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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Napoleonic Civilian Camp Followers - Laundry Day

I decided it was high time for a post to diffuse some of the masculinity of soldiers in military garb marching off to do battle.  To that end I thought it would be nice to include the oft unseen contribution of the camp followers.  Napoleonic armies had very little in the way of formalized support services, relying instead on the women who followed their men or their need for work/food, behind the army hoping to eek out a meager living.

This lovely set of "Washer Women" is available from Franznap miniatures.  The casting quality and sculpture of these is as usual from Franznap, extraordinarily good.

The new website is still getting refreshed, but should be available soon here:  

I will let these photos speak for themselves other than to say that these were a joy to paint:

Next up will be some serious manliness.  The 3rd Dutch Grenadiers of the French Imperial Guard in their high bearskin hats and white uniforms are rapidly approaching completion.  I hope they will be ready for their debut within a couple of weeks.  Fingers crossed...

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hinton Hunt Waterloo Pamphlet

 A Good Friend, Terry W. and I shared an afternoon playing some engaging English Civil War miniature battles using a DBA rules variant, but truthfully after a year in quarantine, we spent most of the afternoon drinking wine and just catching up.  Terry was kind enough to share a few odds and ends he had collected over the years, and knowing my interest in Hinton Hunt miniatures, passed on this little Waterloo Pamphlet that Marcus Hinton must have put together to help peddle his wares.  I don't know how common they are, so thought I would just pop up some pictures as a curiosity for those who share my interest.


An old man's view of the front yard.  This is the view from some chairs we keep up by the house in the front yard.  I planted all of the flowering trees and cedars about 20-25 years ago when we bought the place. I Planted many of the smaller hardwoods too. A good argument for staying put in one place, and a nice spot to read through Marcus Hinton's words on Waterloo.

 And finally a super quick shot of the Dutch Grenadiers, slowly marching towards completion.


Not Hinton Hunt, but these Der Kriegspieler figures, after a lot of tender loving care, are starting to look the part!

The white backpack straps and cross belts are the only major element left to paint.  Then the fun of highlighting and more detailing begins!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Portuguese General Staff and Battalion Colonels

The Tennant collection includes eight battalions of Portuguese infantry and three regiments of dragoons, so I felt like I needed to beef up the chain of command a bit.  Most pressingly, I need Colonels for the infantry battalions.  I have since discovered that Portuguese command figures are few and far between in terms of availability.  I was able to pick up a general staff set and mounted colonel as part of an infantry command set from Hagen.  These are now unavailable, but may pop back up soon at a partner site.

The Colonel in British Uniform is an SHQ figure that is still available.


From left to right: Colonel Maxwell Grant of the 6th Portuguese infantry regiment in British uniform, General Beresford and Portuguese Brigadier, and an un-named Portuguese Lieutenant Colonel to lead the 2nd battalion of the 6th Portuguese line.

The Hagen Portuguese General Staff set does not specify Beresford, but with such a large Portuguese contingent in the army, he seemed the logical choice for the model in this little vignette.  He has joined Wellington now as part of the General Staff.

Beresford actually attained the rank of Field Marshal in the Portuguese army, but I was unsure when that rank was given, so in this vignette he appears in the uniform of a full General (I think - information on uniforms and personnel of Beresford's staff was a bit hard to come by online, though I think there are some Ospreys that may give more detail than I had access to).

The map was a mystery for quite some time as I at first mistook it as flash and almost discarded it.  Glad I came to the realization before I did so as it makes a nice little figure.

Beresford's leadership and reforms of the Portuguese military earned him a great deal of Wellington's respect, so much so that despite his lack luster record as a field commander, Wellington appointed him second in command of the allied army.

The sculptor of this vignette "borrowed" the scene from a cover on one of the Osprey titles covering the subject I suspect.

The uniform of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Maxwell Grant is conjectural.  He served apparently concurrently as a major in the 42nd Black Watch Highland Regiment while commanding the 6th Portuguese line Battalion.  It was apparently not unusual for British officers in Portuguese service to wear their British Uniform when in need, so I chose to represent him here in the uniform of a Lieutenant-Colonel of the 42nd with a small concession - a Portuguese cockade on his hat.

