Saturday, 1 December 2018

The Gilded Age

I've been hard at it painting Chasseurs this weekend, but they're complex wee beasties and after every few steps I have to stop to let everything to dry.

During one such episode late this afternoon I decided to dig out a regiment which has been sitting in a box at the back of a cupboard, more or less forgotten, ever since I bought it several years ago. I'm going to need some more redcoats at some point, so I thought I'd get them out to have a closer look at them. They are, I believe, Alberkens with a sprinkling of Hinton Hunt command figures, painted to represent the 42nd Highlanders.
Alberken 42nd Highlanders

I bought them because they looked so charmingly Gilderesque. When I saw them in the lead my heart almost sank a bit because the quality of the painting was so high that the only thing I could really do with them was a little gentle retouching and perhaps remounting with a few bayonet repairs. I may have a go at this over Christmas if I can get the Chasseurs and Lammings finished.

Vintage painting at it's best

Having got them out again, and with Gilder in mind, I hunted through some of my old wargaming books to see if I could spot something similar. Sure enough, on page 13 of Charles Grant's Napoleonic Wargaming (King's Langley: Argus Books, 1974), I found the following photo of Peter Gilder's collection:

The 42nd leading the right flank of Picton's Division at Waterloo in 1974.
Also featured is a very pretty regiment of Lammings on the left.
Do you know, I think it's the very same regiment.

Yours, in some amazement.


Sunday, 4 November 2018

Looking at Lammings

My painting target this week was to finish the first half of the 73rd. I managed to achieve this and  also had a bit of time do a few basing experiments.

In the picture below you can see my test company of the 73rd on a 1.5mm plasticard base lined up next to a company of Hinton Hunts on a 2mm base. They seem to work together really well like this.

I also dug out a few of the other Lammings I've picked up to show how incompatible the 20mm range is with 25mm range which replaced it in 1974-75. The height difference is not all that great in some instances, but the head and hat sizes are very different, as are the torsos, limbs and hands. They all still look like Lammings, however, which is what makes them so damned difficult to collect!

That'll be it for the Lammings for a wee while. I've told myself that I'm not allowed to do any more of them until the Chasseurs are complete. It's a desperate measure, I know, but it's the only way I could think of to force myself back to the cavalry. It should do the trick as I really want to see what a whole regiment of Lammings is going to look like.

Chasseurs next, I promise…


P.S. I've just uploaded a fizzy-can flag page for those who want to know a bit more about how I make them. A horses page is also in preparation.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Colour Supplement

I've been working on my Lammings this week, and the result is a colour party.

The figures are all vintage 20mm Lamming Miniatures from the Napoleonic 1815, British Foot range:

BI/1: Line infantry advancing x 1;
BI/2: Line infantry officer with drawn sword x1;
BI/2: Line infantry officer with drawn sword x 2, converted to colour bearers; and
BI/5: Line infantry drummer x 1

The baldrics for the colours were made by flattening out a length of soldering wire, cutting it into even strips and then bending them around and gluing them to the figures. Both ensigns were also in need of a bit of arm, hands and sword repair, which I achieved with some gentle soldering and a couple of flattened pins. I tried to keep the classic Lamming machete look for the sword blades.

My sincere thanks to M S Foy for the Regimental Colour ensign - it's very pleasing indeed to have this regiment led by a full compliment of proper Lamming officers. They were in severe danger of getting a Minifig, which would not have been the done thing!

Toodle Pip.


Saturday, 20 October 2018

Lamming Season

It's Labour Day Weekend here in Welly, which means we get Monday off, so I have a little bit more painting time. The plan is to devote this to the Chasseurs a Cheval. I've made a start, but while I was about it I couldn't resist having a go at a test figure for my new British 73rd Regiment:

He is a Lamming Miniatures figure from the 20mm 1815 Napoleonic range, which was launched in 1970. The specific code is BI/1: British Line Infantry Advancing. I'm very pleased to say that I have twenty of them, with four command figures to lead them, almost all courtesy of Mr Lewis Gunner, who gave them to me as a gift about three years ago. I've been itching to have a go at them for all this time. They seem to be fantastically rare these days.

