Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Smoothbore Ordnance Journal Issue 2

Stephen Summerfield has annnounced the release of the second issue of the Smoothbore Ordnance Journal (SOJ).

From his announement:
Dear All
The second issue of the Smoothbore Ordnance Journal can be found below.


This issue has two main themes.

Theme One – Gribeauval

Jean-Baptiste Vacquette de Gribeauval (1715-89) is an interesting man who survived the Salon politics of France despite his background of being a poor non-noble birth through the patronage of a number of powerful men.

1. Chronology of Gribeauval gives a timeline view of his life. [Stephen Summerfield (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(01)]

2. A short biography of Gribeauval in German can be seen in Issue one of this journal translated by Digby Smith.

3. The Piccard (1816) and Hennebert (1896) are both important biographies of Gribeauval that are among the supporting material for the journal.

4. He had trained at the Artillery School at La Fère before serving in the French Corps-Royal de l'Artillerie then the Corps des Mineurs. [See Stephen Summerfield (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(02)]

5. In 1748, he designed the Gribeauval Garrison Carriage that was tested and rejected by the French Artillery. A modified form was used by the Austrians in their defence of Schweidnitz in 1762. [See Stephen Summerfield (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(04)]

6. Before he joined Austrian service in 1758, Gribeauval strongly objected to the regiment artillery. [Digby Smith, translator (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(05)]

7. In 1758, he was seconded to the Corps of Engineers in the Austrian armies. [See Stephen Summerfield (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(03)]

8. In March 1762, Gribeauval while still serving with the Austrian Army wrote a short report in response to the 18 questions from the French Secretary of State for War. These as can be seen in the original French [See Hennebert (1896)] and the translation by Digby Smith shows clearly that they were very general in nature. [Digby Smith, translator (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(06)]

9.His work from 1763 until his death in 1789 when he returned to France will no doubt be for the future. He is best known to modern readers for overseeing the modernisation of French ordnance and artillery organisation from 1765. Much of his active service was in artillery administration, engineering and mining. There being no distinction made between the branches of technical services at this time.

Theme Two – Confederation of the Rhine Artillery

This is the first of a series of papers on European artillery systems that encompass the 18th to the mid 19th century. It is important to look at the extent equipment as well as the written word. The artillery of the Lesser German States that fought for Napoleon in the Confederation of the Rhine had a number of very innovative artillery systems that were derived from and often copied by the great powers of Austria, Britain, France, Prussia and Russia. This has been mostly overlooked. The three papers presented here show the organisation, equipment and some of the history of the artillery of Wurttemberg and Saxony.

· Digby Smith translation of the History of Württemberg Artillery 1757-1815 shows the innovation in the artillery arm by this small country. [Digby Smith (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(07)]

· We are fortunate that John Cook has provided his photos of the Württemberg Ordnance that illustrate the translation by Digby Smith. These photos are by permission of [John Cook and Stephen Summerfield (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(08)]

·Gerard Cronin and Stephen Summerfield outline the ordnance, uniform and the drill of the Saxon Horse Artillery. [Gerard Cronin and Stephen Summerfield (Dec 2010) SOJ 2(09)]

I hope you enjoy the issue.


Another interesting issue! Personally I am really looking forward to reading about the Württemberg Artillery.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gearing Up for the Big Move

I am moving house next Saturday, so my 'Wargames Room' is getting all packed up at present, we have been in our present house for 15 years or so, lots of rubbish to get rid of before next weekend.

We're only moving 500 yds down the road but as I have learnt 500 yds or 500 miles doesn't make a lot of difference, it's still a PITA.

Trully sad thing is it will be goodbye to my wargames room for at least a few years.

I originally lost my wargames room when my kids came along 25 years ago, but as they went off to University I got it back and the last few years have been great, however a combination of kids moving back home after University and our new house having had the 'spare room' knocked into the Master Bedroom (which sold my wife on it) means I am out of luck, at least until my daughter decides to get married and move to Australia.

I have been promised a small area with a desk in our bedroom though I remain to be convinced how my wife is going to react to sleeping with the smell of drying enamel paint in the air!

As I begin to pack it all up my wife has said it will be 'interesting' as she put's it to find out exactly how many 'soldiers' I actually have (it's generally a closely kept secret LOL).

Victrix Russian Deals and Pics

I have just seen a Victrix announcement of some deals for their early Russians and some news pics. They mention they have sent out their occasional newsletter, it will be up on their site in a couple of days, I still haven't signed up for their newsletter not because I am not interested in it, actually I am very interested, I just object to being forced to hand over my name and address to some website in order to simply get a newsletter, no excuse for it in this day and age IMHO, if I want to order from you direct then fair enough but otherwise my email should be enough for you, actually I do buy Victrix, just not direct, I generally go through Caliver or NorthStar.

Anyway, the painted Russians look great very tempting, if only ...... they had done late Russians, then these would go with their next up Austrians and the Perry/Warlord Prussians, that would have been perfect for 1813/1814 which is such a great period to game. Looking at the pics reminds me I have a couple of pots of Humbrol's Dragoon Green which I could never find a use for as it's too light (every now and then I paint something up in the color hoping it might look right, then strip them as reality sets in) but it looks a perfect match to the shade used on these Russian's. I really would like to buy these, just I don't feel inclined to start an early-Nap period especially one that's missing so many essential pieces with no guarantee they may ever get filled out enough to fight a battle.

Oh and stunning flags!!

From the announcement:
We have just received some of our wonderful 28mm metal Early Russians back from Andrés of Einar Olafson Painting. He has done a wonderful job bringing out the character and quality Paul Hicks put into these great sculpts.
Now that we have got our new Pavlovski and Grenadier command packs into production, we have put together some great value deals for your Russian brigades and battalions.

VXPD0006 Russian Line Battalion Deal:

32 x Russian Line Musketeers
8 x Russian Line Command
2 x Mounted Colonels and Foot officer
43 figures in total. Normal retail price is GBP 50.00 . You can get this superb value deal for GBP 40.00 , which is 20% off. In addition, you also receive the mounted colonels and foot colonel free! (Saving another GBP 7.50 !)

VXPD0007 Russian Grenadier Battalion Deal:

32 x Russian Line Grenadiers
8 x Russian Line Command
2 x Mounted Colonels and Foot officer
43 figures in total. Normal retail price is GBP 50.00 . You can get this superb value deal for GBP 40.00 , which is 20% off. In addition, you also receive the mounted colonels and foot colonel free! (Saving another GBP 7.50 !)

VXPD0008 Russian Pavlovski Grenadier Battalion Deal:

32 x Russian Pavlovski Grenadiers
8 x Russian Pavlovski Grenadier Command
2 x Mounted Colonels and Foot officer
43 figures in total. Normal retail price is GBP 50.00 . You can get this superb value deal for GBP 40.00 , which is 20% off. In addition, you also receive the mounted colonels and foot colonel free! (Saving another GBP 7.50 !)

VXPD0009 Russian Infantry Brigade Deal:

72 x Russian Line Musketeers
24 x Russian Grenadiers
24 x Russian Line Command
2 x Mounted Colonels and Foot officer
123 figures in total. Normal retail price is GBP 157.50 . You can get this fantastic value deal for GBP 126.00 , which is 20% off!

VXPD0010 Russian Grenadier Brigade Deal:

72 x Russian Line Musketeers
24 x Russian Grenadiers
24 x Russian Line Command
2 x Mounted Colonels and Foot officer
123 figures in total. Normal retail price is GBP 157.50< . You can get this fantastic value deal for GBP 126.00 , which is 20% off!

To go nicely with our Russians, Steve of Victrix and Little Big Men Studios has produced 15 new Russian flagsheets. These follow the 1797 and 1803 Patterns - many of these flags were still carried in 1812 and 1813 by older established regiments.

For those who receive our newsletter, we sent out a really useful regimental facings color guide. We will be putting this on the site shortly.
We also just added the new French guard colonels and pioneers, and set VX0011 Napoleon's Old Guard Chasseurs to the three-, five- and seven-box deals. Also, we have added a new four-box French brigade deal to the multi-box deals. Check all the new releases and deals on the website.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

GMB Designs Christmas Deals

Just received an email from Graham Black (GMB Designs) announcing their Christmas 'Special Offer'.

From the announcement:
GMB Designs ~ CHRISTMAS OFFER ~ December 2010

Email or check the website www.gmbdesigns.com for full 28mm lists………

On all orders received before December 24th 2010.
Offer only valid on direct orders to GMB Designs UK

Order ten standard 28mm packs and receive a further pack free. (11)
Order fifteen standard 28mm packs and receive two extra packs free. (17)
Order twenty packs – and chose a further three packs free. (23)

Standard packs GBP 3.25, second battalion (special) packs GBP 4.00,
40mm Range GBP 7.00 (all of the 28mm flags are now available in 40mm – just add 40mm to the code)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

See the attached updates list for the latest additions to the range.

Please email or check the website (www.gmbdesigns.com) for the full 28mm list...The 15/18mm and 40mm ranges are not up yet – please email for those..

The site is still a work in progress but it’s getting there…I'd hoped to have the shopping cart working by now - but I'm still waiting for the final set up which may not be until early in the new year.

Ordering by mail and email or telephone 44 1142217872 (ex UK) or 0114 2217872 within UK. I'm not always available to answer calls so please email to confirm a day or time .

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year
to you and your families.


Grahame Black
GMB Designs

Below are the latest Napoleonic releases from GMB, see their website or email for the full list.

Standard packs GBP 3.25, second battalion ( special ) packs £4.00, 40mm Range GBP 7.00

French Army of the Orient ( Egypt )
The first sixteen packs contain flags for the first and second battalions – third battalion flags are available in packs 17 to 24.
RF016th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF027th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF039th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF0413th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF0518th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF0619th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF0725th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF0832nd Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF0941st Demi Brigade de Ligne ( 1794 Pattern )
RF1061st Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF1169th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF1275th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF1380th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( 1794 Pattern )
RF1485th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF1588th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF1697th Demi Brigade de Ligne ( Armee d’Italie – with honours )
RF173rd Battalions of the 6th and 97th
RF183rd Battalions of the 7th and 19th
RF193rd Battalions of the 9th and 85th
RF203rd Battalions of the 13th and 69th
RF213rd Battalions of the 25th and 75th
RF223rd Battalions of the 32nd and 18th
RF233rd Battalions of the 61st and 88th
RF243rd Battalions of the 41st and 80th ( 1794 Pattern )
French Army of Italie to follow – those not covered by the Egypt ones

Suvorov’s Russians
Packs contain one white and one coloured flag, suitable for the first battalion of each regiment.Second and subsequent battalions would have carried two coloured flags. Packs containing two 'coloured' flags are available by mail order only. Add 'a' to the code number eg. RF01a. ( a code packs £4.00 )
RF01Astrakahn Grenadiers 1797
RF02Koslov Musketeers 1797
RF03Kursk Musketeers 1797
RF04Fanagoria Grenadiers 1797
RF05Kherson Grenadier Regiment 1797
RF06Archangelgorod Musketeers
RF07Azov Musketeers
RF08Novgorod Musketeers
RF09Old Ingermanland Musketeers 1797
RF10Mourom Musketeers 1797
RF11Staryoskol Musketeers

1797 Russians ( From the Napoleonics Range )
R29Pavlov Grenadiers 1797
R30Leib Grenadiers 1797~1814
R31Riazan Infantry Regiment 1797~1815
R33Astrakahn Grenadiers 1797~1815
R34Siberia Grenadiers 1797
R35Little Russia Grenadiers 1797~1815
R36New Ingermanland Infantry Regiment 1797
R38Smolensk Infantry Regiment 1797
R39Alexapol Infantry Regiment 1797
R41Selenguinsk Regiment 1797
R42Moscow Regiment 1797
R43Ladoga Regiment 1797
R44Ekaterinburg Regiment 1797
R45Sofia Regiment 1797
R46Poltava Regiment 1797
R47Mourom Regiment 1797
R48Revel Regiment 1797
R49Tchernigov Regiment 1797
R50Polotsk Regiment 1797
R51Kexholm Regiment 1797
R52Rialsk Regiment 1797
R53Arakcheyev Grenadiers 1797
R54Pskov Regiment 1797
R55Tobolsk Regiment 1797
R56Ekaterinoslav Grenadiers 1797
R57St Petersburg Grenadiers 1797
R59Bielozerkov Regiment 1797
R61Vitebsk Regiment 1799
R62Apcheron Regiment 1797
R63Koslov Regiment 1797
R64Nacheburg Regiment 1797
R65Kolyvan Regiment 1799
R66Riazsk Regiment 1798
R67Moscow Grenadiers 1797
R68Kiev Grenadiers 1797
R69Fanagoria Grenadiers 1797
R70Caucasus Grenadier Regiment 1797
R71Kherson Grenadier Regiment 1797
R72Tauride Grenadier Regiment 1792


RA01Line Infantry 1792 ( German & Hungarian )
RA02Austrian Cavalry 1792


Monday, November 22, 2010

Renegade - New 28mm WOTR Range

OK so not Napoleonic's but as anyone who has seen my 28mm collection knows Renegade is the 'one' for me, I tend to buy anything they produce.

Well, they have just announced a 'new' range, and it's quite a surprise, almost as big a surprise as the Napoleonic's range was and I must say in my opinion more up their street than the Napoleonic's.

With the Perry's having this year released several WOTR plastic sets in 28mm who would have expected anyone to release a new metal range! I expect that as with the Napoleonic's, Renegade will design this range to match in with the Perry's figure, this will be great news as we will be able to mix and match between the two ranges and at GBP 0.43 per figure it is going to be a 'must have' range.

Actually I had been holding off on buying the Perry WOTR because I had enough to spend my money on with all the new Napoleonic's this year but now WOTR will be on my 'list' for 2011!

Renegade promise infantry soon with cavalry and field pieces to follow, and from what you can see of the green's they do look fantastic, on first look's not your typical 'Renegade' style at all.

What is more they have the 5-4-4 offer (5 for the price of 4) back on across all their range's so whether it's the new WOTR or the Napoleonic's its GBP 12.95 for 24 foot or 8 mounted.

You do wonder whether the Renegade guys have their own secret Tin mine in Cornwall that makes them immune to the economics that every other miniatures manufacturer works under.

Can't wait!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Victrix Round Up

A few Victrix announcements for the last couple of weeks, including notice of a January price increase:

17th November - Old Guard Chasseurs ready for pre-order

We are very pleased to announce that the Chasseurs are now ready for pre-order. Once stocks have been built up we expect them to start shipping from the 29th November onwards.

To tie in with the release of this splendid set of figures, we have had the multi limbed and very talented Mr Paul Hicks sculpt some personality figures for the the Old Guard. He has done a mounted Grenadier and Chasseur colonel and also a Grenadier and Chasseur Pioneer. These are not on general release, however we have put together some great multi box deals were you can get these figures free with your order. If you order two boxes you can have a colonel and a pioneer, if you order 4 boxes you can get the 2 colonels and 2 pioneers. These deals will come in very useful for fielding the old Guard regiments at Waterloo.

Well what to say, they are very nice figures, not surprising really, the Victrix Old Guard Grenadiers get my vote for the best set of 2010, if not best set ever in 28mm plastics. I do wonder though how different are the Chasseurs to the Grenadiers and could not these have been handled as a variant in the original set and did we really need to wait so long?

That said this is a 'must have' set.... get 'em!

12th November - New Russian flags upload

We have just uploaded 15 sheets of Russian flags to the shoping cart. These like our other extensive flag ranges have been designed by steve of 'Victrix' and 'Little Big Men Studios'.
They have wonderful crisp detail and are printed in sumptuously rich colours, As well as the lovely detail applied to the central crests and guildwork, attention has also been lavished on the creasing and folds of the flag that should really make your units stand out.

Beautiful flags but what do you expect from Stephen Hales, great stuff!

8th November - New Russian command packs and deals added

We are pleased to announce that we have released our Russian Grenadier command pack and our Pavlovski command. Paul Hicks sculpted these wonderful fellows, as he does with all our metal ranges. He has done a lovely job on these, giving them a real sense of movement and character, which fits perfectly with our plastic ranges.
You will note that the Pavlovski command comes with three character figures with bandaged heads. These can be used for line or Grenadiers to add a little extra variation to your units.
We have just uploaded some new Battalion and Brigade deals for the Russians on the shopping cart. A Grenadier and Pavlovski Battalion deal which gives you 40 figures for £40 saving you 20% off normal retail price. Also from now until the 31stDecember anybody who orders the Grenadier or Pavlovski Battalion deal gets a free pack of colonels. (A rather nice deal I am sure you will agree!)

The new Brigade deals give you 123 figures for £126 saving you 20% off the normal retail price. This allows you to field some quality opposition to our Early French at a reasonable cost.

I am sure you are aware that VAT goes up to 20% in January and the price of metal is going through the roof! The VAT effects our plastic supplies, resin, masters, tooling, fuel, boxes etc… so will hit our manufacturing costs hard. We are going to be putting up our prices by about 10% across the board to keep up with rising costs. This will come into effect in January. So if you want to get your miniatures at the cheaper price you are best ordering before the beginning of January

As ever nice sculpts from Paul Hicks, no argument their, and if early Russians are you're thing then these are well worth taking a look at, I remain to be convinced however that this set was the right choice for Victrix and it's customers.

As noted elsewhere price increases are sweeping the industry, though some seem more deserving and smaller than others, given the discounting you see of plastic set's on the net you wonder if this increase is totally justified.

.. and do I really need to add where are the 'British Limber Team'?
It's been six month's since the British Artillery set was released and ever since then Victrix customers have been stuck with being forced to purchase an Artillery Set without any Team. Just how long does it take to cast up a team?, theis should have ranked before the Russian set.

More Book madness - reality bites

Well the order finally arrived, well actually packages 2/3 and 3/3 arrived last Saturday and 1/3 arrived this Saturday.

Firstly no complaints about service, Caliver is as ever first class, delivery is prompt, they are my favorite company to deal with on line!

However of 19 books, 6 had already been sold so were removed from my order, with Amazon you can be sure if it listed it's available, worst thing was that some of the best books were the ones that got dropped. Of the remaining 13 books I would say that Caliver's 'rating' system is consistently a grade lower than Amazon's, not that I am really complaining, the books were fine, just I got what I paid for, cheap books at a cheap price, whereas with Amazon you feel you get more than you paid for, quality books at a cheap price!

Maybe Amazon's postage is excessive (certainly it is compared to Caliver's) but you get the impression some of the excess covers better quality books.

Overall I wouldn't really criticise Caliver, they did what they said the would do after all, but I think in future, out of preference, I will stick to Amazon even if it does cost me more.

And then it was Front Rank

From their announcement:

January 2010 price rise - ORDER NOW BEFORE PRICE RISE!

In January the Uk vat rate is increasing from 17.5% to 20%, this coupled with the increase in metal prices does unfortunately mean that our prices will rise in January 2010.


Actually they mean January 2011, but don't let that distract you, as I mentioned last week, we can now expect price increases to sweep the industry, no mention of how much and to be sure some increase does seem justified in the face of VAT and raw metal prices rises, who can argue against it even if we don't like it.

Well, you have been warned, whoever is you manufacturer of choice get your orders in before xmas!

I am curious to see whether some of the more over priced manufacturers might use this as an opportunity to move back in line with industry 'average' pricing (if such a thing exists).

Will all this effect the metal vs plastic balance in 28mm? Not sure, amongst old timer's I don't see it making a difference, if your armies are mainly FR then a few % here or there isn't going to have you buying some incompatible plastic figures, though I can see it effecting new comers to Napoleonic's.

As an aside, for me the history of the industry can be summed up as Hinchliffe, Foundry, Front Rank and now Perry.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Perry Price Increase

Perry have given advanced warning of a price rise in the New Year!

From their announcement:
Regrettably, due to general rising costs, our prices are going up in the new year - the 1st of February, to be precise. We have absorbed the increasing costs for some time now, and haven't had a general price rise for around six years now. We've always wanted to keep the price of an individual metal foot figure to GBP 1.00 or below, but we are forced to increase the price of a metal code an additional GBP 0.50 per box.

There is a general assumption that the costs of plastic manufacturing have gone down. They haven't. We could reduce the price by going abroad (not that we would!), getting the molds made in aluminum, but aluminum moulds lose their edge/detail much quicker than steel. Renedra (the tooling company we use) for one and GW for another use steel molds, which will keep their sharpness long after we're dead and gone! The plastic we use isn't the cheapest, but is the best in terms of toughness whilst still retaining the detail.

We are increasing the price of the plastic box sets to GBP 18.00 throughout the range, except the American Farmhouse which will be GBP 15.00. We hope this will still represent value for money for the quality we strive for, which Renedra always deliver.

Don't forget the army deals (of which there'll be more) are still at bargain prices.

We thought we'd add a few pictures to cheer you up… although you'd probably see through that one!

