Tuesday, 26 May 2009

My Prussian 1806 Army...

Hi all,

Of late I have been busy painting up the Prussian 1806 army, this army was steeped in the tradition and glory of former years of the 18th century. Its commanders were veterans of the wars of that century and proud of their tradition and honour. This army was highly trained and respected all over Europe to the point of arrogance. If fought in the traditional sense they would have accounted well for themselves but Napoleon did not fight in the traditional sense and thus this army was crushed in a single day. Sad really, for if you paint this army up the time and battles you can fight in are limited to just a few historical conflicts such as Jena, Auerstadt and Saalfield to name the most prominent of them.

These next four pictures show the Prussian Division of von Grawert deployed for battle. The set up is not historical, it is for the purpose of the setting only.

The next set of pictures shows a few of the actual regiments of the Grawert Division. The following two pitures show the Zastrow IR 39 Regiment in Line deployed with skirmishers in front ready to receive the enemy.

The following three pictures also show various Regiments from this Division in the act of deploying to form a battle line. The regiments are the Furst Hohenlohe IR 32 - The Sanitz IR 50 and the Grawert IR 47 Regiment.

Friday, 15 May 2009

My Austrian Army...

Hi all,

This latest post is about my fledgling Austrian Army, well, not really an army, more like a collection of units so far. My favourite army is the French army but the Austrian army is my second choice, it is huge, diverse and full of colour. Yes the uniforms of the Infantry might be predominately white but the array of facing colours is what I like about them. From far away you see a sea of white but close up is a veritable garden of colour which really gives a great look to this army.

They also have the reputation for being the most consistent army to face the French over a period spanning around 23 years. While other countries would come and go over those years in short campaigns the Austrians just kept on fighting against France for most of the period. The only other country to do a similar thing were the Brits in Spain and on the sea. For me the Austrians and their army portray a consistent adversary opposing all things of Revolutionary France after the fall of that country's King and Queen and their persistence in trying to destroy the revolution before it spread and their belief that they would succeed. This trait to me signifies their stubbornness in battles that were among the most hardest fought of the entire wars, even when all was going wrong they fought with a total determination til the last.

I have not as yet painted up too much of this magnificent army but I do intend to rectify that. I have put up a few pictures to show what I have done so far: These two pictures are of an Austrian Grenadier Btln, clearly can be seen the cuff and colour colours of the various parent formations.

The next four pictures are of various Austrian Officer stands, they do not depict any officers in particular but more so they are here to show the variance of figures on the stands :

Sunday, 10 May 2009

My French Army...

Hi all,

The following is a new installment to my blog regarding my French 15mm mostly AB figures, it is meant to show you some of the work I have done over the last several years.

The first picture is that of the stand for Napoleon showing several officer figures from the AB officer packs. The stand was made on a large square wooden base, rounded edges and flocked. A Brass plaque is also on this base engraved saying, "Napoleon & Staff". This is not visible in the picture.

The next picture is of an Old Guard Btln in Line, the figures are from the Essex range. I personally did not paint these but have owned them for a very long time. I grew to love them and recently re-based them to a proper company strength format.

The next few pictures are that of a French Chevauleger Lancier Regiment that I had painted several years ago. Sadly it is the only one so far I have painted but I will be endeavouring to finish all six of them in the future, also the Polish regiments as well.

In the third picture can be seen the Lanciers with a Horse battery on their left flank giving support fire. An Infantry Brigade is advancing through the village in the back ground to secure and hold the bridgehead.

In the next couple of pictures can be seen two more Horse batteries that have arrived to strengthen the gun line already established by the first battery. These 18 guns are well positioned to attempt to fend off any serious attack.

The next set of pictures shows an Elite btln of Voltiguers I painted up recently to depict Light troops in formed order so that I could do so if the need arose. This is a situation many gamers forget about which I decided to remedy. I have plans to form several more formed btlns of Light troops in the near future.

In the next couple of pictures the Voltiguers have reformed into Line to await the enemy attack. As you can see AB figures really lend themselves to clean lines, they are perfect figures for the painter to enjoy painting.

The next picture shows in very good detail the dress of the voltiguers, these figures we indeed a delight to paint up and I cannot wait to do more very soon.

The next pictures show a Battalion of Ligne Infantry (Fusiliers) advancing along a village road just after crossing a foot bridge. Clearly in the front ranks can be seen the Grenadier company marching with them.

This picture is of the same btln close up to get the detail of the uniforms, these AB figures are perfectly sculptured and animated. I intend to paint up my 1813 army thus with these figures once I sort out other projects.

This last picture now shows the btln clear of the river and the confines of the village. It has now deployed ready to face any enemy attack.

This next picture shows a squadron of French Dragoons, the uniform details are clearly visible here. Sadly I only have 4 of these figures as yet, I do intend to buy many more and eventually build an entire AB Dragoon Division.

This picture shows a couple of French Voltiguers in winter great coat, these AB figures I must say are among my favourites. They are beautifully sculptured and proportioned and a real joy to paint. I intend to form many btlns using these figures.

