Saturday 29 May 2010

Another Van der Meulen

Been a while since we had one by him. This one was found on the Facebook page of the Honourable Company of Foote's Facebook page and I think it's a camp before the Rhine.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Battle of Ramillies 1706

Today this battle was fought. One of the famous deaths was that of Colonel Bringfield - Marlborough fell from his horse early in the engagement with the French, and when he was being remounted on a spare charger, a cannonball flew over the back of the horse and decapitated Colonel Bringfield, who was holding the stirrup.

Saturday 22 May 2010

Exciting New Release From Zvezda!

Well, a bit of late-night "trolling" through the internet has revealed a new release from those prolific folks at Zvezda. Hot on the heels of their GNW Russian Dragoons and Russian and Swedish Artillery sets, and to accompany their SYW Prussian Grenadiers, Zvezda's site announces that they have released (as of May 20th) the famed Prussian Black Hussars.

This is an exciting release for several reasons. First, depending on actual size of the figures, these will make a great match with the old Revell SYW Hussars, offering a variety of new poses. Second, depending on how "heavy-handed" the Zvezda sculptor's were with the Death's Head insignia (and I expect it to be fairly prominent), with a bit of trimming this set will do duty as a "generic" Hussar in mirliton for most all nations, as well as many Imagi-Nations. Third, since the Zvezda sculptor's utilized separate pelisses for all but two poses (4 figures total out of 19 offered), these figures will work equally well for such things as Hussars in summer dress, a unique Freikorps unit for an Imagi-Nation, or even as Lauzan's Legion in the AWI. There is a pdf copy of the instruction sheet here which clearly shows which figures feature the separate pelisse. Very good stuff indeed!

Now, one can only hope that Zvezda will get around to some proper heavy cavalry of the era. While I would like to see more cavalry options for the GNW range, I wouldn't be opposed to seeing some SYW Prussian Dragoons or Cuirassiers offered. This would finally make Zvezda's 18th century offerings truly viable for a complete Imagi-Nation army in the style of the late Brig. Peter Young or Charles Grant. Stay tuned for updates here!


Thursday 20 May 2010

Woman in military dress c1710

Not really sure about this image - is this a female soldier?

Geertruid ter Brugge, hebbende gedient in den oorlog voor Dragender

1710 in more northerly lands

Well it looks like Zaragoza 1710-2010 went well. 2010 is also the year of numerous anniversaries of Great Northern War sieges. Boris from the GNW reenactment group says:
'In 1710 the Russians took the following fortresses from the Swedes:
Vyborg, Riga, Pernau (Parnu), Arensburg (Kuresaare), Revel (Tallin), Kexholm (Priozersk) and we are going to appear in most of them this season, Vyborg being first in June. There is our schedule on our site here'
Wish I could go. Image from a previous visit to Kexholm

Петр Первый/Petr Pervyj (1937-1939)

Some epic monochrome action scenes from the Soviet movie about Peter the Great. Epic is obviously a word that gets used a lot in historical movies but this film really does have a cast of thousands unlike modern day history pics. The IMDB says
Forget about the terrible Stalin's purges that were going on in the Soviet Union when this film, or rather its 1 Episode, was shot. The film has none of the Stalinist propaganda or dull Soviet ethics. This is a great, bright and powerful work. The role of the great Russian tzar Pyotr I is played by a brilliant Nikolay Simonov and he did a wonderful job. His Pyotr is wild, often terribly cruel, loud and unbearably ferocious to his enemies. He never hesitates and he breaks through like a wild bull. The 1 Episode tells about the terrible beginning of the North War with Sweden, the Russians are shamefully defeated and thus the Tzar starts his bloody reforms. He reorganizes the weak old army, he takes the church bells for the military sakes, he even is ready to arrest his own weak and sickly son Aleksey who is in fact his terrible feud. The second excellent role here is Aleksander Menshikov, the tzar's favorite aid, played by enigmatic Mr. Zharov. His part is cute, sly and so great that provokes a grand smile. The 1 Episode is also about the first military victories, the beginning of the Russian fleet and the foundation of the city of St.-Petersburg, exactly 300 years ago...

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Nigel Carren Savoyard helmet

ECW cuirassier's helmet demonstrated by its creator Nigel Carren.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Zaragoza 1710-2010

News feature on the weekend's activities in Spain.

Saturday 15 May 2010

Yet Another Rules Download

While perusing TMP recently, I also discovered a free set of ECW rules called "For Parliament, King or Glory" and written by David Marks here. You do have to join a Yahoo Group to be able to download the rules, but that is relatively painless as it doesn't require a waiting period or moderator's approval, your application is auto-processed and there you go!

