Monday, 15 January 2018

Thirty Years War in 2mm: Nördlingen 1634

Following on from my last post, focusing on a regiment of Flemish Horse in 25mm, I thought I’d post some pictures of their 2mm counterparts. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s “spectacles on” time again here at Roundwood Towers as we delve again into the oddly compelling world of 2mm micro-miniatures.

For new followers to this Blog, it might help to let you know that in 2016 I started a project trying to replicate on the tabletop key battles of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Rather than collecting an army in a larger scale (such as 28mm or 15mm), I went for the smallest generally used wargames scale – being 2mm.

This is not quite as insane as it sounds (and, yes dear readers, I am aware of just how insane it does sound). Key elements of the thinking behind choosing the 2mm scale were to create a wargame focused on re-creating iconic 17th Century battles in a manageable space, and in a compressed time period (so you could easily play a game in an evening). The 2mm scale enables whole armies to be recreated quickly, with one unit base equating to a whole formation (battalion, regiment, tercio or brigade of foot; squadron or regiment of horse; battery of artillery; and so on). The scale of the units then hopefully allows the chance to test out multiple Spanish tercios against Swedish brigades, allows to add commanded musketeers into the line, and lets the players deploy multiple lines of infantry and horse on each side (as at Lützen, Rocroi and many other battles). Hopefully, the recreation of the battle then focuses on tactical contrasts, and far less on individual unit formations.

I set out more of the thought process behind the scale choice in a couple of earlier posts on this Blog (HERE and HERE). Suffice to say its now 2018, and I’m still very much enamored of the potential afforded by 2mm, in addition to being captivated by the possibilities of modelling their micro-world.

After collecting armies for the battle of Lützen in 1632, the next additions are based around the Spanish army of the Cardinal-Infante which made the long march through Italy and Germany to be present at the battle of Nördlingen in 1634. Here I've painted some German horse, Spanish demi-lancers, a party of Croat scouts or vedettes, some Spanish commanded shot and (to balance things out) some Swedish and Finnish scouting horse. The command bases are the Cardinal-Infante, and the Count of Fuensaldaña, one of the Spanish-Imperial commanders of the later Thirty Years War.

The figure bases are colour coded for ease of recognition on a snowy tabletop - blue for Swedes, Black for Germans and deep (Hapsburg) red for the Spanish. This works really well in practice, and helps with a section in the rules we’re writing relating to allied contingents. One of the things which conceals the nationality of the troops from an opponent on the table is to ensure that the colour coding is limited to the rear of the figure bases. 

I've experimented with some 1mm snow 'flock', which is quite fun. It's really like a fine dusting of miniature cotton, but makes quite convincing show, which would be decent 'slush' in a larger scale. I added the labels for the commanders from a printed PowerPoint file, trimmed and glued on with PVA.

I thought the 1mm snow definitely added something, but was fiddly to apply.  An optional extra, but far from essential. 

I've also started painting up some larger terrain items, including this small town which I've tried to render in a Flemish or North German brick effect.  The town was very kindly sent to me by wargaming chum, and very good friend, Matt Moran.  Thanks again Matt for your great generosity!

I've really enjoyed making terrain in 2mm (not least because its so easy to finish whole towns in an evening).  The 'world-building' aspect of this scale is just as addictive as in larger scales. 

Next up will be some more larger scale terrain and figures from Laarden, 1688, along with a couple of book reviews.  Have a great start to the week, everyone!

Friday, 12 January 2018

Happy New Year: Flemish Horse 1688, and New Year Plans

I realise that a fair few days have passed since the New Year began, but I’d still like to start this new year of posts on Roundwood’s World by wishing all readers, commentators, bloggers and followers a very happy, healthy and great New Year, 2018!

With that greeting completed, I’ve posted a few pictures below of some painting I’ve been doing over the Christmas and New Year period as part of Curt Campbell's fine Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge VIII, which I am participating in.

This first post covers some Flemish Horse from 1688, being the regiment of Pfilips de Vichet. The figures are mainly 25/28mm figures from Wargames Foundry, with a couple of Dixon Miniatures added (the standard bearer, and the equerry to Count de Vichet). The fine standard is from Flags of War.

I swapped out a number of horses from the Foundry Marlburian range and used Foundry ECW horses, which fit perfectly. I did not undertake much in the way of conversions, although I added green-stuff feathers for the regiment, and gave Count de Vichet a new sword arm which produced a more martial and inspiring pose on his rearing horse.

Although the figures are painted for my fictional Laarden project, set in 1688, I’ve tried to replicate authentic colours for the uniforms where possible. In this regard, I’ve used the paintings of Philips Wouvermans and David Teniers the Younger to try and get the colours and “feel” of the cavalry uniforms correct. Other details can be found in the excellent book, “Spanish Armies in the War of the League of Augsberg, 1688 – 1697”, now published by the Pike & Shot Society, which covers both Spanish armies and the Flemish, German and Walloon forces raised in the Spanish Netherlands.

I normally try and paint my own flags for units, but I decided against that here. This is mainly because the standards produced by Flags of War are so wonderful and easy to use, and partly because I was short of time for the Challenge submission!

As regards what’s going to be here on the blog in 2018, long-term readers will be wary of any of my predictions. Life in the guise of family, work and friends inevitably gets in the way of everyone’s hobby aims, and I’m no different. I am hoping to post a few more figures, research, book reviews and ideas for wargaming the second half of the seventeenth century on this Blog in 2018. I think that the second half of the seventeenth century is a wonderful period for wargaming and, with luck, the material I'm hoping to place here on the blog and in the linked Google Drive folders will be of interest to someone out there. 

There will also be more 2mm Thirty Years War material.  Curt and myself are continuing to play-test the rules, and I'm starting to prepare the additional figures I need to recreate Nordlingen 1634.

There’ll be some more posts in a day or so with some additional 25/28mm Laarden-related figures, so I very much hope you can join me for that.
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