Royalist ECW Army – off the wokbench

I suppose apart from helping to keep the country safe there aren’t too many enjoyable or positive things that one could say about level 4 and now level 3 lock-down here in New Zealand. It has meant a change in that I have been working though with the week split into two parts – working from home during the first half and then at my GP practice in the back half of the week. This means that I’ve been getting home earlier in the evening and this coupled with no golf I’ve had a little more painting time

So just off the workbench is another Royalist ECW unit

Lord Hopton’s Regiment of foot – figures from First Corps ECW range and flags by Flags of War

This takes the number of Foot Regiments painted to date to be 3 from Empress Miniatures, 3 from First Corps and one each from Bicorne Miniatures and one from Warlord Games.

You might notice that I’ve also used more conventional bases from warbases this time rather than those with the crinkle edge from the Big Red Bat shop this time as I’d run out. I also find myself wondering if I should be using more musketeers on those bases as they look a bit thin on the ground. Time to buy more figures I think!

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Baron Munchausen and his half a horse

Sometimes its good just to paint the odd figure for a bit of fun. This is just a quick post and a few pictures of an unusual 18th Century figure painted some years ago.

I suspect many of us have heard of the Baron Munchhausen but perhaps like me won’t have an in depth knowledge about him. I first heard the name whilst a medical student many years ago when a rather odd patient presented with a very bizarre and unbelievable story at an emergency department.

There is a medical syndrome known as “Munchausen’s syndrome” that arose from an article published in The Lancet in 1951 authored by an eminent physician by the name of Richard Asher. In the article I understand Asher coined the term to describe the presentation of patients’ bizarre and untruthful medical histories.

The Baron himself was a fictional German nobleman created by a German writer Rudolf Eric Raspe in a book titled Baron Munchausen’s Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia published in 1785 according to Wikipedia. I found this in an internet search Some of his adventures are further immortalised in a 1988 film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen produced by Terry Gillam.

One of the more fantastical of his stories is how he came to discover that his horse had been cut in half when a portcullis was lowered as he raced through whist in pursuit of his feeling enemy

Some years ago (whilst international travel was possible!) in visit to Eureka Miniatures, Nic Robson showed me a figure that he’d produced of this. I simply had to have one and he led my fictitious army of Silverfenia in Henry Hyde’s Imaginations play test of his Shot Steel & Stone rules at a gathering of wargame friends at Ayton. Henry wrote a series of articles about the campaign in Battlegames Magazine “The Grenouissian Intermezzo” starting with part 1 in Issue 26 of the magazine.

Nic contacted me recently and told me that he was about to release the figure for general sale and asked me to re-send him pictures of the figure I’d painted. By this time I’d acquired a second figure and he’s now visible in all his glory in the current Eureka Newsletter. The link for the webstore is here

So here he is

The Baron realises the rear end of his horse is missing as the sound of water is heard gushing behind him

I do have the second figure in the series, “Baron Munchausen Repaired” languishing half painted in a box somewhere and I’ve just vowed to dig him out and finish him off.

While we’re on a roll I just as well post some pictures of the troops he led at Ayton – are are figures from Eureka Miniatures

Prinz Wooliam’s Southern Baaaabarian Regiment
Count Lomu’s Gelderstaad Emigre Regiment
The Arquebusiers de Grassin

And Finally….

Count MCaw’s Taniwha Cossacks
Posted in Eureka miniatures, Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Italian Wars Gendarmes

I find myself having yet another wander through my various unfinished projects despite having vowed to knuckle down and work my way through a pile of ECW figures. I then briefly considered trying to finally finish my SYW armies by tackling the remaining Austrian Grenadiers by sticking them all down and so using up my supply of bottle tops. Needless to say it failed though I have finished a few more ECW units but have subsequently neglected to finish the blog post I started about them. Still I suppose at least all this wandering about keeps me productive.

