Friday, 22 March 2019

Silesian Musketeers

The Silesian Musketeers are finished, based and ready for action and what a fine-looking body of metal men they are.


These are all vintage castings except for the standard bearer, which is a conversion of a David Clayton produced figure:

1 x PN.1 Officer (charging)
1 x PN.5 Private (converted to standard bearer)
1 x PN.6 Drummer (charging)
1 x PN.7 Officer (marching)
20 x PN.3 Private (charging)


This same figure populated the ranks of my 1970s army, and I had three units of them all painted with the yellow facings of a Silesian Regiment, because this is what the Hinton Hunt painting instructions dictated.


Not bad progress for me for five weeks work. Next up will be the 4th Brandenburg Regiment with red facings and sky-blue shoulder straps.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

An ADC for Blucher

At the end of my last post I said I had nothing left to do except get on with the rank and file of the Prussian infantry so of course I immediately distracted myself by painting up another mounted officer. This one is a vintage casting of BN/261 British ADC in cocked hat, holding letter mounted on horse PNH/1 painted as a Prussian cavalry ADC (as per the fantastic illustration by Gary Embleton in Osprey’s “The Prussian Army of the Lower Rhine 1815”).


Although a distraction, this was on my to do list for the Prussian Army as I need 9 mounted officers in total (including Blucher). As you know, I use these figures to act as ‘Colonels’ for my infantry units but I also want each army commander to have his own ADC.


Not much other painting has been completed this week but all 24 of the Silesian Musketeers are finished and varnished, they just need basing.

29 figures completed, 43 to go.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Over-egging the fusiliers

I’m slightly concerned to find myself sprucing up a unit I completed 4 years ago when I still have a lead mountain to climb, but sometimes things just go that way. As I said before, I’ve never been very happy with my West Prussian Fusiliers as I think they were completed in too much of a hurry and the lumpy top to the original flagstaff always bugged me.


So they’ve been issued with a new flagstaff (and the bearer with new hands), a hornist has replaced the drummer and the whole lot have been given two coats of gloss varnish. Hopefully now I can leave them alone, but then again, hmm…



Work continues on the musketeers with the addition this week of the officers for all 3 units I’m planning. Now there really is nothing left to do except get on with the rank and file.


24 painted, 48 more to go.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Albuera – a near run thing

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be invited to Tony’s to take part in a refight of Alubera using his amazing collection of 20mm figures and his C&CN derivative Ramekin rules. This must be the best C&CN type game I have ever played, lots of drama, lots of fun, lots of dice and great company. I played the French whilst Goya and Tony shared the allied command, here are some highlights.

View along the table prior to kick-off. French on the left, allies
on the right. Albuera is centre foreground.
This is the allied left flank comprised mostly of Portuguese
with the KGL holding the town itself.
The allied centre, Spanish in the front line supported by the
British behind them. At one point Goya actually asked Tony
what the plan was, to which he coolly replied "To beat the
French!".
My plan was to contract my left flank and attack with my right,
but not directly at the town, and see what opportunities might
develop.
Despite my best efforts the allied position was just too strong
and after taking heavy casualties the attack fizzled out.
With my right now temporarily disengaged to reorganise, I
thought it would be a good time to see what I could do on the
other flank.
Here I had some real success against the Spanish and literally
drove a wedge through their line. However the British behind
them proved a tougher nut to crack.
This was the now or never moment for my cavalry on the
extreme left, and I sent all 5 units thundering forward in a
dramatic charge - what could possibly go wrong?
Well, it was these infernal chaps (Dragoon Guards beautifully
paint by Lee) who cantered forward and somehow disposed of
the cream of the French cavalry. They didn't do it all by
themselves but it felt like it.
At this stage I was trailing in the VP stakes but somehow
managed to cobble together a large enough force to have a
crack at taking Albuera itself (worth 2 VP's).
After a herculean effort my men gained a foothold in the town
but it was not quite enough to win. 
The final score was 13-10 to the allies (12 VP's were needed
for a victory).

To be able to play such a large game to a conclusion in four hours is remarkable (we must have played at least 15 turns) so 10 out of 10 to Tony for his efforts with the rules and scenario. Despite the hexes this looked, played and felt like a traditional wargame and was a visual treat. On top of it all we had veggie-haggis, neeps and tatties for lunch washed down with a fine onion gravy that Goya in particular savoured.

 My thanks to Tony and Goya for a superb game and the Countessa for a superb lunch!

Friday, 1 March 2019

Prussian progress

Work on the Prussian masses continues with another 5 Silesian Musketeers completed this week together with drummers for all 3 battalions and a hornist for the fusiliers. This is an unprecedented rate of production for me but surely it can’t last.


I also managed to complete the overhaul of the fusilier standard-bearer and I’m much happier with the updated version. The flagpole was made from a piece of brass rod with the top end squeezed flat with pliers and filed into shape (I was inspired by the very nice flagpoles made for me by Wellington Man).


Next up I have 5 officers to paint and then I’ll have to knuckle down to completing the rank and file. 19 figures done, 53 to go.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Prussian production line

Prussian production is now in full swing and I have completed 11 Silesian musketeers so far. There are quite a few others ranked up on the painting desk in various stages of production. I’m trying to be organised and plan to paint the command figures for all 3 units in batches together for greatest efficiency.


I’ve also decided on a quick re-fit of the Fusilier battalion. To be honest I’ve never been happy with this unit mainly because I made a bit of a mess of the flagpole, so I’ve taken the opportunity to replace this and reposition the bearer’s arms. I’ve also removed the drummer and will replace him with a hornist using a Jager figure (the drummer will be reassigned to one of the musketeer battalions). The whole unit will also get a coat of gloss varnish which I hope will lift them a bit as the black straps against blue make them look quite dark.

From left to right: Soult, Nansouty, Wellington

I was very please to receive a package from Ian J this week that contained some lovely vintage castings of personality figures. Apparently, the figures had been in a loft for 50 years, but they seem to be enjoying the daylight now standing proudly on my desk. I already have examples of all three, but I can easily accommodate them in my armies with a name change, except possibly Wellington but then again two Dukes would surely confound the French.

Friday, 15 February 2019

First Prussian Musketeer

I’ve completed a test figure for the first of my Prussian line units PN.3 Private (charging). This unit will have the yellow collar and cuffs of a Silesian Regiment as per the Hinton Hunt painting instruction sheet.

I know this figure well as I prepared and painted around 60 of them in the early 70s. Back then it took me almost as long to remove the flash metal (with one blunt file) as it did to paint them with my limited palette of Humbrol enamels and rather basic paint brushes.

My plan is to churn out three units in this charging pose, each with a different colour of facings. Once done this will complete the infantry element of my Prussian Army.