Sunday, July 31, 2011

Minden Hussar Horseholders

Minden Austrian Dismounted Hussars - Regt. Baranyay. This is one of my favorite hussar uniforms EVER. I like the dark green and the offsetting light blue breeches and the red piping on the dolman and pelise.

Here are a couple of pictures of the Minden Prussian Hussars horseholders and dismounted hussars in busbies. They are, however, painted as hussars in the Austrian regiment Baranyay. There are some minor differences in the Prussian and Austrian hussars, primarily in the horse furniture. The Austrians did not use the shabraque with the "Van Dyking" serrated edging, using instead, an even line of gold or yellow on the border. The other difference lies in the sabretache, which has the Prussian moniker "FR" for Frederick Rex. I just painted over the details on the sabertache.

Another view from the side. Look closely at the wire used for the reins leading to the hand of the horseholder.

These fellows will be on their way to the Duchy of Bierstein tomorrow, so I thought that I had better get them photographed and posted on the blog before they were packed away in shipping boxes. My own dismounted hussars (in mirlitons rather than busbies) are far down the list of things to paint, so it will be awhile before they see the light of day.

I used forists wire for the reins leading from the horse to the hand of the horseholder. For this commission, the hussar has to hold three sets of reins, which turns out to be a rather tight fit in the individual hussar's hands, but I managed to make it work. I had to drill a hole through the muzzle of each horse so that I could pass the wire through the hole and run it back to the horseholder. That was a little bit fiddly at first, but I managed to pull off the job in the end. I would recommend using an Exacto knife to make your own dimple in the side of the horse's muzzle and use this as a guide for your drill bit. In this manner, the drill bit won't slip and make a bad hole (thus rendering the horse unusable) and you will be able to drill a clean hole.

I am beginning two weeks of vacation tomorrow and look forward to having some additional time to paint figures. I am currently working on a batch of 16 of the 5/60th Rifles for my Peninsular Project. I like the Elite figures, but after awhile, I yearn to work on the more realistic looking Minden figures. Accordingly, I plan to prime some Minden Austrian Dragoons tonight so that I have some Minden figures to paint.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Battle of Waldeck - Part Two

British Guards and Keith's Highlanders (both Suren figures) keep the French entertained on the allied right flank. They are backed up by two squadrons of Household Cavalry (Staddens) on the left and Hanoverian Dragoons (Front Rank) on the right. Click all pix once or twice to enhance your viewing pleasure.

Here are the remainder of the pictures that I took a couple of weeks ago at the Battle of Waldeck. My memory of the events is beginning to fade, so I will just post the pix with captions and let the captions tell the story.

In the center, the 3rd Dragoon Guards (RSM figures) protect the Hessian battery of 12-pounders (Foundry crew and Elite French 12-pounders)

Royal Welsh Fusiliers advance up the sunken road after chasing off the French Auvergne regiment. Elite Miniatures painted by Leonard Albright. He did a nice job on the flags too! This unit is proof that you can play the BAR rules with 30 figure regiments, such as this one.

The French Carabiniers (Elite Miniatures) arrive on the field. Les Gardes Francaises (Surens) form a second line on a handy ridge where the retreating French infantry can rally. Lanciers de Saxe (Surens) are skirmishing in the foreground.

Les Carabiniers manuever to the front of the French line. They were eventually well positioned to charge into the flank of one of the British battalions in the top right corner. They also took out the Allied 12-pounder battery, before the remnants retired back to their own lines, with many battle trophies.

Lord Granby gives the order for a general advance of the British army as the French fall back to the second ridge, anchored by Les Gardes Francaises. The 44th Foot (Surens) are in the foreground flanked by Hanoverian dragoons (Front Rank)

A pair of pictures showing the retirement of the Carabiniers. The Irish Regiment Bulkeley (Capitulations Figures) is seen in the foreground in their colorful red coats.

A rather interesting decision had to be made by the British commander (me) near the end of the game. Through some skillful maneuvering, the French Carbiniers had positioned themselves to charge into the flank of a British battalion on the ensuing turn. It would all come down to who drew the first initiative turn. I had a joker on hand so I could use it to trump any initiative card that the French might draw first, thus allowing the British battalion to turn its facing and fend off the inevitable cavalry charge.

