Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Etat-Major


I want a fort here. And another here and a battery there.

A gruff old Mestre de Camp lays it all out for a young colonial engineer.

Do you think anyone is watching?
At least it's shady under the trees.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Kings' Artillery

 I've been quietly pecking away at a few more gunners and just about have enough to crew my guns.

About to open fire on my monitor-and-keyboard. The gabions are resin from a local manufacturer.
So, here's the question, taken in the context of Field artillery, nothing much was doing in the French and Indian War and so these are probably more suited to be siege pieces. That of Fort William Henry comes to mind. This raises the question of whether I need to make up a permanent battery position I can drop the guns into?

The question pretty well answers itself, does it not?

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Splashing Some Paint Around

 I managed a little painting over the weekend. 

You may recall the pair of guns I was refurbishing. They had been hanging around forever. One had started to fall apart from neglect. So, it was out with the paints and superglue and we were good. I got some gunners either painted or, in a coupe of cases, merely based. Simple stuff, and lo and behold I had my first gun crew. The officer in the background is meant to be an engineer officer, but I have another casting who will get a red coat in the fullness of time.
One of the remodelled range of Willies ( an ADC, I believe) reports to my very old Soubise. In my wilder youth he wore a pink coat, turned up in yellow. Since those days he has changed his ways for a more sober - yet not unmilitary - garb. He may well do duty as my Montcalm. I believe I have a dismounted version from the remodelled range who may yet stand in the entrenchments on the heights of Carillon.

Friday, December 10, 2021

The Bearn Regiment


The colours are a little washed out by the photography, but these are the flags of the Bearn Regiment from David's website.

The rest of the regiment is based up, but I am short about 9 minis to get it over the line. Here's hoping they are here by Christmas.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

It took a little more than the weekend...

 ...but the basing of the La Sarre regiment is finally done.

The bases are Renedra and the flags were David's:

There is acrylic gel modelling on the bases and numerous tufts and flocking galore.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Willie French Guns

I have been enjoying refurbishing these. Using one of the GW "Technical" paints for the verdigris on the gun barrels.

Not too far off the mark for la Valliere 8 pounders.

Pretty good effort by Mr Suren from the late 1970s.

And kudos to GW for the "Niklakh Oxide" paint.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

I think I will be spending the weekend....

 .. basing miniatures.

La Sarre - more or less complete

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Drums are Beating

 They speak of war on  the Mohawk.

And, as we gently move away for now from the Boer War, another old favorite heaves into view. I speak of the French and Indian War. I shan't go into the whys and wherefores, I think the back pages of this blog will do that well enough.

Refs by Blandford
So, references to hand (Blandford, Osprey et al) and with some miniatures in the lead pile, others painted, others resurrected from a grim corner of the painting table and others ordered as a Christmas present, I think we're ready to go.
No Willie jokes this time, please
I am building units for Bill Protz's entirely charming ruleset, "Drums of War Along the Mohawk" - surely due for a reprint with a new layout, pretty pictures &c, &c...

You will already know that the figures will be organised in a modified "Charge!" standard. The French in two grand divisions of 16 privates with a drummer, NCO and Officer. Companies of Grenadiers and Piquets of five privates and an Officer with a battalion staff of the Colonel, two Ensigns, a drummer, ADC and a Regimental Sergeant Major.

The British are similar although with the addition of a 3rd Grand Division and larger Grenadier companies (8 Privates and an Officer), smaller Light Infantry Company (only four and a Sergeant). Highlanders benefit from a fourth Grand Division and extra Grenadier and Light Companies.

I am currently building my first pair of French Units - La Sarre and Berry, each of which is quite a long way along due to past efforts; then it will be on to the first British units, probably the 44th, 46th and 48th Foot, each of which had a very busy time in North America in the 1750s.

And a prettier picture than that above...
Some of the brave lads of the La Sarre Regiment

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Prototyping Terrain for the Boer War

So, I've painted 33 Boers and a dozen British in a rush and it's time to do something else for a bit. 

