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FIW – Sharp Practice in 6mm – Part 1

As I eluded to in an earlier post (link here)

French Indian War Skirmish in 6mm – I have some fond memories from this period and my dad read me the Last of the Mohicans about 3 times when I was little and when I was older we watched the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis together on more than one occasion.  Dad left us far too early – this project is for him.  I have ordered a fair few SYW/AWI from Baccus, including the new Compagnies France de la Marine and Canadian Militia.  I also ordered highlanders, Indians, jaegers, continental light infantry, queens ranges and British line. This should be plenty to build a decent French and British force. I intend to use these with the Musket and Tomahawk, Sharp Practice and Songs of Drums and Tomahawk rules sets. 

There is no major secret that I am fond of the 6mm scale for doing my big 6mm GNW battles and this is where the 6mm scale is arguably at its best.  I did my “Saga in 6mm project” this year (you can start reading about it here if you are unaware of it) and took it to the Joy of Six in Sheffield to show that 6mm could be used for a game more commonly used with larger scales.  The game worked really well and I replaced each miniatures with a 25mm square base of 4 to 10 miniatures.  Following advice from the Welsh Wizard Mike Hobbs I did not change any of the rules and we just played them straight from the box.   The ground scales are somewhat abstract in Saga and the only thing that in detail seemed a little bit wrong were Javelin distances.

For my next project I wanted to take yet another step and actually use individual based 6mm miniatures to do a skirmish game.  I had seen some fantastic stuff done in this scale for the Napoleonic era and I thought it looked good. I decided to combine this with my itch to do something related to the French Indian war.  Since then I have skimmed the three rules I identified above and decided that I would start building forces based on the Sharp Practice rule set (you can find more information here)

To date I have managed to paint one British and one French starting force, they are all based on a 9mm washer and are from Baccus Minatures (from their SYW or AWI range) with a small 3 by 0.5mm magnet put in the hole.  I painted each force in an evening sitting and to buy them from Baccus was at a cost of £13.20-16.50 per force (and giving enough additional miniatures to at least double each unit) – what is there not to like?  I boosted the British Regulars to get some “point” balance against the French Raiding Party.  I have included some pictures below.

Next I will need to make the necessary markers and support list accessories, make some sabot bases, build some fences, buy some American style buidings and perhaps get some more troop options – I have already started a new shopping basket at Baccus.

British Regulars (1755) with additional Rangers and Frontier Militia Support

Leader, Status I

Leader, Status II

Three Groups of 8 Regulars, Muskets

regulars
British Regulars two leaders, I used the Baccus SYW SBR01 – British Line Infantry Code. You get 96 miniatures in a pack (for £6.60) so I have plenty room to grow my force (I used 26).  The NCO is from the command strip and the Senior officer with Sword on the right is a standard bearer with the pole cut off to represent a sword.

Leader, Status II

One Group of 6 Provincial Rangers, Muskets

I then added

Leader, Status II

One Group of 6 Provincial Rangers, Muskets

Rangers
Provincial Rangers, I used the Baccus AWI AWB06 – HIghlanders – Code. You get 48 miniatures in a pack (2 poses at £3.30) I used 14 miniatures .  For the officers I was just going to use one of these and paint the “beret” blue but instead I used two miniatures from the AWL03 – Queen/American range pack from the AWI range.

Leader, Status II

Two Groups of 10 Frontier Militia

Frontier militia
For the Newly formed militia I used AWR02 – Militia – skirmish from the Baccus AWO range. 48 miniatures for £3.30. I used 21 miniatures for this with the Leader being a conversion form the Indian pack (see the French below).

French (1755)

Leader, Status III

Two Groups of 8 Marine Infantry, Muskets

Marine
Marine Infantry, I used SFR10 – Comagnies france de la marine – Formed from Baccus SYW range.  96 miniatures for£6.60! –  you can build 4 units like this from one pack There is also skirmish pack at £3.30 that could be used instead.

Leader, Status II

Two Groups of 6 Milice Canadiene, Muskets

Canadina Militia
For the Canadian Militia I used SFR12 – Canadian Militia Advancing and SFR13 Canadian Militia Firing (this gives you 8 different poses) from the SYW range.  You could however just buy one pack (each pack £3.3o and 48 miniatures)

Leader Status II

Two Group of 12 Indians, Tribe, Muskets

Indians
For my Indians I used AW02 – Woodland Indians – shirt. You get twice this amount out of a pack for £3.30.  (For my next upgrade I will get some AW01 – Woodlands Indians Barechested and make some more warlike Indians with face paintings and use these guys for the British side).

/All the very best

Lesnaya Part 4 – but mostly other stuff

Yet another week in a sunny, and this time also rainy and windy, France.  I thought I bang the drum for three of the places I visited with the family that may be of some interest.

