Friday 24 December 2010

Season's Greetings

Hope you all have a great holiday. As a lot of Europe has snow I thought this old chestnut was worth trotting out again.

Thursday 23 December 2010

A Merry (or Happy) Christmas to All!

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.

Sincerely yours,


Monday 20 December 2010

Wednesday 15 December 2010

French camp scene c1740

This is a jolly little scene which shows how pleasurable life must have been in the army during peacetime.

Monday 6 December 2010

Pride's Purge

This event happened today in 1648 when all MPs sympathetic to the King were arrested or barred. It is described as the only successful military coup d'etat in British history. Wiki here

Thursday 25 November 2010

Narva 1700-2010

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

Execution of Guido (Guy) Fawkes

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

Musique de la Grande Écurie & des Gardes Suisses

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":

Just released:

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

Battle of Pavia 1525

Looking for stuff on the mid 16th century has led me to find this well-made film of the Italian Wars battle being reenacted.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Grolle 1627

Here is the official page for the event if you are thinking about attending next year. Also lots of pictures and so on to give you a flavour of this European scale event. From the photos it looks like some UK people went - were you one of them? Tell us about it.

Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549

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
More here
More here

Monday 25 October 2010

Glory of the Sun releases

New cavalry and dragoons from Copplestone castings.
They look great - I fancy painting some up as Monmouth Rebels.

Grolle 1627-2010

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

Mars Swings For The Fence Again!

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's spectral reenactment

This battle of the ECW was fought today, kicking off the war in fine style. Though what interests me most about this battle was the very frequently seen spectral refighting of this battle in the skies. This article from the Headless Horseman tells the tale very well - a BBC article tells the tale in more detail here which tells of the pamphlet published on the subject and the fact that Charles I sent observers to find out about it and they witnessed the phenomenon - seeing colleagues in the sky...

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

Hard Plastic Marlburians

These 28mm WSS generic figures are now available from Wargames Factory. Fill yer boots!

Saturday 16 October 2010

WSS 28mm

Well painted Front Rank by the looks - by the Grimsby wargamers.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Whitehall Roundhead march

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 [2] (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.[3]

Tuesday 12 October 2010

The memoirs of Captain Peter Drake


An Account of many Strange and
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

Fort George

BBC documentary on the impressive 18th century fort in Scotland.

Saturday 25 September 2010

More GNW images

News piece here on a different kind of GNW reenactment.

Friday 24 September 2010

William Lawes

This court composer of Charles I's court was killed today at Rowton Heath in 1645.

Thursday 23 September 2010

Mars Swings and Misses, Again!

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

Kexholm 1710

The reenactment of the 300th anniversary of this siege in the Great Northern War went well. Scaling ladders were used and the results look pretty spectacular. There's some great photos here
and here

Sunday 19 September 2010

Lope (2010) Official Trailer

Thanks to Uwe from History inn 1/72 for this clip. Imdb here It says: A chronicle of the life of Lope de Vega, the Spanish playwright who dominated Spain's early Golden Age of theater.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

HaT industries 1/32 SYW test shots

I am looking forward to these figures and they look good from the test shots. Check them out
and here
These Prussians are likely to prove popular as Hessians and other German states.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Ironsides artwork for sale

On the subject of Tangiers the original paintings from the Osprey book on Ironsides are available from this gallery.


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

Battle of Pinkie Cleugh

Still in the realm of Anglo-Scottish warfare this battle was fought today in 1547. According to the wiki
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.[5]

Thursday 9 September 2010

Flodden Field 1513

Fought today between the English and Scots in the era of Henry VIII. The last battle to be won by the longbow it will presumably be celebrated in 2013 so it might be worth checking it out. Here's part one of a six part documentary on the battle.

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Gallowglass musketeer

At least that's what I think it is - thanks to Uwe for sending it in - it's from the Dublin museum.

Saturday 4 September 2010

The Reivers - Making of the Borders

Wiki on Border Reivers. From Ireland to Scotland in one hop - same sort of era though. Check out this site for an excellent group The Borderers.


This is a period I know nothing about but the below reenactment group have made me curious about this part of Irish history.
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.


