A blast from the past appeared on my Facebook feed this week, when an old friend posted some photos of the chess-set I made for him about 21 years ago, based on the French and Austrian armies of the 1809 Campaign. I’d totally forgotten about this! I’m amazed how well-preserved it is, so he presumably found it too baffling to play as a chess set…
The figures are all AB Figures 15mm Napoleonics, which then were made by my mate Mike just up the road, here in West Wales. For the pawns, I used a selection of line infantry regiments. The rooks were bearskinned grenadiers and Imperial Guardsmen. The knights are sword-waving cavalry officers for the Austrians and Generals Nansouty and Lasalle for the French (waving a cane and a briar pipe, respectively). For the bishops I used standard-bearers. The queens were represented by the top Marshals on each side – Archduke Charles for the Austrians and Marshal Lannes for the French. Lastly, the kings were represented by Kaiser Franz & the Emperor Napoleon.
In retrospect I think a small cannon with a gunner or two would have been a better choice for the rooks. The bearskinned grenadiers look too much like the pawns, despite their larger bases.
The bases were made by stacking pennies for the pawns and 2 pence coins for the ‘rear rank’ and supergluing them together. The bases were then painted with several thick layers of varnish, then painted blue or white, labelled and varnished again. After supergluing the figures on to the bases, they were then ‘terraformed’ in my usual manner – painted with PVA glue, sanded, painted earth-brown, dry-brushed sand and then garnished with a few patches of Woodland Scenics flock.
Thanks for the pictures, Pete! And thanks for looking after them! 🙂