Saturday, 31 December 2016

1916 - 2016 Centenary of the Somme

It seems to be popular these days to do a year in review, though never laying claim to being on trend or indeed popular I have written a small post. 

History to me has been a lifelong love affair, and wargaming has always been a part of expressing my  historical interests with other like minded souls. Indeed it has helped shape my life in so many ways, from my degree studies in Archaeology and History, to the friends I have made and hopefully will continue to make. It is this deep rooted interest in History that drives my hobby, and at times gives me pause for thought. I was fortunate this year to attend a series of lectures at the University Centre Shrewsbury on  Shropshires military history, my particular interest being the lectures on the English Civil War. Although I enjoyed all the lectures presented that day, and the ECW lectures certainly gave me fresh inspiration, it was a lecture on ‘The Impact of War: Shropshire during the Georgian Period, 1714-1830’ by Dr Rachael Abbiss that particularly stood out for me. This lecture struck a particular chord given the subjects I had been reading around recently and has I suppose for want of a better word "inspired" my own thought processes and helped me clarify a possible direction I intend to pursue.

One of the subjects I've been reading around has been the First World War, so I thought given that this is my 100th post of the year (a feat I never thought I'd manage) I needed to do something special to mark the occasion. This year saw the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, and even though my blog purports to be 18th Century (straying frequently into other periods), I think it appropriate to include a small reflection at this time to commemorate the anniversary. I'm not going to go into any depth surrounding the appalling decision by FIFA to view the wearing of the poppy as a 'political' statement, for me it has and always will be a symbol of Remembrance and Eternal Gratitude to the Fallen, it never has and never will be 'political' to show respect, which should be given freely and regardless of Race, Colour or Creed.

None of my family members fell at the Somme, their battle grounds and burial sites are elsewhere, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Paschendaele. The Somme however is deeply ingrained into the national memory due to the exceptionally high level of casualties suffered. For Christmas this year I received the gift of a Somme Centenary Poppy pin. The accompanying certificate states that each of these pins has been crafted from metal recovered from 1916 shell fuses recovered from the Somme battlefields of France. The central red enamel contains finely ground earth recovered from the Somme; the essence of the battlefield and very ground the soldiers of 1916 fought upon, died upon, and many still lie at peace. Each pin is dedicated to one of the men who gave their lives during the battle of the Somme. I will end my 2016 blog post remembering all those who fell during the battle of the Somme in 1916, in particular a man my pin is dedicated to :

Private Harry Brown

Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Died 3rd September 1916
Service number 5542 
Commemorated at Thiepval Memorial

Friday, 30 December 2016

Late Republican Roman Infantry update

15mm Late Republican Romans from Baueda Wargames. These are unamoured legionnaires and will represent raw troops. I've also included all the Romans painted to date, still quite a few to paint but feel like I've made a good start.

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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Successor Pike

15mm Successor Pike from the War and Empire range by Forged in Battle. I've used 50mm wire spears from NorthStar for pikes, and based the whole unit on one single base for ease of movement, keeps the sharp pikes neatly ranked and helps prevent me from skewering myself.

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Sunday, 25 December 2016

95th Rifles 1808

Nadolig Llawen
Merry Christmas

To all my blog readers I wish you a Merry Christmas, and I hope Santa has been good to you this year with shiny metal and plastic kits in abundance.

I've chosen the wonderful painting of a Rifleman of the 95th 1808 by Bob Marrion as my Christmas post this year. I hope everyone enjoys this picture, and maybe somewhere a certain Sharpe and Harper are being discovered for the first time this morning and the seeds of wargaming their many actions are being pondered.

95th Rifles 1808

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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Pig Tickling

A fun little game for Christmas, Pig Tickler, a Pax Limpopo game by Eureka Miniatures, sold in the UK by Fighting 15s. Once I saw this game I just had to get it, a perfect game in a box for Beer and Pretzels or Pint and Curry evening (whichever takes your fancy). The set contains, four lancers, an umpire, stokers and the prey, a steam driven mechanical pig. The figures will be left in a gloss varnish finish, each of the lancers has their own colours on their facings and helmet band, and looking at these pictures I think I'll add some coloured pennants to the lances for ease of recognition. The castings and service from Fighting 15s was excellent as always.

Off to tickle some pigs....

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Friday, 23 December 2016

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Seleucid Scythed Chariots

A couple of 15mm Seleucid scythed chariots from the War and Empire range by Forged in Battle. Based for To the Strongest,  also suitable for Hail Caesar.

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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

WSS French - Regiment Languedoc

I haven't posted anything 18th century for a while so I thought I'd post the latest addition to my WSS French is the Regiment Languedoc to make up for it; the miniatures are 28mm from Front Rank Figurines, flags are Maverick Models if I recall, and repainted as I has a slight mishap. 

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Monday, 19 December 2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Greek Peltasts

15mm Greek Peltasts from the War and Empire range by Forged in Battle.

On a different topic, visited Porthmadog on the North Wales coast yesterday. There is an excellent model shop, crammed with all sorts of delights, and the owner is currently working on a display for the shop which will contain some 2000 Zulus from the Warlord Games and Wargames Factory sets, and as if that wasn't enough there will be many conversions for both the Zulus and British figures. I'm not sure when this display will be unveiled, but I will try and keep the blog informed once I know.

Other good reasons for visiting Porthmadog, absolutely excellent fish and chips and the Purple Moose Brewery. The brewery shop in the town centre is another little gem, so well fed on fish and chips and loaded up with a selection of fine ales and artisan gin (heads up for Gin lovers we were informed that the juniper crop this year was very poor) we left Porthmadog with a view to return sooner rather than later.

For those not familiar with Porthmadog, it is the place in folklore where prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd set sail from on his voyage to discover America in 1170. There is also historical connections with T.E Lawarence (of Arabia) who was born in the nearby village of  Tremadog (part of the Porthmadog community) in 1888. Welsh slate was exported all over the world from this area, and the Ffestiniog narrow gauge railway which Porthmadog is part of is a major tourist attraction, as are the slate mines at Llechwedd. It might be of interest to American and German readers that if they see slate on buildings in their locality it is highly likely that it would have originated from these northern Welsh slate mines. In fact the industry suffered a major decline at the outbreak of WWI and the subsequent loss of the lucrative German market, maybe a point of interest for students of the social impact of war. There are many other historical sites, the Roman fort at Segontium, the castles that ring the north Wales coast, as well as modern outdoor pursuit attractions such as Zip World. 

Not wanting to sound like a tourist advertisement, and having strayed somewhat from Ancient Greek Peltasts, I hope I've sown the seeds in my readers minds for excuses to visit Porthmadog and it's wonderful model shop. Just ply the other half with a few local gins and launch down a zip wire, now if you can't sell that.....

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Saturday, 17 December 2016

Confederate Infantry 1863

First of the American Civil War subjects...

Confederate Infantry 1863

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