Sunday, October 9, 2011

You fight a war with the army you have…

A quote from Don Rumsfeld? Well, actually, Ross Mac got me started by this post at Battle Game of the Month:

“Like many another Autocrat who has come to power with absolute right over the life and death of his subjects and control of the army, I find my power over my armies of Toy Soldiers less absolute than one would expect. Once the bands have played, the soldiers have paraded by and cheered and the senior officers have pledged their allegiance, I find myself not starting from scratch to build an ideal army according to my reveries but dealing with an existing infrastructure, a limited treasury, shortages of barracks and men and the enemy pressing at the gates.”

My 28mm Napoleonic collection started out from a desire from my friend Ray and I to put on a “cool” Napoleonic participation game at our local convention, Millennium. We started with 120 or so figures per side, playing Le Petit Empereur. Then we used those armies to expand to 30:1 ratio, using Wellington Rules. Then, megalomania set in.

My French-Allied army was based loosely on Marshal Suchet’s Army of Aragon in the Peninsula. For Wellington Rules, figures are singly based in order to use the game’s main mechanism, called “straggling.” I won’t go into that now, but suffice to say I have a French corps at 30:1 based singly. Oh, and a British division, too.

Now, my “French” army only had a single French infantry division. So I recently contact Neil at Reinforcements By Post and contracted for another French infantry division, 12 battalions of 24 figures each of Old Glory 2nd Edition. But without a game, I never based them.

This year I am helping to put on a game at Millennium. So it was time to base these troops. Oh, did I mention I also picked up a brigade of Perry Nassauers from the talented Roger Murrow? They needed based, too. That’s another five battalions of 30 figures each, plus some Neapolitans!

So this weekend, armed with a nice drinkable Italian red, I have done the deed:

Brigade for basingBasing materials

Sadly, and back to the topic indicated by the title, we have decided to move on to 20:1 units. Arrgh. I guess these will just be small French battalions!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Raising an army takes time

It has been since June 25th??! Really? Yikes!

During this time I have managed to play several games of The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game at the new GW store. Thanks to all involved, especially Charlie and Art. I won a game, too!

LOTR motivated me to finish a few figures to have a completely painted, 500 point army. I got four (4) whole figures done! What, you want proof?

Four heroes

I have also been plodding on the Prussians. I have to admit:  those of you out there that crank out dozens and scores of figures? I have no idea how you do it.

I don’t like painting, even though I love fielding a force that I have painted myself. I can even get into “the groove” on occasion and get some serious painting done. But not right now.

I tried to do production-line painting, but that was just depressing. So I am now working on the Prussians in 8 figure blocks. I have 16 complete and have just finished putting black on the next group, which includes the command figures. I had to stop because I was getting tired and sloppy. Still, I am progressing, if slowly.

Prussians in the cue

I also took an evening to assemble and prime a box of plastic Warlord Landwehr. You can see them here with the completed Perry figures.

Complete and Landwehr

I primed them with ArmyPainter Navy Blue, as in the article on the Warlord site. I think they are not dark enough blue, but will see when they are done.

Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully more interesting stuff in the (near) future!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

One down. How many to go?


So here is the first Prussian after his bath in white primer. I had hoped to use ArmyPainter blue spray, but it was not dark enough. I note, however, that they just came out with a darker shade that I might try for the Landwehr.


And here he is with basic colors blocked in. I can’t believe that it has been FOUR YEARS since I painted a figure! Let’s just say my brush skills are somewhat atrophied. Anyway, I decided on the unit will be the 10th Line (1st Silesian), so yellow collar and cuffs with white shoulder tabs.


And here it is with a brushed on coat of ArmyPainter Quickshade Strong. I am very pleased with how it looks at this stage, although these multi-megapixel cameras sure point out the spots you miss! It will need to be completely dry before I do a few highlights and the coat of Anti-Shine.

All in all, I’m quite pleased. I’ve never been a fast painter, nor a high quality one. But I will be proud to have a new unit from my own workbench for my games.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Part the second, or “He’s kept his focus for 24 hours…”

First, let me just say that the current score is:

  • Perry Brothers:  46
  • Ed:  0

It took four (4) hours to assemble the first box:


Even then, I still need to get the belly pouches onto the J├Ąger. You can see the pouches in the lower left of the pic.

My compliments to those of you who like to model with plastic. This was tedious work, made bearable only by the CWF interview with Henry Hyde that was my listening companion.

Anyway, I’m beat and my eyes hurt even though I was using my brand new, nifty Ott High Definition Craft Light with magnifier. So, now I’m sipping a nice Sangiovese wine that reminds me of our trip to Tuscany.

And then I remembered the REST of the lead pile. I completely forgot about the three boxes of Warlord Games Landwehr. I think I need to decide on which units soon!


Now I just need for all the new Perry and Warlord goodies to arrive at the US distributor, Architects of War, to REALLY put me behind the curve!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A new direction—to Waterloo!

Here it is, the 196th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. I have been fiddling around with various projects the last few weeks, but I have finally made a decision:

I am going to build a 28mm Waterloo Project, and I’m going to do all the Prussians myself.

There. THAT is a line in the sand table.

So, over the next few weeks I’m going to do some plotting and scheming here on the blog, while I also get started in the painting department.

“The WHAT department??” I hear you ask.

Yep. I have one other project that I have done all my own painting, and that is my Lord of the Rings project with the Games Workshop figures. The Prussians will be my second.

I already have a respectable amount of 28mm Napoleonics, including 24 battalions of French infantry, each of 24 figures. I have a small force of British, too.  Plus my good friend and gaming partner-in-crime Ray has more Brits, plus most of the Brunswick contingent.

The plan is simple, if daunting. I will buy and paint all of the new Perry Miniatures releases. I have three boxes of the plastic line infantry now, which will become the first regiment. Which regiment? Good question. I’m not sure yet.

The very first historical miniatures I ever purchased and painted were 15mm Minifig Prussians. I painted them as the Leib Regiment. For some reason, I have always been fascinated by that particular unit. Problem is, it wasn’t at Waterloo! Leib was in III Corps at Wavre.

So what units to paint for Waterloo? I have several books on the battle to help me decide, including Adkins Waterloo Companion, Bowden’s Armies at Waterloo, Haythornethwaite’s The Waterloo Armies, Hofschroer’s two volume The Waterloo Campaign, Linck’s Napoleon’s Generals, and Nofi’s The Waterloo Campaign, as well as Robinson’s The Battle of Quatre Bras and Uffindell’s The Eagles Last Triumph. Oh, and plenty of Ospreys.

My next problem is to decide how I’m going to paint all of these. I am interested in using the Army Painter method, as I’m not a very good or fast painter. However, based on some pictures I’ve seen, their dark blue is not dark enough for Prussian blue. Something I will need to consider.

Finally for now, I want to blame—I mean thank several people whose sites have motivated for this project. In no particular order:

The League of Augsburg, both for their interesting rules Republic to Empire and their forum with LOTS of great eye candy.

Martin Kelly’s Befreiungskriege blog, good for all things Napoleonic Prussian.

Martin is very partial to Calpe Miniatures’ exquisite Prussian figures. I like them too. They will probably be added to my force as well, especially if I can get ahead of the Perrys’ release curve and need cavalry.

Von Peter Himself, and his lovely and entertaining blog.

And the always amusing banter at the WD3 forum.

And of course Ray, whose fault it always is, no matter what is wrong.

OK. Let’s get this thing started. Here’s the “lead pile” so far: