Sunday, October 30, 2005

1812 wargames on the web

there's a couple of great lookng 1812 wargames up at the moment - ideal if you have long winter evenings to fill and have a decent printer. The above linked one is graphically exceptional (see left pic) and the other one based on the battle of Chippewa ideal for junior combatants. So why not download and print them off

The Petersburg Volunteers

History of the unit in the War of 1812. Might be one to do. This book looks worth getting.

Prophetstown and the Vision - 1805

So it's also the bicentenary of this event as well as the other more popularised bicentennials such as Trafalgar and Austerlitz. Go here to see Prophetstown's Native American gallery, or have a look at these biogs of Shawnee leaders - here's one on Tecumseh

the art is 'Kinsman to the Shawnee' by John Buxton

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Panther Across the Sky - Tecumseh/New Madrid

You can't look at the War of 1812 for long without coming on to the subject of Tecumseh. The above article is interesting and includes a chunk of Allan Eckert. Panther Across the Sky is also the title of a novel based on Tecumseh's life that was filmed in 1994 as Tecumseh: The Last Warrior This is not available at a reasonable price on DVD yet but if it was I'd recommend it as a reasonable movie of the Shawnee leader's life, worth looking out for if it comes on tv.

Remember the Raisin

Remember the Raisin
paiting by Ken Riley book by G. Glenn Clift
'Remember the Raisin' has been regarded as one of the richest collections of Kentucky War of 1812 source material ever published. The Battle on River Raisin, which was fought in and around Frenchtown (now Monroe), Michigan from January 18 through January 23, 1812, was one of the four principal campaigns of the War of 1812 engaged in by Kentucky forces. American forces were defeated at Frenchtown and approximately 60 Kentucky soldiers were massacred. When news of the massacre reached Kentucky, patriots exhorted one another with shouts of "Remember the Raisin!" thereby helping to encourage participation in the remaining battles of the War of 1812. Remember the Raisin is a comprehensive look at the Battle on River Raisin, including the events leading up to the battle, troop movements, and eyewitness accounts of the skirmishes and the massacre itself.

More sources here

War of 1812

this is a nice-looking site with a promise of mutlimedia cd to come.
Also visit for Fort Erie's War of 1812 site with lots of photos of reenactors etc., like this one by Mike Lynaugh. One series of images show the poder magazine igniting... spectacular
if you have a good connection and like little movies try

Thursday, October 27, 2005

my favourite tank?

The Renault Ft-17 was a remarkable creation - coming in 1917 it was the only tank to see extensive service in both world wars and was the first tank to have a rotating turret. It saw service all over the world from Poland to Japan. This site has photos from Morocco and this one on Polish use. This site has good photos of the model in the Brussels museum and Bovington. Article about Brazil's tank force here This was not a fast tank - being involved in mainly infantry support. It recently had a cameo in the movie 'A Very Long Engagement'.
A review of the 1/35 scale kit produced by RPM is here which makes either the machine-gun or cannon version. In 1/72 scale the Hat 'simple' kit looks the best value

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Polish armoured car

On the subject of 1/35 models RPM of Poland do some excellent vehicles for the c1920 period so I might have a go at this one - looks really nice. I wonder how much a Zloti is? This model goes for about 6.99 on ebay.
Review here

Article on the Tc here

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Kill Van Helsing

Halloween will see the mitchard family outing to see this bill of lovelies...Kill Van Helsing and the Cheater Slicks contain Gavin, an old friend an one-time band member. Vince Ray is the celebrated rock'n'roll artist.

War of 1812

Well the news that a group over here in the UK is now doing the War of 1812 - an international conflict in the Americas between the US and Great Britain made me do a little search and see what the web had to offer - this site is chock full of lovely photos and is a nice indicator of what looks like a good event

Rare Budenovka for sale

This ebay sale of some rare soviet items is of interest - the train guard gymnasterka, red flag and this budenovka is fascinating.

