SAS Wargames Club

SAS Wargames Club
Welcome to our home on the Web! Well it's brighter and hopefully better than ever before - well it all works - which is better than before. Don't worry despite this new glossy professional feel we're still the same bunch of reprobates looking to play toy soldiers!

Friday, 26 January 2018

Off the Work bench - Mike W, 26/01/18

Today 26th January 2018, with what's OFF MY WORKBENCH.

Royal Piemont Cavalry,command elements
Second Squadron

As hoped I completed the French 'Royal Piemont' Cavalry regiment this week, 12 mounted figures in 2 squadrons of six to represent this Piedmont (Italian) regiment in French service. Figures are 28mm North Star 1872 cavalry figures, 
I find cavalry figures a little tricky to paint  - in so much as do you paint the horse, then the man? - do you glue the man to the horse before or after painting? For what its worth, with these figures I glued the man to the horse then painted the horse and then the man...

... with Front Rank 28mm mounted figures I paint the horse and man separately then glue them together. I think its to do with the saddle furniture on Front Rank figures being part of the man's sculpt, rather than being on the horse! I prefer doing them separately as I can get more detail onto the saddle cloth etc!

Blue coats and red linings & cuffs make this a different looking unit to line up with the rest of the French army and as I have done the usual trick of not gluing standards in pace - the unit can be re-purposed if required for specific scenarios in the future.

Again I have not yet applied the final spray coat of Matt Varnish to the figures, hopefully in a couple weeks I'll be able to have a 'Spray Fest' and get all the outstanding units seen to - 35+ mounted and some 160 foot in total at this stage - at a  guess!

The other unit finished this week was the 10mm Scots Common Army Schiltron, 30 spear armed figures...

10mm Scots Common Army

Royal Italien uniform & Standards
Unpainted metal awaiting clean-up!

I have added a new unit of 28mm French 1672 figures from North Star, I intend to paint these up as the 'Royal Italien' regiment of Foot, to serve with their Piedmontese mounted cousins. The unit was raised in 1671 by Comte Magalotti, a former Captain in the Garde Francais, so impressed was Louis XIV wit the unit he immediately gave them the 'Royal' Prefix! Uniforms look interesting, brown coats lined red with red socks and pants, illustration courtesy of Wargames Illustrated and Mark Allen's wonderful series on French Army uniforms from the late 1980s. (I think!) .   
More astute readers will have noticed that this post is somewhat earlier than usual, we will be away for a few days so the next post will be in two weeks - to allow me time to catch-up on the metal piles....

Monday, 22 January 2018

Battle of Fondouk, Tunisia 1943


In March 1943, the Axis were on the run in North Africa. Driven back in fierce fighting at Wadi Akarit on the 6th and 7th of April, they came to Endifaville, 50 miles from Tunis.

The Battle of Fondouk was another of a number of additional rearguard actions fought by the  retreating Axis troops.

The Allies now had an opportunity. If a British Corps under Lieutenant-General John Crocker could make a breakthrough at Fondouk, then they could cut off the Axis line of retreat. General Ryder and the American 34th Infantry was given the task of taking the pass at Fondouk.

The Game

Run by Phil on 19th-26th Jan '18, as on a 10 x 6' table using 15mm figures, with three infantry bases plus support weapon bases representing a company. 

The game pitches two American Infantry Regiments of two battalions each,plus supporting Regimental Artillery, plus an Armored Battalion of Lee tanks against a mixed Italian and German force of similar numbers.

As ever Phil has created an innovative set of rules to drive the game and judging by the interest generated after the first week of the game, the challenge for the Americans will be on how they can close with the dug n enemy along the ridge lines in front of them.

What Really Happened

Ryder, ever the tactician, believed that the best way to take Fondouk would be through encirclement. Crocker disagreed and overruled Ryder, ordering him to make a frontal assault.

The result was a bloody failure. The 34th Infantry suffered heavy casualties carrying out Crocker’s assault on Fondouk, yet were unable to take the pass. Crocker blamed Ryder and his men for not completing his plan, and ordered them withdrawn from the front lines for retraining.

The Americans felt humiliated by the British, especially as the assaulting units, which had taken heavy and seemingly unnecessary casualties, were withdrawn from the line for 'retraining' and relations between the two allies took on a sour turn after the affair.

Dedicated Website with Video Material can be found <here>

Off the Work bench - Mike W, 22/01/18

Today 22nd January 2018, with what's ON MY WORKBENCH.

I was able to complete the 28 man, 28mm Huguenot Infantry Regiment in very good time this week, getting them completed by Friday morning, this allowed me to select the next unit for painting.

1st Squadron, The Royal Piemont  Regiment
2nd Squadron, The Royal Piemont  Regiment
This was an Anglo-Dutch Wars 28mm Cavalry Regiment - The Royal Piemont - to be precise. Not your typical French cavalry as they were uniformed in blue with red cuffs and linings with silver metal buttons. additionally as the name suggests they were drawn for men from the Italian state of Piedmont - notably from around Turin.

