Monday 8 April 2024

A Hessian Brigade

German troops of course formed a considerable proportion of the armies fighting for the crown. The most well known were the Hessians - a term often used to describe all German troops, whichever state they came from. Below are a couple of shots of the Leib regiment, one of the crack units sent to North America. This particular battalion has 32 figures (quite strong by Live Free or Die standards), made up of Perry figures. The flags are hand painted by Mark Allen. I particularly like the colour combination on these!

 The 2nd Regiment is von Bose, which fought well at Guildford Courthouse amongst other battles. Also Perry figures with Mark Allen flags.

And here is the brigade covered by a screen of jagers.

I am just putting the finishing touches to a battalion of combined grenadiers (and I may even add a second battalion in due course).

Sunday 24 March 2024

More British AWI


It is well over a year since I last posted pics of my slowly expanding British army - I have been much more successful in building up their American opponents. Below is the latest regiment - the 63rd Foot, which saw a good deal of action during the war. Perry figures (32) with hand painted Mark Allen flags.

Below are some British light infantry in skirmish order - I did a dozen in total on 6 bases. We tend to field close order battalions of 6-10 bases and have separate units for when they are deployed in skirmish order - simply leaving an inch between bases and saying they are in skirmish order just doesn't look right - especially if the figures are marching. It means painting a few extra figures but....  In LFOD a base can represent anything from 50-75 actual men, depending on the size of the battle being played, although we have always used a 1:10 figure scale, making a close order base of 4 figures represent 40 men, or around 240-400 men per regiment. We usually say that a 2 man skirmish or cavalry base represents around 20, so this unit would be around 120 strong - perhaps 3 or 4 detached light companies. The figures are once again from Perry Miniatures.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Plastics For and Against


As a fully paid up member of the Old Farts Alliance, I have always had a bit of a thing against plastic figures. Whether this is age-driven snobbery I am not sure, but plastic figures were what I played with as a child and since then I have gone on to better things. Hmmm. In my earlier post about Partizan last year, I did confess to buying a few boxes of ACW Perry plastics in a moment of weakness following a beautiful display game that I saw there. And I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't however think that they would make their way into the holy of holies: Napoleonic. Wrong again. Having been working hard on my Napoleonic French army for a few months now (more to follow), I decided to try out the Perry French chasseurs a cheval box. Quite a revelation.

So, for and against. Negatives first - they are quite light and you feel that a mis-judged sneeze could send a whole regiment flying in an uncontrolled charge across the table! That said, a Really Useful Box with half a dozen regiments inside is a damn sight easier to move around than the metal equivalent. I also worry about the weapons, although they do seem a lot more robust than I would have expected. Even so, the first two regiments have the sword shouldered, apart from the officers, just in case! The case for the defence is pretty solid; they are relatively cheap, very nicely designed (as one might expect from the Perrys) and are easy to convert, quite apart from the incredible variety that you already get in each box.

Below are a few photos of my first two completed light cavalry regiments: the 4th Chasseurs and the 12th Hussars. Such is the detail and ingenuity of this particular box, that you can not only assemble units of chasseurs in a variety of dress, but you can also make them up as hussars in the Kinski coat - a simple and practical alternative to the dolman and pelisse that we normally associate with that arm. A really nice alternative. 

You get 14 figures in a box (my regiments are usually in 12s); so by getting five boxes and an additional 2 figure command sprue, you can get 6 full regiments (I am going to do 2 hussars and 4 chasseurs). Not only that, but by judicious use of all the spares in each box, you can easily make up another regiment's worth of riders and then buy spare horses and another command sprue and make up a 7th regiment (in my case a regiment of Neapolitan chasseurs a cheval, which fought in the 1813 campaign). No true born Yorkshireman can ignore economies like that! 

The three photos above give a good indication of the campaign variety that you can build in to your units, with the odd rolled manteau and forage cap to break thing up. A really nice and unusual unit.

The same with the chasseurs - I even did a bit of minor surgery on one of the horses and riders, to have a trooper tumbling out of the saddle due to enemy fire. This is much easier to do with plastics as you can imagine.

And here is the full brigade of 24 figures.

So, am I converted? Yes, I think I am. I will certainly complete all the regiments I mentioned above and am seriously considering a regiment of carabiniers and 4 or 5 of cuirassiers. I do particularly like the Perry metal dragoons in rolled manteau, so I may opt for them, rather than the plastics - not sure yet. I would also be a bit wary of doing lancers as I really wouldn't feel comfortable with plastic lances. That said, they are a really convincing alternative to metal figures and this old dog perhaps can learn a new trick or two.

Monday 5 February 2024

Napoleonic French Army - A New Beginning


Having sold my previous French army to fill the wargaming coffers for future campaigns, I was determined to re-build it as quickly as possible. Question was how? My Russian and Prussian forces were composed of mainly Wargames Foundry infantry, due to my reluctance to "go plastic", whilst most of the cavalry was Perry. Having looked at what was available (and the Christmas 25% sale!!), I decided to go the same way with the French. Although the figures are a little "retro", they are full of character and there is a LOT of choice, with loads of in-pack variations. If you want that scruffy campaign look, it seemed a good way to go.

