Monday, December 17, 2018

Prussian hussars - 1st Silesian regiment

Well, it took longer than anticipated but I finally got round to finishing the unit of Prussian hussars I started in early December. They've actually been finished for about a week or so now, but it's taken me some time to dig the camera out to take a few snaps.

I decided to paint them as the 4th hussar regiment, which I believe is also known as the 1st Silesian. It seemed to fit with the fact that I've painted a lot of the line infantry as Silesians. I also liked the idea of doing the brown and yellow uniforms, which might not sound like the most colourful uniform choice from the Napoleonic era, but which is still rather smart I think. I still need to add a flag for the unit, but so far I've been unable to find out any information on what the flag looked like for this particular regiment. I thought about just using a generic Prussian flag but I'd rather use the correct flag, so I'll keep looking.

I must admit, I put off painting these hussars for a long time. They were part of the initial main purchase I made a couple of years ago, and having never painted hussars before I was a bit daunted by the uniform details. There were certainly some fiddly bits - and I'm sure I haven't got all the details correct (the blue horse reins / bridle etc are pure fantasy, no doubt) - but I persevered and got there in the end. They make a good addition to the collection and now gives me four cavalry units for the Prussians (besides the dragoons, landwehr and cuirassiers).

These will likely be the the last of the 20mm Naps to be painted this year, since I now want to spend some of my free time in enjoy playing a few games with what I've painted up so far (some battle reports to follow, hopefully). As the year draws to a close, I'm also starting to think about other projects for 2019, so don't be too surprised to see other wargaming periods (and scales) popping up on the blog. However, I'm certain that the 20mm Naps collection will continue to be added to throughout next year, so I look forward to sharing more with you as the collection grows.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Prussian horse artillery and terrain boards

Too late the join in the tabletop parade, this is the first of three horse artillery bases I'm planning to do for the Prussians. I'll likely do the remaining two in between other paint jobs, and eventually I'd like to add some limbers and horse teams.

I used a slightly different base size for these guys - 50x50mm instead of the 45x60mm I used for the foot artillery. I didn't have any of the latter size to hand, but I think I like this size better anyway.

For the Prussian blue, I experimented (yet again!) with my mix of paints, using Vallejo Model Dark Prussian Blue mixed with Charcoal Grey as a base, then adding a light grey to that same mix for the highlight. It gives a nice greyish blue colour which I think I'll use again for future units.

I'm spending a bit less time painting and more time on terrain at the moment. These are the first four completed Terra-Former tiles from Sally 4th. I picked up a set from their stand at the Carronade show earlier in the year but it's taken me this long to get round to putting them together. If you like the idea of using modular terrain boards for your games, I can highly recommend them.

If you haven't heard of them before, Terra-Formers are mdf frames, 30x30cm, that you glue together and fill with terrain of of your choosing. Different profiles are available, from flat tiles and hills to roads, streams and rivers, and more besides. The photo above shows one of my hill sections in progress. The idea is that you fill the frame with polystyrene or foam and then finish off with scenic materials.

What makes the tiles so neat is that they come with magnets for each side, which you glue in place. This means your tiles click neatly together on the table. So far, I've found that the tiles join very well, with minimal gaps.

Here's one of the stream tiles in progress. I used Kingspan foam, which is cut to size and glued into the frame. Next, I'll carve out the stream bed before painting, adding scenic water and finishing off with foam and static grass. It does require a bit of work, but I think it will be worth it in the end to have a collection of boards that can be used in lots of different configurations.

Here are some road sections in progress. I still need to add some more ground cover and finish modelling the roads. You can see how neatly the sections join.

I'll post some more pictures of the boards as they take shape, and I hope to have time to share some battle reports using them.

Meanwhile on the painting side of things, I have a unit of Prussian hussars on the go, which I'm hoping to get finished next week. Hussar uniforms are a bit fiddly to say the least!

Till next time, happy wargaming!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Prussian army so far...

Time for the Prussian to have their little parade! Here's a short video I did showing a look at how the collection is looking so far. I'm hoping to add at least a couple more units before the end of this year, including some hussars and horse artillery, the latter of which is currently on the painting table, so more on those later. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Prussian dragoons

This is the first of two units of dragoons for the Prussians. It feels like I always say this, but I did really enjoy painting these, so much so that I might decide to press on and do the second unit next.

