Welcome to my wargaming blog,
I'm Dave and live in Morpeth, Northumberland in the UK.
This may or may not be a regular thing, we'll just have to see how it goes.

I am a painter/collector of figures first and a wargamer second. My thrill in this great hobby of ours is to place that final well researched & painted unit into the cabinet. The actual gaming with the figures is an important but secondary experience, we all like to win, but it isn't the be all and end all of it, being with good friends and having fun is.
Hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I will writing in it.
Just to remind the visitor to scroll down the various pages and click on 'older posts' to see more.

Friday 23 December 2011

Yet another period

I could say this was another new period but truthfully I've been painting and gaming with Franco Prussian war figures for over ten years. I painted these particular figures over the last month or so specifically to go with Scotty's Wurtemburgers and Baden figures (here) but I have had a corps for each side which have been done for years. The reason for this is that after originally having them based for Fire and Furia Francase (a version of the original Fire and Fury by Wyre Forest Games Club found here) and then re based them for ease of movement on double bases. This was for an adaptation of the Black Powder rules and which believe me I like and which worked well, but quite frankly after doing all this I've decided to go back to Fire and Furia. I just don't think you can beat them for the period!
Of course this means re basing the bloody things again which we all know is the bane of all wargamers lives but what the hay!
So here are the pictures of the recently painted figures, namely 1st and 2nd Division of Mc Mahon's 1st corps with artillery, plus their attached cavalry Division. The scale is 1:300 and each infantry unit represents a regiment.
Sorry the pictures are a bit blurred, not a good day with the camera!
Two infantry Divisions plus artillery and cavalry support:
The two infantry divisions:
One artillery and one Mitrailleuse battery per infantry division:
Chasseurs a Pied battalion (one per division):
1st Tiraillures (front) 1st Zouarves (back):
Finally the cavalry division:
The figures are Outpost (though some of the ones in the pictures above happen to be some old Mini Figs I had lying around). There are better sculpted figures out there but they are fine when painted up and best of all they cover the whole range, and I mean everything both Imperial and Republican.
Like all of the units I do now I have typed out the names and stuck them to the bases, I think this give each unit a bit more 'personality', I actually care when they get creamed!
Bye for now,

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Knights/esquires/men at arms at Otterburn

As the title of the post says,

English knights/esquires/men at arms.

Sir Henry Percy,
Sir Ralf Percy,
Sir John Copledyke,
Sir Robert Ogle,
Sir Thomas Gray,
Sir John de Lilburn, (or Lierbon?),
Sir Mathew Redman,
Sir John Felton,
Sir William Valsincon,
Sir Robert Angle (Gov of Berwick),
Sir Thomas Halcon,
Sir William Warrichon,
Sir Thomas Boynton,
Sir Ralf Mowbray,
The Barron of Helcon,
Sir John de Chateauneuf,
Sir Raymond Delaval,
Sir Ralf Lumley,
Sir Ralf Eure,
Sir Thomas Hilton
Sir William Hilton
Sir Thomas Abbington
Sir William Wallsingham
Sir Robert Umfraville
Sir Thomas Umfraville (maybe there?)
 Nicholas Reymes esquire,
Thomas Felton esquire
Alyen Horsle esquire
John Brian
David Holgrave
John Marshalle
Robert alias Richard Cundcylf
Robert Ward
John Preston
Jean de Cantiron.
Jean de Castelnau
Peter de Tilliol,
Janico Dartasso
John Garro
Walter Shirland or Skirlaw (Bishop of Durham), or could have been John Fordham.
Sir William Lucy (with the Bishop of Durham's force),
Sir Thomas Clifford (with the Bishop of Durham's force), 

Scottish knights/esquires/men at arms:

Sir George Abernethy,
Sir William Dalzell,
Archibald Douglas,
James second Earl of Douglas and Mar,
Sir Malcom Drummond,
George earl of Dunbar and March,
Sir George Dunbar,
John Dunbar earl of Moray,
Sir Patrick Dunbar,
Sir John Edmonstone,
Sir Thomas Erskine,
Sir David Fleming,
Sir Alexander Frazer,
Simon Glendinning,
Adam Glendinning,
Sir John de Haga,
Sir John Haliburton,
Sir Robert Hart,
Sir Patrick Hepburn,
Sir Robert Lauder,
Sir James Lindsay,
Sir Alexander Lindsay,
Sir John Lindsay,
Richard Lundie,
Sir John Maxwell,
Sir John Montgomery,
Sir Henry Preston,
Sir Alexander Ramsay,
Sir William Ruthven,
Sir James Sandilands,
Sir John Sinclair,
Sir Walter Sinclair,
Sir William Stewart,
Sir John Swinton,
Sir John Towers,
Sir William Wardlaw.

Obviously I haven't included all of the names mentioned above in the figures I've painted for the two armies or else I'd be doing the thing on a 1:1 scale! but I have done quite a few and sadly enough have put their details on the bottom of each base, I've been doing this too long.

