Sunday, February 12, 2017

No plan survives..

.... first contact with the enemy.. 

Paul at Tumbling Dice was as good as his word and the day after the email saying they had been dispatched, a padded envelop dropped on the mat at Chateau Steve the Wargamer..  ordered lunch time Thursday and in my sweaty hands by Saturday lunchtime..  not bad!

So with time to spare the bag was opened for a more detailed look this morning, and the first thing that struck me was wow, these are nice! Second thing that struck me was the sight of the somewhat macabre little bag of heads that came in each ziploc (the figures come with separate heads ). In the case of the pike men, they are cast with open hands for either your own, or the supplied soft metal, pikes. Third thought, though, was that it might be a bit of struggle to go with my planned basing..!


I had envisaged 30mm bases for this project as all my projects are based on either 30mm or 50mm squares. 50mm was clearly going to be too big (not only in width but also depth).. a regimental frontage of 20cm is big, but not only that, two ranks is a bit thing on 50mm depth, and I'm really not sure I want to go to 3 ranks (even though it is far more realistic for the deployments of the time)..

So first experiment was with the 30mm square bases.. not six per base then (what was I thinking..) but four per base - click to embigen - these are from packs ECW2 (musketeers on the wings) and ECW4 (pikes) all of these are early period English Civil War, so far more armour than there would have been later, and you'll also note the musket rest which was also discarded fairly quickly as the wars progressed.. The drummer and officer holding sword aloft (lovely figure!) are from ECW31 (the command pack - which comes with moulded flags)


...bases are large and were all clipped to get them on the stands..  the musketeers firing bases are big though, and squeeze the available space to the maximum..


So...  time to take the experiment further and the next logical step is 40mm..


..better! Still no room for 6 per base but much better.. it also allowed room to fit an ensign/standard bearer so the command stand in the middle has five figures..


...or, I have a separate smaller command stand in front, allowing an additional pike on the central base (replacing the drummer), but leaving the ensign in the main body..


..that's it I think..


...better get an order in for some 40mm square bases as these lot are already on the painting sticks ready for undercoat..!  

By the by, I'm going to use Edgehill as the source for my units, and these guys are destined to become Charles Gerard's Regiment of Foot, this regiment served in Charles Gerard's brigade under the command of Sir Jacob Astley ..  the following borrowed from Iron Mitten's blog page [clicky] simply because it is a lovely, lovely, picture..  he's a talented bloke and I hope he doesn't mind!

Copyright Iron Mitten

20 comments:

  1. The 40mm bases look much better, and the additional little command base works well in my opinion. I like the separate heads, but found them a bit fiddly to fit, worth it once done though. For 1642 I'd go with as many morions for the pikemen as you can do, and the rests lingered longer than some people think, until the shorter, lighter firelock became more common later. Really looking forward to seeing the first unit painted :)

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    1. Lee, the separate heads may be a deal breaker for any future purchases as I found them hugely fiddly.. we'll see how it goes..

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    2. Matt/Lee - any tips on how to fix those heads firm - I just went with superglue gel but it seems a little fragile?? I tried drilling one and fixing with a rod?

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    3. Steve, because they just kept falling off I resorted - after much sticking together of fingers - to using a tiny ball of blue tac before adding a small blog of glue and it helped hold them together until things set. Not too much or it forms a kind of collar, but it will help. Unlike plastic multi part figures that stick instantly, these can be a real pain and require a lot of patience ..... that I don't have!

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    4. Re those supplied pikes, nice but far too bendy I agree! I know Front Rank do bags of brass pikes, but expensive, I'm sure you can get lengths of brass rod much cheaper. You can hammer and file them to form a head quite easily.

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    5. Lee - I have a cunning plan for the pikes... I'm going to buy every bag of sparklers I can find and then grandson and I will have a monster sparkler party one night.... :o)) May be not but these might have possibilities .. ordered some to see... https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/r.html?C=11P1MGQVK7Z7I&K=A2GEOU544MAC03&R=OJCX53OOGDLO&T=C&U=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2Fdp%2FB01BNWBH1E%2Fref%3Dpe_385721_37986871_TE_item&A=H2KD7ABMARHGJYACKYMTPCI9VA0A&H=2ZS39DTCRPFT1UO7GCICJSSZNOEA&ref_=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item

      Thanks also for the hint re. blue tac - very good - I may have to also get some of that accelerant that makes super glue go off instantly...

