Sunday, September 23, 2012

1815 Brunswick contingent Cavalry

The final group of Brunswick troops to cover includes the two units of cavalry, a hussar regiment and a 'squadron' of uhlans.  The two units arrived at the field of Quatre Bras after the initial infantry group, but before the artillery and two light battalions which arrived at six pm.

The two units totaled over 800 riders, so in game terms I field two units.  The Uhlans were under 300 strong, so the first unit is all hussars and the second is three stands lancers and one of hussars.  It works in game terms, and I reconcile it also with the fifty or so 'Polizei Hussars' also with the command, evidently used as straggler roundup and camp security.

On to the photos!  The first is the  Hussar unit sporting the blue facings with an otherwise black uniform.  The unit performed well in the two battles in June 1815, helping to blunt the cavalry actions of the French at Quatre Bras and played a part, along with so many other allied light cavalry units, against the waves of the French heavy cavalry attacks in the afternoon at Waterloo.

There is a detail shot of the officer and bugler. With the 'swimming pool blue' river in the background.

Next up are the Uhlans, actaully the last unit painted in the army, only late last year. Probably the 'brightest' of all the uniforms in the Brunswick army, percentage of the uniform not being black or grey, that is!  The light blue lapels (plastrons?) on the coat and the yellow piping on the czapska and other parts of the uniform do 'pop' more against the black uniform than you might think.  Overall a good looking unit. Amazingly, the lance pennons do not contain black as a color, but are a light blue over yellow.

Well, this wraps up the Brunswick contingent, I need a few days, then I'll start on the Dutch Belgian units at Quatre Bras. I can safely promise more color to come!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Brunswick 1815 the Artilery and Officers

 The artillery portion of the Brunswick contingent in 1815 consisted of a battery of field artillery and a battery of horse artillery.  In the range for the Brunswickers, there was also a limber team for each type of battery.  That was just too good to pass up.

Both batteries used British pieces, I assume 6 pounders based on what I could glean from the readings.

The field battery  is shown here , I model artillery units in two gun model sections to a battery.  This works well in the Piquet rule sets I tend to play in, the Army level 'Field of Battle' and the more tactical 'Les Grognards.'  Once again, the penchant for black uniforms is shown in both units. 
The limber teams show a difference in that the field battery limber drivers actually had a brownish grey uniform, while the horse battery drivers continue to show the black uniform theme.  Most armies seem to have militarized the limber drivers last of all, and grey or brown uniforms are quite common. 

Hmmm, I think I better do something about the sides of these stands.  I used a 3/8's inch thick pine piece for strength, and forgot how thick that really is in a photo!  I do like the use of limbers in games, and when available, swap out the limbered gun for the deployed battery when the unit is moving.  "Ground scale wise," the real estate on table top needed for one limber model matches up pretty well with the actual length of a battery when the game's ground scale is roughly 1 inch to 25 yards/meters.  Keeps the artillery, at least when moving, at the proper distance and prevents the arm from becoming too powerful on the table due to deployment 'magic.'. I just replace the train with the deployed battery section as they deploy.
The horse limber riders also sport the falling plume as in the gunners' uniform.  Looking at this photo, I really must do something about  the foam streams I use. Honestly, they don't look as bad in real life.  Or maybe I am just used to them after all these years. Look rather like the color of a swimming pool as seen from the window seat of an air liner.  How's that for an anachronism?

Now for the casualty and officer figures. The Duke of Brunswick pack was a long time in coming.  Before the Perry's website had a shopping cart and the Warstore started carrying the line of figures, the US source for the figures was 'Age of Glory.'  The owner of the Age of Glory was  by agreement with the Perry's, only to sell at conventions, not mail order. So over three Historicons and a local convention here in CT I requested and found to be out of stock, this one pack.  When I did finally obtain the pack, the owner dryly said 'I don't think I can sell you this pack.'  He did, and so here they are.  By the way, he no longer carries the Perry line, but does carry the Empress Figures line now.  You may see some of the Spanish Civil War (1930's version) figures he carries from that manufacturer here in the future.