Webpage here
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

Basing House photos

Amazing Basing photos! I wasn't able to go and watch but as a fan of the site I've been following the relaunch of this ECW site with interest.
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

The Battle of Basing House 2010 - The Sealed Knot

Bank Holiday fun for the Bank Holiday weekend - why not check out what's happened in the revamped grounds. The blurb says
'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

Another Passing to Note, and a Reference

By now many of our reader's will have heard that noted wargames author, editor and rules writer Terry Wise passed away on August 17th. Our thoughts go out to Terry's Family. Many of us will remember being influenced either by Terry's writings in Military Modelling's "Observation Post" column, or in "Battle for Wargamer's", or his book "Introduction to Battlegaming", or his many sets of rules published by his own company, Athena. Bon chance Mr. Wise, and may you join that august group of elders already in that Great Gaming Room above for hours of enjoyment!

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

GNW at Narva

Always good to see the Great Northern war going strong. See still images and all the latest on this 1709 blog.

Bavarian Grenadier 1704

Thanks to Bavarian Uwe of the History in 1/72 blog for these images of a Bavarian gren in the campaigns of 1704

Monday 16 August 2010

An Auspicious Day In History

Dear Readers,

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.


Interesting looking Osprey

Written by Keith Roberts. He seems to know his onions when it comes to this period.

Friday 13 August 2010

Glory of the Sun Cavalry

Got this mail out from Copplestone Castings -
and we get a mention!


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:

Mark Copplestone

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Kexholm 1710

Boris has been researching GNW sieges with the view to reenact them - he has shared with us the latest siege from 300 years ago so I hope you enjoy it. See a previous reenactment here.

Boris Megorsky
The SIEGE of KEXHOLM in 1710
Korela was the name of a Russian fortress on the frontier with Swedish territories; known since the 12th century, it had repelled numerous attacks and was taken several times, too. The last fall occurred in 1611 when it fell to the Swedish crown after a 6 month siege. Swedes built a modern bastioned fortress near the medieval castle and the town was named Kexholm.
When the Great Northern War started, Tsar Peter first attempted a campaign against Kexholm in the Spring of 1704, but soon after the troops set out to Karelia they were recalled to take part in the siege of Narva and thus re-conquest of Korela was suspended. In the following years no considerable actions were undertaken against Kexholm as the belligerents’ forces were heavily engaged in the West – in Poland, Lithuania, Belorussia and Ukraine. Nevertheless, actions didn’t cease completely; the Swedes with their bases in Viborg and Kexholm threatened newly built Saint-Petersburg. The Russians in their turn constantly harassed Swedish troops and the local population and sent troops from Saint-Petersburg and Olonets towards Korela with the aim of devastating the enemy’s economy and obtaining information. These reconnaissance parties operated throughout the year, including ski raids in winter, and as we can tell from the autobiography of Lieutenant Ivan Naidinsky, 2nd Grenadiers regt. He wrote that for an unaccounted number of occasions he was sent with special parties from Saint-Petersburg to Viborg and Kexholm in 1705, 1706, 1707 and 1708 with orders to devastate, seek enemy parties and to capture prisoners.
The tables turned dramatically in 1709 when the main army of Charles XII was annihilated at Poltava and Peter’s forces were relieved to be redirected to the assault on Swedish Baltic provinces. Field marshal Boris Sheremetiev’s corps was ordered to Riga in July; the siege of this big fortified city started in October and ended in July 1710. After the fall of Riga Russian troops besieged and took Reval (Tallinn), Pernau (Parnu) and Arensburg (Kuressaare). Separate forces under Major-General Nostes operated in Poland and took by assault the town of Elbing (Elblong) in February 1710. Operations in the north started in March 1710 – the corps of General Fedor Apraksin marched to Viborg, besieged it and took it in June. Several regiments that took part in this siege were then sent eastwards towards Kexholm under the command of Major-General Roman Bruce. This General was ‘ober-commandant’ of Saint-Petersburg, in this capacity he took part in the defence of the city and was well informed about the theatre of operations.
On 9th July Bruce came to Kexholm with three dragoon regiments (Lutsky, Vologodsky and Narvsky), two infantry regiments (Arkhangelogorodsky and Apraksin) and two grenadier companies. Another battalion joined this siege force on July 22nd, coming from Olonets under Major Drukort. Mortars were brought from Schusselburg (formerly Noteburg) on August 4th and four more ships with artillery arrived on September 5th.
Kexholm fortress was completely surrounded by water, the River Vuoksa forming an impassable moat around it; it had five bastions (nowadays their elements can be seen in the town) and a citadel (the very medieval Korela, surviving as a museum today). Breaching the ramparts required strong artillery which Bruce didn’t have and an attack over water would have caused considerable losses. Taking into consideration that the garrison was too small for active defence and after the fall of Viborg they had no chances to receive ‘succor’ from outside, Tsar Peter instructed Bruce to limit siege operations to blockading and bombardment only. It meant that unlike the sieges of Noteburg, Narva and Viborg, Russian command weren’t planning to take Kexholm by storming. Experience of the war taught that the majority of fortresses surrendered after heavy bombardment, when governors lost hopes of receiving relief. This scheme was to be followed again.

