Monday, December 31, 2012

28mm Continental Infantry, Old Glory First Edition

I finished the last of the scatter this afternoon, and these troops are ready for your viewing pleasure.  I bought five bags of infantry and one bag of artillery, so I have 158 foot and two guns here.

These are six regiments of infantry and two stands of artillery, all castings from Old Glory's old range.  I found these figures adequate, but I would not choose them over Perry, Fife and Drum, or Old Glory's second edition.  I paid $108 for these figures, so I certainly got a lot of lead for the money.  With one bag of skirmishers and one bag of mounted generals, I could have fielded a nice starter army for under $150.  That is Old Glory's great strength: adequate troops for very little money.

These are filler for my army, and I painted them as such.  I started them on December 10th and finished on December 28th, so I was definitely painting quickly.  Still, I varied the uniforms quite a bit, using five different shades of brown for the coats, 11 different colors for gaiters / stockings / overalls, and seven different colors for hats.  I like my Continentals to look motley, and these come close.  If I could have mixed in civilian coats, shirtsleeves, and fringed hunting shirts, as I did with my Perry regiments, I would have been even happier.

Generic Brown Regiment #1 26 figures

Generic Brown Regiment #2 26 figures

Generic Brown Regiment #3 26 figures

Generic Brown Regiment #4 24 figures

If the Continentals ever really had a standard jacket color, it was not the dark blue of our schoolbook illustrations.  The blue coat was only adopted in 1778, when all the northern battles were over, and it is unlikely that blue was ever widely worn.  The American army had supply troubles all through the war, and I imagine that any serviceable clothing would have been acceptable to army quartermasters.

In short, the Continental army was brown, brown, brown.  These four regiments can stand in for almost any unit, any time.

Generic Blue Regiment with Red Facings 24 figures

Generic Blue Regiment with White Facings  24 figures

Of course, some units would have worn blue, so these two regiments represent my nod to the quartermasters.  The unit with white facings has even been able to secure white leg wear for most of the men.  I have still included some brown coats.

Generic Continental Artillery 

This was the standard artillery uniform for both sides: blue coat, red facings.  I painted them with drab gaiters to match my drab army.

Lamb's New York Artillery Company

I saw this uniform in Mollo / McGregor, and I liked the idea of trying something other than the standard red faced blue coat.

So there you have it.  Enough figures for a decent game, at least for one side.  $108, 160 castings, 18 days.

Now if I can ever get going on the British, I may actually be able to fight an American Revolution battle someday.  I have enough bare lead to get a scrap going, but I cannot prime them until the weather cooperates!  I does look like it's supposed to get above freezing here on Monday, and we all know that weather forecasts are never wrong!

AWI Project Continued

I thought I might finish these by Christmas, but it took until the 28th.  Here are 150 infantry, 8 gunners, and 2 guns.

I am basing today.  Tomorrow I will post some pictures of the completed regiments and batteries.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday.  May Santa fill your stocking with lead!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Old Glory First Edition AWI Rankers

I had hoped to be farther along than this by now, but here are the first 40 rankers for my Old Glory regiments.  Only 80 more to paint!

That "DC all" means that all the figures on that stick got Delta's "Dark Chocolate" as their shade on their jackets.  This set of 40 gets all the interesting colors: blues, greys, off-browns.  The other 80 figures all get Dark Burnt Umber jackets.

I knew I wanted my Continentals to look motley, so when I ordered these figures years ago, I ordered a mix of pants and hat styles.  You'll see stockings, gaiters, and trousers, and the hats are half blocked and half floppy.  Old Glory has six different packs of marching Continentals, and I ordered four of them.

Not one of these figures has a black hat.  I may mix some in with my next batch, but then again I may not.  So far I have only painted my officers and NCOs with black hats.  The men in the ranks have various shades of browns, tans, and greys.

In fact, I am treating these figures just like I would a few regiments of Confederates.  I like that look for my Continentals.  I could wish that Old Glory had some marching troops in fringed hunting shirts, civilian coats, and shirtsleeves.  Then I could do with these what I had done with my Perry figures: get the look of an armed mob that is becoming an army.

I am enjoying these figures for what they are.  The poses are a little awkward at times.  The faces can be downright ugly.  The many small folds in clothing make them difficult for my painting method (these really call for an wash technique).  Certainly Perry and Fife and Drum are better.  But these Old Glory figures will work very well for filling out my army.  And I have to admit, they do have a charm of their own.

You know, we really are spoiled for choice in AWI ranges.  For such a niche period, I am amazed at all the excellent ranges available.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Old Glory 15mm Napoleonic Austrian Jager

Before I could host that game last Saturday, I had to get these 42 jager ready for the table.  They are all Old Glory.

