Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Elites are Back, and their Tack is Black

 After thinking it through, I decided to paint the tack on the elite squadron of the 7th Hussars black.  I had used dark grey, which tended to show the unevenness of the lines.  The black, in my opinion, does hide that "problem."  In addition, the black really focuses your attention on the cavalry trooper, rather than divide your attention between the trooper and the horse.  It was a good experiment (though time consuming).  What do you think ? (You can see the dark grey tack in a prior post below to compare).
Elites with Black Tack (instead of Dark Grey)

At a jaunty angle

In column of march, from left to right

In column of march, from right to left
From the rear

All that is left to do now is to gloss them up (and then base them).  I have purchased some Winsor & Newton Artist's Gloss Varnish for the gloss job.

  Are there any tips or tricks to getting a good gloss finish?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Identity Crisis - Who is this ?

Who is this?  He appears to be wearing a hussar uniform and mirliton.

Back of rider, front of horse that was in the Ziploc with the rider (is it his horse?)

I need your help identifying this Hinton Hunt Figure.  Here is a better shot of the rider from the front:

Please let me know this gentleman soldier's identity in the comments below. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Prussian Hussars and Lancers Arrive in Camp

Yesterday over five squadrons of Prussian cavalry arrived in camp.  They came as a donation from a friend and are much appreciated.  Half of the 32 figures appear to me to be Prussian Landwehr Lancers and the other half Prussian Hussars.  To top it off, they arrived trimmed of flash, leveled (on the bottom of their bases) and primed for painting. 

16 Prussian Lancers race to the quartermaster for issuance of Uniforms.  These appear to me to be home-casts of Hinton Hunt "PN/39 Landwehr Lancer Trooper (mounted) charging." 

I am thinking of painting them as Silesian Landwehr, with dark blue coats, yellow collar and cuffs and white buttons.

Prussian Hussars:

16 Prussian Hussars charge after the lancers, also anxious for issuance of Uniforms.  These appear to me to be home-casts of Hinton Hunt "PN/85 Prussian Hussar (mounted) charging."  All of these cavalry figures are cast from a nice metal, which has a little bend to it, but holds its position nicely (lead?).  The weight of the figures is quite pleasant to the hand.

 Prussian Hussars carried a curved sabre (Photo: Prussian light cavalry sabre from Military Heritage, see:  Napoleon, His Army and Enemies).

 I am inclined to paint them as the First Lieb Hussar regiment:

Since I have two (plus) squadrons of each (hussars and lancers), I am also open to painting the four squadrons in different uniforms.  Let me know your opinion on that (whether you think that I should paint  the two squadrons differently, and if so, what other two lancer and hussar regiment's uniforms would you suggest)?

Finally, I may try my hand at converting one of the hussars into an officer.  That would seem to be an easy first step into "conversion."  Suggestions?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Here is the Battle of Waterloo on a period map, in time lapse, which takes a little less than 4 minutes to watch.
In remembrance of the 202nd Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, here is a documentary hosted by none other than Sean Bean, better known to Napoleonic Connoisseurs as Richard Sharpe of the 2nd battalion, 95th Rifles.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bavarian Reinforcements Arrive on the 202nd Anniversary of the Battle of Quatre Bras

These 23 Bavarian infantry reinforcements arrived yesterday (in attack column) sporting uniforms and weapons.  They were a kind gift to help jumpstart the Hinton Hunt army from Wellington Man of Hinton Spieler fame, and are much appreciated.  Perhaps we will get a bit about their history from Wellington Man himself in a comment below. 

Here the Bavarians are, after being ordered into line.  I have been thinking about what material to use for bases.  There is a substance called "plasticard" in the UK that does not seem to be available in the US.  I have located styrene sheets (though no 2mm thickness) which may be similar material (does anyone know)?  I could cut cardboard matting as well (this would be authentically 70's-ish, and is what I did back then).  I have also been thinking of using Litko laser-cut plywood bases (a 21st century solution to the "basing problem."  What do you recommend (leave me a comment)?

Here the Bavarians are, looking fierce as they move back to attack column and march directly at the reader [please take a morale test to withstand the charge].  It looks like I have a modified soldier next to the officer, who will need to requisition a flag pole and Bavarian flag.  I may need to locate a drummer for the unit as well (or if not, at least another soldier).