However, it was a little more complicated then that. For on the prior turn, the British badly needed the first fire initiative card so that it could blow away the opposing French battle line My colleague commanding the threatened British battalion wanted me to save the joker in case it was needed to trump the French initiative on the next turn. But I felt that it was more important to use the joker trump card on the prior turn during the musketry phase. There had been a nice run of French cards from the card deck, so the odds were in favor of the first initiative card on the next turn being a red British card.

I weighed my choices: use first fire this turn and hope that the odds favor the British getting the first initiative on the next turn (thereby preventing the French from charging their horses into the flank of one British battalion; of two, cede the first fire on the current turn to the French and guarantee that the British would have the first initiative on the next turn, thus stopping the cavalry charge.

I chose to opt for the first fire on the current turn and take my chances on the initiative card draw. So I used the joker card to fire first -- a French battalion broke and ran while the other battalion was much reduced in strenght. So far so good. We all waiting for the first initiative card on the next turn. Would it be a black card (French ) or a red card (British)?

It was a black card!

The Carabiniers commenced their trot towards the flank of the first British battalion. I figured, oh well, we will probably lose the battalion but there is a chance that it wins the melee. But then Bill Protz did something that I was not expecting -- he peeled off a squadron of Carabiniers to charge into the Allied 12-pound battery. I was not expecting this move by Perfidious France. The battery was wiped out by the charge. So I would have lost it no matter who had the first initiative on the turn because I did not see this one coming.

The British battalion was struck in the flank. A second battalion to its right had time to change its facing towards the Carabiniers and avoid a similar fate. We then played out the melee, and darn it but the British nearly won the melee, losing by one casualty (the French did not roll very good dice during the melee, making a British win possible). They routed and the Carabiniers elected not to pursue into the teeth of the British battle line. Instead, they turned around and returned to their lines.

Who says that you need special rules to create a fog of war in the wargame? This goes to show that the individual players in the game create plenty of fog of war on their own, without the aid of restrictive special FoW rules. I had to make a decision with respect to the use of my trump card. Either way, the British would win a little and lose a little. So I elected the certainty of firing first on the current turn and waited for chance or Fate to determine what would happen on the ensuing turn. In none of my calculations did the possibility of losing all of our artillery come into play. It was not a possibility that I could envision, but there it was staring us all in the face and all of the four British players missed it.

It was a fun game with lots of to and fro, give and take, and unexpected turns of events. In a word, we had a blast.

So the French infantry began to tumble back to the last ridge line that was bulworked by the reserve of Les Gardes Francaises. The French rallied all of their infantry onto this position and presented a formidable defensive line. The British were not about to launch and assault on this ridge, not without their artillery, which was all gone by now. It was the concensus though that the British had won the battle, having pushed the French army back in the center and on both flanks. Huzzah, a redcoat victory at last!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Minden Fritz Painted

Minden Fritz on his Mollwitz Grey (center) with the Duke of Brunswick (blue sash) and his ADC standing on the windmill platform to get a better look of the goings on. RSM officers flank Fritz on the left (Schwerin) and the right (Winterfeldt). Windmill and terrain pieces by Herb Gundt. Please click to enlarge.

I am rather surprised that I did not drop everything and paint all of the new Minden SYW Austrian and Prussian personalities and staff immediately. However, sometimes life throws other obstacles in the way and so I did not tuck into these little gems until a couple of days ago.

So here are the first three figures in the Prussian set that I have painted. I have not had time to put them on bases and terrain said bases, but the pictures give you a fairly good idea of how they look and how well they match the RSM figures in size and proportion.

A close-up view of Ferdinand of Brunswick (left), Frederick II (center) and an Aide de Camp (right). Click pix to enlarge.

I would imagine that the Prince Ferdinand figure on foot would be a useful figure for those of you who need a king or herzog for you fictional 18th Century countries.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Battle of Waldeck

The British center at the start of the game. Click or double click all pix for amazingly larger view of the battle. Infantry include (l-r) 44th Foot (Suren) and the 8th Foot (Stadden) with Front Rank Hanoverian horse protecting their advance.

Last weekend we assembled at Chez Protz in Brown Deer, Wisconsin to have another go with our British and French SYW armies. The British had a rather long losing streak (maybe 4 in a row) in our BAR campaign that they hoped to end. We had players traveling from Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin and had a grand old time playing on Bill's expansive wargame tables (6ft by 24ft with two parallel side tables of the same length, but only 2.5 feet wide).

I had the honor of commanding the left flank of His Britannic Majesty's Army in Western Germany, while my colleague Derek commanded the main attack in the center. The father-son team of Todd and Andy, respectively, commanded the cavalry and the right wing.

