Kaskowiski 1873 inspired scenario

The Kaskowiski invasion hoax of 1873 set me thinking about future games scenarios that could be based around the supposed or suggested incident. After all, that is what the author or newspaper editor of the Daily Southern Cross David Luckie intended in his May 1873 article,  published in February 1873, to stir up concern over New Zealand’s naval and land defences. Eventually continued concern led to the building of fortified batteries.

Where would I get a suitable coastal fort or battery as a focus for a game?

I  have explored Victorian and later adapted wartime forts and gun batteries  in the West Country ranging from Pendennis Castle

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/pendennis-castle/

in Falmouth and its sister fort of St Mawes (both English Heritage) along with the St. Antony Battery and Lighthouse nearby (National Trust) and similar adapted fortifications in the Scilly Isles. I was familiar with the underground passageways and ammunition stores, mess rooms, ventilation grilles and concrete gun emplacements that might be found in such coastal  forts.

There are some interesting photographs of Victorian coastal forts and artillery on the internet, ranging from Britain to New Zealand.

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Fort Jervois (New Zealand) https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/fort-jervois

Closed by recent earthquake damage, Fort Jervois has been photographed by Urbex photographers https://urbexcentral.com/2016/01/27/earthquake-island/fort-jervois-ripapa-island-95/

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A little picture research brought up this massive gun (or tiny people)

Seeing these last few pictures of grassy concrete batteries and giant coastal guns convinced me that I had a  suitable fort or two packed away from childhood – the Airfix Gun Emplacement.

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With a little repainting, these would serve from Victorian times onwards. At a pinch they should suit my 15mm Peter Laing figures as well as  the larger OO/HO 20 to 25mm plastic Airfix sort of figures.

 

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Repainted and flocked, this old Airfix fort with gun shield off makes a reasonably old-looking  coastal gun position.

My 15mm and 20mm figure bases are a little large for the narrowest passageways, so I may have to trim any bases slightly before painting up a suitable garrison or attackers. I remember it being a tight fit anyway with the later larger Airfix OO/HO second version figures (the first version 1960s  ones had smaller but more topply bases).

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I also have a passable Airfix coastal defence fort from childhood that could be added, much like the one featured on the front of John Curry’s recent reprint of Donald Featherstone’s unpublished Wargaming Commando Operations.

The 1873 Kaskowiski Russian Invasion of New Zealand Hoax focuses on an amphibious raid or landing by Russian Marines, Naval Infantry  or Sailor, supported by a Russian Ironclad like the PavelPavlosk.

The closest ‘Russian marines’ I currently have are some 15mm Peter Laing Russians (painted as Bulgarians)

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Russian Ironclad of the 1870s the Petropavlovsk https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_ironclad_Petropavlovsk

I do have about four Russian Marines from a brief flirtation in the 1980s with new Platoon 20 figures  (metal, 20mm, which wiped my pocket money). These Platoon 20 figures are still available.

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The officer with pistol and rifleman with bayonet might be suitable for such Kaskowiski scenarios, rather than the LMG and SMG figures.

I shall have to look through and see what Peter Laing figures I have that are suitable. Here are my 15mm Russians, disembarking near a lonely customs post.

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The customs officer and volunteer rifle Militia man confront the Russian Marines.
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The good old Airfix Pontoon Bridge boat makes a handy pinnace or Invasion barge. Heroscape Hex landscape.

It will be interesting to research suitable Victorian uniforms for 19th century Colonial figures.

The Volunteer Rifle movement had reached New Zealand by the time of the Kaskowiski invasion hoax of 1873, as this account shows in the Daily Southern Cross  newspaper around the hoax date of 17 February 1873.

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O should the Cask of Whisky / Kaskowiski come? The Volunteers will sort it out, as this ditty poem suggests.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, November 2018.

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Mountie Ambush Game 15mm

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Opening positions – Mounties entering left on patrol, rebels hidden right. 

I wanted to try out my newly painted 15mm Peter Laing Mounties, so set up a quick backwoods scenario on one of my small portable game boards using a crowded mountain terrain mostly of old  Heroscape hexes and some pine trees.

I have been reading up about some of the Canadian rebellions and the role of the Mounted Police.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North-West_Rebellion

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North-West_Mounted_Police

Scenario

Four dismounted Mounties and two on horseback were on patrol down a narrow creek or wooded canyon where rebel activity had been reported.

