Monday, 13 December 2010

Time moves on...

November was a heck of a month and December has not been much better! Basically work has been keeping me from doing much wargaming or updating the blog. I shall return...soon!


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Davout vs Archduke Charles

Good game last night. Lau took the Austrians and I had the French in a battle based extremely loosely on Razysn 1809 but with slightly different terrain and totally different forces.

The French consisted of Davout's 3rd Corps including a division of dragoons. These were supported by the Bavarian division of von Wrede.

The Austrians had two line Korps (I and II) supported on their right by Nordmann's Avant Garde and on the left by the heavy cavalry of the army reserve.

This order of battle gave the austrians a significant advantage in numbers, against which the French had a generally higher quality (especially among the infantry) and the superb leadership of Davout.

Both armies attempted to move forward on their respective right wings. I was a bit incautious and sent the majority of 3rd Corps splashing over the river, abandoning the defensive position afforded by the stream. This caused problems as the austrians surged forward and engaged my trrops in the centre and sent them reeling back. Both armies paused briefly to reorganise and rally, while continuing their attempts at outflanking.

The Bavarians steadily worked their way towards the austrian cuirassiers who chose to give ground. Eventually the Bavarians were able to swing left and begin to wrap up the left flank of II Korps. The majority of Davout's infsantry continued to hold in the centre, unwilling to risk further offensive operations. Over on the French left, the light cavalry and dragoons attempted to hold-up the Avant Garde and protect the flank of the infantry.

After a couple of hours we decided to bring the battle to an end. Both sides were quite exhausted and while able to hold their ground, each needed fresh reserves to make any further inroads. An honourable draw was decided.

The rules were my good old homebrew set (available from google docs by following the link on the blog). Apart from a couple of typos these still seemed to work well despite our being a bit rusty (if using them, cannister rolls 2d6, roundshot 1d6 - the quick reference sheet is wrong). I still need to pen some pursuit rules and other bits and bobs, but we'll be trying them out again in a fortnight.


Friday, 29 October 2010

Quick Update

Hi all

I have been on holiday this week so have been bust with the kids etc. I'm planning a run out of my 6mm Napoleonics at the club this week, while the Black Powder carries on in the garage.


Saturday, 16 October 2010

All Quiet on the AWI Front

Hi all, I'm still here. Painting has taken a back seat for s short while due to work and other projects. I'm still busy assembling ideas for using Black Powder and have actually been doing more gaming than painting for the last week or two. Makes a nice change!


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Lee's Legion - basing and painting

I had a number of kind comments about the Legion dragoons. To answer a couple of questions/points:

  1. The green on the jackets is Vallejo Black-green. This was painted on and then one batch had Army Painter strong tone and the other batch (and Harry Lee) had a thin wash of black-green + black. Highlights were more black-green followed by a mix of black-green and a little light brown.
  2. Basing is deceptively simple. The figures are glued to the base with PVA. The base is then painted chocolate brown. I then glue on patches of Noch (Gaugemaster) grass matting. Once dry I paint over the whole base with watered down PVA and dump on a load of mixed flock and fine railway modelling grit. Once this had also dried a stick on patches of static grass with more watered-down PVA. The trick with the flock is to get the right mix. My rough recipe includes:
  • fine brown flock
  • fine sand-coloured flock
  • fine green flock (just a little)
  • railway model grit
  • polyfilla powder

The addition of polyfilla powder to the mix does two things. Firstly it mixes with the thinned PVA to bind the whole thing together and secondly some of it remains around the edge of the base (being very light) and gives a similar impression to dry-brushing the base.

This basing method, which I have used for a number of years on 28mm figures is VERY quick and easy. It doesn't work well with smaller figures as even the finest flock tends to be too "grainy". As the basing material only goes where the watered PVA flows (rhyme unintended) it tends to be easier to get around horses' legs etc than using polyfilla and a spatula! It also doesn't give unsightly white patches if it chips.

