Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Russian Reserve Cavalry Cleaned and Preped - Ready for Painting

Three regiments of Cavalry finally cleaned customized and ready for priming.  The three regiments are the Guard Cossacks, and an unspecified (as of yet) regiment of Cuirassiers and of Chasseurs.  The Chasseurs a Cheval were the last to be customized.  Below is an example of taking a trooper and turning him into an officer.  I removed the carbine and ammunition pouches, and then added epaulets and an officer's sash out of green putty.  A simple, but necessary conversion.

Next post will hopefully have some color added to the first regiment on the painting desk; the Cossacks of the Guard....

Monday, November 20, 2017

Russian Guard Cossack Conversions

 Since Der Kriegspielers did not offer any Cossack command, I set myself the task of modifying some figures to fit the bill.  Originally I thought I would just use Newline Designs figures, but the style just didn't seem to fit.

I did use their busbys though and replaced the tall headgear on one of the DK variants with the busby from the Newline Designs figures, since I did not have enough of the variant wearing the busby to create a full unit.  I also cut off trumpet and sword arms to replace the lance arm of the DK figures for the command.  Some cords for the busby and a plume made of green stuff got me pretty close to what I had envisioned.  The cords were pretty tough to manage, but the plume was just a textured lump of green stuff over a wire rod for support.

 Some of the figures were in pretty rough shape, so here I have added some putty to the tail to keep it from snapping off.

 This poor guy just would not come clean, but enough old paint was removed that he will look brand new when primed.  Note the lance was removed and replaced with a strong wire lance and re-positioned.  The original lances were in such rough shape, I just didn't think they could be salvaged.  Not that I really mind, as I prefer the wire lance to the easily bent and overly thick lead ones.  The reins have also been repaired, as many of the figures had an incomplete casting, and the reins were left with a large gap in the middle of the free hanging loop.

Here's the original figure with the lance in it's position resting on the head of the horse.  Makes it kind of tricky to remove without lopping off the horses ears, but it can be managed.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Stones River 10mm ACW at the National Battlefield

 Last weekend we took advantage of a nice crisp fall day and recreated the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, TN at the actual site of the battle.  We converted a picnic table into the center of the battlefield and played using 10mm figures and a variant of DBA called appropriately DBACW, available from 

The confederates occupied the heights on the opposite bank of Stones river, and would launch an assault across the river on the second day, after the initial assault had stalled by the end of the first day.

 The Union forces try to hold a line after the initial shock of the confederate assault.  The Union brigad seen at the far top left of the photo was the only Federal position to hold the line both in the actual battle and in our recreation of the day.

 The Combatants: Pete Duckworth and Terry Webb.  Pete had traveled all the way from England and was the inspiration behind the battle at the battlefield, having fought Nasby and Edgehill (I think) from the English Civil War when Terry was visiting across the pond, at the site of those battles.

 Terry found a kepi and jacket for Pete to wear to celebrate the occasion, and as the "umpire" and Confederate left wing commander, I donned a Confederate artillery kepi picked up at a local re-enactor's store.

DBACW uses an attrition system for moral to simulate casualties.  One white pipe cleaner indicates shaken status, two equals badly shaken.  A red marker indicates a shaken unit that can not be rallied.  The Federals started the day strong, but an unfortunate series of bad rolls led to a cascading loss along their right flank, as confederates from other parts of the battle, began to appear behind the Union right flank.  

All in all a great day.  The Confederates squeezed out a victory in the end that closely resembled the actual combat results at the end of the first day.  In the actual event, by day two however, the Union forces were in a strong defensive position along the railway line and decisively beat back the outnumbered Confederates with massed artillery as they tried to assault the Union left by fording the Stones River.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Old School Dapol English Cottage

 I've always liked this cottage ever since I saw it in the Airfix guide to Napoleonic Wargaming by Bruce Quarrie.  It seemed like every time I turned around I would see it again in someone else's games, so I finally asked Matt of The Hinton Spieler blog fame where he got his.  Turns out it is available from Dapol and is dirt cheap.  It's actually a very nice little kit, to which I added the stone wall and critters, but here we have it.  There is just enough room for a full battalion of infantry to crowd in behind the walls.

Some Russian Grenadiers scaring away the livestock!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hinton Hunt and Der Kriegspieler Figure Hunt

 In looking for command figures for some of my Hinton Hunt and Der Kriegspielers units I have tried a couple of existing figure lines to find compatible figures.  From left to right:  Art Miniaturen, Hinton Hunt (recast), Der Kreigspielers, Newline Designs.

 As you can see the figures are all reasonably the same, but get progressively smaller, with Art Miniaturen being perhaps just slightly larger than Hinton Hunt, but a really good fit sizewise, and Newline Designs being just a hair smaller than Der Kriegspielers, but still a good match for the DK figures in size.

  As you can see though, when Newline design is put side by side with Art Miniaturen there is a considerable size difference

 Here are some DK Russian Cuirassiers with Newline Design command that are superfluous to my needs so let me know if you could use them.  Would love to trade for some DK Cossacks with Busbys.

 Here is a unit I would love to be able to field, as I could paint them as Guard Cossacks, which were part of the Corps with Palov's Grenadiers which I have already modeled.  I need five more DK Cossacks in Busbys (DK #87).  Let me know if you have extras and I'll work to arrange a trade or purchase.  I have customized three Newline Designs Cossacks so that they have the appropriate headgear for the guard.

