Marlburian Men

I am particularly delighted to have a book come through the post recently which is an indispensable guide to the era I’m currently painting. It’s a 2016 hardback edition of C.S. Grant’s “The Armies and Uniforms of Marlborough’s Wars”. This terrific book combines two previously separately released volumes on the topic and – best of all – is lavishly illustrated throughout with line sketches and lots of full-colour depictions of Marlburian-era soldiers by one of my favourite military uniform artists, the now sadly deceased R.J. Marrion (the author’s ‘great friend and collaborator’).

To anyone interested in the War of the Spanish Succession, I can only highly recommend it – if you can find or afford a copy, that is! Although recently published, it seems to be very rare and, from some sellers, hideously expensive. For an era whose records of military uniforms are sketchy at best, it is proving extremely useful to tap into Charles Grant’s ‘many years of research’ with this beautifully presented book.

I’ll be honest here, it didn’t come cheap but I think is worth every penny and is an essential help to one of my 2020 projects – wargaming the Marlburian Wars.

Yes, wargaming isn’t something I’ve ever done before but I’ve been steadily looking into it with a view to trying some solo games. I’ve already invested in a green baize table cover for the landscape and also secured some ‘buildings’. The intention is to explore putting my 1/72 scale Lace Wars figures into use on the wargaming table. This will be a slow-burn process involving steady research and development, specifically requiring:

  • developing my understanding of wargaming and how it works!!!!!
  • developing some Marlburian-era rules through research on the period
  • developing the armies themselves by painting the figures (1 regiment (Sankey’s) completed so far!)

Of course, I’ve plenty of other figures from different eras I could use for skirmishes, etc, but my Lace Wars figures are the first being developed with wargaming specifically in mind and this has already led to some development on the bases;

Grenadiers of Sankey’s Regiment – now with decorated caps!

By grouping the bases together instead of individually (I’ve grouped them in groups of 4, 2 and singles), it will facilitate rapid deployment and movement during the game, the individually based figures allow for any casualties/losses to be reflected on the table… Apologies to wargamers – this is all new to me!

So my first regiment is virtually completed. The British army is already represented by the above Sankey’s Regiment which consists of 24 figures including 2 sergeants, an ensign and an officer. I’ve deliberately used a simple, plain, green grass scatter on the bases to help reduce shedding of the grass through wargame use, and also to better match my dark green baize which they’ll be marching across.

The flag was a real pain to paint! I love the sculpting but trying to understand the fold of the flag and then reflect that fold with the painted cross of St. George resulted in a number of repaints. The end result is still not right but I’m sticking with it!

Given that the Act of Union was in 1707, British regiments at this time were for some time represented by either English or Scottish flags instead of the Union flag. So I have shown this English regiment carrying the cross of St.George into battle. The other regimental flag, the colonel’s colour, was much more open to individual interpretation often with any colour background and a design of the colonel’s own choosing.

I’ve already started on the other half of the box of Strelets’ advancing infantry by depicting a Scottish regiment – more on that in a future post!

11 thoughts on “Marlburian Men

  1. I’m inordinately excited that you are dipping your big toe into wargaming, Marvin. I’ve always admired your toys and thought how unfortunate that they are never played with! FYI Age of Eagles has rules for the Lace Wars called Age of Honour. I began my Napoleonic gaming with AOE and although I thought the rules very good, have moved on to a battalion level ruleset, Over the Hills (the base unit is 24 figures on 6 bases, representing a battalion as opposed to AOE, which has similar numbers representing a brigade). I expect Age of Lace is brigade level as well.
    One word of advice, each rule set uses different basing, some show casualties, others don’t, some require skirmish stands – I guess I’m saying you might want to settle on a ruleset before making too many basing decisions, although from what I’ve seen of your basing, it should easily adapt.
    Too much info? Perhaps… Have fun!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ha ha, that’s great that you’re enthusiastic about it too! 🙂 Thanks very much for the info, as I’ve said I guess I’ve got a lot to learn about wargaming rules, so I need to do some research. My intention is perhaps to keep it simple at first but I need to look around and see what’s being used for this era. My basing is fairly simple so hopefully will be applicable across other rule sets.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks mate. I love 1:72, though I know it’s not the popular scale nowadays. As you say, my aim is to enjoy it above all else, so maybe some simple rules just to get my little men to hurl musket balls at each other and then I can look to develop or adopt more specific rules going forward.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks pal! I should mention that my other concern when choosing a scale is a modestly sized dining room table! 😀

      I painted flag nicely enough a few times but the cross never looked to be in the right place…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really nice figures, brilliant detail and so well painted mate, and as IRO said the 1/72 will look great en masse. Oh and as for painting folds in flags I once read some say “only a brave man would attempt that ” so mate a big pat on the back for a grand job on the St George .
    I’m impress that you are taking up the cudgel and venturing into the Gaming world, again a brave move, one I’m not even thinking about, it was hard enough grasping what Tech adviser taught me about posting photos on my blog !!. By the way she has finished building her tiny house and has left the nest, so if you see lots of faults in my next post you’ll know why.
    Like you I’m changing direction and going back to clear up what our mate Azazel calls neglected stuff , they are decoupages the hobby I did before getting into dios . I have a few to finish and as I’m about to turn 65 and decided to chuck the job, sell up, and move to the country I felt I best get them done. So cheers mate try and post some results soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Pat. Ha – I’d wish I’d heard about the difficulty of flag painting before I started!

      “chuck the job, sell up, and move to the country” – sounds like heaven! Good luck with all that neglected stuff 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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