Friday, 15 November 2019

Polish Uhlans - 28mm Murawski

Another unit of Polish Uhlans painted, bringing me to a total of four lance armed Polish Cavalry units for the Duchy of Warsaw now. New unit is on the front left. All Murawski Miniatures.

The lance armed cavalry for Duchy of Warsaw is very distinctive so getting these done was a priority. Poland had a lot of cavalry!

Regiments as positioned are:
Rear Left:  Krakus Regiment; Rear Right: 21st Regiment
Front left: 9th Regiment; Rear right: 20th Regiment

I've also ordered a tripod for mini-tripod for phone so may take some more pictures of the units when that arrives!

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Saxon Leib Kuirassier Garde - 28mm Black Hussar

More Saxon Kuirassiers, this time the Leib regiment, to join their brother Zastrow Kuirassier regiment.  Great figures again from Black Hussar. Conflicting source information about the horse furniture led to some moments of indecision with these (see below), but I'm happy enough with the end result.

Spelling is important by the way. Due to me getting the "e" and "i" the wrong way around for some time, I'm at risk of my German wife innocently enquiring about the fate of the "Love Kuirassiers" (Lieb) instead of the Life Kuirassiers (Leib), forever more...

Like the Zastrow regiment and Austrian Cuirassiers, the Leib regiment only wore front plates.

A pic below with their Zastrow colleagues.  Both the Zastrow and Leib regiments fought at the Battles of Dresden and Leipzig. The Zastrow regiment broke two Austrian squares at Dresden. The Leib regiment captured a battery of 12 Russian cannon at Leipzig and fought with Russian Cuirassiers/Dragoons that tried to retake them. These Saxon Kuirassiers were serious business. I believe they were also the last Saxons to change sides at Leipzig, the idea being offensive to their inherited knightly/noble honour code.

Given the figures are interchangeable, I mixed in six of the Zastrow Kuirassier figures to the Leib regiment, as the poses (swords down or shouldered) are more durable for wargaming. Three of the rank and file plus the three command of the Leib are all from the Leib figure range though. 

As to the above mentioned issue of horse furniture, I agonised over what mix of yellow, red and white border to go with. For example, here's what they look like with yellow and red rather than white and red. This seems to be the most common representation, but after doing some this way I noticed that it was also looking very much like Austrian heavy cavalry, so I reverted to the white and red. This also matches the white and yellow I did for the Zastrow nicely. Once again I left off the Cipher detail though!

Rawkins in his Army of Saxony book, suggests that the source conflict is due to different variants of horse furniture existing over time, including perhaps even for different squadrons within the same regiment. The saddlecloths also tended to wear out more quickly than other aspects of the equipment, particularly the edges, hence also the cropping of the corner into something rounded rather than pointed for durability.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

28mm Windmill

Windmills - an ingenious method of energy generation pre-fossil fuels, and after for that matter! Windmills like this were a common site in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Being able to reliably mill and then store grain (see the Granary), helped generate an economic energy surplus that fueled important technological and cultural growth - like making fancy hats for the Guards. ;)

This is a modified Sarissa Precision Post Windmill. An MDF kit, which is rather impressively large, and was cheap worldwide postage to New Zealand too. Post windmills were so called because they sat on a turntable post that enabled them to be turned to face the wind in optimal fashion. 

The modifications I made in assembly of this were firstly to triple the thickness of the posts at the base, as these looked a bit anaemic being just 2mm MDF. Really it could do with a central post too  but I decided I could live without that. I also chopped the based size down from 13cm square to 10cm square, to reduce the footprint.

I discarded the rather nice staircase it comes with (but will use this for something else in the future), in favour of a more modest ladder. I made this from scraps of MDF in the kit.  I also cut down the loading crane above the top door to a retracted position. The purpose of this was similar to that of reducing the base size - to cut down the footprint. I want it to be a minor terrain feature, rather than something takes up significant space and gets in the way. Also helps with storage!

The colouring is a bit dull and monotone, but then they were functional buildings that tended to be pretty plain! I was originally going to add tiles to the roof, but decided to paint it first to see how that looked and thought it was good enough.

The windmill blades come off for storage and can thus lie flat and take up little space. I magnetised them but this turned out to be unnecessary as they have a socket fit which is pretty secure.

Windmills were iconic features of many Napoleonic battlefields. The tall tower structure, and perhaps ability to be turned, also made them excellent command positions for Generals to get an elevated view of the Battlefield. Army engineers could quickly make a few suitable 'windows' in the upper story if needed...

Below is the Moulin de Valmy, a rebuilt post windmill which is a memorial to the Battle of Valmy in 1792, where Revolutionary French forces defeated the invading Prussians.

A painting of the battle.

Here's an image of the windmill at the Battle of Leipzig. Napoleon flanked by Murat and Poniatowski. The windmill was used as an observation point by Napoleon.

A windmill at Battle of Ligny.

Another post windmill from the present day, with  similar appearance. The Sarissa kit comes with this sort of staircase.