Over the hill

In many famous battles, topography or perhaps more specifically a ridge line was an important feature. I’ve always found this difficult to replicate on the tabletop principally because I’ve only had a series of hills that I could put together

To rectify this I decided that I would build a series of ridge boards that would be interchangeable and large enough to run down at least one side of a 12 foot table.

I put these together from some foam boards completing them in the same way as I did when I tarted up my TSS tiles a few years ago using PVA, sand and grit. The intention was they should match my baseboards, be easy to store and imposing enough  but contoured sufficiently to allow 15mm figure bases to stand without sliding of falling over

In order to make them interchangeable I marked the edge of each board with a template cut from MDF and then used an hot wire cutter and  blades to shape each one. I figured that there might be times when I wanted a ridge to end in the middle of a table so cut some end pieces and also varied the length of each board so I could vary the length of the ridge if I didn’t want it to occupy the whole table edge. The template result means that at least on their edges each board has the same depth which I suppose is a disadvantage and decided to make one end of the ridge a little steeper and the other edge a little more gentle

The boards were cut with some difficulty then covered in my usual PVA and grit mix and allowed to bake dry in the NZ sun! I added a few off cuts to some but have left others deliberately flat so I can stand additional hills on them. They vary in width from 20 to 70 cm

Once dry these were painted brown with a cheap acrylic paint mix and then dry brushed so they matched the base boards and my figure bases. When dry flock was added. The union between each board looks reasonable enough I think


I had a spare board or two and decided to make 2 special sections that would allow me to run these into some TSS low hill sections that I have so I cut a template from these to match.

Finally once I’d finished I felt that my ridge was too uniform in depth. Consequently I’ve since built 2 more sections, one  is deeper than the rest to allow the template to start at the back of one side and end at the front of the other so I can use this to bring the ridge forward. The other is intended to act as a kind of pass through a ridge

Finally to complete my terrain board set up I’ve made a few base boards with a stream along with a 1/2 size river board and a stream running into a river board. All I have to do now is to get some realistic water to finish these off

I think I’ll play a game of General D’Armee next and see if I can get the British and their Spanish allies off that ridge!



Posted in 15mm Napoleonics, On the workbench, Wargaming Terrain | Tagged , | 7 Comments

15mm Napoleonics to start the New year – ABC or is it ADC?

Bit of a late start to 2018 I know

Yes it’s already February and there’s not been a blog post yet. I do have an excuse though…….

Please Sir but I’ve been busy, busy painting you see – yes 15mm Napoleonics.

It all started in the New Year when I have a bit of time off, I decided to tackle what was waiting in the 15mm Napoleonic lead pile. I felt I needed a break after completing 4 battalions of 28mm SYW Austrians

I started by painting all the horse flesh first, all 131 of them! Then onto the riders in units of 24 or 12. First out of the stalls came the AB Prussian Dragoons, followed by the Silesian and East Prussian Cuirassiers. I found the inspiration from Paul Alba’s blog http://napoleonicsinminiature.blogspot.co.nz/

Not only is his painting sublime but his photography is so clear. A real inspiration for 15mm Napoleonic fans. I wish I could manage such good photos

Next in line were some old Minifig French Cavalry that I first painted in 1983 but was so ashamed of that I dipped them in paint stripper a year or so ago and have only now got around to repainting

These were followed by the AB Prince of Orange Staff set and I happened to find some sample figs that Nic had sent me some time ago – Dutch Belgian Cuirassiers – a trooper and an officer – I found some spare AB horses and have morphed them into a command stand for my Minifig Dutch Belgians

An old figure of Davout has been sitting on a base somewhat forlorn for a bit so I added a 2 figures – a mounted officer and a chasseur to keep him company. Lets be honest his glasses look pretty awful and probably need a repaint!

Whilst rummaging around in the spares box I found some AB Guard drummers and a Guard Horse Grenadier standard bearer that I bought intending to try and create a band with mounted kettle drummers years ago whilst visiting Eureka in Melbourne.

Deciding after all that time that it isn’t really going to happen I gave them a lick of paint and added an ADC from the new AB French ADC pack http://abfigures.com/command/1432-mounted-adcs-in-action.html

Here’s the result, I just need a standard now to finish the base off – Napoleon having sent off an ADC to get the drummers to knock up a tune to send the troops forward


These ADC figures are superb and I left these until last. I doubt that I have ever enjoyed painting a set of figures as much as I enjoyed painting these. Tony Barton is a genius!

Here they are as best as I can show them off with photos taken out in the sunshine before basing rather than in the wargames room

I added 2 to accompany an old and lonely figure of General Lasalle and another to accompany a spare French Line Lancer figure and the remaining 4 in  two pairs

They probably look better when leading scurrying around and leading troops forward though! The last picture illustrates some of my older AB French Command by the way

I hope anyone painting these gets as much enjoyment from them as I did

Hopefully the next blog post is not too far away – a Waterloo like ridge


Posted in 15mm Napoleonics, AB 15mm Napoleonics, On the workbench | Tagged | 11 Comments

Off the workbench – The Austrian Experiment 2

Finally after a busy time at work I’ve managed to complete 2 Austrian infantry battalions

Both are by Crusader Miniatures and as discussed in an earlier post were undercoated white rather than my usual black. The second unit with the blue facings were completed in a different way to that described in the Austrian Experiment 1.

This time I block painted in the same usual colours for the faces , facings and equipment etc but before washing with dark done I painted the coats and leggings in Vallejo Buff colour and then highlighted with buff and pale sand after the wash

I hadn’t realised but there is quite a difference between the coat colours of the first unit Regiment IR1 (red facings) and the second (blue facings) IR7.


I’m still not sure what to do so I’ll probably end up with a dozen or so Austrian infantry battalions each in a different shade of white!

