Saturday, 16 February 2019

Another quiet week on the production line

The flattening of the lead pile is still having its impact on production. The two battalions of French Revolutionary  infantry from Eureka seem to be taking an age to jump the ditch from Australia to here. In truth it has only been 14 days since I placed the order, but it seems longer. Parcels from the UK take about this length of time and I suppose I expected it to take much less time for a parcel to come from Melbourne than from say Nottingham. Looking at it sensibly though the difference in transit time is perhaps two days, but the bureaucracy of the postal and customs services is the same and the whole process is not helped by the fact that New Zealand Post now only deliver every second day.

But I haven't been completely idle and have been working on a few bits an pieces that have been laying around for a while.

First are a couple of lovely Paul Hicks designed Spanish light infantry figures from Brigade Games. These will join another batch of light infantry due early next month.

Second are three troopers from the 5th Dragoon Guards of the Heavy Brigade from the Crimean War. These are from Great War Miniatures through Northstar that I bought way back, but problems with the moulds meant that production of these figures was suspended and the figures have not yet been brought back into production. Hopefully they will be back in production this year - I am not good at going back to older projects.

I still have a few bits and pieces to keep me going until the lead pile is renewed.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Napoleonic Fortress Guns, Part Three

That there has been no activity on this blog for the last two weeks is a direct result of three factors:

  • The Lead/Plastic pile has been flattened and self-imposed austerity measures are holding back a restock until the end of February (although a small number of Revolutionary French are on their way).
  • Life in the real world has been unusually hectic
  • A heatwave in the last week or two has driven evening temperatures to the point that sitting at the painting table is uncomfortable. 

That said, hobby work  hasn’t completely ground to a halt.  The main focus has been on the Napoleonic fortress guns that I started back in early January.


I have completed another five guns, two Spanish and three French...



...and painted some French gun crews (Brigade Games figures again).

I have also been working on the bases for the guns, completing those for the Spanish shore battery. The original plan of making one battery stand into which the various gun stands would slot has gone out the window. The stands have been built so that they simply stand together side by side. I have completed two more Spanish stands and reworked the stonework on the first Spanish one to match the new ones. There is some variety in that the two outer stands can be used without the central one to create a two gun battery.

The Spanish battery now has guns in three different states: (left to right below) one loading, one firings and one sighting.

I also managed to get a game in last weekend (15mm early WWII), the first for the year, but I neglected to take any images of the game, so have not prepared a report.

Monday, 28 January 2019

New Project for the New Year

In my earlier post on project planning I mentioned the possiblity of the French Revolutionary army as a possible project. Since then I have looked into this in more depth and made the decision to make up a sample unit.

I had decided that the army at the time of the War of the Second Coalition was where I wanted to be so that sensible opponents could be the Russians, Austrians, British or Ottomans, fighting in Italy, Switzerland, along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, or in Egypt and Syria. The thought of fighting battles in Swiss terrain is mouthwatering...those alpine meadows and pretty chalets...

The decision on figures was simple. The only complete range is by Eureka, but I had never seen any Eureka figures in the flesh. So I placed a small order for a single battalion. Eureka were great to deal with. First they sell by the single figure, a concept long gone amongst most mainstream suppliers, but something I like. The order was despatched the next day, but still took the better part of two weeks to come through the Australian and New Zealand postal services.

I like the figures. They are clean castings and the variety presented meant that pretty much that every figure in the unit is different.  I chose to make a unit in ragged dress that seems more typical of the time. The result was a unit with torn and patched clothing and a variety of footwear from boots to clogs, shoes bandaged feet and bare feet. I chose to do this unit a little bit differently to those I have done recently. Once again I have used the three stand structure for the battalion, with six figures to the stand, although the stand in this first battalion of the 43e Demi Brigade de Ligne the inclusion of a mounted colonel on the command base reduces the foot figures on that stand to four. Of the two rank and file stands one has two grenadier figures, on the right of the line of course, and a foot officer inthe  front rank.

