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Saturday, December 24, 2022

Works in Progress - DBX/ADLG Late Medieval or Italian Renaissance and Napoleonic HH Conversions

For quite some time I have wondered what base model Dick Tennant used as Portuguese Dragoons and Mounted Royal Horse Artillerists.  It seems so very obvious now, but not knowing the figure line as some it just took me a looooong time to put the pieces together.  I have two planned conversions in the works to make two Colonels for the remaining Portuguese Dragoon regiments, so I needed to find the right figure.

Below are Dick's Portuguese Dragoon conversions.

Note the shoulder scales.  DT did such a great job with these that for awhile I was convinced he might have opened up a chop shop and was putting random body parts together.  Then I remembered the lead foil in his miscellaneous hobby supplies he sent.

At first I thought the position of the right arm indicated the model started life with a shouldered sword, but if so, why cut it off?

Note the smooth front of the jackets - I believe some file work was key here.

This was a real stumper for awhile, but when examined closely, or blown up as in this photo, it becomes clear that the shabraque and scabbard and sword hilt were custom made for each trooper.

Lastly, note the remnants of the button hole impressions on the trousers.  DT's fine paintwork largely concealed these, but in my effort to add some dimensionality to the figures, my wash for shading the figure inadvertently showed up these depressions.

The Mounted gunners were a similar mystery, but I soon realized with the exception of the officer, they were derived from the same figure.

The boots and shouldered sword make this officer figure likely to have started life as a Light Dragoon in Tarleton.

The gunner on the other hand shows the same custom addition of a scabbarded sword as the Portuguese Dragoons as well as the aforementioned trouser/overall buttons.
Note the hand positions of the mounted gunner, that in my mind makes it clear is the same figure as the Portuguese Dragoon.

The end result of all of this is that I finally realized both the Portuguese Dragoons and the mounted artillerists must have been derived from the same figure.  And the winner is: BN 28 mounted on a cavalry horse (Anyone know which one?  DT ground the bottom of his bases flat for a good glue surface, so the codes on the bottom of the bases are usually missing).  You can see a picture of the figure here:

In other projects on the workbench, I have been preparing an addition to my Late-Medeival/Renaissance army for DBA/ADLG.  Unfortunately I have just learned that I have another commitment the weekend of the ADLG tournament, so I am afraid these poor fellows may not make it to the table for some time.

Here we have a mish-mash of Ral Partha Gendarmes and German Knights with Thunderbolt Mountain (same sculptor, Tom Meiers) lances and axes and flails.  Also at left are a commander from the condottieri line as well as a Reiter and a Dellis from the Ottoman line.  The Reiter and Dellis will be used as Stradiot light horse.

Ral Partha fantasy foot knights

These really work pretty well as 16th century knights

Ral Partha really had only one very awkwardly sculpted English longbowmen, so these are borrowed once again from a fantasy line sculpted by Tom Meier and sizeed as 25mm just like Ral Partha, so a very compatible fit. 

They are part of the Thunderbolt Mountain Arthurian line.  Eventually I will use wood putty to build up the base and paint it to match the rest of the army.

The Billmen are also from the Thunderbolt Mountain Arthurian line.

Here we have the city militia used to fill out the ranks of the professional men at arms or city garrison.

Here's the rest of the army awaiting their compatriots:

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

7e Chevau-Leger Vistula Uhlans

After much perturbation, I have finally gotten up the nerve to finish the 7e Chevau-Leger Vistula Uhlans.  This has always been a favorite uniform of mine, and the core of this regiment was so ably painted by Dick Tennant, that I was a bit intimidated by the idea of expanding it and bringing it up to full strength.  Most cavalry regiments in the collection consist of 18 troopers and a commander, but DT only painted 14 of these.  Probably like me, he had trouble getting the figures to do a full strength unit! I had despaired of ever finding some Hinton Hunt dismountable lancers (rare as hen's teeth I believe Wellington Man called them).  Eventually I located some, but they turned out in the end to be rather poorly cast copies.  Not to be deterred, I cleaned them up and decided to give painting them a whirl.

Five of the troopers are recasts painted by myself.  They're easy to spot if you know what to look for, but in the end I felt as though they were a pretty seamless addition to the regiment.

The intricate buckles and belts were one of those details that really worried me, especially as they were conspicuously absent from the recast figures.

Touching up the original figures painted by Mr. Tennant actually helped to make this into a cohesive unit.  While I might have been very slightly off with my matching of colors (all had to be custom mixed) on the new figures, by the time I had added washes for shading as well as highlights to the whole group, the color differences were minimal.

I wanted to add a figure with a company guidon, and fortunately the figure selected had a broken pennon, so I did not feel bad about removing it and adding the guidon.

