Friday, 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas World

This year has been a much of a better year for me in that I have painted more figures this year than in the previous two years and spent loads of money on my hobby.
I have painted a total of 38 figures in 2012 which takes my grand total up to 437 over the past eight years. Now I know that is not a great total when I was hoping to paint about 100 a year, but as I have said before little by little my Waterloo armies for 1815 are growing, even though very slowly.
In all I have nearly painted a total of 1300 figures since I started painting back in the late 70’s but what for next year.

So what for 2013, well not really giving myself any major list to complete or targets, I just hope that I can up my painting game a bit more in 2013. I have to finish off my Prussian landwehr, which seems to be taking me ages to complete and I have started to paint my first batch of French Carabiniers 1st regiment. It looks like there will be a few more sets to collect next year at last as the HaT Prussian Hussars and Brunswick cavalry and the two Napoleonic command sets have still not made it to our shores yet. 

I hope that you have had a great year too and may I once again thank you for looking in from time to time and hope that you continue to do so in 2013.

So all that remains for me now is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year where ever you are in the world.

Monday, 17 December 2012

4000 Hits!

Well I did not think that this blog would get over 4000 hits before the end of the year.
I therefore would like to thank each and every one of you who have taken time to look at my blog and hope that you will continue to do so in 2013.
There will be more things to add to this blog next year, so stay tuned.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

It's been a buying year

Well this year is rapidly coming to a close and it’s about time that I have spent some money on my hobby. In the first three months not a penny was spent. But since April I have spent a total of £115.86 pence on 29 items, of which most of that has been spent on the new derelict farm buildings from Hornby with some walls and a gate. I have also brought a lot of paint this year and have stocked up for the winter months.

Unfortunately the new figures from HaT did not make it to the shops before Christmas so they are now all on my list for next year. I have only brought just one box of figures this year and that was at SELWG in October. Still a New Year approaches and I wonder what 2013 will bring us wargamers. 

  • 12 PAINT TINS £17.88
  • 1 SET OF 4 PAINT BRUSHES £1.99
  • 1 ROLL OF NON SLIP MAT £1.49
  • 1 FIGURES (Boxes) £4.50
  • 1 SHOWS (Entry Fee) £6.00
  • 3 CONTAINERS £1.47
  • 2 PKS MDF(For Basing) £2.40

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dad's Army TV Series

It’s a shame that we learned yesterday that then actor Clive Dunn has died at the age of 92. He lived in Portugal and died after complications following an operation. He played Corporal Jones in the much loved TV show Dad’s Army.
The TV Series Dad’s Army ran from 1968 to 1977 by the BBC and ran for a total of twelve seasons watched by an audiences excess of 13 million each week. They also made a film in 1971.

The first series was in Black and white before going colour. Dad’s Army was a fictional south coast seaside town of Walmington-on-sea during WWII about a platoon of the Home Guard.
Each week the platoon, commanded by Captain Mainwaring, would attempt to protect England against a German invasion. The platoon consisted of Mainwaring, Wilson and Pike, they all worked at the bank, while Jones was the Butcher. Hodges, the Air raid warden, was the Greengrocer, Fraser was a Undertaker and Walker the local spiv and black marketer. Most of the outside shots were filmed in Norfolk and Suffolk. 

I loved watching the show and loved the characters being played in them. It had great humour and catchphrases like Corporal Jones “Don’t panic” and “They don’t like it up ‘em” and Mainwaring’s “Stupid boy”. I still watch the repeats and I think it’s a show that I will always watch again and again.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Farm Complete

At last I have been able to go and visit my brother’s house in Ramsgate, Kent and to pick up my last Hornby building, the Derelict Farm House.
You might have seen a couple of entries ago, that my kind brother went to the Hornby shop and picked up the building for me. 
This now completes my farm buildings in this set and I cannot wait to get all of the set out to have a really good look. Time to think about the walls which will go around it.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Marshals and Generals


Edouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier  

Born: 1768 LeCateau-Cambresis, France 

Died: 1835 Paris, France  

Rank: Marshal of France

Edouard Mortier was born at the Le Cateau-Cambresis on 13thFebruary 1768, son of Charles Mortier and mother Marie Anne Joseph Bonnaire and at the age of 23 Mortier entered the army as a sub-lieutenant in 1791 after his job as a clerk to a merchant at Dunkirk. There he learned the Spanish language, and behaved remarkably well.
He served in the French Revolutionary Wars in the campaigns of 1792 and 1793 on the north-eastern frontier and in the Netherlands and on the Meuse and the Rhine. 
In the war against the Second Coalition in 1799, he was promoted successively general of brigade to general of division. During the Second Battle of Zurich, Mortier led a force of 8000 troops in the attack from Dieticon on Zurich. His conduct of the French occupation of Hanover, bringing about the Convention of Artlenburg, led Napoleon to include Mortier in the first list of marshals created in 1804.
Mortier commanded a corps of the Grande Armee in the Ulm campaign in which he distinguished himself. In the campaign of the middle Danube in the battle of Austerliz, Napoleon placed him in command of a newly-formed VIII Corps. He over-extended his line of march on the north shore of the Danube and failed to take napoleon’s advice to protect his north flank. A combined force of Russian and Austrians, under over-all command of Mikhail Kutuzov enticed Mortier to send his 2nd Division into a trap where the French troops were caught in a valley between two Russian columns. They were rescued by the timely arrival of a second division, under commend of Pierre Dupont de L’Etang’s 1st Division, which covered a day’s march in half a day.
On November 11th in 1805 the Battle of Durrenstein fought well into the night. Both sides claimed a victory, the French lost more than a third of the participants, while Gazan’s division had over 40% losses. The Austrians and Russians also had heavy losses, close to 16%. After Austerliz, Napoleon dispersed the Corps and Gazan received the Legion of Honor, but Mortier was simply reassigned to a new position.
In 1806 Mortier was serving in Hanover and north-western Germany. In 1807 he then again served with the Grande Armee in the Friedland campaign, in the siege of both Stralsund and Kolberg.
In 1808, Napoleon created him Duke of Trevise in his own Kingdom of Italy, and shortly after he commended and army corps in Napoleon’s campaign for the recapture of Madrid.
Mortier remained in Spain for two campaigns, winning the victory of Ocana in November 1809. In 1812 and 1813 he commanded the Imperial Guard, and in the defensive campaigns of 1814 he rendered brilliant services in command of rearguards and covering detachments.
In 1815, after the flight of the Bourbon King Louis XVIII of France, he rejoined Napoleon during the 100 days and was given commend of the Imperial Guard once more. But at the opening of the Battle of Waterloo he was unable to continue his duties due to severe sciatica. 
After the second Bourbon Restoration he was for the first time in disgrace, but then in 1819 he was readmitted to the Chamber of Peers and in 1825 received the Order of the Holy Spirit, the Kingdom’s highest.
In 1830-31 he was Ambassador of France to Russia at St Petersburg, and in 1834-35 minster of war and president of the council of ministers.
It was on the 28th July 1835 in Paris while accompanying Louis-Philippe and his three sons to a review of the National Guard, a machine consisted of twenty-five barrels, charged with various species of missiles, which were fired simultaneously by a train of gunpowder with intent to destroy the French king. The king and his sons escaped but Marshal Mortier, was shot dead, and many more were dangerously wounded. Such were the circumstances under which one of after escaping the perils of the battle-field, perished in a time of peace, in the streets of the capital. It is said that the king bitterly mourned him, and wept openly at the marshal’s funeral. 

Mortier was Married to Eve Anne Hymmes on 26 January 1799 and is said that they had seven children.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Birthday Boy

It was my Birthday a few days ago and yet another year has flown by and getting nearer to that BIG 60th. The good news is that I did get a nice piece of Terrain from my partner and it’s was from Conflix the 28mm model of the Money Lenders House.

Now I do have a few of Conflix buildings and although they should be for 28mm scale and for fantasy wargaming, I think that they will slot in very well with my Napoleonic figures. The village is now growing and I do love the new buildings that they have brought out and I hope that they will add to the collection.

Not wargame related but I also received the Walking Dead DVD Season One. I do love the series and looking forward to Season Three next year as I do not have Sky.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The French Charleville Musket


A French man named Marin le Bourgeoys made the first ever flintlock weapons for the King Louis XIII shortly after his accession to the throne in 1610. Throughout the 17th century, the flintlock muskets were produced in a wide range of models.
In the year 1717, a flintlock musket for the French infantry was standardized. This became the very first standard flintlock to be issued to all infantry regiments.
Although it was more correctly called a French infantry musket or French pattern musket, these flintlock muskets later became known as “Charleville muskets”, named after the armoury Charleville-Mezieres in the Ardennes, France. The musket was also in production at Tulle, St Etienne, Maubeuge Arsenal and many other sites.
The Charleville musket’s design was changed several times during its service in the army from 1717-1839 some 150,000 muskets were made until the percussion lock system made the flintlock obsolete.

The Charleville muskets had a smooth bore barrel some 60 inches in length. Rifles were more accurate than the smooth bore muskets, but the Military commanders favoured the smooth bores on the battlefield, since the round from a rifle had to fit tightly into the barrel, and became very difficult to load after a few shots had been fired because the black powder used at the time quickly blocked the barrel.
The longer range and better accuracy of the rifle was also considered to be of little use on the battlefield that was quickly obscured by the black powder smoke. Like all smooth bore muskets, the Charleville was only accurate to about 50 to 100 meters.
The Charleville’s .69 caliber barrel was a little smaller than its main competitor, the .75 caliber Brown Bess produced by the British. The smaller round as intentionally chosen to reduce weight in the field, but still had enough mass to be effective as a military round. The French muskets were not used in battle like the modern rifle. Instead, the Charleville muskets were fired in mass formations.
The muskets barrel was held together by three barrel bands made of iron. This made the Charleville sturdier than the British Brown Bess musket, which used pins to hold the barrel in place. It also had a single barrel band at the bottom of the barrel which held the wooden ramrod. The butt of the musket was sometimes referred to as the “Patte de vache” (French for “cow’s foot”), as its shape was designed to be used as a club in hand to hand combat. The Stock was usually made out of Walnut. The musket was 60 inches in length and weighed about nine to ten pounds.

