Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pomeranian Landwehr Cavalry, 1813 -1815

As seen here recently, last month I renewed my Old Glory Army Card , and placed a large order of Napoleonic Prussians, intended to bolster my Prussian forces in preparation for running the battle of Ligny at Historicon in July. The first of those figures trot off the painting table now.

This is the 1st Pomeranian Landwehr Cavalry regiment. It wears pretty much the regulation pattern Landwehr Cavalry uniform, but with the Litewka in grey instead of the usual dark blue. This variation was often seen in the Pomeranian Landwehr Infantry as well. I used Delta Ceramcoat "Hippo Grey" stained with Delta CC "Charcoal" for the Litewkas. I have previously covered the uniforms of the Landwehr Cavalry here as well.

The shako should have a white Landwehr cross on the front, and a Prussian black within white cockade, but the Old Glory Dragoon figures I used for this regiment wear the usual Prussian covered shako - I did do one figure with the cross painted onto his shako cover, as seen above.

The collars and cuffs are the provincial color, white for Pomerania (Pommern). I used full cuffs in white instead of just white piping on the cuffs. The trumpeter has red and white "wings" on his jacket, and the trumpet cords are white mixed with red. (The Cent Jours site  belopw shows grey and white for the wings and trumpet cords).

The stripe down the seam of the grey pants and the edging on the sheepskin saddles could be in the provincial color (white), or, as was common in the Prussian Line cavalry, red. The Cent-Jours site shows this unit still wearing grey coats in 1815, with the saddle edging in white. That seemed a bit too severe for my tastes, so I went with red, and for good measure threw in the  red shoulder straps of the 2nd squadron. 

The Landwehr Cavalry were all equipped with a lance; these fellows have sensibly discarded their and pulled their swords instead. Like their infantry brethren, they were not supposed to carry flags or standards. I have given them one, though, based on en enlarged version of a variant lance pennon for Pomeranian units, a black Landwehr cross on white.

Riding Dun horses (the trumpeter rides a white), I think they make quite an attractive unit. It remains to be seen how they will fight!

With a total of 30 (!) Dragoon figures, even with adding 2 more units of Dragoons (appearing here shortly), I had six figures left over. I could have gotten 40 figures and made 5 units total, but that seemed like a bit much. Sop these spare figures were painted as Horse Artillerymen zu Pferde, and will be used to expand my Prussian Artillery arm. 

Here is the famous "shot in the face" figure once again! There seems to be one of these chaps in every OG Prussian "Cavalry Command" bag. 

Der Alte Dessauer; a German military march dating back to 1705.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Napoleonic Ships - British

I saved the biggest and easily most powerful fleet of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars for last - the British, of course. These are the ships of the naval heroes of fiction - Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey, Richard Bolitho and the like, as well as the real life heroes of the Royal Navy - Nelson, Cochrane, Cockburn, Pellew, Jervis and many others.

A pair of British brigs.

20 Gun Champion and the 16 gun Swift.

and a pair of British Frigates.

44 gun  Gladiator and the 38 gun Undaunted.

Posts as captains of Frigates were highly sought after, as they offered more opportunity for independent action... and especially, prize money!

A pair of British Ships of the line - the rather outmoded 64 gun Vigilant and the 74 gun Defiance,

British Admirals were said to be "of the Blue, of the White, or of the Red"; the colors of the pennons flown by the ships under their command were taken from these "squadron" designations. 

Three more British Ships of the Line. 

The 74 gun Terrible, the 74 gun Zealous, and the 74 gun Audacious.

Once a British naval officer attained the exalted rank of Post Captain, promotion to Admiral was strictly by seniority - merit played no role at all! If a Captain lived long enough, promotion to Admiral was virtually guaranteed.  This lead to quite a surplus of Admirals in the fleet. However, the choice of which Admirals to employ and when was entirely up to the Admiralty; thus incompetent (or highly unpopular) Admirals might languish ashore on half pay for years.

Three more British SOL; the lead ship is an immense triple decker. 

The 98 gun Formidable, the 74 gun Invincible, and the 74 gun Conqueror.

Top down view.

Promotion pathway for British Admirals during the Napoleonic Wars (from Wikipedia)

My entire Fleet of 12 British Warships.

Sailing in the column abreast, the fleet seems to be deployed according to "the Nelson Touch", prepared to break the line of the Frenchmen in the distance. 

Top down view of the whole Fleet. 

Finally, a shot of all four fleets, with some shoreline "terrain" pieces.
"Beat to Quarters!"

