Wednesday, September 28, 2016

MID WEEK EYE CANDY: THIRTY YEARS WAR HORSE


Brown on dark tan on cream on burnt sienna on light leather on chestnut on chocolate on dark leather on brown...
And now, for something completely different, here are a few images from my Thirty Year's War/17th Century collection. To begin with, here are two units of Reiters. These figures are from Old Glory. Their TYW/ECW and Eastern Renaissance lines are hidden gems--well worth looking into.   As usual, Clix Pix for BIG PIX.
 
One great challenge I find when painting in this era, especially something like reiters in buff coats, is keeping them authentic without being monochrome. Forget about 50 Shades of Gray, there are that many shades of brown here, along with some other shading effects.  Adding this differentiation is another case of one of those  "behind the scenes" painting effects that doesn't draw attention to itself.  Nobody picks up a figure and says, "Wow, look at the subtle difference between the two browns here!" Nevertheless, I find it necessary to indulge in these exercises to produce the overall look of the unit (whether it's in all in my mind or not is another question). 
The "Black" reiters
The "Brown" Reiters
The "Bumble Bee" Trumpeter of the Black Reiters
The "Candy Stripe" Trumpeter of the Brown Reiters





                                           HEAVY METAL:   THE CUIRASSIERS

Although shock cavalry would became progressively less armored as the era progressed, one still can't beat the good old Schwartz Reiters, aka Cuirassiers, in 3/4 armor. These guys are the beasts of the tabletop--and you just gotta' have them. One interesting bit of metaphysics informed my choice of horse color. In the 17th Century, it was believed that dark horses were stronger, thus heavy cavalry were mounted on blacks--thus, so are mine. It probably didn't hurt that black mounts added to the effect of big riders in blackened armor! It's also interesting to note that black horses would be a signature look of heavy cavalry in later eras, perhaps a tradition deriving from this early practice.   The first two units are in "black armor" that I did by using a black base highlighted with metallics: gunmetal, steel, and just a touch of silver.
My favorite figs: these are my "Red" Cuirassiers. The figures are from the Foundry ECW line (and don't seem to be available any longer). After firing the pistol, cuirassiers would turn it over and use it as a club. When you look at the monster pistols that these guys are carrying, that makes perfect sense.  As such, it is one of the few figures lines that gets this right.  I also really like the closed-visored figs with the plumes.
These are my "Blue" cuirassiers, from the Perry range. These are very nice figures which fit in well with their Foundry cousins, the main difference being the larger horses. The leader figure is worth the price of the package alone. You can't see it in the image, but he is wielding a war hammer! Gotta love the era. 
"Black" Cuirassiers.  These are Foundry Thirty Years War figures. I did these in "white" armor using steel and washes of black.

 A NOTE ABOUT UNIT COLORS:

Mike asked an excellent question about the color-references for the units, like the "Black Reiters" when there isn't any black about them, which I'll use as an excuse to post a few more pictures to explain. All the units are color coded, as indicated by a peg on the back of the stand. There are only so many colors, so I ran through a sequence of brown, blue, black, and gray (originally), expanding to red, white, and yellow later on as the collection grew. The leaders have solid color pegs, and the troops have numbered pegs. Sometimes, I can pick up the unit color in the figures, but not always (actually, quite often not the case). So the color is really a playing aid. It's less confusing when looking at the units on the table.  [Although in the above set, the "Red Cuirassiers" are actually Gray according to their unit color--it was a test to see if anyone was looking].     Additionally, I mounted the leaders on white/gray horses so that they would stand out in play, and put the trumpeters on blacks.  This works nicely to assist with play, but it is an inversion of the convention where musicians would normally be on white horses. 

Brown Reiters
Black Reiters


 
Black Cuirassiers...not much black about them except for horses, and all my cuirassiers have black horses.

Black Cuirassier leader has black features.



Hammer Time!  This is just a gratuitous addition to show the Blue Cuirassier leader's  warhammer.  What can I say? I'm easily amused. 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

GARDEN VARIETY GARIBALDISTS

Several months ago I picked up several sets of Perry 28mm ACW figures, "Early Confederate Infantry in Sicilian Caps and 1839 Pattern Caps Advancing" in order to get enough figures in the distinctive visored cap to put together two units of Schlewswig Holstein Volunteers.  
Perry ACW61
The 1839-capped Confeds as S-Holstein Volunteers
This caused me to have left over figures in the Sicilian Cap, from which I put together a unit of "Garden Variety Garibaldists."  I was trying to think of all sorts of ways to embellish these outfits, but after looking at a variety of depictions, I finally decided to stop fighting it and go with something fairly straightforward, a red shirt and cap over blue trousers, which wound up giving these fellows an attractive "bold" look on the table.  These will certainly work as the vanguard of any Risorgemento project should I wind up there, but also would work, in a pinch, as a one-off unit of "Garibaldi Inspired" irregulars in some other force (if I'm short on volunteer-type units).  As usual, clix pix for BIG PIX. 



