Saturday 25 April 2015

First Lion Rampant Unit.

 I've got the first unit for my Lion Rampant Retinues done , they have jumped their place in the painting queue and appear here in their full glory (units in LR are either 6 mounted or 12 foot) . I've gone for the simpler  forms of heraldry and can get away with it as my forces are to be very generic - circa England early 13th century , so I don't have to start painting lions , gryphons etc. onto shields and horse bardings ! . That said these took awhile to paint as I ended up doing each one individually . The next figures being units of bowmen and crossbowmen will be easier . I found myself digging out my ancient copy of Wargames Reaserch Group's  'Armies and Enemies of Feudal Europe ' to brush up on my heraldry protocols to get the colour layout right. 

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Hanoverian Engineers.

These figures have been awaiting painting for weeks and though I'm all fired up to start painting Medieval knights for ' Lion Rampant ' my guilty conscience got the better of me and so I thought I'd get them done first. I've been wanting to do some Engineers for my 40 mm SYW-ish armies for ages and  so I converted these artillery crewmen by adding shovels etc from plastic card and brass wire .

It took me a while to decide on a suitable uniform , but finally settled for the Hanoverian Engineers in their light blue coat and red cuffs - here seen busy plundering an ancient monument for artifacts to sell to antiquarians .  ( click on photos to enlarge )

Sunday 19 April 2015

Quick Lion Rampant Update .

Well I've got all the figures glued up ( lots of spears to manufacture ) , fixed to bases and spray under -coated . All I have to do now is to start painting them !. I've got a couple of outstanding paint jobs to finish ( one being the bathroom - but that's in 1 : 1 scale ) before I start them . A total of 30 mounted figures and 48 foot between both retinues . 

Friday 17 April 2015

The Attack On Fort Blucher ( Part 1)

Spurred on by my resent re-postings of my O.S. Franco- Prussian War collection I've decided to play a game using them . I'm also trying out an experiment using cards to activate units - more of this as the game progresses . In the centre of the table is a Prussian fort mounting a heavy Krupp's Howitzer which they are using to bombard the French positions , it is guarded by a unit of infantry who's tented camp can be seen by the road . The French task is to launch a surprise attack to knock out the gun and ammunition store.

A contemporary photo of 'Fort Blucher' taken from a French balloon .

An old French lady is found wandering near the fort ans is brusquely ordered away by the guards .

Little do the Prussians know ! - she is a French spy sent by the local  Franc-Tireurs and she reports her findings back to them . A plan is hatched ! and a small French force is sent to aid the Franc-Tireurs in a daring dawn attack.

The French force comprising of Zouaves and Turco's move into position behind a wooded hill .

As dawn breaks they move forward , but are spotted by a Prussian sentry ! ( I diced to see if the French were spotted and the Prussians got VERY lucky !!!!) .

The camp is awakened and they rush from their tents to defend the fort !.

The Prussians form up to defend against the French attacks . On the left the Franc-Tireurs can be seen sneaking up the road by the barn being used as an ammo dump , the other side of the barn the French Chasseur D' Afrique move forward and take a casualty from the Prussians firing line . Too be continued.......

Lion Rampant Update.

Well I've got all the mounted figures cleaned up and glued together and stuck onto their MDF bases , in the early days of wargaming figures were designed to stand up without basing - not nowadays ! . Quite a lot of work here getting the mounted figures to fit the horses , making spears for them (as they don't come with them - another modern trend !) and then I found out I hadn't ordered enough bases for the foot figures so things are on hold till 'Warbases' send me some more. I haven't glued the shields onto the figures to aid painting them. 

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Oh No ! Not Another New Project !?

I bought these rules several weeks ago ( at 'A's insistence ! ) and having read through them twice are rather impressed with the system !. Of course I don't need a new project - BUT - when has that ever stopped me ! ( when it comes to wargaming I'm like a 5 year old at Christmas !!) , and I noticed that North Star have some rather attractive deals on linked to these rules so I took the plunge !. 

After a delay ( North Star are not the speediest of mail order ) the parcel containing my two retinues arrive this morning . Each of the forces have a number of units comprising of either 6 mounted or 12 foot figures pointed up to total a 24 point retinue . Now begins the task of cleaning up the castings ,gluing them together and sticking them to bases .

