Sunday, 10 June 2018

A Fork in the Road - Part 1

There hasn't been a huge amount of painting going on around here, so it's definitely time for Part 1 of the Perambulations of the Prussian Expeditionary Force.

While visiting the UK my plan was to see as many friends and family as I could and to cram in as much wargaming as possible while I was about it. The result was a trip that took me from the South coast of England to Scotland and back again.

With the PEF safely collected from sister number one, the first leg involved setting off westwards towards sister number two. Almost exactly half way, as luck would have it, lay a fork in the road which took me to the house of Mr Lewis Gunner and what must surely be one of the world's most spectacular collections of Hinton Hunts.

Von Lützow according to WM meets von Lützow according to LG,
just one  of LG's innumerable brilliant command conversions.

The situation was as follows: Marshal Davout, anxious to join the Emperor's army marching on Berlin, has sallied forth from Hamburg with his Saxon and Danish allies. Meeting them at a vital road junction, however, was a Prusso-Swedish force under Blucher which was determined to bar the way. Commanding the French was Matt B, while I took charge of the Prussians as Marshal Blucher. LG, Muskets & Marshals in hand, acted as umpire.

Davout's mighty Franco-Saxo-Danish army arrayed for battle

Well I just had to be the Prussians. My mission was hold the road junction.
Davout himself, strange to say, had been unavoidably detained (LG couldn't find him!), but his well-disciplined troops readied for battle nonetheless.

Davout's plan, by the looks of it, was to conduct a converging attack against the Prussian left and centre in an effort to seize the road junction.

The formidable French right. I really didn't like the look of all that guard cavalry

Davout's centre with yet more French and a couple of Saxon battalions.

Davout's Danes on the left. I'm ashamed to say that I completely failed to get any 
decent shots of these fabulous Hinton Hunt conversions.

The Danish cavalry on the Franch far left. These were conversions of 
British light dragoons if I remember correctly.
Blucher's plan was to foil Davout's attack be means of a massive assault launched from the Prussian left. Although this left him rather weak on his right flank, Blucher hoped that all the hills on that side of the battlefield would slow down Davout long enough for this main assault to develop.

The Leib Hussars, Garde du Corps and uhlans manaouvre to pounce onto the French right.
It didn't quite work out that way...…

The Prussian left. Prusso-Swedish assault columns, led by the PEF.

The Prussian artillery massed around the town. Blucher's plan was
 to blast to smithereens anything that came too close.

A mixed Prusso-Swedish division held the centre. The dragoons were to play a critical role.

The Prussian right - with yet more Lutzowers!

Swedish cavalry defend the far right flank. We'd deal with those Danes in no time
…..or so I thought.

To be continued.....

WM

Sunday, 3 June 2018

A Vintage Viceroy

It's been more than two weeks, I'm ashamed to say, since I promised to post my first battle report about the Prussian Expeditionary Force, and it's still not ready. The main reason I haven't done it is that I've been far too busy painting. There's nothing like photo editing, it seems, to drive one back to the painting table.

Presented below is what I've been up to. He is a vintage Hinton Hunt FN 352: Eugène de Beauharnais, uniformed as a Colonel of the Chasseurs a Cheval, on horse FN 11.



The regiment he will command, of course, is to be the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Imperial Guard. It was high time, I thought, that the Essex Hussar ceased his photobombing and got a proper job; and besides, the Emperor need's a regiment with at least a ghost of chance of defeating the Leib Hussars.

The only Chasseur I've got to show so far is the trumpeter, who is a converted Der Kriegspieler from set # 47: Guard Chasseurs a Cheval.


He's a little more My Little Pony-ish than I'd intended, but I decided to  keep him as he is because he's actually not too far off the pastel shade of pink depicted in the famous Martinet print.

  
The rest of the regiment is going to take a while, so the next post will definitely be about the PEF!

WM

Essex Hussar: Gadzooks!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Prussian Expeditionary Force

All this circumnavigating the globe business takes it out of you a bit. I've been back for just under a week now but the jet lag is still getting to me. Nevertheless, I sat down to do my first bit of preparation, painting and converting today for a new cavalry regiment.

Now readers of this blog will know only too well that cavalry doesn't happen very quickly at the Hinton Spieler, so to keep everyone entertained while I go through the painfully slow production process I'll be posting about my recent war gaming adventures.

To help me in this task was my very own Prussian Expeditionary Force (PEF), which was assembled at the request of Ian S. I had posted it shortly before I set off, so it was with some trepidation that I opened the box at my sister's house after I arrived in the UK. Much to my relief, the only damage was a couple of bent bayonets and a couple of hussars which had come loose from their bases.

The PEF deployed and ready for action somewhere in southern England.


