Friday, 4 May 2018

Cinco De Mayo

Tomorrow marks the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla which is celebrated in the US and Mexico as Cinco de Mayo. That day an elite force of the French Army, considered the best in the world at that time were beaten by a hastily assembled force of Mexican regulars, militia and citizens. I've attached some photos of a game I presented at my local library on Cinco de Mayo a couple of years ago. With a little help from PhotoShop!


  1. Great conversions Nick, for the Mexican artillery in black kepis did you do a head swap on the BMC ACW or just build up the existing one? I've been thinking of trying this period for a while.

    1. Hi Brian, thanks for the compliment. I used WWI Belgian shako heads for the artillery. They are a very small 1/32 scale, so I had to find small ACW artillerymen. I think they were BMC - not the greatest figures - but they looked okay painted up.

  2. Ah, what a super wargame table and scenery. Great idea to photoshop.
    As you may already know, my country, Belgium, was also involved in the conflict, the Empress being a Belgian princes. A Belgian Legion (volonteers) has fought against the rebels. :
    This is another link listing more battles, but in Dutch (google translate can help)
    As it is from the army, there is some heroism added, but a wargame friend, Karim Van Overmeire, has published in Miniature Wargames a double article on the subject year ago, and he says in general , performance was poor.
    Yet could give some extra ideas for a game?

    Well Done

    1. Hi Dirk, I have Belgian Legion figures in 28mm. For some reason, I collect the Maximilian Adventure in 15mm, 28mm and 54mm! I want to game the Belgian's stand at Battle of Tacámbaro in the future.

  3. Thanks for the links Dirk, they're really helpful.

  4. Well deserved niceties above, compliments are appropriate here. I know little about the conflict itself apart from that I think the FFL looks at their best. To watch the table set-up, the figures and scenery elements, is what we call in Dutch 'smullen'.
    Long time ago I did something similar with 54mm figs. in our local library during a living history festival covering four time points on the timeline of my hometown: 1200AC - 1400AC - 1600AC - 1800AC. Painted figs were exhibited only, sadly no table top layout was done there.
    I'd like a smart 'hands-on' or tutorial on how to create the scenic backdrops in the photographs. Sure makes it a whole.



  5. Marcel, I use PhotoShop as part of my job as a computer graphic artist. When I take photos on the table top, I use a large piece of white foam board as a backdrop. This makes it easy to erase. Then I look for a suitable photograph on Google or Bing. Things to keep in mind are which direction the sun is coming from and if the horizon line matches the horizon in your photo. PhotoShop allows you to add layers so you can place the background photo behind the table photo and move it around until it looks good. finally, PhotoShop lets you play with the brightness and contrast of the background to match the tabletop one.

    Is this helpful?

    Best regards,

  6. Hi Nick, what a great spectacle! If you can make it one day to our 54mm wargaming extravaganza at Woking you could always put on this game....

    Besr wishes