Thursday, September 30, 2010

With the Light Brigade - Brunswick Oels Jäger

Having spent over a year on the Isle of Wight undergoing a period of reorganisation and re-equipping the infantry of the Brunswick-Oels Jaegers landed at Lisbon, Portugal on 8 October 1810. ‘…The initial force consisted of Prussians who were good, well trained soldiers, but the campaigns in Spain gradually reduced this. The replacements were of German and other extraction and were the “worst” recruits. The better material was always sent to the KGL. They were “a motley crew, much given to desertion-on several occasions large parties went off together”. They could not be trusted on outpost duty, but they rendered good service in battle. …’ (Nafziger, 1990)

The Jaeger battalion that landed in Portugal consisted of 12 companies and a regimental headquaters. The Brunswickers initially went to the 4th Division. Shortly after this they were transferred to Craufurd's Light Division. As part of the Light Division the Black Horde saw action in the pursuit of Massena from the lines of Torres Vedras (17 November 1810) and the skirmish at Santarem (19 November 1810). They then saw action at Redinha, Casal Novo and Foz d’Arouce (12-16 March 1811) before being transferred to the newly formed 7th Division.

The Black Brunswickers - Osprey MAA007 - Otto von Pivka
Brunswick Troops 1809-15. - Osprey MAA167 - Otto von Pivka
Napoleons German Enemies: The armies of Hannover, Brunswick, Hesse-Cassel and the Hanseatic Cities (1792-1815). G.F.Nafziger

Craufurd's Light Brigade against 'les légeres' - A Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #9.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)
Craufurd's Light Brigade against 'les légeres'

Hypothetical scenario in which several units of General 'Black Bob' Craufurd's famous Light Brigade face off against their French counterparts.

On the tabletop there is a hill(steep hill), a dense forest(heavy wood), cultivated land(crops) and a group of houses(stone house, 5pts of toughness), these elements are placed alternately by players.

300 points of command units.
1 unit 3e Regiment d'Infanterie Léger (300 points).
1 unit Voltiguer 2e Regiment de Nassau(300 points).
1 unit Carbinier 3e Regiment Grand Duchy of Warsaw(300 points).
1 unit Voltigeur 88e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (300 points).

300 points of command units.
1 unit 95th Rifles (300 points)
1 unit Brunswick Oels Jäger (300 points)
1 unit 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment(300 points)
1 unit 1st Portuguese Caçadores (300 points)

Anywhere in quadrant 1.

Anywhere in the quadrant 4.

Units are deployed on the table based on the results of the initiative throws, with the loser placing a unit and so on. No unit maybe placed within charging distance of any enemy unit.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Victrix launches electronic Newsletter

Victrix announced a couple of days ago they now have their electronic newsletter up and running.

From there announcement:
Victrix are pleased to announce that their new newsletter/article facility is now up and running. On 20th September we sent out the first test article to prove the system. As a result of this test there were a small number of e mails that failed to receive the newsletter. If you are a subscriber to the newsletter and for one reason or other have not received it please send your e mail details to

We will be producing and sending a number of newsletters over the coming weeks including:

British Napoleonic Artillery
Old Guard painting guide
The French 69th Regiment

With these newsletters we want to obviously show off our wonderful Victrix figures! but also give you some interesting regimental histories, modelling and painting tips and gaming articles whether you collect Victrix models or not, we are sure you will find these pieces informative and interesting. So sign up

They had a one off newsletter back in June which covered their artillery but seems now these will be a regular feature. Ok so they are really just marketing sheets but they are very nicely and professionally put together and clearly took someone a bit of an effort to put together and feature very very nicely painted models so I give them kudos for this.

I always like looking at nice pics so it's worth signing up for, this one was about the 11th (North Devonshire) Foot. Very nice indeed, Victrix figures do paint up nicely, and I love their artillery crew in the June issue.

One gripe and I don't think it's really a small gripe either.... To sign up all they should need is my email address right, so they can email me the link. However they force you to create an account for their online shop and in doing so I have to give over my street address, phone number etc. which I don't like to do and annoys me, a lot.

You could argue that it's fair enough, it cost's them money to put the thing together and send out and they are trying to encourage you to buy from them by having an account already, but I already buy from them just not direct, I buy through Caliver so I don't need an account, well except for the stuff I can't buy from Caliver, anyway I don't like giving over my personal details when there is no need for it.

That said, if you really don't want to create an account you can find the newsletter's online here I assume they go up a few days after the email goes out though you just won't know they are there if you are not signed up.

Oh and here is a picture of Victrix's new British Limber team:

Pretty aren't they...
(That was a joke if you didn't get it)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Renegade Update - New Miniatures, New Prices Part2

I received an email yesterday from Renegade, you can also see the announcement on TGN here.

You may recall I posted their last announcement a week or so back where they said they were reducing the size of their 'Regiments' down to 20 figures from 24, and I mentioned at the time that I didn't like the idea, 24 is just so much more convenient than 20 and I would have preferred to pay more and keep the 24 man Regiments.

Well seems a lot of people felt the same and Renegade listened.

From their announcement:

As you know a week or so ago we e-mailed you about our foot regiments composition changing from 24′s to 20′s. This is in response to the massive increases to metal prices, which we’ve been swallowing for the last couple of years.
However, many of you responded to let us know that 24′s are far preferable to the 20′s for your regiment construction.

So we have decided to keep the foot regiments to 24′s and increase the regiment price by £1 to £12.95 (only 4p more per miniature).
This will take place on the 1st October.

So get your orders in now to qualify for the current price of £11.95.. plus don’t forget that our 5-4-4 offer is still available.
- Buy any 4 regiments and receive a fifth of your choice for free.

New28mm Napoleonics – Available this weekend.

  • NAPB14 British Infantry Firing Line, Centre Company (8)
  • NAPB16 British Household Cavalry Command A (3)
  • NAPB18 British Household Cavalry Shouldered Arms (3)
  • NAPB19 British Household Cavalry Charging (3)
  • NAPB21 British Hussar Troopers, Charging (3)
Great News!!