Charleville muskets were muzzle loaded, and used a flintlock firing mechanism. They fired a round lead ball, but could also fire other ammunition such as buck and ball or shot. The rate of fire would depend on the skill of the soldier this was about 3 shots per minute.
Changes to the musket in the 1740’s included the standardized use of a steel ramrod in 1743 and, after 1746, newly manufactured muskets had the pan/frizzen bridle removed.
In 1777 the musket went through another modification, with a cheek rest cut into the inboard side of the butt. The Model 1777 also featured a slanted brass flash pan and bridle, and a modified trigger guard with two rear finger ridges.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

SELWG 12 Report

It’s the only wargame show that I have been able to go to this year and I always look forward to going to SELWG again at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
As with last year the sun was shining and this time I went by car and arrived just after 11am. I did not have much on my shopping list as HaT have just shipped out their next order for which there is plenty for me to buy. So it was more or less a time to see what is happening in our hobby. 

The entry fee was once again £6 to get in and as soon as you get in, you can hear all of the activity going on in the hall, a slightly bigger crowd than last years. As usual I like to walk around all the trader’s stalls and look to see what is on offer.
The first thing that hit me after just the first few stands that they had a lot of them laser cut wooden buildings. Although these look very nice in detail, the price was quite high but as always I hope that once they become popular the price will drop. 

My first stop was at the Magnetic Displays stand and loved a pack of walls and a gate to go with it. These will go with my derelict farm set. Next stop was at the Hatfield stand. I love having a good rummage in their second hand packs of plastic figures but none that I needed. But to my surprise, I did find a complete box of Revell Napoleonic British Infantry. I do need loads of these now as I have run out of the old Airfix figures as they are all now painted up. These are now hard to find as the Revell set are not in production any more.

The bring and buy stand was packed and as busy as always, but I could not see anything that I wanted here, so down to the main hall. Big surprise here is that the main hall usually has all the trade stands going around the outside with the wargaming all in the middle. But this year there were more trade stands in the middle which meant that there were fewer gaming tables this year.
I wanted to make up some casualty markers so I needed some bases to do these on. My first thought was to make the markers in a square, but came along to the Warbases stand and brought one pack of 40mm and one pack of 50mm round bases. The 40mm will do for the infantry and the 50mm for dead horses etc. After going around all of the trade stands, I had noticed that the 28mm plastic figures are in abundance this year. Not many 20mm plastic sets could be found. Will 20mm scale hobby people be out numbered soon by the 28mm?
So with the wargame tables around the main hall the displays are getting more and more life-like. You can tell the ones that have spent a lot of time on their terrain features and I have taken a couple of pictures of them.
Loughton Strike Force “Aspern-Essling” Napoleonic

Deal Wargames Club “Danger in Denmark” WWII
Crawley Wargames  Club “Brave Little Belgium” WWII


Monday, 1 October 2012

Update on the Prussian Artillery

Good news today is that I have completed painting the Prussian Officer and drummer for the Prussian Foot Artillery and I must say that they really do look good, if I do say so myself.

Although HaT’s idea of making the backpacks and arms separate for some of the figures in the Prussian Infantry Command set (8255) the bad news is that some of the pegs are too large for the holes in the backpacks and arms. I original thought that this was a good idea from HaT to give you the option to make different possess, but after cutting the pegs off to fit the arm/backpacks on the arm on the officer does not look correct. Still after painting them both up am glad that I did.

Also from the Artillery set, I have painted up the four pack horses that are in the set.These will give a little something different to the gaming table as you usually don’t see them on wargaming tables. Unfortunately these will not count on my painting total but the officer and drummer will, which means I have now painted a total of 32 figures this year. I hope to finish off the last batch of Prussian Dragoons this weekend. So another update soon,

Friday, 14 September 2012

What to do next?

Now quite a lot of the wargame bloggers have told us what they are starting on the work bench for this month September. Well I have never gone down that road as it would take me more than a month to finish the list. In fact it would take me more than a year. So with the near completion of the Prussian Dragoons what is on my too do list.

Well I have been looking at my long list of figures to paint and I have now decided to paint the 1st Carabiniers of the French army. The figures are from Italeri and although I have painted figures in cream, grey light blue and tan plastic, never have I painted figures in silver before? Well as long as the prepping is done well, I do not really see them as a problem to paint these I hope.

Now doing some research on these, I still find that lots of people have lots of opinions to what uniform they were wearing on that day at Waterloo. Some say they had all white tunics and trousers while others say blue, some even say blue tunics and grey trousers. I will still do some digging around on this as I am not going to start painting these until I have finished the Prussian dragoons.

Monday, 10 September 2012


It has been a while since my last post but the good news is that I have finished the last batch of horses for the 8th Prussian Dragoons which means that all 18 are now finished. On the other hand I have also completed the second batch of troopers and have started the last batch of six. It now means that I have completed a total of 30 figures so far this year and it’s the best I have done over the last three years. I still have to finish off the two Prussian Artillery members the Officer and drummer and the second batch of Prussian Landwehr.

My spending on the hobby has really taken off this year. My brother has picked up the last derelict farm building for me from Hornby in Margate, Kent which was the farm house itself. With another two tins of paint and a roll of non-slip mat for a project I hope to start soon.

Now that summer is over, although the hot weather looks set for another week, it means that I will have more time for my hobby or does it?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

News from the Front

Today Hat Have said that two sets of Napoleonic figure are “Moving up the queue”, what that means I have no idea, but maybe they will be shipped out before Christmas?

