Saturday, August 18, 2007

A few of the first

Ordenes Militares

Well, here is the first full Spanish unit: the first battalion of the Ordenes Militares Regiment from Coupigny’s division. I have to say that I like white as a basic uniform colour. It is, admittedly, a real pain to paint as things can easily go wrong and you just end up with a white blob. I have tried to avoid this to some extent by painting the woollen uniform in a slightly off shade as compared to the cross belting. Although it is almost imperceptible, it helps. In the case of this unit there were also white cuffs and turnbacks and I did these in brilliant rather than off white as well. It may not be 100 per cent accurate but it helps distinguish the two, also the cuffs and cuff flaps are piped in blue.

I also did the Colonel from this regiment as the Brigade commander for this brigade. I am not really that happy with him I confess, but he looks ok and not too shameful. With no equipment to speak of except the bayonet and cartouche box the Spanish as a whole painted up quite quickly, or rather I was able to do batches of eight figures rather than six.

The real challenge was the lace for the Grenadier’s sealskins. I took a fairly simple design from a period print and, well, it looks ok but is wobbly in places. Another wobbly issue was the standards. The colours themselves were from the excellent GMB, but I chose to use Front Rank standard tops with fleur de lys and honour ribbons for a change. Well, they look fine except that I simply could not bring myself to try and paint something meaningful on them as it would look terrible, so I just did squiggles.

Churchillian Intermezzo

I was watching the Stephen Fry bio “50 not out” last night. I won the Stephen Fry award at school so I have had more than a passing interest in his career over the past 20 years. Anyway in a clip he told a story which I thought very funny and will pass on here.

In the 50’s, during Churchill’s second premiership, he was awoken at 4am by a Private Secretary.

WC: “What is it? Has war broken out? Have we lost Somalia…?”

PS (Trying to stem the tide of confusion) : “No, Prime Minister. I am afraid that there is a bit of a scandal brewing.”

WC: “What?”

PS: “Well sir, last night one of your backbenchers was, er, discovered in Hyde Park with a Guardsman sir. I am afraid the newspapers have got hold of it and it is going to be in some of the early editions.”

WC: “Ah, I see…Last night?”

PS: “Yes sir.”

WC: “Cold last night wasn’t it?”

PS (a bit flummoxed): “Yes sir, I think it was the coldest February night for 17 years.”

WC: (Smiling to himself): “Ah…makes you proud to be British.”

The old man went back to sleep again.

The Gnomes of Zurich

And here, as a change of pace, are the first batch of a full War of Austrian Succession unit. These are Front Rank SYW French painted as Regiment Diesbach, a Swiss Regiment in Savoyard service. I must say I am very happy with the way that these turned out and the figures seem to have worked out fine. The only real issues are that they have a collar, the musket is slightly wrong and there is no plate on the cartouche box. That said the regiment was in collar by 1744 according to Manley, so I am not too phased about that.

The command figures are a little less satisfying as you cannot get an Ensign or a Drummer in this range with lapels or turnbacks. But the front of the Ensign will be masked by the standard anyway, so it is not too bad. The flags will come from Vaubanner in Canada who so a good range of WAS flags. The 15mm ACW stuff already has one bidder and another 7 watchers, and that will pay for enough flags to be going on with plus a few more Front Rank figures.

The mounted officer in cape is actually the Front Rank British Dragoon officer: that cape covers a multitude of sins and textures well with the blue. This battalion will have another two bases of four musketeers and a half base of two grenadiers on completion. Using the Age of Reason supplement I cited in an earlier entry I will be able to make use of firing figures too with a kneeling front rank.

Next on the list…

Well, eight Catalan light infantry for Coupigny are currently next in the line of fire and are already undercoated. Going slowly are the last six uhlans from UlR2 “Schwarzenberg”, the Austrians are taking back seat now to the Spanish. I reckon that if I do one Spanish Napoleonic batch and then a batch of something else as a cycle I should finish Coupigny in time without getting too bored.

Here’s hoping


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