I have always liked the Austrian army for its colorful mix of uniforms, and the jager are some of the sharpest looking troops the Austrians fielded.

These troops, with slightly different firearms, would not look out of place in 1914.

The Old Glory figures are full of movement and very attractive.

Some of the figures came with bayonets fixed, but I figured no rifle armed skirmisher would keep his bayonet fixed if he could avoid it.

I used two tone shading throughout.

I primed these figures last Tuesday, painted them on Wednesday, and based them on Thursday.  14 bases took part in our game last weekend.

Monday, December 17, 2012

1809 in Austria

On Saturday the fellows came over to my place for an 18mm Napoleonics game.  We used General de Brigade for a hypothetical meeting engagement in Austria.  I was only able to take one picture of the game before my camera died, but this picture does show the terrain the troops fought over.

A French cavalry brigade (on the other side of the river) has bumped into an Austrian brigade of jager, hussars, grenzer, and a line battalion.  The French have orders to clear the road over the bridge and through the town so the rest of the army can march through.  The Austrians have orders to retard the French movement by holding the town.

The French had a strong division with eight infantry battalions, all line and veteran, and two large line hussar regiments.  The Austrians had a much weaker force, with a mix of smaller hussar regiments, irregular troops, and 2nd line infantry.

I designed the scenario to have variable reinforcements and variable arrival points, but it turned out that all the troops arrived on time and in fairly predictable spots.  The river was fordable everywhere, but troops had to make a die roll to cross, with chances improving each turn.

Kevin commanded the French, and he quickly decided to move by the upper bridge, farther from the town.  Jon commanded the Austrians, and he moved his hussar regiment up to contest the crossing.  That hussar regiment got destroyed in three turns, but it crippled one French hussar regiment and bought time for Austrian reinforcements to deploy and block the approach to the town.

The rest of the battle played out as a series of French attacks on the Austrian line.  Jon's initial brigade, down its hussar regiment, lost its grenzer as well and failed its brigade morale roll.  Kevin's hussar brigade and his leading French infantry brigade also lost heavily and failed brigade morale rolls.

Jon has written up the battle with more pictures on his blog (here).

I like the rules, but every time I play them, I find more things I am doing wrong.  I think the only cure is to play more tactical Napoleonics!  The rules have enough heft to them that I can catch glimpses of their complexity without fully comprehending it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Old Glory First Edition AWI Command Stands

I had planned to paint all 150 Continentals at once, but it was just too much for me.  Instead this week I finished the 30 command figures, which gave me six command stands and six sergeants, who are not pictured here.

All figures are Old Glory First Edition.  Flags are GMB.

The figures are adequate and look nice once painted.  I did a quick paint job on these, not obsessing over the details.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

AWI Loyalists (?)

It's winter in North Idaho, which means I cannot prime figures very easily.  Usually I set aside a warm day in October to spray a few hundred figures, and that sees me through the cold months.  This year I simply forgot.

So instead of finishing projects, I will have to go back and revisit some old ones.  I do have a few hundred odd figures that got primed and then, for whatever reason, set aside.

Like these 150 AWI figures, all first edition Old Glory, all march attack Continentals.  I had primed these about three years ago, ready to paint them once my buddy had finished his British Army.  Of course, he never did get those Brits done, and these Continentals have been sitting on a shelf since then.

I have a few ideas for these guys.

  • Idea One: stick to the original plan, paint these guys as six regiments of Continentals for my British Grenadier American army.  Of course, I have no opponents for my American army, so it makes little sense to make it still bigger.
  • Idea Two: paint these as six regiments of loyalists for my British Grenadier British army.  Although they are in various states of undress, I could simply paint the trousers in different colors, paint the coats red, go with a variety of facings, give them generic British flags, and call them loyalists.  They could then double as British troops as necessary, depending on how particular my friends are.
  • Idea Three: paint these as a mix of Continentals and loyalists, base them individually, and use them for Sharp Practice AWI.  I have both scenario books set in the south, and these figures would allow me to field both sides for any scenario.

I'm really torn between these three.  I have all the GMB flags ready to go for option one.  These figures are in a mix of headgear, pants, and equipment, so they seem to me a good fit for Continentals.

The second option is tempting, as I could start playing some AWI games right away.  I have other figures I would rather use for British, but these will do in a pinch.  The problems I see are that I have no idea what uniforms the loyalists would have worn.  I assume they would have tried to present as British an appearance as possible, but that they would not have been high on any British supply officers priorities.  I also do not know what colors they may have carried in the field.

The third option combines the strengths and weaknesses of the other two.