World War One in 1/35 scale

While in the Bath Model Shop I spotted these interesting new figure kits from ICM - one of the many Eastern European modelmakers. They're German Infantry from WW1 and there's a corresponding set of Brits too. These kits must be a welcome addition to this scale and period - presumably fitting in with the Emhar World War One 1/35 tanks, artillery and figures.
Will this be the time to convert part of my garden to the recreation of a trench system in this scale - would this work? I've often wondered whether this was possible or would huge earthworms appear to be swooped down upon by a giant blackbird and spoil the fun? H G Wells in his classic 'Little Wars' always advocated the garden but would painted miniatures take the pounding of being used in the soil? Something to investigate.
A review of an intriguing new pair of Russian cavalrymen of the 1914 period appears

Monday, October 24, 2005

'Gettysburg' and 'Gods And Generals' movies

Why was it so that the movie Gettysburg was so good and the follow-up prequel Gods and Generals so bad? Maybe it was the writing? - G&G was written by the son of the author of 'The Killer Angels'the book on which Gettysburg was based...but the talking scenes in G&G are some of the worst ever filmed - particularly anything with Stonewall Jackson in or anything to do with any subject that got the actors all misty eyed. Jeff Daniels is one of the few of the orginal big names still on board and he looks puffy as if he's been hitting the biscuits while waiting for new offers to come in. Duvall is good as Lee but not as good as Martin Sheen with his sing-song southern lilt which you have to try and copy - 'I believe we may have an opportoonity heah'
The rendering of Frederciksburg is welldone and the battles pretty good all in all - but whereas Gettysburg is a buyer - G&G is a rental only - wonder if the law of diminishing sequels will extend to the 'Last Full Measure' the final chapter...I think I can wait.
Why are they discussing bird flu on the G&G message board?
Essays and articles on filmmaker Maxwell's site

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hating Harry Potter

While at said pub - for a pub quiz which we won - I got pretty angry with the Quizmaster - three questions on Harry Potter? I objected - it's enough that the BBC push this crap on 'the kids 'through constantly banging on about it and would-be (fake) good parents thinking that it is somehow good for them (children)... I have to say - you're not fooling me - it's very name sends shivers up my spine - such middle-class vowel sounds make me realise that this is the new Enid Blyton - something designed to package our children off to suburban Bourgeoise nirvana - a brief respite before getting involved in ASBOS and drugs. It's always used as an excuse 'but it gets the kids to read' - what other books do you buy them then...obviously nothing any good...

Trafalgar day

Well I didn't like this at all. It had a feeling of enforced jollity like the many ww2 anniversary celebrations. Whilst I was at a pub someone stood at the bar said 'we're supposed to be celebrating Nelson today' - says who? The telly? The Queen? Is it something to do with the fact that we're in a war and we need recruits? The only thing I saw briefly was a recreated Spanish infantry comany of 1805 at Cadiz but I havent been able to see any photos online.
I think I am going to give up my interest in history - it's just a pretext to beguile naive idiots to join the forces.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

19thc European uniforms

Franco-Prussian war

This is a period that a few English speaking people are drawn to but is more popular naturally in France and Germany. This site has a fantastic array of photos and information - well worth bookmarking if you have an interest in the period.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Great Northern War pics

This is a great group who recreate the age of Peter the great in Russia and Estonia - this is a series of photos from a movie shoot on the monarchs of Russia

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Thorny Path of Struggle and Torment: Songs of the White Army and the Russian Emigres

This was found on the Russian Civil War yahoo group - some of the titles are amazing - Though mockery, lies, and oppression surround usis one that springs to mind - listen to excerpts

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Christie's Trafalgar Sale

some interesting items up for sale here - including a chapeau worn by the dimunitive one himself

Friday, October 14, 2005

Trafalgar Day

Sadly for us Francophiles and Bonapartists Trafalgar day looms - a fairly interesting set of programmes are scheduled by the BBC who were criticised for ignoring the festivities earlier this year

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy John Peel Day

Well... the first day to celebrate the great man himself - and what better way than a concert recorded last night, broadcast tonight featuring the mighty Fall and New Order - apparently doing a set entirely of Joy Division songs. The new Fall lp is another classic (photo above is of singer/bard Mark E Smith from last nights concert) and the last of the Peel era songs - most of the songs Blindness, What About Us? 'I can hear the Grass grow'etc were on their last Peel session and performed on Later with Jools Holland.
Peel certainly loved the Fall and as another Fall fan it was reasssuring to have someone who loved them in the same way - will it ever be the same?
I'll always feel a warmth towards John Peel - Nigel our bass player waited outside the studio to give him our new debut 45 'Don't Misbehave in the New Age' - and he played it straightaway, first record of the night. Can't ask for more than that......

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"They had built huts of bushes and leaves." The Work of John U Rees

This article by John U Rees is well worth a look - about the lodgings of soldiers in the American Revolution - includes a detail from Xaviera Della Gatta's painting of the Battle of Paoli. Also worth a look is "Bugle Horns", "conk shells," and "Signals by Drum":
Miscellaneous Notes on Instruments
During the American War for Independence
also by John U. Rees
both from a site I hadn't seen up to now. A list of Rees' articles on camp life etc is here

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


The other week I downloaded this oldie, about Gangs fighting in various strange guises - for the family - and Red said 'this would make a great computer game' and guess what its coming out - from Rockstar games

John Peel Day 13th October

October is the day set aside for the celebration of this great man. I guess I'll spend it playing the new Fall LP 'Fall Heads Roll' at a volume that might wake the dead. Gigs in the southwest are at

Monday, October 10, 2005

F&I art - Nat Youngblood

Image hosted by

Art of the French and Indian wars - an occasional look at this period through the eyes of artists - this example - which goes along with my theme of 'mini' wargaming is from Pittsburgh artist Nat Youngblood - more images here

Boats of the French and Indian wars

It's all very well these ranges, like the Pendraken 10mm wargames figures, having birchbark canoes but what about batteaux? Details of these and their use at this site

Wren on the Head?

Yesterday while I was at the PC Susan called over to me 'have I got something on my head' - I got up and went over and there was a Wren sat on her head - in the front room! I think Bottle, our cat must have brought it in and it had hidden and then made a bid for freedom. I tried to catch it but luckily it flew out the opened front door. Very strange.

10mm wargaming

This is a scale that is gaining ground in popularity - it could even be described as a craze - the world of mini-wargaming - figures that are 10mm in scale - not the smallest but pretty small. These French and Indian war figures are from one of the leading figure companies - Pendraken
I'm going to paint a few of these and post them up for your perusal. If you want lots of tips in how to paint them sign up for for all the techniques. They are 2.75 a pack and Pendraken take Paypal. Caliver Books in the UK stock the Old Dominion Gameworks and Old Glory American Revolution figures in 10mm which will give you more Natives to paint as well.
The obvious advantage of this scale is a normal sized table can be used as your battlefield and the cost of the armies make it a pretty cheap experience.
There's another review here

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Natives in the American Revolution

This document was posted by Rebecca Jordan of the Woodland Confederacy on
it concerns a European perspective on the Native allies that fought for Britain in the American Revolution

in the army of General Bourgoyne, to a friend in Brunswick, Fort St. Anne, March 1777 translated by Geert van Uythoven...

The way battle is waged over here is very special, and differs totally from our systems. We campaign only two men high, and one man has to act on a distance of 18 Zoll from the other, to be able to march in line inside woodsand bushes. Cavalry is totally useless, and therefore our dragoons have to depend on their legs. Our colours encumber us much, and none of the English regiments has brought theirs with them. Every English regiment has a separate grenadier-, and a light company, which are formed into combined battalions which are of great use. The Corps Canadian Volunteers is not to despise.
The savages cannot be trusted because of their innate bestiality.They are very brave, but also very unbridled, and therefore have to be accompanied by English or Canadian officers. Above all they wish to fight independently, not under the command of English generals or officers, as true allies and friends of the king. One certain Iroquois, called Joseph, has been in England for some time. He knows to make a correct judgement of the interests of the English and savages, and he tries to build himself a name as chief of an army of savages. One is trying to prevent this in every possible way, then God should be merciful to the colonists that will be their neighbours. The savages are queer birds [sic!], which fall from one extreme into the other easily. I have been in Loretto, an old settlement of Huron's, which over eighty years ago were converted to Christianity. They have qualified themselves for regular cultivation and cattle-breeding. However, with surprise one notices that they cling to their old habits with perseverance. Their church is curious, and without any chairs or pews; on the other hand it is filled with handmade wooden saints, which, although they were Hebrew,Roman, Greek, or from another European nationality, are now depicted assavages in savage clothes and painted in many beautiful ways. I will noteasily forget the good Petrus, with his keys and beautifully painted face. I could tell you grotesque stories about their monarch Athanas who resides here, and who is honoured by the savages for hundreds of miles around. Aswell as about the prince, their upper-steward, and his three daughterprincesses. However, for now the hour-glass has been completely run through.(…)"
The expedition which has been mentioned, departed by water on the 16th. The author of the above letters has kept a diary of it, of which we will print the part which describes his first meeting with the savages:"On 21 June General Bourgoyne, Major-General von Riedesel, and bothBrigadiers Specht and von Gall departed for the camp of Brigadier Fraser at Rivière Bonguet, five hours distance from our camp. Here we saw a congress of savages of three tongues, which offered their services to GeneralBourgoyne. For the audience, a huge summer-house was build. Such a ceremony is very extraordinary, and I will describe it in detail some time when I have more time to spare. The deputies sat all in a circle on the naked ground, and smoked in their Calumots such a terrible tobacco, that one couldsuffocate. Their faces are painted with black and red, according to anyone's fantasies and ideas. The mutilation of their ears in many different ways is very special. Many have cut lose the complete edge of their ears, which hangs down like some decoration. The decoration of their hair is even more striking, and rarely one sees one of which not all hair has been pulled out except of a small part at the back of their heads, the bald places which have been created this way been painted with various figures. In their nosethey wear rings with small bells, or they pierce them with big red feathers or even blades of grass, etc. I especially liked one certain individual; he had painted one half of his face black, the other half red, and on the black half he had painted a red, on the other red half a black moustache. General Bourgoyne accepted the offer of the savages of Sault St. Luis or Kaynuawaga, of Jamaska and of the Abenaki's, and assured them of his friendships and reward. At the same time he pointed out to them, that all savage nations of the American continent had been summoned to serve against the rebels. In addition, they were urged strongly to spare old men, women and children, and not to scalp prisoners nor wounded. After that, they were regaled with some fat oxes and several casks of rum."
Source: Militair-Wochenblatt, 18. Jahrgang (Berlin 1833), No. 865, pp.4862-4860.(c) Geert van Uythoven

