Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Princesa Regiment

They only took six weeks, but I was particularly pleased to complete a unit of Napoleonics over the festive period (i.e. some time ago).  I'd picked up some of the Eagle Figures Spanish late last year, a unit in campaign wear.  I have to say they were a delight to paint:

They are rather slight figures, though as tall as Perry or Front Rank they look thin in comparison, but this is not an issue for me in a unit made solely of the models, I have troops from Perry, Victrix, Minifigs, Essex, Hat and Front Rank, and so long as they are largely of one type I am comfortable mixing them.

There is only one infantry pose in this particular set, but with creative painting they allow for a reasonable amount of variety.  I went for the Princesa regiment as there was plenty of reference material for them and they were an active unit present at several engagements with and without the British.  I mixed in brown, blue and patterned trousers to the white uniform and went for lots of patches and a final patina of dust.

These chaps have done a lot of marching.

For the command I was able to find and paint a copy of the Princesa's royal standard, whilst I hypothesized a suitably extravagant drummer's attire.  My officers have stuck to standard uniform though, perhaps they managed to get a local tailor to produce some regulation clothing recently.

Pleasing; on to the next regiment....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

EM4 Plastic ACW Infantry

I don't know how well known about they are, but when I looked in on one of my old bookmarked companies I noticed something unusual.  Under the plastics section of the EM4 website a new tab had appeared for historical models.  "ooh, that's odd" I thought, I wondered what they might be planning.

It turns out that a small range of soft plastic American Civil War troops was the plan, sold in packs of twenty with six different poses in each.  At the very, very reasonable price of £5 a pack, I felt it wouldn't hurt to grab a couple of packs and see how they looked.

The models are made of a soft polystyrene of the sort familiar to 20mm plastics fans, not unlike Reaper miniatures either.  They certainly needed a dip in hot soapy water, both to get the release agent off and to straighten out the many errant musket barrels, but once this was done they looked quite acceptable.

The proportions are good and generally similar to Perry's first set, though by no means copies.  By making a Union set and a Confederate set they avoid the main criticism of those too; no Union troops in spurious blanket rolls or excessive beards here.  Given a craft acrylic undercoat they took paint as well as any metal miniature:

Three of the poses and six of the models in each pack are devoted to command figures, for an officer drummer and ensign.  This gave me a quandary of how many of whom to use to fill out my standard 18-man regiment.

I opted for more drums, but the second officer would've been a valid alternative.  The ensign with his pre-moulded flag is the weakest of the set and hard to paint convincingly too.  A model with a bare pole would have been better but may well have been hard to cast well.  As to building larger units, well I guess you'll be buying spare packs to make up the numbers, but then they aren't expensive...

The models come on uniform round bases about 20mm in diameter, these proved easily too wide for my 50mm frontage basing so I belatedly trimmed them down; this proved that the paint on the models was resistant to rubbing or flaking off.

Overall, for the price you really can't go wrong; and whilst you may not want to do an entire army from these models, to add a unit of two in a different style they are cracking value.

A pleasing addition to my Union army, and I hope they prove a long term success.

Now if they could do the same for Napoleonic troops I would be very impressed.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Plastic Previews - 2015 begins...

Just a quicky.  I still like to keep abreast of what the 28mm plastic market is doing, and I've noted in the last few weeks marked improvements from Wargames Factory (Check out their upcoming forest Indian set):

And discovered a new (to me) manufacturer; more on that in a later post.  But top of my list is usually Perrywatch.  On the Perry's facebook page I spotted this:

So whilst their website may be silent on 2015 releases, this reveals the British napoleonic cavalry are to be expanded upon.

Good news, even if for me they are likely to be of limited use - unless, perhaps I can make Spanish troops from them?...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

los caballeros de miel de caña de Lyle

It's been a long time since I added to any of my armies frankly, not least my Dogs of War.  It seems that if the bulk of the rumours are true Warhammer Fantasy is about to get nerfed out of recognition anyway, but that's by the by.  As part of my slow rehabilitation to painting I plucked a unit of Empire knights from the festering pile and set to adding them to my Dogs of War.

As inspiration I must give credit to Millsy over at Cannister and Grape for his paint scheme here.  High quality and a good colour combo that I decided I could steal pay homage to.

