Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Oltramarina Schiavoni - Venetian skirmishers Part 4

The first unit of Oltramarina Schiavoni are now finished - a 12-figure unit in skirmish order. These have turned out really colourful and great little characters. Hopefully I'll get the chance to put these on a tabletop and see if I can put up a stronger fight against the invading French than the actual Venetians managed. As far as I can find out it seems that these were not inferior troops, nor badly trained or equipped, but suffered from a lack of conviction from the Venetian political leadership and from a lack of support from the Austrians.

I've also found a few more reference images and have artwork set up for the flags for at least the three battalions I have planned for this small army.

First, here are the figures...

So the next plan for this army is a full battalion of these in close order. I've converted all but a couple of these and they look good. Once I'd done a few it got really easy. I could probably have narrowed the hat a little at the top, and the red cloth should have had a yellow tassle, but for 15mm figures I think I'll stick with what I have.

One question I am asking myself though, is should I trim of the bayonets? All the images show them without.

Here's a great image of these troops fighting in close order (and taking quite a pounding!). The troops firing from the window look like the 16 Reggimento Treviso. The artillery in the background is interesting as well.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Austrians at Marengo - A GdB Order of Battle

This Army list is from Wargames Illustrated, Issue 290 from December 20011 and is from an article
"Marengo, 1800. A General de Brigade Battle Narrative" by David Brown.

This list is a work in progress and will be updated. I'll also link to each unit as its finished.


C-in-C: General von Melas (+ 1 ADC - von Kaim)

BRIGADE          UNIT                                                STRENGTH       GRADE       LINK
O'Reilly              8th Nauendorff Hussars                   18 figures           Line
                          4th Banat Grenz                               30 figures           2nd Line    Complete
                          Skirmishers                                       8 figures            2nd Line

Bellegarde         IR52 Anton, 1st Battalion                  32 figures          2nd Line     Complete
                          IR52 Anton, 2nd Battalion                 32 figures          2nd Line
                          IR53 Jellacic, 1st Battalion                32 figures          2nd Line
                          IR53 Jellacic, 2nd Battalion               32 figures          2nd Line
                          3pdr Foot Artillery                              4 guns               Line

Marseille           IR63 Joseph, 1st Battalion                 32 figures          2nd Line
                         IR63 Joseph, 2nd Battalion                32 figures          2nd Line
                         Skirmishers                                         8 figures            Line
                         3pdr Regt Artillery                               2 guns               Line

Knesvich           IR63 Toscana, 1st Battalion               32 figures          Line         Complete
                         IR63 Toscana, 2nd Battalion               32 figures          Line        Complete

                         IR63 Toscana, 2nd Battalion               32 figures          Line        Complete
                         3pdr Regt Artillery                               2 Guns              Line         Complete

Briey                 IR47 Kinsky, 1st Battalion                   32 figures          Line         Complete
                         IR47 Kinsky, 2nd Battalion                  32 figures          Line         Complete
                         Skirmishers                                         8 figures            Line                        
                         3pdr Regt Artillery                               2 Guns              Line         Complete

Nobili                3rd Light Dragoons, 1st Sqdrn            12 figures         Line          Complete
                         3rd Light Dragoons, 2nd Sqdrn           12 figures         Line
                         3rd Light Dragoons, 3rd Sqdrn            12 figures         Line
                         9th Light Dragoons, 1st Sqdrn            12 figures         Line
                         9th Light Dragoons, 2nd Sqdrn           12 figures         Line
                         9th Light Dragoons, 3rd Sqdrn            12 figures         Line


Latterman         Grenadier Battalion IR23/74               30 figures         Veteran    Complete
                         Grenadier Battalion                             30 figures         Veteran 
                         Grenadier Battalion                             30 figures         Veteran
                         Grenadier Battalion IR52/53               30 figures         Veteran    Complete
                         3pdr Foot Artillery                                4 guns             Line

Frimont            Am Ende Light Battalion NR3              12 figures        Line
                        Bach Light Battalion NR4                     16 figures        Line
                        1st Light Dragoons                               16 figures        Line
                        Bussy Light Horse                                10 figures        Veteran     Complete
                        6pdr Cavalry Artillery                            3 guns              Line

C-in-C: General Ott (Average)

Gottesheim      Jagers - Skirmishers                             12 figures       Line
                        10th Light Dragoons                              12 figures       Line
                        IR28 Frolich, 3rd Battalion                     32 figures       Line
                        6pdr Cavalry Artillery                             3 guns             Line