Monday, September 19, 2016

FPW (ISH) SAXON GRENADIERS

These are a recent addition to my continuing project on 19th century continental armies.  One of the challenges of the German Confederation/Prussian forces is that the distinguishing horsehair plumes on the guards and grenadiers weren't worn on service.  Despite this fact, of course, I wanted to add this bit of flavoring to the look of my armies.  Hence, I was happy to stumble across these figures from the Steve Barber Models Saxon 12th Corps FPW Range  which are the only 28mm German/Prussian Confederation grenadiers with the horsehair plumes that I know of. Clix Pix for BIG PIX:

CLICK "READ MORE" BELOW FOR MORE ABOUT FPW GRENADIERS

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"ROBBIECON" 2016

Last weekend, Robert (aka, "Robbie") organized a gaming weekend at a small conference facility associated with his workplace in Vermont. The gathering included miniatures gamers from our club as well as a crew of Robbie's board gaming friends. It ran from Friday night through Sunday morning. Good games, good friends, good food--it was excellent. For another report, see AJ's Wargaming Blog    As usual, clix pix for BIG PIX in this report.

We miniaturists spent most of our time in the "clown room"--something we tried to not think about too much...

The Watcher on the Wall...
Friday night, we broke from tradition and indulged ourselves in board games, which turned out to be just the thing for the day that everyone came together. But not just any old games....


Classic edition with 1965 rules
1963 edition with wooden blocks.










     
We played several rousing iterations of these nostalgic favorites far into the night--more so than any of us would have imagined. By the time we were done (2 a.m.), several bits of club lore had been created. I wouldn't want to embarrass anyone in this blog by mentioning names, but one player (Rob, aka "Oilcan") managed to get wiped out in a game of Nuclear War before we got to turn 1: a legend is born! Modesty also prevents me from mentioning that I was emperor of the world in Risk (hey, it was my game after all...).

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

MID WEEK EYE CANDY

If you're curious about what the games that I've posted in my Nine Year's War page on this blog might look like, here are some shots I took when preparing the Battle of Longchamps (speculative, 1692) for convention use. These are mostly Irregular 6mm figures, with a few Baccus (mainly the command figures). If this peaks your curiosity, you might want to visit the Nine Year's War page on this blog. As usual, click pix for BIG PIX.



The Danes
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Sunday, September 4, 2016

BLOG IS NOW OPEN

Hello and welcome to my blog. I've given up on trying to post some sort of statement defining my blog, explaining why I'm blogging and how I'll be going about it. I also gave up on trying to figure out just when enough material was enough to get going. In short, I think the title, "Meanderings," captures the ethos of the place. Please take a look at my content pages (and check back: I'll be expanding content over time). And please don't waste much more time on this bit of blather..on to my first bit of eye candy, the 1836-1849 Austrian grenadier conversion below....

PRE-1850 AUSTRIAN GRENADIER





This is the latest in an ongoing project of mine, the working title of which is Chocolate Box Wars. I'll say more about this in later posts, but the focus of it is the continental armies and wars of the 19th Century (in 28mm). Despite there being some excellent figures available, there are huge gaps in the lines, forcing you to improvise to get a complete force. Thus far, I've had good luck repurposing figures from other eras and doing some minor figure modifications to do 1st Schleswig Holstein War Danes, of which I've been posting  on TMP (and I might repost those here at some point). Now that I've got a blog, I'll start posting here. This is my latest production. 

I've got a start on the Austrian Army, with an eye towards the pre-1850 uniforms. One reason for this is that the grenadiers lost their bearskins in 1850. The 1836 bearskin, however, is a departure from the Napoleonic version. As can be seen in the below illustrations, the distinctive plate on the front is gone (instead there is a grenade badge), the sharp peak at the top is gone and more rounded, and the entire thing has become more bushy.

(Images below are from: Left: The Austrian Army, 1836-66, Osprey Men-at-Arms 323, Darko Pavlovic; Right: Gustav Ritter Amon von Treuenfest: Geschichte des k. k. Infanterie-Regimentes Hoch- und Deutschmeister Nr. 4. Wien 1879, After p. 503)


German and Hungarian Grenadier
Note squared top in this illustration


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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Feldmutzekopf Says...

Feldmutzekopf says...

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