Saturday, 31 October 2009


September was not a good painting month so I decided to make more of an effort in October.

When I started this project in June my aim was a, reasonable, unit a month. At the end of October I am back on target having completed the infantry regiment started in September and also a couple of batteries of artillery.

I purchased a couple of Strelets GNW boxes which were a bit of a disappointment. So after a quick visit to Plastic Soldier Review I went out and bought a box of Zvezda GNW artillery. The artillery men were much, much nicer, although I did have to stick some arms on. Even with my lack of dexterity it didn't prove too difficult and I have managed to prise my fingers apart. The first piccie shows Alpha Battery of Fromagere in the purple personally chosen by Duchess Sophia, with largest gun in the Zvezda box, a six pounder. The gun itself is a nice model though a bit fiddly to put together (yes I am major klutz so it's probably not really) and I am a bit concerned as to it's ability to stand up the rigours of wargaming.

The Strelets artillery men were not very good figures but the guns themselves are a doddle to push together and a nicely robust. Not the most accurate replicas of C18 cannon being a bit chunky but I like their generic "cannony" look and are certainly tough enough to stand up to being knocked about to and from wargame tables. The artillerymen of Fromagere man a battery of Strelets cannon above. There are only two cannon per box however.

The Zvezda box may be twice as expensive (in our local model shop anyway) but you do get a lot of nice artillery men, five cannon as well as a limber and horses. If I was hypercritical the cannon aren't the most useful for wargamers feeling a little fragile and also three of the guns are "gallopers", very light cannon pulled by one horse. The other two are a heavier six pounder and a nice howitzer. While neither The Wargame nor Charge discriminate between heavy and light artillery I think I might introduce this to our games, possibly giving a regiment or two a battalion gun.

Left shows a Weinpfalz artillery officer lining up a light galloper gun. Nicely modelled as all Zvezda seem to be.

On a slightly larger front my Great Northern Army has gained an artillery piece. I think cannon and crew are courtesy of Front Rank and very nice they are too, painted by Jim of course.

We're not quite sure what rules to use for these yet, with Impetus Baroque being mooted.
I'm not convinced with that idea yet.

Whilst I am back up to speed with my one unit a month target I am well underway with "November's" unit already.

Half painted Revell SYW dragoons charge across the painting desk in Castle Vallejo. They will be the first mounted unit of Weinplfalz.

Oh - I also purchased a couple of boxes of Hat Prussian Hussars 1806 which look emminently suitable for the wars of the mid C18. Hopefully I can get these painted up sharpish and get these guys in the field.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The New Bridge

Not since the rape of the Palatine by Tilley had there been a bridge over the Weinbach, which suited both the Duke Fromagere and Count Otto of Mittelwein. For this little river was the natural border between bitter enemies WeinPfalz and Fromagere and trade and communication between the two was negligible.

However following the death in battle of Otto in 1709 the pleasant water meadows and the town of Spatlesse were seized by the forces of Fromagere on a misty morning in early autumn. The only casualty being Mayor Traubensaft who was summarily hanged after hitting the colonel of the Camembert Cuirassiers with his ceremonial mace.

In anticipation of having to relinquish his prize fairly quickly Duke Reynard hesitated and then forgot to improve communications with his new enclave over the river. For over twenty five years the only way to transport goods and livestock into and out of Spatlesse was by the little foot ferry.

During the campaign of 1735 however a harassed clerk in the war ministry misread a request from General Mozzarella and sent a company of pontonniers to Spatlesse. Once there they did as pontonniers do and within a couple of days a fine bridge was awaiting an army to cross it. At Spatburg a very irate colonel of chevaux-legers was getting his feet wet.

In Weinstadt, after a good breakfast, the war council convened. Undoubtedly Fromagere was preparing to attack. And the best form of defence is..