Friday, February 15, 2019

February made me shiver, with each parcel UPS delivered...

(with apologies to Don McClean...)

First up was the fulfillment of a  Kickstarter from the Fall of 2018 - a dozen scenarios from the early years of the Peninsular War, by "JJ" - Jonathan Jones.

The book is very handsomely produced., and the spiral binding means it will lay flat on the tabletop. 
I was a bit surprised that the scenarios in fact only covered a few battles (Talavera being the basis of 5 scenarios all by itself), but they all seem well thought out and presented. To help push the Kickstarter over the top, an additional 4 scenarios in pdf form were pledged to backers, which have yet to be delivered, but the books themselves were just printed in January, so I have every confidence they will be forthcoming in due time. 

 Part of one of the scenarios. The introduction section sets out the troop and ground scale; for example,  the basic infantry unit is a battalion of roughly 600 men, and 1" = 33 yards. .A little additional background on the "Oe'r the Hills" rules, which I neither own nor plan to purchase, as they relate to converting the scenarios for use with other rules would have been helpful. For example, the commanders each have ratings (three numbers), but no where is it explained what they mean, although some reasonable assumptions can be made. Considering this is not an extensively played set of rules, I would have provided such (and indeed, having written my own scenario book  for another set of not widely played rules, I did [cough!] ). Ultimately, the proof is in the playing, and the scenarios look enjoyable. I look forward to trying them out over time.

Second, I took advantage of the waning days of the Lancashire Games winter sale to pick a bunch of packs  of Limbers and teams.

Unfortunately, Lancashire doesn't label their packs so until I take the figures out it is a bit hard to know what's what! In total, there are figures for 2 Bavarian Limber teams (the second will become a Badner limber team for when I buy the Murawski Baden artillery battery), 5 British Limber teams, plus a British Caisson and team thrown in for variety. 

Plans to add a respectable number of limbers to my Napoleonic armies was indeed the rationale behind the fifty  60 x 150 mm Litko bases I purchased in December as part of their winter sale. 

Back a year ago, I purchased a bunch of Old Glory English Civil WEar figures to add to my venerable collection of Minifigs. As I organized the figures for the first of a number of planned new units of Foote, it became apparent that my inventory of wire for fabricating pikes would not suffice for even those... and I still have a host of Macedonian pikes to do as well. So, a Michael's discount offer in hand. I ordered some bulk floral wire. Hmm, 1 pack of each gauge probably won't be enough ( I get 5 pikes from one length of floral wire); better get two packs of 12 of each. What I failed to realize was that, being *bulk* floral wire, each "pack", contained 12 packs of 12 wires, or 144 in all. A slight bit of math with reveal that I now possess sufficient wire to make  over 2,800 pikes! So, if you need some wire, just ask me to bring you as pack (or three) to Histioricon in July, LOL!

 "The usual suspects".. our girl, Maddie (left) and Kristie's girl, Brook (right). 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Early Imperial French Line Infantry - The Voltigeurs

A company of  light infantry Voltigeurs (literally, "vaulters") was added to each battalion of French Line Infantry by Napoleon's decree of September 20, 1804, replacing one of the 8 Fusilier companies, with the 1st company being the Grenadiers, for a total of 9 companies per battalion. The classic French infantry battalion organization of  4 Fusilier companies and one each of Grenadiers and Voltigeurs was not established until February 1808.

These early Imperial era Voltigeurs wear the bicorne. The plumes and epaulets (the later of which were official only for the Grenadiers) were in yellow, with or without red or green. 

The collars for the Voltigeurs were yellow or buff (chamois), variously trimmed in red, white or dark blue. The colored ink pens once again came in handy for doing the "stripey" trousers of the one company wearing them.

As with the recently posted Grenadiers, these troops will be added to the Fusilier companies painted 2+ years ago to complete their respective units.

These troops in Campaign Dress carry all sorts of interesting water bottles, flasks, and the like..The pack of  Old Glory "Early Grenadiers in Campaign Dress"contained a mix of figures in bearskins, bicornes, and a few in forage caps.  I used the  figures  wearing bicornes (and forage caps) to make these Voltigeur companies.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Early Imperial French Line Infantry - The Grenadiers

In the Fall of 2016, I painted up 4 units of Old Glory French infantry in Bicorne, Campaign Dress. I did not have the figures for the compangnies d' elite at the time. I finally ordered them from Old Glory about a year ago, but it is only now that they are parading off the painting table. 

I have a particular fondness for this version of the Grenadier companies of the line infantry; my original French Napoleonic army, using 25 mm Scruby figures, had all of the line Grenadiers in bearskins with red cords like those above.  

 Evidently, to have your regiment's Grenadiers equipped with bearskins, all the Colonel had to do was request them from the 1st Consul (later Emperor ) Napoleon. Some Grenadier bearskins seem to have persisted through about 1809.

The back of the bearskin has  a fabric patch on it, which the French jokingly called the cul de singe (Monkey's butt). These Old Glory figures have the grenade sculpted on, but a white cross on red, or even quartered blue and red with a white cross overlying, are known variants as well. 

The varied pants are to match those of the Regiments that they will be joining.  I have used orange highlighting on the epaulets, cords and plumes to bring out some of the details.