Friday, 30 November 2007


I hope to finish the first batch of IR 2 von Wöhl by Sunday. At the moment I'm wayyy too busy at the day job and that strange thing called "Christmas shopping" rears its ugly head tomorrow. Even so, I plan to add some RSM95 figures to my collection to make up the Hetzenberg first infantry brigade sometime early in the New Year.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Progress report - 8.

Infantry Regiment 1: Sleibnitz.

As Count Sleibnitz leads his men off to barracks, I'm concentrating on IR 2 von Wöhl. Half the regiment (a batch of 12 figures) are almost complete. The figures themselves differ slightly from the uniform pattern shown in an earlier posting in that they have facings. These will be painted black to match the cuffs and turnbacks, and will have edges of red piping. The gaiters are also lighter in shade than Sleibnitz's regiment, but this is just a unit peculiarity in the days before strict standardization - not that any army in the world can enforce strict standardization.

Once von Wöhl's regiment is complete, I will be faced with a choice - to paint The Leibgarde Grenadiers, or The Bishop of Guggenheim's Regiment of Horse. Decisions, decisions...

Monday, 26 November 2007

Sleibnitz - Based.

All painted and properly based, Hetzenberg IR 1 Sleibnitz marches off the painting board, Colonel-Inhaber Count Sleibnitz at the head of the column. Its place has already been taken by the first companies of IR 2 von Wöhl.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Progress report - 7.

Both the IR 1 Sleibnitz and the Union regiment are now based. I even found time to make a start on IR 2 von Wöhl. No progress on the Daftest Africa buildings. There just ain't enough hours in the day this time of year...

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Progress report - 6.

The basing-up process on IR 1 Sleibnitz is underway. To make the most of the opportunity I'm basing a 25mm Union army unit at the same time. My preference is to use plasticard bases which I then cover with spackle, Tetrion or a similar filler mixed with PVA as a plasticizer. The mix is made up to a moderately stiff consistency, which I push around and over the bases of the figures with an old brush. A coat of really thin filler and diluted PVA is applied once the material is set. This is then painted in earth colors using acrylics, and more PVA is used in patches to create a grassy effect. I add small stones and sisal to the ACW bases as it suits the milieu.
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At the New Buckenham club last night some of us tried out the Guns at Gettysburgh rules and reached a favorable opinion of them. I'm looking forward to trying them for myself. I fought an Armati ancients game, Anglo-Saxons vs. Normans and got royally whupped! Unless the Saxons can anchor both flanks on impassable terrain and put their best troops in shield wall in the front ranks, it just becomes an academic exercise in discovering how long they can last before the Norman cavalry flank them and roll up the whole darn line...

< sigh >

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow gamers in the United States!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Progress report - 5.

Nothing much doing here for a while. The day job is really busy now and likely to remain so until after Christmas, which kinda restricts my painting/model-making activities to weekends. I plan to go to the wargames club on Friday evening, and this weekend I'll put the basing material on IR 1 Sleibnitz. The first batch of twelve figures of IR 2 von Wöhl are mounted on the painting block ready for their undercoat. Time allowing, I'll experiment with making some foamcore model buildings for my Daftest Africa set-up.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Hetzenberg Infantry Regiment No. 1 - Sleibnitz.

Here at last are the pictures of IR 1 Sleibnitz, fresh off the painting table! The base material of spackle and flocking has yet to be added to the plasticard bases, but you get the general idea of presentation. Both regimental and Ducal colors came out a treat. The 1-inch square colors are only lightly touched-up; the most I did was to add the silver borders.
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These have been excellent figures to paint. I did notice a few idiosyncracies, which add to the charm. The grenadiers are as tall, eye level-to-eye level, as the musketeers, but their bases are thinner, making them appear somewhat shorter. Their mitre caps compensate for this nicely. The ensigns are obviously young chaps, eager to advance to glory. The drummer (yellow coat, behind the colors in the top photo) also appeared to be a youngster until I painted his face - at which time he proved to have a splendid moustache!
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It made me wonder how to account for this. Is he a short, elderly guy, who never got promoted beyond drummer boy in all his years with the colors until now he's an institution in his own right? Or is it a Hetzenberg tradition like the reverse coat colors and swallows nest epaulettes on the musicians - that the drummer has to wear a false moustache..?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Progress report - 4.

