Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Unit Added: the 95th Rifles!

I simply couldn't help myself and so added that ole chestnut, the 95th Rifles, to my collection of British Napoleonics. If you're interested in checking them out they can be found in the Napoleonic Gallery.  Please note: not a single blonde mullet or seven-barreled gun can be seen amongst this group... 

I know, the shame of it.  ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quick Reference Sheets for our variant of 'Fast Play Grande Armee'

Its been a busy couple of weeks but I thought I'd quickly freshen up the blog by posting a gaming aid/variant we've been using for 'Fast Play Grande Armee' (FPGA) over the past few years. In the 'Rules Tweaks' section you will find our quick reference sheets (QRS) for FPGA which also incorporates our modifications to the existing rules.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

28mm ECW Covenanters & Highlanders

Here are a few more photos of some of my older ECW figures. First up are a group of dour Scottish Covenanters manfully manning a frame gun (probably a fire-sale Swedish import from the German Wars). As opposed to the typical Covenanters (you know, the ones 'who don't like sex as it may lead to dancing') - I like to think that my Covenanters represent that small partying faction that we don't often hear about. Anyway, here are some blue-bonneted blokes ready to bang away with a frame gun which was probably more a threat to them as it was to the enemy. Old skool 25mm Foundry castings which are pretty small by today's standards (actually, they sorta look like Hobbits, don't they). 

Next are some charging Highlanders from Redoubt Miniatures. I find the animation on this series of castings is great. Again, pretty large models here - probably close to 35mm in size. I have more of these lads in storage but this gives you a impression of how they look massed up in an irregular formation. 

Many in this series are multi-part models, often with separate heads and torsos so they can provide some variation in their poses. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

28mm ECW Sir Allen Apsley's Regiment of Foote

Breaking away from Napoleonics for a bit. We recently moved and so the past few months have been spent slowly unpacking stuff that has been put away in boxes for years. Anyway, here's something dredged up from the lead archive. A regiment of ECW foot composed of Redoubt castings which I painted at least ten years ago. I dusted them off, touched them up a bit and thought I'd post a few shots for those who might find them interesting.

This is Allen Apsley's Regiment of Foote. I believe it was composed of Royalists from Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall. These castings are listed as 28mm but are probably closer to 33-35mm. They're kinda quirky in style but I quite like them. I've always enjoyed the look of a 'hedge' of pikes, intermixed with loads of company banners (these are from Brian at Vaubanner Graphics), along with the flanking sleeves of shot. Years ago I acquired a bunch of Redoubt stuff in an ebay auction and it has remained on the sidelines as one of those distant 'retirement projects'. Seeing this stuff again makes me want to get a few more units done... I'll put up a few more shots of other ECW stuff in the coming days (as I get it better sorted and rearranged in the display case).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

28mm Flags by 'The Flag Dude'

I just got a new shipment of these in the mail. They're 28mm flags from Rick 'The Flag Dude' out of the States. I've mentioned these flags in previous posts but I thought I'd give them their proper due. These things are simply brilliant. They come already mounted on a steel wire, which you can cut down to your preference. Just trim to size, glue into your standard bearers hands, paint the pole (if you wish) and that's it! His website catalog offers banners, flags and sails from the Ancient period to modern day, on silk or paper and all in a variety of scales.

A set of Portuguese Line Infantry flags with streamers.

The flags themselves are highly animated, looking like they are snapping wildly in the breeze. I find this effect to be quite exaggerated, but it seems to work in relation to the miniatures. All the flags come with their appropriate finials (or eagles if Napoleonic French) and also feature nice touches such as hanging braid and streamers if requested.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalion flags of the 37th Ligne.

One of the few criticisms I have of these flags is that the print and line-art can be somewhat 'jaggy'. This is really of no great consequence as the flags are typically seen at an arms length (and fluttering), but it does place a caveat on what would otherwise be a perfect product.

