Thursday, 30 December 2010

20,000 visitors

Wow, I just noticed there's been 20,000 visitors to my Napoleonic blog!!!

A huge thanks to eveyone who has found my blog interesting enough to visit!!!
I never expected 20,000 visitors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My warmest regards for the new year
best regards

See you all in 2011!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

That's us done with the Christmas rush for another year and my wee men and paints are packed away till after the New Year. Thankfully the weather has been fine (looks Christmasy but not too much snow).
Just wanted to sign off the year by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! See you all in 2011.

Best regards
Paul and Mai

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Russian Cuirassiers

Of all the AB cavalry I have seen I think these are my favourite. I know the French cuirassiers and dragoons charging look great too but I just love the contrast of the white uniforms and black cuirass and throw in an orange, yellow or pink facing and these guys become my favourite table top cavalry regiment without a doubt.
Again sorry for my murder pictures!

I should have had these guys posted a long while ago but I was trying to get their command base finished before posting them. Anyway I have scrapped the command base for the moment and so instead of waiting until I do another 1 I decided I better get them posted up. I have only completed 24 so I have 6 more to finish off for a full General de Brigade regiment of 30.

It's only been around 2 years since I starting painting Napoleonics again so I am having to learn a lot of stuff again like painting white coats. This is the 2nd trumpeter of this regiment I have done and the 1st I wasn't totally happy with as I left to much contrast with the white on a black undercoat so with this figure I blocked in the coat with Coat d Arms rohan horse colour before doing the white and orange and I feel it worked out much better.

If anyone is interested the orange is from Games Workshop foundation range and it's a cracker, it goes over black great.
I should mention these are the Ekaterinoslav cuirassiers.

The horse and rider in the centre of this little base have to be my favourite. How I wish I could sculpt figures like this. The horse rearing back with the rider going forward is just perfect. I managed to softly reposition some of the heads and arms so that all the figures seem to be in a different pose and I think it works quite well (for me anyway).

Can you spot the mistake? I was talking about this with my buddy Robert on Saturday. I don't know how many times I have looked over my reference material and yet I still managed to miss the number 1 for Alexander the 1st on the saddle covers! Daft and unimportant I know as I am very happy with the figures and I won't be changing it now but for some reason I thought the number was regimental or something? However not to worry as I'll catch it on my dragoons and hussars!

So I think that's me for the year now as I am pretty sure there won't be much time between all the celebrations to pick up a paint brush.

I've really enjoyed doing the blog this year and I am totally surprised that there are 50 people who want to see how my wee armies progress. A huge thanks to everyone who has helped me out with everything and to all the people who have posted comments and have exchanged emails.

I hope that everyone has a great Christmas and a happy New Year!!!!!!

Russian Foot Limber

Following on from my Russian horse artillery limber here is their brother foot artillery limber. 1 more post to come after this before Christmas and the New Year.
I used exactly the same size of base as the horse artillery limber and the traces were made the same way too so not much different except I used Vallejo's Russian green instead of the Foundry Russian green highlight for the jackets just to make them look a little different.
The limber is again from AB and my aim is to have a limber for every battery in my armies.
You probably will have guessed by the huge gun sitting at the back of the limber that I am working on another artillery battery, and I am. Not sure if this is any use to anyone? I used Formula P3 skorne red for the shako cords (great colour!!!) and Vallejo vermillion red for the pipping and shoulder straps (another great colour!!!). Both of these reds cover a black undercoat really well.
Another 6 gun battery with some massive fire power. The figures are part of the large AB Russian army I bought off Stuart early last year and they had been given the JP machine gun painting treatment so I have cleaned and based them up and have blacked the area's that needed covered up and I am slowly getting them together.
I should have had this 1 finished but I jumped over to a 3 gun Bavarian battery thinking it would be easier to get that finished for the New Year. Not so! I bought the artillery figures from ebay and they had a thick layer of paint on them that I thought I could paint over. Well I got a little disappointed with them and into the magic "Simple Green" they went (base and all) and they are now back to a lovely bright silver colour!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Prussian Guard 2

Probably there are quite a few wargamers trawling ebay and wargames shows bring and buy stands for those little bargains and these figures for the most part fit this bill. So when you get them all finished off ready to join your army then they mean a wee bit more to you than the figures you buy brand new. Somehow you feel justified in your bargain hunting?

