Sunday, November 29, 2020

Hanoverians and some buildings


I finally got the Hanoverians finished this weekend. Happy days. They took longer than they should have (I see a theme developing there), but not due to any lack of enjoyment in painting them. Quite the opposite in fact. I like the simple standing pose with these ones - there’s a certain classic toy soldier charm to it, and it made getting in about them with the paintbrush nice and easy. The landwehr-style caps seems to be how Hanoverian Naps are generally depicted these days, but from what I understand there is a strong case to argue that they wore shakos during the 1815 campaign, which is broadly the time I’m building the Anglo-Allied collection for. Either way, I preferred painting them with the caps, since it always makes a refreshing change from shakos.

Finding the right flag for the unit proved to be quite a challenge. Napflags on the excellent website doesn’t have any Hanoverians, and my internet searches didn’t turn up anything readily useable. In the end, I went with one of Warflag’s Hanoverian flags from the War Of the Spanish Succession. I know, it’s probably not the done thing, and I’m stretching the artistic license by about 100 years, but in my defence I would say that not a lot is known about the Hanoverian flags at Waterloo. It’s yellow and red and has a white horse, so it’ll do these lads just fine.

The buildings you see are by Total Battle Miniatures, from their 15mm range. After using their 10mm buildings for a while, I decided the size just wasn’t quite big enough for my 20mm minis. These 15mm buildings on the other hand are an excellent fit for my purposes. As you can see from the officer leading the Hanoverians to church for a quick prayer before battle begins, the buildings are just tall enough to look realistic, but the footprint is not too large.

I’m not the best at painting model buildings. In fact, I often find it a chore, but these TBM models look great on the tabletop. I’ll take some better photos when there’s a chance to use my DSLR again. These pics were all snapped using my tablet, partly because of my own laziness tonight and partly out of consideration for our greyhound, Mr C, who has a rather bizarre fear of the noise of cameras shuttering. The sound of it is enough to leave him trembling in a corner somewhere. We’re not quite sure why.  I suppose like many rescue pets, there’s probably a tale or two that we don’t know about him. Chased once too often by paparazzi, maybe?

This photo is going back quite a few years. Mr C has a lot more grey hairs now than he did back then (a bit like me). Note the black cat. That’s Dewey, our other rescue pet. The look on his face is telling you in no uncertain terms that this seat is well and truly taken. Note also the funky carpet (this is our old house), which we inherited from the previous owners. It somehow survived most of the 10 years we lived there, even though we decided it would absolutely be the first thing to go after we moved in. I later learned it was an Axminster carpet. Probably cost a fortune. I remember it had this special ability of being able to camouflage cat puke and other such nasties for long periods of time. I would occasionally drop wargaming paraphernalia on it, never to be seen again.

Anyway, I digress...

Monday, November 2, 2020

Brunswick line infantry

This Brunswick 3rd line battalion took very little time to paint and a very long time to complete! I originally started it in June but was distracted by various other projects and commitments. I finally had some time off work last week so was able to get them done, but not before a bit of a varnishing disaster along the way...

Having never painted Brunswickers, I wondered how I might be able to make them more visually interesting. I see other painters sometimes contrast the areas by using black and very dark greys, rather than painting them all black. This looks quite good, but I really wanted my figures to be entirely black, with minimal highlights to avoid any sense of them looking grey. They are the 'Black Brunswickers' after all.

The idea I came up with was to use a combination of matt and semi-gloss blacks to create the contrasts I was after. I used matt black on the clothing and a semi-gloss black on selected items like the belts, straps, shako visor etc.

In the end, it looked okay. Not brilliant, but it sort of worked...until for some reason I decided to give the whole lot of them a coat of spray-on matt varnish. I have never varnished any of my 20mm miniatures. There's usually not much need to, since they mostly sit safely on their shelves with only the occasional bit of gaming done at home. However, a few chips and scratches here and there had recently made me wonder whether I should try and protect my painting efforts a bit more. The spray can I tried was supposed to give a matt finish, but once dried it really was more like high gloss! Perhaps I went in too heavy, I'm not sure. Anyway, I ended up wasting a morning having to go back over them with some of the 'Anti-shine' by Warlord Games to knock down the gloss. This worked quite well, but I also repainted some of the matt black areas.

The straps and other parts which were supposed to be semi-gloss have been left looking a bit too shiny for my liking. I might revisit them at some point and dull those areas down as well, but for now I think they've spent far too long on the paint bench, so it's time to move on to another unit.

That next unit will be some Hanoverians; however, I mainly want to focus on terrain for the next couple of months. If I can get these Hanoverians and a few other units painted before the end of the year, I'll be happy with that. 2020 hasn't been the most productive one for me in the hobby, and like a lot of things this year, my plan to make good progress with the British and Allied armies this year has rather gone off the rails. Hopefully, things will get back on track soon.

