Thursday, July 12, 2018

My New Old School Word Processor

Royal typewriter, circa the 1930s.

Yesterday I received the 1930s era Royal typewriter that I purchased off of eBay several days ago. I eagerly unwrapped it, put a sheet of paper in the platen, and ripped off a few "the quick red fox..." lines to give it a test drive.

It took me less time than it took to type the two sentences above to recall that sometimes the Good Old Days are not as good as we remember them to be. Some of the keys require more fingertip pressure on them than other keys, so sometimes you will type some words and a few of the letters will look lighter or be completely missing when you are finished typing. We don't have such problems with modern word processors on our computers.

The machine has been restored and doesn't appear to have any mechanical issues. It also looks really really cool!

The front view of the typewriter, which displays nicely infront of a collection of 1930s detective novels.

I simply like the retro look of the Royal typewriter as shown in the close up view of the keyboard below.

Close up view of the keyboard. The key characters are enclosed in glass with nickel plated keys.

The Royal 1930 typewriter will probably be used only as a decorative display piece in my wargame room, but you never know. I might feel the urge, once in awhile, to break out some paper and click and clack off a few paragraphs.

I suppose that I could go back further than Old School and get a colonial printing press, but that is an entirely different hobby than what I am doing with my writing these days.

Fritz suppervises young Igor as he prepares the pages
for tomorrow's edition of the Der Alte Fritz Journal.

Readers eagerly look forward to reading the latest post on the Der Alte Fritz Journal.

Monday, July 9, 2018

East Prussian Infantry and Cavalry Regiments

Frederick grabs the colours of the IR46 von Bulow regiment at Zorndorf.

Here is a listing of all Prussian infantry and cavalry regiments that were from East Prussia. The "record" comments are taken from Christopher Duffy in "The Army of Frederick the Great". I am using this information in the construction and painting of my Pomeranian Corps of Prussian troops that largely fought in the eastern theater against the Russians.

IR2  von Kanitz
Station: Rastenburg (East Prussia)

Record: Unusually hard fighting regiment (especially for an East Prussian regiment) with consistently high casualties. One battalion captured at Maxen.

Grenadier battalion: with Garrison Regt. No. 2 Manstein, Nesse (1758), Natalis (1760)

IR4  Rautter (1757), Kleist (1758), Thadden (1761)
Station: Prussian Holland (East Prussia)

Record: Badly knocked about at Gross Jagersdorf and behaved badly at Zorndorf. One of its Chefs, Rautter, was disgraced for his performance at Zorndorf, while Thadden was known as a drunkard.

Grenadier battalion: with IR16: Polentz, Kleist (1757), Willemy (1758), Thielau (1762). Severe losses at Zorndorf. Captured after fighting bravely at Maxen.

IR11  Below, Rebentisch (1758)
Station: Koenigsberg

Record: Large numbers of Austrian and Russian prisoners were incorporated in the Seven Years War. The regiment did notably badly at Zorndorf, and at Maxen, where it broke up before being captured with the rest.

Grenadier battalion: with IR14: Gohr, Petersdorf (1757), Beyer (1759), Oppen (1760). A generally reliable battalion.

IR14  Lehwaldt
Station: Friedland and Bartenstein (East Prussia)

Record: Suffered heavily at Gross Jagersdorf and Kunersdorf, and lost one battalion at Maxen.

Grenadier battalion: served with IR11

IR16  Dohna, Syburg (1760)
Station: Koenigsberg

Record: Heavy losses at Zorndorf and Kunersdorf. A middling East Prussian regiment, disliked intensely by Frederick.

Standing Grenadier Battalion 4 (Koenigsbergisches Grenadier-Battalion)
Record: raised from grenadiers of Garrison 1 and Garrison 13

Garrison 1 Puttkamer
Station: based at Memel in East Prussia
Grenadier battalion: with Garrison 11: Langenau

Garrison 2 Sydow, Alt-Sydow (1759)
Station: based at Pillau in East Prussia
Record: heavy losses at Gross Jagersdorf. At Torgau and Freiburg

Garrison 11 Manteuffel, Mellin (1760)
Station: based in East Prussia
Record: heavy losses at Gross Jagersdorf. The component battalions captured at Landeshut (1760) and Colberg (1761).
Grenadier battalion: with Garrison 1, formed an independent battalion Bahr.

New Garrison Regiment 2 
Station: Koenigsburg
Record: raised in the 1740s and again in 1756. Disbanded in 1757.

