Thursday, 2 March 2017


This is a new addition to my collection of buildings, representing a North European village church from the fifteenth century, for use with either my HYW or later Burgundians. Thought I'd post it here as the blog's been overdue a posting.

The model is a Vollmer HO scale kit of a cathedral, but it scales up OK for a more modest sized church at 28mm (the doors are always the challenge when using smaller scale models and these look just about acceptable). It's got loads of well detailed gothic architecture and so looks just right for the fifteenth century and suitably european - whereas a lot of model railway churches look like they've been lifted across the channel from a parish in England.

The model is out of production (says 'made in West Germany' on the box, just to date it!) and I managed to purchase this one from a shop in Germany. The base part was missing when I got the kit and so thought I'd have to create one. However I contacted Vollmer and they kindly offered to press a new one in the factory and send it over to me free of charge within 2 weeks - very impressive customer service!

I've made the tower as a removable item - its tall (about 38 cms) and so is not easy to store and is also bound to get knocked when on the tabletop. As model railway kits are always a little fragile, I had to reinforce the open section at the top of the tower with metal pikes glued inside to add some rigidity and also drilled out the fancy decorations at the top of the tower and inserted a metal pin. I painted the clear plastic glazing a dark blue, after thinking long about doing some stained glass, to avoid peering inside which showed the construction. The only other change was to replace the roof sections with new sheets of tiles, as they had modern-looking skylights in them.

The priest is an old Foundry figure. I may add a separate walled graveyard at some point.

Here's some construction pics.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Additional real estate

Finally I have an opportunity to breath a little life into this blog - apologies for a lack of posts, but I've not added anything new to my HYW armies recently as I've been focussing on other armies. However there will be future postings as I intend to refight more battles next year. In the meantime, I have had some spare time to paint up Hudson and Allen buildings which I've had lingering.

One is an extra section of castle wall, to add to those which John Boadle converted and painted for me several years ago. Most of the walls that I have shown some degree of damage from siege activity and I wanted another which was intact. No conversion work on this one, just cutting out the crenallations and adding a wash and skimming of plaster to the walls followed by the biggest challenge of matching John's paintwork. I can confirm that painting individual tiles in three shades is more than a little tedious(!), but I'm happy with the final results when they're lined up together.

The barn is also a Hudson and Allen casting; I love the fine detail on these models which really is evident once you start adding washes and dry-brushing. I cut away most of the larger surrounding base of the model, to get a smaller footprint, and glued it to a thin plasticard base. It was then a case of simply painting to match other buildings I have (the rendered walls are a little less yellow that on these photos). I will add some farmyard clutter when I can locate the castings I have squirrelled away!

Toddle pip.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Hounds - castings restock

I have finally got my act together and received more casting of the hounds. They are nice, crisp castings by Griffin Moulds.

If anyone you're still interested, they are available for purchase and will be:
£4.75 for pack of 4, including UK postage
£6.50 for pack of 4, including EU postage.

I can take Paypal payments
If another means of payment is required, please feel free to get in contact with me via this email address.

All the best.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Agincourt demo game at Royal Armouries

Our contribution to the Royal Armouries Gaming Event at Leeds was to re-run the demo game of Agincourt. The 'we' were Stuart Mulligan and Stephen Hall, using my figures and terrain.

The set-up reflected the French battle plan, drawn up a few days before the battle but not implemented on the day. This had crossbowmen positioned in the van and three main battles of men at arms, with small wings of mounted men at arms. We used 'Hail Ceaser' rules with the amends made by Alan & Michael Perry (thanks to them and the others at the event who kindly rallied to the distress email sent out on Friday evening when, sitting in a Leeds pub, I realised that I'd not packed any rules!). We'd planned to run the game twice during the day, using Impetus for the second one, but both time and energy ran out on us.

The French attack stuttered a little at the start, but Stephen made headway with his mounted wing and Duke of Orleans battle, only to meet an effective arrow storm which inflicted casualties and stalled the advance. In the centre the crossbowmen got into range and exchanged shots with the English archers.

