Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Peninsular Project Gets Underway

Just a quick update to let you know that the first two companies of British infantry were primed in grey this evening and with a long 4-day weekend for me, due to the July 4th Holiday, I should be able to find time to get at least one company of 12 figures completed.

I have two GMB Designs flags in my inventory: the 83rd Regt of Foot and the 88th (Connaught Rangers) Regt of Foot. I am trying to decide which one to paint, although I think that their facing colors are the same: yellow. So I won't have to make a final decision until I actually attach the flags in a few weeks.

The Connaught Rangers are very famous and well known, but I know nothing about the 83rd Regiment. It doesn't even seem to have a unique "county" designation like most other regiments. Who are the 83rd, where was their depot, where did they recruit from?

On a related matter, I am looking for dismounted British officer figures that I can use as personalities for photo shoots and scenes in the tales of the Peninsular War. This will likely be told in the same format as Major General Pettygree's serial stories. If I'm lucky, I might even get Pettygree himself to set up the stories and tell the tales. We shall have to see how that goes.

So if you have any ideas on where to find unarmed dismounted officers and orderlies figures in the 28mm or 30mm size, then please pass that information on to me.

After talking with Bill P. about this, we will initially have a regiment of 106 red coat soldiers stationed somewhere in Spain, circa 1805 to 1809. We will use Bill's campaign attrition system for battle casualties (some die outright, some are lightly wounded and out of action for a short time, others have more serious wounds, and others are sent back to Olde Blighty to recover).

There will also be a couple of companies of Rifles and two RHA 6-pounders to complete the initial garrison in Spain. Bill is even talking about painting up a unit of British Light Dragoons. That would be really cool! These British forces will be built up at a leisurely pace so as to avoid burnout. Eventually the day will come when we have enough British to actually stage a small skirmish game. Over the next several years then, we will gradually build up our forces and add a regiment (100 figures) of Spanish allies, some guerillas, and God knows what else. (I have some Vistula Lancers that I've been itching to paint and add to my French army in the Peninsula, and maybe add a battalion of the Paris Guard in red uniforms).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BAR Napoleon (in Spain no less)

A British regiment (Elite Miniatures figures) organized into 5 centre companies, 1 colour guard, and 2 flank companies: 106 figures. Also shown at top left, 20 95th Rifles = 1 company.

The other day I was talking with Major General Pettygree (Bill P.) and complimenting him on the fine job that he has done with his British 19th Century Colonial Campaign, and to my surprise, the Major General indicated that he had an interest in fighting the Peninsula War in Spain. He further declared that he had managed to fend off the butterflies of a new project.

But damn his eyes if he didn't stir up the kernel of an idea in my own mind with regards to the Napoleonic war in Spain.

It occurred to me that we already had enough French to fight in Spain on the small grand skirmish level employed in Bill's Colonial Campaign. Between us, we have about 9 battalions of 72 figures and plenty of light cavalry for the French.

I have a bunch of Spanish buildings that Herb Gundt made for me back in 1994 that we could use for the project. Oh drat, I've said that nasty word: "project". Thus the terrain is already on hand.

The only thing that we really need are a some British and perhaps some Portuguese or Spanish allies and then we would be good to go. I recalled that I still had a stash of British infantry from Elite Miniatures that had never seen a drop of paint. So I hauled them out of storage this evening to see what I had.

Close up view of one British centre company consisting of 12 rank and file, one captain and one NCO.

As it turned out, I had enough figures to build one decent sized regiment of 106 figures, or 1,060 men at the 1:10 ratio that we use for our BAR war games. I also had a large company of 20 British riflemen plus two 6-pound Royal Horse Artillery cannon with limbers. I also have 30 Highlanders, but I'm not sure that I will use them for this project.

So as I said, Bill and I got to talking about how we could do a Pettygree-like campaign in Spain, set in 1806 - 1807, sort of, and keep things on the small side. I know, the British and French weren't fighting in Spain in 1807, but in our little world they are. So there!

I can envision the following forces for the British and allies team:

1 x British Regiment (106 figures)
4 x Rifle companies (48 figures)
2 x RHA 6-pound guns
2 x squadrons of British light cavalry (light dragoons or hussars)

I might later add another British regiment of around 48 to 60 figures, using some of the old Connoisseur Miniatures by Peter Gilder. Even though these are old figures, I like them and they still look nice when painted and collected en masse. I particularly like the marching pose/stovepipe shako/gaitors pose and this could represent a regiment that had been on campaign a bit longer than the large 106 figure regiment.

So you can see that I have quite a bit of painting ahead of me. This is going to take awhile to get a small British force on the table, but it will surely look splendid. Imagine, 106 figures and a pair of GMB Designs flags. It doesn't get any better than that.

Then we would have to start collecting various civilians, Spanish guerillas, and dismounted British officers -- the latter to use in set designs showing the officers and personalities in the officer's mess or in the camp ground, etc, so that we can advance the story line. Undoubtedly a similar search for figures will need to be done for the French team. Perry Miniatures produces a broad range of French marshals, generals and ADCs for Waterloo and I think that many of these would be suitable for some "on stage" presence done in Bill's Pettygree blog.

The whole point is to do the Peninsula War as a small game and not go overboard in the building of armies for the conflict.

I can envision having a personality figure representing one of the Exploring Officers in the Corps of Guides going on a mission behind the lines to meet up with a guerrilla leader to gain some vital intelligence. I suppose that company of Rifles would accompany him (where have we seen this before?). Other scenarios might involve a foraging expedition, or rescuing some VIP or escorting a convoy through the lines. The possibilities are endless. We could really develop an interesting story line and follow the career of this generation of Pettygrees and see what happens. It could be a lot of fun.

Game on!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Minden Hussar Horse Holders

Minden Prussian hussars in busbies painted as the Austrian Baranyai Hussars. Click the picture to activate the Enlargemetron.

I have been working on a set of Austrian hussar horseholders for one of my clients and was able to apply the first step of the basing - spackle compound dipped into fine ballast. I will let the stands dry overnight and then apply a coating of brown ink for the second step. After the ink dries, a little dry brushing with a sand or tan color, followed by the application of static grass.

The figures are actually Minden Prussian Hussars in Busbies, but since the Austrian versions are not available at this time, the client decided to use the Prussians, but painted as Austrians. There is not a whole lot of difference between the two, other than the valise on the back of the saddle, which the Austrians did not have, and the royal cypher of King Frederick, which appears on the sabretache.

I drilled out holes in the muzzle of the horses so that I could fit a piece of florists wire through to represent the horse's reins. Then the wires led back to the horse holder's hands, which were also drilled out. I think that two horses per holder works a little bit better, because it is hard to fit the wire from three different horses into the hole drilled into the horse holder's hands.

The round base will eventually become the Croat infantry command stand. I may draft the mounted hussar officer into my new unit of Austrian hussars and paint a new officer mounted on an RSM standing horse, rather than using the walking Minden horse. (For some reason this picture doesn't enlarge when you click it)

I really like the color combinations for this uniform. The sky blue breeches provide a nice contrast to the dark green dolman and pelise, with red trim. In fact I liked the finished product so much that I just ordered two squadrons (24 figures) from Minden so that I can add the Baranyai Hussars to my own Minden Austrian army.

The second picture above shows one of the round command stands that I use in my rules. All command stands are on round bases to distinguish them from cavalry stands, which are squares. As noted in the caption, I may paint another Austrian hussar commander, but this time I will put him on an RSM standing horse instead of the Minden walking horse. The standing pose might look better with the Croat foot officer that will also appear on the base. I will have to place a bead of green putty underneath the hussar officer so that he fits better on the RSM horse, but other than that, the change requires little conversion work.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Little Things In Life Mean A Lot

When something basic such as electric power, heat during the winter, and hot/cold running water are taken away from you, at once, you realize what things are the most important. Aside from family, I would rank electricity near the top of the list.

On tuesday night around 9PM, there were severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings in Hesse Seewald. The police were even driving through the neighborhoods broadcasting warnings over their loud speakers to get into the basement. We duly obeyed and made a bee line for the cellar, when suddenly the lights flickered once, then twice and then total darkness. Fritz had the presence of mind to bring several flash lights and candle sticks with him to the cellar, which was a good thing.

By 9:30PM the threat had passed, but I figured that if we did not have the power restored within a couple of hours, that we were in for a long spell of darkness. And that is what happened. Some 26 hours later, around 11pm this evening, the lights popped back on.

We had previously lit up the entire downstairs part of the house with candle sticks and a few high beam flash lights, and we lit the gas fireplace to provide additional light. It all had a quaint 18th Century feel to it, but the niceness of that was offset by the fact that it was impossible to read a book by candlelight. I can only assume that our forefathers either had ten times more candles lit in the evening, or else they did not read books after the sun went down.

