Thursday 31 December 2009

40mm - Freikorps 'Chasseurs''

Things are really buzzing here,  enjoying my new modelling desk setup and having time over the Xmas break for some painting.  Inspired by Stokes's blow by blow account of painting his cuirassiers at the Duchy of Stollen , I've finished off the Chasseur battalion for my Freikorps.

The whole batallaion ...

A closeup of the command group ...

[Figs: 40mm Irregular Miniatures Friekorps running, the mounted officer is cast from a Creartec mould. There are a couple of conversions - a pioneer and the officer's heads changed to one with mirlitons]

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Palace Interior (5) - The Library

King Leopold IV of Wittenberg is pleased to invite you to take a quick look around his refurbished palace library.

It was fortunate that the 'patio doors' were added as this enabled some of the larger bookcases and furniture to be brought into the room; a major problem was the storage and reading area for the Kings large folio books - this resulted in a rather large item - apparently it takes two servants to place a book the 'lectern'. As you can see the King is chatting to Count Hermann (probably about some affair of state, or more likely hats),  On the left Brother James is in discussion with the librarian about finding more material for his works on the history of Wittenberg.

The Field Marshal is perusing the large folio of architectural drawings by Palladio ...

A closer view of the KIng's desk, and astronomical equipment - a telescope, quadrant and celstial globe.

Monday 28 December 2009

Making the Palace Interior (3) - Pictures and Furniture

1. Pictures

These are the easiest to do;
  • firstly select your picture, browse the web find a suitable image download and size it as required. Print the picture on gloss photo paper.
  • next add the frame, this can be done by either sticking the image to some thin card and painting the frame on in gold paint and addding some moulding effect using black ink pen or using frames from a dolls house supplier.

cardboard frame on the left and dolls house frame on the right 

2. Furniture

This is the most tricky as there is very little available to buy - there are some tavern tables and dungeon style stuff from MegaMiniatures. There was some miniature dolls house stuff available, so far I've only found one pack of this. So generally I've built stuff myself from scratch. Seated figures are also in short supply, usually as singles in a pack (eg Old Glory AWI command pack and the Creepy Governer pack).

I usually make a piece of furniture for a room or concept. Mostly I use cardboard, foamboard and some plastikard strip materials. Below is a harpsichord I made up (the main structure took three attempts before I got something I felt was about right).

The current project is furniture the for the library. Book cases were needed, so I found some dolls house cupboards (take a spare figure with you when shopping - although you may get strange looks as you offer up a tiny figure to various items !). The cupboard doors and shelves were removed and painted white.

Then I built up the voids to take some images of books; I found a nice one on the net and made up a little sheet and stuck it to card. I used thin strips of sticky labels to indicate the shelves.

Also a desk for the king to sit and look out at the view through the patio doors was made, simple box construction for the drawer sets with desktop, the drawers indicated with paper.

Things are progressing well in the library and Brother James and the Librarian are checking the books have been correctly placed in the first of the large book cases to be completed.

Items left to do finish for the library
1) 2 large books cases
2) The kings desk
3) some astromical instruments to paint (from MegaMiniatures)
4) A large folio book reading lectern

So pictures of the finished library in the next couple of days. Hope you have found my little series of "how to's" useful and enjoyable.

Sunday 27 December 2009

Making the Palace Interior (2) - Windows

A look at how I add windows to my palace interior rooms. There are a number of ways to do this, depending on the scale of the windows.
a. Use windows from dolls house suppliers (these can be rather large)
b. Use windows from model railroad accessory suppliers (O guage and 00 guage are available)
For both of these you would need some sort of picture to see through the window and appropriate glazing (optional).

For the palace hall I just printed some sky on gloss photo paper, cut it to the appropriate size, made frames of cardboard and indiciated glazing bars with a black ink pen.

Materials - I use mostly paper and cardboard, and the approriate glue. Its cheap and I find it more flexible.

For the library I wanted to add  'patio doors', to act as a picture window for the King to sit at his desk and look out. Firstly I cut out a template, then made the door frames; I selected a suitable picture and printed it out and cut a clear piece of plastic to use as the glazing (you could print the phot on gloss paper if instead). All the bits ...

After assembling the basic structure I added the doors, I did this by cutting strips of inkjet labels and sticking them on - wide strips for the door edges and thin strips for the glazing bars.

After that the 'patio doors' are fixed to their position in the room. It seems the King has come to check the builders have fitted them properly and approves of the result....

The principle of constructing the patio doors can be applied to any window. Next up pictures and furniture.