I am pleased with the results and the project will proceed further. I am not sure how large the armies will get. The plan is around 12 units of foot a side, but I have no doubt that some scope creep will occur.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Left Overs

It has been exceptionally busy at work this week with overseas visitors taking up a fair chunk of my evenings. Production has suffered as a result.

This week's output has been limited to a single battalion of French line infantry made up from left over figures from the French 1812-13 project.

The only thing that differentiates this battalion from the others that I have is that completed is that I have done head swaps on all but two of the 24 figures, utilising some of the many heads in pokalem or bonnet de police that were left over. The result is a rather motley bunch made more so by giving them a mix of trouser colours.

Meanwhile on the painting table is a test unit for a new project that should be ready for presentation on Monday or Tuesday

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Carlist War Expansion Concludes

With these two units the Carlist War expansion is completed.

The first unit is a Valencian outfit.

The second is a Castillian unit, the 4th battalion, the Grabaderos del Ejército. Below the battalion officer is unimpressed as the new recruits enter the local uniform store...

...but watches them with pride as they march out so smartly outfitted...

...and onto the drillground.

Then in a brief parade, the whole expansion - the cavalry followed by the infantry - march in review under the admiring eyes of Don Carlos, Cabrera and Zumalacarregui, while the artillery fires a final salute.

The parade finished these new units have been marched to their new barracks where they will await thier first action.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

More Carlist Infantry

This week sees the completion of two more Carlist infantry units.

A Navarre unit...

...and a Guipuzcoan unit in summer dress (in white trousers).

There are only two Carlist units to go in this expansion project.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Project Planning

As we bask in the heat of our summer evenings and with an abundance of BBQs, beer and wine thoughts are turning to projects for 2019.


Still on the plan are existing projects like the fortress guns, the Carlist War expansion, phase two of the Spanish Napoleonics and the remaining 18 figures of the Crimean heavy brigade. Those projects (supply permitting) should be completed by the middle of March.


I do have firm plans for the addition of some early British for the Peninsular, something to augment the British in Egypt with stovepipe, maybe half a dozen units with the possibility of two of those superb Perry flatboats for coastal operations.


But beyond that I am at a bit of a loss for figure painting projects. What I am determined to do is that wherever possible I want ranges to overlap with existing ranges.


I have been seriously attracted to three or four POSSIBLE projects:


First is the French Revolutionary campaigns – I have been inspired here after following games on Colin Ashton’s “Carryings on up the Dale” blog. This would add forces for France, Austria and Russia, but would overlap with the British in Egypt that could be used in Holland with the Russians against the French. The French could also be used in the early phases of the Egyptian campaign, against the Turks, before the Kléber uniform was introduced. The Russians may also be able to be used against the Turks, although the Turks would need to have a few more Jannisaries and artillery added.


Second is the campaigns in Scandinavia during the Napoleonic era that would involve the Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and Russians. Overlaps here could be Danes vs British; the Russians would have to be a new force since the uniforms in 1807-8 were significantly different to 1812-13, but they could be used against the Turks.


Another area of interest is the Seven Years War (again I have taken some inspiration from Colin). My interest here would be on the eastern campaigns Prussia vs Russia and Austria rather than the conflict in the west involving Britain and France. The only logical overlap here would be the Russians against the Turks again.


The Great Northern War also interests me. While there is some overlap with Prussian, Saxon and Danish units fighting in both the GNW and WSS that linkage is rather tenuous.


One project I really do want to settle on this year is sorting out a gaming area at home. At present all my games are played away from home, but the plan is to be able to set up in the garage. This will have a three phase approach.


First will be a table and it will be in the form of a fold up table tennis table.

Second will be to rework the storage facilities in the garage by building some purpose built cupboards that will allow for a figure expansion!

Third will be terrain boards that will store within the reworked storage facilities


The first phase is simple and will probably happen in February, but the second and third phases require the removal of a number of items from their existing location and then the storage being constructed. The storage may not happen until June and then the terrain boards can be constructed.


It is all food for thought on these sunny evenings.