The Last Lancer

Emergency surgery for Andy’s horse. It’s lucky he didn’t just shoot it…

We’ve used a number of different sets of rules for games set in the Maximilian Adventure, most recently The Men Who Would Be Kings. Under these rules I class my Mexican Lancers as Irregular Cavalry, each unit being made up of 8 figures.

I had 15 lancers and 3 officers, so I had one Lancer I didn’t need to paint, which was useful as unfortunately his horse was a miscast with part of the rear left leg missing.

Once Rebels and Patriots came out I thought I might try these out for a game or so, and in these rules standard Cavalry units have 6 figures, so it was time to paint The Last Lancer so I could field three Mexican cavalry units.

To start off I had to do some remedial surgery on his horse. The lower half of the leg was missing below the hock, including the hoof. The horse was modelled with both front legs on the ground with both rear legs off the ground.

I cleaned up the stump of the leg and superglued a metal pin in place between the end of the leg and the hoof of the right leg.

I then built up the lower leg with several layers of Humbrol Model filler. This is a polystyrene paste, which I have found can be “diluted” with polystyrene cement to make it more easily worked.

Here’s the horse with the filler “mass” prior to filing into shape.

I left the layers to dry for a couple of days then filed the plastic into shape to form the leg and hoof.

Once the surgery was completed the horse was glued to a Warbases “pill” base, 50mm x 25mm, which was then built up with 4Ground base render.

All paints used are Vallejo acrylics, unless stated otherwise. The horse was painted Chocolate Brown and washed with Army Painter (AP) Dark Tone. Here’s a close up of the finished leg.

The Saddle cloth was painted Dark Blue over Light Brown with Flat Red trim.

I added a wire lance to the lancer, and undercoated him with matt black, face and hands were base coated Brown Sand and top coated Medium Flesh. His shirt was painted Deck Tan and the lance painted Beige Brown. Here they are part painted.

The horse’s saddle and harness were painted Saddle Brown and the saddle roll Black Red. The horse has a cloth draped over his back behind the saddle, this has a fur like texture; I painted this German Camouflage Beige with an AP Soft Tone wash.

The lancer was finished off with Light Brown chaps with Luftwaffe Camouflage Green trim, London Grey Vest, Flat Red Poncho lined Black Red and a Light Grey Hat. Lance and carbine stock were Beige Brown, Scabbard Black with Gunmetal fittings.

The base was painted AP Banshee Brown and patches of flock added and then the figure was mat varnished.
So, here he is: the Last Lancer. The final figure in my Maximillian Adventure collection.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.

Andy’s unchained melody.

In the pack of ACW Union artillery men I finished recently was a small ammunition marker, comprising a powder barrel and a stack of cannon balls. I thought this would be useful for any rules or scenarios that have ammunition restrictions, but I’d need more than one.

I mounted the original on a 25mm washer, painted the barrel Vallejo German Camouflage Brown with an Army Painter dark wash. The bands were painted copper.

The original model.

I had some spare barrels already painted; from Ainsty I think. But how to do the cannonballs?
A recent clothing purchase yielded the answer; on a couple of the items the sales tags were attached by means of a ball chain. So, getting a few 25mm diameter washers and some card I went to work.

On each of the washers I glued a square of carboard over the hole, while the glue was drying, I started work on the chain. Using a small pair of nail clippers I keep for cleaning up metal figures, I cut the chain into 9 lengths of 3, 5 lengths of 2 and a couple of individual balls.

Once the glue was dry, I spread some more on top of the cardboard (leaving enough space for the barrels) and stuck the first layer of balls to the card, three sections of three balls in parallel lines. This was the trickiest bit, getting the balls close together in a straight line without sticking myself to the base.

Once these were dry, I added the second layer of two balls and (on one of the bases) a third layer of a single ball fixing them in place with superglue.

Now, the balls have two small holes for the wire that links them together. I should have filled these in before painting, but several coats of primer served the purpose. I painted the cannon balls Vallejo Dark Grey.

Next, I took the pre-painted barrels and stuck them to the bases.
I then used a spatula to put some 4Ground base render on the bases, trying not to plaster the side of the barrels.

The bases were then painted Army Painter Banshee Brown, and flocked.

Feeling Limber

Andy limbers up (his joke, not mine – Ed).