Saturday 19 December 2009

Merry Xmas to one and all !

The King and Queen of Wittenberg wish everybody a happy Xmas.
As you can see the Xmas tree has just been put up in the palace, and the presents have started to arrive and be put under the tree.
Merry Xmas to one and all, and a happy new year.

Friday 4 December 2009

Guard Bombardiers ....

King Leopold and the Field Marshall have come to watch the guard bombardiers at target practice with their heavy mortars ...

[figs: Mortar crew- Foundry SYW British Artillery crew; mortars - Reiver Castings]

Wednesday 2 December 2009

1740 - On the March to Vanderhof (3rd Belgravian Wars) ...

further extracts from the History of Wittenberg by Brother James of Alt-Wittendorf ...

[previous installment at]


Elements of the Wittenberg army have crossed the River Oudear at Ingelwitz, and are marching south-west down stream to Vanderhof - their intentention to block the Monrovians river crossing point, cross the river there and effectively surround them.

The Boldovian army corps has made good progress on its march. The King and Field
Marshall pause on a small knoll to watch the troops marching past ...

The King and Field Marshall are in discussion ...

King Leopold: How much further to Vanderhof ?
Field Marshall: Less than a day's march your majesty, the advance guard is half a days march from Vanderhof, I have had reports from scouts that the place is only garrisoned by Saxe-Jarlsberg militia.
King Leopold: Do the army corps facing the Monrovians have enough supplies ?
Field Marshall: Yes, the Wittenland and Guard Corps can stay in the field another week, after that they'll have to fall back to Ottenheim and Hausdorf. I have just received dispatches from our reserve corps that they are in north of Hausdorf on the other side of the hills - they are protecting the armies rear.
italic - The distant rumble of cannon fire from the north interrupted their conversation
Field Marshall: Sounds like the our troops to the north are dancing with the Monrovians.
King Leopold: Onwards then ...
To Be Continued ...

Friday 20 November 2009

Wittenberg Legion - 2nd Battalion passes muster

The second battalion of the Wittenberg Legion, being supplied by the Duchy of Fenwick, has its final inspection.

Congratulations Colonel, a nicely turned out battalion - we will inform Major-General Dittelsdorf, that the Legion is ready to be deployed. Get your men ready for the journey.

[figs: Infantry RSMs, officer Old Glory; dismounted officers Old Glory]

Friday 13 November 2009

Colonel In Trouble

A game using 40mm figures.


Colonel Drosneyer, commander of the garrison at Vanderhof, along with his daughter have been captured by brigands in the small town of Bremagen. The brigands are waiting to hand over the General to some Saxe-Jarlsberg troops which have crossed the river Oudear.

Concerned at the late arrival of the General, Count Soborksi has taken the Boritzy grenadiers and the King's Jager company to investigate.

The Game:
As Count Soborksi nears Bremagen he orders the jagers to clear the houses and woods on his flanks. Along the way, they run up against some stiff opposition from brigands

After a short while the jagers clear the first two houses and their surrounding areas but not without taking a few casualties. They move on to investigate some woodland, while the grenadiers follow them ..

The jagers lose more men but manage to clear the woodland, they fall back to protect the rear of the grenadiers column. The first company of grenadiers form up to bring their firepower to bear on some brigands in an orchard on the edge of Bremagen.

After a few volleys the orchard is cleared and the grenadiers reform to move into the town

The last of the brigands charge the grenadiers as they enter the town and a sharp hand to hand melee ensues ..

With neither side gaining any advantage the brigands pull back to get their breath; mean while the Colonel's daughter has made her escape while her father fights off a couple of brigands ..

Seeing the rest of the grenadiers moving forwards they sensibly make a run for it ... The Colonel has killed one brigand, the other got away ..

The commander of the Saxe-Jarlsberg troops which were nearing Bremagen seeing the grenadiers in the town decides not to take any risks and moves away to cross the border to safety.

The grenadiers now have control of the town. Count Soborksi checks if the Colonel is alright; while Captain Scharfe of the jagers brings the Colonel's daughter into the town.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Making the Palace Interior (1) - The Basic Room

I am currently working on a new room, the Library, for the King of Wittenberg's palace. I thought you might like to know how I am making it so I will do a short series of posts on the subject. The main materials I use are paper and cardboard.

Firstly I obtain a suitable sized cardboard box. I decided on a standard room size using a CD storage box [approx size 27cm (L) x 13cm (w) x 13cm (H)], these come in a variety of colours.