The premise of the game was that the French army of Lt. General Chevert was on the move hoping to drive the Allies back into their base at Minden. The French had just crossed the Diemel River, near the town of Waldeck, in Westphalia, and they were rather spread out across the length of the table. Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, commander of the Allied army, saw an opportunity to smite the French as they crossed the Diemel and send them tumbling back to Frankfurt.

The British left, commanded by Der Alte Fritz in his alter-role as the Erbprinz. Keith's Highlanders (Suren figures) in the forground lead the attack supported by the 11th (Sowles) Foot (Staddens), British Guards (Suren), two troops of Life Guards horse (Staddens) with a half regiment of the 23rd (Huske's) Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Elite Miniatures). British artillery pieces are from Elite and are manned by Suren and Stadden artillery crew.

British right flank. Perry jagers lead the way, supported by some converged British grenadiers of various makes.

The advance guard of the French advance down the Sunken Road, rather haphazzardly, and place themselves in great danger.

French right wing, lead by Eureka Grassins and supported by Capitulations d'Eu Regt (in white) and the Bulkeley Regt (in red).

The British left advances towards the Arquebusiers de Grassin. The Life Guards position themselves for a glorious charge up the Sunken Road to put the French Auvergne regiment to the sword.

The British center shakes out into a symetrical battle order while the battery of Hessian 12-pounders takes up position on the high ground. Hanoverian cavalry cover the advance of the Hessian artillery. It will drop trail and start firing on the Auvergne Regiment in the Sunken Road. Auvergne is about to get hit from the front and the flank at the same time.

The Hessian artillery prepares to fire, while the 44th Foot move in on the Sunken Road.

That is about half of the pictures that I took of the game. I will post the other half later in the week so that you can see how the battle turned out.

I will give you a hint: the British army finally won a wargame!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

83rd Foot Receives Its Flags

Some lovely GMB Designs standards now grace the 83rd Foot. Lt. Colonel Collins and Major Carr supervise the turnout of the regiment. All figures are from Elite Miniatures. Click once or twice to enlarge the view.

I really got a lot of things done over the weekend: I completed both flank companies of the 83rd Regiment of Foot and now have six companies or 72 figures. I also participated in a SYW battle between the British and the French (somewhere in Western Germany). The grenadier company had been started earlier in the week and I was able to finish them off Friday evening. Then, after a day's gaming in Brown Deer, WI , I returned home and applied the first base coat of "Blood Red" Reaper paint to the light company. Somehow, I managed to find the time to finish the light company by Sunday evening.

You can see the whole regiment (6 companies of 12 = 72 figures + 2 standard bearers and three mounted officers):

Double click this picture to see all six companies on the parade ground. Buildings and large tree were made by Herb Gundt. Pico railroad back drop. Elite Miniatures figures.

The six companies take up a frontage of 30-inches and I will be adding one more center company (I currently have 4 center companies and 2 flank companies) to make it 5 center companies and 2 flank companies, for a total of 7 companies, or 84 figures. There will also be a 6-figure stand for the colour guard (2 ensigns, 3 drummers, and the RSM). The next company will be the last one in the 83rd Foot, which will be complete, save for a couple mounted officers. This is starting to look awesome!

Battle of Waldeck - SYW
I will post the pictures of the SYW game that we played over the weekend, tentatively called "The Battle of Waldeck", tomorrow night. I am pleased to announce that for the very first time in all of our BAR battles, the British finally won a battle. Huzzah! They also captured the standard of the Saxon Lieb Curassiers to make the victory that much sweeter.

The French army was moving across the Diemel River and the advance guard got a little too far ahead of the rest of the army. Ferdinand of Brunswick saw that the opportunity was ripe for a counter-attack and so he dispatched Lord Granby and his contingent of British infantry and cavalry to hurl the French back into the Diemel.

Minden Miniatures Frederick Arrives
Another bit of good news was that my order of Minden Austrian and Prussian senior officers arrived on Saturday. I will be priming some of the figures tomorrow night so that I can paint them this week. The figures look even better than the pictures that I have seen of these figures and I can't wait to paint them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekend Preview - SYW Game

Battle of Fontenoy - previously fought in 2010. (click to enlarge)

What with all of this Bones Apart nonsense of late, you might understandably wonder if Old Fritz was going to have anything to with the Seven Years War for awhile. Well, you would be wrong because I am travelling to Brown Deer tomorrow with my Red Coats to take on Monsieur Chevert's French across the table top. We have several of our colleagues from Minneapolis driving the 400+ miles to the Milwaukee area to game with us, so we want to make sure that we put on a spectacle that is worthy of the journey.

