Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A musical interlude

Another of the vignettes I did for the "Mayhem in the Med., c.1565" game for the Wargamer Show was a group of musicians to bolster Turkish morale. Music was a big part of their armed forces, with crashing cymbals, banging drums, horns, pipes, "jingling johnnies" and other such paraphernalia all present, the ensuing cacophony designed to both embolden the Turks and demoralise their enemies.

So here is my little Mehterhane group, made up of Old Glory musicians from their Ottoman spearmen and archers packs (you get six assorted command in these packs along with 24 spearmen or archers, or at least, I did!) plus a Gripping Beast Arab.

In the game, they were going to give a morale re-roll or similar to troops within a certain range, but we were so keen to get the combat troops into action that we left the band at the back!


Old Glory drummer figure

The imposter in the group is this Gripping Beast Arab.

And another Old Glory figure, this time with bugle/ trumpet/ similar. I imagine the trio as a sort of jazz combo.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Turkish Command

I have painted numerous command figures for the Turkish/ North African alliance, covering officers, standard bearers and musicians. I decided, however, that I wanted something a little more than battalion/ orta/ mob leaders, so created this mini-vignette to show someone a bit higher up the chain of command.

The figures are all Old Glory, from different packs I cannot now be certain of identifying accurately, with the addition of a flag from one of the "By Fire & Sword" 15mm Ottoman sets (Feudal Spahis I think) and a plastic shield from the Gripping Beast Arab plastic boxed set.

Together, they represent my attempt at a Janissary Aga and a Bey of some sort or other. I hope you like the little group.

In the actual game, I see them making everything within 6" unbreakable or something, or giving a morale re-roll. We will see.


Cheering on the boys. (I have no idea what the writing on the banner means).

One thing I realised is that I did not really know what Muslim shields of this (or any!!!) era were likely to appear like. This example is based on a pattern from a tile!

I wonder if they are feeling confident of success...

Saturday, 6 December 2014


"Hero" is surely one of the most over-used terms in the English language. I guess the problem is that it means different things to different people.

Scoring the winner in a major final? Saving a child from danger? Charging the guns at a crucial point in a battle? This is just the tip of the iceberg.

But one character I would proffer as a true "Hero" is the guy I have depicted here, painted specifically for the "Mayhem in the Med., c.1565" game we Wyrley Retinuers are taking around a few shows this year, Jean Parisot de la Valette.

Finished just a couple of days before last Sunday's Wargamer show (photos to follow of that event when I can download them!), this small piece of metal alloy is a miniature version of the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, who led the Christian defence of Malta when the Turkish attack came. That a chap in his seventies could lead a Military Order was one thing, but he was no shrinking violet or desk-jockey during the siege and assaults, being wounded in combat at one point. This was an old fella with the fire of youth still burning strongly in his bones! When the besieged towns of Birgu and Senglea were rebuilt after the successful defence of the island against the Turks and North Africans, they were renamed Valetta in his honour, and that is the name they still bear to this day, a lasting testimony. He inspired respect in his contemporaries, awe in his enemies and his judgement during the siege was spot on.

And if that is not enough, when his "mini-me" got into combat last Sunday, he took all before him and promptly threw the assault back single-handedly. But that is a story for another time...


An Old Glory figure from their "Wars of Religion" range, his shield is my interpretation of a drawing in George Gush's "Renaissance Armies" book, published by PSL.

This is the drawing from page 31 of Gush's book that is the inspiration for Valette's shield. I have coloured it how I think, so my interpretation is a little conjectural.

His base is a 40mm Gale Force 9 magnetic one. As he is destined to feature probably solely in the "Malta" game, I am not concerned with him having such a large and non-generic base. The other troops I have for the game are almost all based on 20mm squares, so I can place them together within a movement tray for more conventional games.