The besiegers took their positions on July 11th, opened trenches and started building ‘kettles’ (mortar batteries). The Swedish Governor of Kexholm Colonel Johan Stiernschanz ordered the burning of downtown suburbs (so that buildings didn’t aid the besiegers) and in the town all straw roofs were to be dislodged (to prevent fires). The previous Governor of Kexholm Magnus Stiernstrole left the town earlier that year for Viborg and controlled the defence of that city along with the elderly Governor Zacharias Aminoff.
On July 16th Bruce offered Stiernschanz the opportunity to surrender and after the offer was declined the bombardment began. On the first day 68 bombs were thrown into the town; the shelling lasted day and night. Most likely, in this phase of the siege only light regimental pieces were used; their caliber was not sufficient for effective bombardment, so ships were sent to Schusselburg via Lake Ladoga to bring siege pieces. On August 8th the bombardment continued with newly arrived heavy mortars.
On the other hand, blockade did not mean total passiveness of the besieger. It is known that on July 22nd a redoubt was assaulted and taken that was positioned on the bank of Vuoksa river in front of the castle. On August 8th a rocky island was taken near the fortress’ Western front. These must have been the only assaults during the siege. The afore-mentioned officer Naidinsky recalled that he was sent with a party close to a rampart where he took prisoners and burnt down a battery.
About one month after the heavy bombardment started the Governor initiated talks. Over 4000 projectiles were thrown into the town, including bombs, grenades, carcasses, fire-balls and stones - all this inflicted damage on buildings and fortifications. On August 12th a stock of gun-powder exploded in the castle and this considerably decreased the overall supply of powder for garrison. By September 4th Roman Bruce had new ships with artillery arriving and this was probably the last straw for Stiernschantz. Sides started exchanging messages delivered by drummers; when a final agreement was discussed, sides also exchanged hostages.
On September 8th an ‘accord’ was signed and Russian regiments entered the town. The Swedish garrison had the right to leave for Neuschloss (Savonlinna) with their uniforms and weapons, but without colors and music (this measure symbolized that the defence wasn’t too active and that the garrison had no chance). Peter wrote to Bruce that the Swedes could be let go after they had helped Russian soldiers to renovate the damaged fortress.
Although they had the opportunity to leave for Swedish territory, some soldiers preferred to return to a peasants’ life and some enlisted in Russian service. Trophies taken were 77 bronze and iron cannons and 7 mortars. Roman Bruce obtained the rank of Lieutenant-General.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Seven Years War 28mm

The Herts Volunteers using Black Powder rules which cover the period 1700-1900.

Sunday 8 August 2010

Preiser Seven Years War

Been drooling over the painted 54mm SYW Preiser figures on the TSSD site. If that inspires you - seeing 1/32 Austrians and Prussians then Hat Industrie are on the way to producing Prussians and Austrians in that scale. We're there dude.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Warburg 1760

This weekend sees the 250th anniversary of this Seven Years War battle. It's being reenacted in Germany. See newspaper item here. Official website with program of events here

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Battle of the Boyne - League of Augsburg 25mm

I don't think we've had this before - looks good. Anyone got any of the Front Rank late 17th century figures yet?

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Rory Mcgrath 'Bloody Britain; Monmouth Rebellion'

Time: 21:30 to 22:00 (30 minutes long).
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

The Queen on Flickr

So the Queen has a flickr page. Her Majesty here is inspecting the Honourable Artillery Company - the oldest unit in the British army.

Saturday 17 July 2010

Handel's Water Music

Today in 1717 this piece of music was 'launched' - here's a recent attempt to recreate it.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Execution of the Duke of Monmouth

Took place today in 1685. A sad end but not as sad as the end that most of his supporters were to suffer. Judge Jeffries and the Bloody Assizes

Wednesday 14 July 2010


Looking for images from this 19th century Russian military artist and came across this collection of pics depicting the army of Peter the Great. More here

ECW in 1/32 scale

This blog has an excellent set-up for recreating the ECW in a grand scale.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

New German Living History Magazine

English text further down

Werte Freunde,

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,

Udo Brühe


Dear friends,

after a long time of preparation my magazine is now available.

