An Assortment of Things

First, the migration of posts and media from my other blogs continues with a good portion of the content now here. Everything (text, tags, categories, media) automatically gets sorted by date so if a post was dated as March 1, 2016 it came here as the same date and inserted as such. Very convenient. I do need to check each imported post for broken links, however. I am also struggling with this new WordPress editor, mainly because I don’t want to take the time to learn it. This has always been the way of the world I suppose, old folks damning modernity.

It was a hard Winter. I got behind in posting on this blog and now need to do some Spring cleaning. Thus follows a litany of all the various projects I am (or have been) engaged with.

Blocks for Troops

Inspired by one of Steve’s posts at Wargaming Addict, I decided to make a set of blocks to represent units to help scenario planning. Too much time is often spent assemblying figure units to just try out an idea. The set of blocks should remedy that.

I decided to use material I had at hand and make quick and dirty unit representations. A set of labels helps identify types. They have been completed and now live in a cardboard box near my gaming table (which my wife insists on calling “the Dining Room table”). They are not as well made as Steve’s but will serve.

One mat to rule them all

How many times, O Lord, how many times? I am too old to deal with this any more. I would like to make wonderful looking table tops and have experimented with dozens of ways, each one seemingly the answer. Now I just want simple.

I have two identical mousepad type mats, 3 by 3 feet, from Urbanmatz that I have rules into 4” boxes. This lets me create 9 x 9 through 9 x 18 gridded tabletops which fit nicely on my table. I may have to bend the occasional scenario to fit but I think they will work well for the weekend wargamer with limited space. I also turned a bunch of pre-gridded cloth mats from the Big Red Bat Cave (which sells Deepcut Studio mats) into dozens of drapes for hills. Altogether this should produce simplicity.


I have already produced a Scots army for Flodden (1513) and need to get cracking on the English Army. Both have their basis in the armies I bought on eBay but both required a lot of reworking.

The English bills and bows. The English had a very successful combined weapons system that got them through the the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses. It was this decidedly medieval army that they took to Flodden. I can use all the eBay bows with just some minor repainting but the Billman need a lot of work. I added in a bunch of unpainted ones (and since this picture was taken, even more). The main problem with the eBay set is no helmets or armor.
The English gentlemen. There weren’t any in the eBay army I bought, not on foot anyway. The 96 bare metal figures will be used to create the gentlemen and their men-at-arms. As I did with the Scots army, I am repurposing some of my War of the Roses army, this time several groups of retinue archers. The three horse figures will be added to my ready-to-paint border horse to make up the bulk of Darce’s Command.


While lookin at eBay a month or so again I saw a set of fifty-three, expertly painted medieval 28mm figures. They caught my eye because they were largely of the Gallowglass type but then I saw the flags. One was clearly recognizable as that of Donald, Lord of the Isles and the other, among the small contingent of English or Lowland soldiers, was the flag of the Earl of Mar! Dang! The principles in the Battle of Harlaw (1411) which decided who would take the Earldom of Ross. I had to have them!

I hadn’t planned to delve back to the Fifteenth century in Scottish history, but I have all these different sets of skirmish rules and 28mm is pretty nice for individual figure type battles. Besides Harlaw, the Highlands of the Fifteenth century are rife with clan warfare, so lots of opportunity for skirmish gaming.

I confess, however, the Gallowglass/Bonnacht/Kern 10mm figures that I recently commissioned for Ireland would make a very nice large Highland army for a full battle of Harlaw (I can add in the Flodden highlanders as well). Of course this would mean I would need a Lowland army as well (lots of Agincourt figures). This process never ends.

I supplemented the Earl of Mar with some exquisitely painted Perry Brothers figures (the square bases) and rebased all the others. To further supplement, I gave Mar a set of MacKenzie Gallowglass as sometime allies.
I scratch painted the MacKenzie Caber Feidh banner (although not up to the standards of the other two).
The Clan Donald contingent. Beautiful, beautiful figures which only needed to be individually based. They are divided into the Islay command contingent and three warbands, Keppoch, Glencoe and Ardnamurchan.

Elizabethan Ireland

Work on the 10mm armies for Ireland (Desmond’s and Tyrone’s Rebellions) slowly continues.

Dave Pengilly recently had a nice assortment of Elizabethan figures run up for his own use but was willing to sell some privately. I am now starting to sort out an English army for Ireland circa 1590. Once this is done they will be shipped back to England to be painted by Nathan.
Most of the pikemen need to have their pikes made (1/32” brass, with the pike head made by flattening the tip to approximate a leaf-style point). I want one battalia to have its front line in 3/4 armor (that is, with tassets). For some reason the Pendraken figure I want to use has a molded on pike that is shorter than all the rest. This means cutting the pike off right at the hand then slotting in the proper length of brass rod. Doing the first one reminded me why I bought the protective gloves for such a task. There was a good deal of blood.

FK&P Scenarios

The maps for all six Montrose scenarios are completed and OoBs, deployments and objectives being knocked into place. The four Irish scenarios also have very rough maps. For blogging purposes I am going to do some different battles (which will include both Flodden and Harlaw periods).

The six battlemaps for Montrose 1644/45 campaign. They now conform to my desire to keep the short dimension at nine boxes and the long no greater than eighteen.

Did I mention I don’t like this new editor? I suppose it will grow on me in time and it does have a number of likeable features. The post preview isn’t one of them.

3 thoughts on “An Assortment of Things

  1. Well I’m glad my wooden blocks have inspired you to make your own Bill:). As you’ve found out, they are so useful for quick games or just to try stuff out. They won’t replace figures of course, but they do have a Kriegspiel charm about them.

    Nice to see your other projects and your comments about a game mat ring very true. I toyed with getting a fancy one last year but soon came to relaise that my old GW mat works perfectly well as is.


  2. Again it is obvious that your passion has indeed become an obsession. You’ve been very busy over the winter and your blog gives others some really good tips. Let me know if you ever need an intervention. (I guess I should tell your patient wife to let me know, as you’d not be likely to decide you need an intervention. We’re here for you.)


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