My primary concern had been about the electric sump pump and the backup battery that powered it. How long would the battery last before giving out? And should the skies open up with more rain, we ran the risk of a flooded basement. The power company indicated that we would not have power restored until midnight thursday, at the earliest, and possibly as late as saturday afternoon. So I was having major sump pump fears all the while. Fortunately, our prayers were answered and we now have the electric power restored.

I am very grateful to have electricity again, and no doubt the basics of running water, sewers and central heating are now suitably appreciated.

One other little draw back to this whole episode is that my painting ground to a halt. I had just finished a beautiful sample of a Minden Austrian hussar, painted as one of the colorful Baranyay Hussars (Green dolman and pelisse, with light blue breeches). I was eager to paint a couple more of these little beauties. I will post some piccies soon, but for now, it is off to bed and a good night's sleep.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Croats Pix

Minden Croats painted as the Karlstadter Oguliner regiment. Click once or twice for the enlargement of the pix.

I have been working on another regiment of Croats to add to my own Austrian army. This is what happens when one contracts a case of Croat Fever. This will be the second of three regiments that I will have painted recently, one for myself and two painted on commission. (a red and a white coated unit, each).

As usual with all of my light infantry, I base the figures on a 30mm by 60mm base placing only three figures on each stand, so as to give the appearance of men in an irregular looking open order formation. In my rules, when you see a stand like this, then you know that the unit can not operate as a "formed" unit. (which is really bad if the unformed is charged by a formed unit).

I then terrain the heck out of the stands, building little stone walls from pebbles that I find when I walk the royal hounds, or add bits of twigs cut down to size to represent logs or tree stumps. I don't want the muskets to break off from use, so I pose the firing figures at nearly 45 degree angles so that very little of the musket extends beyond the edge of the base. I also like to have some of the muskets resting on tree branches or stumps, or even rocks, which look like boulders at this scale.

Next on the list: a Croat command stand using a Minden Austrian Hussar Officer and a dismounted Croat officer. Both appear to be pointing off in some direction (I don't know what it is that they see). They should make for a nice little vignette.

Since it was Fathers Day, I spent a lot of time with Lady Emma Cuddlestone-Smythe and simply enjoying being a Dad on a day like this. We were going to play catch in the front yard, but then one of Lady Emma's friends came along and wanted to play. Oh well, we can play catch some other time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Continental Mounted Officer Greens

American mounted brigadier officer, pointing. Sculpted by Richard Ansell.

I was very excited to see an e-mail from Richard containing the pictures of the American mounted officers that he just finished. Aren't they dandy?

American colonel riding with his sword at his side.

This completes the set of 16 Continentals that I commissioned with Richard Ansell for the Fife & Drum Miniatures range of AWI figures. I would imagine that these fine fellows could also be useful for those of you who are building "imaginations armies" as they would fit in nicely with other 18th Century figures. In fact, all of the other Fife & Drum figures would make for suitable generic 18th Century soldiers and troops.

Hopefully we can deliver the Continental greens to the caster next week and have the master moulds made. Thereafter, we can get the range into production. This should turn out to be an exciting summer for AWI enthusiasts.

I'm looking forward to painting a bunch of the new Continentals this summer. Exciting times are ahead.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sudan Game

The Dervish prepare to attack Fort Bombay, somewhere in Mafrica.

I spent a delightful day at General Pettygree's home re-enacting a little known battle in the Sudan, circa 1898. In fact, it is so obscure that I cannot remember the name of the action or the town in which it was fought.

A thrilling encounter in the Sudan -

by Edward Speake, London Times Correspondent

(Fort Bombay, Mafrica) June 11, 1898

Your correspondent began his journey in Fort Grant, deep inside Tranjipour. There, he boarded the HMS Zanzibar and joined elements of the 66th Bershires and the 78th Seaforth Highlanders in a voyage to Fort Bombay, located in the obscure continent of Mafrica.

The busy port at Fort Bombay, where your correspondent disembarked.

After many days at sea, too many to keep count of, we reached Port Suez and changed boats, taking a smaller riverboat steamer up river to Fort Bombay. We reached our destination after 4 days of travel, and I must tell you how relieved I was to see the Union Jack flying proudly over the busy port of Fort Bombay.