The two sets are French Line Infantry of 1815 period which is very good news.
Good in the sense that there are a new set of French Infantry figures coming out as it’s been a long time since the old Airfix set came out. I did not like the Italeri set much as they looked a bit skinny and they are now hard to find.Now I do love my Airfix regiments and I still have two more boxes waiting to be painted up as the 3rd and 4th Fusiliers regiments.

In the Hat box 8294 they are all marching and they contain two elite figures on each spur. With this they have four different backpacks to choose from and some head swaps added.

The other set, 8295 is the Line Infantry Command set. This has two officers on foot with one holding the flag, while we have one on horseback. There is also a drummer and two NCO’s. All look very good although we are just seeing the drawings of the two sets at the moment. Well I have now got to get my finger out and start painting faster.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

3000 Hits?

What a nice surprise today to see that I have now had over 3000 hits on my blog. That makes it over 1000 hits in just 4 months. Can we get to 4000 by the end of the year? Well only time will tell on that.
If you regularly look at my blog then I would like to thank you very much in taking a look now and then. I have tried to put a little bit of information up each month so it is slowly growing. The plan to take some pictures of my little army and hoping that the weather is going to be kind to me failed as we had a very wet summer still I hope to be able to do so this weekend.
Although my painting has once again nearly at a standstill, I must admit that time is always against me with work and home life. Still as I have said before, I am still managing to do bits here and there. So keep looking and once again a big Thank you for taking time to looking in and making an old man very happy.

Monday, 9 July 2012

How it all started for me - Part Four

We had to wait for another three years before two more Napoleonic Waterloo set’s came out of the Airfix stable in 1975 and they were the French Imperial Guard which for the first time came out in a grey plastic and the Prussian Landwehr infantry, made in a blue plastic.

These were the very last set’s to come from Airfix as there was a decline in sales on all of their kits. Even after all these years I still think that these were the best we ever got from Airfix in that the detail was better and largely free of flash. I remember buying two Imperial Guard boxes and three Prussian but it was very sad that they never continued with the Waterloo series when the hobby started to take off again in the 90’s.
It was in the late 70’s that I started to get into wargaming again and started to paint my Airfix figures with the old Airfix paints. First I started with the French Line 1st and 2nd Fusilliers and then the 1st and 7th Curassiers. In those days I only had the books from the local library to get the information that I needed about the colours of the uniforms by looking at the pictures but even after all this time, today I still have these in my ranks. So started a long and painful years of painting my Waterloo armies on and off when the mood took me. 
In 1978 while I was serving on the tenants association and a question came up about the use of the estates community hall. At that time little was going on in the hall except for a play group during the day and a judo class one night a week. This got me thinking about running my own wargaming club and with the approval of the tenants association my idea was put into action. A monthly newsletter from the tenants association was sent out with news of the wargaming club. It started life as the Coldbath Military Modelling Club as the committee wanted a more wider appeal to the club and not just kids playing war!
So on a cold Monday night on the 20th November 1978 we started our very first club night. We had just five people that walked through the door at 7pm and the night really was just to get too know one another and what we hoped to do in the club. That year we had just three meetings.
In the following year the club changed its name as the committee had now stopped meeting. On the 2nd July 1979 I changed the name to the Coldbath Wargaming Association. (C.W.A) We had a total of 23 names on our books and we had a total of 42 meetings. In March I made a club magazine called “ATTACK” and sold 11 copies to the members. I published a total of 10 issues that year. We had our own tuck-shop for drinks and snacks and even had some raffles giving, Books, Figures, Terrain and model kits as prizes. Also in March I started our GENERALS TABLE. This was a club competition where it was all about playing little battles over a period between Jan-Nov and winning points in the games. Our very first winner was Tom Casey picking up the very first trophy. We went on our first club outing to SELWG show at the old Grove Park HQ in South-East London.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sorry Bank manager

Well it’s about time that I spent some money on my hobby. In the first three months not a penny was spent. But since April I have spent a total of £64.04 pence on 14 items, of which most of that has been spent on the new buildings from Hornby.
I have just one more building to get which is the derelict farm house. So this could be an expensive year for my hobby.  

HaT are too release the Brunswick Cavalry and the Prussian Hussars later this year with the Napoleonic Mounted Officers and the British Command sets. Both look very good and I hope that they will all be out well before Christmas, so it still gives me a little more time to reduce my boxes to paint pile. 

  • 6 PAINT TINS £8.94
  • 3 MODEL BUILDINGS £47.43
  • 3 CONTAINERS £1.47

Monday, 18 June 2012

Update on those Prussian Dragoons

Just had a week off from work and had some time to do more painting with the Prussian 8th Dragoons. With no work commitments and away from home, it was a break that I really needed. Using the HaT figures and a box and a half for this regiment totalling 18 in all, I started off painting these a few weeks ago. The good news is that I have now managed to complete the first 12 Dragoon horses and the first batch of six troopers. The last six horses and the second batch of troopers are well under way.

But now back home and back to work, I will really try to keep this momentum going as I am now well behind with the Landwehr painting and finishing off the Prussian artillery officer and drummer.

So with a total of 24 figures painted this year so far, I have already beaten last year’s total of 18 which was a really bad year for me.