The PEF comprised the 10th (1st Silesian), 18th (6th Reserve) and 25th (von Lutzow) infantry regiments, the Leib Hussars and the Garde du Corps.

Four battles were fought in four different locations over the next two weeks, although the PEF took part in only three of them. The first battle report and perhaps a shot or two of some of my new cavalry will follow from next weekend.

Till then,

WM

Friday, 6 April 2018

Le 67e Régiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

I'm off on my travels again in just a few days, so I've been going all out to complete my latest regiment. I couldn't bear the thought of it sitting about unfinished until I came back.





The 67th are my first Hinton Hunt French infantry regiment. For those who like to know these things, the figures used were:

Hinton Hunt, French Infantry of the Line 1807-12 :

FN 241: Officer, charging x1
FN 244:  Fusilier, charging x 9
FN 234: Grenadier in Bearskin, charging x 6; and
FN 254: Voltigeur, charging x 6

Filling out the command group are also two recasts: FN 4a: French Colour Bearer without sword; and FN 6a: French drummer 1807.

The thing I really wanted to know, however, is how well they'd work with my DK and Garrison early French imperial battalions. The answer is shown below.


I've cheated a bit with the Garrisons. It's hard to spot in the picture, but if you look really carefully it's just possible to make out that I've mounted them on 1.5mm plasticard rather than 2mm!

I should be back in about 6 weeks or so.

Till then...

WM

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Easter Egg

Every shiny new French infantry regiment deserves a shiny new marshal to command them, so as promised here is my new general.


His is, of course, Hinton Hunt FN 355: Marshal Davout in marshal's uniform raising his hat, on horse FNH 10. These particular examples are David Clayton castings.

Louis-Nicolas Davout, it is said, was Napoleon's ablest marshal, with an uncanny ability to turn up at exactly the right time to save the day. His most famous victory was Auerstaedt in 1805, where he took on and defeated a Prussian army of over twice his strength while the Emperor had the somewhat easier task of thrashing a smaller Prussian army at Jena. Nobody likes a clever clogs, however, especially one prone to denouncing the incompetence and corruption of his fellow marshals, so he wasn't a very popular chap.

Davout's star really began to wane after the Russian Campaign and all the finger-pointing that ensued, but in 1813 and 1814 he fought a very capable rear-guard action against hugely superior Coalition forces, including a model defence of Hamburg right through to Napoleon's abdication. It was undoubtedly because of his administrative ability that he was appointed Minister of War during the 100 Days. The Armée du Nord could not have been put together nearly so successfully by anyone else. His absence from the army when it marched, however, has been regretted by Bonapartists ever since Waterloo. Certainly, if it had been Davout, rather than Grouchy commanding the French right wing after Ligny, things may have turned out very differently.



When she caught sight of him, Wellington Woman wanted to know if he was a Portrait of the Artist as a French Marshal, which is an outrageous thing to say as my barnet isn't nearly as grey as that. I still get a few funny looks when I wear that hat in to work, though.

As for the shiny new regiment, I've been making progress but haven't quite got there yet. Below are two of my work-in-progress flankers. Both are from the Hinton Hunt French Infantry of the Line 1807-12 range. The chap on the left is the air-guitarist par excellence, an FN 254: Voltigeur, charging. The fellow on the right is an FN 234: Grenadier in Bearskin, charging.

The former is one of six which were very kindly given to me by Ian S. The latter, also one of six, is from a set of what I thought were Guard grenadiers, but was delighted to find were line grenadiers when I eventually got all the paint off. They've been waiting around for over three years while I set about finding sufficient figures to build a regiment around them.




Happy Easter!

WM

Sunday, 25 March 2018

First Class Fusiliers


I've got a bit more to show off than I expected this week. I think it must be the novelty of working with proper Hinton Hunts. I can actually see what I'm doing for a change.

First up is the command group, which features an absolutely cracking Hinton Hunt FN 241: French Infantry of the Line 1807-12, Officer charging. Next to him is a recast David Clayton FN 4a: French Colour Bearer without sword. Considering that he's effectively a recast of a Clayton copy of a Der Kriegspielers conversion of a Hinton Hunt, he's not come out too badly.


Behind them are nine newly completed vintage Hinton Hunt FN 244: French Infantry of the Line 1807-12, Fuslier charging. I think these are gorgeous figures, although having said that I've modified them slightly by turning their heads to the left. The originals were sort of vaguely staring off to the right rather than looking where they were going, no doubt as an aid to casting. Marcus obviously expected his customers to reposition the heads, or that's my story, anyway.


I've even managed to finish another general for them, but as he's yet to dry I'm saving him for next week. If nothing else he'll help to fill the gap while the next two companies are in production.

That's it for now,
WM