Sunday, June 16, 2013

Very tardy but some more Napoleonics painted

Gearing up to start work again (part-time) and trying to get all the domestic projects completed or well on the way before I start has meant that posting on the blog and gaming have taken a bit of a backseat in the last few weeks.  Nonetheless I have managed to get some of the small mountain of Perry's lead I have purchased painted.  In fact I have managed to paint and base (making my own bases) over 140 Austrian foot and two mounted officers in the last month or so in addition to close to a hundred casualty markers including the latest set of Perry's Russian casualties, my favorite of which is the two fusiliers carrying a wounded officer on a musket. Because they are so unique I decided to lavish a bit more time and detail on them.

Like the other casualty markers I have mounted them on a numbered card base so that each can represent up to four casualties per marker - not quite as many as a D6 dice but aesthetically much more pleasing on the game table. If I have a criticism of the Perry's it is in the quality of the finishing of their metal figures.  They are a bit rough with quite a bit of casting flash on all the figures which can be quite hard to detect and clean off before painting. Fine tendrils of metal fold back on the figure and are difficult to discern. I presume this is the result of high volume casting due to the demand for them but at the end of the day it is a quality control issue that most other figure manufacturers manage to avoid.  That said, they are beautiful figures and with the high level of fine detail, thoroughly enjoyable to paint.  I note also that the quality of their plastic figures continues to improve - I have encountered few such problems with of the recent Perry's boxes of plastics.

In addition to finishing the 36-figure battalion of Austrian 'German' line in helmets, I also did a second battalion of Landwehr (so two full units of 32 with their mounted Oberst). I have a second battalion of helmeted German line in metal but I may take my time painting them up as there are plenty of others I have prepped and ready to go. The latest lot of metals finished are the Hungarian Grenadiers.  Again, the same high quality of figure and the results you get more than makes up for the annoying casting flash and the occasional bent base (which can make an alarming crackling sound when straightened out!)

If you guessed the mounted officer in the middle doesn't look like a Perry's you'd be right.  He's a conversion with an old Essex Grenadier head on a plastic Victrix mounted officer - having two mounted figures in the box of Landwehr turned out quite handy - I think he fits in quite well.

The Austrian army didn't have a dedicated elite such as guard units but they combined the grenadier companies of various regiments into battalions that formed grenadier brigades.  Each regiment had two companies forming the grenadier division, three of these regimental divisions formed a grenadier battalion,  named after a regimental Inhaber (literally the owner) or the colonel who led them. These units were the Austrian's shock troops and considered the elite of the army.  I've painted the battalion to represent the Hungarian Grenadier Battalion Scharlach considered one of the better battalions (the elite of the elite as it were) as they were drawn from some of the best Hungarian regiments in the Austrian army - IR's 31 (Benjowski) 32 (Gyulai) & 51 (Splenyi). Others included Puteani (I bet the Italians had a laugh at that one), Scovaud - the latter drawn from from IR 4 (Hoch & Deutschmeister), IR 49 (Kerpen) and IR 63 (Bianchi).

Hungarian companies were 200-240 men (German 160-80) on average, with six companies per battalion roughly 1000-1400 men which I've represented by a 24 figure unit (or 20 figures for a German battalion).  Brigade sizes varied enormously so that in 1809 Kienmeyer's Reserve Division was 5 battalions strong whereas Lichtenstein's (involved in the assault on the granary at Aspen) was a huge 12 battalions. Being a heretic I have made a 32 figure battalion so they keep in roughly with the rest of my Austrian units (bugger history - its all dodgy anyway!)  Actually, for Black Powder you can use battalions ranging from 24 to a massive 48 figures per unit and you'll still be historically accurate.  I now have a total of 64 grenadiers with a mounted officer that I can divide into either two or three units, whichever best fits any particular wargaming scenario.

The grenadier division from IR 51 Splenyi in Grenadier Bttn Scharlach
Like I said, I have a mountain of stuff still to paint and my next major will likely be the new Austrian Wurst limber and gun, followed by the rest of the battery - Austria's unusual version of horse artillery.  But before I embark on this I will make a minor diversion and finish my Egyptian campaign French Camel Corps figures.  I'd love to collect the entire French army from this period - its the great 'what-if' of Napoleonic wargaming and one mostly overlooked.  I can't remember how I acquired these but a Revolutionary French in Egypt unit was one of the first I ever painted when I started to get back into Napoleonic wargaming about 15 years ago and I've been fascinated by the period ever since.

Nearly done - I'll finish and base them and post the results hopefully next week.  I don't know what make they are (Essex maybe?) with a plastic converted figure seated behind the camel trooper second from left. Well, that's enough for now.  I apologise for not looking in on many of my blogging mate's blogs over the last few weeks but I hope to make amends before the end of the month when I'm likely starting back at the daily grind again!