Beresford tried to arrange appointments of British and Portuguese officers so that they served over and under someone of the other nationality.  The Brigade is led by Charles Ashworth, so Maxwell's appointment would be an exception to this, though his immediate subordinate I have depicted as a Portuguese national as would be expected.

I always struggle with the color of the British command sash.  I want it to be differentiated from the color of the coat, but I am afraid this time it went a bit too purple (not so much I felt inspire to repaint it though!).

The identity of the Lieutenant -Colonel of the 2nd battalion of the 6th Portuguese Line is a mystery and so I have opted to just label him a a generic Portuguese Lt. Col. for now, pending further research.

This figure by Hagen Miniatures was the best of the castings, being nice and clean with good detail.  The stove top shako also fits in well with the Hinton Hunt castings used for the rank and file.

Nicely animated and a lovely horse to boot, I am hopeful I can obtain a few more of these to help lead the remaining six battalions of Portuguese!    


I Need Your Help!

If you have any of the following figures lying around unused, please contact me at as I would love to be able to complete some planned battalions:

Der Kriegspielers 17 - French Fusilier Grenadier (9)
Der Kriegspieler 12 - 1812 Legere Firing (8)
Hinton Hunt BN 254 - Count Von Alton (1)


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

A Tribute to the Passing of a Friend - Dick Tennant and the Portuguese Expansion


This week Richard "Dick" Tennant's family was kind enough to let me know of his passing after a long struggle with cancer. Over a year ago I was fortunate enough to receive Dick's miniature collection - fifty year's worth of his labor of love. Through his collection of Hinton Hunt Napoleonic miniatures, I got to know him and felt I might with genuine sincerity call him a friend, even though we never had the chance to meet in person. His generosity of spirit and love of the hobby was evident from the many messages I received from him, going into great detail on aspects of his collection about which I was eager to learn. Always thoughtful and meticulous in his devotion to the hobby, I also came to know his sharp wit, and will miss our correspondence tremendously. Below is a short announcement his daughter shared that he had prepared for fellow hobbyists.



Richard Tennant 1944-2021


Like many historians of his generation Richard developed his interest in Napoleonic history via wargames. He had known Donald Featherstone since the 1960's when his book 'Wargames' introduced a generation of male baby boomers brought up on 1950's films and the wartime experiences of their parents, to the military experience and thence to the history.

His first published article The Royal Sappers & Miners was published in 1971 in Tradition magazine, and Rocketmen of 1814, published in 1973 in Military Modelling, provided him with the funds to purchase an MGS medal which proved to be a valuable investment. The Journal of Napoleonic Association then published a four-chapter article in 1989. Richard went on to carefully research, write and publish many articles covering the Napoleonic Period and in particular the Peninsular Wars. His articles often took a new perspective, exploring the impact of language and logistics challenges of the period. He built an impressive collection of books, maps and rifles and spent his lifetime meticulously and lovingly painting Hinton Hunt figures in superb detail. By 2020 he had complete 2,816 figures representing both an Anglo/Portuguese/Spanish Army and a French & Allied Army of around 1812/13. These were sold as a complete collection to David Crenshaw in Nashville, Tennessee.

Richard was Treasurer for the British Commission for Military History having been one of the 43 original members in 1977, and was made an Honorary Life Member in 2019. He became a Trustee for Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum in Winchester. His contribution to the Waterloo Diorama at the Museum earnt him Honorary Membership of the regiment presented by the Colonel Commandant, General Sir Nick Parker. He was President of the Wessex Military Society from 2013 until 2020, and recently was a key sponsor supporting the publication of Stephen Petty's book Bugler Boy to Talavera.


I thought a fitting way to honour Mr. Tennant's devotion to the hobby would be to accompany this announcement with some pictures I have not yet featured on my blog of his collection. Below are the first battalions of Portuguese infantry and a cavalry regiment that will now join many other figures as I work to make his collection more suitable for the wargames' table so that others may enjoy his work. 

 A full bio of his hobby life can be found here: 


Two battalions of the 6th Portuguese Infantry Regiment being led by Brigadier Sir Charles Ashworth - KCB

Sir Charles up close and personal in his Portuguese uniform.  The Portuguese army in this period was led by a mix of British and Portuguese officers guided by the reforms of General Beresford.

