Wednesday 29 June 2011

3rd Regiment of Foot Guards (Scots Guards)

Well, progress has been somewhat slow of late; but I have managed to do some serious assembling over the past few days!

Here is what is going to be my 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards (Scots Guards).
The regiment is made mostly of Perry plastics, but the front rank are the Victrix plastics. I have tried to give them the appearance that they are in square formation- or at least the resemblance of one. So the front rank are kneeling- the couple of chaps on the wings are taking cheeky pot-shots (possibly poor discipline...). There are plenty of Brown Bess muskets ready to fire behind, along with the officer dictating where the cavalry are coming from.
"Hey, guys, look! Look at that! Thats a horse that is! Shoot it!"

On that note, In my reading I came upon a pretty cool anecdote. The French heavy cavalry were known as Curiassers; due to the fact that they wore a metal Curiass (breastplate). Now, for those history buffs out there they know that Knights and armour fell out of favour and were superceded by the advent of Gunpowder (in the broadest terms). But, these Curiass equipped horsemen stayed! Now at Waterloo, these breastplates showed their worth, because what happened is yes, a musket ball DOES penetrate armour, but not if the ball is not shoved fully into the barrel of the gun. What happened at Waterloo (and I assume elsewhere) is that due to the need for such rapid fire, the British and German soldiers would only ram the ball halfway down, greatly reducing the muzzle velocity, meaning that the breastplate was highly effective!

Pity that the artillery still wreaked havoc amongst the cavalry and caused significant casualties.....


Sunday 26 June 2011


It seems like it has been ages since I have finished anything for my British army, one whole week in fact! My productivity circled the drain this week and I am not entirely sure why. I had a few days teaching (3) so that probably cuts down my painting time combined with hockey, but I just haven't felt like it lately; and really did have to force myself to finish this unit off!

Here is my first Highland regiment, in it's full scottish glory!
Click the picture for a larger view as always.

Now, I said that they were going to represent the 71st Highland Regiment, but I have instead changed them to being the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment. This regiment was where the Duke got his first start (the Duke himself being an Irishman...) before Wellington headed into the 33rd (known as Wellington's Own). The regiment was prevented from wearing the kilt in 1809, the reason being (or one of?) that having no kilts would encourage more Englishmen to join the regiment. I kept the piper in a kilt, because he is cool, and the officer has the very classy tartan trousers! Those tartan pants really didn't last long on campaign, so hence only the officer has them!

As for the history,
The 2nd Battalion of the 73rd arrived at the battle of Quatre Bras 1815 at a crucial moment in the fight, in which they lost 53 men killed and wounded. Two days later at Waterloo whilst serving with Major General Halkett’s Brigade of Lieutenant General Sir Charles Alten’s 3rd Division, the Battalion was charged no less than 11 times by French Cavalry as it stood solidly in square and was then fired upon by French artillery.

This is the guy that everyone wanted to see I think, here is the piper in a very very simplified tartan kilt! I might look at it again when I work out a better way of painting tartan when I tackle the 42nd Black Watch...

Painting them was alright, I just find that the Victrix don't inspire me as much as the Perry figures, so definitly my next regiment will be made from Perry. I think my second Guards regiment will be on the painting table next. I had better get to assembling, hopefully will have something to show off in a day or two!


Monday 20 June 2011

Royal Artillery reporting!

Well, I finally managed to get some painting done, so without further adieu, here is my foot artillery battery.
The entire battery, 2 9 pdr guns and a 5.5 inch howitzer, along with their accompanying crew.
The howitzer crew, along with the battery officer. These guys have impressivly colourful uniforms, red, yellow blue and white. Yellow is my nemesis as a colour, but the yellow on these chaps was not too painful, perhaps I will be able to do the 88th with their yellow facings?