The two on horseback rode off to scout the valley whilst the dismounted four stayed back to watch down the valley and give covering fire as needed.

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First contact as the Mounted  patrol stumbles into the waiting rebel ambush. 

In the original Close Wars rules, which was an  appendix to Donald Featherstone’s 1962 book War Games, there are no horses or mounted infantry mentioned.

I had no rules to hand  for melee from infantry to cavalry or mounted infantry, so when the  Mounties rode into contact with the waiting hidden rebels, we skipped the melee stage and went straight to firing.

Playing solo, most of the awkward decisions as the game progressed were solved by creating a dice roll rule for the situation.  For example, I quickly wrote a d6 dice rule – firing at cavalry or mounted infantry, if a six or hit is rolled, 1-3 horse is killed, 4 both horse and rider killed and 5-6 rider killed.

In the situation of having a horse killed or cavalry dismounting to fight, a replacement infantry figure is obviously needed. I have enough spare Peter Laing figures to manage this in future. Obviously one figure has to remain back as a horse holder and some spare horses will also be needed.

Another quick d6 rule was required to decide for rebels being able to pass through the narrow creek over the fallen horses (and riders) at half rate of movement (4-6) or the narrow canyon being made impassable (1-3).

Once the Mounties on horseback had ridden into the canyon or creek, their escape was cut off by the small group of rebels lurking lower right.

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Close up of the Mountie Patrol and the rebel ambush. 

Once the Mounties on horseback had ridden into the canyon or creek, their escape was cut off by the small group of rebels lurking lower right.

Very quickly both mounted figures were down and out, then the Mounties on foot were quickly pursued by much larger numbers of rebels.

Another quick d6 rule for the Mounties on foot was to retreat on a dice roll of 1-3 or stay and fight 4-6. They retreated.

Omce they had reached where they entered the gameboard, they were deemed to have picked up their horses and be able to escapement on horseback.

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The two surviving Mounties exit left to pick up their horses and head for help. 

The Mounties are 15mm Peter Laing Boers and AWI Settlers, recently painted.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/peter-laing-15mm-mounties-on-the-painting-table-rcmp/

The rebels were Peter Laing 15mm Boers at the trail and Confederate Butternut Infantry.

It has been a while since I got such a short game in and whilst the rules were a bit rusty in my head, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I had better start painting more Mounties for the return column!

Blog posted by Mark, Man of TIN, 30 November 2018.

Peter Laing 15mm Mounties on the Painting Table RCMP

I have been neglecting my Peter Laing 15mm figures a little of late.

Alan the Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland kindly sent me some spare Peter Laing mounted and dismounted colonial and ACW cavalry with bush hats.

I started painting them as US 7th or Union Cavalry.

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Then I spotted a Britain’s hollow cast Mountie in a display cabinet at home, and this set me thinking.

Wouldn’t a unit of Royal Canadian Mounted Police or  “Mounties” be an interesting use of these figures?

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So using this figure and an old 1930s Player’s cigarette card for uniform reference, I set about painting some Mountie test figures.

Downsizing to painting 15mm after months painting 54mm figures was a bit of a change.

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Painting those yellow trouser stripes on 15mm figures is a bit fiddly.
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Still on the painting stick …
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Does the brown or white / grey horse look more Hollywood, more cinematic?

These figures could also double up as redcoat colonial infantry or  Imagi-Nations troops for the Bronte Angria / Gondal sagas.

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Drugs? Murder? Witchcraft? Lots of scenarios there. 

And finally, what roles did or do the Mounties undertake? What scenarios might suggest themselves, having a bunch of Mounties?

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NWMP North West Mounted Police 1900 (Wikipedia Public Domain)

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/history-rcmp

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North-West_Mounted_Police#history

There are many interesting small skirmishes or battles that would form interesting and imaginative scenarios with my Peter Laing butternut Confederate figures  as  rebels. I have a small group of unpainted Peter Laing Native Americans to paint up who might be ‘Hollywood useful’ for all this.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Duck_Lake

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Frenchman%27s_Butte

Rewatching Gary Cooper in North West Mounted Police is also required.

