Monday, September 3, 2012

Austrian 1st Uhlans 'Schwarzenberg'

(Originally posted on the Home Page on Sept. 2nd, 2012)
As I mentioned in an earlier post these fellas have been kicking their heels on my paint desk for quite awhile, so I decided to take a break from my other stuff in order to get them done and in the cabinet.

The imperial Austrian army was composed of men from a bewildering range of ethnic backgrounds. In addition to those that were Germanic the empire drew heavily upon men who were Hungarian, Romanian, Italian, Swiss, Croatian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Bohemian, Czech, and Polish (phew, that's a passel of folks).

For generations the horsemen of Poland have proved to be excellent light cavalrymen, exhibiting particular expertise with the lance. The French created several regiments of  Polish Lancers as did the Russians and the Austrians. The Polish lancers, serving within all these imperial states, saw heavy action during the Napoleonic Wars. In fact, it would be interesting to know if any of these men ever had to face each other across the battlefield, fighting under different flags.

These are 28mm models from Wargames Foundry - quite old castings but I still quite like them. The pennants I made from glue-soaked paper, folded and cut to shape. The regimental colour is from 'Flag Dude'.

I'll probably add another dozen troopers down the road, but since I have quite a few other regiments to complete it will probably be another several years before these guys see any reinforcements - but I'm sure they'll hold their own on the tabletop!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dismounted French Dragoons of the 18e Regiment

I was going to post some of my first 1914 Brits in greyscale but I really couldn't face any more monochrome this week so I'm going to run with these lads instead - all in their Napoleonic technicolour glory.

This batch of dismounted dragoons have been patiently sitting on my workbench, mostly done, for nearly a year now. They came as part of one of the Perry plastic boxed sets. I have quite a few of these in the parts bin and thought I should get some more fielded so to be better able to play Peninsular skirmish games. 

28mm Kingdom of Spain Infantryman, 1808 - 3rd Regiment of Volunteers ('Seville')

(Originally posted on the Home Page July 26, 2012)
Okay, I know I'm not exactly lighting the world on fire with this post but hey, it is what it is. 

Earlier this summer I visited Phil's great blog Diary of an Infrequent Wargamer and found that Capitan Miniatures has this great painting competition where they will send out a sample figure you paint it and email back a picture of the finished product.  'Cool, I'm in!' says I, and about a week later an envelope duly arrives from Spain containing a 28mm infantryman awaiting some paint. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Portuguese 6th Line Infantry

(Originally posted on the Home Page April 3rd, 2012)
For the past few months the excellent Napoleonic forum 'La Bricole' has been hosting a painting competition focusing on 'bog average' troops. You know these lads, these are the dust-pounders, the beetle-crushers, the poor dog-faces that make up the vast majority of any army. So members of the forum have been busy producing a fine assortment of units ranging from Austrian Landwehr, French Chasseurs a Cheval, to Prussian Musketeers and Bavarian Chevauleger (just to name a few).

So, after a little consideration I decided to get back to work on my Peninsular War collection by digging-up enough castings to do a largeish unit of Portuguese line infantry.

These are 28mm Victrix metal castings sculpted by the talented Paul Hicks. Great sculpts overall, with very good proportions and animation (though it must be said that their bayonets do have a tendency to be a bit thin and fragile). The regimental colours are by 'Flag Dude'. Sharp-eyed visitors will have noticed that I submitted a smaller version of this unit as part of my final entry to the Painting Challenge but it has since increased in size with fresh recruits.

This unit depicts the 6th Regiment of the Line which was composed of recruits from the northern region of Portugal, around Porto. This regiment was part of W.H. Campbell's 5th Portuguese Brigade who's units were all made up of men from the same area and saw hard campaigning from Busaco to Vittoria.

Some may ask to what reason a Portuguese brigade was commanded by a Scot? Good question: In 1809 the Portuguese government, finding itself facing dissolution and possible annexation by the French, was determined that their army should be reconstituted, with British assistance, to enable it to better defend its sovereign rights. As part of this arrangement Great Britain appointed General William Carr Beresford to reorganize, train and re-equip the Portuguese army along British lines.  A part of this reorganization resulted in several Portuguese regiments and brigades being led by British officers who were seconded from Wellington's army. The attraction to this for those British officers was that it allowed them to get a 'leg up' in rank without the heavy financial burden normally required to purchase their equivalent promotion in rank with the British army. 

