Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My SYW Russian Brigade

RSM Russian Grenadiers in the front and Minden Musketeers in the back row.

Here are a couple of pictures of my small but growing SYW Russian army. The grenadier battalion represents the 1st Grenadier Regiment in the Seven Years War and uses RSM figures plus some Minden French command figures painted as Russians.

The musketeer battalion are all Minden French without lapels but with turnbacks, painted as Russians.

RSM grenadiers in the front, Minden musketeers in the back.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kremzow Grenadier Battalion (17/22) -Painted Mindens

Kremzow Grenadier Battalion with Minden Miniatures

I completed the Prussian grenadier battalion Kremzow (17/22) over the Christmas Holiday. The battalion was comprised of two companies of grenadiers from the Manteufel Regiment (IR17) and two companies from the Prinz Moritz Regiment (IR22). Hence the battalion's designation of "17/22" indicates the two regiments that contributed their grenadier companies to the battalion. Grenadier battalions in the Prussian army were actually known by the name of their colonel, in this case, Herr Kremzow.

Kremzow Grenadier Battalion (17/22)
Christopher Duffy says of the battalion:

"Warnery says of these grenadiers at Prague that they were the only ones who did not open fire, but pressed home the attack with the bayonet point! After all, they were Pomeranians ... who are beyond doubt the best infantry in the world." Mauled and captured at Landeshut.

Kremzow (17/22) Grenadier Battalion

Duffy's commentary on the parent Manteufel Regiment (IR17):

A classic Pomeranian regiment, distinguished at Soor, Prague and at Neustadt (15 March 1760). Frederick wrote to Major-General Karl Christoph von der Goltz on the latter occasion, "I wish to convey a compliment to the officers of Manteufel in my name. They have acted in our old, honourable way, and not according to the infamous modern example of other folk."

His commentary on the parent Prinz Moritz Regiment (IR22):

On 5 January 1741 the regiment entered Breslau in blue and red uniforms with straw colored waistcoats ... a splendid collection of men, with shining weapons that were a delight to see. Massacred at Kolin and suffered heavily at Zorndorf, but did well at Torgau and Burkersdorf.

Note that the grenadiers did not always fight in the same battles as their parent regiments and could even be in different Prussian armies. So while both IR17 and IR22 were at Kolin, the Kremzow Grenadier Battalion had remained with the main army at Prague. The battalion also fought at Rossbach, Leuthen (where it helped spear head the assault as part of the advant guard on the right wing), Zorndorf, Kunersdorf, among others.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas From Hesse Seewald

It's the thought that counts when it comes to giving gifts.

The presents have all been wrapped, the stockings are hung on the fireplace mantel awaiting St. Nicholas, and the dinner tables are all set in preparation for the 24 guests that will be arriving on Christmas Day.

The Christmas tree is decorated and loaded up with presents; alas, nothing of an historical gaming bent.

One of three Christmas dinner tables that we set last evening.

That can mean only one thing: it's time to paint!

I'm just kidding of course (am I ?)

I wish all of my readers and regular followers a very Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Sample Russian Musketeers

I painted six of the Savoy infantry figures from Crann Tara as Russian musketeers and I am very pleased with how they turned out. I will definitely be using some of these in my Faux Russian SYW army. I really like the "at the ready" pose of the figures.

Click on the link below if you are interested in purchasing some of these figures or to simply learn more about them.

You can see the painted figures from various angles in the pictures below:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

RSM Russian Grenadiers for the SYW

Well, I had a bag of 36 RSM Russian grenadiers just laying around (for quite a few years) and all this talk about Russians for the GNW and the SYW put a bee in my bonnet to paint them. So paint them I did over the weekend. The RSM figures paint up very easily as they are not loaded down with too much equipment. I was churning them out at a rate of 6-8 figures per day. I don't plan on painting the eyes or adding a black highlight color to the figures, although I did use two tone colors for the green coat and red waistcoat and breeches. The grenadier mitre plate is a mix of Vallejo Old Gold and a small amount of Copper paint.