I'm hoping that the regiment can provide a utility role as other nationalities as required with simple flag swaps in future games. (I do not glue flags to figures these days, just so that they can be easily swapped as scenarios require...). The unit will consist of 12 mounted figures,deployed in 2 six figure squadrons and will include an officer, standard bearer and a musician in addition to the nine troopers.

Still on the  workbench are the Old Glory Mexican Fusiliers and the  10mm Scots for Flodden.


As mentioned above, I got the Huguenot Infantry Regiment completed - the figures are Front Rank 1672 figures,a mixture of french and English castings to give the regiment a hint of Frenchmen in English service and consists of four stands of four musketeers with matchlocks plus four half-stands of pikemen, totaling another eight figures  - half of which are armoured in the French fashion. The command group consists of two half stands, one with ensigns carrying flags and one with musician and regimental commander.
Le Caillemotte Regiment
Le Caillemotte Regiment
These chaps were painted to represent a unit in generic, unbleached / dyed wool coats and by contrast their officers in the period's usual over he top finery. Standards are based upon blog site 'Don't throw a 1' prospective standards for the 'Le Caillemotte Regiment'.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Off the Work bench -Mike W, 15/01/18

North Star 1672 Infantry Regiment
Today 15th January 2018,what's ON THE WORKBENCH... 

I added the 28 Anglo-Dutch figures that will go to make-up a new Hugenot Regiment for the this project. Figures are all North Star 28mm 1672 range, and pictured to right they are undercoated in white. Should be completed by this time next week! 

Still on the  workbench are the Old Glory Mexican Fusiliers - I still haven't worked up any enthusiasm to compete these plus the  10mm Scots for Flodden - these are all painted and basing needs finishing...

More importantly is what's OFF THE WORKBENCH... 

As planned I was able to complete the two companies of  Mexican Regulars plus their supporting NCOs Officers etc.

2nd Coy, Tres Vilas Battalion
3rd Coy, Tres Vilas Battalion
Figures represent the 'Tres Villas Battalion', companies are organised in to units of 8 figures plus an NCO. I've done the 2nd & 3rd Companies,as the 1st were Grenadiers and the 8th Cazadores.

As usual the figures are Boot Hill Miniatures.

The command figures are one NCO per company plus an Officer,Standard Bearer and a Drummer.

Tres Vilas Battalion, command figures
The full battalion will eventually be 6 x companies with NCOs plus 3 x Officers and 2 x standard Bearers plus 2 x Drummers. Usual practice at the time was to have Grenadier & Cazadore companies detached into separate 'ad hoc' battalions.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Battle of Solferino, 1859

Solferino Battlefield


The Battle was one of the key engagements in the 2nd Italian War of Independence, resulting in the final unification of  Italy, which had been split between France, Austria, Spain and numerous independent Italian states.

The battle took place near the villages of Solferino and San Martino, Italy, south of Lake Garda between Milan and Verona.

The battle saw the Austrians, on one side, and the French and Piedmontese forces, opposing ther advances.

Dave's scenario was the far right of the Austrian line where Austrians fought against Piedmontese / Sardinian divisions for the control of the village of  Pozzolengo, on the left of the Austrian line,  and vital high ground, near San Martino, at the very right of the Austrian line.

The Game

Battle mat  with figures& Ruless
Run by Dave on 5th-12th Jan '18, as on a 6' x 4' battle mat using 2mm figures, with each base representing a battalion of infantry, cavalry squadron or half an artillery battery. Game rules were Shako!, using the appendix for large scale battles.

What Really Happened

The Sardinian 3rd Div (Steve/MW) actually launched frontal attacks to retake San Martino village and the two fortified farms of Roccolo and Contracania on the hill. They tried several times but were beaten back, especially by an Austrian massed battery. 

The 5th Division (Mark/Phil) attacked on the 3rd's right and swung up onto the side of the hill towards Contracania farm (which was on the right of San Martino from the Sardinian's point of view)., but not as deep as Mark's movement round the rear. 

The Austrian VIII Corps (Mike N/Rupert/John) held on throughout the day. A brief downpour towards late afternoon put a hold on things for about an hour. 

Close-up of the 2mm Units
Reinforcements arrived for the Sardinians in the form of the Aosta Brigade (9 battalions) from the 2nd Division, sent by King Vittorio Emmanuelle to help with the attacks. They arrived 

about 5pm on the road to the right of the 5th Division (roughly where Mark was on the first night). These were the ones on the tray on the window ledge. The game finished before they arrived but they joined in the attacks historically and their numbers began to tell.

