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, Planning, Modelling 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, I have recently set up a new website to give details of my portfolio of Military History Talks (currently 17). This can be viewed here.
I originally modelled a 6 man crew for the merchant brig which transported Jacobite siege artillery across the Forth in January 1746. However, when I modified that same brig to represent the French transport, La Renommée, I gave it six guns. I therefore needed more crew for its original merchant brig role.
When I wrote my original post about the capture of HMS Hazard in Montrose Harbour in November 1745, I understood that the French ship involved was the 26 gun French Frigate “La Renommée”, which is what Christopher Duffy said on page 527 of his “Fight for a Throne”.
However, I have since had an online conversation with David Stockman, the author of the excellent (and free) PDF booklet on that famous French Frigate. He kindly shared the original French report with me, which makes it clear that this was a much smaller 12 gun chartered French merchant transport, also of that same name. I therefore amended my original post and also needed a model for that merchant vessel.
As recorded in my earlier post here, the French captured HMS Hazard in Montrose Harbour, on the east coast of Scotland, in November 1745, sailed her to France and renamed her as “Le Prince Charles”, sailing under French colours.
In March 1746 she was chased into the Kyle of Tongue, in the far north of Scotland, by a British Frigate, HMS Sheerness. Le Prince Charles ran aground and her crew abandoned her, taking with them £13,000 in gold, worth £25 million today. The crew and most, but not all, of the gold were captured by a force of Loyalist Highlanders (one company of Loudoun’s 64th Foot and two Highland Independent Companies of MacKays).
In my last post, I originally assumed that the French ship, La Renommée, which captured HMS Hazard in Montrose Harbour was the famous French Frigate of that name.
However I have had a conversation online with David Stockman, the author of an excellent booklet regarding that Frigate, and now realise that the French ship involved in the action at Montrose was a smaller transport ship with the same name. I have therefore amended my post.
The booklet about the French Frigate La Renommée can be downloaded as a free PDF here.
Following on from my modelling of a Merchant brig (2 masted ship), I have made a Royal Navy Brig Sloop. This will represent two very similar vessels, HMS Vulture, which took part in the Battle of the River Forth (described in my post on the Merchant Brig) and HMS Hazard, which was captured in Montrose Harbour in November 1745.
Montrose was being used by the Jacobites to receive French ships bringing troops, money and equipment from France. In November 1745 HMS Montrose sailed into the harbour to prevent this. Unfortunately she was trapped in the harbour by an easterly gale, which also blew a French transport vessel (La Renommée) into the Harbour.
La Renommée was carrying some 150 men of the Royal Ecossais Regiment, siege artillery and other equipment and money for the Jacobites.
The French ship became stuck on a sandbank but unloaded some on its guns onto the southern cliffs overlooking the harbour and the Jacobites seized the harbour entrance guns. The combination of these forced HMS Hazard to surrender.
I have completed paper model soldiers of the two Regiments of Highlanders serving in the British Army during the Jacobite Rebellion, the 43rd Foot (Black Watch) and the 64th Foot (Loudoun’s Highlanders). The 43rd Foot was renumbered as 42nd in 1748 and became a Royal Regiment in 1758, changing its original buff facings to blue. Here is the complete battalion.
My 1:72 Plastic Jacobite Rebellion figures are modelled on a figure ratio of 1:30. I made all my British Infantry battalions on the average size for the Jacobite Rebellion, which was 420 real men, so I modelled this as 14 figures, which accurately represents their tactical organisation for a reduced strength battalion of 14 firing platoons (12 from the centre companies and two of grenadiers). These plastic figures are based at 15mm frontage per figure, normally 2 figures per stand (therefore 30mm frontage per stand), but some singly (for figure removal, which I like).
I wanted my Paperboys figures to occupy the same frontage. They were originally 28mm high figures at 4 figures frontage per 40mm wide stand. I reduced that by 70% so that the stand now had a 30mm frontage and the figures are about 20mm high. They were originally in 3 ranks, but I modified that to a single rank, the same as my plastic figures. That means that my Paperboys figures are on a figure ratio of 1:15, so 28 figures for an average British battalion.
I have now made three more battalions, and all four can be seen below:
And now for something else completely different.
We have a second home in Spain, so whenever we are there I can do nothing with my 1:72 plastic figures. I use some of my “hobby time” in Spain to plan work on my plastic figures and also to produce new Military History talks, which I do to raise money for British Military Charities.
I am in Spain at present and have decided to create a duplicate of some of my wargame figures, for use out here, using Paperboys figures, starting with my new favourite period of the Jacobite Rebellion. I therefore purchased the excellent “Jacobite ’45” plus the similar books on the War of Spanish Succession and American War of Independence, the latter two to give me figures suitable for expansion into The War of Austrian Succession and Seven Years War in North America (French & Indian War).
And now for something completely different!!!
I have modelled my first ever ship, or to be accurate a two masted brig. I did this because I wanted to model several of the amphibious or coastal operations which took place during the Jacobite Rebellion. One of these was the Battle of the Forth on 11th January 1746 which was an unsuccessful attempt by the Royal Navy and a composite infantry/naval force to block a Jacobite Merchant Brig ferrying heavy guns across the Forth to besiege Stirling Castle. A map of the action is shown below:
I have wanted to model some Royal Navy boats for some time, which I planned to use both for 18th Century and Napoleonic amphibious operations. However I have never previously found suitable 1:72 models, and scratch building seemed a lot of effort. I recently saw a post on TMP Age of Sail forum about Zvezda Medieval Life Boats and thought these might be ideal.