He and his comrades are beautifully clean and simple castings, and he was an absolute joy to paint. There is now a distinct danger that the rest of them will usurp the Chasseurs in the painting queue. I want to see what those flags will look like with a regiment behind them.

Have a great weekend

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Flag Ferapy

I regret to say that I'm unable to post any more PEF pictures for the moment due to the total breakdown of my old PC. This was an old ex-work laptop which I bought ten years ago for all of 25 quid, so I suppose it serves me right. If I can find a way to at least temporarily resurrect it then I will extract the pictures and post them.☹️

Meanwhile, the Chasseurs have also stalled. To chivvy myself along I even did a bit of prep work on the regiment that is to follow them. This ended up being rather more intensive than I anticipated and then further delay was caused by my inability to resist having a go at their flags:

They are the King's and Regimental colours of the 73rd, which will be the last close-order regiment to go into Wallmoden's Corps, or at least as far as Phase Two is concerned.

With the addition of these two I now have four painted flags waiting for regiments to carry them (the other two are for Prussian grenadier and landwehr regiments). I really need to do something about this....

Yours, somewhat chastened,


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Premier Division

As promised, just a quick shot of the French First Division. I think I may just have got a way with my decision to go for an all-fusilier battalion.

From Left to Right: DK 9s, FN 5s and DK 8s

Needless to say, I couldn't resist finding out what a really big 36-figure battalion might look like:

The Big Battalion

As Peter Gilder might have done it 

It's probably just as well that it's virtually impossible to get enough figures to do whole armies this way...



Sunday, 23 September 2018

The End of the Line 2

I found a bit of time this weekend to finish my French line infantry battalion, and so here they are:

The figures are all vintage Hinton Hunts from the French Infantry of the Line 1812-15 (in shakos, short tailed coats and long trousers) part of the range:

FN 1: Officer (charging) x 1
FN 4: Colour Bearer (charging) x1
FN 6: Drummer (charging) x1
FN 5: Fusilier (charging) x 21

There is an option to replace two of the companies with grenadiers and voltigeurs at some point, but I have to admit that I'm rather pleased with the all-fusilier look.

It'll be back to the Chasseurs for me now I think. This is likely to be a rather long and fraught process, so to the fill the gap the next post will probably feature another episode in the adventures of the PEF.

In the meantime, I'm off to celebrate with a glass or two of Central Otago Pinot Noir. I've wanted a battalion of FN 5s for ages. I think they're some of the nicest figures I've ever handled.


Monday, 27 August 2018

The End of the Line

Having belatedly finished the two centre companies of my new French line Infantry battalion, I have to decide what to put on the flanks.

There are three main options:

Option one is well-stocked grenadier and voltigeur companies à la Wellington Man. This has become something of a house standard, driven for the most part by the figures I happened to have lying about:

Option two is to represent the elites in their proper portions (i.e. as no more than a third of the battalion), as demonstrated by Mark Dudley:

Option three is fusiliers all the way, which is the speciality of Monsieur Stryker:

I can't make up my mind.


Saturday, 11 August 2018

Three Line WIP

With the three line in question all being Vintage Hinton Hunt French Infantry of the Line 1812-15:

FN 1: Officer (charging);
FN 4: Colour Bearer (charging); and
FN 6: Drummer (charging).

Forming up behind them are nine equally vintage FN 5: Fusilier (charging) in what will be an all-vintage Hinton Hunt battalion. This will be only my second battalion to achieve this feat. The other one is the Silesian Schützen battalion, which was the first battalion I painted.

I'm painting these now as a replacement is needed for the Swiss in my First Division, seeing that they've shuffled off to join their fellow 1807-1812 comrades in the Second Division. Strictly speaking I should be painting a DK battalion for this gig (I have an ambition to be a DK French 1812 infantry completist), but having finally got my mits on some HH originals I just couldn't resist them.

Also on the table this weekend was the penultimate part of commission I'm doing for Ian S. He is a conversion of an HH Prussian Hussar. This particular figure is a copy, rather than an original, but it's a jolly nice one.

