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TOPIC: For King and (West) Country - 1643 Royalists
PM Deuce
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Posts: 3
For King and (West) Country - 1643 Royalists
Deuce
16th May 2017 01:05:00

For King and (West) Country (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love 6mm Miniatures)

I first got into gaming with 28mm figures and they will always have a special place in my heart, but over the last few years I have been finding a number of frustrations with them. So when I got into the Civil War period I had in mind I might try a different scale, and after encountering Baccus a few months ago I thought I'd give 6mm a go.

Once I got stuck in, I found them a breeze to paint, and because they're so easy to paint there's minimal frustration and agonising over details, which makes it easier to keep morale up. I have a unit of 28mm Roman cavalry I'm pretty happy with, but it's taken me about as long to paint a single cavalry figure as it has to paint a whole 6mm unit. I reckon I've painted more 6mm figures in the last two weeks than I have 28mm figures in the last two years. As an added bonus, the units look substantial. It is much easier to look at a 6mm unit and convince yourself you're looking at a whole battalion comprising a couple of hundred men than it is with even a fairly large 28mm unit. But I know I'm preaching to the choir on that score...

 

Something I am still scratching my head over is how to display identifiable characters and personalities at this scale. With my Romans I have enjoyed modelling certain officers as particular figures from history and giving visual clues on the bases. It's hard to see how to pull that off here. I will apply some thought to this – at least I hope to be able to put a Rupert's base when I come to model him!

In any case I'm a definite convert. I will stick with 28mm where I have works-in-progress, but I'm also going to push on with 6mm Civil War and will have to seriously consider the scale for any future periods I might get into too.

Anyhow, onto the army.

I studied the political history of the Civil War fairly extensively but the military side of it had somehow largely passed me by, apart from the obvious “big battles” of Edgehill, Marston Moor and Naseby. Although I moved to Babylon several years ago, I'm originally from the West Country, and although I was dimly aware there had been fighting in that region, the extent and location of it was something of a mystery to me. Only earlier this year did I learn that there had been a battle at Lansdown, which is (theoretically) within walking distance of my parents' house - and coincidentally, one of the royalist commanders there was an ancestor of mine. On learning that, Lansdowne seemed like a great place to start my collection, and a sound basis to build out from. Newbury and Lostwithiel might be a stretch, but all the West Country battles of 1643, Cropredy Bridge and Cheriton should be achievable without too much difficulty. Since this is a royalist army I see no need to continue things into 1645...

Like many newcomers to the period, I didn't appreciate until I started looking into it quite how little is known about the appearance of troops during the war. I dug around as much as seemed reasonable to me, but with this being one of the less carefully documented theatres of the war – and the absence of major Parliamentary victories meaning there aren't the same stashes of captured standards as after Marston Moor or Naseby - there was inevitably a lot of guesswork involved in determining how to paint my troops. Fortunately, knowing that absolute historical accuracy is impossible to achieve short of acquiring a time machine, I'm not going to lose any sleep over the colours I have chosen.

 

Regiments of Foot

The first four regiments I was dealing with I painted all in blue, with some occasional variation in cuffs, breeches, sashes and one or two in buff or brown. As the first 6mm figures I'd painted I wanted to make sure I could get to grips with the scale before trying anything too ambitious.

 

Sir Nicholas Slanning – apparently owned a dyers' works so a uniform colour didn't seem out of the question. I went with blue because I knew it would be a common theme in this army.

Sir William Godolphin – This regiment was raised largely from Godolphin's own trained band so again I could justify a uniform approach. The re-enactment group uses blue as their coat colour so again that's what I went with; if it's good enough for them it's probably good enough for me.

Sir Bevil Grenville – Blue was definitely a feature of this regiment somewhere, as their pikes are reported to have been coloured blue and white. I painted some of the pikes in this fashion.

Col. Brutus Buck – This regiment was later amalgamated into Hopton's own regiment (seemingly not formed until after Lansdowne) so blue coats are hypothesised. Of course that is reasoning backwards, rather, as there's no reason Buck's troops would have had the same colour as Hopton's prior to (or even necessarily after) amalgamation but in the absence of other information it seemed as good a bet as any. These can double as troops of Hopton's regiment for battles after Buck's death, thanks to the red standard.

All four of these are made up as shot-heavy battalia. This is optimistic, but Slanning's trained band did have a 2:1 shot:pike ratio at the start of the war, and by Lansdowne the army had had the chance to capture Parliamentary equipment after Stratton and at Taunton as well as other positions captured, and possible resupply from Oxford after the rendezvous with Hertford and Maurice. Given how depressed Cornwall has become in recent decades, it's easy to forget that at the time it was a pretty wealthy county (one of the reasons both sides were so keen to seize it). In 1640 it returned more MPs than any other county, and while thanks to rotten boroughs that doesn't mean quite the same as it does now, it gives some indication as to the relative prosperity and urban development of the region prior to the Industrial Revolution which really changed things.

