Saturday, March 24, 2018

Strelets Highlanders standing at ease

Okay - finally, I've finished my little vignette of Highland infantry standing at ease. Here come the boys...
Okay. Looks good from the distance. A little bit closer please...

...just a little bit closer please...

Perfect. Thanks.
So here they are. Scots of the 78th regiment ('ross-shire buffs'). I think that Strelets has done a very good job on these chaps. Really nice figures.
Here are some close-ups. The figures themselves are reasonably detailed. I know that the backpacks have side pouches which are historically not correct. Plus the muskets are a field of business where the sculptor still has to do some practice - personally, I think they look too thick, more like arquebuses. But apart from that, there's nothing wrong with these figures.
Here's a pic from the backside. Although it was pretty time-consuming to paint this small bunch of infantry, it was worth the efford. I thought that a group of highlanders like these would look absolutely stunning and I didn't get disappointed. The result is an addition to my collection that makes me very, very glad.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Did I...?

Hi there!

Did I already show you these?

Skirmishing Austrian Hussars from Franznap. Really nice figures. Plastic figure producers tend to make cavalry units in full charge - but that was, especially in case of the light cavalry, not their exclusive role on the battlefield. Hussars were mainly used for patrol and scout duties, as well as skirmishing. Therefore, these poses here show a very realistic approach to these chaps.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Short notice: a desk full of miniatures...

Phew. Pretty busy I am. Not much time for painting I have. Bad this is.😀

My desk is currently filled with lines of soldiers. In fact, I'm trying to brush up at least the half of my Strelets Scots in order to have enough figures for a small vignette. Very time consuming because of all these details. To give you a little highlight, I decided to show you the flagbearer and the bagpiper - two really great figures.
A bit lesser spectacular, nonetheless being nice figures, are the line infantrymen of Baden. I have a couple of these figures here, they're from Franznap who makes astonishingly great miniatures. In fact, these figures were lying here for a year or so. Time to have them completed. Here's three of them as a small preview.
It's that sort of business that I usually don't like - painting larger numbers of figures of the same sort bores me out very quickly, especially because painting sessions become 'paint 12 backpacks in grey, anthrazit and black and then turn to paint a dozend plumes'-sort of thing. Well. I started it. Must finish it.

I hope to present you the completed results soon.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Austrian Ulans

I just noted that I have a few things that I have in my cabinet which haven't been posted here.
One of these are Austrian Ulans from Franznap which actually were a gift from Francesco Messori, the artist who has sculpted these figures.

There were several regiments of Ulans in the Austrian army during the Napoleonic era. Lancers were actually pretty popular among many European armies of that time. As light cavalry, they fulfilled many roles. Therefore, these chaps were not only equipped with lance and sabre, but also with firearms.

The main difference between the Ulan regiments was the colour of the Czapka helmets. The depicted regiment, No.2 (Fuerst [sovereign] zu Schwarzenberg), had Czapkas in green colours.
The set contains four mounted figures. The weapon arm - in one case the lance itself - are delivered separately, which makes the fixing of the flag easier. Taking into account the many different poses that can be achieved by attaching different arms in different positions and mounting different figures on different horses, you can create a really huge cavalry force in which every rider looks somewhat different.

Personally, I don't like to paint cavalry too much - it it more time consuming then painting infantry, painting horses gives me the creeps. Nevertheless, I can only say that these are magnificient miniatures. Easy to paint, highly detailed.
For the wargamer records, this is a unit that can be used for many scenarios. One squad fought at Austerlitz, the regiment at Essling, Aspern and Wagram. During the 1813/14-campaign, it fought at Hanau, St.Croix, Brienne, Troyes, Bar-sur-Aube and Arcis-sur-Aube. It was not in battle in 1815.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Boston Hussars

When I read about the configuration of the US army from the period of the 1812 war, I was surprised to read that it consisted far more of infantry then the European armies did. Actually, the regular army only had around two regiments of dragoons and that was it. Most cavalry units on the US side came from the state militias and, again, that cavalry mainly consisted of dragoons. Boston, located at the Massachusetts Bay, at that time was - according to the 1810 census - the 4th largest city of the United States of America with a population of around 34000 people. Massachusetts obviously had a style of it's own - among the units that they sent into battle, was the only Hussar unit that participated in the war of 1812 on the US side.

The Hussars of Boston were equipped in 1810 in a sort of mixture of Prussian-hussar and French guard-hussar style by Josiah Quincy and were formed as elite militia cavalry. This unit existed until 1818, but it didn't see much of a battle as far as I have read. But the Hussar phenomenon wasn't over then - there were four other regiments that existed in the US army system - the Georgia Hussars for example existed until 1867.

I first discovered the Boston hussars on a unitorm page on among the units of the Massachusetts militia. For a while I tried to convert other hussar miniatures, but always found that there were some features that were simply differing too much from European hussar uniforms & equipment in order to be replaced or imitated just by converting and mixing some European hussar figures. Next step was the try to re-model the required parts with greenstuff, but after all, even that proved impractical.

I finally became convinced that it would be the wisest way to make a complete new figure by. scratch - unfortunately, I'm a total loser when it comes to figure modelling. So I contacted the guys at and placed my very first order for a brand new figure. The master can be seen on - it has been created by Massimo Costa. If you like to have one, you can order the Boston Hussar miniature at Hagen's shop.

