Sunday, 15 December 2013

And now ... 6mm

Recently (well - several weeks ago, really!) a good friend at the game club asked me if I fancied painting some 6mm Anglo-Saxons.  As I'd just finished the Napoleonic Russians I was not wanting to do anything with uniforms, so I agreed.   

Here's the work in progress.  I've done 6mm Napoleonics before, but never any ancients or irregular types so the painting is a bit random at the moment. I'm generally splashing around some basic colours over a burnt umber undercoat.  I'm following the WRG / Phil Barker guidelines on painting barbarians from years and years ago - you know, paint the coat of one figure, the trousers on another, the cloak on another and then just repeat with lots of different colours till it all starts to take shape.  I'll see how I get on when it comes to putting in some more detail. 

Most of these views are from the rear of the figures as I've not started the shields.   

More later as these progress. 

Afrika Korps finished for Flames of War

Finally finished off the Afrika Korps boxed set for Flames of War.  Probably only took a couple of years or so to finish - in between all the other game projects I had going.  I've not added the transfers / decals to them because I can't make up my mind which division I want to portray.      

The force is based around 2 panzer grenadier platoons with sundry armoured, a/t, 88mm gun and other support.   

I found I had extra 88mm guns in the box so I was able to put 2 guns on those wheeled transport / support things, as well as having 2 guns emplaced.  I like the look on the guns on the wheels.   

Of course, with the Afrika Korps, the colour scheme is pretty much sand, sand and more sand, with a bit of lighter or darker sand as variation.  I added a few stones to some stands to give some variation.    

conversation on Napoleonic figures

When doing the previous post on the Russians, I recalled a conversation I had with a fellow gamer many years ago at the Claymore show in Edinburgh.

I was at the bring-and-buy stall and picked up a box of painted 15mm Napoleonic French figures. Reasonable painting if I recall, but very expensive for what was there. Essentially the box contained Napoleon and several generals, a few guns, old guard infantry and polish lancers.

A chap appeared at my side and said, "What do you think?"

"Painting's OK," I replied, "But it's expensive for what's there."

"I agree," said the chap. "There's no line infantry or cavalry." 

The conversation continued for a bit like this, but unknow to us the owner / seller had come up behind us and got a bit huffy (put-out, upset, etc.) at our comments. 

"It's a nice set of figures," the seller claimed, "And well painted." 

"That may be so," said the chap at my side, "But it's not worth it." 

He then went to to tell the seller that every Napoleonic gamer with a French army would have figures of Napoleon and Ney and other marshals, they would have old guard and polish lancers, and that to most napoleonic gamers, these type of figures were virtually worthless.  What Napoleonic gamers really needed, he claimed, were painted line infantry and lots of it. Everyone paints the 'special' units but never has enough basic line infantry. 

The seller remained in the huff and walked off muttering, and we put the figures back on the stall.  The chap and myself continued out conversation for a bit, essentially in agreement, then went our separate ways.     

But it made me think for a bit, and I've tried ever since, with mixed success, to have lots of line infantry in my armies.  But I still think that on any given game day round the world, there will be more figures of Scots Greys, Rifles, Old Guard and Polish lancers on tables than ever existed. But hey-ho, that's Napoleonic gaming. We all want the special units and I'm no exception - I still have more old guard figures to paint, and I'll get them finished someday. 

Napoleonic Russians finished

No posts for ages, then 3 show up at once.   

Got the Russians finished for Napoleon at War.  Finished off the line infantry, the cuirassiers, the generals and the cossacks.  Not bad as a finished result, but it's left me wanting to avoid painting green uniforms for a bit. Here's the whole lot set out.  

Left to right, it's the jaeger with cossacks behind.

Guns in the centre.   

And jaegers on the other flank.  

The grenadiers, which in games just doubles as line infantry on the night. 

The other grenadier unit.

The line infantry.   

The generals.

The curassiers, where I managed to place one stand of red facing colours beside the blue unit and vice-versa. Doh!   

And finally, the cossacks. Bit more regular unifomed chaps than the usual scruffies one sees.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Battle of Leipzig - October 1813 and 2013

It's the 16th October 2013, and the 200th anniversary of the start of the battle of Leipzig 
(there was some action on the 14th, but both sides really just waiting for more troops to arrive).

For a Napoleonic fan, it's good to be able to play a game of a battle on the anniversary. And this one is the biggie. Also called the battle of Nations, this saw the Allied armies of Austria, Russia, Prussia, Sweden and a few British (the rocket troop RHA) take on Napoleon's army of French, Italians, Poles, Saxons and various units from other small German states.       

Here is my big double sized map and counters of the battle. The map is expanded from the 3rd edition of the Napoleon at Leipzig boardgame, but the counters are adapted from my vintage first edition of the game. The reason I did it this way is because the 3rd edition map is really nice, but the equally nice counters do tend to get a bit lost in such a busy map. I wanted the counters to be easily seen.   

I hope to have time to run through it this week myself, and I've planned a game tomorrow, Thursday 17th with an old friend and valued opponent. Both of us have played game this before as well as its venerable predecessor, Napoleon's Last Battles.

The full map is nearly 6 foot by 5 foot. I have split it so that it can fit on two tables so we don't have to stretch to get to the middle.  This is the view looking north.      

