Monday, May 24, 2010

More artwork for your blogging delectation

As promised, after finishing some uni work (5,000 word APA referenced essay - phew!) I dug out a few more of the drawings.  Apart from the line art of the AWI Hessian, I do feel these are definitely 'second string' drawings.   I do have a 'clean' colourized version of the Hessian but its also in the Kriegspieler cover art on an earlier post, so I thought the line art would be better.

As before, all artwork is copyright to me, so feel free to download it for personal use, but if you re-post it on the 'net, or reproduce it by other means, don't forget to attribute it!  I have been warned about posting original artwork on the 'net so excuse me if I now sound totally paranoid - psychotic even - BUT if I find it advertising something else or claimed as artwork by anyone but me (as one may guess - its happened before!) I shall be obliged to track down the lowlife perpetrator and shoot them in the head with a tank.

There, can't be fairer than that!

The carabinier was meant as a colour guide when I was painting up the Italeri set (1/72 plastics) some years ago.  I got the perspective wrong on the cavalryman and somehow foreshortened the body in the saddle and for the life of me couldn't redraw and fix it - didn't like the horse much either - not a great head on him.  I gave up in the end and just coloured it in - more important to get the figures painted!

I always had a fascination with Napoleon and his Egyptian campaign with its exotic uniforms and the wild Mameluke horsemen he vanquished so the next one is of a Mameluke of the Imperial Guard.  Again, I like the uniform but not the head on him.  Perhaps one day I'll re-do it.  I did have a much better looking coloured version but I think that one went 'West' a long time ago.  With the remaining line art colouring is always an option, so I may do that.

It was also intended as a colour guide for some 20mm plastic Mamelukes (HaT I think) a 'connoisseur' figure of which I did up to see how detailed I could get something that size. While a fairly pedestrian figure, I ended up with a good result from the painting. A picture of him may be on an earlier post on this blog (my 20mm French?). 

The last one is of a Polish Vistula Legion (with Napoleon's army in Northern Italy) Horse gunner.  It is a dream of mine that one day someone like the Perrys will do a complete 28mm set of Polish horse artillery in czapka.  Meanwhile I'll keep scribbling them because I like 'em so much.  My next project (well, ONE of my next...)  is a Polish army.  As followers of my blog will know from my postings, I do like doing French allied troops: Italians, Bavarians, Badeners etc, etc.
Its also my only one in action - clearly I need a lot more practice drawing soldiers of that era in action!

Well retirement beckons (I know, I know - after university - go figure!?!) and I may just do a bit more of this purely for the satisfaction of well... just doing it right!

But until then, this is the last of the artwork I can find, so I hope my fellow blogsters like it but future postings will most likely be of more figures painted, not artwork. After the next uni assignment that is!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some more of Doc's art

A friend asked me for a print of some artwork I did some years ago.  Fossicing through my old artwork I found the print and quite a few others, some of which were pretty naff but others were, I hope, worthy of posting on the blog.  They are mainly of Napoleonic soldiers - a selection of French, Austrian, Polish and Rhineland Confederation (Napoleon's German allies).

First cab off the rank is the colour version of one I published in an earlier post:  an Eclairer of the Guard.  This short-lived unit (1813-14) was formed in response to the French experience of the cossacks!  These were about as irregular as French cavalry got and performed prodigious feats as scouts and skirmishers for the hugely outnumbered and hard-pressed French army in 1814.  It is telling that at a time of great shortages of all cavalry types, Napoleon made it a priority to form several regiments of  new cavalry.  From all accounts these guys out-cossacked the cossacks!  I don't know if the unit was reformed for the Belgium campaign in 1815.

 The next one is another light cavalryman - this time a Pole circa 1812 - one of Poniatowski's Guides.  I did a rather cartoonish rendering of him as I have a rare old Historex model of one to build and wanted to create a painting guide for it.

The next two are of my favourite Napoleonic army - the Austrians.  It was the first one I collected and at one point contemplated sculpting my own range of 25mm hard plastic figures, so I decided on some artwork to start the process off.  Unfortunately I had neither the time or money (or sculpting skill!) to see it through, so the artwork was the end of the process too!

The next is a Wurttemburg Chevau Leger (Light Horse) which I did for a German friend of mine who's family were from Wurttemburg.  He could trace his ancestry back to a Landesknecht in 1530 something and told me that many had been soldiers including some who either fought with or against Napoleon.  The Wurttemburgers were some of Napoleon's best German allied troops. The trooper depicted was from the elite Light Horse regiment that particularly distinguished itself in the 1809 campaign against Austria.  Unlike many of the other 'Rhinebund' troops, these guys didn't go to Spain but to Russia with Napoleon where they were pretty much wiped out.  I'd like to think my friend's ancestor was one of the lucky few who made it home!