All that's needed now to finish Ian's commission is a bit of flag pole bashing and shaping and then it will be off to the post office with the lot. Phew.

Have a good one,


Sunday, 5 August 2018

Prussian Percussion

Having decided to take a wee holiday from the Chasseurs, I spent my hobby time this weekend prepping a French infantry regiment and doing a few conversions. The results of the latter are shown below:

The two figures on the left are part of the commission I'm doing for Ian S. The two on the right are for my own army. They are conversions of my Prussian reserve infantry figures. By 1815 many of the Prussian Landwehr had started to receive short kollet jackets, so I thought these would do very well for a Silesian Landwehr regiment. The rank and file are going to need a lot of work on their bayonets, however, as most of them came back from the caster a little on the short side.

Although all the drums (from Musket Miniatures) are soldered to their drummers, I thought the guardsmen on the far left could do with a little superglue reinforcement. My neighbour mentioned that sprinkling a little bicarbonate of soda onto superglue helps to it set, so I decided to give it a go. It instantly set like concrete!

I've still got a couple more things to do for Ian, but it'll be French infantry all the way after that.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Harps and Lions

I've been as sick as a dog over the last few days, so with nothing to do between coughs and splutters I sat down to finish something for my friend, Rob G. I've been heavily in debt to him for ages.

Rob has a magnificent collection of vintage Hinchliffe English Civil War figures, which also happen to have been what my first wargames army was based on, so I was delighted when he asked me for a flag to go with them.

It is the Royal Standard of Charles I. Back in the day I longed for a flag like this from the moment I saw the version being carried by the King's Lifeguard of Horse in the classic 1979 Asquith-Gilder Osprey Wargames volume, The Campaign of Naseby 1645.

Rob supplied the pike, which is a little thicker than the wire I normally use. The flag dimensions are 3cm x 7.5 cm for each side of the fly, plus 4mm added for the hoist. It's made of my usual fizzy-can metal, and the colours used were all Humbrols. The yellow parts were something new for me - Humbrol 99: Lemon Yellow, which has much better adhesion than the Humbrol 24: Trainer Yellow I've been painting with lately. It's also a lot brighter.

This is my second attempt at this flag. The first attempt turned to custard because I tried to hurry it. For the second attempt everything was tried out first on a piece of paper.

Conversions to follow in the next post. I would have done some of these today, but we had a city-wide power cut. Every now and then NZ likes to remind us that we're out on the frontier out here. The next stop is Mars.


Saturday, 21 July 2018

Bay Watch

The first squadron of Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde Impériale is ready for its photo shoot. 

No prizes for guessing which one is Pamela Anderson.
They were devilishly difficult to paint. This had more do with the impossibly high expectations I'd set for myself rather than anything intrinsically difficult about them. This wasn't helped by them being the sort of regiment which looks terrible while it is being painted until more or less the last moment.

The figures are:

Hinton Hunt FN 48: French Chasseur a Cheval of the Guard, in busby and Hussar style uniform (mounted) charging x 3;
Der Kriegspielers Napoleoniques # 47: Guard Chasseurs-a-Cheval x 1;
Der Kriegspielers Napoleoniques # 47: Guard Chasseurs-a-Cheval, converted to a trumpeter; and
The Essex Hussar.

There will probably be another flag and a few more conversions in the next post, all being done as commissions.

Toodle pip,


Saturday, 7 July 2018

Funky Chickens

There was a Silesian eagle
who thought he'd look quite regal
if he spread out his wings
and showed off his.... things
but he looked like a scrawny seagull

It's been raining slantendicular today, so I spent the afternoon finishing off a couple of new flags. One of them is for Ian S and the other is for me. Ian sent me some very special soldiers recently, so it was the least I could do. I had to twist his arm before he'd let me, though.

I'm not sure if I've completely succeeded, but I wouldn't have got even this far if it hadn't been for the Archduke, who gave me a set of Revell Email paints when I visited him in the UK. Using them has been a revelation. They actually stick to the thing that one is trying to paint. It'll take me a while to get used to this revolutionary concept.

