Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Basing 1/72 scale Napoleonics

The advantage of 24 man battalions is that by say 1813, most nations had below average sized battalions, except perhaps the Austrians. There seems to be huge debate as to what is historically right and what is wrong but what looks "good" often gets ignored.

Admittedly the 36 man French battalions do look great but those of us who have already committed to the 4 man base with a total of 24 figures should not worry.

Right or wrong the "effect" is what we are trying to create.
A game from 2106

Austrian Art miniaturen figures with 32 men battalions.

The Austrian and Hungarian Art Miniaturen infantry are based on laser cut mdf bases. 30mm x 30mm. The problem with many plastic figures is that the size of an individual base prevents squashing 4 men to a single base. 

French dragoons and Cuirassiers

The cavalry meanwhile are based in pairs and on 35mm x 40mm bases. 16 figures in a regiment.

Prussian horse artillery with two model guns

Prussian foot artillery with 3 model guns.

There seems to be a pre-occupation to have a designated number of guns represented by a specific number of models…i.e. a battery of 8 guns represented by 4 model guns. This seems to be an unnecessary detail. What is important is that the space occupied by a battery should be representative (especially the depth), and that is why introducing limbers (and caissons in some instances) is worthwhile. Also it helps the average war gamer distinguish between both horse and foot easily as well as certain calibres. Introducing caissons to represent 12lbs and Guard I think will be interesting.

Clearly there are other distinguishing marks for artillery. In this case, there are 4 figures for the horse battery and 5 for the foot while the bases are 40mm square for the horse and 50mm square for the foot.

15mm game in London on 12/13th March where we will be fighting Vitoria 1813 at Rob's place. Should be fun.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

20mm French line infantry and 20mm Bavarian Cheveuxleger

Asking a professional painter to paint 1,000 French line infantry was perhaps doomed to fail. The photo shows some of the better little chaps as opposed to some that were returned spray painted black and that was it. Needless to say I think the whole task was beyond him sadly so I have 1,000 French line infantry to work on and have been for the last 6 months…on and off. It is a tough task. These Art Miniaturen figures will look great at the end. Sending finished samples of what I hoped would be the finished product was still not sufficient. I knew trouble was brewing when he started chatting about the pom poms and basing and had only taken possession of the figures for a couple of weeks. Many figures, in greatcoats, were returned with collars and cuffs painted so some work had to be undone. Some professional painters will do a decent job and some will not. I think I was just unlucky. 

I think I should have been more specific…my fault entirely.
 Not many 20mm manufacturers do Bavarian light cavalry justice. Art Miniaturen do not do them. HaT's attempts are below standard. These chaps were sourced from a collective website in Germany…Hagen Miniatures. Great poses. Size very comparable to Art M but all had arms and scabbards that required gluing on which was a pain and time consuming. Again, these will look great once finished. (in green)
The Hagen Miniatures from Germany.
Bavarian 20mm cheveuxleger.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Top 10 Christmas wish list for Art Miniaturen to consider.

Art Miniaturen have a comprehensive range of Napoleonics and are constantly extending their products.

If there was a wish list for this Christmas, it would be this:

  1. French line mounted chasseurs. (static). This appears to be work in process. Bearing in mind this type of cavalry was (together with the dragoons) the most numerous, it is a surprise that so few manufacturers focus on it.
  2. French artillery limber riders. Art M have done them in the past but Franznap do them and now do riders in greatcoats which is a welcome addition. 
  3. Russian line infantry. (standing) 
  4. Bavarian mounted cheveuxleger. (static) Like their Austrian light cavalry recently produced these chaps could be painted in either white for the dragoons or green for the cheveuxleger.
  5. Austrian mounted hussars. (static) Franznap presently fill this gap.
  6. Austrian mounted uhlans. (static) Franznap presently fill this gap.
  7. Russian light infantry. (skirmishing)
  8. Russian Guard infantry. (static)
  9. Cossack artillery figures. (something different)
  10. Russian foot and horse artillery limber riders. (dragoon helmet for the horse)
Clearly the Prussian and Austrian ranges are the most complete, but Russian infantry would be really welcome. Especially as their range offers some excellent Russian cavalry and artillery.

Let's see what happens. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Forthcoming French line chasseurs from Art Miniaturen

I have it on fairly good authority, that Art Miniaturen are in the process of producing some static French line chasseurs in campaign uniform, post 1812. The plan will be to buy a approx 3-4 regiments (16 figs per regt) and paint them with various facing colours. Not sure if the elite company will have a colpack or shako.

The HaT version of these are poorly produced, while the Revell (?) version in plastic remains the best out there at the moment in 20mm/1/72 scale. The problem with the Newline version are the horses.

I think Art M are onto a winner here.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Napoleonic battle

Creating scenarios that "work" can be fraught with difficulty. Even with a table of 22 feet in length there was still a problem of congestion largely caused by whole divisions coming onto the table in one mass rather than appearing piecemeal. Anyway, losses this time were slight and this ought to have been a two day game to allow units to get involved.

