Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Almoravid command stand


It's been ages since the El Cid collection got any love, but, one of the Challenge Island challenges over at the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge site is "Docherty's Dock" which involves painting a vignette with a came. Well, I'm sure I have some camels of unknown provenance in the bit's box, but what to do with them?

It's been an absolute age since I added anything new to my Almoravid horde - checks, blog, nearly 3 years - but a scouring of the lead mountain revealed not only ten camels, but some left over Gripping Beast minis, including a mounted drummer who could be bodged onto one of the camels, although is pose is a little awkward, having ridden a camel though I think sitting awkwardly on them is the default.


Of the two rather splendid commanders the one on the right is Abid al-Docherty, ex of the Black Guard and now serving as leader of this merry bunch, on the left is loyal bodyguard Jaysh al-Millsy.


The ensemble is completed with a spearman and standard bearer.


All are done in the white/blue/gold scheme that is the theme throughout my Berber horde. It's quite propitious as I think I needed to do a few more command stands anyways.


You can view my entry in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge here.

Spyglass Miniatures "Chick"


Chum Drew gifted me this miniature and I was rather at a loss as to what it was or what to do with it. It came with a card insert that pointed to a broken URL, but a bit of Googling for "Chick Challenge Four" turned up that it was produced for Spyglass miniatures as a limited edition sculpt by Steve Buddle.


It appears that you can get some of the old Spyglass stuff, but not this one, from Heresy Miniatures.



As she is wearing a Hussar jacket I wanted to paint her in a pastiche of an 11th Hussar with pink leggings in some Flashman like tribute.



I really don't like slotta-bases, especially these with the void in them, but I decided that I wanted her stood in shallow water, much like in Stranger Things when Eleven goes into sensory deprivation, it's a layer of gloss gel, painted with black and grey shades, then another layer of gloss gel on top.


All in all, a nice figure to paint and she earned me a balloon ride over on Challenge Island on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.


I think she came out much better "in the flesh" than in these shoddy photos, after four attempts I gave up trying to get the lighting right.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

American Civil War: Union (17)


I've already painted up a box of the Perry Miniatures Confederate infantry as part of the challenge, so it's time to make a start on a box of their American Civil War Union Infantry in sack coats skirmishing set.


One thing that our recent Longstreet campaign has showed me is that you can probably never have enough command stands so I made a start on these first. The flags are just downloaded from Warflag and printed off at Office Depot. After sticking them on I mess up the trim of braid with a sharp scalpel then repaint it bronze, then brass, then gold. I think it gives a rather nice effect.


The officers terrier is of unknown providence, I think after painting it the model is supposed to be an Airedale terrier so the legs should probably be a lot lighter.


The skirmishing infantry frames make a nice selection from the mass of charging or right shoulder shift that make up the bulk of my 28mm ACW forces. The "ramming home" set of arms I really do like.


 Mrs Scrivs painted me a nice backdrop for my photo-shoots in acrylics on canvas, and as well as adding to the general ambience of the picks I've convinced myself that it likely shows off the highlights on the figures better in the pictures.

You can also view these over at the AHPC here.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Longstreet Campaign - The Battle of Underwood Crossing - 23rd October 1862



The struggle for regional dominance continues late into the campaigning season. With Pinkerton intelligence that the Confederates are preparing winter quarters south of Underwood Crossing and bolstered by fresh reinforcements Colonel Rogers decides that with the unseasonable weather there is a chance to catch Whippams men off guard.

Confederate forces

Brigadier Gerald P. Whippam (EP:14) is a 30 year old Floridian and is already a Veteran of the Indian Wars and is accompanied by his personal Scout who's reliably provided the best ground to make a stand in earlier engagements. At the Battle of Battle of Keller's Heights Doctor Thaddeus Marle joined the force as Whippam's Personal Physician

Unit Type Elan Experience Strength Notes
8th Georgia Volunteers CAV Eager Recruits 3
21st Virginia CAV Eager Veterans 8
19th Texas INF Eager Recruits 5
4th South Carolina INF Eager Recruits 6 Hero: Sgt. Jones
2nd Florida INF Seasoned Veterans 6
8th South Carolina INF Seasoned Veterans 6
Battery A 7th Texas Light Artillery ART - - 1 One 6lb smoothbores


Union forces

Elias Rogers (EP:4) is a 28 year old graduate of West Point and had made a career as an Artillery Officer in the United States army. He is a Leading Abolitionist and is steadfast in the cause.