In the next picture you can see another French Dragoon Regiment, this time stationed in Spain. The figures are Old Glory in Campaign dress. The uniform pants are brown cloth, this was a common occurrence in Spain due to ware and tear of the official uniform and the lack of proper cloth colour to replace them.

The next four pictures is that of recently painted French General Officer bases, mostly of Divisional and Corps Commanders. The AB figures on these bases are truly inspiring for workmanship and detail in the sculpting, they are a delight to paint.

What I tend to try to do to distinguish between Cavalry and Infantry command stands is to place an appropriate Cavalryman or Infantry Soldier on the particular base with the officers and General. This helps a great deal to determine the type of Commander he might be and what type of formation he commands.

In the next couple of pictures can be seen Cavalry bases for Light Cavalry Divisional Generals, you will notice General Laselle in one picture while in the next a pose of a Cavalry Officer from a famous painting witch's name escapes me right now...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Revamping my table...

For a very long time now I have played on a 2.8mtr x 1.8mtr (9ft x 6ft) table, painted dark green and been in service for many years. Over the years I and my friends have been content to play on this table with the terrain we have and enjoyed more battles both WWII and Napoleonics than I care to try to remember.

However, over the past few years since checking out the huge volume of blogs, forums and clubs pictures from all over the world I have come to realise that the table top and terrain we use is very inferior in both quality and look to most. I will admit I am very envious of many tables I have seen and the length some guys go to in making their battlefields and the scenery look realistic to fight on. Each blog I see that is beautifully laid out and designed with realistic terrain pieces and very accurate coverings I get more encouraged to finally do the same with my own.

Now, this process is going to be gradual and very painful at times for me I am sure, the imagination I have is not up to the level I have seen from some guys but I have a great group of friends who will be helping me along the way. Hopefully I will one day be able to boast a table top battlefield worthy of some I have seen from all of you. I will put up my work here step by step as I go no matter how good or bad it becomes, hopefully some of you will give comments, support or better yet, advice in how to achieve what I am doing as I go.

Well, after a great deal of thought and advice from my brother and a few friends I have decided that any modifications I make to the table will only be cosmetic, reason being is that eventually I am going to add on an extension to my home, this will be in the form of a large garage which will be my new games room. I have a wife and two young daughters who are growing up fast, they will need the room I already have which is an entertainment area.

I will need to renovate this area anyway so I will build the garage first and move all my war gaming stuff into it (fully enclosed and sealed from the outside) then renovate the entertainment room for the girls when they become teenagers. The wife wants a living area also, so guess I got to keep working hard. In the meantime I have a few pictures of the old table, which has done us great service over the last 20 odd years. It as you can see from above, the table has seen better days and is in dire need of a good touching up.

Shown below I have started to revamp the table, my primary concern was the the previous base green colour was way too dark, several players had commented about this. I was not sure how to fix this, simply going and getting lighter green is an obvious solution but I wanted to do something different. Ground is not always uniformed in colour, you can have areas of light and areas of lighter shading, my hills were flocked with two separate colours of green and brown small rocks thrown in for good measure. I remembered how some home renovators would sponge paint onto walls for a mottled effect, I always liked that and decided to try in for my own table. The picture above and the next couple will show you what I came up with.

This picture above clearly shows a closer look at the surface, you can see the mottled effect and added small areas of brown earth etc. The effect actually looks better before the eye than on this camera, it took me a while to get used to it but I actually liked it once I got figures on the board and set up a little town.

The next project in this re-vamp will be a raised boarder around the table, I am still not sure if I will indeed do this because it makes it uncomfortable for players to rest over the table edge while sitting. Also, trying to write becomes difficult but if I make sure the edge lip boarder is low it might not be so bad. The reason for doing this is two fold, firstly, to stop troops and more importantly, dice from rolling over the edge. Secondly, to hold in place new base plates I am thinking to add to the table.

The base plates will be of three different sizes, Large, Medium and Small. The large ones being 900mmx900mm, the medium ones 450mmx450mm and the small ones 300mmx300mm. This is because these sizes are divisible from the size of the table which is 2800mmx1800mm. I am also thinking of making odd sized one such as 450mmx900mm or 300mmx600mm and so on. I will see how I go with this as I proceed. The 300mmx300mm small bases will form the bases for individual building, fields and so on. I understand that fields need to be odd shaped as well to fit in with your typical country scenery so I will learn as I go. All of these bases will be flocked with static grass and butted together to form a nice flat surface in order to fight battles over.

Like I had previously said, this whole task will be gradual, so do not expect too much too quickly. I am working on an extension to my house for a new garage so that I can use it for wargames but this is going to take time. This new room will be where I end up building my eventual new and permanent war games table and the current one you see here will no longer be in use. But for now this is the task at hand, re-vamping the old table to maintain it until this all happens. My work situation and cash flow will be a deciding factor but I am confident it will happen and I intend to document it all slowly over time.

Thank you for following my progress, or lack thereof, I will add as I go.