At the time of writing I have just finished a couple of  French line battalions, bringing the total to 8, with an additional 2 light and 4 Italian line, making 14 in total. This Christmas just gone, I took  advantage of the annual sale to add a further 4 French line and 2 Italian light battalions (still to be painted). I also bought enough French line  artillery to furnish all the batteries I will ever need.

I have also done a couple of regiments of light cavalry to round out phase 1 of the army. These will feature in a later post.

Here are a few photos of the infantry. They are organised in "battalions" of 24 this time - I just couldn't face painting a load of 36s again!! I am intending to cobble together a quick play set of Napoleonic rules which will allow us to play medium sized games (20 units a side) in an evening and larger games (35-40 units a side) in a day. A unit of infantry will represent around 1,200 men and a unit of (12) cavalry around 600. The idea is to be able to field up to a couple of infantry corps per side, supported perhaps by a cavalry corps and maybe the odd guard or grenadier division. I will keep the blog updated with my progress (and maybe even the odd after action report!).

                                        Above - one of the Italian line infantry units.

                                                          French light infantry.

And finally French line infantry.

They don't have the table "presence" of 36 figure units, but they are so much easier to do! Will hopefully get the total up to 20 this year. Also hoping to add a load of cavalry units, lights and heavies, using heresy of heresies - plastics! so stay tuned to see how I get on. 

Friday 26 January 2024

My First Completed Confederate Brigade


Following on from my 12 June post and my seduction into yet another project, I thought I would show you where I have got to so far. The first brigade has four regiments each of five bases with (usually) five figures on each base, so around 100 figures in total. This is comprised of a couple of boxes of Perry plastics and two metal command packs, which coincidentally comes to 100 figures! Each command pack has two standard bearers, officers and drummers, providing one of each for two of the four regiments. No wastage.

As a previous plastic-sceptic, I must admit that I am very impressed with these figures. They assemble easily, are in a nice mix of right shoulder shift poses and are more robust than I would have thought. Price wise they are, as you might expect, very competitive.

As I have lots of other projects on the go for 2024, I have decided to use the softly softly approach with this one going forward. I have assembled and undercoated another couple of hundred figures or so and about half of these are already block painted - something I was still able to do during the early days of convalescence. I have divided them into batches of 10 with the same basic colour scheme and started working through them alongside other painting jobs. The uniforms are fairly undemanding and I am finding that for little extra effort I can get through them fairly quickly - so far three batches done in a few weeks. Another seven batches to go and that will be the second brigade done - stay tuned to see if I can keep it up!!

Thursday 18 January 2024

2024 Here We Come!

After an unwanted break due to the accident, I am determined not only to crack on and get some of the figures I have been painting on the table this year, but to try and make more of an effort with the blog. I am surprised (and grateful) that despite a lack of posts on my part, that the number of followers has continued to grow. That demands a bit more effort from yours truly!!

This year I am looking to get my Napoleonics (phase 1) to the point where I can play a decent sized game. My AWI collection has also grown quite a bit (more to follow). We have also settled on a quick, easy and enjoyable set of rules: Little Wars TV's "Live Free or Die" - we may tweak them a bit as wargamers do - but they seem to tick the boxes for us.

I also need to crack on with my WW2 stuff. "The Road to Berlin" card driven rules have been in hibernation for a while, although I am still playing about with them from time to time. 

I am also hoping to do another scenario book this year - back to WW2 this time.

Phase 1 of the big terrain build is nearing completion, so at least we have a decent table to play on, but there is still plenty more to do on that front too.

I would also like to squeeze in WW1 as well if I can find the time (see below). 

Having been a big fan of Lardy rules for many years and having become more interested in WW1 and its possibilities on the wargames table for another, it was with some interest that I came across this publication (actually a PDF), reviewed on Alex Sotheran's Storm of Steel channel on YouTube. It is a compilation of all the articles featured in the annual Lard Special between 2004 and 2015. It is an absolute mine of inspiration, information and wargaming goodness which I have read with great enjoyment.

As well as a good number of scenarios for "Through the Mud and the Blood" and "If the Lord Spares Us", there is a wealth of articles on many other topics. If you have even a passing interest in the First World War this is a great read and an absolute steal for a tenner.

Play the Game, A Great War Compendium – TooFatLardies

As if I didn't have enough to do, I am slowly collecting the figures for a 1916-18 British and German force. I am also planning on doing a dozen or so terrain boards with a trench system and other useful features. Again more to follow. 

Well, at least I haven't bitten off more than I can chew for 2024!!

Friday 13 October 2023

Arrived at Last


Well, it has taken a while, but my book on the mitrailleuse in 1870 is finally back from the printers. There are 100 shiny new copies (less those already sold) ready to ship, so if you are interested, please drop me a line at

Cost, including 1st Class postage is £20.00 in the UK, £24.00 in Europe and £25.00 in the rest of the world. Paypal on my email address would be fine. Cheers. Steve.