All bar the three command figures of IR1 Sleibnitz are now based. Once the command element is completely painted and treated to a black wash they'll be based and the whole unit ready for flocking. All being well I should have them finished tomorrow. The experiment with printing off the regimental and Ducal colors from the PC then hand-painting the details has worked fine. A touch up with acrylics and they look a treat.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Spencer Smith 2.

I've been looking through the Spencer Smith catalog again, and I'm quite taken by the "militiaman/frontiersman" figures. I can see a definite use for them as irregular light infantry or militia for both sides in my ImagiNation games, either providing light infantry cover during a battle or as part of a skirmish game.

The musketeer figures for IR 1 Sleibnitz are finished. Just the command element to complete tomorrow then it's on to IR 2 von Wöhl...

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Progress report - 3.

The final batch of eight figures for the Sleibnitz regiment are almost complete. An enforced spell of downtime from the internet due to connectivity problems early this evening meant I got more time to paint them than I hoped for. The command group will take a little longer - their uniforms are more complex - but the regiment should be finished by this weekend.

As for the regimental colors, I'm going to try a method I saw at The Other Partizan in Newark, Nottingham, England this year. One company's trade stand was offering pre-made flags which, on closer inspection, proved to have been printed off from a computer then hand-painted. As no-one seems to make Hetzenberg flags yet, I think I'll try this for myself.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The forces begin to assemble...

And so it begins! The picture above shows the first batch of sixteen soldiers of IR 1 Sleibnitz on parade and ready to be based. The remaining eight figures include the command section of two standard bearers, officer and drummer. They'll go on the painting stand next.

I used a black ink wash to tone down the bright blue of the uniform and the facings to something approaching an authentic "on campaign" appearance. My own experiences on the re-enactment field show me just how powder-stained and grubby it's possible to get in the space of an hour, let alone a period of months! The gaiters are painted in the light buff summer pattern, and not the black winter-pattern shown in the earlier post.

Monday, 12 November 2007

The Margravate of Dunkeldorf-Pfühl: Brigade of Dragoons.

The Margravate dragoons have had a long and varied history, not all of it good or honorable. A recent spell of reorganization has left the two regiments in an unsettled condition. They are in a transient phase between acting in the original role of mounted infantry and that of full-on cavalry. Only time will tell if the regiments will settle down and perform well.

The main uniform color is almost exactly that used by the Austro-Hungarian cavalry arm during the Great War. It was chosen here as a suitably neutral color to enable the troopers to blend into the countryside when operating on foot. The cuffs and turnbacks were scheduled to be of a similarly neutral but contrasting color until traditionalists in the Margrave's war council ordered the bright colors shown. So much for that idea...

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It has been brought to my attention that I've yet again referred to the Dayton Painting Consortium as the Daytona Painting Consortium. My apologies to the gentlemen concerned!
Don't anyone misspell my store site name in the same way when looking for it at CafePress!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Progress report - 2.

The first batch of figures for the Sleibnitz regiment are almost complete. Time and tide willing they'll be finished in the next couple of days. As each color is added, so the figure seems to come to life and I'm very pleased with the way my uniform design worked out. The only question I have now, is what color to paint the splendid moustaches on the grenadiers..?

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My CaféPress store is now online!

For "Reality is for those who lack ImagiNations" products, click here...

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Progress report - 1.

The first batch of figures of IR 1 Sleibnitz are on the painting board and are about halfway done. I've no connection with Dayton Painting Consortium, so take it at face value that I'm impressed with their RSM95 models. They're nicely sculpted and are quick and easy to paint. It's so much better than having to fiddle around with a lot of extraneous detail, and since the uniform colors come entirely from my imagination, I don't have to pause in order to consult painting guides either. Following my new practise I'm painting them up a dozen at a time. As soon as they're done I'll take a few pictures of them for posterity and post them here.

Friday, 9 November 2007

The Margravate of Dunkeldorf-Pfühl: The Heavy Brigade.

Over now to the iron fist of the Margravate army - the Heavy Cavalry Brigade.