East Prussia Land Militia Battalion  von Katrezinsky
Station: Memel and Pillau
Record: the battalion was initially posted on the border. It was no match for the Russian regular and irregular troops in direct confrontation so it was used mainly in ambushes along the Russian communication lines and raids on baggage trains. It also had to stop Cossack incursions. In one engagement, supporting 200 hussars, it managed to prevent a landing of 2,000 Russian troops at Schaaken in the Curonian Lagoon. In January 1758 the battalion was disbanded to prevent its capture by the Russian army.

Uniform: the Lithuanian companies it had a unique grey coat with no lapels or collar, but blue Prussian style cuffs. The coat resembles a sleeved waistcoat in the French or Russian style. Waistcoat and breeches were supplied by the indivual militia man. Gaitors were grey. Grey gaitors. Black tricorn without hat lace.

The Prussian and Polish companies had a blue coat, similar to the description of the Lithuanian companies. Individual companies had different cuff colors.

Freibattalione - none are recorded as raised in East Prussia

Cavalry Regiments

Charge of the Black Hussars at Gross Jagersdorf - by Carl Rochling

DR6 Schorlemer, Meier (1760) - 10 Squadrons strong
Station: East Prussia

Record: The "Porzellan Regiment" taken from Saxon service in 1717. Heavily engaged at Zorndorf and Kunersdorf

DR7  Plettenberg
Station: East Prussia

Record: Highly distinguished at Zorndorf

DR8 Platen, Alt-Platen (1758)
Station: East Prussia

Record: distinguished at Gross Jagersdorf and Zorndorf.

DR9  Holstein-Gottorp, Pomeisske (1761)
Station: East Prussia

Record: lightly engaged until 1761, when destroyed in the campaign around Colberg.

DR10  Finck
Station: East Prussia

Record: at Gross Jagersdorf. In western Germany 1758-59 with Prinz Ferdinand's army, where it fought at Minden. Highly esteemed by Frederick.

HR5 (Black Hussars) Reusch, Lossow (1760)
Station: various, but recruited from East Prussia.

Record: renowned for the wealth of its officers and the ferocity of its hussars. Three squadrons distinguished in western Germany in Prinz Ferdinand' army.

HR7 (Second, formerly HR8 Gelbe Hussaren) Malachowsky
Station: varioius, but recruited from East Prussia.

Record: Distinguished at Zorndorf, lost six squadrons at Landshut. After peace it took the number of the disbanded HR7. Frederick specifically exempted it from criticism.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

von Kanitz Musketeer Regiment

IR2 - von Kanitz musketeer regiment. Minden Miniatures and GMB Designs flags.

I have finished painting and basing the first battalion of the Prussian von Kanitz (IR2) musketeer regiment in Prussian service. The regiment will be part of my Pomeranian Corps army that will fight the Russians in tabletop battles. I am starting work on the second battalion today and should have it finished within a week's time.

The figures are Minden Miniatures Prussian musketeers with Prussian cuffs.

A close up photo of the command stand and some rank and file soldiers.

Frederick the Great had a very low opinion of the East Prussian regiments in his army, however, he considered the von Kanitz regiment as one of the better fighting units in his army. However, the regiment was rather unlucky, suffering high losses in a number of battles against the Russians.

You can learn more about the regiment by clicking on the link below, which takes you to the Kronoskaf web site

The regiment fought in Lehwald's army at Gross Jagersdorf and suffered heavy losses. It also fought at Zorndorf, Paltzig and finally at Kunersdorf. The Kunersdorf losses were so great that the regiment was reduced to a single battalion. Since the regiment's recruiting grounds in East Prussia were occupied by the Russian army, the von Kanitz regiment could not replenish its losses after Kunersdorf.

The battalion was then captured by the Austrians at Meissen, where it was part of Diericke's small force that got stranded on the wrong side of the Elbe River. With nowhere to retreat, the whole command surrendered. The regiment was reraised in 1760 with unfortunates who were press-ganged into the Prussian army.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Great $5 Book Sale


Der Alte Fritz needs to cull some books (62 in all) from his personal library to save space and is offering nearly everything for a rock bottom price of $5.00 per book. There are a couple of items that are so good that I am pricing them at $10.00 per book.

The total lot of 62 books prices out around $310.00 plus applicable postage so if anyone was interested in buying everything at once, then I'd offer the lot at $200.00 plus applicable shipping.