Hope this helps someone out there!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Lee's Legion - Dragoons finished

I have finished off the light dragoon figures for Lee's Legion. As with Lee himself I have opted for a uniform of green jackets with chocolate brown facings. The flag is one reputed to have been carried by the Legion. I am not 100% sure of its provenance bu have used in lieu of any more convincing information. Half of the fugures ar painted in my "normal" way with layers and washes, the other half were done using Army Painter as a mid-way step. I don't find a huge difference between the two finished effects other than the faces being less "pink" with the Army Paintered batch, and this will be down to the colour I used as the base.

The american foxhound has found his way onto Lee's command base, where he seems ti fit in nicely.

Next up are a unit of americans in hunting shirts which will have a Maryland 1776 vibe and a couple of bases of grenadiers to supplement those I already have (in full warrant uniform). I have figures on order to enable me to produce the foot element of Lee's legion and the grenadier company/companies for the Guards brigade in the south.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

2nd Guards finished

Above is the "whole unit" shot of the finished and based 2nd battalion of guards. Below is a closer shot of some of the bases:

Next is a picture of the officers. The two chaps at front left and front right were originally standard bearers but were converted by the addition of muskets from the foundry French Revolution range (I bought a mob deal a few years ago)
...and lastly some of the rank and file:

Overall, the Army Painter seems to have worked OK and I'll try it on the 1st Guards!
(and yes, this unit was originally going to BE the 1st guards! I just lost track...)

Sunday, 26 September 2010

2nd Guards progress

Two shots of one of the guardsmen. Above is a shot after a sparing coat of Army Painter Strong Tone and a spray fo matt varnish has been applied and allowed to dry for 24 hours. Below is a shot after touching-up the cross belt with some white, re-colouring the hat with GW Badab Black wash and giving a quick coatf of brush-on varnish.
Overall I think the figures came out OK (shot of the whole unit once based).
Lessons learned?
  1. Sparingly applied brushed-on armypainter works well - although I might actually need to be a bit heavier in some parts of the figure
  2. Allow to dry for 48 hours next time as I got a bit of cracking when spraying on varnish after 24 hours.
  3. Whites, cream etc come out looking very "dirty" and really need re-painting. This is more or less of a chore depending on the amount of white on the figure.
  4. Large areas of blue or black look poor after the strong tone treatment. I got away with this on the blue facings but not on some blue trousers or the black hats. I have repainted the trousers and the hats look OK after a Badab Black wash. Next time I'll paint the balck areas dark grey, then army painter, then badab black
  5. Faces look surprisingly good. I was expecting the "dirty" look to be a problem.

So, overall, better than I thought and I'll have a go at the 1st Guard sometime soon. By understanding what is needed to get the best out of the Army Painter I hope the results will be even better.

The effect is still not as good as a fully shaded and highlighted figure, but this will hopefully speed up production of rank and file troops - especially militia!

I guess the real advantage is likely to come when I get back to ancients and medievals. Numidians should be a breeze!


Monday, 20 September 2010

Man's Best Friend

I have completed the first 6 figures for the Lee's Legion Dragoons and have just started on the final six, so hopefully photos will follow at the weekend. The Guards are on hold pending the arrival of my Army Painter which is now in stock and has been sent but will probably arrive tomorrow when everyone is out and will then require a trip into Newark to visit the sorting office!

In the meantime I have painted up this little chap who comes as part of the British Command pack (cut down coats, standing). I'm not really a dog person, but a quick search on line seemd to indicate that he is an american foxhound and so I have attempted to paint an appropriate colour scheme.

At some point he'll make his way onto a command base I expect - or maybe even a base of his own!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Lee's Legion (3)

Here is the more-or-less finished "Light Horse Harry" Lee. I have opted for a green jacket with brown facings, why?

There are no clear indications of what Lee's Legion wore. They were initially part of the 1st Continetal Light Dragoons which wore either brown coats with green facings OR blue coats with red facings OR both (either at the same time or at different stages of the war). Late in the war, or just after, the Legion are known to have worn buff uniforms with green facings. There are contemporary accounts of Lee's dragoons being gonfused with the cavalry of the British Legion and the Queen's Rangers and as both of these wore green coats I have opted to assume (without further evidence) that Lee may have reversed the colours of his original regiment and gone south with green coats faced brown, as shown, bofore again reversing later in the war - or perhaps the coats were reversible!

I'm happy with this approach, but I don't for a moment claim it is 100% accurate or expect anyone else to follow this colour scheme!

Other angles below:

Monday, 13 September 2010

Lee's Legion (2)

Above are the figures for the light dragoon element of Lee's Legion as described in my earlier post. A few figures have been undercoated before, hence the black bits.

Below are close-ups of "Light Horse Harry" Lee himself:

...and the same figure now I have started painting him!:

I'm not using "dip" on this figure but once th abasics have been done I will use a variety of GW washes and use some other glazes that I'll make myself, before adding highlights.

1st Guards (3)

Quick photo of the 1st Guards awaiting their Army Painter "dip"

Lee's Legion Dragoons

While busy with the Guards I thought I'd start a rebel unit of the southern campaign - Lee's Legion. The Perries make the legion foot but not cavalry - although one could adapt their British Legion figures to do this.

As my own British Legion date back to 2002 or so and were converted from Foundry Continentla Light Dragoons I opted to do a similar job on Lee's cavalry and so I spent some time this weekend with pliers, files and greenstuff. I have produced a figure of Lee himself (British officer with headswap and converted helmet and 12 dragoons including a leader, cornet and standard bearer. Most of the figures are Cont. Lt. Dragoons with converted helmets, but to aid the campaign look I have mixed in some Perry mounted riflemen.

I have researched colour schemes and as Lee's legion were confused with both the British Legion and Queen's Rangers I will go for a green jacket, probably with black facings. The real legion may have been using more practical clothing by this stage (shell jackets/roundabouts, etc) but there is a limit to hom much converting I want to do and I think they'll look just fine. When I get round to doing the Lee's Legion foot I'll also mix in some riflemen to help the units to match. Riflemen will probably get green rifle smocks and leggings (horse) and a mix of green and unbleached linen (foot).

I took some pics of the conversions before undercoating and if I get a chance tonight I'll post them here.

1st Guards (2)

Work has progressed on the Guards I bought at Partizan. I have blocked in the colours on all 30 figures and am now waiting for Mr Postie to deliver some Army Painter String Tone so I can have a go at the "brush on dip, followed by some extra highlight-method" used by Davis Imrie on his Saxon Dog blog.

I'll keep you posted

Friday, 10 September 2010

More Partizan Pics

A variety of shots of my demo game, kindly provided by Henry Hyde of Battlegames.

Cheers, Henry!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Partizan pictures

A couple of quick shots of my layout at Partizan last weekend, using my heavily doctored terrain tiles and most of my scenery collection. The trees are all home made using the technique I described on the blog a few months ago.

Club night game Pictures

Here we go with a few snaps taken during last night's game. Above the cavalry of Pulaski's Legion watch as the 33rd foot turn to face them. This small cavalry unit, outnumbered and shaken would later repulse an attack by the British Legion dragoons.

Below is a shot of the British battleline a few turns into the game. The 33rd and Pulaski's cavalry can be seen at top left.
Next, a view of the American centre, with continentals holding the fileds and militia in support. In the far distance we can see the British Light Infantry beginning to get themselves isolated:

Below is a view along the American line from their right. This is later in the game and the 2nd Maryland have become disordered, as shown by the red fluffy ball:

Another view of the British, somewhat stalled:

A closer view of the British lines. The Legion cavalry supporting the 1st/71st with the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers further to the fron and Royal Artillery looking on:

Towards the end of the game, the musketry of the 33rd supported by 3 pounder artillery proved too much for the 1st Maryland, who broke shortly after:

...and to the right, the 71st took on the 3rd Maryland and overwhelmed them while the von Bose Musketeers can be seen sweeping around the American rear:

A good game overall!

