Monday, March 30, 2009

First Schleswig Wars Dane

Well here is my first Dane from Waterloo to Mons' new Schleswig Wars range. He actually looks a lot better than this but my wide angled camera and my dodgy painting doesn't help! Onto a Schleswig army figure next!

Régiment de Carignan-Salières 1665

New Copplestone Castings French Musketeer

Régiment de Carignan-Salières musketeer 1665

I just found this great blog with lots of stuff for the period of Louis XIV which will no doubt help me with my new Copplestone figures.

One of the many pictures on the blog shows a soldier of the régiment de Carignan-Salières by Francis Back who did the pictures for the Osprey on the armies of Louis XIV, which I will try to pick up tomorrow from Foyles (although Foyles no longer seem to keep the complete range of Ospreys as they used to).

Formed by a merger of the Carignan Regiment and the Salières Regiment in 1659 they first saw action against the Ottomans. In 1665 1200 men of the regiment were sent to Quebec City in New France (Canada) to protect settlers from the depredations of the Iroquois.

The Iroquois were the dominant nation at that time with over 2,000 warriors compared with only 3,200 French settlers in the whole of New France.

However, despite expeditions to seek out their foe the regiment found little sign of them, other than a few skirmishes, as they had been badly hit by a smallpox epidemic.

The route of the September 1666 expedition

Given a determined expedition by the regiment in September 1666 the Iroquois, rather than fight, signed a treaty with the French. The regiment was disbanded in 1794.

The regiment returned to France in 1668 but King Louis XIV encouraged soldiers to remain in New France to boost the colonial population by granting estates to the officers and land and livestock subsidies to the men.

450 of them did so and, as a result, many French Canadians of today can trace their ancestry to someone in the regiment, to the extent that Quebecois holiday agents offer holidays to trace the areas where the officers of the regiment came from.


The regiment was one of the first in the French army to wear a uniform and I think it is a very attractive one; the muted browns, grey and buffs being ideal to chase Iroqouis in the forest.

The troops left their pikes in France but carried the new bayonet. The drummers wore a much brighter uniform based on the livery of the Prince de Carignan.

The regiment's standard

So I think I will paint this figure as above ready to fight the Iroquois. Conquest miniatures make Iroquois but most of them have flintlock muskets. I suspect bows would have been more likely at this time and they do a woodlands indian pack with bows if I paint enough for a skirmish but, as others have observed, the Copplestone figures aren't really animated enough for skirmish wargaming. Nevertheless I travel to Canada a lot and may even have to go to Quebec City again in May so a few figures from this historically important unit would not go amiss I think!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


As my wife said, "Why do you need that huge bag?" Heh, heh!

I went to Salute with my son, Guy, yesterday and thanks to the wonderful and inevitable weekend engineering works we had to take five trains each way! All in all it took nearly two hours to get there. I had a pretty clear list of what I wanted to look at and achieved many but by no means all of what I wanted to do. I really like the Zulu Wars vignette give away but wish it didn't have a "Salute 2009" plaque on it. I am sure I can deal with it pretty easily though. It seemed pretty busy: not much sign of the credit crunch. Mike Lewis seemed besieged on his Black Hat stand so I didn't get a chance to say hello.

Top of the list was getting hold of one of the out of production ex-HLBSC armoured trains for my Back of Beyond Games. Guy has shown a lot of interest in my Chinese Warlord army lately so maybe I sould paint up some Russians and have a game with him. Unfortunately, the train was on sale at Copplestone Castings stall so I also ended up with some more dinosaurs for my Lost World project. I also bought some of the new Louis XIV period figures. I don't know why as I already have a lot of ECW and Great Northern War but these figures are just so splendid I couldn't resist. I bought some French Musketeers and Pikemen. No idea about uniforms but I think there is an Osprey, so I will try and get to Foyles tomorrow.

At Dave Andrew's stall I manged to spend £60 in about five minutes. More Crusader Normans and Saxons, Perry Sudan and Great War Miniatures (including the new British Cavalry).

I didn't get anything for myself at Grand Manner but I got Guy a WW2 Normandy bunker for his ever more complicated D-Day games.

I wanted to get some more Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated binders but MW (in new trendy guise) didn't seem to have any and I couldn't find Wargames illustrated there at all. I did buy the four MW cd's of the first 100 issues though.

I picked up a box of the Perry plastic British Napoleonics (as did everyone else there, I suspect) and had a look at the three ups for the new plastic Wars of the Roses figures. I have quite a big WotR army using Foundry figures and don't think that I care enough about the period to replace them all, so I will probably pass on these. The Quatre Bras game the Perries had put on looked great however and it's still a target for me for 2015!

The Empresses take cover (or are they just bagging up even more Zulus for me?)

I went to the Empress Miniatures stand and met Paul Hicks and one of the Empresses (surprised to find that they knew who I was). I bought a Zulu regiment and got the new Zulu Casualties pack thrown in, plus some of the new Isandlawana British and a Zulu hut! Paul has some interesting figures planned which I don't think anyone else has done for the Zulu War before. Also saw a contingent from The Die Hards Zulu War period reenactment group looking very impressive.

