Friday, 13 July 2018

More Head Wardens

Don took pity on the 2nd Silesian Landwehr and very kindly sent me an officer, drummer and standard bearer this week to fill some of the command vacancies. This means I’ll be able to expand the command group to include an extra officer and a drummer (the standard bearer will be set aside for future use as WM is supplying a flag for my converted figure).

The officer Don sent is possibly a vintage one but if not is a very good Clayton casting. What has fascinated me about him is that he is identical to the figure that I finished up with after I carried out the head swap (previous post). I’m pretty certain then that Marcus Hinton produced the master for PN.17 Officer (charging) with a simple head swap to the line officer.

The drummer PN/22 Drummer (advancing) was never included in the original HH range and is a later addition produced by David Clayton. The figure has a French style pack rather than a haversack as modelled on the rank and file so again I’m guessing that the master was converted from another figure although I’m not sure which one, possibly a DK?

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Head Wardens

I needed some command figures for my new unit however as I have no Landwehr officer figures I decide to convert some from regular line ones. This involved a head swap which is not something I have ever attempted before and proved a bit fiddly as I don’t really have all the right gear. In the end I used a padded mole-wrench to hold the decapitated heads while I drilled them and it seems to have worked quite well.

One of the donor figures was of the thin variety which has given the new figure a bit of an odd pinhead look. I’ll be using this one as the standard bearer and hopefully the flag will attract attention away from this when he is completed.

The officer figures used are PN.1 Officer (charging) with heads from a couple of charging Landwehr figures who were missing their bayonets. They were all Clayton castings so no vintage figures were harmed in the making of these conversions.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Landwehr progress

I’ve managed to complete another 6 Landwehr this week taking me to the halfway point of the unit. However, I think it’s unlikely that I’ll have the whole unit finished in time for the game at the end of next month due to distractions caused by a combination of work, the World Cup and the heat wave.

Fortunately Goya has come to the rescue by offering to paint up 6 S-Range figures to make up the numbers if I can get my own tally to 18. Another 6 figures from me should be achievable I hope and the resulting temporary unit should look quite interesting.

Whilst painting the current batch I noticed that there are some figures aligned sideways on their bases rather than diagonally as they should be (see the figure in the centre at the front). All these figures are Clayton castings and all came from the same source a few years ago. Presumably these are just casting variations as the figures themselves are identical.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

A confession

A few days ago, Mark called for a chat and one of the things he mentioned was whether I’d seen that someone paid £26 for five Hinton Hunt Old Guard Horse Artillerymen on eBay. Caught on the hop (and not wanting to appear like an idiot) I didn’t admit that it was actually me. Not strictly me I suppose as it was Mrs S bidding for my birthday, but I was the one who increased the bid from a sensible(!) £2 per figure to the outlandish £5.20 each I paid.

Now I’ve stayed clear of eBay for quite a few years because I still have way too many figures waiting to paint and these days I tend to acquire stuff through swops or privately or ideally not at all. However, I really wanted to have another Guard Horse Artillery battery and all the usual channels had run dry and there they were beckoning at me, and it was my birthday after all.

They are very nice castings (no honestly, they are) but that really is it for French artillery now!

Saturday, 16 June 2018

French Line Artillery

Having added to the Guard artillery I decided I should add another battery to the French Line foot artillery to even things out. This gives me a total of three Line batteries and at some point I’ll do a fourth.

All my artillery batteries have one gun and four foot figures. The new additions are:

FN/34 Gunner (positioned for manning gun)
FN/35 Gunner (ammunition carrier, running)
FN/33 Gunner (ramming home)
FN/31 Gunner (firing the gun)

The two artillery pieces left and centre are I believe Hinchliffe ones (I’ve had them a while but I'm not completely sure of their pedigree). The gun on the right is by Newline Designs.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Return of the Traffic Wardens

Just when you thought it was safe to park freestyle… the Traffic Wardens are back! These are David Clayton castings of PN.18 Landwehr Private (charging). They are the advance guard of the 2nd Silesian Landwehr.

