EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blue River Rebellion: Incident at Rhed Station

Train hold up! More trouble in the Blue River Valley? 

The Government announcement last month that the Blue River Rebellion had been laid to rest appears to have been premature. Word has been received of a bold ambush of a train near Rhed Station half way between Belmont and Brooklyn. Is this the start of a renewed outbreak?

Our correspondent has filed this report of the incident.

The Fusiliers and Sappers debark from the train at the first sign of trouble.

It was about ten after five when we approached Rhed Station. Thats almost 15 minutes late. Wouldn't have been tolerated under the old director but what with the unrest and a train full of armed soldiers we do what we can. As we came around the big bend just north of the station, we could see something on the track. Looked like a tree blown down but as we began to slow an alert soldier spotted rebels in the woods south of the station.  We hit the brakes and the redcoats went over the side. Soldiers to the right, pioneers with their tools to the left.

Pikes front!

The Rebels came pouring out of the woods, yelling like fiends. A volley from the soldiers bowled over great numbers but they came on anyway. Suddenly a burst of musket fire announced that more Rebels had been hidden up at the station and on the hill to the east.

The Pioneers regroup on the safe side of the train while the Fusiliers drive off the rebel pikemen after a surprisingly  hard fight.

There were some tense moments but the soldiers drove off the pikemen and held the enemy sharpshooters at bay while the axe men set to work on the felled tree. That Colonel MacEachern, the Engineer, he seemed to be every where ordering troops about, directing the work, all heedless of the bullets flying about his head.

 The Pioneers are equipped for building bridges but set to work clearing the track anyway.

At last the tree was dragged off the rails and we were told to move ahead. I thought the troops would clear out the rebels but they all climbed on board as we picked up speed. After all that, a bullet finally found the Colonel, laying him low with a nasty wound. The train was packed with wounded and dying soldiers and we waited for no more orders but got up a good head of steam and headed for Belmont Station. After all, rebellion or no, the Queen's Mail has to move.

A parting shot takes down the Colonel commanding the Queen's forces but the train moves out anyway.

(3+ on a control check)


  1. Nice report of a fairly quick little bit of action. I like the pictures. The kind of game that could be played out on a small space with just a few miniatures. Excellent!

    1. It was quick to set up and quick to play. Same miniatures and rules so a question of intent rather than rules.

  2. I fully agree with Fitz-Badger. I have a folder in which I try to save all of the images from your 40mm games.

    -- Jeff

  3. Excellent - I never miss the Newport Noodle - only newspaper I take seriously these days. I think train travellers will be worried about what happens next, though.

    Do the rebels ever publish a newsletter?

    1. Just handbills full of revolutionary fervour and no colour pictures.

  4. The only media you can take seriously these days.

  5. Ross: Is this your new or your old terrain cloth?

    1. Cesar, this is one of the old terrain cloths. I've been using it off and on since 1998 so its a bit faded but it was first aquired for the battle of Chateuguay that took place in late October 1813, so lots of brown as winter arrives, fallen leaves, colourful red and yellow trees that didn't see much use after as well as bare trees.

      It barely fits the table unless I add the second piece which has a river painted on but I do use it sometimes for autumn or for arid climates. I like the way it stretches and clings to the hills so that even single figures will stand if it is not too steep and other terrain pieces will lie flat. This year I wanted a similar green cloth but but did not manage to go shopping in the city so tried the canvas from a local hardware store.

  6. I thought so. I like it better both because of the color as for the way it adapts to the ondulations. What kind of fabric is it and how did you painted it?

  7. Cesar! lol I bought it as the end of a roll from the clearance section of a fabric store 15 years ago! I have no idea what it is but the last time I went looking for material, what I found turned out to be similar but not quite as good. I was only looking at discount sections though. Next time I will search for the real thing.

    The paint MAY have been Testor's spray camoflage colours. I like it but it does not look anything like where I live in Spring or Summer when everywhere is incredibly bright green.

    1. Thank you for your answer Ross.
      Testor´s spray camouflage colours are enamels? and Do they have gloss or matt finish?

    2. I presume they are enamels but they are matte finish if you can still find them. I would think any company's camouflage paints would give a similar result. I just sprayed in irregular over lapping shapes, not too solid. The bulk of the colour is the original khaki/olive drab colour of the basic cloth.

    3. Unfortunately I can not find any green spray paint with matte finish here. So I am having problems to finish my project of "flexible terrain".
      P.S.: I don´t know the strategic reasons behind this battle, but I think the Rhed station building alone, worth a good fight!
      Regards, Cesar.

    4. Cesar, I have trouble finding it here too. Only the bigger hobby stores that sell model tank kits have it and not always.

      My last cloth was painted with a brush and acrylic/latex house paint.


  8. Ross Mac,

    A truly wonderful little battle, with great terrain (I am also a lover of steam locomotives!), stylish model soldiers, and a believable outcome.

    I look forward to reading the next issue of THE NEWPORT NOODLE.

    All the best,


    PS. Does THE NEWPORT NOODLE do a news stream that needs an app? If it does, can you tell me where I can download it as I can't find it on the iTunes App Store.

    1. Thanks Bob, news stream? please don't give me ideas! :)

  9. Ooo, I think I own a couple of those train sets, too.