Work in Progress

Epic/15mm English Civil War

Posted by steve_pickstock on 16 Apr 2023, 14:52

Good afternoon all!

One of the things that interrupted the flow of my creativity recently was the announcement by Warlord Games of a new range of what they call Epic ECW/30YW figures.
Now if you've been around as long as I have "Epic" was a term coined by Games Workshop for their 6mm Space Marines gane. (And what a good system the original game was, but that's by-the-by). In this case Warlord have followed on from their (nearly but not quite 15mm) American Civil War and Napoleonic figures with a 1640s release.

The figures aren't bad - there are some issues - odd design decisions, and of course their scale (12mm to the figure's eye) but for the price they're not bad. Now I already have some 15mm ECW tucked away somewhere, but these looked interesting. Then one of the guys at our club says "oh yes, I have some armies!" and it all began to snowball a bit.

So first the Warlord models.
There are two basic sprues/frames/things what ever you call them:-
The Infantry sprue
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The Cavalry - Harquebusiers/Cuirassiers/Mtd and Foot Dragoons, some commanded shot, a commander and light and a heavy gun.
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The Foot sprue is petty much self-contained - enough Pike and Shot to make a nicely sized regiment - though to be honest - you could also call it a brigade. As the war went on and regiments got worn down, you would probably find a group of different coat colours from remnant units in a body this size.

The cavalry sprue probably tries a bit too hard but if you group the contents of two or three sprues together then you can create a decent number of units,

These two pictures show the contents of the two basic boxes - one Foot and one Horse. Each box has three sprues in but you'd need to look on the Warlord web-site for prices.
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So what have I been up to?
Well, apart from startling a young man in a newsagents shop by snatching 4 copies of Wargames Illustrated out of his hands as he was putting them out on the shelves for sale to get hold of the give- a-way sprues to get hold of two infantry and two cavalry sprues, I has been building scenery.

The time was when we used to play a lot of 15mm games at our club but that was when Napoleon was a lad, and we don't have a lot of scenery anymore, so that was one of the first tasks.

I bought a pack of cheap N-Gauge trees off E-Bay. 40 trees for about the price of one and a half of the models on offer in some of the model shops round here. They're only about 50mm tall, but they will do the job. The figures are some of the Warlord Plastics[i] and some metal figures by Steel Fist Miniatures[/i], which fit in with the Warlord quite nicely and provide some variation.
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I've got some more on order to provide some height difference.
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I've mounted them on 40mm bases in 1's, 2's, and 3's. I will make some woodland bases and the tree bases will slot into spaces on them. Like these, that I made for our 28mm and 1/72nd scale games.
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Hedges weren't that common in the ECW, most fields weren't 'enclosed', and there was quite a fuss when some landowners started doing just that, but there were some. So, to make mine I used giant lolly pop sticks - 150mm long x 20mm(ish) wide. I glued some old flocked sheet onto them, trimmed them up and made the hedges out of Woodland Scenics Clump Foliage. Cheap, quick and quite effective.
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The road is just a strip of vinyl flooring and still needs some painting.
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Last of all, some cottages, just for visual interest as much as anything. Constructed out of 2mm MDF, I was going to model on the half-timbering, but when I got to that part of the job - in 15mm with my old eyes? Nah! I'll just paint the detail on. The tradition English "black & white" cottage is a Victorian invention, so earth tones and green-grey wood.
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Hope this has been of interest. The Towers of Ilium project is just on hold and I will be getting back to that as soon as I can but this is a bit of a priority at the moment.
Thanks for looking in.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by Minuteman on 16 Apr 2023, 15:56

Thanks for the update, Steve, on the Warlord 'Epic' ECW/TYW range of figures. I also spotted these a few weeks or so ago, and I have to say that I am quite impressed. Warlord Games seem to be forging ahead with this range of figures - which started with Napoleonics and ACW, and I imagine will now continue to grow beyond these latest C17th offerings into other historical periods as well.

