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Sunday, May 8, 2022

Bavarian Artillery and Command

 Today I am pleased to show the completed Napoleonic era Bavarian artillery team.  The figures are produced by Franznap Miniatures and are just exquisitely sculpted.  I have painted them to match my old school glossy Hinton Hunt collection, but in truth these do stand out, as they are far more finely sculpted and animated than their older compadres.

To the rear are the artillery drivers which have already graced these pages.  In the left foreground is a command vignette, and to the right, the artillery battery unlimbered and deployed for battle.

The artillerists are depicted in campaign dress, the main difference being the trousers/overalls worn instead of the usual dress pants.

The command vignette was a fun addition to the regular figures needed to represent an eight gun battery.  The figure reading the map is a conversion from the original, which was actually leaning back with his arms extended behind him on the ground.  I was able to reposition the arms and add the map, which I thought made more visual sense, and fit in well with this vignette of an artillery general, trooper, and mounted trumpeter.

The saddle cloth and black sheepskin are a design I was not able to find a historical reference for, but as trumpeters were notoriously variable in their uniforms and horse furniture, I just made what I thought was a reasonable guess as to how it would have appeared.  This is more likely to have been an officer's horse furniture, but I felt not unlikely for a trumpeter to have as well.

Micron ink pens were used to draw the details on the map.

Next up will be a battalion of grenadiers made by a true old school figure manufacturer - Garrison Miniatures.  The figures were kindly provided by Wellington Man, to help meet my needs for the upcoming battle of Vimiero Village.  The Battle to the north of Vimiero is progressing beautifully and balanced on a knife's edge. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

His Majesty's Guardsman

One of, if not the quality, I admire most in our hobby, is the depth of friendships we develop over our shared passion for this relatively obscure endeavor.  I have good friends across the city, and some across the globe.  Of those international friends, many I have never met in person - a state of things I hope to remedy!  
Astute readers of my blog will have noted the troops around Vimiero are taking a "Winter's Peace" of sorts while I attend to health matters.  Not to belabor the medical stuff; I recently discovered that I was living with two large aortic aneurysms.  Thanks to the amazing folks at the medical center where I work, I am now one week out of post-op, home, and feeling stronger every day.  I even walked the pups yesterday much to my wife's chagrin.  Health-wise, I could not have hoped for a better outcome.  It looks like my dear spouse and family are stuck with me for at least another 40 years (that may be a bit greedy, but why not at this point).
Not a day after getting home from the hospital, I discovered this ambassador waiting for me in the mailbox.  What a joy to open the package and find this immaculately painted guardsman in the old style.  He is a vintage 30mm Willie figure of an Imperial Guardsman originally sculpted by Edward Suren and ably painted by Aly Morrison.


The guardsman came complete with orders which read: "His Imperial Majesty sends his regards and has dispatched one of his finest guardsmen to ensure that you take time to rest and recover.  Most importantly - GET WELL SOON!" signed Aly Morrison (ADC)

 Thanks to all for the support along this journey and for the host of well wishes I have received from our community.  With any luck I'll be able to incorporate painting into part of my rehab and will have some of my own soldiers to show off soon.  In the meantime, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to Aly for a real lift of my spirits that was unexpected and truly delightful.  Best to you my friend.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

A Bavarian Welsh and French Confection of Metal Delights

Today I present a lovely assortment of miniature sculpting styles and nationalities.  The last couple of months I have been preparing for an international re-creation of the battle north of Vimiero, but while that battle has been progressing over email, I have been busily painting and am happy to show the results of those efforts below (as well as a few spoiler photos of the battle).

The Royal Welsh 23rd Fusiliers.  Originally painted by Dick Tennant

I wanted the Battalion to have command figures in bearskins, and was a few figures short of the 36 figure standard battalion, so added a Der Kriegspieler NCO as regimental standard bearer, officer and drummer.  The rest are Hinton Hunt originals painted by Mr. Tennant in his usual extraordinary style.  I refreshed the paint a bit and added some shading.

The flags had to be replaced unfortunately, so I decided I might as well incorporate some Hagen tassels from their flag pole set.

The DKs fit in just fine with their Hinton Hunt brethren in this instance, which was a relief!

A Waterloo 1815 metal casting from their command set, slightly modified and demoted, serves as Colonel Ellis of the Fusiliers

I love the animation of this figure as he peers forward over the neck of his horse.

Here we have an Art Miniaturen casting of Roustam Raza, Napoleon's body guard and secondary valet.

You have to love all of the gold on the oriental costume which he would wear on ceremonial occasions.

The horses bridle was my favorite part!

On deck is the 76th Infantry Regiment of the Line, so I thought I would go ahead and get their Colonel and Chef de Bataillon done while I was working on command figures.

On the left is an SHQ casting and on the right, perhaps my all time favorite sculpt, a Franznap Colonel.

The different sculpting styles is really evident when seen from behind.

More Franznap - a Bavarian six horse artillery train.

Limber riders and gun complete the set.

The traces were a little fiddly to put together, but come as part of the set cast in metal.

Altogether a fantastic piece.

A better view of the artillery drivers and the traces.

I won't be doing any more six horse artillery trains until I model Napoleon's beautiful daughters - 12 pounders in the Imperial Guard artillery reserve.

Bavarian light artillery piece

Note the attached bucket as well as the cast on drag chain.

Just another beautifully detailed piece by Franznap.

Lastly a few teaser shots from the ongoing battle north of Vimiero.  The troops have temporarily laid down their arms while I take care of some health matters, but I hope to be up and running again in a couple of months.  Till then, happy gaming!


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Vimiero 1808 - Test Game

 Vimiero 1808 is the largest engagement I have tried thus far using Muskets and Marshals, so before having a full crew over to play I wanted to get in a test game.  To that end I had a couple of brave volunteers willing to brave the cool temps in my garage head over to test the game (Thanks to SD and JD for their enthusiasm and great ideas).  Once again the rules performed very well with results that seemed historically based.  I have been consistently pleased at how well this simple set of rules has performed.  I did make a few tweaks to accommodate my big battalions and I wanted to make sure they did not adversely affect game play.  Not wanting to give away the game entirely since there is another bigger game day planned, I'll just present a brief overview of the day's action.


Starting positions as a French brigade faces off against three British brigades a few miles North of Vimiero.

British assault up the hill.

View from the French side as the battalions clash - Note the skirmishers have retreated behind the line.
Intense fighting at the top of the hill.

The British breakthrough in the center and their right has pushed back the French, but on the left of the line the French have mounted a stubborn defense, delaying the British advance.

Brennier's brigade arrives in the nick of time - maybe too early - with a regiments of Dragoons in the lead.

Lead elements of the British advance around their left flank, form square in the nick of time and the Dragoons flow around the square taking heavy casualties in the process.

The next British regiment suddenly finds themselves unprepared for a cavalry assault and still in line.

More bad news for the British - Colonel Macara of the Black Watch goes down!

On the left of the British line the French refuse to give ground and send one British Regiment streaming to the rear just as a second engages them.  Despite overwhelming odds the French hang on by the skin of their teeth!

Oh the shame of it all!

But what is this?  Major Dornier of the French 69th is down!

More good news for the British as their second flanking battalion form square just as the French Dragoons bug out due to British fire from the first square.

At this point it seemed like a good place to call it for the day, as the next phase of the battle was likely to take some time to resolve.  The game was a great test of the rules and really helped identify a few questions I need to ask, and most importantly, how to calculate the victory conditions and the timing of reinforcements.  Many thanks to SD and JD for their input and of course Stryker over on the Hinton Hunt Vintage Wargame Figures blog, for his development of the rules and willingness to share!