Thursday 25 December 2008

More pictures and would someone get me another Bloody Mary

I said I'd grab a few minutes to post these pictures and, as I write, the turkey is in the oven (great smells are wafting in my direction) and my Bloody Mary needs refilling but here goes:

Top picture: Red or 1st Division on a hill. Two British brigades in the foreground with a 6pdr battery in between. In the rear, two battalions of the Hanoverian guards.

2nd picture: 2nd Division. Hanoverian brigade in the left foreground and Brunswick brigade on the right. Held in the rear is the Hessian Brigade.

3rd picture. British cavalry brigade looking very lonely. The project for February and March is to add two more cavalry brigades.

4th and 5th pictures: the town inhabited only by vagrants as all 'sensible' people have left fearing the effects of war on their neighbourhoods!

6th picture: the line of infantry stretching into the distance.

7th picture: The Hessian brigade in the foreground, the Brunswickers in the background, and the C-in-C all in place close to the Fat Chicken Inn.

8th picture: The Red (or 1st) Division from the rear.

Have a great holiday and pass the port!

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Terrain etc

The top picture shows a special I made from three hexes glued together - a farm complex with outbuildings and fruit orchard. All buildings from Hovels.

The 2nd, 4th and 5th pictures show another one of my specials - three hexes glued together with card buildings, streets, back gardens etc. This 'town' covers a small footprint and is strictly speaking about 20mm scale but I think it looks great although the hexes have warped a bit and I will need to correct this. All the buildings come from a terrific German company ( and I'd like to do my bit to encourage German exports by recommending them highly.

The third picture is taken from near the town and looks down the length of the table.
Its quite difficult to see contours of hills but they are all there. I pin all hills in place to stop them moving and all my trees (mostly from Heki) have pins in their bases as well. Thats why it takes about 5 hours to set up all the terrain.

I've taken some more pictures will soldiers 'en-place' and I'll post them over the next couple of days.

Sunday 21 December 2008

The new table.........

The top picture is a taster of the finished result. There will be more pictures soon.

I've been without a wargames table for 5 years now and you can perhaps
imagine my pleasure at building a new one. All my hex terrain, trees, buildings and other bits have sat in cardboard boxes all that time and, so far, having opening over twenty boxes, nothing is irretrievably damaged.

The next three pictures show the table under construction using 18 Ikea legs (cheap and just the job). Thanks guys for your help. The bottom two pictures show the edging being put on the table top - a not uncomplicated procedure! Although this table is large (24' x 7') its about two thirds of the size of the two tables I had in Normandie so I have lots of spare hexes. By the way, all the terrain is 25mm. The attic of my house is 140 square metres in size so this table sort of 'sits in a corner'.

Over the next few days (Christmas festivities allowing) I'll post some pictures of the first layout and put some of the Pragmatic/SYW Allied forces in place.

Happy Holidays.

Happy Christmas to you all

Send this eCard !

I've been busy with building the wargames table and I'll post some pictures of the finished result over the next few days. In the meantime, I hope you all have a great holiday.

Monday 17 November 2008

Raw metal (or painted?) for sale

I'm going through bags and bags of figures I have for sale as its time to dispose of things I'll never get round to painting for my own collection. So, if there is anything here you would like to buy, please drop me an email at and we will sort out payment and postage. Just make me an offer!

