In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Russian Jaegers

I didn't really need any more Russian infantry. But this baker's dozen of Wargames Foundry figures in Mikey's for sale box were too nice to pass up. 9 troops in firing line wearing fatigue caps and 4 command (2 officers 1 drummer 1 ensign) in the pre-1812 shako. 

I decided that my Russians really needed some Jaegers and the all green with black would be suitably different. I could have put them in white coveralls too, but green was also quite common. I tried to accomplish some red piping on the plackets and turnbacks but I'm not too happy with the results.

The Foundry figures were naturally lovely to paint with great faces, natural folds in the clothes, and good detail on the locks on the muskets etc.

I also opted for 4x bases of 3x figures each instead of single bases. Easier to manage and more versatile. They can be a battalion in a big battles game too. I've already decided that my Bavarian light troops will be based this way as well and for the same reasons. 

The flag is from the Warlord Games plastic Russian infantry box. 

Update 08 June 2021: I have since been informed that Jaeger regiments did not carry colours in the field until 1814. Probably didn't use drums either. I knew in the back of my mind that that would probably be the case as soon as I started painting their trousers green. 

Oh well. This Colonel is obviously eccentric and brings his colours on campaign.

Napoleonic armies, like Medieval armies, should always have lots of flags.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Command Conundrums

As you know, dear reader, with the mission creep overtaking my nice, little, limited Sharp Practice project I have been having mathematelogical conundrums. With the Landwehr and Russians I had lots of extra leaders for Big Men so I could easily make up the command groups available as extra 4 figure stands to give me even 4 stand battalions for General d'Armee

However, with the incoming Prussian line infantry and the Bavarians, I have exactly the right number of command groups. So I can take out command figures for Big Men for Sharp Practice and sacrifice stands for General d'Armee, or I can have full stands for G d'A and sacrifice BMs for SP.

This was causing many hours of permutations and calculations of the most efficient allocation of resources, and think tank focus group sessions to determine how many extra command packs I needed to buy.

Get it?

Of course, ramping up for G d'A also means I need some brigade and divisional commanders for the Russians and Bavarians, further complicating things. 

The announcement last week that Front Rank is up for sale (If only I had a cool £255,000/Cdn$385,000 in my other pocket) prompted further thought. I was planning to put in an order later this year to pick up some bits and a few packs of civilians. But just in case the new buyers take too long to get up and running or like has happened with some lines, it disappears when the owners retire, I thought I'd better put in a smallish order now. 

Urgent calculating. Orders were put in the cart and abandoned. Needs recalculated. More orders started and abandoned. What if I forgot something? I can't just wait for the shows to start up again and be like British gamers and pick up a single blister of Foundry or Perry figures etc. because it's Canada and the Perry Brothers aren't coming to Hot Lead. There's shipping damnit, so an order has to be big enough to be worth it.

This past week I have been working on this baker's dozen of Wargames Foundry Russian infantry that I got for a song (Cdn$1.00 per figure!) from Mikey. A sick day from vaccine complications was put to good use. 

I'm painting them as Jaegers. 4x stands of 3 figures each plus a Big Man. So either a battalion for G d'A or 2x groups of skirmishers in SP. 

While cutting the grass I realized that I don't need to have 4 figures per stand in G d'A. I can divert an officer or NCO from each of the Perry command sprues to give me Big Men for SP and just do command stands of 3. This frees up many more command figures, thereby saving me from buying extra command packs. The money saved was diverted into a group of Schutzen for the Bavarians. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

"Vorwarts!" Additional Prussians

"Vorwarts mein kinder!"

A mysterious box arrived in the mail last week,  just before my birthday. It was very light, with the return address from Meeplemart in Toronto (it's the biggest, closest, decent gaming store that sells more than 40k and MTG cards). Inside was an unexpected birthday present from my friend Patrick, a box of the Warlord Games Prussian Dragoons cast in that lightweight bendy resin that is letting companies use their rubber spin casting moulds with a cheaper material. 