Here is the map from the game placed on top of my double sized map.  

And here are the counters on the south side of the battle. The blue are French and red the Poles. The white are Austrians, Green the Russians and Grey the Prussians.  The Poles guard the crossings near Leipzig and the main army under Napoleon is waiting for reinforment to move against the Allies. For their part, the Allies are marching to the southern field from different directions and have to get their forces into the battle to overwhelm the French.  

The French front line of the Poles and French 2nd and 5th Corps is backed up by cavalry, the 9th Corps and at the back at the top of the picture, the Imperial Guard.  The Allies have the 4th Austrian Korps on the right, Wittgensteins Russians and Kleists Prussians in the centre, and more Austrians approaching from the far side of the river Pleisse.    

Here is a view slightly to the west, showing the French forces to the north and around Leipzig and more Austrians approaching from the south-west.  The big problem for the French is they want most or all of this northern force in the south to meet the main Allied army, but they know there are more Allies - the armies of Silesia and the North - approaching from north-west and north-east.  The question for the French is how much do they send south and still have enough to meet the northern Allied armies.  They also have to deal with the Austrians approaching from the south-west and if that force reach the bridges at Leipzig, then the French army could be trapped.      

As for reinforcements, here's what both sides can expect. The game starts on the 16th October. The French army get 1 division of 3rd corps and 7th corps (on the left in the picture) on the 16th and 17th.
The Allies get everything else pictured here. Blucher with the army of Silesia is second from the left with the Prussian Korps of York and the Russians of Langeron, Sacken and St Priest. Second from the right are Austrian reinforments which come from the south on the 17th and the army of Poland which comes from east on the 18th. On the right is the army of the North under Bernadotte which arrives on the 18th with Prussians, Russians, Swedes and British. (I realise at this point that I've forgotten to include the British rockets in this picture!).   

And here is where the nothern armies approach the field. First the French then the army of the North at that north-east corner of the map. (The two red counters at the top of the map are part of the Polish VIII corps that was in the north).   

And now the north east corner of the map where Blucher's army of Silesia arrives from turn one on the 16th. The French would really like to send the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 11th Corps south but something will have to remain to keep the northern Allies back.  If we follow history, then the 4th Corps goes to help the forces defending Leipzig while the 6th and 3rd corps fight off the army of Silesia. Only the 11th corps with the 2nd cavalry corps goes south to help the main French army.      

We'll have to see how this plays out tomorrow and over the rest of the week.

And before I finish, here is a quick picture of the army of the North, complete with British rocket troop at the bottom.  


Monday, 1 July 2013

GNW the first two units

Here are the first two units along with some more on the workbench.  For the first Swedish unit I chose the Upplands flag just for the colour contrast.  

And for the first Russian units I chose the Belgorod (or Belogradski) flag. 

I wasn't going to move to the more colourful units so soon, but after looking through the uniform sources I'm going to do a couple of yellow uniforms. This yellow and red combination will eventually be the Kiev or Ingermanland regiment.  

The yellow uniformed dragoons will become the Archangel regiment. I don't know about the green unit.  

More later.   

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Great Northern War again

Onwards and upwards.  Facing colours and muskets, faces, shoes and general tidy-up. It was at this point I forgot the Swedish officers had blue stockings so I did a quick white paint over.

Anything to painted metal is undercoated yellow or grey then a gold or steel wash gives the final effect. Also started the sash for the Russian officers and did the proper blue stockings on the Swedish officers.  Almost there.  

And the finished figures. I don't think I'll do a final oil / liquin / white spirit wash with these. Instead I'll just do a matt varnish. 

I've seen pictures where the Russian officer's hat trim has a red stripe and gold lace on the cuffs. I might do these later, but I'm going to stop here for now. Finishing the bases will be next along with adding the second rank chaps.  

Next will be finalising the standards and I've already printed off a batch to use. I've decided to base most of my GNW units on the battle of Poltava. I'll be looking to get a good colour contrast to the uniforms.     

And finally - silly fact of the day - in the GNW there was (and maybe still is) a Swedish regiment called Bjorneborg. I'll have to do them sometime.     

More later on rules and bases and sources.

Friday, 14 June 2013

New Great Northern War project

A project that's been in the background for a while finally got underway in the last couple of weeks.  The Great Northern War and WSS in 15/18mm.  My idea is to start with Swedes and Russians then expand the forces to include other colourful units from the era. 

So here are the first couple of units.  These are all Blue Moon miniatures.  I was going to try the layered painting technique, but after an experiment that didn't look good, I decided I could do better with my normal wash technique and controlling the flow of the paint with the brush.  

I've decided to do the first two units in the 'standard' Swedish and Russian infantry uniforms.  Here are Swedes in the blue uniform.   Just the basic wash of Humbrol blue over white undercoat.  

And some pictures after I'd tidied up any overspill from the base uniform colour with white and painted in the buff belts.   

And two pictures after I'd added the facing colours.  I'm not sure if I've got enough of a contrast between the buff of the Swedish breeches and the yellow stockings and turnbacks so I might use a lighter highlight on the buff. The yellow and red are Humbrol colours which I've always found excellent to work with.      

More pictures shortly I hope.