Monday, 22 October 2018

Ecky Thumped

Whether it’s Eckmuhl or Eggmuhl there’s no doubt that Goya’s Austrians gave the Franco-Bavarian army a bit of a rough time last Saturday. Tony and I were left struggling to come up with a workable plan to dislodge the Kaiserlichs from the villages and woods that provided such a good defensive position. In the end it was a convincing win for the Austrians.

Tony's splendid new DK Bavarian troops advancing on the
village of Unterlaichling. This village changed hands several
times and was the focus of our main attack.
The Austrians wait patiently for the French to come on. They
have a strong position anchored on a line of villages and woods.
The infantry figures in this shot are all S-Range (I think).
This photo shows the French right as the Bavarians near their
objective. They are supported in the centre by French infantry.
The French left flank. These units are all under the command
of Davout. They are pushing up through difficult terrain
(mostly woods). Not much use for artillery or cavalry here.
The Austrian line looks solid and determined and I'm sure they
must have had a few maxim guns because their fire was pretty
devastating (I discovered to my cost that Austrian infantry use
5 dice when firing rather than the usual 4!).
This is about as far as I got before my units started to melt away
and Goya began to rack up an impressive VP score.
For one brief moment Tony managed to take Unterlaichling
again - but it was only brief. The French units in the centre
were unable to make any further headway .
With our infantry a spent force Tony led a mad dash with our
cavalry against the Austrian left. Spectacular, but it was
never going to turn the tide.

Tony had come up with a clever rule amendment that allowed us to play the game without using any cards. The result was play that felt much more like a conventional wargame than the usual C&CN affair.

Marshal Davout now with added gloss.

As for marshal Davout, well he didn’t exactly excel but I have decided to spare him from the bleach bath anyway and, after a touch-up to his paint work, he has been deemed fit to join my other French commanders.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Prince of Eckmuhl

We’re planning to refight Eckmuhl on Saturday and Tony asked me this week if I had Marshal Davout amongst my personality figures. Well I do, so I’ve volunteered him for duty even though he is still sporting the original paint job he had when I acquired him ten years ago (click here). All I’ve done is base him up and touch up a few chips to the horse’s hooves because there isn’t enough time to give him the full treatment.

The figure is FN/355 MARSHAL DAVOUT in marshal’s uniform raising his hat. The identity of the horse had always baffled me because it has some ornate harness and a high-backed saddle, and I assumed it was a conversion because I’d never seen one like it before. However, this week when I fished the figures out of the lead pile, I had a sudden brainwave and a quick check on the Hinton Hunter confirmed the horse is FNH/4 horse for Mameluk of the Guard.

The paint job is actually very nice with more detail than I could manage myself however both horse and rider are destined for the bleach jar after the battle. The paint is quite faded, and the white has yellowed somewhat and the whole thing smells faintly of tobacco, so the time is approaching for a complete overhaul.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Be prepared

This is the test figure for my Guard Scouts FN/308 Eclaireur Lancer of the Guard (on horse FNH/3). He is the first of a squadron of 6 figures destined to team up with my Guard Polish Lancers to make a full Light Cavalry unit.

I received these figures back in 2013 as part of a swop with Andy involving my Swedes and they are way overdue for painting. I don’t have enough to make a full unit, but I quite like the idea of mixed Guard cavalry units as it provides a lot of colour.

The figure is a splendid vintage casting and was a joy to paint.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Allied Artillery

The Duke of Wellington and Lord Hill have been out inspecting the Allied gun line.

The two new Royal Field Artillery batteries are made up of:

2 x BN.140 Officer pointing, holding map
1 x BN.141 Gunner with porte-fire
1 x BN.142 Gunner ramming home
1 x BN.143 Gunner holding cannonball
2 x BN.144 Gunner holding hand spike for traversing
1 x BN.145 Gunner – ammunition carrier, running

This is now a substantial weight of artillery to deter any attack by the French.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Glossing the gunners

I’ve finished painting the current batch of eight British Foot Artillery gunners and have just applied the first coat of gloss varnish. I have to say I’m pleased with the result and I hope to have them based up and ready to take their place on the Duke’s firing line by the weekend.

Nigel made a comment recently querying whether the two figures carrying a cannonball were genuine Hinton Hunt or a variation. I was confused on this point myself at first because it seemed odd that Marcus would produce two such figures. However, the mystery is solved as one of them (second from left in the photo) is the ammunition carrier BN.145.

All the other ammunition carrier figures made by Hinton Hunt have a canvas bag on a strap that goes around their shoulders and I was expecting the British one to be the same. The identification is confirmed via the code on the figure base and by referring to the Hinton Hunter.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Gunners for the Duke

In the ten years or so since I started this project I have come across very few British Foot Artillery figures. I assume this is because their comrades in the Horse Artillery have always been more popular with wargamers and therefore proportionally fewer foot castings were made. However, I have finally assembled enough vintage figures to produce three artillery batteries and the first batch are on the painting desk now. 

I’m a bit annoyed with myself though as I broke my golden rule of always painting a test figure before going into mass production. I think this was a bit of laziness on my part but I’m regretting it now as I’ve had to repaint several things across all the figures. I used the Hinton Hunt painting instructions for the officer (thanks to Clive) but without the same for the gunners I found it surprisingly hard to get uniform details. My reference books and the web are inconsistent and nobody shows a gunner with full equipment, the way Marcus Hinton modelled them.

Painting Hinton Hunt figures is tricky, and it takes a bit of trial and error to decide what detail to include, leave out or invent. Sometimes less is more and the test figure is worth doing to make sure the finished result looks right to me. In the end I had to abandon the batch painting and complete one figure to sort it all out, serves me right.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Big guns, little wheels

Hinton Hunt A2 with replacement wheels on left. Newline
Designs 20mm model on right.
The subject of the rather disappointing Hinton Hunt cannon models has come up before on this blog. The real problem with them is that the wheels are too small making the models look out of scale with the figures. The actual cannon models themselves are quite nicely proportioned but the tiny pram wheels make the overall effect unappealing.

Original Hinton Hunt models are however quite rare so when I do come across the odd one I like to include it in my forces. I have two French guns (click here) and two Austrian ones (click here) but the remainder of my guns are mostly contemporary ones by Newline Designs, which I think fit in quite well.

During my trawl of eBay over the summer I turned up one British gun A.2. Field Gun (British) which I determined to add to the Dukes arsenal. However, it just looked too puny beside my existing Newline gun, so I took the radical decision to swop the wheels with Newline ones. I’m pleased with the result even though it seems a bit sacrilegious.