The 12.5mm height is an interesting one, making these figures a little difficult to mix with some 'true' 15mms and definitely not with 'larger 15mms (18mm figures)'. But the Warlord Games philosophy seems to be to provide everything you'd reasonably need in the range of figures they provide, which is effectively therefore a quick and pretty effective way to raise armies and play big ECW/TYW battles. This 'ready made' approach may not be old-school, but as a way of getting players into the period very quickly and with minimum extra work, why not? Warlord Games are to be congratulated on this range.

For myself: well, in my stash are hundreds of undercoated ECW figures in 15/17mm (mainly Museum Miniatures, plus some Donnington) just waiting to be painted up as (respectively) the army of the Earl of Essex, the Parliamentarian Southern Association, and the King's Oxford army. With several hundred £££s invested in this collection of metal figures - which also includes sizeable artillery and baggage-train components - I won't be buying into the Warlord 'Epic' range. But I'll certainly watch to see how this range grows over time.

Nice trees and perfectly good half timbered houses by the way. Good stuff!

Re: your comments on hedges, noted that these were a less common feature of the English land-scape pre-enclosure. But noting also that defended hedges (eg; along lanes and features such as ditches) did feature in some of the battles of the period, where they had some impact on the outcome...I'm thinking Cheriton 1644 as one example.
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Posted by k.b. on 16 Apr 2023, 16:32

Thanks Steve for drawing our attention to what appears to be a terrific range of figures by Warlord. That’s not to say that I see myself buying in to this scale/period but one never knows. I found them to be exquisitely sculpted and what I most loved about them was how they were grouped together into nice tightly packed units. Surely this was how soldiers were grouped together on the battlefield.
Not being a gamer myself I am as guilty as the next of leaving too much space between my figures which is why of late I have tended to keep my base sizes to a minimum. Be it a heavy cavalry charge or a line of pikes I feel sure that success in battle was largely down to their leaders ability to use his regiments in effective formations and movement both in attack and defense.
Loved your hedges, trees and houses and can’t wait to see your Roundheads and Cavaliers battling it out in a game report.
Congratulations and thanks for posting!
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 16 Apr 2023, 17:17

Minuteman wrote:Re: your comments on hedges, noted that these were a less common feature of the English land-scape pre-enclosure. But noting also that defended hedges (eg; along lanes and features such as ditches) did feature in some of the battles of the period, where they had some impact on the outcome...I'm thinking Cheriton 1644 as one example.

Cheriton, Nantwich 1 or 3, Denbigh Green, Wigan Lane, or the Sulby Hedges at Naseby, to name a few.

And there is, I think the proof of what I am saying. The ECW battlefield was pretty much devoid of vertical cover. The landscape tended to be open and uncluttered (apart from the odd beanfield, always handy if you're a Royalist dignitary seeking to avoid capture), so when there are features such as hedges, formations such as dragoons and commanded shot tend to gravitate towards them.

At 3rd Nantwich (1644) the advancing Parliament force had to use their pioneers to gap the hedges so that they could move forwards and still Numbnuts Byron still managed to lose.
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 16 Apr 2023, 17:32

k.b. wrote:Thanks Steve for drawing our attention to what appears to be a terrific range of figures by Warlord. That’s not to say that I see myself buying in to this scale/period but one never knows. I found them to be exquisitely sculpted and what I most loved about them was how they were grouped together into nice tightly packed units. Surely this was how soldiers were grouped together on the battlefield.
Not being a gamer myself I am as guilty as the next of leaving too much space between my figures which is why of late I have tended to keep my base sizes to a minimum. Be it a heavy cavalry charge or a line of pikes I feel sure that success in battle was largely down to their leaders ability to use his regiments in effective formations and movement both in attack and defense.
Loved your hedges, trees and houses and can’t wait to see your Roundheads and Cavaliers battling it out in a game report.
Congratulations and thanks for posting!