Well, trying to be positive, the good news is that we are being a couple of months notice, so we have a chance to go out and load up on Perry while the price is still low and with xmas just around the corner what better time and after all I think a 50p rise on the price of a GBP 6.00 pack seems not too bad in the current climate.

There have been several manufacturers announcing price increases of late, Crusader for example are increasing their prices from December 1st by an as yet unspecified amount, others have been busily removing discounts, and I did wonder whether we might see this sweep across the industry, with Perry joining the list I imagine the floodgates will open, lets not forget there is also a VAT increase in January in the U.K and one way or another that is going to have an impact as well.

If you are an overseas 'buyer' like me, you will have seen the GBP rallying in recent months which has already added over 10% on to the price, so this doesn't help at all.

That's not to say these increases are unreasonable, times are getting tough, strange thing is, personally, the financial crisis of a few years ago didn't really seem to have much impact at the time but the last six months it feels like it's started to trickle down, with just about everything going up, except my salary of course. My gaming 'budget' for 2011 was already going to be less than 2010 and with these price increases it's going to buy even less.

Maybe 2011 will be the year to concentrate on painting miniatures instead of buying them.

Does make me wonder however how companies with over inflated pricing like Foundry will react to all this, they do seem to have been discounting prices a lot this year.

Anyway, make the most of the next few weeks, I know I will be trying to.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Napoleonic Prussian Landwehr from Warlord Games!

Warlord recently announced the release of several new 28mm metal sets meant to compliment their Plastic Landwehr released last month.

You’ve eagerly grabbed our new plastic Napoleonic Prussian Landwehr with both hands so you’ll be delighted to see that we’re releasing more metal miniatures to support them! First up are these two mounted Landwehr officers. Utilising our Figure Head system (TM) of separate heads they’ll give you plenty of options to lead your brave boys in blue into battle.

Both of the officers will fit either horse and their heads are interchangeable and repositionable too.

Ok so the idea of plastic for the bulk of your army and then the 'characters' in metal is a good one and makes a lot of sense from many angles, I get it and support it. The set is priced at GBP 6.00 for two mounted figures which I think is fair these days for top quality metal. All good so far, however I really don't like these sculpts! No if, but's or maybe's here, the first figure, with the sword down, reminds me of Dolph Lundgren, he looks like he must weigh about 300lbs, all muscle, and is probably as wide as he is tall, the horse is a bit 'cart horsey' more something I would expect from a GW fantasy range rather than a historical one. The other figure with sword raised looks like his head has been slammed between two blocks of ice, at least from the pic it seems to be abnormally thin, like a throw back to the old Hinchliffe casting of the 70's, and the horse, well it look like a real butt clenching pose, maybe it has had one of those fabled pikes shoved somewhere where the sun don't shine, again I don't know whether this is just the camera angle but if so then someone needs to take a lesson in miniature photography quick otherwise this set misses the mark.

With EBob's horses available for licence there really is no excuse today for 28mm horses that are less than perfect these day's, and these are definitely less than perfect for what they are supposed to be.

and what about those 'Ironing Boards' they each have or were they meant to be scabbards? Something I might expect from Renegade in a moment of madness but surely they could do better here.

I bought the reason for the issues with the plastic set but I am really disappointed with these metals, there is really no excuse as to why they aren't sculpted to the highest standard, 'cartoony' is the phrase that comes to mind, sorry to say but I will give these a pass and wait to see if Perry can do better next year. Don't get me wrong on the evidence of these sculpts the 'talent' is there, it just seems to have been misdirected in this set.

And, of course, you’ll be wanting a few casualties to act as as markers in your games of Black Powder or to add a bit more flavour to your regimental bases…

This pack contains ten random casualties. Also included are four 50mm steel pikes and 6 separate muskets. This will allow you to portray your casualties in many different ways!

So what about these, 10 figures for GBP10.00 and these are what I would call 'low demand' items so I think that is very reasonable, no complaints at all. I think these are much better than the mounted set. Still, the poses look a bit 'stiff' and as I have said before I think really the pike is a waste of time from a gaming perspective. I am not sure how this would fit into a march attack battalion, though would look good in a more static firing line, but then again WG tout them as markers which is fine I think. So Ok, not wow, but worth picking up a pack from several points of view.

For completeness sake I might as well include here the one other metal set from WG, though not part of this release, it was announced along with the plastic set last month.

This pack contains 3 great models than can transform your Landwehr battalion into a mini diorama, or simply give you a differing choice of command.

It has two choices of officer, randomly supplied, and a "twinned" figure of a wounded ensign being supported by his Drummer comrade..includes flagpole and finial
Stirring stuff indeed!

This set contains 2 metal models, representing three command. The officer model is randomly supplied from the two shown. It also contains metal standard pole and finials. Models supplied unpainted. The paper flag is not included.

Though this set doesn't really fit in with the march attack poses I like them, I think very well sculpted, nice natural poses,  and something different, something you have not seen a million times before or is part of every other manufacturers range.

So a definite thumbs up on this one, you should grab it, you will find somewhere to fit it in I am sure.

Overall a mixed bag, one set a clear thumbs down, one a clear thumbs up and the other, worth having if not inspiring.

Report card reads 'flashes of genius but could do better'!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Perry November News

Still catching up after not posting for the last two weeks, so apologies if this is 'old', Perry last week made their monthly 'new releases' announcement, not so much quantity wise for the Napoleonic fan, I was hoping for some 'Prussian news' but it's excellent stuff none the less:

From Allan Perry:
Here's my metals for this month - just a few this time, but I'm working on a fair bit of stuff at the moment, including some new early-war ACW as the 150th is coming up. I'll give you a sneak look at some of them shortly.

Michael will be posting here too in a short while, with his new releases.

French Napoleonic Army 1815

28mm figures designed by Alan Perry

FN 135 - Chasseurs a cheval of the Imperial Guard command in campaign dress, galloping - GBP 7.50

FN 136 - Chasseurs a cheval of the Imperial Guard in campaign dress charging - GBP 7.50

FN 137 - Chasseurs a cheval of the Imperial Guard swords drawn in campaign galloping - GBP 7.50

From the Plastic Range

We've decided to make available some of our command sprues to buy separately, as we have had a few inquiries about them.... well, enough to warrant us doing them!

B17 - French Napoleonic Cuirassier command sprue 1812-1815 - GBP 4.00
B18 - French Napoleonic Dragoon command sprue 1812-1815 - GBP 2.00
B19 - French Napoleonic Hussar command sprue 1792-1815 - GBP 6.00
B20 - British Napoleonic command sprue 1808-1815 - GBP 5.00
B21 - Wars of the Roses command sprue 1455-1487 - GBP 5.00
6th Hussars

We just received these amazingly painted plastic 6th French Hussars from John Morris of Mystic Spirals and just had to put them up on here. Thanks, John!

Well that's your lot for now and anything that arrives next month is probably too late for xmas, so I guess we will have to wait and see what the New Year brings!

