Friday, January 31, 2014

I Wanna Tell You a Story... Tales with Toy Soldiers

Clarence Harrison - I thought I'd hijack Barry's series (missed 'em? Follow the link) on basing to add my two cents. Barry and other LoA partners inspired my designs long before we had the chance to chat over the net. LoA games were regular features in Wargames Illustrated when I was just starting to build my wargames collections. That was what wargames should look like! Massed blocks of troops were great, but it was the vignettes scattered around the table that really caught my eye (anyone else remember TYW 'Running Away' bases?).

My C-in-C stand for King James II combines several principles from Barry's series. Obviously this is a command vignette and therefore destined to be one of the centerpieces of the army. The fantastically pensive King James II (Warfare Miniatures) sets the scene. He looks... concerned. He is obviously getting the news that his nephew has crossed the Boyne. The model's were posed in way to make it seem like the king is ignoring the messenger, but the man's frantic tones have certainly caught the attention of the horse! Just to make sure there's no mistaking the battle, I've added the sign post that places the good king between Old Bridge and Donore. Both the sign and the king's banner add the element of height to draw the eye and make the base stand out from the masses.

What a contrast with the command stand of King William III! The dashing leader calls 'Men of Eniskillen, what will you do for me?' Again I've used height by modeling the small hill to raise the models above the rabble. The broken fences and position of the models lend the impression of a wild charge over broken terrain rather than the ordered precision of the parade ground.

I like including other details like walls and trees on my unit bases. Not across the entire army, but maybe one in three or four. These will always be painted in ways that match other pieces of terrain in my collection. I know some people don't like the thought of trees marching across the table, but these same people have no problem with marching models shooting when the time comes!

Send us your vignettes and a short description of the thinking behind them. When we get three or four I'll add another post to the series...


  1. Loveley Clarence, as always!

    Are those walls and fences self made or pre-fabric "borrowed" from somewhere?
    I ask because I am currently basing skirmishers (another time period) and wondered it I have to do most of the fences and/or walls all by myself. Any hints?


    1. The walls and fences are from Games Workshop (with the skulls removed), but sadly I think they are no longer in production... they are no longer on the website. You might still be able to find them in stores. I saw a set recently in one of my local hobby shops.


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