Rod’s Wargaming Website

Having been wargaming for over 60 years, I thought I would set this website up as a record of my activities.

The “About” page contains a history of my wargaming over the years, and since I grew up in Southampton, which many might regard as the spiritual home of wargaming in UK, you will notice some well known pioneers of the hobby mentioned there.

The other Top Menu pages are devoted to the different historical periods of my wargaming, in the main sections of Ancients and Horse & Musket.  The Ancient section has drop down sub-menus of Roman Era and Medieval.  The Horse & Musket section has drop down sub-menus of 18th Century, Napoleonic and Zulu War.  There is also a section on General matters, which includes sub-pages on Terrain, PlanningModelling Tips and Wargame Accessories.

There is also a section on Military Historical Research, containing a number of items of straight (ie not wargaming) matters which I have researched over the years.  This section comprises two drop down sub-sections, one on Organisation and one on Tactics.  The former includes a paper on the Authorised Establishments of the British Army (1802-1815), which has details of the organisational structure of infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineers and supporting units.  It also includes a paper on British Converged Light Battalions, the latter formed by converging all of the light infantry and rifle companies in each brigade, plus several further papers.

The right end of the Top Menu has a Contact page and a Search button.

The postings on the Blog record my current model soldier production or wargaming activities.  I also use this to announce any new pages published on the website.  The blog postings below are in reverse chronological order, but can also be accessed by subject through the side menu.

Finally, a few years ago I set up a new website to give details of my portfolio of Military History Talks (currently 20).  This can be viewed here.

Liverpool Blues and additional British Command Figures

There were a number of additional units and commanders at the Second Siege of Carlisle, which I have now modelled.

The first of these is the Liverpool Blues.  My main source regarding them is “The Town of Liverpool in the ‘45” by R C Jarvis, which I found online.  They were a Volunteer Regiment raised by the town of Liverpool,  were raised much more quickly and were much more effective than the Lancashire Militia.  As the Jacobite Rebellion gained momentum the town petitioned the Government to be allowed to raise a volunteer force.  The Secretary of State wrote to the Deputy Mayor on 23rd September 1745 authorising the town to form troops and companies of inhabitants who were willing to take arms and to grants commissions to suitable persons to command them.

The town raised £1,000 by subscription to pay for this force and the Liverpool Blues was originally proposed to be formed of 1,000 men, however this was later reduced to 800 men organised as 8 companies.  A regular officer, Col Graham of 43rd Foot was appointed to command them, assisted by Lt Col Gordon and Maj Bendish.  The town appointed “some persons to be Officers in the Companies who had already behaved well in his Majesty’s Service, the others will be chosen out of young Gentlemen of the Town who have sometime payd old Sergeants to instruct them in the Military Exercise”.

The Liverpool Blues received their uniforms and weapons by 15th November and then marched into Cheshire to help to defend or demolish bridges in that county.  On that same day the Jacobites took Carlisle.  Several Militia Regiments refused to serve outside their counties but the Liverpool Blues had no such inhibitions.  They later joined Oglethorpe’s Brigade at Clifton and marched with them to Carlisle. 

This print of their uniform is a composite one, created by putting together elements of three prints to show the key features of their uniform.

Orders for the uniform of the Liverpool Blues were placed by 5 October. “These goods will be wanted in a fortnight or a very few days”, the order read. There were “52 Doz. of full-sized Men’s felt Halts … 50 doz. of them bound with white Galloon (lace) and white mettle Buttons … the other two Dozen let be of a better kind and come without being bound” (the latter presumable for the officers who would have silver lace added later). Three thousand yards of kersey were ordered for the coats; thirteen shoemakers in the town were directed to set about making 626 pairs of shoes and “50 Doz of strong White Stockings” were ordered from Wales.

It is clear from this uniform purchase that the final proposed strength of the Liverpool Blues was 600 men (plus officers) rather than the higher figures of 1,000 or 800 proposed earlier.

There is no mention of waistcoats or breeches, so presumably the volunteers would have worn their own as shown here.

These are the RedBox figures which I used for the Liverpool Blues.  The original figure is on the left of the image and the converted one on the right.  The only conversion was to make their coats closed by welding on small pieces of sprue.  There is no mention of grenadiers in the article by R C Jarvis and no mention of grenadier’s mitres so I have assumed that all companies were the same.  I modelled them as 8 companies each of 2 figures (including the command stand), so 16 figures to the Regiment.