Many of these I have researched from Froissart, along with help from Charlie Wesencraft, my thanks to him.
The vast amount of the information for the above comes from firstly the Ospray Campaign book Otterburn 1388 by Peter Armstrong, and secondly by his other book entitled The battle of Otterburn 1388 through Lynda Armstrong Designs. Both are very informative but I would particularly recommend the second as in addition to many of the above names Pete includes comprehensive information on each individual mentioned with sources for each. This book can be found at the Border miniatures site here.
Also check out these sites for heraldry etc:
A good little article on the Scots Common army here:

If you do figures for this period it must be remembered that there was very little difference between the armour, dress and weaponry for either side (though the Scots had a few more spears than the English bill hooks). They only came from either side of the border, the Scots did have a few longbowmen in their armies and in this instance the English didn't use theirs correctly as Hotspur left them at the rear while he charged off after the Scots. But in essence both sides were very similar.
Don't forget many of the figures here can be used for other encounters such as Humbleton Hill 1402 and thrown in at Shrewsbury 1403 (careful though, the Percy crest would have been different for this last battle and would have been as depicted in the command vignette photo below).

Hope this will be helpful for anyone interested in this battle
Enough for now.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Battle of Otterburn 1388

Unfortunately I haven't bee able to post for a while as my son has been quite unwell reciently and as we all know life has an unfortunate tendency to get in the way of our hobby now and then, he is hopefully starting on the road to recovery so fingers crossed.
I thought I would post on a new topic, this time something local to myself, in fact just 20 miles up the road at Otterburn in Northumberland. The battle took place on the 5th August 1388 between the Scottish force of James Douglas and the English force of Henry 'Hotspur' Percy Wikipedia link here is a link to photographs of the battlefield northumberland-cam
This is a copy of the information taken from the UK Battlefields Resourse Centre:
Percy’s forces arrived at Otterburn in the evening of 5th August 1388 footsore and weary after a day’s march of some 30 miles in hot summer weather. The unsuspecting Scots had settled down for the evening, the nobles, having donned loose gowns in the heat, ‘for the hete tuk on syd gownys’ prepared to attend to no more than their evening meal. The arrival of a scout with the news that the enemy was upon them caused disorder and panic as they rushed to arm themselves; the Earl of Moray forgetting his basinet (helmet) in the confusion.
Percy was not so hot-headed that he rushed into combat without consideration. Assessing the Scottish position, Percy sent a detachment under Thomas Umfraville (although sources dispute who led the flanking movement) to swing around the Scottish positions and attack the camp from the rear. Percy, meanwhile, launched a direct attack on the Scottish main force. Fierce and bloody battle ensued under moonlight along a ridge stretching from the River Rede in the south up to the slopes where the Percy Cross now stands. The English initially made headway but it was at this point that Douglas made his planned counter-attack; for although the Scottish commander had been caught unawares by Percy’s unexpected arrival he had, nethertheless, made plans as to how to tackle the English forces once they did arrive. An unexpected night-time battle did not alter his plans, indeed the cover of night probably assisted his manoeuvres. Douglas led a detachment in a wide arc on his left, charging down the slope to attack Percy’s right flank.
Douglas’ and Umfraville’s flanking movements were on the same side of the battle i.e. the Scottish left and the English right. Umfraville could not have advanced on the Scottish right due to the extensive boggy land in that direction; which was no doubt deliberately chosen by Douglas for that purpose. But by some chance the two flanking detachments missed each other; one swinging wide of the other, and each arrived unhindered to their destination. Umfraville found an almost deserted camp and quickly took control. After waiting for some time, although what for is unclear, he left a small guard on the camp and advanced towards the sounds of battle.
Douglas’ flanking attack was ultimately successful, for although fierce hand-to hand fighting continued for some hours the English were gradually forced into a tighter and tighter section of the field. Unable to use their longbows, tired and hungry, the physical superiority of the rested and fed Scots began to tell. Douglas was fatally wounded but his condition was hidden lest it give dismay to his own troops and courage to his enemies. During the course of the night Henry Percy and his brother Ralph, along with other English nobles, were captured and in the light of morning the Scots held the field.
Here are pictures of some of the 28mm figures (mainly Old Glory) that I have for this battle:

English Battle

English Hopilars and some archers, neither of which took part in the engagement as they were left behind in Hotspurs rush to engage the Scotts.

Another view of the English

And the Scotts with Sir William Lindsay's banner to the fore

And again

Finally presumably one of the girlfriends of one of the Earls (she's a big lass!)

All the heraldry on each Knight/man at arms is accurate for those present at the battle and I have to say that I have had immense help with this from Charlie Wesencraft who really introduced me to this period in about 1975 when at 14 I went to a lecture by Charlie in Morpeth Town hall about Otterburn and using metal wargaming figures! Fantastic memories and very inspiring. Thanks Charlie.
At some later point I will post the list of knights/men at arms present at the battle.

Monday 7 November 2011

Paintings of the French Revolution

Came across this historical paintings site which enables you to look closely at paintings from (in this case) the French Revolution. If you click on each title of the paintings/drawings etc you can examine the detail of each really closely. Make sure you get the picture/drawing full screen and expand it to get the full effect. This link takes you to the home page where you can navigate through the site. All in French but really have a look it's well worth it.