Saturday, January 30, 2010

French Aide de Camp

In the days before radio the only way to send a message on the battlefield was through a runner on horseback, these were called Aide de Camps. It was a highly dangerous job ducking shot and shell to deliver the all important orders to units engaged across the battlefield. It wasn't uncommon for a General to lose all of his Aides in a battle, as happened to Wellington at Waterloo. They had to be excellent horsemen as well as very brave to make sure the orders got through to the waiting Regiments and Brigades.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The last throws of a lost game.

This is a very, very old cartoon I found lost in one of my old sketch books. It was drawn during a time of me flirting with the 1066 era and shows me having to take matters into my own hands, in order hold the Saxon shield wall. Of course I don't really mind If I win or not, as long as I get to paint, but the picture made me smile and brought back some happy memories so I thought I'd share It. It think It will strike a cord with most War gamers, when a game is lost and you know there is nothing that can be done about it.

The great brown explosion is in fact a muddy cat paw print.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Muddy French Voltigeurs

Skirmish bases

These large skirmish bases do allow you to make mini dioramas, which can be a lot of fun.

Skirmishers take to the field

I do like the dry brushed sand look so to save time I've decided to apply It in patches, rather than cover the entire base. This should save me lots of time and speed up the production line. Also the sand look doesn't really say Waterloo to me so I've added patches of mud as well.

Trying out different bases

As I have so many bases to do, I have been trying out different techniques to base them quickly. I think the one I will go for Is my tried and tested 'paint on muddy footprints method'. This looks effective and Is the quickest to do. I have the added bonus of having a range of Silflor products to help now which should enhance the bases further.

I mixed up a muddy glop with added gloss varnish for the mud on the bases, I'm not quite sure about It really, I will have to sleep on It and decide tomorrow If to keep It.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A French Lancer of the 5th Regiment

Dragoons at large

Dragoon Regiment

Get stuck in!

As you can see since my last post these guys have been promoted.

I have even included a Farrier as I have a full Regiment. I like to dot the odd rank stripe around as It adds to the character of the unit.

Basing the Dragoons

A Regiment of Dragoons, 16 men makes a full sized unit of four Squadrons.

I always feel a little guilty when I see other blogs with fantastic bases, knowing that for the best part, I just flock mine and have done. As I am trying to make a Waterloo Army I have gone for very muddy bases. These were easily created by flocking the base with static grass, then painting on brown paint and pushing hoof holes into the still wet PVA. Later I stuck on Silflor grass clumps to help make the ground uneven. I'm also experimenting with a brown paint and PVA glue mix, that should dry wet looking, we will have to see as It's still not dry yet. Make It up as you go along I say...whats the worst that can happen...gulp. I had better get It right before I tackle the thousands of Infantry bases. I'm thinking, If It doesn't dry wet enough, I might add a few drops of gloss varnish (Ard Coat) and see what happens.I chose the winter grass from Silflor for Its light colour, knowing that Waterloo was fought over muddy wheat fields.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dragoons in progress

My now very dusty Cuirassiers. I plan to go over all of these old figures and retouch the painting. Five years ago I had no knowledge of Silflor grass tufts for example and these will be used a lot on all of my old bases.
These four extra Dragoons takes my unit up to 16 figures and makes It a full strength Regiment of four squadrons. Notice my Trumpeter is now sitting on his nice new grey horse, If It's worth doing something, It's worth doing right. Next up are the Lancers.
Taking these Macro photos can be really helpful when It comes to painting. It allows the eye to get really close in, I have already noticed several things I will go back to on these figures before I can call them finished. They are just little things like the odd Black wash here and there, but now I have noticed It, I have to do something about It. It's the curse of a perfectionist...and It's not a good one.

Friday, January 22, 2010


A French Cuirassier.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Lone Cuirassier

Heavy cavalry doesn't get much heavier than this, a huge Cuirassier mounted on stallion from Normandy. They were known as Napoleon's 'big brothers' for good reason.

Like many cavalry horses of the eighteenth Century, this one has lost chunks of his ears from sword cuts by both friend and foe alike.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A hard fall

I have been researching the numbers set by the 'Napoleon' rule set into why Light cavalry units are 12 figures and Heavy Regiments are 16. I have found that there isn't really any reason for this as all Cavalry units (on paper anyway) were about four Squadrons. Both Light Cavalry and Heavy Cavalry were the same, even Hussars were formed of four Squadrons. I know that by posting this post and spending three hours researching, I have gone too far. I have stumbled off the track of gaming, like many a war gamer and started to wade into the bog of facts and figures. I'm sure it's just be a game mechanic to increase game enjoyment and give a taste of the era, but It bugged me that I couldn't find the reason for It.

Of course, none of this really matters for numbers on the field were all over the place and the figures for units at Waterloo are very varied indeed. Some poor Cuirassier units could only field two Squadrons on the day.

As It stands at the moment I have increased my 'Heavies' to 16 per Regiment (four Squadrons) and my 'Lights' stand at 14 per Regiment, putting them just under full strength. As I am building a Waterloo based Army, I was relieved to see many Line Lancer and Chasseur a Cheval Regiments of four Squadrons were present on the day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Painting French Dragoons

I have started to increase my Cavalry regiments to fit with Foundry's 'Napoleon' rules. They state that Light cavalry should fielded in regiments of 12 and Heavy cavalry in regiments of 16. Were the Heavy cavalry regiments bigger? I will have to research that and find out.

I was also pleased to find that my mixed Dragoon green I painted over five years ago matched exactly the Foundry Dragoon colour, a little thing but it made me happy. It means my new figures will match my old and cut down on repainting time. I find the new Foundry Napoleonic paint colours a God send in saving time.

Another thing of note Is that I found out that Napoleonic trumpeters were mounted on grey horses, so they could be easily found by their commanders and help in sounding out orders on the battlefield. So I quickly had to repaint my Dragoon musician who had been sitting on a Bay for five years. There is so much to learn with a period like this and I find it just as enjoyable as the painting itself. I will put up pictures soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The fallen Hussar

The Hussars were the most colourful branch of the French army. Ironically their main role as light Cavalry was to seek out and spy on enemy positions.

This is a member from the 9th Hussars, 1807.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thanks BRB

To my complete surprise today I received a dead elephant through the post. Simon of BigRedBat fame has sculpted these to use in his up and coming 'Zama' game, which will see a huge Roman army take on Hannibal and his war elephants at this years 'Salute' event. I was amazed at the fact he had created these himself and even got them professionally cast in lead, after I left a message saying how impressed I was, he kindly sent me one. Thanks Simon, It's even better close up and I remain deeply impressed at your new found sculpting ability.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where are my Armies!

Another French Division marches out

"Get me an Eagle Sharpe...I want an Eagle"

Infantry of the Line

To my surprise I managed to cobble together four Regiments, not three. The last one was a real rag tag bunch but It has become one of my favourites as It captures the feel of a true thrown together 1815 regiment.

I need to paint up two standard bearers to finish the last two regiments then that's the Infantry of the Line totally finished...hurrah!

Only one more 'Light' Infantry Regiment to re base.

The last of my French Line Regiments wait to be rebased

Saturday, January 09, 2010

French skirmishers completed

I will have a busy day the day I come to flock my entire army. Now my table is clear again, I can start on another four French Dragoons, to bring my unit up to sixteen as called for by the 'Napoleon' rule set for heavy Cavalry.