Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Revolutionary Flags (NEW RELEASE) - 42nd (Highland) Foot Regiment 1756-59

New flags available from my Revolutionary Flags range:

The Piedmontese are now available in 15mm and 28mm, as are some new ones from an earlier period, 42nd (Highland) Foot Regiment 1756-59, both Regimental and Kings colours. These are suitable for the Seven Years War / French Indian Wars era.

The Piedmontese: Austria's Allies - Part 3 Regt Piedmont with Flags

I finally got to the printer and got a set of flags printed for my Piedmontese. I got a few sets of 15mm and a couple of 28mm, so if anybody is after these they are now available.

I also quickly did some artwork for the 42nd (Highland) Regiment, otherwise known as the Black Watch, for their 1756 colours suitable for the French Indian Wars and Seven Years War era. This was for a little side project where I was sorting out my lack of Scottish troops in my collection, which didn't seem right as I am Scottish.

There are loads of these already on the market, but those available for free were not to the standard that I wanted. So I went and did my own. Again, I got a few sets of these and the rest are available for sale at as cheap as I can afford.

So here are the Piedmontese finally 100% finished (except for the fact there are no Grenadiers or Chasseus - which I may add using Eureka's Saxons if they look ok).

Monday, 27 April 2015

Corn Stooks! 15mm Scenery from Timecast

A while ago I picked up a book from a local charity shop, Napoleon's Army by Col. HCB Rogers. I've not had the chance to read all of it, but what I have read that is pertinent to the Marengo period is interesting though a little sketchy. There's lots of snippets that do more to spark curiosity about the era rather than actually explain it.

What I did like was some of the internal illustrations. I don't think they were produced for this publication as I'm sure I've seem them elsewhere, and there are no credits or sources. My favourite was this one, described as "Infantry in Italy, 1796".

The background buildings are great and I may attempt building some of those in the future. What I really liked were the haystacks, or more accurately Corn Stooks (though they probably had a different name in Italy. I had thought about making these myself but luckily hadn't got around to it when I spotted that Timecast actually had these in their catalogue, specifically in the General Scenic Items range, and available here. They come in 6mm, 10mm and 15mm scales, and at only £2.50 for a pack of ten (the website says 20 but that's obviously an error) the value of these was great.

I'd ordered a pack of Old Glory figures (sidetracked again - I'll post these later but they are SYW / FIW) and included these corn stooks in the order. That was Friday and on Monday they are through the door. How's that for service?

So how did they look? Absolutely fine.

They were well packaged, both the scenic items and figures in a secure bubble wrapped bag. As usual with Old Glory its a big bag of figures with there guns tangled and flag poles bent, but the price is great and there were no broken figures. A bit of care and all is fine with them.

The stooks themselves came well packaged as you can see, so lets pop them open and have a look...

So ten little resin scenic items. They are in different colours for some reason, the resin has a matt feel to it, and they don't stink like some other resin items do.

There are a few variants here. I was expecting them all to be the same, or maybe two designs, but there are quite a few different models here. I like these. They look like they will paint up rather nicely.

A closer look shows a few bubbles, which some may quibble about but I will easily be able to fill those. The bubble all seem to be at the topmost section of the stooks, but these are overall decent little sculpts.

So how do they compare to the figures? They are slightly small, but then most of my miniatures are on card bases that raise the figures. I may base the stooks to compensate, or maybe that will make them take up too much table space. Once painted I'm sure they'll add a bit of interest to the table.

Here's how they compare to some of my French in a quick attempt to recreat the image from the book. (Which reminds me: I really need to rebase those skirmishers)

Maybe not a greatly interesting blog post, but I sometimes feel little things like these make a tabletop game that little bit more fun.

Unless someone points out that Marengo took place in June and the corn wouldn't be getting harvested yet..... hmmm.

Oh, and here's another interesting image from Napoleon's Army. "Troops of the Army of Italy". I like the little wagon and wish we could get more things like that in 15/18mm.

Monday, 20 April 2015

The Piedmontese: Austria's Allies - Part 2 Infantry: Regt Piedmont, 1st Battalion

Yet again, its taken a while from starting these figures to getting them finished. I started them away back in September 2014, so not quite a year in the painting. Quite a success for some of my figures.