The next phase is to get the basic shell of the room ready,
- cut one side of the box out (save the card it is useful for basing figs)
- decide on the wall colours. If the box interior is a suitable colour then I leave it as it is otherwise I use some 160g computer paper and cut it to size and stick on the walls
- to show the start of the celing, some 160g white computer paper is added along the top of the walls with a bit of moulding using some white mounting card
- the floor, use a tile paper (which you can buy from a Dolls house supplier); or for wooden flooring I scribe some mounting card, paint it brown and then put some satin varnish on top.

Here is the basic shell of the library...

I then add the door(s) to the room. For the pediment of large doors I use a Dolls House window pediment, for the library I wanted something smaller, so I made up one from cardboard. I make an outline with cardboard and then the individual parts. For the columns you can scribe some thick cardboard or use suitable sized wooden dowelling.
Then I add a door, simply a piece of cardboard with a paper hinge - this painted brown with the panelling outline in black pen; for a door knob I use a pin top. To complete the door I inset a picture. The library room shell with the door added ...
The King and Brother James have come to discuss how best to lay out the room and where to place the book shelves etc.

The next installment will be windows, pictures and furniture.

A Hunting we will go ...

General Waldebeck and his staff along with some of the local notables gather in a village to the north of Vanderhof for a days hunting ...

Looks like the fox is smarter than they are; he has a nice hiding place next to the coach house ...

[figs; All 40mm from various suppliers; fox and hounds 'O' guage model railway accessories; buildings: 'Cottage' - Conflix; Coach House - Total System Scenic]

Saturday 31 October 2009

All Hallows Eve

Due to a recent bumper harvest of pumpkins in the vicinity of the capital, the local traders had no idea what to do with surplus. With the local eateries selling pumpkin pie; traders selling pumpkin based face cleansers for ladies - there was still a large number of pumpkins left over. Some local thought it would be a good idea to carve lanterns with faces in the pumpkins (instead of the usual turnips) for All Hallows Eve. A fad for it swept the capital and even reached the palace. Here we see Prince Albert showing off his carved pumpkin to the rest of the royal family.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Monrovia - Commander of the Army of the East

I've decided to update the basing of the command staff figures for my armies. I eventually decided on using an octagonal base; below is the one for Monrovia's Army of the East. On the left is General Zortmund and the right his aid Colonel Sierpinsky (figs - Front Rank).

General Stricknein was commander of the Army of the East - I wonder what's happened to him ? Retired, demoted or what ?

Friday 16 October 2009

Watch Out Smugglers !

A super little skirmish game we played earlier this week, using 28mm figs.

For some time the smugglers on the river Oudear have been getting more and more brazen and confident. One group organised by Count Polesti, makes regular runs of contraband; the Count is becoming a very rich man on the proceeds. The smugglers normal route is to cross the river Oudear and drop off their contraband at the mill wharf near Kleinhaus. From there the goods are loaded onto pack mules and taken to Count Polesti's hunting lodge for distribution.

The authorities have received intelligence on the routes taken by the smugglers. One evening the Wittenberg River marines and a Dragoon detachment are set to patrol the river Oudear and one of it's side channels.


The smugglers boat approaches the mill wharf, Count Polesti's men are waiting ...

The pack mules are loaded up, and as they are about to depart another boat can be seen on the river, thinking it is a small revenue patrol boat, they decide to leave some men at the storehouse to take care of them if they get too close ...

The mule train sets of on their route inland ...

Too late the men at the storehouse find out that the boat is larger than they thought and is carrying two platoons of River Marines, a short fight ensues and some of the smugglers make a run for it ...

The patrolling Dragoon detachment makes a stop at the local inn, and asks the locals if they have seen anything...

The mule train heads along their normal route ....

The River Marines move inland keeping an eye out for more smugglers ....

The mule train reaches the bridge over the river Oudear's side channel, unfortunately for them they find the other River Marine & Dragoon patrols in their way ...

The leader of the mule train decides to force the bridge, a brisk action ensues, they almost make it across however they can't quite get past the River Marines ...

With more River Marines arriving in their rear the smugglers make a run for it. A couple get away, some are shot down and a few are captured along with the pack mules and the bulk of the contraband.

One of the surviving smugglers arrives at the hunting lodge, he gives the Count the small barrel of brandy he is carrying and runs of into the woods.

The River Marines first major operation has been a success, they move the contraband back to their boat and take it to revenue warehouse at Vanderhof. The smugglers will have to be more careful in future. The Count decides to leave for his estates in the Imperium and wait there till the dust settles.