12th Annual USO Benefit Golf Tournament, September 5, 2015

If anyone wishes to support this benefit tournament, here is our support letter – thanks in advance for the consideration!

12th Annual USO Benefit Golf Tournament

Saturday, September 5th, 2015 at Bay Path Golf Course

193 North Brookfield Road, East Brookfield, MA 01515

(508) 867-8161 (Bay Path Golf Course) or (508) 867-9634 (Mark Morin) MarkAMorin@aol.com

Dear Friend and Fellow American,

The USO supports our brave military with many morale support activities. We are looking forward to support the efforts of the USO and our troops our 12th annual benefit golf tournament.

We need your help and support to be successful!

The USO is a non-governmental organization dedicated to volunteer support of our troops and their families. The USO is private & relies totally on outside support like this event.

The 12th Annual USO Benefit Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, September 5th.   The format will be a 4-person Callaway. Registration will be at 7:30 AM and we will have a shotgun start at 8:00 AM.

You can help in any or all of these three ways:

  • Sign up as a team or individually and come out and play – this is the biggest need we have! Please fill out and mail/drop off the attached entry form to Bay Path GC with your entry fee to or sign up at Bay Path GC. Please make out checks for golf play to Bay Path Golf Course. The cost is only $340 per foursome or $85 per player, and includes 18 holes of golf and a meal afterwards. Golf carts are extra and need to be reserved with Bay Path GC ahead of time on a first-come-first-served basis).Please reserve your team’s spot by August 27th! we need to know this to arrange food, etc. – so letting us know you are coming is a very big help). Singles are welcome and we can help you get team mates – just let us know you want to play
  • Hole Sponsor – $50 or more (please make hole sponsor checks payable to the USO).
  • Donate a gift certificate or a raffle item that we can use! You can drop off at Bay Path or we can pick it up – please call Mark Morin at (508) 867-9634 for pick up.

Thank you so much in advance for your generous support of the USO and our courageous men and women in uniform!

Sincerely:

The USO Benefit Golf Tournament Committee:   Mark and Lynn Morin, Justyne Smith, Bob Tilton, Ray Lareau, Sr., Jerry Dufresne, Jim Hemenway, JP LeBoeuf, Debbie Rice

 12th ANNUAL USO GOLF TOURNAMENT, Saturday, September 5th, 2015

(Please check all that apply)

 

  • Yes, I’d like to reserve my foursome! My $340 check for golf, payable to Bay Path GC is enclosed. The names of my foursome are as below (if you know the names):
  • Please choose a TEAM NAME – you can pick Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, American Legion or VFW Post, former veteran or active duty member, or whatever you want!:
  • PLEASE CHOOSE A TEAM NAME: _________________________________________Team Captain:____________________________________________________________Player 2:_________________________________________________________________Player 3:_________________________________________________________________Player 4:_________________________________________________________________
  • Yes, I’d like to play but I need a team! My check for $85, payable to Bay Path GC is enclosed. Please reserve a spot for me and put me on a team! My Name is:________________________________________________________________________________
  • Yes, I’d like to sponsor a hole – my $50 or greater donation, payable to the USO, is enclosed. Please list my sponsorship as follows:        ____________________________________________________________________________ 
  • Yes, I’d like to donate a prize or prizes for your raffle.
  • PRIZE OR PRIZES DONATED: _________________________________________________________
  • VALUE: ____________________________________________________________________________
  • THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THE TRoOPS AND THE USO!

CHEVAUX DE FRISE (Old Glory Miniatures)

While I have been collecting many different fantasy miniatures this year, I have really wanted more terrain and obstacles for the tabletop.  I was happy to come across this out of print (OOP) chevaux de fries collection from Old Glory Miniatures.  This was acquired from Noble Knight Games which has a lot of OOP stuff.  As a former Combat Engineer, I looked forward to installing real obstacles on the battlefield!  Yes, “installing” is the word we Engineers would use – but I digress.