The 1st Silesian Landwehr have gained something of a reputation for themselves as tenacious fighters bucking the trend of ‘C’ class Militia and seeing off some formidable foes over the last few years. I’m hoping the new battalion will perform equally well.

The reason for this departure from my schedule of painting Imperial Guard is that Goya is planning to host a Plancenoit Command & Colors game soon and we are lacking in Landwehr units. C&CN should be a gentle introduction to table-top warfare for them – just the ticket (forgive the pun).

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Empress’ Dragoons – Updated

One of the comments on my last post suggested that my horse was painted as a bay rather than a chestnut which got me wondering. A quick look at my Kevin Dallimore painting bible confirmed that this is indeed the case as he shows a chestnut as having a light coloured mane and tail.

I’m not normally too fussed about how I paint horses as I’ve never been very good at them (I have the thin excuse that this is a retro project about recreating an army I had as a teenager when my painting left a lot to be desired). However I thought I should revisit my test figure (which is of course the point of doing a test figure) and dry brush the mane and tail with Foundry 53C. I think it was worth this little extra bit of effort.

A couple of you asked what green I used for the coat. It was nothing too exotic, just the unimaginatively named Foundry French Dragoon Green 70B. I’m going to plough on with the rest of the squadron however this may get interrupted by another unit of Silesian Landwehr which is entirely Goya's fault.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Empress’ Dragoons Quiz

Continuing on my Imperial Guard theme I thought it was time to expand the Guard cavalry. As you may remember my only Guard cavalry unit is the combined Horse Grenadiers and Polish Lancers which is hardly an historical unit. My aim is to produce a heavy cavalry unit comprised of half Horse Grenadiers and half Empress’ Dragoons and a light unit made up of Polish Lancers and Eclaireurs.

This is my test figure for the Guard Dragoons FN/60 Empresses Dragoon (Mounted charging). I used the Hinton Hunt painting instructions for guidance along with Wellington Man’s blog for help with the usual detail conundrums (a bit sneaky I know but Matt has done the hard work for me!).

There are a couple of subtle differences between the Hinton Hunt painting instructions and Matt’s version so see if you can spot them (no prizes if you do though).

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Guard Foot Artillery - Completed (again!)

According to this blog I apparently completed my Guard Foot Artillery in 2011 (click here) but I decided after the recent battle that the expanding French army needs a bit more clout in the ‘Emperors Daughters’ department. This was brought home by the fact that the Austrian Artillery had to be drafted in to the French line of battle to bring it up to the six batteries required.

My intention is to take the French Artillery to a total of eight batteries which is the top limit per side on my maximum 8’x4’ playing area. This will be made up of four line foot batteries, two Guard foot batteries and two Guard Horse Batteries. Unusually, all the artillerymen will be vintage Hinton Hunt ones although the guns are a mishmash of Hinton Hunt, Hinchliffe, Newline and RSM.

I applied three layers of gloss varnish to the new figures as a bit of an experiment. This meant I had to re-varnish the original four gunners as these had been completed with my old satin varnish. I’m still not totally sure about a high gloss finish for my figures as I find it does make seeing some of the detail harder although in the long run this may be an advantage.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Battle of the four Generals (conclusion)