I have comparatively little terrain for the Boer War. This weekend, I tried an experiment to see what I could do with what I had. What you are looking at is a kind of layout I might use if the garrison of Ladyking or Himberley might have sallied out one moonless night to see what mischief they might wreak on a Boer gun position.

You're looking at one of my two 90 by 150 centimetre tables. The ridge-line or kop is made from layers of 30cm square cork tile. I faced them with grass matt paper on one side and left them in their natural state on the other.

In the foreground are my imagined denizens of the bushveldt - anthills and acacia trees. The table itself is green on one side and au naturel on the other for a more arid look. I am making a few more anthills as I read so much about British troops taking cover behind them in the big battles of the war.
A Boer sentry stands guard while his fellows sleep in the farmhouse to the rear of the Kop. He will spot the English if he rolls a six and fire his rifle to wake his mates.
La belle Alliance standing in for a Dutchman's farmhouse; and not too badly either if the images of various Boer houses I have seen are anything like right.
An attempt at an entrenchment with a 25mm scale resin wall and a couple of old resin Gabions. The wall lengths are about 15cm.
Another shot of my Long Tom in it's emplacement with a sentry by it for scale. There are improvements that could be made - the addition of the artillerists impedimenta, a firing platform and perhaps a small tent for the ammunition.

Any feedback and suggestions are more than welcome.

This particular layout I imagine as one that I would use in a mooted rule set. I see this as being a stand alone skirmish scenario to be played in the context of a larger seige. A raid is planned. Two small parties go out each with a co and with a captain in charge of the whiole show. Move by move the creep forward, dreading the moment that the Boer sentry (rolling a 6) spots them. S small squad of his comrades tumble out of their tent and start firing wildly at the Khakis in the dim, pre-dawn light. Hit chances and movement all are reduced because of the darkness. The British scramble into the Boer Sangar, desperate to set of the gun cotton charges they have brought before the rest of the Boers scramble up the Kop from the farmhouse below...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Mounted Boers


A Few Mounted Types
I have been rather questioning the utility of mounted figures for my Boer forces. My reading leads me to believe that they virtually never fought from horseback. Rather they were mounted infantry, relying on their horses for strategic and operational mobility. Sooo, just one unit?

Monday, November 15, 2021

Oh, what a Boer

 A random sampling of the weekends' painting.

A few Willie Boers and a British cavalryman mounting up. Another splendidly useless figure, but too good not to paint.

Friday, November 05, 2021

Mr Long Tom


From TVAG..? Maybe..?
I forget where I got my Le Creusot "Long Tom". I bought it originally because I wanted some 19th Century "Siege Artillery" for my FPW collection, but with that on a long hiatus, I thought that my Boers might have a better use for it.

I have no idea whether the colour of the carriage is right, but I think it will do.

Rampaging around the 'net the other day, I note that Askari Miniatures do a very suitable Krupp 75mm gun and limber that I must pick up three of each to make up a Boer Staatsartillerie battery for TSatF. I note also Mr Askari has some Krupp mountain guns that wil do nicely for my Willie British.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What did You Do in the Lockdown?

 I carried on and painted Toy Soldiers my boy.

Alzheims' latest Chevaux-Legere

Names, names, names. Hmmm.

Hard-riding brigade staff

And again, a name for the hard-riding fellow in the red coat. Colloredo? Jones?
The whole shebang.

Take that Charles Grant. :^)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Planning Forward

 These few pictures might tell you a little story of where I am going next.

This first one is of some few Swedish Dragoons. I wonder how many of Holger Ericsson's figures representing the army of Charles XII are actually painted as such. 

I am nothing but responsive to my comments...

These beautiful marching figures are from a small stash I have had in my collection for quite a long time part-painted. So, I shall need to buy a few more to round them out to a full unit which will be well worth the expenditure. Don't tell anyone, but it would be a lovely thing to put together a small Swedish army from HE figures. All arms are represented fairly comprehensively and by heaven I already have rather a lot of infantry. There are even horse teams for the guns.

