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!



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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.

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.

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

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

Old McDonald had a farm – E-I-E-I-O……….. Part two

Part 1 of the game ended with the union commander wringing his hands and wanting to get them around the throat of the staff officer who’d managed to lose his artillery support. By some miracle (well you could say that throwing a six comes close!) the Union artillery arrives behind Baxter’s brigade and the Union commander expends as many points as possible to get these into the fight.  Its point of arrival was again determined by the throw of a dice

Turn 5

On the Confederate side it seems that Benning’s brigade is finally up but with a 6 thrown it arrives on the left side of the Confederate table edge. That’s reasonably handy though the middle might have been a more optimum arrival point. At least here on the left it can threaten the flank of the Iron Brigade which is hesitating this turn.

On the Union left flank Paul’s brigade has taken a while to get into battle line and an unsupported charge is considered and then decided against. Meanwhile Anderson is more bold and orders the 9th Georgia to charge the cavalry in the farmstead. The 3rd Indiana is supported by the 12th Illinois but both are classed as green troops

The charge results in a drawn result and so a melee ensues. With 11 dice vs 8 the Rebel foot cause 7 casualties but only take 3 and so whip the Union troopers who fall back.

At the same time the 7th Georgia charge the troopers of the 8th NY who have lost their fire discipline and cause no casualties to the attackers in the charge and as a consequence 3 of  the 4 cavalry regiments in the brigade are whipped and mean that the brigade must take a falter test and fall back

As they do so Paul’s infantry brigade advance through them but are met by a hail of fire from the Confederate artillery with the 16th Memphis taking 5 casualties though being good steady regulars they pass the test to see the Elephant and carry on forward.

Meanwhile on the Confederate left flank the artillery fire is probably heavier and more accurate despite being at long range. This causes casualties in the 2nd Wisconsin and the 24th Michigan. The biggest problems is the death of the colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin who immediately retire as a result. This leaves the 6th and 7th Wisconsin as the only formed regiments in the brigade

Turn 6

Buford’s cavalry and the Iron Brigade both pass a morale test and spend the turn forming up. A throw of 6 by a commanding general means that a new brigade will arrive on the field though goodness knows where – that’s at the mercy of the dice.

As it happens the dice throws seem to be favouring the Union side as they win the initiative again for the 6th consecutive time.

In the centre Cutler is trying to make forward progress and though the 7th Indiana charge the 4th Texas they get unformed crossing a rail fence and then take a whopping 7 casualties ( a throw of 12 results in 5 casualties and another 2 from the extra combat dice). Hardly a surprise then that they are also whipped.

In summary then, though the Union rt flank is not looking good, there is an opportunity in the centre for the Brigades of Cutler and Baxter to punch a hole between Anderson and the Texas brigade as the Rebel line is very weak here. On the Union left it’s worrying that Paul’s brigade is hesitating under the sights of the Confederate artillery sights.A fire fight between the 9th Georgia and the 104th NY leave the latter whipped.

Turn 7

Finally the Rebels win the initiative and once brigade morale is checked it still sees Paul’s brigade quaking, hesitant and immobile under the artillery fire.

There is however light in the Confederate centre where the 83rd NY are pushing through the gap between Anderson and the Texas brigade. The confederate artillery attempts top break up this incursion and 3 batteries fire at long range though only cause minimal casualties.

The Iron Brigade on the Union right flank will need all its mettle now as its being pressed by both Benning’s  and Law’s brigades and attempts to step back to realign

Meanwhile Anderson and Paul’s brigades settle down to a firefight but poor throws means that the Union troops seem to be losing their fire discipline all along the line. At last though the Union artillery has some success against the Confederate artillery on the centre hill when it engages it at long range

Turn 8

Again there are no hesitating brigades on either side and having failed to do much damage to the advancing Union troops in the centre the confederate artillery resume the bombardment of Paul’s brigade with devastating effect on the 13th Massachusetts  and 94th NY. The pressure is mounting on Paul as is the pressure on the Rebel side because of  in the gap in the centre of the Confederate line

Turn 9

This turn sees the arrival of reinforcements with sixes thrown on both sides. Pickett is seems is here or at least Garnet’s brigade is, though it arrives on the left not in the centre where it is most needed.

