Friday, January 30, 2015

The 1st Battalion, Pavlovsk Grenadier Regiment: Complete!

Hello everyone!

In a two-day whirlwind of painting I managed to finish up the other three stands of figures and now the 1st Battalion of the Pavlovsk Grenadier Regiment is complete!

(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

The eighteen Pavlovs I completed most recently; note the height difference between the Minifigs and AB grenadiers.


A view of the Pavlovs that few Frenchmen will ever see; unless the Cossacks have broken into the Regiment's vodka.
The final three stands are mostly old Minifigs, with three AB Pavlovs in greatcoat added to make up the numbers. The AB figures tower over all of the Minifigs, but AB is one of the few companies out there that sell their figures individually, and I only need three to flesh out the regiment. Also, them being in greatcoat ties my painted stands in with the figures that came already painted that makes up one third of my Pavlovs.

As I've done a bit more research into the TO&E of the Russian Army prior to 1812, I've learned that most Russian regiments fielded two battalions, the Pavlovs included. So in the future I will have to paint up a second battalion to complete the Pavlovsk Grenadier Regiment according to the Borodino OOB, which is fine by me since the Pavlovs have such fetching mitres.

Purchased Figures

Well, I had told myself that I wasn't going to be buying any more figures before I left for boot camp, mainly because I wouldn't be able to see them until well into the summer. This resolution has gone by the board, and there are now over 100(!) 1/72 scale figures on their way. But hear me out: I just couldn't pass up the deal I found on eBay.

The lot I found was unmarked as to what was in it (the descriptions only saying "American Revolution/Napoleonic?"), but thanks to Plastic Soldier Review I was able to determine that the lot consisted basically of the contents of Italeri #6066 French Infantry, Strelets #018 Russian Mounted Jagers, and Italeri #6060 American Infantry (from the American War of Independence), plus a mystery plastic mounted figure that I'll have to scrutinize once I see it. All in all it should amount to 109 figures, all at the price of $5.50 shipped! That's five cents a figure! As I said, it was a deal I couldn't possibly pass up.

I'll use the French Infantry for their intended purpose, use the Russian Mounted Jagers as Russian Dragoons (they wore practically the same uniforms, as the mounted jagers were converted from dragoon regiments late in 1812) as the jagers were formed too late for Borodino, and the AWI American Infantry as pre-1806 Portuguese infantry, which wore distinctively old-fashioned uniforms before the Barretina shako was introduced.

Portuguese Infantry, 1790s-1806, wearing handsomely old-fashioned uniforms that are strikingly similar to AWI uniforms.
Will I have any use for a unit of Portuguese in these old uniforms? Probably not, but they'll look classy anyways. But, like I said, I won't get to see them until late this summer, so I'll have something to look forward to and something to post about later.

Coming soon: This is probably the last painting I'll get done before I leave for boot camp Monday morning, unless by some miracle my French Foot Dragoons arrive tomorrow so I can put up a review and knock out a stand. I don't want to get started on something and then have to leave it half finished for five or six months. We'll just ahve to see what Mr. Postman brings.

Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

More Pavolvsk Grenadiers

Hello everyone!

I was able to quickly paint up another stand of Russian Pavlovsk Grenadiers, bringing the regiment up to half strength (remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions).

The chap in the greatcoat came already painted in an eBay lot that I won last month, and only needed a few touch-ups and a new skin tone to complete (still counts as a painted fig in my totals though!). The other five are all old Minifigs that I also won on eBay; these were in a strip of five figures that I had to clip apart.

The old Minifigs, five to a strip.
These guys are so easy and quick to paint that I got them done in no time.

Coming soon: As quick as these Grenadiers were to paint, I may try to get the whole regiment done before I leave for boot camp. Also, if my French Foot Dragoons arrive before I leave I'll try to put a review up, and maybe paint a stand's worth as well. We'll see.

Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Bravest of the Brave

Hello everyone!

A quick post today. My painting mojo was strong last night and this morning and I was able to quickly finish up another French Marshal: Michel Ney, Duc d'Elchingen!

