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.