Tuesday 20 August 2013

Brandenburg Uhlans

Finally I have finished my Brandenburg uhlans. They took a bit longer that I expected mostly because I burned myself out from painting a wee bit however they are done now. Would you believe it, just as I was setting them up to photography I bent over 1 of the lances and the paint came off  . . . I could not believe it, all repaired but things don't look promising for future gaming?
The figures are from the AB range. They seem a wee bit finer than some of the other AB figures I have painted and some of the detail was harder to hit but I got through them in the end. I don't think I have ever said this before but you can see a bigger image by clicking on each picture. 
The AB figures have the rounded saddle cloth that I think came in around Waterloo from the info I have read. I stupidly considered converting to the wool type but very wisely decided against it.  
I picked up a good lot of my uhlans from various sources and it's interesting the little variations in the figures. I have trumpeters in both relaxed and blowing pose (I noticed that after I had started or I would have the relaxed guys). I spotted fighting 15's has the blowing type shown and Eureka in Oz have the relaxed. Also there are 2 types of officer. One is big and looks straight ahead and the other looks to the left 
I altered the bug guy a wee bit for my main command base as I thought his head sat a little high in his collar. I put a lot of shade into the figures. The uniform is done with the Foundry 3 Prussian blue shades over a black base coat I have a nice 3 shade flesh I have been using from Foundry again but using a mix of their flesh tubs.
 The lance pennons are for the 1813 period yellow over blue.
So all in I'm pretty happy with them and they are another unit ticked off my Katzbach OOB. I'm not sure on what large unit to paint next. I have 2 more cavalry regiments to do on the OOB. The Silesian landwehr cavalry (that's looking most likely) or the East Prussian national cavalry (long term project).
I need more commands for my OOB and so I have used up my remaining figures doing a few wee conversions to make them different.
I had a left over early Russian (or Prussian) officer, I used his head for Kutuzov and I swapped the old Kutuzov head onto his (being Scottish these are my favourite conversions as you don't lose any figures and you have 2 unique to yourself so win-win). The other is the ADC figure a little altered.
I've given the General a moustache and a covered cap as well as some other details. General stars are still to be added in.
This guys is a simple head swap to a mounted landwehr officer as the Katzbach OOB has tons of landwehr troops.
This is my favourite as he is really transforming into something completely different from the original.
The brigade command for the uhlans (I was going to add in a guy with lance but advice from Craig and Robert convinced me to pop in the trumpeter).
This is a wee extra project. Crazy platen and his trumpeter at Mockern. Still a lot of work to do but starting to take shape.
I am converting a Russian dragoon officer into Von Platen and the uhlan czapka has to be removed (it will make a nice touch on the ground). The trumpeter needs the most work and I think he'll need to be raised on the base a little bit as he looks smaller than the other 2. I'll post pics as they come together . . .

Ok that's me for the moment so happy wargaming.

Also I forgot to say I have been looking for an old Citadel colour "Vermin fur" that has a great shade for mixing with my horse colours (mixed with the 2 large tubs I have it was my favourite chestnut to bay shade). I have been looking for it for ages since my tube has been running down. The Coat d' Arms claim to match it with rat brown but it's not the same colour, much lighter and is a dead match for vermin brown from the GW foundation shades. If anyone has a spare tube I would be keen to buy it off you (it has to be the old citadel style paints though in the mid orange/red/brown shade) or if you are into AB Prussians I have a spare few Blucher figures. I would be happy to paint 1 up as a trade!

Monday 12 August 2013

John B's Uxbridge Command

I'm glad to post a wee sample of figures from the collection of another fellow 15mm Napoleonic enthusiast John B from Australia. John has a pretty massive collection of troops that hopefully we will get the chance to see over time. So I'll let John take it from here . . .

Apart from the odd post on WD3 and the GdeB forum, I don't put that many photos on the internet, but I really enjoy Paul's work (very kind of you John!) and hope to put the odd thing up here to share a little of the burden. If I can encourage you to consider the AB range, either through Eureka, Fighting 15s or Eureka USA, then all the better. There are cheaper figures around, but none better sculpted or cast.
As part of a planned series of games to celebrate the 1815 anniversary in 2015, I allocated myself a large chunk of the allied cavalry corps. I think that of the eight or nine regiments that I am supposed to do, one is finished and that is the KGL Hussar regiment I already had for the peninsula. So, of course, following normal wargamer's logic I started with the icing on top of the cake, rather than the cake. 