1) 25mm Venture Miniatures Havoverian SYW cavalry; 10 horses and 11 mounted including officer, standard bearer and a choice of trumpeter or kettle drummer.
Unpainted and new.
2) 25mm Sash and Saber SYW Prussian hussars in mirliton. 8 horses and 8 cavalrymen.
Unpainted and new.
3) 25mm Sash and Saber SYW Prussian hussars in bearskin. 12 horses and 12 cavalrymen.
4) 25mm Sash and Saber SYW Prussian hussars in mirliton. 20 horses and 20 cavalrymen.
Unpainted and new.
5) 25mm Renegade Republican Romans. 4 principes (plus pila and shields), 4 triarii kneeling (plus shieds), 4 hastati (plus pila and shields), 4 command (plus 2 shields and 4 standards), 2 mounted officers (horses and shields) and a single Carthaginian foot standard bearer (why, I don't know) by unknown manufacturer.
Unpainted and new.
6) A 'ton' in weight of A&A 25mm Samnites I bought to make up allied Roman legions
for my 'late' Republican army: 36 foot command, 48 of code SAM2, 134 of code SAM1 and enough shields and pila for the lot. I also have anough LBM shield transfers for the entire lot as well.Unpainted and new.
7) PAINTED and for Sale: 12 25/28mm French Infantry of the WAS (by a French company called Capitulation).
8) 40mm Sash & Saber Napoleonics: 10 British infantry (plus heads), 2 British infantry with broken bayonets, 7 French infantry (plus heads), 3 French infantry with broken bayonets. $10 plus postage.
9) Front Rank 25mm SYW French Guards; 4 painted infantry, 14 unpainted figures.

I'm happy to sell the raw metal or, if you want me to, to paint them up on special commision for you. Drop me an email and we'll discuss it further. If these do not sell, I'll probably be putting them on eBay sometime soon.

Over the next few weeks/months I'll be painting up the following for sale:

1) 15mm AB Napoleonic Austrians in helmets - 5 battalions of 18.
2) '25mm' Minden Miniatures - 40 figures of Prussians in 2 battalions.
3) 25mm A&A Hypaspists - 24 figures.

Sunday 9 November 2008

'Lucky' Luckner

This is what Niemeyer and Ortenburg say about Luckner in their excellent “The Hanoverian Army during the Seven Years War”:
In 1757 Rittmeister (Captain) Nicolaus von Luckner, formerly in Dutch service, raised a unit of Hussars which consisted originally of a single troop, but by the end of the year already numbered 90 men. Eventually, in 1760, there were 4 squadrons, each of two troops……with a strength of 671 men. The success of the regiment is reflected in the career of its commanding officer. Entering the Hanoverian service in 1757 with the rank of captain, he was a lieutenant-colonel in 1758, and was gazetted major-general on 25th January 1760; finally becoming a lieutenant-general in 1761 at the age of only 39.
The greatest possible praise can also be seen in a letter from Prince Ferdinand to Lt.General von Wangenheim: Your Excellency may also convey to Colonel von Luckner the particular congratulations of His Serene Highness, and assure him that our confidence in him is so firm that we are never in any doubt that, whenever he and his splendid regiment undertake a task, it cannot fail to have a fortunate and successful outcome.

Luckner’s hussars was one of the few units that completely changed its uniform during the course of the SYW. It started off wearing a combination of green and red and, at some point, the date being unknown to me, the uniform changed over to the more famous (and unusual in light cavalry) red and white. I wonder if Luckner himself made so much money from pillaging French baggage camps that he was able to fund this expensive change of uniform.

The mounted figure (Luckner himself) is by Front Rank and is actually Franz Leopold Nadasdy (SYAP3), with the moustache trimmed off. I don’t know why I took this off but in my mind’s eye Luckner did not wear a moustache but I’m pleased to be corrected. He is placed on a Foundry horse and the saddle cloth was done with green-stuff. I have painted him in the second uniform. Next to him, on foot, is one of the new Eureka SYW Saxon hussars and what a great figure he is. The detailing is superb with no mould lines at all. A joy to paint. As he is wearing a mirliton I decided to paint him up in the early uniform on the assumption that there must have been a period, however short, when both uniforms were in service. The only small detail I’m not convinced of is the tiny skull and crossbones on the front of the mirliton – I don’t think the Saxons wore such a symbol. But I left it on anyway.


Friday 7 November 2008

Hessian Brigade

The Hessian Brigade of my second column (Division) under the command of Lt.General Freiherr von Sporcken is finished.
The top two pictures show Regiment Gilsa, consisting of two small battalions, after the 1760 changes, which joins Regiment Mansbach in the Brigade. The third picture shows the converged grenadier battalion (name unknown?) consisting of the grenadier companies of Mansbach and Gilsa. The final picture shows the brigade arrayed with its battalion guns. Those sharp-eyed amongst you will note that I have slightly changed the brigade structure from that described in the OOB a few posts ago.

