Friday 25 February 2011

1st Louisiana Zouaves

These are new plastic Zouaves from the Perrys and they are both lovely figures (a lot better than the first box of ACW infantry they produced some time back which in itself was pretty good too) and easy to paint. The detailing of the faces is particularly good. I could not resist getting one box and the remaining battalion will be the 146th NY Zouaves. I'm working on them at the moment.

Monday 21 February 2011

French and Swiss Guards

I’ve just finished two battalions of the Gardes Suisses (Foundry figures) and I’m showing the entire Guard brigade with its commander, Le marechal de camp Marquis de Conflans.

On the left are two battalions of the Gardes Francaises, in their blue coats, and on the right, two battalions of the Gardes Suisses. I have made the tiniest of errors when painting the latter – I had simply assumed that they were entirely reversed colours from the Gardes Fran├žaises, so I had painted them with red trousers whereas both regiments wore blue trousers. Still they are done now and would you have noticed if I had not pointed it out? Yes? Sure….

As for the Foundry figures they have two failings. Firstly, they tend to lean to the left and I’ve had the devil of a job straightening them up. In fact this problem is even worse in the Foundry Line figures as you will see when I paint two Irish battalions next week. Each of those figures will need a cardboard wedge to straighten out their tendency to lean! Secondly, some of the figures, particularly the command figures, have no necks. This can be a problem in the human condition although that fact may save them from Madame Guillotine in the near future.

In terms of painting, my suggestion, for the officers at least, would be to black undercoat them (I always use a black undercoat for all my figures anyway) and then dry brush the silver detail which is very well sculpted. Then cut in the coat colour around the profuse silver lace.

Friday 11 February 2011

Poles and Ottomans Renaissance Armies

I’ve been rebasing some of the Polish Cavalry for this project. Originally I had planned to have all my cavalry regiments at a strength of 12 figures because TAG sells them at a discount in twelves and because I did not really understand how the Poles fielded their cavalry. But having seen some OOBs I’ve noted that strengths for many regiments, but particularly those of the Hussaria, were often just a few hundred and that the most obvious thing about a Polish army of this period was the sheer irregularity of it all. So I’ve cut some of these Hussar regiments from 12 figures to six (my figure scale is 1:50) so they will just be 300 men strong. I’ve also done the same with the Pancerni. Cutting some regiments to six has meant rebasing them all.

I’m showing a schematic drawing which I normally do for all projects so I can see the armies in a diagrammatic form and record the progress of painting.

I’ve also been adding lance pennants to some other regiments too. I don’t know why I had limited them to just the Hussars but now all my Pancerni regiments will have them too. Even the Levy will have smaller pennants too. I’m looking here at visual appeal only and not historical accuracy. The picture shows some of the new cavalry.

The other thing you may have noticed is that the Russians seems to have disappeared and the Ottomans have arrived. Well, I’ve sold the Russians except for the Guard Cavalry Jiltsi unit I had done, which I had a horrible accident with. They went crashing to the floor and now lie in a box, a pile of bits forlornly looking for repair. I must be a very fickle wargamer if I can drop an army like that! Now I have always wanted an Ottoman army being one of the most colourful and versatile armies available. Versatile because they will both be able to fight the Poles in this timescale but also the Austrians in the mid 18th century.I can't wait to start painting them!

Friday 4 February 2011

80th Foix

This regiment has unusual features to its uniform. It has red facings, showing on cuffs and collar only, and silver hat lace with brass (copper) coat and cuff buttons. It was a one battalion regiment that served in Germany with distinction in the first part of the SYW and which was then dispatched, in 1760, to Saint-Domingue (Haiti) where it remained until 1765.

Then, according to Kronoskaf, certain uniform changes were made in 1761 – the pale grey waistcoat changed to blue and the silver hat lace was changed to match the button colour and became gold. Now I very much doubt that these changes were enforced in Haiti and furthermore, in 1762, a second battalion was raised. Could they have raised a second battalion in Haiti or was this second battalion, more probably, raised in France?

My assumption is that the second regiment was raised in France with the new uniform details. I have no idea whether the second battalion was then sent to Haiti but if it was, you could see them bringing extra uniforms (waistcoats and yards of extra gold lace) to their compatriots in the colonies.

The Colonial link then continued. Part of this regiment (the first battalion perhaps with its colonial experience?)was sent to the West Indies in 1776 and participated in the failed attack on Savannah three years later.

I have painted this in the uniform at the start of the SYW. Figures are Crusader though the officer is from Front Rank. The lovely flag is by GMB.

(I have checked in Pengel & Hurt and they only mention gold hat lace so maybe that is a reference to post 1761).

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Field Marshal Maximilian Ulysses Count von Browne

This is my command base for the new Austrian WAS/SYW army I’ve started.

Ulysses von Browne (October 23, 1705 – June 26, 1757), of Irish extraction, was already a colonel of an Austrian infantry regiment by the age of twenty nine. He gained much of his miltary experience during the Italian campaign of 1734 and he distinguished himself in the Tirolese fighting of 1735, and, in the Turkish war, he won further distinction as a general officer.

During the WAS he was present at the battle of Mollwitz, where he was badly wounded. In 1745 he served under Count Traun, and was promoted to the rank of Feldzeugmeister. In 1746 he was present in the Italian campaign and the battles of Piacenza and Rottofreddo. Thereafter he was placed in command of the army intended for the invasion of France, and early in 1747 of all the imperial forces in Italy

He was in Bohemia when the SYW opened with Frederick's invasion of Saxony in 1756. Von Browne's army, advancing to the relief of the Saxon army at Pirna, was met, and, after a hard struggle, defeated by the king at Lobositz, but he drew off in excellent order, and soon made another attempt with a picked force to reach Pirna, by wild mountain tracks. The field marshal never spared himself, bivouacking in the snow with his men, and Carlyle records that private soldiers made rough shelters over him as he slept.

He actually reached the Elbe at Schandau, but as the Saxons were unable to break out, von Browne retired, having succeeded, however, in delaying the development of Frederick's operations for a whole campaign. In the campaign of 1757 he voluntarily served under Prince Charles of Lorraine, who was made commander-in-chief, and on the 6th of May in that year, while leading a bayonet charge at the battle of Prague, von Browne, like Schwerin on the same day, met his death. He was carried mortally wounded into Prague, and there died on the 26th of June.

The mounted General figures are by Front Rank, one of the few companies that make decent Austrian figures of generals, but they are on Foundry horses. The flunky at the back, nonchalantly holding a tray with a bottle of Tokay on it, is by Foundry too. These gentlemen will soon be requiring a drink when they see the Prussian army.