The last one is a French 5th Hussar officer.  I did this one off a photo of a model in the Army Museum in Paris wearing the original uniform.  This is the colour version of the line drawing I posted earlier.  I've decided to make my Perry's hussars up as the 5th - simple colours for a hussar but tres elegant nes par?

Last but not least, I used to get into cartooning and drew this one for one of my sons to go with his Orc army (that I collected on his behalf!)  The drawing was blown up to A3 size, coloured and mounted on his bedroom door - it was a lot more popular with him than the fantasy figures I painted!
All the pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.  They are all original artwork and copyright, so feel free to download them but if you want to use them don't do it for any commercial purpose and remember to attribute OK?  I hate to ask but the web is notorious for people pinching other people's creations and using them as their own!  Not cool!!

Hope visitors to this blog enjoyed this artistic interlude - back to some figure painting as soon as I've gotten a uni essay or two out of the way!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Black Powder Indian Mutiny Game

As I stated in my previous posts, I was preparing for another game using the Black Powder rules, this time the Indian Mutiny.  Our Canberra Black Powder group gamed one of the battles fought by Havelock on his third and final attempt to raise the siege of Lucknow, a desperate gamble with a tiny force the defeat of which could have seen all the native princes 'sitting on the sideline' come into the conflict against the British i.e. the end of British India.  So, small battles but the stakes were rather high!

Our force consisted of three brigades - the 1st with two British regiments including the 79th Highlanders and accompanied by loyal Sikhs, the 2nd of two British regiments and one loyal Sepoy.  The 3rd (my command) consisted of a small unit of British Lancers, Horse Artillery and Foot Artillery batteries.  All brigades had one small unit of rifle armed skirmishers attached.  The Mutineers had six brigades of infantry and one of cavalry in addition to two heavy gun batteries behind entrenchments - the latter proving an impossible nut to crack!

Historically Havelock marched across the face of the Mutineer army before hooking around its right flank and then literally rolling it up.  While they had to endure the galling fire of the Mutineer's well-sited artillery, coming around on their flank meant the Mutineers could not continue to bring all their guns or overwhelming numbers to bear. And of course - the Highlanders successfully charged the guns! The scenario basically recalled the historical deployment.

We ran into trouble almost immediately because the very unhistorical Mutineers who rather than being puzzled by British tactics, charged out of their lines and started a prolonged fire-fight as soon as the 1st Bde began to deploy.  Accompanied by appalling dice rolling by the Brits for their shooting and good saves by the Mutineers (which they managed to do consistently all game!) the Brits became stuck in front of the entrenched and well-served Mutineer guns!
On the left flank things got off to a slow start with my lousy shooting for the first three turns - in fact all four of my guns only managed to all hit something just once the entire game!  The flank was held by the artillery (all light guns) with small unit lancer and skirmisher support.  Firing at the Mutineer's guns proved a complete waste of time but they fortunately stopped a large warband of Ghazis.

Having killed their chai-wallah, the Ghazis milled about in confusion within charge range of the battery for two thirds the game before finally being driven off.   Meanwhile the lancers (special characteristics 'ferocious' and 'marauders') made a long ride around the Mutineer's left flank and proceeded to shatter one regiment of regulars (who amazingly managed to rally and form a shaky square for the rest of the game) another of irregulars and a regiment of cavalry before stopping, disordered (and blown) about two inches short of those bloody guns!
 One small unit (8 figures) destroyed the better part of an infantry brigade and a regiment of cavalry twice its size, suffered horrendous casualties from point-blank artillery fire (canister of course) but still stood and would have charged again (and won) against the guns if the game had gone one more turn.   'Ferocious charge' is not an adequate description and our group are debating whether or not this characteristic is historical and therefore warranted, or overblown for gaming purposes - creating a unit of mounted supermen.  So far the 'historicals' have it - the men were hugely motivated by the massacre of their women and children by the Mutineers and were consumed with hatred and revenge - nothing but being wiped out could have stopped them - so 'ferocious' is a reasonable reflection of their morale.  They didn't have it all their own way - they were disordered by the regulars shooting and had to 'rally' for a turn before resuming the attack.  The same thing happened after the cavalry combat which stopped them from sweeping onto the guns.  The artillery fire that subsequently caught them did not do enough to destroy them.  In other words, the combination of the characteristics awarded you on the tables and adequate dice rolling enabled them to survive.

 With Black Powder things get very bloody very quickly and there are small peculiarities like this that will crop up.  But they are a 'gentleman's' rule set and an agreement between players - effectively house rules - can be introduced to any game to cover any such issue.  Its the spirit in which all games should be played IMO! 

Also on the left flank the Mutineers managed to occupy and hold a building for the entire game in spite of point blank pounding by artillery and rifle fire.  As I only had a small unit of skirmishers (8 figures) there was no point in assaulting the rebel sepoys in the building.  Troops in hard cover get the full benefit of it in BP - as is the case in reality you need at least twice as many troops to successfully assault and winkle out enemy troops from buildings etc.

