Legere and Barrels

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All of zem.

I’ve been procrastinating on starting my 15mm 95th Rifles for Lasalle (although I did clean up all 50 casts, and mount them on craft sticks in preparation for priming!) by finishing up my 28mm French legere for Song of Drums and Shakos/Sharp Practice II. I also painted a couple of resin barrels, as you might
have gathered from the subtle title of this post.

A basic force in SD&S is a dozen figures, and, conveniently, it seems like skirmishers/light troops in Sharp II are assembled in groups of six.

Soon I will have to start purchasing mass quantities of 28mm figures for my Sharp Practice line infantry. I may go the plastics route, Then again, I REALLY hate assembling plastic figures, and this is a sort of slow going luxury project for me, so maybe I’ll go ahead and bite the (expensive) lead bullet.

 

 

More French!

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Recent production: three chasseurs, a drummer, and sappeur

My long-suffering Song of Drums and Shakos/Sharp Practice project has also seen a little progress this month. In fact, I now have enough figures to put on a French vs. Brunswicker game of Song of Drums and Shakos. I’m intrigued by the streamlined V2 of Sharp Practice that comes out next month-maybe I’ll ramp up 28mm production, and try to get something ready for that by this Fall.

sapperdrummer

The specialists. Sappers are intimidating fellows! There’s something incongruously brutal about that axe and apron in the middle of all the normal uniform finery.

Huzzah for Hussars!

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1st KGL Hussars for Lasalle

I’ve completed another unit for my Lasalle project. This is the 1st KGL Hussars. My Osprey stated that the 1st KGL Hussars were mounted on horses of an “assortment” of colors and markings, and certainly they would have had a variety of horse colors while on campaign, but I kind of wish I’d gone with all one color, just the same.

Next up, I’ll be painting a bushel basket full of 95th Rifles. I’ll be happy to paint something dull, after the cornucopia of color and detail these Hussars had.

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Sooooo many details to paint!

Tazewell II: The Shellackening

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Me and the Scarlet J convened for our first miniatures game of the year on that blackest of weekends: Valentine’s Weekend (I kid. Sort of.).

We replayed the Battle of Tazewell, a small engagement in Tazewell, Tennessee during 1862. I’ve described the particulars of this excellent small (and, more importantly, quick) Potomac Publications scenario in an earlier post. Go read it, if you’re interested.

In the meantime, here are some captioned pictures for your enjoyment.

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State of play at the beginning of the battle: A lone Union regiment, watched over by a section of Parrot guns, is deployed in extended line just in front of a woods line. Two Confederate regiments are just out of musket range.

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View toward the initial Union deployment.

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Union reinforcements begin to file in by road column. In the distance, Brigadier de Courcy watches over his men.

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Starting off with a bang (or a shout and sound of bayonets being fixed). I take advantage of my early advantage in numbers and charge the single Yank regiment in position to fight. The two Georgia regiments push the bluebellies back into the woods for the moment.

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Elements of Rain’s brigade push into the woods, only to be met with fierce Yankee resistance.

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Rebels massing for the charge.

 

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Defending agains oncoming Yankees. For once my artillery gets the best of the Bluebellies, and managed to damage all three sections of the northerner battery.

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Lots of shooting, as the Yank battery retreats to safety. Notice the disordered Greycoat regiment at the bottom of the screen-they’ve taken 70% casualties, but have somehow managed not to flee the battlefield.

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The Yankee brigade charges en masse from the woods, making contact all along the line.

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The charges do not go well for yours truly. TSJ managed to roll no less than three (3!!!) 10s in a row, while I rolled a 1, 2, and 3. Dismal! That Tennessee regiment toward the top has been flanked, and is in serious trouble.

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For some reason it always lifts my spirits to damage Zouaves.

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The remnants of my line.

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TSJ having to remove casualties. A rare sight, this game!

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The lone bright spot at end game for the Confederate forces. Brig. Rains and a North Carolina regiment capture a wooded hilltop, but wonder where the rest of the brigade has melted off to!

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My brigade essentially ran away after the big Union charge. Here we see the humiliating disparity in casualties!

Obviously this was a major Union victory, and illustrates what a disaster a streak of bad luck can be when receiving a mass charge from the enemy! Despite being bled white by The Scarlet J, I had a good time. This is a challenging, fun, and quick scenario, which is an excellent combination!

 

52nd Oxfordshire

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The 52nd leads, 43rd in the middle, 3rd Cacadores in the rear.