The flags were downloaded from Kronoskaf and two halves of each flag were pushed together using Microsoft Word. The regiment shown in the pictures today are the 1st Standing Grenadier Regiment in the Russian army.

RSM Russians with Minden French Officers (painted as Russians). Flags downloaded from Kronoskaf.
If you double click any of the pictures to enlarge the view, you might detect one soldier wearing white summer gaiters as opposed to the Winter black gaitors that the rest of the regiment is wearing. This is the one solitary RSM Russian that I painted circa 1990, so I added him to the regiment, without an updated paint job, in honor of his hanging around for so long.

I now have two battalions in my SYW Russian Army.

On the Work Bench

On the painting table, I am working on the Kremzow Grenadier Battalion (17/22) in the Prussian army. I completed the IR17 Manteufel Grenadiers portion of the battalion, now I have 15 of the IR22 Prinz Moritz grenadiers to paint and this unit will be ready to join the ranks of my Prussian army for my Kolin game at the Seven Years War Association Convention in March 2016.

Crann Tara "Savoy" infantry figures, which will be painted as SYW Russian musketeers, backed by Prussian Dragoons.

I have to paint one more regiment of Prussian dragoons to more or less complete my Kolin Prussian army. I'm leading towards the DR3 von Meinicke Dragoons (the ones with the Rose-Pink) facings and shabraques). You can see the dragoons in the picture above.

You can also see some of the Army of Savoy figures that are produced by Crann Tara Miniatures and are compatible with all of the Richard Ansell sculpted figures such as Minden, Fife & Drum and Crann Tara. Since they have no lapels and big cuffs on their coats, I think that they will stand in nicely as Russian SYW musketeers.

Recruiting New Followers
I had 497 "followers" for quite a few weeks, but five of them deserted, despite the best efforts of my NCOs to keep the regiment in line. They must have been Saxons, methinks.

Do come back lads, all will be forgiven.

In any event, I am putting out the recruiting call for at least 8 of my regular readers to become a "Follower" so that we can boost the total to a nice even and symetrical 500 readers.

Friday, December 4, 2015

More On the Russian Project

Here is a sample Russian infantry regiment that I painted last year using the French Fusiliers with turnbacks figures from the Minden Miniatures figure range. For now, they are "close enough" until I can add more Russians to the range. Russian officers and NCOs carried muskets rather than pole arms so they might require some conversion work in the future.

The flag is a Napoleonic Russian flag that I had on hand, used because this particular regiment was/is to be used in an Imaginations Campaign. I will eventually swap in a SYW era pair of colors for the unit. The flags will be from GMB Designs, as usual for me.

I shall also take a closer look at the Crann Tara Savoy infantry as potential Russian stand ins as these figures have no lapels but have turnbacks and a cartridge box worn on the belly.

Thank you to those of you who left comments on yesterday's post. There are a lot of good ideas and information therein which I find most useful.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Some Thoughts on SYW Russians

I am nearly done painting a 32-figure battalion of Great Northern War Russians ( Warfare Miniatures) and painting all of that green got me thinking about a potential project for 2016: SYW era Russians. I eventually want to game a Zorndorf scenario with my Minden Prussian army, so naturally I will need a green clad opponent.

One immediate problem is that Minden does not have any Russians (other than the artillery and crew) so what can I do about raising infantry and cavalry forces for the Russians? After perusing through the Minden range, the RSM range and Kronoskaf I came up with the following temporary solution:

1) Russian Musketeers - I will continue using the Minden French fusiliers with turn backs as Faux Russians since the uniforms are "close enough".

2) Russian Grenadiers - I will use the RSM Russian grenadiers and sprinkle in some Minden command figures and maybe even do a few head swaps.

3) Observation Corps - this will be a tough nut to crack. My choices are some significant conversions of Prussian Jagers into Ob Corps troops or use some of the Minden Russian artillery crew and place muskets rather than artillery tools in their hands. Some of the Minden Pioneers could serve the same purpose.

4) Russian artillery - Minden has everything that I need here, from loading and firing gun crews to four different kinds of artillery pieces.

5) Russian Cuirassiers and Hussars - I will use the Minden Prussian cavalry figures for these.