Contact me by e-mail at:

First come, first serve on all titles, so act fast if you see something that you like. I have placed an asterix next to the book titles that I think are very well written-presented

Seven Years War & Other 18th Century Books (all $5.00 each)

The Coward of Minden   - Piers Mackesy (1979)SOLD
Frederick the Great   - Pierre Gaxotte (1941)
Prince of Europe, The Life of Charles-Joseph de Ligne   - Philip Mansel (2003) SOLD
Warfare in the Eighteenth Centruy   - Jeremy Black (1999)
*The French Army Before Napoleon  - Spencer Wilkinson (1915) SOLD
Roots of Conflict - British Armed Forces & Colonial America   - Douglas Lead (1986) SOLD
The Art of Warfare on Land    - David Chandler (1974) SOLD
The Revolutionary War   - Gail Stewart (1991)
Frie's Rebellion  - Paul Douglas Newman (2004)
Battlefields of Britain  - David Smurthwaite (1991)

Napoleonic Era
Regiments of Waterloo (Almark)  - Rene North (1977) SOLD
Borodino (Knight's Battles for Wargamers series)  - Peter Young (1971) SOLD
The Years of Napoleon (Almark)  - Hunt & Embleton (1972) SOLD
Flags and Standards of the Napoleonic Wars - Keith Over (1976)
*The Armies of 1812  - Otto von Pivka (1977) SOLD
The Causes of the War of 1812 (in America)  - Bradford Perkins (1962)
*L'Armee Francaise 1790 - 1865  - Edouard Detaille (1992) SOLD
Napoleon - The Last Campaigns  - James Lawford (1977) SOLD
Napoleon's Military Machine  - Philip Haythornthwaite (1988) SOLD
Wellington's Military Machine  - Philip Haythornthwaite (1989) SOLD
*Hougoumont  - Julian Paget (1992) SOLD
The Rise of General Bonaparte  - Spencer Wilkinson (1930 reprint 1952) SOLD
The Napoleonic Wars  - Michael Glover (1979)
Napoleon's Enemies  - Richard Warner (1977) SOLD
Austerlitz   - Claude Manceron (1966)
Waterloo New Perspectives - David Hamilton-Williams (1993)
Napoleon 1812  - Nigel Nicolson (1985)
*Napoleon's Grand Army 1813  - Scot Bowden (1990) SOLD
With Moore at Corunna  - G.A. Henty (date?)
Napoleon's Art of War (Maxims) - Napoleon (1995)
*1815 Armies of Waterloo  - Ugo Percoli (1979) SOLD
Discovering Famous Battles , The Peninsular War  - RJ Wilkinson (date?)

American Civil War
The Civil War Source Book  - Philip Katcher (1992)
Chicago Battery Boys, Chicago Mercantile Battery  - Richard Barclay Williams (2007)
  (includes Ed Bearss autograph) SOLD
*Don Troiani's Civil War - Don Troiani & Brian Pohanka (1995) SOLD

ECW & 17th Century
Killiecrankie 1689  - Stuart Reid (1989) SOLD
Scots Armies of the 17th Century (date ?) SOLD
The English Civil War (Almark)  - Potter & Embleton (1973) SOLD

General Topics
*Firepower   - B.P. Hughes (1974)
Great Battles of Military History  - Cyril Falls (1964)  - includes Fontenoy, Rossbach, Poltava
The Armies of the First Schleswig Holstein War 1848 - 1851   - Ralph Weaver (2007) SOLD
*Simken's Uniforms of the British Army - Cavalry  (1982) SOLD
*Simken's Uniforms of the British Army - Infantry  (1982) SOLD
British Infantry Uniforms since 1688  - Michael Barthorp (1982)

$10 Bargain Book
*The War in Mexico - Tony Adams (1998) - SOLD 

Osprey Books
The Indian Mutiny (#67)  - Christopher Wilkinson-Latham (1977)
Scots Armies of the ECW  - Stuart Reid (1999)
Louis XIV's Army  - Rene Chartrand (1986) SOLD
Marlborough's Army - Michael Barthorp (1980) SOLD
The American War 1812-1815  - Philip Katcher (1990) SOLD
*The Jacobite Army 1745-1746 (Elite series)  - Stuart Reid (2006) SOLD
Soldiers of the English Civil War (Elite series) - Infantry, 2 copies available,  - Keith Roberts
Soldier of the English Civil War (Elite series) - Cavalry, 2 copies available, - John Tincey

Matchlock Musketeers (Warrior series) 1588-1688   - Keith Roberts (2002) SOLD
Ironsidees ECW Cavalry (Warrior series) 1588-1688  - John Tincey (2002) SOLD

Osprey Campaign Series
Marston Moor 1644  - John Tincey (2003) SOLD
First Newbury 1643  - John Tincey (2003)
Auldearn 1645  - Stuart Reid (2003) SOLD
Dunbar 1650  - Stuart Reid (2003)

The English Civil Wars (Essential Histories series)  - Peter Gaunt (2003)
*Normandy 1944 - Stephen Badsey (1990)


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Manstein Grenadiers (2/G-II) Enter Prussian Service

Manstein Grenadier Battalion (2/G-II) in Prussian service. All figures are Minden Miniatures.


