The Dutch AWI Project - final week - 1

Editor’s note: because of the Great Wargaming Survey, ongoing reports on the Dutch AWI project have been kept under wraps. However, since the day of battle approaches quickly, we’ll be blogging daily on progress. Some (like me- JO) are still frantically painting, while others are coasting to completion. One has had terribly bad luck: I’m sure everyone can imagine the pain of having your nearly-completed project stolen while on vacation…Peter’s blog below was actually submitted just before the start of the Great Wargaming Survey. It’s not due to him it appears only now.

Oh! Look at the time! Again, chronically late, but I have my excuses. First of all I had to deliver a paper on Mythology as the last part of my bachelor’s degree in history demanded. Passed that, so I am now an official alumni of Utrecht University! This in itself gives great satisfaction but most of all, it opened the way to admitting me to the master’s degree study in Military History at the University of Amsterdam which shall commence in september 2016. As you can imagine, I’m one hoopy frood right now!

Furthermore I managed to get an article of mine published in WSS 85 which recently came out and I’m sure it is still available to order. And last but not least, another article of mine is going to be published in Medieval Warfare VI.4 which will be available in mid-august but again I’m sure you can order your copy using the link the editor will insert about here (Ed: done!).

Now, where did I leave you last time. There was this conundrum of planning an army and sticking to that plan. Plans I deliberately do not write down, for that would make me able to adhere to them. And not writing plans down allows me to buy the extra miniatures I fancy. And so it went this time. I ordered a pile of lead from Wargames Foundry, well thought out, at least I thought so, and discovered while I was unpacking that I had six infantrymen too many! This could easily have resulted in another regiment. The Perry boys sell the packs at six models a piece and only two would be needed to form a proper Land of the Free regiment. I managed not to indulge myself in another order, just barely, mind you!, but decided that these six fine fellows would serve to increase one of my regiments from normal to large.

The tally so far is that the Crown’s forces have a total of five infantry regiments (each 18 strong) one large cavalry regiment (12 strong), two artillery pieces and two Queen’s rangers sniping behind a portable kind of cover, called the amusette. For the rebel faction, I managed to accumulate so far seven infantry regiments (of which one is the large one), two cavalry squadrons of six each and one artillery piece. On the lead pile are some 18 militia types that I need to complete two other infantry regiments.

So, the Brits are at a disadvantage now, but I have also painted a group of 24 Indians, which can go, and went, either way. And a further two command teams are standing by on the painting table to take over some of the militia. As I painted the militia largely in civilian dress, these too can go either way. It all depends on the uniform the guy is wearing who leads them on the battlefield. I think this is the fun part of our hobby. Paint them as Americans, swap a command stand and they’re still Americans, but now loyal to the crown! History and gaming, neatly come together on the tabletop here.

I did manage to build my own ‘wet palette’. Made of a box of kokosbrood, which translates freely in to coconut bread. I’m not sure if it is Dutch or international, but it is made of coconut and sugar and is used to put it on bread. After I ate the content, it is also a watertight container. Two sheets of kitchen paper and a small sheet of baking paper and voila: uour own cheap wet palette! I used to put my paint on the workbench or a small piece of mdf, but that managed to waste a lot of paint. I put usually more paint out of the bottle than I needed so everything I didn’t used was just wasted as I am unable to put it back into the dropper bottle. The wet palette helped there. It’s not without waste, but it certainly reduces it a lot.

As this project is slowly coming to an end the time has come to contemplate and self-reflection. First of all, I never should have mentioned the Brexit. Little did I know that the Brits would actually choose to leave the EU. Truly sorry you chose that way. But, As a Dutchman I intend to benefit. Fortunately, it has resulted in the devaluation of the Pound Sterling, so I will get more lead for my euro. Second I have learned that you can participate in a major historical undertaking such as this AWI project without having the slightest idea on what it was about, and what exactly happened. I learned quite a lot about the uniforms of that period and how little we know of them and I managed to have a paradigm shift concerning the Indians. Rather than seeing them as the Hollywood bad guys I grew up with, I’ve come to see them as a multitude of different nations with very different cultures that sadly have gone. Victims of Western European expansion.

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