Monday, 28 June 2010

SYW Hessian 3rd Guards

These are the two battalions of the 3rd Hessian guards, post 1760. By the end of the war the Hessians had four Guard regiments, each of two battalions strength, and although the 1st regiment did not serve on campaign, the remaining three did good service.

If you’ve read my posts before you will know that in 1760 the old single battalion regiments were increased slightly in strength and then halved into two battalion regiments. So, with my 1:33 scale these battalions now have a strength of 396 men each – considerably weaker than their allied contingents as well as their French opponents.

Aiguillettes have been added to their right shoulders (see rear shot 4) and this was done with cotton and superglue – a fiddly little job to be sure. Most of the figures are Foundry though a few Crusader figures have crept in. The last regiment of foot in this Allied army is my next project and then I will have a pause, as the summer season of visitors is about to arrive, and then continue with more farms, villages and French. A barn for the next farm can be seen at the back.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

First Farm-Hasenpfeffer Bauernhof

I’ve finished the first of a number of farms, villages and towns I plan to make for my SYW/WAS armies to fight over. They are card buildings and the idea is to make up as good terrain as I can to compliment the fact that I have been painting figures for this project for over two years now.
Like all first attempts, there are errors – most notably, I don’t think the fence is high enough and, although I can live with this, the next ones will have chunkier circumscription!
I’ve put the 1st battalion of the Brunswick Regiment Mansberg in to garrison the place.
The second picture shows the vegetable plot! Yes, I know, I can hear you say that I’m losing the plot here, but, hey, anybody who knows me, knows that I am a fanatic for those realistic touches. I was thinking of having laundry out to dry and the good farmer’s wife out weeding but, first, I decided she would go indoors if there was a likelihood of a battle raging around her house and, secondly, there are no weeds in her garden as I did not put any there.
Back in the real world, I’m currently painting a couple of Hessian guard battalions and they should be up by the weekend.

PS I forgot to ask any German speakers to kindly give me a name for this farm and, if possible, a translation of what it means. Everywhere has a name!

The suggestion, kindly received from one of my readers (thanks Stokes) is
Hasenpfeffer Bauernhof or Rabbit Stew Farm.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

SYW French artillery

I’ve sold off all my Pragmatic Army battalion guns because a) they are not needed by my rules, C&GII and, b) because they looked rather silly next to Elite’s French 4pdr guns.

C&G II allows you to have battalion guns attached to each battalion but, rather than field them, they are simply noted when the orders of battle are drawn up. Now I may still have them, purely for aesthetic reasons, but I have to justify the cost of buying a further 5 guns (I already have 5 Front Ranks ones) as well as extra crews. That is a decision I will postpone until the armies are finished.

The French will not have battalion guns although sometimes they are shown in OOBs of the period (WAS and SYW) and sometimes they are not. It would appear that often the French massed their 4pdr guns into batteries and that is what I plan to do. Now Elite make some extraordinary (as in wonderful) 25mm SYW guns – a 4pdr Swedish, a 4pdr Vallière, as well as 8pdr and 12pdr Vallières. These guns are large and one can quite see from the size of the 4pdr Vallière how difficult they would be to maneuver around the battlefield. I plan to see this reflected in the rules. In terms of compatibility with other manufacturer’s guns, they are slightly larger than the chunky Front Rank pieces but not so much so that the two could not be used together. But they tower of the Foundry guns which, besides being an absurd price (£11 a gun v Elite and Front Rank £5), have tiny toddler wheels. So, if you want my advice, buy Elite’s!

As for gun crews, those of all three manufacturers work reasonably together and, in the pictures above, of a 4pdr Vallière six-gun battery, there are crewmen from all three. My least preferred are the Foundry ones as they are all without coats - except for one splendid officer (not pictured) with a telescope.

Lastly, why have I painted my guns blue? Twenty years ago I had a 15mm French army and painted my guns blue on the basis of my research at the time. Then TMP led me to believe that they were red which came as quite a revelation (read that as ‘shock’) to me. Then re-reading the Kronoskaf sources, the view there seems to be that blue was the correct colour. This is based on near-contemporary paintings showing a medium blue. Thus I have come full circle, and reverted to my original view that French artillery carriages were painted blue. Argue with me ‘til the cows come home’ if you like but I’m sticking to my guns on this!

PS: If any of you collect 15mm buildings, I have dozens of card ones to sell - all of which are very nice indeed, even if I say so myself. I've put a sample on eBay to see if it sells - reference 110548993009.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Grenadier Brigade

The top picture shows a unit I have just finished, a Hanoverian converged grenadier battalion. It is pictured in front of a new card church that I plan to convert into a monastery.

Below is the finished elite brigade - 5 battalions of converged grenadiers, one British, one Hanoverian, one Brunswick and two Hessian, all under the command of Brunswick Major General von Mansberg.

Towards the end of the week I'll show the French artillery I'm working on at the moment.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Stirn Hessian Grenadiers

Hessian converged grenadier battalion Stirn consisting of the elites from Wutginau Infantry (on the right with red cuffs) and Mansbach Infantry (on the left with white facings).

The backdrop is a row of three shops and houses. By the weekend I'll post the Hanoverian converged grenadier battalion I'm currently working on and perhaps more buildings.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Balcke Hessian Grenadiers and Rathaus

I'm having two battalions of Converged Hessian grenadiers in my SYW/Pragmatic army and this is the first of them. As I'm doing the post-1760 Hessian organization, they are small battalions (about 400 men). They are the grenadiers of Füsilier-Regiment von Gilsa (on the left with black facings) and Prinz Karl Infantry (on the right with red facings). The other battalion (Stirn) will be ready in a couple of days.

The background is the new Rathaus for the new town I've started work on. This is my own conversion of a Schreiber card building - the originals appear on the left and the right and in the centre is a scanned conversion. As these card buildings are in 1:87 (which, I'd guess is about 20mm) I've needed to enlarge the doors which I have done by scanning, enlarging and pasting. One of the things I've noticed about smaller scale buildings is that one looks at them, and the figures standing next to them, in terms of the doors, not the windows: if the figures look like they could enter by the doors, it works, and if not, it does not. This will be a town of at least thirty buildings and I've started in the town square with the most important town building - the town hall or Rathaus.

After the success of the ACW game (I really mean the success of the rules, Carnage and Glory II) I've started putting numbers on the backs of these units too. All units have to be numbered and I've made these slightly larger than those I made up for the ACW units.

French artillery is en-route but not before I've finished this grenadier brigade.
The only one left to paint is the Hanoverian converged unit and, when that is complete, the five battalion brigade will be done. Actually almost all the Allied infantry is now finished - I'm on the home straight!