Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

French Review and Give Away

Whilst taking photo's of my latest French I thought I should do a review of the whole lot. I started painting these about two and a half to three years ago. Consider that I have also been painting up a rather large Prussian army at the same time as well as 15 and 28mm figures as well. Ian has been a very busy boy indeed.

I have gone extra large to try and get the impact across. Hope it works LOL. Each base is 60x60mm for the infantry and holds 28 figures so that's 2492 infantry 120 gun crews to 40 guns, 12 limbers, over 300 cavalry, around 60 command figures. That's a fair few and in unpainted lead around £150 just for the infantry. I don't think I want to go further with that chain of thought.

Unfortunately I changed basing style around a year into the project. One day I may get round to rebasing but that is going to be one horrid job so it is going to be one for a later date. Here we have the Neapolitan and Italian infantry for Spain on the left with lots of cavalry in the centre. Many of these again have no place at Waterloo being Hussars and Chasseurs. These will see action soon enough but it won't be Waterloo. My gun park got a real shot in the arm when I received my first Secret Santa gift and I have reaped the benefit. I still have more artillery I have bought since then but it was great fun to paint up tat gift and now they sit in the centre of the field.

The guts of the army, 75 Battalions of infantry look like this! Well actually they look almost double this number as they take up a lot of space!

Another shot of the Allied troops very colourful whilst the Italian troops were as good as the French the Neapolitan battalions were left wanting but at least they made good lucking corpses. The French command are to the left, 13 bases all together and I have another 4 bases worth part painted and lots more as virgin lead. So it's quite possible I will never need to buy a command pack ever again.

The vast majority of the cavalry is Baccus but a sprinkling of Adler is included. I have many more figures that will be added to the French and there allies in the coming years and again the vast majority is Baccus though a lot of the Hussars will be of the old castings. I have about 20 odd battalions worth of infantry and the same again of cavalry regiments so apart from the Guard I don't see the need to buy anything but the new releases when they come available for some time to come. I also have a Polish Brigade pack to paint up in the future not to mention the 30+ Prussian battalions at least 8 guns and 15+ regiments of cavalry and command about half of these are needed for the Waterloo game. Seems that I have plenty to keep me going, but will that stop me?

So here it is at last the give away. Feel free to join in, up for grabs is two lots of £20 gift vouchers for any Baccus figures that you want, one of which has been donated by Peter at Baccus and a group of Napoleonic buildings from Leven. All to celebrate the finishing of the French.

All you need to do is leave a comment below and I will pull out the winners from my Adrian Helmet in a weeks time. All I ask is that you join in only if you will want to paint up your prize at some point in the not toooooooo distant future. Oh it would be nice but not required to post about the give away and no need to be a follower, just leave a comment

Monday, 29 September 2014

Project Waterloo Strike One! Blog Giveaway To Celebrate

With a great feeling of achievement and I have to admit also of loss, I would love to announce that the French are finished! Yes Finished, well my half at any rate. Lee of course has also more or less finished his as I believe he collects the last of them on Saturday with just the basing and flagging to do. Given that he already has the allied troops including the British almost fully flagged he is ahead of me as I still have some of the Prussians to finish.

So I have finished off the French and will be moving on next month. I actually have four Horse Artillery bases to finish but these are actually in excess of what is required. I now have 75 battalions of French Infantry. I can add these to the 14 allied battalions that have been painted with Spain in mind. I also have a mass of French Cavalry, more than double the number required for Waterloo as I have 11 regiments of Hussars needing just the one. Again these were raised for use in Spain and I have to admit I am looking forward to getting back to the Spanish Ulcer at some point next year.

Two battalions of line infantry, these are sporting the 1812-15 flags though one battalion is 1806-12 figures, oops must sort that out later. I have added an old test casting of a Leven wall to these.

The figures are some of the new Baccus castings which have continued to grow on me. Well I have now painted up 24 battalions of the 1806-12 and 12 1812-15 so I think I can say with some authority that these are the best 6mm French Infantry I have painted yet based on quality to speed ratio that works for me. Your mileage may vary but I still have A LOT more ahead of me, but at a slower pace.

With these lot done, we are looking to be able to get the game started early next year if we wish, this it turn makes it probable that we will take the battle to Joy of Six as a static display. Peter is keen for us to do this and his faith in us and excitement has been rather infectious so it would be a shame not to be there. The table looks now to be 6-8 feet deep by 16-18 feet long. About 1/4 has been made up already by Lee he is waiting for some of the major buildings to be finished by Leven before committing 100% to the table.

