Wednesday, January 27, 2016

28mm Foot Dragoon, New Figures and Books!

Hello everyone!

Work progresses on the command figures for the 2nd Nassau Infantry Regiment; each currently has painted pants and boots! I'll continue work on them sporadically when I get opportunities. I did manage to finally finish up the dismounted French Dragoon that I started over my New Year's holiday back home.

He turned out rather well. I then spent an evening going through my lead pile (not an easy task, especially considering that it is packed behind the seat of my pickup) looking for the mounted Dragoon figure that came with the 25mm figures I bought on eBay last fall. When I finally dug him out, to my dismay I discovered that it was not, in fact, a Dragoon, but a Cuirassier. Sigh.

Naturally, my only recourse was to purchase some new figures! An order was placed with Brigade Games, an in addition to a 28mm Dismounted French Dragoon officer and trumpeter, I picked up a pair of mounted 28mm British officers to use as commanders for my 28mm brigades (this pack also came with a pioneer figures), and enough figures to build a unit of British naval infantry in 28mm (12 figures). Most if not all of these figs are Paul Hicks sculpts and I know sight-unseen that they will be wonderful minis.

Last week I went over to the bookstore again, and, as per usual, I found some more good books for sale, including a real gem!
British Military Uniforms and Equipment, 1788-1830: Volume 1, Researched by P.W. Kingsland, under direction of the National Army Museum (London) and illustrated by Peter Henville and Malcolm McGregor. I LOVE this book; it's huge! Probably 18 x 12 inches. It features huge, full color illustrations printed on high quality slick paper; I imagine these were originally intended to be removed and framed. Accompanying each print are researched articles on the uniforms and equipment employed by the soldiers in the print. Also, the frontispiece indicates that only 2500 copies of this edition were ever printed, so it's relatively rare. What a find! That's why I love second hand bookshops.

Osprey's Flags of the Napoleonic Wars (3) by Terence Wise and Guido Rosignoli. This one features flags (both in color and in black and white) of Anhalt, Kleve-Berg, Brunswick, Denmark, Finland, Hanover, Hesse, The Netherlands, Mecklenburg, Nassau, Portugal, Reuss, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Westphalia. I mainly got this because of my ongoing Nassau project, but it will be useful for my Spaniards and Portuguese as well.  

Another Osprey: Napoleon's Campaigns in Italy by Philip Haythorntwaite and Richard Hook. To be honest I bought this book as a source of reference for a writing project I've been kicking around.
And finally Hornblower and the Hotspur by C.S. Forester. Because Hornblower.

Coming soon: More work on the Nassauers.

Also, the long lost figures that I ordered last November finally made their way to me after being lost in the Navy's mail system for two months. It is a limber for my 15mm British rocket artillery. Additionally, I put together the first test figure for my KGL Hussars the other day. I'm pleased with how he came out; he certainly went together a lot easier than my Nassau drummer!

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


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nassauer Conversions

Hello everyone!

Short post tonight. Over the last couple of days I managed to put together four of the Perry plastic Austrians to form the command stand for the 2e Regiment d'Infanterie de Nassau. For most of them the process was relatively straight forward after getting over the initial learning curve (I don't have much experience with multi-part plastic figures), all but the frickin drummer. That little b@$tard had a bunch of little pieces to put together, and after dropping half of them and more swear words than I care to admit to saying I finally got him together.

Following that little fiasco was over and I had cooled down for a day, I set about modifying the existing plastic parts to make their uniforms correct for Nassauers wearing the older 1806 uniforms. The officer was easy--I simply carved away his sash to give him a French-style greatcoat. I plan on keeping his pistol as I've seen similar holsters on Frenchmen in my Funcken books.

The drummer (darn him), pioneer and standard bearer were even easier conversions, only requiring a greenstuff plume on the left side of their helmets. I didn't even have to change the flagpole; since the Nassau regiments didn't carry Eagles, the existing spear point from the Austrian mini was perfect the way it was.

Nassau Pioneer

Nassau Standard Bearer

Nassau Drummer... the git
I got them primed last night, and tonight I plan on getting started on them. Thanks for looking!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hodge-Podge: New Figures, Books and Followers

Hello everyone!

A bit of a hodge-podge post today. My holiday break is over now, and I'm settled back into my work schedule again. Today I went to my local game store and came across these:

Forty-eight plastic Perry Miniatures Austrians... at 45% off! That was a deal-maker, and even though I don't collect Austrians I snapped them up in a heartbeat, making these chaps my first Napoleonic figure purchases for 2016.

With these lads safely in my grubby paws, the task then became to find a suitable use for them in the scope of my existing collections. This quest for knowledge naturally lead me to one place: the second-hand bookshop!

Per custom, I began looking for anything Napoleonic uniform related, and soon came across this little gem hiding on the shelf:

Not a very large book, but it covers all of the armies and their various units that fought at Waterloo, complete with black and white drawings and color plates. Only $5? Sold!

However, I still needed some use for my new Austrian miniatures, which lead me over to the small section of Osprey titles. Seeing as I was looking for a French-allied nation that ideally wore Austrian-inspired uniforms, this title caught my eye:

Within, I found several illustrations of Nassau infantry not just wearing Austrian/German style uniforms, but also wearing the snazzy leather helmets. I really like these leather helmets, and even though they were discontinued from use around 1809 (don't quote me on that), my Nassauers will be wearing them. They should look something like this:

Nassau Grenadier
To top it all off, Nassau infantry saw a lot of fighting in the Peninsula, which is perfect for my needs! So, 48 miniatures and two books added to the collection. Not a bad Saturday afternoon!