A further dilemma was whether to paint the 1757 uniform version or the 1762 version – the latter has more of the facing colour present on the turnbacks and waistcoat.

The kronoskaf links highlight this : –



On reflection I think I prefer the latter and I think I’ll paint the next unit off the workbenchline in the 1762 uniform so that will mean even more variation.

I think it is likely to be more attractive but the other honest reason is that I can’t really say that I’m enjoying painting all this white.

A third unit has been started, whilst the cavalry has now been de -flashed and along with some Prussian AB 15mm Napoleonic cavalry are awaiting undercoating

Posted in On the workbench, Seven Years War | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Austrian Experiment – painting white

I’ve just made a start on my Crusader Miniatures Austrian SYW infantry, but before getting right into it I thought I’d paint a few test figures.

My dilemma has been how to represent the white colour in the Austrian uniform. My 15mm Napoleonic Austrians are just painted in white, I completed them a few years ago so its likely to be an old GW white

This contrasts with the colours of this Austrian Grenadier and Cuirassier that I took in the Vienna Military Museum

So for the moment I’ve decided to paint my SYW Austrians as more than an off white.

The next problem to overcome is the fact that normally when I paint I undercoat beforehand in black enamel and then after finishing the basic colours I use a black wash before applying final highlights. I find the black wash adds depth to a figure but of course means that I often almost have to re paint the lighter colours on a figure.

Hence I took a decision to undercoat the figures in white and then painted everything except for the white crossbelts and uniforms. As this is IR 1 with red facings I also varied the red using Vallejo flat red, VJ Red and a mix of VJ Red and VJ Hull Red but found the former too light and the latter too dark.

I decided to experiment with a range of “white” uniform colours after completing all the basic colours except for the white parts. The cross belts in the following photos are all painted with VJ off white

From left to right we have VJ Ivory, VJ Iraqi sand and pale sand highlight, VJ Iraqi sand and VJ off white highlight

Next VJ Buff with pale sand highlight, VJ Buff and VJ Off white highlight and finally on the right VJ Beige with an off white highlight

Top row ivory then Iraqui sand base followed by buff and beige

To be honest I’m not sure that there’s a huge difference in the figures with the exception of the ivory and worth the effort and angst!



Posted in On the workbench, Seven Years War | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Murawski Miniatures Vistula Legion

Just a quick post to show what’s come off the workbench lately

2 Battalions of Murawski Miniatures Vistula Legion

The first is from the standard Vistula figures and the second from the Vistula in gaiters range. http://murawskiminiatures.com/products/

I decided to paint them a little differently this time though with the first with a blue collar lined yellow and the second with an all yellow collar as I’d seen 2 different versions. Flags are from GMB

I’m not certain about the centre company pom poms though, I’ve painted these white but I wonder if they ought to have the same colours as those of the centre companies in a French Line battalion – green, sky blue, aurore and violet. If you know the correct answer please be kind enough to put me right

I also found some spare DOW command figures I ‘d forgotten and some Vistula casualties

I really enjoy painting these, I must get some more and add them to the lead pile!

Posted in 28mm Napoleonics, Murawski Miniatures | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Swiss Pike off the Workbench

Just a quick post to show that I’m still alive. Like many I feel a little despondent having had many of my earlier posts emasculated by Photobucket’s decision to not allow 3rd Party Hosting without a hefty annual sub. I’ll try and get around to replacing the photos at some stage but work is very busy at present

I’ve just finished a fourth unit of Swiss Pike for my slow burn Italian Wars project. They’ve been languishing for ages it seems. I decided to use a mix of blue red and yellow for these. Figures by Artizan

This means I now have  a decent Swiss pike block of 97 figures

Only a pile of Landsknecht by Old Glory and 2 units by Warlord to go and I think I’ll have enough pike

I might move on to some cavalry then

Posted in Italian wars 28mm | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Just off the Workbench

The past few weeks have been productive from a painting perspective, partly spurred on by a painting challenge on the LAW but more significantly by a few extra days off and rainy weekends that have kept me out of the garden. http://thelaofwargamers.prophpbb.com/topic1752.html

I set myself a modest target with a plan to finish off the rest of my 28mm Prussian SYW figures but I’m pleased to have exceeded it with a flurry of activity in Napoleonics.

I’ve ordered Dave Brown’s General D’Armee Rules which are due to be released in May at Partizan



I’ve been fortunate to play the development set which use much the same mechanisms as Dave ACW version of Pickett’s charge and are aimed at large battles and with this in mind I first of all finished a unit of 15mm AB French Line Lancers

I thought I might need a few more French Cavalry!

After this I decided to find a home for the Perry French Napoleonic Commanders I showed in the last post by completing some additional packs numbered 3,4,14,15,53 and 55 from the French Metal range https://www.perry-miniatures.com/index.php?cPath=23_28_54&page=4&osCsid=64sa93aokpt830qtta6qni4ij6

I really enjoyed painting these, particularly the dismounted hangers on pack

I finished them today but in my hurry to take photos outside before the light faded I’m afraid that I didn’t allow enough time for the glue holding the flock to dry and I also forgot to blow off the excess flock before snapping away!


I also managed to finish off the 2 limber riders that have been hanging around for an age so the Caisson that I painted and based 2 years ago now has some riders at last

Next on the painting table will be some Prussian SYW Command figures and then I’ll try and finish off most of my remaining 15mm Napoleonics with hopefully will include Marshall Ney and a few more French Marshals and some Russian Guard infantry battalions.

Once I’ve cleared a decent amount of backlog I might then allow myself to buy some 28mm Napoleonic Russians to oppose the French

Posted in 15mm Napoleonics, 28mm Napoleonics, On the workbench | Tagged , , | 9 Comments