Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Alzheimer Jaeger

 Laid low though I have been these past few days by a pernicious cold, I have nonetheless completed the Alzheimer Jaeger. Above the NCO. Below, the whole unit.
Rendra came through yesterday with some 45x40mm plastic bases. I have used most of this sample batch up with basing up a couple of my units as a test. I'm pretty happy so far. The officers are on the 20mm circular bases. The CO is as yet unbased, but will probably go on a cavalry base before long.  I have left the bases unpainted as they are close enough to the base colour of the figures as to render painting them redundant.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Alzheimer Jaeger

Last night I got cracking on some of the Jaeger. In the end I decided on a fairly traditional look for them with their red-faced, green coats. I made a small nod at their Alzheimer origins by giving them white small clothes and red neck-stocks. Having done that I could only further compound the impracticality of the uniform by having each man wear his hair powdered. I mean, you just would, wouldn't you?
 The hat is a bit of a nod to the European light infantry as practised in central Europe; it's meant to be a leather casque. If you look closely, there is a bit of brass edging, doubtless designed to turn a sabre-blow. I'm sure it has saved many a trooper!
Note also (if you wish) the blanket-roll on top of the knapsack in Alzheim Blue. I did that to help tie them to the line infantry.

There you go. Next is another couple of troopers and an officer. I'm hoping to have a dozen or fourteen figures ready for the weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

IR#5 La Rosee

 As promised in my last post, a couple of pictures of my latest figures of IR#5 along with the new gunner who got snuck in at varnishing time.

I'm quite please with how the "white" metal fittings look on these as a contrast to the "yellow" metals of the other regiments.

On the subject of test figures like the gunner, I have started painting my lone plastic SSM Hussar. Dashing chap. UPDATE - pics below.

I am now (apart form about a dozen command figures) out of Spencer Smith plastic infantry and so as I while away the hours before payday and therefore an order from Spencer Smiths for the metal versions, I will start work on those Minot AWI that I'll be using as Jaeger.

Over the next few weeks I will be able to share some rather exciting news that I have had in the past few days about this project. But just for now, I shall remain a tease.

Artillery Uniform Test Shot

Nothing much today. I'm experimenting with the artillery and painted this fellow in what is a colour test for the rest of the Gunners' uniforms.

The observant among you will note that he is in the traditional Alzheim white small clothes with the red stock whilst his turnbacks are in the armorial pale blue favoured by the Electoral family.

I am ruminating upon the colour the gun carriages ought to be. Baggage wagons, pontoon carts &c would also be this colour. Yellow is out as this is the colour of the Imperial guns. Red contrasts nicely with the pale blue that is going to be the dominant colour of the army. Pale blue would at least go with the theme. Green would clash rather, unless it's a dark green.


In other news, I've put paint to plastic for IR#5 "La Rosee". These chaps look simply delicious in their pale blue coats with the fuschia-coloured turn-backs. I've only a dozen or so and that will pretty well run me out of plastic line infantry types and I'll be starting to top my units up with metal figures.

However, this does bring me to the point where I'll be starting a light infantry unit out of some Barry Minot plastic AWI American light infantry that I bought of a certain magazine editor/graphic designer chap in a pub some years ago. I've not yet decided whether to paint them on traditional Jaeger colours (Green turned up Red) or to put them into a uniform like say the FreiKorps Lacy (White turned up Yellow).

A nice dilemma.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Converged Grenadiers

 From behind - you'll notice the Leib Grenadier Company has the bag of it's fur cap opver to the right, whie the others have theirs to the left. This is either a singular distinction accorded them as a mark of the status of the regiment or an error on the part of the milliner. You decide.
 From the front, a further distinction of the Leib Regiment is their blue trousers. More commonly, the Alzheimer Foot has white small-clothes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

IR#2 Leibregiment

I just finished blasting the Leibregiment with it's second coat of varnish and thought it was time to put a picture up here at the Duchy.

As you can see, the regiment's uniform is not dissimilar to that of the Bavarian Leibregiment of the Seven Years' War. No mistake there, although it varies in many details, not least the coat colour.

As you will also doubtless notice, the Regiment falls far short of the Grant organisation, being here only 29 figures. I will be rectifying this in due course with metal figures from Spencer Smith unless any more appropriate plastics fall (doubtless to shatter into a million pieces) into my lap.

Normally, I'd have trundled straight on to IR#1, but I've decided to use it's castings, of which there were really only a few, to bring the grenadier companies of Infantry Regiments #3 and #4 to their proper strength of twelve figures.

When they are painted, I'll do a little floor show of all three regiment's companies as a combined Grenadier battalion.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Beauty of Old Paint

In recent times I have done a fair amount of work on older ministures.