Meanwhile, the main Battle of Solferino further south, the French army had now duffed the rest of the 2 Austrian armies up (1st and 2nd) and the Austrians began to retreat back towards their territory of Venetia (they had surprised everyone by launching a massive counter attack earlier). At the southern end of the battlefield, it was much more suitable for cavalry fighting  and there were several glorious charges by both sides.

Ludwig von Benedek
Benedek, commander of the VIII Corps, received orders to retreat but to control it in order not to turn it into a rout. Being one of the better (probably the only decent) General the Austrians had, he managed to pull this off and extricated his command successfully back to Austrian territory. The Sardinians then advanced, took the town of San Martino, the farms and the hill, but at a terrible cost. 

The town town was renamed San Martino Delle Battaglia and there is a tower now there made into an ossary with bones and skulls from the battle.

Next up, Battle of Magenta (which was before San Martino) and the appearance of the French, some Imperial Guard (so more MR's of 5 and 6) and some rifled artillery (gulp). Bigger battle than San Martino but figure (!) scale will change so a 4 base/battalion regiment will be 2 bases to a regiment, 1 base guns to a battery instead of 2. God knows when this will be put on!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 09/01/18


Well due to sickness in the last week, I didn't get as much completed in the last few days as I had originally expected. 

Boot Hill 28mm Mounted 
Mexican Regular Cavalry
However, the two main goals of the week were pretty much fulfilled as hoped - The Texas Revolutionary Mexican Cavalry was completed (Mounted & Dismounted versions) to dipping and basing stage.
And the dismounted versions

28mm Dutch Infantry Command Stand
Flags were added to the Anglo-Dutch figures completed the previous week, the more observant reader will see that I have based three of the figures on a command base with another existing figure that I had already completed - hopefully giving the impression of a hard pressed unit where the drummer boy has been pressed into the firing line ... .

Completed Warmaster Halbardiers

Additionally I was able to base the Warhammer Empire unit

So as of today 9th January 2018, what's ON MY WORKBENCH...

Nothing! 😠😠😠  

Mexican Regular Infantry
But there will be something added tomorrow - the choice is a couple of  28mm Texan Revolutionary Mexican Line Companies plus command - some 24 figures.

Huegenot Flags
OR a North Star 28mm Anglo-French Wars Huegenot Infantry Regiment of 28 figures. 

Which shall it be, the Huegenots would be a great addition to the collection and an excuse for some more splendid flags, the Mexican Battalion are the last figures in the current batch of Boot Hill figures I have waiting to be painted....

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Off the Workbench - Mike W, 02/01/18

First of all - I hope everyone had a good Xmas and New Year's break!

Somewhat predictably, I didn't have as much time as I expected for any painting and modelling over the festive period, so this week has not seen a lot come OFF THE WORKBENCH... 

Boot Hill Minature's Mariachi Band
Basically I got the wonderful Boot Hill Mariachi Band and Dancing Girl completed, dipped & based and ready for a final Matt varnish spray when the weather improves.

Artizan's 'Heroes of the Alamo' Set
Other success of the week was to finish off the Artizan 'Heroes of the Alamo' trio - Davey Crockett,Col. Travis & Jim Bowie.

Anglo-Dutch waiting standards & basing
The 4 Anglo Dutch figures are painted and dipped but not yet based, this will be done this week - delay was due to two of these figures being standard bearers and the flags still need printing, fixing and completing!

Lone Norman Crossbowman
Bonus of the week was to complete the Norman Crossbowman found at the back of the workbench after being lost there for several months... a simple but effective finish to a figure that has been waiting to join his friends for too long now!

So as of today 2nd January 2018, what's ON MY WORKBENCH...

I opted to continue working on my Texas Revolution collection, so I have started work on a small company of Regular Cavalry, 6 in number (not 8 as I thought previously) and to be represented both mounted and dismounted. At this period the Cavalry operated in a dual role as mounted infantry as well as classic Lancer type cavalry.

Boot Hill Miniature's Dismounted
Regular Mexican Cavalry
Uniforms should be fun - red coats, faced green, grey trousers with red stripe and black helmets trimmed with brass fittings and tri-colour plume. group includes an Officer, Bugler, NCO and 3 x Troopers. I'll likely be adding another three troopers to is company some time in the future.

Interestingly the Active Militia Cavalry wore the same uniforms but with the coat colours reversed - green with red facings - so that will be another unit to add to the collection at some point.

These figures are modeled with the horsehair crest variant of the cavalry helmet, evidence exists that the Mexicans also still used an older helmet version with a Horsehair mane, very similar to (if not the same as) the French Napoleonic Cuirassiers...

Warmaster Empire Halbardiers
Other surprise entries for the week were two 10mm units - one 30 Scots spearmen for a possible Flodden game some years in the future and the other a Warmaster Empire unit of 24 figures who will joint the rest of the 'Stirland' Yellow & Green Fighting Machine! If only I had opponents for them....
Pendraken 10mm Scots Schiltron