Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Guns and Horses; a WIP

  Got more figures from Crann Tara the other day.  Soon will be adding a cavalry regiment (FitzJanes), artillery and light infantry.  Right now the gun and cavalry are primed and just need a dry brushing of white.  As an experiment I have mounted the cavalry on their stands rather then popsicle sticks and will try and paint them this way.  Perhaps speed things up a bit?  We will see.

  Next up will be the lights and some mounted commanded figures.  The Frenchman is taking shape!  Next year will start the British.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Crimean War Then and Now.

The Crimean War Then and Now.
David R. Jones

I recently became aware of this book through a visit to my blog by the author.  After mentioning his book I took the time to look it up and was fascinated by what I found.  Visitors here know of my long time interest in the Crimean war and I have done a number of posts on photography of the battlefields.  I have done this to get a flavor of the terrain so that I can translate it to the table top.  Afterall, one reason we play miniature war games is for the visual appeal.  Well, here are a unique collection of period photography, sketches and engravings from the time of the war and contrasting photographs and maps from today.

The book is a labor of love. Each chapter describes a battle of action, includes maps pointing out locations and then contrasts period illustrations with a view from the same angle today.  It is fascinating how the terrain here has changed in a little over a hundred years.  More trees and orchards change the look of many battlefields.  The river Alma has also changed greatly as shown in the pictures today.  The viewer also gets a better idea of the terrain.  The hill that the Light Division rushed up to capture the great redoubt looks very gentle compared to some prints.  The area the 93rd Highlanders held, and the area the Heavy Brigade charged have me better understanding of this actions.  A mystery to me has been the photographs taken by Colonel Vladislav Klembovsky in 1900 of the battlefields.  I finally know who this man was and his tragic story during the revolution.

The book is not cheep,but is well worth it.  I bought the kindle edition and am very happy with it.  Highly recommended!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Nathan and Mark's excellent adventure

  Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year.  Family and friends get together, you eat more then you should and there is no tyranny of gift giving.  Both our  kids come home which is the best thing ever.  Alexandra lives in the city (Boston) and Nathaniel is off at school.  So it is great when we are altogeher.   It is also Nathan's  birthday.   Last year we were in Florida and  we went to a Tampa Bay football game. What to do this year?  Go see the home team! New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins.

The series of events which led us to Gillette Stadium starts with our stations fourth anniversary.  Jetblue has been at Worcester for four years, longer then any other airline and next year we are expanding with flights to JFK.  The anniversary was a time for awards and I got two tickets for the game against the Dolphins as well as two tickets for the catered tailgate party.  Although Janine wanted to go we both decided it would be a great birthday present for Nathan and a perfect father son adventure.

We left the house early, driving in the decked out PT Cruiser.  Checked out the
stadium and other fans on arrival.  Then went to the catered tailgate party.  This is open two hours before the game and has lots of food and a open bar.  Very nice!

  Then into the game.  Turns out there were a number of people I used to work with in Boston Logan in ground operations so it was a little like old home week.  The game was fun and exciting and a great view of the field from our seats. Patriots "squished the fish"  and won convincingly.   I made sure I kept Janine up to date with pictures and text.  After the game we hung around before starting our ride home.It

  After getting home Nathan had to pack up his car and head back to school.  A long drive and then a early morning ckass.  But he said it was worth it.  Best day ever!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

And here is the key for who is who in the dinner....

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Regiment Saintonge 1745

Why do you add certain regiments to your collection?  Most times I add regiments if they are a favorite of mine (have to the Royal Welch Fusiliers), or are in a historical order of battle (like my Niagara 1814 project).  Sometimes I add them because they look incredible or have brilliant uniforms.  But sometimes I add them because they are special on a personal level.

One such regiment is the French regiment Saintonge.  Way back during the Bicentennial of the American Revolution a local recreated militia group decided for Yorktown they would  do something special.  They would recreate a French regiment. For over a year they researched and created the uniforms and equipment  while they drilled and trained.  At Yorktown they fielded about one hundred soldiers and were an incredible impressive sight.  In later years during my time with the National Park Service I had the pleasure to work with members of the Saintonge. It was always a great experience and they were a very nice group of people.

So when adding regiments to my 1745 French army i just had to add these fine fellows.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11, Armistice Day

My grandfather, Edward McNamara from Lexington Massachusetts served with the 101st Regiment (Medical company), 26th Yankee Division in the first world war.  He seldom talked about it, and when he did it was a terrible memory which haunted him.  But  I will always remember his smile when he told me how at 11:00 A.M. on 11th November the guns stopped and he and his friends knew they would live, knew they had survived.  

And as this date is now called Veterans Day I say thank you to my father in law, Aldrich Stevens  who served in the  3rd Ranger Battalion (Darby's Rangers) in the Second World War.  He joined the Rangers in North Africa, and took part in the invasion of both Sicily and Italy.  He could not take part in the Anzio  landing because of his wounds so missed the Battle of Cisterna.  Like my grandfather he too was haunted by the memories of what he saw, experienced and especialy those he lost.   

I remember their sacrifices and hope both have found peace.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Regiment Tournaisis 1745

  Another French regiment for my 1745 army.  The Regiment Tournaisis.

   I am getting the painting of white uniforms down to where I am comfortable.  I use a light grey, set brush a off white then dry brush white.  Gaiters are dark grey then dry brush white.  I like how it looks.  Next order with Crann Tara will be to add artillery, cavalry and mounted staff officers.  I am off and running!