Another two Battalions again one each of the newer releases by Baccus. NOT to be confused with the new Old Guard that will be ready (hopefully) for Castle Donnington (I want some please). So I guess I will be painting up a few more French figures after all ;-)

So that's the last four Battalions of Line I needed to paint up. I had been very confident I only had a few Light to paint up so it was a bit of a shock when I found out I needed another seven lights, so I dug deep into the 1812-15 booster and dashed these off at the same time.

Last shot of the Line before I move onto the Lights, just the usual basing style but I have discovered a new stand in for Sandtext that seems to de the job just as well but the cost is lower and better still can be bought in smaller pots, more on that in it's own post.

The lights are actually easier to paint than the line, though strictly speaking I really should mix up the trousers to include some white but I think that's more than is needed in 6mm. Next time I am bound to disagree and will add the extra detail.

Another Leven wall but this one is for release soon. I just had to add a little track to the base as well, well I do like the bases to be fun. The 1812-15 figures are actually faster to paint than the 1806-12 and not just because of the Shako Cords, I do think they are slightly better figures. It's odd then that I actually prefer the 1806-12 figures, possibly as these are the ones I have done the most work on.

The flags seem to be larger than the earlier period, that and the flag pole is attached further up the head than the earlier figures. I found cutting the flag at the bottom allowed the flag to frap around and worked well.

As you can see the wall is very nice and matches 6mm figures well. I think the pack will contain four wall sections and four pillars. I am loading so many images onto the post so Mike can pick which he wants to use (if any).

What I like the most is that the wall also has brick pattern around the edges allowing the wall t finish without butting onto some other piece of terrain.

This picture shows the quality of the castings, both the wall and the skirmishers. I really do like the finished base and thanks Mike for giving me the props.

Rear facing showing the bricks of the wall and the detail on the backs if the infantry. It's the view I want to see the most when I am playing with or against them LOL.

OK onto more of the lights most of the ones I have painted to this point have been in line so I thought I had better make up more in column formation to balance the forces some.

The figures are really crisp in detail and in some cases have moustaches though I did not go as far as to paint these details in.

All eleven new Battalions ready for action. I can not express the joy of getting all these finished but strangely at the same time a bit of a regret that this part of the project has come to an end. I still have lots more in hand to paint up at a later time but for now the focus has to change to other aspects such is the size of the project.


To celebrate the accomplishment I will be holding a giveaway starting tomorrow open to all even none followers, I just need to change the settings to again allow anyone to leave comments. Full details are not in place but so far I have thus

1. First Prize £20 gift token for Baccus, this is because almost all the figures are Baccus and I wanted to acknowledge the fact and thanks to Peter for his interest in the project.

2. Second Prize £20 gift token from Baccus for more Baccus toys. Peter offered this prize in answer to my request for him to agree to me giving him some money (not that he has ever said no to that!!) so a big thank you to Peter.

3. One of the Leven Miniatures Napoleonic building complexes yet to be decided. I have not discussed with Mike but I will buy something from him for a lucky winner.

In the case of 1 and 2 the winners will contact Peter and can spend as much as they wish with a total of £20 being deducted from their order. If the total comes to £20 or less including post you pay nothing but no cash or credit will be held for future use. 

In the case of 3. I will pay cost of the building and postage though you are welcome to add to the order and postage cost in excess of my contribution will be at your cost.

As I said all are welcome to join in but can I please ask you only to put your name in if you are interested in the scale as I want a few peeps to benefit from the give away rather than for general interest. If you want Leven buildings but not the Napoleonic one's let me know and I will give a cash value instead. The winner of the Baccus prizes can use it for any period.

Don't put your name forward yet that's all for tomorrow, the games will begin soon.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

On The Home Front.

It's almost been a week since I last posted on the blog. Well three birthdays and a few days away with work will do that to you! Well almost back to normal as tomorrow we will be at Rufford Park in Nottinghamshire for the On The Home Front event. We did not go last year but had a great time the year before. The event itself is free with a £5 charge to park your car.

The event runs the full weekend and really does have something for everyone. Music, both live and recorded with live singers, dancers and all dressed up in their 40's best (or worst). A great mix of period vehicles and plenty of re-enactors of any type other than the Axis. I had a great chat with the Russian one's (all English). It is frustrating that the COUNCIL ban such as the German's as it is not politically correct whilst allowing Russian's who's conduct was little better than the German's but that's typical of our council I am afraid. Worse still they allow someone to sell t-shirts with Hitler on them but somehow that's OK?????

