Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WWII Scenario - Drive on Bjerkvik

28mm FIW Project:
In what was to become the second company of 15th Regiment of foot, a bit of memory lapse resulted in white facings on the sixteen 1st Corps British figures. By the time I discovered my mistake, the figures already had white facings. Not wanting to rework the facing colors, I maintained the white facing and christened this unit as fourth company of the 47th Regiment of Foot.

The second company of the French regiment, Voluntaire Etrangers, is nearing completion. Painting is complete and I'm awaiting the dullcote to dry before basing.
With the completion of these two companies, my inventory (notwithstanding a collection of miscellaneous command) of FIW figures is exhausted.

28mm Napoleonic Peninsula Project:
Three mounted French officers are complete and awaiting basing. The Front Rank officers are really excellent sculpts and will look great on the table. These figures will be mounted individually on 50mm round bases. This change of mounting officers on round rather than rectangular bases will prompt me to rebase the few British officers I have.

15mm Napoleonic Project:Austrian flag sheets have been created and I'm preparing to reflag all of the Austrians in my collection.

On the painting table are 24 Russian grenadiers that will be forming two combined grenadier brigades. In addition to the grenadiers, I pulled 24 Austrians in shako and 20 British line from the bin and primed them. These 24 Austrian figures represent the last of the Germans in shako. The British line will form the core of 2x12 British regiments and allow me to utilize four British rifles that I've already painted.

Drive on Bjerkvik:The guys gathered on Saturday afternoon to refight the Norway 1940 scenario, Drive on Bjerkvik. Instead of using 1943, Battlefront would be the rule set in play. The game began similarly to the 1943 replay but quickly turned into a blood bath for the allies. Taking severe casualties on their advance along the coast road from the FJ heavy weapons, Austin called off the attack before the Poles could engage. In the northern end of the valley, Don's Norwegians, likewise, took heavy casualties as he tried to outflank the Germans holding the woods. The game ended in a complete disaster for the Allies.

I reset the scenario and replayed using 1943. As in the other game, the Irish advance along the coast road quickly bogged down with 1st coy losing 1/3 of its strength and becoming pinned. The Norwegians experienced better success and chose to use one coy as a diversion to attempt to slow the German advance south while using the 2nd coy as a spearhead towards the coast road. With the Irish advance stalled and the Brits continuing to take heavy casualties, I stopped the game.

In both games, cross country movement in the snow is so difficult that an advance along the coast road quickly outstrips any chance of support from follow-on companies. Perhaps, a more rational approach for the Allies is to attack out of the woods and across the valley rather than attacking along the coast road? Combined with the quick dash by the Norwegians down the valley on skis, this might be the solution for which I've been searching.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Projects Update and Reducing Lead Pile

18mm SYW Project:
Painting on sixteen Eureka Prussian and Austrian mounted officers/staff are complete and awaiting basing. When these are finished, it will be time for a game!

This week's SYW focus has been on flagging all of the 32 foot battalions. I had earlier flagged a few of the Austrian battalions and a few of the Prussian foot battalions using flags downloaded from These flags had adequate clarity and detail but scaling down to 15mm muddied the detail somewhat. The excellent website,, has images of flags so I gave these a try. After a bit of manipulation (copy, paste, flip, re-scaling, etc.), my resulting flags were very nice. They may not have the richness of GMB but they certainly are better than most of the Old Glory/Signifer flags I have laying around. I may go through a similar exercise and reflag my 15mm Napoleonics. Now, that would be a big task.

28mm Napoleonic Peninsula Project:
Work begins on retrofitting six Front Rank finials with tassels atop six British standards. Currently, these six battalions each have a GMB flag with a bare wire top. Two battalions already have Front Rank finials in place and these six will bring Allied battalions up to regulations.

Three mounted French officers are primed and ready to feed into the production line. These three figures will likely be tackled once I churn through the FIW figures on the painting table

28mm French & Indian War:As noted in an earlier post, 16 Crusader British infantry were recently completed and rekindled the mojo for FIW. The last of my 1st Corps figures are primed and ready for painting (1 x 16 figure British company and 1 x 16 figure French company). Austin and Scott are rumbling about embarking on a SYW project. If so, I may consider re basing this collection so that it could serve duty on two fronts. We'll see...

