Monday, December 31, 2018

Year's end

Well. That was it. Swoosh - 2018 is almost dead and gone. Freaking quick, the year passed by.

Unfortunately, this year became so much filled with business, politics and kid's sports that there had been almost no time at all for the hobby. Nevertheless, I have still not given up. There's a bunch of 25mm French hussars on my desk which I work on every now and then, plus I couldn't withstand to place an order on the new Strelets Prussian Landwehr sets. I've been waiting for years for good plastic Landwehr, so let's see how good they really are - and I promise that there's an unboxing article coming up in January.

As the next year will presumably not be much lesser busy then this year was, I don't make any painting plans this time - it would just put me under unnecessary stress. What we all don't need is unnecessary stress. ;-)

The only thing I can promise is that I'm not out of the hobby and that I'll keep up with what I'm doing - just way more slower then I did in the last years. And by the end of 2020, things are going to be much easier then today.

So for now, I wish all of you a good, healthy and happy new year. Make 2019 your year, folks!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Saxon artillery

Short notice: I'm still there. Although I have very little time for painting, I finished a little Set of figures the other day.
I bought a set of the French artillery that Zvezda made for their wargaming-system. And then things went worse...
You can read the whole story on Benno's figures forum - here on my Blog, I just show you the pictures. ;-)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Next update: Garde d'honneur

I've just finished my actual bunch of French garde d'honneur, right before FIGZ. That doesn't mean I'm done with that subject - there are still some cities left and haven't even startet with deep research.

Garde d'honneur de Aix-en-Provence. This city is the historic capital of the Provence region in southeastern France and is today the eleventh largest city of the country. The city history goes back to the Roman city of Colonia Aquae Sextiae Salluviorum - the later name Aix is a shortened reference to the former latin name.

The city of Amiens is another one that already existed in ancient times. It is located in the northeastern part of France, relatively near to Belgium. Most of you will probably connect it to the Somme area where heavy trench battles took place during WW1. Note the black crossbelts - pretty unusual, especially for French units

Bayonne - a city located near the Pyrenees, a mountain region that divides France from Spain. Bayonne is located on the atlantic coast and has played an important role during the revolutionary and Napoleonic time. Being close to the Spanish border, a lot of diplomatic activity has been done there. In 1814, Bayonne was besieged by the British - read more under Battle of Bayonne (Wikipedia) - which means that this unit is definitely of interest for wargaming. 

Lille is in fact directly on the French-Belgian border. It had some 50,000 inhabitants in the early 19th century and was a center of textile production.

This is a member of the Garde d'honneur de Nancy, a city located in the eastern part of France.

Orleans is a city with a rich history, located approximately a hundred kilometers south-south-west of Paris. It's likely that units like this were crammed together for defending Paris in the last part of the 1814 campaign.

Rennes, located in the northeastern part of France, is the only example of two different uniforms within the same city guard that I have found so far. Dark green-pink is for the 1st, dark green-dark yellow for the 2nd company.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Update: Garde d'Honneur

Hello friends!

I'm currently working on a dozend of different Garde d'honneur units. Interestingly, on most uniform plates, I just find an infantryman. Sometimes together with a drummer or officer, in some cases together with a cavalryman. Point is: except from one case, I didn't find different uniforms within the same unit. This might be because the Garde d'honneur units were sort of city protection militia and therefore not organized in the structures of the army regiments, where you had fusiliers, voltigeurs and grenadiers.

Today, I'm ready to present you four units from four different cities. There are more about to come, don't you worry.

First one is the Garde d'honneur of the city of Perpignan. This city is located on the mediterranean coast, near to the border with Spain in a Region called Roussilon or Northern Catalonia. It's quite possible that this militia unit could have been involved in the Peninsular war.

In fact, this is the first experiment that I had done with twisted bicorns. As you know, I only use a single HaT-set for this project. Most Garde d'honneur units that I have found on uniform plates showed them wearing the bicorn hat cross-wise. Unfortunately, the set contains no figure doing so. The only figure wearing a bicorn is the officer - but he wears it length-wise. Therefore, I had to separate the head, then cut it away from the bicorn. I found out that the bicorn only fits cross-wise on grenadier heads - the fusiliers are shaped in a not suitable way. Nevertheless, it works - the result of the swap-heads-and-headdress-operation looks pretty convincing.

Lyon is a big city in southeastern France, not much away from the border to Switzerland.
I like this standing figure very much, although it's not very easy to remove the grenadier head with it's bearskin hat that is awkwardly attached to the musket. But it's worth the work.