Friday, 1 June 2012

News from the Front

What a way to start the month of June with the good news that HaT have announced, that the next sets to come out of the stables are mostly Napoleonic’s.
They are the Mounted Command 8279, British Command 8304 which I will defiantly buy and at long last the Brunswick 8174 and Prussian 8197 cavalry set’s. We first saw the rough drawings on these, way back in March 2008, so it’s taken four years to get these out. Looks like my painting of the Prussian army will continue well into next year now. Doing a bit of painting over this long Bank Holiday this weekend, so I hope to have an update very soon.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Two For One

While I was away last weekend, I managed to pop into WH Smiths and had a look at what wargaming magazines they had in. They only had a couple in but the Miniature Wargames magazine June issue number 350 was on the shelf.
I can remember long ago, reading MW when it first came out and in fact brought the mag every month, until a few years down the line I stopped buying it. The reason was that they started to do a lot of fantasy stuff which seemed to spoil the magazine for me. Still I do have a little flick through the mag when I see it in Smiths now and then. This issue is a special issue in that you get a FREE copy of Henry Hyde’s magazine Battlegame, which Atlantic Publishing took over a couple of months ago. Now I have brought a couple of Battlegames at SELWG show’s a couple of years ago and found them quite interesting. I even brought the Table Top Teasers Vol 1 at the show.
Both of these magazines for this month do have some articles in them that are both worth reading.

In Miniature Wargames, it has lovely coloured pictures throughout and a couple of good articles to read. First up was the Combat at Garica Hernandez from the Peninsular War 1812. Everything you need to know about playing this battle.
Then we came across the Arnhem game from WWII. Although I don’t play this period now, it was still a good read and with some rules for you to use.

In Battlegames Issue 29, we start with Going Coastal, how to make coastal terrain. I have always wanted to make my own terrain but time always gets in the way. But one day I shall sit down and make some. Then we came too, Simplify your painting. 24 tips to help you complete your tabletop armies faster and more easily.
Some of this article I must agree on as when you paint your figures, paint what you can see at the three foot distance. It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there that paint everything on their figures, right down to their eyes. The look in their eyes don’t look right but I think the wargamers that do are very brave. I have not gone down this road and have just recently started to paint their buttons and I am still thinking about NCO’s ranking. Still everyone has their skill and time which is what this article is all about.
There is plenty more in these mags and I shall get down and do some reading on these over the next weekend. It has also made me think about buying wargaming magazines again.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The British Browning Bess

This flintlock musket was used in the British Army from 1722-1838 and was used in all theatres of war throughout the British Empire. There were many versions of the Bess, as it was known, including the Long land Pattern, Short Land Pattern, India Pattern, New Land Pattern Musket, Sea Service Musket and many others.

The Long Land Pattern musket, a .75 caliber flintlock musket was the standard fire arms of the British Empire’s land forces from 1722-1838 before they were superseded by a percussion cap smoothbore musket.

Officially termed King’s Arm or Land Pattern musket, the origins of the nickname Brown Bess is not clear but it first showed up in 1785.

The earliest models had all iron fittings but these were replaced by brass in models built after 1736. The ramrods were first made of wood but were then replaced with iron ones, although guns with wooden ramrods were still issued to troops on American service until 1765 and later on to the loyalist units in the American Revolution.
Stress-bearing parts of the Brown Bess, such as the barrel, lockwork and sling-swivels, were customarily made of iron, while other furniture pieces such as the butt plate, trigger guard and ramrod pipe were found in both iron and brass. The stock was made out of Walnut. The musket weighed about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) and it could be fitted with a 17 inches (430 mm) triangular cross-section bayonet. The weapon had no sights, although the bayonet lug on the barrel may have been used as one. The Infantrymen would point the musket in the direction of the enemy and fire.

The accuracy of the Brown Bess was not too bad, as with most muskets. The range was about 175 yards (160 m) but it was really often fired on mass at 50 yards (46 m) to inflict the greatest damage upon the enemy. The combination of large calibre of the lead ball and the heavy weight of its iron construction contributed to its low effective range. Military tactics of this time stressed mass volleys and massed bayonet charges, instead of individual marksmanship. The lead ball could inflict a great deal of damage when it hit and the great length of the weapon allowed longer reach in hand to hand combat.

Of all the versions made, the India pattern was supposed to be the most accurate with an effective range of 175 yards and with a 75-95% accuracy. As used by the British regiments of the Napoleonic Era, the weapons were quite reliable. A trained solider would take about 43 seconds to fire off three shots but in battle they were expected to fire 3-4 shots a minute. An inexperienced recruit perhaps two shots a minute. The weapon also had a thicker barrel than most contemporary firearms which reduced its chances of blowing up due to powder overload.   

The standard military loading procedure for a Brown Bess from a paper cartridge, which included lead ball and gun powder is as follows.

  1. Tear cartridge with teeth and prime the pan directly from the cartridge.
  2. Stand the musket and pour the rest of the powder down the barrel.
  3. Reverse the cartridge and use the ramrod to seat ball and paper cartridge into the barrel.
  4. Cock the musket, present and fire.

Monday, 30 April 2012


Well the good news today is that I have finally finished the first 12 figures for my Prussian 3rd Elba Landwehr infantry regiment. After a very dull and very wet weekend, I had some me time and sat down and did some painting.

