Rain Starts Play!

2015-07-25 12.10.45

I have been doing quite a bit of painting this last week. Unfortunately, it was with a four inch brush and a can of Dulux Weather Shield. As you can see, I have been up a ladder, painting the exterior of the house, so the important job of adding to my Napoleonic Army was put on hold. Fortunately, that all changed on Sunday, when the weather turned and the rain came down all day. No doubt, many people were dismayed but not me! It gave me a break from the chores and a chance to get on with the last regiment of Hanoverian Landwehr, the Osterode Battalion.

Hanoverian Landwehr Osterode painting guide from Mont St Jean

Hanoverian Landwehr Osterode painting guide from Mont St Jean

As you can see form the pictures below, the first 12 troops are done which is half the regiment. I followed the colour scheme on Mont St Jean, which may be incorrect but as I said in my last post, the chance to paint a slightly different looking unit was too good to miss.

Hanoverian Osterode Landwehr

Hanoverian Osterode Landwehr

The colours that I used are shown in the picture below. I followed my usual procedure of block painting everything and then used Army Painter Dark Tone to provide the shading.  Once the dark Tone had dried for 24 hours, I used the Army Painter Anti shine to matt the figures down. I then repainted some of the lighter colours to give a better highlight. So the red, Yellow, white, green and metallics were all touched up. This last stage is not really necessary but does help the brighter colours to show up on the wargames table.

Vallejo Model Colour

Vallejo Model Colour

The basing scheme was my usual method of Vallejo Sandy Paste, over painted with Chocolate brown, highlighted with Iraqi Sand for the ground work. I’ve added the basic green scatter but will also add some tufts & flowers and static grass for a bit of interest once the whole battalion is complete.  With another 6 troops and the officers and ensigns still to paint, it will be at least another week before the battalion is ready for the table. This will definitely be my last batch of Hanoverian troops for some time now!

I’ve got a number of small projects lined up once these are done, most of them small dioramas that wont really add to my Army but will add a bit of interest to my collection and provide a bit of ‘flavour’ on the occasional big set piece games. These projects include a spare wheel wagon, Napoleons Coach, a Prussian mule train, a Vivandiere, and a tribute to the Hartlepool monkey.

All I need to get these finished is a few more rainy days……

A little knowledge….

I’ve read 7 books on the battle of Waterloo in the past 18 months, visited the battlefield itself and have just completed a distance learning course with Southampton University on Wellington and the Battle of Waterloo. For a change, I decided to give Waterloo a rest and I read an account of the Peninsular War ”The Peninsular war 1807-1814 A Concise military History” by Michael Glover.

All the above doesn’t include the blog entries, Uniform references and internet research, conversations with other gamers, Magazine articles, films and TV and radio program’s that I have absorbed. The net result of all of this is that I still feel as though I have just scratched the surface of the subject of the Napoleonic Wars. I have however, reinforced my view that definitive answers, whether regarding who did what, when or why, or who wore what uniform in which style are sometimes difficult if not impossible to come by. 200 years of distance from the events and only artist impressions and eye witness accounts to go by will often lead to confusion.

What we generally have is a collection of opinions and views ( some more thoroughly researched than others) from which we as gamers have to make a decision on which to follow. In making that decision though, be careful not to totally discard the possibility that you may just have picked the ‘wrong’  set of facts. Just take the thorny issue of uniforms.

During the invasion of Gascony in 1814, an observer described the 57th as follows:

‘The men are absolutely in rags and tatters. Here and there are five or six inches of bare thigh or arm visible through the patches; some have had only linen pantaloons all the winter through’

Remember, this isn’t the retreat to Corruna being described but the British advance into France at the end of the war. Meanwhile, elsewhere, the 1/39th Battalion was at St Jean-de-Luz, collecting it’s new issue of clothing ( Clothing was issued once a year if possible). I suspect that given the date, this new clothing was the new style uniform of grey trousers & Belgiac Shako. So it looks like you would have one Battalion (1/57th) in very tatty, patched ‘Peninsular’ uniform fighting alongside the much smarter Battalion ( 1/39th) in ‘Waterloo’ style uniform.

The point that I am making is that unless you are recreating a specific battle in a specific campaign at a specific date there is no need to be too vexed as to who wore what when. Which brings me to the last of my Hanoverian Battalions, the Osterode Landwehr. I’ve done quite a bit of research on the subject and the details of the Landwehr uniform appear to be sketchy at best. They usually have a paragraph devoted to them in a book. Here is the general guide:

Lüneburg Landwehr Batt: Red jackets with dark blue facings and grey pantaloons. All of the leather equipment was white. The battalion wore shacks of a tapered [stovepipe] design.

The above details are repeated for the Osterode, Verden and Münden Landwehr Battalions.

So thats pretty clear and to be fair, its confirmed in a couple of the other references that I use. However, when I checked my favorite reference, Mont St Jean, the following scheme was shown.