6) Russian Dragoons - I will use the Minde Hanoverian "Horse Regiment" figures as these do not have lapels. Thus they can stand in for the Russian Dragoons assuming that the riders have not buttoned their coats closed.

7) Russian Horse Grenadiers - I will use the RSM Russian Horse Grenadiers.

8) Cossacks - more RSM figures here. Maybe TAG has some Cossacks as well.

9) Mounted officers- Minden has a General Fermor personality figure and some of the other lesser officers can be recruited from the ranks of Minden French officers and dragoon officers.

So,there you have it, all of the elements are in place to build a Russian SYW army over the course of 2016. Of course, I will also continue to work on my GNW project here and there, keeping both balls in the air at the same time.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Decline of the Oblique Order

Prussian Cuirassier regiment (CR2) Prinz von Preussen spear  heading one of Frederick's oblique order attacks. Figures are Minden Miniatures painted by myself. Click the image to enlarge.

I have been perusing Christopher Duffy's "Army of Frederick the Great"(second edition, Emperor's Press, 1996) lately and wanted to post some interesting observations that Duffy has on the evolution of Fredrician tactics over the course of the Seven Years War (pages 225 to 227). I think that it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of the tactics that Frederick used throughout the Seven Years War. Most of the following verbiage is taken directly from Duffy (and in some cases abbreviated or paraphrased by me).

The Oblique Order  Style of Attack
Until the advent of Frederick II of Prussia onto the scene in 1740,  the typical 18th Century battle formation was a long line of infantry regiments, with a second or third supporting line, with cavalry posted on both flanks of the army. Battle became a head on attack and battle of attrition, until one side had enough and had to retire. It was a costly way to conduct battle (in terms of casualties) and so Frederick looked for a way to achieve a more decisive victory with a lesser expenditure of manpower.

Frederick was a student of history and undoubtedly had read about Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC in which the army of Thebes attacked  one wing of the Spartan army and achieved a convincing victory. He most certainly found more commentary and analysis on the topic in his readings of military history and so the oblique order had made an impression on him. Frederick employed the oblique order with great success in 1745, first at Hohenfriedberg on June 4th and again at Soor on September 30th. By the start of the Seven Years War in 1756, Frederick had used the oblique order enough times to establish a trend in the minds of the Austrians, so they were aware of its use even before the first shot of the war was fired.

Duffy summarizes the key elements of the Oblique Order style of attack:

"1) The march to win the enemy's flank or rear was a taxing affair, which began in the early morning at the latest, and was prosecuted with all possible speed for a dozen miles or more. Woods (Zorndorf, Kunersdorf and Torgau) or darkness might well screen most of the movement from the enemy.

2) When, as usual, the ground and the hostile dispositions were unknown to Frederick in any detail, he halted within sight of the enemy to make a personal reconnaissance and for a plan of battle.

3) The plan was communicated verbally to the senior commanders and selected adjutants from some convenient viewpoint. Frederick commonly expressed himself in general terms, leaving the detailed means of execution to the generals. He was assured that his intentions were understood perfectly. (Then) the generals and adjutants dispersed, and the march was continued or the attack opened as necessary.

4) An advance force was employed variously to clear the way, deceive the enemy, spearhead the attack, or do all three things together.

5) The main attack was launched against the targeted wing by the advance guard or leading division, supported by one or more lines of infantry, the massed fire of forty or more pieces of artillery, and by a flank guard of cavalry.

6) The rest of the army was "refused", reaching back obliquely from the attacking wing in a staggered echelon of one regiment  or battalions at a time, each unit between twenty and fifty paces to the rear of its neighbor. The purposes of the refused wing were to fix the enemy in their positions, and form an unengaged reserve which Frederick used to exploit a victory, or cover the retreat in the event of a reverse."

Counter-measures Are Made

"By the middle of the Seven Years War the Oblique Order was losing much of its potency. There were probably five main reasons:

1)  The Austrians and Russians had by now acquired a complete and detailed knowledge of the tactic in question and were learning to apply effective counter measures. They became skillful at changing their fronts to meet unexpected attacks, they formed mobile reserves, and their formidable artillery made the Prussian assaults increasingly costly.

