Wednesday 23 December 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Every bullet has its billet - late 17th century guide

 Hello guys,

I do not usually do book reviews on the blog, although I usually read books that have to do with our hobby. On this occasion, a company of which I am a regular customer, Helion Publishing has released a book written by Barry Hilton, a true enthusiast of the period, and a great expert on the subject , apart from that, I entered this period thanks to his publications and web page in 2013 (

Now 7 years after I entered this exciting period of history and wargaming, Helion and Barry put out a book together, so I really wanted to read it, and got my copy this week.

The book itself is very well done, with the quality of printing and photography to which Helion has accustomed us, it has 124 pages full of interesting information and eye candy pictures of Barry Hilton's outstanding collection.

In my opinion is a must have for any newcomer to late 17 century. But veterans will be very happy with it too and will encourage them to paint more! The book starts with an introduction and historical primer which covers succinctly almost every conflict from late 1650-60 until the very end of the century, including little known wars as the Kuruc Uprising, Genoese-Savoyard War or War of the Reunions.

The next part of the book covers the evolution of uniforms and clothes, the variation of cuts and colours of the uniforms even in the same unit, as it was in a pre industrial age. Also weapons and equipment, types of troops or tactics are well detailed.

Following the generic aspects, Barry shows us in a didactic way the main protagonists of the period and describes its forces, uniforms, navies etc... as there are literarly dozens of nations, some are covered  more deeply than others, in my humble opinion, for example, Denmark or Venice are described in more space than Sweden, Spain or Russia. But appart from that, I consider all of them correctly represented.

In the second half of the book, you can find everything related to gaming the period and creating an army (or a fleet!), the pictures are a joy to see, with super nice gaming tables, with detailed scenery and terrain features, and of course, colorful regiments painted. This  part of the book is extensive and well worth it, specially for the newbies of the period. Several gaming scenarios, land and sea, are depicted, with its opposing forces.

Finally, the last part of the book includes frequently asked questions about the number of flags, scale of the miniatures, figure compatibility in 28mm, etc.  Also a modelling section with painting guides of troops and ships.

The book ends with a list of miniature manufacturers and rules systems for our games.

Honestly, I find the book a more than  a pleasant surprise for this Christmas, I highly recommend it for anyone who likes wargaming  the last third of the seventeenth century. Finally, let me invite you to this exciting period, and this book is a good way to do so.

so I give it a 9/10 :)

you can find it here:


Wednesday 16 December 2020

Vauban and French siege engineer, late XVII c.

 Hello guys,

I am still painting small scenic bases for my late XVII c. macro project, now is the turn of some French. 

As this period is full of sieges, from large cities to small villages, I needed siege personel in my armies, so I got my inspiration from a blog I follow and visit regularly: Sidney Roundwood's excellent blog

this is the link of the exact post I "copied"

I wanted to reproduce a similar scene, where a French officer, maybe Monsieur Vauban, and a siege engineer, were supervising and conducting siege operations in common places like Flanders, Catalonia or The Netherlands in 1670' or so.

The miniatures themselves are a mix of Dixon's miniatures and Wargames Foundry:

- the officer/Vauban is a conversion of a Dixon's Grand Alliance siege engineer with a new head, the head of Louis XIV from Wargames Foundry and green stuff for the hair! I think the result is nice and the two parts from the different manufacturers come together well. I have painted him with a similar uniform to this Vauban painting.

-the siege engineer in armour is Wargames Foundry's, from ECW/ 30 Years War range, very nice miniature, I fell in love with the miniature when saw it  and placed and order ! So I left him unmolested, with no conversions haha. Maybe his outfit is a little "demodé" or slightly early from 1670', but I think in siege operation it was common to wear siege armour.

The little maps were downloaded from the abovementioned Sidney Roundwood's blog. 

I used a mix of Vallejo and Foundry paints, with occasional Citadel Washes, I hope you like the finished result!


Tuesday 8 December 2020

My "Army Standard Bearer": 28mm Spanish ensign 1660-70'

 Hello guys,

I am still in a XVII c mood, so I decided to bring back an old concept from my Warhammer Historical times, the "Army Standard Bearer", in my case, a Spanish "alférez" (ensign).

In recent times I saw a picture of a painting by Justus Van Egmont, a  very talented Flemish painter, who painted a Spanish ensign, probably from a Tercio or a Civic Militia in Flanders. I really loved the painting I thought about making it in 28mm !

