Friday, August 31, 2012

Let's go camping!

A very quick post - tents. Hard to find in 10mm, so I made a master out of putty and foam, then made a silicone mould and cast a few in resin. Not the best casts but serviceable until I get some more time. These will be used as scenics to represent camps or objectives in scenarios. The can also be used as fillers in the Artillery parks.

In other news I am working on a large number of Artillery pieces and crews, hence the distractions of Artillery park scenics. Getting the number of guns up for both the French and Allies is the current target.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Leave your baggage behind

Long road to war.
In the Napoleonic wars there was a considerable logistical effort when moving hundreds of thousands of men. Even the French, who "lived off the land" and foraged as they went, had a considerable collection of wagons and stock following behind. Generally baggage trains were out of the way of the battle, but can play a interesting role in scenarios or campaigns. In the 1815 campaign, the wet Belgian tracks were gridlocked between battles. Part of the delay in British and Allied troops arriving at Quatre Bras were due to a baggage train jam.

In the larger scales (15mm and 28mm) baggage trains can be expensive to collect. In 10mm they are far more affordable. There are a few different options available. Old Glory, Pendraken and Irregular Miniatures.

These figures are Irregular Miniatures from Eureka, beautifully detailed. A loaded wagon and pack horse. They were undercoated brown, colours blocked in then magic washed. Only an hour or so after dinner one night. The marching soldiers were left over from previous units. They will join the Old Glory wagons I painted 18 months ago. I'll use them as fillers in the Artillery parks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Waterloo - the Downfall of the First Napoleon" Book Review

Battle of Quatre Bras
George Hooper's "Waterloo - the Downfall of the First Napoleon" was originally published in 1862. I was fortunate to get a good copy of the 1890 revised new edition at a second hand bookshop last week.  Weighing in at 345 impressive pages, compete with five fold out maps and appendices, this comprehensive description of the last battles of the Emperor is a joy to read. Drawing on earlier texts from Captain Sibourne and Colonel Charras as well as other accounts, Hooper seeks to correct earlier errors and provide a comprehensive, readable account of the campaign of 1815.

The book is divided in two parts. The first deals with the return of Napoleon, the set up of the campaign and examines in detail the events of the 14th - 18th June. Careful consideration is given to the plans and thinking of both sides of the battles as well as reflections and retrospectives at certain points.

The second part of the book deals with the Allied invasion of France and the capture and exile of Napoleon.

Finally, the appendices deal with the various OOB of the armies involved as well as a nice little piece on "Could Grouchy have saved Napoleon?".

Overall, it seems to present a reasonably balanced view of all the parties involved and contributions made by various nations. It highlights errors made by leaders from all sides as well as what was done well. I found it easy to read and informative. There are a number of small maps of smaller parts of the action, but no other illustrations.

Amazon has some reprints of the book at a modest price. The image on the right links to the page where you can order a copy.

Google has digitised some versions for limited preview and there seems to be some modern reprints. The scans didn't do the maps well. I think I will scan the maps in when I get a chance and put them up on the blog. They are not as detailed as others, but provide a good illustration of the texts.

If you can find a copy, get it. Its a handy little tome for anyone interested in the era.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Imperial Guard Horse Artillery

The Imperial Guard Horse Artillery had four batteries in 1815. Each with 4 6lb guns and 2 howitzers. Two batteries (3rd and 4th Companies) were attached to the Imperial Guard Heavy Brigade and two (1st and 2nd Companies) with the Light Brigade.

The 1st and 2nd were present at Quatre Bras and shelled the Allied troops in between cavalry attacks.

At Waterloo the 1st and 2nd Companies were on the eastern flank, the 3rd an 4th on the west near Hougoumont. Neither saw much action during the day.

I have painted the 1st and 2nd, that were involved in Quatre Bras. The figures and guns are Redline's. Great to paint as usual. The blue and red uniforms are quick to do.

Unfortunately I haven't had an opportunity to paint much else lately, so productivity has dropped.

I have been prepping a large amount of artillery for French, Dutch and British batteries. The focus is to finish most of the Artillery for the 1815 OOB's as well as number of cassions and limbers. 10mm is a great scale to have developed artillery parks.