Club night game

We played a fun game of AWI Blackpowder at the club last night. I made up a scenario on the fly, using an 8 x 6 table with lots of woods and a farm and fenced fields across the centre of the board.

The British had the following:
23rd, 33rd, 1/71st, Light Infantry and von Bose Musketeers,
all with the following stats: Large, 8/4/3+/4: Ferocious Charge, Elite, Steady, First Fire
British Legion Dragoons: 6/1/4+/3: Marauders
Hessian Jagers: 3/2/3+/2: Elite, steady, sharp shooters
RA 6pdr section: 1/3.2.1/4+/2 range 48"
RA 3pdr section: 1/3.2.1/4+/2 range 36"
(everyone can skirmish)

Colonel Webster (8) took the 23rd, 33rd, Lights and the 3pdr section, Leslie (8) took the rest and Cornwallis (9) was in command

The Americans had
General Greene (9)
Continental Brigade, Gen Howard (9):
3 battalions of Maryland infantry, each: 6/3/4+/3: First Fire
2 sections of 6 pdr artillery: 1/3.2.1/4+/2 rage 48"

Virginia militia Brigade, Gen Stevens (7)
3 battalions of militia, each: 4/3/5+/3: Wavering
1 rifle battalion, each: SMALL 3/2/5+/2
1 cavalry unit: SMALL 4/2/5+/2

Carolina militia Brigade, Gen Caswell (7)
units as above

The Americans deployed their continentals in the centre and one militia brigade on each flank. The British formed a line of battle and attempted to advance; the plan being somewhat frustrated by some poor dice rolling that saw a lot of inaction compounded by Webster's brigade taking a blundering move to the right (let's do the Timewarp, yeah) in front of Leslie's men. Meanwhile the light infantry had move up to the militia and done some real damage, but with no support they became isolated and eventually accumulated too much damage and routed.

The British did finally pull themselves together, but not before the 23rd Fusiliers had also become exposed and were routed and the Legion cavalry charged a smaller unit of American cavalry that was already shaken and STILL contrived to lose the combat at flee the field... Eventually though the von Bose Musketeers drove in the American militia on one flank before turning to wrap up the line just as the 71st arrived in front. The final turn before we packed up saw the continental infantry routed by some very shot-up British.

Pretty close to the real battles of the AWI in fact.

I deliberately kept the scenario simple as the players were either quite or totally new to Black Powder. I would normally rate Webster as a 9 and was probably too generous to Greene and Howard, but it all seemed to work. We now just need to train Laurence to roll LOW for orders and HIGH for firing/combat/break-tests and not the other way around!

I did take a few snaps so hopefully I'll post these and some Partizan pics tonight.


Monday, 6 September 2010

1st Guards (1)

Right, fresh start. I have a couple of projects on and I am trying to give each one about an hour every night in the week and then see what I can get done at the weekends too.

One project is painting up some new AWI stuff with the aim being to add units suitable for the southern campaigns of 1780-81, so lots of scruffiness and floppy hats. The current unit is the 1st battalion of the Guards brigade - a composite of men provided by each company of the King's Footguard regiments. I am opting to use standing/firing figures for each of the two battalions while using charging figures when I get round to doing the guards grenadiers.

I therefore spent some time in the garage with five blisters of Perry figures and a couple of files, removing flash. I have used the British infantry in cut-down coats and have two blisters of firing line, two of standing and the command (standing ) blister. The last comes with two standard bearers and the Guardfs do not seem to have used standards so I took these otherwise useless figures and gave each one a musket to hold in his open hand - using stuff I have stashed in a useful AWI "bits box". The muskets originally came from a Foudry Horde deal of French Revolution figures, that has also provided some of my AWI militia.

All 30 of the figures, plus a dog, have been glued to little rectangles of card with some PVA glue ready for undercoating with chocolate brown paint - may favoured undercoat for most AWI figures.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Partizan Game

No photos tonight as I can't summon the energy after a very busy day at Partizan. The game went very well and the Black Powder rules flowed perfectly. The initial British attack caused half the militia to evaporate, however the units that remained proved intransigent and were well supported by some artillery. The von Bose hessians fought a melee that lasted four rounds before the milita fell back in disorder leaving the poor germans shaken and in need of some rallying.