There is tension also for Blucher as the Silesian (aka Death-Star) Landwehr
take a pasting from Tony's guns. They took similar punishment in the next turn
but despite their 'C' class status did not rout.
The fight for the rock is in full swing. There is more cavalry action in the
foreground with East Prussian cuirassiers about to clash with the French DK's.
Across the table Tony has pulled his men out of square and looks set to attack.
A full view of the table at the end of turn 7.
The cavalry melee looks even with one casualty each. Meanwhile the Leib
Hussars have finally been routed (despite which they still get my 'man of the
match' award).
The Swedish Alderkretuz regiment eject the 4th Swiss from the farm which
changes hands for the fourth and final time. It's been a while since the 4th
Swiss have finished a battle with over half their number still standing so well
done for that at least.
The Young Guard rout the Russian Grenadiers. This was the high water
mark for the forces of the emperor. Wellington looks on "Make ready guards!".
Despite the success of the Young Guard the situation for the French is critical.
The Old Guard have voluntarily withdrawn behind the 45th ligne who are now
taking the full fury of the British rifle and artillery fire.
On the British flank the Blues&Greys are in action. Big men on big horses
with lots of pluses on their die rolls!
WM makes one last effort to take the hill by deploying the Musketeer regiment
No4 Hoch-Und Deutschmeister. But too little too late, those Cambridgeshires
are going nowhere.
The emperor gets ready for one last throw of the dice by combining the remnants
of the Old Guard with those of the Guard Marines. This is the first time we have
used the rule that allows two units under half strength to combine into one unit.
Turn 8 game over and all three objectives are in allied hands. Here WM's
18th (6th Reserve) regiment proudly wave their flag in a victory salute.
Straight from a copy of Minitaure Warfare circa 1972? WM's DK Garde
du Corps. Fittingly not a feather was ruffled on these fine fellows who stayed
in reserve throughout the game.

My thanks to my fellow players Tony, Goya and WM for a great game and to Mrs S for lunch.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Battle of the four Generals (part 3)

By now the cavalry action on both flanks was coming fast and furious. Here
my Brandenburg Uhlans are put to flight by DK cuirassiers and dragoons.
Surely Hinton Hunt should trump DK every time?
Even with this success Tony was taking no chances and formed three of his
battalions into square. This made his flank safe from cavalry attack but also
prevented him from advancing and taking the rock objective.
Back at the farm the Swedish Abo regiment managed to eject the 45th ligne
from the buildings. I knocked up a simplified rule for combat in built-up-areas
for this game to make it more likely that the objective would change hands.
More cavalry mayhem - this time British heavy dragoons manage to see off
the Austrian Hussars. Behind them a melee between Light dragoons and the
lancer/chasseurs rumbles on. The 'black spot' denotes a fallen colonel.
The farm is now surrounded by a sea of troops. The Young Guard are in the
process of successfully charging the Swedish Kajana regiment - a good
result for their first taste of action.
It's also the first action for the Guard Marines as they attempt to storm the
farm. However  their ranks are thinned considerably and the attack is replused.
Unlike the Young Guard they are more closely observing the wargaming
tradition regarding new units.
The 30th Cambridgeshires have managed to gain firm possession of the hill
as the Jagers are forced back. The position looks secure for the moment as
the supporting Austrian infantry are still in square.
The Duke has wisely withdrawn the 42nd Black Watch behind the Guards in
an effort to stop them taking casualties. They had been standing all day under
fire from the enemy battery opposite and were now at less than half strength.
The lancer/chasseurs have finally broken the Light Dragoons. However the
British still have plenty of cavalry left on this flank and the Blues&Greys are
moving up.
Now here's a sight you don't see often - the Old Guard decimated by fire from
from artillery and rifle fire. Normally you would expect the Guard to be hiding
behind the line infantry - my word that WM knows how to make war!
The Swedish Kajana regiment has retreated and now the Young Guard plough
on into the ranks of the Russian grenadiers. This is a tense moment
for Wellington.

Final part to follow...

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Battle of the four Generals (part 2)

I had set the troops out on the table before the three visiting generals arrived trying to put roughly equal forces in each half of the battlefield. As guest of honour WM got to choose his command first and plumped for the French left comprising both the Austrians and the Imperial Guard. Tony took the French right and Goya the allied right which meant I commanded the Prussians on the allied left. This is how the battle progressed:

