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Saturday, 25 June 2016

hair curlers and their importance in the ACW....

                       The next stage of the hair curler revolution came in I think 1981 when Andy Callan presented an ACW game with hair curler at a CoW weekend. I liked them and decided the ACW was something I would like to explore.  He had used a different roller to mine and what attracted me was the fact you can make the cavalry from the rollers as well. I had a great deal of fun with these and they have been rebased at various times but these pics are their final condition. After many years using these I decided to try a what if campaign with the British invading from Canada and I also considered the fact that as they are so generic I could use them for the Crimean War as well.

                 Here are the last lot of pictures I did of these



First the Union troops. All made as shown at curlers how to. very simple and fast to paint . Once again don't get up close they look awful but give them a nice base, a good flag and some nice looking terrain they will be a pleasure to play with














made in exactly the same way. Mix of colours for variation and distinctive colours to define zouaves etc. 





Again the real effect lies in basing standards and terrain.


As mentioned earlier I also wanted to explore the possibilities of European intervention in the ACW so I have duly built a British expeditionary force

currently consisting of 12 regular battalions of infantry, 6 Canadian battalions, a light cavalry brigade, a  heavy cavalry brigade and 5 artillery batteries. 



Somewhere I have a Russian Crimean army half completed. I may dig it out one day when I can be bothered. 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Pour le Roi et la France....

                            Today its the turn of the French "hair curlers" to see the light of day. I am even feeling the urge to get them on a wargames table once more. Perhaps I can use them in honours of war. These are the old style figures once more with matchstick cavalry. Hope you like them.




The fascinating part about the infantry is that they are simple pins. They have no form or shape. The addition of mass, flags and nice bases gives them a shape they don't really have.




 Because of the nature and cheapness it is of course possible to include things like wagons and pontoons and many different foreign troops.







 



The cavalry are the matchstick and card type which remind me so much of the "Toby jug" style paintings of 18th century battles




These were the last of the seven years war troops I made .  The household troops.

Which path should we take Gandalf??

                               I sat last night and pondered my 1809 French and Austrian forces. I have a LOT I guess around a hundred bases mounted for Blucher maybe more. I had to admit my retirement plan certainly worked. The lead mountain remains buried somewhere down in my garage and I feel no guilt or need to dig it out at present. I have the result of three very major projects completed and gleaming on my shelves and through sheer dogged determination I have a Napoleonic setup fully painted with terrain, buildings etc etc. Very satisfying .
                                It all means I can release the butterfly and explore all those ideas I had pushed firmly aside over the last 3 years. One by one I discarded them and to my total amazement I found myself considering more 6mm Napoleonics. Not only that , still in 1809. We would go to Spain. Now my present plan revolves around His majesties forces in the peninsula and their Spanish allies. I would probably need a few more German troop types but not many. What is more I can do them all in 6mm MDF..
                               I think my main reason for staying in the era is because we have a set of rules that works for most of us. Our somewhat modified Blucher rules have proved very satisfactory but for the smaller contacts in the Peninsula I may explore rules sets like Sharp practice 2 as I have had some good reports. However that's the route but I think I'll knock out some more French and Austrians before I set off heheheh

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

His majesty's army in germany..

                        This was the very first of my Hair curler armies built way back in 1980 something. It wasn't a pure roller army because the cavalry are matchstick and card.  It was the following pictures that I found in a folder somewhere that caused me to clean the troops up and write the how to article I posted at hair curler armies
Looking at these pictures they had to have been taken in the last 10 years after a rebasing.

                          Built back in 1980 something they are still fit for duty today and despite the beautiful sculpts we have around today I feel no shame in putting them on a table. A big part of cheapo armies is to make them look good with banners, terrain and buildings.



 For many years I wanted to play in the 7yw. For reasons of work, cash, and the horror of all those facing colours and detail, I never got round to it.




Hair curlers made it possible and over time I have built an army that includes British, Hanoverians , Brunswick, Hessians etc etc...  Battles have been fought and lost against the french but the pleasure of the flags and colours never goes away


























Next up the French

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Banging around in Bavaria

  On Sunday 12/6/16 my local group pulled together to play a simply megagame of Blucher. We only had 6 hours of play which included setting up, explaining the basics of the rules to 10 out of 14 players who had never played Blucher before and giving of orders to corps commanders by the two CiC's.   We played a battle on a front of some 15 kilometers spread over 3 6x4 tables. 6 French corps including the guard faced off against 6 Austrian corps.  The game was an absolute blast. We had massive casualties but only in the north did any corps break .

