Tuesday, November 18, 2014

1/72 Rogers Rangers WIP

I saw that the Song of Blades and Heroes rules recently released a French and Indian War version, Songs of Guns and Tomahawks. For years I've been patiently waiting for Imex to release their 1/72 Rogers Rangers set, but it looks like that's never going to happen. BUM has several French and Indian War sets, but they are super expensive by typical 1/72 standards. Waterloo does have a Rogers Rangers set, but the models aren't very accurate, historically speaking.

So! I realized I could build my own rangers using sets that I already have. In the front row I'm using some of Italeri's excellent Indian Warriors. The two on the right are remaining as British allied Indians. On the left I made simple Scotch bonnets to turn them into rangers in Indian garb.

The brown models in the middle row are Red Box British Infantry. These models are intended for the Jacobite Rebellion, but that's only a decade before the Seven Years War (so the uniforms work well). I added another bonnet to one, and I trimmed away the brim of one of the tricorn hats to make a jockey style cap.

And in the back row I'm using grey figures from the Revell/Accurate American Militia set. I'd love to have a 1/72 scale wolf to accompany these guys (Rogers had a wolf-dog that would accompany them on raids). Unfortunately, I can't find anything suitable. My 25mm wolf in the background is way too big. And the dog that comes with Imex's Eastern Friendly Indians is too small.

P.S. That's my Ben Franklin in the background. He's also from the American Militia set.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Completed DBA Misty Mountain Goblin Army

(click for much larger image)
And here's my completed 1/72 scale Misty Mountain Goblin army to play De Bellis Antiquitatis. It's a mix of 1/72 plastic minis (mostly Caesar Miniatures) and metal 20mm goblins by Splintered Light Miniatures and Rebel Minis' Bag o Orcs (now sold as Armored Ogres by Splintered Light).

I followed the fan-made Misty Mountain Goblin army list that you can see on David Kuijt's site. His list has some felixibility in which elements you field. Mine goes like this: 3 Warband elements (one is the general), 3 Wargs (a fan-made unit similar to Light Horse), 1 Bows, 5 Psiloi.

You can see close up photos of the general element, the wargs, and warbands, bowmen, and psiloi.

These goblins are ready to fight my 1/72 Viking army (who can easily be Middle Earth humans), but I'm also starting an elf army.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

DBA Goblin Army Command

(click image to enlarge)
Almost four years ago I started building this Misty Mountian Goblin DBA army using 1/72 scale minis. Pictured above is my completed warband command element. If you look at this in-progress photo from 2010 you can see the simple conversion I made, and you'll notice that I made a couple model replacements since then. This month I found an excellent goblin warboss in this set of medieval Lithuanian-Russian Heavy Infantry by Mars.

Check out close-ups of my other completed elements:
Wolf riders (Light Horse)
A Warband, Psiloi, and Archers

Friday, November 7, 2014

Splintered Light Miniatures Goblin Wolf Riders

Splintered Light Miniatures 20mm Goblin Heavy Cavalry
This week I painted some wolf riders to join the 1/72 scale DBA Goblin army that I left incomplete three years ago (see previous post). I'm pleased to say I finally finished all twelve of this army's elements (more photos to come). These 20mm metal wolf riders from Splintered Light Miniatures mix well with the 1/72 scale figures making up the bulk the army. Their 20mm fantasy range is a great way to supplement the 1/72 plastic sets that I'm relying on to build my fantasy armies.

The fan-made Misty Mountian Goblin DBA army list calls for three elements of wolves (really just Light Horse from regular DBA). The first two elements are from Splintered Light and my third is composed of wolves from the now defunct Mega Miniatures.

Splintered Light 20mm Splintered Light Cavalry
Mega Miniatures wolves (now sold by TurnkeyMiniatures)
Running in the background are some old Grenadier wolves.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Queen Boudicca Book Reviews

I've been reading about the Celtic warrior queen Boudica. Until recently I didn't know much beyond the fact that she lead a revolt against the Romans. Shortly into my first book I learned that there are actually very few details known about her and her battles (even her name has been confused). To build a more complete picture authors combine the surviving Roman accounts (by Tacitus and Cassius Dio), archaeology, and general descriptions of Celts and Romans. Books on this subject are all pretty short, the differences lying in how the authors choose to fill in the blanks.

