Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hoka-hey! It is a good day to fight; a good day to die!

 Among my small pile of Christmas lead were a few Willie bits and bobs including this rather splendid Apache.
 I have painted him as Crazy Horse as he may have appeared on the day of the Little Big Horn with white spots on his body representing hail. His horse has been painted as though it has lightning bolts on it's flanks.
You'll note I had to use a piece of brass rod to prop up the horse as the one leg actually attaching it to the base was sagging under the weight of horse and rider!

I also got a few other Apaches and Comanches as well as a few US Cavalry. not to mention a half-dozen Landsknechts in Pluderhosen who would not look out of place in my "Siege of Malta" project.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Gestalt Dragoner Regiment

 Today I applied the last coat of spray gloss varnish to the Gestalt Dragoons of Colonel Zigmund Freud.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Progress Report

I was wanting to post a brief update on the latest of the Imperial Cavalry Regiments I was working on.
 Just to refresh your memories, this is one of the "before" shots of the unrenovated figures.
 Here are the latest "after" shots. As you can see, I've completed 17 of the Troopers and three of the Officers. Only 7 Troopers and the Regimental Colonel to finish off and then I can start on a regiment of Imperial Foot I have been thinking about. I guesstimate there is about another day and a half's work to do on them before I'm done.
I'm open to suggestions for a name for this unit.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Hello there. I've not dropped off the twig entirely, just been a bit quiet.

I've about finished off the last 18 figures for the la Rosee Regiment - if you remember from the "Grand Review" they were 17 fusileers and a mounted officer short-handed. That has now been remedied; the colonel needs a bit of paint and we'll be all done there. Photos to follow.

I am currently working at freshening up the paintwork on one of the dragoon regiments Gary donated to the project. The troopers glory in a mid-blue coat with yellow turnbacks, a red shabraque with a snappy yellow and black lace edging. I'll post some 'before' photos this evening.

Unlike the Comardo Dragoons, these will not get a full repaint, but more a bit of a touch-up and re-modelling. I will post some images of the test figure I am doing as soon as it's complted. These lads will be joining the Imperial forces. Has anyone a suggestion for a name? Perhaps something inspired by the Austro-Hungarian Army?

UPDATE: The first two test figures have been completed.
The officer - only the face, coat and lacing on the shabraque are original.
 I finished retouching the first two of the Imperial Dragoons this evening and was quite pleased with the result. I think that the fairly simple "tarting up" serves to bring the figures in line with my own painting style whilst remaining pretty true to the spirit of the originals.
The trooper - untouched at the left and re-touched to the right.
 Took about 40 minutes for the pair of them. Most pleasing!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Kalnocky Hussars - Finished!

 Not much more to say, is there?
Absolute agony to finish up all 28 figures in one go. Imagine painting 28 faces, 28 pairs of breeches, 28 swords etcetera, etcetera...

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Kalnoky Hussars

For my next Imperial regiment, I decided to build a Hussar regiment and eventually settled on the Kalnocky Hussars on finding this portrait by David Morier in the Royal Collection (available online). I have been painting madly for the past week and a half and can report that the bulk of the work is done, up to and including the (much simplified) yellow lace and frogging. I'm painting in the rest of the fur detail tonight and will be knocking off the final details of betls, glove muskets and so on this weekens if all is well. Pics on Sunday night?

Afther these chaps are finished, it's on to the last 18 figures of the La Rosee regiment.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Grand Review

I had a thought to take a leaf from Der Alte Fritz's book and conduct a grand review of the Spencer Smith Project. Maximilian von Browne, first General of Alzheim is conducting the review from the comfort of the Elector's Arms, a very fine Inn. In a rarae spirit of amicability, the Empire is also taking part, doubtless to spy on our dear old Alzheims preparedness. Truly the imperials are as vile as any Stagonian.
The Estaerhazy Hussars thunder past. Long in the Imperial service, they are well overdue to have their basing brought up to a more modern standard.
The Imperial Artillery. I note their mounted officer is out of uniform!
The imperial Infantry. De los Rios in the foreground, Insbruchen behind, and the Swiss to the rear. remember the French saying "Pas de argent, pas de Suisse!"
Alzheims brave artillery. Time to start on teams for the guns.
Von Browne agrees. As he ought!
Alzheims' Jager korps line the walls of an enclosure. Spanking chaps.
von Prittwitz' regiment. Perfection if I do say so. One of my favouurites.
Alzheimer infantry. The LeibGrenadier Garde, behind them are the LeibRegiment and then de la Rosee. The latter are short 17 Privates, their Colonel (who must be awol with his mistress) and their fahnenjunker. Oh! The shame!
The dread Black Genadiers? No, they just need new coats.
The Buddenbrock Cuirassiers.
The Brigade of Dragoons. The Marchmont Regiment needs to be rebased to match the Comardo Regiment. Apart from tht, perfection!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Work in Progress

 Balloonists' view. Note my daughters' non-military additions to Daddy's Fairy Castle.
You may or may not recall an earlier post on the military geography of Alzheim, but in I made reference to some old, second-class fortifications. On of the images was that of the fortress at Finke, although it just as easily could have been of that at G├╝nzberg.

