Saturday, 4 July 2020

Hinton Hunt Paint Along – 49th Hertfordshire Regiment

Quite by chance both Mark and I completed a unit of Old Guard Grenadiers last month and he suggested that we try and coordinate a future Paint Along as a way of keeping motivated. So, we are currently in the process of painting a British Line Infantry unit each although I fear Mark has stolen a march on me – click here.

This is the test figure for the unit - BN/5 Private (charging)

I have painted him in accordance with the Hinton Hunt painting instruction sheet as a member of the 49th Hertfordshire Regiment. I’d wanted to have a unit with green facings, so this was a happy coincidence.

The 49th was an interesting choice made by Marcus Hinton because the Regiment served in Canada throughout almost the whole period of the Napoleonic Wars and never faced the French in either Spain or at Waterloo. However, I could use them to represent any unit with green facings so this doesn’t really matter.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Moore of Corunna

In his book Napoleon’s Campaigns in Miniature, Bruce Quarrie proposes that Sir John Moore was the only other commander in the British Army of the same ability level as Wellington. If this is true, then it could lead to some interesting alternative history scenarios if we assume Moore had survived Corunna. Moore at Talavera? Moore at Waterloo?

Moore’s career saw him serve as a Lieutenant of infantry during the American Rebellion and later as a Colonel in both the Mediterranean and the West Indies. He commanded the 52nd Foot in the campaign in Egypt and returned home to oversee the defence of the south coast of England against the threat of French invasion. He commanded the British forces in Spain from 1808 until his death a year later at Corunna.

The figure is a vintage casting of BN107 British General (last seen here on this blog) I painted him in accordance with the Hinton Hunt painting instruction sheet except that I gave him grey overalls rather than white trousers, as shown in Blandford’s Uniforms of the Peninsular War.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Not quite Waterloo - Conclusion

With Saint-a-Mont fallen the Duke was now on a sticky wicket, the French could advance on the ridge without fear of flanking fire.

And advance they did!

The Guard Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry reserve pushed forward determined to take the initiative.

With a crisis point looming the Duke moved to the right to steady the ranks "Now, Mercer give them some canister!".

But by now many of the gunners had been picked off by French skirmishers and nothing could halt the advance of the Guard.

The Brunswick Horse Artillery did cause some execution amongst the enemy cavalry but it was not enough to turn the tide. 

All along the line the allies were taking heavy casualties and even poor Lord Hill was down.

One small success for the allies - the Swiss were sent packing but this was against the run of play.
As the 45th and 105th ligne swept up on to the ridge.

On the opposite flank the Young Guard and Guard Marins prepared to charge.

The Duke ordered the Guards forward but it was not enough "Gentlemen, the last one back to Brussels is a rotten egg!".

The Guard Marins storm the ridge and see off the Brunswickers - another glorious victory for the French and not a single soldier of the Old Guard with so much as a scratch on him!

It was fun to get all the figures out on the table and play through the game although a shame to see the Duke trounced once more, I should have let the Prussians arrive!

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Mini not quite Waterloo

This week I found that I was a year older but on the plus side was pleased to receive by way of a gift, more TSS terrain units together with some custom cut hills. The hills include a 4-foot ridge which provides a serious defensive position that the Duke was keen to take advantage of straight away. Napoleon was equally keen to try out his latest Guard unit and so deployed the entire Grande Armee ready to attack.

The view from the allied ridge across a shallow valley towards the French lines. Does anything look vaguely familiar to you?
The emperor had placed a grand battery on the opposite side of the valley backed up by his heavy cavalry in reserve.
Wellington held the Guards in reserve behind his ridge (the ridge looks quite massive in this photo but is actually only 40mm high).
Ok, this is the photo you've been waiting for - the massed ranks of the Imperial Guard.
The French infantry wait patiently for the order to advance whilst the Grand battery pounds the allied line. That's Grouchy nearest the camera - surely some mistake? 
On the French left flank the Guard is screened behind three line battalions including Poniatowki's Poles.
Things get underway with a spirited attack on Hougo-Sainte.
At the same time, following an heroic resistance, the Prussian Jagers are forced out of Saint-a-Mont

Sensing an opportunity Napoleon is quick to order a general advance.

While the Grand battery continues to pound away just like the good old days in the 60s.

There's not much the British can do except stay nailed to their ridge and grin and bear it.

Ominously, behind the French front line, their cavalry are massing and moving forward.

To be continued…

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Old Old Guard done

I know I’ve used this pun before, but these guys really are old, the quality of the castings and their provenance lead me to suspect that they must have been very early Hinton Hunt figures possibly dating from the 60s. The figures used are:

20 x FN/29 Grenadier (marching)
1 x FN/27 Officer (marching)
1 x FN/28 Sergeant (marching)
1 x FN/24 Colour-Bearer (advancing)
1 x FN/43 Minifigs Line Sapper

It was a bit of a slog getting through this unit, but I enjoyed painting them more as I went on and for once even the flag went well. That’s probably it for the Imperial Guard now as I think 4 foot units is more than enough for most scenarios.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

More Grumblers and a virtual wargame

First up, it looks as if reducing the number of figures in a painting batch has increased my productivity as this week, I have completed a further 6 of the Old Guard Grenadiers including an officer and sergeant. At this rate I should romp home in the “race of the Old Guard” (click here), famous last words no doubt.

Looking menacing, 19 Grumblers of the Old Guard done and dusted.

Yesterday I was privileged to take part in a virtual Command & Colors Zoom game hosted by the reclusive Foy himself (ably assisted by Tony). It was a great success and was the next best thing to being in the room with Tony, Goya and the toy soldiers. Tony had put a lot of thought into how to run the game, not just the scenario but also the camera angles and lighting and it went without a hitch.
A screen shot of the action at the Coa. Tony had set up a camera at each end of the table which together with the map he provided gave ample coverage of the game.

Tony has already covered the game on his own blog (click here) but suffice to say it was another of those C&CN games that went right down to the wire. The result was a 7 to 6 victory for Goya’s French forces after 14 turns of play. Top marks to Tony for staying on his feet for 3 hours, moving all the troops, throwing all the dice, and keeping track of markers while Goya and I slouched over our keyboards at home with a mug of coffee. I’m hoping we will get to do this again.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Mustn’t Grumble

Painting the Grenadiers is still feeling a bit like wading through treacle at the moment. The current batch, just completed, brings the unit to just over the halfway point. I think I am conscious that these are very special old castings that deserve my best possible efforts.

It would probably be easier if I painted them in smaller batches as doing six at once hasn’t really worked as the paint tends to dry out on the palette along with my enthusiasm. I decided I’m going to paint the rest of the unit in batches of four.

There have been no Napoleonic games of late as Tony, Goya and I are of course confined to barracks. We had been hoping to have a stab at a C&CN Leipzig scenario, but I guess that will have to wait. However, we have been experimenting at bit with Zoom and hopefully a small virtual game may be in the offing soon.