When I started getting back into Napoleonics again I wasn't sure if I would stick to it so I went for the cheaper option in 15mm Prussians, Old Glory (little did I know that AB figures would be a good investment and their prices would go through the roof! 50p to 83p for a single figure in 2 years!).

So 2 years on and I have managed to maintain my interest with the help of the internet and wargaming friends.

Last year I picked up a good amount of AB figures from the various sources noted above, enough that with a few Old Glory figures thrown in I could fill a full guard regiment plus their jagers. With my main force being OG I decided that the AB figures would form my Prussian guard battalions.

I have been trying to find a blue I am happy with for the rest of my Prussians and I think I have finally found it. I started with a black undercoat then the Foundry Prussian blue light shade and for the highlight I added a little of the Foundry Bavarian blue shade. It gives a really rich and interesting tone of blue that I am very happy with.

Most of the figures had been painted, but thankfully not too heavily so it was no problem to repaint them to my own style. I managed to get the 2nd battalion finished off pretty fast but with the arrival of a mass of Russian figures I put the other battalions to the back of my list.

This guy is my favourite as I picked him up in a seperate lot quite unexpectedly on ebay and he fitted the bill of the 1st battalions mounted commander perfectly. I went a little light on the uniform so maybe it was cut from some captured French cloth?

And here is my jager element for the guard. 1 of the figures is OG but the rest are AB.

You will see that the jagers are wearing Hungarian style blue trousers as I read this somewhere and thought it would be a nice change from all the grey trousers. (I'm not sure how universal this was or at what point they were worn?).

So that's 2 battalions down and just the guard fusilier battalion to go (I recently picked up 3 AB guns so all I need is an AB howitzer and 4 crews and i'll have a guard artillery battery too!).

Bavarian Artillery Limber

Nothing new with this 1 as I have shown it pretty much finished early in the blog but this is it all grassed up. I intend to add silfour grass at some point in the future to my bases but I bought 2 sets of the wrong colour and size and it put me off using it (expensive stuff).

My 1st Bavarian artillery limber converted from an Austrian limber team (thanks Steve!). I am not 100% on the manufacturer? I have a feeling that it is BH as the figures and horses are identical in size to BH horses I own myself and all my AB stuff towers above them but no matter as it fits in fine with my AB Bavarians.

As I mentioned before a Bavarian limber team (and Caisson for that matter) are on the Christmas lists of many wargamers but when it comes down to it you have to fashion 1 yourself. The next problem you face is getting information on the thing. A big thanks to RtL and the guys over on GdB forum who helped me out!

As the figures are so small I struggled to find AB heads to fit but eventually a poor drummer and flag man went under the knife for the glory of the fatherland. I left the Austrian collars in place and pin viced into them and also under the head. I then inserted wire and attached with liquid superglue (it has to be liquid or your figures will end up with a thick neck and I am not sure body building was in fashion back then?).

This was my 1st time out with green stuff and I now have proper tools to apply it but for this guy I used a scalpel. The collar was built up plus the shoulder scales and lapels were added (I chickened out on buttons this time out and used a pin to make holes instead, I know, I know I'm a big woos!)

So all that was left to do was add traces with flattened wire and reshape a water bottle and add an Austrian gun from the AB range and there you have it a Bavarian artillery limber quite rare on the ground. I will hopefully be doing a Bavarian caisson as well at some point.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Russian Horse Limber

Due to my weird way of working through projects this will be me 1st of many posts in the next few weeks as I have managed to get a group of stuff all pretty much finished at the same time. Again thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in my blog and has helped me out with details of uniforms and equipment. Straight out sorry for the quality of the pics as I just don't have a place for photography or proper lights.

This is what my brother and I call our Napoleonic eye candy as it has no real use on the table top but does help make your army look finished. So in case you haven't guessed already this is a 15mm Russian horse artillery limber from AB. The set comes with a six horse team but I have decided to keep all my limbers and caissons to 4 horses for space and lack of bending of the base.
Bases are from Warbases in Dunfermline.