Similarly on the Union side the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Division under Doubleday arrive, again in the centre though its obvious these must head off to the Union Rt flank to support the iron Brigade as quick as they can.

It is now critical in the Confederate Centre where Hood’s brigade is hesitating and Baxter is pushing his brigade through the widening gap.

On the Union left Paul is desperately trying to hurl Anderson back by charging the 9th Georgia with the 13th Massachusetts . Artllery support fire fails but the union attackers take 4 casualties in the charge and somehow despite having accumulated 10 figure casaualties the 9th Georgia hold on to the farmstead.

Meanwhile the 83rd NY belie their green status and hurl back the 59th Georgia and the gap between Anderson and the Texans is now a chasm! Finally it looks like a Union breakthrough as the confederate centre seems to be folding

Mind, its not all looking good on the Union side, on the beleaguered right Benning and Law and overwhelming the Iron Brigade. The 20th Georgia charge the 6th Wisconsin and the 15th Alabama hurl themselves at the casualty torn 24th Michigan

Turn 10

Trouble on the Union rt flank as the 24th Michigan rout and the 7th Wisconsin get whipped.

If that’s not bad enough on the Union left the 13th Massachusetts are again under fire and have taken too many casualties now and disperse. The end result is that at the end of the turn the Union have 2 faltering brigades, Paul on the left and the Iron Brigade on the right. Cutler’s brigade does not seem able to make headway against the Texans and is hesitating

Baxter has pushed into the gap and seems set to blow the Confederate centre wide open his green troops of the 97th NY fails a morale test and heads backwards

Turn 11

Disaster for the Union side..

While on the right somehow the Iron Brigade rallies surely its only a matter of time particularly as Doubleday’s relieving troops seem bewildered, hesitate and do not move and do not seem able to help relieve the pressure that the brigade is under.

Even worse Paul’s brigade retires being catawamptiously chewed up with 2 of its 5 regiments dispersed and the others battered.

The Union cavalry, out of the fight for some time and held back for such a catastrophe are themselves badly mauled and fail to advance preferring to remain where the are.

What of Baxter who was about to tear through the centre- a terrible calamity now ensues as without the support of either Paul on his left or Cutler hesitating on his right, finds himself now trapped between Anderson and the Texans

Meanwhile Garnet is marching at the double to fill the hole in the line that seemed so promising……

No doubt the Joint Committee on the conduct of the war in Washington will get to hear of this and someone will pay dearly for this fiasco…………..

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Old McDonald had a farm – E-I-E-I-O……….. Part one

And on that farm there was a scrap – E-I-E-I-O……

I’ve been waiting to play an ACW game for quite some time. It’s been such a long time in the offing despite having painted both armies in 15mm a few years ago. Whilst I’ve been painting over the past few months I’ve been listening to an audio-book trilogy on the ACW by Shelby Foote but the final impetus came when I bought Dave Brown’s “Pickett’s Charge” rules a few months ago.

These are available from the Too Fat Lardies website

I’m an huge fan of Dave’s rules, he’s produced quite a few over the years and though I’ve had an early version of Guns at Gettysburg for years I’d never got around to playing them. (As an aside I’m looking forward to seeing Dave’s Napoleonic Version “General D’ Armee” which is aimed at large Napoleonic battles and will be out sometime in 2017). So with a few days off I decided to play a solo game in order to get acquainted with the rules.

For the Union side I took the historical OOB of Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, chose Reynolds’s 1st Corps  of 3 divisions and added Gamble’s Brigade from Buford’s 1st Cavalry Corps though have made no adjustment for actual numbers just choosing to field units of a standard size either 24 or 20 figures strong.