I've got the first two units done , some bowmen and a unit of crossbowmen . Over the next day or two I should get the rest done and spray them with undercoat all at once . I have great hopes for this protect as it is limited in the number of figures needed and thus has an end point . I will report on my progress soon . 

Friday 10 April 2015

Resurrection .

I'm in the process of 'saving' some of the posts from my now defunct blog - which 'Blogger' manage to kill off . I've managed to save and publish my posts of my SYW-ish project and my Old School Franco-Prussian War collection will be next ( I hope ). One of the main reasons is that I do look at old posts for organisational and painting references - when I can't remember why I did certain things in certain ways. So hopefully I can publish them (fingers crossed).

Old School Franco - Prussian War Project.

I am not noted for my planning of projects when it comes to wargaming , periods/collections like Topsy 'just grow'. So I alarmed myself by thinking of doing another 'Old School' project and planning the end result ! . I have been looking at the Donald Featherstone Horse & Musket rules which I always tend to think of being ACW  ( The Battle of Plattville Valley) and also looking at the FPW  figures by Spencer Smith and came up with the idea of combining the two .
The rules would be Featherstone's 'Horse & Musket'.
The figures Spencer Smith , painted in a 'Toy Soldier' manner , single based.
The armies would be copied from the Plattville game - 6 units of infantry per side (each of 20 figures), 2 units of cavalry per side (each of 15 figures) and 2 guns and crew per side . this being a 'Old School' project I can ignore history and have French Guard in bearskins and Zouaves together and a Bavarian / Wurttemberg contingent for the Prussian rather than boring line infantry units . This is a total of 120 infantry figures, 30 cavalry and 2 guns and 8 crew per side . Well that's enough planning for today , going to pick which figures for each unit now . To be continued .......

Franco-Prussian Old School Style.(French Army)

I have decided that the French Army will comprise of 3 Brigades each of 2 units -
  1. 2  Battalions of line infantry each of 20 figures and a Mounted Brigadier
  2. 1  Battalion of line infantry and 1 of Chasseurs a Pied (count as lights) plus Brigadier.
  3. 1  Battalion of Zouaves and 1 of the Guard (count as Guards) plus Brigadier
The cavalry will have 1 Brigade of 2 units -
1 unit of Hussars and 1 unit of Cuirassier each of 15 figures  and a Brigadier.
The artillery will be 2 guns and 10 crew.
The Staff will be a mounted General and a ADC.
Now to think of the Prussian Army

Franco-Prussian Old School Style (Prussian Army)

To match my potential French army I have decided on a Prussian force of 3 Infantry Brigades
  1. 2 Battalions of Line Infantry each of 20 figures plus a mounted Brigadier.
  2. 1 Battalion of Line Infantry and a Battalion of Jaegers (count as Light Infantry) and Brigadier.
  3. 1 Battalion of Bavarian Infantry and 1 of Wurttemberg Infantry plus a Brigadier
The Cavalry will have 1 Brigade comprising of Cuirrassiers and Uhlans .
The Artillery 2 guns and crews .
The General and a ADC  for the staff.
I hope to start collecting after Christmas and will update as thing happen.

OS F.P.W. Project -In the Beginning.

Well the first order for my new project arrive and was put under the Christmas tree , opened on Christmas morning and then  found out I had made two schoolboy errors - NO superglue ! and NO black spray paint ! Grrrr !. The infantry figures come with a separate arm/weapon which needs gluing on - normally don't like having to glue figures but when I got some glue I found these fitted perfectly . With no flash and very little cleaning up I soon got them ready for spraying up. There are two Prussian line battalions and mounted command figure and a French line battalion and a Chasseur battalion plus a mounted officer. I am very impressed with the figures and am looking forward to starting painting them . More photos when I get started.

