Friday, 15 December 2017

A Wargaming Classic

One of the reasons I've wanted to paint Garrisons for so long is that masses of them appeared in the war games books I read when I was a lad. A lot of the photos in these books, of course, were of Peter Gilder's amazing collections. I didn't know they were Garrisons back then, but I thought they were magnificent all the same.

The all-time classic photo of Peter's troops, as far as I was concerned, was the one that appeared on the dust jacket of Bruce Quarrie's Napoleon's Campaigns in Miniature, published in 1977. The whole cover can be seen here. I spent hours staring at this picture and wondering where the figures came from.

A lot of the soldiers shown marching to their doom at Waterloo in this photo, I now realise, are Garrisons. The detail from the dust jacket I've posted below ought to show what I mean. Those are definitely Garrisons in the back two rows of the column in the foreground, and I think they make up most of the third and fourth rows in the other column as well.



Also depicted, of course, are zillions of Hinton Hunts and Hinchliffes. I'm almost sure that the chaps sporting the red and yellow plumes and marching beside them, however, are Lamming French line voltiguers, although what they're doing in company with the Imperial Guard is anybody's guess. The British on the ridge, by the way, look like S-Range Minifigs and Lammings to me, but if anyone knows better please don't hesitate to say so in the comments.

My own Garrison guardsmen, painted to represent line infantry grenadiers, are shown below. The figures are all Garrison FN 2: Old Guard Grenadier Advancing.



The last two fusilier and voltigeur companies are now on the painting table, but it remains to be seen whether or not I can get them finished before Christmas. Just in case I don't, here's the first half battalion to be going on with:


That's it for now,

WM

Edit: I've added in an extra photo to show how the FN 7 Fusilier and the FN 2 Grenadier compare. I hope it illustrates what I was trying to get at in my comment to 'Lee. The fusilier has a slightly quizzical look somehow - I think it's something to do with the deft little side step he's making, and the slight tilt of his head - like he's trying to decide whether to charge or bolt!


Friday, 8 December 2017

Command Conversions

Well, I'm clearly quite keen on Garrisons as the command group is almost complete. Part of the fun of doing them was that they're all conversions.

First up is a Garrison FN 1: Old Guard Grenadier Officer, who I've converted to be my line infantry chef de bataillon. The new elements are a flattened-pin sword and the head of a Garrison FN 7: Line Fusilier advancing. His plume was taken from an old Minifigs S-Range French voltigeur.


The drummer also has an FN 7 head, in this case soldered on to the body of a Lamming FI/6: Imperial Guard Grenadier drummer. The only other new elements are his plume, which came from a Hinchliffe French artillery officer; and a bit of work on his epaulettes to create the swallows' nests favoured by fusilier drummers


Last but not least is the eagle-bearer, who is an adapted Garrison FN 4: French Line Officer. He's holding yet another of my fizzy-can flags, with an eagle snipped off a Minifigs French Horse grenadier. The other changes I've made to him are another flattened-pin sword and a bit of carving on his chest to produce an 1806 pattern tunic and waistcoat. This was actually a very simple job using my rotary tool.


The last two shots are of the three of them together. I'm really pleased with how the Lamming blends in with the Garrisons.



The first three fusiliers needed to make up the command base are also complete and, if I can find a spare hour or two, the grenadiers should not be far behind. If I'm a really good boy I may even manage to get the whole battalion finished by Christmas.

Hmmmm....we'll see. There's an awful lot of office parties lined up before then.

WM

Edit: Rob's comment below reminded me that I intended another picture to show how Garrisons square up against Hinton Hunts. Pictured below is my chef de bataillon beside a vintage Hinton Hunt FN 1: French Infantry of the Line Officer, charging.




The Garrison is definitely a wee bit taller, but there's not a great deal in it. However, he is a lot broader, and the Garrison figure base seems positively enormous compared to the Hinton Hunt . However, six figures will go onto a 40mm x 30mm base right enough.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Over the Hump


The 18th Infantry are sent to guard the river crossing.

Having been banished from the office with a heavy cold, there was nothing else for it but to finish the 18th Infantry Regiment, aka "Wellington Man's Own". An extra incentive was also provided by the arrival by super-extra-speedy post of a pair of superb resin bridges, courtesy of Mr Hind. I've no idea who manufactured them, but they fit my old Napoleonics perfectly.


Herr Major:  "Zey shall not pass!" 

My sincere thanks to everyone for encouraging me to get them done. I'm not sure why my enthusiasm for these chaps began to wane, as they've turned out so much better than I dared hope. I think it must be a combination of the outbreak of good weather (it really has been lovely these last couple of weeks) and a lull in my work stress. I've been floating on a cloud of contentment ever since I came back from Oz. This was not good for productivity, evidently.


However, there was nothing doing so they went back home again.
Christmas, on the other hand, is shaping up to be rather stressful....there have been mutterings about "going to see my sisters" and some sort of vast inter-clan gathering in the South Island. I may have to paint an awful lot of Frenchmen to get over this.

