strutting out of the room.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Mounted Leaders

I already have some leader figures painted. King Charles I, Prince Rupert, Oliver Cromwell, Sir Thomas Fairfax and two un-named brigade commanders. I needed more leaders for my projected campaign, some of the figures will double as fictional characters in my Campaign Diary.
 The figures have been primed and an initial coat of flesh has been applied to hands and faces.

 The rear rank consists of the Marquis of Montrose and some of his staff.
 The next rank from the back, with Lord Leven closest the camera with Generals Waller, Hopton and Grenville.
 The second rank consists of from left to right, a herald who will be attached to the king, the Earl of Essex and the Earl of Newcastle.
The front rank consists of left to right, Charles II, Duke of Buckingham, Lord Byron, Sir Jacob Astley and finally George Goring.

 On the left here, General Waller will also double as Colonel Septimus Gryndell.
I really do like these figures, and of course they could be used to represent any of the Civil War leaders. The Duke of Buckingham (2nd left, front row) will double as Sir Royston Twiston-Rawlings in my fictional Campaign Diary.

I shall take my time painting these beautiful figures in all there finery. I have entered another painting challenge for January, for that I intend to paint up my box set of Scots Lancers and if enough time some cattle, pigs and chickens that I received today in the post.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Advent Challenge Complete - Final Reveal

The Advent Build is now complete. I have created a little scenario to show off the buildings and baggage train. I used a photographic back scene from N Gauge model railways to give a little depth to the cameo. A selection of photographs follow.

With that now complete, I shall be turning my attention to some Commanders for the Civil War armies. But more of that in my next post...

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Buildings Completed.

Continuing with the Advent build, the four buildings are now completed and keeping with the no soldiers month. Next on the list will be the flock of twelve sheep and the two civilian characters, though the boy carrying the pig, is wearing a tri-corn hat! That is about 100+ years ahead of what is actually required, but I will paint him up and add him to the scene as a one off. He will then have to be boxed away until such times as I model his time period, maybe the French Indian Wars.

 The thatched house has a flock base.
 The workshop?
 Another with a flocked base.
 A paving stone base.
 A couple of views looking along the street.

They have turned out very nicely, and will join my other buildings for use on the table top. This month has been a very productive time for building and painting up those items that are on the 'to do' list.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Buildings almost complete and a flock of sheep.

Latest photographs of the 17th Century houses.

The houses are now almost completed, just a couple of hours work left to do, so starting a flock of sheep and a pair of civilian figures.

 Not entirely sure what this building is, as it doesn't have a chimney stack. Not a building to live in but is it a barn with a single door? Or possibly a workshop of some kind.

 The only one of the buildings with a glass window, on the upper floor in this house.

 The white walls were given a sepia wash and produced this rather fine colour that I think adds texture and depth.

 The thatch was given a thin dry brushing of black and finally a sepia wash to really dirty it up.

 I have two packs of these sheep. So will paint them up and can be placed in a field on the table top.
Finally two civilian figures. On the left is a man in apron holding a bottle in his right hand and shaking his left fist. On the right is a young boy running and holding a piglet under his right arm, whilst holding onto his hat with the other hand. Has he stolen it? They will make a nice cameo in the village.