Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Alpine Interlude...

I'm on a bit of a roll at the moment, and i've just finished this fellow off. He is the excellent Eureka Miniatures Andreas Hofer figure. He’s the first of a large order of Eureka’s new Tyrolean range. With a part of my tax return (the lion's share went towards saving for another trip to Europe) I’ve bought two 12 man units; one with muskets, the other with melee weapons. I’ve also got the excellent little home-made cannon and crew. All of these are superbly sculpted, in my opinion comparable in both style and size to the Perry brothers work. The Tyroleans weren’t originally one of my planned forces, but the figures were just too good to pass up. Also, Sharp Practice is very well suited to playing out some of the actions from the rebellion. Nonetheless, I’ve forced myself to put the Tyroleans on hold until I’ve completed a few more units for my main forces – or at least a couple of 12 man Bavarian companies so they’ve got someone to rebel against!

In addition to Mr. Hofer, I’ve been working on a half squadron of Front Rank Chasseurs a Cheval, a unit which has been on the painting bench for far too long. This first 'group' will be the 6 figures of the elite company, along with an officer and a trumpeter. All except the trumpeter are wearing the rather fancy looking bearskin colpack, so they should turn out to be quite a nice looking little unit, after the utilitarian looking Austrian artillery. I know that the Chasseurs may not be as glamourous as the Hussars or as imposing as the Cuirassiers and Carabiniers, but they were perhaps the most common of French cavalry - alongside the equally denigrated Dragoons. I've done a bit of modification work on the figures themselves, bending sword arms into different positions, adding greenstuff plumes and what not. I like as much as possible to have each figure with a bit of individuality, especially at the Sharp practice scale. I've finished the first four chasseurs and the officer, and am 90% done on the remaining two and the trumpeter. Hopefully i'll be able to get these finished, based and get some pictures up in the next week or so.

I’m planning on painting up the first squadron of the 11e Chasseurs a Cheval for 1809. I've got the remaining six chasseurs - all in shako - sitting in a box waiting to go. The 11e Chasseurs were part of General de Division Montbrun’s force which saw a lot of action in 1809. But that's a long term project. After the elite company is done, I’ll get working on some Austrian Uhlans to oppose the Chasseurs. Then I think on to the Bavarians.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Finally, some progress...

We'll, true to form it's been quite sometime between posts. The sad passing of Laura’s grandfather on the 17th has meant that my painting work has been put on hold over the last few weeks as I spent most of my time with Laura and her family.

I got out my brushes for the first time in a while yesterday and finally finished off the Austrian gun and crew which I’ve been ‘sizzling’ up since I launched this blog. I must say I’m very pleased with the result. Based up for the Lardies’ Sharpe Practice ruleset, the gun is a 6 pounder with five crew and a grizzled NCO based separately as the ‘big man’ command figure. Three of the crew and the NCO have the red facings of the highly trained artillery corps, the other two have the light pike grey of the Handlanger corps – virtually untrained men who provided muscle rather than expertise. I love these figures, and I think I’ve managed to set up the base pretty well as representing a gun in action. The basing has turned out very well, with all five of the crewmen removable to both simulate casualties and to allow them to abandon the gun.

Both the gun itself and the figures are all 28mm Front Rank figures, the muskets, box-type thingy and the discarded scoop are from Nic at Eureka miniatures. The cannonball is from a tag which came with a new pair of converse shoes!
I’ve also finished off a Front Rank Jäger officer. While mixing the Light Pike grey for the collars of the Handlanger blokes, I wanted to test out how this would look on the jagers – they also wore light pike grey. From the research I’ve done, including asking some advice of ‘the’ expert on the Austrian Napoleonic army, Mr. Dave Hollins, I understand that this should be a light blue grey colour rather than the dark grey often depicted. I know lots of people paint jagers up in dark grey - more power to them by the way - so I thought I should put in that little explanation before I get a load of comments telling me that the colour is wrong. :)

While I enjoy the research behind painting Napoleonic figures, matching uniform details and colours, I do realise that any quest for realism is pretty hopeless. Before colourfast dyes, and with a myriad of cottage industry types supplying the uniforms, I’m sure there would have been a lot of variations in colour.

So, here are some pictures of the completed gun and crew, and of the Jäger officer. Hopefully the next update shouldn’t be too far off, as we’ve got a long weekend coming up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shameless self promotion..

Just a little update this time. Over on the Sharpe Practice forum, Roly Hermans, along with Rich from TooFatLardies recently organised a scenario design competition for Sharpe Practice.
Rich has very formatted my entry and posted it up on the Lardies blog (

I'm planning on doing a series of scenarios set in the 1809 campaign, based around the exploits of the Confederation of the Rhine troops, and to some extent this was a bit of a tester - so by all means let me know if you have any suggestions or criticism! For inspiration I'm using John Gill's excellent 'With Eagles to Glory'. While reading through this book, it really stuck me how many of the actions, even parts of the larger battles, could theoretically be gamed using Sharpe Practice. Even in battles like Essling and Wagram, the soldiers were really only aware of thier little corner of the battle. My ultimate modelling and gaming goal is to paint up a couple of 1:10th Austrian and French battalions with supporting artillery, build a 28mm model of the Aspern Church and churchyard, and organise a game of SP representing one of the attempts by the Austrians to storm the stronghold. I'm still a long way off completing anything approaching that scale.
At my current painting rate, perhaps i'll be done in time for the 300th anniversary :) A man can dream though...
As I've said before, SP really appeals to me as it puts the emphasis on leaders - the 'big men' - and the way that their decisions and abilities rally drive the course of battle.

Now, on to painting. Two months behind schedule it may be, but I've finally finished the Austrian gun and crew! I'm very happy with the results, and I'll be snapping some pictures on the weekend. It's supposed to be 27c and sunny, so should have some good light. I've also managed to finish off the Eureka Andreas Hofer figure, as well as a Revolutionary period Austrian and French junior officer. I'll get these posted up on the weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Württemberg Light Infantry - A call to arms!

Nic from Eureka Miniatures has just posted up a 100 club request for some 28mm Württembergers.

The 100 club entry is for the elite Wurttemberg light infantry - the Jägers and leichte-Infanterie. Anyone who's read Gill's With Eagles to Glory will be well aware of the exploits of the Württemberg light troops in 1809, where they played a pivotal role in the Eggmuhl campaign.
The figure request is for the 1809 uniform, but Nic has said that he would probably also do the 1807 uniform (with the leichte Infanterie in casquet with horsehair plume) as a tie in with the French Revolutionary Wars range. I've posted a couple of plates, one from the Augsberger collection, one from Knötel's Uniformenkunde. For more details of the uniforms see this link:


Basically, the range would consist of a few light infantry poses (e.g. firing, loading, kneeling firing and advancing) and there would also be an officer and a hornist, ideally also an NCO figure and a drummer and *possibly* a standard bearer. I'm pretty sure that the jagers didn't carry a standard in the field, but a lot of people do like to have standard bearers. With a variety of poses, these figures could be used for both skirmish and larger scale battles.

For those of you not familiar with the style and quality of the Eureka 28s, i'd direct you to the following links. In size, they fit in well with Perry and Victrix.


So if this sounds like something you're interested in,. head on over to the Eureka 100 club site and put your name down. Once the number of pre-ordered figures reach 150 with at least 10 people registering interest, then the figures go into production! The cost is AUD3.00 per figure, so about 1.50GBP or 2.50USD. Eureka are available from http://www.eurekaminusa.com/ in the US.

The url for the 100 club entry is: