I’m in trouble with Mrs Fawr… The lockdown means that I’ve been painting AB Figures Napoleonics at an unprecedented rate and have been buying bare metal at an even greater rate, primarily due to hoovering up the remaining stock of (discounted) Spaniards and 1806 Prussians at Fighting 15s before anyone else nabbed them (I’m now admitting this in public, because I’ve now bought them all)! Appeals for clemency based on the monetary savings due to staying at home have been rejected, based on fabricated evidence… Someone else has clearly been adding empty beer, wine, whisky, cider and gin bottles to our glass-recycling bin!
Anyway, in anticipation of the end of lockdown (ever the optimist…), I’m planning a couple of big Napoleonic games, starting with the Battle of Liebertwolkwitz, 14th October 1813, which was a large cavalry clash and preliminary to the Battle of Leipzig. This was primarily to give me the incentive to paint my Duchy of Warsaw Army, which is now finished and will be the subject of another article. My extremely shabby Russian army also needs reinforcement and sprucing up, so I’ve re-flagged all my Russian regiments, rebased a load of units that were still based for WRG rules (which I stopped playing nearly 30 years ago) and have made a start on some new Russian units, starting with Cossacks and Cuirassiers. In the meantime, I’ve also been painting other Napoleonic bits and pieces, such as these Brunswick staff officers:
Above: I painted the Duke of Brunswick for my 1815 collection a few years ago, when AB brought him out for the 1815 Bicentennial. However, as he was killed at the Battle of Quatre-Bras, command of the Brunswick Corps passed to Oberst von Olfermann and so you need another Brunswick command figure for Waterloo. I had been using a spare Brunswick Hussar officer figure for Olfermann, but AB Figures brought out a set of three new Brunswick staff officers last year, so I had to buy them…
Above: The ‘Black Duke’ of Brunswick is the one wearing the kaftan and floppy hat. The uniform of the Duke and his staff was very similar to that of the Brunswick Hussar Regiment; namely a plain black hussar uniform, with black braid, black buttons, sky-blue collar and trouser-stripes and silver death’s-head motifs (the whole ensemble was chosen to symbolise mourning for the death of the Duke’s father at the Battle of Auerstädt in 1806 and for the occupation of his country by the French). Brunswick staff officers apparently had gold lace edging to the collar and cuffs; that of the Hussar Regiment was black.
Above: Oberst Olfermann here wears an undress cap that was worn as a more comfortable alternative to the shako (or cocked hat, in the case of senior officers). As a senior field officer, his collar and cuffs are edged with silver lace. I’ve also given his shabraque silver lace edging, though this is conjectural. The green leather gloves were apparently a fashionable affectation adopted by some Brunswick officers.
Above: As I play Napoleon’s Battles, which is a high command-level set of rules, divisional commanders are normally based as single figures on a 25mm-square base and my Brunswick commanders were previously based in that manner. However, these staff officer figures are too good to waste… And they called it the Brunswick CORPS, after all… And they’re my toys, so I’ll base them as corps commanders if I want to… 🙂
Above: I’ve shown Prince Eugène, Viceroy of Italy here before. However, while painting the Mamelukes of the Imperial Guard recently, I decided to add a Mameluke servant to Eugène’s staff. The Mameluke servant comes from AB Figures’s Napoleon & Staff set, as indeed does the figure I used for Eugène, as well as two of his staff. While touring the Chateau de Fontainebleau a few years ago, I noticed a portrait of Eugène with his own Mameluke manservant, no doubt imitating his step-father Napoleon, so thought it would be a good use of this figure, which I had in my spares box.
Above: As mentioned a few weeks ago, it suddenly occurred to me that the Prussian Hussar ADC figure, with its falling feather plume, would make an excellent Hungarian general in campaign dress, so I painted him up as such.
Above: I then got a little bit carried away and decided to get all my Austrian hussars out of the box…
Above: While we’re at it, here’s the other Hungarian general, which was done with a standard Austrian Hussar officer figure.
Above: And so to the Cossacks… These are absolutely magnificent figures! I’ve lost count of how many pose and dress variations there are within the range; there are eleven different figures here (plus officer) and that’s by no means all of the variants! However, the posing (and the softer metal used by Eureka compared to the harder metal formerly used when production was here in Wales) means that the cast lances wouldn’t last five minutes in my clumsy hands. So for the first time ever, I decided to replace all the lances in the unit with steel spears. These are 50mm spears from North Star, cut down to 35mm (however, North Star have now stopped selling these).
Above: After much drilling, gluing and swearing, I finally re-speared the Cossacks. Only another 48 to do… 🙁
Above: The Cossacks mounted on their ponies and awaiting paint.
Above: The finished Cossack Pulk, plus Hetman Platov (on the white horse, waving a mace).
Above: I decided to do these as Don Cossacks; like most Cossack hosts, the Don Cossacks wore a fairly bright blue uniform (with varying degrees of uniformity).
Above: I could also have painted them in various shades of ‘civvy’, but decided to go with a fairly uniform look.
Above: The distinguishing facing colour of the Don Cossacks was red (with red lances), though period prints and paintings show this to be worn fairly sporadically. Trouser-stripes seem to have been fairly universal and busby-bags and cap-bands were generally in the facing colour. I’ve given the tunics of this mob a random selection of red collars and/or cuffs, or just piping or nothing at all.
Above: Some figures have full shabraques, so I’ve given those a red edging – silver for the officer (Cossack shabraques also had red diagonal stripes across the corners). There is a very nice selection of random headgear on these chaps; from full-dress busbies with cords and bags (plumed in the case of the officer), plain busbies, tall floppy cloth caps and a sort of ‘false busby’ (i.e. a stovepipe shako with cords and ‘bag’ – seen on the left-hand figure above).
Above: I found some Don Cossack flags on line and printed them off (I’m lucky enough to have my own laser-printer). However, I’m not really happy with the quality of this one, so I’ll have a search for some higher-resolution flags and replace this at some stage.
I should add that in Napoleon’s Battles game terms there should be four cavalry figures per base, but the posing of these figures makes that absolutely impossible. In any case, I like the ‘ragged swarm’ look for Cossacks. So I put three figures on each base, but in game terms count them as four figures. It also saves me cash! 🙂
Anyway, that’s it for now!