Sunday, 4 October 2015

Cuirassier Trumpeter

Well this time I’ve gone the whole hog and attempted a trumpeter conversion from scratch for the next unit on the painting table – the 1st Cuirassiers.

Starting with a vintage casting of FN/102 Cuirassier trooper (mounted) charging I removed the sword (not too terrible as this was a stubby one) and bent his arm into a suitable position.

Next I super-glued a small length of wire to his mouth, hand and my fingers – doh! The trumpet was then built up using Green Stuff which was tricky, mainly because my Green Stuff is well past its best having dried out somewhat.

I also carefully carved away at the figure to remove his cartridge box and carbine and filed down a few bumpy bits to remove his cuirass. I forgot however to remove his epaulets which I should have done according to my Osprey.

So I’m pretty pleased with this one and I may now be asking for a soldering iron for Christmas – who knows what might happen then?

Friday, 2 October 2015

Even more from Roy on Vintage Waterloo

A couple of weeks ago I dropped in at Roy’s house where he was hosting another Vintage Waterloo game for some of the members of his local wargame club. It was a great afternoon and it was very useful for me to get some feedback on my rules Musket & Marshals – in fact most of the players seemed to have a better handle on things than I did!

Reille's men attempt to out flank Hougoumont.

A general view of the battlefield from the allied side of the table (La Haye Sainte is the building in the centre).

The allied line on the ridge between La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont.

Napoleon made an early move with his heavy cavalry against the allied line to the east of La Haye Sainte.

This confident move by the Emperor apparently brought great success later (although this was after I departed with the camera).

I didn’t have time to stay and play properly but I did get involved in umpiring the section of the battlefield on the allied extreme right flank by Hougoumont. It was quite an intense little fight that was made extra difficult for the French player as Napoleon (in his wisdom) had failed to deploy a single gun battery west of the chateau. We did get some varied action however including cavalry against square, cavalry charging horse artillery and a couple of cavalry melees.

Mostly Dutch troops (with one British battalion) were forced into square on the allied right by the antics of some French light cavalry - this was the bit I helped to umpire and I was pleased with the way the rules dealt with the various tactical situations.

Another view of the French infantry advancing past Hougoumont.

The Young Guard - that's the lovely unit painted by Matt B for Roy (with the red flag).

The Old Guard is moving up - Napoleon seemed quite anxious to get them into the fray!

Some very Old Old Guard here by the looks of it.

My thanks again to Roy for his hospitality (lunch was just superb) and also to the players for being patient enough to give my rules a serious run through. Roy and I are yet to play our ‘official’ game of Vintage Waterloo but we have decided that when we do we will be running it as a multi-player affair.

Friday, 18 September 2015

General Dorsenne

Jean Dorsenne first came to Napoleon’s attention in the early Revolutionary campaigns in Italy and Egypt where his heroic conduct won him promotion to chef de battalion. He was admitted to the Guard when it was formed in 1805 and his performance at Austerlitz won him further promotion to full Colonel followed swiftly by elevation to the rank of Brigadier General.

Soon Dorsenne was given command of the Foot Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard which he commanded at Eylau. He later served in Spain before being recalled by the Emperor in time to fight at Ratisbon and Aspern-Essling where he received a serious head wound from a cannonball. He recovered enough to take part in the battle of Wagram and was then shipped off to Spain once more to serve as governor of Burgos. In 1812 he began to suffer severe headaches caused by his wound (hardly surprising when a cannonball has bounced off your head) and died after an operation.

This figure FN/360 GENERAL DORSENNE in uniform of Colonel General of Grenadiers on horse FNH/10 will be commanding my own 2nd Grenadiers of the Guard until such time as the 1st battalion is mustered. General Dorsenne was last seen here (click) on this blog.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Brandenburg Uhlans – Completed

Matt sent me the other half of the Brandenburg Uhlans a couple of weeks ago and I’ve finally found time to base them up. The figures are PN.89 Prussian Uhlan Lancer (mounted) Charging and Matt has done a truly superb job of painting them – click on the images to zoom in and admire his handiwork.

As you can see the 6 Uhlan figures have been combined with my 6 Landwehr figures to make up one full 12 figure unit. This is because I didn’t have enough of either type to make a unit of identical figures but I think they mix together well. Anyway I guess it’s not completely inconceivable that such a mix of uniforms may have existed in a Prussian unit at the time of Waterloo.

These Uhlans are particularly well travelled having been sent to me by Don in the US a few years ago. They are original Hinton Hunt castings (amongst the best I’ve ever seen) so I’m sure Don must have bought them direct from Marcus Hinton in the 70s. Having made the trip across the pond twice they then went on a bit of an adventure to New Zealand (where they nearly got lost in the international postal service) and then of course back again. Total air miles 33,370 - equivalent to marching from Berlin to Paris and back 25 times.