Lord Uxbridge missed most of the Peninsula due to a small misunderstanding with the Duke. If you dont know why, do yourself a favour and do a quick internet search - its not your normal military tiff. Anyway, to represent him I took the AB Stapleton-Cotton figure which is suitably lavish http://eurekamin.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=1_2_14_16_24&products_id=252 and did a simple headswap with the AB British Hussar in shako http://eurekamin.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=1_2_14_16_23&products_id=247

Now in a rare example of Anglo-Australian cooperation and goodwill at the moment, my friend Tim in the UK (alias 'Timmo' on WD3) had done one of these himself and he did such a magnificent job on it that I persuaded him to do one for me, suitably recompensed by a pile of ABs from my friend Mr Robson. That little task grew to include a few hangers on in a RHA officer, hussar officer and trooper. Then I wanted to add a suitable heavy cavalry officer and waited till the AB Household Cavalry figures were done and I painted this officer from that set. I did the horses for all and based the lot. Its a nice little piece all together, but I draw your attention to the magnificent job that Tim did on the tiger skin shabraque on the Uxbridge figure - it is a delight.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Craig's French 12th Division

Hello, Craig sent me a post on his cracking French units and I am sure you will enjoy it! I'll let Craig take it from here . . .

French 12th Division – GdD Morand
As discussed previously, the principal formation that I have been building as the basis of my 1813 collection has been the Prussian I Corps. But as opponents can sometimes be hard to find, I decided that building an opposing force made reasonable sense, and would also alleviate the monotony that painting 24 battalions of landwehr can threaten. To that end I started looking for potential opponents for my Prussians in the 1813 campaign. Some prerequisites I had included that they should have fought in Germany in 1813, and that there should be a level of variety in the troops available. Painting a force exclusively of French line and legere, supported by chasseurs could quickly replace one source of monotony with another. 

It was those objects in mind that I came across the Battle of Wartenburg. This is a great battle, as it involves things I enjoy: 

A tactical challenge (an opposed river crossing);
A reasonable amount of troops, without being too large (a corps a side);
A variety in the French forces (a division each of French, Italian and Wurtemburgers); and
A Prussian force not dissimilar to the one I was building (it is the one I was building!). 

And so to balance my Prussian collection I embarked upon a parallel build of Bertrand’s IV Corps from the Autumn 1813 campaign. The constituent divisions 12th (Morand), 15th Italian (Fontanelli), and 25th Wurtemburg (Stockmayer) include allied forces, as well as allied cavalry (Hessian and Westphalian Cheveaux-Legere). The Corps was present for Bautzen, and Dresden. It was also at Dennewitz, Wartenburg, Katzbach, Leipzig as well as a bag of other smaller actions, and was the rearguard for the Grand Armee post-Leipzig (by which time the Wurtemburgers had switched sides).

Brigade Hulot
The first division to illustrate is Morand’s 12th Division. It is composed of three French brigades, each based upon an infantry regiment. It also has two supporting field batteries. The infantry regiments are 8e Legere, 13e Ligne, and 23e Ligne. The third brigade, commanded by General de Brigade Hulot is formed upon 23e Ligne, represented by 4 battalions (I, II, IV, and VI). The fifth battalion was a depot battalion and not fielded with the remainder of the regiment. I do not know where the third battalion was at this time. The Regiment served in Dalmatia and Italy during the 1809 campaign, and won battle honours at Wagram, Bautzen, and Dresden. 