Here's the short story: Boudica was married to the ruler of the Iceni, an independent tribe bordering Roman-occupied Britain. In 60 AD he died, and in his will he called for joint rule by Queen Boudica and Emperor Nero (in far off Rome). The Romans (who had invaded Britain only 17 years earlier) took this opportunity to annex all the Iceni territory. When Boudica protested she and her daughters were assaulted by Roman soldiers. Boudica and the enraged Iceni began an armed rebellion, joined by the neighboring Trinovantes tribe. They destroyed three Roman towns (including London), but within a year they were defeated by the Roman governor's legions in a single decisive battle.

The Boudican Revolt Against Rome by Paul R. Sealey.

(published by Shire*)

As a professional archaeologist, Sealey focuses on what can be learned from physical discoveries. For instance, we're able to map out the precise borders of the Iceni territory because the coins and ceramics they left behind were in a different style than neighboring tribes. We can tell the size and layout of the Roman towns that were destroyed because they left a distinct layer of ash and ruin. Sealey ends his book with a chapter on the Roman rebuilding and reconciliation after the war.

*This book was first published by Shire in in 1987, but it was updated and reprinted in 2004. It appears to be out of print now, maybe because Osprey (which now owns Shire) released their own book on Boudica.

Boudicca’s Rebellion AD 60–61: The Britons rise up against Rome by Nic Fields

(published by Osprey Publishing)

Nic Field's book includes the same chapters as all books in Osprey Publishing's Campaign series: an intro, a timeline of events, Opposing commanders, Opposing armies, Opposing plans, The Campaign, Aftermath, The Battlefield today, and a bibliography. In the introduction the author makes some extreme statements about soldiers in general. I guess he was trying to be clever, but it was just distracting. The rest of the book, thankfully, doesn't suffer from this.

A discussion of typical Roman and Celtic armies of the time augment the Boudica story. The chapter is skewed a bit too much on the Roman side. There are more photos and descriptions for Roman military equipment. The Celtic section focuses heavily on their use of the the chariot, while giving little attention to shields (the most most important piece of defensive equipment used by the Celts). Fields dismisses the idea of sophisticated Celtic battle tactics, but I'd say the captured Celtic standards and horns seen on the Arch of Orange imply they did indeed have the capabilities for battlefield signaling and coordination. The military background of the Roman governor Paulinus was welcome, as were the explanations of the financial pressures and need for natural resources that drove Roman actions.

The text is supported by four large well-research illustrations by Peter Dennis (I really like his style), as well as numerous color photos of artifacts and reproductions.

Boudica: Iron Age Warrior Queen by Richard Hingley and Christina Unwin

(published by Continuum / Bloomsbury)

I almost passed this book by because the cover somehow looks like a self-published novel to me. But, I'm glad I got it. Hingley and Unwin are both archaeologists. Their book is a careful investigation of the evidence, divided into two parts: "Boudica," the ancient history and "Boudicea," a discussion of how she has been perceived in culture through the ages.

The first section opens with a overview of Iron Age British and Roman society. The authors then thoroughly analyze the three ancient texts that mention Boudica and her rebellion. Lastly they take a critical look at the archaeology, stressing how misleading some of the finds can be. (I didn't bother with the second section about the cultural Boudicea since I'm only interested in the historical Boudica.)

P.S. Boadicea, Boudicca, Boudica?

Misspellings made by ancient authors and errors made by scribes are to blame for the incorrect spellings of Boudica's name. The rediscovery of these ancient texts texts during the Renaissance made the incorrect "Boudicea" spelling popular. This lasted until mid-twentieth century linguistic studies strongly suggested that "Boudica" is the correct spelling. In the Celtic language her name translated as "victory".