2nd battalion of the 6th Regiment

The 1st battalion.  Note the fine quality of the lines Mr. Tennant was able to achieve on the drummer.

About face!

The 11th Portuguese Dragoons.  Portugal had very few horses and hence the quality of their cavalry suffered.

The Dragoons are led by Lt. Colonel Domingos Bernardim Ferreira who has donned a stylish shako as opposed to the helmets of his troopers.

The Portuguese cavalry brigade (there are two more regiments waiting to be spruced up and based) are led by Brigadier General Benjamin D'Urban sporting a very stylish goatee.  In reality he was bald and not at all particularly stylish, but I'm going with the model available!

Once again note the quality of the lines and the addition of the trumpet and multicolored cords on the trumpeter.  All I added was a wash to help shade the horses and give the reins some definition along with a little highlighting.

Such attention to detail!

 All of these lovely troops need a place to recreate their struggle over 200 years ago, so below I have included a few shots of the battlefield as it evolves.  I have added more trees, boulders and scrub brush.  Work on the roads and gullies is done, but I still need to finish up detailing the streams.



Thursday, February 18, 2021

Updated 1/72 British Artillery Model Comparison and WIP

Updating the 1/72 Scale British Artillery Comparison Chart
Thanks to one of our readers I have some updated measurements and a description of how they are designated.  The diagrams below specify the length measured A-F.  Thanks to some techno-wizardry in Excel, for which I am not responsible, the cells highlighted in yellow show measurements that are within an accepted tolerance of the prototype, scaled down to 1/72.  Now if only I could get my hands on some Les Higgins artillery...

UPDATED - added Der Kriegspieler, which may be a reasonable proxy for Hinton Hunt, and CinC to the chart.  Many thanks to Rob for providing the CinC specs.  Of interest as well is that while the Airfix gun is provided as part of an RHA set, it actually scales out fairly well as a 9pdr, rather than the more typical 6pdr used by the RHA.  The gun type itself is unspecified by the set.

A comparison shot for axle width and wheel height.  Note the absence of ammunition chests on the DK gun carriages.

From left to right: Der Kriegspieler, Hinchliffe 20mm, SHQ (all 6 pdrs), Hinchliffe 20mm, Hagen, Der Kriegspieler (all 9 pdrs) - of note is that Hagen guns come with both barrel sizes, and as they are heroically scaled, the 9 pounder I have shown here is actually the smaller 6 pounder barrel, so I have taken some license to make a reasonably scaled Hagen artillery piece.

Many thanks to our benefactor who took the time to put this together!  Measuring these little buggers is a bear, so there may be some variability in the measurements presented.  If you note anything egregious let me know and I will correct.


Lest you think I have been idle and relying solely on the work of other, below are some works in progress

The Portuguese have finally made their way onto the battlefield at Rolica.  Having never shown up during the battle with Wellington Man, I figured if I ever got them spruced up and on proper bases, we might actually roll for the event that brings them onto the field.  Dick Tennant painted these originally so maybe I am relying on the work of others!

Pictured in the foreground is a regiment of Dragoons with a cavalry brigade commander and aide de camp, as well as the 2nd battalion of the 6th Portuguese infantry.  The 1st Battalion is on my painting desk.

Waiting in the wings for prep work is a regiment of Bavarian Chevau-Leger to accompany the 11th Von Kinkel Infantry Regiment recently completed and featured in my last post.

The aforementioned 1st battalion of the 6th Portuguese infantry getting ready to have their battle scars touched up, a little shading and highlighting, and then a good protective coat of Windsor and Newton Oil Varnish.

36 figures of the Dutch 3rd Grenadiers coming along, but on hold until the weather warms a bit.  Really excited to see how these turn out!

Here's why there hasn't been more progress on the painting front - It's really cold!

Bozie and Darla enjoying the snow.  With so little traffic they got to spend the walk off leash!

This year I decorated one of our small dogwoods with red Christmas lights and my dear one like it so much she asked to leave it up until after Valentines day.  It was beautiful to see reflecting on the falling snow this week.