Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Colonel Talbot's Birthday

      On the weekend of July 17-18, a few of the members of Croghan's Company 17th Infantry (our reenacting group) took part in 250th Anniversary Celebration of the birth of Colonel Thomas Talbot. Talbot was instrumental in the colonial settling of this part of Ontario after the War of 1812, particularly with immigrants from Scotland and Ireland. He sold his commission in the Royal Army and bought land in what was then "Upper Canada" with the intent to sell it to settlers. An Irish Protestant himself, Talbot was... let's say "less than generous" in land sales to the Scots and the Catholic Irish. We kiddingly say there was plenty of swampland for all. Although considered "despotic" by some in this dealings with the settlers, it appears that Talbot was fairly just in his dealings with the local First Nations bands, although most had abandoned the area during the War of 1812. Whatever the case, Talbot is worth remembering. He was hunted by raiders and Canadian turncoats during the War, but was never captured. (Please forgive any misstatement regarding the Colonel here. I am not privy to all of the story.)

     He is buried across the street from St. Peter's Anglican Church in Tyrconnell, ON (near Wallacetown and just down the street from the Backus-Page House Museum.) This event was sponsored by the parish and reenactors from the Royal Scots Light Company, the Canadian Volunteers, the British Indian Department, and Croghan's Company, 17th US Infantry turned out and served as honour guard and firing party for the event. The Church's rector, the Venerable Canon George Nicholson ("Nick") Wells arranged and organized the event.

(Photographs courtesy of Steve Zronik, Jeff Brown, and Hometown St. Thomas Magazine.)

A display piece that helps explain the place.

Our friend, Linda with the banner near the church.

The placard for the Backus-Page House Museum

Dressing the line and preparing to march to the cemetery (Saturday)

Members of the Light Company of the Royal Scots advance at trail arms toward the cemetery gate on Saturday.

Sunday afternoon - the uniformed party moves to position.

Canon Nick dressed as Daniel Rapelje, a contemporary leader in the local settlement
prepares to pour out a libation on the Colonel's grave. (Saturday)

The libation of exquisite Irish Whisky is poured. (Saturday)

Tom, who is also a member of the Crown Forces Fife and Drum Corps
plays the lament. (Saturday)

Lyle of the 17th US Infantry does some work on his musket. (Sunday)
He and I turned out in the white cotton coatee or frock of the US Army summer uniform.

The party prepares to fire the salute. (Saturday)

"Make ready! Take aim or present! Fire!" (Saturday)
The commands are slightly different for the US and the Crown.
Marcus' musket insisted on misfiring so he fell back out of the line.

Three cheers! (Saturday)

Another view of the cheer. (Saturday)

Another view of Nick pouring the libation. (Sunday)

(I've noted different photos for Saturday and Sunday. First, some different people came out to join in the event each day. Second, Nick wore a different waist coat on the two days - black cashmere on Saturday, and a lighter linen on the hotter Sunday. Third, I had a horrible allergic reaction to some insect repellant made with Deet on Saturday evening.  I itched, broke out in hives, couldn't catch my breath, and left the tent to my wife and slept in the van. Actually, I didn't sleep that night. So my participation the next day was curtailed.)

The firing party retires. (Saturday)

Raiffe, kitted out as a Canadian Volunteer, and John of the Royal Scots joined us on Sunday.
The Canadian Volunteers were a small volunteer unit of the US Army, made up of Canadians
and served on the Niagara Frontier. 

Cole, looking quite professional, guards the cemetery gate. (Saturday)

Nick "inspects" the firing party on Sunday.

"Pinging the musket" to check how clean it is. (Sunday)
This is part of the safety inspection done before events where firing takes place.

Mark from the British Indian Department put on a fine display under his fly.

My wife, Beth, leads an impromptu session on the making of Dorset buttons
for some of the ladies who joined us on Sunday.

Nick relaxes in our camp with our daughter, Kaise in First Nations attire in the background.
(She shares Lenne Lenape ancestry through her mother.) (Saturday)

A few properly attired and grand ladies who visited on Sunday.

Your Humble Blogger has recovered nicely from the Deet and the Benadryl.

Monday, 26 July 2021

From the Painting Table

 I enjoy painting the figures I use in games. There was a time when I couldn't game much and I did painting for some friends. It was satisfying and fun. Still I enjoy both the painting and the playing. So here are some of my latest projects.

The Old Western Gunfight Skirmish Project

US Infantry in frontier/plains kit
(North Star Figures)

US Cavalry dismounted
(North Star Figures)

Wild West Seraphim
(North Star Figures - Dracula's America)
Beth like this figure so I needed to paint it up.
It really was a lot of fun to paint!

The here-to-for unannounced Dune Skirmish project

Frank Herbert's "Dune" fascinates me and I saw an opportunity for a small unit skirmish game. I'd hope to use the "5-Core" rules since most of the troops would be armed with blade weapons and slow projectile stunners rather than lasers or such. I wanted to find figures in hoods and robes (of a sort) as the Freman. Ninjas seemed to fill the bill for most of it.

