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I have been very satisfied with my slowly growing armies of Union and Confederate soldiers in 6mm for ACW Black Powder gaming, but for some reason, I am not really getting anywhere with my 6mm Napoleonics. I think this has mainly to do with my desire to paint them up to a rather detailed standard that I’m just not able to achieve in 6mm. The Civil War miniatures are a joy to paint, but when I attempt to paint the turnbacks and cuffs on my Austrian 6mm, the results are just depressing. Consequently, I’ve been contemplating a new scale for playing Lasalle Napoleonic games, and have decided to make one battalion of infantry in 15mm and one regiment of cavalry in 28mm. When I’m done with both, I figure that I’ll know which scale gives me the most pleasure painting, and which scale looks nicest with my basing scheme. I’ll stick with a 40mm base width for both scales.

So, my workbench these days is taken up by half a battalion of French Austerlitz-era line infantry and a test base of Prussian hussars. The French line infantry are AB miniatures, courtesy of Fighting 15s , while the hussars are Perry plastic French hussars.

 

Let me give you my first impressions on both ranges:

French line infantry (ca. 1805) in 15(18)mm: These are simply some of the most beautiful and detailed miniatures I’ve ever had the pleasure of painting in any scale. This is of course both good and bad. On the positive side, these figures are detailed, full of character, and part of an extensive range. On the negative side, they are so detailed that it takes me as long to paint one as a 28mm figure! I really want to do them justice, but the thought of painting up eight 32-man battalions with another four 12-man cavalry regiments and eight guns that I would need for a playable Lasalle army, is quite daunting. In addition, the AB figures are very expensive, and an army of these would end up costing much, much more than a 28mm one. Anyway, I’ll finish up this battalion, and see if the finished look of them is enough for me to go with 15mm (actually 18mm).

 

Prussian hussars (ca. 1814) in 28mm: The Perry brothers’ announcement  that they are coming out with a plastic set of Prussian infantry inspired me to paint up a test regiment for a possible Prussian Napoleonic army. I’ve always been fascinated with the Prussian liberation-era army with its colourful mix of line, reserve, and landwehr infantry supported by cavalry and freikorps. I’ve considered getting some of the wonderful-looking Calpe  Prussians in the past, but two things have made me hesitate. Firstly, they are rather expensive, and secondly, I like my online shopping relatively hassle-free, that is to say that I can’t be bothered to first fill out and e-mail order forms and then calling in with my credit card number. Now, these things are really no big deal, but it has been enough for me to postpone any purchase indefinitely so far. The Perrys’ announcement has changed all that! Filling up the rank and file with inexpensive, but high quality, Perry plastics suddenly makes building a Prussian army viable for me. In preparation, I have decided to try painting up some Prussian hussars based on the Perry French plastic hussar box. Both the French hussar uniform and the shabracks on the horses are perfect for the Prussian. The heads, however, not so much. In the end I decided to go with the heads in covered shakos that come in the box, as they would look alright from a distance. I’ll do my best to ignore the fact that the Prussian hussars used a different type of oilskin cover and that they weren’t wearing cadenets by this time. The Perrys have said that they will be releasing separate Prussian grenadier heads, and these would be a perfect with for my hussars. So, I’ll go with the French heads for now, and when the separate Prussian heads are released, I’ll just snap of the French heads (the beauty of plastics) and glue on some Prussian heads.

 

In my last post, I promised some more ACW regiments, but you’ll just have to wait another two months or so for those while I complete my scale experiment.

As for book reviews, I still haven’t decided whether to publish my review of Six Armies in Tennessee (see “Summer Reading”)now, or wait for a more complete post on my growing collection of books on the Chickamauga campaign. I’m currently reading The Maps of Chickamauga (first impression – fantastic!), and next up will be Failure in the Saddle . I’m thinking that a review of these three books together with a set of really nice wargaming scenarios for Chickamauga might make for an interesting post. However, Six Armies in Tennessee is really so different from the other books, that I might do a separate review of it. Watch this space!

Oh, and another bit of news – I gotten a new camera (actually a new charger for an old one), so these are hopefully the last sub-par pictures you’ll be seeing on this blog. The finished Napoleonic regiments (or at least the test figures) will hopefully be up within two to three weeks, and with better quality photos than has so far been the case.

Well, I’m back from a great summer vacation! I’ve managed to read both of the books I brought with me for summer reading, and I’ll be posting a review of one of them, Six Armies in Tennessee, next week. For now, here are some pictures of my first completed Confederate regiment! In hindsight, I think I overdid the “ragged reb” look on these guys, and for the next batch, I’ll probably be sticking to a maximum of two shades of grey. That will also save me some painting time, since this regiment took twice as long to complete as the Union one.

 

Speaking of the Union regiment, I’ve switched the old regimental flag with a new one from Maverick, and I think this one looks much better!