Two highlights for me was seeing the 25ld'er quad and ammo tow both moving around the field and firing. The other was the Merlin tank engine being fired up and roaring away. My son was being given a pistol bullet. This year he plans to show the guy a real bullet. Yes he has a 50cal and is not afraid to show it.

So as long as the weather holds out we should have a great day, might even taste a little bit of the war years, well that or a burger ;-)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Warbases Stage Coach

I left my glasses at work the other day but was really in the mood to get on with something so I thought I may as well start painting my Warbases Stagecoach. This is a nice kit costing a reasonable £7 and goes together easily, though it would have been that little bit easier if I had the instructions but I did not ask for a set when I bought them at Partizan (no not the one from the other weekend).

Being for the kids collection I wanted it to be a bit bright. The base colour was Vallejo Flat Red but with the wood soaking it up it was a tad dark so I added a thick wash of Scarlet which made the red pop.

The front wheels do swivel which was a surprise as I am not known for my finesse. This is all down to the clever little mechanism you can see under the drivers seat.

I painted up the red quite quickly so without the aid of my glasses tackled the blue, not sure what I was thinking but the etching that Warbases put into the detail made it straightforward with only a small amount of touching up with the Scarlet.

The wheels I painted in Oily Steel and then added Games Workshop Nulin Oil wash to dull it down further. I did the same on the blue boards as they were eye watering bright. If I had taken more time, painted the interior before assembling and used filler where required I could have made this look even better but as it is I am satisfied with the result.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Chatter Behind the Bike Sheds - Winning a Game

Wargaming tends to have one goal that of winning. Now I don't mean at the cost of enjoying the game, the cost of historic accuracy or many of the other important personal goals we may set in a game. I am talking here simply of the objective of the game. Recent years scenarios have become more common where the objective has at least become something more than break your opponents army though this remains the core of nearly every battle you will play.

However since it's very conception Squad Leader and Advanced Squad Leader have often had objectives (Victory Conditions) that in many games can leave your opponent with a fully functioning force but have still lost the scenario.

Above is the objective in a recently released ASL pack and is reasonably representative of other ASL battles. It includes the need for at least one truck surviving the battle (it needs to get from one side of the battlefield to the other). On top of this the Germans also need to cause more casualties than the British the rules themselves supply the points value of each unit used in the game with the British having a lot more points worth of troops than the Germans.

The scenario is set in 1940 and depicts an encounter battle between the 3rd RTR and elements of the 6th Panzer Division. The Brits are represented by 9 tanks whilst the Germans have 5 superior tanks a pair of antitank guns a few squads of infantry with a LMG and Antitank Rifle. Only three of the British tanks have a main gun bigger than a MG!  

In the actual battle the British took a real beating losing almost all the tanks that were involved in the battle. However they did enough damage to the German spearhead that the command decided to try and find another route to Calais less defended and it gave another 24 hours for the British to use this port. Unknown to the German's nothing else was in position to halt them behind the burning wrecks of the 3rd RTR.

My point here is that given the usual game we tend to play the Germans would have won the game when the British force was either destroyed or forced to retreat due to hitting it's breakpoint. It still would be a good game but it would be a different game played in a different way. All you would be doing nine times out of ten would be just destroying each other. It's more often than not is a straight fight with more thought to attacking your opponent than force preservation. If the above objective was in play the German's would have to keep at least one of the three trucks in play and protect it whilst trying to get it off table whilst the British could either go after the automatic win of taking out all three trucks or let the trucks survive and destroy other German forces to offset the extra VP's the Germans would get from the exit of the trucks. Suddenly both sides have more options.

I know more rules now have supplements with scenarios that cater for more interesting battles than either take position x or break the opposing army but I know from my experience that most of my games remain the old vanilla, how about you guys?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

It's Not All 6mm and They are 50% Off at the Moment

Primed and Ready, including one GBM.
Given all the posts on the Waterloo Project and the Building of the Week you could be forgiven for thinking this is a 6mm Blog. In fact it's nearly been a year since I past painted anything 15mm something that may not get any correction for a fair time yet. However 28mm is getting some love and here is more reinforcements. 