This will be a smaller game than we normally play, with about 8 battalions and 8 to 10 squadrons of cavalry. The original plan was for me to bring my Prussian army, but then it occured to me that my smaller British army would fit the requirements of the game quite nicely. I don't get to game with my SYW British army that often, so this is kind of a treat for me.

I will post pictures over the weekend. The British have not won a battle yet, so perhaps our luck will take a turn for the better. It might also spur me to paint up some more SYW British in the future. A good shellacking of your army provides plenty of incentive to make it stronger the next time.

Over the hills and far away, to Flanders, Portugal and Spain, King George commands and we'll obey, over the hills and far away...

Napoleonics Update

My flags for the 83rd Regiment arrived from GMB Designs today and I am really looking forward to gluing them onto the flag staffs and taking some pictures. The flags are really very sharp, and they look nifty too.

Mrs. Fritz is going out this evening so I get to stay home and do some painting, after I pack my SYW gear into the car. The grenadier company is about half way done and hopefully I can complete it over the weekend. It will be hard to put in much painting time given that I'm spending the whole day Saturday having fun while Mrs. Fritz... Hmm, maybe I had better nix the painting, or at least not do very much.

Per some comments left by Rob and others, I've decided that the 5/60th Rifles will be used for my two companies of rifles in my Peninsula establishment. That sounds like a good idea to me. Also, I am searching for a new colonel's name as the Colonel Fitch that I mention had the misfortune of dying in Jamaica in the mid 1790s. More likely, a Lt. Colonel would have been commanding anyway.

There was also a discussion on TMP today about the use of the British light companies during a battle. The upshot is that they were not generally positioned on the firing line with the rest of the battalion once the shooting began. So this has me thinking that I can have 5 centre companies and 1 grenadier company on the firing line (divided into grand divisions of two companies each), resulting in 3 grand divisions (and a shorter linear frontage, sans the light company). So my battle line will have 6 companies or 72 figures with a frontage of 36 figures or about 24 inches of frontage in line formation, if I have done my math correctly. That seems to be more manageable in terms of the amount of space that it takes up.

Check back in on Sunday for some pictures of the weekend's activities.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Recruiting Continues for the 83rd Regiment

No pictures to post this late evening, but I promise to follow up with some within the next day or two so that you can view the progress that I've made on the 83rd (Dublin) Regiment of Foot. As of this evening, I had completed four companies of 12 infantry plus two ensigns and 2 grenadiers, for a total of 52 foot. So I'm halfway there to the eventual goal of 102 figures. I have also painted Colonel Fitch and Major Banastre Lee-Mallory.

My order of reinforcements from Elite Miniatures arrived in record time: 3 days! A tip of the cap goes out to Peter Morbey for his excellent service. I wasn't planning on seeing the box for at least another 5 to 7 days. I immediately opened the parcel and sorted the various figures into their eventual units: Royal Horse Artillery equipment and crew, regimental officers and brigade officers, and some light infantry company figures for the 83rd.

I cleaned up Colonel Fitch and RHA Captain Hew Grant and gave them a coating of grey primer last evening so that I could paint them today. I only had time to work on Colonel Fitch, but managed to complete the painting of the mounted officer. This was due primarily to the need to finish the fourth center company today and to get a start on the grenadier company, which now has the primary colors blocked in. Once the tedious block painting is done, then the real fun starts as I begin to add the details and start shading and highlighting the uniform colors. At this point, the painting really begins to pick up speed and I can see the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel" with the 12 figure company.

Forty eight figures in a two deep line looks rather impressive (and long). This has caused me to reconsider the size of the regiment. I may reduce it from 102 to approximately 80 figures. That would work out to 5 centre companies (60 figures total) and 2 flank companies (24 total), or 84 figures plus 4-6 figures in the color guard. Hmm, 90 figures is not that much of a space savings afterall. So maybe I will only have 4 centre companies (completed as of today) plus 2 flan companies for a total of 72 figures plus the color guard. I can always add more companies later.

I've been giving some thought to the names of the officers in the regiment and have decided that each company captain must have a name, along with names for the senior officers and staff.