Aerial view of Fort Bombay. The old stone tower guards the dock area on the eastern side of the fort. The walls are seen to be in a bit of disrepair in this section, as Her Majesty's Forces had only recently occuppied the fort and immediately set to in improving the defenses. Note the forward watch tower and the sandbag redoubt to the right (manned by a regiment of Sikhs).

A certain Captain Bartlett, of Her Majesty's 11th Hussars, asked me if I would like to join him in a little scouting expedition, just beyond the heavily wooded ridge, seen to the west of the fort. The Captain explained that he had orders to find a team of archeologists who were sifting through some ancient ruins, not too far from the fort. It was certain to be a rather routine scouting trip, and I imagined that we would be back in a jiff, so I agreed to accompany the 1st Squadron of the 11th Hussars, along with a squadron of the 9th Bengal Lancers.

A certain Trooper Thornton, a rather husky sort, was assigned to protect me (or escort me, as Captain Bartlett put it) on the expedition. Seeing that Thornton had the grizzled look of a veteran, I decided that my life would be in good hands if I stayed next to him during the journey. Thornton walked me over to the stables and helped me select a suitable mount, a fine Roan by the name of Ajax. We departed within the hour and as we rode west, I looked back at Fort Bombay and dearly hoped that I would see it again before the day was out.

As I looked back, here is the view that I saw of Fort Bombay from the west.

We quickly rode past the forward outpost, consisting of wood observation tower and a row of tents that looked sufficient to to hold a company of infantry. Off to the North, I took a last look at the Sikh infantry manning one of the forward redoubts. It was with some trepidation that I watched the last vestige of civilization and safety slip out of view. We passed through a narrow defile of trees -- scouts were sent ahead of the cavalry column to make sure that we were in for safe passage. It occurred to me that Captain Bartlett knew his trade well, and that helped to ease some of the anxiety that I had about this journey.

Captain Bartlett's cavalry column approaches Sir Henry Biedecker's camp.

A couple of hours out of the fort, we arrived in a lush valley of verdant green, and there before us were some splendid Greek ruins. I had not been aware that the Greeks had colonized parts of Mafrica, but apparently they did. I noticed a tidy row of tents and was told by Captain Bartlett that this was the site of Sir Henry Biedecker's archeological expedition. It seems that he had made an important discover of some sort. What it was was very hush, hush. All that I was told was that we were to escort Sir Henry and Lady Charlotte Biedecker back to Fort Bombay, post haste.

The ancient Greek ruins of Alexandropolis.

Captain Bartlett and a couple of troopers rode ahead into Biedecker's camp. Lieutenant Faversham was left in command of the column and he he quickly fanned out the Hussars to his left, along with several troops of Lancers. The remaining troop of Lancers rode off to the right and took up position atop a small knoll, where they could keep an eye out for any trouble that might come from that direction. Sergeant Bourne was in command of this smaller detachment and as a further precaution, he sent Privates Ham and Burns off to scout some of the wadis to make certain that there were no Dervish lurking about.

"Dervish". The mere mention of the name was enough to send shivers down my spine. I knew what they were all about and didn't particularly fancy meeting up with any of them today. The only thing worse would be to stumble upon a hoard of Hadendowa, the famed Fuzzy Wuzzy.

Sergeant Bourne could tell that I was a little bit agitated and he ambled over to me and Ajax to give me some assurance that everything would be all right.

"Mister Speake, sir. Perhaps it would ease your mind a bit if you rode over there and took a look at those ruins. I don't imagine that you've seen anything like them and I doubt that we will be coming back here anytime soon."

I wasn't sure that it was a good idea to get very far from my escort, but Sergeant Bourne's confidence made me feel a little bit better. I reasoned that if a seasoned veteran such as he was not perturbed, then I had best not let on that I was shivering in my boots from fright.

"Very well Sergeant," said I, " I think that I shall ride forward and take a closer look at the ruins."

Well, no sooner had I crested the knoll upon which the ruins lay, when I looked off to the south and could see a cloud of dust spilling into the horizon. I did not like the look of that. I could see that Trooper Thornton and another fellow had been sent forward to investigate the happenings on our left. I could also see that Thornton was slapping leather and riding pell mell back to the ruins. There he reported to Captain Bartlett, snapped off a tidy salute, and came trotting towards me.

"Captain says that we should be getting back to the baggage train right now and where you will be safe." he said. "as you can see, we have some trouble brewing yonder".

This was what Trooper Thornton saw. Dervish horsemen, and they were riding towards me!

The Dervish horse close in from the left, the Fuzzies close in rapidly from the right. Sir Henry and Lady Biedecker can be seen riding down the road between the two Imperial cavalry groups. You can see me, Edward Speake, in the blue coat mounted on horse behind the left hand section of cavalry.

Things were desperate on the left, as the 11th Hussars and the Bengal Lancers were greatly outnumbered by the heathen hoard. We were fighting for our lives, with little hope of seeing the sun set today.

Sergeant Bourne led his troop of Bengal Lancers straight into the Hadendowa foot, hoping to buy time for the rest of the Imperials to escape down the valley.

Well, to make a long story short, the Dervish cavalry surged forward from our left and Lt. Faversham readied his troopers to charge them so that Captain Bartlett and I could escort the archeological party to safety. The first round of melee was an awful affair, with many a good hussar falling. At the height of the melee, the Bengal Lancers suddenly pulled back, trying to regroup for another charge. But instead, the rearward movement turned to panic and I was horror struck as I watched them ride away.

Captain Bartlett looked at me and Thornton and said, "Mr. Speake, I would advise you to ride down that road with the Biedeckers and make sure that they get back to Fort Bombay -- and do look to your own safety as well, I'm afraid that we are done for here."

With that, Bartlett put spur to his horse and yelled, "come on Thornton, let's have at them. There is nothing left to do."

Bartlett rode into the melee to meet his death with the remainder of his squadron of the 11th Hussars.

" Aw, now why would the Captain go ahead and do something daffy such as thay?" said Thornton. He spurred his horse and said to me, "get out of here Speake, save your hide while you still can!"

Believe me, I was sorely tempted to take Thornton's advise and high tail it down the road. I glanced over on the right and could see that Sergeant Bourne's troop was pitching into the Fuzzies in order to keep the valley road open for the rest of the column. But for some reason, and I can't exactly explain why, I chose to join Bartlett and Thornton. I rode like a madman towards the melee, screaming like a Banshee and trying to catch up with the Captain. I took one last look behind me and could see that a troop of hussars were escorting the Biedeckers to safety. I really longed to join them, but figured that the Fuzzies would cut me off. So I did the only sensible thing (so it seemed at the time) and rode after Bartlett.

Life can be very strange at times and sometimes it is hard to understand why things turn out the way that they do. You would think that a small troop of hussars would get cut down by the teeming mob of Dervish horse. But you would be wrong.

I drew my sword as I approached the swirling mass of horses, hacking and slashing as I cut my way towards the colours. I figured that as long as I was doomed anyway, I might as well perish with the colours. It was the darndest thing though, for suddenly the Dervish broke away and began streaming away from us.

As the dust settled, I looked around me and there were but five of us remaining in our saddles: Captain Bartlett, Ensign Phillips, Troopers Hardy and Thornton, and me. We all looked at one another in disbelief. Somehow, someway, we were still alive.

"It must have been Mr. Speake's screaming like a stuck pig that scared them off", said Thornton, with a grin.

"Whatever it was, it has given us a respite," said Bartlett, "and we had better take good advantage of it get out of here right now!"

We could not ride back down the valley to the fort. The passage was full of angry Hadendowa and they were Hell bent on going to Fort Bombay. So the way home was blocked. Neither could we ride off to the left and work our way to the southern approach to the fort. That too, was full of Dervish.

There was only one way out: going back to the ruins. We followed Captain Bartlett as he picked his way over the rocks and gained the path that led to the ruins. They were surrounded by dense thicket of trees, and we reasoned that we could seek shelter therein until the Fuzzies had moved down the valley to the fort. So that is what we did.

We reached the thicket and dismounted, then we quickly melded into the woods where no pair of eyes would find us. The battle was over for us. At least for today. I had no idea of what would happen at Fort Bombay.

The Hadendowa assemble on the plain in front of Fort Bombay and muster their forces for the attack.

A band of Dervish attack the fort from the south, in concert with the Hadendowa attack from the west.

A gritty band of defenders were determined that Fort Bombay would not fall.

Mr. Speake et al appear to be safe for now, but what of the garrison at Fort Bombay? I do not know the outcome of that fight, but pray that Britannia would prevail on this day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

AWI Continental Command - Fife & Drum

Fife & Drum Continental Command Figures (l-r) officer, standard bearer, drummer and NCO. Please click the pix to enlarge the view.