The French pushed forward the voltigeurs of the 9th legere to occupy the farm
and they were soon popping away at our allied line. However it would need
a bit more muscle than that to secure the objective regardless of how pretty
their uniforms were.
The Duke, cool as ever, calmly ordered the 30th foot (yellow flag in the
distance) to take the hill to their front whilst the 95th returned the fire of
the enemy skirmishers.
Meanwhile I ordered my Prussian infantry to advance en-masse and what a
splendid sight they made. WM's three units are in the front line while my own
bring up the rear.
This is turn 2 and already you can see how far the allied line has advanced. The
French have also been active and are pressing to take the farm. The Prussian
heavy cavalry are still in reserve near the table edge waiting for their time to
come (reserve units are free to move along the table edge to a new position).
Here you can see that my infantry have already secured 'the rock' (the objective
on this side of the table) while my cavalry get stuck into the enemy horse on the
extreme flank.
And here are WM's famous Leib Hussars about to make mincemeat of the
Brunswick Hussars.
The fight for the farm begins in earnest and the 45th ligne have just occupied
the buildings. They have plenty of support coming up including the Young
Guard and the Guard Marines both about to have their baptism of fire.
On the French extreme left another cavalry battle is under way. The lancer
/chasseurs seem keen to get to grips with  the 11th Light Dragoons while
Austrian Hussars move up to support them.
With enemy cavalry milling around on their flank the Austrian infantry have
cautiously opted to form square leaving only the Jagers to contest the hill with
the British. General Mack wisely takes refuge in the centre of the square of
the Splendid Splenys.
Although my Prussian infantry have siezed an objective they are starting to
take casualties from artillery fire - steady mein children! These are WM's 10th
(1st Silesian) and 18th (6th Reserve) regiments.
The 30th Cambridgeshires ascend the hill to take on the Austrian Jagers in a
fire-fight. However the British have more support close at hand than the
Austrians due to their reserves being pinned in square.
Having dealt with the Brunswick Hussars, the Leib Hussars have just ridden
down a battery of Guard horse artllery - the Prussians are on a roll!

Part three to follow...

Monday, 7 May 2018

Battle of the four Generals

On Saturday I hosted a game of Muskets & Marshals for attendees Foy, Goya and guest of honour Wellington Man. WM brought his Prussian expeditionary force all the way from New Zealand bringing the total number of Hinton Hunt’s (and DK’s) on the table to just over 1,000.

The scenario was simple enough – two fairly equally balanced forces with a Franco-Austrian army taking on an Anglo-Prussian-Russo-Swedish one (fans of historical scenarios please look away now). There were three objectives in the middle of the table and the idea was for each side to try to gain possession of them. No hanging about in this game it was attack or lose.

I thoroughly enjoyed the game and it was great to get every single figure in my collection on the table. It was also a huge bonus to have WM present and to see some of his splendid figures for real and get to command them in action.

I took quite a few photos so I’m spitting this into several posts, this first one shows the initial dispositions – enjoy!

Initial dispositions - view of the whole 8'x4' table from the allied side. There
were 1,003 Hinton Hunt and DK figures (zoom in to take a closer look).
The Duke of Wellington's finest on the right of the allied line. The main
objective of the British was to take and hold the small hill to their front.
I got to command this huge Prussian force on the allied left including the
five units WM brought with him. This was the sort of Prussian army I had
dreamed of having when I collected Hinton Hunt's in the early 70s.
The allied central position was occupied by the Russo-Swedish contingent.
They were tasked with taking possession of the farm. Nice to see the Swedes
in action, their last outing was Vintage Leipzig.
This is the French right flank. The Brunswickers and Nassauers had switched
sides for this game.
The Austrians took up position on the French left flank opposite the British.
Austrian artillery and French Guard artillery in battery on a hill.
The French centre. Infantry in the front line supported by a reserve of three
heavy cavalry units. There were no off table reserves in this game.
The newly expanded Imperial Guard. From left to right Old Guard, Young
Guard and Sailors of the Guard. Each infantry unit had a personality figure
attached acting as Colonel, Napoleon personaly led the Old Guard in this action
Another view of the Austrians. On the extreme flank are hussars and French
My recently expanded Prussian artillery had a splendid position over looking
the farm. Hmm, I wonder who set up the table?
My 1970s dream.

To be continued.