Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Waterloo Farm - Airfix Style

 So I don't usually post about my purchases, but I found this one going relatively cheap and just thought it was high time I build it.  I am strangely excited about finally adding this iconic kit to my collection of scenery for the Napoleonic collection.  I'm very glad Airfix chose to model just the farm and not the entire Hougemont complex (edit - La Haye Sainte, not Hougemont - Thank you Rob.  I knew that, once upon a time...), as that would have made it enormous.  As it is, I think it will be a good size for the wargames table.  We shall see once I get it assembled...

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

French 76th Regiment of the Line

 I recently finished up rejuvenating some vintage 1960s or early 1970s 1/72 scale Napoleonic Alberken (early Minifig) figures, representing the French 76th line infantry regiment's 1st and 3rd battalions around 1811.

Many of these figures graced the pages of the Bruce Quarrie Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Wargaming. They were from the collection of Richard Tennant who provided many of the photos for the guide, along with Don Featherstone.

I first heard of l'ordre mixte in the Airfix guide and always had a fascination with that deployment, so here I have put my own spin on it with some good sized 36 figure battalions.

Here you can more clearly see the supposed benefit of the formation that combined the firepower of a line with the impetus of a column.

The two Grenadier companies form the center of the line.

Voltigeurs to the front - these have to be some of my all time favorite castings, which were featured prominently in the Airfix guide.

Dick Tennant's penchant for detail is shown here with a corporals rank stripe on the sleeve and shako cords and bands literally just painted on.

My contribution to these figures was a good cleaning and touch ups and then the addition of shading, highlights, a protective coat of gloss varnish and a nice bright base to stand on.

GdB Jean Chemineau is modelled using a personality figure from Hinton Hunt meant to be Marshal Ney.  I hope he will forgive me for the demotion...

For Colonels I tend to use more modern castings.  Here is an SHQ casting playing the French Chef de Bataillon Portemont, of the 3rd Battalion.  Somehow he managed to find an 1812 style uniform before the rest of his regiment.

For the 1st battalion Colonel I have used a Franznap casting.

The Eagle bearer of the 1st battalion is a grizzled veteran with only one arm, no doubt customized by Dick Tennant from an Alberken officer figure.

The 3rd battalion has turned in its Eagle and flag as required by Imperial decree, and now sports the more simple red battalion flag.  The sapeur was a complete repaint which I managed to make fit in with Dick Tennant's style rather well.

Finally I have a shot of the collection's guardian hard at work.  It's a tough life but someone has to do it. Nyra is a 4-5 year old Great Pyranees mix we adopted last year from Big Fluffy Dog Rescue in Nashville, and as you can see, she is fitting right in!.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Legion Irlandaise

They are a little late for their St. Patrick's Day debut, but I am happy to show of the refreshed Legion Irlandaise, originally painted by Richard Tennant.  My good friend Wellington Man has just posted his beautiful take on this regiment on his blog, The Hinton Spieler,
 I thought it would be fun to post these as well to compliment his work.  I am fairly certain these are made up of David Clayton castings, as they tend to be a bit smaller than original Hinton Hunt figures.  Nonetheless, they are beautifully cast and painted.  It was a pleasure to just touch these up a bit and add some shading and brighten the colors a titch.  I did add a new flag as the previous one was a bit too ordinary for such a splendid regiment.  I decided to model the 2nd battalion of the Regiment that served in Spain.  They are not quite as fancy as Wellington Man's 1st Battalion with their full plumes, but I do like their workman like simplicity.  They are lead by Lt. Colonel Jeremiah Fitzhenry, who is modelled with a lovely modern Franznap casting of a French Light Infantry Colonel.  He is the only figure I can claim as my own, but hopefully my touch ups have improved ever so slightly on the original rank and file.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Louis Baraguey d'Hilliers in 54mm Painted by Rob

Some time ago, in a somewhat brazen act of imposition, I asked if some of my fellow Hinton Hunt collectors would be interested in showing off their painting skills by painting a 54mm Hinton Hunt or Stadden figure and sending it to me as a memento of our friendship.  Aly was the first to complete the task, (, with Rob fast on his heals.  While I am waiting on a plinth for display, I simply could not resist going ahead and posting some pictures of this magnificent piece.  Thank you Rob!!!

I will let Rob's work on this figure speak for itself.