A couple of days ago I finished the second half of the Manstein Grenadier Battalion by painting 16 of the grenadiers from the Garrison II regiment, which makes up half of the battalion. The grenadiers from the Kanitz Regiment (IR2) make up the other half of the regiment.

Here are the finished grenadiers from G-II. Note that they have the wider Swedish cuffs and white facings and small clothes to distinguish them from the von Kanitz grenadiers:

Two grenadier companies from the Garrison Regiment Number 2.

And here are the previously painted grenadiers from the von Kanitz musketeer regiment, No. 2, which I painted the week before my trip to the UK last week. The von Kanitz grenadiers wear the tighter Prussian style cuffs and have red facings and straw colored small clothes.

Two grenadier companies from the von Kanitz Musketeer Regiment No. 2

Prussian grenadier battalions generally converged the two grenadier companies of one regiment with two grenadier companies of another regiment in the army. So the designation "2/G-II" for the Manstein grenadiers indicates that two of the companies are from IR2 - von Kanitz while two more companies are from the second Garrison Regiment (or G-II). Together the four companies comprise one permanent grenadier organization for the duration of the war.

So you put the two components together and you end up with one full battalion of grenadiers. Grenadiers were always in single battalion organization compared to the two-battalion organization of all Prussian musketeer and fusilier infantry regiments.

I now have six infantry battalions in my Prussian Pomeranian Corps (4 fusiliers, 1 garrison, 1 grenadier battalion) which is half-way towards my goal of having 12 infantry battalions in the Pomeranian Corps. I can paint a full 32-figure battalion in little under a week's time, so I should have this project completed by the end of August, provided I don't burn out on the painting.

Once I finish two more Prussian battalions and raise the total to 8 battalions, I think that I will stage a refight of the Battle of Gross Jagersdorf (August 30,, 1757) either sooner or on the anniversary day of the battle at the end of August.

Next up in the painting queue is the von Kanitz Musketeer Regiment (IR2). I have 16 of the 32 figures finished for the first battalion as of today and I hope to have the first battalion finished by Monday.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Day Five: The Geese Take Wing

Kenilworth 2018 - The Wild Geese

On Sunday June 25th, the Wild Geese convened for the final gaming session in the morning, playing until about noon when we gathered for lunch and the awarding of "best" categories and awards. Members had the opportunity to vote for categories, such as Best Game Host, Best General, Worst General, Best Gentleman, Worst Gentleman, Best Game etc. , and then writing the name of the person on a slip of paper, which was then placed in a jar. The winner of each category had his name drawn from the respective jar. I can't recall who won what, but I don't think that anyone really cared who won. We were all winners!

For my last game on Sunday I wanted to try Willz Harley's "Battle of Kenilworth" game feature hundreds of nicely painted Spencer Smith figures that cavorted around the table top using my own "Der Alte Fritz Rules for 18th Century Warfare". You can download a free copy of the rules from the Fife & Drum Miniatures webstore:

Free Rules Download Here

Click on the above link to the F&D webstore and then click on the pull down menu tab labeled "more" and then select "Rules and Articles". There you will see a list of various PDFs that you can download by clicking on the icon for each item.

The Battle of Kenilworth Game on Sunday

The game table was very attractive with its Old School style buildings and terrain and with the Spencer Smith figures, you could almost imagine that these photographs came out of an edition of Charles Grant's "The Wargame" book.

Douglas and I commanded the Sardinians (I think, but I'm not sure), which bore some resemblence to Prussians. Facing off against us on the other side of the table were Stuart, Michael and Tim. This Michael fellow seemed to be everywhere throughout the game sessions - it was almost as if there were two of him or something like that.

Spencer Smith Prussians advance in the center towards more Spencer Smith French.
Those buildings were really nifty too, giving the game look and feel of "The Wargame" book by Charles Grant.

My battalions start to deploy into line, but I find that I can't get both the artillery 
and a third battalion of infantry into the front of the battle line. 
In the background you can see the first of many cavalry melees on my right flank.

Michael and Tim advance forward to contest my attack in the center. Michael wheels his French onto my left flank and I have to swing the left most battalion in the picture above back a bit or else get shot in the flank.

Most of my units ended up in the Morgue by the end of the game.
The Dice Gods were not looking on me with good favor, as most of my infantry battalions took turns routing and then recovering and then going back into the battle once more, only to rout again. LOL.

