Wednesday 29 November 2023

Last Four Parliamentarian Regiments of Foot Completed

I put on a bit of a push over the last couple of weeks and have completed the last four Parliamentarian Regiments, to make eight in total. The first of these is Thomas Fairfax's regiment of Foot, which I beefed up with an additional four elements of pike to represent a 'pike heavy' regiment if required:

The flag is again from Wargames Designs, and I used a mixture of armoured and unarmoured pikemen to provide some variety:

Two more red-coated regiments in Onslow's and Birch's regiments respectively:

And the blue-coated Aldrich's regiment complete the quartet:

Aldrich's regiment has three lions on its flag, which is a nice change from the usual simple white circles:

I also added a few more elements to the King's Lifeguard regiment, to provide a similar 'pike heavy' unit for the Royalists:

And added an additional command element and flag to this regiment as well, to lend it a little more gravitas:

Here are the four completed Parliamentarian regiments assembled together:

That is now sixteen regiments completed, eight each for the Royalists and Parliamentarians, with six Scottish Covenanter regiments left to go. 

Thursday 16 November 2023

18mm ECW Parliamentarian London Trained Bands

Next off the production line are two Parliamentarian London trained bands, the Blue and Tower Hamlets Regiments with the former (unsurprisingly carrying a blue flag) in front:

Although some sources said the trained bands were of a uniform appearance in red coats, this was apparently an incorrect inference drawn from the fact that a Major Mainwairing was in charge of three regiments at the same time, including one which had been issued with red coats alongside his two London Trained Bands. More contemporary opinion seems to be that as the trained bands were drawn from householders who often sent their servants in place of themselves, they were more likely to be wearing civilian clothes:

The flags are again from Wargame Designs:

With the Tower Hamlets flag being red:

I went with the pike forward option for these two regiments. I must say I prefer the standing pose with upright pikes as they are easier to pick up and don't become entangled with the rank in front, but it was nice to mix in a bit of variety:

I also deliberately used less firing figures among the musketeers, to give them a slightly less regular look:

That is four regiments now completed with four to go, with the next two hopefully completed by the end of next week.

Thursday 9 November 2023

18mm ECW Gell's and Brooke's Regiments of Foot

After recently completing the WWII 1/2400th naval project it was good to get stuck back into the English Civil War project. Having already completed eight Royalist regiments of foot earlier in the year it was now time to get started on the same number of Parliamentarian regiments. It took a week to get back into the swing of it but I soon found my pace again and have actually managed to complete the musketeers for all eight regiments, and now just have the pike to go.

The first two fully completed regiments are Sir John Gell's and Lord Brooke's regiments, seen here with Gell's regiment in front:

Gell's regiment apparently wore grey coats, and I found this quite a satisfying colour to paint. I hope the attraction will still be there once I get stuck into half a dozen or so Scottish regiments of foot:

I ended up purchasing some very nice flags from Wargames Designs in the UK. I am much happier with these size-wise, and ended up replacing all my Royalist regimental flags with these as well:

I have mixed in quite a few unarmoured pikemen into the Parliamentarian ranks, to provide a bit of variety and to distinguish them from the Royalist regiments where I have used primarily armoured pikemen:

The musketeers are the same figures, but I am doing them with a lot more grey breeches than I did for the Royalists:

Lord Brooke's regiment was the only purple-coated regiment in the Civil War, so I had to include it as an excuse to break open again my very under-utilised purple paint triad:

English Civil War foot regiment flags are generally fairly uninteresting, but Wargames Designs makes the most of what there is:

Purple-coated pikemen and musketeers, with a few buff and tan leather coats thrown in:

That's the first two Parliamentarian regiments completed with the others to now hopefully follow in quick succession:

I may also have convinced my Tuesday night gaming friend Dale to partake in a few games of For King and Parliament early in the New Year, which will provide me with that extra bit of motivation knowing that these units may actually make the table within the next few months. Next up, a couple of Parliamentarian Trained Bands.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

French Fleet Completed

The last of the six fleets and the completion of my WWII naval project, this contingent was the quickest to paint. The main reason for this is that the French fleet was for the large part taken out of action early in the war, before the more intricate camouflage schemes were applied.