As I said in Part 1, I am using Old Glory Saxons as Piedmontese as there are not are no appropriate figures available; these were purchased from Timecast UK. Old Glory are either loved or hated. My OG Austrians were great to start with but I soon discovered there are other better sculpts. These are obviously from a different sculptor from the Austrians and the details, faces, weapons etc are much better, but some of the walking poses are a little bit strange.

The main issues with the figures are the collars and the packs. Piedmontese had flat collars rather than raised, and I could find little evidence of blanket rolls.

Nonetheless, these painted up really nicely. I still have to add the flags, and although they are designed, I haven't been able to get to the printers. First my boy had chickenpox and now its my wee girl, meaning I won't get to the printers until next week. Rather than wait I wanted to post what I had done so far.

So here they are. They look a little bright, especially the blue, but that must be from the flash of the camera as they look fine in the flesh...

Here's a preview of the flags. They were created in Adobe Illustrator with a bit of shading in Photoshop.

I also found some reference pictures while searching the internet that I wanted to share. These are various Italian re-enactment groups. The one with the flag with the pale blue border is the La Marina Regiment.

According to James R Arnold's Marengo book, the Piedmontese had "Four National and ten Provincial infantry battalions".  I will probably do the other four national battalions, and should probably add grenadier companied to these, but the "provincial" battalions are a little bit of a mystery, so any information would be appreciated.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

O'Donel's Frei-corps using 15mm AB Miniatures Part 1

One of the things I've always loved about the Napoleonic and Revolutionary periods is the great variety of uniforms and the obscurer the unit the better, so painting an Austrian army involves a lot of white uniforms and the occasional side-track into something a little less white.

I've been very conscious of the fact that I have moved away from the initial concept of this blog to build the Austrian army that fought at Marengo. Painting up a pile of French made sense, as did creating a Piedmontese allied army, but I found myself being tempted by the Seven Years War and then War of the Spanish Succession periods. So I had to get a focus back to the Austrians.

I still didn't feel like painting more white uniforms but was determined to do more Austrian troops and a unit that always interested me was O'Donel's Frei-corps.

I'd seen this unit in the Osprey Men-at-Arms book "Austrian Army of the Napoleonic Wars: Infantry", though the information is a little sparse. O'Donel's Frei-corps was raised in Galicia in 1790 and was named after its commander, Oberst Graf O'Donel. The red Hungarian trousers were so different from the usual blue, and the unusual shako with its double feather all gave the unit a very unique look.

There are no miniatures specific to this unit, and as it is so obscure, that I doubt there ever will be. The cost to manufacturers would not get a return on how many could be fielded in a game.

Luckily the uniform is close enough to the early revolutionary Grenz that AB's lovely figures could be used. The main differences were the AB miniatures had visible waistcoats and, of course, the Shako ornaments.

The choices were to either paint the figures as they were, or to do a bit of conversion. I've done both to compare - the conversion involved drilling a small hole, add a little plastic pin, and some green stuff to build the feather, cords and pom-poms. This took a bit over an hour for one miniature and I'm not sure I could do the full unit.

So the big choices, do a couple of conversions and mix them in the unit? Or do them all?

Here's the figures, and any feedback or opinions would be greatly appreciated...

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Coming next and almost done...

Tonight we're heading for a few days break in Barcelona. My wife loves trailing through museums and art galleries, which means I get to spot lots of inspirational historical stuff.

It also means that the figure painting goes on hold until I get home, while working from home on a large design project has already meant I've had a week with no painting.

On a plus side I got some lovely AB Revolutionary period Austrian Grenz which I plan to paint as O'Donol's Frei-corps. I painted one up yesterday and it looks good - I just need to decide whether I add their distinctive plumes and cords. I'll post a picture of the first trial figure next week.

I'm also close to finishing the Piedmont battalion I started quite a while ago. I just need to paint the straps on their muskets and then get them based. I've finished off the flag artwork and these will be going down to the printers as soon as the kids are back to school. I'll get these printed in both 15/18mm and 28mm scale and they will be available along with the French flags I already have on sale.

So hopefully next week I'll have some cool photos from Barcelona and a few figure updates.

And then I really, really need to finish that Austrian German combined Grenadier battalion that is 90% finished. Then some more French, Austrian artillery, and the half done Cossacks, and the French Heavy Cavalry, Dragoons and ... sigh. Do we ever get done with this hobby?