We gave the rules a good workout and I was pleased to see that the players picked up on the mechanics very quickly and took it from there themselves. I got to see how the new cavalry melee rules worked in situ and really liked the back and forth action that the melee rules created - and they kept the melees from being too long - which was the whole point of the change.

At one point during the game, Michael Perry asked me how the rules handled charging into built up areas. My respone, "gee, I've never tried it before. Let's give it a try and see how it works." It seemed to work out very well, thank you very much.

Two regiments of Sardinian and Tiburian cavalry pitch into melee.

Meanwhile one the other flank, it was a Scotish civil war of sorts as Douglas and Stuart, both from Scotland coincidentally, were having a go of it on the left flank. My team mate Douglas, was having more success than was I. At one point during the game, the Tiburian command sent a messenger to Douglas inviting him to surrender, and I think that the response was the same one heard at Waterloo a few decades later.

Douglas' Sardinians (my allies) cover the left flank of the table and bash it up with Stuart's French brigade.
By the end of the day, it was obvious that the French had earned a major victory, but I didn't care because it was one of the most fun games that I have played in awhile and I had the opportunity to cross dice against that Perry fellow (I swear he must have a twin or something).

Here is a brief recap of the four games hosted at the show. I've placed them in the order in which I played in them.

Great Northern War, Swedish Convey Attacked (host - Paul Robinson)

The Grimsby Wargamer himself, Paul Robinson, hosted this Great Northern War ("GNW") scenario in which the Swedes are trying to get a long supply convoy to the main army so that they will have provisions for the coming campaign. However, the Russians got wind of the convoy and they have other plans for how this might all turn out.

Der Alte Fritz (left) in Paul Robinson's GNW game.
(I hardly ever have pictures of myself, so here goes...)
Zulu War Skirmish Game (host - Gary Phillips):

The players all command British groups of three elements and their objective is to attack and burn down the Zulu kraal and then get out of Dodge City as fast as they can. The game judge ran all of the Zulu units, which appeared at random via dice rolls.

Gary Phillips' Zulu skirmish game.

The Battle of Kenilworth Game (host - Willz Harley): 

18th Century Imaginations game with the Tiburians and Sardinians having a go at it. The Spencer Smith figures and the style of the buildings gave this game a nice Old School look, straight out of The Wargame.

Willz Harley's Battle of Kenilworth game.

The Versailles Game (host - Colin Ashton)

I did not get the chance to play in this game this year. I had played in Colin's fine Leuthen game last year and I wanted to give some of the other game judges' games a try this year. The game featured the Dutch against the French and featured a lot of role playing and rivalry between the commands. I believe that the players all had French commands and that the game judge operated all of the Dutch figures in the game.

Colin Ashton's Versailles Game

Some Other Blog Accounts of the Wild Geese Weekend

You can read some more detailed accounts of the weekend from Paul Robinson, Colin Ashton and Chris Gregg, respectively, by clicking on the links below:

Grimsby Wargaming Blog

Carryings On Up The Dale Blog

Not Just Old School Wargaming Blog

Back to the Barracks

The weekend passed by all too fast, as it usually does each year, and I headed back to London on Sunday afternoon and an eventual return home to the States on Monday.

I found a stowaway in my suitcase. How'd he get there?

Graham Cummings gave me a ride back to the Coventry train station, which is but a few short miles from the Chesford Grange Hotel, and I only had to wait about an hour for the next train to arrive. I passed the time watching England trounce Panama in the World Cup game that day. I have always had a good experience riding British Rail trains in the UK and I only wish that we had similar train service in the United States. I would opt for train travel over airline travel any time!

Return to Euston Station in London
Back in London around 5PM, I checked into my hotel near Marble Arch and had a light snack and a short nap before going on a walk through Hyde Park for one last view of London.

Last Words

I will be posting some more detailed reports on the various games that I played in over the weekend, but I have lots and lots of pictures and I didn't want to put them all into one very longgggggg post.

Plans are already afoot to have another Wild Geese Weekend next year and I look forward to returning once again. The Wild Geese are an incredibly friendly and sociable group of gamers and I always look forward to picking up the conversations where they left off the previous year, as well as the chance to makes new friends.

Thank yous go out to Colin Ashton for organizing the weekend and to the game judges (Paul, Gary, Willz and Colin) for hosting such fun and entertaining games.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Day Four, the Gathering of the Wild Geese


The second annual Wild Geese gathering in Kenilworth convened on Saturday with 23 gamers from all corners of the U.K. Plus one American in the ranks. There were four games set up by Colin Ashton, Paul Robinson, Gary Phillips, and Willz Harley and with three game sessions over the weekend there was oppornity to experience several different historical eras.