I am going to base the whole battery on one base, 150mm x 75mm; so I had to keep crew numbers down a bit, and they will be alot closer to their guns than would be safe operating practice for a normal gun crew! In Lasalle terms, the british artillery battery is underwhelming compared to other batteries. The standard French battery is 4 guns, where as the Russian is an impressive 5 guns! Now, size isn't everything, but when firing cannon balls, it really is. So, the british batteries are small, and frequently outgunned. I think that is a theme in the British army in the Napoleonic period. Why did I choose the army which requires solid tactical skill to use effectivly? That might teach me to choose armies based on my dubious understanding of history...

These are some of the Victrix artillery heads, the one on the extreme right is a good example of how some of them just look... weird... I am definilty more fond of Perry, simply because of the faces!

As for what is next on the painting table, here is what I have started...
Might even get them finished tommorow, since I am working the rest of the week. I really do need to look into my photography too, but not right now.


Saturday 18 June 2011

Some Miscellaneous musings, things and majigs

First things first. Today is the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, and I have nothing to show for it! No, my artillery is not done. I am unsure if artillery is my achillies heel, but these guys just seem to be taking alot longer than they should. I have had next to no painting time of late, due to work then hockey commitments, so they are still not finished. I will try get some work done on them tonight, then tommorow. I need to keep up my painting momentum more than anything else!

So, the things and majigs. First, I am a reader of Wargames Illustrated (for better or worse, judge me now). I find it good because I come from a very World War 2 background of wargaming, so seeing other periods laid out I find really interesting. Now, to this months issue, number 284. There is an article in it about how someone has used wargaming to answer some of the mysteries of the battle of Waterloo. Now.... Call me a cynic but... Really?

The lessons learned from having toy soldiers on the table, are they really going to 'reinvent the wheel' per say? It seems like a nice premise, but to me feels like someone trying to justify the amount of toy soldiers that they have in the house! I appreciate that the reports and historical study of Waterloo are fantastically conflicting, argumentative and potentially wrong, but are toy soldiers the solution?

To me, wargaming is all about enjoyment. I fundamentally enjoy painting, I enjoy using my spare time to paint toy soldiers, and then push them around a table against another painted army, enjoying a game with another human being. If I didn't like painting, I would play a computer game. If I didn't like people, I would read a book. So, from that perspective, I wonder why people try to make it into something that (in my opinion) it is not?

Lastly, I did get something painted. This is for all of those people who headed down to Southcon to really enjoy, but everyone else needs to see the true might that is Wojtek the bear!
This guy is proof that real life is far sillier than fiction. He is a black bear that the Polish army captured in Romania in World War 2, adopted as a pet, then taught how to carry artillery shells. They fed him beer and cigarettes, and he lived a full and happy life. He survived the Italian Campaign; and went on to finish his days in a zoo, where the polish servicemen would sneak him in beer and cigarettes till his dying days.


Wednesday 15 June 2011


Well, I promised more pictures this time, so I will see what I can do!
Here is what will be my objective marker for Lasalle. I bought some 65mm bases, with the intention to use them for my Colonel bases. Unfortunatly, they are too large for that, so I came upon the idea when I had a spare officer (or two) from the Artillery boxed set, to have one of them observing the battle with his eye glass, standing next to an artillery limber (also from the boxed set). It is a Perry bicorne, story goes that this artillery officer has been fighting since the Peninsular and really didn't want to give it up! I will need an objective for Lasalle games, the base size for that is not really given, but I am happy with this one! In missions with no objectives, I could use this to represent my artillery being limbered I suppose.

I got a good bit of painting done on my artillery unit, but they aren't done yet! Here is where they are at.
And a closer shot of the gunners
So, hopefully will get these guys done in the next day or two, definitly by the end of the week I hope to have these chaps finished!

And, lastly, a Napoleonic story for the day. The final fall of the Napoleonic Dynasty came when Napoleon III's son (the prince regent) was killed fighting alongside the British against the Zulus in 1879. How did he die? The army was routed, and he was unable to mount his horse to escape. And the reason he was unable to mount his horse was that his pants were too tight. Just remember that when you start mocking Napoleonic era fashion!


