Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beware of Gifts Bearing Greeks Part 3: Border Wars

There is no doubt that the Elf Spearmen and Medieval Handgunners fit more into my War of the Roses collection of figures, than with the Robin Hood. Ross' remarkable Bag of Holding contained even more figures. I ended up with three Elements of Knights. When he and I were originally discussing my ideas for the Norman's for Robin Hood, Ross asked if I was intereted in Norman figures or later style Knights. My response was for Norman style figures.

However last August he appeared with 9 Knights. Six were mounted on bases and the rest were loose figures. I have to say the paint job was superior to what I could have done. Of the six knights mounted on elements, four were of name.

Now comes the danger from letting a Gift Bearing Greek into your home. The gifts sneak up upon you and you find yourself staring into a brand new period that you had no intention of gaming. In my case, it  appears that I am now destined to fight over the English-Scottish border during the 13th and 14th centuries.

The Knights with Names were

The Earl of Carrick , not clearly seen here. Third figure rear rank.
The following two paragraphs are from Wikipedia

The Earl of Carrick was the head of a comital lordship of Carrick in southwestern Scotland. The title emerged in 1186, when Donnchad, son of Gille Brigte, Lord of Galloway, became Mormaer or Earl of Carrick in compensation for exclusion from the whole Lordship of Galloway. The title has been recreated several times in the Peerage of Scotland.

Donnchadh's granddaughter Marjorie (Marthoc, Martha, Margaret), who later held the title in her own right, married Robert de Brus, who later became Lord of Annandale. Their son, also named Robert and known as "Robert the Bruce", would later rule Scotland as King Robert I, causing the earldom to merge into the Crown. Robert was also created a baron in the Peerage of England by writ of summons in 1295 as Baron Bruce of Anandale; the title became abeyant with the death of his son David II in 1371. Thereafter, successive Kings of Scots re-created the Earldom several times, but made it non-heritable, specifying that the earldom would revert to the Crown upon the death of the holder. Thus several creations ended with a reversion to the crown or with the holder becoming King.

Left to Right: Unnamed Knight; Earl of Buchan, Earl of Carrick
Sir Robert Menzies, Unnamed Knight, and Sir David de Berkeley

The Earl of Buchan, middle figure rear rank (First Photo).
The following paragrah is from wikipedia

The Mormaer or Earl of Buchan was originally the provincial ruler of the medieval province of Buchan. Buchan was the first Mormaerdom in the High Medieval Kingdom of the Scots to pass into the hands of a non-Scottish family in the male line. The earldom had three lines in its history, not counting passings from female heiresses to sons. Today it is held by the Erskine family as a peerage. The current holder is Malcolm Erskine, 17th Earl of Buchan (b. 1930).

Sir David Berkeley. I suspect that this is suppose to be the Sir David de Berkeley related to the Clan MacFarlane, who was killed at battle of Bannockburn on June 24, 1314.

Sir Robert Menzies :  As Normanisation progressed into Scotland under the descendants of Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret, a family apparently settled in Lothian and from there moved into the Highlands. The name occurs in charters of the 12th and 13th centuries and in 1 249 Sir Robert de Meyeris became Lord Chamberlain of Scotland to Alexander II. His son Alexander held Weem, Aberfeldy and Fortingall in Atholl. He supported Bruce at Bannockburn and was rewarded further territories, in Glendochart and Durisdeer in Nithsdale, thus by the King's death the Menzies possessions extended west from Aberfeldy almost as far as Loch Lomond.

Note: The above paragraph is taken from A Brief History of The Menzie Name by Ron Mennie.

BTW I am just guessing at the identities of those with names. All the following write-ups were lifted from the Web. I am not an expert on Scottish nobility so please help correct any errors I have made.

Beware of Gifts Bearing Greeks Part 2: Robin Hood

Another project that has slowly evolved over the past few years is my 25mm Robin Hood HOTT army. I am slowly accumulating both the Marrie Men and those of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Previously I was a recipient of some 25mm Medieval and Norman figures that were exchanged for some minor hostages.  

Two Elements of Merrie Men (Shooters)

The Sheriff's Men
Four Elements of Psiloi (Handgunners)

I know that it is pushing it to have Handgunners in the employ of the Sheriff but he always was a far thinking man. Crossbowmen are far more likely but the ones I have just don't have the appearance that I picture as being the Sheriff's men. See Below:

Three Elements of Psiloi
(not the Sheriff's Men)

Three Elements of Spear/Pike

According to Ross these figures were Elf pike men that were converted into a project he was working on at one time. Again they don't really belong in the Robin Hood mythos, but all sorts of folk lose their way to the Shire, when passing through Sherwood Forest

Thank you again

Beware of Gifts Bearing Greeks Part 1: Burgundian Ordonnance

Last summer when Ross Mac passed through Montreal, he brought with him a Bag of Holdings worth of miniatures to match a number of my favorite projects. It brings to mind the old adage of "Beware of gifts bearing Greeks" . Fortunately no Trojan Horse has been spotted inside the city gates of Montreal, and the these gifts are greatly appreciated. Some were loose, some needed a little touch-up paint jobs, and others needed weapons to be reattached.  And I rebased them all.

Merci Ross

The following figures fit quite well with my Burgundian Ordonnance Army, about which I have previously blogged.

Two Elements of Knights (Gendarmes)
Four Elements of Light Horse
 (Mix Mounted Crossbow and Spear)
One Element of Riders
Two Horde Elements
(Angry Peasant and City Folk)
and as seen sneaking in the moonlight

Speaking about Trojan Horses I found the following paragraph in an article by Nat Segaloff , on Internet viruses on Netplaces. Click on the link to read the entire article.