The uniform green is a black base coat with the Foundry Russian green light blocked in. I then mixed Vallejo Russian green through it for a highlight them used the Vallejo Russian green neat for the final highlight on the folds. I have been trying to get more of a contrast with my shading lately as I spent many years modelling WW2 figures and vehicles and keeping the shading as subtle as possible. Now I want to see the different shades from a reasonable distance on the gaming table.

I added little ropes to attach the limber to each harness. I used copper wire (8 strands per rope) and clamped it in a pin vice then twisted till it reasonably resembled rope. Each 1 was then carefully attached by twisting them around the places they should be on the limber and then glued into place on the horses. I drilled little horizontal holes where the end points would be glued to make life a little easier.

The finished battery and limber altogether.

Coming up pretty soon I will be posting my Russian foot artillery limber, Bavarian limber, a Prussian guard battalion plus jagers and my Russians cuirassiers.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Russian Workbench 1

Well true to form I have once again jumped from 1 nationality to another to keep my painting interest going

I was going to wait until getting these guys finished up before posting them on the blog but I have hit a minor stumbling block.

I am working on a command base for my AB Russian cuirassiers. Anyone who has done an AB late Russian army will know that there are not so many command figures in the range and you either have to add in figures from other manufacturers or do a little bit of converting. I had a spare Bagration figure from last Christmas so I decided to make him into a cavalry general.

I gave him a haircut and a new bicorne hat, altered his open coat and added a collar and cross as well as giving him a new straight sword and scabbard. I remember someone telling me that the cavalry generals at times would wear the uniform of their parent unit so I want to depicted my lad in a white cuirassier uniform. My little problem is I am not sure if his facings and turn backs would be the colour of his regiment or red in the generals colour? Also for the officer in the background was it still possible for him to have epalettes and a helmet with white hair?

Also another puzzle for me:
How do these guys go together? I have never seen a picture of this caisson and my question is where does the rider sit in the centre or the left? Also should the 3 horses all be in line or does the centre horse sit forward of the others? Also what is the stuff at the back of the caisson, is it straw for the horses or ropes for dragging the guns?

And my final questions: How do the Russians attach their horse teams to the limbers/caissons? Is it with leather reins or ropes?

These guys have been sitting around like this for a good while and are now completely finished off with varnish and grass (24 of them anyway, I'll finish the other 6 later).

I'll post the finished product when the commanders are also finished.

Any help with my above questions would be very much appreciated.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Bavarian Workbench 2

I've also been working on a Bavarian limber team converted from a Battle Honours (maybe AB?) Austrian limber team. Again thanks to RtL for help on uniforms and kit and also to Martin at Warbases in Dunfermline who was decent enough to cut up some special sized bases for my limbers and cassions.

A straight swap of heads pinned in place here. I also added the shoulder scales and lapels in green stuff as well as shaping the canteen to the Bavarian style. I know the horses are too dark and my nephew David will probably yet again point this out to me but what can I say the uniforms are bloody bright ;-)

The limber should be finished but I broke a couple of the attachments when varnishing so I put it to the side. This is 1 of a number of limber and cassion teams I am working on as I have none in my armies at present.

Note of appeal: I have a spare Austrian rider and 2 spare horses and have converted an Essex French cassion for my Bavarians but I am still short an AB/Battle Honours Austrian rider and 2 limber horses to finish it off (same as above). Does anyone have any spare? I am willing to trade for them to save me buying another from AB.

Wrede and staff: A lot of conversion work here with hats rotated to give a later style and since I took this photo I have added a cloak with upper cloak to the officer pointing and Wrede has received a sash diagonally plus the hats and saddle cloth details have been added. All are AB figures (Bavarian cavalry on guard, at the rear left, Bavarian officers are a converted British officer, a converted Austrian officer and 2 early Prussian officers) still with lots to do.

You will see the mounted Bavarian in helmet cropping up again (maybe he is Franz Hausmann?). I got a bunch of them in a job lot (cheers Steve) and decided to use them whenever I could.

The figures look much different now

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Bavarian 11th Kinkel

Thankfully my new book gave me a bit of inspiration to pull my finger out and get some of my Bavarians finished. Straight out sorry about the pictures as I just don't have the proper light for it

So this is the 1st battalion of the 11th Regiment Kinkel for the period 1812-13 and the figures are from AB with a pioneer from Fantassin.

RtL these are especially for you as I know you were keen to see how they would turn out, thanks for all the help on the uniforms and I hope they don't disappoint!

