Thursday, April 28, 2011

More on Perry Russians and Prussians

As the Perry's promised there has been a post-Salute update on the forthcoming Russian and Prussian plastic sets.

From their announcement:
Russian Napoleonic Infantry 1809-15

As promised, here's more details about the 'three-up' greens for the Russian Infantry and Prussian Reservists.

There will be two Russian boxed infantry sets, one for the infantry (including elites) and one for the grenadiers. The infantry box will contain heads with the re-styled 1807 shako with cords, which dates them to 1809. These were still worn during the 1812 campaign alongside the 1812 kiwers, albeit most likely in their own units. The kiwers in the box have their full dress cords, too, which was typical of Russians in the field. There will also be enough 1812 forage caps for all, as this too was quite common practice for Russian infantry on campaign. The figures are all in summer one-piece overalls, which were adopted in 1807.

The grenadier box will contain the same pattern shakos with the grenadier distinctions and the famous Pavlov Grenadier mitre caps. The Pavlov Grenadiers were still wearing their normal grenadier uniforms throughout the 1812 campaign, receiving their Guard uniforms the next year. I've included the large 'busch' plume on the 1809 shako, which was officially replaced by the thinner plume in 1811. However, it's open to debate if they still lingered into 1812.

Prussian Napoleonic Reservists 1813-15

The Prussian Reserve Infantry are in their basic 1813 grey uniforms. Some Reserve battalions were still wearing them in 1815. The box will contain enough peaked caps and shakos for all the figures in the box. They are all equipped with the basic cloth knapsack, with the sword knot attached to the strap over the left hip as infantry swords were in short supply. They are carrying a mix of French, British and Prussian muskets. The simple uniform might inspire a conversion into something else. The command all wore the regulation Line uniform.

I'm afraid there are no release dates on these.

As ever great sculpts and from the details these sets are very flexible, the Russians will actually do for earlier than 1812 when we eventually get round to it, but for now its 1812-1814 that is the focus of interest and these are perfect.

Can't wait for these and the accompanying metals.

No release date, the Russians must surely be some way off but in time for the 1812 refights? I am not sure, I would certainly think that unless they decide to hold back on the Prussians and Austrians, we won't be seeing these Russians this year.

This is supremely ambitious for even the Perry's, as wargamers themselves they have repeatedly shown they truly get what we need and that means that there has to be a lot more than just a couple of boxes of plastic's doesn't there, cavalry, artillery, command and more in metal are expected, this would be a big task if it was just Prussians but now it has to included Austrians and Russians. Can they really do it, or equally important can they do it in time, as this must surely be aimed at providing us with new armies for the reenactments that will happen over the next couple of years.

If it was anyone else you would doubt whether it could be done but with the Perry's you just assume that it will, and this isn't even there day job, crazy!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

French Horse Artillery 1813-1815

As I have said before the primary purpose of this blog is a repository of information that I have come across while surfing the net and this post is a good example.

Recently someone mentioned to me about having some cheap Foundry Horse Artillery and this made me wonder if they were 'duped' as I was a few years back into picking up a Foundry Horse Artillery 'bargain' which on receipt turned out to be a 4pdr battery which was fine for the early years but not of much use in the final years of the empire as the Gribeauval 4pdr and 8pdr had been phased out in favor of the AnXI 6pdr by 1812.

But this got me wondering, was I really sure about this particularly in view of the catastrophic losses in the winter of 1812, and I vaguely recalled a comment someone had mad on TMP about the Gribeauval's being brought out of retirement in 1813 to reequip the French Army. So I decided to ask the expert's at The Napoleon Series and I thank Paul Dawson, Anthony Gray and other's for their responses which are summarized below (my apologies in advance for any misinterpretation or error and omission).

Central Europe
In theory and practice, based on the returns I (Paul Dawson) posses, a French Horse Companie consisted of 4x 6-pdr and 2x 24-pdr howitzers. Although in September-October 1813 some batteries had no howitzers, or were down to two guns.

The impact of 1812, was perhaps, not as detremental as believed, based on my own new research. In terms of artillery equipment, from the stores returns I have copies of, and field returns, there was no shortage of equipment. The artillery had sufficient guns, carriages and munitions. In order to provide the man power, Artillerie du Marine were converted to foot artillery companies.

A swathe of conscripts were directed to the army in September 1812, a percentage being sent to the artillery.

What the artillery and equipment trains lacked by August 1813 was sufficient number of draught horses. However, the short fall was made up with the use of Mules. The army consumed large numbers of draught horses, and the army never thought it had sufficient. This does not mean that the army in 1813 lacked horses, or equide resources, it certainly did not.

By November 1813, there was a shortage of artillery equipment, men, uniforms, and horses. This was not brought about by military defeat solely, Napoleons gross miss-understanding of the strategic situation, consciously choosing not to feed his army but to spend the resources on building a new army in France, but more importantly through the collapse in the value of stock held by the Banque du France and the value of the Franc/gold exchange, making money virtually useless and robbing the state of credit. Resources were available for purchase but lack of credit resulted in insufficient quantities of horses, muskets, etc being obtained.