I’ve always regarded my Italian Wars project as a slow burn one but I suppose in reality its far more glacial than that. After recently finish some ECW infantry I almost persuaded myself to paint the Old Glory Landsknecht that are languishing in the lead pile and then next minute I found myself looking at the Wargames Foundry Gendarmes I’d acquired almost a decade ago. Finally I took the plunge and so with golf rained off today finished basing them

Wargames Foundry Gendarmes

I haven’t quite managed to work out the optimum lighting on those LED light I bought or got the hang of the camera on my new phone yet but here’s a closer look

I can’t say that I really enjoyed painting these but am pleased to have got them finished though.

What I was pleased most about is the way that they seem to match those from Eureka Miniatures that I’d painted a few years ago and so decided to line them all up.

Eureka in front, WF in the middle and Eureka “Archers” in the rear ranks

I think these look fine together with WF on the left of the picture below and Eureka on the right

I suppose its inevitable that I’ll end up getting a few more but next time I don’t think I’ll tackle painting 24 of them in a single block

Of them all I think I prefer the Eureka figures the most

These are a bit over exposed I think
The “archers” were much quicker to paint if I recall

Clearly I don’t have enough Gendarmes yet and will need to get out the credit card again but where do I start?

Early 16th Century Renaissance

What I really fancy though are these from Steel Fist Miniatures

And of course there’s always the Perry Miniatures Plastics though I’m not sure what might be best to use and what work they’ll need

Posted in Eureka miniatures, Italian wars 28mm, Just off the Workbench, Renaissance, Uncategorized | Tagged | 11 Comments

Follow me…….. or 28mm French Napoleonic Commanders

Just a quick update while I have the time as I’m currently away on holiday Blenheim. Don’t get too excited, this is in Blenheim in NZ’s South Island, so there’s no battlefield but there are lots of wineries.

Before I left I took some pictures of some French Napoleonic Command Figures I’d completed in February. All are in 28mm and most are by Perry Miniatures with a couple of Wargames Foundry thrown in. A part from the Davout figure by Foundry I’ve kept them on separate bases as there is quite a difference in size

First of all there’s the “Bravest of the brave”- the Marshall Ney command pack by Perry Miniatures

He’s definitely a bit ginger!

Now where are those British squares?

The Perry Miniatures Heavy Cavalry commanders, Kelerman, Heritier and Milhaud are also in attendance

These are a mixture of Perry Metal and Plastic Cuirassiers
Here’s Kellerman
Here’s Milhaud along with one of the figures in the Mounted Imperial Orderlies pack
and finally Heritier with another orderly and an ADC

Not to be outdone by their heavier counterparts, the light cavalry commanders want to get in on the action

These are a few plastic hussars accompanying Generals Fournier – Sarvolise and Pully from the FN235 Cavalry commander pack on this command base

Whereas the final figure from the pack General Pajol is on another command base

A spare Orderly is trying to keep ahead of the lancers accompanied by a pair of lone Chasseurs

neither could I resist buying the FN234 pack which consists of Marshal Lannes, GeneralLasalle and General Franchesci-Delonne

Lannes is based with an ADC and two figures from the Mounted ADC pack

The other 2 generals in the pack, including Lasalle are based together with another ADC

Whilst at the Partizan show a few years ago I called into Wargames Foundry and bought some more generals and a pack of Marshals. The Davout figure is the only one I’ve used in combination with a Perry Miniatures ADC and an Orderly

The remaining Marshalls from the Foundry FN262 pack, Soult, Bessieres and Massena were based with some other Generals that I picked up because they seemed a little smaller than those by Perry Miniatures

I thought it was the Massena figure but its actually the Soult model – he definitely seems to have a big head in this picture!

Well that’s it though having painted up this many command figures there is no doubt that I need more troops to lead them

Posted in 28mm Napoleonics, Just off the Workbench | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Lights, camera and…… action – English Civil War Project

Hopefully this should be a quick post that’s not too wordy. I think I might post a bit more often if I can keep things short perhaps. I notice that many of my favourite wargaming blog mates seem to do the same.

Some time ago I bought some Empress Miniatures ECW figures having succumbed to the “oh look shiny” defect that I seem to have and at the moment I think I have about 4 infantry regiments and maybe 4 cavalry regiments undercoated and in the painting queue.

