Saturday 30 January 2010

The King's Army Annual Whitehall Parade, 31 January 2010

If you are up in London then maybe you should go and cheer them on.

The ECWS page where there is more info and photos says

Every year, on the last Sunday in January, the King's Army (the Royalist part of the English Civil War Society) is privileged to be allowed to commemorate the execution of King Charles I with a parade along the route taken by the King from the St James' Palace to his place of execution.

The event takes place on Sunday, 31st January this year. The Army will assemble in The Mall in front of St James Palace from 11.00am. Starting at about 11.30am, the Army will proceed to march at funeral pace along The Mall, down Horseguards Road and onto Horseguards Parade itself. On this spot there will be a short service and ceremony and a wreath of remembrance will be laid at the Banqueting House.

The parade then returns to St James' Palace at a normal marching pace, with drums beating and colours flying via Admiralty Arch and back along The Mall.

This colourful commemorative parade has been staged every January for almost 40 years and has become a popular feature in the annual events calendar of England's capital city.

Execution of Charles I

Today in 1649 Charles Stuart who the Roundheads called 'The Man of Blood' was executed.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Tuesday 26 January 2010


Bang up to date (excusing the pun) with the Sealed Knot with their recent event at Nantwich.

Monday 25 January 2010

The chapel at Farleigh Hungerford

When I was a kid (here we go) this was a common sight - well in castles (like this one at Farleigh Hungerford which is just up the road from me) and stately homes - armour and weapons on the walls - now they all seem to have gone - presumably sold off or centralised somewhere but it used to be a particular pleasure to crane your neck and speculate the history of the various items on display. This old slide is again from the family archive of the 60s (a bought one though) but there is a kind of happy twist - this chapel had a mural of George slaying the dragon hiding behind the white which at the time of this photo was still to be discovered having been obscured since Roundhead times. Although having said that looking at this image on full screen I don't know how it was missed as it seems to be visible. Image search Farleigh Hungerford

My Kingdom for a Horse

Does anyone remember this play starring a pre-Sharpe Sean Bean from 1988? He plays a nerdy schoolteacher who reenacts the Civil War at weekends. It was pretty good. Image from here where there is more info and pictures. I actually have it on VHS taped off the telly somewhere...
Imdb here

SK history

I've been wondering since looking at those old photos what the Sealed Knot was like when it started. I don't know why as I have never been a member but I have this image of bright young but unfashionable people in sports cars with posh names running about in converted clothing and floppy hats with fencing foils but it's probably all wrong. But there is a good site that has an insight into what it was really like with things like the dress regs and safety and so forth from the 1971 handbook - you might have to be a reenactment nerd to enjoy it but if you are go here and have a read. There's all manner of gems on this Unofficial SK history site - like an all female sword only group in apricot velvet or the direction to use furnishing fabric for clothing - how to shorten your trousers and so forth.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Reenactment in old Czechoslovakia

More photos from the Mitchard photo archive (did I see you yawn?) this time something from the Thirty Years War in the mid 80s before the Velvet Revolution.

Battle of Lansdown

Old family photos occasionally turn up some gems - my brother and sister scanned these which I reckon are from about the late 60s when the Sealed Knot was a new phenomenon. Lansdown was fought outside Bath in the Civil War and is one of the battles local to me. I love the bouncy castles just plain old uncluttered fields and hedges...those were the days.


Part 2 of a 2004 German language docudrama which seems to be about the Witch mania of the Thirty Years War period. I have to admit to being a poor German speaker but apparently 60,000 people were executed in the wake of this hysteria. Apologies if this is offensive or anything - my German means that I can't really understand it all.

Friday 22 January 2010

Sedgemoor 1985

Some great photos on Flickr of the Sealed Knot's reenactment of this Monmouth Rebellion battle 25 years ago. Apparently they're doing it again this year.

Brandýs 2008

We haven't had any Thirty Years War for a while so here's a Czech reenactment film that looks and sounds pretty convincing. Appears to be really good fun too.

Monday 18 January 2010

Henry Morgan and the capture of Panama

Today in 1671 the famous English pirate captured Panama. Not much treasure was found however as the Spanish had taken most of the valuable out of the city. Wiki on Morgan here.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Vauban citadels

Following on from Steve's post here's a slideshow of aerial photos of fortifications and so on.

Thursday 14 January 2010

Vauban and the French Military Under Louis XIV

Here's a relatively new title which may be of interest to the blog readership. I refer to Vauban and the French Military Under Louis XIV: An Illustrated History of Fortifications and Strategies by Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage.
At first glance, for a paperback book weighing in at 286 pages, there isn't £32.93/$49.95 worth of content here. However, bearing in mind that this is a treatise lacking mass market economy of scale, and chock-full of excellent line drawings by the author, the reader can start to feel that his purchase has not been a wasteful expenditure.
While the book opens with a biographical sketch of Vauban himself and his role in the wars of Louis XIV, this is more of an in-depth survey of the French art of fortification under the Sun King's reign. The real meat of the text begins with the chapter on the art of fortification, followed by a comprehensive survey of France's frontier fortifications, rotating clockwise from the Pas de Calais and Flanders back around to Normandy. Each fortified place gets one or two pages of text outlining its history and Vauban's role in it, with an excellent line drawing of the fortress plans or a detailed sketch of some aspect of the fortress, city, gates and so on.
There are no photographs in the book, but given the care Mr. Lepage has lavished upon his illustrations, they won't really be missed. Recommended.
Steve Cady

Helsingborg 1710

I thought it might be interesting to see what events occurred in 1710 to see what is going on in the world of the tercentenary - something I have been vaguely following since the Sedgemoor 300th in 1985.
Well this battle between the Danes and the Swedes in the Great Northern War in late February is next.
Later in the year we have the Battle of Zaragoza in Spain which is being reenacted later in the summer - see here - anyone know of any more 300th anniversary events?