Next are some more HE figures. Those in the first picture below are some of the first HE's that I bought when I heard of them, they are painted in something of the style of the French guard cavalry. 

Next there is a lovely little batch that came to me through JP from the collection of Stuart Asquith which are not too far away from my own in their look. I am thinking of a composite Alzheim Leib Regiment with Dukes' and Duchesses' squadrons respectively. These too will take a few purchases to bring them up to strength and the heck with it, yes they will both be rather over-officered with many an appointment "à la suite".

The picture does not really do them justice...

Last, we have another red-coated regiment from the Comardo Collection. I had long since decided that the Alzheim dragoon regiments will wear red coats and here we shall go. 

I think that totals another 49 cavalry which will need to be completely painted from scratch plus the finishing works that will need to be done on the 15 Swedish Dragoons which are on he painting desk now. I like that. Also, the Comardo Alzheim Dragoons paint time will neatly fill the waiting time for the newly ordered figures On a financial front it represents a good combination of lead pile reduction and new incomers!


Sunday, September 26, 2021

A bold General of Cuirassiers and an obscure Brandenburg Markgraf

The Brigadier of my new cavalry brigade, Generaloberst Von Ahlenfeldt. Born in 1670, von Ahlenfeldt learned his warriors' trade in the Turkish Wars, served under Prinz Eugen and Ludwig von Baden and some Englander named Marlborough against the French and latterly with the Russians against the Swedes and Saxons before retiring to Alzheim in the middle 1720s. A moderately famous and relatively competent cavalry commander, he has revived the declining Alzheim Horse and become known - only half in jest - as the "König der Kürassiere".
A dashing Holger Ericsson Cavalryman indeed.
And a stolid King of Prussia by HE as well.

And here we have the rather obscure Friedrich Wilhelm, Margrave of the Mark of Brandenburg, This place is known to history as a flat and sandy desolation garnished with a few gloomy pines. Little more than a Swedish highway during the Thirty Years War Brandenburg is second in lack of significance to Mecklenburg.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The de Lusignan Cavallerie


De Lusignan's cavallerie legere with Von Abriegelung's Cuirassiers in the background

In reversed colours with a banner cribbed from Kronoskaf with some small overpainting.

Well, I do like it when I can close the book on a project and this has been one I have enjoyed doing. I am going to take a couple of days to consider what's up next. Do I paint another regiment? I have to say that once I got into the swing of painting these two cavalry regiments, things just hummed along, so it's a temptation to be sure. Perhaps a red-coated one? Or green? 

The other siren call for me is to round out a couple of LOTR armies I have doodled away at over the past 5-6 years - Rohan and Orcs. Each is at around 80 odd figures each and I could see myself building them out to around 130 Rohan (60 riders and 50-80 shieldwall). and 150-180 Orcs (mostly infantry with about 20 Warg riders). That's a rather big temptation, and I painted 5 orcs in between working on the last batch of de Lusignan's.

Another thought is to carry on with my Y2K Bundeswehr. I have a platoon of infantry painted (1:1), four diecast Marder 1A5s undercoated, a Gepard coming in the post and my eye firmly on some Leopard 2s. Looking around for Soviets and I think Zveda "Art of Tactic" Cold WAr Hot figures will do nicely for Soviets/Russians. There are plenty of kits of BTRs, BMPs and BRDMs about. Ditto later model Soviet era tanks as well.

And then also too there is my Blitzkreig to Barbarossa collection which burgeons. Have to admit there though that I had a wobble and trailed off in a 1944-ish direction with some panthers and Maultier trucks.

Plenty of options to chose from. Thoughts and opinions more than welcome! :)

Friday, September 10, 2021

Graf Von Abriegelung Regiment of Cuirassiers


And that is the last figure of that fine body of horsemen. Looking at the lace pattern on the saddle-cloth and the pole, I would assume that this will be an Alzheimer Regiment.