2)  The quality of the Prussian troops underwent a marked decline, accelerated by the fact that Frederick  was now losing about 30 percent of his effectives every time he committed his army to battle.

3)  In these circumstances the long and arduous approach marches demanded too much of the army. It was difficult to bring up the supporting artillery (as in the latter stages at Kunersdorf and at Torgau) and the troops began their battles when they were already exhausted.

4) Frederick's reconnaissance and briefing imposed a delay which was now unacceptable.

5) The deployment of the army for attack was rigid and geometrical. "

The Austrians developed a new style of attack, using converging columns (often mixed with infantry and cavalry units) designed and timed to attack the Prussian army at multiple parts of its battle line. The first, and most successful, use of this tactic occured at the Battle of Hochkirch on October 14, 1758. The result was the near destruction of Frederick's army. The tactic was employed again at Maxen, on November 20, 1759, in which the Austrians bagged an entire Prussian corps commanded by Finck.

Prince Henry adapted the new Austrian style of attack at Dobeln on May 12, 1762, capturing 2,500 men. He applied the method on a larger scale at Frieberg on October 29, 1762 with greater success, in what turned out to be the final battle of the Seven Years War.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter Comes Early

Winter came early to Hesse Seewald this year. We received about 7-9 inches of snow on Saturday and it seemed like it would never end. However, in the light of a sunny day, the snowscape does have a certain beauty to it, as seen in these two pictures of my street. That said, I would still rather the snow wait until after Thanksgiving.

My painting mojo seems to have gone on vacation, perhaps to warmer climates, so now seems like a good time to catch up on things such as basing already-painted figures and packing Minden figures into individual bags.

I have a battalion of 32 GNW Russians (from Warfare Miniatures) sitting on my painting table right now, and while they are gorgeous looking castings, I can't seem to get up the resolve to start painting them. Maybe with a four day weekend coming up for the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be enough spare time to get my painting groove back. On the otherhand, after seeing how the figures look painted, curtesy of the talented brushwork of Barry Hilton, I might have to get the green paint out and give them a go.

Three battalions of 32 figures - GNW Russians, by Warfare Miniatures

A picture of a unit painted Russians shown on the Warfare Miniatures website. 
Click on the link below to visit the Warfare site:

I did a little sketch and recap of the forces that I will need for my Kolin game at next year's SYW Association convention and find that I am fairly close to having everything that I need. I have some Hungarian infantry and Croats coming from my contract painter, Alex Akers (who is also my nephew) and that should pretty much finish off the Austrian needs. I might add an extras 12 figure squadron to the two Saxon cheveauleger units that I painted earlier in the year.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Prinz von Preussen Cuirassiers

CR2 Prinz von Pruessen Cuirassiers - click to enlarge.

I finished the second squadron of CR2 Prinz von Preussen Cuirassier regiment (12 figures per "squadron" and two "squadrons" per regiment in my organization). The flags from GMB Designs were attached a few minutes ago, which means that the regiment is officially enrolled in my Minden Miniatures army.

First Squadron - click to enlarge

Second squadron - click to enlarge.

I use a 1:20 ratio of figures to men so my cavalry regiments are a bit under strength at 480 troopers. I really should have 32 to 36 figures per cavalry regiment which would yield 640 to 720 troopers in the regiment. Prussian cavalry regiments largely had five squadrons. If  I had five squadrons then I would need to have 6-7 figures per squadron and a 6-figure mini-squadron just does not have the visual appeal that I am looking for. So I went with 12 figures as this looked right to my eye and 24 figures was enough figures to paint as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Narke-Varmland Regiment- GNW Swedes

Narke-Varmlands regiment with Warfare Miniatures figures. Click all pix to enlarge the view.

I completed 24 of the 32 figures for the Narke-Varmland regiment for my Swedish Great Northern War (GNW) army. The figures are from Warfare Miniatures as are the flags. This is my first regiment using the figures wearing the karpus hat or cap with the colored brim. The regiment also has distinctive  red stockings and facing colors rather than the traditional Swedish yellow. I will probably paint the Jonskopings regiment next because it also has red facings and stockings (but wears a tricorn). This way, I will have a "yellow brigade" and a "red brigade", each of two regiments.