Château de Talmont, Talmont St Hilaire, Vendée

Nicely situated on a rock that once was surrounded by a lake and the river Le Payre.  The Castle was originally built on the orders of William the Great, Duke of Aquitaine.  William actually was not that Great and lost a lot of his lands to Vikings and other french nobles. I am not that convinced we will see him as a warlord in future Saga supplements!  However from 1152, the Duchy of Aquitaine was held by the Plantagenets, who also ruled England as independent monarchs.  Richard I Lionheart (or Richard Coeur de Lion as they call him in France) is the most famous of the rulers of Talmont and he did a lot of alterations to the castle. The castle have taken some damage over the years but is well worth a visit and depending on the day some activities to keep the family entertained including some periodic games and falconry. You can read more here.

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Talmont Castle

 

Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Pontorson – Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

I have spent a lot of time in Normandy over the last few years going to the various WW2 sites (Pegasus bridge, the D-day beaches, Sainte-Mère-Église and seen the famous Church and visited the airborne museum to mention a few) and they are all amazing but there is a lot of older history that is also worth checking out.  It seems like it is directly from a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying (WFRP) module. When I was standing on some of the viewing platforms on the top, with the wind blowing in whatever hair I have left, it did not take a lot of imaginary effort to feel like I was standing somewhere on the top of Minas Tirith in Middle-Earth viewing the hoards of orcs..sorry tourists approaching.  This island have been used since the 8th century as a centre for religious worship, defensive position and even as a prison.  Rich with history and to slowly walk along the small streets and passage ways up to the top and a visit the cathedral and the prison is a immersive experience that is not to be missed if you are in the region. There is a nice video showing off this amazing place here.

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Le Mont-Saint-Michel

 

Le Musée des Blindés, Saumur, Manche

This is a fantastic tank museum that, I personally, think is as good as the Bovington museum in the UK for us WW2 enthusiasts.  It is even better if you are into cold war stuff I have been told by reliable sources.  Here is a link to a video on YouTube showing a lot of the tanks and here is the official link to the museum itself.  I bought myself some German Tank Paints by MIG and I tried out the dunkelgrau on some early German Zvezda tanks I found in a shop in Cherbourg.  It seemed to work well.

What about the Lesnaya stuff?

As far as the Lesnaya project is concerned I had a little break from it last week. I did catch up with Nick Dorrell about it and we are good to go with the overall Towards Moscow Trilogy project I discussed in an earlier Blog.  It is very likely that, after Lesnaya, we will do a what-if-scenario where the Swedish army attacks the Russian Position at Gorki 1708 instead of Holowczyn, but more on that later.

Having started to paint the Finnish tanks for my Finnish Chain of Command project I got inspired to order some more stuff and when I came home a nice parcel was waiting with some Battlefront products including some finnish (Sissi) ski troops, a command group (to get an anti-tank rifle unit), and some Panzershreck and Panzerfaust teams (they were used by the finns but at the very end of the war). In addition some more vehicles including a BA-10 armoured car (from Zvezda), a BT-42 assault gun, a Vickers 6-ton tank and a Landsverk AA-tank.  In that nice model shop in Cherbourg I also bought a T-60 and a KV-1 again from Zvezda.  Yes the purist will say that the one T-60 known to have been captured by the Finns never was used in action – but I could not resist!

/ All the best

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Lesnaya Part 3 and some Halo Fleet Battle Ships and Finnish Continuation War Tanks

Currently enjoying some days in a nice and sunny France, I did manage to spend two mornings before the clan woke up painting the ships from the Halo Fleet Battles Ensign box – it is amazing how quick paint, washes and ink dries in hot conditions. Not used to this living in England. They are not brilliant but were rated GEFAG (Good enough for a game) by the little one. I have to admit I really liked painting these – now we have to learn the rules and I suppose buy some more ships.  I have tried to make my ipod cover represent the infinity of space in the pictures below. I will get them onto their bases and onto a proper mat for some action shots later.

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UNSC ships – I used a medium grey, then a green wash, drybrushed with deck tan (light grey) and some detailing in white. I also noted that I had assembled the two bottom Marathon Class Heavy Cruisers (the large ships) wrongly if you look at the stern (back) of the ship. I noted it after having superglued and base coated them. Well I know for next time.
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The Covenant – I bought the Paint in the picture (Purple Pearl from DecoArt) and painted them with this on top of a dark grey primer followed by a purple ink wash (I used one I had from Vallejo) and highlighted some parts with the same purple pearl colour. Next step a drybrush with the purple pearl all over   The blue lights was done by using a light blue initially , then mix the blue with white and paint a smaller section with a final dot of white in the middle. Fast and easy.  I also did the engine glow using the blue to white method on the UNSC ships.