This is the last of my commissioned units for Vintage Waterloo, from now on things will slow to their usual pace as I pick up my own paint brush once again.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

More from Roy on Vintage Waterloo

A couple of weekends ago Roy hosted two games of Vintage Waterloo at his house with various other wargamers, none of whom had played my rule-set before. Sadly I wasn’t able to attend myself but Roy now has so many figures painted and based for Muskets & Marshals that I doubt if he missed the presence of my own troops on the table.

The French flank - a view from just behind Plancenoit.

The French attack Hougoumont - apparently they found it impossible to dislodge the British foot guards within.

A cavalry clash at Plancenoit - I believe the Prussian lancers came off best in this encounter.

Picton's division on the ridge.

Action near La Haye Sainte - an advance by British cavalry seems to have rattled the French enough to order at least one battalion into square.

The French players look very focused!

It seems from Roy’s account that the rules were well received although the brutal nature of the firing and combat system apparently took some veterans by surprise. I was very pleased to hear that on both days they managed to play about 12 game turns with 2 – 3 players per side and Roy umpiring.

The British position behind La Haye Sainte - the terrain looks slightly shifted from the play-test game I had with Roy but at least the farm is on the correct side of the road!

The view from behind the british left - there seems to be a fair bit of action in the area of Plancenoit.

French attacking the ridge between La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont - the Duke is under pressure but still appears to have some reserves.

I’m heartened that the rules were so well received and it does seem that Roy and I have play-tested and revised them now to a point where they are giving exactly the sort of game we wanted all along. Roy and I are hoping to play our own game of Vintage Waterloo at the end of October and I am of course really looking forward to it.

All photos are by Matt B, for the latest version of my rules Muskets & Marshalls click here.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Comte de Lasalle

Just in case you thought I had completely stopped painting figures myself here is FN/359 GENERAL LASALLE in pelisse, hat and full trousers (the horse is FNH/11 as I don’t possess the correct one FNH/13). This figure had been shoved to the back of my painting table since January where he had been passed over in favour of various bits and pieces being readied for Vintage Waterloo.

The Comte de Lasalle had a very colourful military career and I’m sure most readers of this blog will be familiar with his exploits. He was a "hard smoking-drinking-fighting-womanising” cavalry leader and rose through the ranks to eventually command a Division under Murat. It seems likely that he would have received a Marshal’s Baton had he survived long enough.

Lasalle is reputed to have said that “Any Hussar who is not dead by thirty is a blackguard!” but he himself lived to the age of thirty-four before an Austrian Grenadier put a musket ball between his eyes at the battle of Wagram. From what I’ve read I imagine him to have been a bit like Lord Flashheart in Blackadder.

Update: I realised that my first photo was a bit dark so I've replaced it with another one and added this close up of the detail on this figure. Amazing how much life Marcus Hinton could breath into these tiny 20mm creations!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

30th (Cambridgeshire) Foot

The 30th foot formed part of Halkett’s 5th British Brigade in Alten’s 3rd Infantry Division during The Hundred Days campaign. They were in the thick of the fighting on the ridge between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte during the closing stages of Waterloo where they took part in the action that repulsed the Imperial Guard. Total losses in the battle were 51 killed and 165 wounded.

BN/6 Private (kneeling)
BN/4 Private (firing)

BN/14 Ensign King's Colour Bearer holding colours & sword
BN/13 Ensign Regiment Colour
BN/1 Officer (charging)

BN/2 Sergeant (charging)
BN/12 Drummer (playing)
BN/8 Officer (standing)

 BN/6 Private (kneeling)
BN/4 Private (firing)
 BN/80 Guards Officer (charging)

I chose to represent them in miniature simply because I fancied a British unit in yellow facings but having recently read Tim Clayton’s book on Waterloo I have become impressed with their contribution to Wellington’s victory. I had of course heard of the crucial role Mailtand’s Guards played in throwing back Napoleon’s Guard but Halkett’s Brigade were positioned right next to them in the line directly in the path of the advancing grenadiers.

The Battalion in column (the Fifer is BN/11)

General Alton takes refuge in the Battalion square.

 The whole army will advance!

The unit is made up from a selection of different poses because I didn’t have enough of any one type for a unit all in the same pose. I also slipped in a rogue Guards officer just because I liked him. All the figures are vintage Hinton Hunt with the exception of the standing officer and drummer which are DK. The superb brushwork is by Lee.