Sunday, October 9, 2016


Danish Commanders: from the NYPL Vinkhuijzen Collecton.
After several extended delays, I have finally completed the last stage of "Phase 1" of my Chocolate Box Wars project: the command stands. With these complete, I'll be able to start playtesting! First, a disclaimer. The substance of this post may cause the purist to cringe at points--and it is a bit of a departure from my own normal tendencies. However, I'm finding myself loosening up a bit in my dotage in the interest of recreation. As always, Clix Pix for BIG PIX.
Flags with magnetic bases to put on command stands to represent different armies.Prussian flag is from GMB. All others are from the Warflag site.
These command stands are intended to be generic to some extent, and able to be used with multiple armies if need be. The reason for this is, in part, due to the gaps in figure lines for the 19th century continental armies as well as the challenge of figure matching (I wanted the command figures to fit in with the rest). Having said that, my first two armies are Danes and Prussians, so I based the look of these commanders on these two forces (with some license).

I used the image of Moltke and Bismarck (above left) as the inspiration for my Germanic command stand. For the Danes, I went with a look that was inspired by the image of the Danish general in 1848 (upper right). This look, however, is one that persisted throughout the century and could be found in multiple armies--a rather plain peaked cap topped by a tuft of feathers (in various colors) and a long jacket, often in blue. Thus, the Danish-inspired stand would serve particularly well across the era.

For figures, I went with the Great War Crimean War set of Baron Osten Sacken and Staff for my Germanics (below left). The visored cap is a bit too big for a feldmutze, and the uniform coats aren't quite right, but they render a reasonable look. Although Foundry do make Prussian command figures, they are just a bit too small for my likes compared to the rest of my figs, so I went with this alternative.  For the Danes, I went with the Perry Carlist War range Isabelino Foreign Commanders (lower right).
I modified the Perry Carlist War figures by shaving down the ornaments on the hats and adding a feather tuft out of green stuff to the two figures that were wearing them:
Perry Carlist War Commanders with green stuff feather tufts added.
                                                               The Results


The Command Stand: A courier stands by after delivering a dispatch. The adjutant informs the general of the news, holding the dispatch in his right hand. These Great War command figures were just too excellent to not use. I included two 10mm dice frames to the command stands to facilitate information tracking (depending on the game system). The magnetic flags sit on a 1/2" metal square, painted green (visible on the opposite side from the dice frame)I made these using metal wargame bases (snipped to size).
Command stands are 3" octagons.  These stand out nicely from unit stands and nest in storage, as opposed to circles, which take up extra space.
The courier is in the uniform of the Prussian Guard Uhlans. I shaved down the ornaments on his czapka to clean up the lines and make it more generic.

10mm dice and flag added. 

The Chief of Staff (below): In the Chocolate Box Wars system, each side will have the option of adding a chief of staff figure. The below is from the Helion 1864 Prussian range (now unavailable).  I acquired this and a few others from the remainders of the Helion line that were on hand at Caliver Books:

Chiefs of Staff are on 2" octagons. The exact shape isn't important--I like to use forms that are distinct from the rectangular unit stands.
 Mitt Dice

The Dane-inspired Command Stand: A staff officer arrives to make his report.

The full treatment: dice and flag.

 The Chief of Staff:

I'm happy with how the feather tufts came out on these figures. 

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for following along!


  1. Your green stuff work looks great Ed. You cannot tell that the figures weren't made that way.

  2. Ed your Chocolate box war is outstanding. Great mini dioramas. Cannot wait for the actual game. Brilliant!

  3. Beautiful command stands and flags, great details!

  4. Ed, I love the figures and the whole concept. I started playing Franco-Prussian wargames back when there were no suitable rules, very limited reference sources (in English) and the only figures were Peter Laing (unless you could afford Tradition figures!). It's great to see a gamer going back to 'first principles' for their games.

    1. Thanks, Ian, and all, for the feedback: encouraging and certainly informative.

      We all have approaches, but I think we're so involved in the productive act that we sometimes aren't completely self-aware of what our actual "style" may be. That takes input from others.

      It's been interesting to see several comments, like Ian's referring to "first principles," that suggest a certain "Old Skool" look and approach, which I found very interesting--and upon reflection, have to say is right. Now let's see if I can get the rules to live up to the figures!


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