The British flank attack under Colonel Webster proved more successful but experienced sopme slow going through the woods, with successive lines of rebel skirmishers leapfrogging each other in a slow retreat. The loyalist brigade did pretty well, doing at least as well as the bulk of the British regulars.

There seemed to be a lot of interest in the game and a fair few people asking questions. I hope that it has sparked a little more interest in gaming the AWI.

Purchases at the show were limited to some blisters of British in cut-down coats to make the beginnings of the Brigade of Guards.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Reinforcements for Partizan

Some last minute arrivals for the demo game have just made it off the painting table. First are two British command stand, a brigade commander above and an army general (and hounds) below:
...and the von Bose musketeers finally make it after several years of trying!

The flags are my normal efforts, printed onto ordinary paper and then over-painted. These have quite a tricky design that I have somewhat simplified. The flag cords are from Front Rank.

Hope to see you at the show tomorrow. Doors open 10-4.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Partizan Scenario

What ho!

I have been giving some thought to a scenario for Sunday's game at Partizan and have come up with the following "counterfactual" (i.e. made-up "what if") situation:

January 1781.
Following the loss of Charlestown and the capitulation of General Lincoln in the previous year, a new rebel southern army had been formed under Washington's close ally , General Nathaneal Greene. Bringing together the Maryland continentals, the Carolinas militia and light troops under Daniel Morgan and William Washington, Greene conducted a cat and mouse campaign against Cornwallis in the autumn of 1780 before both armies entered winter quarters. As 1781 opened, Greene was made aware that General Horatio Gates "the hero of Sartoga" was intriguing amongst members of congress in an effort so secure the southern command for himself. Realising the need to secure his position, Greene resolved to engage in open battle with the British and took position in the vicinity of Charlotte, NC. The rebel troops were disposed in terrain advantageous to defence and dared Cornwallis to attack...

Essentially this verison of history means that the Battle of Camden never happened and this battle will be an alternate version with similar troops but a different battlefield and a slightly more organised and experienced rebel army.

Friday, 27 August 2010


Nothing new here, but to satisfy a friend's curiosity here are some pics of my AWI cavalry. Above is "bloody Ban" himself, Banastre Tarleton converted from the officer figure in the foundry AWI Continental Dragoon Command blister. The helmet has been converted with gree stuff but that is about all. The casualty he is threatening is from the Foundry French Revolutionary range. Below is a close up of Tarleton's head. The conversion was fairly simple:

  1. Take a pair of pliers and squeeze the original horsehair plume into a thin piece of metal sticking up from the helmet
  2. Trim this excess metal away with a scalpel or scissors
  3. Make a small "sausage" of green stuff of the right size to form the bearskin crest of the Tarleton helmet
  4. Place this sausage onto the helmet
  5. Take a fine needle and make lots of little holes all over the sausage to create the correct texture and allow to harden overnight
  6. Roll out a thin piece of greenstuff and cut a small "fan" shap out of this with a scalpel
  7. Use the point of the scalpel to pick up the fan and transfer it the the left-hand side of the helmet
  8. Use the scalpel blade on the greenstuff fan to give the impressin of feathers.
  9. Allow the greenstuff to harden and then paint away!

The next photo is of part of my main cavalry unit of the British Legion, I have a further 6 figures to add to this unit depending on the scenario. These are all modified from the Foundry Coninental Dragoons or the Perry 17th LD in southern dress, with appropriate headswaps or greenstuff modifications.

I also have a little unit forming a Legion detachment that can operate independently or be added to the main unit (to total 21 figures). This unit includes skirmishing figures from the Perry pack of 16th LD "foot dragoons" and a dead horse from Front Rank

Lastly is my detachment of 17th LD using a mix of uniformed and southern dress figures. These are probablya bit too smart for the later period of the war but I like them like that!