Thursday, 2 November 2017

Normal Service Will Be Resumed Soon(ish)

After a major post surgery setback I finally seem to be (quite literally) getting back on my feet. The added bonus is that I can sit down at the painting table for more than a few minutes at a time!

My timescale for the Franco-Prussian War game is shot to pieces which is a shame but the latest Minifigs French battalion is coming along well. They will be my next post - but not at the expense of a some nice long walks (and even a bicycle ride?) in the fresh air!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

13th Bavarian Infantry Regiment - first battalion completed!

At last I have made some progress on the German States forces, in this case the first battalion for the 13th Infantry Regiment. The Bavarian's supplied a full two Corps to the conflict; second only to the Prussian contribution.

I am making the German States battalions 32 figures strong - again in line with Shann's rules. I need to create significantly more German vs French forces for phase one of the collection, so the "simple" Bavarian uniform is quite handy!

Historically the Bavarian forces did OK-ish. However, apart from 4 of the Jager battalions, all units were armed with the Podwils rifle - a rifled musket converted to a breach loader but without the benefit of a firing pin, meaning the weapon had to be capped for each shot. The rate of fire was therefore little better than the original musket. It is claimed this was the worst weapon to see service in the war and its users complained it's only use was in making bayonet charges.

I am now working on some Minifigs once more - both French and Bavarian. All these next figures are being started as new so output will be slower than the part started figures I have been working on so far.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

More Chassepots and Moustaches

One more addition to the French ranks in the form of another Essex Miniatures "firing line" battalion. This marks the last of the "substantially started but not finished" French figures. Next up will be the first of the Bavarian battalions which were also started over a year ago now.

The flesh tones are straight from the Foundry 3 colour palette after my old paints finally dried up. While they look good enough in the flesh (sorry!) they do not necessarily photograph as well so a little experimentation may be in order.

I know have 4 of the required 6 line battalions, I have one more Essex and one more Minifigs battalion to complete plus either an Old Glory or Essex Chasseur a Pied battalion to complete for stage 1 of the collection.

I will probably add some more command stands before I let them take to the field as well; but for now it's time to break out the cornflower blue and getting cracking on the first of the German forces.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

A Little More Progress

Another small step in the right direction with a command stand to lead my fledgling Imperial French forces; plus a pleasant return to the "clean lines" of Essex Miniatures. The figures did not photograph as well as I hoped as there is a lot more subtlety to the shading than appears here.

No matter how smart the uniforms you just know these fellows will have negative command and control factors!
 I am working on another (Essex) French battalion now. The initial plan is for 6 line battalions, a Chasseur battalion with supporting artillery and command stands for the French. A slightly larger sized Prussian/Bavarian force is needed for a half-baked scenario I have in mind; so I am about half way there with the French at least.

After that I would need to roughly double the size of the German army and add some colourful French troops for the battle at Weissenburg on 4th August 1870. That may take a little more time!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

French Artillery 1870

 At long last the first of the French artillery is complete. I had actually started painting these figures well over a year ago. Now, I have seen some of the Old Glory figures painted up really well so I am a little disappointed with my results. 

Old Glory 15s French Artillery 1870

This is not a criticism of the OG figures, but the Essex and Minifigs have "clean lines" and I can clearly see where the paint is meant to go; but not so with these. I am glad they are finished and while I have some Prussian Dragoons and French Chasseurs (which I will finish) I think thereafter I will stick to figures that suit my painting abilities/eyesight better. 

Size wise they are a little bigger than the Minifigs and Essex figures. When I finish the Chasseurs I will take some comparison shots for those interested in that kind of thing.

The high water mark for muzzle loading artillery technology!

The French artillery is much maligned in accounts of the war however it should be remembered that Napoleon III's choice was based on sound logic. They presented the pinnacle of muzzle loading technology at a time when breech loaders were considered by many countries as experimental, expensive and unproven. The world was in for a a bit of a rude awakening!

I am working on a few command bases (which were also started over a year ago) before returning to either more French infantry or adding the first of the Prussian and Bavarian troops

Monday, 26 June 2017

Minifigs Imperial French Infantry 1870

As promised in  my last post I have been able to finish this battalion of 15mm Minifigs French infantry (they were actually about 75% complete anyway so it is no great achievement).

