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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

If you go down to the woods.

                  Having now been well and truly bitten by the imagineering bug I delved through the bits box to see what remained to paint. Answer "Not a lot".. I did however find a bag of pendraken 10mm "Rogers Rangers" from the FIW range. Mighty nice they were too. Now I have always been fascinated by the unit I think as a result of films and books read as a child. So a quick google of pictures and flags produced these images


   The figure was very cool and the Pendraken miniatures very close to this image. Now I wouldn't be me if I just went straight for these so I grabbed some figures from other FIW packs, added a few 7Ywar figs and did some head swapping. I liked the results.  I also Loved the standard . Really colourful with strong images that matched the figure range but it wasn't really "Biehlbergian" and  would need modifying  to suit my needs. First the green proved to dark when my printer downsized it and the British motifs had to go. I was also going to need a back story for the unit to justify their existence so it was back to the drawing board with my imaginations hat on (not literally of course)         

                             In the early part of the century the duchy was desperately in need of solid funding . Meanwhile the king of the Albion was busy developing settlements in the "Neue-Welt" and facing stiff opposition from the other major powers.  The word was out he needed mercenaries. The then herzog  Erich von Biehlberg commissioned Karl von Roetger (a bit of an adventurer and dubious character by all accounts) to raise a batallion of jaegers to serve in foreign lands at great economic advantage to the duchy. Against all expectations the unit proved to be redoubtable and well respected by the Albion forces. The unit came in time to be known by the Albioneses as "Roetger's Rangers"
(see what I did there?) A name they were allowed to keep on their return to Biehlberg.  

                           Having sorted a backstory I now needed a unit standard and the troops themselves. The initial design was the flag itself. First I lost the union flags and the crown. As stated previously the green printed way too dark and I had to lighten it. I decided to replace the central motif with the image of Herzogin Bertha and child (the great grandmother of the current herzog)used on all Biehlberg flags and the Biehlberg eagle substituted for the crown. Finally to finish it off the obverse was a green background with the eagle outlined in the yellow used on the shield. The final result looked like this.

I liked it!

                                   The majority of the figures were straight from the packet but I did use drummers and officers from other sets with the ranger heads on and indeed replaced some of the ranger heads with tricornes which produced a good range of  miniatures with a nice irregular air about them. Here is the end result.


 In mounting the bases I placed some elements in 3-2-3 formation and others in 2-3-2 so that when in line they kept a reasonable semblance of open order.

The trial piece didn't look quite right so I added the red headband as an afterthought which I felt really accentuated the bonnet.(the current herzogin likes red anyway)

Each base became almost a mini diorama greatly helped by the variety of figures I used. Finally I love the standard. It really looks the part. This unit is in danger of becoming my favourite.


                       I really enjoyed putting these and the marines together and had lots of fun with colours and standards so I have decided to put together some of the minor states around the two duchies . Just a couple of units per state will do . To that end I placed a small order with Pendraken last night for infantry and cavalry.  COME ON POSTIE!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Time for a change.

                   I began the Napoleonic project back in November 2014 with the aim of doing as much as I could in the 6 months it normally took for me to tire of a period or scale. It's now December 2016 and I have worked continuously to build a Napoleonic set up that I am extremely proud of but it's time to call a halt. I was hoping that Walt would have his ACW troops ready by now but I haven't gotten my hands on them yet so I returned to the bits box. As I posted previously, my choice was 10mm imaginations again and the marine tester my first result. After some feverish work, I finalised the standards, cleaned and converted a few bases more and the Biehlberg marine battalion was born.

                  The marines were born in the time during which Biehlbergs growing fleet of small ships took first to the "Zondersee", moved out into the ocean and later took part in the race to colonise the "Neue-Welt". Begun as a defensive force for the then Duchess's navy they  later grew into a combined battalion in the modern Biehlberg land forces. When they were absorbed into the army they retained their status and their slightly archaic uniforms and the right to hold the right of the line.

               In figure terms I used 10mm figures from the Pendraken league of Augsberg range mainly the flintlock infantry. I am heartily pleased with them and as I write this the term "colonise the Neue-Welt" has given me an idea for an irregular infantry battalion. Now where the hell did I leave that pack of "Rogers Rangers".

         They are distinguished by the fact that they are currently one of the only battalions with unit markings and battle honours on the National Standard. They are led by the somewhat elusive figure of  Gerhardt Von Bloch but that's another story for the future.

                   So here they are the marines in all their glory. Seebataillon Von Kohnfeldt

 I have to admit that my eyes have been a real problem painting these but I am also really happy with the result. I have a unit that is a bit different, that stands out from the rest of the army and I just can't wait to game with.

The figures are pendraken and if Leon reads this an absolute joy to paint.  Nicely animated and so full of character.

                                 Now for those damn jaegers. 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Testing, testing

                 Fired up by my last post I found and cleaned up and where necessary, converted some Pendraken LoA Flintlock men to act as a marine battalion. I really wasn't sure if they were what I wanted so for the first time I decided to paint just one element to "feel the water"!

                 I completed it this morning and I have to say they are EXACTLY what I was after. I am really pleased with them and the rest of the battalion are on the cleaning bench right now.   Can't wait to get the Biehlberg marines on the table..

My eyes are certainly not what they were but even so at 10mm they don't look too bad.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

"Imagineering" a new impetus

          I have played a few games of "Maurice " lately using my two imaginary duchies of Biehlberg and Gromstadt. Now I enjoyed those games very much but even more I was attracted to the idea of the two duchies once more. When I first visualised them they were situated "somewhere" in Europe which would allow the appearance of forces from the major powers etc.  As time went on it became apparent they didn't need that kind of prop and if I moved completely into the realms of Imagination I could provide variety and supplement the forces with troops from various city states and bishoprics around the main antagonists. Somewhere I have a map of the duchies showing them to border a large inland lake/sea the "Zondersee" this had an outlet to the sea allowing foreign trade and "New worlds". That's about how far I had planned when I was bitten by the 6mm Napoleonic bug.

               During our last game my opponent mentioned we might need some more infantry units. That got me thinking about the Duchies again and I vaguely remembered buying some LoA troops I had planned to use as marines. For the first time in a while my interest was REALLY fired up. I dug out my bits box of 10mm troops and found the bags of tiny lead soldiers I wanted. A bit of base planning some cleaning and a little conversion and The "first seebataillon" was called to the colours.
The first problem I discovered is that my eyesight is deteriorating badly and I was having trouble seeing the details and undercuts. A trip to the opticians was planned but meanwhile and way more importantly they would need a pair of flags.. After a little web surfing and work in paint I came up with these two which fitted nicely with the normal Biehlberg standards.

               So! That's the hard bit done all that remains is to paint them. Further thoughts lead me onto the Zondersee itself and wondering what rules to use with my fleet of small cardboard ships.

               Although made of card, these are quite pretty and I wasn't sure what kind of rules I wanted. On the basis of my enjoyment of a fun set like "Maurice" I really want a set to match them. My current thoughts are to adapt the "Too Fat Lardies" ruleset . I seem to remember them focussing on fun rather than mathematics.  Guess it's time to find what the heck I did with them..