On the painting front, I managed to get the dismounted French dragoon 80% done while at home last weekend, all but his face and helmet. I'll remedy this this week; Monday is a national holiday here in the U.S. and I don't have to work. I'll also get started on a mounted French dragoon officer (one of the 25mm Minifigs I bought on eBay last September. This will form a French Dragoon command stand.

I would also like to welcome another follower to my blog: Doug. You can find his blog here: . Thanks for following, Doug!

Coming soon: French Dragoons, and maybe some Nassauers?

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


Friday, January 8, 2016

A New Book and On-The-Fly Painting Setup

Hello everyone!

While home for New Year's leave, my mother and I stopped by the local public library where they were having a book sale. As you may or may not know, it is very difficult for me to not take a look at books for sale, and I left there with some new books for very cheap. While I hadn't expected to find anything Napoleonic-related, I was pleasantly surprised to find this old paperback hiding amongst the others:

The Causes of the War of 1812: National Honor or National Interest? edited by Bradford Perkins, is a 1965 collection of excerpts from historians examining a number of possible causes for the War of 1812. I foresee this as being an interesting read, as well as an interesting piece of historiography regarding the War of 1812. Over to the left in my "2016 Totals" bar I've added a section to track purchased books as well as miniatures, and at $0.50, this one wasn't a bad deal at all.

On he painting front, I've  prepped the only Napoleonic figure in the house, the dismounted French Dragoon I ordered from Brigade Games on Black Friday, for painting. Since my real painting setup is in California and I'm sitting on the couch in Kentucky, I had to scrounge around for some of my old paints and brushes, but I managed to find a basic palette that will work for this chap. All that was left was for me to run by the local game store here, where I picked up some Citadel Skull White primer and a pot of Caliban Green for his jacket, and now I'm all set. I'll prime him tonight and begin work probably tomorrow; tonight my parents and I are going to see "The Revenant" at the movie theater in town. Stay tuned.

Coming soon: A painted French Dragoon.

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


Friday, January 1, 2016

Goodbye 2015, Welcome 2016!

Hello everyone!

I hope that everyone has had a safe and happy New Year!

As I ring in the New Year here at Chuck's Napoleonic Wargames, I thought I'd take a look back at 2015 and everything I managed to accomplish. I also think that it would be good to set some goals for myself for the coming year. But first, I thought I'd show you a few Christmas gifts that I received.

Being in the Navy and living on west coast of the United States (over 2000 miles from where my family lives) I wasn't able to be home for Christmas Day. I was able to take leave for New Years, and as I sit here writing I can smell the hogjaw, cabbage and black-eyed peas cooking, traditional Appalachian food for New Year's Day, said to bring luck for the coming year. My Christmas festivities were over the past two days, and I was surprised with a few gifts.

New Gifts for the New Year

This is an antique comic book from my Aunt. She initially bought it just because it said "Navy" without realizing that its subject matter is the exploits of the US Navy from its foundation through the War of 1812! A happy coincidence! It dates from 1958, by Stokes Walesby and Theodore Roscoe, and does a fair job of summing up the Navy's first thirty-odd years of existence. It is, however, a product of its time, complete with some interesting adjective choices; I think the connotations of the word "lusty" have changed over the past fifty years!

This one was a surprise gift from my mother and sister: Patrick O'Brien's Navy: The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World, edited by Richard O'Neill. This book is lavishly illustrated and chock full of  information that explains the life and times of the characters from Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin books, which I read in high school. A very, very nice book, and a great addition to my reference library.

And then there's this chap, a 28mm dismounted, skirmishing French dragoon. This is a Brigade Games figure, sculpted by Paul Hicks, which I added to my Black Friday purchase to meet the minimum price to use a coupon. He's destined to form part of a Dragoon Command stand/vignette.

2015 In Review

2015 marked the 200th Anniversaries of the Battle of New Orleans, the Battles of Quatre-Bras and Ligny, and of course the Battle of Waterloo. This year was also a very busy and exciting year for me. I started a new career, moved across the country, and there were times where I couldn't really do anything hobby-related. However, that all being said, I managed to get quite a bit of painting done, and even more purchasing done.

So here is the final totals from my blog for the year:

15mm Foot Painted: 61
15mm Horse Painted: 3
15mm Guns/Wagons Painted: 0
1/72 Foot Painted: 20
1/72 Horse Painted: 3
1/72 Guns/Wagons Painted: 0
28mm Foot Painted: 41
28mm Horse Painted: 0
28mm Guns/Wagons Painted: 1
15mm Figures Purchased: 60
1/72 Figures Purchased: 179
28mm Figures Purchased: 174
Guns/Wagons Purchased: 5
Total (Painted - Purchased): -288
Units Completed: 2
Command Stands Completed: 2
Casualty Markers Completed: 4
I managed to complete the 1/88th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers) and the 1st Battalion of the Pavlovsk Grenadiers, the command stands for Marechals de France Joachim-Napoleon Murat and Michel Ney, and three British and one Russian casualty markers.
This past year also marked my turning to the "dark side" and expanding my Napoleonics collection to include 28/25mm figures. Additionally, I expanded my Napoleonic library by 15 books over the past year and visited two museums, the San Diego Maritime Museum and the USS Midway Museum.
All in all, a pretty productive year for how busy I've been!
Goals for the New Year
  1. Paint more figures than I purchase.
  2. Finish 4 infantry regiments.
  3. Finish 2 cavalry regiments.
  4. Finish 2 artillery batteries.
  5. Finish 3 command stands.
  6. Finish 5 casualty markers.
  7. Play a game with my figures.
This seems to be an achievable set of hobby goals for the year. We'll see how that goes...
Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!