Saturday, 16 January 2021

First of the Prussians & other matters.

 Bloody Hell it's cold this morning, so back from a shorter than usual dog walk it's nice to settle down with a coffee for a blog update.

I had held off starting on the DBN Prussians until the New Year and so it was time to decide what to begin with. After consulting the Ospreys and from what I have seen on various 'vintage' blogs this is clearly going to be a most enjoyable army to paint. First up is a typical line infantry unit based on plate G from the Osprey book 152. I must confess to knowing little about uniforms/flags etc so it's going to be a learning curve and I'm sure the flag is wrong for this unit but I wanted to add one to gauge the overall effect of a finished base. The figures are by AB and are wearing covered shakos so sadly I don't get to add the pom-pom, but they look suitable dark and menacing I think. 

As I'm now heading North out of Spain I required some new buildings so ordered a few more from Steve Clay at Battlescale. Whilst they are 10mm scale I find they work very well for my DBN village bases and with 18mm figures. I reconfigured a couple I made earlier to make more space to place a unit base in them. Under the rules these small bases are classed as Non Linear Obstacles but a couple can be placed together to form a more substantial Built up Area. I wanted to keep roads running through where possible so they fit with my home made MDF road sections that now includes a couple of 3 way junctions (thanks again to Tony Barr at east Riding Miniatures). I had also wanted to make a watermill for my river sections and the Battlescale model was perfect for this. I'm pleased how this is all coming together now with the option of a Peninsular theme or a more Northern European theme, and as all the road/river sections are 125mm or 250mm sections they work with the C&C printed mat or with DBN. The DBN village sections are 100mm squares so again can also sit comfortably in the 125mm hex grid. I have the option now of playing DBN games on the folding card table (2'6" x 2'6") or using the printed mat on a 6x4 table with doubled up units.

I have also started on some WSS figures for Old John. For these white uniformed units I'm employing a mid grey basecoat rather than my usual black and then giving them a careful controlled dry brush of 'off white' as a starting point. So far 24 figures painted (Naples & Milan) which are Les Higgins and now starting on some lovely Hagen figures you see below. These are rather elegant sculpts with nice long scale muskets. Also on the go are some 6mm WSS bases for Gerry. I must confess it's taken a bit of a while to get my eye back in the scale, but the additional lamp is making it much easier.

 Some Les Higgins for John, red drummer as had a bit more lace added as he looked a bit plain beside the other drummer.

Image below shows how the off white drybrush is used to leave the lace and button holes showing. Next stage is to build up the white a little more carefully.

Below, nice detail on the Hagen 20mm figures.

Finally for now we now have our first Grandson (Oscar Lee) who was born a week ago today to daughter Jess and partner Blake. Oscar completes our five- a- side football team of Grandchildren! Given the outrageous photo of 3 month old Daisy with her Dad Liam below we have offered to buy Oscar his first West Ham kit, I mean that is really not on is it.

Below: New arrival Oscar with his Sisters Lilly and Violet.

Below: Disgraceful images of poor Daisy with her Dad Liam!

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Imperial Guard for DBN.........

Every one an AB figure representing the Old Guard & Young Guard plus light and heavy cavalry and Guard Foot artillery (2nd gun and crew on the painting desk). Not present in the Peninsular of course so this is a nod towards the 100 days to come in the future. The bases represent numerous regiments, for the Old Guard 1st and 2nd Grenadiers, Chasseurs & Marins. For the Young Guard are Tirailleurs-Grenadiers, Conscrits-Grenadiers, Tirailleurs & The Voltigeurs all featuring their colourful unofficial fanions as they were not issued Eagles. 

I must credit the following blog which was my main source of refence for these figures:

Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Spanish army for DBN rules, 12 points with options.

I managed to achieve my target of finishing my Spanish army for DBN before I settle down to some painting for friends from Monday. These kind of self imposed deadlines work well for me and helps keep the painting focused. In the last 7 days I have painted: 

2 bases of Spanish line infantry

1 base of Spanish Grenadiers

1 Spanish baggage base

1 base of Young Guard Voltiguers

1 base of Old Guard Chasseurs.

That's a grand total of 50 foot plus the baggage wagon and a couple of pieces to dress the base up, not bad going!

So without further ado here is the Spanish army and I plan to get them on the table soon as the opportunity presents. It comprise the following AB figures:

4 x line infantry (muskets)

2 x Militia

2 x Grenadiers

2 x Light infantry

2 x Light cavalry

2 x Heavy cavalry (dragoons)

2 x Foot artillery

1 x General.

1 x Baggage wagon.

Friday, 1 January 2021

Raise a glass to 2021!

 Happy New Year to you all.

I'm gearing up for another years painting, finishing off a few more AB Spanish Grenadiers to complete a full 12 point DBN army. Having painted next to nothing for 3 weeks this last week since Christmas has seen a bit of a return of the mojo, the Grenadiers will complete a total of 50 figures painted and based plus the Spanish baggage base which will be painted tomorrow. First time in probably 30 years we have not had our family New Years dinner, so I'm sipping a large G&T whilst working on the Grenadiers. 

With the lack of natural light this time of year I decided to add a second lamp and what a difference it has made! being an orderly chap it had to be the same model as the first so they sit neatly side by side and both are on the same light setting, a mix of blue and white, which I prefer. 

