Monday, January 29, 2024

Mystery Signet Ring

My brother recently purchased a signet ring that depicts a light infantry or rifles horn with a "WR" and what appears to be a rose or something at the apex of the horn strap (see below). 

The individual he purchased the ring off of stated he believed it was from 1930s UK military unit. 

We've been attempting to identify the unit for a bit of sleuthing fun. Does the "WR" stand for West Riding? The insignia looks like the 6th (Rifle) Battalion, King's Liverpool Regiment? Could it be a Commonwealth unit? Perhaps the wearer's initials? If anyone has any ideas or information, please leave a comment. Thanks! 

UPDATE: a fellow wargamer, "DColtman", appears to have identified it as a ring belonging to the Witwatersand Rifles (see below). The Wit Rifles were a South African unit that saw action in North Africa during WW2. Crazy to think that the ring probably started in South Africa, ended up in a UK militaria shop and now belongs to an American who learned about the identity from a Canadian wargamer! It really is a wonderful, and sometimes small, world...

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Fenian Fever!

I've been working on my 10mm Fenian Invasion project. The plan is use the rules from the Army of Ireland boardgame and tweak it a bit to my taste and to the tabletop. Scale will be roughly 10/1 so each base is a company of about 50 men. That will give me about 17 or so bases for each side with some optional bases for hypothetical what-ifs. Let's start with one of the units that wasn't present at the battle of Ridgeway but may be in my tabletop refights...the Governor General's Bodyguard (GGBG):

The figures are Pendraken and the sculpts depict them in their campaign uniforms with the pillbox hat instead of the helmet. 

I used the Osprey book on the Canadian military from the period of the Fenian and Metis conflicts. 

I found some conflicting evidence regarding their bandolier. A black and white photo depicts one of these chaos with a natural leather bandolier although I have also read and seen depictions with this bandolier in white. 

Some Fenians charging at you in this picture. These are a mix of ACW Union and Confederates.

I painted these guys up in a mix of Union uniforms, Fenian attire and civilian garb. Green jackets and kepis and green trim on Union blue was also popular. I found the flag image online and scaled it down to 10mm and printed it out. I'm not sure if this one was at Ridgeway but it's too cool not to include on the tabletop!
Canadian militia charging right at you!

The redcoated Canadian militia depict the 13th Hamilton militia. There were about half a dozen companies of this unit present at Ridgeway. Some aspects of the Canadian uniforms were a bit tricky with the black/blue pants on these guys and the Queen's Own Rifles (QOR) blackish rifle green uniforms.

Speaking of the QOR and their dark green uniforms, here they are. There were about a dozen companies of the QOR present and I am halfway finished painting all of them. 


Ottoman Update

I have a whole heap of Crimean War Ottomans primed but I've been diverted with other projects. I did manage to paint up an Ottoman dragoon unit. According to the Flaherty book, the Ottoman dragoons had some interesting colored tunics (light brown, purple, light blue, etc). I went with purple because you don't often get to paint purple uniforms. I think the color helps break up the blue masses of infantry. 
The Magister Militum Ottoman sculpts aren't their best work. They aren't bad but a bit undersized. 

They probably won't have much success on the tabletop but they will look very smart prancing around. 

The command stand with a very large Ottoman banner. I have another dragoon unit on the painting table, the regular cavalry will be supplemented by some irregular bashi bazouks. 

And some Ottoman higher command. The base will be the senior commander and the single bases will be brigade commanders. 


Sunday, January 7, 2024

Ravenfeast: Berserkers and Scottish Mercenary Spear

This will be a quick post (as far as pictures go, I may ramble a bit with the words). I have had a bit of a scatter-hobby brain this past month or so. Prior, I had been pretty focused on the 10mm Crimean War project. For several reasons, I have been dabbling in different projects this past month: Turnip28, some Krapistan, 10mm Fenians, Crimean War, 10mm French Indo-China and some 10mm RavenFeast. I really need to regain focus!

Anyway, here are some Scottish spear that appear in the Viking army list for Stamford Bridge. 