O.S. FPW - The First Regiment

I've got the first unit of my Old School Franco-Prussian War painted. It's the French Regiment No. 48

18 advancing figures , a Standard Bearer,Drummer and 2 Officers
I  decided not to bother basing them as they have decent sized bases (unusual for figures nowadays !) and seem stable enough.
Unfortunately I ordered a standard bearer for the other French unit -the Chasseurs, only to find out that at this period in history they did not carry them ! - so another order has had to go in so I can replace the standard bearer with another trumpeter . I have also ordered another French line unit , a Prussian Jaeger unit and a gun and crew for each side.
Painted the blue and red colours a darker shade first then highlighted with a lighter colour.
The Regimental Standard is a downloaded one off Warflags website.
Sorry for the rather blurry photo of the basic French infantryman , he comes in 3 different poses -marching ,advancing and high porte so each unit will be different. Going to do a Prussian line regiment next.

O.S. FPW First Prussian Regiment.

Been a good week painting-wise and have got the first of the Prussian units done.
It is going to be Infantry Regiment No .32
Found them much easier than the French to paint, the blue uniform jacket should probably a little darker to be historically correct - but it didn't look right so I lightened it a bit.
And as a added bonus my first French commander . My second order has arrived (very good mail order from Spencer Smith) so I may be tempted to do a gun and crew next .

O.S. FPW French Artillery.

I should have continued painting up infantry units for this project, BUT  I was lured into painting this French Artillery piece and crew.
Rather cute !
I have a Prussian gun and crew as well but I must stick to my painting plan and get some more infantry done first .

O.S FPW Prussian Artillery.

Once more I have been seduced from the straight and narrow by an artillery piece and crew.
This time it is a Prussian Krupp gun and crew .
Another very nice gun , it fitted together very well and the crew had only the odd arm to glue on. I must now get back to doing the line infantry units , I'm in the process of painting a French Chasseur de pied regiment , so back to the painting table !. I'm about half way to having a small game using the Featherstone Horse & Musket rules

O.S. FPW High Command.

I should really be painting line infantry units but when these figures arrived through the post I decided I must get them painted ! . Above is the Prussian C in C and his staff , they are 30mm Tradition figures.
The French High Command, these are Willie 30mm. I ordered them from Tradition of London and rather expensive they were ! but very nice indeed . ( I did at one point think of giving my French units a Vivandiere each - but not at these prices ! )

O.S. FPW Chasseurs a Pied.

Last weekends Spring like weather was a illusion and this week its been back to Winter , this means it's been to cold to play a game in my wargaming room - unheated and notorious amongst my wargaming colleagues who tend to call dressed for the Arctic at this time of years . However this has meant that I've had a bit of a 'paintfest' this last week or so and have got another French unit done.
This a Regiment of Chasseurs a Pied , here seen in skirmish order.
I found out that these regiments of light infantry did not carry standards at this time so I had to order another bugler to take the standard bearers place . I'm really enjoying painting these figures and can't wait to try them out on the table.

O.S. F.P.W. Prussian Jaegers

After some delay I have finished off the initial order of Spencer Smith F.P.W. figures.
With these Prussian Jaegers this gives me 3 units plus a gun per side - enough for a small skirmish !.
I have enjoyed painting these figures and when monies become available will send off another order for some cavalry

First O.S. Franco Prussian War Game.

Having got all the figures painted of my initial order for FPW 30mm Spencer Smith , I thought it time to try them out on the table using Featherstone's Horse and Musket rules . I diced for the set up of units as the book suggests and the Prussians came on the roads and one unit off table in reserve . The French appeared more centrally and moved to exploit the Prussian set up by splitting their forces in half . However the Prussians move towards the centre to stop this and the Artillery moves swiftly down the road on the right and unlimbers ready to fire next move.
Prussian Artillery unlimbered and ready to fire.
The French columns advance swiftly and are joined by their artillery .
The Prussian Jaegers move into position to deploy in skirmish order to counter the French move.
The Prussian CinC  looks on with Teutonic satisfaction . Too be continued ......

O.S. Franco Prussian War Game (Part Two)

The French Chasseurs take casualties from the Prussian artillery and are forced to retire.
On the other flank the French Columns come under fire from the Prussian Jaegers.
Prussian reinforcements move onto the table.
The French columns melee with the Jaegers who rout !
The French have driven the Prussians off - but at a cost !.
On the other flank the French artillery opens fire - not to accurately though !
The French try to exploit their success !
The Jaegers are rallied by their C in C  and form up ready for the French .
The Prussian reinforcements move forward and engage the enemy .
The French are cut to pieces by the Prussian volleys and their Brigadier is a casualty .
The Prussians cross the stricken field .
On the other flank the Prussians hold on under artillery fire .
With casualties rising the French C in C issues the order to retire - the Prussians had won !