Friday, October 07, 2005

Aircraft of the Spanish Civil war
If you have any interest in the 'planes of the 30s then this is the site for a visit - well illustrated and organised - well worth the time
I need some fine wine and you, you need to be nicer
this the latest single from Sweden's Cardigans is a belter - no messing... lyrically, melodically it is a pop song from heaven - such a fantastic video that is so good

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Polish Air Force
This crops up in Babel - in particular Cedric Fauntleroy the below note I found on the web
Major Cedric E. Fauntleroy was the leader of
a group of volunteer American pilots who formed an escadrille and fought and flew for Poland in the Polish–Russian War of 1919–1920 [sic]. They called themselves the Kosciuszko Squadron in honor of the 30 year old Polish Officer who served the cause of freedom during the American Revolutionary War [Saratoga, West Point, etc.]. Captain Merian C. Cooper conceived the idea of the squadron and Major Cedric E. Fauntleroy was its first commanding officer.
(Back dust jacket, Robert F. Karolevitz and Ross S. Fenn, Flight of Eagles: The Story of the American Kosciuszko Squadron in the Polish–Russian War 1919–1920, Sioux Falls, S.D.: Brevet Press, 1974)

An excellent website has this article White Eagles on the Polish Airforce of the period
Red Air forces here
Russian art
George Mitrevski has a pleasant gallery of Russian art that might interest some people - one called Red Cavalry caught my eye
Book: 'Red Cavalry and Other Stories' Isaac Babel
This is the Penguin Modern Classic version which also compiles his Odessa stories and many others.
A collection of short stories written when Babel was assigned to Budyenny's Red Cavalry - all based on fact, apparently. Now if this description doesnt send you to order a copy nothing I can say will persuade you - but it is a must have classic work. Written during the failed Soviet invasion of Poland
this collection of anecdotes about the human condition take you to the front line of history, among the blood and misery, the humour and tragedy of warfare.
This was one of the last wars to use mounted troops for shock action and it shows a time now gone when mounted bands went into battle and when cavalry charges still took place with lance and sword.

Russian Civil war weekend
This weekend just gone saw Dave Allen and I making the long trek north to just outside York - to Murton Park - York's museum of farming for a Russian civil war weekend. How it works is the museum which has a Danelaw village, railway and Roman fort allows itself to be Russia for the weekend - the thatched wattle and daub huts of the Viking period look ideal for Russian peasant dwellings. This was with the 1914-21 society who normally recreate troops of the Tsar in the Great War. I was hoping to put some photos with this but you'll have to use your imagination - the huts were an excellent backdrop - ideal for skirmishing around with their shuttered windows and outhouses. We were able to sleep in these hobbit houses which was fun, too.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Animals and men cd
Recently Susan and my band had a cd out and it's always frightening - wondering how it'll go down - today we got a review at - I'm too scared to read it yet but Bea says its favourable... maybe I'll hazard a look
Seven Years War anniversary events
Udo of the Prussians is looking for good groups to take part in the anniversaries of Minden and many others - if you are one of these SYW groups interested email him at
If you want to check out the Prussians and many more go to my site