Colin's game was set during one of the late 17th Century Wars between the Dutch and the French and it included some role playing elements such that the player on your team might not have your best interests in mind. I really like the sound of this and alas, it was the one game that I did not have the opportunity to play.

The next game on my list, and first one played, was a GNW period game hosted by the Grimsby Wargamer himself, Paul Robinson. I didn't play in Paul's game last year so I made a point of playing his game this year. The scenario had the Swedes escorting a long wagon train to a Swedish base and the wagon train was intercepted by the Russians. It was a very colorful game that included Polish Hussars, Cossacks, Green coated Russians and blue Swedish coats.

I played one of the Swedish infantry commands serving as the rear guard and faced off against Aly Morrison's Russians. The rules favor Swedish charges and good Russian musketry. I had some initial success routing two Russian battalions off the table, but then that particular Swedish regiment ran out of steam and momentum with it, too, routing away. The rest of my command I could not expand my frontage by more than two regiments whereas Aly overlapped me with a four battalion frontage. So basically I could not use my best asset, the charge, because each of my regiments would have run into two Russian regiments and get overwhelmed by the numbers. Trading musket fire was a bad idea for me due to the numbers ( but just as likely due to the dice gods, who withdrew there favor towards me and shifted it all to Aly). My end of the table was starting to look like a rerun of Poltava somthe Russian victory was more or less inevitable.

I had a blast playing GNW and it reminds me that I have a lot of Swedes and Russians at home that are begging to be painted.

On Saturday afternoon I played in Gary Phillips' Zulu War skirmish game. Gary operated the Zulus and four of us commanded a company or small brigade of British redcoats, some NNC warriors or some Naval Brigade figures. Our mission was to burn down one of the Zulu kraals.

There were no Zulus on the table at the beginning, but there was a chance that a war band might appear any time a British unit moved. So of course we elected to spray the kraal huts with machine gun fire, which technically was not moving. Well after we had our fun and a good snicker , we started to move our commands and so Zulus started popping up in all directions.

Before the game starts, each player rolls dice to create characteristics for each of three units in our command as well as another die roll for The personalities that we had. I can't recall what my characters were, but my commanding officer was a Shirker and was not allowed to advance towards any Zulus. Initially my dice rolling carried over from the GNW and I couldn't shoot down a Zulu if my life depended on it. Ironic.

At one point during the game, my company of engineers was attempting to torch some of the Zulu huts (destroying them was our victory condition) and to my horror a pack of Zulus came storming out of the hut and slaughtered two thirds of The engineers. One of my infantry companies final figured out how to operate a Martini Henry rifle and I felt rather proud when that company put 7 hits on some  charging Zulus. Wait a minute Jim, the Zulus just  killed off 11 of your redcoats. Yikes! The company officer was the lone surviving, choosing not to die gloriously with his mesn

Friday, June 22, 2018

Day Three - from London to Kenilworth

Today was a travel day as I had to take the train from Euston Station to Coventry, where Graham was to meet me and give me a ride to the Wild Geese gathering in Kenilworth.

I really enjoy traveling by train and I've always had a good experience with British Rail. My train left at 12:43 on the dot and I was in Coventry within an hour. Graham Cummings picked me up and we paid a visit to nearby Griffin Moulds to say hello to our friends Jane and Lisa and the rest of the staff at Griffin. There wasn't a lot of new ground to cover because the service and quality of the casting products are second to none. 

The company added resin casting to their list of capabilities and are working on 3D design programming and 3D printing which opens up a lot of new avenues for product development. I'm particularly intrigued by 3D printing.

After our visit we drove to Kenilworth and the Chesford Grange Hotel where we will be having our Wild Geese Wargaming weekend. The games start at 9AM on Saturday morning so I have to sign off and get some sleep.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Day Two in London

A compelling sales pitch.

We continue to have great weather in London: sunny and clear with temperatures around 68F. Yesterday was much warmer in the upper 70s, but seemed warmer to me because I was walking everywhere in the afternoon sun. It seems like one does a LOT of walking in London, but that's ok.

Today I spent several hours at the National Army Museum and I must say that with all of the changes in exhibits and the interior remodeling I hardly recognized the place. That said, I think that the museum has improved considerably as it covers the British army's history from the ECW to the present and provides the visitors with a better sense of what it is/was like to be a soldier. 