... and finally we have the cavalry ...

I asked Eliot for pics of the new figures for the blog but unfortunately we have to wait a couple of days, as he replied "Pictures of new cavalry codes as well as new advancing, kneeling and firing line should be up early next week." .

Anyway check them out and place you orders, you need to hurry becuase the new pricing kicks in in less than a week. Renegade can be found here.

New: Napoleonic Wargame Flags from Battle Flag

Well just like buses when you see one there is another one sure to be right behind, I saw another news item on TGN about Napoleonic flags this one from BattleFlag about a new range of from them.

From their blog:
New: The British at Waterloo; Napoleonic Wargame Flags from Battle Flag
In response to all the emails requesting that Battle Flag produce a range of model wargame flags for the Napoleonic period I am pleased to say that first sets are ready.

Published on Brigade sheets, similar to Battle Flag’s popular ACW range of wargame flags, Napoleonic wargamers can now purchase flags of complete British Brigades (with their allies and adversaries to follow).

The plate sheets are available in both 15mm and 25/28mm sets.

With the variation in the size of model soldiers between manufactures I have never held that one size of wargame flag fits all ranges. Therefore I have created this range to allow wargamers and collectors of military miniatures to specify what size they want these flags to be. The 25mm flags can be anywhere from 30mm to 40mm in size and the 15mm from 18mm to 22mm.

There will be quite a number of new releases over the coming weeks for all the periods that Battle Flag now produce and just one or two surprises as well.

You can order these or any of our other sets of model wargame flags at

Currently there are two sheets in the range:
BaW1 The 10th Brigade:
The King's and Regimental Colours of ; 4th (Kings Own) Foot, 27th (Inniskilling) Foot 40th (Somerset) Foot, 81st Foot
Baw2: The 5th Brigade
The King's and Regimental Colours of ; 30th (Cambridgeshire) Foot, 33rd (1st West Riding) Foot, 69th (South Lincoln) Foot, 73rd (Highland) Foot

Both are GBP7.50 each plus pp and you get to choose the size (!)
Please specify the size of flag required when ordering. Flags available from 30mm to 40mm on the hoist. If not specified the standard size, 36mm, will be supplied.

How do you surprise people about flags? Maybe they mean Landwehr to coincide with WG's release. If it is they just need to be careful, I think the WG box comes with flags and if your are going to be a 'replacement' then there has to be some unique selling point to pull people in.

Anyway they do look excellent quality and the price is very fair so no complaints there, they would certainly be on my 'list' if I was looking for flags.

The idea of grouping the flags by brigade is novel, though I am not sure at 28mm people build there units strictly by brigade, you tend to have fewer units and pick your own personal 'favorite' regardless of how they were actually brigaded. So will people find that a 'put off' because half the pack turns out to be 'surplus to requirement', I am not sure but I will give them kudos for the idea and giving it a try.

However I don't want to take anything away from them but all of a sudden there are an awful lot of people making Napoleonic flags aren't there, I wonder do we really need so many or more importantly can we support so many?

Of course you can argue that with the British flags being so different between regiments no one (except GMB) covers them all so we need more sources, but maybe we need fewer companies but ones that cover a broader range instead?

Actually it would be nice if you are going to introduce a new range to do something different instead of just banging out the 'same old' however good the quality, like for example SCM the other day were doing linen flags, at least its was different!

Not trying to beat up on BattleFlag but if there is another 'new range' from someone I might feel the need to yawn and ask why bother?

Anyway personally I have now decided that linen really is the way to go, paper is just so yesterday....

... and to think not long ago all there was was GMB how quickly this hobby is changing...

Its all GMB's fault anyway, they made their flags so hard to buy and pricey this was always going to happen someday, however they still set the 'standard' (sorry) and have by far the most extensive range, everyone else is still playing in the shallow end but with plastics being so popular at the moment maybe that's where the money is.

Maybe we need a review of what is available today in the market for 28mm Napoleonic flags, hmm...

The 'Black Hussars' in action 15th August 1813

After the defeat of Prussia in 1806, the Duchy of Brunswick was dissolved. The Field Marshal, Karl, Duke of Brunswick, overall commander of the Prussian Army was killed at the battle of Auerstadt. His son, Friedrich Wilhelm, fled to Austria.

With the outbreak of war between France and Austria in 1809, Friedrich organized a "Free-Corps" for the Austrian Army. The force consisted of one regiment of Infantry and one of Hussars. Their uniforms earned them the nickname of the "Black Horde". By July Austria was knocked out of the war and an armistice was at Znaim on 12th July, Friedrich didn't feel himself bound by this and he decided to fight his way out to the North German coast and thence to England. Remarkably he succeeded and after some fierce fighting he sailed for England on the 6th August

The Brunswick Hussars were formed as part of the reorganisation of the 'Black Horde' in England following their 'escape' from Germany and were subsequently sent to Spain in 1813.

Since the summer of 1812, an 8,000-strong Anglo-Sicilian force, joined by about 6,000 Spanish troops from Minorca, occupied the port of Alicante on the east coast of Spain. The army frequently changed generals but did nothing to contribute to the Anglo-Allied war effort. In February 1813, Sir John Murray was appointed to command the now 18,000-man force made up of
7,000 British and KGL troops, 3,000 Sicilians and Italians, with two Spanish divisions totalling 8,000 men, and was to conduct a series of amphibious operations along the Spanish coast.

After defeating Suchet at Castalla in April, Murray was ordered to move by sea to capture the port of Tarragona. By this maneuver, Wellington intended to distract Suchet from his summer 'Vittoria' Campaign. Murray landed on June 2nd, the raid, initially very successful, was badly managed by a timid Murray and developed into a farce, with a disgracefully and unnecessarily hurried withdrawal of the force back on to its ships in which many cannon were abandoned and for which Sir John Murray was later court-martialed. He was relieved of command on June 18th.

