Saturday, June 30, 2018

Manstein Grenadiers (2/G-II) Enter Prussian Service



Manstein Grenadier Battalion (2/G-II) in Prussian service. All figures are Minden Miniatures.

CLICK PIX TO ENLARGE


A couple of days ago I finished the second half of the Manstein Grenadier Battalion by painting 16 of the grenadiers from the Garrison II regiment, which makes up half of the battalion. The grenadiers from the Kanitz Regiment (IR2) make up the other half of the regiment.

Here are the finished grenadiers from G-II. Note that they have the wider Swedish cuffs and white facings and small clothes to distinguish them from the von Kanitz grenadiers:

Two grenadier companies from the Garrison Regiment Number 2.

And here are the previously painted grenadiers from the von Kanitz musketeer regiment, No. 2, which I painted the week before my trip to the UK last week. The von Kanitz grenadiers wear the tighter Prussian style cuffs and have red facings and straw colored small clothes.

Two grenadier companies from the von Kanitz Musketeer Regiment No. 2

Prussian grenadier battalions generally converged the two grenadier companies of one regiment with two grenadier companies of another regiment in the army. So the designation "2/G-II" for the Manstein grenadiers indicates that two of the companies are from IR2 - von Kanitz while two more companies are from the second Garrison Regiment (or G-II). Together the four companies comprise one permanent grenadier organization for the duration of the war.


So you put the two components together and you end up with one full battalion of grenadiers. Grenadiers were always in single battalion organization compared to the two-battalion organization of all Prussian musketeer and fusilier infantry regiments.




I now have six infantry battalions in my Prussian Pomeranian Corps (4 fusiliers, 1 garrison, 1 grenadier battalion) which is half-way towards my goal of having 12 infantry battalions in the Pomeranian Corps. I can paint a full 32-figure battalion in little under a week's time, so I should have this project completed by the end of August, provided I don't burn out on the painting.

Once I finish two more Prussian battalions and raise the total to 8 battalions, I think that I will stage a refight of the Battle of Gross Jagersdorf (August 30,, 1757) either sooner or on the anniversary day of the battle at the end of August.


Next up in the painting queue is the von Kanitz Musketeer Regiment (IR2). I have 16 of the 32 figures finished for the first battalion as of today and I hope to have the first battalion finished by Monday.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Day Five: The Geese Take Wing



Kenilworth 2018 - The Wild Geese

On Sunday June 25th, the Wild Geese convened for the final gaming session in the morning, playing until about noon when we gathered for lunch and the awarding of "best" categories and awards. Members had the opportunity to vote for categories, such as Best Game Host, Best General, Worst General, Best Gentleman, Worst Gentleman, Best Game etc. , and then writing the name of the person on a slip of paper, which was then placed in a jar. The winner of each category had his name drawn from the respective jar. I can't recall who won what, but I don't think that anyone really cared who won. We were all winners!


For my last game on Sunday I wanted to try Willz Harley's "Battle of Kenilworth" game feature hundreds of nicely painted Spencer Smith figures that cavorted around the table top using my own "Der Alte Fritz Rules for 18th Century Warfare". You can download a free copy of the rules from the Fife & Drum Miniatures webstore:

Free Rules Download Here

Click on the above link to the F&D webstore and then click on the pull down menu tab labeled "more" and then select "Rules and Articles". There you will see a list of various PDFs that you can download by clicking on the icon for each item.

The Battle of Kenilworth Game on Sunday

The game table was very attractive with its Old School style buildings and terrain and with the Spencer Smith figures, you could almost imagine that these photographs came out of an edition of Charles Grant's "The Wargame" book.

Douglas and I commanded the Sardinians (I think, but I'm not sure), which bore some resemblence to Prussians. Facing off against us on the other side of the table were Stuart, Michael and Tim. This Michael fellow seemed to be everywhere throughout the game sessions - it was almost as if there were two of him or something like that.


Spencer Smith Prussians advance in the center towards more Spencer Smith French.
Those buildings were really nifty too, giving the game look and feel of "The Wargame" book by Charles Grant.

My battalions start to deploy into line, but I find that I can't get both the artillery 
and a third battalion of infantry into the front of the battle line. 
In the background you can see the first of many cavalry melees on my right flank.