I still have one more stand of six figures to paint in order to finish the regiment. However, 24 figures gives you a good idea of how the final regiment will look upon completion.

Warfare Miniatures announced yesterday that its first GNW Russian figures will be arriving this week! I am really looking foreward to order 4 regiments worth of the Russians and getting that army started. Of course, I will need twice as many Russians as Swedes, so there is a lot of painting still to come.

Russian Update: Warfare Miniatures is now selling the first five packs of GNW Russian infantry on its web site. I bought enough to start on 3 x 32 figure Russian battalions of musketeers.

Warfare Miniatures Blog

Rear view showing the offset of one command figure on each base to give the illusion of a third rank.

View of the command stand: 6 pike and 2 standard bearers.

View of the flags made by Warfare Miniatures

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Christmas Pix Photo Session

Lady Emma Cuddlestone-Smythe and Tiberius the Wonder Dog.
We received some of the proofs of a series of pictures that we had taken of the Princess and I just wanted to post two of my favorites on my blog. The first one shows our hound in what I call "Classic Golden Retriever Pose" smiling right into the camera with tongue hanging out. In the second picture below, Tiberius decides to ham it up a little bit lay a smooch on Lady EC-S's cheek.

A Dog's Work Is Never Done
These pictures will undoubtedly find their way onto Facebook in the near future.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jonkopings Regiment in the GNW

54mm Swedish Infantry Figure (not a Warfare Miniatures figure) posted to show an example of the karpus hat.

I received some more metal reinforcements from Warfare Miniatures last week, enough to paint a Swedish regiment wearing the karpus headgear and probably another karpus and a tricorn battalion plus 18 more cavalry.

So last evening I broke out the figures and assembled 32 infantry in karpus for the Jonkopings regiment. This unit has red facings, waistcoat, breeches and karpus brim, so it should add a bit of color and variety to my growing GNW Swedish army.

The Warfare figures require a modest amount of assemble before priming. In this case, I only had to attach scabbards to the rank and file, a few pikes, and some pole arms for the officers. I've gotten to be an old hand at this by now, so it is a simple matter of kneading some green epoxy putty together and inserting a tiny ball of putty into the hole that places the scabbard in place, followed by a dab of glue and then presto bingo they are done.

Tonight I will glue the figures to temporary card bases that hold the figure whilst painting. That will be followed by a coating of grey primer and then I will have a battalion set aside and ready for painting when the mood and my painting schedule allow. I want to finish 12 more Minden Prussian Cuirassiers before switching back to GNW Swedes. I like the variety of going back and forth between the two periods and two different styles of miniatures. I might also assemble 18 more Swedish cavalry to bring the Ostgotland Kavalrie regiment up to its full complement of 36 horse and riders. Since a Swedish army can have as much as 50% cavalry, I need to get ahead of the cavalry painting before I get too far along with the infantry.

Monday, October 19, 2015

IR22 Prinz Moritz Regiment Completed

IR22 Prinz Moritz of Anhalt Dessau shown with his regiment. Click to enlarge.
 Here are pictures of IR22 Prinz Moritz regiment in the Prussian army of the SYW. The complete regiment enters service in my army today, October 19, 2015. I now keep an army log for my SYW armies that includes a picture of the regiment and its flags, date of service, and eventually, a battle history.

The regiment's inhaber was always a prince from the Anhalt Dessau family, going back to Prince Leopold, "the Old Dessauer". Prinz Moritz was one of his sons ( he might have been the one son that was the subject of an experiment conducted by Leopoldo - he received no education because Leopold wanted to see how much he could learn on his own, without the aid of any teachers).

Coincidentally, the Minden range added a Prinz Moritz personality figure and you can see him on the round stand in front of the regiment. He is wearing his orange Order of the Eagle Sash across his left shoulder.

