French Revolution Carabiniers

My original plan was to remove the bearskin and add a bicorne (or do a whole head swap) but I couldn't find a suitable donor figure. Therefore I just fell back on painting them as the 2nd Carabiniers inspired in part by Les Soldats de la Revolution Francaise by Funcken (online version)

Union Generals

I picked up a number of the Strelets Confederate General Staff as part of a trade, some will appear later in a different guise, but these I just repainted as Union commanders as I already had a set for the Confederates.


WSS Limbers and Caissons

I worked on all the limbers and caissons as a single batch and here they are supporting the Austrian and Hessian artillery

The Zvezda limbers and caissons both have the same three horse arrangement. The unfortunate part is that the two unridden horses have the same pose, the only difference being the position of the harness holes, seems a rather cheap action on the part of Zvezda. Because of the way the sprues are organised there is one extra team per pack from which a galloper gun could be harnessed up to a pair, leaving a spare horse. I've not decided what to do with them yet, but I may convert one or more gallopers into wagons.

WSS Imperial Army Review

Having reached a natural breakpoint having finished my WSS artillery I thought it would be a good idea to review what I've finished so far so I could see what is still needed.

The entire force

looking down the line

A couple of close ups

It's fairly clear what's still needed - cavalry, lots of it and generals. It's a shame that Zvezda doesn't have any plans for Russian cavalry yet. so it will be back to Strelets for more figures, I'll probably get the Narva to Poltava set and it should provide me with some interesting extra figures for vignettes, etc. The downside is that I'll end up with more unused Swedish infantry.


Light Ambulance

Another one in HaTs series of French Napoleonic vehicles, this time the light ambulance, and once again it is moulded in the dreadful soft bendy plastic. Washing the sprue in the dishwasher seems to clean off all the mould release agent, which means that paint and superglue will now adhere to the surface.

Luckily, unlike guns and limbers, this model will not get heavy use so hopefully it should have a reasonable lifespan without rework.

I've always had a soft spot for the French ambulances after reading "The Memoirs of Baron Larrey: Surgeon-in-chief of the Grand Armee" a number of years ago, a good read if you can get it.


BWS WW2 Wargames Rules

I've just posted up the "first" set of WW2 rules I played in the early 70s over on esnips.
BWS WW2 Rules
From subsequent reading the rules are obviously based on previous rules by Bish Iwaszko and Lionel Tarr


1683 rules uploaded

I have uploaded the latest draft of my 1683 rules to my esnips folder


WSS Bavarian and Hessian Artillery

Well, here they are, the first of the new Zvezda Artillery of Peter the Great figures. In this case painted as Hessian and Bavarian gunners of the period.

Hessian Artillery

Bavarian Artillery

I must admit to finding the figures poorer than the normal Zvezda standard. The use of separate arms is usually a good idea as it avoid undercuts, etc. but here the fit is inadequate at times. The figures are also moulded with less detail than usual. The equipment itself is all OK.

Since I was painting Hessian gunners I also painted the Bavarians at the same time. Given the large guns in use at the time I have generally extended the depth of my bases to 60mm (width 45mm), but for the light guns I decided to keep to the square bases but only add two crew instead.

I haven't painted any guns for the Bavarians yet and I haven't checked what colours they used in the period so please comment if you have any information.

Wodensfeld Miniatures - SYW French

Along with the WSS figures John Cunningham of Vintage20mil sent me some Wodenfeld Miniatures of SYW French infantry. At first I wondered why, but after a couple of days I remembered that the French infantry keep the full coats right through into the SYW. It was quite a collection all well sculpted with lots of variants (something I'm unused to it 20mm)

For comparison here are a few with Revell SYW Austrians and the Zvezda GNW Russians. In general a good fit to either, especially as the drummer is deliberately undersize.

The same is true of the officer, shown here with Revell SYW Austrian dragoons, again a close match.

Always a good check, switching horses

Overall a very tempting set of figures, I'll certainly paint up the mounted officer to see how he works for the WSS

Douglas Miniatures WSS figures

Along with the Les Higgins Figures John Cunningham of Vintage20mil sent me some Douglas Miniatures for the WSS period

If, I like me, you remember the originals then these seem to be cast in better quality metal and there is more detail. That said they match the size and sculpting standards of their era. Strelets cavalry and Zvezda Infantry for comparison.


The Hessians arrive

These units provide a really fine show, I'm pleased with the way these have turned out and this completes most of the foot for my Austrian/Imperial army.
I have enough Zvezda figures left to create two more units and these will probably be Hessian Grenadiers (as the uniform is close enough) and a Saxon Regiment (as they were present at the relief of Vienna) From front to back the regiments are Schopping, Erbprinz and Anhalt.

Thanks again to John Cunningham who provided the extra details I needed to complete the figures (I already had the basics from Charles Grant's book "From Pike to Shot"). Inspiration also came from figures shown on the League of Augsberg forum.

The artillery is now underway, but the big question now is how to provide the rest of the cavalry, especially as I've used Zvezda for the foot and they haven't planned to make any suitable cavalry yet.

"Heavy metal" - M8 HMC

I have needed one of these for a while to support my US Recce Battalion. I couldn't find a kit or a robust resin version in 1/76 so I ended up buying this metal one at Salute. It is extremely heavy and convinces me not to buy metal vehicles (or figures) as a general rule.