We have had the use of chevaux de fries in the fantasy miniatures rules for a while.  However, I was never happy with my ad hoc representations.  I have also known what chevaux de fries actually were physically in medieval days, but I was less familiar with their origin. I did some research, and I thought it would be useful to give a general historical background on them for the curious.

The term is of course French with the singular being cheval de fries and the plural being chevaux de fries.  Typically these were mainly anti-cavalry defensive obstacles, but they could slow up infantry as well on land, and there were naval versions as well.

They were often constructed using logs with iron or metal spikes or spears jutting through drilled holes.  The spikes could also be mounted on wooden frames.  They were used from medieval times up to and including modern times.

Fellow USMA graduates will remember the stories of the Great Chain at West Point during the Revolutionary War.  This was a massive iron chain with sharpened logs that was designed to deny the British Navy the ability to use the Hudson River from New York City to Canada in either direction as a means of communications.  This employment denied the British the ability to isolate New England from the other colonies.

1777 map detail showing the chevaux-de-frise between Fort Lee and Fort Washington
1777 map detail showing the chevaux-de-frise between Fort Lee and Fort Washington

Many early Civil War photographs exist depicting the uses of chevaux de fries such as the examples here from Atlanta and Petersburg during the Civil War.

Chevaux de Frise in Atlanta during the Civil War
Chevaux de Frise in Atlanta during the Civil War
Chevaux de frise at the Confederate Fort Mahone defenses at Siege of Petersburg
Chevaux de frise at the Confederate Fort Mahone defenses at Siege of Petersburg

In WWI and WWII they were used to plug gaps in barbed wire defenses.  Engineers devised the knife rest as a way to plug gaps in wire obstacles that could allow for passage through those gaps by friendly forces.  They are even used today as a way to block roads and the like.

Knife rest
Knife rest

With horse cavalry scarce as a threat, in WWII Europe, chevaux de fries morphed into “hedgehogs” that were employed as anti-landing craft defenses on beaches and anti-tank defenses on fortified lines.  I am sure that most would remember  from movies and war footage the welded steel I-beam structures such as were used by the Germans on the Normandy Beaches or the Siegfried Line.

Beach obstacles at Pas de Calais, 18 April 1944
Beach obstacles at Pas de Calais, 18 April 1944

The advent of barbed wire and the demise of horse cavalry has led to the obsolescence of this trusty defensive tool.  However, chevaux de fries have recently showed up in popular culture as well recently.  I do remember their uses against Walkers in two episodes of The Walking Dead – one to reinforce the prison gate and a second by Morgan when he was in Rick’s home town.  They were effective against the Walkers, as the walkers would impale themselves and get stuck.

Michonne got her second set of
In The Walking Dead, Michonne got her second set of “pets” off the chevaux de fries at the prison

The term chevaux de fries has its origins in medieval times.  Frisia is an area from roughly medieval coastal Holland and northern Belgium to Denmark.

frisian-map

Chevaux de fries means, literally, “Frisian Horse”.  Apparently the Frisians had little cavalry and first used chevaux de fries to defend against cavalry attacks.  Whether this was derisive or not on the part of the French or whomever no one knows – but the term stuck.

Let me get back now to the miniatures!  I found these on Noble Knight Games and got them for $14.95.  Note the misspelling on the label on the bag!

Chevaux de Frise in the Package - not sure of what date these were made
Chevaux de Frise in the Package – not sure of what date these were made

The misspelled label on the package said 8 figures, but really it was a set of 6 pairs of chevaux de fries.  Each set consisted of a log with spear-like wooden iron-tipped spikes and a wooden saw horse structure with screw-shaped iron spikes.  I got them out of the package, cleaned all the pieces with a brush and dishwashing soap, and was surprised to see how many tiny pieces there were that needed assembly!  There were also extra pieces that could have been flash or the bottom of the spikes.