And y'all thought he was engrossed in a map of the battlefield...

Just a final word of thanks to Rob for his magnificent work on this classic figure.  I am truly lucky to have such friends!

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Napoleon's Beautiful Daughter - All 12 Pounds of Her!

I've been slowly expanding my French Imperial Guard forces made with Der Kriegspieler 1/72 scale metal miniatures.  Sometimes the Der Kriegspielers can be challenging castings to work with but these turned out to be pretty good quality.  In particular the canon and limber set were nicely cast.  

While I normally just model a four horse limber, for the heavy twelve pounders I felt like I had to go with the full six!

The traces for the horses were made from a spool of twisted wire.  I was hoping it would give the traces a rope like look to match the work done by Dick Tennant on the line artillery limbers, but it came out looking more like leather, which is actually fine since that is what was actually used.

In the old school rules I use the gun represents two actual canons and each crew member represents a canon.  So here is an eight gun 12 pounder battery deployed for action.  As casualties are assessed, the loss of a crew member equates to the loss of a gun.

The 12 pounder French Canon is my favorite of the DK artillery.  I added the drag chains to the carriage and the fuse to the slow match of the corporal in charge of firing the canon.

I can't imagine they actually worked the guns in their bearskins, backpacks and slung rifles, but it looks cool!

The Battery commander is a fantastic casting and looks spectacular in his gold aiguilettes and cords.

Next up - The 2nd Battalion of the Irish Legion.  These were originally painted by Dick Tennant.  I am just giving the a good cleaning and sprucing them up a bit as a compliment to the 1st battalion currently under way by Wellington Man that can be seen on the Hinton Spieler blog.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Vimeiro 1808 - The Assault

 Vimeiro 1808 - Recreated in a basement 4125 miles away.  

I first saw this kind of gaming presented in grainy black and white pictures within the pages of the Airfix guide "Napoleonic Wargaming" by Bruce Quarrie.  46 years after first opening that book I am finally able to stage a good sized game.  This one is a remotely managed battles with the Generals in the UK and New Zealand.

The French Attack column of two Battalions with additional companies from the Legion Hanovrienne playing the part of the Swiss, coming down the main road leading to Vimeiro.

Voltigeurs encountering British rifles for the first time...

...and British Shrapnel.  Vimeiro was the first time the French were subjected to the new Shrapnel shells.

A battery of British 9 pounders flays the approaching columns.

The Marksmen of the 95th take their toll of the approaching Voltigeurs as well.

Just to the South the first column, a second column of two battalions approaches the larger hill just south-east of Vimeiro.  Though the casualties are light, the Southern column is shaken by the shrapnel and grinds to a halt in the face of the exploding shells.

Behind the village all is confusion

Seeing the approaching columns, the British prepare to defend the village itself should the initial line along the hills collapse.

To the North the lead battalion of the French column has deployed into line, while the French Battery of 8 pounders pours canister into the British line atop the smaller Northern hill.

To the South the second French battalion remains unbroken and storms the heights of the larger Sothern hill, just as a strong line of British infantry crests the ridge.

A regiment of French dragoons has made its way along a small track through rough terrain and formed a supported line just to the east of the larger Southern hill.

All the while battalions of the French Grenadier reserve are making their way into attack positions.

Two more battalions of French Grenadiers approaching Vimeiro along a protected stream valley.

The assault develops.

The lead French Column in the North is able to approach within yards of a British Battery before being shaken by the ferocity of the fire.

Though taking heavy casualties, the approaching column forced the British fire to be directed at that threat, and unable to respond to fire from the French battalion to their front in line as well as a battery of canon and the remnants of the Legion Hanovrienne.

To the South the British pour fire into the approaching column, which was made less effective as they had only just cleared the ridge.

All the while the French cavalry is waiting to spring into action...

And that is where we must leave it for now.  The balance of battle is on a knife's edge!

End of Turn 6 update with positions:

A hand drawn map with old Risk pieces serves as a reference for unit positions throughout the game for the players.  It also allowed me to manage movement of hidden units.

A birds-eye view of the central portion of the battlefield showing the French first and second waves.

The French Dragoons Breakthrough!

The 16th French Dragoons, taking advantage of the open small hill vacated by the routing British 1/50th, were able to approach the British line under cover and turn on the flank of the 2/58th, hitting them while the infantry were still in line and sending them streaming to the rear.  The rout of the 1/50 and 2/58th created a large gap in the center of the British defensive line.