Fun Fact – Francis Jeffrey Dickens (# O.29)
The son of famous British novelist Charles Dickens served with the North-West Mounted Police from November 4, 1874 until March 1, 1886. He also commanded Fort Pitt during the Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 25 November 2018

 

 

15mm River Transport

Whilst in a local covered market finding 54mm pirate cake decoration figures (as you do),

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2018/09/07/hex-marks-the-spot-or-six-pirates-for-a-pound-yo-ho/

I spotted this attractive little plastic river or sea barge for £3, second hand.

It was made as Bulstrode the barge in 1999 by Tomy for an old Thomas the Tank Engine range, hence the face. This face easily came away with a little work from a craft knife, revealing a useful little doorway or hatch.

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Peter Laing 15mm Victorian Naval Brigade sight hostile natives (Peter Laing Zulus) whilst heading upstream. Flying Tiger palm tree cake decs.

It works well for my Peter Laing 15mm figures, as you can see in the photograph.

A little paint, maybe even replacing the stickers, and you have the makings of a fine everyday 19th and 20th Century vessel.

It could be part of a port or harbour scenario, as well as making an attractive river boat. Not bad for £3 …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 7 September 2018

Flying Tiger Palm Trees

The heat, the sand, the endless sand. Need shade and a cool drink.

We must March or Die …

The Lost Oasis –  Tiger.com palm tree decorations on Heroscape desert hex scenery on my board with Peter Laing 15mm French Foreign Legion figures for scale.

I realise that I have spent lots of time recently repairing Broken Britain’s 54mm toy soldier size figures and somewhat neglected my smaller 15mm Peter Laing figures.

Tiger.com palm tree (cake?) decorations

Painted resin palm  tree decs £1 each.

On my travels “upcountry” (everything above my rural Southwest part of England / the U.K. is “upcountry”) I recently  visited a Flying Tiger store. Fortunately they do not yet do mail order.

https://uk.flyingtiger.com

Flying Tiger  of Copenhagen are European (and worldwide) stores selling strange and wonderful things.

A small six by six by five inch high Opbevaringsbokse or stackable storage box. Useful for storing spare heads and arms etc.  Cost £2.

Three layers of sorting. 

Three blurry Flying Tiger shelfies of things I did not buy but could be useful for gaming:

Shelfie 1: Resisted buying these fake grass toothbrush holders or soap dishes – or fake grass clumps for gaming. £3 each.

Shelfie 2 and 3: A kid’s thick card cottage lunchbox with front down flap. Or a Q-Cottage? Excellent for concealing a Home Guard field gun? £7.

Resisted the roll of fake grass AstroTurf table runner £4

Resisted the wooden plant holder in the shape of 54mm+ picket fences – cheaper than making?

Things I did buy

Magnetic boards £2 each A4 paper size, thin enough to cut and use in reverse as tray bases. It could be mounted on card or wood or tray as an A4 magnetic board to hold figures in place.

Mixing palette £1 each, a fraction of the cost in an art supplies shop.

The rest of the (Naval) gaming related purchases will follow in future blogposts.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 5 August 2018.

Below are pictured my testing out of my magnetic sheets – not strong enough for metal 54mm figures mounted on tuppenny and penny pieces (which are slightly magnetic after 1992). A few of my plastic pound store figures I discovered to my surprise that I had based on pre-1992 tuppennies – whoops!

The heady lure of inexpensive things …

The heady lure of Pound Store or inexpensive things …

Happy 2nd Blogaversary and Geek Pride Day from the Man of TIN!

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Waving flags and cheers from or for my tip-off find of the year – 15mm Peter Laing Late Victorian Parade Range Civilians. 

Today 25th May 2018 is my second happy Blogaversary (blog anniversary) of the Man of TIN blog! Huzzah! Wave flags etc

May 25 is also Geek Pride Day around the world

https://www.thinkgeek.com/geekpride/

Or in my words “I didn’t choose the Geek Life … the Geek Life chose me.”

A big thanks to all my fellow bloggers and readers over the last year (or two) for all your likes, comments and support. Your blogs on my “blogs I follow” blogroll are my regular portals to games blogging, toy soldiers and gaming inspiration.

The last year of Man of TIN and associated blogs has seen a wide range of subjects, being the wargames and toy soldier butterfly that I am.

Some of my highlights from my latest year of Man of TIN blog

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1. Pound Store Plastic Warriors – my other blog https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com

Being mostly 42mm paint conversions and 36mm pound store plastic tat figures transformed into loveliness!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/pound-store-plastic-figure-conversions-and-comparisons/

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2. Sidetracked – my other railway gaming related blog and its Blowing Up Desert Trains games

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/blowing-up-desert-trains/

all thanks to the gift of a Train in a TIN.