Ninja from Iron Wind Miniatures serving as "Fremen" on Arrakis/Dune.
I wanted fighters with bladed weapons and hoods with face coverings.
Capes would have served me more and had I the patience and skill, I'd have added them.
I like the dust/sand colour with a heavy ink wash that picked out the details.

These guys should be armed with knives rather than spears and Katana-style swords.
Still, as a whole, I rather like how they turned out.

The Sardukar soldier-fanatics of the Padishaw Emperor, Shaddam IV proved to be a challenge. I wanted a sci-fi feel with bladed weapons but found that was too much to ask. So I ordered some Sci-fi troopers from Iron Wind Metals who look bulky, arrogant, and heavily armed. I can pretend they have knives.

These troops should be in black but I chose a more easily detailed uniform.
Big guns in hand... I like how they turned out. They may end up being used in some of my
Traveller campaign games.

I liked the rocket launcher on the left.
The unit officer is on the right, with the slight silver touches for insignia.

SteamPunk/Sci-fi/Fantasy Mixed Bag project

The Royal Family from West Wind's Gothic Horror range
They'd been sitting in the To-Be-Painted box for years and I got the urge to paint them up.
Probably Traveller fodder.

Various SteamPunk/Pulp figures
I don't know all the sources since some were bought at KEGSCON convention over the past
few years. On the far left is a Sergeant from Pulp Miniatures Gunga Din-ish offering.
Doctor sorta-Who is on the far right. The women are living dangerously in their arsenic-green dresses

Traders! Cultists! Musicians!
Bad Squido... Pulp Miniatures... Reaper... from left to right.
The Musician showed up in my recent Traveller game as DJ PB Smooth, the Scrunge-Rock 
guitarist. (Listening to Scrunge-Rock could lead to seizures or collapse... if it's heard wrong.)

Two Femme-Fatales from different eras.
On the left is Guinevere for Beth's Kings of War army. 

Space Dwarves from Wargames Atlantic
Fun to put together, even if you add heads and arms from other kits!

15mm Spanish Civil War project

These were originally done for Command Decision and were later rebased for Disposable Heroes. Now they're being resettled for Battlefront.

In the Nationalist service, an older model French "fast-firing" 75mm field gun.
For some reason, Spanish Regular Army artillerymen wore white belting.

Again in the Nationalist army, a later model 75mm field piece.
The difference? Rubber tires!

A Republican anti-tank gun.
International brigade crew? Maybe. The French "Adrian" helmets are a give-away.

US Troops in 15mm for Battlefront

The M1919 Browning medium machine gun with a competent crew.

An 81mm mortar ready to ruin my opponent's day

54mm (1/32) Spanish soldiers

Willed to me by my friend, Martin when he moved out of London, ON
3d-printed Spanish Napoleonic troops - a Spanish regiment and an Irish regiment.
The photo isn't too good and I haven't finished too many of these, so it's an on-going project.
Another on-going project.

Look who came to visit at Church this month!

A large cut-out from a past Vacation Bible School.
This was set up in a pew two weeks ago to surprise us all. 
Yesterday he/she had a surgical mask added.
Smart critter!

Friday, 23 July 2021

I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar

 I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar

A few thoughts have come to mind recently and I wish to "give vent" to them. I'm sure that many have had these same thoughts before me and probably have expressed them better...

But anyway...

I have enjoyed the television show "Firefly" and I re-watch it every so often. As a long time player of the sci-fi RPG Traveller, the show seemed to me to be influenced by the game although it took it's own direction.

Many people have bemoaned the end of the show so soon. I'm not sure why it ended; maybe it was too good. But it ended and people who liked it have missed it, the characters in it, and the setting.

What if the show had gone on for a number of seasons? How would it have fared?

I'm guessing here, but I feel it would have been on for a number of years and then cancelled. It might have become stale and cast personalities might have clashed to cause an end. Then it would have been analyzed and picked apart and become a cult show for a small number. It would have been forgotten by many.

As it is, it has become a legend in it's own right and taken on a life of it's own. Personal opinion: It might be better this way. It ended as it began: on a constant high note. Continuing on would have made it "just another TV show." Now it is much more.

What's in this load?


Rich people can go to space. We ask why they didn't feed the hungry and clothe the naked. The answer might be "What glory is in that for me?" A number of people I know are disgusted by these displays of wealth and refusal to use wealth for the betterment of all. I might be one of them.

However we'd best get used to it. Corporate exploration of space is on the way and is coming. The wealthy and the large corporations will continue to do this. I suppose there's money to be made in space... somehow. I don't think governments can be quite so single-minded.

Didn't science-fiction literature and movies/shows tell us this? Babylon 5 shows many non-governmental corporate bodies exploring the universe. The author, Poul Anderson, wrote an entire series of related books and stories about the Polesotechnic League, a loosely-bound bunch of corporate "traders to the stars" as it were. (Look up "Hanseatic League.") Frank Herbert's Dune has the CHOAM Corporation. Our own histories tell us this, to use the Hudson's Bay Company and the British or Dutch East India Companies as only two examples out of many.

It may be disgusting and aggravating and unjust in a larger sense of justice. And it may be what will happen. We'd best be prepared.


Of course, all this is only my opinion.