Thursday, February 24, 2011

SYW Camp Vignettes

Foundry vignette of SYW camp followers, amidst some terrain provided by Herb Gundt of H.G. Walls. Click on the pictures to enlarge the view.

Lately, I've been adding a few more vignettes to sort of "spice up" my Prussian encampment in Silesia. The picture above shows some of the Foundry camp followers on the receiving end of a lecture from the regimental chaplain, also a Foundry figure. Gertrude and Brunhilde, both wearing borrowed Prussian coats, are obviously wives of some old feldwebels and are looking on with a disapproving eye.

A close-up view of the Chaplain fighting off Temptation. Note the woman in the foreground is offering him a bite of the apple. How appropriate!

Horse holder from Minden Miniatures, RSM horses, and an assortment of officer figures from Stadden, Suren, Foundry and Front Rank.

The horse holder picture is a little fuzzy in the foreground (the horses are a little blurry, to be precise), but I wanted to post the picture anyway as it shows what you can do with a few simple steps. I used the RSM standing horses and simply cut away the reins and filed off the rest of the harnesses. Then I drilled a hole through the horses' muzzles and inserted some florists' wire to depict the new reins, which are now being held by the horseholder.

Tomorrow, I will post some pictures of the dragoon and jager mounted officers that Ioannis painted for me, and they look very nice indeed. But for now, here is sneak preview:

Minden jager battalion painted by Der Alte Fritz. Minden mounted dragoon officer painted as a mounted jager officer by Ioannis. You can also see a new jager vignette on the round base to the right of the battalion, showing a wounded jager being guarded by a Minden Prussian jager.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Minden SYW Prussian Personalities!

Frederick the Great, as sculpted by Richard Ansell, for Minden Miniatures.

Well, look at Him. There He is - der Middle Aged Fritz Himself in all of his Minden glory. Today, Frank Hammond posted pictures on his blog showing the latest greens made by the very talented Richard Ansell. Please click on the link below, which will magically take you to the Minden web site where you can see Frederick, von Zeiten, von Seydlitz, Prinz Ferdinand of Brunswick, and a wonderful vignette depicting two officers and an aide pouring over a map.

As explained on Frank's blog, Richard did not want to depict the old "der Alter Fritz" of legend and lore, for this was the persona of the King in the post war years after 1763. Frederick was still in his forties during the Seven Years War, and thus it is correct that he appear more youthful. I really like this sculpt and its depiction of Frederick. Needless to say, I will have one in command of my growing collection of Minden Prussians. I might even revive an idea from a few years ago and bring back the "Fritzy Awards" which I would hand out each year to those wargamers who have done something exceptional and out of the ordinary for the hobby. The winners would get a painted copy of this figure, attached to a pedestal or plinth.

I have lots of other ideas percolating in my mind so that I can put all the rest of the Prussian generals to good use. I look forward to the eventual release of these fine figures in the future.

Today was a very, very good day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Austrian Dragoons - RSM Figures

Four squadrons of RSM Austrian dragoons based for BAR rules. The red coated Sachsen Gotha Dragoons (left) and the green coated De Ligne Dragoons (right) make for an imposing sight. Painted by Der Alte Fritz. (click or double click all pictures to enlarge the view)

I recently completed a commission to paint some RSM Austrian Dragoons for the Seven Years War and you can see the finished results in the pictures that I have posted today. The client asked me to paint two squadrons of the red-coated Sachsen Gotha Dragoons and two squadrons of the green-coated De Ligne Dragoons. The figures are individually based on a 1" by 2" metal base (coated with primer to prevent rust) and divided into squadrons of 12 figures for the Batailles de l'Ancien Regime ("BAR") rules developed by Bill Protz.

I am particularly fond of the green coated De Ligne Dragoons, who are notable for their performance at the battle of Kolin in 1757. The Prussian van guard attack was breaking through Krechor village and threatening to envelope the Austrian right flank. Marshall Leopold Daun looked for some reserve to help stem the tide and the only available troops were the De Ligne Dragoons.