 

Anyway, with my first “bag” of units done I moved on to the second.

Prince Maurice – No information on colours is available, inevitably. I went with red coats partly because I fancied a change from blue, and partly because I thought Maurice might have wanted to distinguish his regiment from his brother's famous “blewcoats”. I gave them a sky-blue standard with a view to the colours of the Wittelsbach (i.e. Maurice's) family, largely because I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to give them a Rupert-esque design.

Marquess of Hertford – Finally a regiment whose coat and standard colours are known with some confidence! Baccus even do a standard for them (well, for Astley's, which they later became). White (with some grey, as white doesn't stay white for long on campaign) and the Baccus standard gratefully used.

John Trevanion – By this point I thought I should break up the blue uniformity of the Cornish regiments, so continued with a white/grey from Hertford, with a few brown and tan shirts in there too. With an idea for the fanciful (after all, these are royalists, and hence Wrong but Wromantic) I gave them a black standard so that the overall colours of the regiment were black and white, for Cornwall.

Lord Mohun – Seems to be the least “sexy” of the five Cornish regiments, probably because Mohun resigned his commission rather than dying heroically on the battlefield like most of the other Cornish colonels. I used much the same approach as with Trevanion's regiment, with a few blue coats in there. They get a yellow standard because Mohun's personal arms were yellow, and for variety.

These four are made up as “mixed” battalia. In retrospect it might seem strange to have the Cornish regiments shot-heavy while the Oxford reinforcements are mixed and with a bit more thought I might have done it the other way round, but in fact they were likely largely all in the same boat equipment-wise. Maurice's regiment of foot was recruited on arrival in Somerset rather than marching down from Oxford fully formed, and Hertford's, while recruited a year earlier, was also made up of locals and Welshmen. Buck's regiment was also likely formed around the same time as Maurice's. These two regiments probably had even less uniformity than the Cornish ones at the time of Lansdown, but for the sake of later campaigns they have some here.

These eight units make up almost all the foot for Lansdown, with only Marlborough's regiment not represented. Because of the tactics used in the battle, some pure pike and pure shot units are necessary, and these are on order.

The basing on these is still very rough, but currently passable, I think (though the newer units need to be varnished and painted green on the base). I'm learning as I go to some extent.


PM Glenn Pearce
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Posts: 178
For King and (West) Country - 1643 Royalists
Glenn Pearce
16th May 2017 07:50:21

Hello Deuce!

Thanks for that wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading your passion just jumping out all over the place. It's one of the little known facts about 6mm & Baccus. The scale allows you to get right inside of whatever period you want in a very fast way. You have already been able to express a major part of your research that would have taken at least a year in pretty much any other scale. Well done!

I'm certainly looking forward to hearing more about your future Baccus discoveries/projects.

Best regards,

Glenn


PM Whirlwind
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Posts: 141
For King and (West) Country - 1643 Royalists
Whirlwind
16th May 2017 08:00:22

Lovely! Looking forward to seeing more of these


PM Mollinary
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Posts: 114
For King and (West) Country - 1643 Royalists
Mollinary
16th May 2017 08:21:24

Great post, Deuce!

As Glenn says, your enthusiasm is infectious. I am also interested in this theatre, and will be walking some of these fields with a friend in a few weeks. Really looking forward to it.  Have you had a look at Peter's new range for this period?  The figures are even better!

Mollinary


PM Deuce
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Posts: 3
For King and (West) Country - 1643 Royalists
Deuce
16th May 2017 10:01:58

Thanks guys!

I have seen some of the previews of the forthcoming range and they do look great. I was debating earlier whether to order some more of the current range while they're still available, but another look at the previews persuaded me otherwise. The new command strips in particular look very exciting: I have noticed that the current castings for both foot and horse are getting a little tired.

Glenn, absolutely; even working on multiple units at once, no regiment is on the workbench for more than a couple of days so there haven't been any challenges to morale so far. it's very satisfying knowing that I've been able to complete so much of the project so quickly.

I have a corresponding naval venture I'm working on at the same time for the Anglo-Dutch Wars, using the Tumbling Dice 1:2400 scale ships, and that's proceeding at a similar lick. Small scales are clearly the way forward!


PM Markyboy
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Posts: 8
For King and (West) Country - 1643 Royalists
Markyboy
16th May 2017 10:09:41

Great post mate. I'm about to start assembling my own ECW forces in 6mm - hope they look as good as yours do!

 


PM Stenbock
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Posts: 93
For King and (West) Country - 1643 Royalists
Stenbock
17th May 2017 09:02:34

Very inspirational, your work and the post itself. Loved it, Did I say inspirational?


Stenbock / Per Broden

Check out my blog with some 6mm diversions - Roll a One

 

 

 

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