Artillery companies which were reduced to two guns, were often amalgamated with other companies in the same regiment to make single, full strength companies. Lack of time in the Winter of 1813-1814 to train men, perhaps a conscious decision by the Allies, robbed Napoleon of men and arms. By July 1814, the army was reduced greatly in strength. weak regiments amalgamated with others as part of an overall army reduction policy. What the army lacked in 1815 was horses. Most of the armies horses were put out to loan to reduce costs and they had to be brought back to the army, a process which took time, a comodity which in 1815 Napoleon lacked. In terms of equipment and material, and men, the artillery in 1815 had all the resources it needed, due to the reduction of the army.

Given the paucity of stores sent into Spain in 1813-1814, I suspect the equipment in use before this date remained in use. I have found, it does not mean that such orders dont exist, no orders for guns and equipment to be sent to the artillery in Spain. In 1812 Marmonts army had a single AnXI gun, I think, a 3-pdr mountain gun. In essence the French used two artillery systems side by side for sake of logistics. The AnXI and modified forms there of in Germany, and the older Gribeauval equipment in Spain, as it was the same equipment as the Spanish used, so, the munitions were readily available in the campaign theatre, and eased the resupply situation, assuming arms dumps were captured.

Marmont would surely have inherited the remaining pieces that Masséna brought back from the campaign in Portugal in 1811

Most of the accompanying vehicles were lost, and draught animals slaughtered, on the retreat – but I (Anthony Gray) have not read about significant losses of artillery pieces on the retreat (some at Sabugal, 1811)

Eblé proposed in a letter to duc de Feltre 11 juin [1810] No. 97 pièces justificatives pp. 629-639 to establish a parc for the army consisting of:

36 caissons de 12
40 caissons de 8
40 caissons de 4
125 d'infanterie
3 forges
6 voitures chargées de rechange, charbon etc
2 voitures d'artifices
12 affûts de rechange
Total 264 voitures

Girod de l'Ain, Le général Eblé, Revue d’Artillerie, Tome 42, avril – septembre 1893; Revue d’Artillerie, Tome 43, octobre 1893

From the same correspondence cited above...

« J’acquiers d’ailleurs journellement la preuve que la mesure que j’ai l’honneur de lui proposer est la seule qui puisse assurer le service de l’artillerie de l’armée de Portugal, parce qu’il faut qu’elle ait à sa suite toutes les munitions dont elle peut avoir besoin jusqu'à l’entière conquête de ce royaume. Il faut, en outre, qu’il y ait à Astorga, à Salamanque des munitions pour remplacer les premières consommations et les moyens d’alimenter ces dépôts par Valladolid. Je ne crois donc pas faire à V.E. une demande exagérée en lui proposant de former le parc de »: …

Which I have (very) roughly translated as “I learn with every day that passes that the measures I have put in place will ensure the necessary supply of ammunition to support the successful conquest of Portugal. Astorga and Salamanca will furnish all the munitions necessary to supply the immediate needs of the army; whilst reserves can be forwarded from the depot at Valladolid to replace those used during the campaign.

At this point, the invasion army at Masséna’s disposal comprised only the VI and VIII corps, the II corps was originally to operate on the left bank of the Tejo / Tajo, but was called in by Masséna to operate together with the other two corps once he realised he would not have the troops necessary to invade. The artillery (or rather the parc) set out in the post above, I assume, therefore specifically related solely to the needs of the five divisions of the VI and VIII corps (and their supporting light cavalry brigades and the division of dragoons). Don't hold me to all this - I'll check now.

Reading between the lines ... The French army of Portugal was furnished with the artillery pieces available and, as Paul Dawson suggested above, the ammunition to supply the guns was to be found in Astorga and Salamanca. Now, it could be that French stores had been moved forward to Salamanca. But, given that Junot had only just besieged and taken Astorga, the only munitions that could have available to support the army of Portugal from that town would have been of Spanish origin (or certainly manufactured / stored there prior to the invasion in 1808). Moreover, there must have been some consistency in calibre between the [French] artillery pieces and the [Spanish] munitions.

Noël has one « compagnie du 6e de cheval » to commence the siege and was reinforced on the 24th by « deux escouades d’artillerie à pied du 8e et de régiment de Berg », p. 94. Brindle translates this as “two bodies from the 8th and the Berg regiment”, p 83. I need to look up my notes, from a work supplied by Steve Smith some time ago, as to the exact components of artillery regiments with the army of Portugal – but I would take “escouade” to mean literally a “gang”, i.e. less than a full company, of foot artillery from the 8th regiment plus some Berg artillery.
JNA Noel, Souvenirs Militaires d’un officier du premier empire, (Paris – Nancy : Berger Levrault, 1895) and ~, (ed.) Rosemary Brindle, With Napoleon’s guns: the military memoirs of an officer of the First Empire, (London : Greenhill, 2005)

Noel had marked out and constructed several batteries. The siege parc, when it arrived, allowed him to deploy a breaching battery consisting of 24 and 16 pdrs, in addition at least two 12 pdrs were deployed against a fortified house (outwork) that enfiladed their works, and he mentions the deployment of (some) howitzers in support of the breaching batteries.

Interesting re the 12-pdr caissons. 12-pdrs were used in the campaign theatre. The lack of howitzer caissons is not unexpected, as it seems the ratio of howitzers to field guns was low.