The 1/69th re-formed and ready to advance back into the fray.  With the 1/71st light Highland infantry the only remaining enemy in sight and forced into square by the French Dragoons, the 1/69th may have an easier time getting up Vimeiro Hill!

French Dragoons stream through the gap in the British line preparing to cut down green jackets and artillerymen at will.

To the right of the dragoons, the British Gordons have formed square only to be charged by French infantry, the 1/39th streaming over the small Vimeiro hill as well.

On the extreme right of the British line, the 1/71st have also formed square and will face death from artillery fire as they are exposed on the crest of the hill.

In front of Vimeiro the 2/42nd has formed line and is about to unleash death in the form of a British volley on the unwitting Grenadiers daring a frontal assault.

On the extreme left of the British line, where the 1/23rd and 9th Light Dragoons are retreating, an unlikely hero has emerged for the British.  Portuguese Dragoons have charged into the midst of a French battalion of Grenadiers, hoping to provide much needed breathing room for the British 1/23 and 9th Light Dragoons to rally.

The Gordons let off a volley on the approaching 1/39th.

The Black Watch, arrayed in Line delivers a crushing volley to a battalion of charging French Grenadiers and the front ranks disappear!

The Elan of the charging French battalions is high and both assaulting battalions charge home despite the heavy casualties.  Here the 1/39th assault the Gordon's but are repulsed with heavy loses.

The Grenadiers are down to half strength but will not be denied a chance of revenge against the skirted devils of the British Black Watch Highlanders!

To the South of Vimeiro the 16th Dragoons have broken through and are devastating the retreating 1/50th and have ridden down several companies of green jacketed riflemen, as well as fleeing artillerymen.

The second round of melee in front of Vimeiro will be crucial; the Black Watch is shaken, but far outnumber the French Grenadiers.  The Grenadiers are veteran soldiers to a man and are determined, but the outcome is balanced on a knife's edge, it may be down to the roll of the dice.

The Portuguese Dragoons had a legitimate chance to blow through a battalion of French Grenadiers who they had surprised in column and broken into, but the courage of the Portuguese cavalrymen quailed at the staunch resistance of the brave Grenadiers and they fled the field in ignominy much reduced in number.

The Conclusion

The Black Watch streams back through Vimeiro after being defeated by the attacking Grenadiers, but were able to inflict so many casualties on the Grenadiers that they too fell back.

What's this?  Another British regiment crosses the bridge behind Vimeiro, sent by Daddy Hill from the heights overlooking Vimeiro to ease the pressure.

The remaining three battalions of Grenadiers push forward.

In front of Vimeiro one of the battalions of Grenadiers has penetrated to the very gates of Vimeiro, just as the Gordons are manning the village. 

To the rear, the remnants of the 39th and 69th regiments are gathering again for another push, their bellies fortified with strong wine from their regiments Cantiniere. 

An overhead view of Vimeiro showing the black watch retreat as the Gordons move in just in the nick of time.

The reinforcing regiment of British infantry is forced back across the bridge by the rampaging French Dragoons, loose behind the main British line, but the Dragoons are taking fire from all sides as they seek a way out.

The women of Vimeiro imploring the 42nd to come to their aid.

The critical assault!

French Dragoons still a menace behind the British lines!

And suddenly it was over!

The French assault on Vimeiro failed and the Grenadiers were routed with heavy casualties by the stalwart Gordons.  The British 9th light Dragoons made a suicidal charge and crashed into the remaining French Grenadiers, sacrificing their lives to buy time for the British to rally.  The French Dragoons virtually ceased to exist as they began taking fire from all sides, and suddenly it became apparent that the village could not be taken.

An uneasy truce was declared, the dead were buried and the wounded helped to the rear leaving the two armies facing each other.  The French had taken the high ground, but lacked the strength to take the village and more British reinforcements were on the way.

The remnants of the French army stare down into the village, before suing for peace and making the long trip back home to France aboard the ships of the Royal Navy, but that is another story...

Many thanks to the commanding generals, Rob, Mark, Mathew, Aly, Pete and Ian, for a wonderfully engaging battle and a great excuse to take the figures out of the display case and put them to work.  Y'all are the best!