Saturday, 13 July 2019

Bavarian Line Infantry - 28mm Perry

Four regiments of Bavarian Line Infantry completed, with distinctive lozenge chequed flags and cornflower blue uniforms. Again blue is Vallejo Andeas blue over Vallejo Prussian blue.

Flags are from Warflag, reduced and I highlighted each blue area with Vallejo Andreas blue to match the colour of the uniforms - quite painstaking!

 Here's the 6th Regiment, in 1809 era uniform with yellow facings and red piping.

7th Regiment in 1809 uniform with pink facings, and red piping on cuffs. This is regiment to which Franz Hausmann belonged, an officer of this regiment whose letters have been compiled into a book which I detail later in this post.

After painting piping on the previous two regiments, I had enough of it and just did the next two regiments with more generic red facings as higher numbered and later regiments had! :)

Above I mentioned Franz Hausmann, who was an officer of the Bavarian 7th Regiment. He wrote a series of letters to his father while serving in this regiment, the copies of which were handed down through the family until his great granddaughter spoke to a historian about them in the 1990's. The significance of the find was recognised and the letters together with some historical information and context were published in the following book. I picked up a second hand copy of it earlier in the year.

Franz's letters are at first brief notes, but expanded to longer pieces later in the book. They are dominated by details of marches, billets, and food and clothing issues as might be expected of a Napoleonic soldier on campaign. There are also details of various engagements though, and indeed Franz takes part in over 50 actions from outpost skirmishes to full battles during his military career, amazingly managing to survive all of these including the ill-fated Russian campaign! Explanatory sections by the editor provide further context to the these letters.

The book has a number of black and white plates, such as the following.

Appendices at the back of the book include orders of battle of the Bavarian Army, and some advisory notes about life that Franz wrote for his own son.

Another interesting observation, is the fondness and pride with which many Bavarian soldiers, including Franz, had for their time serving in The Grande Armee of Napoleon. As this appendisx notes "...the happiest years of my youth". Something that may be very surprising to most modern readers I imagine, who would find the idea of having to serve though the deprivations endured by Napoleonic soldiers rather horrifying!

I think this book is currently out of print, but you should be able to pick up copies from various sellers online, e.g. here at the time of this post.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Bavarian Light Infantry - 28mm Perry

More Perry Bavarians, this time a Light Infantry Regiment.

Black facings with red piping for this lot, with red collars.

Looking at some of command figures in photos, I seem to have done solid red cuffs though, must fix that up!

Next will be a mass of Bavarian line once I have the photos sorted!

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Bavarian Schuetzen - 28mm Perry

First of my Bavarians, some Schuetzen skirmisher bases. Some nice variety with these Perry figures with six different poses.

For the blue I went with Vallejo Prussian blue, highlighted with Vallejo Andreas Blue. This seems to be a popular choice for Bavarian Cornflower blue. Not as dark as other blue uniforms, but not as light as sky blue. It actually looks a bit darker than this in real life, especially from a distance! 

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Commissar Miniatures - 1812 Russians 28mm Review

I don't normally post pictures of unpainted figures, but thought I'd make an exception in this case as these figures from Russian company Commissar Miniatures, have just arrived. I know wargamers have some questions about these, like what are they made of and is it safe to order from this company - hence this post!

As you can see from this link Commissar Miniatures have 28mm Russian Generals and Russian Horse Artillery (Line, Guard and Cossack including limbers) for sale at the time of this post. They also have British Riflemen, plus they stock a range of other periods.

Given there is often a distinct lack of varied Russian General figures, and horse artillery limbers in particular (e.g. Perry range), these seemed worth trying to get hold of. Especially so after I saw excellent painted examples of these Russian figures on fellow blogger Dmitry Fomin's site.

The first issue I ran into was registering on the site, as there was no option to select 'New Zealand' as a country, but a quick e-mail saw this option added! To be fair this is not an uncommon omission companies make, see helpful map below ;)  I ordered through the system on the website, and this just lets you know you will be sent a paypal invoice once they have checked postage costs. If you have any trouble with the website  I imagine you could just e-mail Nikolay at their e-mail address (info@toyarmies) with a list of what you want and he would get back to you. Indeed, communication was very good and Nikolay replied with several e-mails answering questions and letting me know progress and a tracking number once figures were posted.

