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Friday, December 20, 2019

Battle for Quebec: French regiment la Sarre


My third regiment for Montcalm's army is the comparatively colourful regiment la Sarre. All figures for this 37 figure unit are from Black Hussar Miniatures from their Seven Years War range including a British officer from their FIW range. 
Together with my first two French regiments and a Huron war party, I now have a brigade and can start playing some games against the British whilst I continue to compete both armies - well, in theory.
The regiment's two colours are 30mm square cloth allowing for a central cross 6mm wide and being the second battalion of the Regiment, they are both ordinance colours. The chords for the one-piece cast flag poles are plain in comparison to the Front Rank fanion sets so I opted for my own interpretations of the colours making one red and one black.
Unlike the regiments I have sought to create so far for the Plains of Abraham, the Black Hussar Miniatures are sculpted with collarless coats. Instead, the figures have prominent neckerchiefs. La Sarre arrived in Quebec in 1757 whose uniforms would have conformed to the rest of those deployed to the New World.  Originally, they arrived with an altered colour scheme and collarless coats for Canadian service but were later reissued and returned to their conforming regimental coats as depicted here. I elected to represent the collar by painting coloured tabs on the neckerchief as well as indications for the black stock.
I loved painting these figures and would have delivered faster results had not my work got in the way in the madness leading toward the end of the year. These figures include the bayonet and swords - whereas I read the fusiliers left their swords behind prior for embarking to Canada. I have to admit this doesn't concern me in the least so perhaps I've turned some sort of corner when it comes to a tendency to obsess over accuracy?









The sergeants come with partizans (traditional issue) whereas I understand that sergeants were issued with muskets and bayonets for Canadian service. Well I'm sure that there would have been a few partizans about Quebec and the fight on the Plains of Abraham was a regular open battle.
The two tambours were fun to paint and I reckon the drums are larger than others I've painted in the past. They are both sculpted quite differently. The one above has recessed buttons (made from a tube impression) whereas the tambour below has raised buttons. I've never come across this type of design variation before within the one range.

I lost a few bayonets along the way - a real vulnerability in this range. Having said that, when next I paint a Black Hussar French infantry unit I might opt for no bayonets and lop them all off.

The battalion shots are on temporary bases. I'll be wrapping this lot individually for shipping home. The cast bases are really very stable ovals and they stood quite easily on their own with no Bluetack.
Nevertheless, I arrayed them as I will be basing them - three ranks deep and giving fire in half-battalion with the right side loading and ready and the left giving fire.
I'm still learning to use my lighting array for my macro photography and am trying to minimise the saturation. In the battalion shots I have mainly dimmed my LED panel (only using one this time) to a minimum output which I think works better.

As you can see, I'm running with an ad-hoc set-up in Tonga but it's a vast improvement on relying on natural light which comes and goes here with frustrating regularity. There is so much rain in the Pacific this time of year.

The next regiment I paint will be from another manufacturer simply because I'm keen on sampling the market. I'll definitely return to these figures in future - they are just beautiful models.
This will be the last product completed in 2019 I predict - but I'll be pushing hard to get their adversary the 58th British regiment of foot done - we shall see. This has been the year of the French for me between my 15mm FPW output and a relatively rapid start-up for the French at Quebec.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Franco-Prussian War: French Field Artillery Battery


The first challenge to this build was figuring out what I had in the Old Glory 15s packet. It's a generous offering of six guns and 25 crew. I will need limbers down the track but they will have to be another supplier. What I had to discern was what types of guns I had on my hands - there are two types supplied.

There are four smaller pieces with shorter barrels (20mm) and shorter, stout gun carriages. The other two are longer and larger barrelled pieces (25mm) on longer, slender carriages. Old Glory fails to adequately identify them but both types are muzzle loaders.
A little bit of research is always required of course (it's part of why I'm into historical wargaming). I don't know why but I have relied greatly on open source internet information to inform this build. Perhaps it's because they are 15mm. If I were building this army in 28mm you can be sure I'd have purchased a comprehensive uniform guide and reference library.
Anyway, and these models represent four of the Canon de Campaign de 4 La Hitte (1858) and two of the older Napoleon III 12 pounder re-bored guns.

Normally I'd group my batteries into three gun units but in this instance I'm likely to go for a two gun battery organisation as the 12 pounders formed reserve batteries and the model 4's formed homogeneous field batteries. It's academic anyway because I base my guns separately and I can always arrange them differently on the day if I prefer.
I needed to balance the barrels when fixing them with Selley's Araldite to give time for the bond to set.

For the first time I have deliberately based one of my 4's askew. On reflection, I don't know why I've never done this before but I wanted it to look like it was being man-handled to change facing. When it comes to guns there's so many different modelling possibilities and I must try to remember this for future artillery builds.

The gun carriages as far as I can discern were a grey/green. This would appear to be continuing the Napoleonic tradition. Imagery for extant examples are variable in colour from a pronounced mid-green to grey which I presume to be faded over time. Artists as often as not depict them in a natural wood but I recognise that digital colour reproduction can also vary significantly. So, I've gone for a louder green on the carriage body and greyer green on the wheels which I admit is hedging my bets a little. In the end, I'm not entirely happy the wheels are dark or grey enough and they look the same as the rest of the carriages under the light. Ah well. The barrels are all brass.