Regimental Colonel - Colonel Fitch
Major = Major Banastre Lee-Mallory

Regimental Sgt.-Maj. - Sargeant Major Padraic Quincannon
Regimental Chaplain - Barry Fitzgerald (he could also be a company captain)

Company A - Captain Patrick Fitzgerald
Company B - Captain Konrad Kinch
Company C - Captain Christoper Duffy
Company D - Captain Sean Thornton
Company E - Captain (to be named later if I paint a fifth centre company)

Grenadier Company - Captain Trevor Howard
Light Company - Captain O'Toole

I am sure that some or all of these names are familiar to all of my blog readers and followers, in some fashion.

Did British regiments have two majors? Then if so, I would also add a Major Dundee to the cast.

At my current painting pace I should have the regiment close to completion by the end of this month, July 2011. The grenadier company is currently on the painting table, with the light company to follow. For the latter company, I selected figures that are more active than the advancing pose used in the other companies. So the light company will have figures firing and loading and also have their own mounted officer.

The two companies of 95th Rifles and 3 sections of RHA will follow the completion of the 83rd, sometime in August.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Spanish Buildings by HG Walls

The 83rd (Dublin) Regiment forms up for inspection in a remote town in Spain. Click pix to enlarge.

83rd Regt. (Elite Miniatures) and HG Walls bespoke buildings. Click pix to enlarge.

I finished the third company of the 83rd Regiment last evening, along with two standard bearers (who are awaiting their new GMB Designs flags, recently ordered) and thought that I would show them off in front of some of the Herb Gundt buildings that were made circa 1992-94. I haven't decided yet on how to finish the bases, verdant green or dusty/arid style?

I have one more centre company in primer that I will start on today, which would give me four companies of 12-figures, or 48 figures plus two ensigns and a mounted officer. I would have two more centre companies and two flank companies to add after that in order to complete the regiment. Hmm, I just might have most of this done by the end of July at this pace.

Aerial view of the Spanish town, showing 9 buildings made by Herb Gundt and one Battlements resin building (top right corner) from Ian Weekley. Click pix to enlarge.

The photo above gives you an idea of what I have in my Spanish Peninsula collection of buildings. These were all made for me by Herb Gundt in , I'm guessing, about 1992-94. They have been in storage since at least 1995 and had not seen the light of day until a couple of days ago. Even though I had sold my Peninsular War Napoleonics back in 2007, I had an inkling that I would regret it if I sold these buildings too. It turns out that I was right.

None of the roofs are lift-off-able, but that is OK for our wargaming purposes. They are also sized more for the older true 25mm figures that were on the market in the late 1980s and early 1990s, before "28mm" became the standard. So they are a little smaller than some of Herb's current works, but again, that is OK with me. It is just that if I have Herb make more buildings, I should probably give him one of these buildings to use in gauging the size of any new buildings, so that they are all compatible. I have in mind adding a cantina and a windmill in the future.

Close up view of one of the narrow streets in the village.

Closer view of the town church. (This picture does not enlarge for some reason).

The current collection also includes a lot of individual wall and gate sections that I can use to make a wide variety of enclosures around the various houses. I can probably make 2 to 4 smaller villages out of this lot, which should suit most of our wargaming needs in the future.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More Recruits for the 83rd Foot

I completed the first two companies of 12 figures last weekend and have a decent start on the third company and the colour party. So I should have about 40 figures completed by the end of this weekend.

Now that I have a few figures done, I am starting to think about how the regiment should be organized. The initial plan is to have 6 centre companies of 12 figures (72 in total) plus a 8 figure colour party (two ensigns, two colour sergeants and four drummers) for a centre company total of 80 figures. Then there would be two flank companies, comprising the grenadier and light companies with 12 figures each, for a grand total of 104 figures in the regiment.

Now that is a lot of figures by any reckoning, especially given that we are using a 1:10 figure to man ratio. That means that I will initially have a full strength regiment with 1,040 effectives, which is far more men than any regiment would have had in the Peninsula. The idea is that there will be an attrition of the regiment over the course of the campaign through casualties, sickness, desertion, etc. (see our Campaign Attrition post for the details). My sense though is that a British regiment in Spain would probably have no more than 600 men, or 60 figures, at any time. If I wanted to employ the actual 10 company organization, then that might translate into 6 figure companies (6 x 10 = 60 figures) plus maybe 4-6 figures in the colour party, just for show.

Using 60+ figures might be a better option for several reasons: (1) it means fewer figures to paint, and (2) the need to deploy the regiment in two ranks, instead of three, means that the regiment's frontage will be huge no matter how many figures are eventually used.

