Friday 24 December 2010
Thursday 23 December 2010
Depending on where you are, may I wish one and all either a Happy Christmas or a Merry one. May your stockings be filled with treats and some old toy soldiers, like these from Irregular Miniatures 42mm Traditional Toy Soldier range, grace your tree.
While there are certainly advantages to the newer, super-detailed products that we now have available (and frequently review here), there is a unique charm to the old "little tin men" that will never fade completely. At least I hope it doesn't.
May each of you and your loved ones, each in your own way, have a wonderful Holiday Season and accept the best wishes of your humble scribe, Sir William the Aged. The New year promises already to be filled with more delightful artwork, interesting tidbits of history, and more (hopefully in-depth) figure reviews. I owe you all a couple now that I haven't quite completed, for which I humbly apologize.
Monday 20 December 2010
Wednesday 15 December 2010
Monday 6 December 2010
Thursday 25 November 2010
As you know I like to keep up with the GNW scene - it's growing in numbers and the quality is excellent - and they have some spectacular locations to reenact - none more so than the fortress of Narva which is one impressove monument especially in the snow. Here's what reenactor Boris has to say
This weekend was the 310th anniversary of the Narva 1700 battle. This appeared to be the largest GNW event ever: up to 50 Russians and about 80 Swedes took part.
On the Russian side, besides regular infantry in European uniforms there were Ukrainian cossacks and Moscow streltsy in typical Russian 17th C garb.
For the first time Swedes outnumbered us.
And the weather was very authentic - snow & wind.
Some good photos here:
Friday 5 November 2010
Someone who fought for the Spanish in the 80 years war was this man who we celebrate at this time of the year. Here's an 1606 etching by Claes (Nicolaes) Jansz Visscher, depicting Fawkes's execution. Fawkes cleverly jumped from the scaffold, despite being weak from torture breaking his neck saving himself the further pain of being drawn and quartered. His lifeless body was still 'done' and sent to the four corners of the British Isles.
Friday 29 October 2010
Had a nice email about a cd that you all might enjoy...
I've been reading your "Wars of Louis Quatorze"-Blog for quite some time and this may be something you might be interested in and like to add to the label "music":
More detailed contents of the CD can be found here (pdf):
The CD is resulting from a research project of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Contributions are either in German or French or English. Lots of contemporary evidence, both written and pictorial. Check it out:
Thursday 28 October 2010
Wednesday 27 October 2010
Had to go to Exeter the other day and it reminded me as we sped by Fenny Bridges that there was a Western Rebellion fought there in Devon that has been mainly lost in the mists of time but I am sure if you are a Cornishman you might have heard of it. It was mainly about the book of Common Prayer going into English instead of latin. Troops involved were quite a colourful mix - Landsknechts and Italian arquebusiers, foreign mercenaries on the Loyalist side - it would make an interesting display game...
Wiki on the rebellion
Siege of Exeter
Anglo-Cornish War of 1549
Battle of Sampford Courtenay Account of the Rebellion on Google books
Monday 25 October 2010
New cavalry and dragoons from Copplestone castings.
They look great - I fancy painting some up as Monmouth Rebels.
Phil Thomason's photos of battle reenactments and camp scenes are always excellent. I enjoy looking at his images - they capture the big and the little - a certain je ne sais quoi.
Here's some images of the annual event in Holland. It is part of the 80 Years War between Holland and Spain. Anyone up for an Irish tercio on the Spanish side?
Thomason's Facebook page
Saturday 23 October 2010
Well, PSR just announced that Mars has several new offerings, all four for the Thirty Years War. The first of these with any photo's on the Mars site looks like it could have been quite promising, and may find some use in your Army, but falls a bit short of the big base hit that it could have been.
French Infantry and Guard, #72039, pretty much depicts what the name suggests, except the "Guard" appear to be dismounted Mousquetaires du Roi (at least by the paint job shown on the box). Now, I'll grant you, French musketeers in cassock don't have to be the famous Guard units of the King and Cardinal, but they depict these in four poses, two functional musketeers (although with musket rests, which had pretty much fallen out of favor in France) and two that appear to be dueling with sword (probably useful to the skirmish gamer, but not of much value in a battle line). The other two musketeers shown are quite functional poses without rests and much more useful.