R C Jarvis in his “The Town of Liverpool in the ‘45” states “By the time they received their uniform clothing, they had received also their drums and “4 pare of Drum Sticks” at a shilling the pair. They had also “standards for the Colours, and a pair of ensigns”, even if the latter cost only £2.14.3d including the fringe, plus four shillings for the making”.  The reference to “ensigns” with fringes being made, clearly indicates that they had Colours.

These are the Command Stand figures.  I had run out of officer and drummer figures so converted both from ordinary infantry figures.

The first figure on the left of the image is the original figure I used as an officer.  The second figure is the converted version, with musket and accoutrements removed, coat closed and officer’s sash added.

The third figure is the original figure I used as a drummer.  The last figure (on the right of the image) is the converted version, with musket and accoutrements removed, coat closed, arms moved and drums plus drumsticks added.

This is my conjectured flag, blue with arms of Liverpool.  Unusually for an infantry flag it is recorded as having fringes.

Here are two stands of completed figures, one normal company and the command company.  They are all based in pairs, apart from one company which is based as two single figures to facilitate figure removal.

Here is the completed Liverpool Blues Regiment in column.

Jonathan Oates, in his book “The Sieges of the ‘45” mentions several senior officers as being at the Siege of Carlisle who I had not previously modelled.

The first is the Lieutenant General the Duke of Richmond, who commanded the cavalry of the Midlands Army.  I used a RedBox Regiment of Horse figure for him.  Here it is shown before and after conversion.

I have treated him as a Divisional Commander (since there were three brigades of cavalry in the Midlands Army}.  My British Divisional Commanders are not waving swords, since I considered that they would be directing from the rear, rather than leading, so I removed his sword and converted him to a pointing figure.  I also removed his musket and welded his musket strap into an officer’s sash, worn cavalry style over his left shoulder.

I have docked the tail on his horse, removed the blanket roll and added a pin (cut from a staple) to secure the figure to the horse.

Since the Duke of Richmond is modelled as a Divisional Commander he needed an ADC.  I used another RedBox Regiment of Horse figure, this time in the pose of carrying his sword in a ready position, as do all my ADCs.  Again, here is the figure before and after conversion.

I have removed the musket, slightly bent his right arm to the front, and welded the musket strap into an officer’s sash, again worn cavalry style.

The horse was again modified by docking the tail, removing the blanket roll and adding a pin to secure the figure to the horse.

I had previously only modelled two of the three Brigade Commanders (Maj Gen Bland and \Lt Col Mordant) for the Midlands Army Cavalry, which were of course the same cavalry who were at the Battle of Clifton.  I have assumed that the third Brigade Commander was Major General The Earl of Rothes, who commanded one of the British Cavalry Brigades at Fontenoy.  I used a RedBox Dragoon figure for him.  Here it is shown before and after conversion.

The only figure I had available was firing a musket while mounted.  My British Brigade Commanders are all portrayed with drawn swords, leading their troops.  I therefore modified this figure considerably to remove the musket, change the position of the arms, add a sword (cut from a piece of plastic milk bottle) and add an officer’s sash.

The horse was again modified by docking the tail and adding a pin to secure the figure to the horse (there was no blanket roll on that figure, so no need to remove it).

The book “Rebellious Scots to Crush” edited by Andrew Bamford has Orders of Battle at Appendix 1.  The troops at the Second Siege of Carlisle are listed on Page 196, which says that the Regiments of Foot were under Brigadier Generals Bligh and Lord Sempill.  I had already modelled Sempill, since he was a Brigade Commander at Culloden, but now needed to model Brigadier Bligh.   I used a Strelets Swedish Trabants (Dragoons) of Charles XII figure for him.  Here it is shown before and after conversion.

I removed his musket, cut his sword free and changed its position to pointing forward, moved the position of the scabbard and added an Officer’s Sash, worn infantry style over the right shoulder.

The horse was modified by docking the tail, welding the shabraque into a more British shape and adding a pin to secure the figure to the horse.