"Warning! warning! warning! warning! If you receive a gift in the shape of a large wooden horse do not download it! It is extremely destructive and will overwrite your entire city! The “gift” is disguised as a large wooden horse about two stories tall. It tends to show up outside city gates and appears to be abandoned. Do not let it through the gates! It contains hardware that is incompatible with Trojan programs, including a crowd of heavily armed Greek warriors who will destroy your army, sack your town, and kill your women and children. If you have already received such a gift Do not open it! Take it back out of the city unopened and set fire to it. Forward this message to everyone you know—(signed) The Oracle."

Undead HOTT: 15mm Figures on 60mm Base

At long last my projected 15mm Fantasy Hordes of the Things Big Battle army nears completion. Not only do I want to be able to field a 72 point undead army, I want to do it in 15mm scale using bases with a 60mm Elements, thus doubling the number of troops per element when compared against the standard 40mm base for a 15mm army. As far as I am concerned I need another 12 Horde Elements and at least 4 Magician Elements to complete this force. I present my Undead force in its current condition.

In the above photo we can see all 72 points of the Undead HOTT Big Battle Army.  Please forgive the fact that there are two "live" trolls acting as the artillery for this army.  The army is spread out from Left to Right a distance of 36 Cm (6 x 60mm Elements) and has a depth of 43 cm (from the front of the 1st rank to the rear of the last rank).  That is 15 inches x 17 inches for those still using Imperial Measurements. I think that you will agree that I am perfectly justified in using 6 elements of 25mm figures to add to the epic look of this army.

You will also be able to compare some of the units to their look on Feb 25th when I posted about the work I completed over the Christmas holidays. the elements are now flocked, and the figures themselves have been brushed with a Minwax Wood Stain. We'll now look at this force in its entirety. 

Front Rank
Left to Right, Two Elements of Spear & Two Elements of Blades &; Two Elements of Spear.
Total:  2 AP X 6 Elements = 12 APs

Four Elements of Spear

Two Elements of Blades

Second Rank
 Left to Right, Two Elements of Shooters (Bow) & Six Elements of Hordes & Two Elements of Shooters (Bow)
Total:  (2 AP x 4 Elements) + (1 AP x 6 Elements) = 14 APs

Four Elements of Shooters (Bow)

Some of the Hordes (4 Elements)

View of all Six Horde Elements

Third Rank
Left to Right, Two Elements of Shooters (Crossbow)  & Two Elements of Warbands & Two Elements of Sneakers (Wraiths) & Two Elements of Flyers (Swarms of Giant Bats) & 1 Hero/Aerial Hero (25mm Ral Partha Balrog)
Total: (2 AP x 6 Elements ) + ( 3 AP x 2 Elements (Wraiths)) + (4AP/6AP x 1 (Balrog) Hero/Aerial Hero) =  22 APs (24AP if using Aerial Hero)

Two Elements of Shooters (Cross Bow)

Two Elements of Warbands

Two Elements of Sneakers (Wraiths)

Two Elements of Flyers (Swarms of Giant Bats)

1 Hero/Aerial Hero (25mm Ral Partha Balrog)

Fourth and Final Rank:
Left to Right: 4 Elements of Riders & 3 Elements of Knights & 1 Behemoth & 2 Artillery Elements (25mm Trolls)
Total: (2 AP x 7 Elements) + (4 AP x 1 Element (Behemoth)) + (3 AP x 2 Elements (Artillery)) =  24 AP

Four Elements of Riders

Three Elements of Knights

1 Behemoth  Undead War Mammoth by Grenadier Miniatures

I first blogged about this piece on Feb 27, 2011. I was very happy to have bought a 25mm Undead War Mammoth that could be used as a Behemoth by my 15mm Undead Army by replacing the 25mm crew with 15mm crew figures. The piece is old (I estimate 25+years) and the metal brittle. It did not travel well and despite having its own container. At Christmas it returned from Halifax in a number of pieces with its plastic support stand broken. It has been remounted on a 60mmx 90mm Element as opposed to the 60mm round base it was last on. Using pins and green stuff I have added supported to a repositioned head and the two rear legs. Hopefully it will travel better in this state.

2 Artillery Elements (25mm Trolls)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Anatomy of a Small War Part 6

 Two Frontline Wargaming Soviet BT-7 Tanks

It has been a while since I've blogged about the clashes between the Soviet Union and the Japanese Empire in the late 1930s. At some point last year a number of 20mm  early war Soviet  tanks came up for auction on eBay. They were resin casts made by Frontline Wargaming. I purchased two  BT-7 Fast Tanks (RUS 10) and two variants of the T-26 Light Tank (RUS-5 Model S/1939 and RUS-11 Model "B"/1933). The main difference in appearance of these two vehicles is the turret.

The only complaint I have with these models, is the poor state that the tracks of three of them were in. The tracks were very brittle and had crumbled to dust in some places. One track was broken into 4 separate pieces. To be honest, and to err on the side of the manufacturer I cannot state if this was a fault of the product or the previous owner.  After all, they were sold AS IS, so buyer beware. I can state the models I received were in their original packages and  were wrapped in bubble wrap in when shipped to me in a solid cardboard box,  The box itself was not crushed or dented.

 Three Frontline Wargaming Soviet T-26 Tanks

As you can see I was able to glue the tracks onto the tank chassis, while it is evident that sections of the tracks are missing. This because they appeared to have disintegrated into dust particles, while aging in their packages.

All in all, I was pleased with the models. I was looking for something quick and dirty (i.e. cheap) to field against my Imperial Japanese Army. To add to the anti-Japanese coalition, I also put together and painted two 1/76th scale Airfix Models Sherman tanks. I haven't built models in years and in spite of being all thumbs, I wish I had the patience then, that I have now.It would have been a fantastic help piecing models together.

 Two Airfix Model  American M4 Sherman Tanks