Sunday, 17 September 2017

Dust Up at Dapol. Part One

With four new regiments to play with, it was time for another battle. Last Sunday was the selected date, and so the two armies assembled that afternoon to fight it out.

Two guest generals took command. They were my very good friend, DM, aka the Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Driberg, a Hanoverian general lately returned from Ceylon; and Wellington Lad II, aka the Chevalier D'Essex. My role was to act as umpire and to take the photographs.

Stepping into our time machine, we dialed back to the summer of 1969. While Neil Armstrong was taking one small step for man, back in Wellington a giant leap for Hintonkind was in the making.

As we stepped out of the machine, blinking in the strong sunlight of that soft and sleepy Sunday afternoon, the sepia tones of the 60s gradually resolved themselves into glorious, Humbrol-enhanced technicolour.

The situation was as follows: it is late spring, 1813, and Napoleon's forces have pursued the beaten Prussians onto the North German plain. As the French approach the Elbe, seeking union with Davout's Corps in Hamburg, they are surprised by a much-reinforced Prusso-Hanoverian army near the small village

The mighty (and surprisingly colourful) North German Horde prepares to advance!
Chevalier d'Essex: Sire, there are thousands of them!
Napoleon: Paff! We'll make short work of that menagerie! Or, at shall, Essex. I'm afraid I had a little too much Leibfraumilch at dinner last night.
Uncertain about what to do, Essex deployed his forces en cordon, with the cavalry massed on the left. He was strong everywhere and nowhere.

Ney (leading the 45th): It's an outrage! I should be in command!
Soult (commanding the 3rd Swiss) : Be careful what you wish for, Old Boy!

The wily old Driberg responded likewise, massing his elite Prussian guard cavalry on his right.

Driberg: Zey von't know vot iz hitting zem! Heh heh heh!
Meanwhile, on the far left, Dörnberg's Lüneburg Dandies hovered in isolation. What on earth was Driberg planning?

Dörnberg: We're not to attract any attention, Gentlemen, so try to look inconspicuous!
The Prussian Steam Roller Advances

Driberg immediately ordered the advance. The massed columns lurched into motion, drums beating and trumpets blaring.

Driberg: Now remember, lads, no deviations. Straight up ze guts!
At a loss to know what else to do, Essex responded with a general advance towards the heights. The Combined Voltigeurs swarmed into the woods.

Essex: Er....Go forwards, er, sort of thing!
In no time at all, the rival cavalries were facing off against each other. The Prussian cavalry superiority looked ominous.

Driberg: Heh, heh, heh. Hook, line und zinker!

Ney and Soult looked on, appalled. Go forwards? They should be manoeuvring towards the centre! Soult sensed impending catastrophe.

Soult: *Sigh*. Come on , Chaps. At least we can try to look our best, eh Lads?
The Bavarians behind the French left also sensed that discretion was the better part of valour and bolted for the village.

Marbot: Follow me, Bavarians! It's as safe as houses in here!

Charge and Counter Charge

Driberg seized the initiative and ordered the cavalry to charge, but in the centre and left things started to go awry almost immediately. Perturbed by the movement of the French right, parts of the massive central column began veering off course, while the Estorff Hussars, contrary to orders, impetuously started forward.

Driberg: Not zat vay,! Up Ze Guts, I said!
As the Pride of Potsdam thundered towards his line, Murat ordered a counter charge. The two cavalry masses met with an almighty clash of lances and sabres. The Empress's Dragoons held their own, but things started to go very badly indeed for the Vistula Lancers. Murat cursed his luck.

Murat: Not again! They're only hussars, Dammit! 
Someone had Blundered...

The Empress Dragoons battled on against the Prussian Garde du Corps, trading casualty for casualty.

Ornano: Have at them, men, they're only DKs!

But the Vistula Lancers were outmatched  and forced to retreat, losing heavily all the way.

Murat: I'm never going to be King of Poland at this rate!

