Saturday, 28 May 2011

What it's all about.

So there's this book called The Medieval Soldier: 15th century campaign life recreated in photographs by John Howe (the LOTR artist) and Gerry Embleton. It features loads of fantastic photos of the White Company (NOW DEFUNCT) and the Company of St George, two of the foremost medieval reenactment groups, and frankly is THE book that every medievalist should own and if you don't have a copy, shame on you! Rumour has it they plan to make a new version, in the meantime mere mortals like my group, the Suffolk free Company, aspire to produce Living History to this standard.

Most of the Suffolks outside the Cott on Sunday morning. Getting everyone in the same place at the same time is tricky you know:0)

Now we are very fortunate as we are re-enactors at Kentwell Hall in Suffolk, probably the place that started the recreation of domestic life in bygone days, For those of you who don't know, Kentwell Hall is a Redbrick Tudor Manor house, which has been owned for the past forty years by Patrick Phillips and his wife Judith. Apart from renovating the hall itself there are several other period buildings on the manor, including the fabulous Moat House and a variety of farm buildings on the Barnsward all of which were rebuilt by Tudor re-enactors (one of whom is in our household). Kentwell has featured in three articles in Wargames Illustrated which I wrote about the Spanish Armada crisis of 1588.

Every now and then Kentwell has low key events that are a little more flexible with what will take place. The weekend of 22nd May was one such weekend; Wool Weekend is when the sheep on the manor are sheared and various 'Tudors' who work with wool are also present. Whilst most of our group don't work with wool, we do cover a huge range of other period crafts so we were very pleased when we were allowed to take over 'the Cott' for the weekend and bring it to life. The Cott is a 15th century Yeoman farmer's dwelling.
We are also quite fortunate as we have an excellent photographer in our midst, Bendy, and although he doesn't usually do Kentwell he was allowed on the manor this weekend and before and after hours he was able to take a whole bunch of photos, so many that we may well just have to make our own book, hmmm.

So what follows is just a sample of what we got. There were so many that it will cover a couple of blog entries, especially as some of us took Elizabethan kit as well and we took photos in that, all of which will go in another post:0) Special thanks must go to PP for allowing us the privilege of playing in the Cott and Bendy for the great photos as always!
Ned, Beanie and Jake fishing

Bess & Me working a fallow deer skin.

Francis cooking dinner for all of us. Nice shot taken from the loft in the cott.

Soldiers' kit.

Bess, Sue and Broad Tom unwrapping newly made soap.

Mirabel & Broad Tom give eachother Good day!

Ant and Dangerous Pete repairing kit and making hose.

Martha working wool.

Look at that,not a military shot in sight. Next entry will have plenty:0)


Monday, 9 May 2011

Post Salute2011 F&IW photos

Ok, so some of the photos I took at Salute were terrible so since then I have made an effort to set up some scenes and try to take some reasonable photos and these are some of the results. There are more but I will probably hold onto them as I intend to produce a little Spirit Of The Game site called Tomahawks and Bayonets.

British Officers contemplate their next move.

Ant's terrific gun and crew (really AWI figs but painted for a few years earlier)

Huron and Courier de Bois sneak across the waterfall while British Light Infantry keep an unaware watch out.

A small British column marches past the Phillips' cabin.

A Conestoga wagon trundles along a frontier trail.

Courier de Bois and Huron indians cover the main column of marching French Infantry.

British Light Infantry engage a warband of Indians across Swallowtail Creek

All the figures here are from Sash & Saber miniatures (from Old Glory Uk in the UK) Brits painted by Ant, French and Indian by me. All scenery is by me.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Salute 2011

Salute 2011 was the first outing for our 40mm F&IW game. It was particularly satisfying as I bought the figures for this game at Salute 2010 so in a year we had completed an entire project, probably a first for me.

Salute 2011 turned out to be a great event. We got everything painted on time (just) and the new scenery was ace, I was delighted with the how the waterfall turned out. We got through a lot of games. The table above was split into three separate sections which meant we never waited for more than three players, before we could start a scenario. This year I even managed to see some of the show as we arrived early and got set up in record time. The only downside was that most of the pictures I took were shocking, so I only have a few here. I will be setting various pictures up at home soon so watch this space. I also will be giving them to Old Glory / Sash & Saber so they can use them on their sites.
The Phillips' cabin under attack by Huron and Courier de Bois. This scenario played out very well and was won by players on both sides during the day. The cabin got lots of attention from photographers roof off and on:0)

The middle scenario with the Conestoga wagon was the one I was worried about as it was untested and looked pretty tricky. So we tried it out first thing with me taking the role of the British and mainly thanks to Mike's terrible dice rolls I proved it was possible to win. However, the Brits didn't manage another win in this scenario, mainly due to some odd choice of what to do with the wagon. Trying to run down injuns with an ox drawn wagon is not advisable folks.

We didn't win any prizes (nevermind) no gimmmicks, no fantasy elements and only a skirmish game, however we did get loads of favourable comments and many old faces came and played and had a great time. Roll on Salute 2012. More 40mm games I think. Much thanks to Ant, who painted all the British and Mike who, as always, played the role of Spirit Of The Game logistics Corps.

Better photos to follow and hopefully some WI articles too. Watch this space.