On the other hand, the advantage of starting with 104 figures include (1) it would look really, really cool! , (2) it is the number of lead castings that I actually have on hand, and (3) the regiment will inevitably reduce to a more manageable size through attrition.

Let's look at the frontage issue. I am basing the figures on 3/4" metal stands and attaching them to magnetized movement trays made from MDF and magnetic sheet. For a 12 figure company in two ranks, the 6 figure frontage would be at least 4.5" (the actual base is closer to 4.75"). Thus the six centre companies that I had originally planned on painting would occupy a space of at least 27". Add in the two flank companies and the total frontage expands to 36", or one foot, in length. Now we have a 20 foot long table at General Pettygree's house, but still, a yard's worth of frontage takes up a lot of space. In contrast, a French battalion of 72 figures in three ranks only takes up 18" of frontage when deployed into line.

Let's suppose that I reduce the regiment to 10 companies of 8 figures, or 80 figures. I have enough castings on hand to create all 10 companies at a smaller size. The company stand would thus have a frontage of 4 figures or 3" in width. Thus 10 companies in line occupy a space of 30", which appears to be a more manageable figure. Also, 80 figures is closer to the theoretical strength of a brand spanking new regiment, but still a bit large.

If I went for the 60 figure regiment at the start, using 6 figures per company over 10 companies, would produce a regimental frontage of at least 22.5". Let's round that up to 24" for argument's sake. Thus the options are as follows:

104 figures = 36"
80 figures = 30"
60 figures = 24"

I'm thinking that the third option is probably the most playable and it would still look good. However, I think that I will keep painting the figures as if I were sticking with the first option. Given that the magnetic movement tray system gives me the flexibility to change the organization to any size, simply by changing the size of the movement tray, it probably makes sense to paint the maximum number of figures and then sort it out later. Also, there is nothing to say that we have to use all of the figures in a particular game. Maybe the scenario calls for a couple of companies of the 83rd going on a mission with a company or two of 95th Rifles, while the rest of the regiment remains at the barracks.

Terrain Items

Later today I will post some pictures of the Herb Gundt buildings that he made for me in the early 1990s. They look pretty nifty. I have 8 Gundt buildings plus one larger church and cemetary that he made, plus one Ian Weekley resin Spanish building that I painted. Herb also made a lot of wall sections, so I can make any number of enclosures around each building for added flexibility.

Closing in on 300,000 visitors

I would expect that we will hit the 300,000 milestone at some point today. As of last night we were within about 200 clicks of reaching that level. Wow, that is really impressive and I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit my potpouri of ideas, thoughts and pictures over the past three plus years. Update: as of 11AM CST in Chicago, the count was up to 299,940 so we only need 60 more hits to reach 300,000. I only wish that there was some way to identify who the magic visitor was so that I could make a gift to him or her in some fashion, a painted general or something like that.

More SYW Figures Upcoming
After I finish the next two companies of the 83rd (48 in total), I shall go back to painting some of the Minden SYW figures that are accumulating in my Closet O' Lead, notably some Austrian dragoons and hussars. Plus, the new Minden Prussian and Austrian high command figures should be arriving within a week or two and I imagine that I will drop everything and tackle those figures immediately, upon their arrival.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

King Frederick Arrives From Minden

Frederick the Great - Minden Miniatures - shown on the new standing horse. Photos by Frank Hammond. Figures sculpted by Richard Ansell.

Well this really made my day - the announcement that the Austrian and Prussian senior generals and staff are now available from Minden Miniatures. Click Here.

I immediately bought two sets of everything with the Austrian and Prussian figures grouped into sets as follows:

Austrian Foot Command (3 senior officers on foot)

Austrian Mounted Command (Charles of Lorraine, Nadasty, and von Loudon)

Ferdinand of Brunswick (4 dismounted generals and staff officers)

Prussian High Command (4 figures: Frederick, Seydlitz, Ziethen and a dismounted ADC)

Ferdinand of Brunswick and three staff officers.

Just looking at the Prussian officers and staff on foot immediately conjures up all kinds of vignette possibilities. For example, you could combine the above group with one or more of the Minden hussar horseholders or the civilian horseholders to create a little staff meeting. Maybe add small table made from bass wood or balsa and card, print out a miniature map and spread it over the table and, Voila! Instant vignette.

