Sunday, 21 October 2018

Jersey fortifications - Mont Orgueil

The castle at Mont Orgueil is well worth a visit if you are on Jersey (wiki link). It is remarkably intact having been in use from an iron age fort through to the German occupation.

Its position overlooking Gorey and the Royal Bay of Grouville.

The introduction has a nice model of the castle, but it's difficult to photograph with the reflection

Looking up at the mssively reinforced keep with a Tudor artillery position on the right.

Sir Hugh Calveley (a cheshire lad) heavily involved in the HYW (link)

The view to the north.

The reason for the reinforced keep was to be able to have guns on top to contest the hill that overlooks the rest of the castle.

German conversion of the turrets into observation posts.

View from Gorey pier below

Of course Mont Orgueil was outdated in the age of gunpowder and was replaced as the principle fortification by Fort Elizabeth (next post) but it remained in use, especially by the Napoleonic spymaster Phiippe d'Auvergne.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Last of the camels - Arab revolt

The final batch of camels are at long last completed. Again a splendid set of figures from Strelets with lots of character. I'll mix them in with my old Airfix Bedouins to increase the numbers.

I'm sure I'm going to be tempted again whenever Strelets release their Rifs

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

WW2 German Fortifications on Jersey

As you walk around the coast on Jersey it is almost impossible to avoid the large and small concrete structures covering every single beach and cove. The Channel Islands Occupation Society has a very useful website and many of the structures are open in summer (CIOS link) and there is more details on the Occupation Detectives (link)

The Marine Peilstand near cape Gros Nez

on a sunnier day!

Batterie Moltke, with some guns they recovered from the sea beneath the cliffs.

The Jersey Military Museum, inside an old bunker on St Ouens bay with an R35 turret on top.

Strongpoint Corbiere, more bunkers on the SW cape along with another Marine Peilstand converted to a coastguard lookout

Batterie Lothringen, two very short visits, it really needed longer to appreciate this site on cape Noirmount

Interesting details of an action between PT boats and German minesweepers (link)

The Naval Observation post is much lower than the previous pair

A memorial at the small cove where commandos landed in Operation Hardtack 28 (link).

Finally the war tunnels, that were turned into an underground hospital. Lots of interesting stuff on the occupation but very little eye candy.

I was intrigued by Operation Constellation/Condor (link), a plan to invade Jersey in 1943 and the German raid on Granville in 1945 to capture some colliers (link)

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Back from Jersey

I've spent the last two weeks tramping the footpaths of Jersey and visiting the various fortifications on the island. I'll follow up with a proper posting later, but good starting points are Jersey Heritage (link) and the Channel Islands Occupation Society (link)

I managed to find all the sites, except one on the CIOS leaflet.

I also picked up some interesting reading

Sunday, 7 October 2018

2018 third quarter progress report

A final look at how I'm progressing against my self imposed targets

The major project is Tricorne rebasing, covering all my Seven Years War and American War of Independence armies, this is ambitious - around 2,000 figures, but hopefully it should just be "cosmetic" as I won't be physically changing the units or bases.- The Prussian are done, I've just finished the Austrians and about to start the French. It's beginning to look like a lot of work to get all the remainder finished by the end of the year!

Painting/Modelling - moderate sized projects
  • Napoleonics - carried over from 2017. I've got quite a pile of figures (mainly cavalry) available to replace/upgrade some of my oldest units. Plus Spanish infantry, Polish infantry, French artillery and Russian Guard artillery - Painted a lot of the heavy cavalry
  • Egypt 1800 - adding more French, British and Ottoman troops to my existing armies, probably by doubling up the existing units. - Not started
Smaller projects
  • WW2 Ardennes - finishing off various bits- completed what I had planned
  • WW2 North Africa - expanding my US forces to cover North Africa by adding Stuarts, Lees and any other new units that the new Battlegroup book might require.- Stuarts and Lees added, now I have the book and all I need is some T19 GMCs, I just need to find a couple of Italeri fast build half tracks
  • WW2 eastern front - extending my winter Russians for late war winter warfare, mainly by adding tanks.- all done
  • Some desert sand-dunes/wadi sides - carried over from 2017- not started
  • Various houses to add to my Eighteenth Century town, including a model of my daughter's house - carried over from 2017- not started
  • Need to create those Renaissance galleys - carried over from 2017 - any useful ideas welcomed- not started but I have an idea
  • Adding some Highland regiments to my SYW British, also for use against the Jacobites!- all three completed
  • Plus a number of bits to fill in odd gaps in existing armies- various oddments worked on.

  • Continue to support the Lance & Longbow Society games at various shows- We passed on Vapnartak this year, but attended both Phalanx and Britcon.
  • Nothing decided yet for the SOTCW game at Gauntlet- for various reasons including my medical issues this was a miss for this year
  • We plan to hold a big Battlegroup event in May, so I may be a major contributor to the terrain and troops needed - Completed successfully
  • I need to organise one or two large games, one SYW and another to be decided, hopefully my rebasing will be an incentive.- not started
  • Again try to get to Crisis in Antwerp- flights and accomodation organised


Total of 1,625 items completed so far this year
SYW 913 Mainly rebasing except the Highlanders
WW1 205 Selection of Poles, Serbs, Ottomans, British & Arabs
Renaissance 155 Ottomans & Russian
WW2 138 Extra desert stuff including Indian Infantry, civilians & plenty of tanks
Terrain 141 Mainly for Market Garden
Napoleonic 61 Heavy Cavalry
Modern 12 SAS

Friday, 5 October 2018

On the Workbench - October 2018

I seem to have quite a bit left on the painting table at the end of the month and it's all partially started. As a taster here are my new portees

So my plan for the month (plus progress notes) is

  • Strelets Arab Revolt camel riders - nearly finished (I forgot to include them in the list last month)
  • dismounted Strelets WW1 British camel riders - undercoated
  • dismounted Strelets WW1 Australian camel riders - undercoated
  • HaT WW1 British Infantry (tropical dress) - undercoated
  • Zvezda WW2 British desert 2pdrs deployed and mounted on portees - well underway see above
  • First to Fight WW2 British desert 37mm mounted in portees - not started
  • All my First to Fight German vehicles
  • Start on rebasing my SYW/AWI French army, this will also involve replacing 3 regiments

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

SYW Austrian rebasing - Generals

The final stage of my Austrian project, I now have two finished armies. I added thirteen new figures to boost each command base to at least two figures and created new command bases for the Hussars and Artillery.

Now I just have the minor SYW nations to work on before I have to start on the AWI. Maybe completing all of them in 2018 is rather ambitious.