Friday, February 25, 2011

Perry Prussians to arrive in April

News from Alan Perry on the arrival of the Prussians which as expected will be in time for Salute.

From their announcement:

This is just an update on the Napoleonic Prussian range. The plastic Prussian box will available for the first time at Salute (16th April), although you will be able to pre-order. Peter Dennis has produced the excellent box cover art for this set, as he has done with all our other plastic sets.
Prussian box art
Around the same time of the plastic release, maybe a little before, the companion metal range will start to appear. The first releases will be commanders and artillery, some of which are shown here. Alongside the Prussian pieces, there will be British (loaned) pieces and French (captured) pieces. The Prussian guns here were made by Tim Adcock, and the British 6-pounder by Norman Swales. The range will cover the 1813-15 period.
Prussian 7-pounder
Prussian 6-pounder
Prussian 6-pounder
Prussian foot artillery loading British 6-pounder
As soon as we get the sprues in, we'll bung them up here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The return of WSS

Not exactly 'new' news but the magazine WS&S (Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy) is scheduled to return shortly.

For those that don't know WS&S was a Spanish wargaming magazine which had an English 'translation', despite it's quirks and various problem's it was an excellent magazine but for various reasons the English version was stopped last year, a sad loss.

But now it has new owners (the people behind the Ancient Warfare magazine) and returns as a true English magazine (for better or worse), from the new Editor's blog:

There has been much deliberation and planning which has gone into the re-launch of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy. What sort of magazine should we be? The answer was obvious, the way we had been in the past, with a few improvements. When WS&S first appeared, it was a breath of fresh air to the hobby, fresh and exciting. So much so that other magazines took notice, after all imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Some of the zeal of the early magazines had faded slightly with later editions. With my term as editor, I wanted to return to the passion that I read in the earlier issues of WS&S, a true passion for the wargames hobby. However I stopped the magazine after there were issues with paying my contributors and Revistas put WS&S 'on hold'.
The rest you know. Karwansaray have bought WS&S and we have been carefully planning issue 54 for a while. I asked my friends in the hobby what they wanted in a new magazine. One replied, "I want a wargames magazine about wargaming". Never a truer word said.
Now we have a new team in place and it is very refreshing. Issues where I'd wait days or even a week for an answer are either responded to directly or are sorted out via Skype. Much of the original magazine will still be there in the new edition; the contributors will mostly be the same, with a few surprise additions to the team. The Dutch team at Karwansaray probably speak better English than I do, so the quaint 'spanglish' of past editions is now truly history. The dossier format will stay, but will never dominate the magazine as it occasionally did - there will be plenty of content which is 'off the dossier theme' besides. Also expect a new twist on the dossier...
Right, now off to playtest some Blackpowder ideas for a scenario for WSS 54. Bye for now!

Well I don't want to dwell on the past, enough to say I am someone who likes non-english sources and don't mind the 'quaintness' of translations for the expanded insight you get and I have a lot of time and respect for our Spanish wargaming brothers-in-arms. However that IS the past it's now a new magazine and the quote "I want a wargames magazine about wargaming" stands for exactly what I think and is one reason I don't subscribe to a lot of the magazine's. So I look forward to the first issue and hope it lives up to the Editor's expectations, if it does it will I am sure be a success.

BTW Issues 1-11 of the old WSS are available in digital format from the new site. It appears to suggest all the issues will eventually be available which is very welcome, other than that you can get print versions of back copies from Caliver.

BTW2 - Digital Issue 2 is a 'Napoleonic Feature' available for EUR2.25.

Perry Napoleonic Catalan Somatenes/Spanish Guerrillas in 28mm

Sorry but you can ignore this post, nothing new here this was previously in the El Bruc related section.

This is just meant as a reference for DPS who I am asking for a quote to paint these for me.

Catalan somatenes for the action at Bruc (or for that matter Spanish guerrillas in general) in 28mm.

