Monday, February 27, 2017

I'm all Spears...

The last of the Canaanite Infantry Rehab figures are now done, as can be seen below!

These chaps look vaguely Egyptian, but of course imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, eh? 

Here';s the original version. I didn't care for the intense, deep green of the tunics at all.

If you look at the "before" picture, you will also note the lack of, err, Spears! I fashioned some out of floral wire, and they glued into place easily. 

You will also note that some figures were missing shields as well. I actually popped all of them off to facilitate the repaint, and, obviously, changed the color to match the border ornamentation on thier tunics. I had to fashion a couple of replacements from wood discs, hidden in the back rank - I see that I missed painting the bronze on them, and also the studs on the 2 different pattern shields in the front rank - both now corrected!

I like the red and green pattern on the white tunics. The trusty ink pen was used to black line the leather armor. 

Once again, the basing with scenic sand, railroad talus, and tufts makes a big difference as well!

This unit of ? Hittite or Hyskos spearmen was painted from scratch from the bare lead that Ken provided. 

Once again, there were insufficient shields in the "parts box" Ken sent, so a few replacements were fashioned from wood discs, seen on the "command" base. Passable, I think, especially from table distances!

I wasn't sure if the ornamentation on the back helmets was that, or plaited hair pulled through an opening at the top of the helmet. I went with painting them as a white decoration, but I'm still a bit undecided if it would look better in black. 

The blue ink pen was used to do a more complex design on the tunics of these Guardsmen, and I was pleased with the effect - oops, missed the right rear guy, also since corrected!

They stand ready to fight with or against my Egyptians!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Scarabs cause HAVOC!

This year my working schedule allows me to run a game at Battle Group Boston's HAVOC convention, held in Shrewsbury, MA, March 31st thru April 2nd, 2017. As it turns out, fellow HAHGS member, Greg, was considering staying overnight Saturday to Sunday; as I hate having to drive from Connecticut to Massachusetts Saturday morning, and then back from Mass again the same evening right after having run a game , we decided to share a room. That arrangement will allow me to run a game on Sunday as well. The events have been duly submitted and approved:

Saturday, April 1st:  2 PM - 6 PM
When Assyria was in Egypt's Land
To the Strongest! 28mm Ancients/Chariot era Peter Anderson 
Description:Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, invaded and briefly conquered Egypt in 671 BC, but really this is an excuse to get the two most famous of Chariot era armies on the table for these simple but surprisingly subtle rules, using a gridded board, playing cards, and no dice! 

Sunday, April 2nd" 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Beeren before Noon - that's Gross! - August 23, 1813
Snappy Nappy 28mm Napoleonic Peter Anderson 
Description:Reynier's and Bertrand's Corps of French, Saxons, Wurttemburgers and Italians launch an un-coordinated attack on von Bulow and Tauntzein's Prussians, defending the approaches to Berlin. A French Victory here could have radically altered the course of the "War of Liberation"!  

The first event is planned to include some of my Canaanite Rehab figures as Egyptian Allies. The second will act a s a goo prelude an refresher for our Snappy Nappy 1809 campaign in Italy and Carinthia the end of April. As I was thinking about the Chariot era game, it occurred to me that Scarabs might be a fun way of marking "hits" I found quite a few online, chiefly intended for use in jewelry. Some were $3 or more a piece; I wanted something inexpensive, as the game would use quite a few of them. After searching a bit I found a reasonably priced solution.

Shipwreck Beads has a huge variety of beads for sale, including several scarab designs. The ones that met my price point were these: "Blue Iris Scarab Beads", 10 x 14mm: 120 beads for about $11.

Complementing them are these Green Iris Scarab Beads, otherwise the same. I ordered 120 but they only had 37, so they sent me what they had (no back orders), but at the per unit price as though I had purchased 120. That was great, but it brought my order below the minimum free shipping price point.

As I needed to spend a bit more to hit the free shipping price point (but see above), they had some other interesting items, including these plastic sculpting tools...

and many colors and size packages of Sculpey. I figures this might help me come up with a better solution the next time I was faced with the "Clock Tower on a stick" dilemma, LOL!