This was actually one of my gripes with the figures.
When carrying a pike or handling a musket one needs some room about you.
For the pike there should be at least four feet between the ranks so that the soldiers can 'shoulder' their pikes and have it sloping backwards, with the butt end protruding forwards. Shoulder to shoulder isn't too bad, but fore-and-aft needs room. At Close Order pike men should be shoulder to shoulder.

Shot, on the other hand, DO need a bit of elbow room, when lengths of lit match cord come into contact with full charging bottles (often mistakenly called 'apostles' - another Victorian invention) the results are not good. Shot should be at least 3 feet between ranks, fore-and-aft, and a minimum of 18 inches shoulder to shoulder.

These distances are not fixed, at one battle in the 30 Years War, Robert Monro's Shot were outnumbered, so he opened up the spacing between his men so that their formation matched the frontage of the enemy's, even though there were huge gaps between his men. At other times Pike should open to the 'Open Order' to let other bodies - Shot for example, pass between them.

Having said all that those are the models we're working with an we'll do the best we can with them, though I would have preferred less figures on the Warlord Shot model - 8 rather than 10 would have been visually acceptable, I believe, and still kept a reasonable proportion of Shot to Pike (the desired ratio was 2 to 1, but how often this was achieved I don't know).
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steve_pickstock  England
 
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Posted by Rich W on 16 Apr 2023, 23:20

Great thread Steve. I bought a copy of the WI issue in order to get a sprue of the infantry. I really like the figures and, as with the sprue of Nap British inf I have, the detail and subtle variety in poses is excellent. I have never wargamed (I don't know anyone who collects/games to play with and I don't have the spare time anyway!), but IF I did, I think this Epic range would be my starting point. Warlord games look to have done a thorough job of the ACW and Nap ranges, so I assume they will do an 'epic' job with this range too.

I'll look forward to more updates!
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Posted by k.b. on 17 Apr 2023, 00:14

Obviously you’re the gamer Steve so I’m sure your comments regarding frontages have more credibility than mine. Obviously musketeers need more space than pikemen to manoeuvre so I get it that it must be hard for figure makers to settle on how close together figures ought to be!
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Posted by Bessiere on 17 Apr 2023, 02:22

I see the Epic scale as a double edge sword. While for the starting gamer it does offer a complete army set up and the easiest method of painting and assembling the size being between ranges ensures only warlord figures will be useful for gaming. There will be a certain number of new gamers who will adopt the epic scale thus keeping them from joining gamers using 6, 15 or 28 mm. Warlord Epic scale is probably the most economical way to begin and greatly simplified but for me searching for the right units in 1/72 was part of the challenge. Had Warlord stayed with 15mm people could combine their offerings with what they already had and benefited the larger gaming community since 15 is such a common scale. The larger the gaming community the better so any all new additions to the hobby regardless of scale are always welcome.
Cheers,
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Posted by Beano Boy on 17 Apr 2023, 08:05

Great resounding report!
i can well imagine the smell of black powder! BB
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Posted by C M Dodson on 17 Apr 2023, 09:05

A good analysis of the product .

The scale issue has been raised especially within the ACW gamers.

The trees and ponds look great for practical wargaming, a good combination of resilience and looks.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by Ochoin on 17 Apr 2023, 10:31

Don't most gamers raise two armies? Just to be certain to get a game? I always do & I don't think I'm alone.
I appreciate the business model of making your figures "unique" so you have the market to yourself.
Italeri & Zvesda did this with various Napoleonic sets. Yes, it can be annoying but ultimately *you* decide to hop on the bandwagon or not.
Warlord's scale is of no interest to me as I'm wedded to 1/72 - 20mm but I wish them all the luck in the world.

donald
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 17 Apr 2023, 11:16

Thank you all for your comments and kind words.

C M Dodson wrote:A good analysis of the product .

The scale issue has been raised especially within the ACW gamers.

The trees and ponds look great for practical wargaming, a good combination of resilience and looks.

Best wishes,

Chris
Thank you.

The scale issue isn't massive to me. I can see it but the Steel Fist figures match well, and they are very nice figures, but the Warlord ones are acceptably close in size to the current Miniature Figurines range and their older range too, which are what my friend has.