Next is a guardsman from Calais. The city of Calais is located on the channel coast in the upper northeastern part of France, close to Belgium. Most people know Calais because of it's port and the ferries that sail off from Calais towards Dover on the British islands. Dudes like this guy would most probably not only have to guard the city, but watch the coastline for smugglers and British spies... whatever. I made the strings on the right shoulder out of small tissue paper stripes dipped into wood glue. the brass object on the guys' breast seems to be a whistle. At least it looked like that on the plate I used.

The last example is a man of the garde d'honneur of the city of Tours. This city is located in central France and has an interesting history. In fact, you should google for it. In the Napoleonic context, there's not much to say about this unit - but I like the colours. Blue and yellow looks really splendid, especially in combination with white gloves and trousers.

Well. So much for today. Stay tuned to see another row of honourable honour guards at a later time. Hope you enjoyed - oh, and if you're located anywhere in range of the Dutch city of Arnhem: don't forget to visit FIGZ 2018, the 1/72 miniature and wargaming event. See more under - it's taking place on June 3rd, just a month ahead from now!

Monday, April 23, 2018

16th United States line infantry regiment

Hi folks, here I am again!

As I'm currently working on some gardes d'honneur, I like to show you something rather unusual in the 1/72 plastic business - that means at least here in Germany where I live. When we Euros here '1812', most of us think about Napoleons invasion in Russia, that bloody campaign that cost hundreds of thousands European soldiers their lives. Probably we also think about the Pensinsular war in Spain. What most of us don't even consider is that far in the West, there was also a war going on - the 'war of 1812'.

For figure painters and wargamers, this scenario has one big advantage: you need only British figures. US-American and British-Canadian uniforms were in most cases (except some militia units and some unique regiments like the Canadian Voltigeurs) nearly the same. Which is especially the case in a small scale like 1/72 where you wouldn't be able to recognize the differences anyway.

So - I bought me a box of Strelets marching British infantry. It did me a favour especially because it has a flagbearer with a banner flying brightly in the sky - great for painting it whatever you like. After looking at the uniform posters, I decided to go and paint these figures with the uniform colours of the 16th US line infantry regiment. Hope you enjoy the pictures. 

For many of the early war US units, the old stove-pipe-shako would be the choice of  the day. So have a look onto the uniform posters to find out which unit wore which sort of shako at which time. In addition, some regiments changed jacket colours during the war - for example starting with a brown jacket early in the campaign, later switching to a grey one. For this unit, the Belgian shako fits just fine.
The backside of the troop. In the middle, you can see troopers wearing the blue coated backpack. I wonder if there was a consistent regulation on that matter, because on the basis of looking to uniform plates, paintings and reenactor pictures, I couldn't find out which units wore the black backpack, the covered one, even several sorts of backpacks seemed to have been used, some with coat on top of them, sometimes slung around, sometimes I saw no coat at all... pretty confusing.
The Strelets figures do a real good job, I like them a lot. The only thing about them are the muskets - they're still a wee bit too thick to look fine.
By the way - I found several examples that officers wore blue uniforms while the ensigns and the troopers wore the distinctive colours of the regiment.
I still have a couple of British infantry figures on my desk - which means that I will show you a couple of colour variations in a future blogpost. For sure.

See you next time!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Strelets Highlanders standing at ease

Okay - finally, I've finished my little vignette of Highland infantry standing at ease. Here come the boys...
Okay. Looks good from the distance. A little bit closer please...

...just a little bit closer please...

Perfect. Thanks.
So here they are. Scots of the 78th regiment ('ross-shire buffs'). I think that Strelets has done a very good job on these chaps. Really nice figures.
Here are some close-ups. The figures themselves are reasonably detailed. I know that the backpacks have side pouches which are historically not correct. Plus the muskets are a field of business where the sculptor still has to do some practice - personally, I think they look too thick, more like arquebuses. But apart from that, there's nothing wrong with these figures.
Here's a pic from the backside. Although it was pretty time-consuming to paint this small bunch of infantry, it was worth the efford. I thought that a group of highlanders like these would look absolutely stunning and I didn't get disappointed. The result is an addition to my collection that makes me very, very glad.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Did I...?

Hi there!

Did I already show you these?