Flags for an Austrian Line regiment
Each 28mm flag sells for $6.00 USD which in my book is a bargain as the flags do such a great job in providing that finishing touch to a unit. I know I could do these myself (and god knows I have) but good flags require a level of fiddliness which I am more than happy to pay to avoid.
A set of three banners for my Marquis of Argyle Regiment of Foote.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

1806 Regulation White-Uniformed French Infantry

As promised, in the Napoleonic Gallery you will find a few shots of a newly-based French unit in an odd-ball uniform.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

6mm Bases for 'Grande Armee' in the Napoleonic Gallery

I'm going to interrupt my 28mm Napoleonic love-in for something a little different, well, in scale at least. For those who may be interested I've put up a few shots in the Napoleonic Gallery of my 6mm Adler collection that I use for playing 'Grande Armee'.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

28mm British in the Napoleonic Gallery

I've added a few shots of a couple British battalions in the Napoleonic Gallery.  Next up will be some French reinforcements with a slight twist to the usual uniform...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Book: 'The Cognitive Challenge of War: Pussia 1806' by Peter Paret

I picked up this book to take along during a recent vacation for the simple fact that, as a slim volume (only 143 pages, before notes), I knew it would not weigh a ton in our baggage. (We take and buy far too many books on our travels as it is, and while I am not a great fan of e-readers they do have their place!) 

My first introduction to Peter Paret's work was during my grad studies when I was reviewing his excellent translation and analysis of Clausewitz's classic 'On War'.  Paret is a specialist on the interconnections of 18th /19th century art, literature and warfare with particular insight to their effects on military theorists of the day, namely Jomini and Clausewitz.  Though sometimes a challenge to read his insight to the social and political environments of the Napoleonic period is very insightful and interesting.

In his book Paret examines how the crushing defeat of Prussia by France in 1806 sent a shock wave  throughout Prussian society, and how these reactive changes were not only experienced within the Prussian military establishment but also through their art, literature, music and poetry. One of the aspects which is  particularly surprising was that there was not a universal revulsion of all things French by Prussians after the Jena/Auerst├Ądt debacle, but instead Paret describes that a significant segment of the Prussian population  welcomed the challenge to their socially-stagnant, hyper-conservative society and almost reveled in the humiliation of the once-arrogant army elites. Paret also discusses the impact that these social changes - often fueled by the pressures of the Revolution and  persistent warfare - had upon the military doctrine of both France and Prussia. He illustrates how these violent changes allowed military intellectuals such as Scharnhorst, Jomini and Clausewitz to flourish as they were tasked to reform their armies to better reflect the times. Finally, Paret describes what is perhaps as the cruelest twist of all: That the phoenix-like successes of the newly reformed Prussian army (from 1813 through to 1870), with its cutting-edge Great General Staff and access to conscripted manpower, re-created a military super-elite, spurring the often quoted remark that, "Prussia is not a country with an army, but an army with a country".  Sadly this 'army with a country' would play a critical if tragic role nearly a century later in August 1914.

It is through books like this that I feel quite humbled in my understanding of the Napoleonic period. I highly recommend this book as it helps to place in perspective the causes and reactions of the battles we so often regard in isolation.

The Cognitive Challenge of War: Prussia 1806
Peter Paret
Princeton University Press,
September 8, 2009
ISBN: 0691135819

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Additions to the Napoleonic Gallery

Well, after a mad scramble to the finish-line, the Painting Challenge issued by Dallas of The Fawcett Ave Conscripts has finally concluded. There are more detailed photos and descriptions of my final entries in the 'Napoleonic Gallery' section.

This friendly competition was a great impetus for all of us to get a load of stuff completed. For myself, I think I ended up assembling/painting/basing around 160 Napoleonic models in a little over two months which, for me, is remarkable as typically I'm  a pretty slow painter. For a better sense of it here is a shot of the stuff I got done since around mid-October.