"Rule, Britannia!" from the last night of the Proms, 2009
I seriously want a costume like that :-)!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Prussian Landwehr - Lancashire Games Pt 1

Here are the first of the Landwehr figures that were part of my Lancashire Games order back in January. Since these were ordered specifically to beef up my Prussians for the 1815 events, I chose to paint them in the colors of some of the provinces that were added as Prussia retook territory it had lost as a result of the treaty of Tilsit. Although the 1814 regulations called fro the Landwehr to switch from the Litewka to the single breasted kollet jacket, it is likely that transition was slow and incomplete; hence my "new" Landwehr still wear the Litewka. I have covered the uniforms of the Landwehr infantry previously here.

This unit is the 3rd Rhein Landwehr Regiment.  The Rhein Landwehr was very late in forming, and didn't even make it to the front for the 1815 Hundred Days campaign... except in my army!

Both the flags seen in this post are speculative (the Landwehr weren't even supposed to carry flags), and are free from the following:

The Provincial color for the Rhein units was "Madder Red", a natural dye that can vary quite a lot in hue. I chose to use a darkish red (Delta Ceramcoat [CC] Morocan Red). Because most reds don't cover well over Prussian blue, I undercoated the collars and cuffs with CC Adobe Red, a dusty red to dark pinkish color. Rhein units had brass buttons on their coats. Although regulation called for just provincial colored piping on the cuffs, examples of full cuffs in the facing color are known, and as I prefer more color, I have gone with that.

These Lancashire figures have a great many minor variations, and as you can see, the Landwehr have all manner of encumbrances hanging off them as well! The "Magic Wash" has done a good job of picking out the details of the sculpting. 

This next unit is the 2nd Elbe Landwehr regiment,. once again using Lancashire Games figures. I used a different method for doing the flesh on these units than my usual; this time I painted the hands and faces first with CC Dark Flesh (I usually use a stain of CC Terrra Cotta), and then highlighted with CC Medium Flesh. I'm not sure which I prefer!

The Elbe units had light blue facings and brass buttons. I used CC Bluejay foe the facings, as well as the hat band and trim on the schirmutze caps. The Landwehr cross on the front of the caps is well sculpted.

Once again. plenty of equipment hanging off these fellows!

Quite a number of the men in this units have lost their caps - or perhaps they have stowed them on a warm, late spring day in June, 1815?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Your Orders,. Sire...

I sent out a flurry of orders this winter, and they all arrived in the past week or so. Surely planning armies and writing up orders are some of the many pleasures of hobby, nicht war?

Of course, actually getting the orders in the mail is another! Here are three - one each from Perry, Litko, and Old Glory. Let's unbox them and see what we have, eh?

The first order placed was this one for some Perry Miniatures, by way of their US distributors, Architects of War. Most of the items were "special orders", so it took a while, which was fine as there was nothing in it that I need right away. The flag is for my British project, by Little Big Man studios. 

Since I was placing an order anyway, I included this set of Reniassance Italian clerics, to use with my Papal army. I have been lusting after the Cardinal figure James converted for  a while, so now I can hjave one or two wearing the red hat myself as well!

These three sets are the Belgian Carabiniers, including a Command box, which consists of a trumpeter, officer, and a trooper (which I'll convert into a standard bearer). I actually plan to paint these up as something quite different - the Guards d' Honneur of the Italian Royal Guard.  There wwere 5 companies of them, one each from the 5 principal cities of the kingdom, and each city's contingent had a different facing color. So the regiment will have 4 stands of 2, each with it's own vacing color, and the 9th figure, which will be used as a Commander, will have the facing color of the 5th city. I've been klooking fprward to doing this unit for quite some time!

These 3 sets are the Wurzburg regiment of the Rhinebund, wearing their earlier helmets. There's one box each of Center companies, Command, and Elites, which works well for my standard 18 figure regiments. These are a low priority for painting at present, but I may add a Frankfurt regiment and 1-2 Nassau regiments to form a Rhinebund 'Division", eventually. 

The second box contained one of the "bare necessities"... some new 3mm MDF plywood bases form Litko Aerosystems. With the planned Prussians, British, and later Spanish Napoleonics, et al, I'd be running out of bases within a few months, and they had a $10 off sale, so... here they are. The big bases are for the Old Glory Wagon sets I bought at Historicon last year; the extras might be used for future Limbers or Caissons, etc. .

The final, very heavy box, is from Old Glory. Included are 5 bags of 10 Prussian Cavalry each. These will be used to add 2 new regiments of Dragoons, one of Landwehr cavalry (paint "conversion" using Dragoon figures), Horse artillery riders, and 2 new regiments of Hussars - extra Hussars will be used as ADC's.