There would be 3 objectives, the village, the farm and control of the bridge (over the stream). 3 points for each. However, if one side should lose a whole brigade we would deduct one point.

The Village. (Obj 1)  The Polish division was supposed to have attacked the Prussians who had a head start in the village.  Supporting French cavalry on that flank didn't help much as Prussian infantry could scamper into the village and the limited Prussian cavalry available merely decided to fall back in the face of superior numbers. The Polish advance towards the village was halted by a solitary skirmish base and a battery of artillery. Hits and disorders in the same move, coupled with a poor throw on the 1D8 when the Poles desperately needed to pass their Brigade test, proved their undoing. The Poles did secure two buildings closest to them from the off, but this was expected.

The Prussian Guard came into action towards the end of the game but we never really found out how they might perform vs the Poles.

Allied cavalry superiority in the centre stifled the French advance and reserve division. The Allied assault split the French forces in two. Not even a brigade of French Carabiniers could stop Prussian Cuirassiers from making headway.

The Farm. (Obj 2). A combination of Old Guard and Bavarians took control of the farm. One  Bavarian brigade initially over reached itself and the lead battalion fell victim to some Prussian dragoons. But the calamity was short lived and the dragoons failed to breakthrough and wipe out the second Bavarian supporting battalion, which would have damaged the brigade's ability to perform.

On the other flank, French cavalry succeeded in pinning down the Prussian advance, while the French batteries on the hill shelled the squares. This was effective and meant that the reserve Austrian division was held up in the process. Later in the game French Old Guard battalions broke through the Austrian lines and succeeded in reducing the effectiveness of one German (Austrian as opposed to Hungarian) infantry brigade by 50%. Allied cavalry plugged the gap.

The bridge. (Obj 3) The Prussian flanking operation to take the bridge took time. The isolated brigade with HA, failed twice to move when ordered. Not enough friendly troops to encourage them. Had the French moved some skirmishers or horse artillery to confront them they might never have arrived at the bridge at all. In the end they did and flanking fire against the Bavarians was proving timely in the end.

Ultimately, the Prussians retained control of 2/3rds of the village (2 points vs 1). The Allies failed to take any of the farm (0 vs 3) but did arguably control the bridge (3 vs zero). The Allies, however, had lost 2 whole brigades vs the French one. So….an honourable draw. 3-3. I wonder what day 2 might have yielded? The French would probably have held the farm and eventually taken the village.

Prussian light cavalry begin their flanking manoeuvre 

Allied congestion vs the Bavarians.

The moment Prussian dragoons hit the unfortunate Bavarians.

Austrians, unable to move forward. 

French consolidate the farm.

The Bavarian advance.

Allied cavalry in the centre.

Prussian Guard preparing to move.

Prussian Guard cavalry sweep down from the hill to attack.

Polish units defending the extreme flank of the village.

Prussian Cuirassiers prepare to take on the French Carabiniers. 

Polish guns.

Prussian artillery, in the tight village roads,
 looking to get a spot to fire from.

French cavalry chasing shadows.

Bridge and farm complex objectives.

Centre and village.

Austrian Grenadiers in the foreground.

Prussian HA

Bavarian infantry and a French foot battery.

Prussian guns find their spot and open up on the Poles.

Prussian light cavalry shirking.

French cavalry trying to find an enemy who will stand and fight.

At last the Prussian HA start to cause damage.

Austrian and Prussian guns side by side.

flighting in the village.

Prussian foot battery.

French hussars finally get to grips with the Prussians.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Napoleonic armies ready to go.

Trying to create evenly matched sides is a little tricky, especially where the larger Austrian battalions are involved.

Hopefully there will be one large Austrian Div (3 brigades) and three smaller Prussian Divisions (each of 2 brigades) The French will have a similar number of brigades in total, including a Polish Div (2 brigades), a Bavarian Div (2 brigades), two brigades of YG, one brigade of OG, and two French line brigades. The French (largely because of the Poles) will be of better quality so I have given the Allies an extra Prussian light cavalry brigade and an extra Prussian foot battery. Any excuse to get more limbers on the table.

Game commences Sunday.

Bav Div

The Jorg Schilling OG figures sit well with other 1/72 scale figures.

Virtually all the cavalry are Art Miniaturen.

The Art Miniaturen Austrian Div. Three brigades of German line,
Hungarian line and Hungarian Grenadiers. Facings for each brigade were
 painted the same. I think too many sub units of varying facings breaks up "the look".

Art Miniaturen Austrian cavalry as either dragoons or cheveuxleger.

Austrian artillery limbers with whips and traces. The traces on the inside
line were less easy to fix, so I glued one line of horses, to the base, at a time. 

The inside line of traces are now fitted for the Prussian artillery as well.

I have substituted the standard Austrian horse artillery limber
 for the Franznap Austrian version. Something different. 

Franznap horses but Hat riders with converted heads for Guard riders.
Plastic and metal can mix! Less keen on the brittle traces.

Franznap French limbers with riders.