12-pdrs were used in Spain from February 1808. 12x 12-pdr, 12x 4-pdr and 12x howitzers being dispatched that month. SHDDT C8 274

20th May 1808, Bessieres had the following guns under his command AN AF IV 1606

7x 24-pdrs
18x 12-pdr
3x 8-pdr
6x 6-pdr
8x 4-pdr
2x 6 pouce howitzers

On 18th January 1810 the following guns were to be dispatched to Spain: SHDDT C8 fol. 367

24x 4-pdr
12x 12-pdr
12x howitzers
72x 4-pdr caissons
24x 12-pdr caissons
24x howitzer caissons
50x infantry caissons
6x forges

So in essence in the later years of the first empire there are two systems in active use, the Gribeauval in Spain and the AnXI in central Europe. If you have any 4pdr's they are still valid but only in Spain and southern France in 1814.

PS This was my first attempt at blogging from my iPad, a painful experience if you need to edit.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More On Perry Austrians

Well whilst we wait for Paul Sawyer to get back off holiday to learn more about WG Russians, Perry are on the ball as usual with further details of the Austrians first shown last weekend at Salute.

First of all, we'd like to thank the South London Warlords for putting on Salute - we had a great day. It was fantastic to meet up with our customers again.

Plastic Napoleonic Austrian (German) Fusiliers 1808-15

I've always had a soft spot for the Napoleonic Austrian army, and in a way, these will be the last main army to complete the 1815 range. The Austrians were fighting against the French and Neapolitans in Italy up until August 1815, no less than 27 encounters and battles, not including sieges! The accompanying metal and additional plastic sets in the range will cover the 1808-15 period.

As mentioned before, these are in the 1808 jacket which was quite distinctive with its swept-back turn-backs, but if you're not concerned about that, they could be used from 1805 when the queue was abolished. The officer is in the Oberrock, a typical campaign look, usually worn without the sash as I've done. There will be a choice of bicorne, helmet and shako. Officially, fusiliers were meant to be clean-shaven, but contemporary pictures and Ottenfeld do show them appearing in the ranks, so I've made a few heads with mustaches. There'll be 48 figures in the box, including one officer, one drummer, one standard bearer, one pioneer, and two NCOs. There will be enough helmets and shakos for all the figures in the box.

Going back to 1815 Italy, many of the French 1815 range (including the plastic infantry) can be painted as white-uniformed Neapolitans, an army I've just started to put together myself in anticipation of the plastic Austrians. They should at least be aesthetically pleasing battles!

Look good and obviously the sculpting is quite advanced though it's the mold making that takes the time for plastic's. One thing to note on the '1809 Helmeted Fusiliers', I know there is some debate on this but my understanding is that even by 1809 only a very small number of units may have retained the Helmet.

Talking of debatable issues, I have thought a couple of times whether to write to the Perry's and ask when will the Brunswick Artillery be revised to have French and not British guns.

After years of looking at Foundry Austrians any Austrians troops over 4'8" just look odd :)

I wish I could buy shares in Perry!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New British Rifle and Line decals from Alban Miniatures

If you follow this blog you might recall my trying to buy Alban's 28mm decals a while back.

As Alban said at the time:
The problem lay with the supplier. He appears to have lost interest in producing decals. So supplies were patchy. We are working on an "in house" solution at the moment. I'm afraid that it would be premature to give a time frame.

We want to get these going again as they are a very good seller.

Well Alban have now released the new decals:
We have improved our rifle decals and the new code DE1.1 Rifle Decals are on sale now. Each decal sheet contains 50 back-pack and canteen decals for the 95th and 60th rifles.

These decals have been researched by Alban and designed by Juicy Lime Studio’s designer ‘David Watts’ exclusively for Alban. The decal designs were then shipped down to Cornwall for white ink printing and ‘hey presto… New improved rifle decals’.

These are available at just £2.50 per pack + P&P.

We hope you like the final product of our efforts here at Alban Miniatures.

Great news and these decals will make a great addon to your figures, a nice bit of easy to apply detailing.

However when I tried to buy them from their online store earlier today there was a small glitch in the shopping cart and it was adding 1.00 GBP over and above the actual cost, I have notified them so I am sure it will be fixed soon.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Warlord Games: Plastic Napoleonic Russians!

Wow, where did this one come from......

From their announcement:
We are delighted to announce a forthcoming plastic kit - the Napoleonic Russians!

Based on uniforms worn in warmer months, these are ideal for battles such as Borodino.

In classic march-attack pose, these 28mm plastic miniatures have separate backpack, swords and ammo pouches, as well as separate heads.

All of the following head variants will be included.

Musketeer with short shako
Musketeer with earlier pattern tall shako
Musketeers with leather covered shako
Grenadiers with short shako
Grenadiers with earlier pattern tall shako (with outrageous plumage!)
Three different body sculpts and a wealth of accoutrements will lend itself beautifully to customization.

As you can see from the photos here, these models will be easy to assemble, allow for a great number of options within the regiment, and look splendid on the table

As we get nearer to confirming a release date, more information will follow - along with photos!

Now this one is a jaw dropping moment, Perry's stuff was good but not exactly earth shocking, you could see the writing on the wall once they announced the Prussians but this one is a major surprise.

I was only thinking this week, was the Prussian Landwehr 'it' for WG Napoleonic's?

Well here is the answer, no way, and these do look lovely!!