The French nobility pressed on and the attack progresses in echelon, with the right wing advancing slowest, probably resulting from Stuart's dice throwing! The centre battle finally made contact - sweeping aside the first line of longbowmen and then pressing home into hand to hand melee with the English centre, including King Henry and the leading nobility. This seemed like the pivotal moment, as the French had superior numbers in support to exploit an advantage gained. However they narrowly lost and as they were carrying casualties from the advance under arrow shots, they retired and broke.

On the English left the archers managed to stall the advance of the last French advance, again the accumulation of casualties from arrow storm seemed to be the main factor.

So, Henry's God-given rights to the French crown were upheld, and on St George's day to boot!

The day seemed well attended, with a good flow of visitors from mid morning - including a good number of wargamers who were aware of the event, but some of the visiting public who were brave enough to enter a room full of folk hunched over tables and moving model soldiers about! We did our best to convey what we were trying to do with the game. There was a good selection of other HYW games and related societies.

It was great to talk to everyone on the day. Another highlight was the informative illustrated talk by Dave Marshall and the Perrys on planning and constructing the Agincourt 600 diorama, which we had a quick look at in its permanent location at the Armouries. Sadly we didn't have time to take in all the armour galleries.

 Alan and Michael sharing info on the resin blocks used for the French forces in the diorama 

The Wargames Illustrated WotR game, using the Perrys figures and terrain.

The joy of commerce! see Stuart's forthcoming blog post for details.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Supply Wagons - completed

Just finished off the English supply wagons, to be lurking behind the archers and ready to keep arrow stocks replenished. Although done at a brisk pace, I'm very please with them.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Supply wagons for Agincourt game.

Another interim posting on progress towards the Agincourt demo game at Leeds Royal Armouries on 23 April.

All of the extra French dismounted nights and men at arms have been done. This will create 18 additional bases of figures (I use 50mm square bass for my HYW). The highlight of these are the expertly painted knights which Stuart Mulligan has completed and sent to me. You can see more of these on his blog.

I’ve decided to leave the basing until the final stage next week, as I can complete these as a production line process. Therefore I’ve dived into creating a couple of wagons carrying supplies of arrows, to sit behind the English lines, as a non-gaming vignette. The inspiration came from the Agincourt 600 diorama, now at the Armouries. Exchequer accounts for 1415 demonstrate that huge numbers of arrows were purchased by the government and were supplied in boxes and barrels for transportation to France. Arrows were usually packed in bundles of 100 per box, along with bowstrings. The finds on the Mary Rose of arrow boxes also confirms the continuation of this practice by English armies.

The wagons are both Perry metals from the WR range, with 2 plastic figures caught in the middle of unloading by the advance of the French (using a mix of arm options). I’ve also added a couple of younger soldiers with the task of running the replenishments to the archers – one is metal peasant with plastic arm transplant to carry some sheaves, whilst the other is a Foundry HYW figure with arrow bags added from the Perry Light Cavalry plastics box. Both are in progress with the basing; paint and grasses to be applied.

I think I’ve run out of road to complete any other pieces for the game. I’ll try and squeeze in pictures of the finished figures – if I fail I’ll add them to the next post re the day. If you’re there on 23rd April, please do mosey over and say hello.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

French Knights - reinforcements update

I have reached a 50-up stage for the French foot knights for the Agincourt game at RAGE on 23 April - so on track with the extra figures I've planned and just a few more to do.

All are plastic Perry Miniatures from the French Infantry and Agincourt Foot Knights boxes and all painted in the post-haste approach outlined in the last post. Any heraldry and decoration is kept to its simplest. This process seems to have worked OK; this is a personal best in terms of how many figures I've completed in a short period. I may even squeeze in a couple of other bits for the game. A deadline provides a great deal of focus!

The Perry French infantry box is an excellent addition, with loads of build options and I'm looking forward to using the remaining figures to build some crossbows and pavisers, sometime in the future.

More updates to follow....