The Brunswick Hussars, two squadrons strong, totaling 18 Officers and 258 troopers landed at Alicante, direct from England, in February 1813. Along with two squadrons of the 20th Light Dragoons they formed the cavalry brigade under Lord F. Bentinck and took part in many of the actions under Murray.

Sir John Murray was replaced by Lieutenant General W. Bentinck and by August 1813 they were once again back besieging Tarragona.

As Lord W. Bentinck reports:
On the 3rd the Duke del Parque's corps came up to Tarragona; as did the division of General Sarsfield on the 11th. General Elio could not spare the three regiments of the division of Migares, which I had requested him to send me.

0n the 10th I heard that Marshal Suchet had returned to Villa Franca from Barcelona, and had brought with him five thousand men. The reports of the succeeding days, left no doubt of it being his intention to move forward; and on the 14th, I learned from the Baron d'Esoles and Colonel Manzo, that besides collecting all he could from the garrisons, he had been joined by Decaen with six thousand men.

In consequence of this intelligence, I suspended all operations for the siege of Tarragona, except the making of fascines, and landed neither artillery nor stores.

There was no position on the Gaya, as I had in my former letter supposed. There are only two carriageable roads across it, but they are at a distance of ten miles from each other. The river having no water in it, and being only impassable from the steepness of its banks, is passable for infantry every where. A corps placed in the centre could not reach either flank in time to prevent the passage of the enemy. General Whittingham, whom I had sent with his corps to the Cols of San Christina and Llebra, reported them not to be defensible, with so small a force as we could allot to this object.

I had intended to have pushed on to the Llebregat. Suchet's army was at one time divided between Barcelona and Villa Franca, and its environs. A rapid movement might possibly have enabled me to fall separately upon his advanced corps, and to obtain possession of the ridge of mountains on this side the Llobregat before he could have time to bring up his troops from Barcelona. I could not execute this movement before being joined by Sarsfield, and previously Suchet had concentrated his force in Villa Franca and it's neighbourhood. Suchet's force has been variously reported, from twenty to twenty-five thousand men.

The immediate vicinity of Tarragona offered a very good position in itself, but it may be completely turned by an enemy who, crossing the Cols, should approach Tarragona by Valls and Reus.

On the 14th Suchet moved a large corps upon Alta Fulla, but the road being close to the beach, the gun-boats prevented him from passing, if such were his intention.

On the 15th he drove back the posts on the Cols of San Christina and Llebra, and afterwards forced the corps at Brafia, by which they were supported, to retire.

Colonel Lord F. Bentinck had been ordered to observe the force crossing the Cols in the direction of Valls on the 15th and he reports on the actions of that day:
In obedience to your directions, I marched yesterday afternoon, with the brigade of cavalry under my command, beyond Nulles and Villabella, and reconnoitered the enemy's column, which was advancing upon Valls.

As soon as we began to retire, the enemy followed us both with cavalry and infantry, and a squadron of the 4th Hussars pressed closely upon our rear-guard, formed by Captain Wullfen's troop of the Brunswick Hussars, and attempted to charge and overpower it.

The enemy was opposed each time with determined spirit and resolution; and Captain Erichcson, with his troop, being sent to the support of Captain Wulffen, the enemy were driven back, with the loss of one officer killed, another officer wounded, and between twenty and thirty men left sabred on the field. Sixteen prisoners and eleven horses fell into our hands.

I had sincere pleasure in observing the spirit displayed by tbe officers and men of the Brunswick Hussars. Lieutenant-Colonel Schrader, at all times zealous, was particularly useful on this occasion in restraining the impetuosity of his men. Circumstanced as we were, with a strong column of the enemy far advanced upon our right flank, and two battalions of infantry (as I was informed by the prisoners) upon our left and rear, and in an enclosed country, I did not deem it prudent to pursue the advantage we had gained. I regret to say that Cornet Redant, of the Brunswick Hussars, was wounded and taken, and I subjoin a return of the remainder of the wounded and missing.

Bentinck reported wounded and missing as:
Brunswick Hussars
6 privates wounded, 6 privates missing, 4 horses killed, 2 horses wounded, 2 horses missing.
20th Light Dragoons
2 privates, 2 horses missing.
Total loss: 1 officer, 13 privates, 16 horses.

With Suchet's continuing to advance towards Tarragona, Lord W. Bentinck abandoned the siege and retired on Cambrills.

The Black Brunswickers - Osprey MAA-007 Otto Von Pivka
History of the Peninsular War Southey Vol VI p253
The European Magazine, and London Review, Volume 64 By Philological Society (Great Britain) p349
The Gentleman's Magazine, Volume 114 By John Nichols
The Gentleman's magazine, Volume 83, Part 2
Royal military panorama, or, Officers' companion, Volume 3
Cobbett's political register, Volume 24
A History of the Brtish Army - Volume IX 1813-1814 By J W Fortescue, Sir
My thanks to Steven H. Smith, Digby Smith and Ron McGuigan!

The charge of the 'Black Hussars' - A Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #10.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)
The charge of the 'Black Hussars'

The Brunswick Hussars, known as the 'Black Hussars' because of their uniforms, operated in the Spanish Levant, in coordination with British cavalry, in small coastal attacks. This scenario simulates one of those attacks.

On the tabletop there must be two gentle hills (no terrain effect), a wood (wood) and a cultivated field (crops), these elements are placed alternately by the players on the tabletop.

1 command unit 2e Lieutenant Rocca of Hussars
1 unit 2e Hussars (400 points).
1 unit 3e Hussars (400 points).

1 command unit Rittemister Boelcke of Brunswick Hussars
1 unit of Brunswick Hussars (400 points)
1 unit 3rd Light Dragoons of KGL (400 points)

Anywhere in the southwest side edge of the board..

Anywhere in the northeastern edge of the board.