I have now painted a total of 18 figures already this year, which is how many I painted last year, so I hope that this is the start of painting loads this year. I have already started off the second batch of 12 and the two last figures for the foot artillery are also coming along fine.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Another UPDATE

I had a good weekend, not with the weather though but with my hobby. I have spent more cash this weekend on two tins of paint and some paint thinner.
I do try to look after my paint tins but they always seem to dry up on me, especially when I have not touched them for a while or the paint starts to thicken up. That is why I finally brought some paint thinner to save a few bob.
I also brought some more containers for the painted figures that I hope to complete soon.
Another good reason is that I have started to paint another unit. Okay I should finish one before starting another, but these are going to be painted while I am away at the weekends.
The unit I am painting now is the HaT Prussian 8th Dragoon regiment. I have a box and a half to paint so 18 figures and horses in all. Had a really good couple of days with these and I am half way to finishing the first batch of six with their horses.
At home the last two figures of the foot artillery are coming along nicely and I have not forgotten the Elba Landwehr infantry that I started some while ago and I hope to have the first batch of 12 done by this weekend.

Monday, 16 April 2012


At last I have finished painting the Prussian Foot Artillery unit, which has nearly taken me a year to paint just 24 figures. But I have two more figures to paint and they will be a drummer and an officer on foot. These are not in the HaT artillery set but as you can now buy the Prussian command set, I thought that to finish the unit off nicely these could be added.
Well 18 of these figures were painted before Christmas so these last completed six will be the first painted figures of the year. I am glad to say that I am back painting now so I hope to set some more finished very soon.
Now to find time to get some pictures too show you.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Another Skaledale Building

Over the Easter weekend I managed to go to my favourite toy shop in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and brought another model from Hornby to add to my collection of buildings.
My next model was the Derelict Stables (R9648) at a bargain price of £16.45 pence. Again made in resin, the model looks again a bit small for my chosen size in wargaming but it does look good.
Still it will add a bit more to the derelict farm that I will make up when I can get a chance to do a bit of wargaming.
I also had to buy some more paint and what a big jump in the price. This time last year I was paying just £1.30 pence a tin. It has now gone up to £1.49 pence a tin but still cheaper than the RRP of £1.70 pence. So in just two weeks I have spent just over £50 already this year.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Skaledale Buildings from Hornby

Well we are nearly a quarter-way through the year and I have made my first purchase of the year.
Hornby Skaledale do a great range of model buildings for the railway enthusiast but you can also use some of these for your war gaming tables. I have seen the new range of derelict farm buildings that will do for my Napoleonic battle fields and at the weekend I went along to the toy shop and brought two of the four models available and made a bit of a saving on them.

First up was the farm barn (R9647). This has one of its double doors open and two windows on one side. The other windows on the other side of the barn are boarded up.
The model is well made and painted to a high standard as it would be from Hornby. The windows are great for my little 20mm Airfix/Hat figures as they could use the windows to shoot from.

Also I brought the farm outhouse (R9649) and again it looked great, but a little too small when you stood it by the barn. And like the barn, some of the windows are left open, but when I stood an Airfix figure against it, it was almost looking into the top window.
Still there are two more bits to go along with the theme, the derelict farm house and stables. These look okay in their proportions to my little men and I hope to get these when I go shopping again in April. I made a little saving on these two buildings. The RRP for the two is just over £35 in Modelzone, I managed to pick both up for just under £31. Bargain!

Friday, 23 March 2012

How it all started for me - Part Three

The last time that I talked about how I started this great hobby of wargaming on this blog, I started to tell you about a film that changed my hobby from stamp collecting to wargaming.
It started back in 1970 and I was 14 years old when the film “Waterloo” came out. I can still remember this great film even though it is not historically correct. I remember that my dad took the family to see this film in London at the Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road. I still have the ticket for that day and the colourful programme that I brought with all the information about the actors and how the film was made. The film lasted for over 4 hours and that was edited down from the original 5 hours. Although there was a small break half way through the film, the hours flew by and when I returned home all I could think about was all of them wonderful colourful uniforms and masses columns of soldiers.
This was the film that changed me, but up till then the 1964 film Zulu was my best film ever but is now my second best, the reason being that Airfix did not produce any Zulu War figures which was a great shame. But even by 1970, Airfix had only produced two Waterloo sets of figures and it was not till 1971 that they brought out the French foot artillery set again in cream coloured plastic.

So my French army had Heavy cavalry and now Foot artillery. The poor old English had just the Highlanders but that was all to change in the following year.
But before then, I really started to enjoy the hobby as it was about this time in the summer school holidays that me and a group of friends began a campaign of 20mm Airfix soldiers out in my back garden in Eltham. The two armies had about three generals a side, one being in complete command. Two maps of the garden were given to the two commanders with the path around the garden being a large river. The figures were mainly WWII but I included my Waterloo figures and even my WWI soldiers that I still had for my army. As the campaign grew some started to get really serious about the game and started to buy up loads of Airfix soldiers and their plastic complete lorries and tanks sets that were around then. It was great fun and for a long while after the game, my dad used to find soldiers now and then when he was digging in the garden.
In 1972 it was a boom year for Airfix and for us Napoleonic wargaming/collectors. For it was in this year that Airfix brought out four new Waterloo sets. The first two to come out was the British Hussars and French Line Infantry. At least the armies are now beginning to look even on both sides. The British Infantry were next to come out followed by the British Royal Horse artillery. All four sets came out in their famous cream coloured plastic.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