"Why those lads have no moustaches" exclaimed Daun, "can they fight?" (indicating their relative youth and inexperience in warfare)

"They may not have moustaches", replied their inhaber, "but they will certainly take a bite out of the Prussians."

Daun concurred that they must attack, and the De Ligne Dragoons launched a furious attack the broke the Prussian advance and helped win the battle for the Austrians.

A closer view of the De Ligne Dragoons.

The Sachsen Gotha Dragoons

I will have some openings in my painting schedule for new commissions after the SYWA Convention on March 25 and 26. If you are interested in SYW era figures like these, the price for commissioned painting is $10.00 per mounted figure and $6.00 per foot or cannon. Prices do not include the cost of the metal figures or postage and insurance.

If you have any inquiries, then drop me an e-mail at: and I will get in touch with you shortly.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of my complete Minden Austrian Grenadier battalions (30 figures each).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Austrian Update

Minden Austrian grenadiers, converged into two battalions of 24 figures. Since this picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, I managed to increase each grenadier battalion to 30 figures. Click/double-click to enlarge the view please.

This evening I finished off a squadron of RSM Austrian dragoons for a painting commission that I was working on (I will post some pictures tomorrow) and I will get them dull coated tomorrow after the spackle compound on the bases dries overnight. With 48 dragoons behind me, I can revert to painting some needed things for my convention game at this year's SYW Association Convention on March 25 and 26 at South Bend, Indiana.

I have about five or six weeks to sprint to the finish line and complete the Austrian infantry and artillery, plus augment my Minden Prussian dragoons by another dozen figures. I also have to paint one 30-figure Jacobite battalion using Front Rank figures as I plan to run a Jacobite game on Friday and then a Minden Austrian-Prussian game as my showcase event on Saturday afternoon.

If I'm really cranking out the production, I might even paint a regiment of the dismounted Prussian hussars that I have on order from Minden, so as to have a second quasi-light infantry unit to use in my convention game. Or not...

Let's see, what else is on my list? I will have to find the time to make some hill and ridge modules from pink insulation foam so that I can break up the flat, parade ground appearance of my battlefield for the tabletop game. I will be using terrain boards that I made from 2-foot square ceiling tiles a couple of years ago. The hill and ridge modules are then placed on top of the boards. If you look through some of the recent pictures on this blog, you can see the terrain boards, etc. It all seems to be coming together quite nicely, but will I have enough time?

Fife & Drum Update
A quick note on the Fife & Drum AWI figures: the caster is working on the production molds and indicates that we ought to start spinning lead by the end of this month, if all goes well and we don't get any more blizzards. I will running a dealer booth at the SYWA convention and have the figures for sale there. We will also have a booth at the Little Wars convention in April.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard of 2011

Schloss Seewald looks very picturesque in its winter coating of snow. Note the damaged Royal Mailbox that the local street plows destroyed. The snow drift in the center is about 36 inches deep (looks like a slight ridge).

I walked the dogs this morning and tested a couple of areas for snow depth, finding that in the undrifted areas that the snow comes up to my knees. That is about 22 inches of snow. Some of the drifts are at least 3 feet high as you can see from the picture of the lawn furniture on our patio:

The back patio furniture - the table height is about 3ft off the ground, so this gives you an idea of how deep the snow drifts are.

One of our royal hounds - Dave - is enjoying his winter walk.

The pile of snow across the street that was created by the snow plow plowing out the driveway of my neighbor.

It is now about 11 AM and the sun is out and the lake effect snow has stopped, for now. The winds have died down from their 30-40mph speed of last night. Thankfully, we have a full stock of food and firewood and electric power. (knock on wood, or touch wood, as the British would say).

Well, I'm going to take advantage of my time off and paint some RSM Austrian dragoons (de Ligne, in green coats) that I have in my que for commission work.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eighteen Squadrons of Death

Bill Protz & Chuck LaPine ("Lucky Chucky") take inventory of 18 squadrons of Prussian heavy cavalry that were positioned to break the apex of the Russian salient in the Great Redoubt at Protzberg. (click photos to enlarge).

