Wednesday 28 March 2018

Basing for 1812 Retreat from Moscow

Having decided to aim for both Sharp Practice and Black Powder I now need to find a basing convention to suit.
So first one is 50 x  50 mm width looks good for the Polish and for the Cavalry. Its does feel like the horse is not deep enough, not sure it is too wide for the ranks of marching Russians.

40 x 40 mm is a good fit for the marching Russians but far too shallow for the Poles with their muskets sticking out and certainly come no where near for the horse.

Deeper works for the foot at 40 mm wide and 50 mm deep. Its still not quite deep enough for the Polish muskets and bayonets. Too tight for the horse by far. That said it doesn't leave much room on the bases for the garbage etc of the retreat. I want to add broken wheels, drums and bodies etc.

I decided to try the basing I use for Great Northern Ear, 50 mm front by 80 mm deep. That actually looks great for the Cavalry but is too deep for the foot, especially those marching Russians.

Lastly is the one I am thinking we may go with. 50 mm frontage by 60 mm deep. As I had all the new Cossack's available I couldn't help getting them all in the shot.
Its wide enough and deep enough for the cavalry, a bit deeper might give them opportunity to look more irregular and add bits to the base. Food for thought as we can do the cavalry bases deeper as long as frontage is the same.

Its plenty big enough for the Russians and whilst they may end up in a slightly loose formation I still think they will look OK on here. I perhaps need more foot all together to finally decide for the Russians.
From the below you can see its a really good fit for the Poles and French. Room at the front for the bayonets to be inside the base and room to add all the discarded gear. Wide enough that they can be grouped together but left looking slightly ragged in terms of formation too.

In this last picture you get an idea why we need the depth, one of the bayonets still sticks out, I can push him back slightly and they will all be in but we do need this depth to protect the figures from wargamers "Fat Fingers".
So thats where we are at, 50 mm x 60 mm looks favourite and by happy coincidence is the same basing I use for Hail Caesar ( the other way around for them though) room on the bases for broken wheels and drums, cast off packs etc plus the odd log or bush peaking from under the snow.

It also allows me to do both Sharp Practice and Black Powder. To get the most out of the armies this is really useful. As things stand I don't need many more to have a really small Sharp Practice game but I am months away from Black Powder. I will need a casualty marker system for Sharp Practice but that should be easily solved.

Unless I have a brain storm and change my mind then I can actually start basing these almost straight away. I certainly have two 8 figure units of Cossacks we can start with.

So there you go. Lets see where that goes. Tomorrow night I have a Sharp Practice play test over at Steve's place. Using my Carlists as they are based in fours. I will do a quick write up to share how it goes.

See you soon.

Monday 26 March 2018

More Cossacks for 1812

I have over the last week been able to work on some more of the  Pery Cossacks for the retreat from Moscow and finshed six off today. That gives me 16 finished which is two units for Sharp Practice.

My stomach issue has re-surfaced recently so I have been busy with anything to keep the project moving that doesn't involve painting until last week.

These particular figures were acquired from fellow wargamer Mike Holgate. Mike saw my add on the League of Augsburg forum and got in t ouch as he had a lot of Perry and Foundry figures suitable for the retreat he wanted to part company with. A fellow Yorkshireman also meant it was easy to trip over to his house and pick the figures up, whilst avoiding his decorators who had just painted all his woodwork.

He also had a wonderful collection of his own for the Retreat from Moscow all painted and based to a high standard. If I bought other peoples work I would have invested but as it is I satisfied myself with a shed load more of lead. Anyone interested in Mikes collection get in touch I will be happy to put you in touch.
The four brown horses in the centre were something of an experiment.. Usually I prime horses white, add a base colour in acrylic lighter than desired, paint an oil on slightly darker than required then wipe it off which gives a lovely effect.

I trialled warpainter spray primers in brown with great results (although the nozzle flooded and paint went everywhere for some reason) as I use Halfords as primers I was keen to see if any of their coloured sprays worked. I added a thin layer of white primer then a thin layer in this case of antelope beige. It frightened the pants off me to start off with as it was both thick and shiny. However the end result is actually very nice I feel.

I still haven't resolved my basing dilemma so after a quick photo shoot these chaps are straight into my painted figures box with their comrades. Once base size is resolved I need to decide on the look (snowy I suppose) then teach the basing department how I want them. Based units may be a couple of months off with that in mind.

That said with the figures acquired from Mike, plus ebay, Foundry direct and chum Jerry I have about 98% of everything I need. I just need to get them painted.

I hope you like these, I am enjoying painting the Cossacks in particular.

Next I want o do a post covering my thoughts on basing and then we have a Sharp Practice game to play at Steves place as I want to see if I like it for the retreat.

See you soon.

