Friday, 19 April 2013

And Called it Macaroni

The first unit of the rebels is done...

They are the 1st New Hampshire.

I opted for brown coats, instead of the later green, as it appears that in the early war they wore captured British uniform dyed brown.

And now for some scenic snaps...


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Friday, 12 April 2013

Crossing the Rubicon

Half of the river sections are done...

So what better than to offer a couple of non-blurry pictures of the 53rd Foot?


Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Water's Lovely

The scenery project continues apace...

The river sections are in six inch lengths and I have made enough to make four feet of waterways. When the water effects are dry I shall press on with doing the banks.

The trees were bought on ebay from a Chinese seller. One hundred trees for twenty quid is not something to be sniffed at. The one possible drawback is that I do wonder how they will stand up to handling, as the flock has been falling off - not in great quantities - but in enough quantity to lead me to believe they were made for train modellers rather than wargamers.

I suspect when I next go into town I shall look at purchasing some spray on glue.

While working on the house and the barn, and specifically cutting out and gluing on the individual tiles for the roofs, I found myself pondering about how much the buildings would be worth. Given that the roof of the barn took between four and six hours (I made no allowance for tea breaks in that estimate) that would immediately make it around thirty quid because of the minimum wage. Then you add the cost of the materials, and the mark up to allow for postage and packing, marketing/ebay fees, profit etc and the price soon went up to seventy some-odd pounds.

Not being Ian Weekly, I thought it highly unlikely that anyone would pay that amount.

In an idle moment - no doubt while crawling around on the floor relying picking 1/16th inch square bits of plasticard up with tweezers, to complete the current row of tiles - I did consider learning the arcane arts of cast resin models, in order to go the route of mass production instead of bespoke.

Instead I contented myself with making the models for myself, having a good looking table for my own games, and being content with learning a new skill.

Oh, and perhaps more importantly - these being the first buildings I have ever made (beyond the matchstick creations I produced for my aborted Russian Civil war project) I surprised myself how much easier it was than I imagined (trigonometry ruined maths for me at school, and not even the beauty of quadratic equations could make me like it again). Which has encouraged me to consider more difficult and  elaborate projects.

Having said all this I fully understand why people would opt for the solution of buying their own terrain and buildings.

However, listening to back issues of Meeples and Miniatures I was alerted to the buildings offer by Hawk Wargames to support their Dropzone Commander game.

£740 for fifteen 10mm scale buildings?

I suppose you don't get unless you ask, and the buildings are nice, and very little annoys me more than people carping about price of things and expecting everything to be dirt cheap, but....

Having said that if I was single, earned fifty grand, didn't do much but play wargaming, and had a completest attitude, that price tag might not bother me.

But as I am not, I shall stick to mucking about with plasticard and glue.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Look at the Moniker on That

You may notice the name change.

It's a very long time since I played Wood Elves, and since I am a grumbler with a cheerful satyrical twist I thought it was rather apt.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Don't Fence Me In

While I await for the Americans to arrive, I have been pushing on with making scenery....


Monday, 8 April 2013

Jack Frost Nips at the Barn

The militia check for Tories in the newly finished barn...

Unfortunately the front of the barn and the mud path fell prey to a frosting incident. A good dose of water and olive oil (not extra virgin) will hopefully remedy the situation.


Friday, 5 April 2013

Murder in the Red Barn

The barn is coming along nicely...

A combination of Easter Holidays, and finding a copy of Monopoly in a charity shop for £1.50 has slowed progress somewhat... playing Monopoly with a bright five year old is a rather vicious affair... I had a proper dad moment of nearly making him cry, when after I tight game I laughed manically as I took the last of his money, and he has marked the calendar to celebrate his first victory.

I have almost finished the Hugh Bicheno, Redcoats and Rebels book. It is an excellent read and I find his scathing assessment of people and events both refreshing, and at times a little shocking.

On a related subject I noticed this post on Cracked, 5 Myths about the Revolution.

Before discussing a comment on this blog post that intrigued me, I wanted to mention something about the 'myth' of Molly Pitcher, which is relevant to this discussion.