2000 Hits!

Wow what a nice surprise today to see that I have now had over 2000 hits on my blog. That makes it over 1000 hits in just 9 months. Can we get to 3000 by the end of the year? Well only time will tell on that.
If you regularly look at my blog then I would like to thank you very much in taking a look now and then. I have tried to put a little bit of information up each month so it is slowly growing. The plan is to take some pictures of my little army and hoping that the weather is going to be kind to me this at some point at the weekend because this is now lacking on this blog good old colour pictures of what I have painted.
I must admit that time is always against me with work and home life. There never seems to be the time these days to sit down and do some painting as I am always tired after a long day at work and the drive home.
Still as I have said before, I am still managing to do bits here and there. So keep looking and once again Thanks for looking in and making an old man happy.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Marshals and Generals


Francois Joseph Lefebvre

Born: 1755 Rouffach, Alsace, France

Died: 1820 Paris, France

Rank: Marshal of France

Francois Lefebvre was born in Rouffach, Alsace, on the 25th October 1755. He was a son of a Hussar, Francois enlisted in the French army at the age of 18 and like his close friend Michel Ordener, he welcomed the French Revolution.
In 1783 he married Catherine Hubscher with whom he had 14 children with, although none living to survive him (His last son died in 1812 in battle).

In 1789 he was a Sergeant in the Gardes Francaises, and like most of the regiment, he joined the revolution. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1793 where he took part in the Battle of Fleurus in June the following year. After the death of General Louis Lazare Hoche’s, Lefebvre commanded the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse in September of 1797. He then later commanded the vanguard of the Army of the Danube under Jourdan in March 1799, although for the first week of the campaign he was incapacitated with ringworm and Dominique Vandamme replaced him temporarily. He was later injured at the Battle of Ostrach where the Advance Guard bore the brunt of the early fighting. In November 1799, Lefebvre commanded the Paris troops and reluctantly agreed to support Napoleon in his coup d’etat.
In 1800 Napoleon appointed him senator and by 1804, Napoleon made him a Marshal of the Empire. Lefebvre commanded a division of the Old Guard in the German campaign of 1805.At the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 14th October 1806, Lefebvre commanded the infantry of the Imperial Guard. He besieged and took Danzig in 1807, which won him the title of Duc de Danzig (Duke of Danzig).
In 1808 he took part in the Peninsula War and in 1809 he commanded the Bavarian army at the battles of Eckmuhl and Wagram. Defeated by Tyrolean patriot Andreas Hofer in the same year, he was replaced. He later commanded the Old Guard in the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and in the German 1813 and French campaigns of 1814, with the War of the Sixth Coalition.

He voted for the Emperor’s deposition at the Senate and during the First Restoration in June 1814, he was made Peer of France by Louis XVIII, but rallied to Napoleon for the Hundred Days and survived the Battle of Waterloo.

Lefebvre was excluded from the House of Peers during the Second Restoration. However, he retained his rank of Marshal. Louis XVIII restored his peerage on 5th March 1819. He died on 14th September 1820 at the age of 64 and was buried near Andre Massena at the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

He never forgot the hard work that brought him rank and wealth. When a friend expressed envy of his estate, Levebvre said “Come down in the courtyard, and I’ll have ten shots at you with a musket at 30 paces. If I miss, the whole estate is yours.”
The friend naturally declined his offer, and Lefebvre then added, “I had a thousand bullets shot at me from much closer range before I got all this.”

Friday, 9 March 2012

Prussian Campaign Medal for 1815 (Waterloo Medal)

The medal was instituted by King Friedrich Wilhelm III at Frankfurt-am-Main on the 24th December 1813 and amended on 3rd October 1815 to be awarded to ‘all warriors who without exception, whether in the field or before a fortress, truly fought and uncompromisingly did their duty throughout this current conflict’. This circular gilt bronze medal with loop for ribbon suspension.
The ribbon colour was gold centre with black and white striped edging and 32mm in width. On the front of the medal it has a cross pattée with rays between the arms, the date “1815” centrally within a laurel wreath. On the reverse side with the crowned cipher of Friedrich Wilhelm III above the inscription “Preubens tapfern kriegern” (Prussia’s brave warriors) circumscribed ‘Gott war mit uns, Ihn sey die Ehre’ (God was with us To Him the Glory) On the edging is inscribed ‘AUSEROBERTEM GESCHUTZ’ (from captured cannon). This medal is a generic one as the same medal exists with other dates inscribed on the medal. They are 1813, 1814, 1813/1814 and 1815 and with square and rounded ends to the cross.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Donald Featherstone's Solo Wargaming

Published by Kayle and Ward

Pages 201 plus covers

Originally published in 1973 and written by Donald Featherstone, this book was re-printed back in 2009 by
The book is packed from cover to cover with a load’s of information for Solo wargamers especially in the early stages of this hobby who are unable to find other opponents in their area where they live, to fight on their table top battlefield.
This book describes many methods of manoeuvring two armies which you both command. Mr Featherstone has written this book well to understand wargaming and with helpful hints and tips to help you on the way to solo wargaming. Although there are no rules to use in this book, there is a lot of information and ideas to help you make your own set of rules. This book has over 60 illustrations and they are all in black and white. There are 23 chapters in this book which include


and many more. This book is well worth the read.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

News from the Front

HaT have announced yesterday that the Napoleonic British Command set 8304 is in the queue ready for release. When that will be is any-ones guest.
The set will contain 4 sprues with 1 Sapper, 1 Drummer, 1 NCO, 2 Officers on foot and 1 Mount Officer on each sprue. The good news is that the set contains changeable arms and heads. This will be good for my Belgium/Dutch regiments as well. The head swaps look very good as the officer’s heads with the cocked hats can be used for my Brigade commanders. The only thing that is missing with this set is that there is no flag poles. Good times are a coming in the future.