Frank Hammond (Mr. Minden Himself) also announced that he has a standing horse available, in addition to the trotting horse, but you have to specifically request the standing horse when you order one of the mounted regimental colonels or else it is assumed that you wanted the walking or trotting horse. Regrettably there is no standing horse with saddle and horse furniture that one could use for vignettes, but perhaps this will be added later along with the pending 18th Century civilian range that is in the works. No problem, just make your own horse furniture with paper and green stuff and you are good to go. I will show you how to do it within a couple of weeks.

I am looking forward to adding the new Minden bling of personalities to my ever growing Minden Austrian and Prussian armies. This stuff is better than anything else on the market. Thank you Frank, and thanks to the talented Richard Ansell for sculpting these masterpieces.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Company A of the 83rd Foot

Several views of my first 12 figures for the 83rd Regiment. Figures are all from Elite Miniatures. (click to enlarge).

I got at least one company of 12 figures painted over the holiday weekend, and hopefully will have a second company completed by Tuesday evening, given that I have the next two days off from work.

I've pretty much decided that the first regiment will be the 83rd Regiment of Foot, which was part of Colville's brigade (along with the 94th and 5th regiments) in Picton's Third Division of Wellington's Peninsular army. I don't know if I will ever paint the other two regiments in the brigade, but if I eventually choose to add more redcoats, then these will be the lads that I add.

I sent off an order to GMB Designs Flags yesterday, and now that they have a web site with a shopping cart feature, ordering flags is easy peasy and so all things are tickety-boo for now.

Happy Fourth of July

ACW re-enactors traditionally lead off the Lake Bluff parade with Old Glory.

This morning I took Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe and her friend Lady Cecily Penshurst to the annual Lake Bluff, IL July 4th parade. It was a very hot day with the morning temperatures in the mid 80-degrees Fahrenheit, but it sure beats getting pelted by rain. The parade typically is lead by a company of Union ACW re-enactors, who stop at every intersection of streets and fire off a volley. Very stirring stuff for both wargamers and non-gamers.

Lady Cecily (left) and Lady Emma (right) enjoy the parade

Methinks that the Ladies Emma and Cecily only pretend to enjoy the parade, as they seemed to be more focused on gathering up all of the candy that is thrown from the passing parade floats. There was a company in the parade advertising their fitness club and they were handing out free bottles of water, which proved to be a Godsend since we had not brought any water of our own.

The parade always includes some of the rediculous:

Shriners motorcycle patrol

A bear riding a Segway cycle.

The famous Lake Bluff Precision Drill Lawn Mower team ( a parody of the Shriners's motor cycle routine).

The annual theme of the Lawn Mower team focused on some of our wayward politicians in the US Congress. Ahem.

The lads were wearing plastic pig snouts. Note the newspaper headline on the lawn mower.

And it always includes marching bands and Pipe Bands, which I particularly like. It almost makes me want to go home and paint some Black Watch Highlanders.

One of two Highland bands that participated in this year's parade.

We had a fun time, but we finally had to bug out after about an hour, as we were baking in the hot sun and wanted to find some cool water for refreshment. Sometimes a small cup or bottle of water is the greatest treasure that one could find.

Afterwords, we headed home and Mrs. Fritz offered to take Ladies Emma and Cecily to the beach for the afternoon, meaning that yours truly will be heading off to the basement to paint figures for awhile.

A view of the clutter on my painting table today. It's not very tidy so I will have to do something about that soon, as I'm running out of space. You can see the first company of the 83rd Regiment of Foot in the middle of the table, with the second company in the foreground, waiting their turn to get their uniforms from the quarter master.

I am off to the painting table now. I will post some pictures of the first company of the 83rd Regiment, later this evening. So do come back later.

BTW, we are within a thousand page hits of reaching the 300,000 milestone. Thank you everyone for your continued support of my blog. I only wish that there was some way of figuring out who the 300th thousand person was.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Short History of the 83rd Regiment of Foot

Here is an excerpt of the regimental history of the 83rd Regiment of Foot taken from the web site of the Royal Irish Rangers, an amalgamation of the 27th, 83rd and 87th regiments in 1968. The 83rd does not seem to have a separate name (e.g. a county name or a nickname such the The Buffs, etc.), so if this becomes my Peninsular regiment, I don't know what I would call it. Does anyone have any ideas?