Michael and Tim advance forward to contest my attack in the center. Michael wheels his French onto my left flank and I have to swing the left most battalion in the picture above back a bit or else get shot in the flank.


Most of my units ended up in the Morgue by the end of the game.
The Dice Gods were not looking on me with good favor, as most of my infantry battalions took turns routing and then recovering and then going back into the battle once more, only to rout again. LOL.


We gave the rules a good workout and I was pleased to see that the players picked up on the mechanics very quickly and took it from there themselves. I got to see how the new cavalry melee rules worked in situ and really liked the back and forth action that the melee rules created - and they kept the melees from being too long - which was the whole point of the change.

At one point during the game, Michael Perry asked me how the rules handled charging into built up areas. My respone, "gee, I've never tried it before. Let's give it a try and see how it works." It seemed to work out very well, thank you very much.

Two regiments of Sardinian and Tiburian cavalry pitch into melee.

Meanwhile one the other flank, it was a Scotish civil war of sorts as Douglas and Stuart, both from Scotland coincidentally, were having a go of it on the left flank. My team mate Douglas, was having more success than was I. At one point during the game, the Tiburian command sent a messenger to Douglas inviting him to surrender, and I think that the response was the same one heard at Waterloo a few decades later.


Douglas' Sardinians (my allies) cover the left flank of the table and bash it up with Stuart's French brigade.
By the end of the day, it was obvious that the French had earned a major victory, but I didn't care because it was one of the most fun games that I have played in awhile and I had the opportunity to cross dice against that Perry fellow (I swear he must have a twin or something).

Here is a brief recap of the four games hosted at the show. I've placed them in the order in which I played in them.

Great Northern War, Swedish Convey Attacked (host - Paul Robinson)

The Grimsby Wargamer himself, Paul Robinson, hosted this Great Northern War ("GNW") scenario in which the Swedes are trying to get a long supply convoy to the main army so that they will have provisions for the coming campaign. However, the Russians got wind of the convoy and they have other plans for how this might all turn out.

Der Alte Fritz (left) in Paul Robinson's GNW game.
(I hardly ever have pictures of myself, so here goes...)
Zulu War Skirmish Game (host - Gary Phillips):

The players all command British groups of three elements and their objective is to attack and burn down the Zulu kraal and then get out of Dodge City as fast as they can. The game judge ran all of the Zulu units, which appeared at random via dice rolls.

Gary Phillips' Zulu skirmish game.

The Battle of Kenilworth Game (host - Willz Harley): 

18th Century Imaginations game with the Tiburians and Sardinians having a go at it. The Spencer Smith figures and the style of the buildings gave this game a nice Old School look, straight out of The Wargame.

Willz Harley's Battle of Kenilworth game.

The Versailles Game (host - Colin Ashton)

I did not get the chance to play in this game this year. I had played in Colin's fine Leuthen game last year and I wanted to give some of the other game judges' games a try this year. The game featured the Dutch against the French and featured a lot of role playing and rivalry between the commands. I believe that the players all had French commands and that the game judge operated all of the Dutch figures in the game.

Colin Ashton's Versailles Game

Some Other Blog Accounts of the Wild Geese Weekend

You can read some more detailed accounts of the weekend from Paul Robinson, Colin Ashton and Chris Gregg, respectively, by clicking on the links below:

Grimsby Wargaming Blog

Carryings On Up The Dale Blog

Not Just Old School Wargaming Blog


Back to the Barracks

The weekend passed by all too fast, as it usually does each year, and I headed back to London on Sunday afternoon and an eventual return home to the States on Monday.

I found a stowaway in my suitcase. How'd he get there?


Graham Cummings gave me a ride back to the Coventry train station, which is but a few short miles from the Chesford Grange Hotel, and I only had to wait about an hour for the next train to arrive. I passed the time watching England trounce Panama in the World Cup game that day. I have always had a good experience riding British Rail trains in the UK and I only wish that we had similar train service in the United States. I would opt for train travel over airline travel any time!

Return to Euston Station in London
Back in London around 5PM, I checked into my hotel near Marble Arch and had a light snack and a short nap before going on a walk through Hyde Park for one last view of London.

Last Words

I will be posting some more detailed reports on the various games that I played in over the weekend, but I have lots and lots of pictures and I didn't want to put them all into one very longgggggg post.

Plans are already afoot to have another Wild Geese Weekend next year and I look forward to returning once again. The Wild Geese are an incredibly friendly and sociable group of gamers and I always look forward to picking up the conversations where they left off the previous year, as well as the chance to makes new friends.

Thank yous go out to Colin Ashton for organizing the weekend and to the game judges (Paul, Gary, Willz and Colin) for hosting such fun and entertaining games.



Sunday, June 24, 2018

Day Four, the Gathering of the Wild Geese

I


The second annual Wild Geese gathering in Kenilworth convened on Saturday with 23 gamers from all corners of the U.K. Plus one American in the ranks. There were four games set up by Colin Ashton, Paul Robinson, Gary Phillips, and Willz Harley and with three game sessions over the weekend there was oppornity to experience several different historical eras.

Colin's game was set during one of the late 17th Century Wars between the Dutch and the French and it included some role playing elements such that the player on your team might not have your best interests in mind. I really like the sound of this and alas, it was the one game that I did not have the opportunity to play.


The next game on my list, and first one played, was a GNW period game hosted by the Grimsby Wargamer himself, Paul Robinson. I didn't play in Paul's game last year so I made a point of playing his game this year. The scenario had the Swedes escorting a long wagon train to a Swedish base and the wagon train was intercepted by the Russians. It was a very colorful game that included Polish Hussars, Cossacks, Green coated Russians and blue Swedish coats.




I played one of the Swedish infantry commands serving as the rear guard and faced off against Aly Morrison's Russians. The rules favor Swedish charges and good Russian musketry. I had some initial success routing two Russian battalions off the table, but then that particular Swedish regiment ran out of steam and momentum with it, too, routing away. The rest of my command I could not expand my frontage by more than two regiments whereas Aly overlapped me with a four battalion frontage. So basically I could not use my best asset, the charge, because each of my regiments would have run into two Russian regiments and get overwhelmed by the numbers. Trading musket fire was a bad idea for me due to the numbers ( but just as likely due to the dice gods, who withdrew there favor towards me and shifted it all to Aly). My end of the table was starting to look like a rerun of Poltava somthe Russian victory was more or less inevitable.

I had a blast playing GNW and it reminds me that I have a lot of Swedes and Russians at home that are begging to be painted.

On Saturday afternoon I played in Gary Phillips' Zulu War skirmish game. Gary operated the Zulus and four of us commanded a company or small brigade of British redcoats, some NNC warriors or some Naval Brigade figures. Our mission was to burn down one of the Zulu kraals.

There were no Zulus on the table at the beginning, but there was a chance that a war band might appear any time a British unit moved. So of course we elected to spray the kraal huts with machine gun fire, which technically was not moving. Well after we had our fun and a good snicker , we started to move our commands and so Zulus started popping up in all directions.

Before the game starts, each player rolls dice to create characteristics for each of three units in our command as well as another die roll for The personalities that we had. I can't recall what my characters were, but my commanding officer was a Shirker and was not allowed to advance towards any Zulus. Initially my dice rolling carried over from the GNW and I couldn't shoot down a Zulu if my life depended on it. Ironic.

At one point during the game, my company of engineers was attempting to torch some of the Zulu huts (destroying them was our victory condition) and to my horror a pack of Zulus came storming out of the hut and slaughtered two thirds of The engineers. One of my infantry companies final figured out how to operate a Martini Henry rifle and I felt rather proud when that company put 7 hits on some  charging Zulus. Wait a minute Jim, the Zulus just  killed off 11 of your redcoats. Yikes! The company officer was the lone surviving, choosing not to die gloriously with his mesn

Friday, June 22, 2018

Day Three - from London to Kenilworth



Today was a travel day as I had to take the train from Euston Station to Coventry, where Graham was to meet me and give me a ride to the Wild Geese gathering in Kenilworth.

I really enjoy traveling by train and I've always had a good experience with British Rail. My train left at 12:43 on the dot and I was in Coventry within an hour. Graham Cummings picked me up and we paid a visit to nearby Griffin Moulds to say hello to our friends Jane and Lisa and the rest of the staff at Griffin. There wasn't a lot of new ground to cover because the service and quality of the casting products are second to none. 



The company added resin casting to their list of capabilities and are working on 3D design programming and 3D printing which opens up a lot of new avenues for product development. I'm particularly intrigued by 3D printing.

After our visit we drove to Kenilworth and the Chesford Grange Hotel where we will be having our Wild Geese Wargaming weekend. The games start at 9AM on Saturday morning so I have to sign off and get some sleep.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Day Two in London

A compelling sales pitch.


We continue to have great weather in London: sunny and clear with temperatures around 68F. Yesterday was much warmer in the upper 70s, but seemed warmer to me because I was walking everywhere in the afternoon sun. It seems like one does a LOT of walking in London, but that's ok.

Today I spent several hours at the National Army Museum and I must say that with all of the changes in exhibits and the interior remodeling I hardly recognized the place. That said, I think that the museum has improved considerably as it covers the British army's history from the ECW to the present and provides the visitors with a better sense of what it is/was like to be a soldier. 



I think that we all intuitively know it, but War is not glorious, it is dangerous, and can take a dreadful toll on those who survived the experience (PTSD). The exhibits do a good job of driving these points home, rather than focusing on the campaigns and won battles of the army.

Getting back to the glorious wargamey thingy, I took a lot of pictures of the 18th Century and Napoleonic uniforms and equipment. The Siborne Waterloo model is still there but the area is so dark that I could barely make out was going. There is the captured eagle of the French 108th regiment that was taken at Waterloo (I think?) as well as its flag, which has faded almost to white, and a nice cuirassier set of cuirasses and helmet on display. They even have the skeleton of Marengo, Napoleon's horse which was captured at Waterloo.

I took a nice picture of an 18th Century Guards uniform, circa the AWI and snapped some good shots of various cloth mitres and bearskins.

Next on the list was a boat trip up the Thames to Greenwich. It's a good way to see much of London and is quite pleasant on a sunny day. My intention was to visit the Naval Observatory and the Naval Museum, but I got sidetracked by a visit to the Cutty Sark. I'd seen the former before, but never got around to the Cutty Sark. I spent the whole hour there and decided to take the return boat back to Westminster- boats run on the hour. I could have easily remained for another hour, but it was getting late in the day and I thought it prudent to head back to the hotel. 





Well, that's London for me on this trip. Tomorrow I take the train to Coventry where Graham will meet me and take us to see Griffin Moulds on our way to Kenilworth and the Wild Geese weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Day One in London

Horse Guards parade ground 


I landed at London Heathrow at around noon today and checked into my hotel without having to wait for it to be ready. In my room, I kind of got hooked on the Portugal vs. Moracco World Cup match. Then it occurred to me that here I was in beautiful London and I was in my room watching television.

Piglet watching World Cup


So it was time to hit the road Jack and get about and around town. My first stop was the Guards Museum, but the last admission is at 3:30pm and the building closes at 4:00pm. My taxi driver thought that I said the "Science Museum" so we were stuck in traffic in Kensington (which is far from Museum). The minutes were rapidly ticking away on my watch, but we finally made it with about ten minutes to spare. In my previous visit to London I got to the museum just as it was closing and I was experiencing some serious deja  vous here.




I can't seem to upload pictures using the Blogger mobile ap, so I will post pictures from the museum when I get home.

From there I strolled over to Horse Guards parade ground and walked (marched) around the perimeter so that I could say that I had marched at HG.



Next stop was a visit to Hatchards bookstore on Picadilly and found a book about Frederick the Great that I hadn't seen before. This is a really neat book store with about five floors of books. If you are ever in London then take some time to visit Hatchards.

My last stop was at Fortnum & Mason where I bought some scones for tomorrow's breakfast . I always enjoy visiting the Wine and Spirits department to look at some of the insanely priced scotch whiskeys in stock. There was a bottle of 40 year old Balvenie for  £3,500 for sale and I'm sure that it will be there when you visit on your own.



That's all for now. I'm off to bed to catch some zees.

S





Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Road Trip to the UK


We will catch those rascally rabbits yet!

Later this evening I will board a plane in Chicago and wing my way to London so that I can attend a weekend gathering of gamers in Warwickshire, as we did last year at this time. I will spend a couple of days in London before taking a train to Coventry on friday and meeting up with Graham Cummings, the major domo of Crann Tara Miniatures. Along the way we shall stop in at Griffin Moulds to catch up with our friends there and then make our way to Kenilworth where our group, The Wild Geese, is gathering.

There is nice variety of games offered: GNW, Zulu War, SYW Imaginations, and the Franco-Dutch wars of the 1690s. The four games run for the full day on Saturday and then we get another chance to play in another of the games on Sunday. In between there will undoubtedly be a meeting in the local pub where we will solve all of the world's problems.

The trip has already had some excitement, and I haven't even left my house yet. Yesterday, I was informed by British Airways that my flight from Chicago had been cancelled (no reason given for the cancellation). I was to click on a link that would lead me to a new itinerary. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I read the schedule change. They proposed having me catch a flight from Chicago to Boston (arriving at 1AM) and then having a six hour layover in Boston and catching a BA flight from Boston to London arriving around 7PM local time, on Thursday instead of the planned Wednesday arrival.

So I got on the horn and had to do quite a bit of sparring with the airline in order to get a better replacement flight. The first idea was to have me fly from Chicago to Manchester, then have one hour to catch a flight to London. I would imagine that just getting my luggage and processed through customs would take an hour, so that wasn't the optimal flight schedule.

Then finally, BA found that there was a flight from Chicago to London that left about an hour later in the evening than my originally scheduled flight (the one that was cancelled). This would get me into London around noon local time rather than 9AM, but that was OK because my hotel generally doesn't have the rooms available until after the noon hour. So it looked like an acceptable flight plan was available...

... but wait, the BA agent decided that I had only paid for the flight to London, but had not done so for the return leg. Of course this was not the case, so at one point I had two telephones operating with the BA agent on one phone and my travel agent on the other phone.

In any event, we finally got things sorted out and it looks like I will make it to London without too much disruption in the schedule. But still, my stress level was fairly high after all these shennanigans and not having immediate access to some good single malt scotch, I visited the local ice cream shop and ordered a chocolate milkshake for comfort food.

Everything should be all tickety-boo now.

I will try to post some pictures on my blog during my travels. However, the Blogger mobile ap is a piece of junk that makes it nearly impossible to post anything at all whilst on the road. Blogger is owned by Google, which is only one of the largest tech companies in the world, and they can't fix their mobil ap for Blogger (which used to work just fine, thank you very much). Come on Google, get your stuff together and fix this!

We shall see.

While in London, I want to make a point of visiting the Guards Museum this time. Last year, I arrived there around 3PM and found that the museum had just closed. Doh! I'd also like to pay a visit to the National Army Museum, which was closed for renovations last year. A visit to Hatchards' bookstore is always a must on any visit to London, so hopefully I can add some new ballast to my suitcase with the inclusion of a few heavy books.

Hopefully all of the stress and out of left field changes are behind me and I can relax and enjoy the actual travels this week. I'm looking forward to seeing the Wild Geese at Kenilworth this coming weekend.

cheers,

Der Alte Fritz

Saturday, June 16, 2018

IR2 von Kanitz Grenadiers

von Kanitz grenadier company - Minden Miniatures figures.
I am working on the painting of the Manstein Grenadier Battalion (2/G-II) in Marshal Lehwaldt's army at Gross Jagersdorf in 1757. The first half of the battalion consists of the grenadier companies from IR2 von Kanitz regiment. The second half of the battalion will be comprised of the grenadier companies of the second garrison regiment G-II. You put them all together and you end up with a single battalion of Prussian grenadiers.

Click on the link to the Kronoskaf history of the Manstein Grenadiers:



von Kanitz command figures

Another view of the von Kanitz grenadiers
 Next in the painting queue, naturally, will be the grenadiers from G-II. Here is a picture of the Garrison II regiment's grenadier uniforms from Kronoskaf.



Note that the G-II grenadier uniform has Swedish cuffs. I had primed a set of 16 grenadiers and was ready to paint them when I realized that I had the Prussian grenadier figures with Prussian cuffs. So I had to defer painting the unit yesterday and prime the correct set of grenadier figures with Swedish cuff.

So today, I was ready to paint. I quickly applied the blue coat color, the grey shade for the white breeches and waistcoat, and a shade of red brown as an undercoating for the flesh color. Now I was ready to start on the white cuffs and do you know what happened?

Yes, I had started painting the Prussian grenadier figures with Prussian cuffs instead of the Swedish cuffs. I had picked up the wrong set of figures. Doh! That was two hours of painting time that I had wasted today.

At least I can use the start of the grenadiers in Prussian coats with white small clothes as the grenadiers from IR4 which I can pair with IR16 to create the Polentz grenadier battalion that also fought in Lehwaldt's army.

ccc

Friday, June 15, 2018

Tarleton



Go

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Continentals on the March -A Daring Move?



Baron De Kalb directs traffic as his army is on the march.

I set up several "posed" pictures after I finished the Battle of Kingston, from the American Revolution, and wanted to post them on this blog. Continental troops are marching through a town that could be Kingston or another town in the South Carolina Campaign of 1780.

We are on Turn Eleven of Twelve in the campaign and the British have opened up a large differential in Victory Point over the Americans. Desperate times call for desperate measures. With Cornwallis near the Atlantic Ocean at Kingston, the British base in the interior of South Carolina at Camden might be vulnerable to a surprise attack. General De Kalb proposes to attack the Camden garrison (6SPs commanded by Lord Rawdon) with at least 6SPs of veteran Continental troops. 

Following the defeat and capture of Gates' army at Kingston, De Kalb commands the last Continental Army of any significance in South Carolina. So this is a very bold move by the American command, which cannot afford to lose a battle and a lot of men.


The veteran Maryland Brigade leads the column through one of the towns along the route.


A closer view of DeKalb directing traffic. Where are they headed to?
Continental light troops protect the wagon train.


The rear guard.

I am off to Warwickshire in the UK next week, so the Battle of Camden will have to wait to be played until I get back in the final week of June. The battle should be quite a cracker.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Fritz Grabs the Colours at Zorndorf - A Vignette



King Frederick II of Prussia, after Carl Rochling (picture shown on the book cover above)

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE


Over the past week or so I have been working on the famous Carl Rochling vignette of Frederick the Great grabbing the colours of the von Bulow Regiment (IR46) at Zorndorf. If you are an enthusiast of the Seven Years War then you are probably familiar with the painting.


The vignette stands in front of the painting as shown on the cover
of the Osprey book about the Zorndorf Campaign of 1758
The vignette created from converted Minden Miniatures




The rear view showing the "battlefield debris" of sorts.

A side view. The casualty is also a Minden figure and the drum is
one of the "master" equipment bits that is used to make new drummer figures.

Another front view showing the conversion of the fusilier NCO figure.

How I Converted the Minden Figures for the Vignette

The pictures below illustrate the figures used and the process by which I created the the two figures of Frederick and the Fusilier officer from Minden Miniatures figures for my vignette.

I started with the Prussian fusilier NCO figure and made a small cut underneath the left foot so that I could push it flat to the ground. The right foot was cut from the base and a small saw cut was made behind the knee so that I could bend the leg back a little bit. The back right foot will actually be raised off the ground more than is shown in the picture in order to create a natural walking stride.

The Prussian officer holding a sword was used for my Frederick figure because the figure is already holding a sword in the right hand, per the Rochling picture. I drilled a hole in the left hand so that the flag pole will fit in it. Ideally I would have lopped off the left arm at the elbow and made a new arm, raised a little bit higher, with greenstuff epoxy putty. I am not a figure sculptor so I had to make do pretty much with what was available.

I then filed off the lapels and gorget of the officer and used more epoxy putty to button over the lapels of the coat. I added a little bit more putty to the front skirt of the coat so that it would close more towards the center of the figure. I probably could have closed up the lower part of the coat below the waist a bit more.

Finally, a new officer's sash was built up with putty, front and back of the figure. Frederick usually wore his sash outside of his coat rather than underneath the coat.

On the left, the fusilier NCO figure and on the right, the Prussian officer with sword.

Side view of the fusilier illustrating the change in the legs and the repositioning of the head.
The officer figure has a new sash around the waist on the outside of the coat, rather than being worn inside the coat.
Eventually, the base of the fusilier figure broke off, having been weakened by the cuts to the base, so I had to make a new base for the figure. I drilled a hole into the left foot and inserted a flat head tack or nail into it as a pin. The flat head of the pin provided enough extra flat metal to allow me to build up a new base with putty. The new base was not particularly pretty, but you won't be able to see it once the figure is painted and based onto the stand.