Skirmishing Austrian Hussars from Franznap. Really nice figures. Plastic figure producers tend to make cavalry units in full charge - but that was, especially in case of the light cavalry, not their exclusive role on the battlefield. Hussars were mainly used for patrol and scout duties, as well as skirmishing. Therefore, these poses here show a very realistic approach to these chaps.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Short notice: a desk full of miniatures...

Phew. Pretty busy I am. Not much time for painting I have. Bad this is.😀

My desk is currently filled with lines of soldiers. In fact, I'm trying to brush up at least the half of my Strelets Scots in order to have enough figures for a small vignette. Very time consuming because of all these details. To give you a little highlight, I decided to show you the flagbearer and the bagpiper - two really great figures.
A bit lesser spectacular, nonetheless being nice figures, are the line infantrymen of Baden. I have a couple of these figures here, they're from Franznap who makes astonishingly great miniatures. In fact, these figures were lying here for a year or so. Time to have them completed. Here's three of them as a small preview.
It's that sort of business that I usually don't like - painting larger numbers of figures of the same sort bores me out very quickly, especially because painting sessions become 'paint 12 backpacks in grey, anthrazit and black and then turn to paint a dozend plumes'-sort of thing. Well. I started it. Must finish it.

I hope to present you the completed results soon.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Austrian Ulans

I just noted that I have a few things that I have in my cabinet which haven't been posted here.
One of these are Austrian Ulans from Franznap which actually were a gift from Francesco Messori, the artist who has sculpted these figures.

There were several regiments of Ulans in the Austrian army during the Napoleonic era. Lancers were actually pretty popular among many European armies of that time. As light cavalry, they fulfilled many roles. Therefore, these chaps were not only equipped with lance and sabre, but also with firearms.

The main difference between the Ulan regiments was the colour of the Czapka helmets. The depicted regiment, No.2 (Fuerst [sovereign] zu Schwarzenberg), had Czapkas in green colours.
The set contains four mounted figures. The weapon arm - in one case the lance itself - are delivered separately, which makes the fixing of the flag easier. Taking into account the many different poses that can be achieved by attaching different arms in different positions and mounting different figures on different horses, you can create a really huge cavalry force in which every rider looks somewhat different.

Personally, I don't like to paint cavalry too much - it it more time consuming then painting infantry, painting horses gives me the creeps. Nevertheless, I can only say that these are magnificient miniatures. Easy to paint, highly detailed.
For the wargamer records, this is a unit that can be used for many scenarios. One squad fought at Austerlitz, the regiment at Essling, Aspern and Wagram. During the 1813/14-campaign, it fought at Hanau, St.Croix, Brienne, Troyes, Bar-sur-Aube and Arcis-sur-Aube. It was not in battle in 1815.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Boston Hussars

When I read about the configuration of the US army from the period of the 1812 war, I was surprised to read that it consisted far more of infantry then the European armies did. Actually, the regular army only had around two regiments of dragoons and that was it. Most cavalry units on the US side came from the state militias and, again, that cavalry mainly consisted of dragoons. Boston, located at the Massachusetts Bay, at that time was - according to the 1810 census - the 4th largest city of the United States of America with a population of around 34000 people. Massachusetts obviously had a style of it's own - among the units that they sent into battle, was the only Hussar unit that participated in the war of 1812 on the US side.

The Hussars of Boston were equipped in 1810 in a sort of mixture of Prussian-hussar and French guard-hussar style by Josiah Quincy and were formed as elite militia cavalry. This unit existed until 1818, but it didn't see much of a battle as far as I have read. But the Hussar phenomenon wasn't over then - there were four other regiments that existed in the US army system - the Georgia Hussars for example existed until 1867.

I first discovered the Boston hussars on a unitorm page on among the units of the Massachusetts militia. For a while I tried to convert other hussar miniatures, but always found that there were some features that were simply differing too much from European hussar uniforms & equipment in order to be replaced or imitated just by converting and mixing some European hussar figures. Next step was the try to re-model the required parts with greenstuff, but after all, even that proved impractical.

I finally became convinced that it would be the wisest way to make a complete new figure by. scratch - unfortunately, I'm a total loser when it comes to figure modelling. So I contacted the guys at and placed my very first order for a brand new figure. The master can be seen on - it has been created by Massimo Costa. If you like to have one, you can order the Boston Hussar miniature at Hagen's shop.

That uniform colour in addition with the other features makes a splendid little miniature. It wears the great dress - but with a sharp scalpel you could easily cut away all that decorating stuff on the trousers in order to switch it to the field dress look. I'll do that with one of my Boston hussar figures in a while. ;-)