Unit Type Elan Experience Strength Notes
26th New York CAV Cautious Veterans 4 Hero: Sgt. Benson
20th Maine INF Cautious Veterans 3 Hero: Lt. Chamberlain
39th Ohio INF Eager Veterans 5
44th Maryland (Zouaves) INF Seasoned Veterans 3 Hero: Cpl. O'Connor
10th Iowa INF Seasoned Recruits 8
5th California (Zouaves) INF Eager Recruits 3
2nd Wisconsin INF Seasoned Veterans 6
15th Vermont INF Eager Recruits 6
Battery B 6th US Artillery ART - - 3 One 6lb smooth-bores, Two light rifles



Whippam has been joined by the 21st Virginia cavalry, who on their route march to join the force ripped up the rail head in an act of Sabotage however, despite his poor performance in the field Rogers superiors have great faith in the man and dispatched a riverboat with Priority supplies.

We would play the "Clear the Treeline" scenario with the Confederates as the defender.

Whippam's scouts were able to give some warning of the Union approach so all troops apart from the 19th Texas and 4th South Carolina were able to form an initial defensive line to the north and west of the woods at Underwood crossing, the remaining troops were rushing to the join the battle line.



Early success went to the Union, the new 10lb rifles added to Battery B easily destroyed the remaining guns of the Texas light artillery and the Confederates were left without fire support as the Union troops marched on. Both the 8th GA and 21st VA mounted feints on the Union flanks to attempt to draw away troops attempting to overwhelm the thin Confederate centre, but the Union marched on relentless until the 2nd WI became bogged down in some unexpectedly marshy ground.



On and on came the Union troops in a relentless advance that threatened to overwhelm the thin line of Confederates, but eventually the drums of the 19th TX and 4th SC were heard in the rear, if the rest could just hold on until the the reinforcements arrived.

The Confederate horse having drawn troops from the Union centre eventually fell back to positions on each flank of the line to add their weight of fire to the defence.



Along the line the Union troops poured fire into the 2nd FL and 8th SC and the Action cards were burnt through keeping the troops in line.

With a rousing rendition of "John Browns Body" the blue-bellies fell upon the 2nd Fl and 21st VA supporting them, in a desperate struggle along the line the Union troops were repulsed a short distance.


The Confederates followed up this success with a viscous counter charge.



 It was desperate volley fire along the lines, the Union troops with close artillery support were thinning out the Confederates, but with close losses on both it was the Union that cracked first, both armies retreated to their winter quarters to tend their wounded and regroup for the coming season.

Brigadier General Whippam was promoted to the rank of Major General for his continued successes in the cause of the Confederacy.



Had the Union won the charge against the 2nd FL they would have held their objective and likely won the game.

Drew hates this card, fortunately for him from the next battle it disappears from my deck!


American Civil War: Confederates (20)




This weeks submission to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is a second regiment of Confederates that are a little more rag-tag than those I posted last week. All the figures are Perry Miniatures plastics from the American Civil War Confederate Infantry 1861-65 set.

With the exception of the command group, all the figures were assembled using the "right shoulder shift" arms, I don't like these as much as the charging arms but it does give a good mix on the battlefield.


 Paint wise, I went for a mix of browns and greys, the greys are from a base coat of either Basalt Grey, Neutral Grey or Luftwaffe Uniform, while the butternuts are from a base-coat of a mix of approx 2/3 Flat Earth and 1/3 German Camo Beige.



The hat-less heads on the drummer and standard bearer come from the Union infantry frame.

Here are some (rather dark) close-ups of the individual infantrymen in this unit.









Painting output has been rather slower this week, mainly back to work, but I did manage to play three games since Christmas, rather a feat, I usually manage one a month at the moment!

