Sunday, February 28, 2010

Anglo-allied BP army shapes up

I finished off enough troops for a reasonable start on a Black Powder army, representing allied forces from Quatre Bras. There are 9 battalions of infantry, 1 of cavalry and 3 artillery units. Like Nosey's force, it is heavy on allied infantry formations.

The first brigade is Dutch, consisting of 2 large infantry battalions, Belgian line and Dutch militia, they are flanked by 2 small light dragoon units that could be fielded separately or as a combined regiment.

There are also British artillery and limbers, a brigade of Brunswickers (2 light battalions and the Avant Garde battalion) in the background

and the third Brigade has 3 small Hanoverian battalions and big battalion of Scots Black Watch

Of course led by the Iron Duke himself, at rest for the moment:

I better start on some French...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black Brunswickers arrive

Today I finished off a brigade of Brunswickers plus a few other odds and ends for my Black Powder project.

This must be the easiest side to paint, they wore all black uniforms with black straps, hence the name:

Sophie, modelling a Brunswicker uniform

There are 2 battalions of infantry, these are Hat Brunswick Lieb so they represent the Lieb battalion (the Duke's bodyguard) in blue collars and the 1st light battalion in red collars:

There is also the Avant Garde battalion in their distinctive Corsican hats, 2 companies in grey (jaegers) and 2 in black (lights), they would fight in skirmish order and were armed with rifles:

I also tried my hand at an artillery unit, this is British foot artillery (Revell, very nice kit):

And some Dutch light cavalry:

This project is moving along very quickly, next up will be finishing off the artillery, Dutch and commanders, then likely filling out some more of the Brits.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Back in action

It's been quiet here for almost 10 days, I was in Norway to give a talk for the University of Oslo's Darwin Day and that took a good chunk of time away from home. Guess how much it costs to have the local el cheapo pizzeria make and deliver a pie? $50. Yep. One pint of beer in the pub was $14. The taxi meter reads $10 before your ass even touches the seat. Holy crap...glad the expenses were paid by the host.

So, after my hiatus I am back to the bench and still have much gusto for Napoleonics in 1/72 after whipping off those highlanders. I picked up a copy of Black Powder on Amazon for an amazing $20

Then scored a copy of Lasalle from Sam Mustafa

I've decided to do Waterloo themed forces, focussed on the Anglo-Allies and the actions around Quatre Bras. This matches up with my holdings of 1/72 that need to be painted, with a few minor additions. Mark has decided to try to start with some French so I am concentrating on the Allies to start with. This week I knocked off some Dutch and Belgians that have been on the shelf for a while, including Belgian regulars (Hat):
Dutch milita (also Hat):
And I rebased about 40 British regulars to add to the highlanders from last week (old Airfix):
We played Black Powder at the club on Tuesday and I really enjoyed it (thanks Bruce!), it was easy to pick up, colourful, and fun. I think this will look superb in 1/72.

Next up: Black Brunswickers

Monday, February 8, 2010

A volley from the past

For a change I decided to paint some old Airfix Highlanders. I have a horde of Airfix and Hat 1/72 Napoleonics that one day I would like to see painted and on the table. Kind of a nostalgia thing, but I am also loath to waste them. Furthermore, a bunch of them were given to me by an old friend who painted some of them when he was a kid, then I think they languished in his closet for years. He sent them to me a couple of years ago, so one day I want them to get on the table.

I painted 16 Highlanders in a firing line with drummer yesterday, I would eventually like to field these guys for a Waterloo scenario using the new Black Powder rules perhaps. They are not pretty figs, there is some flash and there are shortcomings in the sculpts (e.g they all forgot their canteens back in the bivouc I guess, plus the familiar musket droop). But, the highlander poses aren't bad and I kind of like them, and like most 1/72 they go pretty fast and look okay from 3ft. This particular batch was originally painted in enamels that had chipped badly, so I stripped them in Pine-Sol and painted them with acrylics after priming with Rustoleum spray primer for plastics. They are sealed with Future so could use some dullcote.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hittites kick some sand

Mark came over today for some DBA, we played an out of period matchup 3 times, my Hittite empire facing his Spartans twice then his Arab Conquest. I think the Hittites are perhaps my best army, provided they have open field to fight on. They are very well balanced, with 6Sp & 2Ps to act as a holding force, and a mounted arm of 3HCh and 1LCh which is very punchy. There is really only one way to play this army- load up the mounted on one wing, the "hammer", and refuse or hold the other with the foot, the "anvil". 6Sp with 2Ps is perfect for holding since the Ps support Sp, and the 3HCh has a lot of punch with the LCh to outflank.

In the first game I almost snatched defeat- Mark fielded a 12 Sp element Spartan army and my mounted wing crashed into one end of it and was ground into bits, I was down 1-3. But fortunately they did enough to mess up his lines and allow the anvil to overlap his other wing and the surviving HCh-general (great for quick kills, just don't get him killed) just enough room to pull it out 6-4. The second game saw a rematch, the hammer hit his right flank with overlaps and two of my elements rolled 1s and died, one of these was the general, so that wasn't so good (0-2 loss in record time). Thankfully it was mercifully short. The third game saw Mark retire the Spartans and bring on Arab Conquest. This is quite a tough, but I think hard to play army, with a combination of Bw, Wb and Cv. Fortunately I got my HCh in against his Cv and managed to grind it out 4-1 before his Wb could overlap my refused flank. Sp with Ps support can hold off Wb for a while but start to die if Wb get overlaps.

So, Hittites are great if (1) you don't roll 1s with your general in combat and (2) you fight in good going. It would have been ugly if he pulled out the Thracians, but that will have to be another day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

More Carthaginians

The next batch of Carthaginians is just off the bench. I will stay with the arid basing scheme since it seems to suit these guys for campaigns in Spain, Italy or North Africa. Starts with the Punic cavalry element (mix of 1/72 Zvezda Macedonians and Hat Carthaginian commanders):

This is follwoed by two elements of Libyans, with these guys I varied the poses and colours:

Then two elements of African veteran infantry, with these guys I kept the poses together deliberately since they were well drilled troops. There are times and situtions where keeping the pose consistent on the same base still just feels right:

Next up: Carthaginian command and skirmishers.