Thursday, 13 January 2022

Selling and Painting

To raise funds for my new Model Railway project and any other future projects I’ve been spending some time pontificating on which wargaming figures and model railway stuff I could sell. Some hard decisions have been made along with making commitments to finish painting the figures that I want to keep.

The decision made with this Duchy of Warsaw Corp was to sell one division’s worth of painted infantry figures totaling 144 figures miniatures. This may seem a strange decision but painted figures fetch the best price. In doing so I was left with a number of figures to paint to complete the Duchy of Warsaw project. I’ve now just about completed the Infantry Division including the artillery and two of the four cavalry regiments. Flags need to be added to the infantry stands and I may have a few infantry pompoms to repaint but feel they are coming on nicely.

Above is the Corps so far, further additions that need painting to complete are a regiment each of Chassuers and Krakus cavalry along with a command stand with Marshal Poniatowski and ADC’s.

It’s just a shame that I’ve moved away from my regular gaming opponent (may post how this  in another blog) so they may not see action for some time unless I go solo.


Sunday, 7 June 2020

A long overdue update on my wargaming projects

Wow, I didn't realise it has been four years since I posted on this blog.

Much has happened in the last few years, the main one is that I've taken early retirement, more to do with health than anything else. Nothing life-threatening might I add. Retirement should have freed up a lot of time for modelling projects but, possibly due to my gradually taking more of a relaxed attitude and enjoying life, wargaming modelling time has still been at a premium.

So what have I been up to? Apart from Model Railway projects, starting to play golf again along with rekindling an interest in playing bass guitar and bass ukelele, the main wargaming project I've completed since retirement is a Napoleonic Saxony Corps. Other wargaming projects I've been working on are:
  • Painting a Napoleonic Franch Corps of two Infantry Divisions & supporting Cavalry Division.
  • Painting a Napoleonic French Reserve Cavalry Corps of three Divisions
  • Painting a Napoleonic French Guard Corps of two Infantry and one Cavalry Division
  • Painting a small Polish Napoleonic Division
  • Continuing to gradually paint my collection of WWII German figures and vehicles
I still have good stocks Napoleonic figures along with WWII figures and vehicles plus a few DBA Armies to paint, so I've no excuse to sit idle.

Anyway a few photos of my Napoleonic Saxony Corps below.

I'll try and post updates a little more regularly in the furture.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The epic battle - Waterloo

Well, we finally achieved getting our act together and had a very enjoyable day refighting The Battle of Waterloo. This all took place before Christmas so sorry about the very belated blog.

I'd purchased this Waterloo terrain many years ago but never had the space to put it all out as intended. Normally, on gaming nights, we only have space for a 6ft x 4 ft board on which parts of this terrain have been used to create terrain on these smaller boards. After gaming Quatra Bra and Warve earlier in the year it was mentioned it was a great pity that we could not game Waterloo. This was "Red Rag to a Bull" and it took a while but finally we managed it.

We borrowed some tables to create a 10ft x 6ft space and squeezed them into the lounge of a gaming friend. Unfortunately the tables did not give a totally flat area which resulting in some tiles not laying flat, this can be seen in a couple of photos. We also had to reduce the width by one row of tiles but we don't think this had too much of an affect on the deployment.

In the end there were only three of us taking part so we tossed a coin to see who was taking which troops, this resulted in one French General and two British. Even though we'd spent much of the year collecting and painting figures to fill in the gaps of our joint collections, we still had to make some compromises and it took us a good couple of hours deploying the 2,500 or more figures ...

Deployment looking East to West Hougemont in the foreground
Deployment looking East with Papelotte in the foreground
Troop deployment around Papelotte
6th Cavalry Divison poised for action on the French left flank
The Allies right flank
French start the attack
The race for Hougemeont is on. British Advance towards the farm as the French come down off the ridge
The Battle for La Haye Saint begins
Units converging on Hougemeont
It's hotting up with attacks going on at La Haye Saint & Hougemeont and French Cavalry find a gap between the two.
British Cavalry advance to meet the French Cavalry and drive them back.
End of the day
We had to call it a day around 23:00 as one of the 'Generals' had to be at work at 6:00 the next morning. The battle had a few more turns to go before the Prussians would arrive but the overall consensus was the Allies had, so far, been very lucky to hold back the French.

Would we do it again... you bet!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Hanoverians and Waterloo

Mark (my regular gaming opponent) and I have been going through our current collections of lead and at first look we thought we were going to be short of figures for the Allied Hanoverian brigades.

I'm using A. Cameron's booklet on 'Wargaming The 100 Days' published many years ago by Tabletop Games. This has a full breakdown for each Division and Brigade down to the number of men present at each battle for each infantry battalion and cavalry regiment. It also has deployment maps for each of the four main battles as well as the small rearguard skirmish at Genappe.