For some more info see link

Too late for the big game

I bought this Airfix kit of the Austin K2/Y Ambulance for the big game this year as I wasn't certain who was providing it. In the event my table commander Tony had one, so this model has waited until now to be completed.

Now all I need is some ice cold beer in Alex to go with it!



Just seen that Strelets will produce Jacobites (Scottish Highlanders) in September, I feel an urge to invest already! I'll certainly uild an army I can use for both the 1715 and 1745 rebellions.




I'm sure it happens to most of us, but while trimming a bit of plastic the knife slipped and ...
Seems to have mucked up my painting for a couple of days, but nothing serious.

It's been nice to see a lot of (still) familiar faces over on Bob Cordery's Wargaming Miscellany blog as he reports on this years COW. Before moving up north I used to attend but then found that with family commitments and the increased distance I couldn't attend anymore. Certainly a tempter to attend again, but I didn't see any comments about the real ale that seemed to run out by mid-Saturday.

The Hessians are progressing well and should be finished within 2/3 days, assuming no more mishaps


Something old, something new

Recently John Cunningham sent me some samples of his Vintage20Mil wargames figures. I'll review the others later, but these are my old favourites Les Higgins Marlburians. I remember as a teenager helping a friend paint these figures and they are just as I remember, still very crisp, but with some flash. This was the norm at time (design/casting standards have moved on in the last 30 years), but these still are perfect little miniatures. I say little, as regretably, they are smaller than the current 20mm figures from Strelets and Zvezda that I am using for the period.

Above with Strelets Swedish Drabants for scale comparison (L to R)
Cuirassier with tricorn, Cuirassier with helmet, Cuirassier trumpeter, Cuirassier officer, General

Foot with Zvezda figures (L to R)
a couple of musketeers, new generic musketeer figure, new all purpose figure.

Some exciting new items (L to R)
new drummer, new imperial grenadier, new hussar, then two dismounted dragoons one in fur hat.

The hussar is a wonderful piece of sculpting wearing a fur cloak rather than a pelisse and looking far more suitable for the period.

All this leaves me debating what to do. the infantry is clearly to small, but can I find a way of using the cavalry figures, perhaps by using differnt horses?

On the workbench - July 2008

Well, a shift of emphasis, I plan to work on:
  • Hesse Kassel Infantry for the WSS
  • Hesse Kassel Artillery for the WSS (my first use for the new Zvezda set)
  • Strelets French Carabiniers (with head swaps as French revolutionary cavalry)
  • Lots of partisan/resistance figures (all Caesar)
  • And tidy up all the bits and pieces still lying around!


Half year review

With both the SOGG big game and Gauntlet out of the way it is a good point to see how the year is turning out so far. My database shows 694 items completed so far, which is comparable to last years output. However the breakdown is strange with a very low proportion of cavalry.

576 Infantry
43 cavalry
23 gunners
30 bits of equipment (guns vehicles, etc.)
22 bits of terrain

By period

235 French Revolutionary era (now virtually finished)
231 WW2 (mainly the figures for the big game)
91 Colonial (dominantly the boxers I painted for the Guild challenge)
76 War of Spanish Succession (the recent Bavarian splurge)
24 Ancients (just some Celtic command)
22 terrain (mainly for SOTCW/Gauntlet)
15 other bits

So where now? Looking back at my year plan I will continue with my WSS work, especially as Zvezda has brought out suitable artillery, and complete my HYW English army for WRG 6th.

The rest will be as whim and new releases take me, so far I have resisted the 28mm ECW foot, I'm trying to wait until cavalry is available before taking the plunge


Gauntlet- SOTCW game

Well Gauntlet is over for another year and all the attendees seem to have enjoyed themselves.

I've only taken pictures of the SOTCW game. I produced all the terrain with the exception of the excellent terraced hills by Richard Crawley. The bunker above Vietri was Richards as well, it is rather over sized, but it would have been a shame not to have used it.

The high point must have been the random event air strike that succeeded in taking out a Panzer IIIN. These random events could occur during the normal turn sequence, but a card could be drawn and played by a passer-by in return for a small donation to charity. Andrew paid for two cards and drew a pair of air strikes. The first was driven off, but the second dropped two bombs, both on target and both gave a destroyed result.

More Tartars

Just finished on Friday evening after setting up for Gauntlet, this is my second unit of Crimean Tartars to support my Ottoman army. I picked up some more of the scarce Esci Mongols at the first Warboot. The commander comes from the newer but not so useful Italeri Mongols.
The track is my new rubber road constructed for the SOTCW game.


Gauntlet tommorrow

Spent the afternoon setting up tables for the competition and starting the layout for the SOTCW game. The Chiunzi pass I constructed looks huge, but luckily just fits in the space available. Overall the SOTCW (Achse & Avalanche) table is well underway and once Richard arrives with his terrain it won't take long to finish.

Hopefully I'll see some new faces at the show.


More villages for Achse & Avalanche

Just added a couple more locations over on the Achse & Avalanche blog. This is the village of Dragonea

Hopefully everything is now ready for the SOTCW game at Gauntlet this weekend