Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Captain William Smith House

Neighbors visiting the Smith House.

When Stay-At-Home orders were issued back in March, I figured I'd use the time to work on a project.  I've been impressed with the offerings from Things From The Basement for some time, so I decided to order something for my AWI collection.  Their Captain William Smith House kit was perfect.

Kit parts.

The kit arrived quickly, and in great condition.  It was sent by Priority Mail by default.  While this did help with the shipping time, I would have been okay if there had been an option for slower shipping at a lower cost, but that option was not available from the website.  The only other minor issue is that instructions were not included in the kit.  They need to be downloaded from the website in PDF form.  I would have preferred a printed copy included with the kit itself, but this is a minor complaint.

First floor interior complete.

I found the instructions to be super clear and easy to follow.  I had the first floor assembled and painted on the first day.  Using photos of the inside of the actual house, I used wood stain on the floor, a flat white for the walls, and a colonial red for the doors and trim.

Assembling the windows.

The exterior walls go up.

The exterior woodwork and trim received the same treatment.  Stain for the exterior, white for the interior, and red for the windows.  Assembly was quick, and all of the parts were accurately cut and fit well.

Mrs. Smith checks out her new kitchen.

While I was building, the kitchen area seemed a bit bare, so I added a scratch-built fireplace and shelf.  While researching the actual house a while later, I found that I actually wasn't too far off on the fireplace placement.  The second floor and roof went together just as easily as the first floor and the walls.  I experimented a bit with painting the brick on the chimney, and was pleased with the result.  I wasn't sure about the weird white plaster bit on the front, as I thought it'd look, well, weird, but in the end I like how it came out, and it matches the original building.

The actual Smith House, Lincoln, Massachusetts

Overall, this was a great build, and I'm happy to have added it to my collection.  After building this, I'd highly recommend Things From The Basement products for anyone looking for buildings for their game table.


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Battle of Hubbardton in 6mm

With over half the year gone already, I figured I'd better catch up on posting.  I've actually been pretty active on the gaming front in the past few months, especially since the reenacting scene has been pretty quiet due to Covid-19.
Battle of Hubbardton

First up, The Battle of Hubbardton.

Back in the beginning of the year, I watched a video from Little Wars TV about creating a topographical map for wargaming.  At the time, I had been thinking about creating some sort of game to represent The Battle of Hubbardton.  The video put the idea into my head to recreate the battle in 1:1 figure scale (roughly 1,000 troops per side) using 6mm figures.

I started the project by ordering some Continental Line Infantry in light infantry caps from Baccus Miniatures to represent Seth Warner's "Green Mountain Boys" regiment.  Warner was in overall command of the American side of the field that day,  and I'm familiar with the regiment, so I started there.  Never having painted miniatures as small as 6mm, I wasn't sure what to expect.  When they arrived, I was pleased to see how much detail could be sculpted at that size, and after watching a few videos, I discovered that painting them is easier than I expected it would be.  Unlike 28mm miniatures, 6mm miniatures don't need each detail picked out on every figure.  The goal is to represent massed troops, so coat colors and facings became more important than canteen straps and belts.
Warner's in 6mm
Baccus Continental Light Infantry

To give me an idea how they'd look on the table, I painted up just a few figures.  I decided that they were too dark, so I settled on painting the rest of the figures with a brighter green, to represent the green faced red coats that Warner's Regiment was ordered to have when they were formed.

Test Figures

My second order from Baccus was for a group of German line infantry, and some horsemen to act as officers for all units.  The Germans would represent the Hessian unit that came onto the field toward the end of the battle, reinforcing the British regulars and helping to cause the final retreat of the Continentals.

Hessian Line Infantry

Commanders on Horseback

These figures I was able to paint more quickly.  I think I was beginning to become more practiced with the scale.  I also found that I could add detail to the figures, things such as cross belts and helmet plates, by using a set of fine tipped paint pens that I found at our local craft store.
Hessians in Progress

Baron Riedesel's Troops Enter the Field

Unfortunately, this is where this particular project has stalled.  In March, things came to a halt with the arrival of the Corona virus, which has caused global shutdowns and delays, including with Baccus Miniatures.  While they have done their best to keep up, the company has had to shut down their online shopping cart a couple of times, due to staffing and shipping issues.  To their credit, they have been very open with the gaming community about their status, and once things are opened up again, I'll definitely be placing more orders with them to continue this project.

For more information about the Battle of Hubbardton, check out this video done by a friend of mine, Skyler Bailey, on the Seth Warner's Recreated Regiment YouTube channel.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Year End - 2019

2019 saw my first full year of keeping this blog.  Posts are somewhat infrequent and scattered, but I've been able to stick with it.

On the reenacting front, I was able to attend 8 events in kit this year, and one as a spectator.  A couple of the gatherings were private get-togethers, and several were official Warner's Regiment events.  It's difficult to pick a favorite this year, though presenting a talk to the public while having a chicken standing on my head at Hubbardton does sort of stand out.

For sewing projects, I was able to complete an outfit for G to wear, though she keeps growing, so we'll need to do it again this year.  Another yearly ritual seems to be breeches.  This past year it was a pair for a friend.  This coming year I'll need to replace mine again.

On the gaming side of things, we have a few games of Wings of War, plus several board games, but no major games yet.  I did get a lot of painting done (for me), completing about 61 28mm figures, which is an increase from last year.  I also built a few small pieces of terrain.  This coming year I have a couple of focused projects to concentrate on.  The first is the Battle of Valcour Island, using paper-craft miniatures and rules from War Artisan, and the second is a go at a 6mm scale Battle of Hubbardton, at 1:1 figure scale (roughly 1,500 troops per side).  I've found a few guys who may be interested in playing some historical scenarios, so I'm going to put some effort into getting those games going.

Historical research this year was light.  Other than my usual general reading on various events and period crafts, I did get to visit the Vermont State Archives to look through Ira Allen's survey book.  That was a pretty cool moment.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the School of Instruction in Pennsylvania, hosted by the Department of the Geographer to the Army.  I'd really like to attend that one day, so I'm going to look into it again this year.

Overall, 2019 was a pretty good year, hobby-wise.  I'm looking forward to continuing in 2020.