Thursday, 4 September 2014

Bolt Action WW1 from Osprey

The recent slew of WW1 tanks gave it away but Osprey have just officially announced a publication date for Bolt Action WW1 rules of a year from now.  This is exciting because the Warhammer Historical WW1 rules were a dead end.  I am hoping that four years of WW1 coverage in the media and significant anniversaries will make the period a popular one so that  we get rules and scenarios for things like WW1 in East Africa which, with the early war period is what I am most interested in.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Mutton Chop WW1 Two different sizes!

 New (left) old (right)

If there is one thing I hate about wargames ranges it's the variance in scale you often get in 28mm figures.  For example, a few years ago I bought some Perry ECW figures having got lots of Renegade ones and they didn't match at all.  I can't understand these people who say well people are different heights so it doesn't matter.  It matters to me!

Now I have got used to different scale (which is, after all, what they are) figures between different manufacturers but when the figures are different sizes within a range I get really annoyed.  Yes, Warlord Games and your Romans and AW Miniatures Indian Mutiny figures spring to mind.  This is usually the result of using different sculptors.  However, what is the excuse for figures in the same range, by the same manufacturer and sculpted by the same sculptor being different sizes?

This is exactly what has happened with Mutton Chop Miniatures WW1 range by Paul Hicks.  I ordered the first two packs of British and very nice they were too.  Tall enough to be used with my Renegade figures without too much problem.  When I saw that there were two more packs on sale I ordered them only to find that they are much smaller than the first two packs.  In particular, the legs seem shorter and slimmer and the heads and hats are smaller on the new ones.  A difference in 2-3mm foot to eye I reckon.  Now why would this happen?  Fortunately the rifles are the same size and the packs nearly so but, still, how annoying.  They offend my artistic sensibilities!  

Friday, 4 April 2014

Quick comparison: Renegade v Mutton Chop WW1

I'll do a proper review another time but here, in the centre, is one of the new Mutton Chop British by Paul Hicks.  Either side we have a Renegade Lowland Scot and a Renegade German.

I wouldn't mix them in the same unit but I have  a lot of painted Renegade Germans and I would be happy to field the Mutton Chop British against them.  They are much slighter (look at the legs for example) with more in-scale rifles and the thicker bases on the Renegade figures make the latter seem taller.  

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Something for the weekend...

Here, from Club International, June 1975, is an unusual illustration of the equipment of a French infantryman of the 5eme regiment from 1914.

Both figures wear the traditional madder and dark blue kepi and collar, complete with regimental number. Both also wear the blue cummerbund which was soon dropped from service although the 5th did wear it at the Battle of the Marne.

The figure on the left is wearing the standard infantry marching equipment. The pack (havresac M1893) was made from canvas over a wooden frame. It was waterproofed through the application of an astiquage; a process that was so messy and unpleasant it was actually used as a punishment. Above the blanket is the gamelle individuelle, mess tin. To the sides of the pack are spare boots and tent poles and on the back is the boiler (marmite pour quatre hommes). Slung from the left shoulder is the bidon or waterbottle with a tin cup attached.

The figure on the left demonstrates the bayonet frog, entrenching tool and the standard musette or haversack.

Both figures are armed with the 8mm M1886 M93 rifle, a somewhat transitional weapon which, although it carried on in service well into World War 2, was basically already out of date in 1914 because of the eight round tubular feed device which was clumsy and difficult to load.

If only more military equipment illustrations were like this rather than the above!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Canadian National War Memorial, Ottawa

The memorial in Confederation Square

I was in Ottawa last week and was very taken by their splendid National War Memorial, which is in Confederation Square, just in front of my hotel.

Confederation Square from my hotel room

Vernon March

A contest to design a memorial commemorating the dead of the Great War was announced in 1925. The winner, who was announced in January 1926, was Hull-born Vernon March (1891-1930) based in Farnborough in Surrey (not that far from where I live!) who beat off 126 other entries. His design showed the response of Canada to the war (hence the monument's alternative name: The Response). Work began in 1926 but March never lived to see its completion, dying of pneumonia in 1930. His six brothers and sister worked to complete the sculpture.

The unveiling of the monument by King George VI

The figures, which use 32 tons of bronze, were finished in 1932 and disolayed in Hyde Park for a while. They were shipped to Canada in 1937 where the granite arch was constructed and the whole monument was finally dedicated by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on May 21 1939 in a visit which marked, surprisingly, the first time the reigning monarch had visited Canada.

The cenotaph itself is granite and contains 22 figures representing servicemen from all branches of the armed forces. On top of the monument stand two 17'6" figures representing freedom and peace.

HMCS Stadacona

The figures in the main part of the monument are 7'10" tall and represent infantry, a pilot, an air mechanic, a sailor (from the patrol ship HMCS Stadacona) and support services such as nurses, a stretcher bearer, a sapper and members of the Canadian Corps of Signals, The Forestry Corps and the Army Service Corps. The two mounted figures represent a mounted artilleryman and a cavalryman.

At the left a Lewis gunner and at the right a Highlander with a Vickers gun

A particularly splendid example of a war memorial and it gives me the urge to paint up some of my late war infantry as Canadians.

In 1982 inscriptions relating to World War 2 and the Korean War were added and in 2000 the tomb of the unknown soldier was placed in front of it.

At the rear of the statue you can see one of the nurses and an 18 pounder gun

Monday, 7 September 2009

Officers and Soldiers of the French Army 1914: Andre Joineau

I just picked up this superb visual reference (there isn't a lot of text) which has made me very keen to paint some French Infantry for the early war period. this surely must be the most spectacular army of the Great War and I just hope that Great War Miniatures will get around to some of the exotica like the Spahis and Algerian Tirailleurs.

I painted some of the Renegade figures a couple of years ago and really liked them. I find the Great War Miniatures figures a bit small in comaprison but this leaves me with a dilemma. GWM are much more likely to expand their range than Renegade but I have painted a dozen or so Renegade figures (although they will all need re-doing, I suspect). Any Renegade figures I have won't go with the GWM figures. I suppose it won't be too bad if I keep them in seperate units.

Here is one of my Renegade French Marines and the relevant illustration from the new book.

Monday, 8 June 2009

German Guards Company 1914

I have just finished re-painting the last platoon of my Guards company; so here they are: 36 figures with 3 command. I am still not sure whether to field a Guards Battalion or a normal Infantry Battalion. Guards are much more expensive so it may be better to have them be the divisional support of a normal infantry battalion. If I do this I will have to paint two companies of normal infantry to field them (then two more in order to be able to field a cavalry unit).

I also have a platoon of Jaegers finished so I think I better do some opponents. I was thinking of doing some Great War Miniatures British but as I don't think I will use my already painted Renegade figures I would have to start from scratch. Also I have some late war British under way so maybe I will repaint my French, as I have a dozen or so done but they are in too bright a blue. The Renegade French are really nice figures and I like them better than the Great War Miniatures which suffer from big head syndrome.