A word on Gilsa. Prior to 1760 this was regiment Fürstenberg, a regular musketeer regiment. Besides changing its facing colour from red to black, the regiment became a Fusilier regiment, adopting the small fusilier mitre in a direct copy of the Prussian model. During the American War of Independence the regiment was known as von Knyphausen after its Inhaber at the time. Sent to North America in 1776, most of the regiment was captured at Trenton in December 1776.

This is the only fusilier regiment I intend to have in this Pragmatic/SYW army and they make a nice change. By the way, and I almost forgot to mention it, the officer commanding this Brigade is Maj-General Bischhausen - there's a name to conjure with!

My next post, at the weekend, will be about Colonel Luckner, whose figure I have painted but which needs basing. Nic at Eureka kindly sent me a dismounted Saxon hussar which I have painted and added to the base. More on that later as the dismounted Saxon is one of the finest 25mm figures I have ever painted. My next project is to finish off this Division's first Brigade (consisting of Hanoverians) as well as a box of Perry plastic Napoleonics.

Friday 24 October 2008

WAS Eureka Dutch

I've just finished this battalion of Dutch infantry from the new Eureka 25/28mm War of the Austrian Succession range. I'm pleased with the result although I don't like my standard bearers holding their flags at 45 degrees, preferring them held vertically.

This is regiment Aylva and the flags are from Vaubanner.

As for the figures themselves:
On the plus side they are nice sculpts, crisp and clean. The coat, from the rear, has long tails and the buttons are raised making them easy to paint.
On the negative side, I find the faces quite difficult to paint as I like to put eyes in and these are not sculpted. But if you don't paint eyes you should find them easy. Oddly, there is no hair around the ears and I have had to paint this in.
There are no variations in the figures but to give Eureka their due they have covered the whole range from grenadiers, infantry, with and without lapels, artillery, mounted officers and cavalry. So if you want Dutch troops of the mid-18th century, this is the only range available.

Lastly, I've used as my painting guide Stephen Manley's "Uniforms of the Dutch Army 1740-48", and he says the coat colour (Blue)(the most common coat colour) was a shade "...not quite as dark as 'Prussian blue' and that the "...coat was more generously cut than was the case in later years". He also says that "...officer's coats were not usually turned back, even when mounted." The officers on foot have turn backs.

Nonetheless, despite a few minor inaccuracies, this is a great new range and well done Eureka!

Saturday 18 October 2008

How I paint 25mm figures

Most people are familiar with the three-tone style of painting because that is the method that wins competitions but, because I am painting in quantity, I use a two-tone system.
The difference between the two is about time and personal style. Time – because a two-tone system takes far less time than the three-tone method – and personal style – I actually think that three colour tones often looks over the top and the two-tone more realistic. As I turn out about 30-40 figures a week using my system, I’m content.

So I will always use two tones, a base colour and a lighter tone, on all areas of my figures except for the following:
1) Faces and other flesh areas – here I do use 3 tones. A Brick red base (Coat d’Arms 509) then the main flesh colour (Coat d’Arms Flesh – number missing from my pot!) followed with the highlight tone on the nose and cheeks (Coat d’Arms Suntanned flesh). In between the two flesh tones I do the eyes by running two white lines in the sockets and dotting the eyeballs in black.
2) Black and gunmetals. I tend to use just the single colour here except for large expanses like Mitre faces where I go up to three tones. I would, for example use a grey highlight over black on gaiters (a large area) but not often on a tricorne.
3) Horses. I tend to use two tones of dry-brushing over the main colour.

So it’s useful to buy paints in their triple tones (like the range from Foundry) but not vital. Actually if you use the two-tone system but buy the three-tone system, that will give you extra colour variation. You can use dark with medium as the highlight or medium as the base and light as the highlight. I hope that makes sense!

