In the last update I toyed with the idea of doing a fort –“wooden palisade type with some vaubanesque feel to the corner sections optimised for the scale and basing I have for the miniatures“.
As the 6mm scale, rightfully, is primarily used for large scale battles where a small set of buildings represents a village or even a town, it is difficult to find commercial buildings that are appropriate to allow the full “6mm skirmish experience”. With this I mean the individual maneuvering around, on top of and inside buildings. In addition, as the models are based on relatively wide bases (in my case 9mm – in scale about 8 feet) there are difficult to fit in confined spaces if these are in true scale to the miniature. I set out to “design” the fort so that I could use palisade walking ramps and the interior of the buildings as part of the overall experience. This creates somewhat exaggerated features – but it works.
I used the footprint above and I stuck this on top of vinyl floor tiles and got on with it. Materials used are patience, thin Spaghetti, coffee stirrers, matches and a few 10mm by 1mm maples strips.
I then gave it a first coat of paint and some dry brushing. I still have to sort out some material for the roofs and an underlay for the fort courtyard – so almost done.
I showed an idea I had in the last Sharp Practice post of using Spaghetti to make snake/split rail fences (here is a wiki link). Well I liked the test piece results and set about to make a few more. These could of course be used for any future 6mm, never say never again, ACW (American Civil War) project. With this “risk” in mind I did a little bit more than I needed. I recently re-read Peter Riley’s Crisis of Allegiance ACW rules and got tempted but have to keep the project portfolio in control. I am currently listening to “The Civil War” edited by Don Congdon on Audible whilst doing my projects – It is a very good listen indeed.
These kind of rail fences were particularly useful in rocky ground as they do not require holes to be dug for posts. They were relatively quick to build and could be taken down and put up where they were needed. It adds that nice periodic and geographical flavour to the setting. Note these are a somewhat simplified in design, but I think they work well for my needs. In trying to learn the Sharp Practice rules we set up a little encounter where some French friendly natives are attacking two groups of militia firing behind some fences.
I used 10mm by 1mm wooden strips as bases and then put a magnetic strip under (poundland variety) . I then glued a template on top of each and cut the spaghetti into the required length. It becomes stronger than you think. I used PVA/Wood Glue and the only advice is to use moderate amount of glue to avoid getting the spaghetti too wet. But as a construction material it is brilliant and dead cheap compared to plastistruct or metallic rods. Get the thinnest spaghetti you can find – Angel hair or Cappelini seems to work best (he said sounding like a true veteran – go crazy explore the cupboard). Cocktail sticks feels a little to big in 6mm. On reflection I should probably have gone with 2mm thick bases as it makes in easier to pick them up.
I also ordered some bespoke designs from Warbases to use as movement trays for the unit – I think they worked really well. This will make movement a little bit easier. I have to say that Diane and Martin at Warbases are excellent to deal with and I recommend them for your normal and special basing needs. I have not yet painted the small “leader bases” I am using to distinguish the Leaders.
Next I am waiting for some reinforcements and stuff to finalise what I need. I am also tempted to make a little fort. A wooden palisade type with some vaubanesque feel to the corner sections optimised for the scale and basing I have for the miniatures. I have just the material for the stockade! – but will probably go for some wood supporting the spaghetti!
My mother was taken ill this week so I found myself spending the latter part of my week in Sweden. Luckily all went as well as possible given the circumstances and there are certainly worse places than Sweden to be in during September. I try to go and visit Rommehed when I am in my hometown. Rommehed was once the training ground of the Dal regiment that existed between 1621 to 2000. During the Great Northern War the regiment was involved in many of the famous battles, including the victories at Narva (1700), Düna (1701), Klissow (1702), Holowczyn (1708), Malatitze (1708) and Gadebusch (1712). In our Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) the Dal regiment will be present at our Gorki/Horki “what if battle” as well as the disastrous battle at Poltava (1709). Today the site is one of two sites of the dal regiments museum and is occasionally open during the Summer Months (not when I visited this time) and there is also a very brave stone soldier guarding the premises.
Therefore no major progress on any of my diversions and this is therefore a short update.
In a recent Meeples and Miniatures podcast the hosts discussed the mileage in doing Snake rail fencing in spaghetti. I used spaghetti for the bridges I did for my Saga in 6mm project. Armed with a little bit of very thin spaghetti – capellini (no. 2) and some superglue – I made a small section. I will show the build process in some more detail when I do the “real” fences later. I am very pleased with the result.
Support List Options
In addition I managed to get most of the markers and support options for Sharp Practice “modelled” by pimping some Baccus and Perfect Six carts (water, ammunition and engineering) and Perfect Six barricades. I also made some markers for artillery ammunition and out of ammo markers (illogically represented by an ammunition crate) 0 these, again, are from Perfect Six. I have included some pictures in the slide show below. I hope to be able to show them painted in a not too distant future.