This past weekend a group of ten descended on the delightfully-named town of Brown Deer, Wisconsin, home of our host, Bill Protz (he being the lucky owner of a 6ft by 24ft wargame table) to play our annual Winter Terrain Game.

This year's winter game featured the Prussian army attacking an allied army of Austrians, Russians and Saxons somewhere in Silesia, during the winter of 1761, near Breslau. The terrain featured a great redoubt that was eerily similar to that of Borodino. We had a roll of the dice to determine which team would get first choice of terrain. I rolled a couple of 'sixes' and won the roll-off. Now there is one thing about redoubts and the salients that they form that I can tell you about: I love to attack them, and I hate to defend them. So I conceded the defensive position to the Russians and our Prussian team headed upstairs to plan our attack while the allies deployed their troops.

You can read Bill's excellent after action report on our "Campaigns in Germania" blog at:
The table was divided into three zones (left, center and right) and I shall not bore you with too many details of the action on the flanks, as Bill's report does an excellent job of reporting the events that unfolded there. In my mind, the center was the most important part of the battle, so I will post a few pictures of what happened there.

You can barely detect the faint outline of the redoubt in the center. Its boundaries are etched by the positioning of the Russian infantry in this sector, forming a triangle deployment with a battery of guns at the apex of the triangle.

As commander of the Prussian army, my plan was fairly straight forward: hit the redoubt with overwhelming force at its apex. With that in mind, I had Bill (Prussian cavalry commander) deploy all of his heavy cavalry in the center. A battery of three 12-pound Brummers would pound away at the tip of the redoubt while two brigades of infantry (Derek on the right and Chuck on the left) would attack the sides of the redoubt. With the infantry weakened by firepower, the cavalry would then roll foreward and deliver the coup de grace to the Russian army.

Elements of Derek's Prussian righthand brigade were whittled down by the Russian lead as they crested the Great Redoubt. There were 3 more battalions plus two guard grenadier battalions from our reserve approaching from behind Derek's front line troops.

Meanwhile, Chuck's lefthand Prussian brigade hit the left side of the redoubt and plowed into the flank of the Russian artillery battery, causing them to rout. The Prussian grenadiers continued on into the flank of some Russian infantry, who refused to let an attack in their flank dislodge them from the redoubt. Chuck's attack had the unintended consequence of blocking the field of fire of my three Brummers, which I had moved forward and deployed atop the great redoubt. I had to wait three turns for the infantry melee to conclude before I could finally open up with some cannister at point blank range.

Oops! A regiment of the Saxon Von Bruhl Dragoons seemingly appeared out of nowhere and surged into the flank of one of Derek's grenadier battalions, which was attacking the righthand face of the redoubt. The grenadiers, in rather spectacular fashion (or else out-of-this-world dice rolling), fended off the Saxon cavalry, with a little help from the Zieten Hussars (see below).

The Prussian von Zieten Hussars were moving up on Derek's right flank, to protect it from counter-attack. And while they failed to stop the initial charge of the von Bruhl Saxons, they were perfectly positioned to hit the von Bruhl's in their flank, thus helping to run them off the field. Zieten himself led the charge and pursued the Saxons onto the back table. Von Zieten fell victim to his impetuosity, later being captured by the Austrian cavalry.

Derek then brought up the Prussian Garde Grenadier battalion (IR6) - Suren figures, by the way, to breach the righthand face of the great redoubt.

Von Seydlitz then unleashed his 18 squadrons of death upon the Russian battalions that were still holed up in the great redoubt. Here you see the Prussian Gensdarmes (CR10) hacking away at some stalwart Russians, who seemingly held on to the very last man, in true Russian fashion (some nifty morale checks by Russian commander John Beck).

Another squadron of Gensdarmes crested the redoubt.

It's checkmate for the Russians as Seydlitz's cavalry surges over the redoubt and mops up depleted Russian infantry units on the lefthand side of the redoubt. Meanwhile, the Prussian infantry has secured a lodgement inside the redoubt with more reseves coming forward.