Monday, 9 October 2017

New Model Army

Much to my surprise I was able to crack on with the first nine of my Der Kriegspielers conversion HSC PN 91: Prussian Reserve Infantry, charging, although only at the cost of shamefully neglecting the command group I was supposed to be painting at the same time.

As you can see, I opted for a regiment with yellow facings, which could represent any number of the Prussian reserve battalions between 1813 and 1815. Leading the pack at the moment, however, is the 2nd Battalion of the 18th Infantry Regiment (formerly the 6th Reserve Infantry Regiment), which was part of Bülow's IV Corps at Waterloo. If I stick with this the command group will get pink facings, which would be nice!





I'm really pleased with how they've turned out. Surprisingly they required quite a few colours - four different greys and the same number of browns on each figure.

This is very likely to be my last post for at least another fortnight. With luck I'll have a complete battalion to show not long after that.

Regards to all,

WM

Friday, 6 October 2017

Putting out the Bunting

Ian S, more famously known as Stryker and the primary inspiration for my own gloriously deranged project, has supplied me with all manner of vintage goodies over the years. Pictured below is my latest feeble attempt to reciprocate.

Ian wanted a flag and a drummer for his Russian grenadier battalion (which was the very first to be presented on his famous blog), and the same for the new battalion of French Young Guard Voltigeurs that he announced he was planning to do a month or two ago.

Hinton Bunting
They are my usual fizzy-can flags, which I've started to get a little better at since I discovered how to inscribe designs onto them. If the inscription is done too deeply it will cause the metal to split when it is bent, so it requires a very light touch which is only just visible beneath the undercoat. Ian also asked me to adapt two officer figures to carry them. This was very simple to do for the Russian, but more complex for the Frenchman as I had to remove, remodel and then re-attach his left forearm.

The drummers were a separate challenge. Both started out as charging musketeers and although removing the muskets was simple enough, I had a few dramas before I was happy with them. In the Frenchman's case, his left hand came off and needed to be reattached.



In the Russian case his right arm needed to be almost completely replaced. This was because he had an exceptionally weedy right forearm which disintegrated as soon as I tried to bend it! I've found that Scruby parts are rather good for these sorts of repairs as the metal is soft and has a low melting point. The drums are from Musket Miniatures, which were very generously donated by Monsieur Foy.


Just to prove that I haven't been totally neglecting my own troops, pictured below is the new flag for my Prussian reservists. I'd been dreading this one a bit due to the requirement for white lettering, but was determined to give it a go nonetheless. I think it went about as well as I expected!


I haven't quite decided which regiment I'm painting yet, but as many of the reserve battalions were uniformed identically there's a bit of scope for identity flexibility.

The reservists will start to appear in the next post, I promise, although this may be delayed a little as I'll be travelling overseas again soon. It's a busy life.

WM

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Trading Post

There's not much to report on the creative front at the moment as I've mostly been engaged in sorting through, cataloguing and rationalizing the lead pile over the last couple of weeks, which has also led to rather a lot of swapping. The outcome is a much increased Prussian cavalry force, of which more to come in future posts.*

On the subject of swapping, Tony S has sent me pictures of a couple of interesting and unusual Der Kriegspielers sets which he wishes to either swap or sell.

The first set consist of a full set of 24 of Der Kriegspielers Napoleoniques set # 122: von Lutzow Battalion, Repelling.

DK: 122 Front

DK 122: Rear
The second set is another full set of eight of Napoleoniques set # 140: Mounted Freiwilliger Jaegers.

DK 140: Left Side

DK 140: Right Side
If anyone is interested in either of these sets, please contact me (via the contact in my profile) and I'll pass on your request to Tony.

In other news, a big welcome to Dave, who has begun a new vintage 20mm Napoleonics blog, called HintonHull. There's a spelling mistake in there somewhere.

Cheers

WM

* Thank you chaps!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Dust Up at Dapol. Part the Second

A Prussian Pause

On the Prussian left Dörnberg rallied his shaken hussars while the Lützowers lined the hedgerows. To the young and inexperienced students and intellectuals of the Schwarz Jäger, Soult's hardened veterans appeared unassailable.

Lützower Botony Department: Best stop here, Lads. Gosh, vot an interesting hedge!
Poets (in raptures): Ja, und look at ze beautiful butterflies! 
Damsels in Disguise (outraged): And you call yourselves "Men"?!
Oblivious to the drama on the flanks, Driberg's assault columns continued their march towards the heights.....

Driberg: Up ze Guts, I tell you!
...where the Emperor's daughters were preparing a reception.

Guard Artillery Commander: Oooh look, Prussians. Let's give them a nice warm welcome!

The 21st was the first to mount the slopes. "Just a few more steps and the hill is ours!",  urged Gneisenau, but the fire of the French voltigeurs immediately checked the advance. The 21st teetered on the brink and then began to fall back.

Gneisenau: The last vun onto ze top is a sissy!
To the right of the 21st, the Neumark Landwehr reached the foot of the hill immediately below the French Imperial Guard. As Cambronne's Chasseurs presented their muskets, the French grand battery also prepared to fire. "Now's your time, Neumarks!", cried Bülow, "Charge!" .


Neumarks: $@E#%&!!!!!
Time seemed to stand still as the scene momentarily flickered back into monochrome.


1969 was slipping away from us. A sharp thump to the time machine, however, brought the action roaring back to life.

With a deafening crash, smoke and flames burst from the French ranks as the Chasseurs and the artillery fired simultaneously. The effect was annihilating. Bülow had no choice but to follow the shattered remnants of the Neumarks as they fled towards the rear.

Cambronne: See that, Chasseurs? Now, if we can just do that five more times...
A Bolt from the Blue

Although the Prussian guns had been in action for several turns, their fire had been completely ineffective. Unless they found the range swiftly, the Prussian assault would be doomed.

Battery Captain: Fire at will!
Gunner: ..but which of them is Will, Sir?
Undaunted, the Russo-German Legion charged. Cambronne's men had unwisely advanced beyond the crest, masking the French guns, and their own desultory volley could do nothing to halt onslaught. In the furious hand-to hand struggle that followed, the Guardsmen were slowly pushed back. Arentschildt galloped onto the rise, waving his sword excitedly.

Arentschildt: That's the spirit, Legionnaires!

Driberg sensed victory. The French gunners were decimated as the Prussian gunners finally found the range...


...while on the far right the entire French cavalry finally collapsed into rout. The triumphant Prussian horsemen surged forward in pursuit.

Murat: Curse these Pole bolters!
"Vun last push und ze victory is ours!", Driberg cried. Leaving nothing to chance, however, he ordered the Lützowers to renew the attack against the French right. At the very least they would keep Soult's men distracted while the French left and centre were crushed. Dörnberg readied the Estorffs for another charge.

Dörnberg (sounding the charge):  They thought it was Hanover. Well it is now!
The Swiss were mesmerised by the hypnotic symmetry of the Lützowers' black and white cockades until a few words from Soult broke the spell.

Soult: We're in luck, Boys, they've painted handy little targets onto their hats!
The Swiss delivered a devastating volley. As the smoke cleared, both German regiments were seen recoiling in confusion.


But it was too late. Although Cambronne's guardsmen fought on and the 13th Légère had yet to be seriously engaged, the Prussian cavalry were swarming into the French rear area. The Emperor turned and rode away, clutching at his inflamed oesophagus.

Napoleon: Grrrooolp...It's no good, Essex. Arrange an armistice while I go in search of some Gaviscon!

And so the battle ended. As we travelled back to the present we caught a final glimpse of the defiant Neumarks rallying around their chief.

Bülow: Ze enemy are asking to Parlez, General!
Driberg: Aaach, vell zen let zem have it. We must recruit our strength!

It was a short battle, but thoroughly enjoyed by all. Wellington Lad II took his defeat on the chin, but is refusing to get used to it. He is plotting vengeance...

Till then,

WM

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Dust Up at Dapol. Part One

With four new regiments to play with, it was time for another battle. Last Sunday was the selected date, and so the two armies assembled that afternoon to fight it out.

Two guest generals took command. They were my very good friend, DM, aka the Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Driberg, a Hanoverian general lately returned from Ceylon; and Wellington Lad II, aka the Chevalier D'Essex. My role was to act as umpire and to take the photographs.

Stepping into our time machine, we dialed back to the summer of 1969. While Neil Armstrong was taking one small step for man, back in Wellington a giant leap for Hintonkind was in the making.