Foundry paints are expensive but generally good quality. But if I run out of a particular colour I tend to top-up by buying individual pots from Coat d’Arms. They are slightly more watery (and all their yellows are diabolically poor) but they have a large range of colours.

Preparation. I hate to see mould lines so I spend quite a lot of time filing these off and when that is done, I glue figures in pairs to pieces of cardboard cut from the parcels in which the figures have been sent to me. Then I give them a mass undercoat in an enamel black (normally big pots bought cheap from Hardware shops)heavily diluted with White Spirit or Turpentine. The ratio is about 3 white spirit to 1 of paint. This both dries quite quickly and accentuates all the detail in the figures.

Painting. I always start by painting faces as the individual character stand out this way. Hair is normally two tones of brown or two tones of black. Very occasionally, I’ll throw a blonde in! Then I do the headgear. From there I’ll do the small clothes and move to the coat. After the coat has had its two tones, I’ll do leatherwork (ie straps etc) and buttons. Penultimate is the musket and lastly the hands. Then an artists matt varnish (acrylic and very well shaken) and then the flags get added.

Basing.Lastly the figures all get based, the bases have filler applied and then they are painted white. Once the white paint is dry, I apply oil paints in three colours (Sienna, Raw Umber and Burnt Umber) heavily diluted with White Spirit. Once they have dried (and at least 24 hours later) I’ll flock with a special mix of grasses in three tones that I make up in a large plastic box every two or three years.

Thursday 16 October 2008

Mercenary Greek hoplites

This is a unit of 36 hoplites serving in a mercenary unit of a Late Persian army against the Macedonians. I'm not really an 'ancients' wargamer but its nice to stray occasionally out of my normal 18th century habitat. I plan to do both armies using WAB for an approximate points-count though for the battles themselves I will use Computer Strategies "Macedon & Rome".

The corner-stone of the Persian forces will be this 40 figure (I need 4 more figures - happy to pay if anybody has 4 spare figures!)unit of hoplites. The rear ranks are unarmoured and just wear chitons in unbleached linen/wool (a great range of colours from Coat d'Arms paints)while the front two ranks have linothorax in greys and white tones. The shield transfers are by LBM and are a bit fiddly (try them in 15mm for really fiddly) but make all the difference. By the way, the figures are all fron Crusader's new Rank and File range and they are superb - even facial features beneath the helmets are easy to access with a paintbrush.

Next week I should have received Eureka's WAS Dutch so they are scheduled for then.
One week away from the 18th century has given me withdrawal symptoms.

Savory update:Nothing to report as yet but I'm waiting for a price from the printers. I don't think, sadly, there will be any chance of publication before Christmas of this year.
Thank you to all who have sent me an email expressing interest and you should all have had a reply from me.

Friday 10 October 2008


As many of you may know, this book (HIS MAJESTY'S BRITTANIC ARMY IN GERMANY DURING THE SEVEN YEARS WAR by Sir Reginald Savory) is the definitive source in English for the Western theatre of the Seven Years War.

A company called Athena Press printed 500 copies quite a few years ago when I bought my copy (£50 I think I paid) and since then the price has mounted. Please see this link to Abe Books:

I am negotiating with the copyright holder the possibility of another print run of about 250-500 numbered copies. The price is likely to be about £50 and the quality hardback is likely to be in a similar format to the ones published by Athena Press.

At this early stage I'm trying to get an idea of demand. If you are interested (and there is no commitment at this stage) could you please drop me an email at

These are hard economic times and before I embark on such an expensive project I'd need to have a very good idea of the level of interest.