We are planning to use the Shako rule set for the Waterloo game and there is a recommendation, when putting on large games, to divide all the returned figures for men present by 800 to arrive at the number of battalions to use for the opposing Armies. We understand that doing this helps to balance the amount of battalions on the table for opposing armies to allow for the fact that battalions and regiments could be large or small. In doing so I thought using 800 for cavalry was not going to give a good representation of regiments present. So I've divided all cavalry returns on both sides by 600 which does seem to give a better balance.

Back to the Hanoverians...between Mark and myself we only have a smattering of Hanoverians certainly not enough for four Brigades even at the reduced number of Battalions. So I started to do some research, firstly by picking the Hanoverian Men at Arms book off my bookshelf, followed by a little research on the web. I then started to wish I'd not started as I was coming across much conflicting information on the Hanoverians at Waterloo and their uniforms. So I put together the following spreadsheet which is my interpretation of Hanoverian uniforms from all the available information so please do not take it as gospel.

After putting the above list together I've heard from Mark that, if we over looked uniform details, we could possibly get away with spare British infantry battalions for the Hanoverians at Waterloo. As we are running out of time to pull this game together this might be the best option.

BUT... I must admit I'm starting to find the Hanoverians quite interesting even though they were short lived and will only be used for the 100 days war. There seems to be the possibility to have Brigades with some mixed uniforms and not just British uniforms in Red coats and either Belgic or Shove Pipe Shakos. So I would very interested to hear from anyone who can add any further information to that that I've collected above. We are already thinking that if it all goes well gaming Waterloo might become an annual event. So I might work towards building more accurate Hanoverian Brigades for future games, especially as I've already purchased four battalions worth of lead.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Update with an exiting prospect.

I mentioned in my last blog, back in January, that I was thinking about sorting through my figures and selling a few on eBay. First in the frame for consideration were my 15mm Napoleonic French. I’d never been overly happy with most of the infantry, which was for a few reasons, the first being the quality of painting; secondly was the style of figure; thirdly was the way they are based, and fourthly due to number of figures per battalion/regiment.

When I first started gaming Napoleonics the guys I gamed with were using infantry units of 20 - 24 infantry and 12 - 18 cavalry figures so my collection reflected this. As time has gone on, due to available space for gaming but also to match my regular opponent's (Mark) collection, I’ve built up 12 figure infantry battalions for my Austrians, Prussians, Confederation of the Rhine and KGL. I’d considered reducing the size of the French battalions which would have created more battalions with better basing but I felt I’d still be disappointed with them due to the sculptured figure and standard of painting.

So the decision was taken to move them on and use the proceeds to rebuild a French Army based on 1812-1814 era. The first units to be auctioned were my Guard battalions and a few Command stands. I then sold a brigade of Line infantry and some Cavalry along with all my Westphalian Infantry. There are still many battalions to sell but please read on...

The other drastic decision I took was that as my 1815 British and Brunswick collection of figures had not seen light of day for a number years (well over five & possibly more), and as they are also large battalions with a few large cavalry regiments, I should move these on as well. This was a more difficult decision as I am still happy with the figures. The Brunswicks were the first figures I painted. But earlier in the year there seemed little chance of them being used in the foreseeable future let alone only half of each battalion being used if they were required. That was until a conversation between myself and Mark after an evening gaming the Battle of Gorodetchna...

So... what put a stop to the selling of figures was Mark mentioning that as this was 2015, 200 years since the 100 days war, and we should have a go at two of the smaller battles, Quatra Bras and Wavre, in way of honouring the events. This meant I would need my British and Brunswicks along with a few of my French. These games have been completed and both were excellent evenings. At the end of the second battle I mentioned that I still had the terrain for Waterloo tucked away in my garage roof space and it was a shame we do not have the space to lay it all out and put on a game based on Waterloo. This started discussions over the next few weeks at the end of which we thought it might be possible, even if we had to rent a room for a day.

The Waterloo terrain was purchased a number of years ago. When putting on games on my territory I’d used parts of the hex terrain for smaller games on a 6’ x 4’ table but never had all of it laid out. I'd even added a number of wide river tiles to the terrain for some WW2 games but I had a recollection that for Waterloo it was not complete. So first task was to lay out as much as I could to find the overall size and discover which tiles and buildings where missing.

Above is the Allied half looking from Papelotte, with La Haye Sainte in the middle. There is one edge tile to create where the stream exits the board. I also need a building for the Papelotte farm. I have a few that might do for now but Tiger Terrain do a very nice combination of buildings for the farm. Possibly too large for the above terrain but interesting buildings for the future...

