Friday, 14 July 2017

Voltigeurs with a yellow streak

The Voltigeurs have all be re-issued with nice bright yellow collars and we’re going to say no more about this whole sorry episode. Except that it took one coat of Foundry orange 3B and two coats of yellow 2B to put things right, fortunately I didn’t end up with too many wobbly lines and just one or two figures will need some touching up (you can blame Tony for the title of this post).

Once the officer is finished off this lot will be ready for varnishing and basing. The 6 new figures will be based along with the 18 older ones to my revised light infantry basing scheme which allows them to be deployed either as skirmishers or as a close order battalion.

On a separate note I have turned the lightbox feature in Blogger back on to make it easier to view the photos on this blog. I previously turned it off so it was possible to zoom in to read documents such as painting instructions but as I’ve only posted a few of these it makes sense to revert. It might be worth looking back at some of my old posts such as Vintage Waterloo to fully enjoy this photo function.

UPDATE - I've had to turn the lightbox off again as a lot of my older images at the start of the blog were not displaying properly. I'm afraid I'll have to keep it turned off until I can figure out what's going on, sorry!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Une coq up

I can’t believe that I just about finished painting the Voltigeurs when I realised that I’d done the collars in red instead of yellow. Not just these ones but the 18 previously painted by Matt G (to my instructions – not his fault) will all need over-painting in yellow, grrrrr!

I’ve tried one here and it was a right old fiddle because it takes at least three coats of my yellow to cover up the red. Perhaps some line Voltigeurs did in fact have red collars? Come on, help me out here!

I guess I could just leave them as a ‘retro uniform error’ a bit like Baraguay d’Hilliers in his blue uniform rather than dragoon green (click here) or like Picton in his circus outfit rather than raincoat (click here).

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Smash and Raab

Yesterday Foy’s Roadshow trundled across the forth bridge once more this time bringing his van load of goodies to Chateau Goya so we could play the delayed Battle of Raab game. This was another Commands & Colors affair but this time featuring Goya’s Austrians (supported by a smattering of my own) against Tony’s French.

This is the view at the start of the battle from the French left. Eugene has an impressive army stretching way into the distance and totalling some 36 units.
The view from the Austrian left. Archduke John has only 26 units but his position is a strong defensive one.
I think these lovely French Chasseurs are Higgins. Eugene deployed a strong force of cavalry on his right, they look unstoppable don't they?
And here is the man himself getting ready for the off.
The French centre is packed with infantry and artillery - more Higgins figures from Tony's collection.
On the French left flank are the Italians in natty white uniforms.
The Austrian right flank. The troops in the front line are Minifigs S-range figures from Goya's collection. Behind them are my own Hussars and Jagers.
This is Archduke John riding a splendid white charger.
My 51st Gabriel Spleny and Musketeer No4 Hoch-Und Deutschmeister regiments were given the task of defending a farm in the centre of our line.
Goya's splendid S-Range Austrian cavalry square up to the French cavalry on the left of the Archduke's line - the painting on these figures is superb.
The Austrian reserve - three units of S-range Grenadiers.
The action opened with an advance by Grouchy's massed French cavalry against the Austrian left flank.
Another of my killer beginners luck die rolls - anyone who has played C&C will know what a die roll like this means in a cavalry melee (if you've never played C&C think 6's!)
After several turns of toing and froing and the whir of tiny sabres the Austrian cavalry were victorious with 3 French units shattered and removed from play. Three nil to the Archduke.
Eugene now turned his attention to the opposite flank ordering his Italians forward towards the village.
In the centre the French artillery was beginning to take a toll on the defenders of the farm. The Spleny's, being veterans of many a tough fight, sensibly decided to withdraw - 2 more red tokens and they would have broken.
All along the centre and left the French press forward.
Austrian cuirassiers charge forward against the leading Italian unit forcing it into square. This move created a stalemate in front of the village preventing any further advance by the French.
The French were much more successful on the extreme right flank of the Austrian line which they turned in a decisive manner. My Austrian hussars are about to be given the heave-ho by infantry!
This is another view (from the Austrian side) of the action in front of the village. By now, despite all efforts by Eugene, the tide of battle was swinging very firmly in favour of the Austrians who were racking up a healthy VP score.
Eugene made one last desperate bid for victory by launching a heavy attack on the farm (worth 3 VP's if he could get it). However, by using our secret weapon (my beginners luck) the Archduke succeeded in blowing away two more French units taking our VP score to 11 - just 1 more was needed to send the French army packing.
Frustratingly though (for the Austrians) the French now had a change in fortunes and began whittling away at our VP lead.
The cavalry fight on the left flank started up again and sadly these lovely Uhlans had to retire from the field.
However, despite this late rally by the French, a counter attack from the farm finally pushed the Austrian VP score up to 12. Goya and I were happy Hapsburgs and Eugene was left to pack his van and retreat down the M90.