I have enjoyed painting the WWII figures by Black Tree Design but that's all I have painted of theirs to date. I have to confess that the images on their website (grey primed figures) does not bring the figures fully to life and it was down to their half price sale that I grabbed 48 figures half for me and the other half for my son. I have to say the quality of both casting and sculpting is very good. Indeed I am wishing I had the extra funds to buy more at the moment as they have another 50% off sale on all infantry. You just need to join their Premier Membership (Free) and Bob's your Aunt.

Yet to start
So whilst I am busy finishing off my French I will also be doing a few 28's, some Western and more Vikings, all these will be without armour so a lot more colourful than my earlier attempts so something for me to look forward to.

With only a couple of weeks to go until The Worlds I am keen to get some of these done as I will be on the look out for a few extra figures for my Warlords base. All I have got so far from Black Tree will be either Warriors or Levy depending on what I have to offer but I have 12 missile armed, 4 axe and 8 spear, just so I can mix them up some.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Building of the Week - Hougoumont Leven Miniatures

Well as a quick glance at any of the images will tell you this is going to be big, VERY big. The board you see the buildings on is A4 (American Legal size paper), that should tell you most of what you need to know.

One of the most iconic locations ever thought over. Rorkes Drift possibly being one of the few that could stand taller than Hougoumont. This is just one of the Waterloo campaign buildings that Leven Miniatures are working on right now. This is one of the first out of the mould and has been sent to me to paint up for there show display. I received a second set that I will paint up at the same time for my own battle so it's going to be really special.

The set will come with ten building sections, all the walls and gates etc and the well that is not shown in the photo as this was loose. This view is showing the walled kitchen garden bottom left and the main gates top right.

Mike has made some of the tile detail a lot deeper and smaller, this has involved making each tile separately on a number of the buildings. I also have Mont St. Jean where he did that process on all the buildings and the effect is amazing. More on that on a separate post but yes I will be painting that up as well, but just for me.

View from the road, in the middle you can see the open gate, I just love this model and can't wait to get started. I have already removed the pieces from the board and cleaned them up, just waiting to prime them and then it's on with painting them.

The detail is amazing even by Leven standards. You really can get lost in this model and it's a good job as it will be getting a lot of attention come the game next year. Typically Mike has given me free rein to do as I see fit, I have started to look at lots of images and I really want to do it justice (twice). I plan to have the road with a surface rather than the painted ones I do for the town and that kitchen garden needs extra effort. I have plenty of time to get it painted up but I don't think I will be taking months on this.

Before I can start on it though I need to clear the table as this will take up all my space. This means getting the French done and dusted but also the two regiments of Zulu's I just need to do the shields of. That will do the trick.

Here is a shot with a Baccus gun for scale. The base is 30x30mm and I look forward to placing it there and canistering the fleeing British!!!  :-) 

Due to the size of the project it will take up a number of Building of the Week posts as I post progress reports, OK I may add the odd other building just to keep up but expect this to dominate that part of the blog for awhile.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Last Call For The Santa Clause

Chris over at Wargamer's Odds and Ends will be assigning targets very soon for The Santa Clause, this is the one where you supply about £5 worth of figure/s painted up by yourself that proved a lot of fun when Cath ran it for the first time on my blog last year. When Cath said she could not run both this and Secret Santa Chris was quick to offer to take over and has attracted quite a posse so it's looking to grow each year like Secret Santa.

So you have about 24 hours to sign up over at his blog, link above. Last year saw me painting up some si-fi robot's who knows what I will be doing this year. The great thing is that it can give you the opportunity to paint up something you would not get to do. I trolled my targets blog until I found something I thought he would like then matched up the painting style to his and off it went.

Idea wise? well £5 or equivalent helps cull the possibilities to manageable size so at 28 mm it could be a command stand, 15mm a few guns or a cavalry unit and 6mm a whole army LOL. OK a regiment or couple of buildings or..............

Actually you have a very wide range of items to choose and a quick look on your targets blog can help you fit that sweet spot that will have them thrilled. The best bit? someone's doing the same for you :-)

Friday, 12 September 2014

6mm Town Progress Report

Part two of Building of the Week is the progress of the ever growing town. The idea is that I can sub in or out buildings to suit time period and location through most of Europe and still have a functioning believable terrain piece. That can be a small town to a sprawling city of just about any shape I could need. As such this project will never truly be finished, music I am sure to Mike's ears.

I actually have a few more tiles that did not make the photo and even more buildings that have yet to be added to bases so without painting any more buildings I could extend the size by a reasonable amount. The above measures 300mm by 300mm with a bit missing on the top side but if I had all the finished models in place I could fill the gaps.