Units are deployed on the table based on the results of the initiative throws, with the loser placing a unit and so on.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Solway release Prussian Napoleonic linen flags

I noticed this news item on TGN

Solway Crafts and Miniatures have added a Prussian Napoleonic flag sheet to their SCM Linen Flag range.

Actually I wasn't aware Solway did any Napoleonic Flags, it turns out they do have a small range comprising of one French, one British and now one Prussian sheet, priced at GBP6.99 per sheet plus postage, which you can see below (click on the image to see a full sized view).

The new Prussian set of 13 flags includes two Landwehr flags, one for East Prussia and one generic. With the WG Plastic Landwehr release due any day now maybe they should have done one sheet dedicated to Landwehr as you aren't going to want to buy a whole sheet of duplicate flags just to get one extra generic Landwehr flag.

However it's most interesting to hear these new flag's are printed on linen, as these seem to be becoming quite popular these days.

From their site:
The flag range is being totally reorganised printed on A4 linen rather than paper. Once you remove the backing paper flags can be stuck and realisticaly shaped using PVA. We took the sample of this range to Triples and they provoked a lot of interest and some great feedback. It will take a while to reorganise the old range but releases will appear here as soon as they are ready. In addition a number of flags are being redrawn and new items added.

Napoleonic British Artillery Colour

You may recall a few month's back I bought some of the new Perry Royal Horse Artillery limber's, this led me to start thinking about what colour I was going to paint them.

As a bit of an old timer I have traditionally used 'British Equipment Grey' from the Humbrol Authentic range an enamel paint I bought in the 70's ('old timer' paints really last for a lifetime!). In the '70's you never had to argue over what shade to paint your Napoleonic's, French were French Blue, British were British Scarlet, you name it there was a colour for it even the infamous 'Polish Crimson'. So without ever a thought of whether it was right or wrong, 'British Equipment Grey' just was 'the' colour, simpler days. Of course these days the Humbrol's tend to get put down, if they even come up in conversation, as just a marketing strategy and they just threw in any old paint.

These days however everything you see, from books, to models, to websites use a very light grey for British field equipment, some even use what looks to me to be a light blue(?!!). So I started to wonder whether in the light of modern research had light grey been proved to be the real colour to use?

So I started to look through the books to find if there was a definitive answer to what the colour was. As it happens there are surprisingly few contemporary colour prints of British artillery pieces, and most books use modern day artist drawings and have little to say on the actual colour. However I did find in that masterpiece of a work 'British Napoleonic Field Artillery' by C.E. Franklin a small section devoted to exactly this subject, so lets take a look at that and I will continue below;

From British Napoleonic Field Artillery by C.E. Franklin
Colour of Artillery Equipment
There is some dispute between different authorities regarding the colour of artillery equipment. The contemporary paintings show a dark grey colour, but modern artists seem to prefer a blue-grey. As far as can be determined during the Napoleonic period all wood and iron work of artillery equipment was painted to protect it and the brass gunes were polished when circumstances warranted but were usually left dull on campaign(45).

There are several indicators that the carriages were painted; Dickson recorded in December 1809 that his brigade had been sent to Quinta Nova for just that purpose(46). The facilities in the Royal Carriage department included 'painters stores and sheds for the painting of carriages' and there are several references to the cost of paint colours and and oil(47). One reference in 1812 specifically refers to gun carriages painted in a 'lead colour'(48). One of the few paintings to show such equipment is David Morier's 'Royal Artillery in the Low Countries'; this shows a darkish grey, which matches the description 'lead' (49).

According to later records of 1858 when white zinc oxide had replaced white lead, all wood was painted a grey, called 'lead', later 'white lead':
The principal ingredient, used in making paint in this Department, is the oxide of zinc. The raw oxide is mixed with raw linseed oil, in the proportion of two gallons of oil to one cwt. of oxide, it is then incorporated in a pug mill, and afterwards passed between stone rollers until it acquires a uniform consistency; in this state it is termed 'ground white zinc', and is stored in kegs until required for use. the proportions of the ingredients for making the several kinds of paint used in the service are as follows:

For Carriages, &c. for Home Service

Ground oxide, of white zinc 112lb
Lamp-black 6lb
Oil (bolied), for grinding 3 quarts
Manganese, as a drier 8 ounces
Raw linseed oil, for mixing 2.5 gallons
Bold linseed oil, to give body and gloss 2.5 gallons
Turpentine, for thinning and drying 2.5 gallons
The above ingredients are carefully incorporated and strained through a wire sieve to make 197lb. For tropical climates, where a lighter colour is required, the lampblack is reduced to 1lb mixed with one pint of boiled oil.

Black Paint, for Iron Work

Boiled oil, for grounding 8 gallons
Boiled oil, for mixing 4.5 gallons
Turpentine 1 quart
Rd lead for drying 2lb
Litharge for drying 4lb
The above ingredients are carefully incorporated and strained through a wire sieve to make 164lb(50).

There is no evidence to support the use of any other colourant and while ironwork was painted black the metal ends of the shafts, the elevating mechanisms, trunnion bearing, inside of the capsquares, axletree arms, linchpins and the washers were not painted but 'kept bright' and lightly oiled. Tests conducted with the relevant pigments and oils give two quite different tones of grey.

The re-enactor or modeller should note when lead white is mixed to the above recipe it produced a colour very similar to Dulux, Ebony Mist 3. The zinc white, used after the period, produced a darker grey similar to Dulux Ebony Mist 2. Analysis of the sample of the earlier paint using white lead was sent to the NCS Colour Center and provide NCS reading of 'S 6000-N'. NCS Colours can be obtained at a variety of outlets including Dulux, crown, Johnston and Leyland. A similar analysis was carried out by DG Colour using the 'Munsell' system and this gave a grey scale reading that is nearest to N.45. A further sample was sent to Humbrol Modelers Paints. The modeller will find their nearest equivalent is Matt Ocean Grey 106, which is equivalent to Revel 47.