Subsequently before Christmas, the Oh Look Shiny defective gene wobbled again and with my resistance to purchasing suppressed, I succumbed and bought more ECW figures. I somehow managed to overlook the fact that my Italian Wars Project is in need of a serious painting push and that the Empress figures I bought ages ago are sill in need of paint.

This time my wandering eye fell on the First Corps website and I bought a regiment of infantry and a cavalry unit. Needless to say that once I started to paint them, my admiration for them grew and as a result I bought more. Not only that but I also inexplicably got sucked into a mysterious purchasing vortex and also went on to buy figures from Bicorne Miniatures. I blame Captain Blood on the Lead Adventure Forum! Whatever you do, do not click on this link

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Talking of links, this chap has some lovely stuff, I was initially attracted to his Italian Wars posts but there’s a wealth of stuff in his prolific blogging

Whilst browsing I came across a post where he reviews some lights, and being somewhat deficient in that department I went ahead and ordered them in the hope of taking better photographs.

So here they are, my fourth ECW Royalist foot unit and my first from 1st Corps

Before I forget, yes I did spot the red paint on that command figure’s helmet and I have just painted it out!

The Command Group

All my units will have at least 12 pikemen I think they look better in greater numbers


The Shot

As to what this unit is, I haven’t a clue, I had bought several flags from Flags of war but when I came to use them I realise that I had bought those for regiments with coat colours other than red!

I hope to have some Aventine Equites Singulares off the workbench next followed by some Gripping Beast plastic Arabs  and then 2 units of ECW cavalry

Posted in ECW, Just off the Workbench | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Out with the old and in with the new

Its a bit late for a New Year’s post isn’t it!

Where has the time gone? Its late February already and with my birthday coming this weekend we’re away for a few days in Whitianga in on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Hope those pictures give some joy to mates back home in the UK.

So with the end of a year I thought I’d give a round up and tally up what’s come off the workbench in the past 12 months. Last year on the LAW forum we started a thread or  challenge in Mid February to catalogue members’ painting progress and being able to review this has allowed me to look back with reasonable accuracy. Figures were also given a points value and I might use this as an impetus to spur on my painting effort for the next 12 months even though theoretically the painting year starts in mid Feb! For example a 15mm figure was given a points value of 3 and a 28mm foot figure a value of 5 points with artillery pieces or mounted figures being worth double that.

I’d started the year off by trying to get some 28mm Napoleonics ready for a refight of Borodino that of course in the end was postponed by Covid from March to October! February’s efforts consisted of 18 artillery pieces, 72, gunners,10 Mounted figures, 2 x4 Horse teams and limbers and 15 foot figures which gave a running total of 815 points. In that first post I noted I’d  painted an additional 24 more horse and 72 infantry prior to the start of the challenge that did not count.


In March I knocked off 330 points worth of  Russian infantry in 2 battalions

By the end of April I’d tackled some SYW Austrian infantry along with 15mm Russian AB Napoleonics though these awaited basing

By the time these were finished it added another 798 points worth but then I got distracted by the great rebasing!

By the middle of July  I’d added 8 Russian infantry battalions and 2 cavalry regiments, all 15mm AB. This was worth another 1056 points

In late July it seems I claimed another tally for 24 Landsknecht in 28mm, 12 x 15mm skirmishers and 5 buildings. I didn’t initially recall painting these but here they are

I’d painted 12 hussars earlier in the year but added another 12 later in the year

I’ve also been quietly adding Grenadier companies to the original Austrian line battalions

My next comment was in October when I said I’d made a start on FIW figures from the Northstar Muskets and Tomahawks kickstarter and just prior to Christmas I managed to finish off all the FIW figures though have not managed a game yet.

Here are he French Compaigne de La Marine

The French-Canadian Militia

The British Rangers

The British Regulars 

And finally the Indians

That took me up to late in the year where I got sucked into the Lardie rules Infamy, Infamy and couldn’t resist the Aventime Miniatures temptation. I started off with Roman Legionaries

I also added 12 eastern archers

And have hedged my bets by getting auxiliaries as well

Just the handful of cavalry I bought now to finish.