O.S. F.P.W. French Lancers.

I should really be doing something constructive in the garden but my Hay Fever is bothering me so I have retreated inside and decided to glue up the next unit of my O.S.  Franco-Prussian War project. These are French Lancers and thoughtfully Spencer Smith provide brass wire for lances and even cut out pennons .
I normally hate figures that have to be glued together , but these fit very well with decent sized holes for the arms to fit into.
The swords come separate as well , but again fit beautifully.
The figures fit the horses as well ! - wonders will never cease !.
The two completed Officer figures - very cute !
The unit ready to be sprayed black , I resisted the temptation to glue the lances in before painting - have done this sort of thing before and have found it easier to fit them after painting . A good job done - Hmm better get on with the hoovering before my wife comes home.


O.S. Oh Dear !

Yesterday I waxed  lyrical on the Spencer Smith F.P.W. French Lancers , today because it's raining I started to glue up the other unit I have - Prussian Hussars . These come in 5 pieces !!! . I'm not sure for the reason for this - maybe the legs/saddle are generic and used for other figures ? .
The legs go together quite well but the torso does not fit very well and required a lot of filing to get it to fit .
The finished figure - nice enough but what a pain to put together - only another 11 to do ! . Oh for the one piece casting of yore .
P.S .
Finally finished ! - Phew that took some doing !, looking good though !

O.S. FPW French Lancers.

I have got the first half of the Spencer Smith French Lancers done .
These took a bit of time as I could not find uniform info and ended up having to order the relevant Osprey book .
One of the problems was that most info is for campaign dress and the figures are in full dress . However having got these done the next half dozen should be a lot quicker.

Guilt !.

One of the great things about a blog is that you can look back at your past endeavours and bask in their progress and successes ! - the downside is that it can remind you of all those projects started and never finished . A year ago I was gushing enthusiastically about starting two Old School FPW armies and unusually for me I even set out a plan - sadly after the initial flush of enthusiasm it has been cast aside . Then I came across some Prussian Hussars that I had made up and sprayed ready for painting - they were languishing in the shed and even had a cobweb on them ! - guilt ridden I have started painting them and started gluing together the other couple of infantry units I had in storage . It would be nice to complete this project this year as it is nearly half finished , so watch this space -



F.P.W. Prussian Hussars.

Finally got the Prussian Hussars done ! , these poor figures seem to have hung around for months . They are the 5th Hussar Regt.
They were incredibly difficult to put together , but I'm pleased with the way they have turned out .
Here they are in my current game facing off some French Lancers - Hmm let's hope the curse of the newly painted figures does not strike !. 
The same photo in period tone.

O.S. F.P.W. Bavarians - And A Challenge.

I was talking to 'S' about Don Featherstone and his great influence on me and my hobby and said I had been thinking of a sort of commemorative game to mark the 50th Anniversary of the publication of his rules . 'S' said that he was available sometime over Christmas and we should play the game then , "you could get the rest of that F.P.W. stuff done and we could use it for the game !" - he said . The gauntlet having been thrown down I have started to finish off the figures I have in storage -  4 units of foot and a Prussian gun and a French Mitrailleuse . Luckily I had already started painting the Bavarians .
This means I have a Wurttemberg Regt. for the Prussians and a Zouave Regt. and a Algerian Turco Regt. for the French - Damn !- two rather complicated uniforms there !. However I am setting to and hope to complete them by Christmas - phew !.
As well as the Bavarians I did another Prussian Brigadier in the form of this rather 'natty' Bavarian . Well I had better get on painting - Turcos first I think !.

Painting Challenge - Turco's Finished !.

Last post I mentioned that we were planning a Memorial game around Christmas time to celebrate the anniversary of the publication of the Featherstone's 'Horse and Musket' rules . 'S' set me a challenge to paint up the FPW  figures I have in stock to play this game - challenge accepted ! .
The first unit to get painted is a French unit of Algerian Turcos - cos they have nice bright uniforms !.
By clearing the painting tray of all other projects I've managed to get this unit done .
The varnish was still slightly tacky when I took these photos . A French Mitrailleuse and crew will be  next I think !.