The miniature is based in a "large" scenic base, because I will use him as an officer or Standard Bearer for large battle games or skirmish warbands games. Of course the mini is not an exact copy of the painting, but I tried to make it as similar as possible.

The miniature is made up from Wargames Foundry's Louis XIV miniature, heavily converted , with another head,  a Warhammer Bretonnian head from young knights sprue, with green stuff puty sculpted over, to make a decent hair. Both hands were cut, one of them is an open hand from Warlord Games' ECW range, and the other is holding a plastic broad brimmed hat also from Warlord Games. The flag itself is printed at home, downloaded from a fb group by Bouko de Groot, an absolutely wonderful site, full of nice flags from the 80 Years War. Although the flag of the painting is not the same of the miniature,  is similar enough for me.

The "uniform" or  dress is more suitable for the War of Devolution than Franco Dutch War, but I will use for both :)

I hope you like the finished result, I am quite pleased about the way it turned out, despite it was painted in a couple of days.

some closer pictures:


Wednesday 2 December 2020

28mm Storming party / "Enfants perdús" from a Spanish Tercio

Hello friends, this time I bring you a small unit that I have made with great enthusiasm, using half a dozen miniature manufacturers.

It intends to be an assault group of the Tercios of Flanders, during Franco-Dutch War. Specifically it belongs to the Tercio de Zuñiga, also called Tercio del Duque de Béjar or Departmental Tercio of Brabant. It was made up of native Spaniards, and was stationed in the Netherlands until the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, so it saw a lot of combat in the period 1672-1710 aprox. 

the uniform was light gray or off white with blue facings, and we know that some of his flags had the emblem of the Duke of Béjar, although I have not included it in this small detachment.

Manuel Diego López de Zúñiga Sotomayor, Duke of Bejar,  "Maestro de Campo"  of his Tercio in the army of Flanders from 1681, he took part in the siege of Oudenaarde, where with his own hands he removed some burning bombs that had fallen into a powder magazine, thus demonstrating his great courage. The ensign of his Tercio carried the flag with the Duke of Béjar's coat of arms. He died fighting the Ottomans during the siege of Buda.

Regarding the miniatures, I wanted to represent a typical image of the sieges, both in the offensive and in defense. a Group of selected soldiers called Forlorn Hope by the English or Enfants Perdus by the French. I can use them as a musketeer wing. These "stormtroopers" made sorties out of the fortresses to sabotage enemy artillery, capture soldiers and officers, or kill engineers.

I have armed them with muskets, grenades, pistols and halberd of various brands, I should have used flintloques too, but I had none :(

Most of the miniatures depicted are from the defunct "Phoenix Miniatures" range, which were  somewhat inferior in quality than the North Star 1672 range. From this brand there is a pikeman, converted into an ensign with a plastic pistol and a plastic Warlord Games wrapped flag, and 3 identical musketeers, but as I wanted a unique look, I leaved one musketeer as it was, but the other two, lost their heads and had Warhammer heads instead.

there are also 2 Warlord Games miniatures: a plastic musketeer and a metal kneeling Swede:

-The plastic one was a musketeer from the English Civil War infantry box, with lots of conversions... I turned himo into a grenadier using two plastic arms from former Wargames Factory WSS infantry, and I lengthened his coat by "sculpting" (I am a terrible sculptor) more fabric of the uniform right up his knees with green putty.

-As for the metal Swede, I cut his Dutch pot helmet and substituted it with a broad brimmed hat of the decapitated head of a Phoenix Miniatures musketeer.

Finally, the last miniature is the sergeant, an unrecognizable  Monmouth Rebel by Front Rank miniatures... I cut off both arms and replaced them with two plastic arms from Warhammer imperial militia, one arm with a halberd and another one holding a pistol, I also scuplted some feathers on the hat and added Front Rank's metal shoulder ribbons too.

Also, in order to add more flavor to the unit,  I wanted some scenery scattered on the bases: a cannon from Wargames Factory WSS, two 3D printed gabions, and a cut "Chevaux de Frisie" from Warfare Miniatures.

I hope you like the final result, It took me longer than expected to finish this unit because I am in the process of moving to a new house, so this has been the last unit painted in my old home.

Before changing the period or subject (who knows if it is the turn of Romans or Warhammer ...) I want to make a small vignette of French siege officers for this same period, or a Spanish ensign... We will see.

I hope you like the pics!

Some close ups: