Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Austrian Recruits Have Arrived

Gaisruck (left) and Josef Esterhazy (right) have been based and are ready to fight. Crusader Miniatures painted by Dennis Smail. A half battalion of Minden Miniatures Prussians can be seen in the background.

The Austrian army is on a recruiting binge of late, having added the two infantry battalions shown in the picture above as well as two more squadrons of cavalry. The prospect of an imminent wargame convention does wonders towards concentrating one's mind. Since my Austrian army is woefully understrength in comparison with my Prussians, I have a lot of work ahead of me to get the Austrians close to parity with the Prussians.

Last evening I terrained the bases of the 150 figures shown above. That can be a bit of a drag doing it all at once. I keep telling myself that I won't let the basing work pile up, but I never heed my own advise and then pay for it with marathon basing and terraining sessions. It takes about one minute per figure to apply the wet spackle mixture, sprinkle on some railroad ballast and flock, and then move on to the next figure. As tedious as it can be, the end result makes it all worth the effort. Now I have to cut up 12 foam core bases to make movement trays. Arrrgghh!!!!!!

New additions to the Birkenfeld Cuirassier regiment and the De Ligne Dragoon regiment (one squadron of 12 figures each) plus general of cavalry Graf Lucchesi of Leuthen fame. Crusader figures painted by Der Alte Fritz.

I have been on an Austrian cavalry painting binge of late. The Birkenfeld Cuirassiers were completed two weeks ago (bringing the regiment up to 36 figures or 3 squadrons) and then last weekend I completed another squadron of the De Ligne Dragoons (also now at 36 figures). I really do not enjoy painting cavalry all that much, unless they are Prussians. So I trick myself by only painting a 12 figure squadron at a time. It makes the project much more palatable. Next on the painting table are a dozen Saxe Gotha horse grenadiers. These lads are dressed in colorful red coats with light blue facings and those every so cool bearskin hats. After that, I will probably paint a dozen of the Saxe Gotha dragoon company men.

And then lo and behold, a package full of Minden Miniatures Austrian infantry arrived today from the UK (thank you Frank) and I'm sure that I will want to shoehorn some of these figures into the painting que. So you can see that the Austrians are getting my full attention.

Der Alte Fritz's painting table (click picture to enlarge).

The above picture gives you an idea of what my disorganized painting table looks like these days. In the foreground on the right are a dozen Crusader SYW Austrian horse grenadiers in the process of being painted as the Saxe-Gotha Dragoons. Behind them, are some Connoisseur Sudan Black Watch that I'm dabbling with. Then we have some Front Rank SYW Austrian generals in black primer and Eureka Teddy Bear Grenadiers waiting for a coat of paint. In the back left is the growing artillery park, with some Eureka Arquebusiers de Grassin that I'm painting for a client, and then a couple of Prussian generals. Note the Foundry general placed on a Stadden horse. I'm using 2" round bases for commanders so that the command stand sticks out from all of the other cavalry figures.

I have run out of time to paint any more figures before the Seven Years War Association convention on March 28 and 29 in South Bend, Indiana. A short business trip will eat up my spare time and then it is time to start packing up the figures for the convention. The following weekend is the Little Wars convention in Lincolnshie, Illinois and Bill Protz and I will be hosting games at both shows. That should keep Der Alte Fritz too busy to invade Saxony or Silesia.


  1. Thanks for a fascinating glimpse of what must surely be one of the most productive painting desks in the wargaming world!

    The Crusader Austrians are looking great; I've been inclined to dismiss this range in the past as being too chunky, but I have to admit the effect is very pleasing.

    Steve Gill

  2. Jim
    Great to see more of the white hordes - are we far off a Grand Review upon the table?
    best wishes
    p.s what about some Reichesarmee next?

  3. They look very impressive indeed. It puts my armies to shame.

    -- Jeff

  4. Those Crusaders do look quite good! I am very pleased with the ones I have, and will probably add another battalion to pair with IR1.

    And everything else looks quite good, too!

    Ed v. H-F

  5. This may sound like a fairly basic question, but what do you mount your miniatures on to serve as bases? You mentioned how to you texture them, but I was wondering if you could share that with us.

  6. ...and as a lone voice in the wilderness (of SYW afficianados!) it's nice to see the Black Watch awaiting their turn under the brush.. :o))

  7. Jim, your painting table is almost as disorganised-looking* as my own.

    There is hope for me!

    Lots of exciting things look to be happening there.

    *There is a system to mine that only I can understand - ONLY I!