Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Murawski Baden Infantry 2/3rd

After no work on the 28mm Peninsular War project crossing my painting desk since the mustering of the Vistula Lancers (see Vistula Lancers) in February, off from the workbench today is a 17 figure battalion of Baden Line infantry.
These fine Murawski Miniatures decamp as the second battalion of the 3rd Baden Infantry Regiment.  Great figures with fine, detailed sculpting.  The sculpting is in the style of Minden, Fife & Drum, and Brigade Games.  That is, having a slender build with anatomically pleasing proportions.
The Peninsular War project gains another reinforcement for the French.  With so many varied and interesting French allies, it has been difficult to maintain parity with their opposition.  More work is needed to bring the British back into balance.
Baden sent the 4th Regiment of two battalions and one gun to the Peninsula.  Interestingly, the first battalion of the 4th and the second battalion of the 3rd were combined to form the 4th Infantry Regiment.  So in the Peninsular War, the 4th will field two battalions with different facings.

When will the 4th's sister battalion see action on the painting desk?  Well, that may be awhile.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Austrian IR 2/31 for the 1859 Project

Battalion #2 of IR #31 marches off the painting desk.  Like the 1/31 before, these 18 Austrian line infantry are from Lancashire Miniatures' excellent 19th Century range of 15mm figures.
Unlike the Old Glory, Freikorps, and Mirliton Austrian infantry, these Lancashire figures wear the uncovered shako.  All of the other manufacturers' figures don the covered shako such that the shako plate is not visible.
For this evening, Jake is in town on business so an impromptu game is on the docket.  Being out of town all week, myself, "impromptu" is smack on.  I need to pull something together quickly.  What will I set up?  Unknown.  Jake provided a few suggestions but I may have a surprise up my sleeve.  It must be a game that can be set up quickly will little advance preparation.  If nothing materializes in time then a session of Commands & Colors Ancients will fit the bill.  This evening's game will mark the third gaming session in April.  Quite a singular experience for me!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mobile State of the Painting Desk

Paint station still life
This week saw my routine monthly journey to Seattle for a week in the home office.  Rather than may usual, fair-weather companion of the bicycle tagging along for the 600 mile round trip, I added a twist to occupying my time spent after work.  At the last minute, I decided to include a mobile painting station into the car for the week away.
Packed and ready to go
The mobile station consists of an interlocking three-tiered, stackable container with a handy carrying handle.  The container caught my eye while shopping for additional storage boxes in which to house painted figures.  Upon inspection, I thought this solution would be ideal for transporting a few items for a mobile painting desk.  Into these compartments were placed the paints needed for the tasks at hand, a handful of brushes, a couple of knives, bottles of glue and epoxy, and figures.  Everything needed for a mobile painting kit.
Mobile painting kit
The figures brought along were enough to build two units.  One figure group consisted of 17 figures to complete a 28mm Baden infantry battalion for the 28mm Penninsular War project; the other a five figure unit of mounted Gendarmes for the Great Italian Wars project.
Badeners and Gendarmes
Midway through the week, the Badeners by Murawski Miniatures are about half finished.  The Foundry Gendarmes only have a base coat of horse flesh laid down.  By Friday how much further will each of these progress?  Even if I make no more progress while away, I will arrive home with a solid start on two units.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Austrian IR 1/31 for the 1859 Project

Back to the 1859 project to see a battalion of Austrian infantry muster out from the painting desk.  This battalion marches off as the first battalion of IR #31.  Figures are 15mm Lancashire Games.  
IR 1/31 is only the second Austrian regiment painted using Lancashire figures.  The first regiment was fielded using the Austrians in greatcoat.  While the greatcoat may have seen much more service in the later 1866 conflict, in the heat of the 1859 summer, the sharp looking white kittel would have been de rigueur.  Austrians knew how to dress snappy for battle, no?
Next off the painting desk will be a sister battalion of IR 31; the second.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Napoleon's First Italian Campaign 1796-1797

A number of interesting books have made it into the library since Christmas.  While many have had a cursory browse, only now do some enjoy a closer examination.  The first to get a closer look and a few sample photos, is Military History Press', Napoleon's First Italian Campaign (NFC).  Edited by Matt DeLaMater, the long ago author of Napoleonic wargame rules, Legacy of Glory (remember that one?  I do!  Still have a copy), Napoleon's First Campaign, is an oversize, coffee table book published with great care.  Leather bound with gilt stamping and heavy gilt-edges pages, NFC is a work of art as well as a fine addition to this little presented campaign.
Montenotte by Keith Rocco
What elevates this quality exterior is the contents therein.  Included in this 266 page tome are 55 works by noted artist, Keith Rocco.  Fifty-five Rocco works!  The paintings are fantastic and having such large and related works in one volume is quite a treat.  I am still not accustomed to seeing Austrians in greyish-brown jackets, however. 

For the account of the campaign, NFC draws on Ramsey Weston Phipps' four volume, The Armies of the First French Republic and the Rise of the Marshall's of Napoleon I.  The text for NFC originates from Phipps' fourth volume.  All four volumes were published after the author's death in 1923.
Guide of the Army of Italy by Keith Rocco
In addition to Rocco's works, Phipps' text is annotated.  Distributed throughout the text are a number of museum display pieces.  Want to see an Austrian grenadier's kit?  A reproduction of such can be found within.  Campaign maps showing troop dispositions and movements are found scattered throughout the text helping provide a very helpful visual to accompany Phipps' storytelling.

Having an interest in Rivoli and read many accounts of this battle, I turned first to Phipp's account.  Stirring stuff with good explanations as to why the Austrians attacked as they did.  Reading this account energizes me to pull this battle out of the gaming archives, set it up, and give it another outing.

At a list price of USD$185 it might seem expensive.  For what is included and the production quality, it seems a good value.  My own copy was purchased during a half-off sale so this fine work set me back only USD $93.  A bargain!

A handsome book and one to consider if you enjoy Rocco's artworks and Napoleon's 1796-1797 campaigns in Italy.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Don Cossacks for 1799 Project

With glorious spring weather in the Pacific Northwest, outdoor cycling mileage has seen a big boost with an offsetting sacrifice in time at the painting desk.  Afternoon workouts are much more enjoyable cycling around the region rather than sitting in the boring confines of the stationary bike.  Still, perseverance with the brush continues albeit at a reduced rate.
Off the painting desk today are reinforcements for Suvorov's army for the 1799 project.  These dozen Cossacks wear the black Astrakan cap familiar to the Don Cossacks.  The caftans and trousers are an assortment of mid to dark blue although the photos really do not show such distinction.
Figures are Eureka Miniatures from the 18mm SYW range.  Excellent sculpting and a much needed addition to bolster Russia's light infantry arm.  From OBs on the 1799 campaign, it seems Russia brought mainly Cossacks west for the campaign.  Several more Cossack regiments will be needed for the project.  Only a handful of Russian hussar, dragoon, and cuirassier regiments appear infrequently in the campaign.  Most heavier cavalry roles are filled by Austrian horsemen.   
With eighteen new units mustering off the painting desk thus far in 2016, perhaps it is time for a parade ground review?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sikh Irregular Cavalry for the Great Game

Work returns briefly to the Great Game project.  Kevin will be pleased to see some activity on this project.  The project is getting very close to a gameable collection.  I would like to add two more battalions of Russian regulars and, perhaps, a native gun before releasing them onto the gaming table.  Their odds of survival against Kevin's large, HEIC collection are likely low but if they can put up a decent fight, I would be pleased.
These dozen horsemen are a mix of Sikh irregular horse from Wargames Foundry's Sikh Wars range.  Great figures whose sculpting style and quality have withstood the test of time.  The variety of horsemen is large such that a more irregular look is possible.
This unit is a somewhat motley crew wearing a variety of body armor and headgear.  Some of these fellows look quite fearsome.  With these natives mustering out from the painting desk, all of the native cavalry in The Lead Pile are exhausted.  Two or three dozen Russian cavalry remain, allowing the cavalry arm of the project to see continued growth.  Without checking, there are enough Russian cavalry to field at least one more Cossack formation and one unit of lancers.  Perhaps, fielding two Cossack units in total is possible?  To verify that, I need to dig back into The Lead Pile.  Still, other units from other projects are waiting in the painting queue before attention turns towards fielding more for the Great Game.

How is this project shaping up?  After about nine months into the project, two guns and crew, 56 horse, and 194 foot have crossed the painting desk. Not bad progress for a part time project.  Totals are summarized in the table below:
Nine months ago, little did I realize that a transient project would result in nearly 260 figures painted and awaiting hardening on the battlefield.

What's the next likely candidate off the painting desk?  Well, probably a few squadrons of Russian Cossacks for the 1799 project will slide into the "Completed" side of the ledger next.  Two battalions of Austrian infantry seen in the last State of the Painting Desk are still lingering awaiting completion.    
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