Sunday, September 30, 2012

Generals de Division and Brigade

Undercoat the horse colour
I am a bit short on Generals for my French Brigades and Divisions. There isn't a wide choice of generals in 10mm, and the sizes vary a bit.

Pendraken make a some mounted line officers in their 1809 range. I thought I could use them with a little paint conversions. The uniform is a little different to the 1815 style, but they would do as proxies. They had four styles - Bicorne, Shako, Shako with surcoat and a Guard Grenadier officer. I know that Generals didn't wear shakos, but it makes it easier to see who is who on the table.

Glued onto bases ready for texturing and flocking
I bent a few arms and heads to have some variety and cut a few swords off. I undercoated them brown, black and white - mainly the horse colour to speed things up. A quick block in the colours, lots of gold trim and black magic wash.

I based most of the singly on a 15mm square base for Brigade Generals, and a few in pairs for Division Generals on 20mm squares.

I ended up with 4 Division Generals and 12 Brigade Generals. One Division General will be for Drout and there are four Grenadier Generals which will be for the Imperial Guard Brigade  Leaders.

Now I need to find some more variety for the Corps Commanders and Cavalry Commanders. I have some Old Glory French leaders, but they are a lot smaller in body. Maybe the 3 foot rule will be on my side. I might ned to do some conversions for the Cavalry ones.
General de Division Drout with Generals Friant, Roguet, Morand and Michel 
General Foy with Tissot and Jamin
General Bachelu with Husson and Campi
General Donzelot with Schmitz and Aulard
Generals de Brigade Bauouin and Soy waiting for Prince Jerome to arrive

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Old Maps - 1815 Campaign

George Hooper's excellent 1889 book "Waterloo - the Downfall of the first Napoleon" had five beautifully drawn maps in the end of the book. In online scanned copies of the book, these have been omitted or badly done. I could not find any decent copies of the maps online. I have scanned them in so others may see the elegant plates on different aspects of the campaign.

Click for larger versions of the maps. They are scanned in at 300dpi so they print out quite well, the detail is very clear. There are some blemishes on the original plates, but I think they add to the look. Hopefully they are some use to people.

General Map of 1815 campaign area
Quatre Bras between 4pm and 5pm
Waterloo at 11am
Waterloo 5.30pm

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

French Engineers

Preparing earthen works for the artillery
The French engineering contingent was very modest during the 1815 Campaign. They were used to clear the bridges in the crossing of the Sambre at Charleroi, as well as in the Battle of Ligny during the Guard assault of the village. As there were no engineering tasks at Waterloo, they were kept as reserve infantry and were used during the retreat.

These figures are from the Pendraken 1809 range. They are dressed in the siege uniform, with a metal helmet and cuirass. They have long coat tails from the pre-bardin uniforms, but I don't think anyone will notice on a 10mm figure. The helmets worn at Waterloo by the Guard engineers were like the Carabiner's helmet with a black comb. Previously they were the firemen at the Imperial Palaces.

Dig in boys!
Not so bad to paint, they have much deeper cuts and creases than the Redline figures, so the magic wash settles making the lines well defined. The eye sockets are quite large for the scale of the men.

I based them three to an infantry base, with some rocks in the front where they are digging.

They will be useful in other campaigns and scenarios.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More artillery

Cannons and Cassions
You can never have too many cannons apparently. I needed to beef up the number of batteries on my 1815 forces so I worked on a big batch - 44 guns, all from Redline. Cannons are very affordable in 10mm, and quick to paint. An undercoat (olive for French, grey for Allied), bronze the cannon, paint all the metal bits black the magic wash. Shame the Artillery men are slower, I'll need to paint 132 to man the guns.

Then there will be the limbers, I will need to make one for each gun! I started six French Cassions from Old Glory. They have six horse teams, but I can only fit four on the base, so I have some spare for other projects, Maybe soem scratch built wagons later.

For the Artillery first off the painting rank is the two batteries the French Guard Horse Artillery (for the heavy cavalry brigade). The some British RHA and KGL Foot batteries to fill in gaps in the Allied line up.