Camera-fu is not what it used to be as yet.  A strong contrast between the blue and gold and dark browns worked well for me.  The unit was armed with Warhammers as the only option that made the available figures make sense, I doubt I'd actually run them in Warhammer equipped that way, but in Kings of War, which I probably play more nowadays, it makes no odds; so it's fine.

Their leader gets a close up.

Showing the classically impossible to wield GW weapon.  This is a partly metal mounted figure, of I believe an Empire Battle Priest, but he makes a suitably ridiculous looking hero for this small unit.

Elements of the figures were also borrowed from my other main unit of empire knights, notably the partial painting of the horse armour, but I am most pleased with the golden bronze armour.

These took months to finish, largely due to an absence of both time and motivation, but they've helped cut my teeth once again, and the pace has started to pick up at last.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Battle of El Poblo - November 1810

I finally got to the camera and the computer is at last up and running properly; and it is almost with a sense of guilt that I'll start to post a few more photos on the blog, after all if we don't want to be damnably divisive with our opinions in our blog, we had better have some useful content or pretty pictures to keep the people coming!

So the game of Napoleonics I had some two months ago was unusual in that it featured only my own collection of models.  After around five years of collecting this turned out to be a fair old number and with a couple of creative allegiances it made for two fairly balanced armies.

Two brigades of British infantry and a Brigade of Portuguese, with limited cavalry support faced a French infantry brigade, another of allied nations (including Madrid raised Spaniards, Irish mercenaries and Westphalians) and a pair of French cavalry brigades - one light and one heavy.  The objectives were spread across the battlefield but with the most valuable being the town of El Poblo that controlled the road into Portugal.

Each side had map deployment before hitting the table, with optional stratagems to play; which both took up.  The British (myself and Paul) placed the British on the open plain whilst the Portuguese occupied the town.  We detached two companies of the 60th Rifles to the hill in front of the French.  The French (James) for their part deployed two dense brigades to the plain and put heavy cavalry on their flank; light troops of the Irish legion were tasked with holding the woods on his left.  A light cavalry brigade was held in reserve as a flanking force, but it had to commit to a flank at the time of map deployment.

The French came on in the usual fashion, they had expected to deploy artillery to the hill but soon discovered the tenacious defence of the riflemen which would scupper their plans for the duration.

This did not stop a heated exchange developing in the centre, and the British lines were soon under pressure.  Though not as much as the Portuguese, who found a single line battalion in the town churchyard fending off an onslaught from an entire French brigade.

But fend it off they did.  By this point the French reserve cavalry had appeared on the flank of El Poblo (in what both sides agreed was the wrong flank, but that is the benefit of map deployment/orders - less 20-20 hindsight vision).  The remaining Portuguese formed their defences and braced for a mass cavalry charge to follow up the infantry assaults.

But by this stage the French infantry brigades were more or less spent forces, and although also badly bruised the British stood on the edge of a triumph in the field.

The game ended with three of the four French brigades broken to only one of the British.  As in the past the Black Powder rules provided us with an easy to administer and close game.

And one enjoyable enough to make me start painting Napoleonics troops again.  But more of that another day...

Monday, January 05, 2015

2014 in Review...

I did some war-gaming.

Not very much compared to years past, in fact I became far more enamoured of board-gaming in 2013-14.

After my funk with the blog and wider dissatisfaction with the figure gaming hobby I found far more solace in playing board games.  Things change and all that; I've built a respectable little collection of games and enjoyed being able to play them over the year without the stress that wargames were inducing in me.  Board gamers are less prone to the severe personality flaws that make some wargamers such a negative reflection on the hobby; plus a game can be done and dusted in an hour and everything you need to play is already in the box.  It just makes life easier.

Over the same period I sold off a number of armies and found a tighter focus.  My AK47 Republic, Dystopian Wars, 20mm Pacific WWII and final Epic collections have all disappeared. Time-wise there isn't the space for lots of gaming or painting as things stand, although I am managing maybe two hours a week - where in the past I'd probably average two or three a day.

I bought one rule book, a number of reference books, and about a hundred new miniatures.  But only around thirty or so have been painted.

Still it is a step forward, and it feels more enjoyable than it did this time two years ago.  Personally, as I've alluded to before, much has changed, and it called me to re-evaluate what I was doing with myself; long overdue, and not yet concluded.  Work in progress.

Hopefully in 2015 I'll get better at putting photo's into the blog and posting a little more regularly.  Though the profile of the blog will become more of a general gaming roll than a Wargame and painting heavy one.

Happy new year people.