Last of all these First Corps ECW infantry who are just waiting for their flags from Flags of War

So in total I think the year’s tally was

  • 5  x 28mm Buildings 
  • 15mm Napoleonics – 12 skirmishers, 8 x 32 infantry Battalions, 2 x2 4 cavalry Regiments, 12 Mounted Command, 32 artillerymen, 8 guns and 2 Horse teams

That’s a total of…… errr its a lot!


  • 24 Landsknecht infantry
  • 56 Roman legionaries
  • 12 Auxillary archers
  • 32 Auxillary Infantry
  • 37 ECW foote
  • 67 FIW foot 
  • 72 SYW Austrian infantry
  • 24 Napoleonic Hussars
  • 64 Russian Napoleonic Infantry

That’s a total of 401 28mm foot and 24 cavalry

That suggests I’d better get a move on then as I think at my last count I have at least 72 Russian Cavalry to paint and have just started working through about 40 French Napoleonic Command figures

And I’ve just bought some Footsore vikings, Artizan Moors and more recenly a fair few 1st Corps and Bicorne ECW figures.

Best I’d best not spend fora bit then!

Posted in 15mm Napoleonics, 28mm Napoleonics, French & Indian Wars | Tagged | 13 Comments

Marching to the sound of the guns II – or what happened when we got there!

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda or Happy New Year  to all.

My last post detailed the preparations for my trip to Wellington  NZ to take part in a multiplayer game re-fight of Borodino in November.  I use the word Re-fight in its loosest definition as this was a war game using 28mm  Napoleonic figures and none of us got hurt!

The table being set up

The game was played using Black Powder Version 2 rules and using the historical orders of battle scaled down by the principal organizers John  Hutton and Paul Weekly who themselves took on the roles of Napoleon and Kutusov respectively. Paul to his credit was also responsible for producing the stunning terrain used on the central table. Paul crafted the central table which was 24 feet wide and 6 feet in depth and reserves were deployed on 2 additional tables.

The French Reserve Table

Russian initial deployment, note the adequate water supply

A Grand Battery is deployed

Does the Bear shit in the woods? Russian Jaeger await

To the right of the Grand Redoubt

A Formidable Russian formation to the right of the Redoubt
Early contact
Somehow these have to get over there….
And this lot as well

And over this ditch and into the teeth of those

Russian Commanders in their unconventional uniforms

Its extraordinarily difficult to give an account of such an huge game particularly when it seems to take an age to walk to the other table flank and when you are preoccupied or distracted by your lack of familiarity with the rules. To this end myself and Jonathan Forsey who played the role of Junot and Montbrun commanding the IV Corps and II Cavalry Corps found ourselves on the French right flank . Jonathan was very kind and helpful with advice and assistance as we both trudged forward through the woods before the village of Utitza on the French right flank. Our role was to try and engage and draw off as many Russian reserves from the Russian centre. I think the main French attack was to be delivered  through the to the right of centre by Ney and Davout’s Corps rather than towards the Grand redoubt.

The Russian left

Our task on the right was always going to be a difficult one because facing us was the redoubtable Terry Swain who is a cunning and experienced Napoleonic gamer well versed in the nuances of the Black Powder rule set.

And we thought we might just have to run off a few cossacks……

And maybe a few sweaty peasants….

There are a fair few Sweaty Peasants here as well!

As compared to the new French aristocracy

Ooh, look he’s got a gong! Please note the authenticity of his uniform in contrast to his Russian counterpart

The French advance in the centre

… and over by here

.. and over by there….

A Wargamers’ crotch view from behind the Russian lines

At this point I ought to point out that Terry was very a gracious and helpful opponent who showed great patience in dealing with my ineptness and inexperience with the rules and my many mistakes and queries. Terry has written up his own completely fictitious account of the wargame lesson/hiding that he gave me here

Beware this account though as here am I thinking that it was the French that only had the ability to “lie like a bulletin”! The only good thing about his account is that the day 2 picture of the French players shows that there is no doubt that I am by far the most handsome of them!

Infantry battalions were 24 figures strong and cavalry regiments 12 strong &  a battery was represented by 2 model guns and 19 players took part. I took the role of Prince Poniatowski Commanding the French V corps.

I had the following troops at my disposal

16th Division: 6 line battalions and 1 6pdr Foot Battery

18th Division: 3 Line Battalions and 1 6pdr Foot Battery

V Corps Cavalry and artillery reserve: Polish Lancer and Hussar Regiment and 1 Horse battery

The action somewhere else

Oops! Near the redoubt – and I thought I was facing tough odds!

Something else going on somewhere else

and here as well it seems


I think this is where the main French attack is being driven through

If you go down to the woods today…..

Those are my figures on the other flank, the hussars are newly painted, therefore they are bound to rout!

On the other side of the galaxy err table a long way away

More action in the centre

Those Hussars? I told you so!

But we’ve taken something somewhere

The Polish contingent made its appearance through the woods on turn 3 to find that we were not just facing the Russian Militia but also Russian Grenadier Division that had been deployed away from its historical position the centre ( The Russians claim that dice were involved in deciding this was placed!)

The Polish begin to creep out of the woods in skirmish order

While the cavalry hurry to their support down the single road from the reserve table


Slowly slowly in skirmish order


Where did those Russian Donkey Wallopers come from?

In essence my plan was to get clear of  the woods as quickly as possible whilst keeping some semblance of order so allowing Junot and Montbrun to deploy behind me but clearing the trees and making headway against that solid force with all those nasty guns was not easy.


The Polish cavalry clear the woods and the artillery deploys
Look at the precision in those lines eh?

Is that a worried look I see?

Nah just a good scout to see how many more bloody Russians reinforcements can be fitted on my end of the table

As the Poles advance with blurring speed

Whilst Junot gets going

You know I said I was marching to the sound of the guns? Well I think I’ve found them..

We are definitely going forward Junot and me

Yes we are – did junot that? (Groan)

Yes, going forward, at least for now…..

Call me bitter if you like, but see that empty green bit in the table edge – more Russians are going to appear there!

On the whole we did pretty well for the most part of the first gaming day as more an more Russians seemed to appear. Writing this some 2 months after the game means that my memory is a little hazy ( it is not true that I am still traumatised by the hiding I was given and thus taken me this long to admit to and produce an account of it! ). I vaguely recall thinking that we were just about to get the upper hand and get at the infantry after seeing off a couple of Russian batteries when disaster struck and I think I lost the best part of the 18th division.

Its up close and personal now…

By Day two all I remember is that Junot played a bigger role in pressing the attack and though did well initially against some jaeger, just could not make headway as by this time a division of the bloody Russian Guard had appeared along with more donkey wallopers wearing Cuirasses.

Maybe this is where the rot was about to set in…

But maybe not, we may have seen them off but look there are more…

The Russian guns have gone at last, now we can go forward..

Cavalry should just bounce off infantry in square? – yeah right

Oops – where did they go?

The memory is hazy but I recall one of my battalions had only taken 3 casualties and was in square – safe enough I thought (under any other set of rules) – until it was apparent that this was a shaken square and got ridden over and broken by Russian Cuirassiers in the glorious “follow me” charge that Terry alluded to on his blog. That was the end of it as one unit after another of my Polish battalions evaporated and the few remainder legged it back to the safety of the woods. Meanwhile Jonathan battled in vain trying to see off the Russian Guard that would save casualties on anything but a one!

Guess who? I told you

Its not looking too flash on the other flank either

Elsewhere I gather that the Russians had pushed back the French left flank and their cavalry was beginning to appear on the French reserve table, a French attack in the centre had been repulsed – Napoleon was blaming somebody and somebody was blaming Napoleon!

Look we are winning something somewhere

There’s little progress in the centre

Not even Russell’s Tommy Cooper impersonation can change that…

Meanwhile Ney and Davout had some limited success against the Russian left centre but it was obvious that this was an heavy defeat and were were never going to see the spires of Moscow!

This is about the furthest the French ever got…

Hope you enjoy some of the many pictures of a massive game that was played in great spirit and was great fun. The fact that I have reservations about the BP rules does not detract from the fact that they allowed a large multiplayer game with around 100 infantry battalions and more than 30 cavalry regiments on each side to be played to a conclusion and provided undoubted entertainment for all involved. It also looks like we’ll be swapping sides and doing it again some time in 2021. I look forward to the opportunity.

It goes without saying though that I feel fortunate and privileged to have been able to do this in NZ, in the year that this has been, when the bulk of my fellow gamers overseas remain isolated from their mates

Best wishes to all and stay safe


Posted in 28mm Napoleonics, Multi-player wargames | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Marching to the Sound of The Guns

That’s exactly what I’ve been doing in the past few days – well sort of – err, well to be more honest or accurate its more like driving rather than marching actually. This afternoon I’m in Wellington having driven for a little more than 6 hours earlier this week from home to the town of Martinborough where we spent 2 days enjoying the wineries. However this morning we crossed the Remutaka mountain range in misty conditions and are now safely ensconced in a Wellington hotel.

So what next?

Well tomorrow hopefully it’ll be the final part of the march – a short quick journey across town to the sound of the guns at Borodino. Yes Borodino – tomorrow is the re-arranged, Covid postponed, re-fight of the Battle of Borodino that was originally planned for March this year when NZ went into lock-down. Here’s an earlier post lamenting its postponement: –

To be able to attend this multi-player event when so many of my overseas friends are still confined by the effects of the Corona virus makes me feel very fortunate indeed. Best wishes to you all and stay safe

So tomorrow I’ll be Prince Poniatowski leading my gallant Polish V Corps on the French right flank trying to dislodge and shift those stubborn Russians. I’ve also brought along a load of French infantry and cavalry that will be used by other players because the game will highlight more than a 100 battalions of French and Allied infantry along with about 40 cavalry regiments from several gamers’ colections. I’ve no idea how many Russians we’re facing in this 2 day game to be played using Black Powder rules but there’ll be a lot and the terrain boards will be pretty spectacular I’m told. Battalions will be 24 figure strong and cavalry 12 figure regiments – a little different to my own designed for General D’Armee at 26 and 24 figures respectively.

So transporting these figures safely for the 500 km plus drive was a bit of a worry. A friend – Chris Packer did the same for a re-fight of Leipzig a few years ago abut his figures suffered awfully on the drive from Christchurch to the capital  – here’s a you tube video from Chris where he talks about repairing the damage

Not wanting to suffer the same fate, but also not wanting to spend a small fortune on more new plastic boxes that are not needed to store figures at home and that might not be adequate in preventing figures bouncing  anyway, I’m hoping the following effort will work: –

First I bought 2 cheap boxes from Bunnings and used a strong glue to fix some doweling in place. The idea is that the raised underside of the doweling will allow the figure bases to slot underneath, hopefully trapping them to prevent movement.

As the pictures show I’ve used 2 methods, one box for the 6 figure bases and the other to accommodate figures based on movement trays that I also made for the game.

The glue used on the doweling was allowed to dry, the figures placed temporarily and more doweling glued at the required spacing interval and then allowed to dry.


The final step

Place the figures or movement trays in between the dowel spaces which are still a relatively loose fit and still allow some movement and then secure tightly in place with blutack and balsa strips. Finally some foam pieces to fill any remaining space.



So fingers crossed, hope it all works, I’m sure Ill find out tomorrow!

Finally – a new unit – the first 2 squadrons of the 1st Hussars – Perry Plastics. I was planning 4 x 12  regiments but I think I’ll paint up 2 of 24 instead

Posted in 28mm Napoleonics, On the workbench, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The wanderings of an ill disciplined brush and mind – Off the Shelf No.1

At the moment I find myself with plenty of time to think as I’m currently on holiday in the South Island of New Zealand. Time to think, plan, ponder and reflect on things hobby wise may might not be the wisest thing though. Thinking about Wargames , having time to catch up on wargames websites and others’ blogs for instance will inevitably lead to excitement, inspiration and temptation to buy new figures and even dare I say it start new periods!

