This will be my entry to the January Painting Challenge. I have lots of things planned for this year, including more units for my British Civil War armies.
A box set of Highland Clansmen to which I have added some reinforcements.
A box set of Montrose Irish, again I have added some reinforcements.
A box set of Scottish Covenanters.
To add to the war gaming table I have some cattle, pigs and chickens!
A box of Viking Hirdmen and a plastic kit of a Viking Long Ship are also waiting in the wings as well as a box of Dark Age Warriors.
There are also some Imperial Romans and their adversaries the Ancient Britons and Gauls, on the list to be painted.
That lot should certainly keep me busy during this new year, as well as actually putting them to use on the war gaming table.
The lancers assembled and primed.
They all went together really well.
A total of twelve riders and their horses.
Some will be wearing their distinctive blue knitted bonnets.
I have also written the next diary entry for the fictional campaign.
A Major Miscalculation.
Twiston Hall, Thorpefield
24th March 1642. 4:30pm.
Sir Royston Twiston-Rawlings stood at a window in his study looking out at the arrival of a regiment of horse. This fine body of horsemen and his own regiment of foot, encamped in the grounds of the hall, are all now under his command, with the honorary rank of Brigadier.
Footsteps and voices on the staircase, heralded the arrival of his second in command, Captain John Parr. After knocking and being told to enter, The captain accompanied by another officer stood before him.
The officer was covered in dust from the journey from York, but his clothes and accoutrements, spoke of a man of means. He stood to attention and in a confident clear voice barked, 'Major Arthur Cunningham at your service sir!
Sir Royston smiled and offered his hand, 'Pleased to meet you Major, I have just watched your wegiment's awwival, a vewy impwessive sight it is too. After shaking hands the three men settled in chairs by the fire.
'I also bring some intelligence news as well sir,' the major said, reaching inside his jacket and pulling out a folded parchment.
'Do you know what it says, my dear major, or more to the point, does it concern me or tomowwow's mission?' said Sir Royston nonchalantly.
'It does both sir,' the major was clearly surprised that Sir Royston seemed only mildly interested. 'A force of parliamentary foot and horse left Hull yesterday morning and headed to Beverley.'
Is that so unusual my dear major, after all they do contwol that awea, at least for now.' Sir Royston said.
The major appeared flustered for a moment, 'True sir, but the force, after a short stay in the town headed North-West on the York Road, before disappearing into the countryside.' The major waited to see what impact this news would have on the brigadier.
Sir Royston smiled, 'Disappeared, you say, well perhaps they had taken the wong woad and simply detoured back again.'
'No sir!' an increasingly frustrated Major Cunningham snapped back. Sir Royston raised his eyebrows, 'Begging your pardon sir, the force did not return to Beverley, in fact we have no idea where it went or indeed where it is heading.'
'Why is this err...intelligence of intewest or use to me, major?' Sir Royston was getting bored of the conversation and of the major too.
The major tried a different approach, 'Since that force, which equals your own sir, disappeared yesterday afternoon, it could even have travelled to this very house or beyond!'
'Well as you see my dear major, this phantom force is certainly not here, if it was,' Sir Royston smiled again, 'I think we would know. More importantly, why would the webels send a force to the hall?'
Major Cunningham was finding it hard to control his temper, 'Sir, they would like nothing better than to take your plate for their own cause and in doing so, deny it to the king.'
Sir Royston stood and walked to the window, the troopers had now put their horses into the paddock across the other side of the gardens and were in the process of erecting their own camp for the night. 'You said the force left Hull yesterday morning, that is the 23rd, I only made the decision to move the plate the evening before, and the only people who knew that, was Captain Parr and myself.' He turned to face the two men, 'Do you think one or both of us, galloped through the night to warn the webels in Hull as to what was happening?
'No sir, of course not, but...
Sir Royston was now totally fed up with this conversation and the boring major too, he raised his voice, 'There is no possible way that they could know of the convoy, nor is there any weason for this phantom force, to come anywhere near this house, Do I make myself clear Major?'
The major jumped to his feet and nodded, 'Very clear indeed sir! I shall request leave of you and check on my men, with your permission.'
'Please do major, please do.' He watched the now red faced major stomp from the room and listened to him beat a hasty retreat down the staircase. He turned to John Parr, 'What a damn fool!, I'll wager that damned phantom force of his, even if it exists, is even now back inside the walls of Hull.'
In fact, the phantom force was making camp for the evening in woods less than four miles from Twiston Hall...