A French Mitrailleuse .

In my quest to get everything ready for the game at Christmas I wanted to have a change from painting infantry.
Instead of another gun and crew I decided to give the French a Mitrailleuse- a sort of early machine gun .
Very cute - hope it performs better on the table top than it did in history !.

Oh La la ! ! !

It is my plan to add Cantinierie to my French units to add a bit of colour to them and I ordered some from Tradition from their 'Willie' range . One was described as bending down and seemed to be rummaging around in her haversack - so I ordered one to add variety . You can imagine my shock and horror to find on closer inspection on receiving the figure that she was in a state of dishabille ! , pulling on her trousers and unfortunately exposing her - erm ! - 'rear echelon's' . I apologies for the somewhat shaky painting of the figure - I put it down to old age . This young lady is I think destined for the French High Command base where her talents will be appreciated !.

Wurttemberg Infantry .

Still battling on trying to get the remaining unpainted figures ready for our game at Christmas . The next in the queue were this unit of Wurttembergers , nice simple figures to paint .
There is only the French Zouaves to paint now and these are glued up and ready for spraying .
I have also got these Cantiniere done for the French units , L to R - Turco, Legere, Line and a rather dashing figure for the Zouaves .

Franco-Prussian Zouaves .

In all the excitement over the Don Featherstone Memorial game I forgot to post any photos of the finished French Zouaves .

People may have caught a glimpse of them in the battle photographs but I think they should have their own photo shoot.

Here we see them being urged on by their Cantiniere Marie Ann . 

I also glued up the French command group onto a base - the French CinC seems to be distracted - no wonder they lost the war ! . I've only got a couple of line battalions and a couple of cavalry units to paint up to finish the project , so I will be sending off an order to Spencer Smith soon .

Nearly Finished !

Well I've just finished painting the last 2 units of Infantry for my Franco-Prussian project.

This is my final Prussian Line Infantry unit , I decided on a marching pose as it will help distinguish it from the others.

I also did another mounted Brigadier for the Prussians , very Teutonic !

I got the French infantry in a marching pose as well .

It's just over a year since I planned and started this project and this finishes off the infantry contingents - 6 units per side plus 2 artillery pieces . 

The French Brigadier , I swapped the right arm about with the Prussian officer to add a bit of variety . I have the final 2 cavalry units on order to finish off these 2 armies . 

Nearly Finished ! .

Well I'm down to my two last units to paint , Prussian Dragoons and French Chasseurs D Africa . When these are painted I will have completed my Old School Franco-Prussian War project - as I originally envisioned it about 18 months ago . Must admit it is not usual for me to plan out a collection as precisely as this - normally my projects are very open ended with no target in sight , so I'm rather pleased with myself that I have been able to keep this one on course . However there are slight feelings of regret that I am coming to the finishing line with these figures and maybe in the future I will be adding the odd unit to them (French Guard in Bearskins ?) , These 2 units are now in the queue for my painting table and I will report my progress - watch this space ....

Prussian Dragoons .

I have finished painting the Dragoons for my O.S. Prussians , as this is the last unit for the planned army - they are officially finished !.

They are the Dragoon Regt. No.13 Schleswig-Holstein. I only have to do the French Chasseurs D'Africa now to complete the task. Foundry do some rather nice dismounted figures for the FPW  and I'm wondering if they will match my Spencer Smith foot figures ?.

Huzza Finished !

Well Chasseurs D'Afrique actually !, this is the final unit of my Old School Franco-Prussian project and it has taken about 18 months to get it done . It's not often I pre- plan my armies they usually just grow (like Topsy) , so I'm rather pleased to have been able to keep on target with it .

I'm not sure if they should have grey horses ? - they did in the Crimea , but what little pictorial evidence I can find seem to show various shades of brown during the Franco-Prussian War - I decided to give the officers grey ones  in the end.

Foundry do dismounted cavalry figures - but they are a lot chunkier that the Spencer Smith figures , but being in separate units and not mixed they may have to do as I would like to have the option to dismount the cavalry units .