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Cromwell (1970) battle scene

Wiki on the movie here
I can still remember the anticipation I had as a 9 year old (see pic) when news of this film came out - I remember my dad bringing home a clipping from a newspaper with Richard Harris in a lobster pot. Looking at it now it is still an enjoyable movie - probably still the best ECW movie...not that there is much competition. I suppose this movie and the Ladybird book on Cromwell both formed my ideas of what the Civil War was like. Of course the 'troubles' in Ireland caused huge chunks of this film to be cut before release though the souvenir foyer booklet still had stills from that sequence. Read a deconstruction of the Ladybird Cromwell book here.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Maxen 250th

Scenes from last October's reenactment of this battle from the Seven Years War in 1759.

Sunday 10 January 2010

Tony Barton's 1/6th scale Marlburian infantryman

I admit to being a fan of wargames figure sculptor Tony Barton's 1/6th scale figures. They take the idea of a scale model to high levels of accuracy that are an education. This model of a British redcoat of 1706 is another triumph. Excellent work. If you want more here's a link to his Spanish musketeer of 1604.

Taras Bulba (2009)

We all have seen the Yul Brynner original - Cossacks against Poles - but has anyone seen this Russian remake from 2009? Imdb here

Thursday 7 January 2010

George Monk or Monck

George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, by Sir Peter Lely painted around 1665-6.
I don't suppose we have had enough about this interesting fellow on this blog. He certainly had an interesting career.

Coldstream Guards recreate historic march

As most of you know the Coldstream Guards were originally Monk's Regiment of the Protectorate and they marched south 400 miles to effectively switch sides to the new restored monarchy. This march is being recreated today by modern day Coldstream Guardsmen to raise money for fallen and injured comrades from recent conflicts. It's bitterly cold up there in Scotland at the moment but apparently morale is high. Good luck to them - read the whole story here (also has a link to donate to this worthy cause).

Terrain Features Anyone?

Just discovered a company some of you may have already known about, David Graffam Models, which offer a wonderful range of buildings in the form of paper models for the gaming table.

These buildings are scaled to 30mm, but work well with 25's and 28's. They are available from a company called Wargame Vault here at very reasonable pricing in US currency. The downloadable files for your buildings are provided in two formats, multi-layered PDF and single-layered PDF. What this means is that, if you have Adobe Acrobat, you can use the multi-layered files and change colors, details, etc., making one purchased building into several. If you don't have Acrobat, you can still purchase the buildings and print them with Adobe's free Acrobat Reader and, depending on the cardstock you use, you could tint the printed building with some water color or acrylic tints to modify their appearance.

You can also go directly to David's web site here and download a free sample "hovel" that is a very useful cottage. These buildings are advertised as "Fantasy/Medieval, 1600 to 1700" but would work well into the 18th century to create a village or even a walled city. There are multiple single buildings available (sample picture below), a tower and wall section, a city gate (pictured at top), and even some bundles of multiple buildings. They are all designed to be printed on cardstock and then assembled with a gluestick or white glue, fairly simple. You can also combine different buildings to create your own designs.

I would say overall, very highly recommended based on my printed sample of the "hovel". The one thing I'm still working on (e-mailed David to see what my options are) is scaling them down to about 60% of original size to use for 15/18mm.


Tuesday 5 January 2010

More End-of-Year Plastic News!

My goodness, but Mars has been busy of late! Just picked up on PSR that Mars have added a couple of additional new sets to their upcoming releases; "Swedish Army With Culverin" (box photos shown above) and "Scots Mercenaries of the TYW" (box artwork pictured below).

These follow-on the heels of the Imperialist Army (really a war wagon with swivel gun and crew) that Ralphus already alerted us to, and apparently they are also at work on new Swedish and Imperialist Infantry sets to accompany the previously-released Revell copies already in production. All things considered, a bountiful harvest for TYW enthusiasts (which seems to be tickling Ralphus' fancy lately).

While photos of painted samples from box art can be considered "optimistic examples" in many cases, if the actual figures are close to those depicted on the box, the "Swedish Army With Culverin" will be a very useful set. The gun, limber and team look very promising and the assortment of crew figures and mounted officers look good as well. We should see these turning up in several armies. Along with their recent expansion into the GNW, Mars is making themselves a company to watch for the coming year!


Friday 1 January 2010

1612 trailer and siege scene

I haven't seen this Russian fantasy movie from 2007 set during the historical Polish invasion of 1612 but it looks pretty spectacular and the winged hussars look impressive. The siege scene is recommended by me as being pretty watchable. Wiki on the movie

Happy New Year