Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Some 1866 action

Some years ago I stumbled upon the series of wargame rules "1870", "1859" and "1866". The period soon caught me: There are plenty of well researched scenarios, the armies are the last truly colourful Western armies of History, and the variety is never ending. Within a small span of 11 years there are plenty of interesting armies to paint and play.
  I started with Austrians and Prussians, and my first French are not very far away (and I have the eye on upcoming Italian ranges). Here you have a photographic report of my first battle test using "1866". Well, as a matter of fact, I am using the latest official version of the system rules, also named 1870-Lite, which streamlines the use of several tables without losing tactical detail. This series of rules was primarily intended for wargaming in 6mm and 10mm, but I find that 28mm plays just perfect, and with no change in the game scale! What matters is that each base is around 30mm wide.. and that´s it. Depending on the scale you choose to play each particular game, one base can represent 1 batallion, half-batallion or about 1/4 batallion. You just play with the official distances for each game-scale. Here you can see 1 Austrian brigade (6 infantry batallions + 1 jaegers batallion), plus 1 regiment of 3 batallions and a second jaeger batallion, preparing to defend a ridge against a similar sized Prussian force that is coming out of a wood. I am sorry I don´t have artillery yet, and the Austrians are going to miss it very much...

As you can see, my austrian standards have yet to be painted and flags posted. On the other hand, the Prussian standards you can see ARE finished: The old flags of some regiments were simply vanished with the years.

Check out those austrian officers: North Star´s 1866 28mm range is full of great character figures, specially officers.

It was just a first try, but the rules worked great: They have a lot of tactical nuances, they illustrate well all the differences between different troop types, weapons, command (including doctrine) and nationalities, but everything using a quite moderate amount of modifiers. The rules are not the best written for clarity (reading all the errata and designer´s Q&A is a sine quanon), but once you take the grasp of them they are fast, historic and fun. The following pic was taken at a very advanced stage of the game. At the end, both sides morale gave in simultaneously: The austrian command gave the order to retreat, while at the same time the prussian command gave the order to stop the attack. Austrian losses were about 50% higher than those from the enemy, even if they were on the deffensive, but that is to be expected when you fight with Austrians without artillery support against those needlegun armed devils.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

French Imperial Command set

Well, it has been a while since my previous post! Not that I have stopped painting, just that I need a certain peace and time to make these posts and upload the pictures, and both have been scarce lately.

  Here you have, in all its glory, a command base including the Big small man himself: l´Empereur!
All minis are Perrys, and as you can see I have used several sets. On one corner you can see three  Imperial Guard officers (Red Lancers, Empress Dragons and Grenadier regiments). On another corner you can see a Marechal de France departing about the situation with an Officier d´Ordonnance de l´Empereur. The Big Man is giving instructions to an officer from the Imperial Headuarters. On the second row you can see several civil servants to Napoleon: one taking care of the Emperor´s horse, another standing next to the Emperor´s bodyguard, Roustam, and a couple of valets (one is serving some coffee or chocolat).


  One important notice: I think it´s about time that some of my collection is allowed to see the world. As of now, I am ready to accept offers for any of the different miniatures I have posted so far on this blog. It is my intention by now only to sell them "as they are" now, that is in complete infantry/cavalry units, and individual artillery/command bases. If the current size (number of figs) of one unit does not suit you (I am thinking about some Prussian regiments, for instance), I can take a commision to enlarge it with more miniatures.
One note: I am located in Madrid, Spain.

  I am not yet sure if this will have be my first step as a professional painter, but I need the cash now and I really think that the minis I have posted over the past 2 years are worth a good amount of it! Many of them were not photographed under the best lighting conditions or with a good camera, but I think that if you browse these blog entries you can make yourself an idea of the general quality. If you need it, I can make new pictures of any units you may see in this blog.  You can make offers or enquiries at my e-mail address: mosqueteypincel@gmail.com

Monday, 23 February 2015

French High Command and Staff

Well, this is a major update as you can see. I´ve finally painted enough Division and Corps Command bases for almost any contingency that the Emperor may ask.

Let´s begin with a "Général de Division" ("Lieutenant-Général") (Perry Miniatures) urging a Colonel of Line Infantry (Calpe Miniatures) to follow his orders:


 Another Général de Division, this time with a Major of Line Infantry (Perry and Calpe again):


The Emperor´s own selected corps of Aides de Camp were the famous and flamboyant "Officiers d´Ordonnance". Later we´ll see their usual light blue uniform, but for this miniature I´ve prefered to depict one of them in the more usual dark blue version for campaign. Unless otherwise stated, all minis from now on are Perry Miniatures.


Now that we are talking about Aides de Camp, let´s check a typical ADC of the Army dressed in the regulation dress.

What we have here now is a General de Brigade ("maréchal de camp") having a strong talk with an Aide from a Division General (distinguished by his red arm band). As you can see, the General is wearing a non-regulation made-to-order red Hussar uniform, where only the blue-gold sash tell us about his rank. He will be of good use for commanding Cavalry brigades or divisions.


Let´s keep on the subject of Generals de Brigade. Here we see "the" General de Brigade of the Carabiniers brigade, asking a dashing Officier d´Ordonnance when is the Emperor going to allow him use his heavy brigade to smash the enemy.


Between so many delightful french dishes, let´s have an Italian interlude. First a couple of colonels of Line Infantry as an appetizer. Brigade Miniatures.

 And now heavier italian stuff: A General de Division (on foot) accompained with his Chief of Staff (Aiutante Comandante).


Let´s get back to the French Army. Here we can see a General of Division receiving the visit of an Aide, with another Aide observing the scene. As you can see, both aides are Hussar´s officers dressed in their respective Regiment´s dress.

 Another General de Division. This time sporting the dark blue breeches that were quite popular among Generals. He is reading a message, while one of his staff officers (Adjoint) is observing the enemy´s whereabouts.


This General de Division is talking with a NCO of Line Infantry.


You never have enough Generals of Division! Here we have a couple on horse. One of them could command a Corps (not every Corps d´Armee was commanded by a Marshal).


This General de Division has been sculpted as Jerome Bonaparte (other generals have been sculpted as other individual characters: You can check it at Perry´s website). I have put Jerome hare talking with a Line Infantry officer. Both the officer and the soldier next to him are Calpe´s minis.

Before we go into even heavier stuff, let´s have a French Horse Artillery refreshment:

This will serve me as a Corps Command base. A General de Division is talking with an Officier d´Ordonnance de l´Empereur. An Aide de Camp observes the enemy.

 Another Corps Command base: A Division General (possible commanding a Corps) is saluted by an Adjoint, while an Officier d´Ordonnance rests his horse.

This is my higher ranking base so far. A Maréchal (Ney) is debating plans with a General de Division (Drouot). A couple of Commandant Adjutants are frantically writing messages who are then passed to aides de camp.