My thanks to Goya for hosting a superb game and to Tony for supplying the battlefield and French army. We even managed to have lunch in the garden again; we really should play more games as they’re guaranteed to bring out the sun in Scotland.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Voltigeur progress

I’ve finally put the buildings away (for now) and decided to get on with painting some figures. Currently in progress are the company of French Voltigeurs that have been lurking at the back of my painting desk for the last few weeks.

These are not actually Voltigeurs but are FN3 Grenadier (firing) painted to look like Voltigeurs. This is the classic ‘I’m shooting with a tree trunk whilst aiming too high’ pose and the figures are nicely cast vintage ones.

I’d forgotten how time consuming painting French uniforms can be and there has been lots of toing and froing with the white and black paint this evening trying to get all the straps done. Hopefully one more session will see them finished.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

New old recruits

I recently trawled through my Hinton Hunt lead pile and checked and catalogued every figure as my old spreadsheet was way out of date. This threw up some interesting statistics (interesting in a nerdy kind of way) namely: of my infantry only 29% are vintage castings (figures produced in the UK by Marcus Hinton) the rest being mostly DK's, Clayton (the figures produced in the US by David Clayton) and some reproductions (unofficial figures from various sources), of my cavalry 48% are vintage castings.

8 x FN/75 Young Guard Voltigeur (charging), 4 x FN/77 Young Guard Voltigeur (running at the trail)

Of course these are figures yet to see a paintbrush (there are 1,284) whereas the percentage of vintage figures amongst my painted units is much higher. In total though I only have 372 vintage castings left to paint and it occurred to me that given the title of this blog these are the ones I should be concentrating on getting battle ready.

6 x FN/60 Empresses Dragoons (mounted charging)

So I was very pleased to receive a small package of bonafide vintage figures last week as this is a rare event these days. In the package were 12 x Young Guard Voltigeurs, 6 x one-piece Empress Dragoons and 24 French line fusiliers.

22 x FN/5 Fusilier (charging), 1 x FN/1 Officer (charging), 1 x FN/4 Colour Bearer (charging)

I’ve had some very nice Clayton Young Guard figures for years now so it’s great to finally have a full unit, I’m so excited that I’ve even commissioned a special little something for them (more on that later). The Empress Dragoons will be combined with my Horse Grenadier squadron to give me a full 12 figure guard heavy unit (the Polish lancers will be joined by the Eclaireurs to form a light one). The fusiliers will join the solid ranks of the workaday French line regiments.

Now some focus is required to get painting.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

La Ferme

As you can see I’m on a bit of a roll now as far as buildings are concerned. After my visit to Hougoumont earlier this year I decided to buy another Airfix La Haye Sainte model on eBay with the idea of making some sort of Saint-a-Mont type of building. What you see here isn’t quite what I had in mind but it is a farm of sorts on a much smaller footprint (10” x 7.5”) than the original model.

Converting it turned out to be much harder than I thought and some prior planning might have been useful. It’s not likely to win any prizes for agricultural design as farmer Jacques will struggle to get his horse and cart out of the barn due to restricted turning space.

Following the controversy over basing infantry and using them in buildings in my last post, I have gone for a dual purpose finish with this farm. The figures can either fit inside the farmyard or be placed around the perimeter depending on your basing preference. Roy, Matt B – you can relax (not that Roy was ever going to rebase 2,000 figures).

I am now eyeing up my old La Haye Sainte model to see what further havoc I can wreak.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Buildings in Muskets & Marshals

In the Leipzig game last year Roy had the idea to represent built-up-areas using an A4 sized piece of MDF. This worked quite well except that it threw up some problems of ground scale. Under my rules only one unit of infantry can occupy a BUA at any one time and the A4 size distorted the number of attackers versus defenders as it potentially enabled up to 6 units to attack the lone defending unit simultaneously.

This was on my mind when I bought the recent clutch of Airfix buildings and I have decided to go back to my old idea of using individual buildings as separate BUA’s that can be joined together to form villages and towns. Each building will have its own separate MDF base that will project from the side of the structure by 25mm enabling the placing of a single rank of figures around the perimeter. During the movement phase the defender will be allowed to move any of his troops around the perimeter to meet a threat with no penalty to firing. Normal firing rules will apply with troops able to fire at any target in range (the old rule that up to 12 figures may fire from any side of a BUA will be scrapped).

I used a similar system years ago and it seemed to work quite well as I remember. I do need to have a rethink about Hougoumont type strongpoints as again these occupy a large area. The solution may be to divide them into two zones and allow a unit to occupy each. I will be rebasing my old La Haye Sainte model shortly and will put more thought to this then.

Note: those using figures mounted in 2 ranks can retain the old rule. I think I feel rule version 5.6 coming on…