The figures are Magister Militum Dark Age Irish and Welsh if I'm not mistaken wasn't sure how to paint their shields but I went with a natural leather drab. I kept the color palette to earthy blues, greys, greens and yellows. The majority of the project consists of Old Glory but they don't have Scottish spear so I went with these as a proxy. They will do the job. 

And here are some Berserkers.

These are Old Glory berserkers. I think there's only base in all of the three scenarios. I picked up a pack of the OG berserkers even though I'm only using four of them. 

Pretty cool sculpts. 

This evening, I remembered that I have a bunch of 6mm Franco-Austrian War that I bought during the pandemic. Even tho I also have the same armies in 10mm, I think I need to paint and base these for Field of Battle. But I digress...

Saturday, January 6, 2024


I first became aware of the Turnip28 world when I received the June, 2021 issue of Wargames Illustrated in the mail. As I flipped thru the pages I saw an article on Turnip 28 which centers around a post-Napoleonic apocalyptic world ravaged by war, pestilence and root plants. The muddy lands are dominated by root tubulars that mutate the people that consume them. It's a mish-mash of Napoleonic, medieval, mud and gnarly vegetation. 

Using various leftover sprues, I put together a few figures back in 2021 and then put the project back in storage. Recently I was in a bit of hobby rut where I was having issues painting my beloved 10mm so I dusted off the Turnip28 figures and bits and resumed my work. My figures have shrubbery protruding from their backs and various roots growing out of them as well. 

Here is a unit of "Brutes" armed with melee weapons. They are based off some plastic Crimean War Russians with Fireforge halberdier and 3D print sci-fi morion heads. This unit has dingy grey overcoats with pale mauve cuffs. 

There are three types of infantry: fodder (line), brutes (similar to grenadiers in that they are a bit more effective) and chaff (skirmishers). These different types of infantry can be armed either with missile weapons (bows, etc), gunpowder weapons or melee weapons. 


Here is a partial unit of Fodder with gunpowder weapons. They are a real hodgepodge of figure bits but they have a dirty wine and pale yellow colored palette as a unit. Fodder units have 12 figures so I need 4 more to complete them. Brutes have 6 figures and Chaff have 4 figures. There are also cavalry and artillery and  special units specific for different "cults". Not sure what kind of units I will add to my force but I know it will be fun and meandering. I will keep you posted as I progress...

RIP Bryan Ansell and Future Plans for Travel

As mentioned before, I really cut my teeth on the hobby with Games Workshop in the mid-90s with my good friend Rob. This was the times of Bryan Ansell, Jervis Johnson, Rick Priestley, the Perry twins and so many more. 

As the years passed, many of these notables came and went from GW and joined other wargaming ventures. I myself drifted away from the GW sphere of influence and found myself more of a historical gamer. Rob stayed more true to the GW worlds and I had a lingering nostalgia for the "Oldhammer". 

We have often talked about going to Wargames Foundry's Bring Out Your Lead event to immerse ourselves in the "retro" of GW and Citadel and to meet the people attached to those notable names of our past. Rob would always remind me that we needed to get it done because none of us were getting any younger. Unfortunately, schedule conflicts and diverted attentions seemed to prevent us from actually doing it. 

Rob messaged me in December to let me know of Bryan Ansell's passing. Some regret of not getting it done in the past haunted us. While schedule conflicts will prevent us from participating in the 2024 Bring Out Your Lead (should it occur), we hope to make it for 2025. Let's hope we don't lose any more of those notable names in the meantime. 

I have decided that I will be embarking on a visit to the United Kingdom in 2024 however. I reserved tickets for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August. I plan to visit other historic sites (I'd really like to see Culloden) and battlefields. I'm always up for a recommendation in the comments if anyone has ideas. 

As luck would have it, my scheduled show for the Tattoo is the same week as the Claymore wargames convention hosted by the South East Scotland Wargames Club. I'm incredibly excited by the stroke of random luck that will allow me to experience both events. To make it even better, two of my favorite English miniatures companies, Baccus 6mm and Pendraken 10mm, should be present at Claymore. I expect to make many purchases and hopefully meet some of those notable individuals from companies that I love.