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.