It seemed like a good idea to do some scenery mainly because I still have 15mm armies - a Goth, a Later Hungarian, a Landsknechte army, and other bits, and they could be used for games in the near future.

Ochoin wrote:Don't most gamers raise two armies? Just to be certain to get a game? I always do & I don't think I'm alone.
I appreciate the business model of making your figures "unique" so you have the market to yourself.
Italeri & Zvesda did this with various Napoleonic sets. Yes, it can be annoying but ultimately *you* decide to hop on the bandwagon or not.
Warlord's scale is of no interest to me as I'm wedded to 1/72 - 20mm but I wish them all the luck in the world.

donald

I suspect that you are right, I have several armies for the system we play most - "Dragon Rampant", however, when starting out on something I usually only make one because - in this case, my friend already has painted figures to use.

As well as that, in this case, the Warlord figures can pretty well be used for any army traipsing round Western Europe from 1618 to 1648, Roundhead, Royalist, Swede, United Provinces, Spanish Tercios, Holy Roman Empire, even the English Expedition to the Palatinate (which never actually happened, but I picked up a booklet about it which detailed the proposed composition ... if I make it, I'm going to need a shed load more cuirassiers). It's really just down to a splash of paint and the flags.

Tomorrow night we are going to try out the "Pikeman's Lament" rules, which come from the same stable as Osprey's Rampant rules and use the same basic mechanisms, obviously the figures won't be done by then but we'll make do.
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Posted by Londoncopper on 18 Apr 2023, 21:05

These do look nice and l may have been tempted if l hadn't recently bought the WoFun ECW starter set in 15mm!
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 23 Apr 2023, 15:03

Nothing to show this week I am afraid. There has been stuff going on, things and resources being lined up, and some jobs part done, but overall nothing I can photograph and say "TA-DAHHHH!!!"

The problem is the woods. Or rather the bases for the wooded areas.
I'm trying to make these:-
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They're the slots that the tree bases will fit into. These are then glued onto the woodland area bases, so that the tree base that sits in it can be removed and placed on one side when troops are occupying the woods. They can be put back once the troops have gone. the effect is more scenic, but just as usable.
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Nothing has worked - the power supply for my 3D pen has gone AWOL, and the only replacement I could find around the house wasn't sufficient. I tried using garden wire, but it's time consuming and messy. I tried using a soldering iron to melt ABS filament around the form I made but although it works, it's not that efficient. I even tried Miliput on the bases, but the packet I had was old and the hardener was solid, so I am not sure that it will cure properly.

On a side note, I watch a lot of modelling videos, and I see people say things like "I used Airclay for this. It has the advantages of blah-blah-blah!" After today I have to wonder if that should really be "I used Airclay for this because I couldn't find anything that wasn't out of date, or I had run out of, and this was all I had left."

I will solve this - I need to because I have nearly 40 of these slots to produce, and when I do there will be a real woo-hoo moment.

Ah well. Thanks for reading, I am grateful when people comment, so please share your thoughts.
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Posted by Minuteman on 23 Apr 2023, 17:42

An insight into the tortured world of a serious modeller. I have these weeks too :( ....But something will work, eventually!
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 27 Apr 2023, 13:10

Small update today, mainly things arriving by post.

First of all, trees. I wanted some more variation in the height of the trees I had so ordered these, cost about £8 delivered and you know what? I really like them.
They're cheap, they're not completely nasty, and without too much work they do the job. 5 of each, heights as indicated.
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The other things to arrive was this church by Timeline Miniatures. They also do it in 28mm I believe.
I chose this one because a) it captures the nature of a late medieval/17thC church before the rich folk of the 18th and 19th centuries got their hands on it, showing off how rich they were by adding fancy bits all over the place.
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b) It's made out of 2mm MDF and I will be able to add some details to it to make it more like some of the churches I have fought over over the last forty years.

Lastly, I managed to get some time on Tuesday night to base coat some of the figures, using a thinned dirty colour as the base, with greens and greys over that for the coat colours.