Obviously this is based on the fortress at Sarzanello.

My rationale is that it's an old renaissance fortress built when the Electors of Alzheim were mercenary princes hiring out their landsknechts to all comers and battling with their neighbours.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Empire - de los Rios Regiment

 I've spent the last ten days or so painting the "de los Rios" Regiment. I finished off the Colonel's horse this morning, and so thought it was worthy of a couple of quick shots. I'm using quite a different style of painting than with the Alzheimers standard black undercoat, I decided to spray on a white base-coat/undercoat before lining each figure in black, then colouring in!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Empire

I’ve started to put together Alzheim’s enemy, The Empire.

Obviously, they are going to be based on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I’m setting the date at about 1739-40. The Emperor is dying and the jackals are gathering…

I have a few units in place already; a Swiss Regiment in red coats, the ”Innsbruchen” Regiment in white with blue facings and the Esterhazy Hussars. I have started work on another white-coated regiment – the green-faced “los Rios” Regiment and will be working on another blue-faced Regiment after that.

After that, well, I’m not too sure as I don’t really have a finalised order of battle yet. I do have some Slavonian Pandours and half a Regiment of Hungarians on order from Spencer Smith. I know I’ll be building another two regiments of Hussars.

We’ll see how we go!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Comardo Dragoons - Pictures

The Dragoons obligingly gallop past for the camera.
 As promised, I got out the Comardo Dragoons and the camera this evening and, as the thunderstorms crackled away above, got busy snapping away.
Conversion of the regular Dragoon trooper - yes, the flag-pole has been thrust through his foot.
 In the Alzheim Cavalry, the senior NCO carries the unit's colours. His distinctive mark is metallic lace on his hat and shabraque.
Close-up of one of the regiment's Officers.
 Ow, on closer examination, I could have been a little more thorough with shaving this chap's flash down!
 The Regiment sweeps forward in line. On the table, this unit has a huge footprint.
The proud parent!

Comardo Dragoons

I finished the final half-dozen troopers of the Comardo Dragoons this morning as I was getting myself and my little daughter Erin (2 and a half) ready for work and creche respectively. I am fortunate Erin creches at my place of work as will her little brother Sam (one year old on the 25th) next term.

What with packing bags, eating breakfast and an unusual trip to the naughty spot, there was no time for affixing the unit flag nor for any photography, so you'll all have to wait on this evening.

In the meantime, it's been quite good fun doing the repaint on this unit. To digress a little, when I received this extravagant donation of cavalry to the "Spencer Smith project" I was a little uncertain as to how to integrate the different units. I felt dreadful at the idea of pressing them into my service without honouring their already impressive heritage and so I've opted to repaint them in their original uniforms (OK, with some minor changes) and re-flag them with colours that acknowlege that which went before - the original colours will hang in the Alzheim and Imperial Armouries.

Thus it is that the Comardo Dragoons will retain their original red coats and green facings and their white lace. In the ongoing Alzheimer "tradition" they will get white small-clothes. Their saddle-cloths have changed from the original pale blue to green in harmony with their uniform distinctions.

One of the common troopers has had his sword cut away to allow him to grasp a flagstaff (see the coloured pics in the front papers of "The Wargame Companion" and you'll see what I mean) while the now flagless officer had been equipped with a deadly pin-sword.

Now I've said all this, I really feel like I ought to have done some before-and-after shots!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Comorado Dragoons

The first ten troopers of Alzheims Dragoon Corps.

Four Regiments strong, this corps are all dressed in red coats. The Comorado Regiment sports green facings, the Marchmont Regiment yellow-buff, the Speyer Regiment canary yellow and a fourth - yet un-named - will wear bright blue.

In the ongoing "tradition" of Alzheim units, their small-clothes are white.

I've got more cavalry for sale on eBay as well:


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SSM Cavalry on eBay

Currently surplus to requirements following the purchase of a job lot via Bartertown are these:


Bid early, bid often, bid unwisely. Help me refresh my credit card.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Weeks' Work

 Phew. On Saturday morning I painted the green bases and applied the varnish to these figures. The hatmen and ensign complete the LeibRegiment (IR#2 in my scheme); the grenadiers will go to the nascent Regiment La Rosee (IR#5) and the mounted officer and the Gunner will complete the complement for Alzheims first battery of the Field Artillery.