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Peter Laing 15mm troops  clash on the tracks in the desert
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192 Heroscape Hexes of Joy on my Portable Game Board

3. Expanding my Heroscape hex portable game board

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/192-hexes-of-joy-a-larger-hex-game-board/

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4. The Remount Department and Broken Britain’s, all part of my ongoing interest in 54mm gaming and figure repair and restoration.

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Metal detectorist toy soldier finds restored.  

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/recalled-to-the-colours-54mm-metal-detectorists-toy-soldier-finds-restored-to-fighting-condition/

5. My ongoing search for vintage Peter Laing 15mm figures, now they are no longer produced and the Peter Laing collectors Google G+ Community Page established by Ian Dury

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/peter-laing-15mm-google-community-page/

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My best find of the last blogging year? A tip off towards Peter Laing 15mm Victorian Civilians.

6. Along with American painter and toy soldier collector Andrew Wyeth exhibitions, I have also enjoyed Forgotten Georgia,  still an enjoyable slice of old American life and buildings on this website

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/forgotten-georgia-blog/

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7. Vintage Airfix OO/HO figure gaming

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/another-vintage-airfix-hoard/

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The end of the Airfix ACW game and surviving Union troops!

One of my favourite games last year was a vintage ACW  Airfix game using the Train in a TIN!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/acw-battle-of-pine-ridge-vintage-airfix-full-game-write-up/

8. Using Donald Featherstone rules of course in the year of his Centenary (1918-2013).

Reading and transcribing BBC scripts from Don’s 1960s long-forgotten radio talks was another highlight, the contents now passed onto John Curry at the History o& Wargaming Project.

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From an early Featherstone interview in the newspapers which I tracked down.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/featherstone100-donald-featherstone-centenary-20-march-2018/

9. Unusual anniversaries and special months – MARCH and FEMbruary  featuring female figure painting challenges and history, along with “believable female miniatures” including buying some 28mm land girls from Annie at Bad Squiddo.

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100 years since the Vote was awarded to some British women – my suffragette conversions and Home cast Prince August policemen conversions. 

10. The Bronte bicentenaries – 200 years since several of the Bronte family were  born, inspiration for some of my Imagi-Nations games, based in their mythical juvenile worlds of Angria, Gondal and GlassTown.

May – Only about half the way through my New Gaming Year’s Irresolutions … and way off target already!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/tell-it-to-the-unicorns-new-gaming-year-irresolutions-2018/

Many thanks for sharing my latest blogging year and I hope you enjoy the next! Next posts will be more “Broken Britain’s” 54mm lead figure conversions.

And Happy Geek Pride Day

“I didn’t choose the Geek Life … the Geek Life chose me.”

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 2nd Blogaversary, 25 May 2018.

 

 

 

 

15mm Peter Laing 19th Century Figures

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Attractive 19th Century 15mm Peter Laing figures

I have acquired second-hand a few dozen of these attractive 19th Century infantry from Peter Laing’s 15mm range, now commercially unavailable as the moulds have vanished.

With the tall shakos or tall kepis with the ball crests and long frock coats, they look mid 19th Century Crimean to Austrian  / Franco Prussian Wars. I think they are probably supposed to be French or Sardinian infantry, but they also look like French Foreign Legion 1850s.

They could be 15mm Peter Laing Crimean French (and dual use Franco-Prussian French with tall kepi)

F814 French Infantry advancing

F815 French infantry drummer

F816 French officer

F817 French standard bearer

 

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With almost Napoleonic shakos, they would do well as Imagi-Nation troops for the Bronte juvenile fiction of Angria, Gondal and Gaaldine. I have enough spare standard bearers for alternative flags and nationalities.

I would be interested to hear from other Peter Laing collectors if they have or recognise these figures as mid 19th Century French.

Some other figure suppliers have similar tall shako / kepis.

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Interesting post about Franco Prussian War French Infantry (in French) that reminds us that the 150th anniversary is only 2 years away (1870 / 2020). This will no doubt generate more gaming and historical interest in the FPW. The Austro-Prussian War anniversary was I suspect slightly overshadowed by the 1916 WW1 anniversary events.

http://pacofaitlezouave.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/le-fantassin-de-1870.html

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, 21/22 April 2018.