26 February 2010

Republic to Empire: Basing Plan

Most people who follow this blog know that I have a pretty idiosyncratic basing scheme. I put three 28mm figures on a 40x20mm base in single rank (slightly staggered if possible). I do not believe that I have seen anyone else do this, but it works for me and more importantly it works for the 2 games that I play: Field of Battle and Lasalle.

I have laid out my reasons for my method in a previous blog, but suffice to say I started up my wargaming with a plan to build the two sides at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro at a 1:40 ratio figure man ratio and felt that it would be best to use a small as base as possible. I am actually about a third of the way through my master plan having finished a corps aside, which I believe to be a pretty good pace over 3 years. There have been and continue to be distractions, like Walmoden's Korps, Calpe Prussians and now Austrians as well as several new rulesets.

I always realised though that I liked the look of "big battalions" and as noted in my initial blog entry on basing, my bases were designed so the battalions could be easily doubled in size allowing play with 1:20 ratio rule set like Général de Brigade. Well, it is not GdB that we are interested but the new rule set Republic to Empire. I am quite keen to give these rules a go, but this set unlike FoB and Lasalle appears to require much larger battalions than I have painted to date.

I do have a lot of figures painted (well over 1000), so it is should be pretty easy to chase up the 10-15 large battalions that are required in RtE. Although the rules allow for variable sized battalions anywhere from 16-56 figures, generally the average French battalion is 24 figures and the English 32 figures.

In my plan for RtE, I wanted to use the same figure manufacturer within each battalion and additionally had to adjust for the fact that early in my painting career I foolishly bought figures in a firing stance that are great for vignettes but difficult to line up in column of march. I also was not keen to have to move 12 bases for a single battalion, so I had to find some transient method of basing that uses a sabot.

My present bases are fortunately quite thin, 1mm hard plastic, so I had some flexibility. Everyone appears to rave about Litko bases, so I thought I would have a look. They have a lot of different products but what caught my attention was their flexible metal and magnetic sticky bases. I also needed something to stick the sticky strip on and their 0.8mm plywood bases were perfect. We already have enough problems in 28mm gaming with vertical scale. I am not really keen on thick bases, I find the 3mm Litko bases already a little too thick.
So here we have a 40x20mm 1mm plastic base with a precut 40x20 sticky flex steel base attached, still pretty low profile. Bit of paint and we are done.
I then made a sabot out of a 40x50mm 0.8mm plywood base with a the same sized HD flex magnet base stuck to it. I initially tried the regular strength magnet, it would not hold metal figures.
As you can see it has a pretty low profile as well. I went with an extra 10mm depth to make it possible to mount all those firing pose figures I have.
I am trying 2 different terraining techniques, clearly the one on the left looks better, but I wanted some sabots that had terrain with no relief so I could stick on labels to indicate the unit designation and it's stats. I just find it hard to read the flags and the facings in a game.
The magnetic strength was quite satisfactory for plastic figures, but would it work for metals?
Here are some Perry metals. Seems to work.......but how about the big boys?
Here are some chunky Front Rank........success!
Here is a 30 figure British battalion. The unit sticker will be affixed to the command stand.
and a 34 figure battalion.
A 24 figure French battalion. Not sure if I really need to use a sabot for the mounted officer base.
A 34 figure French battalion.
So generally I am pretty pleased and believe the scheme works. I have photographed the sabots from their worst angle. On the table looking from above they look pretty good. With the sabot the base is around 3mm thick.

I know, of course, that rebasing would look much better but I believe the solution is not too bad.

17 February 2010

Army Painter: Austrians (new photos)

I know I said I was doing Prussians next, but I have been considering how I am going to paint white. I do not believe I am patient enough to use something like the Andrea white system. The other day I came across some Army Painter, so I said why not. I finally figured out how to set the white balance on my camera so I am reposting my photos, these photos are not retouched. These 9 Front Rank Austrians were painted in well less than 2 hours, which I believe to be a pretty good clip. Forgot to paint the buttons yellow in first photo.
Army Painter Quickshade Strong Tone. This is actually quite dry.
Testor's Dullcote. Really takes the shine off.
With (left) and without Dullcote.
I like what I see, but I may test the the Quickshade Soft Tone.