 

I also had to try out the Finnish WW2 Army Paint set I bought to do my Finnish continuation war vehicles and equipment with (Look for it at ebay before you pay a tenner in postage for it though). I felt that some of the paint advice I had seen in the past (I suppose for battlefront Finns) did not, in my view, really produce convincing looking vehicles painted to blend into the Finnish forests. However, after some internet research, I felt convinced enough to give this paint set a chance and painted a bunch of Zvezda 1/100 tanks (got them from ebay at £3.50 each, good value for money).  The tanks are far from completed as I do not have any decals yet and will put them on in the next step before weathering etc.  I am happy with the colour and the contrasts so far and really like this little set. I now need a BF-42, a landsverk AA, some armoured cars and a KV-1 to complete the Continuation war garage.

As for the Lesnaya project I only managed to complete one Russian dragoon regiment this week.

sibirski
Sibirski Dragoon Regiment

 

/ Take care

Reflections – Lesnaya Part 2

I always use the Summer to take some reflective thoughts on what to do next and as discussed in the last post I did have a fair go at some GNW (Great Northern War) miniatures for yet another legendary battle – although it seems more like a prologue to that devastating battle in Ukraine a year later.  So far I, Nick Dorrell and his chums from the Wyre Forest Wargames club, have put on the following Great Northern War Battles at the Joy of Six (from 2012 to 2015):

  • Fraustadt 1706 (2012)
  • Klissow 1702 (2013)
  • Kalisz 1706 (2014)
  • Gadebusch 1712 (2015)

Following this years sabbatical I have decided on doing the “Towards Moscow Trilogy” and do the three key battles for future Joy of Six shows, namely:

  • Lesnaya 1708 (2017)
  • Holowczyn 1708 (2018)
  • Poltava 1709 (2019)

Perfectly doable projects and some reusability of miniatures from battle to battle with a natural build-up (..to disaster, at least if you are Swedish).  Apart from the finale it should be possible to fit these on 4 by 8 tables.  They are all very different types of battles so this offers some variety.  Now I just have to convince Nick Dorrell et al that this is a jolly good idea.  If I still have the will to live after this I think Narva 1700 and the two key battles of the Finnish Campaign 1713-14 would be fun to do too. But that is rushing ahead a little bit too much.

Overall I am working on a few different strands at the moment:

  • Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) (as discussed above) with the next target being Lesnaya 1708 for the Joy of Six (2017)
  • Halo Ground Battles – I and the little one are waiting for the box to arrive. We pre-ordered at Salute in April earlier this year and the little one took part of the first demo game of the day. He really enjoyed it. This is my dad and lad project. We are painting some Halo fleet battles in the interim.
  • French Indian War Skirmish in 6mm – I have some fond memories from this period and my dad read me the Last of the Mohicans about 3 times when I was little and when I was older we watched the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis together on more than one occasion.  Dad left us far too early – this project is for him.  I have ordered a fair few SYW/AWI from Baccus, including the new Compagnies France de la Marine and Canadian Militia.  I also ordered highlanders, Indians, jaegers, continental light infantry, queens ranges and british line. This should be plenty to build a decent French and British force. I intend to use these with the Musket and Tomahawk, Sharp Practice and Songs of Drums and Tomahawk rules sets.
  • Finnish Winter, Continuation and Lapland Wars 1939 to 1945 – I have started a project doing the Winter War in 15mm using the Chain of Command rules.  I am using miniatures from Battlefront, Resistant Rooster and Peter Pig with the idea of being able to field, for both sides, a platoon for the Winter War (1939-40) as well as the later stage of the continuation war (1941-44) that allows (with limitation) an interesting range of supports to the finns including the Landsverk L-62, F-42, Vickers 6 tonne, SU-152, T-26, T-28, BT-5 & 7, KV-1, Panzer IV Ausf J and Stug III. Some more likely than others to appear on the Battlefield. Later in the war they also get Panzerfaust and Panzerschrecks too.  This again is a historical period that is personal to myself as my mother was born in Finland.  Finland basically fought for its existence during the those cold Winter months of the Winter War against the Russians and the sacrifices on both sides deserves our respect and remembrance.
  • Other Stuff – I will do some more Saga factions as some point and also do something with the 1/3600 galleys I bought for Poseidon’s Warriors (however it currently feels like they will take a back-seat for a while). I also have 1940s Germans, French and British Chain of Command Forces I am slowly working on.  I also have some kickstarters that are screaming for some paint including Zombiecide:Black Plauge, Bloodrage and soon, I hope, the stuff from the Conan Boardgame. There are probably more things on the (slow) go.

I will try to provide some variety in updates based on these projects but as they move in very different speeds it would be pointless to do have a rolling schedule.  Things will be updated as and when they are done.

Nevermind, some further Lesnaya progress. Three dragoon regiments. / Take care.

Tverski Dragoon regiment
Smolenski Dragoon regiment
Troitski Dragoon regiment