Friday, June 16, 2017

Quatre Bras and Ligny

Today is the 202nd Anniversary of the battles.  In remembrance of the soldiers who fought, I like to read or watch something that reminds me of their tremendous struggle and sacrifice.

Has anyone watched the full video?  If so, can you leave your impressions in the comments.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Grey Tack vs Black? I Would Like Your Opinion

What is your opinion of using grey on the 7th Hussar's  horses tack? It is an experiment. 

A painter for Front Rank does so; go to this link and click on the mounted personalities to see examples:  

Front Rank

Sunday, June 11, 2017

French Elite Hussars Near Completon (Before I took the photos, I thought they were finished)

Here is the painted first cavalry squadron of my Hinton Hunt 20mm Army.  They are sporting the uniform of the 7th Hussars (Elites). 

After taking these photos, and looking at them enlarged (so the figures look like the are the size of 120mm display figures) it made me want to go back and clean up around the horse tack and a few other places.

All in all, I am pleased with them.  Now (after the aforesaid cleanup) I will have to convince myself to varnish them (never having varnished wargames figures in the past, and certainly not with gloss varnish).

I painted this unit in, for me, record time.  In the future, things may take a bit longer.  Part of the challenge with these figures (and hussars in general) is the complicated and multicolored uniforms.  I kept going back and forth between colors and cleaning up here and there. 

Can you tell any difference in the white premiered figures from the black?  It was considerably more difficult painting the figures primed in white (in terms of making sure the paint covered the entire figure).   The advantage, though, was that I could see the detail that needed painting.

Your comments are welcome. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I just watched this documentary on the battle of Waterloo.  As wargamer, you will enjoy the game that Napoleon and Wellington play. 

Time to begin reading The Battle of Quatre Bras again (especially if you want to get to the battle by June 16th).  This is the 202nd Anniversary of the battle.  I can't say enough about this book.  It is an excellent account of a Napoleonic battle.  The one shortcoming that can be leveled at it (though the author freely acknowledges this) is that the view from the French side is somewhat lacking. 

Not to worry, though, you can follow up reading Mike's book with this one, Prelude to Waterloo Quatre Bras by Andrew Field, which provides the view from the French side:

When you have digested those two, move on to The Battle, A New History of Waterloo:

Friday, June 9, 2017

Muskets and Marshals - Take 2

                           Muskets and Marshals Rules; Version 5.5

Stryker mentions in his comment that the original scale was one figure = 33 real men, and one model cannon = 6 guns.

Let's take a look at the figure ratio to ground ratio using the basing presented in the rules:

Infantry 40mm frontage (for 3 figures)
Cavalry 30mm Frontage (for 2 figures)
Artillery 60mm (for one gun and 4 crew)

Going through the ground scale calculations:

These unit strengths indicate that the ground scale should be roughly 30mm = 41.25 yards (or 1mm = 1.375 yards.  Stated another way:  1 yard and 13.5 inches; or just over four feet).

One stand of cavalry (two figures) represents the standard 2 lines of cavalry (two lines of 33 men and horses, one behind the other).  Assuming (per Mr. Jeffery, see prior post regarding Muskets and Marshals below) that each horse and rider takes up between 3.5 and 4 feet.  Using 3.75 feet as the average, a line of 33 horsemen then takes up 33 x 3.75 feet, which is 123.75 feet, or 41.25 yards.  Cavalry are mounted on 30mm stands, so 30mm = 41.25 yards. (Thus for cavalry 1mm = 1.375 yards).
Artillery Batteries are mounted on 60mm stands. Per the above cavalry calculation, 60mm is the equivalent to 82.5 yards (2 x 41.25).  A 6-gun battery takes up about 81 yards (allowing 13.5 yards between each gun x 6 guns).  (Thus for artillery 1mm = 1.35 yards).
Infantry generally deployed in three lines.  In the game, a line of infantry is represented by a double row of 3 figures (so on a 40mm base, we have three figures, with a second 40mm base of three figures directly behind the first) for a total of 6 figures.  198 men deployed in three lines is 66 men per line (198 divided by 3).  Allowing 2.5 feet per man in line (Mr. Jeffrey allows only 2 feet per man, but with the jostling and movement necessary in combat, allowing a little elbow room makes sense to me) the frontage of the unit works out to 165 feet (66 men at 2.5 feet per man), which is 55.0 yards.   (Thus for infantry 1mm = 1.375 yards).
This compares to the cavalry perfectly: 1.375 to 1.375 yards per mm.  It is only slightly more than artillery at 1.37 to 1.35. 
Again, I am satisfied that mounting the figures as set forth in Muskets and Marshals will yield appropriately sized units with realistic frontages.  The units will, however, be bigger than at the 1 to 20 ratio, as follows:
Infantry units are battalions of 792 men (24 figures x 33 = 792)
Cavalry units are regiments of 396 men, composed of two 198 man squadrons (6 figures x 33 = 198)
Artillery units are batteries of 6 guns and  132 crew.  (1 Artillery crew figure = 1.5 guns and 33 crew) 
It appears to me that you can use which ever ratio you choose; either the 1:20 ratio (worked out in the prior posting below) or the 1 to 33 ratio set forth here.  The primary practical difference is that if you use the 1 to 20 ratio, you likely should use 2 model cannon to represent a 6 to 8 gun battery.