That said the Chasseurs are a lovely addition, actually just what I had been thinking of for some skirmish games, I already have some Foundry figures but I don't like the size and shape of the colback, plus they are a bit small against the newer Perry stuff, so I just might pick these up for xmas.

I suppose the command sprues are useful if you have small unit sizes, personally I prefer bigger units so I can't really see the need but each to his own as they say, I suppose the could be useful for ADC's or orderlies etc.

Those 6th Hussars look lovely, the 6th seem to be a popular unit at the moment, I guess it's the red, really looks good, tempted to do a set myself, if I wasn't supposed to be working again this afternoon.

Michael's November announcement didn't cover Napoleonic's so I skipped it, if you were looking for it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Warlord Games Prussian Confusion

I have been catching up a bit today, so I noticed that Warlord Games announced the release of some new metal Prussian's earlier this week, chief amongst these was the Prussian Landwehr mounted command that you can see below.

Well take a look at the Prussian Landwehr foot command they released about a month ago, below.

Am I mistaken or are they both marked as WGN-PRU-21?

My interest in this question is not purely academic, if you read my earlier post's on WG's Prussians you might recall I ordered the foot command a month or so back, but they still haven't arrived, they're supposed to be on back order and promised 'soon'. Anyway this has me now wondering whether the retailer thinks I ordered the mounted command which haven't yet shipped when in fact I meant the foot command which should have shipped a while ago.

I posted this question on WG's Forum but I am not holding my breath, I have posted 4 times in the last 3 month's on their forums and not once has the post shown up, they really do have the worst forum software on the net. Anyway think I will have to shoot an email off to the retailer to see if the order has indeed been screwed up.

Uniformes des Régiments de Hussards sous le Premier Empire

Working is killing me at the moment so I haven't been able to post of late, hopefully "Thanksgiving" will prove to be the watershed as I then switch into Xmas mode and will have a lot of blogging to catch up on but in the meanwhile here is a real treat, a truly great find on Gallica by Robert Burnham.

Uniformes des Régiments de Hussards sous le Premier Empire, a 2 volume set comprising of 128 watercolor  plates by René Louis. It's not often you come across something new like this so enjoy.

You can expand the flash viewers below to full screen for best viewing or click the links to go to Gallica. A word of warning Gallica can be slow at times, so if an image doesn't appear be patient, also the images are 'progressive' downloads so the image amy appear fuzzy at first and then get sharper as it completes downloading.

[Régiments 1er-6e]

[Régiments 7e-14e]

Monday, November 01, 2010

Capitan Games release BRIGADIER rules

More good news from Capitan Games hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement of the  1813-1814 supplement comes the eagerly anticpated 'Brigadier' ruleset.

From their announcement:

Brigadier is the sequel to our game  "Captain", so many who have played "Captain" will  find the principles and rules of Brigadier very similar.

Whenever you start the design of a Napoleonic rules set to play  Napoleonic battles, we have the same dilemma, story or gameplay. The temptation is fall in the  complicated rules between maneuvers and formations, combats, scale of troops and units, etc ... Brigadier faithful to the principles of CapitanGames, has chosen to be faithful to history, but without prejudice to the simplicity and fun in the game.

Brigadier rules are designed to play most of the battles of the Napoleonic era, and until the mid-nineteenth century. The base unit is the infantry battalion, the regiment of cavalry and artillery company. All of them are combat maneuver units in the field of battle. Brigadier  also take into account  senior managers (Brigadiers, Generals...), who are those who give the orders and give to the battalions and squadrons the orders and cohesion to  become a brigade, a division or corps.

We have released two units packs:
Peninsular War
French, British, Spanish, Portuguesse, Brunswick, Polish, Baden, Swiss, and Confederation of the Rhine units.

1st Carlist War
Carlistas, Isabelinos, French Foreign Legion, British Expeditionary Force.

Now we are translating the rules, it will be available in english in a few months. If you want to help us with the translation, please contact

Now the first thing to note this release is just the Spanish version, they are working on the English translation and it will be available in a few months.

The first release covers the Peninsular and Carlist Wars, personally I think it's a shame 1813-1814 wasn't included in the initial release but I am sure it will come later, though this does give me an excuse to go and buy some more Perry's ... no I think I will try and avoid that temptation.

Because these rules are currently only in Spanish I will do a fuller review later as it takes time for me to read Spanish!!

But for now....

However from what I can see it really is very familiar to Capitan users, i.e similar unit cards etc. There are two suggested figure ratio's that the rules are designed for 20-30/1 and 50-60/1, 28mm to 15mm figures can use the rules without alteration. A turn is 15mins, one gun represents 3 pieces and basing size is not important.

A 'unit' is an Infantry Battalion, Cavalry Regiment of Artillery Company.

Unit card's, unit activation very similar to Capitan.

More later....

As with everything from Capitan Games this is covered by the Project50 scheme:

If you want a professionally printed version,  Capitan-Games now have a 'Project50' scheme where you email them expressing your interest to buy the printed version, then once they have 75 people signed up they will ask you to pay via their online shop and after 50 have paid they then arrange for them to be printed and sent to you. The 'printed' game consists of all the unit cards printed in full color on card board and laser precut, plus the rules which maybe in color or b&w (Capitan was b/w). I am already 'signed up'.

If you want any of their games printed, simply send an email to project50@capitan-games.com

The original Capitan was available printed (and still is, I bought a copy, the quality is excellent), as they had printed up a lot of copies ahead of the release and this new scheme is I assume a reaction to their experiences with that approach and is fair I think to both sides when the demand is unpredictable and the company is small.

More book madness

Well as I mentioned previously I have been buying a lot of second hand books from Amazon of late, however the one problem with Amazon's 'cheap' books is postage, I know it might be different in the US and UK but for the RoW we have to pay about $12 or GBP10 per book regardless of how many book you buy or what there value is, so 20 books would be GBP200 to ship, even for GBP5.00 books.

Anyway it got me to thinking was there a cheaper alternative and I decided to go take a look at Caliver's second hand books last weekend, I went though there list picking hardcover books for around GBP5 or less in excellent to near mint condition. In the end I picked up 20 books, with Caliver I only pay for shipping on the first 4 books the rest are free, so postage alone saved me GBP170. Of course they don't have the range of Amazon but there was enough to make it worth while, I am well pleased.

I will say that I haven't bought second hand books from Caliver before so I don't know how their quality 'rating' system stacks up, whereas with Amazon it has proved very reliable and accurate, top rate stuff only, so this is a bit of a shot in the dark, but otherwise I know Caliver well and have been very happy with them.

Here is what I bought, maybe a mixed bag but there are some really interesting one's that I wanted and all sound good and can you complain about GBP125 including postage for the lot.

Waterloo - New Perspectives - The Great Battle Reappraised
Hamilton-Williams, David

The Subaltern; A chronicle of the Peninsular War
Gleig, George Robert; Robertson, Ian C.

Soldier of the Seventy-First
Hibbert, Christopher

Reifleman: Elite Soldiers Of The Wars Against Napoleon
Elliot-Wright, Philipp

The Reluctant King - Joseph Bonaparte King of the Two Sicilies and Spain
Ross, Michael

Recollections of an old 52nd Man
Dobbs, Capt L

The Peninsula Veterans

The Napoleonic Soldier
Maughan,Stephen e.