All but one of the buildings on display are Leven Miniatures with the one on the bottom right being Total Battle Miniatures. Unfortunately most TBM buildings do not sit well with the Leven as they are of the larger 6mm scaling but fortunately you can still put them on the same table as separate towns or villagers so it's not all bad news. I think this one though fits in reasonably well.

The industrial quarter looks to have the chance to grow given the fire in the centre of town, well you have to take advantage of life's little problems don't you.

I just know when we get playing with these we will be getting down at figure eye level to see what they see, lets face it we are big kids at heart.

It actually is smaller than I would have thought, soaking up a fair few buildings in the process but that's not really a problem as I see it as a long term project, more of a hobby in a hobby I guess. As things stand I do not see me taking it into the modern day as I have no wargaming plans for 6mm post Napoleonic.

Here we have a slightly changed around set up, the Chicken Coup'e roof is not quite flat making the tiles stand a bit proud. We will be adding these to the Waterloo boards but mostly as a ribbon development I think. Later when we do Ligny I am thinking they will be spread out as a number of towns but by then I will have even more buildings and I am sure a good number of battles fighting over these tiles.

So counting up, I have used 21 buildings on the pictures above and at under £3 per building on average have got all this for about £60 It's amazing how quickly it adds up but consider the cost of a few 15mm buildings and you can see what a bargain 6mm wargaming can be. TBM's excellent walled town is just £65 and remains on my to do list but it's so far in the distance at the moment. Actually at some point I may see if I can just buy the base and a few chosen buildings as I already have painted up most of the ones that come as the set.

I still have to paint up and model more realistic business tiles and I want to make myself a few walled and fenced tiles but first need to do some research in how to represent them for the time periods I want to cover.

The largest tile by far is the slums, this needs a few extra's to allow it to be different shapes so I will have to buy some more of the various buildings I like to use to get the effect I aim for. I will also do a few roads that are not as wide but wider than the alley ways.

Anyway that's stretched out the Building of the Week over a couple of posts. The next few posts will probably be work in progress shots if Mike allows me as I have a fairly drawn out project to do not once but twice! More on that hopefully next week.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Adler 5th & 6th Cuirassiers - The Last French Waterloo Cavalry

Lets pause and consider that after over two years I have now finished the last French Cavalry for our Waterloo project. (After a few seconds feet shuffling)..... and were back. Notice I did not say "Last French Cavalry..." yes friends more will be seen on this blog, just waiting for Peter at Baccus to release some more new figures and they will be on the bench.

But enough of that as it's Adler's turn at bat and I think I can see a century coming up. These are the 5th and 6th Cuirassiers which rounds off the cavalry as mentioned but what a way to finish eh? I still have a lot of infantry and a few guns on the table but that's OK

The 5th Cuirassiers were part of the Fourth Corps 14th Cavalry Division 1st Brigade. Colonel Gobert was mortally wounded at Waterloo, in a way rather fitting as they dashed themselves against the British Squares in ever more desperate attempts to break them.

I loaded the bases as these are the heavies so one more figure than the Lancers. I wanted them to have a look of mass which is hard on a 60x30 base.

Again these have the two different basic figures and added to this is the officer, trumpeter and ensign. That's five different figures over ten figures not a bad mix.

Again great looking command figure makes the whole a joy to paint and hopefully I have done enough justice to it. The quality of the sculpts is amazing, well worth the extra time that needs to be spent on them if you want the best out of them.

The 6th Regiment was part of the same Division but in the 2nd Brigade. Colonel Martin was a lot luckier than his counterpart in the 5th. Though I am sure his men were not so much.

I really like the Cuirassiers, the bold colours and the shear mean look they have. I know from experience that in our rules these guys can really make a mess of those they hit. Of course they have to keep it rolling to get where I will need them to be if I expect to win at Waterloo. Maybe I will have to work them differently in our game?

Getting these on the blog really does make me feel I am on the home run now. In some ways that's kind of sad, almost like a journeys end rather than the beginning of the next trip. I have good momentum going though as I got a good session in two nights ago. I do have a Waterloo related parcel coming my way in a few days time. It will keep by building of the week busy for a few weeks that is for sure.

So a final salute to all my French cavalry, their destiny is to be broken against those allied squares but do not cry as they will rise up out of the ashes, no doubt to freeze to death on their way back from Moscow, or maybe smashing the Austrian cavalry at any number of battles?