As we stepped out of the machine, blinking in the strong sunlight of that soft and sleepy Sunday afternoon, the sepia tones of the 60s gradually resolved themselves into glorious, Humbrol-enhanced technicolour.


The situation was as follows: it is late spring, 1813, and Napoleon's forces have pursued the beaten Prussians onto the North German plain. As the French approach the Elbe, seeking union with Davout's Corps in Hamburg, they are surprised by a much-reinforced Prusso-Hanoverian army near the small village of...er...Dapol.

The mighty (and surprisingly colourful) North German Horde prepares to advance!
Chevalier d'Essex: Sire, there are thousands of them!
Napoleon: Paff! We'll make short work of that menagerie! Or, at least..Buelp...you shall, Essex. I'm afraid I had a little too much Leibfraumilch at dinner last night.
Uncertain about what to do, Essex deployed his forces en cordon, with the cavalry massed on the left. He was strong everywhere and nowhere.

Ney (leading the 45th): It's an outrage! I should be in command!
Soult (commanding the 3rd Swiss) : Be careful what you wish for, Old Boy!



The wily old Driberg responded likewise, massing his elite Prussian guard cavalry on his right.


Driberg: Zey von't know vot iz hitting zem! Heh heh heh!
Meanwhile, on the far left, Dörnberg's Lüneburg Dandies hovered in isolation. What on earth was Driberg planning?

Dörnberg: We're not to attract any attention, Gentlemen, so try to look inconspicuous!
The Prussian Steam Roller Advances

Driberg immediately ordered the advance. The massed columns lurched into motion, drums beating and trumpets blaring.

Driberg: Now remember, lads, no deviations. Straight up ze guts!
At a loss to know what else to do, Essex responded with a general advance towards the heights. The Combined Voltigeurs swarmed into the woods.

Essex: Er....Go forwards, er, sort of thing!
In no time at all, the rival cavalries were facing off against each other. The Prussian cavalry superiority looked ominous.

Driberg: Heh, heh, heh. Hook, line und zinker!

Ney and Soult looked on, appalled. Go forwards? They should be manoeuvring towards the centre! Soult sensed impending catastrophe.

Soult: *Sigh*. Come on , Chaps. At least we can try to look our best, eh Lads?
The Bavarians behind the French left also sensed that discretion was the better part of valour and bolted for the village.

Marbot: Follow me, Bavarians! It's as safe as houses in here!

Charge and Counter Charge

Driberg seized the initiative and ordered the cavalry to charge, but in the centre and left things started to go awry almost immediately. Perturbed by the movement of the French right, parts of the massive central column began veering off course, while the Estorff Hussars, contrary to orders, impetuously started forward.


Driberg: Not zat vay,! Up Ze Guts, I said!
As the Pride of Potsdam thundered towards his line, Murat ordered a counter charge. The two cavalry masses met with an almighty clash of lances and sabres. The Empress's Dragoons held their own, but things started to go very badly indeed for the Vistula Lancers. Murat cursed his luck.

Murat: Not again! They're only hussars, Dammit! 
Someone had Blundered...

The Empress Dragoons battled on against the Prussian Garde du Corps, trading casualty for casualty.



Ornano: Have at them, men, they're only DKs!

But the Vistula Lancers were outmatched  and forced to retreat, losing heavily all the way.

Murat: I'm never going to be King of Poland at this rate!

Meanwhile, in the centre, the French and Prussian skirmish lines traded potshots, albeit to little effect. As the French massed on the heights, Driberg narrowed and deepened his assault formation in preparation for the decisive push.

Driberg: Aaach, it's only vun battalion of Imperial Guardsmen! It's nutzing, boys, nutzing!
Dörnberg was worried, however, by the advance of the Swiss, who might burst onto the Prussian flank at any moment. Reluctantly, he sounded the charge. The Estorffs leapt into action...

Soult: I sometimes wonder why I bother! Is this really the best they can do?

....only to be stopped dead in their tracks by the measured vollies of the Swiss, who had calmly formed into square. Soult remained unruffled. For the idealistic young Lützowers, however, the  carnage was horrifying.

Lützowers: !!!!!!! Perhaps ve are missing too many of ze university lectures, nicht wahr ?


To be continued......

WM