My French troops for the Maximillian Adventure also see service in Osprey rule’s “In Her Majesty’s Name” and “Rebels and Patriots” games. Both rules allow field guns to have an upgrade of a limber team to increase mobility, and / or crew size.

I bought a Wargames Foundry Franco Prussian War French limber team and also picked up a spare limber (Minifigs) at a bring and buy or similar. So instead of building one four horse limber team, I built two, two horse limber teams.

Horses were painted in black, or various shades of brown. Horse furniture was black, saddle and saddle bags Saddle Brown, horse blanket Black Grey dry brushed Basalt Grey and cape London Grey dry brushed Light Grey.

Limbers were painted Beige Brown with an Army Painter Soft tone was and brass metalwork.
The crew men were painted the same way as the dismounted crew, although the outriders have cavalry boots rather than standard boots and gaiters.

Bases were painted AP Banshee Brown and patches of flock applied with PVA glue.

Here they are with guns attached.

Horsin’ Around

Andy goes equine.

Among my Mexican forces for the Maximillian Adventure I have some dismounted Irregular cavalry, to represent these as Mounted Infantry in “The Men Who Would Be Kings” games I wanted some rider-less horses. I eventually found some Sash & Sabre ACW Union horses (and holders) at Colonel Bill’s. Not ideal as they are uniformly equipped, but they’ll do for my purposes.

After cleaning up any vents and flash and washing in soapy water they were glued to 50mm x 25mm pill bases, 4Ground base render was used to build up the bases and they were undercoated with Halfords grey primer. The horses were painted black or various shades of brown, the latter with an Army Painter dark tone wash. Horse furniture, blankets and saddle rolls were painted a variety of Vallejo colours to give the impression of an irregular unit.

Bases were finished with Banshee brown and flocked, and then matt varnished.

Mounted Legionnaires

Andy takes his brushes south of the border again.

One of the last units to be painted for my Maximilian Adventure collection is a unit of mounted French Foreign Legion. Mine came from Wargames Foundry, most are actually cavalry and have carbines rather than rifles, which gave me a thought.

In “The Men Who Would Be Kings”, a mounted Regular Infantry unit needs 12 figures, whilst a Regular Cavalry unit needs only 8. As I only had three with rifles, I decided to give most of them white trousers so they could be used as either Cavalry or Mounted Infantry, with 4 of the 12 with the red trousers used bythe Foreign Legion.

After cleaning up the models by removing any vents and lines, and washing in soapy water, the horses were stuck to 50mm x 25mm pill bases from Warbases, then built up with 4Ground base render and undercoated matt black.

The horse’s coats were painted a variety of browns, or black, apart from one which I decided to try painting as a grey, so this one had a coat of white paint followed by Light Grey applied with a stippling brush.

Horse furniture was black, saddle and saddle bags Saddle Brown, horse blanket Black Grey dry brushed Basalt Grey and cape London Grey dry brushed Light Grey. Bases were painted AP Banshee Brown and patches of flock applied with PVA glue.

The riders were also undercoated matt black, face and hands were base coated Brown Sand and top coated Medium Flesh. Tunics and lower Kepi Dark Blue with AP Blue wash, trousers either white or Flat Red, the latter with an AP Red wash. The upper part of the kepi was also Flat Red. Some of the riders had sombreros, painted various shades of brown or grey; others white kepi covers. Carbines and rifles have Beige Brown woodwork, Gun Metal Grey metalwork and German Camouflage Beige straps. Belts and scabbard were black.

I originally based my mounted figures for this period on 50mm round bases. These proved to be a bit of a bugger to store in the KR Multicase boxes I use. I also started using some rules where it would be useful to have multiple figures on a base. I looked around and found that Warbases do both mdf bases and movement trays to take them. They will also make custom movement trays to your own specification (they kindly made some for me for some Vikings for Dux Bellorum). So, I decided to change my basing strategy. I’ve mounted these (and a few others) on 50mm x 25mm pill bases. Here’s the old and new styles:

I’ve also bought some compatible movement trays, 120mm x 60mm, with four slots:

So all I’ve got to do now is rebase around 25 older models once Warbases reopen and I can get some more bases. ☹.
I think I’ll be using the same bases for my Dark Ages mounted so I can use the same figures for SAGA, Lion Rampant and Dux Bellorum, but I’ll need to get some customised bases the same size but with only three slots.