There is a mix of painting styles in here with the figures at the back of the bases mostly earlier repaints of figures I bought on ebay so are a little rougher looking and also too light and the figures at the front of the bases were done after RtL gave me the low down on the correct shade of cornflower blue.

My grenadier base with the Fantassin figure added in. I am not a big fan of the Fantassin range but this guy fits in really well and I feel completes the unit (you can buy him in packs of 8 which is very helpful!).

To try and make my figures look a little different from each other I twisted a lot of their heads up/down/left/right and thankfully the Bavarians big hat made it pretty easy to do.

A little head swap here, the officer is from the AB Austrian range. In a lot of the pictures of the 1812 period the Bavarian officers have single breasted coats and this figure fitted perfectly. I probably should have added a gorget (if that's what you call it) to him but I totally forgot. I couldn't resist adding trousers with green stuff, they are a little rough on the repainted figures.

The drummer was pretty tricky with all the chevrons and I wasn't exactly sure how the edging went at 1st but I am happy how he turned out.

I was lucky to pick up some AB flags on ebay a while back. I drilled out the hands and used a straightened paperclip as the flag pole (cheers for the tip Robert).

I'm well chuffed I have my little Bavarian army on the go. I remember buying a couple of battalions of Foundry 25mm Bavarians many years ago and just didn't feel right with the shade of blue. I really think the 3 shades Foundry offer are excellent for the job. I blocked in the uniform with the cornflower blue shade and the mid cornflower blue is still deep and can be added to the shade to keep the uniform dark.

I decided to use the mid tone neat then added a little bit of the light to the mid tone for my final highlight and I feel it works pretty well.

It is darker than these pictures show

Next up unit wise will be the 5th Preysing, 1st battalion (pink facings Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!) before that I will post some pictures of my finished Bavarian limber and some in progress pics of my commands.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has dropped by, left comments and sent emails about my wee blog. It's been great fun and very helpful. It's great to know there are loads of other people who share the same interest. My knowledge in the Napoleonic period is very limited so again thanks to everyone who have filled the many gaps for me!!!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Bavarians . . . Watch this space

I've hit a little modelling/painting block at the moment.

1) I have my 1st Bavarian battalion (11th Kinkel) based needing varnished, grassed and a flag added.

2) I have my 1st artillery battery also pretty much finished with guns painted (bar 4 wheels needing done). Still needs varnished and grassed

3) I have converted a (Battle honours/AB?) Austrian artillery limber and have based and painted it. Needing wire attached then finished off, varnished and grassed. I am pretty happy with this 1 as it was very simple head swaps with some little details added and altered and I think it's looks the part.

However I've decided to have the weekend off as I kind of overdone it. I'd been preparing Russian horse and foot artillery limbers and also a 2nd Bavarian battalion for painting at the same time as doing the above and then my beloved tub of black paint I use for undercoating ran out!!!!! The wee shop I get it from no longer sells it and Chaos Black just doesn't cut it. Any suggestions?

On a brighter note I ordered a copy of "A soldier for Napoleon" telling the history of the Bavarian 7th regiment throughout the napoleonic wars. Interestingly seen through the letters sent home from an officer in the regiment. so hopefully it will arrive today and inspire me on.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Russian Horse Artillery

Here are some pictures of my 15mm AB Russian horse artillery.

Ahhh there is nothing quite like a 6 gun horse artillery battery (especially when you have finished painting it!).

I am now addicted to the AB 15mm figures and especially the Russians. With my OG Prussians you could just about get away with them in the same battalion as their AB comrades but not a chance with the Russians.

My figures as usual are cleaned up and undercoated in black then I pick out the flesh. I painted the uniform with Foundry Russian green light then highlighted with Vallejo Russian Green.

A mix of greys on the trousers and a little highlight of dark grey on the leather then it was onto the white belts and metal work.

I drilled out the barrels of the guns with a pin vice and they were given a coat of Vallejo Russian green with a lighter green gradually put through it and the same green was used on the hand tools.

I've given them 2 coats of revell matt varnish and still they have a slight satin shine. This was my main fear when I started painting with the Foundry paints. I think eventually I will use a dull coat spray but for now they will do fine.

As always your comments are most welcome.