Thursday, December 31, 2015

Austrian Uhlans

On this last post of 2015, I present you my austrian uhlans, the fourth unit of cavalry for my Habsburg army.

I don't think I have ever applied myself that much on painting a napoleonic unit before, these guys have loads of detail, many different colors, requiring different washes and what else, so it was a lot of work, really. I believe it paid off, though, as they came out beautiful, probably my best paint job in 1/72 scale so far.

These guys are from the Zvezda Lifeguard Polish Uhlans kit, and those are awesome sculpts, full of character, as usual for Zvezda's top quality standards. The yellow in the upper half of their czapskas identify them as being the 1st regiment of Uhlans, which I think have the most striking visual.













Now the year is finished, I take a look back to get a sense of what I've done in terms of painting over these last 12 months, and I realise it has been tremendously fruitful. Here are the numbers:

- Napoleonic Austrian army: about 540 models
- Imperial Roman army: about 450 models
- Reinforcements to the Napoleonic French army: about 100 models
- Reinforcements to the Napoleonic British army: about 100 models
- 28mm scifi of various brands (Mantic, Warlord, Puppetswar, Antenocitis, etc.): about 100 models, including vehicles
- Romulan, Cardassian, Klingon and Ferengui armadas for Pax Stellarum: about 120 models

Thus, in total, I painted over 1400 models this year (!), 1200 of them being 1/72 historicals. Even I find it hard to believe these numbers, and yet, the models are there on my shelves, standing an embarassing proof that I have indeed done this much!

In my defense, it didn't feel that much while I was doing it... (did I really churned out an average of 3,8 models a day, painting only over a couple hours every evening?? Is that even possible??).

I'll try to slow down a bit next year, for the sake of my sanity, but with all the projects I have in mind, I wont risk making it a new year's resolution...

Monday, December 28, 2015

More Austrian Line Infantry

This is the tenth unit of line infantry I paint for the austrian army, and with that I call my infantrty complete, at least for the time being. Now, I'll be back to painting reinforcements for the french and the british.

These models are from Hat Industries Austrian Line Infantry kit, and they wear shakos, instead of the helmets of my 3 other units of line infantry. I think the helmets look cooler, but it's nice to have some variety in the visual of the army, particularly considering that the adoption of shakos wasn't automatic, and many regiments were still wearing the iconic austrian helmet years after shakos were first issued to the army.

Here's the unit in line formation, with it's screen of skirmishers:







Square formation:




March Column formation:



Friday, December 25, 2015

Black Powder - Last battle of the year

A couple weeks ago we played what is likely to be our last game of Black Powder this year. It was a 1000-point battle pitching the french, led by the Emperor himself, against the austrians.

This is the first time I field an all-austrian army, and that was made possible by the constant addition of new units that I've been painting over the last several months. Since then, I finished yet another 2 units - the flamboyant Uhlans and my 10th regiment of line infantry, this time with shakos, instead of the iconic austrian helmet. Those will be featuring here over the next weeks, as well.


Here are some pics of the french deplyment, at the bottom of the pic above and the austrians at the top. There is an entire french brigade missing on that pic, which was deployed to the right of the table, and that I apparently completely forgot to register (!).


The Austrian Army

Napoleon overlooks the enemy at a distance


I was in charge of the french army, and a couple friends, Rodrigo and Muller, shared the command of the austrian side.

The game began with the french taking the initiave, moving their centre up the middle of the field, while the austrians were struggling with the poor command rating of their Generals (they were given Command 8 and, mostly, 7, to represent the well-documented issues with the austrian command & control structure back at the time).


The french cannons started pounding the right flank of the austrian army, which dispatched an entire brigade to cross the narrow gap between two buildings, to better position their musketry fire. Meanwhile, the austrian cavalry, at the far left of their formation, was sent to flank the right side of the french forces.


French guns quickly taken position to punish the austrians moving in march column. The other french battery also puts their guns to work, with constant salvos against the austrian right flank.



The french deploy their fourth brigade in a defensive stance, to hold ground against the approaching austrian horse. Meanwhile, the austrian forces in the middle of the field manage to rearrange into lines, despite being under heavy fire from the french artillery, and start to push forward. A french brigade including a swiss and a italian regiment are sent to hold the field and push the enemy back.


At the french left flank, their line infantry and Old Guard charge home at the austrian lines, gaining some ground and putting the enemy in disarray.


The fighting in the middle of the field remains bloody and indecisive. The french and their allies withstand tremendous punishment from austrian muskets, but march on and put a regiment of grenadiers to run.


A little later, it's time for the grenzers to break formation and run, after an unsuccessful charge against the french columns.



The battle in the austrian right flank lingers on, with the french gaining some ground but failing to strike a fatal blow on the enemy formations.


Even though things might not be looking so well on the middle of the field, on their left flank the austrians were faring much better. Their cavalry artillery supports the advance of their horse, and the french brigade designated to hold the flank finally breaks.


Remnants of a broken line regiment flee for their lives, chased by austrian cuirassiers



On the centre, 2 hungarian regiments come out of the woods, reform into lines and charge the flank of the italians and swiss. The french allies fight heroically, saving the french army from disaster, and put the hungarians to run.



Despite being severely wounded, the stoic men of the french centre brigade hold their ground. They're now at risk of being overrun also by the austrian cavalry, which are breaking through the french right flank. Their stubborness pays off, as this buys the french enough time to finally break the austrian right flank with a charge of the Old Guard on a disordered german line.


This was done with the support of the french cavalry, which made a long march around the field, to strike at the rear of those austrian lines. Once that flank fell, a single austrian regiment was left, exausted and disordered, surrounded by french forces on all sides, but defiant to the end!



With that, the french managed to break 2 of the 4 austrian brigades, and claimed a victory that at a point looked desperate. Had the austrians succeeded at breaking the will of the swiss and italians on the turn before, the game would have ended with a vicotry for them. I believe the swiss did have a name for being resilient fighters back then, and it certainly proved true on this game!

As usual, a toroughly enjoying game, and I'm looking forward to fielding my new austrian army again soon, now with the addition of the 2 units I just painted.

I wish you readers of this blog a Merry Christmas, full of family joy and toy playing!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ghar from the starter set and some Algoryn reinforcements

I finished painting my Ghar form the starter set of Beyond the Gates of Antares. It was tough to make up my mind on a color scheme for them, as I've seen so many good choices on the Antares Facebook group, I was tempted to copy many. 

But here I think I ended up with a scheme that is very suited for these pitiful little fellas - very dark, sinister and menacing!





I did some pink on the weapons of Assault walkers, so they are easily distinguishable from the Battle Walkers on the table from a few feet away, while still keeping an overall light green lighting that will be my trademark for this faction.









Now, I was very happy to find this guy in the lot, as I purchased my starter set from an online retailer a couple weeks after release, so I wasn't expecting to receive this model, which was a pre-order only bonus. I guess the store managed to grab some pre-order sets after all, and I can't complain!



Along with the starter set, I ordered some additional units to bulk up my Algoryn, and now I have one of each unit released to date.

The Infiltrators: Watch out, here come the pret- err... the ladies!



The plasma support: I don't like how the energy lighting on the weapon came out. I'll be redoing it over the next days. I just can't get to do this white wash right! I added a third crewman to the unit with a spare model I had lying around from a mispack.


And finally, the targeter probes, pretty cool models, as well:


Next up, I'll be doing the Concord troopers from the starter set.