Wandiwash India 1760

Seán takes us back to the 18th Century with some colonial action

We had a good day in India in 1760, Pete, Alan O, Tony G, Eric and myself so I wanted to say thank you for the game, though I was umpiring rather than playing. I think it worked well and we got speedy involvement from everyone because I had reworked the Principles of War rules to make them simultaneous.. It meant that with a big battle and about 100 units on the table one side wasn’t standing around for half an hour while the other made their move.

The Battle
It was a rare outing for my glamorous Moghul hordes and the rival East India companies of Britain and France.

Wandiwash was a relief battle. The town was invested by the French and their Indian allies and the British under Eyre Coote came to lift the siege. The French, under the Comte de Lally left 300 men to maintain the siege and came out to meet their rivals for power in India.

In the game I suggested that if the British, with their Indian allies, were to get three units to leave the table by the only road on the left flank of the French/Indian enemy and on their own right, it would be a good indication that they had won the battle. Unfortunately for them the British right flank, entirely consisting of unenthusiastic native forces with no disciplined East India Company sepoys or Brit regulars, melted as snow on a spring day before the wily tactics of the wicked Suraj ud Daulauh (of Black Hole of Calcutta fame). Meanwhile a sturdy advance on the left and centre led by those British company forces looked encouraging. There was only one fly in the ointment which was the growing risk of being outflanked by French company forces released from the left centre by the collapse of the British right – or rather the army of their untrustworthy ally Mir Jafar.

The Winners
There was no disastrous defeat but the near certainty that a message would arrive from Wandiwash saying the garrison had had to surrender was expected at any moment as the relief force faltered and failed to break through. So a win on points for the Comte – which went against the verdict of history.

The rules stood up well and simultaneous movement (which is how it used to be when I started wargaming in the 10th Century) sped up a big game very well. Some necessary amendments arose which I’ll incorporate. There was a request for a colonial battle with the same rules (adjusted for period) so I said I would bring another Moslem army into the field with a return of the 10mm Mahdists of the Sudan for another go at the Anglo-Egyptian imperialists in 1898. Who would like to be a desert sheikh or the model of a modern major general of models for that battle?

Pack it in Donkey!

Andy K tries to pin the tail on his donkey, and ends up pinning its leg instead !

I ran a game a Milton Hundred recently where I needed to give the players the option of taking some pack animals, I had 5 pack donkeys ready, but had another three in the metal mountain, so decided to paint them up. These will be part of my French in Mexico collection.

The figures are from Wargames Foundry, part of the Darkest Africa Range.

As I cleaned up the models prior to painting I found that one of the donkeys was a miscast, part of a rear leg was incomplete. I stuck a small length of wire between the remaining parts of the leg with superglue, and once dried added polystyrene filler to build up the leg. Once the filler had thoroughly dried off I filed it into shape before undercoating the donkeys and the packs matt black.

The donkeys were painted using Vallejo acrylics, some flock added to the bases and matt varnished.

Open Day 2019

Open Day Coordinator Dave Sime gives the low-down on this year’s games…

Open Day, 22nd June 2019

The Open Day will be held on June 22nd from 11am to 4pm at our usual venue in Linton, just outside Maidstone.

Below is the list of games for the 2019 Open Day – over the next few weeks each game sponsor will be giving us more details on their respective games.

Just to whet your appetites, here are a selection of the games from last year’s event…

Hussar! (South of the Border)

Andy has been hard at work with his brushes….

My first figures finished this year (where has the time gone?).  Eight French Hussars and four Mexican cavalry from the Maximillian Adventure (1860’s French in Mexico). Figures from Wargames Foundry.

Undercoated with Humbrol grey primer, then block painted with Vallejo or Army Painter acrylics and washed with Army Painter shades.

My Maximillian Adventure collection started over 10 years ago with the 2007/2008 MWS show Game, Non Son Hombres Son Demonios!, the Battle of Camerone:

http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/mws/ShowGames/Mexico/index.html

It has grown over the last 10 years, adding villagers, more troops, cavalry and artillery to both sides.

These will be used with various rule sets, originally we used some simple participation rules (available at the above website), we played some gamers at the Society using Stargrunt (with adaptions), recently we’ve been playing The Men Who Would Be Kings, but I think we’ll be trying  Rebels and Patriots soon.