WM

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Rebooting the Reservists

What with the non-appearance of the rest of my Prussian reservists and all that fooling about with Austrians, it's become painfully obvious that I'd been going through a bit of a soft patch, so radical measures were necessary.

The solution, I decided, was to make a start on something I've been dying to do for well over a year, which is a battalion of Garrison French infantry. Those with very long memories may remember that I painted a test Garrison figure in the middle of last year. He's been sitting about accusingly ever since.


The Garrisons, I've decided, will be an 1809-ish era regiment, complete with fancy flank companies. The command group and the grenadier company will be first, not least because it was an excuse to do a few more conversions and some sword-forging on my rail anvil.

Getting the Garrisons prepared and out onto the painting table, I hoped, would motivate me to get back to work on my Prussians, and I'm very pleased to say this has worked. The Prussians have all their muskets and equipment blacked-up now, which means they're finally past the half-way stage. I find that painting always goes quickly after this point as the troops really start to look like proper little soldiers. The complete battalion is now not too far off at all.

WM

P.S. I haven't abandoned my Austrian project - I've just parked it for a wee while until I've made a little more progress on phase two. This needs two more battalions, a cavalry regiment and two gun batteries before I can claim to have reached the half-way point.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Amateur Austronomy

I know, I should be working on Prussians, but all this fooling about with Austrians has distracted me. I couldn't resist getting them all out to have a look at them and to decide which, if any, could be cobbled together into a battalion.

It turns out that there are 98 of them - enough for four battalions with a couple to spare. For those curious to know what 98 distinctly dodgy-looking Austrians look like, they are pictured below.

Bring on the Clones
There was nothing for it after that but to get out my small collection of genuine, factory-painted Alberken/Minifig Austrians by way of comparison. These particular examples, I believe, are:

12 x AN 1W: German Line Fusilier, on guard;
2 x AN 2W: German Line Fusilier Officer;
1 x AN 15W: German Line Fusilier Standard Bearer; and
1 x AN 4W; German Line Grenadier Officer.

The Albert and Ken's

The good news is that having had a closer look at the home-casts, I decided that there may be, just possibly, a dozen or so which are genuine, in which case they're probably examples of the Alberken/Minifig code AN 5 or AN 5 W: Hungarian (or German) Line Fusilier, advancing.

The last shot is a closer view of what is definitely not an original, what might be an original, and one of the AN 1Ws. Do you know, I think one could actually make something of all of them: even the one who seems to be half man and half goat, with a bit of soldering.


What do you think? Should I do it?

Incidentally, I've started to post up a few pages about how I went about painting  the first wee man. If anyone wishes to make any comments (complementary or critical: both are very welcome), proffer advice or ask questions, please don't hesitate.

WM



Sunday, 12 November 2017

Kaiserlicking Good

I've been going through an idle patch over the last couple of weeks, which is why I haven't posted anything.

That being said, I've done a little bit more work on my Reservists and also been trying out another little project, which is pictured here. I'm not exactly sure what he is, but the leading theory at the moment is that he's a home-cast pirate of an Alberken Austrian. Early on in my project I acquired no fewer than 96 of these, so there's the beginnings of an army there if anything can be made of them.

If I can successfully create the command group, I may go ahead a paint a whole battalion. It's all part of my cunning plan to persuade my friend, DM, to take up Hinton Spieling. DM has a special thing for Austrians, and said that he just might give it a go if I gave a demonstration of how to paint them. Details about how I went about it will follow in future posts!

Best regards

WM


Edit: Bit of a brain fade there. My friend's initials are DF! Sorry, DF, although I'm sure you would be a very fine Dungeon Master also.





Sunday, 29 October 2017

Pretty in Pink

The Command Group for my Prussian 18th Infantry Regiment is finally complete. I'd have done more, but after returning from my travels (to Australia, this time) I was kidnapped by a deckchair on a sunny porch that refused to release me. I put my captivity to good use by reading up a bit more on the Prussian army.


The command figures are:

Hinton Hunt (David Clayton) PN 20: Prussian Landwehr Officer, marching;
Hinton Hunt PN 5: Prussian Infantry of the Line 1810-15, Private advancing (Separate Musket); and
Der Kriegspielers Napoleoniques # 120: Prussian Infantry 1813-15 Command, Drummer.

They were all donated by Don in the US a little over two years ago (sorry, Don).

The officer has had his rather chunky Clayton base cut down and reshaped a bit to reduce his height and help him fit in a little better with his men (the original version can be seen here). The drummer, believe it or not, is the first proper Prussian line infantry drummer I've painted.

The pink colour on the facings is my own creation as the pot of Humbrol pink I had in hand was an absolutely ghastly colour that was also so watery that it was almost impossible to paint with.

Spring in Wellington tends to be a rather wet and miserable season, so the chances are that next weekend I'll be able to get stuck into the rest of the battalion without too many other temptations.

WM

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