I think that we all intuitively know it, but War is not glorious, it is dangerous, and can take a dreadful toll on those who survived the experience (PTSD). The exhibits do a good job of driving these points home, rather than focusing on the campaigns and won battles of the army.

Getting back to the glorious wargamey thingy, I took a lot of pictures of the 18th Century and Napoleonic uniforms and equipment. The Siborne Waterloo model is still there but the area is so dark that I could barely make out was going. There is the captured eagle of the French 108th regiment that was taken at Waterloo (I think?) as well as its flag, which has faded almost to white, and a nice cuirassier set of cuirasses and helmet on display. They even have the skeleton of Marengo, Napoleon's horse which was captured at Waterloo.

I took a nice picture of an 18th Century Guards uniform, circa the AWI and snapped some good shots of various cloth mitres and bearskins.

Next on the list was a boat trip up the Thames to Greenwich. It's a good way to see much of London and is quite pleasant on a sunny day. My intention was to visit the Naval Observatory and the Naval Museum, but I got sidetracked by a visit to the Cutty Sark. I'd seen the former before, but never got around to the Cutty Sark. I spent the whole hour there and decided to take the return boat back to Westminster- boats run on the hour. I could have easily remained for another hour, but it was getting late in the day and I thought it prudent to head back to the hotel. 

Well, that's London for me on this trip. Tomorrow I take the train to Coventry where Graham will meet me and take us to see Griffin Moulds on our way to Kenilworth and the Wild Geese weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Day One in London

Horse Guards parade ground 

I landed at London Heathrow at around noon today and checked into my hotel without having to wait for it to be ready. In my room, I kind of got hooked on the Portugal vs. Moracco World Cup match. Then it occurred to me that here I was in beautiful London and I was in my room watching television.

Piglet watching World Cup

So it was time to hit the road Jack and get about and around town. My first stop was the Guards Museum, but the last admission is at 3:30pm and the building closes at 4:00pm. My taxi driver thought that I said the "Science Museum" so we were stuck in traffic in Kensington (which is far from Museum). The minutes were rapidly ticking away on my watch, but we finally made it with about ten minutes to spare. In my previous visit to London I got to the museum just as it was closing and I was experiencing some serious deja  vous here.

I can't seem to upload pictures using the Blogger mobile ap, so I will post pictures from the museum when I get home.

From there I strolled over to Horse Guards parade ground and walked (marched) around the perimeter so that I could say that I had marched at HG.

Next stop was a visit to Hatchards bookstore on Picadilly and found a book about Frederick the Great that I hadn't seen before. This is a really neat book store with about five floors of books. If you are ever in London then take some time to visit Hatchards.

My last stop was at Fortnum & Mason where I bought some scones for tomorrow's breakfast . I always enjoy visiting the Wine and Spirits department to look at some of the insanely priced scotch whiskeys in stock. There was a bottle of 40 year old Balvenie for  £3,500 for sale and I'm sure that it will be there when you visit on your own.

That's all for now. I'm off to bed to catch some zees.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Road Trip to the UK

We will catch those rascally rabbits yet!

Later this evening I will board a plane in Chicago and wing my way to London so that I can attend a weekend gathering of gamers in Warwickshire, as we did last year at this time. I will spend a couple of days in London before taking a train to Coventry on friday and meeting up with Graham Cummings, the major domo of Crann Tara Miniatures. Along the way we shall stop in at Griffin Moulds to catch up with our friends there and then make our way to Kenilworth where our group, The Wild Geese, is gathering.

There is nice variety of games offered: GNW, Zulu War, SYW Imaginations, and the Franco-Dutch wars of the 1690s. The four games run for the full day on Saturday and then we get another chance to play in another of the games on Sunday. In between there will undoubtedly be a meeting in the local pub where we will solve all of the world's problems.

The trip has already had some excitement, and I haven't even left my house yet. Yesterday, I was informed by British Airways that my flight from Chicago had been cancelled (no reason given for the cancellation). I was to click on a link that would lead me to a new itinerary. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I read the schedule change. They proposed having me catch a flight from Chicago to Boston (arriving at 1AM) and then having a six hour layover in Boston and catching a BA flight from Boston to London arriving around 7PM local time, on Thursday instead of the planned Wednesday arrival.

So I got on the horn and had to do quite a bit of sparring with the airline in order to get a better replacement flight. The first idea was to have me fly from Chicago to Manchester, then have one hour to catch a flight to London. I would imagine that just getting my luggage and processed through customs would take an hour, so that wasn't the optimal flight schedule.

