Saturday, February 27, 2016

Colonel Prince Karl Bernard of Saxe-Weimar

Colonel of the 28th Orange Nassau regiment, Prince Karl Bernard found himself brevetted to Brigadier by the battle of Waterloo. Interestingly, or perhaps frustratingly depending how you look at it, there are few specific references to how the Prince was attired. We must therefor logically infer .
I have seen these Perry figures painted up with the Prince depicted (I presume) as the Colonel of the Nassau Usingen regiment in green with black facings. In reference to Voices from the Past: Waterloo 1815 by John Grehan the Prince's own letter to his father after the battle could not make it plainer; however, that he was the Colonel of the Orange Nassau regiment (two battalions) and that he was field promoted.

I therefore believe that the Prince must have been attired as the senior officer of the Orange Nassau regiment, with white breeches or grey overalls, blue French style coat and red facings. He is depicted as such by Hoynck J. Papendrecht above, albeit drawn in the late nineteenth century, many decades after the fact. Admittedly, there is not a lot of difference between a Dutch General's uniform and the Colonel of the 28th. A happy coincidence for the Prince?
I researched the uniforms on the run and it was because of the above picture that I have elected to run with a farmyard theme for the command base. I have the Prince with a staff officer and an officer of the 2nd Usingen Nassau regiment similar to the figure on the extreme left of Papendrecht's image. I've done a few bases of wet earth, puddles and the like for my Waterloo armies but this time I want them in the yard of a farmhouse.
I delved onto one of my many boxes of odds and ends and dug up a length of pre-printed and embossed paper - a scenic product from Noch. To be precise it's from Noch's HO scale range and is the 57710 mauerplatte "Dolomit" stone wall effect which will serve as well for a rough stone faces farmhouse yard. I recycled an old wood barrel I bought so long ago I know not from where and flanked it with a couple of 1/48th scale chickens from Pegasus.
The real trick was the time consuming afterthought of shearing the horses from their bases, drilling and fixing steel pins through the hoof and then drilling and gluing them through the surface of the base. I had to build up some foliage around the base of the staff officer's mount as this horse figure was imperfectly cast which you can see. Anyway, something a bit different for me and I like to imagine this Brigadier might be visiting Papelotte.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Captain Bergmann's Nassau Volunteer Jaegers

Better late than never and completed the same time as by Orange-Nassau skirmishing company is my representation of the Nassau Jaegers for 1815.
As dedicated skirmishers, I am continuing my practice of basing them on circular stands of three figures. These twelve figures are all Perry Miniatures 28s and they are simply superb - naturally.

I mix my own colours so hopefully they appear variable in the hue of their green jackets and trousers. I threw in a couple of grey pants for variety. Apart from an irregular hue, I paint the jackets all before the trousers to break up the matches-set look.

Similar to my Orange-Nassau skirmishing unit, I muddied them up as I painted the bases. The basing seems to be getting very complex for me these days but I'm happy with the results. I always apply static grass in dots and build up from there by mixing my own blends. There are three blends used here. I haven't 'wet' the deep ground this time.
I spent more attention to the faces this time, painting in character lines with flesh wash or ink. I actually calculated how many separate painting applications I use per figure and it was approaching 50. Many painting guides have all straps and leather work in ochre but I have retained white leathers for the French issue packs which helps break up the appearance and contrasts the rest.
The bases are measured, cut from 5mm MDF, I cut and fix the magnetic sheet underneath, glue the figures and tall grass on, sculpt with pre-mixed putty and fix the mouse litter whilst wet. Sand, then coat the surface with diluted white glue to fix the litter, two base coats, a black wash, a dry brush then print and fix the unit ID labels, coat with clear matt and finally glue static grass blends times three.

Skirmishing Orange-Nassau 28th

I suppose the first observation is that I elected to run with Front Rank miniatures for this company. This particular unit (28th Orange Nassau Regiment) is not well represented and Front Rank sculpts appear inconsistent with several sources. They have; however, taken a middle-way approach which I think works quite well all the same.
The sculpts have a pleasant bell-topped but unadorned Dutch Line Infantry shako whereas they should have French shakos with chin-scales, front plate and cords. I cut away the back-peak off the shako which then achieves something more representative of most sources, albeit very plain. They come with cockade (including button and lace) and a plume rather than a pom-pom. Some on-line sources refer to the shakos having simple cords instead of chin-scales - which these figures represent.

I generally went with the Osprey 'Wellington's Dutch Allies 1815' guide which opted for white trousers, black gaiters and shoes, whereas others cite grey trousers and gaiter. Similarly, I opted for brass buttons rather than white metal. There was no reference to the lace on the Front Rank shako cockade so I went for yellow for my fusiliers and silver for the officer.

I vacillated for a while but in the end I painted on a plate detail using steel paint and 'engraving' the 'W' cipher detail and crown with a toothpick, which brought the black background of the shako through the paint. I feel I should have used green-stuff to build a properly defined plate but forgot at the outset in my eagerness to get painting.

I furthermore mis-ordered the figures, mistakenly buying centre company rather than flanker figures. I am only representing one company in my scenario (for the time being) and as the regiment was undoubtedly 'light' infantry, I am simply representing a centre company in skirmish formation. As Mark Adkin (The Waterloo Companion) has the regiment strung out from Smohain to La Haie in their pre-battle dispositions, my depiction is in keeping with the entire regiment being dispersed in skirmish order. Phew!

I continue to base Napoleonic miniatures for Black Powder in accordance with In The Grand Manner rules basing conventions - because it matters little and that's the rules I originally migrated from. To differ from my dedicated skirmish troops (British Rifles or Jaegers etc.) I am basing my 'Mixed Order' skirmishing troops at two instead of six figures on an equivalent centre company rectangular base - the same base dimensions as a stand of six figures in close order but with a third the figures representing an open order formation.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A fourth Battalion of Line Infantry and General de Brigade 1870

Some quick and dirty snaps of a long awaited final French line battalion of infantry for my Franco-Prussian war army of the Second Empire. These miniatures were half completed over six months ago - shameful. They were massively stalled by my obsession with revisiting my Waterloo project last year over the anniversary period; like every other project I have on the boil. They are all on more like a gentle simmer I suppose.
These are Old Glory 15's figures and I don't think close up macro shots capture them at their best. They are depicting a generic battalion and unlike my normal approach to developing neat structures, I'm just painting what I have.

This is the last of four battalions of line infantry I can make up with the job lot I purchased. I have made a complete regiment (three battalions) and this extra battalion - and my only Line firing line. All are 24 figure units of four bases of six in two ranks deep. With two battalions of Zouaves, I have two ad-hoc regiments with six battalions in total.
My Regimenal Colonels are based as mounted single command figures. With two regiments I have now supplied the growing army with its first General de Brigade represented by a mounted Major General with ADC on an identical base to the colonels. All command bases will retain the same dimensions but will have increased numbers of figures - three for divisional command and so on.