Next I will paint some Dutch and Belgian batteries for the Quatre Bras OOB and some French Line Horse Artillery for the Heavy Cavalry Divisions, and some Foot to fill out the Line.

Imperial Guard Horse Artillery for the Heavy Cavalry Brigade
British RFA joining the 2nd British Division

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Napoleon's Carriage

Napoleon abandoning his carriage
During Waterloo, Napoleon's personal carriage was kept at the back of the battle guarded with the other baggage by a battalion of Foot Chasseurs of the Guard. Despite the picture on the left of a defeated Napoleon abandoning his carriage, Napoleon didn't ride away in his carriage after Waterloo. Marchand ordered it to be taken back to avoid capture. Napoleon eventually took one of Marshal Soult's carriages that was left near Genappe.

The carriage itself was captured in the rout after the battle of Waterloo on the 18th June, by Prussian Major von Keller. It was the later acquired by an Englishman William Bullock who put it on exhibition in London to the fascinated public. Later in 1842, the carriage was acquired by Madame Tussaud and was displayed for the next 80 years. Unfortunately in 1925 it was completely destroyed in a fire.

Pendraken's 17th/18thC Carriage
Made in April 1815, it was superby crafted. The interior could be made up to be a bedroom, office, bathroom, dressing room or dining room. It had many secret compartments and clever storage areas where the Emperor's personal effects, maps and some treasure was kept.

There are not a lot of options in 10mm to model this unusual objective piece. Pendraken make an 17th/18th Century Carriage as part of their Seven Years War range. There are not any pictures on the website or the forums or anywhere really, so I took a chance and ordered it to see if it would be suitable.

The kit comes with 4 horses, the carriage and separate wheels, a chest and sack and a driver in 18th C clothing (tricorn, big cuffs, heavy cloak). The carriage itself needed no modification being close enough, other than painting. There is not too much detail on the carriage, it seems pretty generic.

Carriage undercoated

I decided that the driver needed to be converted to having a bicorne and imperial livery. The large cuffs were trimmed down and the tricorne cut off. Bit of green stuff later and ready to prime.

The rest came together pretty well, a bit over an hour and it was all done and based. I used a  spare Chasseur a Cheval of the Guard as an escort. I am not sure about the N on the side, I might paint over it later, my attempt at an eagle was pretty poor. The carriage will make a good objective is the post Waterloo scenarios.

The carriage with escort

Driver sporting a new Bicorne

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Flocked Felt Fields by Hotz Mats

I recently bought three packs of flocked felt fields from Eric Hotz at Hotz Mats to spruce up the terrain options. Fields are often a part of Napoleonic battle fields. For instance, a feature of the Quatre Bras battle field was the rye fields south of the crossroads.

I had difficulty finding some nice looking options for 10mm, I had some adequate ones made from synthetic grass. The teddy bear fur I tried was too long for 10mm, ok for 28, but not right for 10mm. I had been struggling to find exactly the right kind of door mat, that was plain brown and a rubber base.

Contents of 3 Field kits
The pictures on Erics sites looked very appealing, and the reviews were positive, so I ordered three packets of the 6mm - 15mm version. There is a discount for three packets (only $14USD each) and the postage was the same for one or three packets.

The 6mm - 15mm pack contains 6 fields in 3 different sizes. I ended up with 20 fields between the tree packs, totalling an area of 900mm x 600mm (36" x 24"). The ground scale I use is 1mm - 1 yard, so that is a lots of country under cultivation. The smallest field was 100mm x 100mm and the largest 250mm x 200mm.

They come in different colours - green, brown and a yellow which look realistic at a distance. The field is made of a matted fabric with the furrows made with flock glued on. Eric say that they are treated with a sealer to make sure it stays together. They look and feel very durable. The instructions say they can be ironed flat, but it wasn't necessary with the ones I received.
Summer fields of Belgium

They seem to stick nicely to the static grass mat, like a very light velcro feel, and conform nicely to contours. I like the flexibility they give to designing layouts.

Eric was fantastic and prompt with the service, getting from Canada to Australia in 11 days.

Overall I think they add a lot to the feel of the board and are well worth the investment. Full marks Eric.

For more details see
Total contents of the three packs
Back of the fields showing the matted felt

More pictures after the break