These are usually items I've bought on eBay and decided for one reason or another to touch up. Most recently these have been the Spencer Smith pastics I've been basing my Alzheim army on, but in the past I had bought some old Tradition/Stadden Napoleonics.

These miniatures had all been painted in enamels, the Spencer Smiths rather thickly and the Staddens rather well.

What I did notice on both was that where they had been painted white, the old varnish overlying the paint had aged in such a way as to produce a rather nice "antique" effect as it yellowed. I liked this very much indeed and although in the case of the Staddens I decided to repaint them because I wanted a very 'clean' look for the collection, the Spencer Smiths I am leaving as was.

This will really only show to any extent with IR#2 "Leib" as I am leaving the gaiters and waistcoats white as they were originally were.

I like the effect. It lets me take the miniature where I want it to go while honouring it's past.

What a sentimentalist, eh?

So then, I've just finished all the blue coats for Leib, painted in the facings and am starting the laborious process of black-lining. More to follow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Empire

The first twenty-one members of Infanterieregiment Nr 4, "Von Prittwitz". Work will begin tonight on Infanterieregiment Nr 2, "Leib".

In my previous post I talked a little about planning my "Duchy of Alzheim" project. The post was largely about the Alzheimer forces. Now it's time to spend a little time on her old enemy, "The Empire".

First, a little geography and history. The Empire occupies a territory vastly greater than Alzheim, stretching over most of the Balkans which have mostly been won back from the Turk in the South-East, north through the lands of a people very much like the Hungarians of our own world, then west to take in a German-speaking people in the eastern part of Deutschtum whose sole pursuits are pastry-making and then north again to take in varying Slavic peoples in central-eastern Europe.

The period of the Thirty Years War saw Imperial (and Bavarian) armies ravage much of Alzheim more or less simply because they were passing through. Similarly, Imperial armies devastated the Duchy (or Electorate) during the War of the Spanish Succession whilst on their way to do much the same to Bavaria.

Now though, the old Emperor is showing signs of failing and his successor is a mere slip of a girl not yet even married. War clouds gather and unscrupulous Princes plot to tear her patrimony from her.

So then, the Empire is obviously a cartoon of Austria-Hungary. I am thinking of theming the army around the forces that raided through Bavaria in  (I think?) 1742 and thus would have a core of a pair of German and a pair of Hungarian Regiments with quite numerous units of Croats and Pandurs. Likewise, I'd avoid heavy Cavalry and Artillery in favour of a couple of Regiments each of Dragoons and Hussars and just a couple of batteries of light guns.

I have it in mind that the Imperial Commander could call on a couple more Regiments of Line infantry and a siege train if certain campaign events occour.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Build me an Army worthy of Alzheim!

I owe a fair bit to Phil Olley in terms of developing my thinking on war-gaming projects. Specifically I think i'm now thinking of the whole shape of the enterprise rather than just pursuing it on the basis of "ooo, shiny!".

In that spirit, I'd just like to take a little time to put down a high level outline of this Spencer Smith project for the Duchy of Alzheim.

As you are doubtless aware, dear reader, this began a few weeks ago with the chance purchase of a large-ish (about 90-odd figures) lot of Spencer Smith figures on eBay. These were easily arranged into four groups that I took as my first four regiments; something that 'lazy me' quite liked because in terms of figure purchases and painting I was already almost halfway there, so to speak. that's not really been the case, as I've been almost completely re-painting the miniatures, but for me it was an important early psychological boost.

Playing mind games with myself is very important when I am considering painting 'x' number of 53-figure regiments for "The Wargame" rules.

Also, having more or less four regiments to start off with has given me some guidance as to a basic building block of two- to-four regiments so that I may set myself milestones as I go on. I think two regiments is a reasonable level at which to set milestones or, as I like to think of them, "reward points". Work hard young man, and you'll receive your reward. In this case, painting a gun or a couple of command figures.

So now to timelines. Experiments over the past couple of weeks have led me to believe that I can push out about 20 painted SSM infantry in a week of easy-going painting - say about 6-7 hours of actual work. This leads me to think I can put out about one and a half to two regiments in a month. I'll stick with one and a half as I am wary of burn-out.

I think then I can set myself a reasonable deadline of Christmas to get a reasonable force together.

