Thursday, March 9, 2017

US generic flag for 1812

Well - I found that it is quite hard to find suitable sources for the different line regiment flags of the US Army of 1812-14. Or maybe I'm just not looking in the right corner of the web? I bought a set of the new Strelets British marching infantry because I like Strelets figures, I wanted to make some paint conversions for the war of 1812 theatre and I wasn't able to get some HaT British. The set contains a flagbearer with a blank flag. Cutting it off in order to replace it with a printed flage would have looked silly because of the flagpole's thickness.

So after not being able to find the original flags for the 16th regiment of the line, I decided to get along with a very generic flag. Maybe you guys could tell me if that's alright or if it is problematic for a reason? Who knows how the regimental colours have looked like? Is there any good source on the web? I'm happy for every help!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

War of 1812 special

Hello, hello!

I'm still there. Don't panic. Not that I haven't painted something during February, but it was all too diverse and too many things still lay on my desk. I had been experimenting for a while, which was the fact that kept me from completing many things. Today, I have some snapshots of what I'm currently working on and that's:

Soldiers of the British/US war of 1812

Some may say: pretty unusual stuff for someone who lives in Europe. And yes, that's right. European history has Napoleon and his wars so much in focus that you don't read much about the things that were going on in northern or southern America during the 19th century, except from the well-known American secession war, some WildWest-stuff and (if you're lucky) the Alamo (as if that wasn't just a single battle). Not to speak of the liberation and unifications wars on the Southern American continent... (total blank in German schoolbooks)
South Carolina militiaman

Well. Research on that matter wasn't as hard as I had expected. And due to my surprise, I found a hell of a lot different uniforms. In fact, back in 1812 even the US Army hadn't adopted a completely uniformed appearance. From grey to brown to blue to black to fawn, in the beginning of the war there was a large number of uniform colours to be seen even in the regular regiments, not to speak of all these militia units that were sent by the different states.

One thing that makes it fairly easy to make up an army for the US/British war of 1812 is the fact that both armies used pretty much the same sort of uniform and equipment. Differences, as for example the backpacks that looked different in US use (or were just the same backpacks, but covered with blue cloth that often had a 'US' or state mark on it), can be easy emulated.

Early Upper Canada militia

I had seen on the pages of Hagen miniatures that they offer a range of British soldiers in colonial uniforms for the early 19th century campaigns. As many units, especially in the early phase of the US/British conflict, wore these hats as well, I thought that these figures could be a good basis for my little '1812 tryout'.

Canadians, Left: Montreal militia

Canadians, Right: sharpshooter of the Leeds rifle company
2nd Glengarry regiment (Canadian)
At first I found out that these figures are not as hell of a much detailed as the Rifles from Hagen were (see on the right side, you can use them as light infantry (i.e. the Glengarry regiment) as well). But thinking about it again when I had the first ones painted, I don't think that this matters much too much.

First: these are still very nice metals. Not chunky, not clumsy, though not too crisp. But they have their details where you need them and will surely make a great appearance in masses on a wargaming table or in groups on a diorama.

Second: their uniforms aren't that splendid anyway. For many units, you need to trim away all the laces, slim up the cuffs, cut away the plumes etc., so all that's left is more or less a very blank uniform.

Pennsylvania militia (l-t-r): volunteer brig.Porter/113th regiment/Pittsburgh blues
So do these figures do their job as War of 1812 militia? Yes, of course they do. And as a Napoleonics enthusiast, I can only recommend other miniature painters to give that theatre a go because what I show you here is only a slight piece of the mass of different units you could paint.

There's loads of different militia units. There's lots of different line infantry units. There's lots of colourful flags never to be seen on the European continent.

And there's a lot to be learned about the early years of US/British policies and to what this war (which is not even that much noticed in the USA itself) led concerning the development of the USA and it's neighbours.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

More British rifles

Here's the rest of the photos I made of my British rifles. In fact, these are figures on the march. Hagen also offers standing figures and Riflemen in battle.

If you ask me, these figures are marvellous because they have sort of an 'in the field' look. Not that shiny clean 'regulation book' style in which soldiers under field conditions never really looked like.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Baden jager - first pics

Hey friends - here are the first pictures of my new Baden jager (light infantry) figures.
Sculptor is Francesco Messori (Franznap), the figures are produced and distributed by Schilling figures.
Not to say that this is, in my eyes, really high-end-stuff.

 I still feel a little bit involved in this whole thing. Some years ago, I met Francesco at FIGZ in Arnhem and he asked me what I thought was the biggest blind spot in the 1/72 Napoleonic miniatures market. My answer was: the army of Baden.
Although Baden provided one of the larger contingents in the line of Napoleons German allies, nobody at that time  produced Baden figures in the 1/72 scale. Bavarians, Wurttembergers... they were all there, but Baden? Nope.

