Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Russian Project of 1806

Close up shot of the Smolensk Regiment on temporary stands. Click all pix to enlarge the view.

I did an inventory and sorting of all of the 1805 Russians that I bought from Old Glory over 15 years ago. These are the original Dave Alsop sculpts that were compatible with his limited edition French in bicorns and shakos that are no longer available. The Russians were not going to be released to the public after Dave's untimely passing since the range could not be completed. I prevailed on Russ at Old Glory to cast about 900 of the Russians for me and he agreed to do so. I believe that a couple other people in Omaha, Nebraska also piggybacked on my bulk order.

I was going to build up Russian forces to refight the Battle of Austerlitz on its 200th anniversary in 2005. The battalions would have been at 1:30 or 20 figures per battalion. I had about 40 plus battalions of Elite Miniatures Russians painted over the ensuing years and I probably could have completed the project, had not life, getting married and having a family not interceded. So I didn't do the big battle, Wargame Holiday Centre style, but that was my intent.

The whole Smolensk battalion (60 figures) in line with GMB Designs flag. Old Glory figures.

Once I caught the bug to do Napoleonics again at a 1:10 ratio with French and Prussians, it occurred to me that I still had a lot of Russian castings left over, even after having sold the entire painted collection of 28mm figures a couple of years ago. I thought that I would never paint another Napoleonic soldier in my life, but I guess that I was wrong.

It seemed like adding a couple brigades of Russians, circa 1805-07, would dovetail nicely with my French in bicorns and my 1806 Prussians. Afterall, the remnants of the Prussian army in East Prussia fought with the Russians in 1806 and 1807. Or, I could do some of the battles in the 1805 campaign and maybe add a few Austrians too. See how a little project can grow by leaps and bounds?

Elite Miniatures Russian Horse Artillery circa 1805-07.

So I did the Russian inventory and found that I had enough figures to paint 14 battalions of 60 figures, or 840 figures in total, from my existing supply of lead. I had previously painted the Pavlov Grenadiers and the Smolensk Musketeers in shakos, so two battalions were done, and Apsheron Musketeers in bicorns were half way done. So I had a good start on a Russian brigade. The inventory indicates that I will eventually have:

2 x 60 Musketeers in shakos
6 x 60 Musketeers in bicorns
2 x 60 Grenadiers in mitres
2 x 60 Grenadiers in shako with busch

All of the above will be Alsop Old Glory figures. I also use Elite command figures (officers, drummers and standard bearers) since Alsop only made one NCO figure (the fellow who is pointing his arm to lead the way).

To that I will add two battalions of jagers using Elite Miniatures. Because Old Glory did not make the artillery or cavalry, I decided to use the Elite range of figures for everything else. The pictures of the horse artillery are from the Elite range.

Elite Russian horse artillery battery has a frontage of 15 inches.

A closer view of the Elite gun crews and cannon.

The cavalry contingent will eventually include a regiment of uhlans (40-48 figures), some hussars (30-36 figures), dragoons (40 figures) and cuirassiers (48 figures) plus an assortment of Cossacks that I will recruit from my Seven Years War Russian army.

As you can see, I have a lot of painting work ahead of me and I probably will not start painting the Russians until sometime in 2010. Then, assuming a pace of 60 figures a month, we are looking at a couple of years of painting work to finish the project. That is not to say that there will not be periods where my painting production is not faster than 60 figures per month, but that is a sufficient amount to assume for planning purposes. Anything faster than that would lead to severe painter's burnout.

In the short term, I may add a battalion of Russians here or there so that I can build out the first brigade of infantry sooner rather than later. Since I only need 4 battalions per brigade, I am already half way there. And those uhlans, hmmm, Fritz likes uhlans and has been wanting to paint them for a long time. I can hardly wait. But first, I have to finish some more of the French and the Prussians.


  1. Jim, Jim, Jim . . . think, my friend . . . if you sold all of your Napoleonics, you could buy an awful lot of those wonderful Minden Miniatures and really paint up a true Hesse-Seewald army.

    *sigh* . . . I have warned you before to "beware of the 'black hole' of Napoleonics" . . . but do you listen to me?

    Of course not. You have to go and paint up some lovely units and get yourself re-infected with that awful "Nappy bug".

    Think, man. Two years of not painting tricorns . . . it is enough to make me want to hide my dice from the photos of your troops.

    Have fun.

    -- Jeff

  2. I have to say that those pink facings on the Russians look great. Very tempting.


  3. Jim-

    I have read your blog with great interest. I am a "gamer in exile" w/ two young daughters so I have had to give up gaming due to lack of time. I greatly enjoy reading your posts as it somewhat satisfies my gaming appetite while costing me little time. I too bought several hundred of the Alsop 1805 Russians and like you paired them w/ Elite command. I was able to get both Musketeer and Grenadier figs, so developed a nice size corps. Good luck with your projects and keep up the posts!

  4. Michael: you are a man after my own heart. Glad to hear that you got some Alsop Russians on the table. I had to give up wargaming for the first couple of years after my daughter was born as there were too many other things to do, but eventually, I was able to find the time to get re-engaged in the hobby. I'm glad to be able to help you stay connected in some small manner.

    Jeff: the Hesse Seewald army ain't gonna happen. If I paint all of those Mindens, they will be as the Prussians that they are supposed to be. I have another SYW project in mind for them (1:20 battalions!). Don't worry, I have a lot of SYW figures in the painting que for November and beyond, so I won't neglect that period either.

  5. I've been following the Old Glory/Alsop discussion in TMP with great interest. I, too, would enjoy picking up some of Alsop's French. Do you know how the Alsop figures match up to Front Rank's Napoleonic range wrt size and heft?

    Jon Freiag