The results of this close cooperation was a highly trained, extremely motivated Portuguese army that became an integral, if not indispensable, part of British military efforts in the Peninsula. In fact, by the last years of the war Portuguese units made up between one third and one half of the 'British' army that fought in Spain. They earned a reputation as tenacious fighters and uncomplaining campaigners, with their qualities best described in Wellington's famous comment that they were 'the fighting cocks of the army' which is no small accolade considering how typically reserved the Duke was to giving compliments!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Two French Battalions - Neuchatel 'Canaries' and 1/2er Regiment de Ligne

(originally posted to the Fawcett Ave Conscripts blog in Nov 2010)
I've been beavering away at the painting desk and here are some completed results to date. The first unit is a oddball battalion from the Napoleonic French army. This is the Prince of Neufchatel's (Neuchatel) Battalion better know as 'The Canaries'.

In 1807, as a reward for his service to the Empire, Marshal Berthier was made Prince of Neuchatel (or Neufchatel), which is a small principality in what is now Switzerland. He mustered enough troops to create a battalion and had unique yellow uniforms tailored from his own designs. The 'Canaries' fought in 1809 at Wagram and were then transferred to Spain for anti-guerrilla duties. They were recalled in late 1812 as reinforcements for the Russian campaign but only made it to Smolensk where they met the retreating Grande Armee that was tumbling back from Moscow. The battalion suffered terribly during freezing rearguard actions and when it finally crossed the Berezina there was only one officer and seven men left of an original fighting strength of around 660. They were reconstituted in 1813 but after the Leipzig campaign it ceased to exist as a fighting force.

The next unit is the 1st battalion from the 2nd Regiment of Ligne. This regiment has the unique distinction of having served as ship-borne troops in the Battle of Trafalgar.

In 1809 they also fought against steep odds defending the village of Aspern at the two-day battle of Aspern-Essling, and were again heavily engaged during the Battle of Wagram less than two months later. They participated in all the major campaigns right up to Waterloo.

I really like having the plastic 'bitz' around from the Victrix and Perry boxes. I've been scattering my groundwork with battlefield detritus (broken muskets, abandoned packs, shakos, helmets, etc.) which helps bring the units more to life. Some of the stuff required a bit of trimming , shaving and drilling but I like the effect. Now, back to the table...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Napoleonic Scenario: Vandamme's Assault on the Stare Vinohrady, Austerlitz December 2nd, 1805

For those who may be interested I've cross-posted the After Action Report of our recent Austerlitz game to the Past Games section of the blog. Thanks!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Additional 28mm Napoleonic French Unit/Casualty Markers

(Originally posted on the Home Page Feb 13, 2012)
As promised, here are a few more Napoleonic French unit/casualty stands. Each of these will attach itself with a battalion to keep track of the unit name/organization and various status levels in our 'Food for Powder' rules.

These are a mix of Foundry and Perry 28mm models.

I think for the next batch, in order to mix it up, I will incorporate musicians, some medicos and perhaps some looters.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

28mm Napoleonic Artillery Casualty Marker

(Originally posted on the Home Page on Feb 2, 2012)
Here's another Napoleonic casualty marker I've made up. This one depicts a knocked-out French 12-pounder along with an unfortunate crewman and soldier. I plan to make more of these kind of vignettes to indicate damaged units, or particular spots that have seen hard fighting.

This is a relatively new 28mm resin and white metal set from Offensive Miniatures. The pack includes two separate models, but I cut them up, rearranged them to fit and added a Perry casualty to compose a larger scene.

A sobering scene, to be sure, but one I would assume to be fairly common during that period.

Next will be some more markers for my French infantry.

28mm Napoleonic French Cuirassier Unit / Casualty Stand & French Aide-de-Camp

(Originally posted on the Home Page Feb 1, 2012)
A few months ago I began to play around with developing unit / casualty stands for my Napoleonic collection. I wanted something that could pack as much information into one spot and would still look okay on the tabletop. 

I came up with a concept based around a 50mm circular base that would incorporate a 'fin' to mount a unit name card, a couple 'sockets' for 7mm dice to track a unit's status and enough room leftover to make a small vignette with a couple figures.

These have worked out pretty well with the only interm change being that I've added an third dice 'socket'.  (In our 'Food for Powder' rules the dice help track the status of 'Fatigue', 'Friction' and 'Esprit de Corps' - basically hit points). I'm in the midst of making enough for all twelve of my current French infantry battalions and so thought I should do-up a few for my cavalry as well.