Wednesday 1 October 2008

OOB Pragmatic Army

25mm SYW/WAS Anglo-Allied Pragmatic Army 1:33

C-in-C Prinz Ferdinand 3

Advance Guard: Colonel Luckner(H) 1
Hessian Jaegers 9
Brunswick Jaegers 9
Freytag Jaegers 9
Brunswick Hussars von Roth 8

Hanoverian Luckner’s Hussars 12
Battalion gun

Column: Lt-General Prinz von Isenburg-Budingen (Hessian) 2 Brigade: Maj-General Waldegrave 1
5th Foot (Bentinck) 18
6th Foot (Guise) 18
37th Foot (Stewart) 18
Battalion gun

Brigade: Maj-General Kingsley 1
8th Foot (King’s) 18
20th Foot (Kingsley) 18
43rd Foot (Kennedy) 18
Battalion gun
Brigade: Maj-General Scheele (H) 1
Hanoverian Guard battalion 26
Hanoverian Guard battalion 26
Battalion gun

Brigade: Major Lennox 1
6x6pdr Light British Battery

Column: Lt-General Freiherr von Spörcken (H) 2
Brigade: Maj-General von Wangenheim (H) 1
von Reden Hanoverian Reg 3A 26
von Post Hanoverian Reg 10A 26

Chevallerie Hanoverian 11B 26
Battalion gun
Brigade: Maj-General George Ludwig von Zastrow (Bru) 1
Brunswick von Mansberg 1st Btn 18
Brunswick von Mansberg 2nd Btn 18
Brunswick Prinz Friedrich 1st Btn 18
Brunswick Prinz Friedrich 2nd Btn 18
Battalion gun
Battalion gun

Brigade: Maj-General Bischhausen (He) 1
Hessian Mansbach 1st Btn 12
Hessian Mansbach 2nd Btn 12

Hessian Gilsa 1st Btn 12
Hessian Gilsa 2nd Btn 12
Hessian Prinz Karl 1st Btn 12
Hessian Prinx Karl 2nd Btn 12
Battalion gun
Battalion gun
Brigade: Major Haase (H) 1
6x12pdr Hanoverian Battery

Column: Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, Erbprinz of Brunswick 2
Brigade: Maj-General Bartheld (H?)
Hanoverian battalion 26
Hanoverian battalion 26
Hanoverian battalion 26
Battalion gun
Brigade: Major-General Bock (H?) 1
British Grenadier Btn 18
Hanoverian Grenadier Btn 12
Brunswick Conv.Gren.von Redecken 16
Hessian Mansbach/GilsaGrenadier 12
Battalion gun
Brigade: Maj-General.............(He)
3rd Hessian Guards,. 1st Btn 12
3rd Hessian Guards, 2nd Btn 12
Hessian Hanau/Erbprinz 1st Btn 12
Hessian Hanau/Erbprinz 2nd Btn 12
Hessian Pr.Karl/Hanau Grenadier 12
Battalion gun
Battalion gun
Brigade: Major (He)
6x6pdr Hessian Battery

(Right)Column Cavalry General: Lt Gen Marquis of Granby 2
Cavalry Brigade: Major-General Mostyn 1
3rd Dragoon Guards, 3 squ 12
5th Dragoons (Royal Irish)(2 squ) 8
6th Dragoons (Inniskilling)(2 squ) 8

Brigade: MG von Reden (H)(dragoons) 1
Hanoverian Leib-Regiment Horse 8
Hanoverian Zepelin Horse 8
Hanoverian Dachenhausen Dragoons 16
Brigade: MG von Oheim(He) 1
Miltitz (Oheim)Hessian Horse 12
Prinz Wilhelm Hessian Horse 12
Prinz Friedrich Hessian Dragoons 16

(Left) Column Cavalry General: Lt.General von Jonquieres (H) 2
Cavalry Brigade: MG von Hodenburg(H) 1
Hanoverian Garde du Corps 4
Hanoverian Grenadier a Cheval 4
Hanoverian Grothaus Horse 8
Hanoverian Gilten Horse 8
Cavalry Brigade: MG von Dachenhausen (H) 1
Hanoverian Dachenhausen Horse 8
Hessian Horse Leib 8
Hanoverian Breidenbach Dragoons 16
Cavalry Brigade: MG von Prüschenk(He) 1
Hessian Dragoons Leib 16
Hanoverian Bock Dragoons 16

The numbers after generals is the numbers of figures per base. The numbers after units is the number of figures in the unit.