Sticker              IR57 Colloredo, 1st Battalion                32 figures        2nd Line
                         IR57 Colloredo, 2nd Battalion               32 figures        2nd Line
                         IR57 Colloredo, 3rd Battalion                32 figures        2nd Line

Retz                 IR28 Frolich, 1st Battalion                     32 figures        Line
                        IR28 Frolich, 2nd Battalion                    32 figures        Line
                        IR40 Mittrowsky, 1st Battalion               32 figures        2nd Line
                        Skirmishers                                            8 figures         Line
                        3pdr Foot Artillery                                  3 guns             Line

There are probably some units that were at Marengo that aren't included here, and I may add those to my collection, but this is the main list I am working from. As you can see I am a long way from completion, and as I am probably adding the French as well - along with allied units that didn't make it to the battle - I'll be continuing this blog for quite a while.


Monday, 22 June 2015

15/18mm Austrian Cavalry Comparison

Whilst I've managed to build a large contingent of Austrian infantry and artillery for my Marengo campaign, and have a few French infantry and cavalry units ready, I had been neglecting my Austrian cavalry.

With a few new releases becoming available it was the right time to sort this out, and a few orders were placed.

All the suppliers I received figures from provided a great service and everything arrived safely and on time.

The first order to arrive was from Fighting 15s who as the supplier of AB miniatures here in the UK. I ordered some Revolutionary period Austrian infantry, and more importantly for this post, their Dragoon command set. There are two figures in this set, an officer and a bugler, and these are as good as you would expect from AB.

The next order was from Campaign Games Miniatures in Barcelona, and was of a set of 12 Austrian Chevauxlegers / Dragoons in charging poses that had just been released. I think I may have been one of the first to order these. You can see these already painted in an earlier post with a full review.

Last to arrive was an order of Revolutionary period Dragoons in bicornes from Sho Boki Miniatures in Estonia. Supplied without horses, these mounted figures are designed to compliment the AB range. And they certainly do that, and the command set that I'd ordered from AB fit really well. They're on the painting table at this very moment, and will be mounted on horses from Campaign Games Miniatures (these aren't quite as good as AB but the cost is a lot lower, and you can order individually posed horses). The detail on these is great and the faces paint really nicely - those are done already. The moustaches are great! I also received a couple of free figures from Sho Boki as I'd won the "guess the figure" competition on TMP.

One of the freebies was a Chevauxleger with a peaked casket hat, which is as nice as the dragoon figures, though the head, or maybe neck, looks a little strange. It's maybe too narrow. I'll paint this one up and see how it looks.

So here are the unpainted figures for you to compare.

These are, from left to right, AB officer, Boki dragoon, AB bugle, Boki Chevauxleger, then 2x CGM Chevauxleger/Dragoons. As you can see they all mix very well in size and could easily compliment each other in the same army.

AB are available here.... LINK
Boki Miniatures here.... LINK
CG Miniatures here.... LINK

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Oltramarina Schiavoni - Venetian skirmishers Part 3

I painted and based four of my Oltramarini figures as skirmishers as a tester to see how they work. The minimal conversion on these seems to have paid off and these are much better representations of this unit. I've now converted enough figures to finish off the skirmishers, plus the figures for a command base for a unit fighting as a battalion.

Here's the first few...

These are really nice figures to paint, with loads of detail and character. I'm not sure if the faces that look a bit dodgy are down to the figures, but I think its probably down to my painting.

As you can see these are a much better size of figure compared to the Essex figures.

Seen next to my AB Austrians and the other Old Glory Italians, my Piedmontese, these figures don't look as weird as the tiny Essex ones.

So I have another 8 to do for the skirmishers, and then I'll do flags and the 32 man battalion.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Oltramarina Schiavoni - Venetian skirmishers Part 2

After finding  and painting some figures for the Oltramarina Schiavoni that I was happy with, and after getting some very good feedback, I then decided that they weren't what I wanted after all. I felt they were too small and the single pose limited me to a couple of skirmish bases. I'd also spotted a picture online that showed this unit fighting as a full battalion and it appealed to me to do the unit as that and as the skirmishers.

I'd had a few suggestions for alternative miniatures and Seven Years War era Russian Pandours was one of the most interesting. I did a search online and saw that a few manufacturers had these, or had them planned. Then I spotted the Old Glory pandours and thought they were almost perfect. A quick check of the Timecast website, and I was confused. No Russian pandours! There were Austrian pandours listed, but nothing under the Russian list.

