Sunday, September 29, 2013

Austrians at Leipzig, 1813

I have just received a new commission of Austrians from Leuthen Studios. I wanted a sampling of the new Perry Austrians and I am very pleased with the result. They form part of my Leipzig Project. For GrenadierBattalion Call, also part of Graf Weißenwolff's Division, please see this entry from January 2013:

Austrian Reserve Corps, Kommandeur: Erbprinz Fried...

Austrian 6 pdr

Austrian 6 pdr

These Hungarian grenadiers are from Grenadierbatallion Habinay with two companies each from IR32 and IR 39. They formed part of Brigade Watzi in FML Nikolaus Graf Weißenwolff's Division at Leipzig. 

IR#32 G. Sam Gyulai

IR#32 G. Sam Gyulai

#39 Thomas Nadasdy

#39 Thomas Nadasdy

Major Habinay IR39, Grenadierbatallion Habinay 

Major Habinay IR39, Grenadierbatallion Habinay

These are the Hessen-Homburg Hussars, Nr 4, properly titled "Hussar Regiment Friedrich-Josef Erbprinz zu Hessen-Homburg". The formed part of Brigade Raigencourt in the Leichte Division of FML Ignatz Graf von Hardegg. The regiment was commanded in 1813 by Oberst Raban Freiherr von Spiegel.

Hessen-Homburg Hussars Nr. 4

Hessen-Homburg Hussars Nr. 4

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

WW1 Flight: Two Different Experiences

First, I purchased on STEAM a new release of a four years mature flight simulator that looks only at WW1 but in considerable depth. What an experience!

After many mishaps, I'm beginning to get the hang of "Rise of Flight: Channel Battles Edition", a couple of safe take-off and landings anyway. I tried my hand flying a big Felixstowe flying boat, and landed it safely on a river in France, totally amazing experience. This is flying, not a flight sim. The Training Missions are vital. 

In a totally different vein, somewhere between a miniatures and a board game, my first set of Wings of Glory arrived today, a Dual Pack featuring an Albatross D.Va and a Spad XIII. Very nice, smaller than I expected and the same with the cards, but an excellent use of space. I'm impressed. I'll try a few solo rounds tonight.

Unusual to have two ways of experiencing WW1 flight, both look very good in their own, very different ways. I missed both of these in their earlier releases but I've found them now.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blue and Red: How to Paint the 114th Pennsylvania "Collis Zouaves"

For my first foray into the American Civil War, I have decided to take on a tough subject: how to paint the 114th Pennsylvania "Collis Zouaves" as they might have appeared at Gettysburg.

The problem is not so much in the detail but rather the basic colour of blue of the Zouave vest and red of the Chasseur pants of the uniform.

As you can see, the colours range from muted Venetian Red (per Yanni), Madder Red from certain sources, through a very bright red in some images. Likewise the blue of the vest ranges from a grey blue to a very dark Union blue-black.

If you have a view, or better still information, please let me know on this blog.

Artist Don Troiani's interpretation

Plate from Gettysburg Source Book

Osprey image

Actual 114th uniform. But how did it look in 1863?

Re-enactors of the 114th follow the preserved uniform. But is it oxidized?

Wargaming: Down Memory Lane

The recent death of Donald Featherstone made me think of happy days back in South London beginning to collect wargames figures. It was not easy. No internet of course and, back then, no professional hobby publications. 

My very first figure was a painted lead soldier my father bought for me about 1965 from Gamages Department Store  in London, probably a Minifig, British, Waterloo-era infantryman. The only place to start were the few names and addresses contained in Don's early books, together with those of authors Peter Young and Charles Grant. My handwritten note to an unknown address with a stamped, self-addressed envelope was the only way to get a cheaply printed listing or even just a carbon-copy list from the manufacturer.

I started to order a few items and with great pleasure would open the small, sturdy, brown cardboard boxes filled with sawdust from Neville Dickenson in Southampton containing the precious few metal figures I could afford with my pocket money.

Then, as I became a young teenager, I would set off on adventures by British Rail and London Transport buses to actually visit the fabulous lairs of Marcus Hinton in Camden Passage and Rose Miniatures, closer by, in Charlton. I even once managed to persuade my family to drive from a vacation bungalow in Bournemouth, where we were spending a summer holiday, to Southampton so I could actually meet Mr Dickenson. My most daring adventure, a drive on my Honda 50 all the way across London to Northolt Road, South Harrow to investigate Bill Pearce's shop selling his Garrison Miniatures (closed in 1971).

Here are some precious memories of my collecting days in the early 1960's.

Marcus Hinton outside his amazing store in Camden Passage

Miniature Figurines Store, Southampton

Neville Dickenson

Rose 1965 Catalogue

I can still remember those early lead soldiers and the great men who designed, manufactured and sold them.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Donald F. Featherstone

Donald F. Featherstone (born 20 March 1918, London) passed away 3 September. Don is considered the father of modern wargaming writing more than forty books on wargaming and military history. He wrote classic texts on wargaming in the 1960s and 1970s.

For me, as for many people of my generation, Don was our original inspiration. The pleasure of discovering his first book, "War Games" published in 1962, in the local public library in Catford, South London, is hard to describe. I checked this out so many times I wonder anyone else in Catford ever saw it.

Thanks Don for all you did for the hobby.