Tuesday 14 June 2011

Victrix v Perry

Well, any blog about Napoleonic wargaming was always going to have to include a comparison between miniature companies, so I suppose this was a long time coming!

I managed to get some painting done today, not alot, just a few single miniatures. I then did a lot of assembling! Here is the comparison photo, on the left is a Perry skirmisher from the 29th company, and on the right is the freshly painted Highlander from the 71st Regiment of foot. Note that the Highlander has no kilt; because the 71st-75th lost their kilts in 1809; prior to the Peninsular campaign. They replaced them with tartan pants (classy!) which I will hopefully replicate on a couple of the soldiers (definitly the officer!). The story goes that the tartan pants didn't last long on campaign, hence the grey pants for this skirmisher! His headband should also be white/red checked, but I gave it a go, and it really didn't work. So, thats why you get the red! The highlander is wearing the traditional scottish bonnet, which may also not be historic but... meh, it looks cool! The head is from the Victrix Highlander Centre Company box, the bodies are from the Victrix Centre Company box. I copied the idea (shamelessly) from Dave Taylor, check it out if you want to see where my ideas came from!

Well, onto the comparison. I mentioned earlier how I thought the Victrix miniatures were a bit blocky. I thought my opinion might change when they were finished, but I am not convinced just yet! There is more detail on the Victrix models, but the execution is lacking- excess flash, flaky plastic.

It;s like... the Perry have less, but what they do, they do so much better. The poses and the faces are just so much more natural than the Victrix. Could you mix the two? I don't think I will. The Victrix will admirably do my Highland Regiments (there will be 3 of these!) and I will use some of the Victrix command units in combination with Perry. Victrix takes a lot of time to assemble too; especially given the excess flash....

Right, too many words, not enough pictures. Here are the fruits of my afternoon's assembling while I was painting the solo Highlander! I have these, in addition to the rest of the Highlanders to go along with the skirmisher!
The different heads come from the Victrix Centre Company box (plus one Perry head), because the ones that came with the artillery box are absolutely ridiculous! According to Victrix artillery crew spend all their time squirreling acorns into their cheeks, or at least thats how they were modelled!

In the background is another little extra for the army, not a unit per-se, but will be useful for game play!

Well done for reading that all, I suppose a good distraction from work? I promise more photos, less words next time.


Monday 13 June 2011

Rock and Roll

So, when I say I live in "Quakechurch"; I am not lying. Another severe aftershock today, with continuing smaller aftershocks every few minutes. Makes for a pretty crappy time to be in charge of a whole group of small children; I was teaching a class of Year 1 (5 Year olds) today, and it certainly was an experience I was sure I was not going to have to deal with again after February. But; thats the way it goes I suppose.

I am well, my family are fine. My power is on (hence the update!) and for all intents and purposes, life is fine. My house is standing, so, in the grand scheme of things, I am fine.

Here is a lesson on why store wargames figures close to the floor...

In spite of them all falling down (bar the heavily weighted skirmishers) there is no damage to my British, so the Blog is not going to be stopped! It would have been a real pity if all that work got destroyed!

What will tommorow bring? No idea. Perhaps some painting? It will depend on whether friends of mine need help with the clean up.

To my Christchurch friends, be well and if there is any help I can give, just ask.


Sunday 12 June 2011

Finished Inniskillings

The 27th Inniskillings are finished!
So, another unit finished! The buff was harder than I thought to do, I thought the fact that I had to paint less white would make the unit easier, but; then again it turned out to be just as annoying to paint the buff! Made for painting more layers. I was initially pretty unconvinced, but now that they are done, I am reasonably happy with them.
A not-so-close close up of one of the generic troopers. I am getting a bit better at painting the 28mm chaps, the faces are starting to look much less mush-like, and more like an actual person's!

The Inniskillings were a pretty exceptional regiment; I mentioned before about how they were mentioned by Wellington himself as being one of his lynchpins in the line at Waterloo. The regiment was under repeated cavalry attack, and so formed square. Once in square, the regiment was pounded by the Cavalry's supporting cannon; losing well over half of it's number while it was forced into the tight formation to defend against the cavalry. All the while, the regiment was holding a key crossroads behind La Haie Sainte; and through managing to hold it's resolve survived intact through the entire day!