Does anyone know what the time scale of the game is (in minutes per turn)?

More Enigmas - Westpahlian Line Infantry? Prussian Jaegers?

                            Westphalian Infantry?  HH?  DK?

                          Prussian Jaegers ?  DK?

Here are a few more figures to identify.  Sold to me as Westphalian Infantry (top) and Prussian Jaegers (bottom).

Wargamed left a comment below, regarding the Prussian Jaegers.  I found a 1970 DK Catalog at Vintage Wargaming Figures which shows a code of 123 for Prussian Light Infantry Jaeger BN Advancing for these figures.  They have the 123 code on the bottom (the 23 is clear, but the left side of the base bottom; where the 1 (of 123) would have been; are filed off to help the figures stand up straight).

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.

Here is the first photo of some of the recruits that have reported to camp.  These were described by the seller as (HH or DK) French Young Guard Defending.  What do you suppose they are?

I have added a second photo of the mystery figures above.  It is higher resolution and I have added more angles for better identification possibilities. 

The Hinton Spieler has DK 176 on his website, and here is a photo of his figures:

Are these the same figure?  I see that the back-pack strap goes over the shoulder-strap on my figures.  I see a fancier cuff with three button holes on my figures.  The pom-poms look bigger and rounder on The Hinton Spieler's figures.  The shako on my figures is devoid of an eagle or other plate.

If someone has photos of DK176 from other angles to compare, that might help. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Napoleonic Wargaming by Charles Grant

Napoleonic Wargaming by Charles Grant turned up in the post today.  I read this book back in 1976 or thereabouts, and used to love to look at the pictures of the lavish wargames in progress.  I did not buy the book back in '76, likely because there was no way I could afford to build 53 man battalions, so I never had a copy of my own...until now. 

Although the units are a bit big for my taste (48 men + 5 officers for an infantry battalion!), I look forward to reading the book and gleaning ideas and quotes from Mr. Grant, which perhaps, I will share on this blog.

Monday, June 5, 2017

More Recruits Arrive from the East

An additional body of recruits arrived today from the Eastern United States.  Marching into the camp were the following:

48 Prussian Jaegers - DK?
29 French Middle Guard Marching - DK?
29 French Light Infantry Marching - DK?
26 Hesse-Darmstadt Infantry Marching - DK?
22 French Young Guard Defending - DK?
19 Austrian Artillery Crew - DK?
16 Westphalian Infantry Marching - DK?
8 Brunswick Line Infantry Privates Marching  -  HH BRN/16
6 French Officers - 5 x HH FN/145 and 1 x ?

I will need some help identifying these troops point of origin.  The Hinton Hunt's identified above are clearly marked on the bottom of the base.  However, someone has kindly prepared these figures by filing them flat so that they will stand up easily (note:  this is something I did with my elite cavalry mounts pictured below).  Unfortunately, this renders some of their stock numbers unreadable.   When I have time and some good light (perhaps on Friday or this weekend), I will post some photos so you can see them, and perhaps you will venture your expert opinions as to the make and model numbers for these figures.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Elite Hussars are Primed for Combat (and painting)


I have primed my elite squadron of the 7th Hussars using black primer for the horses and white primer for the hussars.  I have painted figures primed with white, and I have painted figures primed with black.  However, I have never painted one of each colour (on two figures that go together) like the horse and riders pictured above, so it will be interesting to see how they turn out. 

