Monday 25 September 2017

6mm Napoleonics: Bavarians


I'm on something of a 6mm roll at the moment, so it seems fitting to document some of my French allies.  This time it's the turn of the Bavarians.

During the Napoleonic Wars there was no Germany as we know it now.  Instead the land was split up into many different states, some larger and some smaller.  The best-known of these are probably the relatively large kingdoms of Prussia, Saxony, Westphalia and Bavaria.  Prussia was usually an enemy to the French, but many of the other states were organised by Napoleon into a grouping of client states called the Confederation of the Rhine, thus supplying his armies with a good source of fresh manpower  Indeed, I've heard it said of Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia that he planned to fight "to the last drop of German blood"!

The Bavarians

Artillery.  Either 1 large battery or 3 smaller ones...

A small unit of light infantry in line formation, with skirmishers deployed to the front

2 units of line infantry.  Bavarian line infantry are known for their pale blue uniforms and tall helmets.  One of these units has black facings, the other has red facings.

Chevaux Légère: light cavalry.  Note the French name for the troop type, even though these are ethnic Germans.


All the Bavarians.
As with my other 6mm Napoleonics, the figures in this force are entirely Heroics & Ros 6mm models.  I've got enough for a good division under the Black Powder rules, though the mixture of line infantry and cavalry in the same formation would be a little unusual, I think.

The Bavarians (and many other Confederation of the Rhine nationalities) fought with the French against the Austrians at Wagram in 1809.  With them and my French force (here), I can easily field enough for a decent afternoon's game - though I'm maybe a little short of being able to portray the entire battle!

Sunday 17 September 2017

Showcase: 6mm Napoleonic French


Recently, there was someone asking on The Miniatures Page for pictures of painted Heroics & Ros 6mm Napoleonic figures.  There was very little response to the question and it occurred to me that there are indeed very few such images around.  It's a pity, as 6mm models work very well for the type of massed battles which occurred throughout the "Horse and Musket"/"Black Powder" period.

With that in mind, I thought it would be worth while documenting my relatively small 1809-ish French force.  Here goes...

The Infantry

"Vive L'Empereur!"  3 Line regiments, each in attack column formation and with skirmishers deployed forwards
 My forces are based for use with the Black Powder rules.  A standard infantry or cavalry unit has 4 bases; each base has a 40mm frontage, but the depth varies for different troop types.  Infantry depth is 20mm, cavalry is 30mm and artillery is 40mm.

Closeup of a Line regiment
Line infantry have 30 figures per base, in 3 ranks of 10, whereas light infantry (Légère) are in 2 ranks of 10.

The Heroics & Ros packs come with a goodly proportion of command figures.  I'm not particularly expert on the Napoleonic period, so I allow 1 flag per regiment.  However, many of the other, non-flag bases have an extra officer and/or drummer in the front rank.  Some bases have the colonel (on horseback) alongside the standard; to fit the horse I need to remove 1 figure from the 2nd rank.

A Légère unit in line formation, also with a skirmish screen deployed.
 I use extra bases with rounded ends to denote skirmishers, rather than trying to use bases from the main body of the regiment.  These skirmish markers have a small number of figures dispersed over a relatively large area.  Typically the skirmisher models are positioned in pairs rather than being completely random, as I have a vague memory of being told that at least one Napoleonic army's doctrine was for each skirmisher to operate with a buddy so that one man could fire whilst his mate reloaded.

The Cavalry

French Carabiniers: heavy cavalry knee-to-knee in a single line on each base, but with a few officers & standards out front.
Unlike the infantry, my French cavalry is composed of the less common types.  Rather than the ubiquitous Cuirassiers and Chevaux-léger, I have a single regiment each of Carabiniers and Hussars.  Oh, well - it gives me expansion possibilities, doesn't it?

French Hussars: light cavalry in a slightly more dispersed line, but still with officers, buglers and standards in advance.

The Artillery

I mount my guns 2 to a base; this gives plenty of room for the various crew and officers to be positioned.  For Black Powder, we would normally use a single base to represent a battery, though I suppose there is no reason why we couldn't be more generous and use 2 or even 3 bases.


Many games require commanders to be based separately; Black Powder certainly does.  With 6mm there is plenty of room for several figures, even on a 20mm base.  I typically use 2 models for a 20mm diameter brigade command stand and 3 models on a 25mm base for the division commander.

As well as the general himself and any aides, I often include a standard bearer.  This may not be entirely historical, but it serves 2 useful purposes:

  1. It allows the identification of nationality more easily in the heat of battle.  After all, one 6mm guy riding a horse and wearing a bicorne hat looks much the same as another - and I wouldn't wish to confuse my generals with the enemy's, would I?
  2. It makes use of some of the excess standard bearer models from the H&R infantry packs!