Add to that, an impressive service in the Peninsular conflict, that should explain why I wanted them in my force!

Next unit will be Victrix miniatures, hopefully will get them started on Tuesday. For those wanting to see the armies that my British will take on, check out Lintman's Blog and the 15mm Paint Shack.


Friday 10 June 2011

27th Inniskilling foot

I managed to get some good painting time in today, unfortunatly due to the combination of an increase in hockey, as well as having to do some real teaching work to pay the bills my painting time has been decreased somewhat! Although, the trade off is that it should give me some more spare moneys to do a Perry order, so Cav are definitly in the future!

Anyway, on to the painting. I am over half way through painting the 27th regiment of foot (a medium lasalle unit). The 27th have buff coloured straps and facings, which I initially thought would speed up the painting time for the unit (less white = good), but I am not so sure it did! The 27th were a pretty exceptional regiment at Waterloo, getting mentioned by the Duke himself in dispatches as one of the key points in his central line!

 I took the pictures a bit too late in the day, so they are dark! I will have to get some proper ones done tommorow once I finish the whole unit. You can see the next few guys in line behind waiting for their next colour, I am hoping to get those guys finished off tommorow.
This is the unit's Sergant. It is pretty clear to see the Buff colours, it makes for a heck of alot less white! I was initially pretty unhappy with the way they looked, but now that I have left them, and come back I think that I actually like my take on the Buff!

I have been assembling tonight as well, the first of my Highlander units must be next on the painting block. My first impressions of the Victrix plastics are that they are significantly more brittle than the Perry's; but also the Perry's line just seem to be in a more natural poses, the Victrix are just a bit... blocky? Not sure. Perhaps I will change my mind once I get them painted? Not sure. I am hoping to start painting them over the weekend.


Tuesday 7 June 2011


Today started with research. My knowledge of horses comes primarily from horse racing; my uncle always owned a racehorse or two (the type that wins you BIG money when it doesn't bolt!); but beyond understanding the fundamentals of making a buck or two at the racetrack, thats about where my knowledge ends.

So, my issue arose when I tried to paint one! I have painted scant few horses in my years, and certainly not for a very long time (back to when I played Warhammer). So, I began by googling horses, and looking at pictures. I chose to paint up my two horses as Bays; which was a particularly popular horse at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, to the extent that a British Dragoon regiment was named "The Bays" for their horses!

Here are my two attempts to paint some Colonels, both models are metals from Victrix.
Here is the Colonel for the Guards, on a lovely Light Bay.
And the Colonel of the 27th Inniskilling on his Dark Bay.

Tragically, the pictures are doing them no justice whatsoever; the Dark Bay looks far more textured, rather than simply a black undercoat as the picture shows! Also, they are far, far less shiny in real life, the Matt Varnish has just not dried yet in the pictures... I need to do some work into making better pictures, but for now these will have to do. I am not totally sold on the saddle for the Dark Bay, the buff could be a bit too plain; although the plain does offset the gilded pompousity (totally a word) of the Colonel!

In other news, I managed to assemble my next unit of infantry; a medium British regiment. It will be painted up as the 27th Inniskilling, to give this Colonel someone to order around! I will hopefully get a start on them in the next few days.


