Tuesday, 23 January 2018

In 1957 Meredith Willson wrote "Seventy-six trombones led the big parade..."

".....With a hundred and ten cornets close at hand."

Well my parade has neither trombones or cornets, but it does feature four cavalry trumpets and twelve side drums.

As promised last week, here is the  parade of the French in Egypt army. Now because I only had a piece of green cloth you have to use your imagination a bit here and pretend that we are in that lush part of Egypt that benefitted from the annual inundation and that each of the units brought along a bit of sand to stand on.

First of all there is the staff.

Then the cavalry. The hussars...

The Chasseurs á cheval...

The whole group, with the dragoons to the rear

Then the line infantry...

The light infantry...

...and the dromendaries, mounted...

...And dismounted

Then the artillery

Finally the team photo.

Then they are put back into their storage trays...

...and stacked in the study cupboard with the other containers of little men.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

American Civil War Game

Today we played our second game of the year, an American Civil War game, on a very hot and humid Auckland Sunday.

We had no scenario before we got together so on arrival we threw together a terrain,  put together the armies and just played a straight up scrap.

The forces were even: 18 infantry regiments a side, two of cavalry and six batteries (although the Confderates had an extra battery to take account of their four gun batteries to the Union six gun batteries). We had three Confederate and two Union players.  

We started play at ariund 11:00am. The images here are in no particular order, just a capture of the day.

The Union, on whose side I played, did well at first, roughly handling the Conferderate centre with massed artillery. Then on my flank I forced back a significant attack, while on the opposite flank we had some gains.

Then things started to go wrong. Attrition started to play against a few units and we lost them. Then we lost a critical combat in the wood on our right, that gave the Confedrates a toe hold there.

When two of my units were destroyed the rot really set in and soon one of my brigades completely disintegrated. A brigade on our right also disolved and the game came to an end at around 3:30. 

For a quickly set up game it was a lot of fun, but it was good to get home to that cold beer on this hot day.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Napoleonic French Army 1812

Wednesday night saw the completion of the 1st Carabinier Regiment for my French 1812-1813 collection.


The figures are from the Perry plastic heavy cavalry set.


After a bit of thought I have decided that the basis for this collection will be from the OOB for Borodino.

The plan is to do the entire force in plastic where practical to keep the costs down. This should mean all of the infantry, cavalry and line artillery in plastic and only the generals and horse artillery in metal.


For the infantry component I have chosen to build Friant’s 2nd Division of Davout’s I Corps. This will give a force of 17 battalions, one field, three light and one horse batteries.


2nd Division: Général de division Friant 

1st Brigade: Général de brigade Dufour 

15th Légère (5 batt. and 4 light guns)

2nd Brigade: Général de brigade van Dedem de Gelder

33rd Line:  (5 batt. and 4 light guns)

3rd Brigade: Colonel Groisne

48th  (5 batt. and 4 light guns) 

2nd and 3rd battalions of the Joseph Napoleon (Spanish)


2/7th Foot Artillery (8 guns)

5/3rd Horse Artillery (6 guns)


For the cavalry I have gone overboard, as you will see from the lists below, because I want to get broad selection of types. Since I am unlikely to ever field all this cavalry at once, I will only do three horse batteries and allocated them as the games require.

2nd Cuirassier Division - Général de division  Pierre Watier comte de Saint-Alphonse                       

1st Brigade: Général de brigade Louid-Chretien de Beaumont

5th Cuirassier Regiment: Colonel Jean-Francois Christophe

2nd Brigade: Général de brigade Jean-Louis Richter            

8th Cuirassier Regiment: Colonel Grandjean

3rd Brigade: Général de brigade Joseph-Philippe-Marie Dornes                 

10th Cuirassier Regiment: Colonel Franck


1/2 Artillerie a Cheval (6 guns)

4/2 Artillerie a Cheval (6 guns)


4th Cuirassier Division - Général de division Jean-Marie-Antoine Defrance                        

1st Brigade: Général de brigade Louis-Claude Chouard                   

1st Carabinier Regiment

2nd Brigade: Général de brigade Pierre-Louis-Francois Paultre de Lamotte                       

2nd Carabinier Regiment

3rd Brigade: Général de brigade Joseph Bouvier des Eclaz,             

1st Cuirassier Regiment


3/1 Artillerie a Cheval  (6 guns)

4/1 Artillerie a Cheval  (6 guns)


6th Heavy Cavalry Division - Général de division Armand Lebrun la Houssaye             

1st Brigade: Général de brigade Nicolas-Marin Thiry

7th Dragoon Regiment

23rd Dragoon Regiment

2nd Brigade: Général de brigade Denis-Etienne Seron                     

28th Dragoon Regiment

30th Dragoon Regiment


4/6 Horse Artillery (6 guns)

5/6 Horse Artillery (6 guns)


2nd Light Cavalry Division - Général de division Claude-Pierre Pajol                        

7th Light Brigade: Colonel Desirat

11th Chasseur a Cheval Regiment

12th Chasseur a Cheval Regiment

8th Light Brigade: Général de brigade Andre Burthe

5th Hussar Regiment

9th Hussar Regiment


1/4 Artillerie a Cheval  (4-6pdrs & 2 How)

This will not be a quick project and I fully expect it to extend into 2019.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Palm Sunday

OK it is still eleven weeks to Palm Sunday, but I finished basing all my palm trees on Sunday so the title was irresistible. Here is the last batch of 18 trees in six groups. 

