Sunday, 19 August 2007

Photo teaser?

I've posted a photo I took of some of my miniatures. This is the command stand from my 28e legere. It really does not do the figures justice, but for the time being any picture is better than no picture at all.

These are of course Front Rank figures, with a few being heavily modified.

What with his magnificent white colpack with red flamme, and wearing a blue uniform with white trim rather than the green with yellow lace of the Imperial livery, the fifer (on the left) is in decidedly non-regulation costume. Clearly the colonel of the 28th legere is not a man to be troubled by the tedious regulations of M. le Capitan Bardin when it comes to fitting out his tete de colonne! The colpack was modelled from Tamiya epoxy putty. The officer in the dark blue greatcoat has had a head swap; the arms were chopped off, replaced, and repositioned so as to give him that enthusiastic "Vive l'Empereur" look so necessary to any French army.

Flag by GMB designs: not cheap, but the best in the industry and seeing as the flag is invariably the focal point of any unit there was no way I was going to cut costs here.

The figures were "posed" in front of "Schloss Altersschwach". My name for a card model of a castle I bought on one of my trips to Vienna some years back.

Apologies for the poor-quality shot. This was the best one I could get using my cellphone camera, which was basically designed for taking incriminating pictures at drunken and debauched karaoke parties, not for wide angle or close-up shots of miniatures. The lighting was also not what it could be and even after being tweaked around on iPhoto (I'm a Mac user) it is still pretty blurry. If I had made the image any larger it would have given everyone a headache just looking at it.

However, Iannick Martin (archiduccharles of TMP) wanted to see some of my painting so I thought I should put something up. His site showcasing his impressive Austrian army is one worth checking out, and is a must-see for any aficionado of the Kaiserliks. Would that I had his painting discipline! I've added his link to the sidebar.

I do need to get a decent camera and learn how to take proper pictures, but at least this is a start!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

The 8th Division/IIIrd Corps of the French Army in 1813

After searching through orders of battle for the 1813 campaign, I finally settled on Souham's Division of Marshal Ney's IIIrd Corps (although General Souham himself went on to take over command from Ney some time before the Battle of Leipzig). This division fought throughout the campaign, from the Battle of the Katzbach to Leipzig where it was virtually destroyed being caught on the wrong side of the blown bridge crossing the river Elster.

The Division itself consisted of 15 weak battalions, organized into two brigades broken down into provisional regiments of two or three battalions each. Each brigade had an attached artillery battery.

I have decided to go for a 1/20 ratio of miniatures to men. This means that the each battalion on the tabletop will be made up of 24 figures which seemed a reasonable average of the historical numbers involved.

Most were second, third or even fourth battalions, and in 1813 only the first battalions were allowed to carry the famous eagles. However, in this project I will allow myself considerable artistic license (just try and stop me!) which means that at least one battalion in every provisional "regiment" will get promoted to first battalion status and thus be able to carry an eagle!

A list of the regiments involved can be found on the sidebar. Next, I'll call muster on my cavalry contingent.

Saturday, 4 August 2007


And sound the "Pas de Charge"!

I have long had an interest in wargaming the Napoleonic era ever since I was ten and my dad gave me some boxes of AIRFIX HO/OO French and British Waterloo plastic miniatures back in the early 1970's. I have been hooked on wargaming ever since. In the 1980's I did a fair amount of 15mm Napoleonic gaming, Mostly Russians and some Austtrians, but I had always felt that 25/28mm did the uniforms the most justice.

When I came to Japan in 1992,I left my gaming buddies (and miniatures!) behind me. It didn't take long to realize that despite being immersed in all that a new job, a new country and a new culture had to offer, old habits die hard and I found myself needing a gaming "fix". So, I took the opportunity to do what I had always wanted to do and start painting up 28mm Napoleonics using the then-new and extremely gorgeous Front Rank 28mm French line Infantry. Just a few infantry to start with, but fifteen years later I find myself with boxes full of French and Russians with some Austrians, Poles, and Bavarians thrown in for good measure.

The Front Rank figures are easy to paint, are incredibly well detailed, and have an extensive range. Some of their more recent offerings are simply amazing. They do have a uniformity of appearance that while not to everyone's taste, is something I like in my battalions. I DO like variety in officers and variation in headgear, however, so I have done a lot of conversions over the years to give the army a "customized" look.

My first battalions were painted using Tamiya paints, which were readily available here in Japan (of course!). The figures were based individually on 20mm x 20mm card stock. I was not happy with the results, as the paints were not really designed for miniatures. Not only that but Japan can be humid- so humid you can almost swim through the air when summer is at its worst. One year it was so wet and humid that I found that the card bases had warped badly in the heat. So I then took the decision to start again from scratch, this time using proper hobby paints and plywood bases. So I ordered some proper craft and hobby paints, ordered some pre-cut 3mm plywood bases from Litko, stripped off the old paint jobs (sniff!) and started again.

The saying goes that "failure to plan is planning to fail", so this time I had a plan. A big one!