For my first post of the new year, may I present to you the 52nd Oxfordshire? The 52nd is a large elite unit for the Lasalle project, consisting of 6 bases of close order infantry, and 3 bases of skirmishers.

 

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Deployed in line.

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In line, skirmish markers deployed.

2015: Year in Review

How Did I Do in 2015?

My stated goals for 2015 were to:

Build more Terrain
Mixed results on this account! I did manage to build an enormous cloth-and-caulk terrain mat for the desert, and created a few BUA bases for Spearhead, but that’s about it! I have a half-finished 28mm old west Pony Express station sitting on top of a shelf somewhere, but I can’t really count that, can I?

Projects: 15mm Union ACW, 15mm AWI British, and 28mm Napoleonic
While I’ve made some progress on the Nappy skirmish stuff, I painted not one stroke of Union blue, and only completed one unit of British for the AWI project. Instead, I’ve puttered around with 15mm WWII, 1/285 WWII, and now 15mm Napoleonics! Ridiculous.

Develop a Budget for Wargaming
I didn’t do very well on this score for the first half of 2015, but since fall I’ve been doing much better. I’m trying to keep things to under $40/month, which is about what it costs to buy one 15mm battalion sized unit in most of the 19th and 18th century rules sets I’m interested in. That’s about all I can paint in a month, so it seems a good number. I’ll try to carry this forward into 2016.

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Games Played

  • 2 games of Jim Day’s Panzer set in the Western Desert theater of WWII.
  • 1 game of This Very Ground (at Recruits)
  • 5 games of Regimental Fire and Fury
  • 1 game of Neil Thomas’s ACW rules
  • 2 games of Napoleon’s Battles.

Let’s see. That’s 11 games in a year. Almost once a month. Eh. I’d like to be doing more in 2016!

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Goals for 2016

My focus will be on getting a playable 15mm Napoleonics force for Sam Mustafa’s Lasalle. I’ve already made some progress on this front, and just need to keep up the momentum.

Keep up the budget. $40/month! I can do it!

Have more fun. I tend to be super competitive, which can get in the way of having fun (especially when losing). I’d like to chillax on this front.

That’s it. Simple goals for a simple man. Below are random pictures from the year’s gaming….

 

 

Ross’s Battery: Fully Charged

The Napoleonic project wheel advances a cog! I’ve completed Ross’s Battery, which involved painting up a howitzer, and three limbers. I’ve done my limbers in a manner similar to the ones I use for Regimental Fire and Fury. I really couldn’t see painting up the full 6 horses and three riders that come with each limber pack from Eureka, so thankfully Rob at Eureka kindly obliged me by selling me one full limber pack, and a couple of extra limbers so I could divide the hoss-flesh up amongst them.

I must say, I was quite confused on whether the various cannon should be bright brass, or as I’ve painted them. Some paintings (and lots of figures) that I looked at on the internet had brightwork, but the examples from museums that I saw were dark. Feel free to tell me I’ve screwed the entire battery up. I won’t cry too much.

In any case, here’s the whole bunch.

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Working the new howitzer

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Stand fast, you worms(eye view)!!

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Limbers

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Close. A little TOO close

I’ll be finishing up the 52nd Oxfordshire (I’ve already painted and based half the unit), next, and then I’ll have to face a major hurdle and paint up the 95th rifles from scratch. This will all be happening in December. November is going to be a very busy time for me, so there will be a short hiatus from game-related activities.

Progress Report

I haven’t been super productive over the past weeks, but I have accomplished a few things. See pictures below.

Test basing for Spearhead (1/285 microarmor)

Test basing for Spearhead (1/285 microarmor)

Microarmor bases for Spearhead

Microarmor bases for Spearhead

The Spearhead bases were a lot of fun to put together. I’m using the direction the turret (or fixed gun) is pointing to indicate the front of the base, which gives me quite a bit of freedom to run roads and other terrain features against the grain. Should keep things from getting too samey. The towed Pak-40 is too ambiguous, in regards to front-of-base; it was a dumb idea to point the prime mover directly at a corner.

Based a few of Thomas's extremely well painted Essex figures for Regimental Fire and Fury command stands.

Based a few of Thomas’s Essex figures for Regimental Fire and Fury command stands.

Leader stands for Lasalle. Divisional commander on the left, and a sub-commander on the right.

Leader stands for Lasalle. Divisional commander on the left, and a sub-commander on the right.

I’m supposed to be working on finishing up my battery for Lasalle, and have, in fact, painted limbers and a howitzer, but I’m dragging my feet on painting crew and horses for the limbers. I don’t know why, exactly, but painting artillery is my least favorite part of horse and musket gaming.