And, for once, a plastics maker has gotten the ratio of muskets to pikes correct for the period, although the pikemen shown are all in morion with back & breast and tassets, no lighter, rear-rank troops or helmet options. Then there are the obligatory "silly" poses one has come to expect from so many plastic sets; the first figure in the top row would appear to be a pikeman without his pike, sword drawn and trying to block a blow with his fist (or complaining of a headache perhaps?), and the second figure in the top row has his musket over his head by both hands (wading a stream perhaps?). The Command figures appear fairly useful, a decent Officer pose and standard bearer (although the flag is, as usual, too small). Both "true" pikeman figures are in nice aggressive poses and appear fairly well-modeled, if a bit over-armored.
And now the bad news (you knew it would be there, it is Mars after all), typical of their recent sets, there will be 4 each of the 12 offered poses. While there are enough pike and shot for a good 1:2 ratio 24-man unit, you will also have 8 "duelists", 4 officers and 4 standards, 4 of the bugger with his fist to his head, and even worse, 4 of the musketeer "wading the stream" to either chuck in the spares box or trade away (although the musketeer with his musket overhead might make a decent casualty figure with a bit of cutting). And where is the drummer, you might ask? Well, not in this set. I guess this will be a good opportunity for all of those extra drummers you got with either the Imperialists or the Swedes, eh?
Unfortunately, since this is Mars' own preview, the actual cast figures that you can buy will probably not look as good as the panted test shots on the box, at least not if Mars' recent history is anything to go by. So much potential, so little fulfillment, seems to be Mars' mantra doesn't it?
By the way, the other three releases are:
72036 - Swedish Heavy Cavalry
72037 - Imperial Mounted Arquebusiers
72038 - Imperial Siege Artillery
Of these, the box art for the Mounted Arquebusiers has some promise, with 6 poses and only two of each, for 12 total figures. The Swedish Heavy Cavalry might have some promise, or they might be bad copies of the old Revell figures yet again, no detail available yet.
PS - Please forgive the American Baseball references, but last night I got to see the Texas Rangers win the American League pennant and advance to the World Series of Baseball, and strike out the locally-despised Alex Rodriguez (a former Ranger who cost us millions) on the last pitch. High times in Texas!
Edgehill - Warwickshire
The battle of Edgehill took place on 24th October 1642, and was the first major battle of the English Civil War. 3,000 Roundhead and Royalist soldiers lost their lives on this historic ground and their spirits still appear centuries after. On 23rd December 1642, shepherds tending their sheep at Edgehill witnessed a spectral re-enactment of the entire battle. At first the shepherds heard the sound of drums, then the noise of soldiers could be heard - giving out their last groans. Then appearing in the air “the same incorporeal soldiers that made those clamours” and phantom armies fought in the sky above the original battlefield. The phantom Parliamentarians and Cavalier soldiers re-appeared over several nights and were witnessed on Christmas Day by many people. In the 1940s Bill Priest, a local school master, claimed that ghostly phenomenon was a common occurrence in the area surrounding the field.
Wednesday 20 October 2010
Saturday 16 October 2010
Thursday 14 October 2010
This Sunday up in London the Roundhead Association of the ECWS are marching to celebrate the anniversary of the Regicides who were hanged drawn and quartered in 1660. What that is all about is well explained on this blog here with times etc. Should be fun if you are in the capital.
Image A Roundhead by John Pettie
If you're wondering where the term Roundhead comes from here's what the wiki says
Origins and background
"Roundheads" appears to have been first used as a term of derision toward the end of 1641, when the debates in Parliament in the Bishops Exclusion Bill were causing riots at Westminster. Some, but by no means all, of the Puritans wore their hair closely cropped round the head, and there was an obvious contrast between them and the men of courtly fashion with their long ringlets. One authority said of the crowd which gathered there, "They had the hair of their heads very few of them longer than their ears, whereupon it came to pass that those who usually with their cries attended at Westminster were by a nickname called Roundheads." According to John Rushworth (Historical Collections) the word was first used on 27 December 1641 by a disbanded officer named David Hide, who during a riot is reported to have drawn his sword and said he would "cut the throat of those round-headed dogs that bawled against bishops".