Perry Miniatures:
Officially tagged for the Carlist Wars but they will do just as well for Napoleonic era.
Check out CAT23-CAT29 (Carlist Wars - Carlist Forces).
42 figures GBP1.00 each (but you buy as a set of 6).

When they are done I will post some pics on this blog....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New British Napoleonic Flags from Flags of War

Flags of War have just announced the release of some new Napoleonic Flags. I am not 100% but I think this is a new range from them as I don't seem to have had them on my Napoleonic Flag list before. I assume they are all 28mm though I didn't see they explicitly say anywhere other than they are NOT 15mm.

The flags look quite nice, maybe a bit hard to see because they have got a bit paranoid with the watermarks on their site, they should rethink that. However if you look at their gallery the examples of non-Napolenics look very good so you would expect the Napoleonic to be of a similar quality I guess.

There are currently 16 British flag sets in the range priced at GBP1.50 for a set which consists of one King's Color and one Regimental Color. Nothing earth shattering just the common ones hopefully they will expand into other nations at some point.

The range:
BNW001 1st (Royal Scots) Foot Regiment
BNW002 1st Battalion 1st Foot Guards Regiment
BNW003 2nd Battalion 2nd (Coldstream) Foot Guards Regiment
BNW004 2nd Battalion 3rd (Scots) Foot Guards Regiment

BNW005 2nd Battalion 30th (Cambridgeshire) Foot Regiment
BNW006 3rd Battalion 1st Foot Guards Regiment
BNW007 3rd Regiment 'The Buffs' East Kent
BNW008 4th 'Kings Own' Regiment as carried at Waterloo

BNW009 4th 'Kings Own' Regiment pre-Waterloo
BNW010 14th (Buckinghamshire) Foot Regiment
BNW011 23rd Foot The Royal Welsh Fusiliers
BNW012 33rd (1st West Riding) Foot Regiment

BNW013 42nd (Royal Highland) Foot Regiment
BNW014 69th (South Lincoln) Foot Regiment
BNW015 73rd (Highland) Foot Regiment
BNW016 79th (Cameron Highlanders) Foot Regiment

Flags of War also do custom flags, though no indication of price, I was thinking yesterday my El Bruc Catalan's could do with a flag, so maybe I will give them a try if I can dig out a picture from somewhere.

Here is a selection of flags, you can see the full range here.

Below is an example of an ECW flag from their gallery (sorry currently no Napoleonic example), pretty nice I think.

It's amazing how we went for years and years with seemingly GMB the only real choice and in the last couple of years there has been an explosion of new companies producing very good quality flags, though to give GMB it's due, no one even comes close to matching the breadth of GMB's range.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Victrix Release Schedule Update

Some news from Victrix about the release schedule for this year.

From their release:

Brief update on release schedule

This is a bit of an update to keep you informed of where we are up to with the forthcoming Austrian, Ancient Greek and 54mm French plastic sets. 

We did expect to release most of these sets last year, but had a few issues to deal with that caused delays to our tooling and release schedules. Our tooling company moved to a larger location in the summer, and had to move a lot of tonnage of machinery to their new premises, taking time and causing delays in stock supply and tooling.

The effects of the economic downturn last year also made us take a step back and have a rethink of our release schedule. We thought it best to consolidate for a few months rather than run the risk of overstretching ourselves in uncertain economic times. This has proved to be a wise decision and we are starting to forge ahead again with our planned releases from a secure footing.

We have been busy during this period finding new sculptors, artists and tooling sources (all within the UK) so we can regain momentum. We have some lovely new test pieces from some very talented sculptors that will be turned into new sets later this year.

Our apologies to customers who have been eagerly waiting for these new sets to arrive. We didn’t expect the delays we encountered in getting them released and for sometime were unsure of start and finish dates.

The Austrians are now in the tooling stage. We expect them to be released by the end of May. This will be all four sets released at once. We will have some great multi box deals to go along with these new sets plus some new metals to supplement the range. We will be able to show you a few more shots in the next few weeks and the box art has been started.

