Thursday, March 28, 2013


I had the day off yesterday and it seemed a good opportunity to try and make some progress on my Alzheimer fort.

The la Rosee Regiment line the firing parapet.
 It's still needing a little work done. The gate in the wall that encloses the gorge of the work needs painting, as does some of the brick-work on the interior face of that same wall. The firing ports of the caponiers need painting on as well. I need to make a little foot-bridge to go across the ditch.
I can't help but feel the need for a little toy flag.
The next part of the painting that I envisage is where I am starting to quake a little, jelly that I am. I am thinking of taking the same green, darkening it a little and using it thinned to an almost-wash do define the shapes of the fort a little. For example, I'm thinking of running a line down the counterscarp where it meets the caponier.  A line along the base of tyhe scarps and counterscarps where they meet the floor of the ditch.  Putting a line in at the rear base of the parapets.  All that.

I'm also thinking of giving all the green areas the lightest drybrush with a yellow-ochrey-caramel colour and an additional going-over with a cool brown to add a little more visual interest. Too much with the lining in? Dry-brushing will tend to have the effect of emphasising the base materials from which the fort was built.

Nearly time to start thinking abut rules.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Love a Parade

 Some little while ago I made an eBay purchase of 21 Prussian bandsmen. They arrived yesterday in the mail. Lovely figures they are, although at 40mm tall they won't be appearing next to my Spencer Smiths on the battlefield.
Can anyone make a guess as to the manufacturer? I'd like to try to track a few more down to flesh out the band. The lone cymbalier looks a little folorn.

Now all I need is a little bandstand.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

Alzheims first and only (?) gunboat.
 Well, it's my bithday and what better way to clebrate than with a little modelling? Herewith I present a start made on Alzheims riverine gunboat. Potent she is with her twin Cowper-Cole turrets, each mounting a pair of 64PR MLRs. Yes, she's smaller than the paddlesteamer, Ross. Lesson learned!
Our almost completed fortlet - Werke XXXVII
 Needing only a lick of paint and a rear wall across the gorge as well as a bridge for the moat is Werke XXXVII
Exercising in the ditch of Werke XXXVII - Regiments la Rosee and von Prittwitz
 Speak of the devil, the part-painted rear wall. It needs some work on the pillars and door as well as a light wash over the bricks to tome down the white of the mortar. Getting there. The bricks were stamped on with a balsa rod trimmed at one end to the correct cross-section.
The von Prittwitz  Regiment
And of course, the piece de la resistance, Alzheim's newest infantry regiment, von Prittwitz's. With a history going back at least to the Turkish Wars, she remains one of Alzheims oldest and most famous units.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Progress Chart

Here's a little chart that lets me measure my progress and status of my various orders for the "Alzheim and the German Unification" fuss. I think when everythig is nice and green it will be time to kick the campaign off.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Morning Constitutional

Willie Prince Bismarck
 I've not yet quite decided who this is in my reality. One of the Willie franco-Prussian War range, I painted him per the relevant Osprey plate of Prince Bismarck.
A nice figure and very easy to paint. With the addition of some binoculars or a telescope or whatever, and with a little arm-bending, he might serve both sides of our little conflict. Heavens, I could even see him painted as Redvers Buller in 1899.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Royal Artillery

Siege mortar on firing platform
 The Royal Prussian Artillery, that is!
Krupp Field Gun
 And, yes, rather obviously I just painted five new gunners and only have the one backdrop!
Positional Artillery
I call this last gun, Long Prince Bismarck Otto. Really snappy. Maybe the chappie with the rammer needs a box to stand on.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Free Beer!!!

No, not really.

So, what's going on in the dear old Duchy of Alzheim I hear you ask?

Well, let me settle down in my creaking 1960s Parker Lounge Chair (ah, the Danish design school) and expound. It's what I do best.

First item: I know you are just fizzing with excitement over the fort-building project that I have on the go. The basic earthwork has been glued with some thoroughness to a large base board and a polystyrene glacis has been impatiently jigsawed together from fissiparous lumps of the accursed material and likewise glued in place.

A VERY long time was spent in picking up the assorted scraps created by the application of bread-knife, hot wire cutter and sanding block as I surformed it into the gentle slope we expect from such a piece of military engineering.

After the whole thing was looking at least fairly uniform, I then splodged "Polyfilla" from my trusty Polyfilla Gun over the whole surface, smoothed the whole off with a spatula and then my wet hands. It was glorious fun. Even more so since it was done out of sight of the children who I am sure would have wanted to get in on the act.

That first coat has spent the past couple of days drying thoroughly and I hope it will get another tonight when I get home from work. Tomorrow is a day off for me, so I will be running to ye olde hardware shoppe to purchase a new bottle of PVA/White Glue so as to be able to stick down the ramparts and hollow traverses.
State Secret: Werke XXXVII
Awaiting a 2nd coat of splodge.
Second item: Excellent fun as I find building fortifications, earthworks and additional sundries, we do need troops to fight in, among around and over them. I now am the proud posessor of one completed Alzheimer and one Prussian unit of infantry. A second unit of prussians are on the workbench as I write with a third in plastic bags as well. I have also started assembling and priming a gun and crew for them as well.
Prussians occupy a small, inoffensive tabac.

The new boys are at the faces-collar-and-tunic stage at the moment. Lots of gray next. Will I dazzle you with a painting article soon? If you want me to, I shall. I could even do pictures
A popular spot for a march-past

I am making steady progress, which always feels nice. Remember, an hour a day. Every day.

Third item: ohh, pretty.

I have a stash of the 28mm hard plastic HaT Napoleonic Bavarians, too. Quite a big stash. Take them, throw in some Stadden Napoleonic mounted officer types and ADCs &c... Is it becoming time to think about Alzheims' role in the Napoleonic Wars? Say yes. Go on.

Fourth item: Little Wars will be held on Saturday May the 25th at the Mornington Secondary College. I am hoping do put on a demonstration game, hopefully out of pre-existing materials for the greatest part to speed development along. We are looking at a fictional Russian attempt on Melbourne in about 1885 and will be defending Fort Gellibrand against sundry cossacks, marine infantry and grunt infantry and the Vladimir Monomakh with the cream of Melbourne Society, the HMVS Cerberus, HMVS Albert and various torpedo boats.

Come along if you can. There will be forts, disappearing artillery, a monitor, redcoats and Russians. All in a setting not so far from the forts designed to defend melbourne in the 19th Century. Good fun for all boys aged from 8 to 80 and even for the more intelligent sort of girl, just to coin a phrase.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Alzheim's Girdle forts 1867

Ballonists' eye view of Werke XXXVII
 Loosely based on the Friedrichsau work of the federal Fortress of Ulm in the 1850s, is this engineers model of one of Alzheim's several outer works for the defence of the city of Alz.

A simple polygonal work with a wall capable of being swept by rifle fire both from an infantry firing step on the parapet frontally and in enfilade from the caponiers (flankenturms to the Germans) projecting into the ditch. Currently missing from this model is the brick wall enclosing the gorge of the work. It was made deliberately thin to allow it to be easily breached by artillery in the main fortress should this outwork be taken.
Prussian infantry about to suffer a dreadful fate in the assault
Some interpretations of this kind of work in the Alzheimer context also incorporate a keep capable of dominating the interior of the work and a square, detatched caponier standing in the ditch to defend the gorge wall.