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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Preparing for Battle - Muskets and Marshals

 With the inclusion of the Tennant Collection, I am finally ready to give Muskets and Marshals a test drive.  To prepare I wanted to experiment with a small selection of figures and convert them to my own basing style, as well as add a few touches that would make them my own, mostly shading and highlighting and the addition of a good strong protective coat of clear glossy varnish.  While I had talked to Dick about using the British in my first test battles, impatience has gotten the upper hand and I felt like I had just enough French and Russian soldiers mounted up to make for a small test battle.

 The Artillery limbers really bore the brunt of the cross Atlantic journey, and I am simply overjoyed to have taken the mangled limbers and been able to re-assemble them in a way that rivals the condition they were in originally.  The hand made traces were the work of Mr. Tennant and I am thrilled to have been able to save all of that delicate work.  In all of his artillery companies, he has included a set of artillerymen on the march, as well as deployed for action, a really nice touch!

 In this instance, the artillery is being guided along the road by a divisional staff escort.  There were four of these chasseurs included in the collection, and I believe they are the paint work of the esteemed Peter Gilder.  I added a few highlights as the original color scheme was quite dark, and in some cases a bit faded, but essentially tried to minimize my contribution to his work.

 Deployed for battle!  I am going to try using a six man artillery unit to represent an eight gun battery.

 Depicted here is the only major reorganization of figures that I anticipate for the Tennant Collection.  I have taken two of the large 36 figure battalions, and with the inclusion of three companies of Voltigeur from Peter Gilders collection that were included, have been able to rearrange into 4, 24 man legere battalions.  This did require a bit of custom work and repainting of a few figures.  I was a bit torn when doing this as it is a bit of a departure from the original structure of the units, but in the end the appeal of expanding the number of battalions and being able to field two of them in skirmish order, felt like the right thing to do.

 Cleaning each figure for painting proved to be a challenge, and in the end I decided I really needed to brush each figure lightly with a soft tooth brush and water to remove dust, and what I suspect was a very slight film of tobacco smoke.

 The process of cleaning did dislodge a little paint, mostly I suspect where it had been chipped or loosened by the shipping process.  I did my best to match the base coat colors, and then added highlights and some shading to help make the figures pop.  The cornetist is one of my all time favorite figures!

 I am following Mr. Tennant's lead and modelling the corp after Messena's Army of Portugal at the time of the battle of Fuentes de Onoro.  Here we have the General de Brigade Antoine de Marcune who led the 6th legere and 69th de Ligne.

 Dick did a wonderful job painting him and I made very few modifications.  I particularly love his treatment of the horse!

 Here is the 6th legere in close order.

 The 25th Legere is deployed in support of the artillery.  These figures were originally painted by Peter Gilder as Voltigeurs, and here I fear I have made changes to some classic figures I may someday regret, but decided to do a slight repaint by changing the epaulets and pom pom colors so that I could incorporate them into a battalion of legere.  The carabiniers are actually fusiliers from Mr. Tennant's work, that were extra to my needs, which I converted to carabiniers by adding, somewhat clumsily, a pom pom and changing the color of the epaulets.

 I hope the resultant finished battalion justifies the changes made.

 Command figures were painted by Mr. Tennant.

 The fusiliers converted to Carabiniers.

 Very minor changes here as all I did was add some highlighting and left these figures as elite voltigeurs.  These were painted by Peter Gilder

 The majority of the figures painted by Peter Gilder were these.  I repainted the collars, pom poms, epaulets and sword knots so they could serve as fusiliers of the 25th.  My assumption is that these are early Hinton Hunt figures, but I am not 100% sure, as they seem just a bit crude compared to most of the Hinton Hunt sculpts I have seen.  I would love to hear from any readers who might be able to ID them.

 The 25th Legere in close order.

 And finally a few teaser shots for the coming battle.  The French Fusilier Chasseurs, screened by half a battalion of the 6th Legere, prepare to assault Russian Jagers dug into a village.

 Is that le pas de charge I hear?

 Opening volleys

Russian reinforcements to the rescue of the embattled jagers, but will they arrive in time?

The overview of the coming conflict.  Hopefully the battle will go well, but as with any new ruleset, I'm sure it will be slow going as I work out the details.  With any luck a battle report will follow.


  1. David, you've cleaned and glossed them up a treat and you are probably the only one who could identify what re-touching has been done.
    I am truly envious but have no doubt your wife constantly beats you up over the second mortgage, it beats me how you could afford to go on holiday to Alaska.
    I appreciate this action took place in the muddy depths of the steppe no doubt during a Spring thaw but I think you need a much lighter table to play on so the figures stand out as the stars they are - the dark brown seems to swallow them up like Russian mud.

    1. LoL Rob! The purchase was funded entirely through the sale of much of my collection and no family money was touched, which was an agreement I had with my wife when I proposed this purchase.

      The Alaska trip has been percolating a long time and I will admit to receiving a little family help on both sides to make it happen. It was once in a lifetime.

      Have to agree regarding the Russian mud. Not only that, but I was trying to do the photography on a dark and stormy evening, so had next to no ambient light. Would love to make a nice clean battle board like Wellington Man, but that may be a project for the future...

  2. Thanks Matt. I truly hope Mr. Tennant will agree!

  3. The troops are stunning, David.
    I routinely deploy an angle-poise or two, and then brighten things up again by upping the light levels on Microsoft's bog-standard "Photo" editor. Works a treat.

    1. Thanks Matt - I struggled mightily to get good light on these and thought I could manage with just ambient light to save effort carting my painting lights around the house. Poor judgement on my part... I'll see if I can readjust with the editing tool and try again.