According to the Book of Knowledge, Wikipedia....
"As her husband was carried off the battlefield, Mary Hays took his place at the cannon. For the rest of the day, in the heat of battle, Mary continued to "swab and load" the cannon using her husband's ramrod. At one point, a British musket ball or cannon ball flew between her legs and tore off the bottom of her skirt. Mary supposedly said, "Well, that could have been worse," and went back to loading the cannon."

The Hugh Bicheno book quotes Pvt Joseph Martin...
"A cannon shot from the enemy passed directly between her legs without doing any other damage than carrying away all the lower part of her petticoat - looking at it with apparent unconcern, she observed that it was lucky it did not pass a little higher, for in that case it would have carried away something else, and ended her and her occupation."

A culture that speaks of the light meat and dark meat for fear of inflaming 'passions', is unlikely to want to dwell on the occupation of a heroine - Thaddeus Russell's book A Renegade History of the United States will perhaps offer an insight.


The response to the Cracked piece which interested me - amid the torrent of prudish American pragmatic historical philosophy - was this by someone called Farsider...

"The distinction between a civil war and a revolution can be iffy. Let me give three examples:

The English Civil War of the 1640s was a struggle between the Royalists and Parliamentarians that resulted in the the ascendance of Oliver Cromwell to supreme power in England. As such, it was a civil war that resulted in a revolution.

The American Revolution started as a petition which turned into a secessionist movement when the mercantile class didn't get what it wanted. Many citizens of the 13 colonies wanted to stay in the Kingdom of Great Britain, just with greater rights than they had as colonists. They sided with the British against the secessionists, which makes the War for Independence partially a civil war. On top of this, it was yet another battlefield in the century-long war between European colonialists over control of over overseas territories. It was not, however, an actual revolution, since there was no attempt to remove King George III from the British throne.

The War of the States was a secessionist movement by southern slaveowners, plain and clear. Whether or not it was also civil war depends on whether you classify a secessionist movement as a type of civil war. I do, and as such I see the American Revolution as a Second English Civil War. Many of the colonists obviously thought of themselves as "British," based on their previous petitions to the king, and used "American" as a geographic term, not a national one.

A civil war is not a fight over who controls the central government. It is a fight between factions within the same country. And just because a region declares independence, does not make it a separate country

The American War of Independence/Revolution and the English Civil War are very closely related conflicts - they stem from dis-satisfaction of the mercantile classes at taxation (without representation), progress through the civil war stage (including the tendency of historians to gloss over the criminality involved in intimidating populations in rebellious regions) until outside intervention changes the course of the war - in the case of the ECW, the Scots, in the case of the AWI the French and Spanish, and result in the redistribution of wealth among the ruling class.

One can quibble with Farside's historical perspective - for instance the claim that there was no attempt to remove King George III from the throne, as this was clearly the implication of the planned Franco-Spanish invasion of Britain that formed part of the wider naval war. But it is interesting that they pick up on the theme's of the conflict that relate to the rights of 'Englishmen' stemming from the Civil War, and later restated in the Bill of Rights following the Glorious Revolution that are so often ignored in the nationalist narrative of the war - or the attempts to link the American 'revolution' to the French Revolution.

Whether this amounts to the 'Second English Civil War' is equally debatable. As it ignores the Second Civil War, the Glorious Revolution, and the Jacobite Rebellion. But that is understandable given the nationalist narrative that treats the Colonial period (and apparently all events and historical themes/trends of that period) as being something yonder - an amorphous period of time that begins with Pilgrim Fathers, sort of includes the Salem Witch trials, and emerges from prehistory into the modern era with the French Indian Wars - that have importance because they allow the heroes of the myth machine - Washington, Morgan, etc - to develop.


Monday, 1 April 2013

Nearly Done

Still working on the house...

It is almost complete - the railings need white washing, the steps need painting and the base doing. I'm rather looking forward to populating the vegetable patch.

And then it is on with the barn, though I may take allow myself to be sidetracked in order to experiment with some fences, roads and streams.