The humble Minifigs - still looking good after all these years!

 The infantry come in one basic pose but with a little bending here and there they produce a nice varied look. Cleanly sculpted they paint up really well I think. I don't quite have enough for another battalion so another visit to the Minifigs site will be in order when I have cleared the backlog; however I am so impressed with the little fellas that I may experiment with their Crimean War figures as well.

More garance for the collection.

I am now working on finishing up some French artillery, Old Glory 15s this time. They really just need the guns finishing and basing so I am hoping for another post later this week.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Return to the Franco Prussian War

The surgery on my spine is now complete and I am (hopefully) on the road to recovery. Here are the reorganised and rebased 15mm French Line infantry I had hoped to have completed before I went under the knife and which originally featured in my April 2016 post. I had to add a few more figures to make up the two 30 figure battalions. 

The unit sizes are in line with my old "La Guerre a Outrance" rules by Stephen Shann which I used with some success in the late 1980's as I recall.

15mm figures from Essex Miniatures
 I may use Shann's rules again or "Black Powder", however the motivation for the change was purely aesthetic. I think the larger, more open bases look more like I imagine a 19th century firing line would have been. The previous incarnation just looked too cramped.

The 30 figures also make for good looking battalions "In the Grand Manner".

Currently my main impetus is with the French forces; simply because I have more figures cleaned up, primed and in some cases  nearly completed than any other figures, which is handy because sitting down for any length of time at the moment is not possible. I can however paint standing up for slightly longer  periods - so I can achieve some results while I recuperate.

2nd Battalions of the 45th & 78th Line 1870
I am working on two more units suitable for the non Eagle carrying battalions using Essex and Minifigs, I hope to post the first of them by the end of the weekend.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Airfix 3rd Silesian Landwehr

Finally I have something to post. 

But first:

Sadly 2017 has not been a good year. I got a new job (same line of work but just a different employer in the City of London) but developed a niggling back ache. In turn this developed into something far more serious and in just over a week I have surgery on my spine. Coupled with the austerity measures for public sector workers such as myself it all makes for a less than certain future. All nasty stuff; which brings into focus that you really should enjoy the simple things in life - they are invariably the most important. 

So I give you the 3rd Silesian Landwehr:

Not a wobbly chin among these veterans!

"Back in the day" I would have busted a gut to have been able to achieve these kind of results so I am proud of this unit. A lot of them had to be completed while standing!I just hope they fulfill my battlefield expectations!

The standard is in the official Airfix box art pattern. Yes, I know!

I would like to be able to finish one more Airfix unit before I go under the knife, plus I have been re-basing my 15mm Franco-Prussian War figures which should be completed in the next two days. I will post the results and the ideas behind this once done.

In the meantime I hope you can enjoy a trip down Airfix memory lane when grand battles were fought, completed and put away over the kitchen table before fish fingers, mash potato and peas were served up for the whole family's tea!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Remember When I Said....

...I hoped to paint a couple of units a month?

Well here we are in April and I'm still working on the Airfix Prussian Landwehr!

Well they are nearly done-they just need basing.

Who knows, I may even have them finished at the weekend!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The 2017 Campaign

My campaign plans for 2017 are made in the sure knowledge that if hobby time was sparse in 2016 its going to be very much the same this year too. Therefore all figure collecting and gaming adhere to my official 2017 mantra (to all things) of "Keep It Simple".

Airfix figures will form the bulk the work; after all it was 40 years ago that I started secondary school and discovered the wargaming hobby. Back in 1977 I could churn out a couple of Airfix units a week...I hope to be able to average 2 units a month now!

I have chosen to organise and base the figures for a more traditional 1:20 ratio set of rules such as General de Brigade, Black Powder or In the Grand Manner (I have all three!). The first of the allied units has been undercoated but already their completion date has been put back until beginning of February. They are a tribute to the best performing unit of my 2016 gaming; the Silesian Landwehr. I hope they fire as well as Ian's Hinton Hunt's did in June!