Monday, July 22, 2013

Austrian Cavalry Artillery Battery

As I've explained in previous posts on the Perry's Napoleonic Austrian artillery I'm doing up, the Austrians didn't have horse artillery in the true sense.  They had a kind of mobile light artillery, unique amongst the armies of the Napoleonic era.  They used it predominantly in support their cavalry formations, hence the reason it became known as cavalry artillery.

The Austrian artillery sets produced by Perry's are amongst their finest and some of the best I have ever seen.  When they came out with them I just had to have a complete set for an Austrian cavalry artillery battery!

Its been a long haul with lots of other figures demanding paint and the odd spot of wargaming too, but I've finally finished my complete cavalry artillery battery set.  Really pleased with how they turned out, even though they occupy a rather large piece of wargaming real estate when you set them up on the table.

The artillery crews come in two basic poses: firing or loading.  The latter kind of adds to the overall base as the guns themselves are long and the rather slender rammer is longer than the gun barrel again.  I'll have to watch them carefully when gaming as the rammers are a bit bendy.

Achtung! Feuer Kanone!

The figures do have fairly fine tendrils of metal flash that have to be carefully trimmed off, some are so fine that they are difficult to spot amongst the other fine detail on the figures.  These figures are 'true' 28mm and the bases are thinner than other makes, which means the figures don't tower over their guns (a real problem I had once with Old Glory's Russian Horse Artillery).  The guns are, as you'd expect, fiddly to make with those funny looking seats on them (their appearance earning them the name 'sausage guns') that come in three sections and a slender handle that attaches to the rear of the gun trail.  All glued together with much Superglue and more patience!

Another shot of the crew loading - note the figure immediately behind.  He's about to place his leather encased thumb over the touch-hole so there's no nasty premature detonation during loading!  
The guy rummaging about in the ammo caisson fits in quite nicely although he is a little too close to the guns - the crew behind are eyeing him nervously!

I've still got a few limbers to do up for my other Austrian batteries but they can wait as I'm doing some Warasdiner Grenz at the moment.  Just been doing a bit of research to make sure I get the colours right, especially on the facings. Grenz Regiment #6 were 'crab red' - an Austrian colour that was closer to a very dark orange than red.  And the cloaks on the back were a really dark red, almost crimson rather than the fire-engine red they are usually depicted as.  This sage advice comes from no less an authority than Osprey author Dave Hollins himself, so I'm going to stick with it. The only concession I'll make is on the webbing which Dave says was mostly standard white as for the rest of the Austrian infantry in 1809.  The black webbing, same as the Jaegers, was only introduced sporadically before then and not for all the Grenzer regiments until after the 1809 campaign.  But I'm going for the esthetics of the black, just for appearances sake.  Like a true heretic.  I'll post 'em up when I've finished them as I also have a regiment of hussars to do as well.  I tell ya folks, for this curmudgeonly old pensioner, the fun just never ends!