Rear view of the Continental Command figures.

Here are pictures of the last four figures in the current batch of AWI Continentals that are on the work bench of Richard Ansell. They are in marching poses to match those of the Continental rank and file figures shown a couple of days ago.

The standard bearer will require the employment of a pin vise so that you can drill holes through the hands. Richard made the Minden ensigns in the same manner and from my experience, this results in a stronger attachment of the flag pole to the figure, i.e. the flag is never going to fall out of the figures hands due to rough handling on the table top.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

AWI Continentals Greens - Fife & Drum Range

AWI Continental soldiers for a firing line. Greens by Richard Ansell

Rear view of the firing line figures. Note the different packs/blanket rolls.

It is time to show everyone a few more of the sculpts that Richard Ansell has made for the Fife & Drum range of AWI figures. The first two poses, shown above - front and rear views - are ramming a musket and standing firing. I happen to like figures that are firing their muskets because, afterall, that is what they do in battle. You could pair these up for use as individual skirmish figures or place them in the firing line of a Continental regiment. You could also fill in a few of the American Militia figures into your Continental regiment for some variety.

Next we have a pair of figures that would also look nice in the firing line. One is cocking his musket firelock and the other is standing at a ready position (he kind of looks like the Hartford Continental logo for the insurance company). I can envision these two fellows making up their own regiment, all at the ready and waiting for the British to advance within firing range.

Continental soldiers "at the ready".

Rear view of the "at the ready" figures. Note the variety of packs: blanket roll on the left and tumpline on the right. Nice!

I will post the four command figures for the Continentals tomorrow evening (officer, drummer, standard bearer and NCO). So come on back tomorrow and see the rest of the new figures. I think that these are real little beauties.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Austrian Army Organization

I have been adding more units to my Austrian Army for my Minden Miniatures Project so as to bring both sides (Austrians and Prussians) into balance. When I started this project, I painted nothing but Prussians because, well, I like the Prussians better. I also find that painting things white can get a bit boring. Hence, I am not a great fan of painting Austrians. On the other hand, you cannot have a SYW game with out some opposition.

My Austrian infantry is basically organized along facing color lines. I currently have three infantry regiments, each with two battalions of 30 figures, and each of a different facing color. For example, there is the MacGuire Regt. with red lapels, the Botta Regt. with dark blue lapels, and the Hungarian Josef Esterhazy Regt which, being Hungarian, looks completely different than anything else. Eventually, I will add a green regiment (probably Wied) and a rose/pink regiment (de Ligne) to the army. That would be five regiments with a total of ten battalions of line infantry.

Each battalion also has a stand of grenadiers. So a two-battalion regiment contributes two stands of grenadiers to the army. A converged grenadier battalion will then have four stands of grenadiers (2 from 2 different regiments). This will yield two more battalions of grenadiers plus two extra stands. I could split the two extra grenadier stands, adding them to the existing four stand grenadier battalions, thereby increasing them to five stands (or 30 figures), putting them at the same strength as a line infanatry battalion.

So that gets my Austrian army up to 12 battalions of infantry (8 line battalions and two grenadier battalions). To that I will add a couple battalions of Croat light infantry, bringing the establishment up to 14 battalions. There is one little problem with this: I like things nice and symetrical and I want each command to have 4 battalions. So I will need two more battalions to bring the total up to 16 battalions. This is a nice number that is easily divisible by 4. The solution might be to add another Hungarian regiment, maybe in blue trousers and then brigade the two grenadier battalions with the two Croat battalions.

We end up with something like this:

1st Brigade: Botta (blue) and MacGuire (red) regiments = 4 btns

2nd Brigade: Wied (green) and de Ligne (rose) regiments = 4 btns

3rd Brigade: Josef Esterhazy (red trousers) and Gyulai (blue trousers) = 4 btns

4th Brigade: Ottocaner (red) and Oguliner (blue) Croats + 2 converged grenadier btns = 4 btns

I would imagine that each brigade would have a couple of 3-pound battalion guns and a battery of field artillery consisting of one 6-pound and one 12-pound cannon.

Austrian battery attached to a brigade of infantry. The cannon are from Berlin Zinfiguren, the gun crew are Minden Austrians, and the helpers in waistcoats at the rear are the generic Pioneers that Minden makes. You can paint the Pioneers as either Prussians (straw color) or Austrians (grey brown) .