Hanoverian Landwehr Osterode

Hanoverian Landwehr Osterode

Quite clearly, the facings here are green, not blue and the shoulder tufts are also shown as green. Now it could be that there is a mistake, as the Field Battalion had green facings and the author of the site may have made an error in transposing them to the Landwehr Battalion. So what should I do? Well, as I have already painted three battalions in Blue facings the chance of a change in colour was quite an attractive proposition. So my Battalion of Osterode Landwehr will have green facings!

But I promise that if anyone asks, I will say that I have taken a possible liberty when choosing this option. Furthermore, if in the unlikely event that I meet up with a fellow gamer who has decided that his version of the Osterode Landwehr have blue facings I will keep my opinions to myself and just compliment him on his fine body of troops!



Napoleonic Field Forge completed!

Napoleonic Field Forge - Perry Miniatures

Napoleonic Field Forge – Perry Miniatures

My Napoleonic Army continues to progress and the field forge completes another mini diorama that will eventually build into my Artillery Park. I have always been fascinated by the support units that ensure that an Army is able to fight. It is a shame that the rules systems that I have come across fail to take into account the logistics required to get an army into battle. I have just finished reading about Wellingtons Peninsular campaign and it seems to me that the battles were won because of Wellingtons attention to this area. The French seemed to have lost the campaign because of their decision to live off of the land rather than have a supply train in place. They were unable to continue to press any advantage gained because they ran out of provisions. This is best illustrated by the problems that Massena experienced when Invading Portugal. Held in check by Wellingtons defensive lines of the Torres  Vedras before Lisbon, Massena saw his army dwindle away due to starvation and sickness.

I wouldn’t expect ‘club Night’ games to reflect this logistics problem in every game but there is certainly room for a scenario or two here! Just to give you an example of the logistics involved, a Brigade of Infantry required about 150 mules to carry supplies. A troop of Horse Artillery required some 205 mules to carry supplies. And these were only the Commissariat mules. In addition, every unit had it’s own beasts to carry camp kettles, reserve ammunition, pay chest, medical stores and tents. Whilst all of these beasts were left in the rear during the major battles, I suspect that there were times when they were present ‘in the thick of it’ or certainly close to the action.

Blacksmith close up

Blacksmith close up

I digress, back to my field forge. It is from Perry Miniatures, although I have added a spare artillery man & officers horse to fill out the base. As usual, I have used Vallejo paints to complete the figures. I could find very few references for details of the clothing , So I painted the figures as Foot artillery in shirt sleeve order! The leather aprons were my first attempt at painting raw leather and I used the Vallejo Orange brown as the highlight and wash over the actual leather brown paint. I then just stippled some black on the aprons to represent the burns that would be there from working. I think that it has worked quite well.

Detail on Blacksmith aprons

Detail on Blacksmith aprons

For the base and ground work, I used Vallejo Sandy Paste. I actually have a pot of the desert coloured paste that was left over from another project, so I am working my way through this, being too mean to buy either the plain or brown that is available. I am a great fan of this product. It is ideal for blending your figures into the base and has sufficient texture when dry to enable a quick dry brush to bring up the detail.

Field Forge Ground work detai

Field Forge Ground work detail

Once the paste was dry & painted, I used a green scatter to represent the grass as well as some static grass dotted around to add some different texture & colour. I then added a few Grass tufts ( I like the ones from Noch) and flowers and the basing was complete.

The field Forge takes it's place in Little Bingham!

The field Forge takes it’s place in Little Bingham!

So although my Field Forge is unlikely to change the course of any battle that I fight, it will make either a nice objective or simply add to the scenery. It was of course a pleasant distraction from painting the rank and file….Talking of which, next up are my final battalion of Hanoverian Landwehr, the Osterode Battalion, More on those next week.

Work in progress - More Hanoverians! And my new favourite basing material...

Work in progress – More Hanoverians! And my new favourite basing material…



The Age of Simar – One mans meat…..

There is an awful lot of web space and angst currently being devoted to the latest offering from Games Workshop, the Age of Sigmar. Well, although it’s not really any of my business ( or thank goodness, any part of my business), I thought that I would add my two pennyworth for the entertainment of my two readers….


I’m not going down the road of the ‘Games Workshop Corp.’ is terrible rant. Nor do I fall into the ‘we owe our hobby to Games workshop’ groove either. That, to my mind, is the nonsensical equivalent of thanking the current management and personnel of EMI for finding the Beatles and inventing popular music.

I do understand the anguish of some gamers though. To use another metaphor, the current situation with Sigmar seems to be the equivalent of a Football club being bought up by a new owner. And the new owner wants to change the club name, or shirt colour or just seems intent on evicting the lifelong supporters that can no longer afford the new season ticket prices ( safe in the knowledge that there are plenty that can…)

The problem for the supporters is that they have invested a lot of time and money in ‘their’ club and even more importantly to them, emotional ownership and support of the ‘brand’. Which of course, is what marketing is all about. What the fans haven’t always grasped, is that their real love is for the game itself and there are plenty of other teams out there that you can enjoy watching. Even better, the smaller the team, the more appreciated your support will be.

