Sunday, 4 November 2007

Welcome to the latest version of the HELMET Soldiers Blog. What I've got this time are some old school photos showing part of our English Civil War set up, produced a few years ago, and some work in progress when I return to the War of 1812.
The English Civil War is a great period to model in 1:32/54mm, and I really like the A Call to Arms Infantry especially the pikemen set, which I think contains 20, rather than the more usual 16 figures. The musketeers need a little more work on them, hence the usual round of conversions and additional figures from Replicants, amongst others.
This group represents a company from the Royalist Marquis of Winchesters' Regiment. To be honest I have based them on a re-enactment unit in the English Civil War Society, so cannot vouch for their authenticity. The Marquis was the owner and commander of the garrison of Basing House, which eventually fell to Cromwell in 1645. The ruins of Basing House are only a few miles from where I live and we often walk around the now peaceful grounds in the summer. I particularly like the claret colour of the clothing and the huge variety of headgear which breaks up the uniform appearance. At the moment there are over 60 figures in the company, which is probably, on a 1 to 1 ratio, about the correct size for an infantry company on campaign.
The cavalry also come from a number of different sources, and are the usual massive conversions, they represent troops from the regiments of Prince Rupert and the Prince of Wales and include some modified figures produced by Replicants and others. Most of these were bought from Steve Weston, who provides a helpful and friendly service and has a great website at .
The others pictures are a return the the War of 1812, currently my newest period. I've started to make a company of US Regulars in the short grey jackets issued to some regiments, Although very plain, I think they paint up as simple but attractive models. Most of these feature the usual HELMET head, the hat less private is from an old Phoenix part. I looked for models that had short jackets, so the Accurate ACW Confederates were a good start, although the downside is their lack of crossbelts, so I rather painstakingly added these from greenstuff, there are also toys from Marx, HaT, Imex, BMC, A Call to Arms and HELMET, I've just realised that's seven manufacturers for eight figures, where does the madness end?
Finally for the War of 1812, the first "British" figures and a confession. I don't normally give my painted units any form of flag until they number at least 40 "privates", however the ensign in the photo was an experiment to see if I could convert an infantry officer from HELMET parts. I wanted the colour he carries to be something a bit different, so chose the Swiss Regiment Meuron, because of both the strange pattern on the flag itself and their unusual light blue facings, so you see before you the complete British Army for the War of 1812. The privates are from HELMET and A Call to Arms with HELMET heads.
I'll post some more next week, as usual any comments or feedback gratefully received. By the way I thought it was about time I mention Plastic Warrior magazine, A great read every two months and also a terrific show in Richmond each year, you can reach them through the ever helpful editor, Paul Morehead, at .
Finally don't forget us, , cheers for now,


Marquess of Winchesters Regt said...

Hello there.

As Co Winchesters ECWS I think you have done a fine job with your painting.

As regards to authentisity, well there is some debate. The coat colour comes from an old victorian painting not a primary source of infomation and we can't find any sources of infomation regarding coat colour or issued clothing.

I would presume the real defenders of the house who worked for the Marquess wore their own clothing, but he did raise a troop of dragoons which may have had a coat issued to them, we have yet to find any evidance of this.

It was many years years ago that the re-enactment regiment chose the burgandy colour you see us wearing today and it has become our "trademark" and the colour people are used to see us wearing. colour.

So when Winchesters the re-enactment unit is on the battlefield we are " A well equiped red coated regiment of the Oxford army of 1643" and there is evidance of red coats/suits being issued to the Oxford Army.

As the real regiment never saw action in any of the major battles of the civil war we take on this "personna".

If we were to portray the real defenders correctly and it is my long term plan to do this as a 2nd "personna", we would have to wear more civillian clothing and look a bit more ragtag.

Anyway good pictures, though I prefer a matts varnish.



Marquess of Winchesters Regt said...

Heres our website should you want more infomation