From Monday I will return to some commission painting for Old John and Gerry ( who purchased the 6mm WSS army painted earlier this year and wants to add more bases). The much improved lighting will make a big difference to the 6mm painting. I have invested in several more Army Painter brushes which I have recently taken a liking to, the finest being the aptly named 'Psycho' perfect for fine detail work. 

Next post will feature a Spanish v French Peninsular DBN battle on the folding card table, 12 points per side, in the meantime I raise a glass to you all and a much better 2021 on the hobby front.

Oh, and the desk will be back in the lounge tomorrow when the tree comes down :)

(Please note: I have removed the Warlord ACW post with apologies to those who commented. The set will not be released until end of February 2021 and I will probably start a separate blog for the project. Meantime I hope to grab a copy of the magazine with the freebie sprue this coming week)

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Last post of the year - this years project.

A short video featuring most of my 18mm Napoleonics on the C&C table 6' x 4'. From the beginning I had in mind the ability to use 40 figure infantry units for visual appeal and here it finally is. River is only there because I just finished making it, so counts as fordable! I'm pleased with the hills but maybe need a more matching shade on the sides. Sheldon the cat makes a guest appearance at the end, commanding the French.

Everything you see has been produced since March this year, and what a year it has been. There is only one thing missing and that is an opponent to play against, but fingers crossed for next year.

Here's to you all having a good festive period and thanks to those who have followed and commented upon my blog, hopefully the future will bring more wargaming to us all.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

DBN back on the card table!

 With my wife out shopping I set up a game of DBN on the trusty card table today. What I enjoy abut this game in it's basic 12 point per side format is the ability to do a quick set up and tidy away afterwards, with a game being played out in a couple of hours (playing solo of course or would be faster). I'm still slightly rusty on a couple of points of the rules but overall now I'd say a good grasp. Basic factors for firing and close combat are now mostly committed to memory for most troop types. I do still find the game a bit 'fiddly' due to the ground scale, but again I'm getting used to this now. I am actually using a slightly increased ground scale of 1.5" = 100 paces (due to larger table size of 2.5 ' x 2.5' feet), and this in turn opens up the game just a little more to my liking, so muskets firing at 200 paces for example have a range of 3". The measuring stick makes everything easy which is something I like about DBN.

I'm getting the hang of using formations better, although its still challenging when attempting to form a march column into line for example as this must be done by forming on the leading base, and with a move of 200 paces it takes a couple of CAP's to get a 4 base column into line. Smaller formations would be easier to handle, but then if you roll low on the activation throw it can be frustrating, especially in the early stages when you want to troops forward and into position. A D6 means activations (CAP's) can swing wildly but it's part of the challenge of the game, a French roll of 6 followed by a British roll of 1 had a big impact on the development of the game early on as the French rushed to cross the stream (fordable to all but artillery but ends movement for that turn).

French Chasseurs were the first loss to the French, hit by Portuguese artillery fire and rifle fire from the Cacadores in the woods, an oversight on my part as the cavalry were shaken and I intended to pull them back but only left myself a single CAP and shaken units require two to activate so they were left at the mercy of the cacadores. Playing solo still means sticking to the rules!

Photos of early stages, all figures here are AB's apart from the two baggage bases.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

A lovely present, Spanish DBN army (so far) and more terrain.

Since my last blog post the figure painting has dropped right off, probably due to being temporarily moved to the dining table in order to make way for the Christmas tree! It's just not as familiar and comfortable as I have been painting at my little desk for many years and the set up is perfect for me as I have everything I need in one spot and the desk has eight very deep drawers containing figures, extra paints, glues, stones and static grasses etc. So, the last couple of weeks has seen me finish off just 12 Spanish WSS figures for John and 12 French light infantry for myself, where I would normally paint 12 x 18mm figures in a day, these took me four days! I think I'll take a break now until after New Year when I'll be back in my familiar space again.

The above said I have been able to do some more work on terrain items for both DBN & the larger sized C&C set up. Firstly, I have knocked up over 8' of river sections, 125mm sections for the hex grid with some longer 250mm sections, and I'm really pleased with how these have turned out. I also have made around 12' of road sections with more to follow, again based on the 125mm grid but they also work very well for conventional non grid games. Tony Barr (ERM) has also cut me some junction sections for the roads. Once all roads are up to the basic standard you see below I will consider giving them a bit of texture, cart ruts etc. All are based on 40mm wide MDF.

In addition I have re jigged my Spanish buildings onto bases that can be used individually or conjoined to create larger areas both on or off grid, again simply done so that they allow road sections to run up to them or through them. I'm much happier with these than before and of course the melon sized oranges feature. I much prefer my buildings to be based up like this rather than free standing. And in keeping with the Spanish theme I have made some MKII broken ground/bad going markers from stones. 

This week a large heavy box arrived in the post containing the beautiful book you see below. It is a present from Old John for the work on his figures and a very fine and useful reference source it is too. While the text is in Spanish there are 125 pages of full colour illustrations featuring Spanish uniforms between 1789 and 1815, A4 sized and printed on heavy quality paper. Thank you John, it's a much valued addition to my collection.

My DBN Spanish army has now reached 12 points +, with more in the pipeline next year. I need to add a 'baggage' piece and have a couple of ideas for this. The Spanish are all AB figures. 

A pre Christmas bash is planned probably DBN and the Spanish might get a run out for a 12 point game on a 5 x 3 table, bigger than required but I do like the more convention shaped wargame table.