Thursday 30 November 2023

Guard Chasseur test figure

I found a bit of time to begin work on the Guard Chasseurs starting with this test figure of the Der Kreigspieler version of FN/48 Chasseur a Cheval (mounted) charging. This is another case of a DK castings being virtually indistinguishable for the Hinton Hunt one so I’m happy using them.

I used the Hinton Hunt painting instructions as my guide for this figure and was curious to see that they varied quite a bit from the illustration in my Funcken (Part2) book. The illustrations for Funcken were drawn in 1969 but I'm pretty sure Marcus Hinton would have published his instructions before that. However, as you would guess it's no contest for me as the 'official' Hinton Hunt guide will always win out!

With the evening temperature currently below zero I have been forced to decamp from the Hinton Hut to perch on the end of the kitchen table for my painting sessions. I did insulate the floor and ceiling of the Hut when I built it which makes it habitable 99% of the time even in a Scottish winter. I’ll happily sit out there with a fan heater and my heated blanket but sadly the acrylic paints are not so hardy, as I discovered to my cost (literally) during my first Hut winter.

I now have four troopers completed and have started on the trumpeter but more on him in the next post.

Friday 24 November 2023

33rd Line – Done!

You’ll be pleased to hear that he French 33rd Line Regiment are painted, based and ready for action.

They do look quite colourful when all ranked up.

The figures used are as follows:

2 x FN/1 Officer (charging)
1 x FN/4 Colour Bearer (charging)
19 x FN/5 Fusilier (charging)
1 x FN/6 Drummer (charging)
1 x FN/8 Officer (marching)

All the figures are very nice vintage first generation castings.

I painted the flag with a brush that really needs to be chucked away so I'm amazed that the results are so legible.

I managed to bamboozle Mrs S into looking at the Colour Bearer (and why not, she’s always getting me to admire her knitting) and was astonished to find she could read the battle honours on the flag. Impressive stuff as she even managed to pronounce Austerlitz correctly. I may run with this and try to get her to come and see Napoleon with me although that may be a bit more tricky.

où est monsieur le rosbif?

With these chaps out of the way the painting desk is cleared for the Guard Chasseur-a-Cheval.

Friday 17 November 2023

What? More Guard cavalry?

Earlier this year I did say that my French Guard cavalry was complete unless I found enough Chasseur-a-cheval for a full unit – well, be careful what you wish for.

Thanks to Nigel (and Tony) I have managed to assemble enough troopers for a full 12-figure unit. This will be made up of 7 x 2-piece castings, 1 x one-piece casting and 4 x DK one-piece castings. I really like the effect of mixing one-piece and two-piece figures in a unit, and I think this one is going to look very smart.

Back left is an original OPC converted to trumpeter, back right a vintage 2-piece casting and front is a DK OPC painted by Don W.

The Hinton Hunt OPC was already prepared by the previous owner for conversion to a trumpeter as the carbine and sword have been removed. All I had to do was add a trumpet with arm from another casting (of unknown origin) to make a rather nice-looking figure.

Two of the DK castings are figures sent to me by Don about 15 years ago so it’s about time they got used – I won’t be stripping the paint from these as I’ll opt instead for a touch up of Don’s original work.

I can’t wait to get started on these!

Sunday 5 November 2023

A wargame at Nigel’s

On Thursday I was privileged to attend an inaugural wargame in Nigel’s fabulous newly converted dedicated wargame room at his home in the rolling Cumbrian hills. After a bit of panic in the morning due to the cancellation of my train I made good time by car to join Nigel and Tony for a battle based on the Prussian arrival at Waterloo.

I took the part of Blucher while Tony played the dastardly French, Nigel umpired as we were using his own house rules. Most of the figures were Hinton Hunt and all were from Nigel’s vast collection.

Nigel's man-cave.
The table is 8' x 4'. This is the initial setup with the Prussians on the left and French on the right. That's Plancenoit church at the far end of the table with Papelotte in the foreground (the two other buildings near the farm mysteriously disappeared before the game began).
Here are the Prussians and that's Blucher himself in the rear. Most of Nigel's infantry units are 30 figures and cavalry are 16.
My lads are getting ready for the assault on Plancenoit.
However, the action started with an attack on Papelotte as in this scenario the farm had been occupied by the French.
A view along the Prussian line with both sides starting to advance.
The French edge forward towards the church.
While the Prussians do the same!
Tony and I both had a large cavalry force in the centre and of course we couldn't resist getting stuck in with the sabre (the lovely Leib Hussars with their big white plumes are a conversion)..
The battle in full swing.
And how it might have looked in the days when Nigel started wargaming. In the end it was the Prussian cavalry who were to emerge victorious from a seven-unit scrum.
Over at Papelotte though Tony had the upper hand and I was never able to occupy the place.
My infantry were thrown back from the church but I had sneakily brought up two batteries and started blasting the place apart.
A melee at Papelotte where I just about held my own.
The Young Guard in the foreground are running away but they were to rally next turn.
Blucher brings up the Landwehr - you know the French have had it when that happens!

In the end (we managed a full 8 turns) it was a narrow victory for the Prussians but this only came about as I was able to reduce Plancenoit church to rubble thereby denying it as a VP location to Tony.

It was a great day and full credit goes to Nigel for running an excellent game and displaying an impressive grasp of mental arithmetic during some rather complicated melee calculations. I very much enjoyed trying a different set of rules to my own, but ones written in the same vein with mechanisms harking back to the 1970s. I hope I get the chance to play again.

My thanks to the Archduke and Archduchess for their generous hospitality.