(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

These are all lovely AB figures, and painted up very quickly. In order to fill up part of the large base I tried my hand at creating a dead and fallen tree, which is just a painted twig; I thought it turned out rather well. The base is the same size base that I placed Marshal Murat on, which gives you a pretty good indication of the differences scale-wise between 18mm figures and 1/72 figures. Ney (in the center) his joined by a mounted infantry colonel to his left and an officer of the 13th Dragoons on his right.

Ney is my favorite Frenchman of the Napoleonic Wars. I'm not sure why, but I've always been taken with his agressive leadership style, as well as the fact that, due to both his temper and red hair, he was known as the "Firey Gascon." He was also called "Le Rougeaud" (which means "The Ruddy-Faced").

Ney was born to common parents in the Lorraine region of France, where he learned to speak both French and German. Thanks to the French Revolutionary Wars, Ney was able to rise from the enlisted ranks of the 4th Hussars to a commission in October of 1792. By August 1796 Ney was a general de brigade, and he continued to rise.

Ney became a Marshal on 19 May 1804, and served all over Europe in most of France's major campaigns, including the Battles of Elchingen (for his actions there he was awarded his dukedom), Jena, Magdeburg, Eylau, Guttstadt-Deppen, Friedland, Ciudad Rodrigo, Almeida, the Coa, Bussaco, Pombal, Redinha, Casal Novo, Smolensk, Borodino, Krasnoi, Berezina, Lutzen, Bautzen, Dennewitz, and Leipzig. He was supposedly the last Frenchman to leave Russia after the disasterous Russian Campaign, and was called "the bravest of the brave" by Napoleon for his fearless leadership. After briefly joining the Royalist Army after Napoleon's exile to Elba, he rejoined Napoleon in the Hundred Days and fought at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, where he is famously remembered for leading the massive French cavalry attack against Wellington's infantry squares.

After Waterloo, Ney was imprisioned and sentenced to be executed for treason; he requested and was given permission to give his firing squad the order to fire. Officially Ney was executed on 7 December 1815; unofficially there have been claims that Ney's death was faked (supposedly with the help of high-ranking Allied officers, including the Duke of Wellington) and the red-headed Frenchman was allowed to quietly emmigrate to the southern United States, where he lived into old age. I personally choose to believe that he faked his execution and escaped, not only because there is compelling evidence that this might have actually been the case, but also because it makes for a better story for a pretty cool guy.

Coming soon: I'm not sure. It needs to be something I can complete quickly... maybe some casualty markers?

Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Monday, January 26, 2015

1st Battalion, 88th Regiment of Foot, and More!

Hello everyone!

It's been a little while since I've been able to get anything posted up the the blog, and my only excuses are that I haven't had the time and I've been under the weather. But, this means that now that I have the time, I've come with a vengence! Today I've completed the 1/88th Regiment of Foot (the Connaught Rangers) for the Peninsula, as well as a stand of the 5th West India Regiment for New Orleans. I've also bought a few more figures since my last post, as well as a few books that might be of interest. So without further ado, here we go!

(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

Painted Figures

I painted up the remaining thirty figures that I needed to complete the Connaught Rangers, which I started way over a year ago (you can see the command stand in detail here). Unlike the command, which were all AB figures, the rank and file are a mix of Fantassin 18mm and Essex 15mm. The Fantassin figures are on par size and proportion wise with the AB figures, but they are cruder in their sculpting style. The Essex figures are nice and clean, but look a little dwarfish. Anyway, here are the figures that I finished up:

The Irishmen of the 1/88th that I completed most recently...

...and the entire Battalion drawn up into line. General Picton (who commanded the 3rd Division) apparently had a love-hate relationship with these Irish soldiers, probably because, in Oman's words, the 88th was "the most Irish of all Irish regiments." However, it is apparent that he came to admire their tenacity in a fight. Check out this link for a nice concise history of the Connaught Rangers during the Peninsular War.

