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,