All four of the horses were then based on oval card 20mm wide and 30mm deep, thin strips of magnetic tape added (to give weight to the bases), then plastic sprue melted over the base.  Here are two of the horses, one just with the card and weighting tape, one complete with the plastic melted over it.

Here are the Duke of Richmond and his ADC, fully painted, wearing Royal Horse Guards (Blues) uniforms.  The Duke of Richmond was not appointed as Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards until after the Jacobite Rebellion, but I have been unable to find any earlier connection of him to a Regiment and I have no plans to portray any other senior officer in Royal Horse Guards uniform.   

I then made a Divisional Command Sabot for the Duke of Richmond and his ADC.  It is a circular 50mm diameter card with a circle of 5mm foamboard stuck on top, with slots cut out, before gluing together, for the two mounted figures, then the sides chamfered and finally the top covered in welded plastic.  Here it is at the various stages in construction.  On the left is a thin card disc, the underside is shown here with a frame for writing the names of the Commander and Staff Officer.  I normally write these in pencil, so that the same sabot can be used for different commanders.  The second image is the foamboard disc with the shape of the cut outs required for the two figures.  The third image is the foamboard cut out and stuck to the card base.  The last image is the sabot with plastic welded over it.  The plastic on the top sticks out slightly to create a secure slot to fit the figures into.

Here is the Duke of Richmond and his ADC on their Divisional Command Sabot.

Finally here is the Earl of Rothes wearing a 2nd Troop Horse Grenadier Guards uniform and Brigadier Bligh wearing his 20th Foot Uniform, since they were Colonels of those Regiments.

Noblemen’s Regiments

The Jacobite Rebellion created a need for a rapid expansion in the size of the British Army.  This was facilitated by members of the aristocracy volunteering to raise regiments.  A total of 13 Noblemen’s Regiments of infantry were raised, plus two Regiments of Light Horse.

Four of the infantry Regiments are recorded as being in red uniforms, with yellow, green and red facings (the fourth facing colour being unknown).  Most, if not all, of the remaining Noblemen’s Regiments seem to have worn blue uniforms with red facings, as illustrated in this print of the Marquess of Granby’s 71st Foot.

Grenadier caps exist of two of the Noblemen’s Regiments (including Granby’s) and it seems reasonable to assume that they all had Grenadier Companies.

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Website Upgrade

I have been running this website for over six years. I have now decided to upgrade it to an ad-free version, so that readers do nor get annoying unrelated adverts inserted in my posts. It helped that WordPress were offering a 30% reduction in the first year’s subscription.

Defence of Carlisle

I haven’t posted much in the last year, since I have been preoccupied with my wife’s medical conditions. However, I have now given up some other activities and am making time to resume my hobbies.

Inspired by Jonathan Oates excellent book “The Sieges of the ’45”, I earlier created several posts on the defence of Edinburgh. I have now turned my attention to Carlisle. Here is a view of the City in the 18th Century, looking from the South West. The castle is on the left, the town in the centre (dominated by the cathedral) and the southern English Gate on the right..

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More Paper Soldiers

I have been a bit busy on other things recently, but for the last few weeks I have been in Spain so have returned to expanding my Paperboys Jacobite ’45 set up.

I had previously made all of the British Infantry for Prestonpans, as shown here, here and here. The original Paperboys figures are 28mm high and a stand of 4 infantry is 40mm wide. I wanted my stands to be the same width as my plastic 1:72 figures (23mm high) which have a frontage of 15mm per figure. I therefore reduced the Paperboys scale to 70% which gave 4 figures (20mm high) on a 30mm wide base. My plastic figures are on a 1:30 ratio but by modelling the Paperboys on a 1:15 ratio they cover exactly the same frontage as my plastic units.

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28mm Napoleonic 1st Foot Guards Ensign

As those following my posts will know, my wargame figures, in all eras, are 1:72 plastic (apart from nearly three hundred home cast 1:72 metal Zulus). However, I did have six 28mm metal figures which came as “freebies” with various Warlord Games Black Powder supplements. A few years ago I painted up one such figure, a 1745 Black Watch highlander, as a present for my grandson and that can be seen here.

I asked my daughter what my 13 Year old grandson would like for Christmas this year and was told “Amazon Vouchers”. That did not sound very exciting but we bought him those. I decided to give him something extra which he was not expecting, another 28mm figure.

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