And so it goes with gaming. If you are disenchanted with the latest Fantasy offering from GW, don’t waste energy wishing it would change back to the ‘old days’. Find the bit of the hobby that you love and move on. It may surprise some gamers that Games Workshop don’t own the Fantasy World. They were just very good at taking what was already out there and developing it into a game and to be fair, a very good one at that. Times have changed again though and there  are plenty of games systems out there with more being published all of the time. No doubt this is part of the reason that Games Workshop have had to change. But if Games Workshop need to change, then may be it’s ‘Fans’ or ‘Supporters’ should as well.

Space Marine Collection

It’s a process that I have been through myself. I used to be a fanatical supporter of Games Workshop from the launch of the first Space Marines plastic boxed set through to about the Black Reach edition of 40K. In fact it was back in 1982 that I first saw some Citadel miniatures that were painted to a standard that I’d not seem in model soldiers before that brought me back into the hobby. Note that I said, brought ‘me back into the hobby’.

I became disappointed with the constant changes to the rules, codex creep and even worse Games Workshops cavalier attitude to the older gamer and long standing customers. The light bulb moment for me was watching some guys at War Hammer World playing a Napoleonic Game and realising that they were having more fun than me. The rest, as they say, is history and for me that is now my hobby!

Necrons in Stasis

I still have my old GW 40K armies in the cabinet. I enjoy looking at them and I’m pleased with the armies that I created and the fun that I had. Who knows, I may dust them down and get out my old rule books and play again, but I doubt it.  There’s far too much fun to be had with my latest obsession, Napoleonics. No one company ‘owns’ or even pretends to ‘own’ the hobby in the Historical world. Actually, one Company did try ( I wont name them to save their blushes). The response from the hobby was ‘get lost’ or words to that effect and that was the last we heard of that piece of nonsense.


So if you are not happy with Games Workshop in general and the Age of Sigmar in particular, my advice is don’t even bother to spend energy trying to hold onto something that has gone. Try something new. There’s a couple of new games out there right now that I would recommend. In fantasy, there’s Frostgrave, developed by Osprey publishing and North Star Miniatures. The rule book is just £15 and a box of Figures £20. A character pack is £6. For less than £50 you will have a whole new game to play. If Science Fiction is your thing, then take a look at the new ‘Gates of Antares’ from Warlord Games. If you order the figures, you’ll get a free rule book and can join the game at the start of it’s development.


Of course, if you would really like to break away, then move on into Historical gaming. You might just find that it’s a lot more fun than you think. There’s certainly plenty of background, a massive choice of periods and rules sets, superb miniatures and resources, a huge choice of manufactures and suppliers and a lot of players that would welcome you into the game.

Well, enough of my rambling, I’ve got figures to paint! To sum up, I think that the most important thing is to remember is that you are a fan of the hobby and a customer of Games Workshop.

Confusing the two will just end in tears.


Summer madness….

The weather has somewhat curtailed my painting over the last week. It’s a bit hot to be sat in my garage painting when other activities beckon. You know the sort of thing, burning meat on the barbecue, sampling the odd cold beer and the occasional gardening task which can be put off no longer. I have made some small progress on the Napoleonic field forge. The forge is finished, the crew are at the final stage of highlighting and the two other figures need about an hours work on them. What will really make the difference is the basing, which as you can see is nowhere near finished.

2015-07-02 10.26.05

Just to add to my agonies over my lack of progress on painting, the Perry’s have only gone and released their new British Light Dragoons boxed set! Well, I expect to receive it into the shop tomorrow, so watch facebook for confirmation. I’ve been drooling over these ever since they announced the release at Salute.


With fourteen figures plus loads of extras, I cant wait to get my hands on a set! Those Hanoverians that are sat on the work bench might just get pushed down the painting line! Of course, my mind then goes into overdrive. If I bought three boxes, I could do the whole 4th British Cavalry Brigade at Waterloo. It comprised of the 11th Light Dragoons (Light Buff plastron & facings); 12th Light Dragoons ( Pale yellow plastron & facings) and the 16th Light Dragoons (Scarlet plastron & Facings). Even better, if I keep to 12 models per regiment, I will have 6 spare, so I could get some of the Perry Metal Dragoons and have an extra regiment, say from the KGL. Of course then there is all of the spare Tarleton heads that I’ll have. Just thinking about the conversion possibilities is giving me a head ache! Tarletons were worn by horse artillery and rocket troops and of course the Out riders on limbers etc, so a quick search in my spares box and I bet I could soon find the bits that I would need to build a few of these…

And there lies the madness! In the time that it takes to sink a cold beer, I have convinced myself that I can have 48 Cavalry figures painted and based in the next couple of weeks and meanwhile the other project of completing the Infantry brigade has been put to one side. Whats the betting that just before I finish the Light Cavalry Brigade another new release will set me off on the next project! I guess it is what makes the hobby interesting and gives us all something to talk about whilst we are gaming!

But I’m still going to get those Dragoons!!!