 

So far, I’ve painted up two rather generic regiments, but for the next two I’ll be a bit more specific. For the Confederates, I’ll be painting up a regiment from Longstreet’s Corps for the Chickamauga campaign. These regiments had just been issued brand new uniforms of a dark blue-grey material that caused them to be mistaken for Federals! For the Union, I’ll be painting up one of the regiments of Wilder’s Brigade of mounted infantry. Expect an update, and hopefully some pictures, of these two regiments by mid September.

Well, tomorrow morning I’m off for a three-week holiday for the first time in years. I had hoped to finish up a Confederate infantry regiment before leaving, but, alas, it was not to be. Here are a couple of work-in-progress shots:

 

I’ve had a re-think about the basing for my Napoleonics, and since I really like the 20mm x 20mm basing that I have used for my 6mm ACW regiments, I’ll be doing the same for the Lasalle Napoleonics. For the next three years, I’ll be playing my games on a 3×5 table, except for the occasional trip back home to Norway, and the 20×20 basing will allow me to play decent sized games of Lasalle (for Napoleonics) and Black Powder (for ACW) on a small tabletop. Since I’m using the rather thin Renedra bases, it will be easy enough to mount two of the 20×20 bases onto a 40×20 base for “real” Lasalle games later, without the base becoming too thick.

Anyway, my plan for the fall semester is two paint up about one regiment per week, alternating between ACW and Napoleonic, so that I’ll have about 15-16 regiments done by X-mas. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in some games during the X-mas holidays.

I’ll be back with painted miniatures and book reviews in September. Have a great summer!

I found some 15mm WWII US Marines from Eureka in my unpainted pile of lead that I had bought on a whim from Fighting 15s a few years ago. They are great models, but I haven’t gotten around to painting any of them before now. Since I’m planning on bringing E.B. Sledge’s With the Old Breed with me on vacation for summer reading, I was inspired to paint up a test base of Marines for a potential FoW army. The last thing I need right now, though, is a new project, so I probably wont be painting any more of them for the foreseeable future. I’m not entirely happy with the colours, since the uniforms and the webbing blend into each other a little too much, and if I do decide to paint up more of them, I’ll be darkening the uniform colour slightly. I tried the Moss pads again, but I’m not sure how well they fit the Pacific Island look I was trying for. Maybe some “dead grass” would be better. Opinions?

Again, appologies for the quality of the pictures. I’ll try to get a new camera at some point.

As I mentioned in my last post, I sent an e-mail to Stuart, the owner of Maverick Models, asking for Union regimental flags. I turns out that he was working on some, and just a few hours later, generic Union regimental flags were up and ready to order from his site! You can’t beat that kind of service. I ordered a bunch of flags this morning, and as soon as they arrive I’ll post some updated pictures of my Union regiment.

Wow, ahead of the painting schedule for once! Here are yesterday’s Union infantry with their proud flags waving and bases flocked:

 

Apologies for the dark photographs – there was just too much sunlight this morning!

As you can see, I’ve flocked the bases, but maybe “flocked” isn’t the right word. I’ve used Silflor Moss pads (early fall) for these bases, and I’m very impressed with both the appearance and the ease of application. This is not my first experience with Silflor products – I’ve used their Grass tufts before with good results – but for 6mm, the Moss pads are the way to go. Simply pick a pad off the backing paper with a pair of tweezers and press it firmly in place on the base. It’s as easy as that! Here’s a picture of the pack this product came in:

 

As for the flags, the Stars&Stripes is from Maverick Models, while the regimental flag is from Baccus. I’m very happy with the flag from Maverick Models, and will definitely get more of them. Unfortunately, I don’t think Maverick makes regimental flags, though I have sent the owner an e-mail enquiry just in case.

Now for the second part of the Top Ten list:

6. Dominic Lieven, Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814:

 

Not only is this book a great read, but it also challenged my preconception of the Russian army in the Napoleonic wars. I love it when a book truly sheds new light on old preconceived notions, and further more does it in such a captivating style. I originally got this book as a gift for a friend of mine, but ended up keeping it myself!

7. Georges Bernage, Red Devils in Normandy:

 

This is the book on the British 6th Airborne Division in Normandy. Great descriptive text, maps, unit information, photos (then and now), uniform details, and even pictures of miniature dioramas!

8. Lloyd Clark, Anzio: The Friction of War – Italy and the Battle for Rome 1944:

 

Simply a great battle history from the tactical perspective to the foxholes.

9. Stephen W. Sears, To the Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign:

 

Another book by Stephen Sears. I’ve included this one because rather than focusing on just one battle, this book deals with a whole campaign. It’s a great read that introduced me to a wonderful character – the Confederate general “Prince John” Magruder!

10. Jean Restayn, The WWII Tank Encyclopaedia:

 

Very, very little text, but over a hundred pages of colour profiles of WWII tanks. What’s not to love?

Well, that concludes my list for now. I’ll edit this post as I come across new favourites.