On 17 August New Zealand’s long streak without local transmission of COVID-19 came to an end. This was the first coronavirus case detected in New Zealand for nearly six months.
Almost immediately the whole country went straight into what we called an Alert Level 4 lockdown, which had worked successfully for us during the initial outbreak last year.
Based on what had happened in Australia, where some states had delayed locking down when their first cases of Delta appeared, our government opted for the ‘go hard and go early’ approach. To us wargamers this strategy sounds somewhat like rolling a double-6 to seize the initiative before the enemy can!
This approach has so far appeared to be the right way to go (touch wood!). Though we aren’t out of the woods yet, especially as New Zealand’s vaccination rates are so low.
My wife and I were on holiday in the South Island when we went into lockdown. Travellers were initially given 48 hours to get home, but this was too tight for us to get a ferry booking. We actually weren’t too dismayed, as where we were staying in the town of Cromwell looked like a pretty nice place to lock down!
But despite the undeniable beauty of Cromwell, home is always best. So when the government gave travellers another 24 hours to get home, we managed to catch the last ferry to Wellington.
Of course a benefit of having made it home is that I now have access to all my hobby stuff, and time to work on it! So I have started to paint another big battalion for my ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia.
An additional British battalion means I’ll have an equal number of real-life opposing forces if I want to play a game based on actual history (British/Prussian vs French). I’m using 1/56 scale Crann Tara Miniatures, half of which arrived just before lockdown, whilst the other half are currently on their way from the UK.
I especially wanted a unit that had the blue breeches worn by royal regiments, so as to differentiate them from my other British battalion in red breeches. So I’ve chosen to depict the 8th (King’s) Regiment of Foot, which was commanded from 1745 to 1759 by Edward Wolfe, father of General James Wolfe of Quebec fame.
The King’s Regiment (centre figure above) used the White Horse of Hanover (the symbol of the Royal Household) as its badge.
Why this regiment has managed to make it into the Barryat’s army, no-one knows! But I’m sure I can come up with a suitable back-story.
This will likely be my most challenging paint job ever. These guys have lots of little bits of lace everywhere. They don’t call this period the Lace Wars for nothing! Look at those cuffs and sleeves, the lacing on the fronts of their coats, and the intricate lace wings on their shoulders. And let’s not even mention the grenadiers’ mitre caps!
Note that the above picture of the 8th Foot uniform in 1756 was created by Frédéric Aubert for the Kronoskaf website.
With my current basing system for my 60+ figure battalions, as shown with Gale’s Regiment of Foot above, I have nine bases of 6 infantry figures each, and all my officers, drummers and NCOs are on small freestanding bases. But this makes for really fiddly setting up and moving.
So for this latest unit I am going to experiment with a new basing system of just six bases of 10-12 figures each, on which character figures will also be standing alongside or behind the ranks. The only figures left freestanding will be standard-bearers and the mounted officers.
Keeping flags freestanding will allow flexibility in which units I wish to represent. And it will also allow the big 60+ figure unit to be broken into two or three smaller ones if required for a specific rule-set.
If this new system is successful, I see a major rebasing project for all my existing Barryat of Lyndonia units!
As a side project, and completely unrelated to the Lace Wars period, I have also finally assembled the Renedra ramshackle house kit I bought from our local pharmacy (true!) a few weeks ago.
It still needs painting, but looks good. I plan to use the same colour-scheme as I did with Renedra’s similar ramshackle barn kit a few years ago. This could be said to be more like un-painting than painting!