Napoleons Invasion of Russia 1812
Tarle Eugene

Napoleons Cavalry and its Leaders

Napoleon in Russia
Palmer, Alan

Napoleon 1812
Nicolson, Nigel

History of the War in the Peninsula
Napier, Maj.Gen. Sir William

Guards Officer In The Peninsula: Peninsular War Letters of John Rous, Coldstream Guards, 1812-14 Fletcher, I (ed)

Escape From The French - Captains Hewsons Narrative 1803-1809
Brett-james, antony

The Emperors Last Victory
Rothenberg, Gunther

Albuera : Wellingtons Peninsular Campaign of 1811

Adventures in the Revolution and Under the Consulate
Jonnes, Moreau de

1812 Through The Fire and Ice With Napoleon: A French Officers Memoir Of The Campaign In Russia
Labaume, E.

A Soldier for Napoleon - The Campaigns of Lieutenant Franz Joseph Hausmann 7th Bavarian Infantry
Gill,John h.

Campaigning For Napoleon: The Diary of a Napoleonic cavalary officer 1806-1813
Maurice de Tascher

Anyway if you are interested take a look at their site. Caliver

Sunday, October 31, 2010

CAPITAN 1813-1814 Released

Great news from  CAPITAN GAMES, the 1813-1814 variant for Capitan has been released.

From their announcement:
Capitan 1813 - 1814 new units released
We have released the new supplement for our Napoleonic small units game CAPITAN.

New units and officers to play the Liberation Wars 1813, and the Campaign of France in 1814. Napoleon against all the Allies, units from Prussia, Russia, Austria, Sweden, Wutemburg, Bavarian, Hanover, British Freikorps,  German Minor States, and the new French Guard Units, and the veterans of the Russian campaign. A total of 392 ¡¡¡¡¡ new units.

This is excellent news, the timing is just right with WG having released the Landwehr a few weeks ago, Perry expected to release some metals shortly, ahead of their main plastic release next year, and then promises of plastic Austrians from Victrix early next year, 1813-1814 should be the 'hot' period for Napoleonics for the next year.

The rules are the same as for Capitan but with new Unit Card's.
These are broken down as follows.
French (96)
Austria (40)
Prussia (64)
Russia (64)
Bavaria (40)
Wurttemberg (24)
Hanover (16)
British (32)
Sweden (16)

For those that don't know Capitan is a 'large skirmish' level game for miniatures, originally focused on the Peninsular War and 1813-1814 is a supplement to that version. The game revolves around the 'unit' rather than the individual 'character' as with some other skirmish games. A 'unit' may represent a single figure or a group of figures, though most often it is a group of figures, each unit has its 'Unit Card' which gives you all its strength and capabilities. It can be played with a very small force on a very small table ('official' scenarios are often targeted at a 4'x4' table) but equally it can be used for larger forces and large tables (my preference).

The rules and cards are free to download, you then print out the cards, cut them up, laminate them if you like, and your ready to go.

If you want a professionally printed version of 1813-1814, Capitan-Games now have a 'Project50' scheme where you email them expressing your interest to buy the printed version, then once they have 75 people signed up they will ask you to pay via their online shop and then arrange for them to be printed and sent to you. The 'printed' game consists of all the unit cards printed in full color on card board and laser precut, plus the rules which maybe in color or b&w (Capitan was b/w). I am already 'signed up'.

If you want any of their games printed, simply send an email to project50@capitan-games.com

The original Capitan was available printed (and still is, I bought a copy, the quality is excellent), as they had printed up a lot of copies ahead of the release and this new scheme is I assume a reaction to their experiences with that approach and is fair I think to both sides when the demand is unpredictable and the company is small.

The rules and unit card's are  available here.

Now it's been released I will start to publish a few scenarios for it, 'Ambush At Schwegnitz' should be the first and I hope to get that out in the next day or so and also I hope to provide a bit more focus on the 1813-1814 period.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Steve Barber Models 28mm Pavlov Grenadiers - Part 2

If you don't recall these see last week's post here.

Well the package arrived today from Caliver having placed the order last Thursday, excellent service as usual from the guys!

Ok, down to the figures, 24 Pavlov Grenadiers from Steve Barber Models , consisting of 10 NR34 Advancing low porte, 11 NR35 Advancing high porte, and one each of NR36 Officer in bicorne, NR37 Drummer and NR38 Standard bearer. These were on offer from Caliver GBP17.00 post free world wide.

The figures are 'Foundry' sized, by that I mean a perfect match to the British, though taller than the (very short) Austrians, say about 28mm to top of head, thats a noticeable couple of millimeter shorter than the Perry Miniatures figures which are 28mm to the eye ball. Bulk wise they are similar to Foundry, that's a little bit 'fatter' than PM but not such a big deal.

Quality wise they are pretty good sculpts, even if not spectacular, again pretty much in line with Foundry but not quite up their with PM at their best.

If you collect Foundry then these are well worth taking a look at, actually an absolute bargain, I have no hesitation in recommending them. On the other hand if you are into the PM/Victrix/WG 'slim' 28mm then Victrix's new Russians are probably a better match size wise though they work out at double the price which is something to bear in mind.

Still waiting for the Perry Carlist civilians, it's been a week since the Brunswickers, ordered the same day, arrived,  think I will have to email them to see what has happened, though I have yet to loose a package in over 10 years. Unfortunately Caliver's were out of stock on the 95'th decals

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Secret Mission - 15th March 1813

A small mission near Castalla in eastern Spain in 1813 recounted by Private Ewart of the 27th.

Food for a Sharp Practice scenario I think.

On the 15th, however, orders were given for the light company, the grenadiers, and two battalion companies of the 27th, to stand to their arms soon after night-fall, and to proceed under the guidance of certain spies, on some secret expedition to the front.

We obeyed, of course, and found ourselves, about nine or ten o'clock, paraded under the beams of a full clear moon, and conducted by roads, on which the snow lay thick and firm, we did not know whither. We were in excellent spirits, as is always the case with soldiers when an air of mystery appears to hang over their proceedings; and we trudged along, pleasing ourselves with speculations on what the morrow might bring forth.

And so we penetrated through Bancai, a large straggling village, long before its inhabitants had begun to rouse themselves, the word having been previously passed, not only to keep silence, but to step as lightly as possible while traversing the street. But as the morning came in, our difficulties began to accumulate upon us. Though the nights were very cold, the sun possessed great power, and his rays soon melted the snow which had heretofore supported us; so that we sank at each step deeper and deeper in the mire, and became, by degrees, seriously impeded in our movements.

The consequence was, that, instead of arriving at Biechar, where we were expected to surprise an enemy's plundering-party at dawn, we did not reach the outskirts of the town till the morning was considerably advanced, and were therefore unable to accomplish more than the seizure of fifty-nine mules, all of them laden with booty; for the French, having contrived to obtain intelligence of our approach, retreated in good time to save themselves; and even of their plunder we should have failed to get possession, had we not made extraordinary exertions to push on.