The 54mm French sets, both Grenadiers and Voltigeurs are being tooled at present. They are about three quarters through tooling and we should have them on full release by the end of April. We will have some pre-production packs ready in early April for release at Salute but they will not be in their boxes until the end of the month.

The Greeks will be following the Austrians in the Summer.

We have had a few emails from confused customers who have seen pre-orders for Austrians, Greeks and 54mm French on some retailers’ and distributors’ websites. Unless you see the release date on the Victrix website it is not accurate! If you are at all in doubt please look at our news pages or send us an email and we will confirm if a pre-order time is correct or not

Well little to argue about here, I agree with their comment about needing to refocus and consolidate, one of Victrix's biggest issues. I still think they are spreading themselves a bit thin but if they think they can do all of this well good luck...

Anyway we can look forward to the Austrian's, I think they are going to be a real big seller, however one of the problems with Victrix is still the lack of depth. IMO they really need to do more than just issue a couple of boxes of Infantry, you have got to round out the range with Artillery and Cavalry instead of jumping of on to something new.

Sorry to keep on about Perry but they do get it, when they do a new range they make sure that it is rounded out from the start, or at least there is a plan to develop it in the very near future, like with the Prussian's where as well as Infantry they have already shown us Artillery and who can doubt the cavalry are lurking around somewhere in the background.

Victrix need to take a leaf out of the Perry handbook.

But at the end of the day the survival of Victrix is first and foremost in these tough days, Wargames Factory should stand as a lesson to everyone of how not to run a plastic soldier company.

As and when I see any new pics of the upcoming releases I will put them on the blog.

Hmm, anyone want to buy my Foundry Austrian Pygmies?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Smoothbore Ordnance Journal Issue 3

Dr Stephen Summerfield has announced the release of the 3rd issue of the Smoothbore Ordnance Journal, see below for details.

Smoothbore Ordnance Journal
Issue 3
Edited by Dr Stephen Summerfield

This issue has three main themes.

Theme One: Austrian Artillery
• Digby Smith explains in his introduction to his translation of Dolleczek (1887) the innovations since the 15th century to the mid 19th century when the Liechtenstein System was finally abandoned after a century. The translation is split into 6 parts.
• The Liechtenstein system kept up with the innovations including reducing windage, the reduction in decorations and the introduction of shell guns [long barrelled howitzers]. These are illustrated by photographs of extent gun barrels and carriages by Dr Stephen Summerfield.

Theme Two: Saxon Artillery
• Dr Martin Klöffler explores Saxon fortress ordnance in the context of the Prussian siege of Torgau in 1813. [Translated by Digby Smith]
• Gerard Cronin and Dr Stephen Summerfield discusses the Saxon M1810 ordnance, uniforms and at Gross Beeren (23 August 1813).

Theme Three: British Artillery in the Peninsular
• Anthony Dawson explores the use and equipment of British Mountain Artillery in the Peninsular War.
• Sir Alexander Dickson RA wrote in 1823 "Answer to Questions on the Royal Artillery in 1823" that is reprinted in full with additional notes by Dr Stephen Summerfield.
• Seven reports and memorandums from Volume 1 of the Minutes of Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institute on the organisation and equipment of the Royal Artillery.
Dr Stephen Summerfield
2 February 2011

Section 1: Dolleczek – Austrian 15th to 19th Century Artillery
Translated by Digby Smith (Mar 2011)
Issue 3 (01): "Period I: Dolleczek – 15th to Early 16th Century Artillery Material"
Issue 3 (02): "Period II: Artillery of Emperor Maximilian I to the 30 Years War"
Issue 3 (03) "Period III: Dolleczek – 30 Years War to Liechtenstein"
Issue 3 (04) "The Influence of the French School on Siege Warfare in Austria"
Issue 3 (05) "Dolleczek (1887) on Fürst Liechtenstein's New Artillery System"
Issue 3 (06) "Dolleczek (1887) on the Reorganization of the Austrian Artillery in 1772"
Anton Dolleczek, (1887)
Geschichte der Österreichischen Artillerie von den frühesten Zeiten bis zur Gegenwart,
[Can be viewed at the "Austrian Literature Online" [ALO]