At you'll find more informations and a PDF-file
for downloading.

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:

Kind regards,

Udo Brühe

Monday 12 July 2010

Onega Lake

As you know I run an unofficial fan club for the Great Northern War scene - they always seem to be doing something interesting and doing it with enthusiasm - it always makes me wish I was there and I faithfully report if in case any of you lot are in the Baltic region and want to get involved. These images are of a weekend on Onega Lake (second largest lake in Europe) and though it wasn't a serious attempt at 100 per cent historical stuff it is certainly interesting to check out the gallery of photos to see what they were up to.
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.

Friday 9 July 2010

Battle of Klushino, 1610

Picked this up from TMP, a great reenactment over July 4th weekend of the Battle of Klushino during the Russian "Time of Troubles" period in 1610. Absolutely great painting and modeling references! I've already got the site bookmarked for when I finally start painting my own Poles. Some wonderful shots of arms, armour, drill, uniforms and standards and included participants from nine countries. Would have loved to have been there for this one! Check out all of the pic's here.

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

Salute for Heroes Multiperiod Event

24-25 July Suffolk is the place and just about every period covered are going to be there in aid of the Help for Heroes charity. Details here. Features a Major muster for the ECWS among many other shows from Greek Hoplites to modern military displays. Details here

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Battle of Sedgemoor 1685

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

American Revolution - the prequel

To celebrate 4th of July I thought I'd link to this interesting article from NY Times about colonial elements in the English Civil War. I must say there was elements of the ECW in the American Revolution.

Friday 2 July 2010

100 and Counting – The State of the Blog

True to my word, at 1800 hours local time yesterday, midnight GMT, I unearthed a well-aged bottle of Di Serrano’s finest elixir, poured a generous snifter, lit a good cigar and raised my glass to all here. I especially toasted Ralphus, who created this little corner of the "ether" that several of us call “home”.

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.


Sir William the Aged

Thursday 1 July 2010

Number 100 Has Arrived!

Welcome to reader and follower "Donogh" , who joined us today, officially number 100. I hope you will all join me at midnight GMT in raising a pint in salute and we might consider making Donogh the Elector of some smallish Germanic Stadt or Bishopric. A fellow named Fred did quite well in that role a few years beyond our time frame.


Mars WSS Saxons Finally Reviewed

If you read my post on the "Plastic Olympics" back in February, you will remember that I extrapolated what I thought would be the contents of the Mars WSS Saxons set and used that as part of my "scoring" criteria.

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.



We're one short of 100 followers to this blog. What should we do to celebrate the 100th?

ECWS at St Ives

This is a very decent film of the English Civil War Society recently fighting at St Ives (not the Cornish one - the other Cromwellian one celebrating 900 years). Of course it's much more fun to experience in the flesh - smelling the eggy black powder smoke and so on but this comes a close second. This film is pretty impressive - sells the Society and the period well - hats off to the reeenactors and the camera person.

Wednesday 30 June 2010

The Deluge 29 - battle scene

We are travelling into the territory of the Deluge today. This is one of the best movies of the period. I know we've had this sequence before but some of you might have missed it.

The Deluge 1974 the siege

If you have been sweltering in the heat maybe this footage of artillery being dragged through the snow might have a cooling effect.

Battle of Berestechko 1651

Fought today in 1651 this battle was fought between rebellious Zaporozhian Cossacks, led by Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, aided by their Crimean Tatar allies, and a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth army under King John II Casimir.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Review - Warlord Games Parliament infantry

Nice idea this - a video review.

17th century songs 'When cannons are roaring'

By Forbes 1662. If you have ever reenacted the 17th century you would have probably sung this around a campfire but if you haven't here's the lyrics - other songs of the era here
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.

Cropredy Bridge 1644

Fought today in the English Civil War. Wiki. The last battle won by an English King on English soil. Now famous for the site of an annual folk festival.

Saturday 26 June 2010

Friday 25 June 2010

ECW - Fairfax and others at Mapledurham House

3 – 4 Jul 2010
Mapledurham House, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 7TR (map)
Event by my favourite ECW group - their bumph reads:
'After a period of 10 years, the Fairfax Battalia is proud to be returning to Mapledurham to transport the visitor back to the time of the English Civil War. This is an ideal opportunity to gain a taste of life in the mid-seventeenth century from one of the best re-enactment groups in the country. See how it would have been for both soldier and civilian, for ordinary people and aristocrats. Where they filmed ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ !!' See here for more details