The French navy included some state of the art ships which were some of the fastest at the time, including the recently built Richelieu class in the Richelieu, Jean Bart and Clemenceau. The Richelieu was initially twice attacked by the British but was eventually repaired in the USA before serving with the British Home Fleet and then being transferred for action in the Pacific, while the Jean Bart fought a duel against the USS Massachusetts during operation Torch before surrendering to the Allies:

The Dunkerque and Strasbourg were similar to the Richelieu class in that their main armament was all placed forward. This was a distinct disadvantage when attacked by the British at Mers-el-Kebir as part of the controversial Operation Catapult, as they had been docked in the harbour with their sterns facing the open water which meant they were initially unable to return fire:

I also included three ex-WWI battleships in the Bretagne, Provence and Lorraine, the difference in construction over the preceding twenty years or so being quite noticeable:

Three Suffren class heavy cruisers include the Foch, Colbert and Dupleix, seen here alongside the one-of-a-kind Algerie:

With the Duquesne and Tourville completing the small contingent of heavy cruisers:

Six light cruisers include the Duguay Trouin, Primaguet and Lammotte-Picquet:

With the La Galissonniere, Montcalm and Marseillaise completing the half dozen:

Some of the French destroyers remind me of the larger Japanese destroyers in that they are almost the size of small light cruisers but maintain the advantage of being fast, such as the 36 knots achievable by the Vauqelin class, with the Vauqelin seen here alongside her sister ships Kersaint, Cassard and Tartu:

The Fantasque class was similarly large and fast, and I completed four with the Fantasque herself, the Audacieux, Terrible and Malin:

Three Le Hardi class destroyers with the Le Hardi, Mameluk and Casque complete the contingent of French destroyers:

The last ship in the fleet is the French aircraft carrier Bearn which, even though it actually launched aircraft and completed pilot training in the early part of the war, spent most of WWII out of action in the French West Indies:

Here are all thirty-two of the French fleet in their storage box:

The Nimitz ruleset we are currently using did not originally contain game cards for the French navy and I was readying myself to spend a bit of time creating in them, but a visit to Sam Mustafa's website shows they have now been released in the last week or so.

I did a quick count across all six fleets which shows I have managed to complete a grand total of three hundred and nineteen vessels, all but twenty-five of them over the past four months. I also purchased a batch of GHQ 1/2400 scale planes which I may also get around to completing at some stage, but since most rulesets use tokens or counters to represent the aerial component of WWII naval gaming these are not a high priority and will really only be used as table dressing.

Next up, a return to my ECW project with a few Parliamentarian foot regiments prepared and ready to be painted.

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Regia Marina Fleet Completed

The penultimate contingent in my WWII naval project, I had been looking forward to getting stuck into the Italians mainly because their red and white striped aerial recognition markings are quite unique and provide a bit of colour. I was a little concerned about whether I would be able to paint lines that were straight enough without ruining the effect, but found that all the GHQ models with the exception of the destroyers had lines etched into the deck which made painting them quite simple.

I also purchased the Lifecolor WW2 Italian Naval paint set which took a lot of guesswork out of approximating the correct shades and were quite nice paints to use.

Here are the three completed Littorio class battleships which were the Littorio herself, the Vittorio Veneto and the Roma (the Impero was laid down and luanched, but never completed):

Followed by the Caio Duilio and Giulio Cesare:

Six heavy cruisers include the Trento, Trieste and Bolzano:

And three Zara class cruisers in the Zara, Fiume and Pola:

Italian spotter planes had a rather unique design, with red stripes on a very light grey background as can be seen here on the foredeck of the Zara:

I came a little unstuck on the light cruisers as some of the names are incredibly long and just wouldn't fit on my labels. The Abruzzi's full name, seen here alongside the Raimondo Montecuccoli, Muzio Attendolo and Giuseppi Garibaldi, is actually the Luigi de Savoia Duce degli Abruzzi:

While the final four light cruisers are the Attilio Regolo, Scipione Africano, Alberto Da Giussano and Bartolomeo Colleoni (which I chose as it sounded a little like Corleone to me):

The Soldati class destroyers are so-called as they are all named after different troop types. Below are the Velite, Mitragliere, Corsaro, Carabiniere and Bombardiere:

Followed by the Legionario, Ascari Artigliere and Alpino:

Three Navigatori class destroyers named after Italian explorers in the Antonio da Noli, Nicolo Zeno and Luca Tarigo, along side three Turbine class destroyers with the Turbine, Borea and Espero, complete the destroyer flotilla:

With the aircraft carrier Aquila completing the Italian fleet:

Here are all thirty-five ships nestled alongside some of the overflow from my US and Royal Navy contingents:

Only a similarly-sized French fleet left to go, which I hope to have completed by the end of next week.