The Graf Von Abriegelung is a solitary, introverted type of chap who enjoys long, quiet days in the library, taking a constitutional around the battlements of his ancient, Ivy infested old Schloss. It's said that the Plague went through the town below and he didn't even notice.

Daily management of the Regiment of which he is Inhaber is of course devolved upon the senior Captain....

And a quick update:

Monday, September 06, 2021

Things to do During Lockdown.

 I could have done some work in the garden, I suppose.

But I didn't. 

With their gloss varnish drying in the early morning sunshine, I present the latest unit of Spencer Smiths, painted very much as 'German" cuirassiers. They still require two officers and an Ensign.

The naming Dear Readers, I leave to you. If it helps, they will be in the Imperial service.

Friday, August 27, 2021

On the Painting Desk

 Am I drawing back the curtain too much? Is too much of the mystery lost? 

See if you can find somewhere to sit in my disorderly palais de peinture.

What do we have here? Well, I was having a good rummage and found a few old GW Brettonins kicking about so I decided that after they had been sitting about for the best part of a decade that it was time for them to get some love. Mr Archer is pretty well there apart from the basing. 

The chap to his right needs the rest of his armour done and I need to decide what's going on with his surcoat. Currently it's a rather painstakingly highlighted gray going on white, but who knows what a flick through my various medieval references will throw up.

Meanwhile in our next shot...

The fellow on the his back in the fetching "or, fretty gules" number needs his armour and weapons completed. The two 1/72 tankers are modern Bundeswehr by Caesar, Excellent detail on them but you'd never know it under all that flecktarn.

And last there are hordes of Spencer Smith Cavalry. Those on the left are complete, while those hemmed in almost completely by a disorderly rabble of GW paint pots have had their first couple of colours applied. I hope to have them done by Sunday, but in lockdown, nothing is certain.

Try to ignore the mess...

Monday, August 16, 2021

A Change of Scene

 Time to take a little break from 1/72 panzer grenadiers and let my eyes rest for a while on something larger and yet also simpler.

I went and pulled out the Comardo Collection of cavalry with my son and arranged them all on the floor of the shedio. We picked out four units for renovation, and if I had been thinking straight this morning I would have shot all four of them, but that's me without coffee.

So the idea is I'll go nuts on them for the next six weeks and se if I can get thru four units of 27 figs.
That should get my ratios of SSM infantry better in keeping with the cavalry arm. 

The idea is to repaint them while honouring their original look. They are old veterans with a lot of years on them and they deserve to be remembered in their old livery - or at least a modenised version thereof. 

Just crane your neck to the right
This is a couple of them post renovation. So, more or less a German Cuirassier on the left or- -ah - top with a French Cavalerie Legere to the right.

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Revell Panzergrenadiers


I laid my hands on a couple of boxes of Revell Panzergrenadiers recently and it seemed like a good moment to pull a few out and paint them to see what I was getting myself into.

I think they are a case of the sculptor getting very ambitious in the posing while the mold technology used was not quite up to the job. There is lots of excess material where the mold has been unable to reach. Also, there is quite a bit of clash, mold lines and some evidence of mold mis-alignment. Grrr. 

Cleanup is a big part of the job. 

Nice looking figures once you get past these issues, though. Very lively and natural looking poses.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Slowly, we ascend the mountain

A somewhat minimalist Soviet infantry battalion

 Rapid Fire! calls a small HQ section, three six-to-eight man companies and a heavy company with an MMG and an 81mm mortar a battalion for the Soviets. That being so, and at the lower end of the scale, I present my first Soviet infantry battalion.

The second battalion is being sketched out now which means I'll also have to find a Regimental HQ, a 45mm ATG and a 75mm infantry gun. All fun tasks, I hasten to add!

Also on the drawing board are a company of  Revell panzer grenadiers. I spent a rather grim session early this morning shaving off the flash and mould lines before undercoating them.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Entropy and the Military Modeller

 When I was a kid and indeed a young adult, I built model kits by the score. Not very well, mostly, but I did get better in the end. Alas, like with so many things, once built, they would languish in a box or on a shelf from which occasionally they would tumble and so the pile of broken off lets, prop blades, antennae, struts and pitot tubes would pile up, one day to be stuck back on.