Here are the scarab beads out of the bags and side by side so that you can appreciate the color contrast and iridescence better. Evidently, there is a long tradition of glass bead manufacturing in the Czech Republic. 

Here are one each of the "blue" and "green" scarabs on the table with a Canaanite unit for size comparison. They look just about the right size for markers - neither too big nor too small. 

I am looking forward to attending the HAVOC convention this year! Hope to see some of you there! In addition to the many games that are presented, they have quite a few dealers on hand as well. 

On a personal note, I just transitioned from 33 years of self employment as a (largely solo) physician to being one of several hundred physicians employed by Western Connecticut Medical Group less than 2 weeks ago. There will be relatively few physicians left in solo or small group practices by the end of this decade,  a consequence of the Government's well intentioned but generally clueless meddling in how we do our jobs, which has been hugely injurious to us in terms of both finances and job satisfaction. Still, I expect the transition to be positive overall, and it should allow me to continue caring for my existing patients for as long as I am able and willing and able to do so. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Sphinx

The latest addition to the table dressing elements for my Chariot era games is this Sphinx, which I acquired at Historicon this past July.

Resin painted by yours truly...

In common with most other ancient statuary, it seems that these were painted... even the Great Sphinx of Giza shows remnants of red paint on  its face. 

The Sphinx will fit into a "box" for my 28mm games with To the Strongest!

Block painting with ink pen lining added, plus some shading on the body, and an ink wash on the base. "What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs at dusk?"

The Sphinx is made of resin and available from Stonehouse Miniatures. They make quite a lot more Egyptian themed elements, as well as Mayan/Aztec ones, and European ones. I have two sets of stone walls and some jugs from them yet to be painted. Recommended!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Iphegenia in Babylon

Two more units of Canaanite Rehab figures have filed off the painting desk...

Once again, I have no idea of the manufacturer.

or for that matter what the troops are supposed to represent. 

t has a red/green color theme. 

I highlighted the flesh and hair, repainted the baldrics in lighter more subtle colors, and again used the ink pens to detail them. 

Second unit done with a blue and yellow color scheme. 

Here's the "before" picture. I really disliked the garish turquoise color, so that HAD to go. Oh, and to me the figures looks a bit suspiciously like they might have been some kind of elves in a prior incarnation!

Once again, ink pen detailing on the baldrics ...

and the leather armor of the Leader figure.  

A coat of  acrylic "magic wash (light tone) helped as well, plus of course the basing!

PDQ Bach's famous Cantata, "Iphigenia in Babylon.... err, Brooklyn!"
Maestro Benzino Gassolini at the podium to celebrate!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Rehab of Canaan: The Emperor has no Bows!

The next group of the Canaanite/ ancient Syrian type troops that Ken gave to me has now graduated from Rehab!

These troops will represent some Medium infantry formed Bowmen. 

Here's the before picture. A lot of the cast on detail, which is hard to see here, was not painted. What became even more apparent on closer inspection was that eight out of twelve figures have no bows on them! I checked the "spare parts" Ken sent and there were no bows to be found there, either. 

Therefore, I made eight simple bows out of floral wire, bent in the middle, and then glued in place. This actually seems to have worked quite well., even if the effect is a bit more like Longbows than Composite bows!

I used the fine art ink pens to bring out details in the fringes on the robes, the head dress, and arrows. 

Although it's hard to see in the pictures,. I also highlighted the black hair with CC Hippo Grey, and the flesh with CC Dark Flesh. 

Everything was then washed with the lighter of my black "Magic Wash", so as to not dull the white of the robes over much, and then the basing details were added. 

Next up was a group of skirmishing Light Infantry Slingers. These are enough for 2 units for To the Strongest!

Here's the "before" picture for comparison. I have no idea who the manufacturer is for any of these 25/28mm figures. 

The Slingers have a W.I.P. Sphinx in the background; if it were in scale to the Great Sphinx of Giza,  it would be at least 10 times as high, wide and and long, pr roughly 1,000 times as  big by volume!

Talk about having a Target painted on your back...