Friday, 3 February 2012

How it all started for me - Part Two

I can remember watching many war films as a youngster and one about the First World War. It is in that year that Airfix brought out the English and German figures for WW1. It was 1966, the year that England won the world cup, and again with just a one box of each (very easily pleased); I would spend many hours playing with these where the English troops went over the top. A hard thing to do indoors but once again I found that the garden was the biggest battle field I could ever want.
In the same year they made the French although I never had this set. In the following year Airfix made the Americans and in 1968 the Royal Horse artillery. Both of these I had in my collection. One of Airfix’s down falls was to be their cavalry sets as the horses would always pop out of their stands and this set was no different. By now I was losing interest in my Tempo toy soldiers although I would never part with them.
My Airfix collection was now starting to build up.
In September of 1968 I started in my Secondary School and once I had settled in and made some new friends I found that I was not the only one that were still playing with their toy soldiers. In our History classes again we were told about the First and Second World Wars but also something new, the Napoleonic Wars.
It was in that year or the following year that I had a mate Robert who had a sand table in his loft. Robert invited me over one sunny day to have a look at his collection. His mum would buy him a few painted and ready to go on his birthday and Christmas. Here he would play with his metal Napoleonic figures marching up and down the sand hills. He did not have any rules for playing so we made up a few with figures moving at such a distance and rolling a dice to see if we killed anyone. It was great fun but it did not last for long as his mum stopped him having friend’s coming in.

Still in 1969 Airfix brought out their first Waterloo set of figures, the Highlanders and they were quickly followed by the French Curassiers. They were made in the old cream coloured plastic which I still have today in my collection. I had one box of each to start with and then but it was not till 1971 two years later that Airfix brought out the French foot artillery But before then a year earlier in 1970 a big film came out in the cinema which made a big turning point in my life and a start to a wonderful hobby of wargaming.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

News from the Front

I have not done one of these for a while as there were no new figures for me to buy to build up my armies of late, but there was some good news from HaT over the past two days.
The news from HaT HQ is that there are indeed a lot of new Napoleonic sets coming out during the latter half of the year. I reported to you back in July last year that the sets 8197 Brunswick Cavalry and 8197 Prussian Hussars will be out later this year which is great news for me. They have been waiting around for the past four years from drawings to production. AT LAST!
But HaT have said that there are another three sets that could be out by the end of the year. They are British and French Command sets for which a long while ago we did see some roughs for the British but nothing else and a set of mounted officers.
Now the mounted officer’s set 8279 is one of them sets that just suddenly appear on their site. There are no box picture or test shots of these figures but there is a picture of them already painted up. This set contains four officers on horseback. There are two Prussian officers Line and Landwehr plus one Russian and one Spanish officer.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lets get started

In a way I am thankful that last year is over as I did not even finish painting a box of figures, which over the last couple of years I have done just that. All I achieved was a grand total of 18 figures and they were for my Prussian Foot Artillery unit. I have nearly finished the last six and hope to do them this month. So I can now set my sights on the painting programme for this year. I still have a lot of DIY to do but I am going to give myself more time for my hobby this year.
So a new year has already started and unless new sets of Napoleonic figures come out this year, this could be a low spending year. Last year I spent a total of £54.07 pence on 18 items which again, most of that has gone on new paint tins.

  • 10 PAINT TINS £13.55
  • 1 PVA GLUE £1.00
  • 1 SET OF (9 pairs) EARRINGS £6.50
  • 2 FIGURES (Boxes) £13.74
  • 1 SHOWS (Entry Fee) £6.00
  • 1 DOORMATS £8.99

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


The first entry of the New Year and So may I wish you all a very Happy New Year.
I hope that you all have received some lovely gifts for your hobby at Christmas as I did. Santa gave me two wargaming books the first one was Charles S Grant- The War Game and the second Donald Featherstone’s- Solo Wargaming.Both on my list to get.
After all the Turkey and mince pies and watching too much TV and drink, a new year has begun. So what is in store for us all this year, well Hat have not given any clues to any new Napoleonic set’s as yet, but they did say that the Prussian Hussar’s and Brunswick cavalry will both be out this year. No doubt that they will have a few more up their sleeves which we know nothing about. Still with no new sets till later on this year, it will give me a little chance to catch up on my painting.

Now saying that, I would love to also wargame some colonial games, like the Zulu Wars mainly Isandlwara/Rorke’s Drift as in the films. Esci brought out the first plastic figures for this way back in 1984 for British infantry and the Zulu warriors. At the time, I brought one box of British and two boxes of warriors. Painted some of each but did not get any further than that. Now Hat have made their own Zulu’s, and some Natal units with British artillery and lancers out very soon. Now I must admit that these look very good and very tempting to buy. This is one project I will have to think hard about as it is already taking me so long to paint my Napoleonic army. I am hopeful that this year will be better for me whatever I do in my hobby and I hope for you too!