That uniform colour in addition with the other features makes a splendid little miniature. It wears the great dress - but with a sharp scalpel you could easily cut away all that decorating stuff on the trousers in order to switch it to the field dress look. I'll do that with one of my Boston hussar figures in a while. ;-)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Some impressions: Strelets Brits'n Scots

Hello and all the best wishes for 2018 to you all!

Today I want to show you what keeps me busy at the moment so that my posting ratio has plummeted to the bottom.
It's the new Strelets British line infantry (on the march) and the Highland infantry (standing at ease). I bought both sets to try them out and see if the new generation of Strelets figures is really that nice as it looked on the web.

Trooper, modified to US infantry for the war of 1812

One thing is for sure: the figures have improved a lot. Some years ago, Strelets figures had a bad reputation among many miniature painters. They often lacked correct proportions and moulding quality often wasn't that good, resulting in figures that had 'unequal' sides. When I bought their knights, I often ended up with rather goblinesque or two-face-like miniatures. Every set contained a handful of rather useless figs. But that's not the case with these chaps here. Sculpting quality has improved hell of a lot - these Brits look better then many other plastic figures on the market.

This uniform represents the 16th line infantry regiment

I mainly bought the British infantry to convert them into various US infantry uniforms for the war of 1812. It's easy because the uniforms are generally the same - cut off the epaulettes, reshape the shako plate and cords a bit and there you go. Backpacks can be converted to the blue overcoat version, but mustn't. All that easy. And the uniforms contain a wide range of grey, black, brown and blue. Nice.

Here's another conversion for the war of 1812

It's a trooper of the 15th US line infantry regiment

The only issue I have with those figures, are the muskets. In some cases, they look a bit arquebus-style. That's were Strelets still have to learn a bit - make them guns a bit more slender and everything is fine.

A trooper of the 78th Highland Regiment
Called the "Ross Shire Buffs", the regiments companies fought in various war theatres

The Scots, in fact, are a challenge of their own. The figures - again with the musket issue, but in lesser numbers, are quite splendid. I like that modelling very much. But all these tartans... I mean - it's dozens of figures in tartans. It'll take me a real long time to finish all of these buddies. This one here is complete, 14 others are on 70%, but the rest isn't even primed...
...any condolences? No? Blimey....

You can use that regiment for Egypt, Walcheren, Java and - as far as I know it - Waterloo
Whatever. It's fun painting them and hopefully, I'll live long enought to get them finished, so what?

Happy new painting year, friends!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Another year is almost gone. :-)

Hello, my friends!

Not much left of 2017. Time to make a personal figure check up, eh?
I hope that you all had enjoyable holidays and that your year was good, as well.

My year was pretty cool. It started with playing a background role in an opera (no singing involved, luckily), starting an interesting assignment at a lawyer's office, then quitting again when a far more interesting opportunity showed up in September. Changing my job twice this year, acting at the opera and writing my second novel took plenty of time. This resulted in far lesser blog entries this year. Nevertheless, I still enjoy miniature painting very much.

I have finished one figure setup for my long-term project recently. It's the command figures for my Isembourg regiment.

Bright blue. Really nice.

There's some stuff that I have painted this year but haven't presented on the blog yet. This is mainly because I haven't put them onto bases yet. I'm not quite sure how to assemble the war of 1812 american infantry. For example. But time will show. Or better said: I'll show them to you when it's the right time. :-)

Well - what was it that I put onto my 2017 list? Let's see...
  • One single or multi figure display for FIGZ - check
  • A multi-figure setup just in case I decide to go to the Lingen show - check
  • Completing Baden Jagers and fusiliers -  started the fusiliers, Jagers at 80%
  • Complete my Russian hussar vignette - *sigh* not even continued
  • Complete the SU100 vignette with tank riders - check
  • Complete the French departmental guard display (14 figures left) - check
  • Finish my Kingdom of Holland setup of Pre-Bardin units until FIGZ (only 4 figures to go) - 2 left
  • Finish the Garde de Paris (3 units left) - check
The finishing list of 2017 looks like this:
  • Baden Jagers - 8 figures
  • Isemburg command - 2 figures
  • 1812 American and Canadian infantry - 13 figures
  • 1812 US line infantry - 29 figures
  • Italian infantry of different units - 8
  • Dutch infantry - 1 figure
  • French infantry - 31 figures
  • Spanish infantry - 1 figure
  • figures for contests - 8 figures
  • British infantry - 2 figures
So that's a total of  103 figures. Less then last year.
Which means that I don't plan too high in numbers for 2018.

Plans are:
  • complete the Baden figures
  • eventually finish the Russian hussar display
  • complete all Strelets Highlanders (at ease) which I bought recently
  • paint the Dutch light infantry for having a complete unit overview of Kingdom-of-Holland infantry for this year's FIGZ
  • complete all figures for my 'deserters' project
  • finish the Boston hussars on my desk
That's not quite a lot. I guess it's better then starting with ambitions that I - as every year - won't be able to fullfill.

I wish all the best to you for 2018. May it be a successful, healthy and lucky year.