Great was the rejoicing among the Spaniards when we marched into the town; and greater still their amazement when they beheld the use to which our success was turned. Instead of appropriating the booty to himself, and carrying it back to head-quarters, the commanding officer caused the Alcalde to receive the whole into his keeping; and then collected the heads of families by proclamation, into one place, in order that each might identify his own goods, and reclaim them.

I never saw men more strongly affected by sentiments of admiration and gratitude than these poor Spaniards. Some of them went so far as to shed tears; whilst the amount of wine and provisions, which they sought to press upon us, was so abundant, that had we accepted the whole, we should have been in bad plight to execute our homeward march, or indeed to perform any other species of duty. Moreover, they implored us not to leave them. They would submit cheerfully to any amount of requisition, if we would only remain and protect them from the French; but this was out of the question.

Wherefore, having halted about an hour, and taken as much both of bread and wine as sufficed to recruit our exhausted energies without affecting our sobriety, we stood to our arms once more, and fell back to Bancai.

Our movement in advance, though fatiguing enough, had been executed under the excitement of anticipated service; our retrogression, a great deal more toilsome in itself, had no such principle to lighten or sustain it. As the sun's power increased, the roads became more and more heavy, till by and by we plunged at every step ankle deep into the soil. Then followed the breaking of gaiterstraps, then the coming off of shoes, which few had time, and fewer still patience to redeem; for the foot being dragged out, the shoe was left behind, and the mud closed over it irretrievably.

Great, therefore, was the measure of our rejoicing when it was announced that we should not proceed further than Bancai that night, and cordial the expression of our satisfaction when, having been formed up in the market-place, we were desired to go and occupy, each man for himself, the best billet that we could find.

It was my fortune to establish myself, together with the four men of my squad, in the house of an old couple; they either had no provisions of any kind, or judged it expedient not to share them with us. But some Indian corn we did discover in the course of our investigations, and out of that, fried in olive oil, we contrived to make a tolerable supper. Moreover, two of my party, by name Dodd and Crichton, being noted for their skill as foragers in similar situations, contrived, while rummaging up some fagots, with which to feed the fire, to bring to light a cask of excellent old wine. From this we made no scruple of drawing as much as our immediate necessities required ; and filling our canteens, over and above, as a preparation for the morrow. Yet, let me do justice both to myself, and to the light company in general. There was not a drunken man among us ; and when an hour before daylight we mustered next morning under arms, we were all, much to our new captain's satisfaction, sober.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Napoleonic Books

Over the last 3 or 4 months I have probably bought more books than in the last 20 years. The driving force behind this sudden splurge was a "discovery", though in reality a discovery of the obvious.

I have looked at and bought books off Amazon for many years, both for hobby interest and for my work but for some reason I had never clicked the links which show the "used" books, I guess because I imagined they would be chewed up, knocked about, with pages missing or covered in personal "notes".

However when researching for a post on this blog someone suggested I read a section of a book, I couldn't find the book in my local library and I was not going to spend the $50 that Amazon wanted just for a blog post, but then I saw I could pick up a used copy for $5, it's condition was stated as "very good" and it was a hardcover edition, well that was doable.

So I placed the order.

When it arrived I was surprised, well more amazed, I was expecting a well worn book, not that I was concerned by that, after all I just wanted to read the passage, I didn't care about the condition I just wanted "cheap", however the condition was excellent, to quote my father, "it looked like it had been read once and put back on the shelf"! That got me thinking, and I started looking at other books that I had heard of or looked at before but never been able to afford to buy.

Since then I have been regularly picking up cheap, used, good condition books from Amazon, the sort of books I would never consider or could never afford if new. All have been in fantastic condition, occasionally there has been the odd ex-library book but even these are in great condition just with the usual stamp in the front cover.

For example this week I bought "Historical Maps of the Napoleonic Wars" by Simon Forty for $2.46 that's around GBP1.50, pretty amazing I think. Then a couple of months back there was "The Fall of Napoleon, The Allied Invasion of France, 1813-1814: Volume 1" by Michael V. Leggiere which was $4.00 or GBP2.50. Or how about "The Exploits of Baron de Marbot" for $4.00 or GBP2.50 which was another one I picked up this week.

All these were hardcover, personal preference, I like hardcover books and they look good on the bookshelf. If you look at the Amazon bookshelf on the right (towards the bottom of the page) you can see some of the book's I have been buying. In a short period of time I think I have built up quite a "library" for next to nothing.

I created an Amazon store here , no I am not looking for you to buy from it, but I found it was a simple way to create a bunch of categorised list of books that I could easily go back to, I am maintaining the lists so as I get time I will subcategorise books for convenience.

Oh and if you need ideas for xmas gifts, well in the summer, after making this discovery, I bought half a dozen books for my father's birthday on Steam Trains, his passion, he was well stoked, and which was where his quote came from, if I had just bought new he would have had maybe one book,as it was I was able to give him an interesting selection including one on Scottish Railways where he was holidaying at the time.

Also I created a "wishlist" of the books I want to buy and have let my wife and kids know if they want to give me something for xmas a cheap used book will be more than appreciated, much better than have them buy me another belt and even my kids can afford a $5 book LOL!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Steve Barber Models 28mm Pavlov Grenadiers

Earlier this month Victrix launched their metal Russian 28mm range which included 1805-1808 Pavlov's, so I don't think it can be a coincidence that today I received an email from Caliver, 24+(?) Pavlov Grenadiers from Steve Barber Models GBP17.50 world wide post free! On the SBModels site all the Russian's are marked as 1812-1815 so not direct competition to Victrix.

You can't complain about a price like that can you?

Ok so this is a range I wasn't aware of or had forgotten about, just took a look over their site, the figure are a bit hit and miss, there are some great looking figures but also some not so great unfortunately.

These look great.

As does this.

But then these are not so hot.

Then there is the question what size are these, big 28's, small 28's "Perry" size?
They look to me without anything to measure them against, so I could be way off, "Foundry" sized.

.. and can't find a pic of the Pavlov's anywhere...

but the price is tempting...

So do they look like this, short or tall mitre?

Basically for me at this price it's worth picking up if they fit in with Perry sized 28's.

So anyone out their know what size they are, any comparison shots?

NorthStar buys Helion's 1866 Range!

A while back I posted about that wonderful "Seven Weeks’ War of 1866" 28mm range from Helion. I was keen on buying some of their figures for xmas but sadly as DuncanRogers of Helion informed me at the time, he would not be developing the line further and was actively looking to sell the range off.

That sort of killed of the idea of starting an 1866 project and took away the excuse to buy that 1866 book!

Well, great news today, NorthStar have announced they have purchased the range from Helion!

That should assure the future of the line, hopefully we will also see it developed further, in particular it was in need of some artillery to make the range viable. Not only that but NorthStar is a great company to deal with, easy for o'seas "customers" like me to deal with and their service is excellent. When I buy online although my first choice is Caliver, second is NorthStar.

I noticed a comment posted by Nick from NorthStar on TMP:
Last week I took ownership of the 28mm Seven Weeks War range from Helion.

