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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Halfway There...

...sort of. I have had a bout of flu, which has rather put the last few days off-kilter. I did manage to get out of bed long enough to finish off the first eight of the Liebgarde, giving me half a company plus its command to mark as complete. Well, apart from that flag.

I've started work on the remaining eight men, and hopefully before the New Year I'll have the first company finished.

Currently I am listening to The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4, and a small piece on the lunacy of the Oxford Left (which is, as far as I can make out, yet another petit-bourgeois authoritarian anti-liberal offshoot of the post-Stalinist Marxist 'left') and their demands for the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes.

An excellent comment from a fellow whose name and position I didn't catch, who said "the heroic pose of these figures and the way they were seen then does not mean that we see them in that light nowadays." Rhodes' statue is a product of its time and place; a talking point and a piece of history - not just of art, but of Britain's imperial past. The terrifying realisation that there are students - students! - at that august place of learning and ideas, Oxford, who wish to destroy and delete and alter history because the horrors of the past jar with modern thinking is ... well, it's deeply troubling and upsetting to say the least.

But then I am an old-fashioned sort, who believes in the primacy of freedom of speech and thought, and who is of the opinion that universities should be filled will all ideas, no matter how rancid or insane, so they can be discussed and debated and dismissed, or agreed with, by generation after generation of people.

It is unlikely there is much place for that sort of thinking now, in public discourse. So I shall retreat into the fantasies of Imagi-nations and other games and play - it's nicer!

Friday, 18 December 2015


So I've been busily painting today (I've had a day off in lieu, can you tell?) and have managed to get the first company of the Liebgarde to the following point:

The command group is finished, and the infantry have had the base colours for their coats, shirts and breeches done. I'm using Games Workshop paints (because that's what I've used since I was 10), and for the interested (and my own future reference) they are:

Coats, breeches: Ushabti Bone - Ceramite White
Facings, turnbacks, shirts: Waaagh Flesh - Warboss Green
Belts and ammo boxes: Vermin Brown - XV-88
Musket furniture: Rhinox Hide - Flesh Wash
Belt buckles etc: Dwarf Bronze - Flesh Wash - Burnished Gold
Gaiters, boots, hats: Abbadon Black
Hat lacing and bows: Ceramite White (Mithril Silver for NCO and Ensign, same method as for belt buckles for the officer)
Gaiter buttons: Mithril Silver
Coat and shirt buttons: Burnished Gold
Musket barrels and bayonets: Ironbreaker - Mithril Silver
Flesh: Dwarf Flesh - Flesh Wash - Dwarf Flesh - Elf Flesh
Wigs: Space Wolves Grey - Ceramite White
Pigtail ribbons and bows: Abbadon Black
Bases: Warboss Green dipped in static flock, edged Warboss Green.

I'm at work tomorrow but I hope to be able to get at least a couple more stages done on the guardsmen. Stay tuned!

First Company of the Molgravian Liebgarde zu Fuss

My order from Crusader Miniatures arrived today! So naturally I just had to start working on them.

The company in bare metal...
...and undercoated.

They're going to be wearing white breeches, green shirts, white coats with green facings and turnbacks, black gaiters, black shoes, and have brown and black leather webbing. The officer will have gold lace on his tricorne and the NCO and ensign will have silver. The drummer will have green lacing on his coat, and white on his wings.

I'm really excited about them! I just need to get hold of a suitable piece of wire to make the standard pole.

The Notebook!

I found it! In, admittedly, a place I had suspected it might be but not one I'd actually bothered to check.

It's not got as much information in it as I had remembered; I think perhaps the majority of the notes I made were, in fact, on scraps of paper and the like.

It has, however, got some interesting things in it:

 Title page.

 Initial ideas for "allies and enemies" (note the Tintin influence).

 First draft of the army of Molgravia - I like the flags, but they're definitely not what I'm doing now.

 Twelve regiments?! I was clearly being my usual over-optimistic self!

 I'd forgotten that they were going to be grey-coated originally. Green is a much better colour.

More bizzare and no-longer-applicable flags.

Dating, as it does, from about 2008 or 2009, it is now somewhat out of step with my mental image of Molgravia. But it's a fun reminder of the beginnings of this project.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Learning New Things

The other day I happened upon an Osprey that I last read six years ago, when I had first decided to take part in this imagi-nations nonsense. I had to have it ordered specially for me by the very helpful librarians in Bottesford Library, one of those small village libraries that are so vital for the civic and cultural wellbeing of the little communities that populate the English countryside. It took a week to arrive and I devoured it back then, and was very sorry to have to hand it back.

So when I found it in my local second-hand bookshop, Eastgate Bookshop, I snapped it up. A bargain at £5. As the Molgravian army is using Russian uniforms, and with a predominantly green colour, I thought this would provide me with inspiration.

And it has! Especially for the flags, which is jolly useful. Very interesting information in it too, I was especially taken by the Preobrazhinski Life Guard regiment, whose troopers were officers and whose officers were, it was rumoured, selected for their beauty rather than their military abilities. Perks of being the Empress of all the Russias, I suppose.

It also spurred me on to spend a few more bob on getting part 2 from Amazon, which should arrive this week. Once I've absorbed the contents of these two books I should be in a good place to fine-tune the uniforms of the brave Molgravians.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Beginning the Muster

I have just purchased a company of infantry to form the first half of IR3, Duchess Bernhardt's Regiment - I have decided to start with regular troops and then intersperse them with elite units.

As an initial goal, I want to get enough troops to fight Blasthof Bridge, which is (if I recall correctly):

One regiment of foot;
One battery of two guns;
One regiment of horse.

So for that I am looking at about six months' worth of purchases. Then I will set to with building up an opposing force - the Grand Duchy of Somewhere.

I have, in my possession, a little notebook filled with flag designs, regimental names, characters, and the names of states.

Damn'd if I can find it though.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015


For some time now, and inspired mainly by Henry Hyde's wonderful series in Battlegames describing his 18th Century imagi-nations campaigns, and then latterly by my own father (whose blog can be found here), the Old School Wargames chaps, the famous Charge! and, well, actually, pretty much Battlegames again, I have been flirting with the idea of creating my own little corner of Central Europe to fight battles like Blasthof Bridge and Sittangbad.

So I created the Principality of Molgravia.

I have had a few half-hearted attempts at the whole Spencer Smith craze, but in the end I just couldn't get on with the figures, so currently the Molgravian Liebgarde zu Fuss, Infanterie Regiment Nr 1 stands as follows:

Which at least gives you an idea of the uniform - or at least the special uniform worn by the Principality's elite infantry regiment.

I am currently plotting an army made up mostly of Crusader Miniatures' Seven Years War Russian figures, each regiment being constructed in the Charge! manner. I'm going to build the regiments up company by company, as that makes for a nice £25/30-a-month wargames budget which fits into my disposable income nicely.

Well, that's it for now really. Stay tuned for more, as soon as I dig out the sporadic notes I have made over six years' of thinking about Molgravia!