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  2. Yes, 40mm looks right. Nice the pike are open handed. They do look like crisp castings. Very nice.

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    1. Norm - bag of 100 bought this afternoon.. :o) Next need to find a good source of thin wire as the soft metal pikes are good but just to soft and wiggly..

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    2. If you do not plan going te commercial pike route such as Northstar, drop y your local hardware or DIY store and order piano wire. It can be ordered in many gauges are are very inexpensive. Oh, I like the 40mm squares too!

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    3. Jonathan - I had piano wire in mind but have gone the route of ordering some florist wire which you can buy in straight lengths... this is the stuff:

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/r.html?C=11P1MGQVK7Z7I&K=A2GEOU544MAC03&R=OJCX53OOGDLO&T=C&U=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2Fdp%2FB01BNWBH1E%2Fref%3Dpe_385721_37986871_TE_item&A=H2KD7ABMARHGJYACKYMTPCI9VA0A&H=2ZS39DTCRPFT1UO7GCICJSSZNOEA&ref_=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item

      ..I also bought some 20 gauge to see if either is preferred.... if neither are any good then piano wire is the next option...

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    4. Looks like the florist wire is the same stuff that my hardware store calls piano wire. It is all straight steel in various gauges.

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  3. I agree, the bigger bases are best. Especially with the pike figures with their pikes forward I have found.The separate heads are fiddly but worth the effort (I invariably twist and tweak figures in white metal. The pewter TD use is not so bendy so the ability to turn heads early on is a bonus).

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    1. Matt - thanks.. bigger is better .. but now I'm thinking more on Andy's comments.. :o) Separate heads is painful - any hints/tips appreciated...

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  4. The figures are very sweet(do I need to do 20mm ECW as well???) but I'm not convinced by your organisations I'm afraid- too few pikemen to look convincing and therefore too few musketeers to make a realistic looking unit. The perennial problem with getting 17th century warfare on to the table for me is unit size 8 pikes and 8 shot simply looks too small for me the pikes look like an afterthought somehow.
    If you like lots of units I'm not sure how- or even if- you can square that particular circle. In 15mm I've based in 6s of those flames of war bases that have a 32mm frontage.Many of my 28mm are based on 40mm squares 4 figs to a base. For the 15mm The plan is to use those Peter Dennis/Andy Callan rules that come with the very pretty Helion book of paper soldiers though I expect I'll have to adapt them a bit. For the 25/28mm I have several different sets of which Forlorn Hope is the best commercial set but increasingly I fancy writing my own.

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    1. Andy - they are indeed "sweet" - if they'd been cast with the heads on 9 or 10 out of 10... hear you on the number of pikes - one of the reasons I went with the separate command solution was so I could fit an extra pike... I may still shift the ensign to the command base and put another pike in...

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    2. There are also different pike to shot ratio units to consider- easier this just add bases for 2 shot to1 pike but the 3to2 ratio can be a bit of a pain found in some Royalist units and someearly Parliamentarian units perhaps as well as in London Trained band and London Auxilliery units. Not to mention the Scots ....

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    3. Andy - happily (for me, not you I suspect as I know you're a fan of accurate representation) I'm going to be using standard sized units - and at this stage of the game/project/rule development (ie. v1.1) everyone is going to be 2:1.. later I may factor different ratio's into the rules, but any differences will be noted in the paper orbats, rather than the little guys on the table..

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  5. Good to get you basing sorted early on. Looks like 40mm works best for you figures. There is always the problem of 'pikeage', a small number doesn't look enough. I’ve been using 8 pike, with command + 12 musketeers. I’d like to go to 12 pike and 24 muskets, but table space gets gobbled up especially with 40mm figures and it would reduce the number of units I can have.

    See http://cavalierecw.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/wittenberg-foot-regeiments-von.html

    For my TYW style foot units ( a command stand swap with new officer and two ensigns would enable me to field them as ECW units).

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    1. Allan - been following your blog for some time and it has been a source of inspiration... I tried to fit six musketeers per wing, but it wasn't going to happen, so I think we are where we are, as like you if I increase base sizes I lose table size... I'll see what Gerard's look like once they're painted and based... not too late to change

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  6. Best of luck with the project.
    I found that mounting the standard bearers in amongst the pike gave the impression of a larger pike block...particularly as the flags are held vertically.
    I use steel rod for pikes. I believe florist wire is easily bent....which is probably what it's designed to do.
    I'm very much looking forward to admiring your finished units.
    Iain

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