 The casualty pack is one of the many in the Perry Napoleonic lines.  We use them as morale markers in the games, hence the single basing. They could just as well be used in unit bases as some of our local gamers do, such as Czar Barry (see his blog via the links section.)

Coming up last but certainly not least, the cavalry units!

Brunswick Contingent Light Infantry units

Welcome to the second article on the Brunswick contingent of 1815 as such on my table.

The 1815 contingent included four battalions of 'light' infantry, again raised in very early 1814 after the French had retreated from Northern Germany.  Three of the battalions continued the tradition of numbering, being titled the First, Second and Third Light battalions.  The fourth unit was mercifully called something not a number, the 'Avant Garde' or in English 'Advance Guard ' battalion.

The First, Second and Third Light battalions shared a similar uniform style to the line units, an all black ensemble with the units identified with collar, cuffs and trouser stripe in a distinguishing color. At Waterloo the First battalion had buff facings, the Second had yellow, and the Third had orange.

The First Light Battalion, in its buff facings.  According to the information in the Osprey MAA #167, in July the facings changed to red. But in June, they're still buff.

You may notice that the stands are slightly different from the line units in that they are grouped in five figures to a base rather than the six.  I wanted the units to stand out a bit from the line units, and also the adjustment allows me to field some single figures as skirmishers using skirmishing rules sets.

The fourth light unit, the 'Avante Garde' was composed of two companies of light infantry armed with musket and two companies armed with a rifle.  Since these units were normally expected to operate in open order, I mounted the figures three to a stand.  The use of the 'corsehut' rather than shako and the basing help the unit stand out on the table. Some of the range's best animation is again shown in this unit. The officer in the musket armed, black coated light infantry company really does not look amused.
The rifle companies, called the 'Gelernte Jager' were dressed in a grey uniform. Shown here in again, the skirmish order style basing, the poses are what's fun in this unit, as well as a break from the black uniforms.  I used a Ceramcoat grey called 'Dolphin Grey' as the basis of the uniform color as it came the closest to what I had in mind.   Two of these figures, the kneeling figure reaching for a cartridge and the hornist, were actually the figures that threw me over into this project. After all, when you're after toys, the eye candy is what inspires!  I am not as pleased with the paint job on the Jagers, I did not get the definition I had hoped for in the color.  But certainly acceptable to me until I figure out something that will be better.
In talking about colors, the black uniforms throughout were painted first in Ceramcoat 'hippo grey', with a stain (more paint than water) of  Ceramcoat 'Charcoal', with a final wash (more water than paint) of black. This was actually the recipe for painting black horses on an old webpage, now defunct called 'Getting good at painting' by a English fellow wargamer  named Martin.  Just shows that you can transfer ideas to various projects, in this case it worked well enough for me, as I am no good at dry brushing as a painting technique.

Next up are the artillery and command, the cavalry units being the finishing article.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brunswick Contingent for Quatre Bras Line and Leib Battalions

Why do the Brunswickers? The Perry Brunswick1815  figures, particularly the Jager figures, started the whole thing. The different poses in the packages, and the level of detail and the style of sculpting simply clamored for the small Napoleonic era army to be done.

I'll confess, to start the project I knew not much more than that the contingent was at Waterloo and Quatre Bras.  I started re-reading some accounts of Waterloo and then those for Quatre Bras, looking for some detail.  Like a lot of wargamers, I was drawn to the Osprey series which included a tract on the Brunswickers. for the uniform information.   There are also some good sources on the web for both the uniforms and general history of the Brunswick contingent.

Between the Osprey and a copy of the uniform book by Knotel,  I started putting together the Dulke of Brunswick's 1815 contingent.

The contingent was a mix of infantry, cavalry and artillery. There were three line battalions, three light battalions, a 'Lieb-Garde' (Life Guard)  battalion, and an Advance Guard battalion.

There were three line battalions all raised in early 1814. Oddly enough, they were numbered First, Second and Third line battalions.  Actually, the equivalent titles in Deutsch were the names.  But then, this blog is in more or less English.  The uniforms were all black, even the buttons, with the only other color being the facing color on the collar, cuffs and pant stripe on the outward trouser seam.

Here are some photos of the Line and the Leib Garde.  As always, click to see the larger version...which may also help you to read the photo captions. I apologize for the typos in the photos. The image editor I am using does not allow text to be edited once placed, and I have to start over with the photo to fix the spelling. Eventually, I'll replace the offending photos.  For now, please bear with the"hte" for 'the' and so forth.

 There was also a battalion of Liebgarde, or 'Life Guard.'  raised at the same time.  It had red facings and pant stripe.  It also sported a fuller shako plume than the line units. In all the units I painted the canteens black.  The pattern is British, which are usually blue, but the sources split on the matter and I chose to go with the black water bottle.

Next post, the Light and Advance Guard battalions.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quatre Bras project Units by Command

Years ago, enamored with the line of figures representing the Brunswick army the Perry brothers came out with for the 1815 campaign,  I bought enough to do all the troops in the Dutch-Belgian campaign.  That lead to some Nassau troops, some Dutch Belgian troops and more recently some British units.  I have the luxury of friends who have French units already, you see.

I was laying out some of my newly painted units for a game and realized that I am within two units for the Allied side of my project to be done.  I decided to post the commands that are 'done' or nearly so...well, because this is a blog about miniatures, after all.

Without going over the details of this fascinating battle, let me just say it intrigued me as the archetypal meeting engagement.  Both sides brought in troops, the Anglo-Allied  units starting outnumbered but holding ground, hard pressed even as reinforcements slowly tilted the battle in their favor by evening.  Most of the commands in the battle were of a 'brigade' size, usually five to six units of infantry, two or three regiments of cavalry. 

So, by brigade, Brits first:

Most of the early arrivals were from Picton's Division.  While I don't have Picton's figure yet, I do have all the units represented and almost all of these painted.  I did a post back a bit on the three brigade commanders, all of which are from the same pack from the Perry miniatures line.  Pack, Kempf, Halkett

 This first photo is of the units for Kempf's brigade of Picton's Division. In the front left are the Rifles, 1/95th in their  easily recognized dark green uniform.  In the left rear of the photo the Cameroons, 1/79th foot (Highland).  To the rear right are the North Gloucestershire, 1/74th with the yellow flag.   In the front of the right hand side are the 1/32, Cornwall, who have white facings.
The rifles and highlanders are Perry figures, the  North Gloustershires are Old Glory 2nd edition pre-painted (I 'cheated' on several of the line units) and the Cornwall are Victrix.  The basing scheme for the Cornwall reflects the large attached bases of the Victrix figures.  I may someday attempt to cut down the integral plastic bases and remount this unit to conform to the others. The flags are from

 The second photo is of Pack's brigade, also part of Picton's division. To the front left are the Black Watch, 1/42nd foot (Highland) to the right front the Royal Scots, 3/1st foot. To the rear right are the East Essex, 1/44th foot again with a yellow flag. To the rear is Roger's Royal Artillery battery, with its 9 pounders that was the artillery support for Picton.  Not present, as they are not yet painted, are the 1/92nd foot, Gordon's Highlanders.  I'll fill in with a new photo when they are completed. The Highland units are from Perry miniatures, as is the artillery battery; the Royal Scots and East Essex are Old GLory 2nd Edition prepaints.
The third British brigade to arrive in mid afternoon at the field was Halkett's brigade. (The British brigade, there was another general Halkett who commanded a Hanoverian brigade, they were not at Quatre Bras but were at Waterloo.)  This brigade was actually part of Alten's Division, not Picton's.  The Allied Army was 'sending everything down one road' or nearly so, and the result was the arrival of brigades not always as part of a higher command.

 We are again missing a unit from the photo that needs to be painted, the 1/33rd foot, the 1st West Riding, which will sport red facings.  The right hand unit is 2/30th foot, Cambridgeshire, while the front unit on the left is 2/69th foot, South Lincoln, and the rear left hand unit is the 2/73rd foot, the Royal Highland Regiment. This brigade is so far the most homogenous as regards to castings, all the units are Old Glory 2nd Edition prepaints,  the West Ridings will be made up of Victrix models.

So there you have most of the British units from the middle of the day.  I am not sure if I will do the Guards Brigade as part of the scenario.  On to the Brunswickers and Dutch Belgian Brigades.