However, Richard Baxter ascribes the origin of the term to a remark made by Queen Henrietta Maria at the trial of the Earl of Strafford earlier that year; referring to John Pym, she asked who the roundheaded man was.
The principal advisor to Charles II, the Earl of Clarendon (History of the Rebellion, volume IV. page 121) remarked on the matter, "and from those contestations the two terms of 'Roundhead' and 'Cavalier' grew to be received in discourse, ... they who were looked upon as servants to the king being then called 'Cavaliers,' and the other of the rabble contemned and despised under the name of 'Roundheads' ".
Ironically, after Anglican Archbishop Laud made a statute in 1636 instructing all clergy to wear short hair, many Puritans rebelled to show their contempt for his authority and began to grow their hair even longer  (as can be seen on their portraits), though they continued to be known as Roundheads. The longer hair was more common among the "Independent" and "high ranking" Puritans (which included Cromwell), especially toward the end of the Protectorate, while the "Presbyterian" (i.e. non-Independent) faction, and the military rank-and-file, continued to abhor long hair. By the end of this period some Independent Puritans were again derisively using the term Roundhead to refer to the Presbyterian Puritans.
Tuesday 12 October 2010
Surprising Events, which happened to
Him through a Series of Sixty Years, and
upwards; and several material Anecdotes,
regarding King William and Queen
Anne's Wars with Lewis XIV. of France
Born today in 1671 this famous Wild Goose's memoirs are up in full on Google Books and as it is birthday today I thought you might like a shufty.
Wednesday 29 September 2010
Saturday 25 September 2010
Friday 24 September 2010
Thursday 23 September 2010
Well, PSR finally got their hands on a set of the "Scots Mercenaries (Thirty Years War)", and the review and photos, sadly, are about what I expected. That the figures are based heavily on the Köler engraving of "Irelanders" arriving at Stettin is obvious, which is why I included that engraving at the top, originally published in 1631. This engraving has long been used by figure manufacturers as justification for depicting TYW Scots in typical Highland dress, whether accurate or not. It's depiction has also been surrounded by controversy for even longer than we have had figures to go with it.
While the engraving may, indeed, accurately depict "Irelanders" (actually Scots Highlanders) as they might have arrived, fresh off the boats, it certainly does not depict them as they served in the Swedish or French armies of the TYW. It has long been shown, from other illustrations, muster rolls and anecdotal sources, that the Scots in Swedish service were uniformed by their employer. So too were the Scots in the French army. In fact, considering just how stereotypical "Highland" these figures are, it's difficult to imagine what they might be used for, except possibly a small Highland contingent in the early ECW, and they're too well armed for that with 20 matchlock muskets to 12 pikes (and 2 of the pikemen are definitely wearing trews and later armor with tassets, back & breast and helmets, while the third appears to have a belted plaid worn with his trews and a bonnet). You do get two archer figures, but with an odd recurve bow instead of the more traditional straight stave Highland longbow.
I'll leave you to read the full review on these on PSR's site, as well as see the pictures, but I fear that once again Mars have taken what could have been a promising set and missed the mark badly. Also, following Mars' recent practice, there are four (4) of each and every figure/pose in the pack, showing once again that Mars knows little (or perhaps cares little) of what the wargamer does with their figures. As always, my opinions only, your mileage may vary.
Tuesday 21 September 2010
Sunday 19 September 2010
Wednesday 15 September 2010
Tuesday 14 September 2010
So the mid S0merset wargamers did an excellent Tangiers 1680 battle at Colours with the Glory of the Sun figures. They had to make do with other cavalry as the Glory cavalry are still not out. Made quite an impression from the look of it. Well done. And the club is just down the road from me - maybe I'll have to go visit.
Photos (close ups of the units) at the Captain General's site. Battle in progress pictures.
Friday 10 September 2010
It was the last pitched battle to be fought between the Scottish and the English Royal armies and the first "modern" battle to be fought in the British Isles. It resulted in a catastrophic defeat for the Scots caused by the use of naval artillery by the English for the first time in a land battle in Britain. In Scotland, it was known as Black Saturday.