I've got a fair number of other bases for my French army, from the days when I had it set up for DBN.  That game used far fewer models than Black Powder and so these miscellaneous bases aren't enough of any one type to form a regiment.  Still, they would provide a useful foundation when expanding this force.  One day, one day...

Lots of 6mm H&R Napoleonic French!

Sunday 3 September 2017

Frostgrave: Ulterior Motives Terrain


It's been a while since I posted anything about Frostgrave.  I haven't abandoned the game; it's just that other things have been higher up the priority list for a while.  However, here's some stuff...

A little while ago, the "Ulterior Motives" expansion was released for Frostgrave.  This is a set of cards that list a hidden agenda for a wizard and his entourage; one card is dealt to each player at the start of a game.  Each card is keyed to a location (so, "search the ancient tomb for a relic") and gives bonuses to the wizard who achieves that goal.  To make it harder for opponents to guess the task, the cards also list a further set of locations to be placed as decoys; only the player who holds a card will know which is which.

To mark the release of this expansion, North Star Miniatures produced suitable models for all the Ulterior Motives pieces; these are the items I will describe in the rest of this article.

The Statue

This is a resin model of an old statue.  I've done a very simple paint job on it; just an undercoat and wash on the stonework.  However, the base has been imprinted from the Basius II "Dungeon" pad before the statue was stuck to it; this makes it slightly more interesting.

The Tomb

The sarcophagus is another model of a piece of masonry, cast in resin.  It has a reclining figure carved onto the lid and runes & other decoration around the base.  This time, I built the flagstones on the base from rectangles of thin card.  Since it's (likely to be) indoors, I didn't even use any grass, snow or non-stone colours for details; it's probably one of the quickest models I've ever painted!

The Trapdoor

The trapdoor is quite a small piece, so I've placed it on a larger base.  Once again, the base was pressed from green stuff using a Basius II pad.

When the green stuff had set a bit but was still somewhat malleable, I cut out a square to fit the trapdoor, taking care to preserve some of the chain which was snaking across the floor.  This short length of chain was then draped over the edge of the trapdoor and worked into position; I think it looks fairly seamless!  Though it does beg the question of why a trapdoor needs to be opened with a long length of chain, presumably from quite a long way away?

The Standing Stone

The menhir/standing stone is another simple resin block, though this time with carvings on both sides of it.  As with the previous items, I based it for stability.  The base was then decorated with grit, snow and grass.

The Mystic Circle

This resin piece is a thin circle of flat, carved stones.  I've placed it on a much larger base (from some ruined Games Workshop model that my son acquired from a schoolfriend) and added extra, smaller stone disks to make a path leading to the main item.

I tried to paint each of the segments of the mystic circle as if they were glowing in different colours.  This didn't really work the way I had hoped; the colours are visible but really don't look as if they are magical lights.

The Crater

The Ulterior Motives crater is a simple, small crater - pretty much exactly what you might expect.  I decided that it was a little bit smaller than I wished, so I mounted it on a large disk of MDF.  Filler was then used to blend the resin piece with the base.  Painting was very easy: just earth/dirt colours.  Some snow was added around the edge to help blend in with the gaming table.

The Portal

This strange, free-standing archway took longer to build and paint than any of the other pieces in the collection.  Why?

Well, it took longer to build because the back was just flat resin; I smoothed this off and added extra buttresses and stonework detail (not visible in this picture).

The portal took longer to paint because I decided to try painting the stonework as marble.  I also tried to make the runes above the arch glow in a strange, blue colour.  I'm reasonably happy with the result, though not completely delighted.

I also spent time wondering whether I should try to model some type of shimmering effect in the doorway itself, to hint at the magical nature of the doorway.  Possibly this could be done with translucent plastic painted with a swirling pattern of some colour?  In the end I felt that this would need to be done exceptionally well or else it would just look naff, so I decided not to do it.

All Together

Here are all the Ulterior Motives pieces together.  Note that I've extended/enhanced each of these, so they are all quite a lot bigger than the simple resin parts.

Some of you may know that there are 8 Ulterior Motives items altogether.  I've only shown 7 here, so what's happened to the last one?  Well, the 8th item is a zombie rather than a terrain piece and frankly I don't think it's the best model of a zombie that I've ever seen.  I will paint it up and use it; you'll hear about it in a future post - but not yet (I have a special idea for it).

Finally, you may remember that I had acquired several MDF entry tickets when visiting the Carronade show in 2016 and 2017.  At the time, I remarked that I really ought to use these pieces as bases for something, but couldn't quite work out what.  Well, they were perfect for this job, so 4 of the Ulterior Motives terrain pieces are mounted on "Carronade" bases!