In 1861, the colour of British artillery equipment was changed to green, to make the equipment less conspicuous, but this was abandoned in December 1862, and the colour reverted to the original lead colour.

45 Mercer, 1807 p333
46 Dickson, 1908 pp.126,130,142,145
47 Hogg, 1963 pp485,527
48 Henry, 2003 p16
49 Morier, D. Royal Arillery in the Low Coutries Rotal Collection cat#125
50 HMSP, 1858 p11

So there is plenty of specifics there, and I was stunned to see Humbrol mentioned, they had actually been part of the test to find out what the colour was, even the colour was given, Matt Ocean Grey 106, which surprised me even more as I have known for years that that colour actually was the old Authentic's 'British Equipment Grey'. So it seems these guys did do some proper research and maybe those Authentic's aren't quite as shabby as some would now like us to believe.

However I was left with a couple of questions, why if that was the colour do all the illustration's in Franklin's book use a very very light grey and was the Humbrol colour really a match for 'S 6000-N' as stated?

Well recently I had a conversation with Dr. Stephen Summerfield at the Napoleon-Series forums about Franklin's note. He told me that when Franklin was putting together his book he had advised Franklin about how white lead and not zinc oxide was in use during this period and that the illustration's were too light a colour and the correct colour should be 'Mid Grey', this was rather late in the production of the book hence the illustrations were not changed to reflect the new information.

One other piece of useful information from Stephen was that 'white lead' actually reacts to the hostile acid environment of oxides of sulphur and nitrogen plus hydrogen sulphides i.e. gunpowder, causing it to darken with use.

So that's one mystery resolved, but now what does 'NCS S 6000-N' look like, well there is a problem here, both the NCS and Maunsell color systems are proprietary color models generally used by commercial and professional organisations, for that read 'have to pay very large sums of money for'. However they do have an online resource that supposedly converts between the NCS color model and the more common RGB color model here. Also exactly what does the 'Mid-Grey' that Dr. Stephen Summerfield speaks of look like.

Below are the two possible RGB colours:

'Dark Amberish Gray'

'Mid Grey'

The second colour is Dr. Stephen Summerfield's 'Mid-Grey' and actually is a match for the Humbrol colour I have (FYI the Humbrol paint swatches on their website bear absolutely no relation to how the colours looks in real life, and that's for all colours not just this grey), the first colour is the NCS colour as converted by the NCS color navigator. They are different and the NCS colour is not really a good match for the Humbrol colour I have, though I feel it probably represent's the colour 'newly applied' whereas the Humbrol is a 'used in the field' mid-grey.

I should also note that trying to work out the correct shade of colour using a computer monitor is a difficult thing to do, there is a wide variance in how a colour looks between different brands and different types of monitor, having worked in IT in the fashion industry for a while it used to cost a lot of money to have monitors capable of displaying accurate colour shades that could be translated into 'real world' colours. In fact those two colours above look quite different at the top of my screen to the bottom of the screen due mainly to variation's in brightness as well as viewing angle and other factors. Also if you are looking at pictures of models on the web then you have to allow for the lighting used when taking the shot having a substantial impact on the perception of the colour.

So there you have it, from my perspective at least, until someone can come up with solid fact's to prove otherwise I am reasonably happy to say that the Humbrol colour was based on real research, unlike any other colour you can mention, and it probably represents the colour of equipment as it was in the field in the Napoleonic era that had gone though a battle or two and that's what I have gone with.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The despatches must be delivered - A Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #11.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)
The despatches must be delivered

Communications between the various French corps on the peninsula were a real headache for the Imperial troops, and in this scenario a French ADC must cross between the Allied forward pickets to deliver the dispatches that he carries. Recreate the adventures of Capitaine Marbot, famed for his colourful memoirs.

On the table there must be two gentle hills (no terrain effect), an open forest (light wood) and a dispersed group of houses (stone buildings with 5 points of toughness), these elements are placed alternately by the players, in addition we also find a road that runs from east to west.

Aide de Camp Capitaine Marbot and an escort of Chasseurs a Cheval(200 points)

1 Spanish command unit (200 points)
1 unit Spanish line infantry (300 points)
1 unit of English or Portuguese Cavalry (250 points)

Anywhere in quadrants 4 or 2.

All units are placed before the French and maybe anywhere in quadrants 1 and 3.

The French cavalry and Marbot can use the ability to move unseen, however no Allied unit can use this ability. If Capitan Marbot exits by any part of the west or northwest edge of the game board, the game ends and the French obtain an additional 300 victory points.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Reconnaissance Party - A Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #12.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)
The Reconnaissance Party

The reconnoitering of enemy positions was vital in order to discover the enemy's dispositions and their intentions, the reconnaissance parties were usually led by staff officers with the experience to evaluate at a glance the enemies forces and their strengths and weaknesses. In this case it is the Allied Chief of Staff Colonel Murray who ventures deep into enemy territory.

On the field of play there must be a hill (steep hill), a dense forest (heavy wood), a cultivated field (crops), two intersecting roads and a group of houses (stone buildings with 5 points of toughness), these elements are placed on the table one by one alternately by each player.

1 command unit (200 points)
1 unit Infanterie Légère (300 points)
1 unit Infanterie de Ligne (200 points)
1 unit Hussars a Cheval (200 points)

Quartermaster-General Colonel Murray with a single unit of British cavalry as escort (300 points).

The command and line infantry unit in the group of houses, Hussars on the hill, and the light infantry wherever desired. The French are placed first.

They can enter from any of the 8 quadrant sides of the table but must initially be placed within 20cm of a table edge.

For each time that Colonel Murray comes within 10cm of a terrain element that the Allies placed, they gain 50 victory points, if he travels at least 60cm along a road, they receive 20 victory points for each direction that he travels in, if he gets placed in all terrain elements and at least one road and then exits where he entered, they gain 100 victory points.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Napoleonic Braces/Bretelles

After the small controversy caused by the new Perry artillery men portrayed wearing braces a couple of month's back and the various 'do they, don't they' arguments around the net that followed, it's funny how believing having never seen a picture of Napoleonic braces you suddenly start seeing them everywhere.

