Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Diary of General Ramble

Back to the Future

I have been pondering what to do with the Austrians. My instinct is to look forward to 1813 and get as much in shako as possible, but then you look at it and other than Dresden and Leipzig there were not many smaller engagements you could use them for. It is not like the Russians or Prussians where you can look at 1813 and do a lot. So I have been looking in more detail at the 1799/1800 Italian campaign instead. There are quite a lot of do-able battles, the sides are tactically even and there are plenty of maps. French in Bicorne will be a better fit for my 1806 Prussians as well.

So that means getting as much as possible in helmet. I know that in reality the troops in Italy continued to wear the old Kaskett rather than the Raupenhelm but this is no more oxymoronic than having all my 1809 stuff in Shako. Certain things will 'have to do'. The shakoes on the Hussars are bell-topped rather than the more cylindrical peaked Klobuk and the cavalry helmets will have higher Raupes and so on plus the gunners will be in bicorne rather than helmet or corsehut (for the most part at least) but this really is nitpicking. This is, after all, primarily an 1809 army that I am looking at stretching backwards rather than forwards. Given the infantry is the same and most of the cavalry will serve there only need be a few additions or replacements, such as different Grenzer, Light Infantry Battalions and theD' Aspre Jager. These can all be 'filled in' after the Wagram refight.

The French will, more-or-less, be started from scratch. Not much in my current French force will reasonably serve with the exception of the artillery equipment but the French do field some interesting units: the Helvetique and Polish Legions, Piedmontese Infantry and so on. The charm is that there is not a great deal of French cavalry making it cheaper than doing the equivalent period in Germany.

The loose cannons are the Russians, not many of them, only cossacks as mounted troops, and no idea about artillery at all (will SYW pattern guns do?). But who is going to resist all those Grenadiers in Mitres and powdered queues? Although a lot is said about the Russians in terms of publicity, mostly because of the larger-than-life figure of Suvurov, it was the Austrians who provided the bulk of the troops and did the bulk of the fighting.

Samples from Wurttemberg

One of the things I did this month was order some samples of Wurttembergers from the Connoisseur/Bicorne range. These are much less bulky than the FR stuff I am doing now but are 28mm and will fit in. The overall design ethos is different too, with less crisp detail and more 'rough' sculpting. But I am satisfied with the figures as they have painted up so far. The fact that they are all in overalls with rolled g/c means they are far simpler to paint than anything I am used to, even the French in campaign dress. Meanwhile the artillery uniform is really cool and stands out nicely. So, now that I have finished my 1809-14 French (in terms of buying if not painting) then this looks like the next 'pro-French' project. It is not one, though, that will seriously start until after the Wagram refight. Until then it will be a tide of Kaiserlicks.


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