That's it for Confederates for now, I have a box of Union that I plan to make a start on this week.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Longstreet Campaign - The Battle of Keller's Heights - 16th May 1862



Following the The Battle of Haery Woods both armies went into winter quarters and neither was too badly ravaged by camp fever.

Despite his setbacks during the battle Union high command saw fit to send many new reinforcements to Colonel Rogers, Colonel Whippam was not so indulged by the Confederate high command. Despite earning eight Epic Points in his previous battle, Colonel Whippam was still passed over for promotion! Maybe 1862 would be the year that he made a name for himself.

Confederate forces

Gerald P. Whippam (EP:8)  is a 29 year old Floridian and is already a Veteran of the Indian Wars and is accompanied by his personal Scout who's reliably provided the best ground to make a stand in earlier engagements.
UnitTypeElanExperienceStrengthNotes
8th Georgia VolunteersCAVEagerRecruits5
19th TexasINFEagerRecruits8
4th South CarolinaINFEagerRecruits7Hero: Sgt. Jones
2nd FloridaINFSeasonedRecruits8
8th South CarolinaINFSeasonedVeterans6
Battery A 7th Texas Light ArtilleryART--2Two 6lb smoothbores


Union forces

Elias Rogers (EP:2) is a graduate of West Point and had made a career as an Artillery Officer in the United States army. He is a Leading Abolitionist and is steadfast in the cause.
UnitTypeElanExperienceStrengthNotes
26th New YorkCAVEagerVeterans6
20th MaineINFSeasonedRecruits5Hero: Lt. Chamberlain
39th OhioINFEagerVeterans6
44th Maryland (Zouaves)INFSeasonedVeterans4Hero: Cpl. O'Connor
10th IowaINFEagerRecruits10
5th California (Zouaves)INFEagerRecruits6
Battery B 6th US ArtilleryART--2Two 6lb smoothbores

The campaign season started and both armies marched and counter-marched in an attempt to force a battle while they had an advantage.

Aided by their now recovered scout, the Confederate troops under Colonel Whippam had managed to block the Union return route to their depots and now sat stride the ridge-line at Keller's Heights. Colonel Rogers would either have to capture the heights or face a circuitous route march back to his depots. Rogers would push on and try to force his way through.

For our second game in the campaign we would play "The Hilltop" scenario with the Confederates defending.



The terrain was laid out as the shot above, Drew had overloaded the woods on my right flank, while I had ensure that the lines of communication to my rear remained open. Colonel Whippam had been studying the campaigns of The Duke of Wellington in winter quarters and decided that he would deploy his troops on the reverse slope of Keller's Heights and see what moves Rogers would make before he committed his forces. The 5th Georgia volunteers were held in reserve on the bridge ready to react to the Union moves.

Rogers went for an attack all along the line, hoping to pin the Confederates along the front, find a weak point and then break through.



It was clear to Whippam that he would need to react on his flanks so the 8th Georgia Volunteers were pushed out on his right, while the 19th Texas moved to support on the left flank.

As the Union troops advanced the 8th South Carolina fired into them and then started to withdraw, while the 2nd Florida and 4th South Carolina crested the ridge-line and started firing on the approaching Union troops.

On the Union right the 26th New York cavalry blundered into the woods and were badly mauled by the 19th Texas, their retreat being covered by the heroic actions of Sgt. Benson who though feared lost rejoined the unit in their encampments after the battle with boys own tales of derring-doo.



On the Confederate right the 44th Maryland were repulsed from the heights, while on their left the 20th Maine were forced back and then scattered by a bayonet charge of the Floridians.



Colonel Rogers rallied his troops on the left and the fresh boys of the Pennsylvania recruited California regiment supported by the 10th Iowa prepared to throw themselves into the fray, but a Pinkerton agent assigned to the staff insisted on caution as the Confederates were sure to have many more troops in reserve, the Union attack petered out with heavy losses and the Confederates still held the ridge-line.

This was quite a stunning victory to the Confederacy, they had only lost 3 bases of troops while the Union had lost 16. Whippam gained six Epic points to Rogers two.  At last recognised for his deeds Whippam has been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.