Saturday, 28 January 2017

Brisfit Means Brisfit WIP Part 1

One of my Christmas presents this year was a 1/48th scale Bristol Fighter from Revell. I decided to begin work on it as a break after finishing off hundreds of 6mm French figures. One of the first things I noticed was that all the sprues are stamped with Eduardo, so it must be one of their kits resold in a Revell box. This was a pleasant surprise, as I really rate Eduard kits and have already built a couple. 


That said, this was going to be my first British First World War aircraft model in 1/48th scale. I had been avoiding them as British planes tend to have a lot of rigging, and usually double rigging at that! But I thought it was time to face that particular demon and jump in with one of my favourite First World War aeroplanes. 

Being that this was an Eduard kit it was very detailed (there were no photo-etched parts unfortunately), the interior of the plane was nicely modelled. It didn't take long to start work and get the preliminary stuff inside:


The cockpit dashboard was up next, with loads of tiny decals for the gauges and dials. This took a little while and I lost one, but I am happy with the final result!


After painting all the other interior pieces it was time to put them in their positions, again, with the plane being such a nice kit this was no trouble at all. Everything slotted into place with relative ease. I left the observer's seat out until both sides were stuck together, as it would be easier to put it in then:


And that was all I could do for a while as I waited for the glue to dry to hold the two fuselage halves together. I put some pollyfilla on the seams and wrapped it all up with elastic bands for the night to dry.


Keep watching this space for more updates as I build this plane. I don't think it will be a hard build (until the rigging...) and the colour scheme will be pretty simple as most British planes were, but it'll be an enjoyable experience nonetheless! 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

French 6mm Artillery

Another aspect of the Waterloo project that I have been working on recently is the artillery. In Blücher, artillery comes in one of two types; attached and batteries. I have already created quite a few attached artillery tokens to sit on my French and British bases and the most recent ones were these two French 5.5" howitzers, nice and simple:


The size of the guns doesn't matter for Blücher, given it's brigade level, so it was nice to be able to mix in different artillery types as tokens. However, something I have been giving a lot of thought to since I began this project was the battery bases. Three attached artillery tokens can be grouped to make a battery in the rules, so my first idea was to make a base that had sabots to fit the attached tokens into. However, this felt like a lot more work than I wanted to spend on the bases and I thought the final thing might look a little weird anyway. So I have decided to make battery specific bases, of which this is my first French base:


It's made up of four 6 lbers and two 5.5" howitzers, as most batteries during the 100 Days Campaign were. This represents a typical foot battery.


As there are only a handful of battery cards in the 100 Days Campaign cards I am using, I am happy to make all the artillery batteries like this. Obviously the horse and heavy batteries will have other features to make them look the part and in future I would like to add Caissons to the base to give them even more detail. But for now this suits my needs and was an experiment. 


I'm looking forward to modelling Napoleon's belles filles, the 12 lbers used as part of the Grand Battery at Waterloo. But all that is in the future for now!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 21 January 2017

2nd Cavalry Division and the Whole of II Corps, Armée du Nord

Unfortunately, I missed my self imposed deadline of completing II Corps by New Years Day. Instead, I put the finishing touches to Général de Division Comte Piré's 2nd Cavalry Division on the 2nd of January. Well, a day late isn't bad, really. 

This unit was formed of the 1er and 6e Régiment de Chasseurs-à-Cheval and 5e and 6e Régiment de Chevaux-légers (Lanciers).


The 2nd Cavalry Division fought at Quatre-Bras where it supported Bachelu's attack and routed two Dutch cavalry regiments. It was also involved in attacks on the British squares.


On the 18th of June at Waterloo, the Division was posted on the extreme left flank of the French army to cover and support the attacks on Hougoumont. It was the second strongest cavalry divisions at Waterloo with over 2000 men after the Guard Light Cavalry Division.


The 2nd Division brings to a close the II Corps, the Christmas break proved to be fruitful for getting the corps off the painting table!

So, here it is, in all it's glory, II Corps:



Next up in 6mm is the British II Corps (which marched through my letterbox this morning). So keep checking back for updates on progress with that unit...