That's what I thought, anyway. Other forces doubtless intervened to clear way the shattered Luftwaffe and RAF casualties and so over time, very little of my early output survived. I once put together and painted a half dozen of the wonderful Matchbox T-34/76 when I was very much under the spell of the 'Command Decision" Barbarossa 25 campaign book.. How useful they'd be to me now! Yet, all that remains is a single wheel-less and unturreted hull.

Still, it's not all bad news, as last night I came across this:

From an abandoned airfield somewhere in Russia...

In not too bad shape; most of the bits are still there apart from a tailwheel and an antenna. I'll give the old girl a dusting, fix her up with some Tamiya extra thin glue and some stretched sprue and she'll be good as new.

UPDATE: And the Luftwaffe expands. Got the old Stuka back together and am currently putting the final touches on it and a 109E I stumbled across as well.
Airfix - the Luftwaffe's largest supplier..!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Early War Soviets defend the Motherland!

 Or oppose the crossing of the Bug. These figures and the aircraft are pretty self-explanatory.

Zvezda Soviet Infantry
These infantry are basically the first couple of companies of my first Soviet Rifle battalion.

Airfix Hs-123
German ground-support. These remarkable aircraft were produced before the war and participated in the Spanish Civil War. Production was discontinued although the aircraft continued in service. Their value was such on the eastern front, that Wolfram v. Richthofen asked that Henschel put the aircraft back into production only to be told that the jigs for its construction had been done away with in 1940! The machines that were in service continued in action until late in the war there were none left.
Almost there..!
I think once this unit is complete, I might get together a company of border troops and a pill box for the Stalin Line. I think I have a spare Miniairons T-26 Turret somewhere...

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Here come the "Siberian Rifles"


Zvezda Ski Troops
Some opposition for all those greatcoated and bed-sheet draped Germans in the ruins of Cholm.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

From the Blitzkreig to Stalingrad

 I've been whiling away the winter weeks and COVID induced lockdowns here in Melbourne painting for the early part of the Second World War. On top of having Richard Marsh's scenarios for the Eastern Front, I also recently picked up the newish Blitzkreig Battle Groups supplement for Rapid Fire. I was also picking through old issues of Wargames Illustrated and was taken again by Richards' old display game based on the siege of Cholm which took place after the initial German march on Moscow broke down in the face of Soviet resistance and the rigours of the Russian winter.

I noted and really admired the pictures of the Zvezda figures from their "Art of Tactic" as well as the "German Platoon" sets in the newer of the RF! publications, so I was determined to use them myself. Naturally I seem to have missed the boat both with their German and Soviet platoon sets which seem to be almost completely unobtainable at the moment which is a huge pity as the figure are superb, so I have settles purely on the Art of Tactic figures with some ring-ins from here and there. 

The goal then is to put together a couple of battalion each of "winter" and "summer" Germans, a couple of three battalion regiments of likewise "summer" and "winter" Soviets and a battalion of  BEF British.

A air amount of painting as been completed as you can see. Paints as ever are GW. Mostly Death Guard Green for the tunics and Administratum Gray for the trousers and helmets. Vehicles got a base coat of Tamiya German Gray, a wash of GW Nuln oil and then dry-brushing in Administratum Gray which was lightened for lighter layers of dry-brushing with white.

Zvezda PAK36

Matchbox SDKFZ10 and Pegasus IG18

Zvezda Command types

Zvezda German infantry and MG34 team

Zvezda German infantry

Zvezda German "Winter" Command

Zvezda German "Winter" Infantry - note the 'moving' mortar grew. Super engineering.
Pegasus German Infantry at Stalingrad.

Size comparison Pegasus and Zvezda.

The BEF, again by Zvesda.

Thanks for looking in. if anyone has one of the German or Soviet Platoon Sets going spare, do drop me a line..! The Strelets Germans in Stalingrad set would be welcome as well! :^)