Thursday 22 March 2018

Even More Gear for 1812

I think my postman is not my friend anymore, he has been kept fairly busy again this week

This lot turned up this morning
The first box is from Black Hussar and has some lovely quirky pieces. A sled gun, wagon wheels with skis roped on, a large sled with room for 3 figures inside. Brilliant stuff, on the down side whilst I was waiting for this to arrive I found it all second hand much cheaper and had 2 sled guns donated! 
Two more boxes of the fantastic Warpainter snowy trees. I do like these.
And a box of 15 snowy pines from China, these need some more work but were exceptionally cheap so a good buy really. These are again an Ebay purchase.
Chum Chris Flowers kindly donated some figures including these two Cossack sled guns painted and based by chum Jerry Miller (see his site here dont be offended gents I will make some slight amendments to these to make them mine despite how lovely they are.
I was then put in touch with fellow wargamer Mike who is selling his Retreat from Moscow collection. Although I wont be buying painted figures Mike had loads of unpainted lead left over so we agreed a price and I travelled over to the nicer end of Yorkshire to pick them up. His painted collection of figures is awesome with some lovely conversions in. Anyone wants putting in touch drop me a line.
Finally we made a quick visit to Ebor Miniatures so Mark and I could pick up some mounted and dis-mounted Dragoons for the Great Northern War project. Nick was as enthusiastic as even and showing us the newly cast battle honours 15's he has picked up. He also has some British Heavy Brigade for Crimea and mounted WSS Bavarian Grenadiers amongst others. 

Mike kindly donated 2 French light guns and below is another shot of those Cossack Sled guns. Thanks Mike and Chris.
So the lead mountain grows as does my bout of megalomania.

I want to have a look at how I am going to approach the basing next to facilitate both Black Powder and Sharp Practice.

See you soon.

Sunday 18 March 2018

Terrain Mats

Having decided that the best answer for my terrain was to use terrain mats I started to look at the options and there are a bewildering array.

Numerous manufacturers with even more designs to choose from and multiple material choices, Cloth, Vinyl, Mousemat to name a few. Without actually seeing and feeling it how do you know?

Answer I guess is you dont.

As I was flicking through the various different manufacturers and options I came across one that I liked the look of. They only work in Vinyl but as I had already ruled out cloth and had a vinyl desert mat from years ago I was interested. On the off chance I might pass them driving for work I thought I would see where they were, try bob in and see the actual product. By coincidence they are actually about 2 miles away in the next village to me. Who would have thought!

They were also doing buy 2 get 1 free and selling the mats at a very competitive price on ebay. Mark was keen to get a green mat for his own purposes and whilst one 6x4 mat would suit me for a while 2 was the end target, As it turned out they dont hold any stock so I didnt get to see before I bought but I decided it wasnt going to get much better than this so took the plunge. At £30 per mat when you factor the free one in it was a cracking deal.

The company are Artistic Impressions and Phil even drove the mats around himself for me which was nice, unfortunately I had nipped out for 5 so missed him. but here's what I found when I stepped in the porch.
The companies site is here for anyone who wants a look or this is one of theirs on ebay . I couldnt resist getting the first one out and on the Kitchen table even though the lighting was really poor.
So next morning with only slightly better lighting I again got one of them out for a few snaps. The material feels really strong and supple and the design suits my purposes.

Dropping some terrain pieces on you start to get more of a fell for the product. Have to say I am really pleased with my purchase.
More on the sled gun later folks!
Marks mat was the "BATTLEFIELD" mat I think a grey green with some rock showing through here and there. The light doesnt catch the colours as well as I would like but Mark is very happy with it.

So we have mats, we have trees, we have buildings, we have rules, we have unpainted horse, foot, guns and even sleds. I better paint some figures hadnt I!

Lots more gear on the way (some for Great Northern War) so watch this space.

Tuesday 13 March 2018

Terrain, Trees and Basing for 1812 Retreat from Moscow

As my enthusiasm gets the better of me I am buying up bits and pieces for the 1812 project, with limited painting time due to the stomach injury this can be a little dangerous. I wanted to explore a few things in this post with terrain and basing being the main features.

Working from home today and a knock at the door at 10am the postman gave me a veritable armful of boxes. How exciting!
First box is a mixed set of basing material and trees. The trees are bare frozen deciduous they look great but are very delicate. The icy tufts will work well and the snow flock looks particularly good. The sand I will probably use as scatter for the buildings so I dont have to use them as winter buildings only. Not sure ice chunks will be useful but lets see.
Next box is two sets of snow covered pines from warpainter, now the see I really like.
The deciduous tree fits from a size point of view.
The next box is of prussian landwher warlord plastics picked up on ebay. Now these are my least favourite of the new arrivals seeming a bit wooden. They have two boxes andi am left feeling I picked up the wrong one. The Landwher are perfect for Russian militia as The Prussians copied this practical uniform from the Russians. I may however stick with the foundry ones I already have.
Next box is more  warpainter trees larger ones this time exceptionally well packed and again great models. I just ordered a load.more.
Here you go the whole lot together.
On the painting table you can see more 1812 figures. Including one of marbots sleds.

And on thepre bench a pile more figures and packs of Foundry Russians iin greatcoats.
And the rest that need priming.
So megolaman setting in and lots happening.

Next I need to look at the  base terrian. Mats are the prefered option currently but lets see what we get from that.

So watch this space.