It appears that, like most other ancient statuary, the Sphinx was painted during it's heyday - first color applied now!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cavalry of the King's German Legion

    The Kings of England were also Electors of Hanover from 1714 on, under the same kind of Personal Union that united Denmark and Noway under the same ruler. In 1803, Mortier's French and allied troops occupied Hanover, meeting little political resistance and only slightly more military opposition.  Under the Elbe Convention of July 1803, between Marshal Mortier and General Wallmoden, the Hanoverian Army was to be disbanded. When King George II refused to ratify the convention, the members of the former members of the Hanoverian army were  no longer obligated not to serve against France or its allies. Recruitment of a "King's German Regiment started shortly thereafter,  By December 1803, it was combined with another foreign formation to form The King's German Legion under the command of Adolph, Duke of Cambridge.

    By 1805, the Legion included 1 regiment each of Heavy Dragoons and Light Dragoons (Hussars), 2 Light Battalions, 4 Line Battalions, 2 Horse and three Foot batteries. Continued recruitment in Hanover and elsewhere eventually brought the Legion (by March 1806) to 2 Heavy Dragoon Regiments, 3 Light Dragoon (hussar) regiments, 2 Line and 8 Line battalions, 2 Horse and 4 Foot batteries. All told, roughly 15,000 men served in the ranks of the Legion over the course of the Napoleonic Wars, more than  40% of them having served in the old Electoral army of Hanover. Troops of the Legion fought at Copenhagen in 1807, the Baltic in 1808, with Moore in Spain in 1808 - 1809, the Walcheren expedition in 1809, in Spain and later France with Wellington from 1809 -1814, and elements also saw action at Genoa and Northern Europe in 1814. The Legion saw action again during the 100 days campaign in 1815, with elements fighting at Quatre Bras, and at Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte on the field of Waterloo. The Legion was disbanded in 1816, with the men being taken up into the newly re-established Hanoverian army.

Uniforms of the Cavalry of the King's German Legion

Wellington especially prized the KGL cavalry units, as they seemed more disciplined and less liable to get carried away in pursuit. In addition, they were especially proficient at the key scouting duties of light cavalry.  Like the KGL infantry, the uniforms of these troops were similar to their British counterparts, and evolved in a similar way over the course of the Napoleonic Wars.

Heavy Dragoons

 Until the later years of the Legion, the Heavy Dragoons wore uniforms similar to those of  their Hanoverian antecedents - red coats with the facing color on the collar, cuffs, and turnbacks. Black bicornes with a white plume, red base. Pants were white for full dress, grey for campaign wear. Shabraques were blue with black trim for the 1st regiment, red for the 2nd.

KGL Heavy Dragoons (1804 - 1813)
# 1
Dark Blue
# 2

2nd Regiment, Light Dragoons, KGL  (ex Heavy Dragoons)  1813 - 1816 ( in the front rank); Old Glory 28mm figures. red facings with yellow lace 9gold for officers, as usual)

In 1813, the Heavy Dragoons regiments were converted to Light Dragoons. the coats became dark blue with facing color on the collar, cuffs, turnbacks, and lapels. A re and blue striped girdle was worn around the waist. A Black shako with a white over red plume was worn, nearly identical to the uniforms of the British Light Dragoons of the same era. 

KGL Light Dragoons (1814 - 1816
# 1
# 2

KGL Hussars

Like their British counterparts, the KGL Hussras wore dark blue uniforms, and had the confusing designation of Light Dragoons (Hussars), changed to just plain Hussars when the Heavy Dragoons were converted to Light Dragoons. Gotta love the idiosyncrasies of the British military! It seems that the first regiment initially retained its Hanoverian uniform, but as the the other regiments were raised, they had Light Dragoions style uniforms with Tarleton helmets and coats with facing colored lapels. The dolman alone was then adopted along with fur busbys with red bags (perhaps circa 1810?), but when the 3rd regiment adopted the pelisse, the other two regiments quickly followed suit. Thankfully, the facing and lace colors remained constant throughout the period!