What's more it seems WG have listened to our views after last years release of the Landwehr even though we want easy to assemble wargame friendly figures we want more flexibility than can be achieved if you just make the figure as one piece. I commented at the time that we at least need the head separate and we have it here, this makes this set worth looking at, otherwise I would say it can't compete with Perry. Like with the Landwehr WG will offer fewer body sculpts than we would expect from a Perry set, in fact Perry will have two sets to cover what WG will do with one. So I can see this either suiting the guy who finds even Perry too much work to assemble or for the rest of us, the opportunity to do a bit of mix and matching between the sets.

No mention of release dates but in the past WG have tended to only show something when they are quite close to being ready, maybe 3-4 months out, sorry just pure speculation, but I hope so lol.

Having just said there isn't room for two plastic sets targeting the same subject what can I say about this, when not only does it go head to head with Perry but it also is the same style as Perry i.e. aimed at the wargamer rather than modeler. Well first thing is that WG economics are very different from Victrix, WG aren't dependent on Napoelonic's in the way Victrix are, if this set is a success or not it is not going to change things at WG. That said in some respects the fact it is so close to the Perry set make it possibly to succeed, gamers wan't to buy a lot of figures, but they don't want to spend days assembling them as you do with Victrix, however we do like to add some variety if we can, by mix and matching when compatible and I can see people taking a box of Perry and a box of WG, after all the Russian army is large lol. Whilst you might say the same applies to Victrix to be honest you buy one box from Victrix and you have had enough with assembling plastic's to last you a lifetime.

We know the Perry's and WG are close and there was a degree of cooperation with the Landwehr set so we will have to see how this pans out, are the two sets really identical or somehow will they dovetail.

I must say this set has me excited, I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Kudos to WG and lets hope we see more Napoleonics!

Perry Salute 3Ups

For those of us not able to attend salute the Perry's have made a brief announcement covering the plastic 3Up 'surprise', below is the 'Napoleonics' part of that announcement.

For those people who couldn't attend Salute, we have a brief line-up of our new 3ups that were on show. This is just an overview - we'll be going into more detail with more photos on each set in the coming week. We hope you like them. Please note that some parts of these figures are held on by blue-tac, which might show occasionally.

Austrian Napoleonic (German) Infantry 1808-15

All the figures in the box will have both helmets and shakos, so they cover the mid-to-late-war period. You'll be able to equip all the figures in the box with either. They're wearing the 1808 pattern jacket, which is used up to the end of the war and beyond. There will be 48 figures in the box. There will be other box sets in this series.

Russian Napoleonic Infantry (summer dress) 1809-15

There will be enough early shakos and later kiwers to equip all the figures in the box with either. The earlier corded 1807 pattern shakos were worn alongside the 1812 kiwer during the 1812 Russian campaign, as reforms took a while to complete. There will be two boxes of these - one infantry (with elites), one grenadier - as there are so many variants of headgear.

Prussian Napoleonic Reserve Infantry 1813-15

These are represented in their 1813 basic grey uniforms and minimal kit, although some reserve regiments still wore this uniform in 1815. Both peaked caps and shakos will be included for all figures. The command wore the regular Prussian uniforms.

There are no release dates on any of these at the moment.

Well Perry clear up the future direction for their Napoleonic's, we are at least going to be able to source all our needs for 1813-1815 over the next few years from Perry. Also based on the Perry's previous track record we can be fairly sure that there will be an extensive range of metals to accompany the plastics and round out the ranges, that is an important point.

The figures themselves are standard Perry fare, if you can call anything Perry 'standard', excellent 'wargame' poses. The sets sound intelligently designed with the right options to make them flexible, no doubt as with all the previous sets these will be designed to be assembled quickly so we can get them on the table. As before plastics are aimed squarely at the gamer and are largely march attack poses, we probably can expect more variety in the accompanying metal ranges.

From previous release we can expect that it will be some time before these see the light of day, at least 6 months for the first of these if they are only just going to Renedra and there is still a lot of work needed on the Prussian metals to accompany the latest releases so I don't think these are things we will have on the table this year but the timing sounds right if you are building armies to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the 1813-1814 battles as I am.

Now the elephant in the room has got to be what does this mean for Victrix? In one fell swoop Perry have claimed the entire field from 1812 on, and just a couple of months before Victrix release their own 'late' Austrians. I can see a lot of people now preferring to sit and wait for the Perry figures sadly. I also said at the time that Victrix should have gone for late-Russians rather than early-Russians last year and again I think people will prefer to wait especially as Victrix have not been very good at making a range coherent so far, we have for example been left waiting 12 months to get horses for the British Limber and their is not even a sniff of a French Artillery set.

Don't get me wrong Victrix sculpts are great and there is also plenty of room for more than one manufacturer in this scale but I am not sure their is room for two plastic manufacturers targeting the same segment. If I was them I would focus on metal rather than plastic and start fleshing out the ranges they have started rather than continuing to just randomly launch the odd set here or there. There is still so much left to be done to cover the whole of 1813-15 in Napoleonics and plenty of room for more metals even ones that duplicate what is already available from Perry but with the very high investment required for plastic sets and with Perry making it clear they are going to own the high volume segment I wonder whether Victrix are wise to continue developing new plastic sets

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Foundry Napolenic Early Russians

I don't pay much attention to Foundry these days but here are some new Early Russians. They look quite nice, not sure of the size but assume they fit with there normal stuff which means too short to be compatible with Perry, Victrix etc. but if Foundry 'does it' for you then I think they are worth looking at.