I don't have much in the way of cavalry for my Austrians. I envision a cavalry brigade consisting of two cuirassier regiments (32 figures) and one dragoon regiment (32 figures). I might also add a regiment of hussars, but these were not employed on the main battlefield by the Austrians, so I either won't have hussars or will attach them to the Croat contingent.

New Minden Austrian Senior Command Figures

There was a nice piece of timely news announced by Frank Hammond on his Minden Miniatures blog, i.e. the addition of six new Austrian generals and staff officers to the range. Click on the link below to see these wonderful works of art:
Here are a couple pictures of Prince Charles of Lorraine and some of the Austrian staff officers on foot. The vignette possibilities will be endless with these fine figures. Do click on the link above to see the rest of the new greens that Frank announced today.

Prince Charles of Lorraine - New Minden Austrian Command

Austrian Staff Officers Greens - new Minden figures

I don't have any senior Austrian command stands as of yet, primarily because I knew that these new Minden beauties were in the pipeline. The wait is well worth it.

More Golconda Stuff

Golconda Rising Miniatures - Hindu irregular warriors. Click pix to enlarge the view.

Blue Willow left a comment asking what paint colors I used for the flesh on these Hindu warriors. So rather than burying the response in the comments, I will tell you which paints I used:

Reaper Master Series (in an eye dropper bottle) tanned flesh triad, although I only used two of the colors:

09043 Tanned Shadow
09044 Tanned Skin

I found that these two colors were sufficient to give me the look that I desired. I did not use #09045 Tanned Highlights. All figures were painted over a coating of Armoury Grey Primer.

I should add that the fellow on the left was covered in Reaper Pro Paints "Shield Brown". I don't have the stock number at hand, but I understand that this series is going out of production and that all future paint selections will be in the smaller eye dropper bottle. I used Shiild Brown as my first sample and wasn't entirely pleased with the result, so I tried the Tanned Flesh triad, which I liked much more.

The archer has been moderately modified with the addition of a piece of wire to simulate the bow string. This little addition makes a world of difference in the final result, so I strongly recommend adding wire bow strings to these figures.


I am starting to give some thought about building armies for the SYW in India, using the Golconda Rising figures as the cornerstone figures for the project. Nic at Eureka Miniatures informs me that the Mysorean (on the French side) and the Bengali (on the British side) sepoys will be ready soon, so that has me thinking about the size and composition of the armies that I would field on the tabletop.

Given that I know very little about this period, I will probably use the army lists in Tod Kershner's "Age of Reason" rules, but I will double the size of the AOR units (from 16 to 32 figure for native units and from 12 to 24 or 30 figures in European infantry units). Kershner basically recommends using an infantry force with 60% native levies armed with bows, swords or matchlocks; 20% trained native sepoys and 20% European (French or British) infantry. I plan to use Minden and RSM95 figures for my British and French battalions.

At the moment, I have no idea of which figures to use for the native cavalry. I will probably just sit back and wait to see what Golconda does with cavalry. I might be able to use some of the RSM Ottoman cavalry for India.

Foundry has some nice nellies (elephants) to use for army command stands, although at $45.00 a copy, they don't come cheap. Perhaps Old Glory or some other company produces an elephant at a more affordable price. Any suggestions?

Uxbridge: "Good God Sir, I believe that you have initiated an official project"

Wellsley: "Good God, sir I believe that I have!"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Oguliner Croats

Karlstadter Oguliner regiment of Croats. Click once or twice to see them in all of their glory!

Update: I may have found a way of posting the 'adjusted pictures' to this blog. I copied the actual picture in iPhotos and placed it in a folder that already exists on the desktop. This seems to work as you can see from the above picture (adjusted) versus a similar picture, below, that is 'unadjusted' and underexposed. It's a bit clunky to do it this way, but if it works...

While we are at it, here is an adjusted picture of the Josef Esterhazy regiment of Minden Hungarians that I recently completed, save for the basing. Double click please.

Here is a picture of some of the Minden Croats that I have been working on recently. This is the Karlstadter Oguliner regiment, sporting blue coats and waist coats and red breeches. Uniform piping is in yellow and the barrel sash around the waist is red and green. They were part of the Karlstadter border region which included the Liccaner, Ottochaner, Oguliner and Szuliner regiments.

