Friday, 14 September 2018

Painting Postponed

A couple of weeks ago I had an operation to start reconstruction of my nose following an earlier procedure to remove a skin cancer tumour. I now have a flap of skin connecting my forehead to my lower nose which could be in place for several weeks. This means I can't wear my spectacles, so can't focus close enough to do any painting.

So, I've been using my time to think about rules. I always intended to use Charles Grant's Napoleonic Wargaming rules as serialised in Military Modelling in the early 1970's and subsequently published in book form, but scaled down to 1 inch = 20 yards, 24 figure battalions, 12 figure cavalry units and 1 gun batteries. Some of the original rules relied on having figures mounted singly and units having supernumerary officers to represent Command and Control. Officers =1 point, Colonel =2 points, for a total of 6, which would be reduced as officers became casualties. Grant himself suggests (at least in the book version) that instead you could assess officer casualties in proportion to overall losses. So this is the way I decided to go. With that in mind I've produced a couple of tables which should (hopefully) be the basis for implementing playable Morale rules. The following link should open a pdf from my Google Drive:-

I've run through a couple of scenarios using these and they seem to work quite well.
I pitted two French battalions in column in an attack on two British units in line.

The right-hand British unit managed to decimate their French opposition, who halted, then broke and ran after getting reduced to 50% strength. The left-hand Brits were less lucky with their dice throws and the French managed to charge home, breaking the line. I repeated the scenario several times, in all cases the columns were repulsed. So, all-in-all, I think the result was reasonably accurate historically, while giving troops in column at least an outside chance of success. The columns would have had a better chance if the lines had been supported by an initial artillery bombardment!

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Premier Francais, Part Deux

Here's the first French line infantry I've painted in 40 years!
A mix of Hinton Hunt and Alberken / early Minifigs.

Next up will probably be a battalion of Imperial Guard Grenadiers. Lets face it, it's got to be done.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

First French Finished

First French infantry unit finished, a light infantry battalion, which I'm designating as the 17th Legere, not based on any definitive research, but they have to have a name. I recall from my general reading that the 17th served from Lodi to the 100 days, so that will do for now.

These are Hinton Hunt original castings, apart from the eagle-bearer (Alberken / early Minifigs) and the horn player (not sure of the make, here's a pic before I flocked the base, maybe someone recognises it?)

I've based them in twos and ones so they can be deployed in open or close order, I think this is a good compromise, because although most Napoleonic light infantry were employed tactically the same as line infantry I like to have the option to diverge from historical practice if I so wish.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

First French

Time to get started on some opposition for my British / Allied troops.
These will be the first French Napoleonics I've painted in 40 years.

I've started with these elite light infantry, which coincidentally were the first Hinton Hunt figures I bought when I started collecting about 3 years ago. That was the start of the slippery slope!

These are 1809-ish uniforms, I put the carabiniers in colpacks as well as the voltigeurs because a) I don't have any figures wearing the taller bearskins, b) I do have the figures in colpacks. Seen a bit of debate on various discussion sites and there is evidence that some units were attired this way and often retained this style up to 1812 and beyond, despite official regulations. Work on the Chasseur companies will start this week.

This was the first time I've used the black undercoat method and think I'll stick to it in future.

It's also the first time I've concentrated on a small batch of figures, it's certainly less tedious than painting a full unit of 24 at once. But I've calculated it will take me at least twice as long to complete a battalion, so will probably go back to the production line method in future.

This week I received 3 x British Light Infantry in exchange for 3 x BN5 British line infantry so have nearly enough for my British Light battalion now. Just need a couple of officers and I'll be good to go. On this subject, the guy who sent me these needs still more BN5's to complete his project, I said I'd make a request on his behalf to the good folk who read this blog, let me know if you can help and I'll put you in touch.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Back in Black

The Brunswick Leib Regiment

When I bought these they were painted with all black uniforms and equipment, which was a bit boring, so I gave them brown packs, grey greatcoat rolls, light coloured haversacks and blue water bottles, with a stylised white horse on the backpack. This was justified by some illustrations in an old Osprey uniform guide and the fact that they are in British service so may have  acquired some non-standard kit.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

50 Shades of Grey....

.....well maybe 12 shades if I'm honest, and all quite similar.
Which is my clumsy way of introducing the 2nd Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys).

Left view

Right view

Rear view

Lady Butler style view

This is one of those iconic units which any Napoleonic British army has to include, it's an unwritten law.
These are original HH one-piece castings. Some missing swords needed replacing. Looking at the finished results I wish I'd replaced them all, as a few are a bit stubby and look more like butchers' cleavers. I find the pose quite amusing, as if the riders are all a bit shy and are trying to hide their faces.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Duke and the Dandy

Decided it was time my growing British and Allied forces had some firm leadership.

The Iron Duke, in his trademark plain dark blue, meets Sir Stapleton Cotton, who clearly has a slightly more elaborate sense of military fashion. These are original HH. Not entirely happy with Wellington's mount, Copenhagen was an ex-racehorse 3/4 thoroughbred and 1/4 arab, the HH horse is a bit chunky for that.

Some nicer horse castings on the following which came to me from ebay ready painted, not sure of the manufacturer. Slightly larger than HH, possibly Lamming?

They depict Wellington in Full Dress uniform seated, with a major general, a guards colonel and an officer of engineers apparently.