      In the North the Austrians tried to cover too great a frontage and were blasted away and pursued from the table but too late in the day to move south onto the other table.
                            In the centre the two sides bled each other dry but neither could really take the villages required for victory but the Austrians were heard to give a sigh of relief when dusk fell. The number of brigades on 2 or 3 elan was unbelieveable.
                           The south turned out to be a real test of wills with two Austrian corps facing off initially against 2 French corps. It was this area that held 7 out of 14 victory points and both sides had set their sights on taking them. The french later threw in the guard while in the late afternoon the Austrians committed their grenadier/heavy cavalry corps here as well. Very exciting.

The OOB's were as follows



Austrian Army      (720)                                      131
1st Corps    Bellegarde  7att bats

Hvy art x 1
Avant Garde x 2
Div Von Ulm
                      3 x vet inf
Div Von Vogelsang
                      3 x vet inf
                      1 x dragoon

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2nd Corps    Kalowrat  7att bats                         125

Heavy Art x 1
Avant garde x 2
Hussars x 1
Div Von Treufels
               3 x vet inf
Div Von Brady
              3 x vet inf

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Res Corps    Liechtenstein 4att bats                          111

Horse art x 1
Cuirassiers Von lederer x 1
Cuirassiers von siegenthal x 1
Div Rohan
             4 x grenadiers

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4th Corps    Von Rosenberg  4 att bats                   111

Heavy Art x 1
Avant garde x 1
Div Somariva
               3 x vet inf
               1 x uhlans
Iv Hohenloe
              3 x vet inf
              1 x light horse
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3rd Corps    Hohenzollern-Hechingen  4 att bats    121

Heavy Art x 1
Avant garde x 2
Hussars x 1
Div St Julien
               4 x vet inf
Div Lusignan
              3 x vet inf



5th Corps    Archduke Ludwig  4att bats           121

Heavy Art x 1
Avant garde x 2
Div Reuss-plauen
              3 x vet inf
              1 x hussars  
Div Von Lindenau
              4 x vet inf

French Army      (787)                                    

 Imperial Guard    Curial  3 att bats     160

Hvy art x 1
Horse art x 1
Old  Guard x 1
Guard inf  x 2
Young guard x 1
Gd Hvy cav x 2
Gd Light Cav x 2
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VIIth Bavarian  Corps    Levebvre  6att bats                         170

Hvy art x 1
Horse art x 1
Div Crown Prince Ludwig
         Line inf x 3
         Light cav x 1 
Div Von Wrede
         Line inf x 4
         Light cav x 1 
Div Deroy
         Line inf x 3
         Light cav x 1 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IVth Corps    Massena 11 att bats                          188

Hvy art x 1
Div Molitor
         Line inf x 4
Div Le Grand
         Line inf x 4
Div Carra St cyr
         Line inf  x 4
Div Marulaz
         Light cav x 2 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VIIIth Corps    Vandamme  3 att bats                   75

Heavy Art x 1
Line Inf x 4
Light cav x 2
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IInd Corps    Lannes 5 bats                          115

Hvy art x 1
Div Claperede
         Line inf x 4
Div Tharreau
         Line inf x 4

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Res cavalry  Corps    Bessiers                         69

Horse art x 1
          Cuirassiers x 2
          Carabiniers x 2    


We had little time for photgraphs but I do have a few impressions of how the day went. 


To the left is a view from north to south across the battlefield and to the right from South to North. A virgin view of peaceful rolling agricultural land.




Two views for North to south with the battle in full swing.












A close progression of events in the north . The French pinned the right flank and then swept round the Northern flank in overwhelming strength
 These two shots show the closing moments before the Austrians were swept from the fields.











 The centre was a battle of various surges and could have gone either way
















The North was a very messy affair and I have very few pictures. I believe these were taken before either reserve was committed.





In the photo to the right you can see the advance of the Imperial Guard




       In closing I have to say I would probably try something as big as this again but not just yet....