Thursday 26 April 2018

SYW British and French mortars in 28 mm

The latest additions to my SYW/ F&IW/ '45 British and French forces are the two mortar stands featured below. A while ago I had been given some second-hand old-style Front Rank British figures  that I have repainted and used on the stand. They had previously been painted up as Bavarians. The mortars and the French crews are recent Front Rank purchases to ensure my miniature forces had the ability to be effective in siege they provide something a bit unusual to the wargames table. I had also been given some old 18th century Front Rank cannons in various states of repair, so decided to use one I repainted to add to my French force.           
The purists will note that my French artillerymen have white lace on their hats instead of the usual yellow/ gold coloured lace. This is because the first stands I painted up where colonial artillery for fighting in New France and I've just carried this on.

As Front Rank don't produce a French artillery officer with a telescope I decided to use an old Front Rank British artillery officer here. Hence having to paint the sash white. Unlike the British officers, regimental level French officers didn't wear sashes. 

I've used an etched piece of Balsa wood as a base for the mortar

I used a recycled cannon to provide an extra artillery stand for my French force. 

Until next time!

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Canterbury Mounted Rifles on Anzac Day

It's Anzac Day here in New Zealand today, meaning, as a nation, New Zealanders gather together at war memorials throughout the country to commemorate the service and sacrifice of our soldiers throughout the 20th century. This afternoon my 'better half ' and I travelled out to the Greendale Domain in rural Canterbury for the service there. The draw for me was the attendance of the NZ Mounted Rifle Charitable Trust reenactment troop. Compared to other countries, New Zealand only has a very few number of reenactment groups, and this one was only established in 2014 to mark the centenary of the Great War. The unit portrays the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, which many of the farm boys from the Greendale area served in. I hope you enjoy the selected photos I took of them.

Unusually, many of the reenactors were of the 'fairer sex', but you can't really tell from the way they wear their uniforms.

Note the saddle blanket on this horse. It belongs to the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry - first established as a volunteer mounted militia unit in the 1860s, it later formed A squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Force from which the regiments of the NZ Expeditionary Force were formed.

Note the leather rifle bucket strapped to the saddle. Unlike normal cavalry units, the mounted rifles usually dismounted to engage the enemy with musketry and the bayonet.

The Aussie flag was carried to acknowledge the special bond forged between the soldiers of the two British dominions during the Gallipoli campaign. It was here that the colonials gained a sense of national identity that was strengthened by further fighting on the Western Front. After serving as infantry at Gallipoli, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles served in the Anzac Mounted Division in Egypt and Palestine until the end of the war. 

I spotted this bloke walking around but he wasn't part of the Mounted Rifles, just a local reenactor who turned up to add an infantry perspective.

This chap is dressed as a lance-corporal of the the Canterbury Infantry Regiment  circa 1916. He wears the distinctive 'Lemon Squeezer' hat that the New Zealander Division adopted when it was formed in Egypt in March 1916, prior to transferring to the Western Front. The standard British Army tin helmet was worn when serving on the front line. The green/ red puggaree of the hat represents an infantry unit, while the hat and collar badges identify his regiment. Note that the medal on his left breast indicates that he has been a serving soldier in the past.  

The whole uniform (apart from the unit badges and boots) was sourced through reenactment suppliers in the UK.

Lest we forget!

Until next time.