I really found getting through this many troops (24 Olley-points) a bit of a stretch considering my limited amount of time. They probably took me eight hours' which I snatch whilst getting ready for work and the odd-half hour after the kids have gone to bed in the evening.

"Mr Horne, Mr Horne, please Sir, what's your secret?"

"Consistency my boy. Pure and simple."

I think a more sustainable figure might be 12-16 olley-points a week. Food for thought.

The relatively easy bit! I assembled and painted some Italeri stone walls and the bridge. I glued the walls permanently in position as I could anticipate the paint just wearing off as time and juggling the bits about did their damage. The painting was not too much of a stretch, just a few lighter grays dry-brushed over a black undercoat. A touch of tan and green dry-brushing on the lower portions to tie it in with the non-existent ground-work.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Progress report... and a dilemma.

No pictures today, but I thought I'd post a little bit of an update as to progress on the Alzheimer Army.

I've begun work on another 20 infantry, a Gunner, a foot Officer and a mounted Officer, having just finished a pair of cavalry to round out one of the regiments kindly donated a couple of months back. All scraped free of flash, undercoated, faces, hair, muskets, water-bottles and white small-clothes all painted.


Pale blue coats next. I'm hoping to be finished by the weekend.

Most of these will go to finish off the LeibRegiment with a few leftovers going to the La Rosee Regiment which is slated next for completion. After this I have a difficult decision to make.

As you'll recall, I bought a large chunk of the Alzheim and Imperial armies from Phil Olley. One of the regiments would do extremely well as a Grenadier Garde Regiment and I am considering it for the Alzheim service as IR#1. It's pretty well perfect in every detail but for one... The coats are black.

You can see my dilemma.

What else? In other news, I've closed a deal with a gentleman on Bartertown that will yield me another sizeable job lot of SSMs of all arms - including some much-needed Hussars and Gunners - that will (I think) get me to about 8 Regiments of Infantry and 10 of Cavalry for the "SSM Project". I think that will do quite nicely; while I'm sure that although the Grants had about 20 regiments of Line Foot in their armies, that I never read of a battle they recreated that couldn't be fought with more than about 10 units of Foot and 6-8 or horse per side!

That being said, although I'll probably buy some Grenzers and Pandurs for Light Infantry in metal as we go on. And then, there are those Hungarian Infantry that SSM do in metal. Hm. OK, maybe we'll get to 10 units of Line Foot per side.

Then I'll stop. Honest.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

IR#3 von Browne

 Not my best photography, but, nonetheless, here they are, IR#3, von Brownes' own regiment of foot. They are marching along behind IR#3, von Prittwitz.
 Being part of a friendly competition in a group is a great way to motivate yourself. I've found a recent painting challenge a real boost and used it to push out 33 olley-points' of figures in the past ten days; a real first for me!
As must be pretty obvious now, i'm basing the Alzheim Army look on that of Bavaria albeit with the almost mandatory mistake on coat colour. Rather than the correct dark blue, I've opted for the rather more "heraldically correct" pale blue. You'll note that it goes quite nicely with the Bavarian flags that I'm using.
I sourced these beauties from Warflag and my partner Amy did me the kindness of sizing them correctly for my Spencer Smiths as well as getting them all into the one document - another version of "friends with benefits"!
Anyway, back to work - I'd like to get the Leibregiment finished and make some more headway into IR#5 "La Rosee" next.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

UB 40

Assembled Submarine with ballast can in place.
Showing detached ballast. Ready to surface Sir!

For a change of pace this weekend, I decided I'd try making one of the wooden toys I found in "Carpentry And Mechanics For Boys", by A. Neely Hall.

The model is of a Submarine that will submerge and, on touching bottom, release a can of ballast an then rise to the surface. It has been quite an easy build so far, although I've not yet gotten onto making the mechanism for dropping the ballast can. Now, apart from letting the children have it (madness, surely!), what ever shall I do with it???

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Infanterieregiment Nr. 4 "von Prittwitz"

 In all their glory.
My first self-completed Alzheimer Infantry unit. Thank-you painting challenge.

The next dozen figures are cleaned ad primed and ready to go.

