Sunday, April 4, 2010

Finished Dutch Demi-Brigade

Finally I managed to finish my first revisited battalions for the War of the Spanish Succession. Here we have Tscharner's battalion (foreground) supported by Van Nassau-Woudenberg's of the Dutch army. I don't have much left to say about these models which I haven't already posted. I'm hoping that wargaming this period in a 'grander manner' with larger figure numbers based in the number of ranks atuned to the period will start a new trend. Certainly the figure manufacturers would share this hope.
All of my flags are hand made and painted on tissue paper. I feel this gives them the right thickness to represent silk standards and they certainly respond well to shaping prior to receiving their final 'matt cote' (Humbrol). Flags for this period (particularly for the Dutch) are not always possible to come by. I only managed to find Van Nassau-Woudenberg's colours (seen right) from Claus-Peter Goldberg's Die Veringten Niederlande 1701-1704 as suppled by Baccus - thanks to a tip through TMP. This battalion is raised and supported by the province of Uthrecht and the colours are as they appeared under their previous name after their original Colonel Proprietor, Weede.
As you can see, the officers and NCOs have red lining, coat cuffs and stockings which differ from the other ranks who are all grey. Within this reference I elected to represent the other ranks with a darker grey cuff and very light grey stockings to give them some definition. I think the grey cuff, whilst effective, is perhaps a shade or two too dark and if I had my time over again, they would be lighter - but I can live with it. The grenadiers are another issue. I have elected to go with a cap of facing colour with an orange tuft. The monograme and plate definition I also finish with the facing colour. This is in the absence amongst all of my references to a definitive word on the subject.

I generally paint my puttied bases in a dark brown with lighter shading for European based units and follow up with tufting static grass in two different mixes - one greener and one lighter/browner on top. I apply them by dotting the bases with PVA wood glue and pressing the static grass firmly. I then fill the remaining spaces with the lighter version and some spots I glue on top of the darker shade to give a clumping effect which makes for an uneven ground. In this case I also added loosely rolled clumps of died wool taken from sheepskin off-cuts which I fixed with Selly's Liquid Nails and I think it helps to break down the unifomed/modelled look of the units.

As discussed in my earlier posting, I dropped the depth of the base (mdf craft wood) for the front rank of my firing platoons due to the size and height of the Front Rank figures seen here in the foreground. As you can also see, it was entirely necessary. Normally I like my figuers to differ as much as possible from one another (even in uniformed regiments) but for my firing line I had to match my new kneeling/firing big boys with my older and smaller standing shooters. Anyway, I think it works but as you can see - it's a close fit. You might tell, I generally have an NCO or officer for each nine figure base - but I tend to move them about a bit and follow no convention.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Emerging Dutch

It's been a while since I updated the Blog but then it's taken me some time, working on two Dutch battalions at one time. I previously posted a dummy set up for my revisited army for the War of the Spanish Succession and this is the based result for the first painted battalions. I should say the first stages of basing as I have yet to commence the putty sculpting, painting and flocking. The photos in this posting are of one of those battalions only: my representation of Tscharner's Swiss battalion in Dutch service (raised in Berne and maintained by Holland) as they may have looked at Ramillies in 1706.
The figures are mainly Wargames Foundry with a sprinkling of Front Rank and the mounted Colonel Commandant (representing Gabriel May of Huning) is from Dixon miniatures. You will notice the recessed sections of base where I have cut into the MDF craftwood. My Front Rank figures are a few millimetres taller than the others and the lower level bases drops their height by a couple of milimetres for a better match. This was particularly important for the kneeling front rank of my firing platoons; Front Rank being the only manufacturer to offer this pose. The flags are hand painted representing the battalion and colonel's colours.
As a devotee of Grand Manner wargaming, I am representing my battalion as a 36 figure unit, but the others will average 33. I am basing them in three ranks to better reflect the typical period Dutch formations and I have each base containg nine figures on a 60 by 60 millimetre base. To simulate platoon firing I have one base firing, one loading and one at the ready all supported by a command and colour party base. I may consider attempting to represent two firings across the frontage. Whilst the Swiss battalions fielded no grenadiers, my other unit has their three figure grenadier company represented as one file on the right flank. By the end of the Easter weekend I hope to have my first demi-brigade completed and will post accordingly.