Thursday 9 September 2010
Tuesday 7 September 2010
Saturday 4 September 2010
Wiki entry here. It starts with
The gallowglass were a mercenary warrior elite among Gaelic-Norse clans residing in the Western Isles of Scotland (or Hebrides) and Scottish Highlands from the mid 13th century to the end of the 16th century. As Scots, they were Gaels and shared a common origin and heritage with the Irish, but as they had intermarried with the 10th century Norse settlers of the islands and coastal areas of Scotland and the Picts, the Irish called them Gall Gaeil ("foreign Gaels").
They were the mainstay of Scottish and Irish warfare before the advent of gunpowder, and depended upon seasonal service with Irish lords. A military chieftain would often select a gallowglass to serve as his personal aide and bodyguard, because as a foreigner, the gallowglass would be less subject to local feuds and influences.
This is a 'new to me' Irish group that specialises in late 15th century early 16th century Gallowglass. They have an excellent blog. It's a very atmospheric period and the photos are excellent. If I lived in Ireland I'd be interested in this. If you want to find out more about these Gaelic mercenaries then check out this book which is illustrated by the very talented Sean O'Brogain.
Wednesday 1 September 2010
Something to enjoy is this selection of excellent photos of the event by Rowenna Reed.
As you can see they constructed a mock-up of Basing House for the event.
Friday 27 August 2010
'Witness the Civil War brought to life from the 28th to 30th of August with cannon, cavalry and over 1000 re-enactors to mark the reopening of Basing house.
The Regiments of the Sealed Knot including Hawkins Regiment of Foote will be re-enacting the historical battle of Basing House this weekend. In addition there will be the usual Living History stands as well as other events organised by Basingstoke and Deane Hampshire County Council.'
Wednesday 25 August 2010
Now, for a timely "plug": If you haven't already heard of John Curry Events or the "History of Wargaming Project", then you need to follow the link above to check it out. John began a project a few years ago to "resurrect" as many of the seminal books, rules and printed guides for wargaming as possible and reprint them. In some cases, the original authors are still very much with us and have added new introductions or comments; in others he has dealt with the estates of the original authors and gained the rights for the re-prints.
Two of his first efforts were "Charge! Or How to Play Wargames" by Brig. Peter Young and Lt. Col. Lawford, and "The Wargame" by Charles Grant. Both of these books were published and printed by Ken Trotman with John's involvement, and are available through either On Military Matters in the US or through Caliver Books in the UK. John has also published, through his own company, most of the books and rules by such authors as Don Featherstone, Charlie Wesencraft, Paddy Griffith, Tony Bath, Terry Wise, Fred Jane, Fletcher Pratt, Phil Barker and George Gush, which either are available or soon will be directly from John's site.
Two of John's recent coups have been to arrange for a re-print of WRG's 6th Edition Ancients Rules combined with Phil Barker's classic "Purple Primer" (originally published as part of the Airfix "Guides" series) which are available for order now, and a re-print of George Gush's WRG 2nd Edition Renaissance Rules (1420-1700) with lists and amendments (still working with George as of this writing). All well worth checking out if you still enjoy these rules and books, or if you simply want to complete a collection of the "masters" of our hobby.
Wednesday 18 August 2010
Monday 16 August 2010
On this day in history:
1777 The Americans defeated the British at the Battle of Bennington
1780 The British defeated the Americans at the battle of Camden
One win, one loss, for either side.
1958 Madonna is born
1977 Elvis dies
Again, one win and one loss, depending on one's tastes.
1888 T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) is born
Big win (Peter O'Toole thought so too)
And on this day in history, along with many others through the years, both high and low, Sir William the Aged entered this World, probably already talking (at least if you believe my Family!).
Yet to determine if this was a win, a loss or a draw, time will tell I'm sure.
At any rate, Thank You for checking in from time-to-time and for sharing my Birthday with me. I'll try and think of something a bit more interesting to post in the next few days.
Friday 13 August 2010
Got this mail out from Copplestone Castings -
and we get a mention!
GLORY OF THE SUN
Very sorry about the delay in bringing out the rest of the
range - I really haven't forgotten about it and I am
finally working on some cavalry and
dragoons. The first of these should
appear in September.