These rules look quite promising and should very easily transition into the post-ECW period. They should work especially well for the Anglo-French alliance against Spain (with English Royalist and French Rebel assistance) in 1658 and 1659. I think they would also probably work with minimal mod's well into the later 17th century. I will warn you before you open that pdf file and just click print however, the rules are very detailed and are some 80+ pages long, plus the cover and QRF sheets.

They appear similar in some ways to "Beneath the Lily Banners", as they use the seemingly "standard" of 3 bases equals one battalion format. The mechanics look well thought out, there is a wealth of detail contained within the rules, but it looks like a game can be played with just the QRF sheets once players are familiar with the mechanics. There are also some excellent optional rules, army points values, and appendices with a chronology of the ECW, Commander ratings, gaming counters to reflect unit status and other important facts, and a very nice means of representing variable pike to shot ratio's for individual units.

After a read-through and a few "pencil skirmishes", I feel that these may be a very playable set with excellent expansion potential. Has anyone else tried them yet? Your thoughts or input?


Impetus Expansion Modules From Dadi & Piombo

Interesting thread on TMP here, regarding a recent 10mm re-fight of Blenheim during the WSS. It has links to a very nice picture album of the game as well as links to the D&P site for the free downloadable rules module, "Le Roi Soliel" and a set of army lists for Blenheim. Well worth a look!

And now, confession time. I have never made a secret of the fact that I am a devoted fan of George Gush's Renaissance rules, both 1st and 2nd editions. However, as the rules are a bit "long in the tooth", I have been exploring mod's to the rules and/or other rules sets for my favorite period. When I first became aware of "Basic Impetus" and "Impetus", and their free expansion modules, I will admit that I didn't explore them in detail because they are of the "Grand Tactical" nature. It's strictly a personal preference, but I usually don't care for the "one stand equals one regiment, brigade, division, etc." sort of rules. My preference has always been the more "intimate" 1:10, 1:20 or similar rulesets. Years ago I participated in some of the playtesting for several sets of published Grand Tactical rules for the SYW and the Napoleonic written by friends of mine and just never got my head wrapped totally around them.

However, now that I've looked at the pic's of the Blenheim game, and downloaded the rules and lists, I may be changing my mind, at least a bit. I was impressed enough with them to also download the "Basic Baroque" expansion mod for the 80 Years War through the Late 17th Century (and including the GNW), which also look very nice. You can see them for yourself and download them here. While I may always prefer the Gush-style rules for a battle like the 2nd Dunes, I can really see using these "Impetus" modules for the larger battles like Seneffe, Enzheim, or the major battles of the War of the League of Augsberg. The scale really does allow you to perform the grand, sweeping movements that featured prominently in many of these battles, and they appear to be very well written for a fun game.

If any of you have direct experience using either of these "Impetus" modules, I would appreciate hearing your comments and input.


Barbary Pirates

What do I know about these North African Muslim pirates? Not a lot. They were a major pain for Western powers throughout our period though I think they peaked in the 17th century. This image shows Dutch ships attacking Tripoli in 1670. They plagued the seas raiding for slaves often taking off whole towns and villages from places as far afield as Ireland and Britain as well as the Mediterranean countries who were most affected.
Interestingly the Earl of Essex in the Civil War had a regiment of Moors who were released from a jail in Cornwall to serve in the army of Parliament. Anyway if you want to learn more about these campaigns read the wikipedia entry.

More photos from Bavaria - Blenheim river craft

More images of interest from Uwe Wild. He says
Here are some photos from the museum of the war of the Spanish succession in Höchstädt castle near the battlefield of Blenheim. This museum is worth a visit for everybody who is interested in this war. Take here a look at a river draft the armies at these times used.

Thursday 13 May 2010

Battle of Poltava

About 1 minute in is the battle scene. The whole series is apparently up on Youtube. This battle isn't too bad - it's better than I remember it. Thanks to Clibinarium for alerting me to this. Must be a first in that I don't suppose there had ever been anything on British tv about the Great Northern War before this in the 80s.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

Crossing the Shannon - Aughrim 1691 in 25mm

Grand Alliance

Today in 1689 Britain joined the League of Augsburg or Grand Alliance (as it was known as when the Brits joined) against Louis XIV's France. According to the wiki this was a considerable cultural shift - almost the birth of a modern Europe - I expect it was helped from the UK's point of view by the fact that we had a Dutch King.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

March of the Zaporozhian Cossacks

Enjoyable music - that's why its here - apologies if I am trivialising the subject - but I am celebrating a box of toy soldiers. The clip is from "With Fire and Sword, Ogniem i mieczem". See the trailer with one of those big drums you get in the Zvezda set at the beginning.