It's a dilemma.  Or rather a trilemma.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Blue Moon 15/18mm Napoleonic Grenzers

Here are more figures from Blue Moon's Napoleonic range.  These are Grenzers marching, which can be a tough find.  Most manufacturers have their Grenzers in shooting poses, but they were not exclusively skirmish infantry.  I have struggled to find acceptable figures for my 1809 Austrian army, so these Blue Moon figures definitely fill a need for me.

I painted these as the 13th Grenz Regiment, from Nordmann's division in 1809.  Yes, I do know that most Grenzers were in white by then.  I like my Grenzers to wear brown.  The Austrian army already has enough white!

The marching infantry come in three poses,  but they are very similar.  I think two are looking ahead and one is looking slightly to the left, and the three have slightly different grips on their muskets.

I used one of GMB's 15mm flags, which are very nice.  I rarely use anything else any more.  The figures have good raised detail for the braiding on the trousers.  Were I feeling more ambitious, I would try to replicate the black and yellow braid.  As it is, I will settle for yellow.

I went with red for the rolled overcoats.  Again, most Grenzers probably would have switched over to grey overcoats by 1809, but this is a chance to add a splash of color to my Austrian army.

So overall these are very nice figures.  I think one of the more obscure manufacturers makes marching Grenzers, but Blue Moon are the first I have been able to get my hands on.  I guess you could use Hungarian infantry in shakos for close order Grenzers, but you will not have the distinctive hair styles.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Eureka WFR Austrian Infantry

These Eureka figures took me the better part of a month to finish, but I lavished some extra attention on them.  These are three battalions of German line infantry c. 1798.

Here is the 1st Battalion, Infantry Regiment 11.  They had rose facings with white buttons.  I am waiting on a flag for these men.

I paint the traffic hazard pattern on all my Austrian drums.

Here is 1/IR5 with flag from GMB.  The flag pole is a cut down pike from North Star.

As I age, my eyes are getting worse.  These are the first figures for which I have broken out my optivisor.  I know it slowed me down, but it was nice to be able to see what I was painting.

All my Austrian line infantry get barber pole flag poles.  I used a mixture of acrylics, oils, and enamels on these figures.  All the metal (buttons, gun barrels and fittings, shako and cartridge box plates) are Testors enamels.  All the cloth is done with acrylics. The white parts start with Delta's mudstone, and then I paint everything but the recessed areas with Delta's oyster white.  These facings are Delta's blueberry over Delta's manganese blue.  The overcoat is Delta's rain grey over Delta's charcoal.

The knapsack got an initial paint job with acrylics, then a dark brown oil wash.

The regiment in march column shows how much detail I put into these figures.

The musket stocks were painted with acrylic medium flesh.  I then applied a medium thick coat of burnt umber oil paint, loaded my brush with solvent, and streaked off most of the oil paint, leaving the grain pattern you see here.

The canteens start with Delta's brown iron oxide.  The straps are Detla's latte and the main canteen color is Delta's toffee brown.

Shako plates got a coat of Testors gold followed by a burnt umber oil wash.  I then tidied up around the wash with black acrylic paint.

Musket barrels, banding, bayonets, and locks are all Testors Model Master steel.

Faces and hair are all craft acrylics.  For flesh I start with Delta's dark flesh, paint everything but the recesses with medium flesh, then hit the raised areas with fleshtone.  I only used five different shades of hair in this batch.

Here is 2/IR5.  I love those GMB flags!

All told, I spent 25 days on these 60 figures.  That's a pretty slow pace for me, but I had to allow for a lot of drying time for oils and enamels.  The optivisor took some getting used to, and I know it slowed me down as well.

Still, worth it.  Totally worth it.  These are some of my favorite figures I have ever painted.

18mm Blue Moon Caesar's Legions

I have enjoyed Blue Moon's Civil War and Napoleonic figures so much, I though I would see how their ancients look.  These are from packs 15RAE-115 "Roman Legionaries Command" and 15RAE-117 "Roman Legionaries Advancing with Gladius."

The bases are the standard DBx heavy infantry bases, 40mm frontage and 15mm depth.  Although these figures are larger than most (17mm from sole to eye), they fit comfortably on the bases.

I really like these figures, and I have wanted to seriously game Caesar's Gallic Wars for a long time.  I have no idea what rules I would use with 15mm figures, but these are nice enough to tempt me.  I picked up some Gauls in the same order.  If look as good with paint on them as these do, I may have to start scouting out rules.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Austrian General, 1798

I finished painting three battalions of Eureka WFR Autrian infantry last night, and this morning I finished their brigade commander.  

I believe this is supposed to be a colonel, but so far as I can tell, this figure should fill in as a general just fine.

I have not seen anyone paint up this figure with a grey coat, but they would have been almost as common as white.

I spent extra time on this horse, and I think the extra effort shows.

I love this line of figures.  They are pricey, so I have to pick up just a few units at a time, but they are worth the money.