During the fall of the Unangenehmes und nicht Notwendiges Empire two kürassier regiments were stationed in the Margravate. Abandoned by their former Imperial master, the Seinfeld and Saxenstadt revoked their oaths of allegiance and now serve the Margrave.

The motto of the Seinfeld regiment is that good old German standby, Gott mit uns - "God with us." That of Saxenstadt is the Latin phrase Cursus Honorum - "The course of honor." The regimental badges reflect the origins of the cuirassier in the armored cavalry of the mediaeval period. The uniform displayed above is the standard summer pattern. For clarity the cuirass is omitted. Seinfeld troopers wear a silver breastplate with gilt trim, Saxenstadt black breastplates with gilt. The Saxenstadt favor white duck britches with leather inserts, although in the field normal wear-and-tear sometimes leads to partial re-equipping with the buff version as worn by the Seinfeld regiment. The saddlecloth is standard for all Margrave cavalry regiments and displays the two-headed black eagle badge of Pfühl.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Spencer Smith.

I have to say I was taken with the Spencer Smith range of figures quite early on. Maybe it's a hangover from my early days in the hobby back in Nineteen-Hundred-and-Frozen-Stiff, when I'd read books by Featherstone, Wesencraft, Grant, et al whenever they appeared in the local library. The figures have a naive charm about them all their own, and look good en-masse. They were a prime candidate for forming the basis of my ImagiNation collection until I decided on RSM95.

As it is, I'm toying with the idea of buying some to make up the forces of the Margravate. It'll be an even clearer distinction between the two forces, plus it'll support a (relatively) local manufacturer, as SSM are based in the same county as me. As long as the figures aren't mixed in the same unit, it won't matter.

The day job is really busy now and I barely have the strength to do more than just flop in my armchair and go "eep!" at infrequent intervals. I have a little energy to spare for designing the uniforms of a heavy cavalry brigade for the Margrave's host. Watch this space...

Monday, 5 November 2007

Line colors for the Margravate.

The Margravate's line regimental colors follow the same principle as the guard, with the exception of the unit's designating number being in Arabic numerals. Army policy has been set so as a regiment wins reknown, the color of the central wreath will be changed to silver then gold. Battle honors will be carried on streamers attached to the staff below the finial.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

The Margravate of Dunkeldorf-Pfühl: 3rd (Provisional) Line Brigade.

I'm back from vacation, horribly jetlagged and suffering from a rotten cold. Ho-hum...

Meanwhile, here is the Third (Provisional) Brigade of the Margrave's army. This is going to be made up of second-rate units such as the Austrian army possessed in the 18th century. The regiments have the numbers, they have the training; they just don't have much morale or fighting ability. Every army has units like these, that add bulk to the army's strength without adding much in the way of combat value.

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Even so, units such as these have their uses and can surprise their commanders on occasion. In one recent game at the New Buckenham club we fought a disguised scenario Napoleonic game in which two distinctly second-rate French brigades attacked a position held by good-quality British units. We used the Shako rules favored by our group and the French performed exceptionaly well. They took the main British position and ended the game "at nightfall" in a situation where they directly threatened the second. The game was based on the Union attack on the Dunker Church at Antietam/Sharpsburg, and the attackers had more success than those in the original battle.

Had the game been part of a campaign the division would've been given a higher rating as a reward. Seeing the "duffers" make good in the end is one reward for including such units in the order of battle. And if they foul up, well, it wasn't exactly unexpected, was it? It's things like this that make campaigns so pleasurable.

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For those who're interested some of my RSM95 figures are now soaking in detergent prior to painting. I will begin painting IR 1 Sleibnitz using my newly-adopted practise of painting 15 or so figures at a time. I find this is much easier for me to do as I'm not faced with the chore of having to paint figure after figure for hours on end. Even wargamers need a little morale-boost now and then...

I really can't praise the quality of these figures highly enough. They are the cleanest, most flash-free models I've ever seen. Recommended!

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I'm going to be very busy with the day job over the run-up to Christmas, but I hope to get in some painting time, and to work on the campaign background to the mighty struggle between Hetzenberg and the The Margravate of Dunkeldorf-Pfühl. There may even be another chapter or two of Any Excuse. Stay tuned..