Section 2: Austrian Artillery
Dr. Stephen Summerfield (Mar 2011)
Issue 3 (07) "Evolution of Austrian Field Ordnance (1753-1853)"
Issue 3 (08) "Austrian Garrison and Siege Guns (1753-1853)"
Issue 3 (09) "Austrian Mortars (1753-1853)"

Section 3: Saxon Fortress and Foot Artillery
Dr. Martin Klöffler [translated by Digby Smith]
Issue 3(10) "Saxon Siege and Defensive Artillery 1810-1814"
Dr. Stephen Summerfield (Mar 2011)
Issue 3(11) "Saxon Foot Field Ordnance 1810-15"
Issue 3(12) "Saxon Foot Artillery Uniforms (1810-15)"
Issue 3(13) "Saxon Artillery at Gross Beeren (23 August 1813)"

Section 4: British Artillery in the PeninsularS
Anthony L. Dawson (Mar 2011)
Issue 3(14) "British Mountain Artillery (1809-14)"
Dr. Stephen Summerfield (Mar 2011)
Issue 3(15) "Sir Alexander Dickson's Answer to Questions on the Royal Artillery in 1823"
Issue 3(16) "British Naval Gun Locks"
Issue 3(17) "Sir Alexander Dickson"
J.H. Lefroy (1819) "NOTES on the Establishments of the British Field Artillery since 1815, with the Report of the Committee of Revisions of 1819,"
Minutes of Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institution, Volume 1, pp164-175
William Millar (1820) "Equipments of the Royal Artillery,"
Minutes of Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institution, Volume 1, pp176-190
Anon (Feb 1807) "Establishment of Royal Artillery,"
Minutes of Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institution, Volume 1, pp252-156
William Millar (1821) "Equipments of the Royal Artillery,"
Minutes of Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institution, Volume 1, pp191-225
William Millar (1820) "Royal Artillery Siege Train,"
Minutes of Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institution, Volume 1, pp191-225
Anon (1825) "Memorandum for Artillerymen for the Siege of a Fortress,"
Minutes of Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institution, Volume 1, pp191-225
Sir Augustus Frazer (Dec 1826) "Memorandum on the Embarkation of Ordnance Equipment, prepared in reference to the expedition to Portugal,"
Minutes of Proceedings of the Royal Artillery Institution, Volume 1, pp257-260

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Hougoumont Cross stolen!

The celebrated wooden cross, which miraculously survived a raging inferno during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, has been stolen from the battlefield. Fears were expressed yesterday that the 400-year-old cross, about 6ft high and 6ft wide, might have been stolen for a wealthy collector obsessed by Waterloo or Napoleon.
The battlefield curator and a retired British general appealed for the return of the "irreplaceable" but "unsaleable" historic object. Interpol has circulated photographs of the oak crucifix to antique dealers all over the world.

The Hougoumont Cross was wrenched from a locked commemorative chapel on the battlefield site, south of Brussels, some time in the past two weeks. It originally stood in the chapel of the château at Hougoumont which was burned during fighting between French soldiers and the Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots Guards on 18 June 1815.

Apart from the feet of the statue of Christ which were severely charred, the crucifix inexplicably survived the flames. The cross, described in Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables, has become one of the most emblematic mementoes of Waterloo. Its disappearance has outraged the battlefield's curator and historians.
"We know that the cross must have been seriously damaged by these wicked people," the battlefield's curator, Yves Van der Cruysen, said. "We found large splinters of wood which must have come from the figure of Christ itself."
To break into the alarmed chapel, the thieves dismantled stonework around the door and removed the bolt. They then restored the lock and masonry, disguising the theft for several days. At about the same time, a commemorative stone to the Allied troops at Quatre-Bras farm, in another part of the battlefield, was also stolen.
"The cross has no particular value, except infinite value as a memorial of the battle," Mr Van der Cruysen said. "To sell such a well-known artefact would be impossible. This is not the work of art thieves but of vandals – people who just want to draw attention to themselves."
Belgian police have alerted Interpol in case an attempt is made to smuggle the huge cross – which weighs 200kg (31st) – to another country. Major-General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, the chairman of Waterloo 200, an Anglo-Belgian group planning bicentenary commemorations in 2015, said yesterday that he suspected that the cross had fallen victim to a "targeted theft".
"Enormous trouble was taken by these people," he said. "The cross is unsaleable publicly but there are some very strange people out there, who are obsessed with the battle of Waterloo. I fear that the cross may have been stolen on the orders of some very rich person who fancied having it in his own possession." If so, General Webb-Carter said, the "chances of ever seeing the cross again are very slender indeed".
The fighting around Hougoumont was "an iconic battle within an iconic battle", General Webb-Carter said.
The Duke of Wellington said that his "near-run" success had hinged on the defence of Hougoumont by the three British Guards regiments. If they had failed, he said, the French army could have outflanked his position.
"The cross has come to symbolise a site which is, to many people, the most memorable part of the whole battle. Its loss would be an enormous blow," General Webb-Carter said.

Taken from:
Outrage after theft of Waterloo battlefield's 'irreplaceable' cross

Hmm 'some time in the last two weeks' they're obviously not a particularly observant lot then in Belgium, anyway if someone offers you a big cross on the cheap.........

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

British Field Artillery Newsletter from Victrix

The Victrix newsletters are fixed (once again) and can be now downloaded!

This month there is a real gem - British Field Artillery Part1, well maybe I am biased because I like Artillery.

From their announcement:

British Field Artillery Newsletter

British Field Artillery Newsletter is now available as a free download. This newsletter covers the equipment, organisation, and uniforms of the British Field Artillery during Napoleonic times.

Please see our Newsletters page for further details, or better still, subscribe to all future Newsletters!

The January Newsletter is the one on Artillery, a nice four page pdf covering organisation, ordnance, officers, gun crew, ammunition and uniforms. There are some nice color pictures of their models and a few nicely done full color uniform plates, well beyond what you would expect in a 'newsletter'.

In addition there is a special offer where they will throw in one extra sprue for each box of Artillery you buy in February, can't complain about that can you!

Well of course I can..... where is the limber team!!!!!! Yes you have heard me complain at least once a month since last May about this, I wont buy a limber if there aren't any horses or at least a release date for the horses otherwise however much I actually like your pieces you are wasting my money!

In my opinion the color used for the British Equipment is too light:
It should be noted that gun carriages and limbers were treated with pitch tar to protect the wood and this would leech out of the wood and cause discolouring to the paintwork.
As you may recall if you have been following this blog for a while Dr. Summerfield confirmed that the actual paint used at the time also reacted with the gases given of when the gun was discharged and therefore would darken considerable with use in the field. The old Humbrol British Equipment Grey being based on tests with paint made to the original recipe is in my view spot on.

Obviously I haven't bought any of these pieces yet, but from the pictures I have seen the Victrix set looks like possibly the finest ever pieces produced in 28mm. The only issue and it is an issue not a fault is that the we are so used to chunky cast metal wheels these scale wheels look very odd and won't match to anything you have, again I repeat they are right we are just used to something wrong. That's what make the issue with the limber team so damn frustrating, I want to buy these but can't.

Anyway these are the newsletters currently available, note they tend to go AWOL from time to time as the links get broken, keep trying if this happens as eventually they fix them:


Victrix will aim to produce a monthly Newsletter as a downloadable PDF. This is the same Newsletter that is sent out to our subscribers.