So, with Russian Grenadiers done, these leapt onto the painting bench. The resin is a weird material to work with, but the extremely thin fetlocks on the horses didn't break, which is a complaint I'd heard about the metal castings, although some of the horses do have curiously bent legs. The flash was hard to remove too, being very bendy. 3 of the troopers were sculpted still drawing their sabers and the officer is cocking a pistol, both of which seemed at odds with the rest charging with sabers drawn already. Fortunately I only need 8 figures for a Sharp Practice group, or 4 stands for General d'Armee, and Black Powder doesn't care. It is a personal dislike to have figures all doing different things unless the unit is skirmishing. This is a major sticking point I have with Old Glory figures, for example. A nice value added was a metal guidon pole taped to the back of the "Packed by" card, and an insert with 8 full colour guidons to use.

Fortunately Prussian dragoons have a very simple, practical uniform. My biggest headache was determining how to paint the baggage slung on the backs of their saddles. To get the medium blue I used Tamiya airbrush paint over the white primer, so I didn't do my usual all-over brown undercoat which caused me some issues getting coverage in recesses, which slowed me down. After a week of painting, including a marathon 3 1/2 hour paint and chat over Zoom on Friday night, I now have this spiffy new addition to the order of battle. 

Last weekend Mikey B., who's announcement that he was liquidating his non-War of 1812 28mm Napoleonics prompted me to get a shifty on, came over with a box of things I was interested in. He said he had "half a dozen Prussian generals." I think I actually squealed with delight when I saw that it was 6 Wargames Foundry figures, including Blücher himself. After a bit of thought, I sorted them into two individual generals and then two bases with a general and an ADC to act as higher command or Deployment Points for Sharp Practice. That's a lot of supervision for 32 Landwehr, but more Prussians are on the way.

Marshall Vorwarts with ADC

The others are all named on the Foundry website, but not so you can tell who is supposed to be who

If only I had the same command levels for my much larger Russian contingent!

I got some other things from Mikey, which I will show you as the summer continues.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Birthday Bavarians

While pondering who to build as an in-house opponent for my Napoleonic games, I decided that I really wanted Bavarians. 

I've been enamored by the ruppenhelm wearing Bavarians ever since I was a kid and first saw those gloriously crested helmets in period paintings in the books I was reading. I tried making them out of the Esci helmeted Austrians and Airfix RHA sets! Which didn't really work, but I was a kid.

Of course, an army from the Perry's or Front Rank would be expensive. Then I remembered that Hät made some in plastic in 28mm. 

Hät don't have a webstore, but you can email them for a quote and they will mail direct. Within a week of my Paypal transfer a small, very light box was in my mailbox. 

I was okay with getting them without the boxes, which saved on parcel size and shaved a bit off of postage and packaging I think. It also left them room to chuck in some freebies. I'm thinking a simple head swap will gain me a mounted officer.
Some freebies too 

Command frame 

Two sets of infantry marching, one of command, and one of 'action poses' should get me 10x 8 figure groups of formed infantry and 5x or 6x 6 figure skirmish groups. 

Comparison with Warlord Russians in grey

Action pose and marching frames 

Even with postage, they still came to less than Cdn$1/figure. Their more realistic, slighter build makes them look smaller than the metal or plastics from Warlord, but that'll be fine kept in their own units

Guns and some cavalry are on order from the Perry's however, along with a few more bits for the Prussians and Russians. This project has certainly suffered from "Mission Creep."

If Scott comes over with his corps of French we can play post-Leipzig and I can put all three forces against him. I'd need to, really. And dig entrenchments. He has a pretty huge army.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

More Russians! Urrah!

I have finished the Big Bag of Second Hand Figures that I got all those years ago for $10 at Hot Lead! Except for some officers assigned to the box of Warlord Games Russian infantry, and a few left overs, they are all done. 

3x groups of Musketeers 

1x group of Skirmishers 

3x groups of Grenadiers 

1x group of Grenadiers skirmishing

1x 12 pounder gun with 5 crew

6x Big Men 

So here they are on the march, looking for the French, and perhaps dinner!


Grenadiers formation 

12 pdr 

I have some extras on the way from Perry's to round them out, but cavalry will wait until the plastic set is released. 

Although they could do with a mounted officer or two.