The Bridge At Forgerons (Part1)

To celebrate my completion of my Franco Prussian project I've decided to do a series of battles with Featherstone's Horse & Musket rules using my newly painted figures . The first part of the battle is a meeting engagement to secure the bridge over the Peit Ruisseau River at the small hamlet at Forgerons . The French force of a Cavalry Brigade , Infantry Brigade and Artillery piece come onto the board nearest the bottom of the photo . The Prussian force appear on the top left hand road and are of a similar composition .

The starting positions were randomly diced for , as was the number of moves - it was to be 10 moves so the engagement started at daybreak and would last all day till evening. The French Chasseures d' Africa lead by Brigadier Camembert move up the road towards the hamlet.

The Prussians move onto the table lead by the 13th Dragoons under Brigadier Bock. 

The forces move towards the bridge and the French Chasseurs charge over it .

But the Prussians have time to expand their formation and counter charge !.

The French loose the melee and flee back over the bridge .

Camembert manages to rally them as the Prussians follow up over the bridge and are themselves counter charged by the French Lancers .

The French Infantry Brigade move up to reinforce the cavalry under general Beaufort.

The Prussian Dragoons are driven back as both sides move their infantry up . One of the Prussian battalions cross the river and the French respond to this by moving a infantry unit to cover their left flank.

The Prussians advance and the Hussars prepare to charge over the bridge.

The situation about midday . The Prussian infantry climb the hill on the left and another one holds the crook in the river near the bridge , the cavalry reorganise at the fork in the roads. The French Chasseurs move to counter the Prussians on their left , the French infantry deploy and start a fire-fight with the Prussians whilst the other infantry unit prepares to charge over the bridge . The French Lancers retire due to heavy casualties on the right covered by the artillery.  

The Prussian Hussars take heavy casualties from the French artillery and flee the field . The French infantry's charge is countered by the much depleted Dragoons who win the melee and force the French to flee. 

With the day coming to a close the French are forced to retire, their infantry finally being rallied by the CinC himself . 

As night falls the Prussians move up to take possession of the village . A Prussian victory on day one with the casualties being about even - French 12 cavalry,18 infantry and 1 artilleryman ., the Prussians 13 cavalry and 14 infantry casualties . Both sides will get back half their casualties back for day two although the cavalry regiments that routed off the table will not appear . Too be continued ...

The Bridge At Forgerons (Part 2)

As dawn breaks on the second day these are the positions of the troops they have occupied during the night . Reinforcements will be diced for each move and their entry points randomly allocated.

The Prussians have barricaded the village and await the French onslaught.

The French reinforcements arrive promptly on the first move !.

They deploy ready to attack !.

More French troops move onto the table and manoeuvre to outflank the village .

The Turcos are driven off , but French artillery fire sets the house alight as another attack goes in .

The Prussians are routed ! and the French capture the village .

The French flanking column climbs the steep wooded hill encouraged by Marie Ann !.

The first Prussian reserves arrive - late and in the wrong place .

The French drive back a assault on the village and the Prussians are forced to retire or be cut off.

The doomed Prussian attack .

Bye midday the French have the village , on the left their troops deploy to counter Prussian reinforcements. French cavalry cross the bridge and their infantry cross the river further down and march to secure the right flank. The Prussians were hampered by the late arrival of reinforcements and their artillery at the bridge running out of ammo .

More Prussian troops enter the table but to late now to have any bearing on the outcome of the conflict.

The Chasseurs D' Africa charge over the bridge and rout the Prussian Dragoons as their infantry move up to support them .

As the day draws to a close the French pore troops towards and over the bridge as the remnants of the Prussian troops on that side of the river retire.

The final move of the game and the Prussian threat to the French left is not going to materialise and the Prussian High Command signals their forces to retire - a French victory !. A great game - the poor Prussians were hampered by the non-arrival of reinforcements and when they did arrive they appeared at the least helpful position . The French getting theirs first thing in the morning allowed them to manoeuvre the Prussians away from the bridge and thus capture it. The Featherstone Horse and Musket rules worked brilliantly and gave a quick and easy game.

The moment of triumph !