You can see how the fusilier NCO's head has been removed and then repositioned so that it is looking to the right rather than straight ahead. Its legs have been altered so that the left leg is now on the ground, rather than raised; the opposite is true for the right leg with the foot off the ground rather than on the ground.

It All Comes Together Now
Now it's time to take a test pose to see how both of the figures fit together. The fusilier is now looking to his right at Frederick. The fusilier's base still needs to be flattened out a little so that there is more rise of the heel off of the ground. Frederick looks pretty good by now. I did a test of the flag by taking a flag that was already made up - this being a Saxon flag that Mark Allen painted for me several years ago for a Saxon Project that is waiting in the wings. 

A front view illustrating the conversion of the officer figure into Frederick holding the colours


A Word About Saxons
I should point out that Crann Tara Miniatures is about to release a range of Saxons in the Pirna era uniforms. In the event that you can't wait for the official Saxons, then the Minden Prussian infantry with the Swedish cuffs are a near perfect substitute for early Saxons, noting that their grenadiers wore a Prussian style mitre, truth be told.

At any rate, my delay in launching my Saxon army has been fortunate because now I can use the new Crann Tara Saxons, but I will still use some Minden figures, the cavalry in particular, for my Saxon army in the future.

Let's Get Back to the Vignette Story
Everything seems to fit into place and work nicely. I finished off the stand with a Minden casualty figure and added a drum for battlefield debris effect. So now it was time to paint the elements.

A side view of the Frederick conversion. A Saxon flag painted by Mark Allen
is held by Frederick, temporarily, to show how the figure will hold the Prussian flag.


The painting of the figures was relatively easy. I purposely made Frederick's eyes a little bit "bug eyed" to give him that steely resolve that Carl Rochling captured so well. Frederick is definitely starring intensely at the enemy to his front.

I have talked about the von Bulow flag in a previous post on this blog HERE which you can check out for more details. Basically, I use the Kronoskaf flags Kronoskaf as a template over which I repaint the entire flag.

So here is a picture of the finished vignette:

The finished vignette with the hand-painted flag (using a Kronoskaf image as a template). A casualty and a spare drum are placed on the stand to embellish the overall look.

How I Base My Figure Stands
The base was made using my usual basing technique. I use Red Devil Premixed Spackle compound (i.e. wallboard paste) and mix some brown acrylic paint into the one quart container, using a little bit of water to thin out the mix. Then I trowel the brown spackle onto the base and around the figures. If you accidentally get some spackle onto the figure, then take an old paint brush, dip it in water, and then brush the spackle off the figure. Spackle turns highly runny when it comes into contact with water, so it is easy to "wash it off" with water.

Next I dip the base, while the spackle is still wet, into a tub of extra fine railroad ballast that you can purchase from any model shop. Wargame products companies such as Gale Force 9 and a few others also sell small plastic jars of the ballast. I let the stand dry for about 4 to 8 hours, though it actually begins to harden within an hour. The reason for waiting is to give the spackle more time to set and to make it less subject to the effect of apply damp paint to the base.

I use Geo Hex Brown paint, dip my large brush into the pot, and then "stipple" the paint onto the base, leaving some of the original gravel color showing. Stippling is when you put paint on the brush and sort of punch it downwards onto the canvas, or in this case, the terrained base.

Next I glue on some tufts (grass and some field flowers) onto the base with white glue and let the glue dry before applying the static grass. Dab some white glue on the places where you want the static grass to be, but leave some bare patches of gravel for greater effect. It always brings a tear to my eye whenever I see someone apply the entire base with static grass - it just don't look good!

Sprinkle the static grass by hand over the base, applying extra grass, and then turn the stand upside down and give it a good shake. I also tap the back of the base with my index finger to shake off the excess static grass. Now turn the base upright - pucker up and just blow across the topside of the base so that the static grass will stand up. You will still see some of the white glue showing through the grass at this point, but let the glue dry for awhile and the white disappears.

von Bulow Regiment - Minden Miniatures
The von Bulow regiment, second battalion actually, is shown below. I just finished painting and basing the unit a couple of days ago. Frederick would be proud to lead these fellows into battle I think.

The second battalion of the von Bulow Fusilier Regiment

The full battalion of 32 figures. Minden Miniatures and Kronoskaf pattern flags.