Jettisoning Figures:
With the start of 2010, I evaluated my lead pile and am actively making an effort to reduce this pile of lead. To begin, I'm dumping a few colonial figures (SAW, NW) then I'm tackling the Napoleonics' surplus. Having already painted over 5,500 Napoleonic figures, there are few battles for which I cannot field most of the contingents. First on the chopping block are five bags of Saxons. I once had envisioned painting and fielding these for the 1809 campaign but off they go to eBay. Bye bye, Saxons.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Vimeiro AAR

28mm French and Indian War Project:
After having purchased three test bags of Crusader Miniatures' SYW Rank and File British quite some time ago, I pulled 16 figures from the primed box and tackled the unit this weekend. These figures will become the first company of the 17th Regiment of foot. The figures are noticeably smaller than the 1st Corps figures yet a bit larger than the Old Glory FIW figures. The Crusader figures are nicely detailed and paint up quite quickly. If I need reinforcements, these will certainly be at the top of my list.

Painting these British figures reinvigorated me to clean-out some of my remaining inventory from the FIW collection. I have two more companies of 1st Corps infantry remaining in inventory (one French; one British) and I grabbed the 16 British figures to prime.

Vimeiro 2009 AAR
With ex-Delaborde unable to launch attacks against Vimeiro, the responsibility for cracking the Vimeiro defenses fell to Margaron. Repeated attacks by the French cavalry failed to break the British morale and the final charge of the day saw the dragoons breaking off their attack against Vimeiro. On the Toledo front, three attacks went in against the defenders and two were repulsed with heavy casualties. Even though Loison did not panic as a result of failed attacks, sustained casualties will pre-empt future attacks.

Junot calls it a day and retires from the battlefield giving Wellesley a tactical victory.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and Project Recap

Happy New Year!
Painting totals for December were above average including 72 SYW horse and 7 guns for a total output of 169 figures and 7 guns.

For 2009, a wide assortment of periods crossed the painting table and I managed to paint 1,440 figures, 31 guns, and 4 ships. My 2009 goal was to paint 1,200 figures so I exceeded my expectations by about 20%. For 2010, I'd like to game more and paint less so perhaps, 900 figures is a reasonable painting goal.

Even though my 15mm AWI collection was deemed finished in an earlier year, I continue to add regiments in short bursts. My AWI inventory still contains enough Jeff Valent figures to field several more regiments for both combatants.

As part of our group project, I began and completed my portion of the AWI Saratoga Project. In fact, I painted more German figures than actually needed for the Saratoga battle.

Napoleonics projects saw figures completed in three scales: 15mm, 18mm, and 28mm. I considered lumping the 15mm and 18mm figures into one scale but since I'm using ABs exclusively for the 1799 Project, they remain as a separate scale for now. Work will continue on all three projects in 2010.

The SYW project has reached critical mass (and my inventory is nearly depleted). Once I paint wing and army command, I'll be ready to game. Currently, I can field 16 battalions of foot, 20+ squadrons of horse, and 9 guns for each of the protagonists (Austria and Prussia). All figures are Eureka. Focus for 2010 will be to develop and refine a ruleset for this period at a 25:1 scale. First test will include modifying the Combat Effectiveness mechanics from Ironsides.

The ECW project is another period that I deemed complete last year but with a terrific sale on Renegade figures, I purchased several foot regiments worth of the nice Renegade figures. This purschase also motivated me to field three foot regiments and one horse regiment to the collection. However, only one of the regiments added in 2009 was Renegade. The others were all Redoubt including one Regiment of French mercenary foot. Only one horse regiment remains unpainted in the Redoubt inventory.

Although I painted a few hundred Freikorps test figures for the Second Italian War of Independence in 2008, my recent trip to Italy has renewed my interest in this fascinating period. I recently ordered a few test bags of the Old Glory figures and they are really quite excellent sculpts. On order are a number of bags from the Old Glory 15mm range. Having recently walked the battlefields, my goal is to be able to refight the battle at San Martino between the Italians and Austrians.

Annual Painting Tally for 2009


Era Scale Type Figures

Terrain 28

American Civil War 10mm Command 2

American Civil War 10mm Infantry 69

American War of Independence 15mm Command 4

American War of Independence 15mm Infantry 63

American War of Independence 28mm Artillery 8 2

American War of Independence 28mm Command 2

American War of Independence 28mm Infantry 110

Anglo-Dutch War 1/1200 Ship 1

English Civil War 30mm Cavalry 12

English Civil War 30mm Command 1

English Civil War 30mm Infantry 81

Medieval 15mm Cavalry 6

Medieval 15mm Command 3

Medieval 15mm Infantry 8

Napoleonic Wars 15mm Artillery 40 15

Napoleonic Wars 15mm Cavalry 32

Napoleonic Wars 15mm Command 4

Napoleonic Wars 15mm Infantry 227

Napoleonic Wars 18mm Infantry 98

Napoleonic Wars 28mm Infantry 116

Seven Years War 18mm Artillery 56 14

Seven Years War 18mm Cavalry 144

Seven Years War 18mm Infantry 282

Spanish-American War 1/1000 Ship 3

WWII 15mm Infantry 44

Yearly Total: 1,440 35