Then finally, BA found that there was a flight from Chicago to London that left about an hour later in the evening than my originally scheduled flight (the one that was cancelled). This would get me into London around noon local time rather than 9AM, but that was OK because my hotel generally doesn't have the rooms available until after the noon hour. So it looked like an acceptable flight plan was available...

... but wait, the BA agent decided that I had only paid for the flight to London, but had not done so for the return leg. Of course this was not the case, so at one point I had two telephones operating with the BA agent on one phone and my travel agent on the other phone.

In any event, we finally got things sorted out and it looks like I will make it to London without too much disruption in the schedule. But still, my stress level was fairly high after all these shennanigans and not having immediate access to some good single malt scotch, I visited the local ice cream shop and ordered a chocolate milkshake for comfort food.

Everything should be all tickety-boo now.

I will try to post some pictures on my blog during my travels. However, the Blogger mobile ap is a piece of junk that makes it nearly impossible to post anything at all whilst on the road. Blogger is owned by Google, which is only one of the largest tech companies in the world, and they can't fix their mobil ap for Blogger (which used to work just fine, thank you very much). Come on Google, get your stuff together and fix this!

We shall see.

While in London, I want to make a point of visiting the Guards Museum this time. Last year, I arrived there around 3PM and found that the museum had just closed. Doh! I'd also like to pay a visit to the National Army Museum, which was closed for renovations last year. A visit to Hatchards' bookstore is always a must on any visit to London, so hopefully I can add some new ballast to my suitcase with the inclusion of a few heavy books.

Hopefully all of the stress and out of left field changes are behind me and I can relax and enjoy the actual travels this week. I'm looking forward to seeing the Wild Geese at Kenilworth this coming weekend.


Der Alte Fritz

Saturday, June 16, 2018

IR2 von Kanitz Grenadiers

von Kanitz grenadier company - Minden Miniatures figures.
I am working on the painting of the Manstein Grenadier Battalion (2/G-II) in Marshal Lehwaldt's army at Gross Jagersdorf in 1757. The first half of the battalion consists of the grenadier companies from IR2 von Kanitz regiment. The second half of the battalion will be comprised of the grenadier companies of the second garrison regiment G-II. You put them all together and you end up with a single battalion of Prussian grenadiers.

Click on the link to the Kronoskaf history of the Manstein Grenadiers:

von Kanitz command figures

Another view of the von Kanitz grenadiers
 Next in the painting queue, naturally, will be the grenadiers from G-II. Here is a picture of the Garrison II regiment's grenadier uniforms from Kronoskaf.

Note that the G-II grenadier uniform has Swedish cuffs. I had primed a set of 16 grenadiers and was ready to paint them when I realized that I had the Prussian grenadier figures with Prussian cuffs. So I had to defer painting the unit yesterday and prime the correct set of grenadier figures with Swedish cuff.

So today, I was ready to paint. I quickly applied the blue coat color, the grey shade for the white breeches and waistcoat, and a shade of red brown as an undercoating for the flesh color. Now I was ready to start on the white cuffs and do you know what happened?

Yes, I had started painting the Prussian grenadier figures with Prussian cuffs instead of the Swedish cuffs. I had picked up the wrong set of figures. Doh! That was two hours of painting time that I had wasted today.

At least I can use the start of the grenadiers in Prussian coats with white small clothes as the grenadiers from IR4 which I can pair with IR16 to create the Polentz grenadier battalion that also fought in Lehwaldt's army.


Friday, June 15, 2018



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Continentals on the March -A Daring Move?

Baron De Kalb directs traffic as his army is on the march.

I set up several "posed" pictures after I finished the Battle of Kingston, from the American Revolution, and wanted to post them on this blog. Continental troops are marching through a town that could be Kingston or another town in the South Carolina Campaign of 1780.

We are on Turn Eleven of Twelve in the campaign and the British have opened up a large differential in Victory Point over the Americans. Desperate times call for desperate measures. With Cornwallis near the Atlantic Ocean at Kingston, the British base in the interior of South Carolina at Camden might be vulnerable to a surprise attack. General De Kalb proposes to attack the Camden garrison (6SPs commanded by Lord Rawdon) with at least 6SPs of veteran Continental troops. 

Following the defeat and capture of Gates' army at Kingston, De Kalb commands the last Continental Army of any significance in South Carolina. So this is a very bold move by the American command, which cannot afford to lose a battle and a lot of men.

The veteran Maryland Brigade leads the column through one of the towns along the route.

A closer view of DeKalb directing traffic. Where are they headed to?
Continental light troops protect the wagon train.

The rear guard.

I am off to Warwickshire in the UK next week, so the Battle of Camden will have to wait to be played until I get back in the final week of June. The battle should be quite a cracker.