I apologise to those who put some comments on the earlier post, but those photos just had to go.


11 February 2010

Evolution of Hanoverian OOB 1813-16

I have been trying to paint the up the Hanoverian-British division of Walmoden's Korps at the Battle of Gohrde 1813. This is a pretty obscure unit and it is quite difficult to find information about the uniforms and to source figures. I decided to go with some Perry Hanoverians, although I know these are for their 1815 line. The uniforms would have changed significantly over this period of time, but what of it and I can use them maybe for some Waterloo project in the future.

To be fair though, I said I would trace back the 1815 units to their parent units as they were formed from 1813 onwards. This ended up being a pretty obscure area of scholarship. After several hours on the net and looking through some books I have, the following table evolved:
I used a number of references as note above. I have the Osprey Men at Arms 206 on the Hanoverian army and that is where I got some of my basic information for 1813, I also had researched the OB for the Battle of Gohrde in an earlier post. I also used some references from the following links as listed above: the Napoleonic Series, Gen de Brigade forum, a nice clickable reference to the Battle of Waterloo OOB, the Mont St Jean site and this pamphlet by WJ Rawkins. I also used Siborne's well known uniform table as follows, although there is some debate about it's accuracy.

10 February 2010

Nous venons, Archiduc.......nous venons.....

Général de division Friant, Générals de brigade Gilly, Pajol and Grandeau with elements...................of the 3e and 5e régiments des Hussars and 11e and 15e régiments des Chasseurs à Cheval.

The cavalry and the 2 GdB on the left are Front Rank and the GdD and the GdB on the right are Perry. All very nice figures, highly recommended. More to come soon at Clash of Empires.


07 February 2010

What's Next? The Prussians are coming: Prussian OOB

With the completion of the French VI Corps, it is time to move on to something completely different. I was planning to start 1809 Austrians, but with Victrix coming out with Austrians sometime in the future, I felt I should wait before committing myself to the force composition. I am also still trying to figure out how to paint white and have ordered some Front Rank Austrians to get in some practice.

I am presently working on some Perry Hanoverians for my Walmoden's Korps project, hopefully completing Division Lyon (British-Hanoverian) in the next month or so. This project though has always been a piece of historical research, rather than something with which I plan to game.

The lure of Calpe figures has always been irresistible to me and I had been awaiting Martin Kelly's article in Wargames Illustrated on Prussian Army organization for some months and it finally came last week. With this excellent information and the Army Builder in Lasalle, I just could not resist any further.

Using this excellent site which gives the brigade organisation for the Prussian Army in the summer of 1813, I was able to pick the following unit.

The army builder in Lasalle is great and I believe is quite accurate historically, but I can not be excited about painting a generic unit. What I plan to do henceforth is to take an historical unit and paint it as I have been doing in the past, but at the same time construct a Lasalle core unit. It just happens that the Prussian list exists as a free download on the Honour website, and as you can see this historical unit is very close to the core Prussian unit when it is the attacker. There are two too many infantry battalions, the cavalry should be landwehr and I had to add some skirmisher bases. The excess infantry of course will contribute to some future Organic Prussian brigade and who could resist the famous "Death's Head Hussars" or a few Schuetzen. The one problem is that Calpe does not appear to have grenadier figures (I do not believe they are significantly different, but I need to do a little more research), so I substituted a Fusilier battalion.

More to come.........Befreiungskriege indeed.


04 February 2010

VI Corps: French Army of Portugal

There we are, finally. The corps as it was at the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro. There are around 375 standing figures, 11 mounted regimental colonels, 8 cavalry figures, 3 cannon, and 11 mounted command figures. The ratio is just over 40 men to 1 figure , thus representing over 17,000 soldiers. They represent 34 infantry battalions, a cavalry brigade and 3 divisional batteries. The corps takes up 18"x30" on the terrain.
Maréchal Massena, followed by le général Louis Henri Loison with their ADC's.