The first two pictures - command figures - officer, ensign and drummer - by Steel Fist Miniatures, and two of the plastic Warlord figures which will be part of a unit of commanded shot.
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As above - command figures (inc a sergeant on the second base) by Steel Fist and dragoones by Warlord.
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Also started a load of Horse, and got the Foot to a good place paint-wise, but didn't take any pictures of them.
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Posted by C M Dodson on 27 Apr 2023, 13:30

The trees and church, once painted will look very nice indeed.

This thread brings back childhood memories of the late Peter Young and the Sealed Knot re enactments I watched in awe.

Keep up the good work .

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by k.b. on 27 Apr 2023, 16:01

Am also following this thread with great interest.
The trees look pretty convincing for such a reasonable price and am equally sure the church has similar potential - if not more.
I must say I am most impressed with these Warlord figures Steve and since my young days the English Civil War has held a certain fascination for me.
Perhaps it was Richard Harris playing Cromwell or Peter Gilder reproducing Naseby (I think) on Tyne Tees Battleground and they certainly both contributed towards my childhood fascination for Military History that has stuck with me all my life. A little later Peter Young and the Sealed Knot re-enactments also played a part even though I was never able to see an event live but instead saw several reports in Military Modelling mag which further fuelled my interest. The uniforms were absolutely splendid.
In this 15mm scale I don’t think one will be able to shade too many uniforms but feel sure that precise rendering , followed by Army Painter washes will make these figures a formidable sight to behold.
Keep ‘em coming Mr Pickstock (have you checked your family tree to see if you had ancestors involved)? Your surname somehow seems to fit the period perfectly.
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 27 Apr 2023, 17:10

k.b. wrote:Keep ‘em coming Mr Pickstock (have you checked your family tree to see if you had ancestors involved)? Your surname somehow seems to fit the period perfectly.


Thank you Mr Dodson and thank you KB, I have been in the Knot since 1979, so it is quite possible that you have actually seen me getting my head kicked in in the name of King Charles. Some days they get you and some days you get them.

With regard to the name thing, I have studiously avoided genealogy - it's a rabbit hole and I don't want to go down it. :eh:

Having said that in 1990 I was sat outside a pub near Wrexham and got an invite to switch from the regiment I was in (His Majesty's Lifeguard of Foot) to a new dragoon regiment that was being formed - Sir Vincent Corbet's Dragoons from the Shropshire area.

I got in touch with a friend of mine who gave me a lot of information, the regiment was formed on the same day as my birthday but in 1642, at Moreton Corbet which is a couple of parishes over from the hamlet of Pickstock near Newport in Shropshire. Promising stuff. As I gathered more information I found more associations with the name Pickstock, including a horse-thief and cattle rustler - yeah every family has one.
There was even a receipt for wheat made out to a Seth Picstock by a captain in Corbet's regiment, which I found while looking through some documents.
But the funniest one was during filming an episode of Time Team, I was told that one of the accountants that work on the production when writing the cheques out said, "What's his real name?" meaning me.
The assistant director in charge of that said "Steve Pickstock."
"No," the accounts lady said, "Not his re-enacting name, his REAL name!"
So, yeaah!

Anyway on with this.

FANFARE! Followed by Woo Hoo!!! (see there was a point to all of this)

I bought a new USB power supply and after a couple of tries the 3D pen works again!

So this is the mandrel, I suppose you'd call it. I make a ring of plastic around the 40mm plastic tube, where it joins the flat plate. Once it has cooled I can get a knife blade under it and slide it up and off the tube. If the ring breaks it isn't a catastrophe, because the PLA plastic memory is now a ring and I can just glue it down.
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Five of the rings glued in place, about twenty minutes work, with mucking about and I reckon I can do them quicker. The next thing is to fill and shape the gaps between them, shape the edge of the boards and green them to match the tree bases.
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Here are some of the tree bases in place.

Today has been a good day!
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Posted by Rich W on 27 Apr 2023, 23:41

Good progress Steve!
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