As this didn't make sense - there was a picture online of Russian pandours - I sent an email off to Timecast, and lovely, helpful people that they are, I had a reply within a few hours. The figures I were after had been re-listed as Russian Light Infantry Skirmishing. They had a bag in stock and were even good enough to give me a breakdown of what was included in the set.

I placed the order and two days later I had the delivery (although my daughter had a strange idea to leave the package on her bedroom floor - I only spotted it while looking for one of our cats).

The bag contains around 50 figures, comprising three poses of infantry, plus one drummer, one standard, and one officer. These are very nice sculpts. Full of character and detail. I've said before, when Old Glory are good, they're very good.

So how do they look? Here they are so you can see....

As you can see, they are a much better size for my collection. I'm a lot happier that these will fit alongside the other figures I have planned for this small army.

The main difference from what I want is the tall head gear, one of which has a large front plaque, almost like a Russian grenadiers hat. I took one figure (the one with the most bent musket) and quickly snipped off the top of the hat, bringing it down to the same size as seen in the images of the re-enactors. I cleaned the rough cut up and added a small bit of green-stuff, and it looked just right. A very easy conversion! So I did four more...

Sorry about the blurry photo. Hopefully you see the conversion better here...

These look like they will be perfect once painted and the head gear change is very simple and easy, so I am happy to do a battalion of 32, plus around 8 or more on skirmish bases.
I just need to find, or make a fictional/speculative, flag for these guys and I think I'll have another great looking unit.

Then I may think about the cavalry!!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Jager-Regiment zu Pferde Graf Bussy

In the campaign of 1800, and especially at Marengo, Johann Maria Philipp Frimont, Count of Palota, Prince of Antrodoco, distinguished himself greatly as a cavalry leader, and in the next year became major-general.

As part of Frimont's brigade the Bussy Light Horse, or Jager-Regiment zu Pferde Bussy, played an important part in the battle. Consisting of 186 men in 2 squadrons, the Bussy Horse Jager regiment included many French emigres. During the battle, according to Stutterheim, the "Bussy Jager Regiment (émigré French) came on, galloped from the main road and fell into the rear of the Guard. This attack decided and ended all fighting. Many of the Guard were sobered down, the bigger part and four guns surrendered".

I was able to find very useful reference images for this unit, including Mollo and Knotel, plus Osprey.


For the figures I had a lot of choice, with most companies supplying suitable miniatures. As luck had it though, just as I was about to go looking, I got an email announcing Campaign Games Miniatures had just that day released their Austrian cavalry. They had a 12 figure unit available, so an order was placed and arrived a day or two later... not bad for coming from Barcelona.

These new figures are nicely cast, with no flash and minimal mold lines. The poses are reasonable animated, with my only issue with them being that the uniform under the raised arms looks a bit strange. Otherwise they are great, and a joy to paint. The set I bought included a standard, which probably is totally wrong for this unit, but I included it anyway. I'm really happy how these came out.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Oltramarina Schiavoni - Venetian skirmishers in 15mm

While doing a bit of internet digging I discovered quite a lot of pictures of Venetian re-enactors in Napoleonic uniforms, so I've been researching the Venetian armies that fought (very briefly) against Napoleon.

Most of the imagery shows troops wearing Austrian style uniforms, mostly blue with white facings. But I also spotted some guys wearing red coats with dark blue facings and trousers. A bit more digging revealed these to be Oltramarina Schiavoni (or sometimes just referred to as Ultramarines).

Oltramarina translates roughly as "from over sea" and was the name given to Albanian and Balkan light troops that fought in the service of the Venetian, and other Italian, armies.

The re-enactors had really cool looking uniforms and I was inspired to try and recreate a unit of these. Here are some of the pictures I found...


There didn't seem to be very much in the way of easy to find contemporary illustrations, but I eventually tracked down this image.

I wished there were figures suitable for these, and while looking for something totally unrelated on eBay I spotted these listed as being Essex "Napoleonic Albanian Musketeers" on a Buy-it-now.
These looked close enough, so I placed the order, and two days later I had these drop through the letterbox. I painted and based two up this morning to see how they look, and they certainly work as the Oltramarina Schiavoni. The only issue is their size compared to other figures. I've also done some comparison images as well.
These are (from left to right) Blue Moon, Old Glory, Essex, and AB. As you can see, the Essex are tiny compared to Blue Moon and AB, but until someone does the correct figures I'm sure they are good enough.