Saturday, 3 December 2022

Prussian and Russian cavalry

After last week’s small offering, today’s post offers a considerably higher figure count - 25 new cavalry in all. Not all of these were painted this week though, most having been completed in the previous two weeks, but were waiting for their officers and trumpeters to arrive.

At the top of the menu is the first of two regiments of  Russian horse jägers. This was a new type of cavalry for the Russians, created as the equivalent of the French Chasseurs-a-Cheval. Eight dragoon regiments were converted to jägers in December 1812, wearing essentially the same uniform as they did as dragoons, but with a shako with a tall plume instead of a helmet and curved sabres instead of the straight dragoon sabre.

Represented here is the Niejine (Nezhinsk) regiment, converted from one of the dragoon regiments created  in 1806.



In the second batch of figures are two small units of Prussian Mounted Volunteer Jägers. It’s not that I really need any more Volunteer Jägers, but with this set you get so many legs and torsos to make up a variety of cavalry types and it seems such a waste to simply throw them away. So I bought some extra horses and have made these two small units (they probably should be tiny - single stand - units really, but this gives me a bit more flexibility).

One with shoulder scales…

…and one without

Also included here is a Prussian cavalry brigadier, painted as a dragoon colonel, made from left over body parts and a spare horse.





Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Hussars!

Just a light offering today…a single stand of Russian Napoleonic hussars. This is an expansion to the Pavlograd Hussars that are already in the collection - an expansion because in general the Russian light cavalry (like the Austrians) were organised into larger regiments than the dragoons and cuirassiers. Adding another stand to the regiment seemed sensible.

What wasn’t sensible was ordering the figures without looking at what I already had. The result is that I bought troopers in campaign dress waving swords whereas the existing regiment were all in full dress with shouldered swords. This meant three differences: arms are waving over their heads, they are wearing overalls instead of tight trousers and they didn’t have plumes. Thankfully I had plenty of spare plumes from the shakos of the Russian Mounted Jägers from the plastic Allied cavalry sets, so some careful use of a drill, some steel pins and superglue solved the missing plume issue. The other two differences I just have to live with.



And the whole regiment.



Monday, 28 November 2022

AWI Artillery

This is the third gun and limber set in my AWI American collection.


I really like the way the crew are posed aiming the gun.



Only one infantry unit remains to complete this collection. That unit fits into the painting schedule sometime in the middle of December.

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Prussian Neumark Dragoons, No 6.

Completed more than a week ago I have finally completed the bases of this the last of three Prussian dragoon regiments in this expansion.




All that remains to be completed in this expansion now are two small units of mounted volunteers and a couple off mounted officers, but before I move on to them there are some Russian light cavalry in the queue.

A parade of the Prussian cavalry will follow in time.




Monday, 21 November 2022

A Break from the Routine

The last couple of months have been chaotic for me, with a couple of big project deliverables, some very tight deadlines and a major international audit. To get away the routine of daily life in the city we escaped to our favourite NZ destination, Wanaka, for a few days. 

Following our usual practice we flew into Queenstown, had coffee in Arrowtown, visited a couple of our favoured wineries and enjoyed a lunch in Cromwell before checking into our hotel in Wanaka in the early afternoon.

The view from the room wasn’t as spectacular as our last stay, being a ‘garden view’ this time rather than a ‘lake view’ room last time, but pleasant enough all the same, although the low cloud makes this image seem a lot darker than it really was.


After settling into the room we decided to walk onto town and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening there. With a forecast of light rain showers we went prepared with light waterproof jackets, something we soon came to regret as not only did it not rain, but the low cloud kept the heat and humidity in…the temperature may have been only in the low 20s (C), but the humidity was in the mid-90s.

After poking about in a few shops, we found space in a bar we have visited before and spent the first part of the happy hour there. The place was obviously the favourite of the local builders and by 5:00 it was filled with tradesmen enjoying Friday after work drinks. It was amusing to sit back and listen to their banter. An excellent Chinese dinner followed washed down with a nice rosé.