Here are two from my collection that I had obviously seen before but was unaware of.

The first is from the book "Infanterie et Regiments Etrangers" one of the "Splendeur des Uniformes De Napoleon" series, p27 Planche 4 bis - Infanterie de Ligne. The culottes are labelled as 1804 to 1815 and it is remarked that the bretelles are the same for the "long pantalon de toile blanche" and the "pantalon de drap bleu".

The second unfortunately I am not sure of the source, an image I pulled from the web at some point in the past of a hussar uniform.

I also note from an article 'Uniform of the Grenadiers-á-Pied de la Garde: 1810-1815' by Paul Dawson at the Napoleon-Series 'Both trousers would have buttons on the outside at the waist for the bretelles'.

Ok they are neither contemporary or original sources themselves but the point is without any fuss someone has copied these in from an original source long before it became a hot topic, and which makes the point they are not just a Perry invention.

So maybe they've just been hiding in plain site so to speak.

Culottes - Infanterie de Ligne
Hussar Trousers

The Germans Defended - Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #13.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)
The Germans Defended

During the Guerra de la Independencia (Peninsular War) there were large numbers of German troops serving Napoleon in Spain. This scenario recreates one of the many clashes where German troops fought, in this case defending a small fort that must be taken by the Allies.

In the center of quadrant 1 place a fortified position (hard cover with 14 points of toughness), in quadrant 2 there is a hill (steep hill), in quadrant 3 an open forest (light wood) and in quadrant 4 cultivated fields (crops) and some peasant houses (stone buildings with 5 points of toughness).

1 command unit (250 points)
1 unit Westphalian (200 points)
1 unit Nassau (200 points)
1 unit Nassau (200 points)

1 command unit (200 points)
1 command unit (150 points)
1 unit Spanish Artillery (300 points)
1 unit Spanish Artillery (150 points)
1 unit Spanish Infantry or Grenadiers or Allied Light Infantry (250 points)
1 unit Spanish Infantry or Grenadiers or Allied Light Infantry (250 points)
1 unit Spanish Infantry or Grenadiers or Allied Light Infantry (250 points)

Anywhere in quadrant 1 including in the fortified position.

Anywhere in quadrants 2, 3 and 4 but must be within 40cm of an Imperial unit. The Imperial troops are placed first.

If the Spanish occupy or destroy the fortified position, they receive 300 victory points, if the Imperial Army holds it for more than six turns they receive 200 victory points.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Prussian Landwehr available for pre-order now

The Warlord Games plastic Prussian Landwehr are now available for pre-order, priced at GBP17.00 for a box.

From their announcement:
Pre-order plastic Prussian Landwehr! We’re expecting to release our new plastic Napoleonic Prussian Landwehr early October and now you can place your pre-orders! As ever we’ll be sending pre-orders out first so you’d be mad not to take advantage of this!

This boxed set contains 27 plastic Landwehr and 3 metal command. It also contains metal standard poles and finials. Models supplied unpainted. Head here to pre-order them today!

As usual this set can also be ordered from Caliver Books for GBP15.00 with free worldwide postage if you spend more than GBP16.50, hard to beat that deal.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spanish Napoleonic Comic's

I came across a Spanish site with a bunch Napoleonic comic's, some of them dating back to the 1940's but they run through into the mid-80's.

I never knew such a thing ever existed, I don't know whether this was a peculiarly Spanish thing but I can't recall anything similar in the UK, well at least not for Napoleonic's there was of course an equivalent for WWII in the 'Battle' comic's, maybe therein lies at least part of the answer. For sure Conan Doyle's Brigadier Gerard stories are Napoleonic themed but the comic 'medium' is a very different thing and much more accessible so we are talking of something very different.

It seems that Spanish comic's have existed since the 1860's though they really took of after the Civil War, with the golden era being the '40's. The suggestion is that these theme's were compatible with the political atmosphere of the times. Though the number of comic's covering the War of Independence was small they emphasised the guerrilla war rather than the action's of the regular army, portraying the individual hero beating off the evil or unintelligent foreign invader. Interest waned in the '50's with the comic's disappearing altogether in '52 only to reappear some time later with more historical accurate drawing and storyline but a maybe less accessible message in to a changing political climate, by the 70's the comic's had elements that could be seen as mimicking an 'Asterix the Spaniard' image though by the '80's the comic's are telling a historically focused story set in a largely historical accurate context. Today the comic's have largely disappeared in Spain, at least those covering the War of Independence are no longer in existence.

My Spanish is almost none existent but these comic's do make interesting reading anyhow and there just has to be a Sharpe Practice Scenario or two in every issue don't you think? Worth taking a look at I think if only for curiosity value, note the comics can be a little slow to download from the site, be patient.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Renegade Update - New Releases and Price Rise

Some news from Renegade:

Hi All,
New Napoleonic Hussars out Next Week
..Napoleonic Household Cavalry out very soon after.

Regiment News:
Due to the insurmountable rise in the price of metal, we are having to reduce all our infantry regiments on
all ranges to 20's. Still exceptional value, we think!

These changes will occur on the 1st October.
So you still have time, throughout September, to get your foot regiments at the current amount of 24's.

Plus.. don't forget our 5-4-4 offer is still available:
For every 4 regiments/blisters you order, you can choose a fifth regiment/blister of your choice for Free!
This offer is available across all our ranges.

OK so when the Hussars are out next week we will take a look at them but it is great to hear they will finally arrive, though with the Perry's announcement of plastic Hussars a few days ago it shows once again life is very tough for anyone that gets in front of the Perry juggernaut.

Now the price rise, yes very understandable, everything is going up in price at the moment and big discount items are the most under pressure because they don't have a lot of padding to absorb a cost rise, we are seeing gradually all the figure manufacturers put there prices up, except Perry of course.