I'm going through another patch of major work stress at the moment so, who knows, there may be some Chasseurs to show off next week.

Toodle Pip,


Sunday, 24 June 2018

A Fork in the Road - Part 2

Into action
Prince Blucher immediately ordered his crack cavalry regiments to advance....

Blucher: Charge und slaughter zem all, meine kinder!
 ...prompting Davout's guns to come into action.

Davout: This is going to be easier than I thought!
The Garde du Corps suffered dreadful losses as they tried to cross the ford.

Blucher: Verdammt!, So ein Mist! Sound ze recall!
As Blucher recalled his shattered squadrons, Davout's Franco-Saxon centre launched themselves towards the town....

Davout: Forward lads! We'll have them on the run in no time....
….and were in turn met by a hail of Prussian cannon balls.

Blucher: Zat's more like it!
Although firing at extreme range, the volume of fire rapidly began to take a terrible toll on the advancing Saxons.

Colonel #1: They've killed Count Pajol!
Colonel #2: The bastards!
On Blucher's right, however, a sudden Danish light cavalry strike threatened the destruction of the Swedish hussars.

Swedes: That's the last time we order a Danish!
French and Danish cavalry, supported by their dashing horse gunners, swarmed onto the hills.

Blucher: the Danes are dominating, damn them!
Crisis on the Right

Blucher counter attacked with the Swedish cuirassiers, but they were sent packing by their indomitable Danish opponents almost immediately.

Cuirassiers: Run away!
Blucher: Zere is somezink rotten in the 
state of Sweden, I am zinking!
Only the Swedish infantry now stood in the way of total disaster. Heavily outnumbered, raked by canon fire and surrounded by a swirl of hostile squadrons, the collapse of Blucher's right seemed only moments away...

Swedes: Valhalla here we come!
….but the Swedes were tougher than they looked. The Danes watched in horror as their hitherto unstoppable offensive began to crumble. Even the Swedish hussars fought back, bringing the Danish light cavalry to a standstill.

Meanwhile the Swedish infantry decimated the  French chasseurs for daring to come within musket range.

It was enough. Blucher's left and centre marched to the attack just as the enemy in front of them were beginning to wilt under the uncannily accurate long-range fire of the Prussian gunners.

The sacrifice of the Prussian Garde du Corps had also not been in vain. Davout's gunners were distracted just long enough for the Prussian main attack to close. A mighty cheer rang out from the Prussian ranks.

Prussian infantry: Hurrah! Ve didn't like zose silly vhite cuirassiers anyvay!
Meanwhile, Danish morale plummeted as their cavalry reeled back in confusion. Even the horse gunners were sent scurrying back to their lines after a feint by the Prussian dragoons.

Blucher: Zat's right boys - just vave zose swords about a bit!
The Prussian centre closed in for the kill. The Saxons formed line but it was clear that they'd been seriously weakened by the Prussian bombardment.

But it was on the Prussian left that the real victory was won. The Lutzowers, enraged by their losses to the French artillery during the advance, charged and overran the French guns which had been tormenting them. The rest of the PEF also charged into the faltering French line. The Prussian cavalry surged forward in anticipation of the pursuit. As the French cavalry of the Guard prepared to sell their lives, Davout sounded the retreat. The Emperor would have to fight his way to Berlin alone.

And that, I'm very sorry to say, is when we ran out of time. I had to hit the road if I was to have any chance of reaching my sister's house before dark. LG, as always, had arranged the most superb show. He had also umpired with aplomb and treated us to the most splendid lunch besides. My opponent, Matt B, could not have been a more perfect gentleman and he would have beaten me handsomely but for my outrageous good fortune with the dice. He was also spectacularly generous - so expect to see a lot more French, Prussian and Brunswick Hinton Hunts when I finally get round to painting them.

Gents, I can't really repay either you except to say thank you. I had the most wonderful time.

More grand Hinton Hunt spectaculars will follow in future posts, as indeed, I hope, will the Guard Chasseurs. I may need to chain Wellington Girl to the radiator first, however, as her ever growing social life seems to be taking up just about all of my time at the moment. What can I do? She's got me wrapped around her little finger.