The walk back along the lake shore, through the arcades created by the willows and the taller poplar and beech trees in the balmy evening was very pleasant, although the fragrance of the lupins in bloom along the path was almost overwhelming.


In the early twilight the famous Wanaka tree reflected in the calm water - the first time in our visits here that I have seen the tree in leaf. But in the distance, to the east, the rain was approaching.


As we got back to the hotel the first spots of rain began to fall. Within a few minutes the fall was steady although it didn’t last long. It had been a long day - we had been up since 4:00 AM - so an early night was in order.

Saturday was a very quiet day for us. We had planned to head over to Tekapo to the hot springs, but the forecast was for heavy rain (mind you the forecast for Wanaka was for rain and not a drop fell) and since the weather looked more promising for Sunday, we decided to postpone the visit and potter around the town instead for a bit of shopping, have some lunch and then read on the hotel balcony in the warmth of the afternoon…with a glass or two of Central Otago Pinot Noir.

Of course one of the more important aspect of the trip (some might say THE most important) was the ability to forage along the lake shore for some basing stones. About kilogram of varied size schist rubble was gathered and bagged for transport.


There was also a nice range of twigs available for foraging, but at that suggestion I was met by some odd looks that made me think better of it. Drinks and dinner in town closed out the day.

Sunday dawned a much more promising day for our trip to Tekapo and we headed off just after 9:00AM.


Travelling through the fabulous scenery of the Lindis Pass, the Mackenzie country and past Lake Pukaki we arrived at Tekapo a little after 11:00.

The view up the Lindis Pass (although this shot was taken the way back to Wanaka actually)

We drove down to the hot pools, that were a little underwhelming too be honest, but having driven two hours to get there we spent some time soaking in the warm water, with a few drops of rain falling. We then went on to lunch before a visit to the lovely stone Church of the Good Shepherd at the head of the lake before a return to Wanaka for afternoon drinks and a walk into town for dinner.



Walking back to the hotel, looking to the north, the sky was looking ominous and a few drops of rain fell.


But the weather did not turn dramatically, although there was a light rain shower. So much for the four days of rain that was forecast for the region (although in fairness apparently they did have torrential rain on the Thursday in Wanaka).

Monday was a travel day for us (and another day with just a few spots of rain). We checked out of the hotel about 9:30 and stopped for a coffee in town before heading off for a leisurely drive to Queenstown where we had lunch in our favourite Indian restaurant before heading to the airport and some time in the lounge before our flight home and the end of another epicurean adventure.

It was a great break away from the hassles of the city with great food, wine and scenery, but always a bit deflating to be home, especially when it is work tomorrow, but what helps to counteract the deflation is this sight on the doorstep…


… parcel one of two from Nottingham with fresh recruits for the Russian Napoleonic and Prussian Napoleonic and Franco-Prussian armies,
.


 






Wednesday, 16 November 2022

The 3rd (East Prussian) Cuirassiers

This regiment is the third unit in the Prussian cavalry expansion. 

I found it difficult to find much in the way of history of this unit, but its roots seem to go back to 1717 when it was formed as the 5th dragoon regiment. As dragoons it fought in the campaigns of the Revolutionary Wars, but did not participate in the disaster of 1806.

Converted to cuirassiers in the reformation of 1808 it fought in the War of Liberation, engaged at Leipzig in the cavalry Reserve of 2nd Corps. It did not fight at Ligny or Wavre in the Hundred Days Campaign. It went on to fight in the Austro-Prussian, Franco-Prussian and Great Wars.



As with other units in this Prussian/Russian cavalry expansion it was chosen on the basis of its light blue facings, although the poppy red facing of the Brandenburg Regiment were equally tempting (and may yet prove to be too tempting, forcing the expansion to two cuirassier regiments). It did seem a little odd though painting a cuirassier regiment without cuirasses. The only other Prussians planned in this expansion are a regiment of dragoons (painted but not based) and two small units of mounted volunteer cavalry that are still on their way from Nottingham.




Sunday saw us play an all-out Napoleonic scrap. Keith had provided a better description on his blog here than I could. Nonetheless here are a few images from my viewfinder.