With the 1/88th finished, this completes the British 3rd Division's 1st Brigade, commanded by Henry Mackinnon at Fuentes de Onoro. Here's the entire brigade together:

1st Brigade, Picton's 3rd Division. From front to rear: Henry Mackinnon, Brigade commander; 3 companies, 5/60th Regiment (Royal Americans)  1/88th Regiment (Connaught Rangers); 1/45th Regiment (Nottinghamshire); 1/74th Regiment (Highland).
Finally, I completed six Minifigs 15mm British in Belgic shako figures to represent a company of the 5th (Howe's) West India Regiment, which fought at the Battle of New Orleans. The unit was a 'colored' Regiment, consisting mostly of former slaves and freedmen and commanded by white officers. These units performed well and were mostly tollerant of the equatorial diseases which devestated European soldiers serving in the Carribean. This and the other West Indies Regiments had distinctive uniforms, especially after 1812, with Belgic shakos, jackets with rounded lapels of the facing color and piped shoulder straps, and light blue trouser-gaiters.

Purchased Figures

If you keep track of such things, you may have noticed that the "Purchased" columns of the 2015 Totals box have been crreping steadily upwards. Most of these figures were AB orders that I placed in order to flesh out the figures that I already have in order to complete several units, as well as the figures I wanted for a couple of command stands (Wellington and Marshal Ney). I also picked up nine mounted Russian general staff officers off of eBay, as well as another 1/72 Strelets set: French Foot Dragoons and Polish Grenadiers, Set 009. I got these mainly for the foot dragoons, of which I will eventually painted up a full Regiment, probably the 16th Dragoons, though the Poles will be useful for fleshing out the Vistula Legion.

With me leaving for boot camp next week, I doubt I'll get much more painted until well into the summer at the earliest, so I think that this year I'll probably be in the negative numbers for my "totals."


I picked up three books which may or may not be interesting to y'all out there. The first is a new set of rules, the second is a non-fiction book, and the third is a Napoleonic fiction novel.

Recently I recieved in the mail a new set of rules: Field of Glory Napoleonics. I've spent the last couple of weeks looking them over, so I thought that I'd write down some initial impressions. That being said, of course, without playing a game with them it's impossible to get a full picture of the game's nuances. Basically, it's a Corps level game, with emphasis on grand tactical maneuvering. From what I can tell, the rules strive to be very period specific, with a plethora of charts and tables that represent the different troops of the Napoleonic Wars, as well as emphasizing the use of period-appropriate tactics in order to be successful. Since it's a corps level game I won't have enough figures painted to play it any time soon, but it will be nice to have for big battles in the future.

I picked up this non-fiction book on eBay because I was running out of things to read and it was cheap: The Frigates: An Account of the Lighter Warships of the Napoleonic Wars, by James Henderson, CBE. This is a historical monograph chronicling the majority of the frigate actions fought by the Royal Navy, begining in 1793 when Revolutionary France declared war on Great Britian and going through the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. The frigate actions between the Royal Navy and my own United States Navy during the War of 1812 are also discussed. I've only just begun reading it, but it is well written and is very detailed.

Finally, I picked up Sails on the Horizon: A Novel of the Napoleonic Wars by Jay Worrall. This is a fiction book, written in the same spirit as Patrick O'Brien's Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin novels and  C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels. The novel opens in 1797 at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, and follows the early career of a lieutenant named Charles Edgemont as he is promoted to Commander, finds love, and goes to sea, fighting his own frigate for the first time. I read it in two days; I thought it was well written and quite the page-turner. If you like O'Brien or Forester, check this one out.

Coming soon: Currently I'm working on another command stand, Marshal Ney. When Ney first arrived from AB, he was slightly miscast, missing his right foot. A little bit of green stuff later and no one's the wiser. He and his two companions are primed and I've already started painting them.

Other than that, I don't have much more to say. I'll post Ney when he's done, then we'll see how much time I have left remaining here in Kentucky; I leave for US Navy boot camp a week from today.

Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Battle of New Orleans 200th Anniversary

Hello everyone!

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, the final battle of a war that had already ended fought on January 8th, 1815, I have for your entertainment a short video depiction of the battle:

I hope you enjoy this 100% accurate reenactment of actual events.*


But in all seriousness, let's take a moment to remember all of the Americans and British who died that day in what was in most respects a pretty pointless war. That being said, even though they may have burned down the White House we sure licked the British that last time!