This is what I have planned for my Pragmatic Army. Items marked in BOLD are finished, the rest are the ongoing project. Tentatively, I have this army pencilled in to be finished by the summer of next year as I will then have to build a French army. The Dutch don't fit in this plan at the moment but I have ordered some of the new Eureka figures and if they are nice, I can see a forth infantry column of Dutch being added. Any further help with the names of commanding officers would be a great help as I have a few gaps.

Hessian Regiment Mansbach

While waiting for the Greeks to arrive I had time to paint up a Hessian Regiment for my SYW/WAS Pragmatic Army. I've gone for the post 1760 organisation because a) the flags are nicer and b) the single battalion Regiments were enlarged and made into two small battalion Regiments. So these are just 12 figures per battalion (as against 18s for the British and Brunswickers and 26s for the Hanoverians) and their (weak) presence on the battlefield will force the wargamer to make some tactical decisions - just as Ferdinand had to. But, on the other hand, I will field these Hessians in brigades of 3 Regiments (72 figures total)so they will be just as strong as a Brunswick brigade, for example, of 72 figures as well. I think I recall reading somewhere (Mollo or Savary, I don't remember which) that the Hessians were considered more reliable than the Brunswickers. I also wanted to further differentiate these from Brunswickers so I will give all Hessians white gaiters, which was technically summer issue, though I suspect black was worn all year round.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention that pictures of Crusader's new SYW French are up on North Star's website. When I saw them this morning I was hugely disappointed as they had turnbacks but after talking to Mark I'm happier now. These are the first realease and are suitable for French 'Germans', 'Swiss' amd later war French themselves. The (more interesting, to me) figures in coats without turnbacks will be released (Mark says) early next year.

Greeks next week sometime.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Some Hanoverians Guards

I've finally finished this large Hanoverian brigade consisting of two battalions of the Hanoverian Guards (each battalion is 26 figures strong) plus their battalion gun and general, Major General Scheele. The latter is a Foundry conversion by adding a shoulder sash with greenstuff. The gun is by Hinchcliffe, the gunners, Foundry, and most of the infantry are Crusader. The two officers are Foundry though. Having found out how easy it is to add a sash with greenstuff I will now start using this technique more often.

The top picture is another Foundry conversion. He was from their Highwayman pack but I removed the head and added another - voila, Major-General George Ludwig von Zastrow in Brunswick service.

92nd Irish regiment Bulkeley

Last week I suddenly got bored of painting 'allies' in my Pragmatic army and I painted this Irish battalion. The figures are from the new Foundry SYW French range and they are a great disappointment. Firstly, the figures all lean to one side and while basing need wedging under a corner to straighten them up. Secondly, every one of them has a scowl on their faces the challenge of which to paint is tiresome.
Nonetheless, I have the raw metal for 4 Irish battalions and it was nice to dig out my much 'under-used' green paint. I plan to make most of the French foot battalions weaker than the 'allied' ones at 16 figures (using a 1:33 scale).

As I have now finished half of the Pragmatic army's infantry (16 battalions) I plan a rest until the end of this year and will restart in January. The only thing that might get in the way of this plan is the imminent arrival of Eureka's WAS Dutch. I have other projects to do, namely a new wargames table, plus some more ACW and some Greeks for the Macedonian wars. I'll keep posting though.

Saturday 6 September 2008

Firstly, let me apologise for my blogging absence over the last few months but summers here are busy and I have quite a bit of new stuff to post.

These four pictures are of the completed Brunswick brigade of my SYW/WAS British/Allied 'Pragmatic Army'.
The bottom three pictures are of the two battalion regiment Prinz Friedrich (which was called Zastrow and changed its name in 1761) with its new 1760 flags.
I have also now added battalion guns.
The top picture shows the entire brigade, the Prinz Friedrich regiment with the red flagged von Mansberg regiment (formerly von Behr). Most figures are Foundry and each battalion is 18 figures strong.

Soon I'll post the Hanoverian guard brigade and an Irish battalion, which I've just finished. The British infantry are all done (7 battalions) and I've now finished
the first 'column' or division under the command of Prinz Isenburg-Budingen.