I took another peak at my stock of GMB flags and discovered an error; I did not have a flag for the 88th Connaught Rangers, but rather I had the 20th, 27th and 2/83rd. The 20th doesn't seem to have played an important role in Wellington's army, the facings of the first dozen figures painted are probably too bright of a yellow to use for the 27th (Inniskillings), so by default, that sort leaves the second battalion of the 83rd as my choice, or some other regiment with similar facings. They could still become the 88th by virtue of ordering new flags from GMB. This would entail painting a silver button color rather than a gold button color on the figures. I am holding off on this until I decide the name of the regiment. I think that I may reorder the flags anyway (as my old ones look like Grahame used a different technology in the start up days of his business, i.e. the newer flags look much sharper and natural in their color and shading, compared to the set that I have), so they could still end up being the 88th.

The first dozen figures are nearly complete, along with a mounted officer.

History of the 83rd Regiment (courtesy of the Royal Irish Rangers web site)

The 83rd Regiment was raised in Dublin by Colonel William Fitch and soon saw active service in the West Indies. Thereafter they remained in garrison in Jamaica for seven years, losing many casualties from yellow fever. The 83rd had returned to Ireland and raised a 2nd Battalion to meet the expansion of the Army required by the Napoleonic Wars. In 1805 the 1st/83rd landed at Cape Town and swiftly overcame the resistance of the small Dutch force, then remained as garrison of the Cape of Good Hope until 1818.

The 2nd/83rd joined the Peninsular Expeditionary Army in Portugal in 1809. They- had before them five years of stiff campaigning with long marches up and down the length of Spain and Portugal and eventually across the French frontier, gaining twelve battle honours. One of their earliest battles but certainly the bloodiest was "Talavera". The battalion suffered in casualties over half its strength including the Colonel killed and many taken prisoner, not to be released for five years. Sergeant Major Swinburne was commissioned in the field for gallant conduct. He eventually retired as a Lieutenant Colonel some 44 years later, much honoured by The Regiment.

There followed the battle of Busaco in 1810, the storming of the fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz in 1812 and the engagement at Fuentes d' Onoro (referred to by the soldiers as "Fountains of Horror"). At Badajoz Sergeant Hazlehurst saved the life of Captain Powys, the first man through the breach, by laying about him with his halberd. Hazlehurst served right through the Peninsular campaign being awarded twelve clasps to his Peninsular medal.

"Salamanca", "Vittoria", "Pyrenees", "Nivelles", "Orthez" and finally "Toulouse" were the further honours won by 2nd/83rd. 83rd’s march since their early days had been "Garry Owen".


I rather like it that their regiment song was Garry Owen. Harry Flashman talks about hearing this tune played by a number of infantry and cavalry regiments over the course of his travels, of course including Custer's U.S 7th Cavalry regiment. So it would appear that the use of Garry Owen might be somewhat common. Hmm, I could call it the Garry Owen Regiment.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Campaign Attrition System

I draw your attention to Bill P.'s Major General Pettygree blog, which has posted the following campaign attrition system that we will be using to govern our campaign in Spain. It is simple to use and involves minimal record keeping:


New Easier Attrition System

My former system was laborious and complicated. This one will be easier! After a game throw 1D6 per unit that had losses.

1. You HOLD the field or the game is a draw recover:
1= 70%, 2= 75%, 3-4= 80%, 5= 85% and 6= 90%.

2. RETREATING FROM the field recover:
1= 60%, 2= 65%, 3-4= 70%, 5= 75% and 6= 80%.

Modifiers: (Minimum result = 1. Maximum result = 6)
Poor supply situation, July or August, poor quality soldiers -1. (only one can be used)
Arty., Engineers, Cavalry and Elites +1 (only can be used)
Captured prodigious amounts of supplies +1

KIA-MIA-In Hospital Box:
Miniatures that remain casualties are placed in this box and don't come back - usually. Some will eventually return as replacements,escapees or from hospital.

Reinforcements should be added before the next game.
Throw 2D6 for a big unit and 1D6 for a small one. The result is the number of replacements arriving from the homeland or back from hospital; (the KIA-MIA-In Hospital Box)

A system like the above needs to be generous so units don't become skeletal too soon and it needs to be easy on the record keeping side of things. This might do it.


Of course now I might have to give some thought about collecting figures to build up a medical staff and have an infirmiry at the regimental barracks.

I also direct your attention to the slide show presented by Joe Dever of the Coruna demonstration game by messers Ringrose and Browning. The details and the hundreds of little vignettes are probably the best that I have ever seen, and I'm not exagerating. This collection is as impressive as the famed Bill Gaskin Peninsular collection. Click the link to TMP and then click on Joe's links to his photoshop slideshows.

Click Here