Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Soldier's View: The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco

This is another good source of Civil War uniforms and equipment but my other favorite military artist, Keith Rocco.

Don Troiani's Regiments & Uniforms of the Civil War

I am beginning a collection of American Civil War figures in 28mm. I have a few texts already, however I just bought a copy of Don Troiani's "Regiments & Uniforms of the Civil War" for it's amazing illustrations of uniforms of the American Civil War. I recommend it strongly to anyone interested in the period. Troiani is a great artist and he does his research thoroughly. I feel very confidant using this volume as a major reference.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

War and Peace

I have been heavily absorbed with all things War and Peace this summer. I am currently reading "Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace" by Dominic Lieven. 

This is a very interesting account of the 1812 Campaign and, as important, the subsequent events of 1813 and 1814. It is written from the Russian point of view and does a particularly good job of explaining how the Russians organized their war effort and how they recovered from the fall of Moscow to take the War into Poland, Germany and eventually France.

I did not know logistics and the mobilizing and training of reserves could make such a good read, but it does here. I have read quite a few accounts of 1812, Borodino, the Retreat etc. But this is the first time that this part of the war has made such sense in its entirety. This book also makes a great companion piece to "War and Peace", supporting some of Tolstoy's views and rejecting others in a balanced way.

I found reading this book, and reading/listening to "War and Peace", was greatly assisted by the following maps and chart which are readily available on Wikipedia.

The Minard Graph

As for "War and Peace" itself,  I recently bought a new copy to replace my old Penguin paperback edition of almost 40 years ago. This time I chose the 2012 Richard PevearLarissa Volokhonsky translation (thanks Yanni!) and I'm well pleased with it.

I have been listening to the Louise and Aylmer Maude translation on Audible, narrated by my favorite reader, the incomparable Frederick Davidson (real name: David Case). David died in 2005 but his work lives on in this wonderful recording. There will never be a more perfect Pierre in my opinion.

As for film versions, this is tough. I wanted to like Sergei Bondarchuk's massive film of 1968. It is generally considered a masterpiece but I could not relate to the actors playing the major roles and the famous battle scenes are problematic. I thought I liked the 1972 BBC televised version but it looked very dated when I tried to watch it recently. 

I found the most enjoyable interpretation to be the 2007 mini series.

War and Peace, 2007

The international cast is excellent:

Clémence Poésy- Natasha Rostova
Alessio Boni- Prince Andrej Bolkonsky
Alexander Beyer- Pierre Bezukhov
Violante Placido- Helene Kuragin

The script follows the novel somewhat loosely but still captures the essence of the characters and the times. No substitute for the novel, but enjoyable in its own right.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Michel NEY, duc d'Elchingen, prince de La Moskowa, maréchal de France

Michel NEY, duc d'Elchingen, prince de La Moskowa, maréchal de France, with ADC colonel Heymes and ADC Levavasseur. The figures are by Perry, painted for me by Leuthen Studios.

Maréchal Ney commanded the Left Wing of the Armee du Nord in the Waterloo Campaign.

2ème Régiment de Cuirassiers

The 2ème Régiment de Cuirassiers derived from the "Cuirassiers de la Reine" of the  ancien régime. Under colonel Baron GRANDJEAN there were just 2 squadrons of  311 effectives at Waterloo, serving in the 12ème Division de Cavalerie - 2ème Brigade.

These are Perry metal figures painted for me by Carl Robson. The unit includes some of the highly animated casualties by Perry. These are again some of the Perrys' best work.

I asked Carl to paint the trumpeter in Imperial Livery as well as in the earlier reverse-colours of the regiment.

2ème Régiment de Cuirassiers


Alternative trumpeter uniform

Sunday, August 11, 2013

11ème Régiment de Cuirassiers

The 11ème Régiment de Cuirassiers was led by colonel COURTIER at Quatre Bras and Waterloo . The 3 squadrons and 391 effectives at Quatre Bras were reduced to only 2 squadrons with 332 effectives at Waterloo. The 11ème served with the 8ème in the 1ère Brigade de la 11ème Division de Cavalerie.

These are Perry figures with the 11ème shown without cuirass, accurate for Waterloo. They were painted for me by Carl Robson. The Regiment is shown at its Quatre Bras strength.

11ème Régiment de Cuirassiers

colonel COURTIER

Baron Marie-Adrien François GUITON and ADC

Commanding the 2ème Brigade de la 11ème Division de Cavalerie, Maréchal de Camp, Baron Marie-Adrien François GUITON.

8ème Régiment de Cuirassiers

From my old Blog, I've imported some of my favourite images, these of the 8ème Régiment de Cuirassiers, commanded at Waterloo by colonel GARAVAQUE. Present were 3 squadrons with 459 effectives, a fairly large formation for the day. They formed part of 2ème Brigade,  11ème Division de Cavalerie. 

These are Perry metal cuirassiers, their best, painted for me by Carl Robson. I really like the interesting poses. This unit more than any other persuaded me to start collecting Napoleonics again. The scenic pictures were taken by Jeff Lower using my scenery and the Hovels La Haye Sainte buildings.

8ème Régiment de Cuirassiers


Saturday, August 10, 2013

1ère Brigade de la 11ème Division de Cavalerie

Here are my two dragoon Regiments formed in brigade. Maréchal de Camp Baron Cyrille Simon PICQUET served as Commandant of the 1ère Brigade de la 11ème Division de Cavalerie.

1ère Brigade de la 11ème Division de Cavalerie

Maréchal de Camp Baron Cyrille Simon PICQUET

Maréchal de Camp Baron Cyrille Simon PICQUET

Maréchal de Camp Baron Cyrille Simon PICQUET

Dragoon ADC to Maréchal de Camp Baron Cyrille Simon PICQUET

7ème Régiment de Dragons

The 7ème Régiment de Dragons was brigaded at Waterloo with the 2ème to form 11ème Division de Cavalerie - 1ère Brigade. The  7ème  was commanded by colonel LÉOPOLD.  It formed 4 squadrons with 517 effectives.

This regiment derived from the Dragons d'Angoulème (5ème Dragons) of the ancien régime.

7ème Régiment de Dragons

7ème Régiment de Dragons

colonel LÉOPOLD
Once again the Colonel is a Foundry figure set amongst an otherwise Perry plastic unit painted for me by Leuthen Studios.

Same reservations about plastics here. May also be FOR SALE.