I'm still having problems with the new iPhotos software, but at least this version can be expanded by clicking once or twice on the photo. This version is a little bit underexposed, but when it is enlarged, the details of the Minden figures become clearer.

If I don't find out how to upload my adjusted photos into Blogger, I might have to resort to posting entries without pictures (worst case) or temporarily use the old iMac that we have. At least I can upload the pix from that computer, clunky though it is.

OK, I'm going to try loading the modified pictures into my blog, this time using Safari instead of Fire Fox. For some reason, this seems to make a difference. So click on the picture above and take a closer look at the Golconda figures that I painted over the weekend. I used the Osprey book about the Moghul armies as my painting guide. The two officer figures on the right appear to have been copied from this book, so I guess that the Osprey serves as a decent painting guide.

The following two pix apparently are not the modified versions with the exposure and other factors modified. I give up, I'm going to bed.


Golconda Figures & Minden SYW

I'm having problems with the iPhoto application on our new iMac. I downloaded the pictures and made adjustments to them, then sent them to the library, but now I can not find the modified pix. All I can find are the unmodified, which turned out cruddy since they are not modified. If anyone has any suggestions or advise on the new iPhotos then I'd appreciate your help.

At any rate, here are some crappy pix of the Golconda minitures that I painted over the weekend and a picture of some Minden Hungarians (too dark). It's not worth posting the other pix until I can figure out where they went on my computer. I am really sick about this, as the pictures were very nice.

By the way, I enjoyed painting the Golconda figures. My apologies for the bad piccies.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Some New Purchases From Eureka USA

Eureka 18th Century Camp Tent set - 9 pieces (click pix to enlarge)

Last Tuesday I placed an order with Eureka USA for a set of 18th Century tents, modelled in resin by Herb Gundt and based on actual dimensions of the tents used in Prussian camps. The tents are not listed on the Eureka web page, but if you ask Rob (in the USA) or Nic (at the Mother Ship in Australia), they will take care of your order.

I also purchased two sets of the Golconda Rising miniatures for Hindu troops in India. I've seen these on the Great White Zulu's "Golconda Rising" blog and had to see them for myself.

A Minden Miniatures Prussian officer (on the left) compared to two Golconda figures (centre and right). As you can see, both ranges have a comparable height, heft and body proportions.

I have provided some sample pictures of this fine range of figures and placed a Minden figure in each picture for comparative purposes. As you can see, both ranges are compatitable in size and body proportions. This is a big plus in favor of the Golconda figures, as far as I'm concerned. I strongly favor realistic looking figures and these beauties definitely fill the bill.

I can definitely see building some large armies for the SYW in India, knowing that I can augment the Golconda figures with selected French and British infantry from the RSM and Minden figure ranges.

Now I only need to find a painting guide of some sort so that I can paint the samples and post the pictures on this blog. By the way, Eureka USA sells the 8 figures as a set for now, so you get one of each with each purchase. This is not particularly handy if you intend to build up armies and need, say, 60 Hindus firing. You will want to purchase similar figures in bulk quantities rather than in sets. Rob indicated that this is a temporary arrangement until they can set things up administratively. So I would imagine that going forward, the figures will be available in some other manner that is more conducive to army building.

I am very impressed with these figures and will have to start collecting information so that I can determine how many figures will be needed to create an army, how to paint them, and how to organize them. My initial thought is a BAR India variant sometime in the future (we are probably looking at a 2012-13 timeframe here, as my 2011 schedule is full of AWI and SYW figures).

Another comparison of Golconda figures (the three on the left) with two Minden figures (on the right)


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fife & Drum Continentals

Front view of the four variants of Continental soldiers in marching poses.

Rear view of the Continentals, showing the variety of equipment (2 x tumplines on the left, 1x knapsack in the centre, and blanket roll on the right)

I have received some pictures of the new AWI Continental greens that Richard Ansell recently sculpted for my Fife & Drum Miniatures range of figures. There will be 12 new figures in all, but I thought that I would tantalize everyone with some pictures of the rank and file soldiers in the marching pose.

The other poses in this latest batch of greens include: marching officer/drummer/NCO/standard bearer; and standing firing and standing loading; and one at the ready position and a similar figure cocking his musket - barrel pointed down. All of the figures wear tricorn hats. The set will also include a standing horse and an officer and his ADC.

I will show more pictures over the next several days both here and on the Fife & Drum blog.