Ever since I first saw the 28mm Perry cuirassier casualty set a few years ago I have been keen to work on them. Its funny as I don't even have a cuirassier unit yet, but I couldn't resist using one of the figures as the basis of a unit stand. I've painted him as a trooper of the 3rd Cuirassiers, who served with the 12th and the Carabiniers in Nansouty's Division at Aspern-Essling and Wagram where they saw some pretty hard action.

The second figure is a Perry Miniatures French Aide-de-Camp madly galloping to issue orders to an awaiting brigade.  In our rules these ADC figures carry 'impetus' dice from higher level commanders down to their subordinates to facilitate more complex brigade orders. They also can carry 'Friction' dice if the ADC is serving a particularly incompetent commander - thereby chaos can ensue from botched/misinterpreted orders.

Next will be an knocked-out artillery marker for my French collection.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

28mm Napoleonic French Dragoons, 18e Regiment de Dragons

(Originally posed on the Home page January 22nd, 2012)
I've been plugging away at this regiment of French Dragoons since the beginning of the Challenge.

These are 28mm Perry plastics which I very much enjoy working with and highly recommend. At first it may seem a little daunting putting them all together, but once you get the process and a rhythm they assemble pretty quickly.

Their flash pink facings aside, 18th Regiment of Dragoons were very much a meat-and-potatoes 'working' cavalry regiment. In the early Empire period they participated in many of the major engagements (Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland) and then from 1808 to 1813 they saw hard service in the Peninsular campaigns.  They missed the Grande Armee's destruction in Russia, but were recalled to Germany where they were burned-out during the 1813 and 1814 campaigns for France.

This is the first time I've tried doing eyes on an entire unit...

I love painting Napoleonic cavalry but I find its the trumpeters that often make me 'snap my crayons'. Nonetheless, as French cavalry go, Dragoon trumpeters are pretty plain as they usually did not go overboard on reverse facing colours, gold braid, etc. but the ubiquitous chequered lace is always a challenge. Later this year I plan to do-up a Hussar regiment and I'm girding my loins for painting its trumpeter as those buggers' uniforms are insane.

While I was in the midst of assembling this lot I knew I would be running out of gas on painting Dragoon Green once these were done. So I broke down and commissioned my third regiment from a painting service. I hope to have that unit ready soon, touch them up ('cause I can't help myself) and base them to match this lot. Then I'll have a full brigade of the blighters, 72-figures strong, which should look the business arrayed on the tabletop.

Again, here's that loon Ney, leading the 18e and 1er regiments to Glory and some sticky end...

Next up will be an assortment of casualty/unit stands.

Monday, January 23, 2012

28mm Napoleonic French Battalion, 2/67e Regiment de Ligne

(Originally posted to the Home Page on January 14th)

Work's a little crazy and with keeping on top of the blog I find it's been challenging to keep my own projects moving along.  Useless whinging aside, I have a few things coming to fruition and this group is the first out of the gate.

Though this looks like a large entry its actually pretty small. I bought the majority of the figures for this unit on Ebay over a year ago and they've been sitting on the 'to-do' part of my workbench ever since. I remember it being a cracking good deal, but once I received them I found that the painting was a little...meh. It was a bit of a slog reworking them, as I hate fixing other's people's stuff, but slowly I got through them all. 

The majority of these models are from Wargames Foundry.

The original figures were block-painted so I tweaked them with some highlights, cleaned up transitions, hit a few with washes and rebased the lot. I also added a few of my own figures to help the unit better blend-in with my other stuff. My 'new guys' are a mounted commander and two junior officers on foot. The battalion colour is from 'Flag Dude'.

Anyway, these fellows depict the 2nd Battalion of the 67e Regiment de Ligne. They had the unique distinction of serving as marines at the Battle of Trafalgar, many of which were aboard the L'Aigle (where ironically they lost their eagle, but saved their colours). 

Later, in 1809, they were part of Massena's IV Corps and were heavily committed to the hard fighting both at  Aspern-Essling and Wagram.

The mounted commanding officer and his junior below are both Perry models.

The other dismounted officer pointing forward is a Sash and Saber casting which I always seem to enjoy as I find them quite characterful.

These three will give me... 20 points(!). Yes, my head practically snaps back from the lunge ahead... God's Holy Trousers, I've got to get some other stuff done...

Next up: French Dragoons.