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

2nd Brigade, 9th Div, II Corps, L'Armée du Nord

Here it is, finally, the last French infantry brigade for II Corps of my Waterloo project, completed over Christmas (and used in battle last week!). It's the 2nd Brigade, 9th Division, commanded by Général de Brigade Baron Jean-Baptiste Jamin with the 100th Regiment of Line and the 4th Light Regiment.


Along with its sister formation, the 1st Brigade of 9th Div, the unit was involved with the attacks on Hougoumont farm during the battle of Waterloo.


This is another standard French infantry unit, with 6 Elan and skirmishers.


So, with the infantry finished, I had just one cavalry unit left to complete the Corps. Christmas was good in allowing me plenty of time to pick away at this big unit.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mont-St-Who? A Blücher AAR

What with finishing off II Corps of the French army for the Waterloo campaign over Christmas (I'll be posting pictures of the last handful of brigades in the next few posts), I wanted to try them out in battle. So, I invited Dean over last Saturday for a game of Blücher, which also utilised my new gaming table! I quickly set up some scenery, for a board that has a look of Waterloo about it, with two farmhouses dominating the centre of a long valley.


The French had two full corps (about 230 points), against Britain's I Corps and a contingent of Brunswickers (about 160 points). I took the latter and positioned them on a ridge overlooking the farm houses. The French were positioned on the other side of the valley, threateningly. The two farms were objectives, as was one of the hills on the British held ridge. To win the game one of us had to hold at least two of these objectives after thirty turns.


This would be a race to the farms and the French began by plunging II Corps forwards, as steady as a steam roller. Meanwhile, I despatched the two Guards brigades (my best units) to each farm, hoping to get into position as soon as possible against the advancing troops.


The farm on my right was occupied with no problems and the soldiers began making defences in the building.


Just in the nick of time my soldiers were able to get into the left farm, just before elements of French II Corps captured it. Meanwhile on my extreme left flank I unveiled the Brunswickers, just in case the French got too close.


Despite having my best soldiers in the farm and my artillery peppering the French infantry as they advanced, they attacked in a mass against the defended position.


The results were catastrophic for me! His attack inflicted seven hits which broke the Guards instantly. French infantry rushed in to the position to claim an objective!


This immediately made my left flank look quite shaky, so I started to draw in Dutch troops to defend the ridge. Hunkering down they awaited the French onslaught.


With the farm secured, the French infantry began fanning out to launch their attack on my positions.


However, not everything was going his way, a French brigade crashed into my Brunswickers, who stood their ground and sent the Frenchmen flying back.

 

Musket fire was exchanged at the front of the ridge, to no one's particular advantage. I was waiting to unleash my cavalry and hoping that I could reduce his Elan enough to try and pick off a few brigades. My artillery had retired from the field after blasting through its ammunition, so there was also a hole in my defences.


The time was right for a cavalry charge, or so I thought. I threw the Brunswick horse at an exposed flank of one of his brigades. However, the French were still strong enough to send my cavalry back whence they came!


With things turning into a desultory shooting match in front of the ridge, the French I Corps sprang into life and began the long march across the fields.


The Dutch and German troops on my left were holding their own despite taking a hammering. A cavalry charge from the Dutch and, again, the Brunswicks, soon sent Frenchmen scattering!


All the while I Corps were getting nearer with their fresh troops. A French cavalry division attacked my Dutch cavalry and sent them routing off the field, in turn trapping themselves behind the British line.


Taking care to avoid the occupied farmhouse on the right, I Corps advanced slowly and menaced the gap on the ridge where the KGL and more Dutch troops stood.


His intention was clear, to use the force of the Corps to smash their way onto the hill! I was sure things were not going to go my way. At this stage I had barely an untouched unit, all were suffering from some form of damage and fatigue. The KGL had taken such a battering that they were forced to begin to withdraw.


It was time to start using the few fresh units that I had left, so I began gathering them on the ridge with the objective marker, to try to make some last stand.


My Cavalry attacks proved fruitless and they ended up back on their start lines, more fatigues than before! I was running out of options and there were still French cavalry threatening my rear lines.