Information on the earlier wars of Louis XIV
is hard to find, but the Wiki page
on the Franco-Dutch War is a good place to start:
For uniforms and other military details
you really can`t do any better than a
couple of excellent blogs:
Wednesday 11 August 2010
Tuesday 10 August 2010
Sunday 8 August 2010
Thursday 5 August 2010
Thursday 29 July 2010
Wednesday 28 July 2010
Tuesday 27 July 2010
When: Friday 20th August on Discovery (Digital Terrestrial)
'Rory McGrath investigates the rebellion of 1685 and learns how to fire a musket and take on a horse in a running race'. He's a comic so I don't have high expectations but I am curious.
Sunday 25 July 2010
Saturday 17 July 2010
Thursday 15 July 2010
Wednesday 14 July 2010
Tuesday 13 July 2010
English text further down
nach langer und streckenweise ermüdener Vorbereitungsphase ist
es nun endlich soweit: Mein Magazin ist seit heute "auf dem Markt".
Unter www.afaktor findet Ihr alle Informationen und eine PDF-Datei
zum freien, kostenlosen Herunterladen.
AFAKTOR, das moderne Magazin für lebendige Geschichtsdarstellung,
Kultur und Reenactment ist ein deutschsprachiges Magazin, das sich
an historische Darsteller von der Steinzeit bis 1918 richtet.
Die erste gedruckte Ausgabe kommt im Dezember in den Bahnhofsbuchhandel
und den Vertrieb via Abonnement, danach erscheint das Magazin vierteljährlich.
Lob, Tadel, Kritik und Vorschläge bitte an:
Viel Spaß beim Lesen,
after a long time of preparation my magazine is now available.
At www.afaktor.de you'll find more informations and a PDF-file
AFAKTOR is a germanspeaking magazine dedicated to Re-enacters
from the Stoneage to 1918.
The first issue is for free and from December 2010 on our magazine
will be available quarterly in Trainstations and per Abonnement.
You and your groups are very welcome if you wish to introduce
yourself, feel welcome!
Please send your feedbacks to:
Monday 12 July 2010
Video and so on here
Also as part of the trip they went to Kuressaare, on the island Saaremaa, Estonia. It has a very well preserved fortress and castle that was taken by the Russians in 1710. So they appeared there to mark the date. http://lgpp1709.livejournal.com/18666.html#cutid1
Friday 9 July 2010
By the way, I'm remiss for not doing so sooner, but the excellent picture above, as well as all of those reached via the link, are the work of TMP'er Joe Dever. My thanks to him for it's inclusion and for the great write-up of the event.
As Friend Raia has pointed out, my earlier identification of this Battle as being during the "Deluge" was incorrect. It was actually during the preceding Russian "Time of Troubles", which took place from 1598 to 1613 and revolved around the troubles of succession from the end of the Rurick dynasty until the beginning of the Romanov dynasty. I have already edited the "Deluge" reference in the opening paragraph and apologize to readers for the error in terminology.
Wednesday 7 July 2010
Tuesday 6 July 2010
So another excuse to raise a glass - this time to celebrate the last pitched battle fought on English soil on the 6th July and the last popular English rebellion. Wiki.
Anyone painted any Front Rank figures' late 17th century range yet? Send in some pics if you have. These are their grenadiers - perfect for James II's army.
Sunday 4 July 2010
Friday 2 July 2010
In my comments following Ralphus’ post on Follower number 99, I mentioned the stature and pursuits of some of our Followers, and I hope that was not misconstrued. Between Ralphus, Fraxinus, Corporal Trim and myself, I don’t know that any of us enjoy any special qualifications or stature, I know that I don’t. We are simply enthusiasts dedicated to a particular period or era, and we write for fellow enthusiasts. That some of our Followers happen to be noted historians and authors, or equally-dedicated enthusiasts specializing in specific nationalities or armies, is simply what we Americans would call “The Icing on the Cake”.
Many times one of us will author a post, or pose a question in a post, and one of You, our dedicated Followers and readers, will contribute to the discussion, offer new sources we were not previously aware of, or plant the “seed” of another post or research project. This is but one of the reasons that I personally value the inclusion of people like Curt Johnson (Dur Ecu), Daniel Schorr (the Northern Wars web site), Stéphane Thion (Timur), our good friends Motorway in the Netherlands (Anno Domini 1672 blog), Uwe in Bavaria (History in 1/72nd blog), and Guiseppe and Auguste in Italy (La Grande Guerra del Nord blog). It is exactly because of my own limitations. These individuals are “specialists” and have patiently answered questions that I’ve had, sent unsolicited material to Ralphus and myself, and keep us “honest” in what we offer to our readers. However, that does not slight any other Follower or reader, and I believe that many more of you are probably capable of contributing to these interactive discussions and would love to see even more feedback than we already receive, and we do receive quite a bit.