The figures are the Prussian infantry with the tighter Prussian cuffs (MP-001 and MP-002) and this is the first time that I have used the Prudent cuff figures in my Minden Prussian army. When Frank Hammond produced the original Prussian figures, they only came with the larger Swedish cuffs.

The flags are from GMB Designs, as is customary with me.

If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see a teaser photo of the first squadron of the CR2 Prinz von Preussen Cuirassier regiment. I will start painting the second 12-figure squadron this week. I'm awaiting flags from GMB to complete the presentation of the regiment's colours.



CR2 Prinz von Preussen cuirassier regiment. First squadron.


Friday, October 9, 2015

I Think I Need More Prussian Cavalry

My Minden Prussian Cuirassier Brigade (KR13 - Garde du Corps in front; KR1 Jung Krakow in the middle; and KR8 von Seydlitz in the back. (click pix to enlarge).

Last evening I was looking at my Austrian and Prussian armies, which are facing each other across my game table, and I realized that with the recent addition of some Saxon cavalry, my Prussians are going to be outnumbered. 

We we can't have that.  8-|

As of today, the Austrians have 3 Cuirassier regiments, 2 dragoon regiments, the equivalent of 1 converged Saxon cheveaulegers painted and based. My nephew Alex has just completed a commission for me that will add one more Cuirassier and one more dragoon regiment to the order of battle. I also have one more Cuirassier regiment coming via some bartering with another painter. So at the end of the day, the Austrians and allies have a combined 5 Cuirassier, 3 Dragoons and 1 Cheveauleger regiment, or 9 regiments.

My Minden Prussians currently have 2.5 Cuirassier regiments, 2 dragoon regiments, and 1 hussar regiment, or 5.5 regiments ( Garde du Corps counts as a half regiment). Regiments already painted:

My Minden Prussian Cuirassier, annotated in the picture. (click to enlarge)

KR1 Jung Krakow cuirassiers (24 figures)
KR8 von Seydlitz cuirassiers (24)
KR13  Garde du Corps (16)
DR5  Bayreuth Dragoons (48) - this was a 10-squadron regiment. I count this as two dragoon regiments.
HR5  von Reusch (Black Hussars) Hussars (32)

Clearly it is time to start painting Prussian Cuirassiers again. :D

I think  that I will start with the yellow coated KR2 Prinz von Preussen regiment. The Gensdarmes regiment - KR10 - was usually brigaded with KR13 Garde du Corps, and since I already have the latter regiment, then KR10 would be a logical addition as well.

This morning I cleaned and primed the first dozen Cuirassiers for the Prinz von Preussen regiment. I think that every collection of SYW Prussians probably includes this regiment because of their distinctive yellow coats. With a long three day weekend ahead of me, I ought to be able to make good progress on the painting front, so be sure to check back here over the weekend for painting updates.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

GNW Swedish Cavalry Pix

I finished off the basing and flagging of the Ostgota Kavalrie Regiment for my GNW Swedish army last evening. Both the figures and the flags are from Warfare Miniatures and their Great Northern War range of figures.

I used Citadel Scorched Grass static grass and The Army Painter tufts (Highland, Wasteland and Winter) on the bases. The ground was made using spackle compound, slathered over the base, and then dipped in a tub of fine railroad ballast. Once dry, I drybrush some light tan on the ballast before adding the tufts and the static grass. I use mostly the Highland tufts, which offset the static grass color nicely. The Wasteland tufts are dark green and provide some contrast. The Winter tufts are too light in color so I don't use much of those.

Warfare Miniatures figures and flags. 

Swedish Ostgota Regiment - Warfare Miniatures figures and flags.

Reinforcements have been ordered and are now making their way across the Pond.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Saxons Are Based Pix

Prinz Albrecht (left) and Graf Bruhl (right). click on all pictures to enlarge view.

Better view of the Graf Bruhl flag

Front view without the officer. All figures are Minden Prussians

Here they are with the basing completed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Graf Bruhl Cheveaulegers

Saxon cheveauleger regiments Graf Bruhl (blue facings in foreground) and Prinz Albrecht (green facings in background). click all images to enlarge the view

Prinz Albrecht leibfahnen

Graf Bruhl ordinarefahnen.