Sunday, May 24, 2009

And now for something completely different

Just for a change of pace, I thought I'd get off some shots of my slowly-expanding North Africa collection that I've started work on again with a few small eBay purchases. I've had these Matildas for ages and have more in stock, which is lucky as they do not seem to be in production by airfix at the moment, although the Italeri ones seem fine to me.

I'm not really building any historical Order of Battle, just bits that take my fancy. I'm thinking these will go towards 7RTR, eventually which means I'll need at least a total of 7 if I am to fuill tout the Rapid Fire organisation.
These Vickers Lights were a very intelligent purchase on the part of Airfix of a mould that was developed by JB models some years ago. It's currently in production and a really nice little kit that builds very easily.

The faithful old Airfix Universal carrier. Such a useful kit, and it looks splendid in my rather inaccurate Caunter Camoflage. Oughtn't that blue be grey instead?

The Germans arrive. I have had these two Opel Blitzes forever; more than 15 years if you can believe that. A bit like the old Matchbox Pz 2 I have had floating around (and still intact) for donkeys' years.

Italian M13/40 by Italeri; another old m0del I've had for years. Like some others, it is now back in production after a fair old absence and I have taken advantage of the opportunity to stock up on them; terribly useful vehicles for equipping either side!

I picked up an old Gloster Gladiator kit from Airfix last week and was delighted thay had included transfers for "Faith", "Hope" and "Charity", Maltas' legendary defenders against the early Italian assault. Put them with a few Vickers and a pair of Matildas painted in the Malta "stone wall" pattern, and you could do all sorts of things with fallschirmjaeger...
Just a thought.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Of Partridges and Walnuts

It was not long after Captain Joincare had arrived at his appointed place with his piquet that he found himself met by two partridge hunters, the brothers Gudenus.

The fusilieers were all of them taking their ease, variously smoking upon their clay pipes, or playing cards or at dice or at whatever took their fancy. One of them, called by himself "Jolicoeur", Joincare was pleased to remember, was talented with partridge, walnuts, the broad leaves of trees and the embers of a fire burned low.

For their part, the Brothers Gudenus (Daniel and Louis as they were named) were pleased to accept six sous for a brace. They had been shooting for the pot, but now had coin with which to purchase some lace for their sisters' wedding-dress.

Upon taking their leave of the Captain, Daniel and Louis made their way homeward by trails that they themselves (with the exception of the local Abenakis) only knew.

Imagine their surprize to espy when only two miles from where they had left Captain Joincare a party of Englishmen who were obviously designing some ill.

Daniel, being the elder, instructed his brother to run to the French and tell them what the English were about. He himself would run home and arouse their relations.

It ought to be mentioned at this point that the Gudenus and several of their neighbours were of course (as was widely known by people in the area) Acadians and, on account of the misfortunes suffered by those people, bore the English great ill-feeling and would not forebear to do them like injury in return.

Louis ran with all speed and informed Captain Joincare of the presence of the English soldiers, and thus raised in his mind a dilemma.

The knew the English were in the area in numbers greater than his own, but not how many. He could count on the support of Captain Chabert's Grenadiers, but they were some distance away and he was not sure when exactly they might arrive. In similar like, he was assured the assistance of an unknown number of militia at an unknown time.

His orders promised him support and implied that he must watch the road.

What to do?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In the Woods

Gonna tek you under me wing boy. You looks to be greener than me sleeve. You'll need to keep yer eyes open to mek yer way here, boy, yessir you will.
Be lucky, you'll mebbe see Frenchies - they knows what they is doing in these woods, boy.

You'll be imaginatin' red men every-where before long. Mark me words, boy.

But sometimes, well, a whole durn war-party can sneak on by ye before you spots 'em. He-he-he! Thet happens an' your pretty scalp'll be decoratin' some long-haouse bye'n'bye.

Lissen to whut Cap'n Roberts tells ye. Watch him an' learn, boy. See how he gits on daoun thet Injun trail. Eh? eh?

Yer Cap'n de Lancey, he might be a-tellin' Roberts that his men would never stoop to skulking in the woods like savages or a Frencher. He'll be doin' it hisself before long.

But you lobsters are mekkin' a hash of things, boy. Ye're all spread out like which ez good, but ye've no order to ye.

Try et agin, like uz, laddie.

Et's not easy, goin' a-rangin', but mebbe th' bloodybacks'll mek good.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Marching Out

The dawn is quiet, as the poet once wrote. Quiet but for the crack of cannon fire as Bombardier Jolicoeur screams obscenities at the cloth-headed soldats of the troupes de terre who are fumbling clumsily over his eight-pounders.

"Sponge out you thick sons of bitches! Out!" He slaps his palm against his forehead in dire frustration.

Load that Cartridge, Number two! No, not you - you're number Four. Number two! Yes, you!!! Now the wad, and the ball. You'll need another wad to hold it in... oh, start again! Get the worm!"

Meantime, the Languedoc Regiments' piquet company leaves the fort and enters the woods. Every man a picked man, quick nimble and active. They are the Regiments light infantry.

Jolicoeur is happier to scream at the gunnery trainees; better that than spend night after night in the woods with them.

What's this? the Grenadiers, too? What's going on? Must be some operation. Still, it's nothing to do with him.
"Run out!" ah, the mad music of the wheels on the boards of the platforms.

The whole regiment is on the move South, marching in Grand Divisions. Must be a big one.
"Fire, you sons of bitches!"

Thursday, May 07, 2009

New York Provincials

I realised that I've not yet posted any real pictures of my new New York Provincials. So here they are, a full Grand Division. I like them so much I may go on and do more as well as some of the blue-coated privincials from other colonies. The figures are very easy to paint indeed.
The figures are by RSM. The Officer is the Advancing Prussian, the Drummer is a British figure with a minor conversion to his head-wear whilst the rank (and the file) are from the AWI range, American Militia. I think I have said before that they seem to have been incorrectly catalogued, having been commissioned from Steve Hezzlewood to supplement the French and Indian war range as it then was by Hap Jordan's Battalionfeur Games. I take this information from the "Reviewing Stand" pages of The Courier Vol VIII, No. 5.
An intriguing mention is made that more figures were planned to fill gaps in current FIW ranges. Does anyone know whether this is so?

My conversion of the drummer - I've added a fur front to his cap. I have no evidence as to whether this is remotely accurate - I suspect not!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Marechal de Camp

It's surprising what you can accomplish between feeds at odd hours of the night and day.
This figure is my first post-baby creation. He's the general officer from the RSM French range; I'm sure you all have examples of the figure in your collections.

I have painted him as a Marechal de Camp (or Brigadier) with the idea that he will be my French and Indian War "de Levis", surely one of the more attractive personalities among the French fighting for New France.
I have painted him in the standard version of the French general officers' uniform, straight out of the relevant Osprey.
I will do a command diorama eventually representing Montcalm and an ADC or two.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The new Dauphine of Alzheim

Yes, sir, that's my baby. Erin Lucy. 20 minutes old and with a cone head.
My beer gut is to the left, tastefully adorned in the red, Violent Femmes t-shirt.
To quote them out of context:
And I waited my whole life for just one...
Good on you kids; Amy and Erin.