Monday, 24 February 2020

Plastic n' Metal The Late Roman Era.

Well, I have an interest in the Late Roman Era.
I am not an expert painter of figures, and often I have been up against the clock.

Therefore my style is very basic. I use 20mm plastic, mainly Hat and some Miliart. I also mix in some metal Newline Designs as being 20mm these seem to fit  with the plastic figures.
I think a company called Tumbling Dice also make 20mm metal figures for this era.

To prep the plastic;

1) I wash them In warm soapy water scrubbing
them lightly with a nail brush.

2) I then assemble the figures with shields and spears, and attach any cavalry figures to their horses.

3) The figures are then glued to cardboard strips.

4) Next, I undercoat the figures with PVA glue. This can be watered down a bit. This stops the paint flaking off. I then leave the figures to dry.

5) Once dry, I completely coat the figure brown paint.

6) When the paint drys I go through the figures
putting on various colours.
Having wrote that, I use a minimum number of
colours and rotate them.

7) Once the paint is dry, I brush on some gloss acrylic varnish. Again I water it down a bit if needed.

8) I don't worry about flocking the base. I just paint a basic colour on.

9) Having done that, I base the figures.
It's basically (for me ) about getting the figures on the table.

Here are some illustrations;

These are a mix of Hat Goths and Miliart German Tribesmen.

Hat Industries Cataphracts. The Spears are from North Star Miniatures Javelins.

Hat Sassanids. The flags are scratchbuilt. North Star javelins.
The standard on the light cavalry archers is a dressmakers pin.
The round bases are 40mm mdf from Minibits.

These figures are Newline Designs Late Roman Infantry ( metal) painted in conventional fashion with North Star javelin.

These are Hat Industries Huns.

These are part of my Pict army. The cavalry are from the Hat Goth cavalry.
The chariot is from the Hat Celtic chariot box, using some twine for the reins.
The hooded crossbow are from Hats Enemies of Rome box.
The Pictish infantry are from Redbox and the archers are from Hat Saxons, part of the Enemies of Rome box.
Apparently it was not unusual to find Saxons amongst the Picts.

This was my attempt to recreate the Del Riata ( the people of the chariot). They had a thriving society on the West coast of Ireland and the East coast of Scotland.
The chariots are from Hat Celtic Chariots with converted occupants.
The infantry are from Hats Gothic Infantry. Over time the Del Riata merged with the Picts.

I found myself with too many Sassanids. This is because I had bought Hats Parthian cavalry before they released their Sassanid range! So the Palmyran army came into being!.
All from the Hat Sassanid and Parthian range. The standards are made from masking tape. 

This is Zenobia!. Made from the bottom half of a camel rider from a hat box of Arab camels and the top of a figure from a Hat Celtic Chariots.

Supply wagons and civilians. The middle waggon and mules are from Ceaser miniatures Roman Waggon train set ( I think there are 4 different ones).
The civilians come from the same sets as are the oxen. These look large but apparently this breed were large in real life. The spearmen are from Hats Gothic range. The wagon with the big wheels is scratch built. I used cardboard for the body.

The wheels are made from pre-cut sponges that you put on the bottom of chair legs.
They come in sets and sold in D-I-Y stores. Once I stuck them on, I painted them black
and painted on the rims and spokes. The Goths used waggon lagers and nobody make any. I'm hoping Hat will do some one day.

Sassanid War Elephants. These are from the Hat range. Hat were going to produce actual models but these went on the back burner. Those shown are from the Carthaginian set. The mahout is the body with a Sassanid head. The archer is Sassanid but I had to pack out the Howdah with a piece of eraser.
The heavy cavalry are Sassanids.

These were known as the Savaran. During sieges they fought dismounted.
In the field a Sassanid army was nearly all cavalry and elephants.

These are Newline Designs Goth Cavalry. The spears are North Star Javelins.
The standard is my own paint job on masking tape.

 Lastly, these are Hat Auxilliary Infantry. They could easily be used for later Goths or Saxons. As the Roman empire started to break apart foreign Auxiliaries struck out on
their own as they were not being paid.

That is the best part of this Era. You can mix and match western armies. In the 400,s and 500,s there were very few pitched battles. If there were more they went undocumented, so there is an opportunity for a few " what if " scenarios, especially
concerning the Arthurian legends.

Also, there is recent evidence to suggest that although the Federated troops broke away from the Roman Army some of the men had basic engineering or surveying skills. As people are finding out the Dark Ages were not so Dark after all.

Friday, 21 February 2020

2nd Bull Run ( Battle of Manassas) 29th & 30th August 1862.

Well, this battle was more involved than I thought. Not having an in- depth knowledge of the war, there were a couple of points I found confusing.

One item is that there were two formations designated as 3rd Corp. Anyway, I digress.

This battle came about because, Robert E. Lee managed to out-manoeuvre Pope. Lee also managed this because of the mental stamina of the men under his command.