However, things took a bit of a bright turn after an Allied unit was pushed off the ridge by a French infantry attack and found themselves directly facing the lurking French cavalry.


The French cavalry were quickly dispatched with musket fire and his assaults seemed to be faltering as we entered the last turn of the game. With the British and Allied soldiers still holding on to the ridge and a farm, I was declared the winner!


The hammer blow from I Corps had failed, largely because he didn't begin advancing them in time. Had they started their attack maybe two turns earlier, they may have had a massive influence on the outcome. As it was, they were held back just a smidgen too long, which gave me breathing space.


Blücher rewards boldness and the nerve to advance under fire, it is also attritional, so that you have to wear down your opposition and strike the killer blow at precisely the right time. The French Corps on the right wore down their opponents and looked at times at though they would achieve a massive blow on my defences, but the support came too slow and too late. The Thin Red Line held for long enough to see the day through. Another great game of Blücher!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Chairman of the Board

Over the Christmas holiday, I was able to start work on a new gaming table. Initially I wanted to make a Square Bashing specific board and realised that the two MDF boards I use to put my polystyrene boards on top of were the perfect size, being 4ft x 3ft each. 

Being MDF the first thing to do was the prime the board. I actually painted both sides of the board to sop them warping but in the event I didn't need to do this, the 12mm thick board was strong enough not to shrink! I used some cheap primer spray from Wilco's that cost me about four quid a can. It took two cans to do both sides of the board.


The next stage was easy enough, paint the entire thing in Burnt Umber to give a base colour for the flock later. I was going to use a spray for this, but the ones I bought from EBay were a bit rubbish, so I used some acrylic and a brush.


Then the final stage was to flock the entire table. This was easily done with a load of PVA and some flock that I bought off EBay. I hand painted the PVA and scattered the flock over it. Next up, I tipped the board over some paper on the floor to catch the flock and banged the back of the board to get rid of the loose flock. The final stage was to paint watered down PVA over the bits I'd missed or had a thin amount of flock on. I then sprayed a fixer over the entire board to hold the flock.


You'll see the flock is not a perfect cover, but I like that, as real grass isn't perfect. My original plan was to then draw a 6" square grid over the entire board for Square Bashing, but I decided not to in the end and do the other board the same to make a nice big 6"x4" board.


I did the second bard exactly as I had with the first. So, now I will have to rethink my idea for a Square Bashing board. I may use the old polystyrene boards I have, then they won't be wasted.

Whilst I was busy with flock, I also made a few ploughed fields with some left over MDF boards I had. These were very simply done by pasting ridged wallpaper to the boards. This was then painted with Burnt Umber and heavily drybrushed with Khaki. Finally, the edges were flocked and hey presto: some fields!


In other news, Dean and I played Star Wars: Rebellion over the holidays, I was the Imperials, he the Rebels. We played for nearly four hours and only got onto the sixth move. But it was our first game ever, so we had to do everything step-by-step in the first couple of turns. Once we got used to it, thing sped up and it flowed pretty well.


My crowning achievement was moving the Death Star into orbit around Kashyyyk and blowing it away.


A big and expensive game (£70!), but well worth it for Star Wars nerds as it comes packed with masses of figures, spaceships, ground vehicles, counters and cards. I can't wait to play another game of it!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

1st Brigade, 9th Div, II Corps, L'Armée du Nord

The penultimate infantry brigade for II Corps is the 1st Brigade, 9th Div. This brigade was commanded initially by Baron Gauthier (who's name is on the base label), and consisted of the 92nd and 93rd Line Regiments. 


The 9th Divison fought at Quatre-Bras on the 16th of June where it was fully committed and lost about 800 men, including Gauthier. He was later replaced by Colonel Tissot. As these units are for the campaign, Gauthier is named as commander on the label.


The 93rd Ligne had fought as Marines at Trafalgar, so the Brigade had history! At Waterloo the 9th was deployed against Hougoumont and later supported the Imperial Guard's final assault.


I have one more brigade of infantry to paint for II Corps, then the cavalry to finish off the full Corps.

Thanks for reading!
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