Monday, August 18, 2014

A good winter's work

A couple of years ago I bought a box of Victrix Napoleonic plastic 28mm's.  Seeing the complexity of the figs I was intimidated by prospect of assembling and painting a whole army.  I decided to stick with my long held view that Napoleonics were best done with the 6mm figs I already had (which allowed large historical battle scenarios to be fought) & gave the box away. 

But this year I tried 28mm Napoleonics on the table with Mike's figs and realised that small actions in 28mm was a completely different game to large actions with 6mm.  I really enjoyed playing it and decided that both scales were worth having.  I also discovered that Perry plastics were a very different kettle of fish to the Victrix - the infantry come in just a few simple poses with the only assembly needed for most infantry is adding a pack and in some cases a head.  Then I selected to raise an Austrian army to further reduce the amount of work (gotta love white cross belts on a white uniform).

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to assemble & paint the Perry 28mm figures & by the time I'd finished my Austrians I was keen to go straight onto raising a French army.  Ruthless efficiency in mass production, moderate quality standards, being mostly retired, plus a winter of late night sports events (you have to have something else to do while waiting for something to happen in soccer) allowed me to churn out about a thousand figures in two months.  They are not works of art like Steve produces, but viewed at wargaming distance they look great - see recent blogs.
On the right are the Austrians: 3 brigades of 6 battalions of line infantry,  3 grenadier battalions (these are actually Victrix that Mike gave me), 3 Grenz battalions, 3 cavalry brigades of 2 regiments each (1 each of hussars, dragoons & cuirassiers), 2 guns & enough officers.

On the left are the French: 4 cavalry regiments (2 of hussars, 2 of dragoons), 8 line battalions in greatcoats, 7 line battalions in full dress, 6 light infantry battalions, 6 guns & enough officers.

The Austrians required a bit of conversion as there are no plastic Austrian cavalry available.  But the Austrian infantry come with 3 complete sets of heads - shako, helmet & landwehr hat.  Conversion of the French cavalry to Austrians was mainly a matter of changing French heads for Austrians.  The French dragoons also needed their boots cut back to make Austrian dragoons & cuirassiers & the French hussars needed paper saddle cloths over the sheepskins.  The grenz are dismounted French dragoons with their boots carved off and Austrian heads.

I got the figs direct from Perry in England.  Their army packs are good value as they throw in some metal guns & officers as a bonus.  They also take 17% VAT off for OS customers & orders over BP200 are post free.  I got two orders of a bit over BP200 each.  The service was great; 8-10 days from email order to door.

At a scale of 600 men per battalion both armies are about 15,000 men - a small Corps - and about as many as you can fit on a 10x6' table & fight to a conclusion in a normal evening.   However, I do intend to fill them out a bit - the French need some cuirassiers, the Austrians need more artillery & some Landwehr would be nice.


Jonathan Freitag said...

That really is a nice sized force for a 10x6 table.

Anonymous said...

Jim in the end it's about the numbers on the table not about qaulity