The battle of Brawners Farm took place South of Stoney Ridge a few days before Manassas. Although a small action it was no less sanguine, with both sides standing toe-to-toe in close range fire. Even the Officers suffered.

Amongst the Confederates, Taliaferro was wounded three times and General Ewell had his leg shattered by a minie ball which led to amputation.

This was a foretaste of events to come. Jackson had found an excellent position on the wooded
hillside of Stony Ridge from which to fight a defensive battle.

Jackson was also aided in his defense by an unfinished railway embankment. Knowing that Longstreet was on his way in support Jackson  settled his men in position for the coming battle.

The Union General Pope finally found out where Jackson was, having found out about the battle of Brawners Farm. However, Popes army as well as his battle plan was in total chaos thanks to the speed and hard marching of the Confederate forces.

The Union Army gradually assembled from all points of the  compass in front of Jackson's position as Pope sent forward any formations
within marching distance.

The battle was fought over two days. On the first day (the 29th ), Jackson was against the Union Generals; Siegel, Heinztelman and Reno
plus a Division led by John F. Reynolds.

Longstreet, with Lee, turned up later on the first day. As much as Lee wanted Longstreet to attack to take the pressure off Jackson, Longstreet demurred wanting to know what was in front of him.

Jackson's men held on, at one point throwing rocks at the advancing Union forces due to a shortage of ammunition.

On the 2nd day, ( the 30th ) Longstreet attacked!!;

Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.
Left Wing ( 29th August)
24,000 = 24 points.

Major General Stonewall Jackson @ 2 points.
General Ambrose P. Hill @ 2 points.

3 stands of 1st class Line Infantry @ 3 points = 9 points.
3 stands of 2nd class Line infantry @ 2 points = 6 points.

1 stand (A ) James E.B Stuart,s cavalry;
dismounted @ 1 point = 1 point.

1 stand ( B ) Fitzhugh,s cavalry;
dismounted @ 1 point = 1 point

3 stands of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 3 points.

Union Army of Virginia;
Formations present on the 29th  August
48,000 = 48 points.

1st Corp ;

Franz Siegel ; @ 1 point.
6 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 12 points.
2 stands of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

3rd Corp ( from the Army of Potomac )

Samuel Heinztelman @ 1 point.
4 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2points = 8 points.
2 stands of Heavy Artillery' @ 2 points = 4 points.

9th Corp;

Jesse L. Reno @ 1 point.
4 stands of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.
2 stands of Heavy Artillery @ 2 points = 4 points.

John F. Reynolds @ 1 point. Reserve Division;
1 stand of 1st class Line Infantry @ 3 points = 3 points.
1 stand of 2nd class Line Infantry @ 2 points = 2 points.
1 stand of  Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 1 point.


● This 1st battle will last for 8 turns.

●The Confederate Army get the Initiative Point on every turn even when they move 2nd.

● The Confederate Army moves 1st on the
first game turn. All other Game-Turns are
diced for as usual.

● The line of trees count as a wooded area.

● The railway embankment counts as a Trench
or low earthworks.

The Battlemap;

The Battle. The first day;

The second day, 30th August 1862;

Confederate Army of Northern Virginia
Right Wing; 26,000 = 26 points.

Major General James Longstreet @ 2 points.
Nathan " Shanks" Evans @ 2 points.

4 stands of 1st class Infantry @ 3 points = 12 points.
4 stands of 2nd class Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.
2 stands of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.

Union Army of Virginia = 22,000.

5th Corps;

Fitz-John Porter @ 1 point.
5 stands of 2nd class infantry @ 2 points = 10 points.
1 stand of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 1 point.

3rd Corp;
Irvin McDowell @ 1 point.
4 stands of 2nd class Infantry @ 2 points = 8 points.
1 stand of Horse Artillery @ 1 point = 1 point.

As you can see on the map, those Stands that are positioned on the table for the 2nd  battle are marked in red.

This second picture shows the stands that show up on the 2nd day.

Robert E. Lee turned up late on the first day with Longstreet.
The Union General John Pope finally arrived on the second day.
Although both Generals were present, they did not directly influence the battle so they have no points.

The Confederate Cavalry are worth 1point.  When dismounted, the cavalrymen  have zero points and a basic die is rolled for their firing and close combat.

The two Confederate stands positioned on the
flank of Chinn ridge can be bought on during
the 2nd battle. The Confederate  player throws
a die 6 at the start of their chosen Game Turn.
A six must be thrown for these two stands to
be moved onto the table.

The first and second day of the battle are played as two games each of 8 Game Turns. At the end of the first game, the Confederate player may reorganise any Stands still positioned on or around Stoney Ridge.

Bull Run can only be crossed at the bridges.

Well, this is my interpretation of the battle.
All done on a 3 foot x 2 foot table with 15mm

The figures shown in the pictures are Peter Pig and Miniature Figurines with a few Essex Miniatures.
The flags are by Peter Pig. The square bases are cardboard and the round bases are 40mm MDF From Minibits ( Pendraken ).