Above is the French half with Hougemount in the foreground and a building in the position of La Belle Alliance. I've recently purchased from Tiger Terrain a better representation for La Belle Alliance than the one placed on the terrain and hope to have this painted ready for the game. It's to a good scale to match other buildings on the terrain and has made me wonder if I could use any of their Papelotte buildings. As can be seen I started to create the three missing edge tiles to on this half to finish the terrain.

The above shows the six foot depth of the terrain, Allies at the top French at the bottom of the photo.

All the buildings are not true representations of the locations but I think are best suited to the size/scale of the terrain. Size overall is 9’5” x 6’ not overly large and it looks like a number of liberties had to be taken due to the geometry of the hex tiles but I feel it does look the part.

Looking at the size of terrain along with the size of ourselves we think we will require an empty room at least 15’ x 12’ to enable four to six people to get around the table to give comfortable access. The search has been on and we may have found a room as well as two other very interested gamers with the possibility of a couple more.

I must admit that though we have been slow off the mark this year with our 1815 games I’m getting a little exited about putting on the Waterloo game. Hope it comes off….

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Scale - what's it all about

I've always been at odds with scale of wargaming figures to the scale of terrrain, or should I say the lack of true three dimensional scale in wargaming. At times, when querying rules, I have found it complicated to a point of exasperation when trying to put three dimensional thoughts on to sections of rules. But over the last year I've become more comfortable with scale related anomalies. Why?

In the scale that I use most (15mm), each figure (depending on rule sets being used) could represent one or 15 or more actual men. Then in a command stand we paint up a character to represent one actual character figure... or is that 15 Napoleons? Model vehicles/cavalry again represent different number of vehicles/horses but at a different ratio than the figures in the same rule set. Then we come to buildings...... The building size is generally in proportion to the figure height but this does mean that depending on size of building being used, one building can represent a whole village or even whole town. This is all before we start looking at movement scales and firing scales. Within the same scale (15mm) different rule sets will work to different movement and firing distances. Scale in wargaming is all over the place, being stretched and compressed so that a game can fit table space. Figures, buildings, vehicles are only being used as tokens/representations of elements and are not true scale models even though some current models are very accurate representations of the real thing.

However over the last year I've started to become more comfortable with all these anomalies. When looking over wargaming rules I now feel I'm not carrying the scale hang up as much and possible understanding the 'why' a little better. It is still there, I'm just finding it easier to accept it. In asking myself the question 'why has it taken this long' I've been thinking, is just a time thing? Have I been worn down and now know there never will be true three dimensional scale in wargaming unless I'm gaming a one to one skirmish game. Or is it that I'm getting stuck into my other hobby, is my need for accurate scale being fed by the P4 discipline in railway modelling? Hmmmm...... I'll probably never really know but I think the two hobbies can complement each other. I've also recently regained a little more enthusiasm for wargaming and painted a few buildings and figures. I'll put this again down wargaming being an opposite discipline but a complimentary one to railway modelling in that it can be a little light relief. I just need to organise my time between both hobbies a little better.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Sturmgesshutz-Abteilung 200 (Part 2)

Blimey I can't believe it was back in February 2010 when I posted the first blog on this little unit. A snail could paint quicker than I do...

Another two companies of Hotchkiss 75mm AT and Hotchkiss 105mm completed. My only disappointment is they are not the same as the previous four. There was a considerable time lapse between purchasing the first four and then the four below during which time Battlefront changed the moulds...

2 x Hotchkiss 75mm AT and 2 x Hotchkiss 105mm,
I know they are only gaming pieces but side by side they do look different. The previous models have a narrower superstructure than the new models. My painting style has also changed slightly over the years so, for the moment, the jury is out whether I'll keep the older models. I suppose it will depend on whether, in the near future, I seriously think I'll need all eight to be on the gaming table at the same time.

I've also been working on the command for Sturmgesshutz-Abteilung 200 (Major Becker)

4.7cm PAK(t) auf PzKanpfwagan 35R)f) ohne Turm & LeSPW u304(f)

Not sure if Becker use a u304(f) as a command vehicle but has I'd a spare already undercoated I though I'd put it to good use. For the moment I think the above two vehicles will have to suffice.

Even though I still have a number of models either undercoated or part painted, I think that will be it for the moment. I've started to sort through all by lead again with a view to reduce the lead mountain. More about this later...

I have been wargaming for 10 years in which time I have finally settled on two eras, Napoleonic and WWII, both in 15mm (1:100). Most of my ramblings will be about gaming in these two eras. An attempt will be made to record my wargaming interests, building of armies, ideas, interests and hopefully some games played.