Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Donnybrook Diaries - the advance of the shot!

Hello again! Well after last week's post about my terrain, I've been working away on my New Model Army musketeers for my Donnybrook English Civil War project. I had one figure completed a few months ago, as a test figure, but had to get the rest finished. These chaps are worth 1 point, and are classed as Elite infantry. They will be fielded as Major Hawkins' company, and here they are with their activation card. Elite infantry in Donnybrook can be bought in groups of four figures, but they can be combined with other elite infantry, to make a unit up to 12 figures strong. So these chaps will be combined with another point's worth of elite musketeers, to make a unit eight figures strong, which will be less tactically flexible on the table, but will at least stick around longer. They are all Perry Miniatures, based on 25mm Warbases circular bases.

I decided to paint these chaps with a variety of headgear - the black 'beaver' felt hat so beloved of ECW gamers was not as ubiquitous as the Victorians would have us believe, and a broad range of headwear was available to people of the 17th Century - the Perry twins have recognised this, so along with beaver hats, there are also Montero hats - the peaked cloth hat, often worn by members of the Oxford Army, but also sported by generals including Prince Rupert and Fairfax amongst others; knitted peakless Monmouth hats,
and 'Pound' hats - knitted headwear with a brim.
My musketeers and pikemen have a range of these.
Here we see the pikemen drawn up in normal order,
with a sleeve of shot next to it. The following photos show them in action, advancing over a bridge somewhere in Scotland. The next lot of musketeers are on the painting blocks, and are underway, so see you again soon! Apologies for the random layout again, I'm still struggling with Blogger, so if anyone can point me towards any decent tutorials, or offer any tips - is it better to add text before or after pictures, that kind of thing!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Donnybrook Diaries.....making ground!

Hello again - It's been a while, but I've gone to ground because......I've been making ground! Well, terrain to be specific. About three months of the last year has been taken up by making terrain boards; an afternoon here, a couple of hours there, it all adds up. But now, after twenty or so years of being interested in this hobby, I'm now the proud owner of two large terrain boards, that give me a war gaming table measuring 4 feet by 4 feet.

The boards are made out of MDF board, with timber battens along the edges, then this was filled in with polystyrene sheet. Inspiration came from many sources, but was especially drawn from Gary Chalk's excellent series of articles in Wargames Illustrated, way back in the dim and distant past. Lots of sand and PVA glue, filler, a polystyrene hot wire cutter, varnish, emulsion paint mixed up at my local DIY store to match commercially bought model paint, towelling (inspired by Dave Andrews' beautiful terrain boards), static grass, reeds and bushes from various modelling shops.....the list goes on, in terms of what I have used. But the end results have been worth it. The bridge is from Hovels, and is a permanent
 Ideas for the layout of the roads and the river, have come specifically from Clarence Harrison's excellent Quindia Studios website. Clarence has a guide on there about making his own terrain boards, and I wanted to make mine flexible, and adaptable, just like his. Although the bridge is fixed, I can use this particular board from the Mediaeval period, right up to the present day, which suits me just fine. I will eventually do another river board, which will feature a wooden bridge, which I will use for all my pre-Mediaeval games, but that is a way into the future. I like the idea of having a fixed bridge, as for me, the look of war gaming terrain is almost as important as the flexibility, and this just looks 'right'. There is also a ford located further down stream, which I'm sure will be used in some of my games.

 The colours of the board have been mixed to match GW's Steel Legion Drab as a base coat, then the 'Sand' no. 10 triad, from Wargames Foundry. This has a mid-tone to it, allowing terrain ranging from Europe, north and south, all the way to the United States, to be portrayed. Eventually over the next few years, I'll be building up collections for the American War of Independence, ACW, Peninsular War, as well as continuing with my Donnybrook ECW project, amongst others. So here I've got a random selection of buildings - Spanish and European - on display, and my first completed bases for my League of Augsburg period French force. That will be making a bigger appearance next year, but this year's aim is to complete my Donnybrook forces. I'll leave you with a few more snaps of the boards, as now it's time to crack on with some actual figure painting! These boards have taken up a LOT of time over the last few months, but I'm just a tad happy with them. It's definitely been worth it. Next year will see a 'hill' board being made (I'll play with the hot wire cutter again!), but for now, it's on to the important business of figure painting. See you far sooner than last time!