Friday, 23 December 2011

19eme Regiment de Dragons

This, the 19eme, is the first of my Dragoon regiments to reach establishment strength (24).  They were all bought off eBay, painted by Wraith on Wheels to a good tabletop standard, and all I did was a little retouching and re basing to my standard.  I'll add a GMB flag later.  Have a click!

(Note to self- base colour is Graveyard Earth, Highlight GE mixed with Buff Titanium, and sealed with a very thin wash of matt varnish with a tiny hint of Peat ink in it.)

This gives me a total of 54 against the 100 dragoons I need for my 1:20 strength division. I have 12 more ready to base, and 9 currently under the brush, so it's all coming on nicely...  The next two regiments should be at full strength by early January, I reckon, leaving me the fourth, the horse artillery and Divisional commander, which from the Perry's after Xmas.

Can I take this opportunity to wish everyone a merry Xmas, and a very happy, wargamey, New Year!

Cheers, Simon

Saturday, 10 December 2011


I've been a busy boy with my ancients, and my Napoleonic activity has been limited to eBay purchases (all too many eBay purchases, according to a recent critical review, with my wife, of our Bank Account ).  Toting up on my fingers, I find that I will shortly have 44  more painted mounted dragoons to base...  Moreover I've discovered that I only need 4 regiments of 24 Dragoons (and a horse artillery battery), rather than the 8 I'd previously believed,  to form an 1815 cavalry division, so this will become my short term goal.

It looks like I'll be the first wargamer ever to field a cavalry division, before his first infantry brigade! 

Friday, 25 November 2011

Chasseurs a Pied

As well as yesterday's Dragoons, I've also finished basing another half battalion of these Victrix Guard Chasseurs, the 2eme (the unit in the front). These minis were also painted by Shaun Duncan, who is going to paint another 36 minis for me in order to complete the 2 units.  I did a little detailing (piping and some brasswork, mostly), and based.  

I also have a third painted Battalion from another eBay purchase, so a Brigade is looking on the cards...  

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Dragons, Dragons, Dragons

Last night I finished rebasing the most recent 24 Dragoons I've bought on eBay, and how I have 3 understrength regiments, plus a few dismounted.  All the minis are plastic Perry.  Have a click!

So where from here?   I've decided to raise 4 x 24 man Regiments, in 2 brigades of 2.  I gather that a full division would have had 8 regiments; phew.

24 man units may be a bit unwieldy on the table, but they will look the DBs, and would be around the size of a regiment at full strength, in 1:20 scale..  I also need a load more dismounted dragoons.  It's all in hand... but may take a while because I'm seriously overspent and need to cut back.  Also I need to finish way more infantry before I can game with the army.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

WIP Dragoons

I've been a bad boy on eBay, and have bought another two dozen dragoons, all fortunately very nicely painted (half by Shaun Duncan, half by Wraith on Wheels), and needing no work.  Here they are, in the process of being re-based to my basing standard (45mm frontage for 2 mounted or 3 foot).  When they are combined with these, my first more-or-less completed higher-level Napoleonic formation looks like being a brigade of Dragoons.  I'll work towards all of the units having 24 figures, but they may remain under strength for some time.

In the background I'm basing three more stands of Garde Chasseurs painted by Shaun, and detailed by me.  I'm hoping to muster three 36 man battalions of these, and two of Young Guard.  Elitist, moi?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Guards, Guards!

Golly, a whole month since my last Napoleonic posting!

I've not been entirely inactive (I've been extremely busy paintign Ancients, for example).  I have bought many (a great many!) miniatures, mostly Perry's or Victrix, and mostly painted to some extent.  There has been a considerable mission creep from my original objectives, of which more anon, in another post.

The above 18 Victrix minis were purchased from a very capable painter called Shaun Duncan, via eBay.  They appear to be the 1er Chasseurs, of the Garde.  They were very nicely painted, and I've just added a little detailing (some red piping, brass work and rosettes).  I also varnished and rebased to the Perry system.  I hope to expand to a unit of 24; perhaps 2 units.  

 I do love the Victrix Guard/Chasseurs set.  Beautifully designed, and bags of character!                                   

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Dragons a Pied

I've finished a few more dragoons; repaints of an evilBay purchase.  They came out quite well:-

The elite company (below) really should have red epaullettes, but I won't tell, if you won't.  Need to highlight those tassles...