I am really surprised how the simple task of putting these on a textured base makes such a simple yet effective model.

My apologies to you Lawrence H if this post brings on another bout of the mental distress palm trees have caused in your life.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

French in Egypt Project Complete....Well Maybe...

This post celebrates the flattening of the lead pile that was the French in Egypt project.
These are the last two battalions.

First is the 2e battalion, 22e Demi-Brigade Legére.

Second is the 1re battalion, 4e Demi-Brigade Legére. There is a lot of conflicting information about the uniform for this unit. One source says the had crimson facings, another brown and a third puce. After much thought, and a couple of tests, I chose to go with brown.


And both battalions...

So what is the state of the French in Egypt project?
The original target was:
  6 Generals
  9 infantry battalions (6 line, 3 light)
  1 regiment of Hussars
  1 regiment of Dragoons
  1 regiment of Dromedary troops (mounted and dismounted versions with camel holders)
  2 field guns (with limbers)
  1 horse gun (with limber)
This has been completed.

There was a bit of scope creep. I added:
  1 field gun (with limber)
  3 line battalions
  1 regiment of Chasseurs á Cheval 
  3 line colonels.
This too has been completed.

How does the overall project plan look now? Well not too bad. The Prussian Napoleonics expansion, the War of 1812 and the French in Egypt are complete (the latter two weeks ahead of schedule). The Crimean War Heavy Brigade is delayed, but the figures are on order. The Non-Specific Plastic figure project has morphed into a  French Napoleonic army for 1812-13 and my the month’s end will have another two units added. The Egyptian ruins are done, as are the palm groves. The Egyptian buildings are started, but will be a bit of a background project, filling in between painting projects. The first order for British in Egypt will be placed sometime after the 25th of January – when the credit card rolls into the next accounting period and I don’t have to pay for them until March. I am still thinking about the Great Northern War.
How does that stack up against the original plan set down in August last year? Here is the plan as it stands.

Well the significant change is the addition of the British in Egypt. This is for three reasons; first, because I realised that the Ottoman Turks were not going to be adequate opposition for the French; second, because of cost – Brigade Games would be the manufacturer of choice for the Ottomans, but they are significantly dearer than other manufacturers (more than double the cost in some cases); third, Brigade Games service of late has been terrible – a month or more to ship orders. I will do some Ottomans, but as a reduced force to support the British, rather than a significant force supported by a small British force.
There is going to be a French in Egypt expansion project (the unkind would call it yet more scope creep). This will entail:
 3 generals
 3 colonels
 1 regiment of dragoons
 3 battalions of line infantry
 3 battalions of light infantry
 4 4lb battalions guns
But this expansion project will not be undertaken probably until March or April, after the British have been started.

In the meantime I will begin the assault on the plastic pile that is the French Napoleonics for 1812-13.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Admitting to an Addiction

My name is Mark and I am a hussar-aholic. It has been three days since I painted my last hussar.

You see I have this thing about hussars. Whenever I see a regiment of them in the order of battle for an army I am building I have to have them. But when I start painting them I nearly always ask myself "WHY DID YOU DO THIS?" All that lace and fiddly stuff to paint and I am not good at that sort of stuff…a painter’s remorse you might say.

For me hussars are the epitome of European light cavalry from the Seven Years War through to the Great War. The very word echoes flamboyance. They are the good time boys of the cavalry.
I have hussars for the Russian and Prussian Napoleonic armies, the Carlist armies, the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian armies and the WWI Germans. So it should come as no surprise that when I saw the 7th Hussars for the French in Egypt army on the Perry’s website my fingers were drawn inexorably to the  “add to cart” button. When I got the figures they were wonderful castings, especially the one piece casting of the officer, but that remorse came over me almost at once – will I be able to do justice to them? I put them back in the painting queue until almost the end of the project.
Last Sunday was the day scheduled for the hussars to make their appearance on the painting desk. I started with the command stand with the usual dread. To my surprise they came up beautifully and easily, as did the remainder of the regiment.
So here they are the 7e Régiment de Hussars (bis). The regiment has “bis” added to the title to differentiate it from the other 7e Régiment de Hussars -  in the chaos of revolutionary France a bureaucratic blunder saw two regiments raised under the same number.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The 75e Demi-Brigade de Bataille

Last week's work was these three battalions of the 75e Demi-Brigade de Bataille, the last line unit of the French in Egypt project. 

In their scarlet coats with sky blue facings they are a pretty dapper looking bunch, I think.

Only three units left in the French in Egypt project...well maybe only three...