Within a couple of days of ordering the parcel was on its long journey from Russia to New Zealand, and it arrived in just under two weeks.  Figures arrived safe and sound and very well packed.

Price will depend upon your currency rate compared to Russian Rouble. This was not wonderful for me here in New Zealand - but then I'm used to favourable rates for the past few years after Britain nuked themselves with Brexit. Price per figure landed was similar to that for companies like Black Hussar in the EU. In any case I was happy to get these unique figures which you can't get anywhere else.

Enough on logistics, what of the figures themselves? As you can see from the pictures below, they are metal figures, and very nicely sculpted. I have not cleaned them up yet, other than removing moulding spikes on the base so they would sit level. Clean up looks on most of them to be less annoying than that involved with Perry Miniatures which is a good thing. More pictures are available via the links to the store website and Dmitry's blog already posted above.

Pack 1
The first pack contains the following generals
  • Leonty Leontyevich Bennigsen, Baron, cavalry general, Chief of General Staff.
  • Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov, Prince, Field Marshal, Commander-in-Chief.
  • Alexander Friedrich Karl of Württemberg, Duke, Cavalry General.

Pack 2: 
Next pack has these generals
  • Alexey Petrovich Ermolov, Major General of Artillery, Chief of Staff of the 1st Western Army.
  • Michael Bogdanovich Barclay de Tolly ( Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly ), prince, infantry general, commander of the 1st Western Army.
  • Mikhail Andreevich Miloradovich, General of Infantry.

Pack 3
  • Peter Ivanovich Bagration, Prince, General of Infantry, Commander of the 2nd Western Army.
  • Emmanuel Frantsevich Saint-Prix ( Guillaume Emmanuel Guignard de Saint-Priest ), Count, Adjutant General, Chief of Staff of the 2nd Western Army.
  • Andrei Ivanovich Gorchakov, Prince, Lieutenant-General.

For size comparision, here are three Commissar figures on the left, and three Perry figures (Bavarians) on the right. As I'm sure you'll agree they match perfectly in terms of scale.

I also ordered a couple of horse artillery limbers, which are provided as follows. Unlike the general figures which are one piece castings, the horse and riders are separate castings here. Wheels have small stubs to attach to the limber body, but I will drill and pin with metal rod as I do with Perry limbers and cannon.

I also bought a couple of Russian Line Horse Artillery. A 1/4 unicorn on the left, and 6 pounder on the right. Two sets of crew, one aiming, one firing. Wheels attach as for comment about limbers above.

Lastly, a question occurs regarding the metal composition of these figures? When I received the parcel I was suprised how heavy it was given the amount of figures I had ordered. Here in this first picture we see the weight of three Perry Pewter mounted figures - 120 grams.

And now three Commissar mounted figures - 187 grams! More than 50% heavier. The bases are more substantial on the Commissar figures, but not by that much.

I'm guessing the reason for the extra weight is that these figures have a lead component, (though I may be wrong, as the alloy also seems very hard compared to lead based figures I had years ago). Lead toy soldiers have been banned from being sold in the EU and New Zealand for a couple of decades for health and safety reasons. Mainly because of concern about children chewing on them (lead is toxic) - but provided you don't try and eat them you should be fine! ;) I guess it is advisable to wash your hands after cleaning them up (as you'd probably do after cleaning up any figures anyway) and once they are painted it is not an issue anymore.  It is something to consider from point of view of postage costs though, which will be proportionally more due to weight.

Anyway I hope that is some helpful information for anyone interested in these figures - go forth and order with confidence is my advice. I will be ordering more horse artillery from them in the future.

As to when these Russians will be painted - likely not for some time which was another reason to do this post. I do have substantial piles of Russians and I'm gradually accumulating the various bits and pieces needed, but there's more work on French, Germans and Austrians to do first!