I had a spare figure left over from the last unit, which I've painted as an officer (below).   Ideally I'd like another 4 dismounted minis, and in a perfect world, 4 horse holders and 16 mounts.  I'd like to think I'll have a brigade of dragoons, at some stage...

I really love the contrast between green of the uniforms, and the red of the facing colour.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Le 2ème Régiment de Dragons

Here are my first regiment of Napoleonic cavalry; the 2eme Dragons.  They were recruited on eBay, as 2 separate purchases.  The 12 on the left are from one seller, and the 4 on the right, which needed some work, from another.  I rebased them all on 45mm wide and 60mm deep bases, which look good and should help to protect them (the captain already needs a replacement plume).

I've gone with an organisation of 4 squadrons, each of 2 companies.  The elite company in bearskins are my favourites!  I am currently working on a small unit of dismounted dragoons.  

It would be great to have another dragoon regiment, so I could form a brigade; perhaps eBay will provide.  I'm slowly assembling some more infantry battalions (again from eBay), and hope, by the spring, to have a viable French army.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

My other French Army

These are the other French I've been working on; Perry's, this time.  My concept is to have a dusty Victrix army for the Peninsula, and a Perry army for post 1812.

Both the below battalions are largely of figures bought on eBay, painted, and expanded to 6 companies (plus extra voltiguers in skirmish, and a command stand, coming to a total 45 figures each).  Pictures are clickable.

The first unit (above) I've shown previously, but it is expanded and properly based now.   These were the better painted of the two eBay purchases, I'm really pleased with them.

The second unit (above) needed quite a bit of TLC to get them to a reasonable tabletop standard, but I'm now quite happy with them.  Although the painting quality wasn't all that good, the basing was very nice and I've settled on this as a standard.  They are now a reasonable match for the first unit.

Below are voltiguers from a third eBay purchase, who will serve in the next 2 units that still need to be painted.

I eventually hope to expand to around a dozen battalions (I have enough unpainted minis!), but this is going to need some lucky eBay purchases, or the help of Dr Simon's painter mate, to get there.  I'll paint more when I get back from my hols.  Finally, the battalions are shown below, in attack column.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Nearly finished Frogs

These represent 8 companies of French Grenadiers in Spain around 1809, gathered into two, small composite battalions, as they were at Vimiero.  I've based them on a contemorary print and modern illustration from the Vimiero Osprey.

I haven't finished the basing yet, but am pleased with them, and it has been SUCH a long time since I last posted!

The dustcoats they are wearing were made from linen or white canvas, and were considered more practical than wool in the heat of Spain.  Their tunics are rolled up on the tops of their packs.   

So now I just have the remaining 40 companies to paint, to finish the 8 battalions... ;-)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Buff Frogs

The erstwhile albino frogs (and their blue-coated officers) have been dipped and are starting to look rather better (phew!).  They need some highlighting, packs and a few details, like rank chevrons on their sleeves, and then they'll be done, which is just as well as they took at least twice as long as I'd hoped.  And worse, I've decided I need to paint a dozen more to make 2 units of 24.

However, they have been so slow that they have been "bumped" from the painting queue, because I need to finish some Romans for Greg's "Big Parade" challenge; I want to deploy my complete Early Imperial Roman Legion, for the first time.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Slow progress: Albino Frogs III

I've been furiously modelling but finishing very little, so far.  Here's my first French battalion, still rather less than half painted.  However the 50% Perrys in the last post have now all been replaced by Victrix (I found that the style of the greatcoats didn't quite match; the Victix are longer and more flowing than the Perrys).  The Perrys are reserved for another project.

A dozen are ready for dipping (below).

Part of the reason for the delay is because I have also prepped another 50 or so Victrix (not shown), out of the 260 I'll eventually need for the 6 battalions I plan.  I've bought a lot more minis along the way, I think around 7 boxes of Victrix to add to the 12 of Perry.  I'm still very impressed with the Victrix French Guard and Chasseurs... very nice quality and easy to paint.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Albino Frogs II

Fair progress today, browns and blacks are blocked in, red pom poms and the flesh highlight.  Next I need to sort gunmetal, epaulettes and the backpacks, which I will paint separately, and attach.  Then I need to get some washes on them, so they look (slightly) less like ice cream salesmen.

Albino Frogs

These are the grenadiers from 4 of the French Battalions I'm planning for the Peninsula, at the end of their first paint session.  The grenadiers will generally be detatched, and fight in a composite battalion (or possibly 2...).  Mix of Perry and Victrix plastics.

The careful observer will note a remarkable lack of blue; my intention is that almost all of the 250 minis will be wearing long, off-white dust coats.  White coats, white helmet covers, some white trousers... I think you can see where I'm coming from!  I reckon I can paint and base 2 dozen of these in a week.  Be very afraid, Wellington...

I'll hopefully post a couple more progress shots this weekend.

Thursday, 9 June 2011


I've been a bad boy!

These are the plastics that have arrived, so far.  I still "need" some Dragoons, and some more Guard.  At the moment, only the artillery and a few command are metal.

Every lunchtime I prep a dozen or so minis, but it is going to take quite a while to get through these!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

First French Battalion completed

This is my first Napoleonic unit, a post-1812 French line battalion.   They are painted but I've not flocked the bases, pending a decision on basing style.

They are rather untypical of the French I'll be painting next, who will be rather earlier in period (1808-12) and equipped for the Peninsula, and probably based on a very light coloured, dusty soil.   I can't decide whether or not I'll base this unit the same way, or give them darker brown bases for Northern Europe.

I bought 30 of the figures, painted, extensively retouched them and painted 12 more to match (6 of the line and the voltiguers in march pose).  Mine blend in well, except I went too light on the flesh tones.  I made a few minor slips on details like the cuffs, but am overall I am very happy with how my first Napoleonic unit came out.  They did take a lot longer than I'd imagined though; much harder painting than ancients.  The voltiguers can be deployed in either march or skirmish mode (below). 

I really like the Perry figures, which I find very nicely designed and sculpted.  This is just as well as I have 10 boxes of them, so far... more on my "plastic mountain", anon.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

WIP Froggies

The stately progress towards the completion of my first French Battalion continues.  Here are the 42 minis, after dipping.  The 30 I have re-touched are in the front, and my own paint jobs lurk behind.

I've just Dullcoated them, and will shortly add some finishing touches, such as the Pom Poms and some shiny metallic bits.  Hopefully they should all be on their bases, later tonight.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Yet another whiff of Black Powder

We played our fifth practise game tonight.  I think we now have a pretty good grasp of the rules, which work well, now that we are more familiar with them and have found various online summary sheets.  One of my friends has even summarised the rules, which I still believe are verbose and poorly edited.  But do give a good game.

Here are some shorts of tonight's game.  Again we have the Mexican Civil war...

Above; heroic republicans, under yrs truly.  Most of these infantry sat on their baseline for the first 3 turns, on account of failed command rolls.

Dastardly Imperialist adventurers, preparing to advance.  In the event, we took the battle to them.  Note my new (not yet entirely finished) hills.

The French cavalry in the foreground were charged by twice their number of Republicans, but had rather the better of the encounter.

Luckily the Republican cavalry managed to roll well on Command, and retired far, far away (36"!), to lurk on their baseline and lick their wounds.

Brave Republicans assault imperialist lackeys in a building.  Buildings are very tough, indeed, to take, as the defenders get a +2 morale save.  Three times the number of attackers had their work cut out, but were making reasonable headway.

But on the other wing the French rout one Republican battalion, and force another to retire, disordered.  We then ran out of time.  Honours were broadly even, and it was a great game.   We have decided that we really need to start a campaign.

My farourite moment in the game ocurred when, in the very first turn, the French's Indian allies who had caused me so much grief last week, fumbled a Command roll, ran off the table, and refused to return!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Plastic Fantastic

An ancients collector, the plastic revolution has so far passed me by.  This is because I've not much liked some of the ranges from an aesthetic point of view, and other releases have been smaller and not compatible with my existing metal ranges.

However, moving afresh into Napoleonics, with no previous investment, I've found the plastics very much more attractive.  Victrix and Perry are producing some very nice sculpted minis, very cheaply, indeed.  Indeed if the plastics weren't available, I'd have balked at considering the period.

This will be the second battalion of French (after yesterday's Perry's), and is a mash up of 1812 Perry Grenadiers in greatcoats, and Victrix Imperial Guard torsos with spare Perry/Victrix shakos.  I spent a fun evening yesterday trying different combinations, and have managed to put together 24 Grenadiers for a composite battalion c. 1809.

Here are my thoughts, so far, on the Victrix and Perry ranges.

The Perrys are every bit as nice as I expected; very quick to deploy from the box, with most of the rank and file having only 2 parts (body and pack).  They have very little flash and the sculpt quality is everything you'd expect from the Perrys.  I even like the Renedra plastic bases.

I was expecting that I'd like the Victrix rather less.   They do have some issues; rather more flash on the boxes I had, and a brittle plastic that often causes fine pieces to snap as one cuts them from the sprue (I lost 3 muskets in an hour, last night).  They have annoying thick, square bases.  Their minis are in more active poses and more complex and time consuming to assemble than the Perry, with up to half a dozen pieces.  However this last is their strength, as they lend themselves to conversion in a way the Perrys don't so easily.  Heads and arms can easily be swapped between different boxes within the ranges, to produce interesting variants.  They are also cheaper than the Perrys, and willl save me a lot of money where I use their command figures, instead of Perry metal.  Consequently I have developed quite a taste for them!

A great thing about Napoleonic plastics is that the Victrix and Perry ranges are broadly compatible, and can be combined within units to give greater variety of poses, as with the Grenadier unit above. 

You'll have gathered, by now, that I am becoming quite a convert to plastic...

Saturday, 28 May 2011

My first French

For my first dip-of-the-toe into Napoleonics, I'm building an 1812+ French Battalion around 30 minis I bought on fleaBay.  This involves painting 12 from scratch, complete rebasing, and a little retouching.  Hopefully it'll be a gentle introduction.   The original painter was great at painting the fronts of the minis, but didn't bother to paint the packs or turnbacks.  Still, they were a fair price.

I am re-discovering the joy of turnbacks; these are very slow to paint.  And the facing and edgings are going to be a real pain. In the past week I've bought about 320 Perrys with turnbacks, which, at the rate I find can paint these, is a somewhat nightmarish prospect.

Tomorrow I'll post a picture of the next battalion, which I hope will be very much quicker to paint...

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Another whiff of Black Powder

Muswell Militia had our fourth go at the rules last night, adding quite a few more units, some terrain and Matthew, a fourth player. 

Republicans advance towards a French-held farm.  A column of brave lancers, two of militia and a gun.

At my end of the table we launched a rapid attack, including a cavalry charge, that was improbably thrown back by the French's Tupi (?) Indian allies (bad dice rolling!).  These worthies then wandered round behind my flank, occupied a building and repeatedly disordered my other units with a galling bowfire (! below).  My attack, which had appeared unstoppable, ran out of steam...

At the other end of the table (below), in the distance, the French relief force pushed aside the Republican holding force, and we reckoned it an Imperialist win.

We enjoyed the game but I did get frustrated with the lack of structure in the rules.  There was an awful lot of flicking back and forth through the rulebook, that really shouldn't have been required.  That said, we will be seeking out some quick reference sheets and playing again next week!

PS there is a much fuller write-up at mate Dr. Simon's site.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Napoleonic Long Range Planning...

I've been drafting plans for my expansion into Nappies. 

Firstly, I have a single battalion of nicely painted 1812-era Perry French, bought on eBay, who need an extra 12 figures to round them out.  I've decided to go with the Perry plastic box organisation (into 36 man units, plus 6 extra voltiguers in skirmish poses), and I'll be dipping, in a pale imitation of Saxon Dog's excellent technique.  Incidentally came across and linked to Squadpainter's site which has a very good description of the same method.

Then I want to paint a big 8-gun battery (without limbers) of Foundry French artillery.  These are bought and prepped, and I have a cunning plan for them, involving 2 cans of spray paint.

After that I have the 200-odd Painted Victrix minis I bought on eBay in March (below), that need retouching and re basing, and more figures painting so that I can reorganise them into 4 correctly-sized battalions; I aspire to a brigade worth of infantry of infantry, and 2-3 regiments of hussars. 

After that I want to do a brigade of Perry French, with a twist.  1 regiment of 4 battalions.  I might bump these above the Victrix, as I hope I can churn them out very quickly.   I have bought or ordered 7 boxes of Perrys, and 10 packs of metals, gulp...

Helmuth con Molkte (the elder) once said "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy", and I'm sure this one won't, but it is at least a plan!  Yesterday I cut my first Perry's off their sprue...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Black Powder in Mexico

Tonight we had out third trial outing of the Black Powder system, using Dr Simon's Imperialist and Revolutionary Mexicans.  This time we added cavalry, artillery and a few special rules, and it rolled along very quickly and enjoyably.

I still think the rules are written in a rather verbose and annoying way, but can testify that they do work well!  Next week we will try a slightly more elaborate game, with a couple more units, and some terrain.