 These here are light infantry jagers (hunters). The figures are delivered without backpacks, which does make sensebecause for agility and swiftness, all unnecessary equipment was often left behind on the baggage wagons or inthe camp. When Baden jagers were stationed as rear guard troops for defending Leipzig, they were for example responsible for guarding supply convoys, policing the roads and eliminating enemy scouts.

Baden troops were involved in many battles during Napoleons' greatest years. They served in the battles against Austria, in the Tirolean uprising, in Spain, in Russia, even in the decisive battle of Leipzig. Due to many records, they performed well. That means that those troops are a great deal for wargamers as well.

Franznap has in the meantime built a lot of different Baden troop types, from infantry to cavalry. I guess the only thing missing to set up a complete Baden army is the artillery branch.

I really like these figures, hope you do, too.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Short notice: British rifles by Hagen Miniatures

Hey there!
I'm currently finishing some British riflemen I recently bought at Hagen Miniatures.
Hagen offers a range of British riflemen that include standing/resting figures as well as riflemen in marching and fighting poses. What makes them most attractive to me is their rugged look. They wear outworn trousers, patches on their clothes... it all gives them the look of men staying in a battle theatre long enough to have lost that splendid parade look. If you look for realistic figures more then the 'by the book' style, you should give those Rifles a go. ;-)

So this is just the first one in order to give you an idea of how these figures look like when painted. As most people would paint riflemen in the uniform colours of the famous 95th regiment, I decided to paint these chaps in the uniform colours of the Royal 5/60th, which fought with Wellington's troops during the Peninsular campaign.

Here's another one, wearing a non-original legwear. ;-D

I'll show you the other figures when they're ready. I have also started to paint the Baden Jager figures and I'm about to finish some more Italians - unusual stuff this time. ;-)

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 passes away... let it do so

Let's face it – the year is over and done. Here are the holidays and in a few days, 2016 is history. On political and global level, it was a year certainly not being of the best sort. We saw a lot of good artists die and go, we had almost every day a terror attack somewhere on this planet and, after all, never in past-world-war history, there have so many people on the run worldwide. So let's keep in mind to try making this world a better place for us all should be our intention for 2017, everybody on his/her level of abilities.

And to the hobbyists: keep on painting!

Statistics time again!

But away with that. As always, at the end of a year I'm doing an inspection of my 'painting performance' which was, as always, not as high as I would have wanted. Here's the original plan was:
  • One single- and one multi figure vignette for Heiden ISSC (CHECK)
  • One single-figure vignette for FIGZ (CHECK)
  • Baden jagers
  • Completing my 12 Russian-hussar-regiments display
  • 4 other Austrian lancers
  • Voltigeurs and command of the seven Italian line infantry regiments (CHECK)
  • Fusiliers of the Kingdom of Holland line infantry regiments (CHECK)
  • French colonial troops (CHECK)
  • Guards of Venice
  • Garde de Paris, white, green and red uniforms (one of four)
Okay. The Baden Jagers were, together with a lot of Baden fusiliers, my xmas present. So, finally, I can start with them next year. The checklist doesn't look that impressive, but I've done a whole lot of other things instead:
In total, that's 111 completed figures plus a tank and 10 figures still on my desk, being in an different states of painting. Taken into account that the building and painting time for the SU100 was equaling the painting time for a row of horses, my performance was slightly above that of 2015. Which is, once after all, a surprise for me because I thought I had done less then that. Plus: I had lots of fun painting other things then Napoleonics. Sorry to say so, but it's just like that. 

Now here's my personal Check-and-don't-make-it-once-again-as-alway-list for 2017:
  • One single or multi figure display for FIGZ
  • A multi-figure setup just in case I decide to go to the Lingen show
  • Completing Baden Jagers and fusiliers
  • Complete my Russian hussar vignette
  • Complete the SU100 vignette with tank riders
  • Complete the French departmental guard display (14 figures left)
  • Finish my Kingdom of Holland setup of Pre-Bardin units until FIGZ (only 4 figures to go)
  • Finish the Garde de Paris (3 units left)
If finances are good enough, there's a very special figure up to follow and I'm planning to buy some figures from Hagen in order to dress them up for representing 1812 US-american militia.

Okay. Course is set. Engage!

Saturday, December 24, 2016


All the best to you and all your friends and families! Have a nice christmas time, lots of fun and some relaxing time.
(and don't let that little nasty snowman catch you ;-))

Thank you for following my blog in 2016, hope to see you here again also next year and many more years to come. I wish you all much success, health and fun for the forthcoming year 2017.

P.S.: that little snowy dude is one of the Xmas bonus figures from Schilling figures - thank you so much for it!