I picked the best ones for stave pieces and moved on to assembling them with E6000 epoxy.  Thankfully, I was able to effectively use my pin vise to make available some of the holes in the saw horses that were not well molded.  My goal was to put these together to look as field expedient as possible – as if they were hastily made.  These would have been made on-demand as needed for a battle, and I did not want them to look too polished.

Chevaux de frise out of package unassembled
Chevaux de frise out of package unassembled

After putting them together I realized that basing them first for painting was the best option.  This would lead to some crazy angles in getting paint on the the undersides of the miniatures.  However, the models were just not sturdy enough without bases.  I decided the I would use my scroll saw to cut 1.5″ square bases from 1/8″ balsa.  I affixed the models to the bases with my strong wood glue and that proved to be a good call.

Chevaux de frise assembled on balsa bases
Chevaux de frise assembled on balsa bases

I then primed the six with black Krylon primer spray paint.  I then base-coated the miniatures and the bases.  With some nostalgia, I used up the last of my vintage 1984 Polly-S Jungle Green on the bases.  I must have used this paint on many figures over the years.  I painted the logs with a combination of Americana Raw Umber and Americana Raw Sienna.  I envisioned the sawhorses as being made from fresh lumber, so I base-coated them with a combination of Americana Raw Sienna and Americana Desert Sand, lightening and highlighting them with more of the latter on subsequent coats.  The iron rods in the saw horses and the iron tips of the staves were painted with Citadel Mechanized Gray.  The stave shafts in the logs were painted with Musket Brown from Armory (still some left over from 1996).

Chevaux de frise base coated and dry brushed before washing
Chevaux de frise base coated and dry brushed before washing

I then dry brushed the logs with Apple Barrel Pewter Gray which gave nice detail to the bark.  I the used a couple of wash applications with Secret Weapons Washes to add a a bit more realism – Red-Black on the wood logs and the saw horse frames and Heavy Body Black on the iron parts.

Chevaux de frise base coated and dry brushed after wash application
Chevaux de frise base coated and dry brushed after wash application

I then had the task of flocking and detailing the bases – on which I used three Army Painter’s products.  I used a slurry of water and Elmer’s White Glue to affix two coats of Grass Green flocking.  I then used Krylon Clear Matte spray varnish to protect the paint and stabilize the flocking before adding the final touches.  These were the addition of a combination of both 4mm Wilderness Tuft and 6mm Wasteland Tuft.  I found easier to attach these grasses with wood glue than with the Elmer’s.  I like the finished products, andeagerly await the chance to deploy some archers behind them!

Chevaux de frise base finished in circle
Chevaux de frise base finished in circle
Back of a Single Cheval de Frise  - Defender's Side
Back of a Single Chevaux de Frise – Defender’s Side
Front of Chevaux de Frise - Attacker's Side
Front of Chevaux de Frise – Attacker’s Side
Chevaux de Frise in Line
Chevaux de Frise in Line

This is how to celebrate a Birthday!

This post is a little late!  Lynn and I celebrated her birthday on June 12th by heading up to Hampton Beach, NH.  This was our first trip back up there in several years, but it was a lot of fun.

We hung out at the beach for several hours, taking advantage of Lynn’s new beach umbrella.  This kept us from roasting.  I did hit the water briefly, but it was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit so when I could not feel anything in my legs I went back.  We walked around the area – and it was pretty amazing that so much has been improved in terms of parking, signage, bath houses, etc.  The old casino was the same with its many arcades, shops, etc.  But again, it seemed less worn down than the last time we were there.

On the way home, had to hit Brown’s in Seabrook, NH.  Had a couple of 2.5 lb. lobsters and a quart of steamers each.

Now that's a lobster!
Now that’s a lobster!

On the way in we were surprised to run into Jim Herndon’s mother and his sister who were up from Leominster, MA.  Small world!

Need to get back up there again soon – or so Lynn tells me!