Thanks for looking!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year! (Featuring 'The Dandy King')

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope everyone has been having a good start to their 2015s... I know that I have. Things have been pretty productive for me too, at least in the last few days. The 1/88th Regiment of Foot is well underway, as is a stand of the 5th West Indian Regiment. I've purchased some more 1/72 figures, and, lastly, I've finished a command stand: Marechal de France Joachim-Napoleon Murat, Roi de Naples.

(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)



Here are all of the figures mocked up on their oval base. The figures come from three different sets: Murat is from Strelets #0003, the officer standing with the telescope and the mounted officer are both from Italeri set #6018, and the two horses standing in the back are from Italeri # 6016.
This stand is supposed to represent Murat as he would have been during the Russian Campaign of 1812, though because he fought for many years in the Peninsula I'll probably use this stand for both theaters when I game. Murat was called "The First Horseman of Europe" by his brother-in-law Napoleon Bonaparte, and he was known for being both a flamboyant dresser and a dashing and able cavalry commander. He was the King of Naples from 1808 until his death in 1815. This, combined with his elan, earned him the sobriquet "the Dandy King." A very interesting character, and one of those men that makes the Napoleonic Wars such an interesting period of history to study.

I painted Murat based on a number of different pictures that I found from various sources around the Internet, wearing a green undress coat, low czapka style hat with feathers, white trousers piped red and riding boots. His horse has been saddled with a tiger pelt; I cut this out of a piece of paper and stiffened it in place over the saddle with super glue. I am really pleased with my painting on the tiger pelt; it turned out really good. I couldn't resist giving Murat a tiger pelt once I saw a picture of Murat riding a horse with one.

The two officers Murat is with are from two different hussar regiments. At Borodino Murat had in his cavalry corps the 5th through 9th Hussar Regiments, and here I've depicted officers of the 6th (red and blue) and the 8th (red and green). Their horses are saddled appropriately for their regiments as well.

1/72 Review" Italeri #6001: Scots Greys

Initial Impressions

I picked these up on eBay because they were cheap and I won the auction. I was excited because according to Plastic Soldier Review this set came with 18 figures, which is a full unit of cavalry per box. So before they arrived I had been planning on using them for the 1st and 4th Dragoons, wearing watering caps for the Peninsula. I was a bit peeved when they arrived and one of the boxes was missing a whole sprue.

The two boxes of Scots Greys. One of them was still sealed, while the other was opened. The opened box only contained one of the two sprues in this set.
These guys are in the 1815 uniform of the Scots Greys as they rode at Waterloo, wearing beasrskins with oilskin covers and post-1812 uniforms. To convert them to Peninsular Dragoons in watering caps I'll neet to trim their hats a little, turn the officer's hat into a bicorne with green stuff, and then paint them to look like the older uniforms. The sculpts are very clean, with no flash, and anatomically correct.


These chaps are closer in size to Revel or hat than they are to the honking great Italeri Imperial Staff and Line/Guard artillery. The horses are much smaller and the figures are noticably smaller as well compared to other Italeri mounted figures that I've worked with.

Sprue #3

Though they are smaller, these guys are of the same quality that I'm used to with Italeri. There are no prominent mold lines, no flash to speak of, and the scupting is top notch. These guys will be a pleasure to convert and paint.

Sprue #2


Like I said, the only reason I bought these guys in the first place was because they were really cheap. I got 27 horses and riders for $9 and some change, which averages about $0.33 per figure. This is a bit more expensive than I've bought 1/72 figures for in the past, but I was also expecting to get 9 more horses and riders.

Overall I like these guys, and they'll be painted up as one of the Dragoon regiments that served in the Peninsular War, like the 1st or the 4th.

Coming Soon: I've got the 1/88th and a stand of the 5th West Indian Regiments halfway done on the workbench right now, and hopefully I'll be able to finish these guys by the end of the week. Some of you may notice the "2015 Totals" box at the top of the blog tracking my painted vs purchased figures; all of these figures will put me back in the positive again, for the time being anyway. I've also ordered a new rule set to look over; I'll discuss it when it arrives in the mail.

Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!