Saturday, 22 June 2019

Building a 15mm ship

In recent times I have had a request for some instructions, on how I built the basic version of the sailing ships that were pictured in the original copy of Table Top Battles. These models were built for 15mm figures and guns. The length of the ship is 100 mm so that it fits into the 100mm x 100mm (4" x 4" ) square grid I use for sea warfare.

The ship's that are shown in the latest copy are the same basic design but with extra bits added back and front. The originals were a rush job built in a day many years ago. I have made this version slightly wider than the original

So, having done some measurements which are all in millimetres, I've done a series of pictures to make assembly easier. Also, because my photographic skills are virtually nil, I have repeated the pictures of the measurements at the end of the montage.

I used texturing gel to cover the completed model but you could use PVA with a little water added to seal the model.

Lastly you may  need a stronger glue to fix the pieces of straw in place. These are added to help keep the sails upright.

*  Foamboard or thick cardboard for the base, 5mm thick.
*  A sheet of card. I use the picture framing card but a cereal packet will do.
*  Some kebab sticks for the masts. These have to be detachable to show damage.
*  A drinking straw.
* A cutting knife ( ask Mum or Dad about this bit if you need help )
* Some PVA GLUE.
* A brush for the above.
* Some cocktail sticks.
* A board to cut out the parts on ( I don't want to be cited in a divorce case over damage to the dining table!! ). 

My apologies for the presentation. I'm still on the upward slope of a very steep learning curve !!!.

                                                           Fig 1




                                                              Fig 5





Fig 10






Thursday, 20 June 2019

An 18th Century Expansion

Yes, I have to admit this was a digression on my part. It was not meant to happen. The 18th century has been a major interest to me for the last 20 or so years. However I had previously concentrated on the wars surrounding Frederick the Great. I got this insane idea on collecting " a few" figures for the The Great Northern War ( does the first part of this sentence ring any warning bells to you?).

Back in 2005 I ran the second of two postal campaigns based on the 7 Years War. The previous one used the conditions of the War of the Austrian Succession as its background. At this time the armies I had were quite large ( each army was of 84 stands!!,

 Don't ask me how I managed to paint them all and hold down a regular job !!). There were six players representing Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, Hanover and Piedmont in the first. The 2nd being Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, Hanover and the British Colonies in America.

For most of the 18th century the British Army played an auxilliary role to the Hanovarian forces. I also had armies representing Spain and the Italian City States, Genoa, Modena and Naples.

Basically armies moved from state to state ( the map is available in my book Table Top Battles ) . When two opposing armies moved into the same area I fought out the battle, solo, and sent the results to each player.

To set up the battle I would briefly research the ground using mainly modern maps and old ones if I could find any online to view. I would look at the numbers on each side then throw dice to decide who wanted to attack or defend. I then set up suitable terrain based on the maps I had seen.

There were a few surprises. In one game I set up, the Prussian camp was attacked by the Austrians.  I gave the battle a name based on the nearest town only to find out later that Frederick had actually camped near that town on one of his Campaigns!.

On another occasion the Prussian player used a strategic move which came to grief  over several campaign turns. Again I later found out through reading that Frederick has discounted this strategy because the supply lines were to vulnerable. I had taken this into account while umpiring!!

After these campaigns finished  I sold a large amount of the collection. This was in part due to outside influences but I still maintained a dozen or so bases of each nation. I just could not bring myself to let go of all of them.

A few years later. I found myself at a loose end one evening when my Wife was on a night shift. ( I very rarely had these as a working person at that time!!) and I realised  that I had never in my Wargaming Life attempted a historical game.

By now my available table space being 3 feet by 2 feet and my collection being a lot smaller,how was I to do this??. I started by picking a battle, in this case Lobositz.I then looked at the terrain. I knew I could not build the battlefield in its true features so I picked out the parts that influenced the battle. The armies were scaled at 1point for 500 men ( this Procedure is also shown in Table Top Battles ).

Not having large armies I "allied" certain figures together, in this case Prussia, Brunswick and Wurttemberg on one side, Austria,  Saxony, and Riechsarmee on the other. All the scenery was set up on the grid in a rough approximation of the battlefield and I set up the scaled down version of each army using the smaller squares to ascertain positions. It worked! Much to my surprise!.

I used the solo rules ( updated in the 2nd edition) and the result was a hard fought victory for the Prussians. We now come full circle to the reason as to why I am collecting another Swedish and Russian Army ( yes they went with the previous lot!. Why do we do it!!???). I want to to do as many historical battles as I can and write about them. I  retired from work at 65 ( I consider myself very fortunate) and this is a task I've set myself. I want to start in some sort of chronological order, so I,m starting with the Northern and Mulburian era. I,ve also dicovered that having painted the armies, I have to collect and paint dismount markers!. This is because the Russians, and in some cases the Swedes used their Cavalry in a dismounted roll.Hence the reasoning behind painting up the figures. In turn I haven't had much time for blogging.  Now I just need to paint up some Xhosa------------

This rather bad photo was taken from my old mobile to give you some idea of my methods.

These next pics are of the dismount markers prepped. The horse's are from The PeterPig AWI RANGE with the heads changed from the casque to tricorns from the HEAD range. The dismounted cavalrymen are PeterPig Jaegers, again from the AWI range. For the dismounted Poles, Cossacks and Militia I used figures from the Miniature Figurines Great Northern War with PeterPig Command. The flags are masking tape and roughly painted ( or will be) by me.