Saturday 31 August 2013

SYW British Cavalry

The top two pictures show the 'Blues' or the Royal Horse Guards in the SYW. The Marquis of Granby was, of course, their Honorary Colonel which is why he is nearly always painted wearing the unusual blue coat of this regiment, which, incidentally, had precedence over all line cavalry regiments but was not part of the Guard. This sounds like a typically British way of saying they were elite cavalry but not having to pay them the top rate.

The bottom two pictures show another very famous regiment, the 'Greys' or more properly the 2nd Dragoons (Royal North British), originally raised in Scotland. They always rode grey horses and indeed did so through the 18th and 19th centuries.

All figures are by Foundry. Considering how expensive they are to buy it is worth noting that all the horses were covered in a great deal of flash and some of them were the wrong horses too. British horses had their tails docked (cut short) but a number of those included in the packs were undocked. Small details I know but they should know better.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Napoleonic Russian Generals

I'm not keen on the only Perry offering for Russian command, a collection of dismounted officers, who work well for Borodino, but not much else. These generals are from Front Rank and are terrific. The Russians are a fairly new range from them and it shows in the crispness of design and lovely characterisation in the faces with their striking sideburns. Regular readers know that I'm doing one division of 12 battalions (each battalion consists of 32 plastic figures) so it's no small painting project. I've finished the 2nd Brigade and I like to have officers done and ready to take over their commands. As for the dark green (almost black) that should be the colour of their coats, I've lightened it because one tends, on the wargames table, to look at them from a great distance and, more importantly, I don't much like that very dark green!

British SYW 15th Light Dragoons

These figures are by Front Rank and I have never painted them before. They are quite well sculpted and come with a sprue of separate weapons - sabre, pistol and carbine. It is not the easiest job to glue the sword into the open hand and, frankly, Alec Brown of FR should perhaps consider re-sculpting them with the sword in place. Otherwise, nice figures up to the normal FR high quality level.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Three new British battalions

Here are three new battalions of British Infantry for the SYW/Pragmatic army. They are Front Rank command figures with Crusader rank and file.

I should explain why I call this a SYW Pragmatic army for the term is actually very misleading. In the earlier WAS the British army deployed in Europe (with its German allies) was called the Pragmatic Army because it was there to support the Austrians and Maria Theresa's inheritance by virtue of the Pragmatic Sanction arranged by her father. In the period between the WAS and SYW there was a complete reversal of alliances (the French allied with their long term enemies the Habsburgs) and the British ceased their longtime alliance with those same Habsburgs and switched to support the Great Poacher, Frederick the Great of Prussia. So to call a British SYW army a 'Pragmatic' army would be totally the reverse of the truth and more accurately it might be called the 'anti-Pragmatic' army. In general terms, uniforms of the major combatants stayed largely the same for both wars so when I paint figures for this period I assume that they will be useable for both wars, hence the tag 'Pragmatic' is shorthand useage.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Russian Napoleonics - Plastic comparison

This article is to discuss the differences between the box of plastic Napoleonic Russians you can buy from Warlord Games and that which you can buy from the Perrys.

Warlord Games: This box contains 4 metal command and 28 plastic rank-and-file and costs £18 or 0.56 per figure. The plastics are very nice, the metal command crude and not very nice at all. Kiwers are the 1812 variety, with or without the tall thin plume, but you do get sufficient to do either a musketeer or a grenadier regiment.

Perry: This box contains 40 all-plastic figures – a sprue of 4 command and 6 sprues of rank-and-file. Both the rankers and the command are very nice indeed. The cost of a box is again £18 but that works out at 0.45p per figure. Additionally you get headwear choice – either fat busch plumes for the grenadiers or thin ones (2 of each on a sprue of 6 soldiers), as well as a choice of 1809 shako, 1812 shako or fatigue caps sufficient to put on all the figures. But you don't get enough plumes to make up a Grenadier battalion. I'm sure this is to make you buy the metal ones!

In terms of height and heft, judge for yourself from the pictures. I think they work well together – even within the same unit although I'm keeping mine separate.

In terms of painting, both, being plastics, have some loss of definition down the sides which means a little guesswork. The Warlord faces are slightly easier to paint as the detail is less subtle but the Perry hands are better defined. Another thing to note is that Perry flagpoles are obviously plastic whereas Warlord Games' are separate wire which is supplied with filials.

In summary, I’m doing 32 figure battalions and plan to use both manufacturers but in terms of cost and design quality the Perry figures are superior. But if Warlord Games produced a greater range of command that you could choose from (and replace the command in the boxes at no extra cost) then the Warlord Games boxes would be let down by price and that is fairly marginal. Then of course there is the headgear variety offered by the Perry box – I have used the busch plume in the pictures as it looks so dramatic. The only tiny complaint relating to the Perry box is the absence of a bicorne hat with plume for the officer. It would, I think, have been so easy to have added it to the command sprue. Oh, and I also think that the Perry tall thin plume is just a bit too long and needs trimming by about two millimetres.

Lastly, I plan to paint a division of 12 battalions, all musketeers and jaegers for which I have 4 Warlord Games boxes and 7 Perry boxes. I will be short of one command group (for Jaegers) but will go to Front Rank and buy two extra single figures. But if you wished to have a grenadier division you could buy more Perry boxes and use up all the surplus grenadier heads you have left over from the Warlord Games boxes. There is a technical difficulty with this which you will need to overcome with some judicial snipping – the Perry heads don't have a collar – that is attached to the body. The Warlord Games' heads have collars attached to them. But of course, you could just buy boxes from Warlord Games.
Don't forget though - always keep spare heads etc.

Friday 9 August 2013

French SYW Generals

1) JudeVincent de St.Pern.   Born in 1694, he served in Flanders in the WAS under Saxe and then commanded the Grenadiers Royale and de France in the SYW. Died 1761
2)Lt-General Louis Joseph de Bourbon, prince de Condé. A prince du Sang and son-in-law of Prince Soubise he warrants his own wiki link:,_Prince_of_Cond%C3%A9
He was more famously the founder of the Army of Conde which fought against the French Republic after the Revolution.
3) Lt-General duc de Sourches. I have not been able to find out much about this chap.
4) Lt-General duc de Fitzjames. Due to his Stuart bloodline he gets a full wiki entry de Fitz-James
although he was quite active in the WAS he was getting quite long in the tooth by the SYW.

The last pictures shows some brigade commanders (Marechal de camp) although one of them, Rougrave, wears the yellow/blue of his cavalry regiment.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Oh, those Russians..........

Back on 21st October 2011 I showed you some pictures of the first battalion of my new 25mm Napoleonic Russian army -regiment Arkangel. These chaps have had a name change to IR Revel and a 2nd battalion added. I managed to get them based this week so I thought I photograph them with their rather smart green and pink flags. They have yellow shoulder straps and will be the third regiment of my fictional division.

The figures are mostly plastics from Warlord Games - the rankers are plastics and the command element are metals. I like the plastics which are nice figures, easy to assemble and with great variation. The metals though are horrible. I've ordered some more Russian plastic infantry from the Perrys so we will see which are better.

More (and last of the) SYW French Artillery

Here is the last of the French SYW Artillery - an 8pdr battery (guns by Elite, crews by Elite and Front Rank) and a small 4pdr battery to be attached to the Advance Guard to give it a bit more clout.