As with a lot of what I've painted so far for both the Prussians and the French, I'm not 100% certain about the accuracy of some of the uniform details, but I take a fairly relaxed approach to that side of things. As long as they look fairly close to what they would have done, then I'm happy with that. For example, were the cuffs coloured or was it just coloured piping on the cuffs? I wasn't entirely sure. I don't spend a lot of time searching for these answers, so I just go with what I like the look of best if I can't find what I'm looking for quickly. As time goes on and my resource library gets bigger, I'm sure I'll become more knowledgable, but in the meantime I don't worry about the details too much. The main thing is to have fun, paint something I like the look of, and then crack on with the next thing in the lead pile!

Likewise with the flag. The unit is supposed to be the 5th dragoons (which I believe were also known as the 2nd West Prussian regiment), but I couldn't find the flag for them online - even a 28mm version, which I was thinking of buying and scaling down - so I've used this line infantry flag instead in the meantime.

As far as the rest of the Prussians go, I've been enlarging the infantry units from 20 to 24 figures (as I did with the French), and I have just one last base of landwehr to paint up. Once that's done, the Prussian army will be about the same size as the French in terms of figure count. So, I hope to do another video soon to show how the collection is looking so far.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Fench army video update

I managed to finish off the video this morning, showing the tabletop muster I did the other day for the French army. Hope you enjoy...

So what's left to paint? Well, there are plenty of units I'd like to add, but in terms of what's actually in the lead pile, it's looking like this:

  • 4 x horse artillery and crew
  • 18 x empress dragoons
  • 9 x chasseurs a cheval
  • 9 x line lancers
  • 24 x line infantry
  • 24 x middle guard infantry
  • A few generals and line colonels

I'll probably add the horse artillery next, followed by the empress dragoons. If I'm going to expand the army proportionally I'll need to paint up more infantry units, but for the sake of variety I might add some French allies. I'm thinking maybe Bavarians, Wurrtembergers or Polish (all of which Newline has ranges for). Or I might choose to paint up some French line infantry as Swiss allies, which I believe used the same uniform. Decisions, decisions...

I finished basing my first unit of Prussian dragoons this morning, so I'll post some pictures of those next.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The French army so far...

I finally had some spare time to muster the French army onto the tabletop during the week for a quick photo and video. It was quite satisfying to see how far the collection has come since I started it, and I'm looking forward to adding more units, especially some more cavalry (although, horse artillery is probably going to be next on the 'to do' list).

I did shoot about 4 or 5 minutes of video with my phone, but I still need to process and upload it, so I'll stick it on YT as soon as I get round to finish it off.

In the meantime, I've just finished painting a unit of Prussian dragoons, so once the bases are done I'll share a pic of those. With that unit now done, both my Prussian and French armies are of an equivalent size, which is approximately 190 infantry and 27 cavalry each, plus 4 foot artillery and some commanders. Definitely large enough now to play some games, so my focus this weekend will be to crack on with building some terrain. More of that in a future post!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Marshal Ney

This is the Marshal Ney figure from Newline Designs, which I finished a while ago but hadn't got round to basing. I was originally going to add a foot soldier or perhaps another general to the base, but in the end I used some small, circular mdf bases covered in filler (with a hole cut in the top one) to create a kind of water trough. Not a very grand feature for a general's base, I know, but it's something different I suppose, and done partly for the sake of trying out the Woodland Scenics resin water I bought recently (which turned out well, but you can't really see it in this photo). I found pictures online of rectangular stone water troughs from the early 19th century, but I'm not certain there were circular ones. Seems plausible though.

None of the books I've read so far on the Napoleonic Wars has covered the life and exploits of Marhsal Ney in any great detail, and I would certainly like to read a good biographical account of this legendary soldier. There are a few to choose from, but nothing recently published in English that I have found so far. I like the look of A. H. Atteridge's book, Marhsal Ney: The Bravest Of The Brave, first published in 1912 but reprinted by Pen & Sword in 2015. It looks like a good place to start, so I'll track down a copy of that.

I'll do a big French army update in my next post!