Somewhere in France…

The hedges are in horrid shape. Obviously the gardener has been off with the Maquis...

The Sherman has totally got the drop on this poor Stug. The hedges are in horrid shape around the chateau. Obviously the gardener has been off with the Maquis…

This brief interlude is serving as a palette cleanser for my Napoleonics project. I picked up a copy of Spearhead a few weeks ago with a view to doing something (anything!) with some microarmor I painted up a long time ago for Normandy. I like the idea of gaming microarmor at the operational level (Spearhead can handle about a division per side, with each player commanding around a battalion). I haven’t totally committed to the rules so I haven’t based any troops or vehicles, yet, but I thought it would be fairly safe to develop some of Spearhead’s 3″x3″ abstracted built-up-areas using some buildings I painted last year.

German anti-tank column pushes through the village.

German column pushes through the village.

I’ve been using Vallejo fine pumice, mixed with paint, for all my basing needs, but it’s a little rough for this scale. I’m ok with the results I got on these two bases, but maybe there’s something more appropriate out there? Also, even the finest model railroad ballast is too chunky for 1/285 gravel, as I’ve used it at the circular drive in front of the chateau. I think play sand would be the thing to use for that sort of application.

Back side.

Back side.

Lasalle Project: 3rd Cacadores

3rd Cacadores in line, skirmishers deployed.

3rd Cacadores in line, skirmishers deployed.

I’ve completed my second full battalion for my Lasalle project. These fellows are the 3rd Cacadores, who were brigaded under Beckwith with the 1/43rd Monmouthshire and portions of the 1/95th rifles, at the time of Bussaco (the order of battle I’m loosely basing my Lasalle division on). All figures are AB 15/18mm.

The Cacadores (cacadore means hunter) were Portuguese light infantry trained after the Portuguese army was reformed. They were trained in the manner of British light infantry, and would prove reliable troops over the course of the war. Cacadores were largely armed with smoothbore muskets (particularly early in the Peninsular war), but would usually have at least a company of sharpshooters who bore the famous Baker rifle. I’ve depicted my skirmishers with said rifles-you’ll notice their hunting powder horns, as well. A truly superb article (and by superb I mean it has everything the lazy wargamer needs to know in one place) can be found at academia.edu. I have no idea how long the article will be up, so get the information while you can!

They're brown.

They’re really brown.

The 3rd had black facings. Black facings, along with the black trimmed hussar-style jackets, and dark brown uniform make for an extremely dark battalion! In the pursuit of contrast, I lightened and warmed my base brown color considerably (Vallejo German medium camo brown, mixed with about 30% bright yellow), but unfortunately I can say I erred on the side of caution. I’ll probably shoot for the tone of chocolate milk for my other battalion of Cacadores (the 1st), and hope that they don’t come out so dull. It may be hopeless.

3rd Cacadores, with their friends in the 1/43rd.

3rd Cacadores, with their friends in the 1/43rd.

I’ve acquired limbers, and a howitzer, so I’ll be finishing up Ross’s A Battery next, as well as painting high ranking officers (Black Bob Craufurd, himself, Beckwith, and a dashing Aide-de-camp).

3rd Cacadores eating dust (note poorly painted blanket roll straps)

3rd Cacadores eating dust (note poorly painted blanket roll straps)

Once the battery is complete, I’ll be faced with painting up a large battalion of British rifles, made up of an amalgamation of the 1/95th and 3/95th. This will require 36 figures in close order, and I’ll need 6 skirmish bases, as well, because in Lasalle, large battalions with a high skirmish value can be split into a half battalion, and companies of skirmishers that can be distributed as desired throughout the division.

That’s all for now. Thanks for casting your eyeball this way!


Edit: I’ve painted this battalion incorrectly for Bussaco. The Cacadores had yellow chest cords, and the 3rd had yellow facings, until a change of uniform that occurred in 1811. Bussaco, of course, occurred in 1810. Whoops. That’s brown egg on my face! Rather than try to repaint these guys in-situ, I’ll switch my Light Division OOB to Fuentes de Onora. Theoretically, this would add the 2/52nd to my second brigade, which would break the Lasalle generic OOB structure, that I’ve been trying to adhere to. I’ll have to ponder how (or if) to incorporate this change.


Edit the Second: Well, now I’ve realized that the brass badges at the base of my cacadores plumes should actually be red and black ribbons. I’ll get this fixed on my figures, but wanted to leave a note here, in case anyone is trying to use my efforts as a painting guide (a dubious prospect, at best).