Tuesday, 19 June 2018

SYW French Gendarmes and Chevaux-legers Guard Cavalry

Continuing on building up my SYW French force, the latest painting project to be finished was my combined Gendarmes and Chevaux-legers Guard cavalry unit using 28 mm Front Rank figures. Historically they were two separate companies of  19 officers and 200 troopers each. Members of both units were expected to be of good birth and income, and most were recruited from the landed gentry class. Originally I had intended on painting the whole unit as Gendarmes, but decided to represent the combined companies as one unit after securing another trumpeter for the Chevaux-legers.
The combined unit with the Gendarmes in the front line

Officers wore black waste-coats to distinguish themselves from the lavishly dressed troopers

Both companies dressed similar. The main distinctions being black cockade in the hats of the Gendarmes, while the Chevaux-legers wore white cockades

The trumpeters of the Gendarmes dressed in red coats, black cuffs and gold lace

The trumpeters of the Chevaux-legers wore the king's livery with a mixture of gold and silver lace

The rear of the Chevaux-legers showing their distinctive flag...another reason to represent both companies

In both companies the officers and trumpeters rode greys, while the troopers rode bays

Another distinctive feature of the dress of these units was that they wore small feathers on the brim of their hats

A rear view of the Gendarmes showing their lavishly gold embroidered standard. These flags are by GMB Flags
    I know these companies only saw limited active service during the SYW, but I love their uniforms and just had to include them in my French force. Most likely I'll hold them in reserve for saving the day in desperate times or inflicting the coup de grace on their beaten foe.

Until next time!

Thursday, 26 April 2018

SYW British and French mortars in 28 mm

The latest additions to my SYW/ F&IW/ '45 British and French forces are the two mortar stands featured below. A while ago I had been given some second-hand old-style Front Rank British figures  that I have repainted and used on the stand. They had previously been painted up as Bavarians. The mortars and the French crews are recent Front Rank purchases to ensure my miniature forces had the ability to be effective in siege situations....plus they provide something a bit unusual to the wargames table. I had also been given some old 18th century Front Rank cannons in various states of repair, so decided to use one I repainted to add to my French force.           
The purists will note that my French artillerymen have white lace on their hats instead of the usual yellow/ gold coloured lace. This is because the first stands I painted up where colonial artillery for fighting in New France and I've just carried this on.

As Front Rank don't produce a French artillery officer with a telescope I decided to use an old Front Rank British artillery officer here. Hence having to paint the sash white. Unlike the British officers, regimental level French officers didn't wear sashes. 

I've used an etched piece of Balsa wood as a base for the mortar

I used a recycled cannon to provide an extra artillery stand for my French force. 

Until next time!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Canterbury Mounted Rifles on Anzac Day

It's Anzac Day here in New Zealand today, meaning, as a nation, New Zealanders gather together at war memorials throughout the country to commemorate the service and sacrifice of our soldiers throughout the 20th century. This afternoon my 'better half ' and I travelled out to the Greendale Domain in rural Canterbury for the service there. The draw for me was the attendance of the NZ Mounted Rifle Charitable Trust reenactment troop. Compared to other countries, New Zealand only has a very few number of reenactment groups, and this one was only established in 2014 to mark the centenary of the Great War. The unit portrays the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, which many of the farm boys from the Greendale area served in. I hope you enjoy the selected photos I took of them.

Unusually, many of the reenactors were of the 'fairer sex', but you can't really tell from the way they wear their uniforms.

Note the saddle blanket on this horse. It belongs to the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry - first established as a volunteer mounted militia unit in the 1860s, it later formed A squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifle Regiment of the Territorial Force from which the regiments of the NZ Expeditionary Force were formed.

Note the leather rifle bucket strapped to the saddle. Unlike normal cavalry units, the mounted rifles usually dismounted to engage the enemy with musketry and the bayonet.

The Aussie flag was carried to acknowledge the special bond forged between the soldiers of the two British dominions during the Gallipoli campaign. It was here that the colonials gained a sense of national identity that was strengthened by further fighting on the Western Front. After serving as infantry at Gallipoli, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles served in the Anzac Mounted Division in Egypt and Palestine until the end of the war. 

I spotted this bloke walking around but he wasn't part of the Mounted Rifles, just a local reenactor who turned up to add an infantry perspective.

This chap is dressed as a lance-corporal of the the Canterbury Infantry Regiment  circa 1916. He wears the distinctive 'Lemon Squeezer' hat that the New Zealander Division adopted when it was formed in Egypt in March 1916, prior to transferring to the Western Front. The standard British Army tin helmet was worn when serving on the front line. The green/ red puggaree of the hat represents an infantry unit, while the hat and collar badges identify his regiment. Note that the medal on his left breast indicates that he has been a serving soldier in the past.  

The whole uniform (apart from the unit badges and boots) was sourced through reenactment suppliers in the UK.

Lest we forget!

Until next time.


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Von Munchausen's Grenadiers

The latest second-hand infantry unit to be 'tarted up' in my Hessian force is Grenadier Regiment von Munchausen. This is a fictional regiment and the uniform is basically that which the original owner had painted, except for the newly-painted red turn-backs. I gave the officer a silver sash and the GMB flags are those for the Knyphausen Regiment (which I hadn't intended to include in my army, hence now being portrayed as von Munchausen's). I gave these Wargames Foundry figures a new coat of Dark Prussian Blue, re-based them and had to add another stand of new figures that I painted to match the rest of the unit.

These GMB flags are superb and easy to mount. I paint the areas that tend to over-lap when bending the flags into shape.

I know I'm a bit late with this but, Happy St Patrick's Day! I love this Bartek cartoon of a temptress chasseur of Napoleon's French Irish Legion. It's a regiment I intend to paint up at some stage, but the figures certainly won't look like this! A wee treat to celebrate my Irish ancestry.

Until next time! 

Saturday, 24 February 2018

AWI 28mm Hessians - Rall's Grenadier Regiment & terrain

Continuing with the project of 'tarting' up my new second-hand Hessian force; below is the first of the grenadier units to have facing changes and be re-based. This unit of Wargames Foundry figures is my interpretation of Rall's Regiment of Grenadiers for the American War of Independence. I know that Don Troiani depicts the grenadier mitre differently from how I've painted mine, but I decided to follow the colours portrayed from earlier artists (primarily because I liked the look of the red bag). As far as I know, Rall's regiment within the Hessian force in the American colonies was the only regiment totally designated as grenadiers, and not an ad-hoc collection of grenadier companies from various regiments that was a common practice during that war. However, I have another grenadier regiment that is almost finished that will break with historical correctness to became another unit to totally comprise of grenadiers. This is really due to laziness on my part, as the original owner had painted these well and I couldn't be bothered to repaint facings and mitres for four different regiments.

The flags are from GMB Flags

Note the red bag for the mitres. There are several sources that differ as to the colour of the bag and rear head band.

    I've also been painting up several of the superb gabion basket terrain pieces by Tabletop-Art that I purchased from Mighty Ape. IMHO, these are the best depiction of gabion basket defences that I've found....and reasonably priced as well. From memory, they cost about $18 NZ and the detail made them very easy to paint. They will prove very versatile and I can use them for many periods.

Thanks for having a look!

Until next time.