The range isn't on the North Star website yet, I want to go through the moulds, get things organised and hopefully have it all photographed before putting them online.

But if you are a customer looking for reinforcements, please drop me an email at northstar.figs@ntlworld.com. I can get figures cast for you now before we get the stock built up and re-launch the range officially. I will also keep to the Helion price, unfortunately when they join the North Star website there will be a price rise.

Any feedback on the range from existing customers is very welcome, I do intend to add to the range, I'm already talking to a sculptor about artillery.

If you've seen the prices on the Helion site, a price rise is maybe not a surprise I guess, NorthStar don't do "free world wide postage" so for a start so that +20% .... I guess we are looking at Crusader/Artizan level of pricing, though I hope they will keep the discount for larger units. Bad news and good news you can say...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Feels like xmas - The Prussians Arrive

Well yesterday the man delivered by spanking new iPad, so I got to play with that for a while before my boss told me to start getting productive with it.

Then today the postman turns up with 3 packages no less, two from Caliver and one from Perry. That's 4 boxes of WG Landwehr, a box each of Perry Dragoons, Hussars and British Infantry and last but not least 12 Perry metal Brunswick Hussars.

There was a note to say that the WG-PRU-WGN21 metal Prussian command would follow ASAP, so that leaves my 40 odd Perry Somatens somewhere in the air I guess.

The Perry metals were fairly well bashed, the horses were at least, and not in transit either, it's taking a fair bit of deft pressure to get the horses straightened out, careful not to end up breaking the legs in the process. Otherwise, an excellent set which I am looking forward to painting, especially after seeing this video, if only it were that easy.

The Landwehr box consists of 3 pack's of 3 sprue's, each with 3 figures and 2 sabre briquet's (wonder whether an axe would have been a better choice), so that's 27 foot, and one pack of 3 metal command, an officer, drummer boy and standard bearer (with pole and finials), to make up the total of 30 foot.

There is a four page flyer included in the box, covering the background of the Landwehr and brief details on facing collars. This sheet also contains 11 flags, and is printed on thickish paper, well thicker than the Perry sheet's.

The metal's are very nicely sculpted and cast, as good as anything the Perry's might turn out on an average working day. I like them.

The plastic's are so 'Perryesque', if that's even a proper word, even down to the little circular base, to be honest if someone told you they were from Perry you wouldn't really argue with them. However this set aims squarely at the gamer rather than the modeler, each figure is a single part, not the multipart's we have seen so far, and as such they are simply perfect for the average gamer, a little bit of cleaning up to do where they were cut from the sprue and then these will be ready to undercoat.

That not to say there isn't some downside to producing single part figure's, apart from the obvious lack of variety  imposed by not be able to pose a single part figure there is also an impact on the casting. Front and back the detail is excellent no complaint's, side-on however, as with any and all plastic's, then detail is lost, these figures hide that, to some extent, as these areas are under the arms, covering the side of the pack and part of the torso. Also, as an example, the bedroll on top of the backpack should curve down in an arc to the neck but that would cause an 'undercut' which you can't have in a plastic figure so it cuts straight from the top of the pack to the neck, making it look a bit 'blocky', this problem could be side stepped if, like the other sets we have seen so far, you had produced the backpack as a separate piece. The other issue which has been noted before is the 'boxing glove' hands. It is true they are a tad oversized and combined with some loss of detail they do look a bit 'boxing glove' like. I will say it is nowhere near as bad as it looked in the original pics, though its hard to understand why it wasn't fixed, but it's not really a big deal. All this said put them together in a unit and you will not notice any of these issue's at all and that is the point with this set.

I do wonder though whether the 'gamers' who clamored for the single piece figure may change their mind's somewhat when they see the end product.

One thing to note here, the set does not come with the Renedra bases as all Perry figures do, so you will need to provide your own. For me this is not an issue as I use my own bases anyway, so the Perry's bases have been superfluous.

In terms of their objective to produce a set of Landwehr for the gamer to get on the table in short order I would give this set 10 out of 10. They may lack in the variety of poses we have come to expect of plastic's but that was intentional and will be welcomed by some. I would liked to have seen more variety at least with separate heads but to be honest the forthcoming releases from WG should take care of the need for some variety in battalion unit's. FYI as Paul mentioned yesterday about the forthcoming releases, 'Some of the metal Prussian models will be released before Christmas - if not everything you've seen so far (and some you haven't!).'

I don't believe these are a challenge to Calpe, the difference in size/bulk alone in my opinion precludes using them to replace Calpe, however I would and will gradually phase out my Foundry Prussians as WG and Perry fill out their ranges. If 'Perry' sized Napoleonic's has a place on your gaming shelf then I would say this set is a must have.

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Victrix Updates - Lots of Austrian Greens

Hmm so there was me saying on Friday that they wouldn't be released until June and today they show some greens, actually quite a lot of greens!

From their announcement:

These are some first photos of master models for our upcoming plastic Austrian sets.
 Austrians in helmets

Austrians in shakos
Austrian grenadiers

Austrian Landwehr
The sets will comprise of 36 or 48 figures, (this is to be decided so please send us your views on this) Some customers have already commented that they would prefer the 48 man size units for some rules sets as Austrians did field larger Battalions than most other European nations.

The main position will be march attack pose as this is the most frequently requested position. However there will be extra arm postitions to add the character and conversion possibilities you have come to expect form our figures.

The command sprue will be separate on these sets so you dont have any command figures left over. As well as a great looking officer, standard bearer, drummer and sergeant options we have included a fantastic mounted officer. The arms of the foot and mounted officer are interchangeable so you can get lots of variety of pose.

The figures are having a few minor changes done to them at present and then we will update you again with some more photos.

 No exact release date for these at present but we are looking at early 2011.

"early 2011"
Do I have to eat my hat?
Well if they do meet that target I will be seriously impressed and will promise to buy twice as much as I would have intended.

If I was running Victrix, and I am not, I would drop everything else and make sure these get out on time if not early, they are the first thing they have produced to date that has both a market and someone hasn't already produced the same thing, but then again what do I know about anything!

As ever these are great sculpts, that has never been the issue has it, I hope we see them as '3 piece' figure's so they are easy to assemble but have some variety, and YES to big battalions. The Austrians in helmets are mainly for the earlier period to match the Russian, by 1809 there were only a few left in helmets I believe, and its really 1809 onwards that we are interested in but the shako are good from then on. It looks to me like we are looking at two basic body poses in the picture, I assume we will get one or two sets with lots of different types of head so you can do helmet's or shako's as you desire?

It would be nice to mix some of the Perry/WG Prussians units up with Austrians, I think we are going to have to because whilst I assume Perry will come up with Cavalry and Artillery I am not sure about Victrix doing the same for the Austrians any time soon but you never know.

For Victrix I will get all excited about this news, though in reality we need to see a lot more than a couple of March Attack figures to complete an Army but if not eat my hat I will take my hat of to them, though I still fear that my June date may be nearer reality than their early 2011, unless things have really turned the corner at Victrix.

Anyway great stuff guys, just keep it up!

Oh and do the Limber Team........