In the second rank is the 3rd Hussars, KGL. Yellow facings and white lace (silver for officers, as usual)

LIght Dragoons (Hussars)(1804 - 1816)
Pelisse Fur
# 1
# 2
# 3

* Black fur for officers of this regiment

Flags and Standards
From Hanoveresche Militargeschicte, which gives many additional details on the KGL cavalry, "Every heavy regiment had a rectangular, red king’s colour, which showed a white rose and a thistle under a king’s crown in the middle. On the reverse one could see the Irish cloverleaf with a white scroll with the motto "Honni soit, qui mal y pense" underneath. 4 small blue and gold bordered shields in the corners showed the letters K.G.D. (King’s German Dragoons) or the white horse. Every squadron also had a scalloped guidon of silk in the colour of collars and facings of the respective regiment  [i.e., dark blue for the first regiment, and black for the second] with a larger red field in the middle and embellishments like those on the king’s colours. The guidons were nearly as high as the colours. The most junior cornets carried the guidons and the colours." The Hussar regiments did  not carry colors. 

I have cheated a bit with the flag, using the King's Guidon of the 14th British Light Dragoons by GMB designs. As that regiment has white lace, I repainted the fringe in gold, as appropriate for the 2nd KGL Dragoons/L.D, but the cartouches with unit designation is of course wrong and in the wrong color and style, and it is still a swallow-tailed guidon rather than a square standard,. among other incongruities. Heck, they're lucky to have a flag at all!  :-)

I used my strongest black "magic wash" on these figures, and I think it worked quite well, especially on the braiding of the pelisses. 

All of the KGL cavalry units acquired battle honors:  1st (Light) Dragoons  Garcia Hernandez (July 1812), 2nd (Light) Dragoons Garcia Hernandez, 1st Hussars El Bodon (September 1811, 2nd Hussars Barrossa (May 1811), 3rd Hussars  Ghoerde (September 1813). All also had "Peninsular", and all but the 2nd Hussars had "Waterloo" as well. These were passed along to the Hanoverian army until Hanover was incorporated into the German Empire in 1867. They were restored to those German units recruited in Hanover as of 1899, until the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Entering Rehab in Canaan

No my friends, although it is arguable that I might suffer from lead addiction, and there is an addiction treatment facility not that far away in Canaan, CT, this post is about the beginning of the process of rehabbing the generic Cananite figures that Ken Baggaley gave me well over a year ago.

Some 27 figures in long robes but wearing no armor, and wielding 2 handed axes are the first to under go some TLC and basing upgrades. 

I washed the robes with diluted shades of light green, light yellow,  light blue-grey, dark red, dark brow, or dark greyas seemed appropriate to the original colors of the robes. This gave some nice depth to the subdued colors. 

A coat of "Magic Wash", and a little shading  of the flesh tones with some semi-opaque reddish brown helped to bring out the detail of the figures further. 

I terrained the bases in a similar fashion to my Egyptians, with tufts of various colors, then white glue covered with a mix of medium brown sand and fine model railroad talus. 

The base paint of the bases is more of an olive drab color than the sand colored tan that I used for the Egyptians, giving them a slightly different look. 

The standard/Icon bearer's staff was missing on the casting used for the second unit, and broke off during rehab on this one. I used the pin vise drill to drill out a hole in the icon, made a new pole out of heavy floral wire, glued them together with "Goop", and after that set fully, literally lashed them together with black sewing thread and more Goop, which you can apprecaite here. 

Rear view; I made the lavender "ribbons" on the staff out of tape type dental floss, tied on using "instrument ties", and then painted with acrylic paint. At this point, I think the standard looks better than the original did!

Here's "pre-rehab" view of some of the same figures for comparison. 

The second group has 12 castings in it, prettied up in the same general fashion as the first. 

The whole upper half of the standard was absent for this unit.

I cut of the remainder of the old pole, made a new one out of heavy floral wire again, and fashioned the tip using 2 small wood discs, more Goop, and some old Squadron green putty. 

It's a bit big (probably hollow to save metal) and crude, but perhaps not too far off what the workmanship might be out side of the Capitol, eh?

Once again, black thread was used to give more texture and support to the upper part of this new standard's staff. 

Dental floss "ribbons", painted light red this time, completes the replacement standard. 

    My wife is out of town tonight, so I might start rehab on some more of Ken's units tonight, with the Super Bowl for background entertainment!