For the Army of Northern Virginia I did the same, choosing to start with Hood’s division of Longstreet’s Corps, consisting of the Texas Brigade, Law’s Brigade and Anderson’s brigades deployed on the table with plans that Benning’s Brigade should follow. Depending how the game goes there is the option to add some of Pickett’s Division later on. Again units have been fielded with no reference to their actual historical strengths but just as standard units as defined under the rules

Initial table set up:

This gives a starting strength of 3 Confederate infantry brigades and 1 artillery brigade and 3 Union infantry Brigade and a Cavalry Brigade, with the later being deployed well in advance. While it seems daft to set up so near the table edge and waste time moving it has the advantage of allowing me to gradually familiarise myself with the rules as things cropped up. The table dimension is  8 x 5 feet and the features on its surface arranged somewhat haphazardly to provide some cover and tactical challenges. My plan is to let the game unfold  as I learn the rules and add new brigades as it seems sensible though with random dice deciding on both their timing and point of arrival.

So far I’ve managed 4 turns this afternoon at a leisurely pace

Turn 1 

The Union side won the initiative though the Iron Brigade fails a brigade command roll and hesitates while Robinson commanding the 2nd Division makes every effort to get the 1st Brigade (Paul’s) moving as Buford’s cavalry is vulnerable being totally unsupported and under effective artillery fire.

Fortunately on the Rebel side Anderson’s brigade being closest also fails a command roll and becomes hesitant giving Buford some breathing space. The Rebels decide to use most of their available staff officer postings to get the artillery on assault fire

Turn 2 

Union initiative again but this time Paul hesitates as does the artillery brigade and Law’s Brigade on the Rebel side possibly leaving the Texas Brigade  in the centre of the table exposed though they seem to be winning the race for Old Man MacDonald’s Farmstead. At least Anderson gets moving this time and the 8th Georgia take the first fire casualty of the game closely followed by the 76th NY as Hood’d skirmishers open up.

Its a good thing that this is a solo game – I seem to have forgotten to deploy the union artillery and decide that it must be lost and will come on according to dice throws – needless to say these are miserable!

Turn 3

Oops…. still no Union artillery but at least this turn the 2nd division’s 2nd brigade under Baxter arrives on the table and the dice determine that its near the middle back edge rather than on the left side of the table. Once it gets going it might push on through the centre and add help to Cutler’s Brigade in trying to drive Hood out of McDonalds!

Again the Union win the initiative, neither side has any hesitant brigades this turn so Hood pushes Law forward to protect the flank of the advancing Texans from the Iron Brigade by using the Double Quick Order whilst the Union distribute their staff officers to go for safety with brigade re rolls all along the line.

Casualties are now starting to mount up and crossing open ground the 8th Georgia take another 3 hits from the fire of 2 cavalry regiments.

Meanwhile on the Union right the advancing Iron Brigade despite being in the distant attracts the attention of the Confederate artillery situated on the hill

Turn 4

Where is that damned artillery? Somebody has really blundered with some shoddy staff work. By now the Union force has 3 brigades on the table but no supporting artillery. Baxter gets 3 of the staff officer points allocated to ensure the brigade would get a re roll if it failed its activation and  a double quick move to get it into the fight

There are recriminations on the Confederate side as well as Benning’s Brigade still isn’t up and there won’t be enough troops to hold this line at this rate but at least Anderson is now pushing forward and threatening to flank one of Buford’s cavalry regiments.

The cavalry continue to hold off the infantry with good and disciplined volleys , wisely the 8th Georgia dropped back as the 9th Georgia passed through it and take its share of fire. Forced to take a morale test, they see pass despite heavy losses. On the whole though, Anderson is getting the upper hand as Buford’s regiments are weakening, It’s high time Paul’s brigade got up to relieve them.


Finally on the Union right flank, the 19th Indiana retire whipped by the combined fire of the long range battery and a sneaky burst of canister fire by an artillery support just unlimbered aside the trees…


Oh where in the hell is the 1st Corps’ artillery?


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