In one of my last comments I compared our little community to a Victorian-era salle. For those not familiar with this tradition, in late 19th Century England and on the Continent, it was extremely popular for groups of like-minded, genteel Ladies and Gentlemen to gather in the home of one of the group and engage in discussion, debate, public oration, reading of both poetry and literature, and comparison of fine wines, port and cheeses. Indeed, it was out of one of these salle’s that Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley’s “Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus” first saw the light of day. That this blog attracts such a high-caliber of participants is to be celebrated and saluted. Please, invite your friends, share your thoughts with us, let us know where your interests lie. If one of the four principal authors cannot answer your questions, I am confident that one of our Followers can point us all in the proper direction.
Thursday 1 July 2010
Well, PSR has finally gotten a proper review done on this set here, and I may have actually been overly-generous in my scoring. As I suspected, there are 4 of each and every pose, so you are left to decide what to do with 4 standard bearers, 4 NCO's, 4 drummers, 4 fifers, 4 pioneers and 8 officers (2 poses). If I bought enough of these sets to actually do 3 or 4 decent-sized gaming battalions, they would be accompanied by a full battalion of grenadiers, a half-battalion of pioneers, a complete fife and drum corps, and a veritable panoply of flags.
The overall quality of the sculpting has improved compared to other Mars sets of the past, but still isn't up to the standards of the better makers, and there is a significant amount of flash for a new mold. Overall, better than nothing, but far short of what this set could have been. Sad really.
Wednesday 30 June 2010
Tuesday 29 June 2010
According to the clan tartan page 'it's to the tune of "A Statute for Drunkards and Swearer" (1624)
This song was quoted by Captain Robert Monro in his memoirs of his service under Gustavus Adolphus. '
Saturday 26 June 2010
Friday 25 June 2010
Event by my favourite ECW group - their bumph reads:
Tuesday 22 June 2010
This is a report from Boris of the Great Northern war reenactment group of a recent 300th anniversary event at Vyborg.
The walls of the fortress facing harbour were breached by Russian siege guns between June 1st and 6th, 1710. However, Vyborg's land front and its key point bastion Panzerlax could not be damaged despite all efforts of Russian artillery. It was proposed to blow it up with "machine infernalis", but first the besiegers had to gain access to the moat. And the moat in front of Panzerlax was defended with small earthwork, a caponier. Fight for this caponier took place in the night, June 6th (it should be noticed nights are "white" in this region in early Summer). Unlike vast majority of other actions of GNW, this combat was described by common ranks from both sides, Russian and Swedish, who fought there.
Survived "autobiographies" of officers and NCOs of Second Grenadier regiment were written down in 1720 and they mention fight for the caponier where several grenadiers were taken prisoner by Swedes and were held in the fortress until its surrender (Second Leut. Tit Duganov, Captain-of-arms Stepan Kolesnikov). Others mention their participation in beating off a Swedish sortie at the caponier (Serj.Anton Yaroslavtsev, Capt.-Leut. Andrey Monastyrev).
Russian State Archive of Navy stores report from interrogation of Swedish Capt. Franz Fariol, Savolax regt, who was sent to reinforce the caponier, but his men abandoned him and he was captured.
The fight lasted all night and by morning Russians held the caponier. Storming Vyborg was appointed on June 9th and preparations were made to blow up the machine, but Governor started negotiations and assault never happened.
Thus, bastion Panzerlax survived the siege and 300 years after it; it stands in the middle of modern town in good condition. The place where the caponier stood is now a crossroads of two town streets and kids' playground. So we reenacted the fight between the playground and the bastion. Grenadier in re-created cap of 2nd Grenadiers started the battle and was indeed captured prisoner, Swedes left prisoners as well and withdrew to within the bastion. This was the first day of commemorations of 300 anniversary of taking Vyborg.
Here I posted pictures http://lgpp1709.livejournal.com/18295.html with contemporary map supplied with modern view of the bastion and with photos from our event there. I also put original words from real combatants into mouths of reenactors.