UPDATE: I started work on a dozen figures this morning. They will be mustering with IR #3 "von Browne" by the end of the working week, I hope. I'll follow on with another dozen and a mounted officer and then it will be time for a test game, I think, as both the Alzheimers and the Imperials will be able to field a brigade of Foot and a regiment of Horse each. Just need to paint up those Italeri stone walls up. I'm thinking that the starter scenario in "The Wargame" will do. Anything but Blasthof again!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Surplus Spencer Smith Cavalry for Sale ot Trade

I never thought this would happen, but I have three regiments of Spencer Smith Cavalry surplus to requirements.

They are on the Charles Grant organisation, each being 24 troopers and four officers strong.

If you are interested, I'm looking to swap 1:1 for Spencer Smith Hussars, 2:1 for Spencer Smith Infantry or I have an interest in doing some element of the Boer War with Britains in the garden and am open to suggestions.

Otherwise, we can talk cash. Yum.

If there's no interest, off they go to eBay or Bartertown.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Those new chappies

Well, here are some of the new lads, re-enacting one of my favourite images from The Wargame. As you will doubtless recall, Charles Grant threw away two light cavalry regiments to no real purpose during the Mollwitz game! As you will likewise recall, the Butyrsky Regiment was able to wheel and deliver fire against the flank of the "Austrian" brigade of light cavalry.

In my little mise-en-scene the actors are, from the left, the Marchmont Dragoons who are veterans already of the 2006 Sittangbad game; to their right and preceeding them into the witches' cauldron are the Esterhazy Hussars (whom I believe are originally from the Asquith collection). The Infantry playing the part of Butyrsky are the Battenburg regiment, whilst those which are about to receive the enemy at the point of their bayonets are the Leibgarde Grenadiers. These regiments are also, I believe, from the Asquith collection as re-painted by Mr Olley.

I am rather fond of the bright yellow carriages of the guns and they will immediately find their way into the Imperial Army, as will the Esterhazy Hussars. Likewise the Battenburgers, perhaps re-cast as a Swiss Guard regiment. Considering that the Alzheim cavalry has always clad it's dragoons in red (and indeed, I have another pair of red coated dragoon Regiments courtesy of the lovely Gary C) it will come as no surprise the Marchmont Dragoons* will be joining the Alzheim Service.

I feel that the Leibgrenadier Garde will also go to Alzheim, but they will probably have to accept that they will be wearing the pale blue coat of the Alzheim infantry if they expect to adopt the proud designation IR#1.

The Pyjama-trousered legs are my own, and very fine they are indeed.

More pictures tomorrow. Probably not including my Pyjamas.

*or shall they now be the Marchmont Dragoner?

The Great Leap Forward

Events have moved on rather here at the jolly old Duchy of Alzheim.

I was pleased (OK, delighted!) to take delivery of a huge box containing Phil Olley's Spencer Smith collection. Phil had contacted me a few weeks back asking if I was interested in purchasing part or all of it.

I hesitated for a microsecond or two then emailed him back saying YES PLEASE!!!

So here they are. I spent most of yesterday evening and part of this morning to unpack them - I still have more bubble-wrap to peel off - and they are splendid. Three fine regiments of Infantry and three more of Cavalry and a fine battery of guns as well as sundry independent companies and a unit of light infantry.

So, thanks again Phil and I will be posting photos tonight when I get the chance.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What's tickling me at the moment

You will all have had this happen to you at some time, I'm sure.

You are working away at what is going to be THE project for the next two years; you've spent huge amounts of money. You know how it goes.

Then you start noticing things.




I'm just hopeless, really.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Gems

I got up at 05:00 this morning filled with a burning determination to win an eBay auction.

Well, win it I did, although not without a degree of buyers' regret.

On the bright side, this purchase will get me to the point where we can start having battles. This is a good thing. The infantry alone represent about 7 regiments worth of figures, so some progress can again be made.

The cavalry may be a bit surplus (except for the hussars), so I may sell some of them on to pay for further bits later on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Painting Challenge

Bit of a painting challenge on at the moment.

I'm pushing to product 120 Olley-points by November the fifth.

An infantryman is an Olley-point, a gun or a cavalryman are two.

Here then are my first 14 Olley-points. 106 to go.

UPDATE - The mounted officer is in fact Maximilian von Browne, one of Alzheim's finer Generals.

Friday, September 09, 2011

The Riders of Alzheim

 Forgive the very rough nature of these pictures. We got home from a day-and-a-night away in Castlemaine to find a big old cardboard box on the doorstep. I knew immediately what it was. I had to wait until dinner had been eaten and the children put to bed before I could open it though.
These are 11 regiments of Spencer Smith cavalry, three are painted as cuirassiers and the rest as Dragoons and other Chevaux-legere, very kindly donated by a US reader, Mr Gary C_.

More tomorrow.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Electors Arms

 A little place I visit sometimes.
Building by Dapol, barrels by Rendra.