I was able to get most of the flash off the figures, with the exception of the stubborn bit between the horses back legs.  I am thinking of investing in an all purpose hobby power tool (like a Dremel) which can help me drill through some of the heavy flash as recommended by lewisgunner in the comments to the June 3rd post below.

First Thoughts on Muskets and Marshals: Game Scale

I have been looking at a variety of rules sets and have decided to use Muskets and Marshals for my Hinton Hunt project.  I have not yet played with these rules, so my comments are based only on several readings of the rules.  This first look will hypothesize on the game scales.
Game Scale:  The game scale is not mentioned in the rules, but I have determined a scale from the implications that can be gleaned from the rules.  A unit of infantry is 24 figures, a unit of cavalry is 12 figures, an artillery battery is a gun model and 4 crew figures and a unit of skirmishers is 6 figures.
Reading through "The Napoleonic Wargame" by G.W. Jeffrey, and using the distances he mentions for the various arms and formations, I interpret the game scale for the above units to be as follows:
1 Infantry figure = 20 infantry
Infantry units are battalions of 480 Men (24 figures x 20 = 480)
1 Cavalry figure = 20 cavalry
Cavalry units are regiments of 240 men, composed of two 120 man squadrons (6 figures x 20 = 120)
1 Artillery crew figure = 1 gun and 20 crew 
A four-gun battery and 80 crew is represented by 1 gun model + 4 artillery crew figures (and a limber).  A larger battery of eight guns should be represented by two model guns and 8 crew figures and two limbers (which represents 8 guns and 160 crew).
These unit strengths indicate that the ground scale should be roughly 30mm = 25 yards (1mm = .83 yards or 30 inches).
For instance, one stand of cavalry (two figures) represents the standard 2 lines of cavalry (two lines of 20 men and horses, one behind the other).  Mr. Jeffrey says that each horse and rider takes up between 3.5 and 4 feet.  Using 3.75 feet as the average, a line of 20 horsemen then takes up 20 x 3.75 feet, which is 75 feet, or 25 yards.  Cavalry are mounted on 30mm stands, so 30mm = 25 yards.
Artillery Batteries are mounted on 60mm stands. Per the above calculation, 60mm is the equivalent to 50 yards (2 x 25).  Per Mr. Jeffery, an 8-gun battery takes up about 100 yards (allowing 14 to 15 yards between each gun).  That is the equivalent to two gun models and eight crew.  A smaller 4-gun battery (as represented in the game) would take up about 50 yards with one gun model and 4 crew.  This works out just right.
Infantry generally deployed in three lines.  In the game, a line of infantry is represented by a double row of 3 figures (so on a 40mm base, we have three figures, with a second 40mm base of three figures directly behind the first) for a total of 6 figures.  120 men deployed in three lines is 40 men per line (120 divided by 3).  Allowing 2.5 feet per man in line (Mr. Jeffrey allows only 2 feet per man, but with the jostling and movement necessary in combat, allowing a little elbow room makes sense to me) the frontage of the unit works out to 100 feet (40 men at 2.5 feet per man), which is 33.33 yards.  This compares to the cavalry perfectly:  at .83 yards per mm, 30mm = 24.9 yards (very close to 25) and at .83 yards per mm, 40mm = 33.2 yards (very close to 33.33).
Thus, I am satisfied that mounting the figures as set forth in Muskets and Marshals will yield appropriately sized units with realistic frontages. 
I have not analyzed the "skirmisher" formation because I am not sure what it represents.  Perhaps a portion of a battalion deployed as skirmishers?  I might build an entire battalion of skirmishers/legere/rifles, etc., and then let them deploy in 6 figure detached "units" that can operate independently.
My only quibble with the formations as given in the rules, is that a cavalry regiment should be allowed to attack as separate squadrons if the player wishes to do so, i.e. not only a 6-figure frontage (with another six figures behind the first six), but also on a 12-figure frontage.  From my reading, cavalry often attacked in the two-line formation, which is represented by a single row of stands.  See General de Brigade, p. 26:  "For purposes of the game cavalry "line" includes any cavalry line formation that is two or more squadrons wide.  This was the standard formation adopted for charging."  Perhaps calling the six stand wide formation the "cavalry line" formation, and the 6-figure frontage (with three more stands of 6 figures directly behind) a "cavalry attack column” would settle the issue.
If you would like to read the rules, and get your own free copy (which I highly encourage) click the following link:  Muskets and Marshals

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The First Unit - French Elite Hussar Squadron

                                   French Cavalry of the Line, Elite Hussar
                                   FN315 & French Hussar Horse FNH7

Yesterday I performed a roll call with the figures that arrived from the UK.  It appears that they all made the voyage successfully (with the exception of one British infantryman laggard, who will be on the next voyage to America).