As painted this regiment is from the period around 1811.  There were several uniform changes prior to, and after this, but the most notable in this instance was the addition of the blue topped black plume.  Mr. Tennant modelled the entire regiment with white epaulets on both shoulders, which in truth, would likely only have been worn by the elite company.  He also added red epaulets to the company NCOs, but I could find no evidence that this was ever practiced.  Phillip Haythornthwaite was kind enough to look into this for me as well and he too could find no evidence of red epaulets having been worn.  Of course that doesn't mean it could not have happened, and I decided to keep them to honor the work of Mr. Tennant.

The guidon is based on an example still in existence and described in this Napoleon Series article: 
Much work was required to touch up the carbines and saddle cloths, boots and horse legs, as they had been roughly treated in transit to the US.

The Colonel and trumpeter were not quite as well painted as is usual for Mr. Tennant and required considerable work to bring them up to his standard.  I wonder if they were early work of his, or perhaps even incorporated later from someone else's collection.  The most notable change for the Colonel was to separate the sword from the horse's ear as cast, and provide a little airspace between the two.

So glad that this famous regiment can now take its proper place amongst the collection!


These Uhlans were featured in the Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Wargaming by Bruce Quarrie.  When I received this collection a few years back, he was kind enough to send me some color copies of the original photos which you can see below.  This was absolutely one of those photos that hooked me on the idea of starting my own Napoleonics collection!

I literally just noticed that in this photo the Uhlans have yellow tipped plumes. Dick Tennant must have repainted the plumes after the photo shoot. He was working on this collection for 50 years so had plenty of time to do that! I also note that the officer and trumpeter are conspicuously absent from this photo, which corresponds well to my assertion in the blogpost above, that they may have come later or from another painter.  Dick did not texture the bases of his figures, so he and Don Featherstone must have spent hours staging all of these with Dick's buildings and then blending in the turf.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Bavarian 5th Light Infantry Detachment

The Bavarians needed a little skirmish support now that they have artillery, infantry and cavalry, so to the rescue comes the Bavarian 5th light Infantry.  Knotel has a fabulous illustration of the 5th, which went a long way to helping me prioritize this unit, not to mention the small number of figures required!  The figures are primarily Der Kriegspieler, (2xDK 175, 5xDK 174 with plume added), though the officer is Hinton Hunt (BVN 6) and the trumpeter a converted Hinton Hunt/Dave Clayton figure from BVN 7?.

Skirmish order

Recently I was able to host a game to celebrate my birthday.  The game was an excuse to ply good friends with food and wine, and also to get all of my toys on the battlefield.  The British may a good effort to hold their own, but in truth the deck was a bit stacked against them and the French were able to gain the advantage on both flanks, rendering the center untenable.  Some nice pictures of the game can be found here thanks to David R. and his excellent camera work:


The crew minus David R., our illustrious photographer.  Could not have spent the day with a better group of folks.  I only wish I had gotten a picture of Beans, the goofy pup who came to visit, smooshing his head against the back door.  I guess he wanted some ham too!


The real impetus for the celebration was a giant Serrano ham accompanied by Spanish tapas - We are still working through the leftovers!

 Lastly a small teaser for my next post - the 7th Chevau-Legere / Vistula Lancers

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Napoleonic French Combined Grenadier Battalion and Medieval Russians for Giggles

The French Commander, Junot, for the battle of Vimeiro in the fall of 1808, combined the Grenadier companies of his various battalions to form a reserve.  General  Francois Kellermann commanded the reserve and was to go on to be a famed cavalry commander at the battle of Waterloo.  Junot eventually threw his reserve at the British regiments defending Vimeiro in a desperate last ditch attempt, without success.

The battalion is made from Garrison Grenadiers with a Lamming drummer (cast with the drum upside down!) and a Hinton Hunt Colonel of Grenadiers.  Many thanks to Wellington Man for the gift of the Garrison and Lamming figures!

The company fanion was a little custom addition just to add something unique to the unit.  The Grenadiers were my addition to the collection, while the Colonel was originally painted by Dick Tennant.

Have to love all of those moustaches!

To the left!

Drilling out the musket barrel to house the company fanion was a challenge.  Fortunately I had some uber tiny drill bits left over from my model railroading days.

I was worried the Garrison bases were going to be too big for my movement stands, but they fit beautifully.  The stands themselves are a bit thinner than usual to help disguise the increased height of the Garrison figures.  Of course, the Grenadier companies were made from the tallest men, so they are supposed to be bigger!

For something completely different, and painted in a different style, I was finally able to finish the painting of  some Smolensk Cavalry for the battle of Grunwald.  They are dirty grimy medieval Russians charging into battle against what will be even dirtier Teutonic Knights for use with DBA or its variants, Triumph and L'Art de la Guerre.

These are lovely Testudo figures which are unfortunately no longer produced by their amazing sculptor.

This unit will play as medium cavalry horse archers.

The heavy cavalry horse archers

I just love the style of Russian armor that changed very little in the early to late medieval period.

The bases will get textured once the army is done for the sake of consistency, as it may take years at the pace I am moving.

Next up on the painting desk: Bavarian Jagers and the Polish Vistula Lancers