The British right ground to a complete halt - the Mutineers had reinforcements arriving at various points throughout the game (although they had to dice to bring them on) and repeated charges by overwhelming numbers took their toll on the valiant (and stubborn) Scots and their Sikh allies (who also have 'ferocious charge' - but never got to make one!) and after artillery fire and a prolonged hand-to-hand in the centre, the second British brigade also became 'blown' - game over!

For the first time there were no 'blunders' (2 dice @ six)  rolled on command!  As uncanny as the saving throws on casualties rolled by the Mutineers throughout the game!
It was a hugely enjoyable and each one has shown you get stuck in and get a result (albeit not always the one you want!) within a few hours.

The rest of the pics of this and other battles are on our Black Powder site URL.  Feel free to join our little group - we have several international members already!

Hope you enjoyed the post - as before please feel free to leave comment and/or rate this post and all the above pics can be viewed at their maximum size by clicking on them.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Perry's Hussars have arrived!

Got the package Wednesday.  As expected - it exceeded expectations!

Each box contains one command, four horse and four hussar sprues plus the ubiquitous green bases sprue, enough to make up 14 mounted men.  There is oodles of choice - with all the different heads available the hussars can be made up into anything from Revolutionary to Hundred Days - with very little conversion they could be made to represent hussars from other French allies or European armies.

Also very useful is the colour insert depicting all the French hussar regiments plus an allied one (Westphalian) providing an excellent painting guide.

There is the tiniest amount of flash around some bits like swords & pelisses but nothing too dramatic and easily trimmed off with the scalpel.  I couldn't resist seeing what they looked like for myself so I made up the officer figure.  Very nice.  I think I'll paint him up first, then attach the pelisse.

OK.  So a few French cav to paint up!  Totals now are close to seventy - 1 regt of carabinier to finish my heavies, two regts of dragoons to go with the guys sans chevaux and now two of hussars!  This will give me hours of painting pleasure once uni work is out of the way.

Hmmm, there's also that little 'commission' of FPW Chasseurs d'Afrique and Foreign Legion.  Perhaps more than a few hours...

But before all that the Indian Mutiny game Monday night (in the immortal words of Bullwinkle Moose: 'This time fer sure!') to which I will take the camera along and hopefully have something to post next week.  It'll be a nice break from the books at least.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Doc's cabinet

After viewing a few other cabinets on other blog's I've decided to show mine - in the forlorn hope that some other Aussie blogger will know where to find another just like it! 

I bought it about seven or eight years ago for the princely sum of $360.  There was another exactly the same available at the time but I just couldn't justify over $700 for furniture to store/display my figures. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed AKA Minister of Finance frowned upon the purchase of just one cabinet, there was no possibility of negotiating a second!

A few weeks later I managed to sell one of my children...  OK, it was a few of my figures - and screamed into the furniture store to get the last one but alas I was a day too late - the last one was sold!  The company that made them were not the most reliable of suppliers and the local company that was selling them ceased doing business with them.  Last year I saw exactly the same type of cabinet - now only available in a ghastly silver or dark walnut finish AND on sale for only $800 each!  That's over $200 off their current price - bargain!!!   (The dog bowl next to it is a reminder of where I'll be - the dog house - should I try buying one).

The long and short of it is that they are superb display cabinets.  The original came in a flat pack but easy to assemble.  In two halves with mirror backing and adjustable glass shelving makes for six display shelves with two storage drawers under.  Brilliant.  Maybe one day I'll find another just like it - it is very IKEA-like so there is a slim hope.

 I mean seriously, you need to protect your hard work and keep the dust off them (a big problem in a dry and dusty place like Australia) - so its either into a box or in a sealed cabinet of some sort.  Plus I like to look at them - and so do my fellow enthusiasts when they drop around.  You gotta have a display cabinet for any games room right? (Got the cabinet, still working on the room...)

I have in this cabinet a bit less than half of the 28mm collection.  The top half houses the Napoleonics - French, Russian & Austrian armies.  About half of the French and Austrians and two-thirds of the Russian.  The bottom half  has nearly all of the 17thC Poles, the Thirty Years War and the Franco-Prussian War French armies.

In reality, I could fill two of them with the Napoleonic collection alone - but perhaps that's a dream for retirement in a few years time.  Us old codgers gotta have dreams right?!

So while it mightn't be as comprehensive as some others I've seen on the web, it does the job for me and there's even room for some of the boy's footy trophies on the top for good measure!  Nearly all the figures in the cabinet are also on display in this blog through the links on the right of the page.  As with all photos, click to see the enlargement - for example, the one above will also show that I need to clean the cabinet's glass door!