 Close Up

 It is really hard to tell from this angle, but the DK Cossacks have three variants, all labeled as #87, I believe.  The one above is the same figure with a fur busby and a bag.

 Here are some close ups of the other alternatives.  I will mix these in with a less uniform group of Ural Cossacks.

 Here's a nice little vignette I got from Art Miniaturen.  I'll use this as my command stand for Russian Hussars.  We have a dismounted officer giving orders to his mounted aide de camp.

Not finished by a long shot, but a nicely detailed Russian 20# Unicorn from Art Miniaturen which includes separate drag chains, tools, and bucket.  Strangely it seems just a hair smaller than the Newline Designs artillery below.

 Newline Designs on the left, Art Miniaturen on the right.

 Some French line that are extra to my needs.  1812 uniform I believe.  None of them have a number on the bottom to confirm which figure.  DK figures I assume.  I really like the musket strap draped under the arm.

 Here are the French Line that I need.  Would love 2-3 more of these if anyone has extras.  Happy to trade or purchase.  It is possible these are Italians painted as French.  The number is hard to read but it could be #158, which is Italian Line Infantry.

 These Austrians need a new home so let me know if they would fit well in your collection.  These are smaller than the DKs, so I assume true 20mm figures, but I have not been able to figure out the manufacturer.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mystery Figures

French 1/72 chasseurs a cheval.  Are these Qualiticast figures?  Has anyone ordered from them recently?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

More Russians and a Village to Defend

2 Battalions of Grenadiers, the St. Petersburg and the Pavlovski, march through a Russian village on the way to toss out the French invaders.  They are protected by a screen of jagers, who have already adopted their cold weather trousers, signalling the approach of General Winter.

My last attempt to photograph the jagers was an abysmal failure, but was able to get somewhat better shots of them this time, despite the sun flitting in and out behind the clouds.  I had a reflector placed to bounce some light on the front of the jagers, but the sun was only marginally cooperative.

Here we have the Russian forces arrayed thus far.  I am working on constructing the 1st Division of the 3rd Army Corp from the Russian First Army.  Next up will likely be a couple of line infantry battalions, probably Tchernigov and Koporski.  After that I hope I will have been able to find the remaining figures I need to model the Imperial Guard Cossacks.  There will also be some attached cavalry, probably a squadron of Cuirassier, and either dragoons or chasseurs, maybe even some more cossacks.  

The buildings you see are mostly by Pegasus Models, the big on is actually a pre-painted model they produce.  I must admit I was inspired by a post I saw some months ago, which inspired me to go ahead and paint up the smaller cottages and add the fire highlights to the windows of the larger structure.  The small log cabin on the far right is actually made with the Linka system for building HO scale plaster models.  You can see some other examples by clicking the Linka label on the left hand side of my blog.


The St. Petersburg grenadiers formed for battle.  These were a relatively simple touch up to make serviceable, but still required quite a bit of effort after all the little fixes were accounted for.

Up next will likely be some more scenic elements, a road and a small stream.  Before any more units are touched up for the Russians, I need to switch gears for a while and finish up a civil war project before a friend comes to visit this fall from England.  We will be recreating parts of the battle of Stones River, on the actual site of the battle in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

A Brief Interlude - Spain: Barcelona, Sitges, Cadaques

Miniatures painting took a back seat for a while as we got ready to head to Spain for a family vacation.  My daughter Carolyn got a travel grant to go, so we packed up the whole family and headed out with her.  It's been twenty years since I was outside of the USA, but I figured we better get out before "the Donald" built a wall of isolationism around the whole country.

Gaudi's Magnum Opus - the Segrada Familia.

The inside of the basilica was amazing.  Filled with light due to the soaring support arches modeled after trees.  It literally moved me to tears.

Looking up.  It is extraordinarily difficult to capture this in a way that shows the sheer scale of these arches!

Roman Amphitheater at Tarragona, south of Barcelona.

The Cable car to Mount Serrat.

The view from our room in Cadaques.  We stayed in an 800 year old home, literally a fifty yard walk down the cobble stoned street to the Mediterranean.  We had the top two floors and the owner had her painting studio on the first floor.  We could not have asked for a finer hostess or place to stay.

Carolyn outside the B&B with one of the many street cats.  The artist Dali lived just outside Cadaques and started a hotel for cats, that was just up the street from us.

A view of Cadaques from the light house

A happy family!

Thanks to Carolyn for providing the inspiration for the trip!

Snorkelling and Scuba (for Connor) from our base in Cadaques.  We came up from our dives into a hailstorm, but our guides kept us safe and got us back home in one piece.

Good think we had on the wet suits - those hail stones packed a wallop!

The final stages of our journey.  On the way back to Barcellona we stopped in Allela and had a tour of a fourteenth century winery.  Got to sip wine under the shade of a mulberry treee with a view of the farmhouse and the Mediterranean - simply amazing!

Just a neat house in Alella

Carolyn was able to stick with her vegan ways, even in pork loving Spain.

One of our best - and cheapest meals - was in Alella.  A fresh tomato salad and locally caught Mackerel for me.