Monday, January 25, 2010

The Covenanters!

I've just finished the cavalry for my DBA-RRR Covenanter army. Here's a sight to strike fear into any heart - heavily armed Presbyterians. All figures are 1/72 metal from Tumbling Dice.

First up, the Covenanter general, who is based as a single figure under the DBA-RRR rules.

'After yon Papist!'

Next, three elements of horse, using slightly different basing rules to DBA-RRR to make them consistent with the rest of my ECW figures.

The banner is a simplified attempt at a Covenanter flag captured by Cromwell's troops at Dunbar in 1650. While looking for flags I found this excellent reference.

Finally, an element of lancers. These are converted from Tumbling Dice figures holding muskets, and the helmeted head is from a figure in the A Call To Arms command set. The lances are broom bristles.

Next up - musketeers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

ECW Parliamentary Cavalry

This is just a quick update with my first figures finished for 2010 - a unit of Parliamentary horse. The riders are from Tumbling Dice (with one from SHQ). The horses are mainly Tumbling Dice, but with a few Revell horses thrown in for variety. I think they match up pretty well.

Now that these chaps are finished I'm concentrating on my first big project for the year - making a Covenanter army for DBA-RRR.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wargaming the English Civil War in 1/72 Scale Part 3: Artillery

3. Artillery

So, you have your cavalry and infantry for your ECW army, but what about the artillery? Fear not, you are well served.

Revell Imperial Artillery

See the review here:

A great set. Three guns, a surfeit of crew figures and a horse team to pull one of your guns. Sadly this set has been out of production for some time, and attracts crazy prices on Ebay. Mars has pirated the set, but their effort only includes some of the crew and leaves out the horse team. As usual with Mars the quality of the moulding is awful. Grab the Revell set if you can.

Revell guns and crew

Revell horse team

A Call to Arms Royalist Artillery

See the review here:

Ignore the title. As with all of ACTA sets this is equally appropriate for Royalists, Parliamentarians or Scots too for that matter. Four guns and nicely moulded crew figures in four poses. Nothing like the variety of figures that Revell offers, but good enough for wargamers.

Mars Swedish Army with Culverin

This new release appears to be an original effort from Mars, and it looks promising. See images of the figures here:

The horses are awful, but the gun, crew and mounted officers look quite useful. I will be getting this at some stage.

Tumbling Dice

Tumbling Dice have a number of guns and crew for the ECW, from very light falcons and volley guns to demi-culverins. I have two of these (unpainted) and they are excellent. The crew figures as usual with TD come with separate heads, there is a good range of poses, and the guns also come with accessories (barrels etc). Highly recommended.

Light gun and crew from Tumbling Dice

That pretty much concludes this little survey of what’s available for the ECW in 1/72 scale. There is far more variety than one might expect, especially if you are prepared to use metal figures as well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Wargaming the English Civil War in 1/72 Scale Part 2: Cavalry

Revell 30YW Swedes painted as Parliamentarian horse

Cavalry and Dragoons

There are fewer options for ECW horse in 1/72 than for infantry, but it is still quite possible to build up varied and accurate units of cavalry and dragoons. Here are the possibilities.

Revell Swedish Cavalry

Read the review here:

This is a beautiful set of cavalry for the 30YW that contains possibly the best horses ever made in this scale. The figures are quite suitable for the ECW (apart from some minor quibbles about swords), and include cuirassiers, harquebusiers and unarmoured horse suitable for dragoons. The Revell set of Swedish infantry also incidentally includes some kneeling figures armed with flintlocks who make great dismounted dragoons.

Dragoons (Revell figures)

You could easily just use this set to provide the cavalry for a Royalist or Parliamentarian army, but there is one problem – availability. In its wisdom Revell has not produced the set for years, although it seems to have just been re-released as a limited edition and is advertised on the Michigan Toy Soldier site. My advice is to grab some while you can. Another alternative, depending on your scruples and tolerance for carving off flash, is to buy the pirated copies of the set produced by Mars. They have released badly moulded and quite illegal copies split into two boxes – cuirassiers and dragoons.

If you can’t get hold of this set, there are some other possibilities.

Strelets Reitars of Charles XII

Read the review here:

These figures are for the Great Northern War. However, they can be converted into pretty reasonable ECW cavalry. They don’t mix well with Revell though, being the usual Strelets ‘chunky’ style. To convert them, cut off the heads of any figures wearing tricorne hats and replace them with heads from A Call To Arms. The Reitars aren’t wearing backplates, but this can easily be disguised with a good paint job. It would also probably be more realistic to carve off some or all of the holster covers on the horses, as they look a bit too ‘18th Century’. I quite like the effect of these figures, particularly for the New Model Army.


SHQ have some 20mm ECW cavalry in metal. They didn’t impress me as much as their infantry. Poses are few, and the horses are too small. Some of the riders can be used in a unit on different horses.

From left to right: Three Tumbling Dice riders, a TD 'heavy' horse, a SHQ horse, SHQ rider, ACTA pikeman

Tumbling Dice

Tumbling Dice riders compared to Mars copies of Revell figures

TD have a good range of cavalry and dragoons with separate heads. This allows for more variation in a unit, and also allows figures to be used as Covenanters. The main problem with TD figures is the lack of variety in the horse poses. They have two – one with pistol holsters and one without. If. Like me, you don’t want your cavalry to appear to me trotting in step, you will have to source your horses from elsewhere. I have mounted a few on Revell horses, and like their look.

TD (and one SHQ) riders on TD and Revell horses

Next time - the artillery.