(As a side note, I recently watched a Youtube video by Liberator240 who talked about the Winsor & Newton Professional Matte Varnish that he recently started using for his figures, so I'm thinking of giving that a try next time - on a test piece first, of course!)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

French hussars - 5th regiment


A new addition to my Napoleonic French army. These are 20mm hussars from Newline Designs, painted to represent the 5th regiment. They originally started off life as the 1st regiment, but I decided to change them to the 5th, which is more or less the same uniform colour except the 5th have a white pelisse rather than blue.

For reference I used mainly the Osprey book, 'Napoleon's Hussars', supplemented by internet searches. Hussar uniforms and their details and variations are a bit mind-boggling, and I'm sure there must be some inaccuracies in my painting. I'm not entirely sure, for example, if the shako cloth was actually red. I found some images that showed red, and others that showed blue. In the end, I do as I always do, which is to go with what I think looks best!

Probably my favourite figure from the unit is the bugler. Again, not sure if the red dolman is correct or not, but I really like how the yellow froggings stand out on it.

Hey, that's my horse!
It was all going so well until I realised early on that I'd glued the officer to the wrong horse. You can see the correct horse above with a trooper on it. Try as I might, the trooper could not be tempted to climb down off his steed, and both man and horse were in danger of ending up in the casualty tray if I'd persisted with my pliers-based persuasions. In the end, I decided to let the happy fellow keep his prize. He could either be the gallant soldier returning the lost beast to its rightful owner, or the scoundrel riding off with his ill-gotten gains.

Officers - always ending up on a horse they didn't start the battle with
Hussars like to look their best, even when running away
The slight horsey confusion aside, I'm pleased with how this lot turned out. Hussars are a lot of work, and this 5th regiment felt especially challenging with the yellow froggings. But, it was worth the effort and I'm delighted to have this new addition to the army.

I think I might have to paint something easier next. A unit of Pictons, maybe?

Monday, May 4, 2020

Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Picton - 20mm

With the 44th East Essex more or less done for my 20mm British army, I will stay with the 9th Brigade and paint either the 44th Black Watch or the 92nd Gordon Highlanders next. Before that, though, I'll be jumping back over to the French army to paint up a unit of hussars - the 5th regiment. My French army has a distinct lack of light cavalry at the moment, which needs to be remedied!

First, something a bit less flamboyant...and Napoleonic miniatures probably don't come any less flamboyant than Picton at Waterloo. If only more generals dressed this way. It would make the life of the wargames painter much easier!

I like this sculpt from Newline Designs. It seems to capture Picton's famous temperament very well.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

10mm Napoleonic French

As promised, here are some photos of my 10mm Napoleonic French. As with the Austrians, these are all Pendraken figures except for the horse artillery, which is Magister Militum.

Some of these figures are from a while ago, when I was pretty new to Napoleonic gaming, so the uniforms are probably not the most accurate. The army is still a work in progress, probably not quite as far on as the Austrians. You can see I still have flags to add for some of these.


Chasseurs รก cheval



Foot artillery

Horse artillery

Line infantry


Light infantry

Thursday, April 30, 2020

10mm Napoleonic Austrians

I've mentioned my collection of 10mm Napoleonics a couple of times in passing, and always meant to share a few pictures on the blog. It's still very much a work in progress, a project I tend to dip in and out of every now and then. The forces (Austrian and French) are almost at a useful size now for small games, but I plan to add lots more as time goes on.

A fellow blogger was asking me about them, so this gave me the much-needed nudge to get finally get the camera out. Here are some photos of the Austrians first of all. It's not all of them, just a sampling of some of the different troop types.










Horse artillery

Foot artillery

Hungarian fusiliers

German fusiliers

German fusiliers

Almost all of the minis are by Pendraken, with just the horse artillery by Magister Militum. I like both ranges, and even though the MM ones are slightly bigger/chunkier, you don't really notice once they're on the table.

For those who are interested, I use 15x20mm bases for my infantry and 20x20mm for cavalry. The buildings in the background are from Total Battle Miniatures' 6mm range (and rather lovely they are too!). I also have a few of their 10mm buildings but haven't got round to painting them all yet.

I'll share some pictures of the French army in another post.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

British line infantry - 44th East Essex

My first unit of Napoleonic British is now finished! These are painted to represent the 2nd battalion of the 44th East Essex, which was part of Pack's brigade at Waterloo. Hopefully I got most of the uniform details correct, although I'm starting almost from scratch as far as my knowledge of British uniforms goes. I think I'm right in saying drummers didn't wear reversed colours by the time of 1815 (officially, at least), but I decided to go with the yellow jacket anyway for the sake of variety.

Figures are by Newline Designs. Flags are from

I originally intended to go all out and paint a 36-figure unit, using 6 bases of 6 figures, but I changed my mind at the end and switched back to my usual 24-man unit on 4-figure bases. As a result, I still need to add a couple of flank companies, so I'll probably swap out two of the bases at some point and repurpose them for a different battalion, once the flank companies are painted.

I'm keen to dive straight into another unit of British, but can't quite decide what to do next - lots to choose from. I'm very tempted to stay with Pack's brigade and paint the Black Watch battalion next. Time to put a brew on and have a think about it...