I/23e Ligne is a pretty standard looking French line battalion of the period. It comprises 6 companies (four fusiliers, one of grenadiers, and one of voltigeurs). They all wear the regulation habite, with 1807 shako. Companies are distinguished by pom-pom colours. The grenadiers and voltigeurs, as the elite companies, have plumes, as well as a short sword, suspended upon a second crossbelt. The grenadiers have a red plume and cords, and blue piping on their collar. The voltiguers of the 23e Ligne have a yellow and green plume (normally voltigeurs have a green plume), with green cords, and a chamois collar piped red. The command element is identifiable by the eagle, officer and drummer figures.
I/23e Ligne
I have done this unit as a 24 figure battalion, with six companies of four figures each. I’ve based them as 8 figure stands, with one of them split between the elite companies, in order that I may remove the voltigeurs when deployed in the skirmish line (for which I have a duplicate skirmish base of four figures). These figures are all AB, and were amongst the first that I painted. Again I used a standard layered block painting style over a black undercoat of enamel spray. Highlight is limited to faces. Painting gear is largely 0 through to 000 brushes, and a mix of Vallejo and Tamiya colours.
The next battalion is II/23e Ligne. This battalion I wanted to have more of a campaign look. 23e Ligne spent much of its service at the far end of the Mediterranean, and as such was at the end of a long supply chain. For that reason, I can justify it having a less homogenous appearance. To that end I depicted it with a mixture of covered and uncovered shakoes, and a few bicornes thrown in. The AB Republican French in bicorne are a nice range, with some interesting poses not seen in the later Imperial French range. After 1812, eagles were only issued to the first battalion of each regiment, and a coloured standard was provided instead to subsequent battalions. The standard for second battalion is white. These figures are mostly AB, in firing poses, with a few Fantassin in the elite companies. When planning the battalion I imagined the ability to have up to half the battalion in firing poses, with alternate companies in loading poses, to capture the volley firing by peleton, as was the practice. This would also permit a second rank in loading or advancing poses behind it if required. That results in a 3 company frontage formation which is historically quite inaccurate. I’m not sure how to retrieve the situation, without expanding the number of battalions that I have.

II/23e Ligne
The third battalion in the brigade is IV/23e Ligne. I’ve given it a similar mixed uniform look to the second battalion, with more non-issue trousers and mixed head-dress. As the fourth battalion, it has a blue standard rather than an eagle. Casualty marker to the rear.

IV/23e Ligne
In order to rebuild the army after the disaster of 1812, the French called up a fresh class of conscripts, drew upon previous years, mobilised convicts and sailors, as well as the National Guard, veterans and invalids. In addition to creating new regiments to accommodate the new intake, Napoleon also expanded the number of battalions per regiment in order to maintain a degree of quality. Commander of regiments could be relied upon to provide a cadre of reasonable quality to battalions of their own regiment. The same could not be said if they were providing cadre to some other regiment. Some organisational behaviour does not change.

VI/23e Ligne
The fourth infantry battalion is VI/23e Ligne. This was one of the new battalions raised in order to expand the army. I’ve used figures in great-coat, including the Fantassin “Marie-Louise” in pokalem forage cap. This gives it a distinctly “under-equipped” look which is appropriate for 1813-14. To identify it a little more clearly. I’ve adopted a technique I used in my Prussian reservist battalions. On each stand, I have kept a cadre figure in habite and shako. You might be able to spot them in the rear rank. The standard for sixth battalions is yellow. I’ve used some coloured paper.
In the rules we use (General de brigade). Skirmish elements are a critical part of any infantry force, and are typically represented when deployed by duplicate skirmish bases. One of the distinguishing features of GdB is that skirmish elements (either light companies of line regiments, third ranks, or companies of light infantry) are not deployed by battalion, but instead detached to form brigade skirmish screens, which are managed as a single unit until recalled. We like this feature.

Skirmish screen

In order to expand the artillery, and reportedly to steady so many unseasoned troops, in 1813 the French re-instituted regimental artillery. The “Cannon company” was comprised of two light field pieces, manned by infantrymen with some rudimentary training in how to serve and maintain the guns. It seems that it was more for moral effect than any distinct tactical advantage. I have replicated this here with gunners in the infantry uniform. The distinction is the red and black pom–pom.

Regimental cannon company
The last element of Brigade Hulot for the commencement of the Autumn campaign is an 8lb foot battery. Additional units would be added as the campaign went into its final stages. The battery includes a 10” howitzer. I’ve used Fantassin artillerymen in greatcoat for this battery for variety. They are also much easier to paint without piped lapels and turnbacks.
Foot artillery battery
Each battery has a limber.
Artillery limber
I also created a casualty marker using an OG casualty figure I was given. I cut and twisted a spare wheel to create a distinctly artillery casualty scene.
Casualty marker
For the command element of this brigade I have created a small base which adheres to my standard two mounted/ two foot figures for brigade command bases. I’ve included a sapper figure on this base, along with and ADC in greatcoat. At closer inspection I think the paint job looks a little rougher than I’d like. One of the challenges of painting in summer is the speed with which the paint dries on the brush, creating a glugginess. I’ve only recently learned to keep refreshing the brush with water, and mixing a little excess water into the paint to maintain viscosity.
General de Brigade Hulot
So that is the first exposition on my Franco-Allied IV Corps. These figures were painted across a period extending from 2001-2006. 
Complete brigade
The skirmish screen is in the foreground, in the centre of which you can see the voltigeur officer and hornist command base. To their rear are the II, and IV battalions in line, and to the rear is I and VI battalions in column of divisions (two company frontage). GdB Hulot is between the two rear battalions, and the battery is deployed to the flank in the distance.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Russian Church

I have slowly been picking up scenery for my wargames table and this is my latest purchase. I bought it off Marco from the Falkirk club. I originally spotted it a couple of years ago when I didn't have space but it was always in the back of my head to get 1.
The kit came pre-painted in a harsh dark brown colour so I took the shades down a bit  and adding a light brown wash to the roof. I have an idea to convert some Russian priests from the AB opolchenie so my troops can be blessed before battle.
I'm really happy how it turned out and it will make a nice bit of eye candy to be fought around.

Just to let the guys know who had an interest in the above Russian church it's available from Marco at 

Web: www.rifrafminiatures.co.uk
Email: mail@rifrafminiatures.co.uk

Saturday 3 August 2013

Prussian Command 3.8.13

Well you can't have enough command figures, the more units you paint either cavalry, foot or artillery you need more wee guys to command them. This is my latest base. I used them as a relaxing break from painting full units and I am pretty happy how they came out.
The fancy plume guy is meant to be a line ADC (or that's what it says in the Osprey Prussian Staff book?). I had planned to make him a guard jager mounted officer but I'll just need to pick up another at some point. The other dude (sorry Robert) was going to be a horse artillery officer however he was drafted in as a foot artillery officer (I'll do another on a horse command base with the blue coat). I pinched the head off a spare Prussian flag man and I think he works pretty well with his old timer whiskers.
As I'm sure you know the 2 figures are from the AB range. If your building a big Prussian army I've found you have to start switching heads or you end up with the same figures over and over again.
At last some of my shading is starting to show up in the pics!!!
So onto my next figures . . . wish me luck!!!

Friday 2 August 2013

Brandenburg Hussars

This is another wee box ticked, again sorry for showing these guys a few times but this is them with their bases all finished and ready to be put to bed. I have now moved onto their sister regiment the Brandenburg line uhlans. I'm having a wee fight with my paints at the moment as I had a cracking couple of colours that when used together made a nice chestnut colour for horses but after 20 + year they have given up the ghost. I have tried mixing loads but haven't quite came up with the same finish.
I'm getting the hang of my camera again. it would appear that Mai has been messing about with the settings (I have no idea why as the girls only use it on auto???) Anyway I am starting to get the close ups working again so hopefully i'll not be posting so many blurry pics (famous last words!!)
I'm going to work on the under coating of the braid on my next hussars to try and bring the contrast back a wee bit. We will see how that works out!
Again I'm chuffed how the trumpeters and officers came out.
That's another 1 ticked off the 1813 Katzbach OOB and so back to the uhlans!

Happy wargaming!!!

Thursday 1 August 2013

Lithuanian Dragoons

I know I've posted these guys a good bit lately in their WIP stage however I am now happy to say they are completely based and can now be put to bed . . . Yeah!!!
I put a lot of work into them and I'm happy how they turned out. As I'm sure you already know all the figures are AB late Prussian dragoons. 

Still no sign of any shading in my pics but that's life. I'm glad to say I've also finished grassing my Brandenburg hussars plus my 2nd infantry command stand and will post them soon . . . So another yeah!!!

I have completed finished everything I planned to this past couple of weeks so I now need to decide what's next on the painting table? I have the option of my Prussian line lancers that are base coated and have 6 already painted or another dragoon regiment or I could take a wee jump over to my Russians and finish off my Kutuzov command base for Borodino???
I'll have a think about it and see what I fancy starting tomorrow . . .

Happy wargaming!!!