Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Post Mill - in progress

Little bit of a hiatus on the blog, finally remedied by start of construction of a medieval post mill.

This is for a forthcoming game - an iconic HYW battle featuring a windmill (possibly two according to some sources) - and which 'The Bodkins' will be playing at the next Partizan show on 20th August. More of this anon...including my modest contribution with some newly painted figures.

The mill is a Grand Manner resin model, to which I'm adding mdf sails from the Sarissa Precision kit (as the Grand Manner ones are cast as a solid piece with no detailing on the rear). I'm considering adding partly furled cloth sails, as just the bare wooden frames don't make a windmill do what windmills do! Now on to the painting stage.


Monday, 24 April 2017

Iconic Tree?

Another posting about a new terrain piece; one planned to complement the recent model of the church.

I found a manuscript illustration of a religious image carved into a tree trunk. I thought this would make an unusual model for my medieval scenery. The contemporary illustration appears to show the image of a saint being blessed by a bishop, after being created by a carpenter. I've not seen any other images from the period however which show a tree with an integral religious image carved in.

After I'd started the process of recreating the tree and saint, I looked more closely again at the image and it's context.  I'm now more certain that this doesn't show an icon set in a tree. I think it's more likely to portray a narrative about the process by which carpenters created wooden icons - taking a commission, carving the image in the tree before cutting it down and then finishing the piece in a workshop (destined no doubt to be placed in a religious establishment or home of a high status individual). There may be good reasons for carving the image in a standing tree, but I would have thought that it was a more difficult process, as the wood would be wet and unseasoned to carve.

The model has been made by Debris of War - who I'm pleased to say are now making some of the trees previously made by Keith Warren of Realistic Modelling Services (who's enjoying his retirement). They sent me a trunk casting, which I drilled out a space to fit an icon that was a Green Stuff press moulding from a railway scenery model I have. Debris of War then completed the tree with paint and flock, to match others I have. I'm pleased with the result and I think it'll end up within a walled graveyard base to sit alongside the church, which seems appropriate.


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 h.chick@tesco.net
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.