The next 5 bags are all Prussian Infantry... enough to add another 4 Line units and another 4 Landwehr units. 

Of course I need some Artillery to support this massive Prussian expansion, right?  So, here's a bag of Prussian Artillery crewmen, along with six Sash and Saber guns for them to crew. Old Glory also distributes Sash and Saber, but the 40% Army Card discount doesn't apply to their figures. However, the Old Glory flat (US) shipping rate of $9 for the entire box is awesome!

Speaking of the Army Card, when you get one or renew it (which costs $50), you can choose a pack of "free" figures from a limited list. As nothing there was really useful to me, I got the Union Camp set - a resin tent, and a bag of figures with several generals,  a table and camp parpahenalia. I don't collect ACW, so I'll pass this one along to Greg, to go along with the Confederate set from my last Army card renewal. 

Think Spring!  It's been a long, very cold, very snowy winter in New England, as this picture of our Patio will attest. The temperature is *finally* supposed to get up to normal tomorrow (high in the 40's), I hope to use the rise in temperature to get some priming done, which has been all but impossible the past 3 months. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Prussian Napoleonic Grenadiers, 1808 - 1814: Part 2

    In June 1813 IR #8 Garde zu Fuss (whose Grenadier companies were not detached) was taken out of the numbered sequence, and re-designated as the 1st Footguards, with a 2nd Footguard regiment being raised at the same time. The remaining regiments moved down a number to fill the gap and a new 12th IR was raised. In late 1814, the six Grenadier battalions were formed into two new Guard Grenadier regiments. #1 Czar Alexander and #2 Kaiser Franz; this was accompanied by new uniforms, at least theoretically! Thus the Prussian Grenadiers per se no longer existed by the time of the Waterloo Campaign (which probably won't stop me from using some of them at Ligny, to represent the best of the Line units). Here's the rest of the Lancashire games Prussian Grenadiers painted up...

The Pommersches Grenadier battalion. In this picture you can see that half the men have the white shoulder straps of the Erstes Pommersches IR #2, and the other half the red shoulder straps of the Colbergsches IR #10, the two Line regiments contributing their two Grenadier companies each to create the unit.

These are once again 28mm Lancashire games figures; ordering using their Battalion packs is definitely the way to go whenever possible! The white facings are those of the parent Pommeranian regiments.

The figures in this unit has a much more uniform appearance than the earlier ones; that is not an accident - about half of the "Advancing" pack figures are in this pose, so I consolidated the bulk of them into this one unit to give it a more classic, "toy soldier" look. 

For this unit, even the secondary equipment is uniform, unlike the others!

I am very pleased to field these guys, having been on the hunt for Prussian grenadiers post 1807 wearing their plumes for quite some time; I am told that Elite and Hinchliffe also make Grenadiers (Guards) in the Busch as well. 

Until now, my only Prussian Grenadiers were the nine Minifigs seen above, part of the 100 or so such figures that Jamie sold me at Historicon back in 2003, very nicely and neatly painted as seen, for $1/figure. The obvious difference in size between the "true 25mm" Minifigs and the "heroic" 28mm Lancashire is apparent, although they don';t look as badly together as I might have thought. 

Jamie had painted them as the Silesian Battalion, but as I wanted to use the yellow facings for an all Lancashire unit, I repainted them with the crimson (Knoetel says "karmesin", or carmine) facings of the Westpreussisches Grenadier Battalion, opting for the more purplish interpretation of that color.

I hadn't even planned to ever *do* a Prussian Napolonic army until Jamie's troops jump started me. That was followed by another lot of Minifigs from Joe, then some new Old Glory figures. My Prussians underwent a significant expansion for 2013 (1813 - Dresden, etc), adding some Reeserve Infantry regiments, Landwehr cavalry, and Uhlans. 

With the shift to doing Ligny at Historicon this year, these Grenadiers are the first of the push to expand my Prussians once again. After this, I'll have 4 units of Lancashire Landwehr Infantry to paint, then a bumper crop of Old Glory Prussians - 4 Landwehr Infantry, 4 Line Infantry, 4 Regular Infantry, 2 Dragoons, 2 Hussars, 1 Landwehr Cavalry, and 4 Artillery batteries. 

Just like the actual Prussians of 1813, I'll be scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel to field them all. Enough typing - back to the painting table!

Although written following the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, this is a very famous march, and the video has great images from the 7 Years War, Napoleonic Wars, Austro Prussian War, and concluding with the Franco Prussian War. (Ignore the comments, as usual)