However far be it from me to run someone else business but I would have preferred they went the route of actually putting prices up rather than reducing the numbers in the pack, basically because 24 was a very nice unit size and 20 isn't and it also means that my older units and newer ones will be incompatible. So just to remind the price of a 'Regiment' is currently GBP11.95 for a pack of 24 figures including command, the new 'price' will be GBP11.95 for a pack of 20 including command.

Good to hear the 5-4-4 deal is still, on so that's a 20% discount though GBP at 1.55 compared to the recent low at 1.42 is +10% or compared to last years 1.35 low is +15%, whether we see those lows or not any time soon or ever again is your call (obviously only relevant to overseas customer like me).

Well what to do, with lots of new Napoleonic stuff on the horizon I would have preferred to put my money elsewhere just right now, but the looming 20% effective rise in Renegade make me think I should dive in and grab some more while I can.

When looking at the announcement for the new eBob Horses I noticed this picture. Am I mistaken or is that not a Renegade British Infantry figure standing in between the horses and is he there just for effect or does this signify that Renegade are also using eBob's horses for the Napoleonic range?

I do hope so as we have all felt in the past that Renegade horses were not exactly the best on the market. Makes me anticipate the arrival of the Hussars even more!

The Charge of the 13e Cuirassiers - Capitan Scenario

CAPITÁN is a selection of rules designed to play battles between small groups of troops, such as advance recognition, convoy escort, guerrilla actions, raids on small towns, border posts, incursions into enemy territory, actions against advanced camps, and all those situations where specific tasks were assigned to a few troops of their units.

This is a translation of Capitan Scenario Pack - Scenario #14.

Capitan scenarios are designed to be played on 60cm square game board, adjust as necessary if using a larger game board. To designate the location of troops and terrain in a scenario the game board is divided into four quadrants; NorthWest(1), NorthEast(2), SouthWest(3), South East(4). (For more details see Scenarios)
The Charge of the 13e Cuirassiers
This scenario represents part of the Battle of Margalef which was covered in detail on this blog earlier.

The 13e Regiment of Cuirassiers covered themselves in glory at the battle of the Plain of Margalef (Tarragona), where they charged alone and after a brutal fight put to flight the avant-garde of O'Donnell's army.

Basically the terrain is flat, place a gentle hill (no terrain effect) in quadrant 1 and some scattered houses, with cultivated fields (crops) and a road that runs north to south.

1 command unit Commandant Robichon 13e Cuirassiers
1 unit Cavalry 13e Cuirassiers (400 points)
1 unit Cavalry 13e Cuirassiers (400 points)

1 command unit Mayor Ruiz Regiment Del Guadalajara
1 unit Grenadiers Regiment Del Guadalajara (300 points)
1 unit Infantry Regiment Del Guadalajara (300 points)
1 unit Infantry Regiment Del Voluntarios De Barcelona (200 points)
1 unit Cavalry Regiment Del Infante (250 points)

Anywhere in quadrant 1

Anywhere in quadrant 4, except the cavalry does not arrive until the third turn in the southeast, allies place first.

The Cuirassiers and their command can use all their special skills at no cost.

eBob releases new 28mm horses

I noticed this news item on Tabletop Gaming News .

eBob has added six new 28mm horses to his online store. 
These figures come with integral saddles and reins and are also available with a commercial license.

Here are a few pics from eBob's site:

These, as with the other horses that you can find here on eBob, are really intended for commercial use, not for your average gamer wanting a couple of extra horses, though there is an option to buy this particular set without the commercial license for GBP21.00 for 6. If you have been following this blog you will probably recall that our good friend Uwe Ehmke is using eBob's commercially licensed horses in his Wurttemberg Chevauxleger's.

They are not exactly cheap at GBP65.00 each (with commercial licence) even for the 'professional' sculptor but the quality of these sculpts is without equal and the cost I guess is really meant to reflect the hours of time you would otherwise have to spend sculpting your own, though it is still a significant investment I guess for a hobbyist sculptor like Uwe and it does make you appreciate how cheap the figures we often buy really are. There really is little excuse for anyone producing 28mm mounted figures these days with sub-standard horses when eBob has this super range. There are a few manufacturers that immediately spring to mind who could use these to 'improve' their ranges.

As usual eBob's sculpts are simply outstanding! It's interesting to note that these come with built in horse furniture, in the past they haven't, the argument I believe is that without furniture the horse is suitable for all periods whereas with furniture you are locking them into a limited number of periods, I assume eBob has done his homework and see's a profitable demand for these. To me they look like they are suitable for Napoleonic's with obvious customisation required to reflect specific saddle details, though I do wonder whether they can really fit all, I suppose you can always file down any saddle that is to big. The manes are intentionally short as eBob states "The manes are short/cropped to allow for commercial users to add the mane as desired. It's easy to add a mane - much more difficult to scrape it off the neck once cast."

Can't wait to see these appear on some Napoleonic line in the future.

If you are thinking of picking these up for personal rather than commercial use remember that they are going to need customisation with 'Green Stuff' to make the horse furniture match whatever use you need them for.

A couple more shots of the eBob horses, and cursorily posed with a Renegade figure if I am not mistaken.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Uniforms: Prussian Landwehr 1813-1815

Whilst we are waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the Landwehr next month from Warlord Games I thought I should dig out my old references to brush up on how to paint them. Being a bit of an 'old timer' for right or wrong I always turn to the Almark book "The Prussian Army 1808-1815  by David Nash" which I bought in the 70's to paint my Hinchliffe Prussians.