For the Alzheim Army, I've put together the following rough order of battle:

Infantry Regiments
IR#1 Garde (3 x 24 figure battalions)
IR#2 Leib
IR#3 von Browne
IR#4 von Prittwitz
IR#5 La Rosee
IR#6 Ehrbach
Garrison Regiments
GR#5 (Invalids)

KR#1 Kurfurst
KR#2 von Roth
DR#1 von Reuss
DR#2 von Waldau
HR#1 von Raabe
In addition an artillery brigade of two battalions each of three field and one howitzer battery. Oh and three light infantry units because I like the montagnards/ miquelets, pandurs and jaeger from the SSM range.
So the target for Chrismas becomes four Regiments, a garrison regiment, a unit of dragoons, some guns and a unit of light infantry. Pretty comfortable considering the Garde, Garrison and light infantry are all 24-figure units.
In my next post, I'll talk about the opposition - The Empire.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Just a quickie

IR#4, "von Prittwitz". These are some samples I painted up last night as a test for how they'd look. Not too bad, I feel.

I have a funny feeling IR#5 (la Rosee) may be the fortunate recipient of Rose-coloured facings.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

A Painting Progress Post

 This is one of those "work in progress" posts.

This weekend I finished painting up that part of IR#3 "von Browne". As you can see I had enough figures for one and a half of the four "companies" I'll need for the regiment under the Grant rules. The rest will most likely have to be metals as I've not the plastics to go the whole hog.
 Showing off the drummer with his lace. One of the field officers marches alongside him. Note his deadly pin sword.
I have started work on IR #4, "von Prittwitz". Per "von Browne" it too has the light blue coat, but I shall be changing the small-clothes to white (this will be standard on all Alzheim Line Regiments) and the facings to yellow-buff. That ought to look just right with the pale blue of the coat. I'm very pleased with how the coat looks so far; it's a nice solid block of colour that comes out really nicely against the dark lining-in I've been doing.

The painting so far has all been simple block painting with some lining in to seperate and define areas of colour. It's simple to do and looks nice and bright and is not fussy in the least.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Painting Spencer Smiths

Painting the Spencer Smith infantry has so far been an interesting exercise. I had started intending merely to touch them up, albeit re-painting the dark blue coats in light blue in line with the inspiration provided by IR#2  - see my previous post. That went rather by the board last night as I worked on my first five and in the end, I more or less went for a full re-paint. Curiously, re-painting the miniatures was quite easy, something I attribute to the previous owner having done the hard work in blocking in the areas of the figure I'd need to paint. It was not unlike colouring in.
"Before" shot of a Grenadier of von Browne's Regiment (IR#4).
Re-touched Grenadiers. Note that I changed what had been a conversion with paint of a bearskin to a mitre back to a bearskin again. Just for the heck of it. The skirts of the waistcoat are merely indicated with a lick of black paint. Apart from the dashing light blue coats, I brightened up the facings with some GW Blood Red, overpainted the cartridge belts where the varnish had yellowed them over time and did a great deal of black-lining to try and pop the colours out and to define the rather blurry transitions between objects on the figure.  
There you go, the full 360-degree treatment. I painted on a white-laced 'flamme' on the bearskin and added a strap to the water bottle on the left hip.

I'll be basing them on the Litko laser-cut 3mm ply bases, painted plain old goblin green to protect the fragile pastics. When I opened the box, some of the figures had snapped at the ankles and the odd musket had likewise succumbed, so this was an easy decision to make. Superglue made good the breakages, but I'd not trust it to last forever. One thought that occours is to make at least one figure per base a metal and use it as a handle for those moments when gripping the base itself is inconvenient.

Onward and upward.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Army of Alzheim

A little more than a week ago I jumped in on an eBay auction and managed to pick up about 90-odd plastic Spencer Smith infantry. They arrived in the post today in pretty good order despite a few breakages due to the age of the material which I have corrected with a bit of superglue.

I have decided that these will form the core of the Alzheim Army, suitably padded out with SSM metals where I can't lay my hands on the plastics.

With no further ado, please let me introduce above the Garde Grenadiers (IR 1). Spendid in canary yellow with red small-clothes and pale blue facings, there are the cream of the army and find their garrison in Alz itself.

The Leib Regiment (IR 2) with their black facings and pale blue coats and breeches are due soon to be issued new colours.

The Grenadier Company of von Brownes' Regiment (Infanterie Regiment 3) brigaded with the replacement Grenadiers for IR 4, von Prittwitz. Both are due to be issued new, pale blue coats per IR 2.

IR 4, von Prittwitz, is, like von Brownes' also needing white gaiters to be issued for parade. The armourers' Rotring Pen will be much in use lining in those elusive uniform features.

Alzheims' one and only gunner tending his guns. He is very likely to be uniformed anew in pale gray with blue distinctions.

UPDATE - The guns are metal SSMs that I've had for some time now.