I had heard about the reputation for Hinton Hunts to come adorned with lots of flash, but it is a different story when you begin attempting to remove it.  With the tools I have, unfortunately, some of it will have to remain for now.  I am hoping that my plan for painting them will, for the most part, hide whatever flash I could not get at with my nippers, clippers and hobby knife.  Most of the excess that I could not remove is on the rear underside of the horse.  I am hoping that the dashing uniforms of the hussars will attract/distract the attention of the viewer from the underside of the horse (an unpopular place for viewers to look anyway).

                        Side view of FN315 & French Hussar Horse FNH7

These are Hinton Hunt recasts from John, and they appear to have retained their detail well.  Someday I would like a squadron of originals to compare them with.  This unit will sport one of my favorite Napoleonic uniforms.  I am planning to paint them as the French 7th Hussars (the only French hussar unit to take part in the battle of Waterloo).  This will be the elite squadron of the 7th.  I have a line squadron on order as well to complete the regiment.    Although hussars are more complicated to paint than some other uniforms, the enthusiasm generated by painting a favorite unit should help me do a decent job on them.

I was planning on priming the Hinton Hunt units with white primer.  However, due to the aforesaid flash issue, with this unit I changed the plan, and now will prime the horses black and the riders white.  I do want the units to look colourful, and I expect the white primer will help achieve that look.  As I paint these figures, I expect that my method and style of painting to change (to help achieve the desired result).  This will be quite the experiment.  Wish me luck.

Friday, June 2, 2017

More Recruits Arrive From the UK (though more are still needed)

More recruits have arrived.  This time the troops made a perilous journey across the Atlantic, from the United Kingdom to the United States.  They are Hinton Hunt recasts done by John Cunningham.  I have just completed a preliminary roll call of these latest recruits, and the casting quality is quite nice. These are French, Prussian, British, Brunswick, Nassau and Dutch figures.  With some of these figures, I just ordered a few so that I could see the quality of the recasts, before deciding whether to order an entire unit.  John is still working to complete the order, so when all of the figures from this order have arrived, I will be in position to assemble some full battalions.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The First Recruits Arrive (but we are still recruiting)

Today the first recruits arrived, having marched their way across the USA from a fort in the far East... at least relative to my location.  The troops prior commander provided some of them with uniforms, others with only underclothes (primer), and some arrived wearing nothing at all (bare metal).  I will be doing a roll call (going through the figures) this weekend in more detail; but at first glance, they appear to be a mix of Hinton Hunt and Der Kriegspielers figures.  There are Swedish infantry, Hanoverian infantry, French infantry, British line, British rifles, Highland infantry, and British gun crews, as well as a few cannon (I will have to identify the make of the guns).  Only a handful of mounted figures arrived, and most of those without their horses.

I am grateful to their previous owner, who rescued them from his lead pile (perhaps of figures that were destined to never be painted or used) and sent them to me earlier this week.  Now I am obligated to fit them with new uniforms and send them into battle... which always was, and still is, their destiny.

I will have to decide whether to strip and repaint the already painted figures so that they match my painting style, or merely touch them up and add a shiny coat of gloss finish.  I am aiming for the bright and glossy look evident on   The Hinton Spieler, the  Hinton Hunt Vintage Wargame Figures and Ilkley Old School blogs (see the photos below).

The look we are after:


(Pictures courtesy of the Hinton Spieler and Wellington Man).

I will post some photos and a list of the new recruits after the roll call is complete and they are identified.

Note:  WE ARE STILL RECRUITING.  In fact, I realize that as recruits begin to arrive, the need for specific additional recruits becomes apparent.  For instance, if 21 Swedish infantry arrive, then we will need a drummer, an officer and a flag bearer to round out the unit.  If cavalry arrive without their horses, then we need to find them fresh mounts.  The adventure begins!