Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Monday, November 28, 2011

4th Swiss Regiment

The Emperor of France has politely and diplomatically demanded equal time from the recruiting depot . . . and fortunately I have the troops!

To fight the British in the Peninsular you need some French. I still have not organized the Emperor's troops for Volley and Bayonet yet, but I envision an army consisting of at least 2 Infantry Corps with 2 to 3 Infantry Divisions and corps support (artillery and cavalry), 4 divisions of cavalry and elements of the Imperial Guard.

One of the great things about the gaming hobby that I enjoy is the research of the units and organization of the armies, but still getting to pick which units I want to deploy. The 4th Swiss Regiment did fight in the Peninsular and will now be a regular feature of the Emperor's forces on my tabletop.


I haven't had much time to paint the last few weeks, but I did get a chance to paint a "test" figure using Perry Miniatures' plastic French Infantry. The 4th Swiss will add a splash of red color to the French forces and highlight, though the Swiss were part of the regular French military establishment, that there were quite of few non-French forces fighting with the French.

I wanted the red coats of the Swiss to look differently than the red coats I had painted for the British forces. The way I paint the British jackets (all paints are from the GW range) is to prime the figure black, use Scab Red as the base color and then use Blood Red to build up the highlights. For the Swiss, I just went with Blood Red and this seems to me to give a slightly brighter color. Though not finished, I like the way the test figure looks and look forward to finishing it and the rest of the unit.


Here are the colors I'm using for the 4th Swiss:

Coat: Blood Red
Facings: Enchanted Blue
Belt Straps: Skull White
Shako Cover: Desert Yellow
Trousers/Coveralls: Codex Grey then Skull White
Musket: Scorched Brown for the wood; Chainmail for the metal
Water Gourd strap: Bestial Brown
Water Gourd: Snakebite Leather
Pom pom: Snot Green
Pack: Scorched Brown then Bestial Brown. Highlight with Snakebite Leather
Blanket roll: Adeptus Battlegrey
Cartridge box, Shako brim and boots: Chaos Black
Face and hands: Dwarf Flesh and then a Flesh wash. Highlight with Elf Flesh.
Buttons: Sunburst Yellow.


Straps can be tough to paint sometimes - getting around all the gear that a soldier carries. I love the way the Perry figures are designed. Paint the straps, then the pack and then glue that pack on the figure!




The packs with the swords are for the figures of the elite companies.

Here's the rest of the unit. I usually place 8 figures to an Infantry brigade - time to get them outfitted! The guy without arms will be a voltigeur for one of my French skirmish stands.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

The 88th Foot (Connaught Rangers) Complete

The fine chaps at Whitehall have done a marvelous job with the mustering of forces for Arthur Wellesley's forces for the Iberian Peninsula with the arrival of the 88th Foot (Connaught Rangers) and the steady, but never a slave to fashion, LTG Thomas Picton.

Rankers, NCO and drummer from Wargames Foundry. Officers from Front Rank Miniatures.

Both officers are the same figure. To make them look different on the stand, I just positioned one facing to the right and gave him lighter hair.


Somehow they ended up with the colors of the 92nd Foot - Roman numbers were never my strong suit. I'll fix it later.

With the arrival of the latest troops, Wellelsey's force now has 10 Brigades of infantry, 6 independent units of light infantry, 2 brigades of light cavalry, 6 general officers and the army headquarters.

LTG Picton figure from Perry Miniatures. Need to clean up the loose tall grass!

Picton demonstrating what the well dressed general officer should be wearing with proper accessories.


Rumor has it that the Emperor of France is demanding equal time from the painting depot and that several regiments of line and light infantry may be on the way.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wings of War

About a year ago I discovered a fun, easy to learn World War I air combat game called Wings of War. The game combines cards and board game movement into a game of aerial combat. If you want to know how historically accurate is the game - I have no idea and really don't care. It's a fun game.


Airplanes are represented by a single card which is used as a playing piece on any open surface. Each turn the opposing players choose 3 movement cards and reveal their cards in order simultaneously to decide the actions of the airplane they control.


Movement is easy; line up the card with the card or model that represents your plane and just move it to the arrow. Each plane reveals a movement card at the same time and moves.


Different planes use different decks of movement cards to represent their different maneuver capabilities, and a deck of fire cards are used to take into account their fighting effectiveness and to keep track of damage.


Firing is simple - if your target is in range and within the zone of fire, your opponent draws a card from the fire deck.


The card may have 0 damage, any number of hits or other mechanical damage ranging from broken rudders to the plane catching on fire.


Damage cards are kept hidden from your opponent - unless your plane is smoking or on fire! Above I took 1 damage but my rudder was damaged. For the rest of the game I couldn't turn my Spad to the left.


Machineguns a' blazing!

The game has many expansion sets; the basic set comes with 23 different WW I planes. With the box set are also maneuver cards, 2 rulers and 5 gaming boards to organize the cards and keep track of damage.



Game in progress with the first 2 maneuver cards revealed.

There are also pre-painted miniatures designed for the game which are reasonably priced (thank you eBay!). Optional rules add more flavor and make the game more challenging with altitude and tailing.


Trying to get behind him!



Gott in Himmel! He's on my tail!

I mentioned that the game is easy to learn - but it is one of those games that is hard to master! Trying to maneuver so as not to expose yourself to fire while trying to shoot down the other plane or planes is challenging . . . okay, I've only won once! Games take about 30 minutes to play.

Fortunately for the Allies, this German Albatross turned the wrong way.


British Peninsular Army Update

With a quick transfer of the 66th Foot (Berkshires) to the 2nd Division, I now have completed the first two divisions of my Peninsular Army. To help focus the project, I developed a"generic" army list for Volley and Bayonet to organize the figures. I originally had the 66th Foot in the 3rd Division and the 88th Foot (Connaught Rangers) in the 2nd Division. After doing some uniform research for the 88th, I discovered that 99.99% of the time they were in the 3rd Division - so I made an instant transfer! Here are a few shots of the mustering of the 88th:



The figures are from Wargames Foundry except for the officers from Front Rank that will carry the colors.

To command the 3rd Division (of course!) I need to paint LTG Thomas Picton, GCB. There is a rule (I think started by Don Featherstone) that you are required to have Picton in any Napoleonic British Army.


The figure of Picton is from Perry Minaiture's British Waterloo line of miniatures.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

British 1st Division Finished

I'm pleased with the way the 1st Division of my British Army for the Peninsular Campaign based for Volley and Bayonet turned out. Speaking of bases, after looking at the units, I noticed how differently I have "finished" the bases over the last few years. The Guard's Brigade looks like it is on an even parade field somewhere in merry ole England.







See what I mean? The brigade stand in the to the rear right is the most recent - the Guards, artillery and general stands look pretty bare. I immediately went back after taking the pictures and added some static grass and a few other extras to spice it up some of the bases!


The gallant commander of the 1st Division encouraging the men to advance against the "Frogs"! Figure from Front Rank Miniatures.


I don't think Packenham ever commanded the 1st Division; but hey, it's my army. The Division commanders will move around depending on the scenarios.


The Guards Brigade. The Ensigns (officers carrying the flags) are Front Rank Miniatures and the other troops are Wargames Foundry.

The Guard's Brigade doing a great job marching in step and dressing the line. All of the Flags are from the Warflag Napflag site - free for download!


The 79th (Cameron) Highlanders represent the 2nd Brigade. Figures are Wargames Foundry and the officers carrying the flags are Front Rank.


The wood bases I cut have plenty of room to mount labels for identification. It is also easier to pick up and move the unit without touching the figures.


The 3rd Brigade is the King's German Legion; all figures by Wargames Foundry.



Royal Artillery battery to provide direct support to the division.


Figures and gun by Wargames Foundry.


Providing extra support to the Division is a detachment of rifles from the 5th/60ty Rifles.


The riflemen are also from Wargames Foundry.


A view of the entire division and some more shots of the brigade units.



Veteran's Day 2011

It's Veteran's Day on November 11th in the United States. Proud to have served with the following combat units of the United States Army:



2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment (Raiders)


2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division



1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry Regiment (Ready Rifles)


7th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment (Regulars)



4th Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment (Warriors)



2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment (Regulars)