The size, nature and conditions of recruitment of the Landwehr inevitably resulted in a force that was poorly equipped and clothed. The Prussian economy was fully extended trying to cope with the requirements of the regular and reserve formations even before the foundations of the Landwehr and it is, therefore, not surprising to find that in the first few months of existence, its state was truly lamentable. Initially, the men of the Landwehr wore clothing that was made of shoddy, their caps protected them against neither sword cuts nor rain, and even these poor garments were in short supply. By the autumn of 1813, the worst deficiencies had been overcome and by the time of Waterloo, the Landwehr can be said to have been adequately armed and clothed.

Regulations covering the dress and equipment of the Landwehr were drawn up in March 17, 1813. The Uniform was to consist of a 'Litewka' , made of blue or black cloth. The collar was in provincial colour; in the skirts were vertical pockets, each being closed by a single button and down the front of the garment ran either one or two rows of metal buttons. The length of the Litewka varied considerably and terminated at any point from mid-thigh, to well below the knee. There was a tendency to indicate battalions within a regiment with shoulder straps similar in colouring to those used by the regular army to indicate seniority. By 1815 it was normal for a regimental number to be embroidered onto the shoulder strap.
Prussian Landwehr Infantry Privates 1814.
The head-dress of the Landwehr infantry was the Schirmutze , although English shakos were used to a limited extent by at least some Silesian units. The Schirmutze was coloured dark blue or black and it had a band in the provincial colour. By an order dated May 31st, 1814, similarly coloured piping was to be used around the top of the crown and Stegen on the sides; Stegen were the chevron-like decorations sometimes found on this form of head-dress. Some caps were peakless but normally a leather peak was sewn into the front of this cap and to the front of the crown was attached a white metal, or cloth, Landwehrkreuz which bore the inscription, 'mit Gott fur Konig und Vaterland 1813'. A black and white Prussian cockade was worn on the cap band; usually this was placed at the front directly below the 'Landwehrkreuz', but it was sometimes worn affixed to the side above the left ear.
Landwehr Infantry Captain, 4th Silesian Regiment. 1815
Breeches or pantaloons were made of dark blue or white cloth and were worn together with black gaiters and boots, although shoes and clogs were also used. In 1813, however, few gaiters were actually in use and it was not uncommon for Landwehr men to go barefoot.

Initially the Landwehr was armed with a mixture of captured muskets and eight foot long pikes, but these latter were replaced as more muskets became available and by June or July 1813, they had completely dissapeared. a cartridge box containing 60 rounds was suspended from a belt worn over the left shoulder and an axe with a long beech-wood haft, was worn on the opposite side.
Private (1) and Sargeant (2) 4th Silesian Landwehr Regiment.
Packs and haversacks were generally made from stout canvas; water bottles or gourds, on a cord or strap, were worn over the shoulder, and the practice of carryinga rolled blanket for protection, was widespread.

Landwehr officers were authorized to wear the "Interimsrock" of the regular army, together with an officer's normal clothing, but with the proviso that the head-dress was to be the standard Landwehr Schirmutze. On the Kollet the collar and cuffs were in Provincial colours. The Litewka was much favoured for campaign dress. Some officers wore the dress of the regular regiment from which they were seconded, or the dress of the Stammregiment. Landwehr formations had a similar status in relation to the regular army, as was heldby the Reserve. Owing to the way in which the Landwehr had been raised there was little regard for the authorized dress regulations and the haphazard way in which units were kitted out meant that there was often very little uniformity, even within the same regiment. Litewkas made from a variety of grey or brown cloth were used, many variations of the official patterns of Schirmutze and Litewka existed; trousers whilst being generally made in white were also coloured, grey or blue, and large quantities of captured French equipment were pressed into service.
Private Pommeranian Landwehr. Officer, 1st Elbe Landwehr.
The unusual extremes that were obtained was well illustrated by the train personnel attached to a Silesian formation who wore: 'red English hussar uniforms with a conical English shako.'

Landwehr rank was indicated in the normal way for officers, but NCOs had white lines of thin tape around their collars and cuffs. Most NCOs carried sabres.

Musicians wore red and white swallow's nests and were armed with a sabre.

Landwehr Facing and Button Colours
East PrussiaOrangeRedWhite
Kurmark & NeumarkOrangeRedYellow
West PrussiaBlackWhite
Three more provinces were added in 1814

Landwehr Flags:(From Napflags)
The Prussian Landwehr regiments adopted and carried in the field many unofficial designs of flags prior to the issuing of the order of 30th September 1813 which prohibited their further use. From October that year until 1816 when a new official Landwehrfahne was introduced it seems that these units were without flags. 

The designs shown here are based on written descriptions as there are no surviving relics. The exception being the flag of the Bataillon Sagan (3rd Bataillon 1st Schlesisches Landwehr Regiment) which has been preserved (flag at top). 

Silesian units are described as carrying sky-blue flags with either a yellow or red and white checkered Silesian eagle on it, with various slogans and sometimes with the unit designation. It has been pointed out to me by Jim Seery that the Silesian emblem was actually a black eagle on a yellow shield. The eagle wore a crown and carried a crescent and cross device on its chest. Perhaps this should be the interpretation of the yellow eagle description. The red/white checkered eagle was the emblem of Moravia (south of Silesia), perhaps the southern Silesian units used this design. 

The East Prussians apparently used a white flag with the red eagle of the Elector of Brandenburg, this eagle design was quite different to the Silesian model. The most common design in use appeared with either a white or black field with opposite coloured cross, I have assumed that the cross filled the entire width and depth of the flag, but this might not have been the case. The usual slogan on the cross was that of the Landwehrkreuz- "Mit Gott - für König und Vaterland - 1813" with the first two words on the top arm of the cross, the middle four along the horizontal arms and the date on the lower arm. 

I have included two variations on the form of the common black/white Landwehr cross and three possiblities for the Silesian designs. As very little hard information is available for these flags, these designs are pure speculation on my part and I offer them only as possibilities!

Further Information/Links:
Silesian Landwehr
Silesian Landwehr
Silesian Landwehr
Kurmark Landwehr at Dennewitz
Kurmark Landwehr 
Kurmark Landwehr 
Silesian Landwehr