Today we’ve just arrived in Te Anau having spent the past few days at Arrowtown or more specifically Millbrook resort. The plan here had been to visit wineries in the morning and then race out and play as many holes of golf as I could on the fantastic course in the early evening. My first though is that I should probably drink more wine before I play golf in future – yesterday I manged to break 80 off the blue tees after a a few glasses, but you’re going to have to take my word for it because I played on my own!

My second thought is how fortunate we generally are in NZ in these current difficult times having at least the opportunity to travel freely and at least go on holiday in our own country. Best wishes to my less fortunate overseas wargaming mates who are stuck at home

The third thought is towards the future and possible future projects. I narrowly survived signing up for the Footsore Baron’s War kickstarter and am currently fighting off an hankering to buy a Viking warbard to pit against the Saxon and Arthurian armies that I bought for Dux Britanniarum a few years ago. The conclusion from all this brain work is that I should no longer watch historical fiction on Netflix ( Vikings and The Last Kingdom come to mind) as they give me ideas about replicating those forces in miniature.

Thought number four is an unwelcome and negative one – it reminds me of what I still have unfinished, as alluded to in my leadpile post earlier. There’s no doubt that the most enjoyable part of the hobby for me is collecting and painting and I’m well aware that I’m at my most productive when I flit from one thing to another. On the workbench at the moment are some  figures from the Northstar Musket and Tomahawk range, I’ve finished the British forces and have made a start on the French but will leave the Indians till last – one little push and they’d have been completed last week, but no, what did I do? I made a start on painting 28mm French Napoleonic Hussars and have painted the horse flesh already. Why did I do that? There’s nothing more likely to slow down a project that switching to the braid on 48 bloody fancy hussar uniforms! And what have I been watching while I’m away?. Dave Brown and the Too Fat Lardies are a bad influence – 

So here I am  thinking about dark ages, whist trying to suppress an impulse to finish some horse and musket stuff while I contemplate a new WWII set of rules which I hope at least lead to me using all that FOW stuff I painted years back. What hope is there? (Psst You really ought to get those Russian WWII figures you wanted!)

Final thought? What should I be doing – I should be trying to acquaint myself with Black Powder rules as the Borodino re-fight is back on in Wellington next month- at least my Polish are finished though.

So what now?

All this thinking has given me an idea for some future posts and a way of looking forward. Why not produce a short series of “off the shelf” posts reminding me of what I already have produced and collected because this will also highlight what I need to complete them!

OK so here we go, in no particular order I’m going to kick off with Crusades/Reconquista

Gripping Beast Arabs

Footsore Miniatures

Blacktree Design

Artizan Black Guard

Artizan Design Spearmen

Perry Miniatures Spearmen

Artizan archers

And finally the Mounted troops

Footsore Guhlams

Footsore Guhlams

Blacktree Light Cavalry and horse archers

More Blacktree Cavalry and Camelry

Blacktree Camelry

Perry Seljuk Archers

Footsore Heavy Cavalry

Footsore Light cavalry

No wonder he’s saying his prayers!

These need to arrive in an hurry

So where does this leave things?

Well it’s clear from the pictures that I need to take more pictures of my Crusader army!

This is what’s on the shelf

these guys need to get out more

Mainly Perry Miniatures Cavalry/Knights

I’ve played one game and I think that was using Hail Caesar – any suggestions for alternatives? I think I need some more Arab foot and I think I have a box of Gripping Beast plastics somewhere and I’d like more Artizan Black Guard.

When I say Crusades, well that’s not strictly true as this was meant as a double up to encompass The Reconquista  –  maybe the figures aren’t a perfect match but I’m a Philistine really.

The problem with this thinking malarkey? I realise I have no buildings and would like some sort of fortress or tower and sort out some dessert terrain!

Maybe this thinking isn’t such a good idea


Posted in Crusades, medieval, Off the shelf | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Russian Napoleonics on parade – the great re-basing.