Zaporozhian Cossacks

Who were they? I don't know I'm afraid to say. The wikipedia article will probably fill me in. This image from 1786 Victorious Ukrainian Cossack with a head of a Muslim certainly has my seems they fought with Mazeppa in the Great Northern War...

Zaporozhian Cossacks reviewed

Zvezda have done it again - well I like the look of 'em. PSR review here.

Images of the Turkenkrieg

Thanks again to Uwe Wild we have some more images from the same museum as below 'depicting the battle of Chotin 1673, painted for the Polish king. They have the extremely dark originals in the museum in a dark room. No chance to get better photos'. They look good to me Uwe!

This is blogging gold as far as I am concerned - getting exposure (to an international audience) for paintings that might only be seen by a few enthusiasts otherwise.

I looked for information on the Battle of Chotin and came up with this page on the Ottoman Empire in the Seventeenth Century...
I feel inspired to have a look at Zvezda's Ottomans...PSR list of Ottoman Empire figs

Monday 10 May 2010

Some images of early Bavarians

If you are interested in the early Bavarians then you are in for a treat! Thanks to German historian and collector Uwe Wild (whose new blog History in 1/72 is a must-see) we have these images to look at - taken by him for his archive.
Uwe says
Here is a small selection from the battle paintings of Schleißheim castle. Depicting the Bavarian army in the Turkish wars of 1683-1715. See the grey uniforms of the rank and file, just the officers and NCOs had light blue at this time.

The artillery are from a painting of the siege of Ofen.

Thanks Uwe!!
More to come...

Sunday 9 May 2010

Zaragoza 1710-2010 on Facebook

If you have an interest in the WSS in Spain and the battle of Saragossa in particular then this Facebook page might be of interest to you. Lots of uniform plates like these with captions will make it worth your while.

In the Irish Brigade by G A Henty

'A Tale of War in Flanders and Spain'
Read this 1901 novel about the subject of the WSS and the Irish involvement here

Hibernia, Ultonia and Irlanda

These three Irish regiments distinguished themselves at the battle of Saragossa 1710. If you want to read more about Ultonia and Irish troops serving the Spanish then this column by Peter Beresford Ellis, author, will give you a better insight.
As for uniforms I am not sure - I think Ultonia and Irlanda were red with blue facings and Hibernia had green.
Also see this article The Spanish Habsburgs and their Irish Soldiers (1587-1700) by Moisés Enrique Rodríguez and this article The Spanish Wild Geese.
Uniform and colonel's flag of the Hibernia Regiment, mid-eighteenth century, (A. Valdés Sánchez. Brown University Library, Madrid, 1993) See Irlanda from the same source here
Flight of the Wild Geese wiki

Zaragoza 1710-2010

News article about the forthcoming 300th anniversary reenactment to be held 15-16 May. Some details here.
If you want a thumbnail sketch in English about what happened this is from the Wiki

The allied left-wing was composed of Catalan and Dutch troops under Count Atalaya. The right-wing was commanded by Stanhope and was composed of British and Austrian troops. Starhemberg was in charge of the center, which was mainly German infantry.

On August 20 at 08:00 an artillery-duel started which lasted until noon. In the afternoon, the battle was more or less a repeat of the Battle of Almenara. The Spanish cavalry attacked fiercely and were almost successful, but the allied troops stood firm.

Then the British and Austrian infantry counter-attacked and the Spanish army was pushed back. Thousands were killed or taken prisoner. Philip V only escaped disguised as an ordinary soldier and helped by a local miller.

Saturday 8 May 2010

Lorna Doone (1963) trailer

Fan trailer for this version. Somewhere along the way the costume designer for this film somehow got mixed up with Robin Hood and pretty much ruined it by having medieval stuff on the soldiers. Shame.

Lorna Doone (2000 tv) - part 1

This is a BBC series from about 10 years ago set in Devon, on Exmoor at the time of the Monmouth Rebellion. I liked this adaptation - one of my reenactment friends was armourer on this so maybe I am biased but I thought it was well done. It shows the West as being quite wild which I think it was at the time and shows a part of the world away from the Court and London. Shame they had to film it in Wales though. Looks nothing like Exmoor.
Lorna Doone novel wiki
IMDB list of movies based on Lorna Doone

Charles Beauclerk

Today is the birthday of this English soldier - son of Nell Gwynne and Charles II. Fought at the Siege of Belgrade in 1688. Wiki here

Wednesday 5 May 2010

The Battle of the Boyne

Action sequence from the short film The Battle of the Boyne - which screens daily in a 50 seater cinema at the battle site. This film has won numerous awards and been screened on both sides of the Atlantic. Written, Produced and Directed by Lee Cronin.

The Battle of the Boyne from Lee Cronin on Vimeo.

Battle of the Boyne 1690. 25mm

Another depiction of the battle by a club. Good film.