Sunday 29 November 2009

Prussian limber – final version

Thanks to everyone who chipped in with suggestions on what to do about my limbers and also for the various offers of extra horses. In the end I decided to opt for proper four-horse teams rather than the original truncated two-horse ones. I feel more comfortable with this because it’s how I made up the limber teams in my original 1970’s army and is more in keeping with the idea behind this project. However, as limbers are a bit of a luxury on the wargame table, I will initially limit their presence to just one per nationality with probably two for the French.

This final version of a limber and team for my Prussian artillery has been put together from various sources and is made up as follows:

1 x AL/4 Prussian Limber (David Clayton casting)
1 x H1 Allied draughthorse, nearside (vintage HH)
1 x H2 Allied draughthorse, offside (vintage HH)
1 x Allied draughthorse, nearside (Der Kriegspielers)
1 x Allied draughthorse, offside (Der Kriegspielers)
1 x PN38 Artillery driver (probably vintage HH)
(Prussian field piece by Newline Designs)

All the old castings were stripped and repainted by me and then mounted on plasticard bases. The pair of horses with the limber are on a piece 30mm x 60mm and the other pair on a separate detachable base 30mm x 30mm. The DK horses are interesting because this is one occasion where DK are virtually indistinguishable from Hinton Hunt other than the fact that they are slightly thinner.

Now I just have to re-vamp my RHA limber then I promise I’ll move on to something new.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Napoleon’s Giant

Jean Lannes was a talented soldier who rose from the ranks to become one of Napoleon’s original eighteen marshals of France. During the campaign in Italy he personally intervened to save Bonaparte’s bacon at the bridge of Arcola and thereby earned the eternal affection of the Emperor. Some of the other marshals weren’t quite so keen on him however - notably Murat with whom he had a long running feud.

Lannes was always in the thick of things and commanded the left of the Grand Armee at Austerlitz and further distinguished himself at Jena and Friedland. The Emperor took him along to Spain in 1808 where he won a rare French victory at Tudela. At Ratisbon in 1809, when his men were looking shaky, Lannes seized a ladder and ran forward shouting “I was a grenadier before I was a marshal!” then attempted to scale the walls himself. On the second day of Aspern-Essling he was mortally wounded by a shot from a 3-pounder cannon and carried from the field. The Emperor later said of him “that he had found a pygmy and lost a giant.”

Marcus Hinton never included a figure of Lannes in the personality figure series but Roy suggested that he probabaly chose the subjects in order to represent as many different uniforms as possible rather than for reasons of popularity. So I decided to use my vintage casting of FN224 French General in cocked hat (one-piece casting) to represent marshal Lannes and here he is – in pygmy version.

Sunday 1 November 2009

What I have mostly been doing (Off Topic #12)

Those of you who drop by on a regular basis will probably notice that my Hinton Hunt painting output has been pretty weedy for the last few months. The main reason is that I became sidetracked into rebasing my 15mm Napoleonic collection. This picture shows the results of my endeavours so far.

My 15mm project has been an on and off one since 1984 so most of the figures are Minifigs old style (before the range was redesigned). I have a few of the newer Minifigs mixed in and also some more recent AB Figures bought before the range went down under. I was surprised at how nice the current Minifigs are and I will be using their figures to complete the project. It’s good to see Minifigs under new ownership as I feel the brand has been crying out for some TLC for a long time.

I’ve said before that I definitely have some sort of compulsive disorder when it comes to basing figures and most of these troops are now on their third bases. This time I have opted for the system given in Age of Eagles as I will probably use an adapted version of these rules for my games. According to Rafa this is also the same basing system used for Napoleon’s Battles so that’s a double result.

So why have I got distracted in this way? Well I blame it squarely on Noel the Garage-gamer who invited me into his wargaming heaven a few months ago (actually come to think of it I invited myself). Noel has converted his double garage into a fantastic wargame room with two huge tables, lovely hand made terrain units and literally thousands of beautifully painted 28mm Napoleonic figures (click here for Noel’s blog).

Anyway, this inspired me to look again at my old 15mm armies with a view to doing something similar but in a much smaller way – perhaps the box-room gamer? The point is that at the rate I am currently painting my Hinton Hunts I will never have enough ready to play a decent sized wargame with them so 15mm is more practical from a gaming point of view. The idea is to add to the 15mm collection via eBay with occasional units painted by myself and base everything in the same style for uniformity. Meanwhile I will keep plugging away painting the HH forces myself.

On the subject of 15mm Napoleonics take a look at Napoleonics in Miniature (click here) for some nicely painted 15’s including some of the very same early Minifigs I have in my own collection.