Meanwhile, in the centre, the French and Prussian skirmish lines traded potshots, albeit to little effect. As the French massed on the heights, Driberg narrowed and deepened his assault formation in preparation for the decisive push.

Driberg: Aaach, it's only vun battalion of Imperial Guardsmen! It's nutzing, boys, nutzing!
Dörnberg was worried, however, by the advance of the Swiss, who might burst onto the Prussian flank at any moment. Reluctantly, he sounded the charge. The Estorffs leapt into action...

Soult: I sometimes wonder why I bother! Is this really the best they can do?

....only to be stopped dead in their tracks by the measured vollies of the Swiss, who had calmly formed into square. Soult remained unruffled. For the idealistic young Lützowers, however, the  carnage was horrifying.

Lützowers: !!!!!!! Perhaps ve are missing too many of ze university lectures, nicht wahr ?

To be continued......


Friday, 8 September 2017

New Recruits

Long long ago, back in in the distant days of March 2016, Mr Lewis Gunner issued me a challenge: to produce a unit of Prussian reserve infantry in grey, "ideally in flat caps". Well, I haven't quite achieved this, as they're not painted yet, but the castings have arrived.

The master figure was made from one of the DK Napoleoniques #121: Prussian Guard Infantry, Advancing figures sent to me by Chuck Gibke in the even more distant days of April 2015.

DK 121 Guardsman and Reserve Infantry conversion

I thought my conversion would need more than just a flat cap, however, so I also removed the DK 121's canteen and sword and gave him a havresack.

The castings were made for me by the redoubtable John Cunningham, and have turned out very nicely. They're available to anyone who would like to buy them for John's ususal prices, under code HSC PN 91: Prussian Reserve Infantry, Charging. The "HSC" stands for "Hinton Spieler Conversion", although you won't find this inscribed on their bases, and I will receive no royalty. If anyone decides to buy some, be sure to ask John to check the bayonets before he sends them as their splindly little DK bayonets do not always come out of the mould intact.

The first of the few!

I ought to have the first couple of companies ready to show in a couple of weeks. They will be led by a cadre of regulars given to me an even longer time ago by Don, in February 2015!

I'm sorry it's all taken so long, chaps.



In other news , in case you haven't seen it yet, David C of Miniature Minions (here) has asked if anyone has any spare DK Italian infantry and busby-wearing Russian cossacks. David is happy to either trade or purchase. If you can help, David is contactable via his blog. Cheers, WM

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Fit for a Prince

My much delayed Estorff Hussars, AKA the Prince Regent's Own (by 1815), are finished.

I was able to grab a few quick shots of them before racing out for a social engagement.

The figures, as before, are all Der Kriegspielers Napoleoniques from set 164: British Cavalry 1815, Hussars, albeit with two conversions to make the officer and the trumpeter. As is ususal with DKs, they are a little on the slim side, but were beautifully crisp castings made from strong, bright, high-quality metal. I wish all DKs were as nice as these.

The Estorffs have not gone down in history for their martial prowess. My main reason for painting them had them to hand and I needed to get something onto the table for Wallmoden's Army. I hope JC enjoys weilding them. They'll be able to threaten a charge at least!

Toodle Pip.


Dörnberg: Charge!........!!?!&$@#!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Lützowers at Last

Erm....slightly delayed, but got there in the end.

Without further ado, Lützowers for your viewing pleasure:

Now then, back to the hussars and perhaps von Lützow himself, if I can make up my mind how to tackle him.

My sincere thanks to Mr A. Gentleman for these wonderful, wonderful figures.

Salut maintenant


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Laggardly Lützowers

A variety of domestic duties have cut into my painting time this week, so there's been less progress on the Lützowers than I'd hoped.  I've half the battalion finished, however. If I manage to crack on during the evenings this week, with a bit of luck I should have all the lads to put on show next weekend.

Till then,