Monday 6 June 2011


This weekend I headed down to Dunedin to play Flames of War at a tournament called Southcon. I was running some German Panzergrenadiers with a Tiger, some Grilles (armoured bathtubs) and Marders. It was a pretty good weekend, I won 5 of the 6 games, and the game I lost was only due to some great dice rolls on my opponents part, as well as some average ones on my part! But, them's the breaks. My long term regular opponent Craig managed to claim best axis. The win loss record between him and I is so much in his favour that I think I qualify for "bad guy" status, like every bad guy in a movie I give it a good go but lose in the end! The tournament was Axis v Allies completly- but due to the player mix the allies had a really, really tough time of it.
The only pic I took of the tournament (I am way, way to easy to distract), shows my Tiger facing down some Shermans, which became the theme for my tournament (note, it is also bailed, which was also a theme)

But, what about the British I hear you ask? No painting was done in the last 4 days. But, as it turns out, the local shop in Dunedin sells plastic Napoleonics, and whats more they were trying to get rid of them! So I came home with a large brown bag, and in it contained...
A great smattering of Victrix British! Key items are another battery of artillery (I need 2), the pack of British flags (badly needed, poor Coldstreamers are feeling neglected) and far more British infantry than I will ever need. Plus, a pack of Peninsular colonels. So where does that leave me? I will be able to complete a British Guards division, with an Infantry support. But, I would like cavalry (Scots Greys!) so I will need to do a Perry order at some stage, but first, painting!

I have painted everything I had assembled, so today I am finishing assembling my next unit of infantry (27th Inniskilling, because buff is badass), but also I have managed to get my first two colonels ready to start painting; so hopefully might get the two Colonels painted tommorow, and maybe some buff faced troopers?
Note the Macgyver style stands for them; it is a piece of sprue glued to a FOW base, worked quite well actually!

For a better Southcon description, check out Craig's blog,


Friday 3 June 2011

KGL and a few other friends...

My goal was to complete my Kings German Legion unit (one of two probably) for my army by today; so I have succeeded as of this morning! Here they are in all of their glory..
Unfortunatly, it is overcast today so the lighting is a bit average; but you get the point, another unit completed! Here is a picture of one of the soldiers, striking a pose...
I was reading the army builder rules while I was working; only to find out that if I use Brunswick support, I needed two more skirmisher bases for a total of 4; so dutifully I whipped up a couple more troopers from the 60th, to bring my total up to 4.
And last but not least, my Warlord Games order came without Colonels; so I had to wait for a while, but they arrived on Tuesday, 2 Waterloo Colonels, and a sapper. In game terms, the sapper is an optional rule, who would tend to not be played, which is really unfortunate because he is a pretty cool model, and one that I am happiest with at the moment! He would add 2 combat dice to one unit; which if it was used with Guards would quickly become very ridiculous! That will teach the enemy to mess with a large ginger man with an axe! So, for now he is just a cool looking model, he might get put on an objective, or simply just be there as part of the army.

Whats next? I have a FOW tournament (Southcon) starting tommorow, so no painting for a couple of days. Then.... Well another small unit, perhaps those Colonels I think as well. Oh and maybe I might base something?


Wednesday 1 June 2011

Some Huns, Some Yanks and a Limey or two

Well, the painting over the last couple of days has gone well. Or more, the painting yesterday went very well, to make up for the fact that I was going to get very little done today! Might get a little more done before hockey training, but it is unlikely!

So, what did I get done? How about half a unit of KGL?
So there is 8 done, plus the skirmisher (he is hiding on the left); so 9 out of 17 germans completed! I have developed a pretty good system for painting my British now; the only change that I needed to sort out with these guys was to find a good way of painting the grey trousers (coldstreamers have white if you can't remember)
Herr Commandant, looking classy as ever!

So, not only did I manage to finish off half of the KGL; the Coldstreamers are also completed...
But wait, there is more! I got sick of painting red; so I painted up two skirmisher stands for the army, these represent the 60th Rifles (Royal Americans). I opted for these over the (far more popular) 95th rifles because the Royal Americans fought alot with the Guards; plus they have some sweet red cuffs!

I still don't really have a handle on the "painting faces" aspect of 28mm modelling; but I guess I have plenty more models to practice on! Overall, at this point I am pretty happy with how my guys look. Quality basing will bump them up as a force, and as of this morning I have a pretty good way to get 50mm bases I think, so watch this space, there might actually be some based troops sometime!

Also, the count for 28mm figures complelty painted so far this project? 36 so far....