I believe there is 20% off if you buy before midnight Friday.

RN559 - Early Russian Mounted Officers (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)

Our latest release includes; Early Grenadiers with Rolled Greatcoat, Early Jaegers, Early Jaegers in Greatcoat, Early Musketeers in Greatcoat and Casualties. There's also Early Artillery Crew with Rolled Greatcoat, Artillery Crew in Greatcoat, Early Horse Artillery in Greatcoat plus Early High Command and Mounted Officers!

RN541 - Early Grenadiers Command With Rolled Greatcoat (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)
RN542 - Early Grenadiers With Rolled Greatcoat (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)
RN543 - Early Grenadiers With Rolled Greatcoat Marching (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)
RN554 - Early Russian Musketeers In Greatcoat (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)
RN555 - Early Russian Grenadiers In Greatcoat Command (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)
RN556 - Early Russian Grenadiers In Greatcoat (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)

RN553 - Early Russian Musketeers In Greatcoat Command (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)
RN558 - Early Russian Horse Artillery Crew In Greatcoats (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)
RN551 - Early Russian High Command (Napoleonic Miniatures : Russian Single Pack)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Victrix Plastic Rifleman 3Up

Victrix have released some interesting pics of a Rifleman 3Up.

We are delighted to show you a glimpse of a set in the pipeline from one of our new sculptors. It is a Rifleman which we had him sculpt as a test piece with a view to becoming a set down the line. I think you will agree it is a fine looking figure with lovely attention paid to the uniform detailing and creasing in the clothing. No release date for these as yet as Cavalry are being worked on at present.

We are working out the design options for the Rifles set as we want to be able to do the 95th, 60th and the KGL light battalions. Plus some of the Hanoverian light battalions and some Prussian reservists wore the Rifles Uniform so we are looking at what head options can be put in the box and which could be done as some separate head packs for conversions. There are a lot of possibilities here! Any other option and conversion suggestions would be welcome.

Just added to the shopping cart are the Early Russian Chasseurs and command pack.

plus the Russian cuirassiers, command and Cuirassier deal.

Well they look nice don't they. Though Riflemen in plastic wouldn't feature on my priority list, how about RHA or the damn Limber team. Anyway good to here they are adding new sculptors, maybe it means they are planning to speed up development though I think that Hicks wasn't exactly the limiting factor.

I really hope though they DON'T do heads in a separate pack, they just aren't worth it, do them all in the initial pack on the sprue, even if you need to do one more sprue with all the options, I would rather pay more up front than have these ridiculous metal head pack that cost a fortune and just make Perry metals look cheap.

Unless things change drastically at Victrix, given there current schedule don't expect to see the Riflemen released this year. Anyway there is plenty of choice for Riflemen in 28mm even in the 'Perry' sized ranges, Perry have a dozen, Offensive a similar number, and Alban are a bit thin but they have a number, so we are not exactly waiting on these, welcome as any new 28mm figure will be. You also have to wonder on the economics, exactly how many boxes of Riflemen do you really need? I would have thought the Cacacordes was a good model for these low volume type figures i.e do them in metal and put your big buck plastic molds to use on higher volume stuff like Russian/Prussian/Austrian or even Spanish Infantry.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Perry Puzzler

"Salute" announcements coming thick and fast at the moment!

Perry have released details of what will be on display at Salute and they include a big surprise:

We will have quite a big surprise if you come to our stand, TG12, at Salute. We have decided to reveal the three-ups for six new plastic sets that we will be producing. There will be 37 figures (including two mounted) stuffed into our cabinets. We're not letting on what periods or armies they cover, so you'll have to come and find out! These do not include the Mahdist tribesmen or the British Napoleonic Hussars, which are with Renedra. For those not attending Salute, we will be putting pictures up on our site (plastic workbench) and here on TMP just after the show.

So we have a few days to speculate ad nauseam on what the 37 greens will be. Now before we get really hot under the collar remember these are greens, the first of these probably won't be ready to buy for another 9-12 months.

Anyway here is my pointless, ill informed speculation, we know one or at most two will be mounted sets, I think Prussian Cavalry are an easy and obvious choice, the other could be British Heavies though they already do these in metal but there again same can be said of the French heavies. I personally hope we don't see them  wasting time producing plastic's that just duplicate existing metal sets.

But what of the other four sets of foot? With the Napoleonics now being pushed back into 1813-1814 Austrians or Russians would be an obvious and interesting choice though this would run across Victrix territory. This would be a real big surprise if they do, having only just announced the Prussians it would leave them with an awful lot of work to do but at the same time with the 200th Anniversaries coming up soon if you ever are going to do an 1813/14 range now is the time to announce it. I do hope they do.

My "left field" choice is to see a new era added WW1.

I guess there will be one Sudan related set but maybe WotR has been covered enough for now.

Expect to see the net lit up with speculation on this for the next few days!!

Aside from that the Prussians will be available as from Salute and pricing has been finalised.
PN 1   Hard Plastic Prussian Line Infantry 
         and Volunteer Jagers  (46 figures)           £18.00 GBP
PN 2   High Command (Field-Marshal von Blucher, 
         Lt-Gen. von Gneisenau,
         and Maj-Gen. von Pirch I)                    £8.00 GBP
PN 3   Mounted field officers                         £8.00 GBP
PN 4   Foot Artillery running up 6pdr                 £8.50 GBP
PN 5   Foot Artillery loading  6pdr                   £8.50 GBP
PN 6   Foot Artillery firing 6pdr                     £8.50 GBP
PN 7   Foot Artillery firing 7 inch Howitzer          £8.50 GBP
PN 8   Foot Artillery running up 7 inch Howitzer      £8.50 GBP
PN 9   Foot Artillery Firing French 6pdr              £8.50 GBP
PN 10  Foot Artillery loading British 6pdr            £8.50 GBP

New French 1812 Cavalry Flags from Flags for the Lads

As ever Salute is bringing lots of new product announcement for us Napoleonic fans!

This time it's from Flags for the lads with a timely release of flags for 1812 cavalry.

Available in 15mm and 25/28mm scales!

The 1812 French range is the Grande Armee that invaded Russia in 1812. These are the 1811 pattern flags for the Guard, and the 1812 pattern for the Line officially only carried by the 1st battalion of the Regiment, the rest carried fanions. Not all Regiments followed this rule and there was no official design for the fanion, although the fanion colour was laid down. A large number of foreign units are included in this range as part of the organisation of the Grande Armee, and as such they carry the style of flag for the 1812 period.

Sheets NFC7 to NFC15 contain flags for the cavalry regiments of Napoleon's I, II and III Cavalry Corps for the 1812 campaign.

NFC 07I Cavalry Corps Nansouty 1st Lt Div2 x 7th Hussars, 2 x 9th Chevau Leger, 2 x 8th Hussar, 2 x 16th Chasseurs, 6th and 8th Polish Lancers.
NFC 08I Cavalry Corps Nansouty 1st Heavy Div2 x 2nd Cuirassiers, 2 x 3rd Cuirassiers, 2 x 9th Cuirassiers, 2 x 1st Chevau Leger.
NFC 09I Cavalry Corps Nansouty 5th Heavy Div2 x 6th Cuirassiers, 2 x 11th Cuirassiers, 2 x 12th Cuirassiers, 3 x 5th Chevau Leger.
NFC 10II Cavalry Corps Montbrun 2nd Lt Div2 x 11th Chasseurs, 2 x 12th Chasseurs, 2 x 5th Hussar, 2 x 9th Husssar, 2 x 10th Polish Hussar.
NFC 11II Cavalry Corps Montbrun 2nd Heavy Div2 x 5th Cuirassiers, 2 x 8th Cuirassiers, 2 x 10th Cuirassiers, 2 x 2nd Chevau Leger.
NFC 12II Cavalry Corps Montbrun 4th Heavy Div2 x 1st Carabiniers, 2 x 2nd Carabiniers, 2 x 1st Cuirassiers, 2 x 4th Chevau Leger.
NFC 13III Cavalry Corps Grouchy 3rd Lt Div2 x 6th Hussar, 2 x 8th Chasseurs, 2 x 6th Chasseurs, 2 x 25th Chasseurs.
NFC 14III Cavalry Corps Grouchy 3rd Heavy Div2 x 4th Cuirassiers, 2 x 7th Cuirassiers, 2 x 14th Cuirassiers, 2 x 3rd Chevau Leger.
NFC 15III Cavalry Corps Grouchy 6th Heavy Div2 x 7th Dragoons, 2 x 23rd Dragoons, 2 x 28th Dragoons, 2 x 30th Dragoons.

Each flagsheet contains between eight and ten thoroughly researched and superbly drawn flags, to give any unit a superb finishing touch.

Flagsheets are £2.50 GBP each, and can be ordered via the GB&SD Hobbies website. Also available at the many wargames shows we attend, starting with Salute on the 16th April (stand TM01).

Monday, April 04, 2011

More on Marine Conversions from Victrix

Turning out to be quite a Victrix week at the moment isn't it, blame it on Salute, no doubt we will be hearing from other companies in the days ahead.

Anyway the March Victrix newsletter is out which as mentioned previously covers the conversion work need to make a box of Center Company Brit's into Marines.

Modelling Victrix British Marines
When gluing plastics it is advised to use liquid plastic cement. However, when gluing metal to plastic it is best to use something like super glue. To get an even better result and bond parts quickly, try placing a small blob of modelling putty in the neck socket, add super glue and then position the head in the neck socket.

Marines on extended duty on shore would have used a backpack just like their line Regiment counterparts. However, for the figures illustrated in these photos we converted the plastic Centre Company figures by removing the backpack straps from the shoulders, back and the strap that goes across the chest.

Simply cut off the straps and anything you don’t want on the back of the figure (canteens, haversack etc) with a sharp modelling knife and file down the areas with a fine modelling file. Then you can make some straps to define the cross-belts on the back of the figure. We have used “Greenstuff” but another technique is to use thin strips of paper. Cut these to length and superglue to the figure (be careful not to stick your fingers to the paper!) Use a cocktail stick and apply some superglue to the paper and coat it. This causes the paper to stiffen and makes it easier to paint. This method is quite good if you are not confident with modelling putty.

I remembered the source for the nice resin boat, pictured below, it was Brittania Miniatures and was going for 50 Euro's however I believe the owner (creator/designer??) passed away very recently and I can't find any current source, so maybe keep your eyes out on EBay for a second hand model.

The pic is from a great review of this model by Roly Herman here.

Now a bit of a moan, I really would like to buy a boat and a few Marines for Sharp but I am not going to pay GBP32 and still have to mess around with green stuff just to get a dozen or so Marines, yet again you feel this a project from Victrix that wasn't exactly fully thought through, it should have been complete metal bodies and just maybe a resin boat, a bit more variety and better proportioned than Foundry would have been enough. Anyway further metals are promised or at least hinted at so lets see what turns up in the future.

If you want to know more about the Royal Marines in the Napoleonic wars there is a good article here at the Napoleon Series.

Another brief outline can be found here

Victrix Update Release Schedule

In with the Salute Schedule were some new items and dates:

54mm Plastic Napoleonic Figure Sets
VX5402 54mm French Napoleonic Grenadiers 1807-1812
VX5403 54mm French Napoleonic Voltigeurs 1807-1812

28mm Plastic Napoleonic Figure Sets
VX0012 Napoleonic Austrian Infantry in helmets
VX0013 Napoleonic Austrian Grenadiers
VX0014 Napoleonic Austrian Infantry in shakos
VX0015 Napoleonic Austrian Landwehr

28mm Plastic Ancient Figure Sets
VXA001 Ancient Greek Athenian Hoplites 450-300 BC
VXA002 Ancient Greek Spartan Hoplites 450-300 BC
VXA003 Ancient Greek Theban Hoplites 450-300 BC

A busy few months ahead for Victrix.

Wonder whether there will be any metal to accompany those plastic Austrians in June?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

First Victrix Cavalry - Russian Cuirassiers

Victrix have shown previews of their first cavalry set - Early Russian Cuirassiers.
Sculpted by Hicks with the use of EBob's horses, hard to get any better than that, and they do look good. A good day for all of you interested in the Austerlitz campaign.

New Early Russian Cuirassiers

Here is the first look at our soon to be released metal Early Russian Cuirassiers for 1805-1808. These have been sculpted by Paul Hicks. Horses are by Ebob with Paul working on the tack, saddles and changing some head and leg positions.Yet again Paul has done a lovely job on these and we can't wait to get some painted up! Steve will be working on some cavalry flags for these in the near future.
There will be a Pack of troopers with six different arm options and three horse options so you can make many variants within your unit.
Also there is a pack of command; officer, standard bearer and bugler.
We will have these at Salute 2011 and hope to have them up on the shopping cart in the next week or so. Just waiting for production castings form Nick at Northstar.
Once we have some painted examples we will be working on a news letter with some uniform and painting guides illustrated by Steve. 

Metal not plastic, a sign of things to come?
With Perry hard at work on their fourth, or will it soon be fifth plastic cavalry set and Victrix yet to have even one on the drawing board you wonder what is the issue?

Early Russians to obscure to be viable in plastic, or are Perry just a law unto themselves, probably a bit of both I think. Will we ever see a plastic cavalry set from Victrix?

Personally I don't really care, I think metal is just fine, if not actually a plus. I find that there are not that many different poses that 'work' with cavalry so does plastic really get you much, whereas metal gives you better detail, almost as much variety given the details above and represents a much smaller capital investment for Victrix which (hopefully) means more sets and quicker.

So I for one will not be complaining if they stick to metal only cavalry.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

New 28mm Napoleonic Painting Service

I just noticed a new 28mm Napoleonic painting service has opened for business out here in Asia called Mabuhay Miniature Painting Service.

At MMPS we provide wargamers with well painted ready-made wargames units at very competitive prices. If you want to create your own units you can with our “Build Your Own Units” feature. We will constantly add new ranges and new scales to our catalog so, if we do not have what you need right now, we will have it someday! We do not paint commissions - except on rare occasions - but just ask if you need something that is not in our catalog yet. If we have easy access to what you need maybe we can help you out.

MMPS is also a scratchbuilding service formerly known as Fonzie's Scratchbuilding Service. We can build your 20 and 28mm miniature real estate at reasonable prices. Check out the Scratchbuilding page for samples of our work or contact us if you have a project in mind.
And last but certainly not least we are working on our own ranges of lightweight resin buildings and loads of other scenery. More about that later, check up on us often so you do not miss the grand premiere !

At the moment, we are building up our first range, 28mm Napoleonic 1812-1815.

Available now:

French Line Infantry

Coming as soon as we can paint them:

French Dragoons (horse and foot)
French Heavy Cavalry (Cuirassiers)
French Light Cavalry (Hussars)
French Artillery
French Old Guard
French Light Infantry
British & Hanoverian

Pre 1812 Nappies, ACW, AWI, ECW, ancients, medieval... you name it, we will have it in time. If we do not have what you need right now, get in touch - maybe we can help you out.

MMPS is also a 20mm and 28mm scratchbuilding service (formerly known as Fonzie's Scratchbuilding Service). Contact us through our website if you have a project in mind.

Actually worth taking a look at their site, I know this is a post about the figures but they have some great looking buildings in their gallery, I hope they offer these at some point I am sure they would be a big seller, they also have a big bag of flexi-roads in their shop.

Anyway back to the figures, they look well painted for what they are and they make no bones about what they are aiming to be:
MMPS paints troops for wargamers.

That means that we paint them to a good wargames standard but we do not paint every little button and every little detail.

These are troops to game with so most of the time you will see them from a distance on your wargames table There is no point in painting details that are invisible at this distance. Not painting them saves us time and allows us to keep our prices low.

But no worries, our troops DO look good as you can see for yourself in the pictures on this website.

So obviously you can't compare these against the finest painted miniatures on the planet but then they are a fraction of the cost and aim to be good enough for wargaming, I get the idea. Now I have to say I am not sure at the moment that I 100% like this style of painting, though I get you are supposed to see them on the table and not close up. I am not talking about the quality of the painting here, nor the accuracy, both of which look fine but this style which tends to have a lot of the black undercoat showing through as a form of shading. I have seen some really badly executed figures in this style and some not so bad and there is a fine balance between the two, though I understand this style lends itself to fast painting and time is money no doubt.

However these do look quite good, so I have gone ahead and ordered a unit from them to check out what they look like in the hand so to speak. So far their response has been prompt and they picked up an omission in the order I placed which is very good to see, and for those of you who get worried about communication with 'asian painting services', it's no problem here, the guy who runs MMPS 'Fons' is originally from Belgian I believe and its clear you are talking to someone who knows what he is talking about. Actually he was smart enough to realize from the rest of my order that the color of the pompoms for the fusiliers really needed to be clarified, he could have gone ahead and painted them just as it was stated on his site and I would have had no one to blame but myself. A big plus don't you think.

I will post again once I have the figures.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Warlord Games helping to rid us of useless women!

Another 'small' release today this time from Warlord Games.

From their announcement:

New: Napoleonic Vivandiere And Donkey!

Now for something out of the ordinary! Vivandieres were women who accompanied armies and performed canteen duties for the troops – they later became known as Cantinieres as a result. This will really add some flavour to your Napoleonic army!
Exempt from the 1793 “Law to Rid the Army of Useless Women” vivandieres would follow the French army and sell the soldiers food, drink, and sundries like tobacco, wig powder, and writing paper and ink. They were married to soldiers called “Vivandiers” who were the only soldiers granted permission to sell goods. Too busy fighting and drilling to sell naturally this duty fell to their wives.
Vivandieres would be a regular sight in many armies over the years that followed. They were to be seen in the armies of the Napoleonic wars, in the Crimean right up until the Great War. The United States War Department even copied the idea and in the American Civil War patriotic women joined up on both sides.
Warlord Games’ Vivandiere comes with two different right arms (one with pistol at the ready and the other clasping her trusty basket of wares) and two different heads. Not only that but her faithful donkey is also laden with provisions for her to further assist her military charges.
The model is well-equipped to provide a tonic to thirsty and weary soldiers as she carries a barrel of brandy  - that will help get the lads back in action.
Purchase this characterful Vivandiere miniature in the webstore and add a real ladies touch to your battles.

A very nice sculpt indeed, I like it, and the choice of arms and heads is good. This retails for GBP5.00 from WG, probably a reasonable price I think given the low demand and that WG are never cheap.

That said I have been looking round for months for a source of good cheap 28mm Donkey's because a need a load of them for a skirmish scenario say 10-15 at least but not found any, and I am not going to buy GBP75.00 of these just to get them either. I would have liked to see this set with say 3 Donkeys like the ECW set they do or the ability to buy the Donkeys separately.

None the less it will make an interesting addition, whether just for a diorama or on the skirmish tabletop, I am going to get one or two.

You can get them here.

Send in the Marines

A small but none the less interesting release from Victrix, the long awaited Marine Heads.

From their announcement:

The Marines have come ashore!

At long last we are happy to announce the release of our Marine head and command pack. These were delayed due to the first sculpts being destroyed in the moulding process and had to be resculpted. That delay gave us time to add in the lovely new officer, sergeant and drummer.
These figures have been sculpted by the ever talent Paul Hicks, and he has put some real character into these fine models. Used in combination with our plastic British centre companies miniatures, you can make some great looking Marine landing parties for skirmishes and larger coastal raids.
As well as being able to buy the metals pack, we have added a great new deal to the shopping cart. You can buy the head and command pack plus the plastic centre company boxed set for only £31.95! In effect you get the head pack half price.
We are planning on producing some Naval landing parties in metal and also looking at a boat with crew, so keep an eye on the website for updates.

To be honest I don't really think that the pricing on the various "heads" pack that Victrix offer really work from a customer point of view, they make for exceedingly expensive plastic's, maybe with the Marines they have more leverage for lack of alternatives on the market but I would rather they had just released full metal figures. That would have also got round the issue with the backpack straps. The previous packs also had size 'issues' though from the above pics of heads on bodies they seem to be fine this time.

Anyway very interesting to note that their will be some metal landing parties and a boat!! There are some interesting Peninsular skirmish scenarios that you can throw together with a handful of Marines and a landing party whether it is for Sharpe or Capitan. Once the release the other bit's this will go on my list of a must have.

From memory there are a couple of manufacturers producing a 28mm boat, one very expensive in metal and one reasonably priced in resin, though the details escape me as I write this, but still another source will be more than welcome