Due to the marriage of some very good friends, this week has very much been devoted to getting the clan ready for the occasion. For most of the family the question is, “do I look good in this?” to which I answer “Absolutely fantastic!” for me it is “Can I fit in this?” and if the answer is yes then I am good to go! I can report that we had a fantastic time indeed even though we were by no means in the centre of any attention. Being in the vicinity of Twickenham I wanted to go to the Twickenham Museum and the “Footballer of Loos exhibition”.
Footballer of Loos
From the museums webpage: The first Big Push of World War One took place on 25thSeptember outside the small mining town of Loos in northern France. It was kicked off with a football by rifleman Frank Edwards. After the war Frank came to live in Twickenham and died in Whitton in 1964. During his lifetime he was known as The Footballer of Loos. The story of Frank’s exploit is told by way of an action tableau accompanied by artefacts and information about the Battle of Loos and is set against a striking backdrop painted by local children. Our community audio drama The Greater Game about Football on the Front in First World War …. To listen or download go to The Greater Game.
The actual football that was kicked about by the London British Rifles appeared on the Antiques Roadshow a few years back. Here is a short article about the programme.
Anyway, I was prepare and ready for it, but we ran out of time so perhaps another time.
French Indian War further thoughts
Inspired by the skirmish based 6mm miniatures I did last week I ordered some more miniatures from Baccus for my FIW project (again from the SYW and AWI ranges):
SFR09 – French Artillery. I need this to make an artillery piece for each side but also to use some of the artillery crews to make some of the supporting miniatures options, like the physic and the holy man.
SYG – Generals; to have the option of fielding a senior officer on horse and perhaps some characters for scenarios.
AWI01 – Indians – Bare Chested, to get some more variety of
AWL02Loyalist Infantry – Skirmish; these may be a better option to use for Rangers?AWB05 – Highlanders – Formed; just because I would like to have a unit of formed highlanders and the officer in the command strip just looks brilliant, and
AWB10 – British Light Infantry- Round hat, Campaign, Skirmish. To give some line infantry options, and.
ECW23 – Scots Dismounted Dragoons, from the English Civil War range!. I may get away with these as firing Rangers. But let me verify this after I get them from Baccus.
I also ordered some buildings from Leven miniatures that I thought could be useful for doing farmsteads, small fort and village, including ACW03 – Blacksmith’s Forge, ACW06 – Blockhouse, ACW26 – Shiloh Church, ACW25 – Brotherton Cabin, ACW07 – Timber Shack, WES04 – Livery Stable and WES18 – Outbuildings. I mainly used Leven miniatures for my Saga project and I really like their products. I have included pictures from these items from Leven’s catalogue, you can find Leven’s webpage here. I sense some spaghetti is being required again for fencing and palisades.
6mm Blacksmiths Forge
6mm Timber Shack
I also need to dig out some horses/mules and carts I have lying around to make the other support options, including water cart, ammunition cart, mule train and the engineering groups with cart. I also need to build some barricades and breastworks I have ordered a few items that would be useful for this purpose from perfect six (including their Black powder civilians including Barricade 20mm, cannonball stacks, 2no carts complete with famers cart horses and a dog and wooden Barrels).
I like minimal battlefield clutter and for the recent Saga game I used casualty markers to represent fatigue that blended in on the battle board (See an earlier post here). I did not make these as casualty dials but as individual markers due to the fatigue markers being actively used as part of the game itself – as the fatigue markers can be spent by the opponent. I believe I would need the following markers for Sharp Practice – with my current thoughts:
Present markers – I think I will use markers similar in shape to the overwatch markers used for Chain of Command or a marker with an arrow. These will be based and with some static grass on top to blend in.
Uncontrolled markers – again I will make a shape to represent this, perhaps a simplified “chaos” symbol with arrows in four directions.
Shock markers – I will try to make some casualty markers with a dial inspired by this 10mm Napoleonic’s blog. My concept sketch for this is included below – I just need to ask Peter Berry if he can do some Parrots in 6mm. This parrot is lead! Of course you could get away without using parrots and although Baccus does not do SYW or AWI casualty packs they do them for WSS (with Tricornes) and ACW (with hats and kepis that can be made to look the part I believe).
Ammo markers for artillery – I though I make small bases with cannon ball stacks (I have ordered these from Perfectsix) and place 3 (or more if the option have been bought) next to the artillery and take one away each time it fires.
Out of ammo markers – this is in the instances that a unit runs out of ammo as this is the exception and not the norm. Not sure what I will do for these. But I will figure something out. Perhaps you could give me an idea (as the norm is that there is ammo for the unit the marker is only useful for the “out of” situation).
I better get on with it, so we can have game and see how it goes…
Next time, if things goes to plan, I will be picking up on the Towards Moscow Trilogy (TMT) project again as I have been in some discussion with Nick Dorrell on how we do this and we also have some other plans.
However things may be temporary suppressed by a promise to the little one. I had words from Wayland games that the delayed Halo Ground Command pre-order was shipped, so I may need to clean my brushes and get on with that. He has been waiting for this since he play tested it with Spartan Derek at Salute this year.
Note: Since doing these I did rebase them using the 1-2-3 system (more here). I found this way of basing more playable – especially in 6mm.
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
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.