June 24, 2016

New Lenses for my Camera

Ok, I couldn't resist. I wasn't going to post any more photos, but I got a couple new lenses (birthday present from my cats - they are very generous) for my camera and took a pile of pics getting used to them. It seemed a shame to let them go to waste!

The Pennyburn Mill

Just some of the defenders of Derry (ironically the attackers in this game)

An Irish bog

A pleasant morning on the Foyle

A quick note on the last photo... there was no naval support in the historical attack on the Pennyburn Mill, but there were encounters on the River Foyle during the siege. I wanted to add another element to the wargame and take advantage of some of the new rules we will present in the upcoming scenario book (yes, it IS coming...). The Kestrel will be armed with a pair of light naval guns to give a bit of artillery cover to the Derry assault, though the range will be limited to about half of the table.

I suppose mentioning the new lens above, someone who cares about such things is probably shouting at their computer, "What was the lens?" I've had a Canon Rebel XSI for about ten years now and always used the 18-55mm lens that came with the kit. It's been a great unit and I've mastered the art of taking shots of single models, individual units, and relatively close action shots. What I've always struggled with is long shots with sharp focus across the entire depth of field. I also have to set up a very complicated light array in my game room to get photos with enough light to stop the camera from needing overlong exposure and often resulting in blurred shots.

Without going into a pile of technical detail, which I don't really know all that well anyway, the shots above were taken with an EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. It is ridiculously cheap for a camera lens (I think it was $100). It only has a single level of zoom fixed at 50mm, so you need to move the camera around to compose your shot, but that's not much of an issue with miniature photography. All of the shots above lack any post production on the computer except for a small amount of color correction with a cool filter to remove a bit yellow caused by the light from the room. I could have corrected that by setting the white balance on the camera, but I didn't bother for these. They probably could have used a bit of post, but that wasn't the point of the exercise. No complicated lighting (only the overhead of the room and a window), sharp focus all the way across the shot, and almost zero post production - very happy with this lens!

I'll talk about my other new lens, a Canon 10-18mm at some future time, but it also has great capacity for shooting under less than ideal light conditions. I'll still be carrying my original too, but now I will give the illusion of being much more professional as I pretend to carefully consider the correct lens for the shot!

Ok, that really is it. There will probably still be a few pics for units I haven't shown yet and maybe another post on the game in general as the time draws near.

June 18, 2016

More Uniform Guides - The Siege of Derry

Following on the heels of the well received Uniform Guides for the Battle of the Boyne, we are happy to announce the next series - The Siege of Derry!

D01 - The Jacobite Infantry of the Siege of Derry
D02 - The Jacobite Cavalry and Artillery of the Siege of Derry
D03 - The Defenders of Derry
D04 - The Battle of Pennyburn Mill
D05 - The Battle of Windmill Hill

There is more text in this series to cover the how's and why's of the decisions we made, as well as a bit more about some of the battles that took place around the walls during several months of fighting. It was challenging because even contemporary sources disagree or contain likely embellishments (in the famous George Walker text, he manages to be at the pivotal point of every engagement). Information was culled from a dozen different sources and Barry tried to drive me mad with revisions (I kid you not... the published document of The Battle of Pennyburn Mill was version 10 and we did a final edit after that) so we are confidant that you won't find a more comprehensive guide.

The PDF's are available individually or as a set on the League of Augsburg shop. You can download a free sample from the Boyne series here.

Here are pics of the copies I printed...

I printed the uniform plates on glossy photo paper and the text pages on quality bond paper. They are inserted into 3-hole punched plastic sleeves and placed in a binder. Now, I'm fussy about such things and it bugged me that the sleeves with only bond paper felt flimsy next to any with a sheet of photo paper. To 'fix' this I placed blank sheets of card stock in those to bulk them up. Yes, well, it made me feel better...

... and no, those cover images aren't available at this time. Just use your favorite image for now. I made them for my binders because... well, see the paragraph above. It's an illness. The spines even have titles!

There are more guides on the way, though I doubt we'll have the time to release anything until after Historicon.

June 14, 2016

Historicon 2016

Only a month to go! Here are the last two brigadiers needed for our game at Historicon...

Captain Adam Murray of Derry...

General Maumont, French general in the employ of the Jacobites...

Like most of the models in this period, these gentlemen may serve for many different characters in the future...