Couldn't get near the Gripping Beast stand so didn't pick up any of the new Steve Saleh Successor pikemen which I wanted to. Doing Cynoscephalae at the Society of Ancients games day a couple of years ago got me interested in this period and I do have the appropriate Roman opponents plus some Greek skirmishers and cavalry. Building a few pikeblocks wouldn't be too much of a stretch therefore. I didn't buy any, but I liked the look of the Woodbine WW1 Turkish front figures. They look quite big compared with Great War Miniatures but might go with Copplestone. I may hang on until the do the Palestinian front though (although many of the figures could be used for both, of course).

I wasn't that blown away by the look of many of the games this year although Guy and I both liked the Woodbine WW1 Turkish front one. We also liked the winter WW2 game with its very effective snowy board.

The highlight for Guy was the radio controlled tanks. Firstly, the 1/16 laser game where Guy seemed to win quite easily against much older (but less aggressive!) opponents. Best of all he liked the monster (1/4?) King Tiger. He really wanted me to buy a kit of one for a modest £4,000 (which only makes a static model -you need to pay extra for the motor and remote control elements!). Can't see that we could have smuggled that in to the house and given they reckon they take 300 hours to build and I stll haven't finished my daughter's dolls house which she had 10 years ago yet it was just as well we didn't get one.

Matt's elegant Helion and Waterloo to Mons Schleswig display

The highlight for me was meeting Matt Golding of Waterloo to Mons (first a blog and now a manufacturer) and talking to him about his great new Schleswig Wars range. He really has ambitious plans for the range and the new mounted command figures look wonderful! The trouble was I was enjoying our chat so much that I forgot to buy any more of his figures! Oh well, maybe I should get some more painted first!
Not a classic Salute and given the amount of money I could have spent I was quite good really but it was enough to get me back painting after nearly a month off. Tomorrow I should have finished my first Schleswig Wars Dane- just metal work and static grass to go!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

First Schleswig-Holstein War 1848-50 by Nick Svendsen

Enthused by the new Waterloo to Mons figures I picked up the Helion book on the first Schleswig War by Nick Svendsen. This is an ideal book for a wargamer. Lots of period black and white illustrations, maps and orders of battle. At the back are four pages of colour uniform plates illustrating 13 uniforms. It was quite expensive (it's a limited print run of 500 copies only) but really looks like the only book I will need.

Once or twice a year I take one of my children for a few days in a European city to use up some of my air miles and hotel room points. It's my daughter's turn and suddenly Copenhagen is looking likely!

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's Salute Week!

I didn't get to Salute last year as I was in India but, hopefully, if all the transport links work, my little boy and I should be going on Saturday.

There are many, many things I want to have a look at and even more I want to buy. The situation is made worse by the fact that I have just had my bonus. I've never had a proper bonus before but the new firm pays them. It is a very bad thing that it has arrived six days before Salute. Essentially it means I don't have to budget this year and as I usually spend a couple of hundred pounds this is good news for traders!

Top things to do:

Go to the Empress Miniatures stand and meet the mysterious Empresses (I now know one of them is called Lorraine). Their latest Zulu Wars stuff is tremendous!

Try and find Matt at the Continental Wargames Group (or whatever they are called) to look at his lovely new Schleswig figures.

Pick up some more Great Wars Miniatures: especially their new British Cavalry.

Have a look at Immortal Miniatures. At last someone is doing a really good range of Ancient Persians!

The Perries are going to be there in their own right so it's plastic British and a look at their Quatre Bras display.

As usual I will go to Dave Thomas, Gripping Beast (I want to have a look at the Woodbine WW1 figures), Copplestone (how am I going to resist his new late 17th century range), Foundry (very taken by the Anglo Saxons they first showed two years ago), Grand Manner (I always want to buy everything on Dave's stand), Magnetic Displays (need lots more sticky stuff), Musketeer Miniatures (stop faffing about with fantasy British Civil War and get your GNW Russians out!) and no doubt many more.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's all gone a bit quiet...

...on the painting front since I returned from the Gulf a couple of weeks ago. Apart from starting some Foundry Baluchi mercenaries inspired by my visit to Oman I haven't done anything. I have had a lot of evening events/dinners to go to (although it was a bit of a bonus when the six Balkan government officials turned out to be hard drinking blonde babes in miniskirts and boots "now we go to the Smollenskys in the Canaria Wharf") and my first weekend back was taken up with helping my little boy to revise for his school exams (the science is already beyond me!).

This weekend I did get some painting done but it wasn't for me. Guy is teaching a lesson on D-Day and so we have been spending a lot of time producing a presentation for him to give. I was passing Addlestone Model shop and popped in to see if I could find anything D-Day for him and picked up the massive Airfix D-Day set. The best thing about it is the vacuform diorama base which reminds me of some of the Bellona scenery I had when I was at school. He has decided to take the diorama in but we don't have enough time to make everthing in it so we have just built the landing craft and the Sherman crab flail tank. The latter was a horrible experience and I couldn't work out how it went together. The photo on the box showed the flail completely the other way up from the instructions. I just bunged it on the only way I could on the basis that a bunch of 11 year old Russian Billionaires', footballers' and Korean shipping Magnates' children aren't going to know any better. The landing craft was an equally horrible experience which hardly fitted together at all. I haven't made any plastic kits for ages and the only ones I have were either Hasegawa or Tamiya aircraft which just goes to show how far ahead they are of poor old Airfix.

I have enjoyed painting the diorama much more and just need to finish the Coastal Defence fort to go with it. It's a bit of a race against time, however, as I unexpectedly have to go to Washington DC tomorrow and don't get back until Sunday morning so that will only leave me a day to finish everything given I will probably be jet-lagged.