Thank god that’s over, I’m looking forward to picking up a paintbrush again after a few weeks of misery. I hate basing figures and so re-basing an whole army seemed particularly tedious and seemed to take an age

That’s one of the problems with collecting large armies over many years, your painting and basing style changes over the course of 30 years or more and naturally with lots of practice the former ought to improve. If that’s the case you will like me, look back at some of your older figures and finally with some horror realise that those figures you lavished time and effort over and were proud of at the time, really are quite dismal. Sort of like the dog’s bollocks but only without the bollocks, yes, my early Russian Napoleonic figures are real dogs!

Add to this the fact that with the passage of time one’s dependants have now reached adulthood,  and that consequently, the likelihood is that one has more disposable income and coupled with this, a more discerning taste for the better quality figure ranges, then the state of those original figures falls woefully short of one’s current expectation and standards!

Yet as the “one” in question, I soon realised that my megalomania for large armies had not changed one bit over that time, so those early figures are still needed very much needed to flesh out the army on the table. Of course selling them off in order to fund their newer unpainted brethren is an option, but this quickly becomes a less attractive option when the time needed to paint them for the table is carefully considered.

And so it was that about 3 weeks ago I decided I would attempt to tart up my Russian Napoleonic army by re-basing and re-flagging them. Part of the reason of course is that over time my basing style has also changed and I thought that perhaps having all of them, old and new, on near identical bases would harmonise the overall look and also match my baseboards, a thing often overlooked by wargmers I think

I think I bought and painted the bulk of these in the mid to late eighties, the bulk were Minifigs even though Battle Honours were the Rolls Royce of 15mm Napoleonic figures at the time. They were a little more expensive but the cost differential seemed too great at the time for a young man, just out of University and with an overdraft to pay off and a growing family.  Peter Gilder’s “In The Grand Manner” rules were all the rage then and Russian infantry battalions of 32 figures were the standard size. I built 15mm Napoleonic armies quite rapidly and painted and collected in earnest. At the time I suspect I proudly showed them off to my wargaming mates thinking I had done a good job then but when I look at them close up now I’m left thinking that perhaps I ought to have started wearing spectacles much earlier than I actually did!

Once my new flags from GMB arrived and my 2mm MDF bases from Warbases made it to NZ I soaked the figures in water to remove the bulk of the PVA and flock and got started. I did at one time or another consider stripping them back to bare metal and repainting but fortunately managed to convince myself of the folly.

And so with this now completed I thought I ought to have a May Day parade, even though its September of the old and the new parts of the Russian Napoleonic army. Its amazing really how big the Russian army has grown over the years. I used the opportunity to count the buggers – 1672 infantry (including  224 Guard), 424 cavalry, 140 gunners and 35 guns pulled by 50 mounted riders and the whole led by 48 Mounted command figures. That’s more time spent painting than I care to count!

Minifig Hussars and Mounted Jaeger on the right flank


A real mixture, Minifig Jaeger, Naismith skirmishers, Chariot Miniatures artillery and Battle Honours Cossacks

Minifig Infantry tarted up with new flags and bases

A Grand battery with infantry and cavalry in support, all Minifigs


The centre around Borodino church – my newer AB figures

Left Centre, a mixture of older BH in greatcoat and newer AB figures

Gladiator Games ( I think) Opolchenie backed up by Naismith and Minifig Militia

Its a shame that AB have no figures in greatcoat as they are so much quicker to paint

But at least Tony Barton has sculpted superb dragoons!

The newer AB Grenadiers stand proud

AB Russian Guard wait near the church

Whilst their lesser Minifig Guard battalions are relegated to standing in a muddy field

By comparison the closer you look, the worse the older figures seem to appear

So the question is, do you launch those older figures forward or hide them at the back?

On the other hand is you like with a wargamers eye at tabletop distance they certainly seem to pass muster as a mass

Yeah, looking at that last picture I think I made the right choice, replacing that lot with unpainted lead would have hurt my pocket and kept me painting till the end of the year I suspect!

Posted in 15mm Napoleonics, AB 15mm Napoleonics, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 14 Comments