Look what happens when one blows off the dust and one looks back through the ancient records. What was meant to be a quick paragraph has turned into a full blown post. Sacre bleu!
From the archives
This delve into the archives drags The dear reader back ten years to February 2007 which is when von Peter himself sent his locally recruited fusiliers off to be amalgamated into the Kapiti Fusiliers … … …
The Friday Night Fusiliers was – and still is albeit currently hibernating – a forum based in Yahoo Groups – all the rage back then – and by 2007 had been humming along successfully for several years. Initially based around a few gamers in the Wellington region of New Zealand it had morphed into a happy and vibrant grouping of international wargamers with actively contributing members in the UK, US, Australia, continental Europe and who knows where else. Non competitive, aesthetically pleasing and comradely collecting and gaming were the guiding principles. Horse & musket gaming predominated. Members were referred to as The Fusiliers.
Somewhat contemporaneously there was a “Kapiti Fusiliers” website which Roly maintained with some input from various Fusiliers but mostly generated by Roly himself.
In May 2004 one of The Fusiliers – Fusilier Mike MacGillivray from the US – came up with the highly suspect idea of creating a group painted wargames unit. Fortunately nothing concrete came of it. On the 4 August 2006 a second attempt on the Friday Night Fusiliers …
The following proposal is being submitted on behalf of your fusiliers, who wish to create our battalion/regiment in miniature.
As we have both the esprit de corps and painting skills to produce a fine replication, it is proposed that the Fusiliers will create a miniature battalion/regiment of themselves – to be used in Napoleonic wargames, and designated as “The Kapiti Fusiliers” (replacing an historical battalion/regiment).
– Several members have already indicated their willingness to paint. It is suggested that each purchase 5-6 of the new Perry French to re-create a company, and paint them to depict the French army during “The 100 Days”.
– It is suggested that each painter have liberty in style, to show unique authorship for each company.
– A company shall consist of 100-120 men (5-6 figs on a 1:20 scale).
– All figures should be completed by the end of October, and for the outposts, mailed to a TBD depot.
– The staff in New Zealand will be responsible for mounting them,
creating terrain, and providing a permanent display setting.
– Our general shall assign who will paint the officers and/or casualties.
Various lunatics now thought this to be a grand idea and before any sane person could intervene further refinements to the build had been made – the companies were reduced to around four figures each in line with the common build amongst the New Zealand Fusiliers – and figures were being bought and painted. In the end Front Rank Figurines were the most used figure manufacturer. Subscriptions to the idea were so popular that two battalions were eventually created though it should be noted that a few particularly “ill” Fusiliers contributed two companies. Completed companies were sent to Roly who based them and is the guardian of the creation to this day. The 28mm Kapiti Fusiliers even get out to fight occasionally.
Above: the 1/Kapiti Fusiliers. Photo care of Roly
Contributors to the first battalion left to right are (hopefully!) …
- grenadiers – Roly Hermans (New Zealand)
- von Peter himself (New Zealand)
- command – Roly Hermans (still New Zealand!)
- Mark Case (USA)
- Chris Kendrick (Australia)
- voltigeurs – Scott Bowman (New Zealand)
Above: 2/Kapiti Fusiliers. Photo care of Roly
With any luck the contributors to the second battalion left to right are …
- grenadiers – Michael McGillivray (USA)
- Phil Roberts (USA)
- Scott Bowman (New Zealand)
- Mark Temple (Australia)
- Chris Kendrick (Australia)
- voltigeurs – Eric Veitl (France)
It was an immense surprise to von Peter himself when he found himself contributing a company to the build. von Peter himself can hardly paint any of his own figures let alone paint figures to just give away! The contribution was the second fusilier company for the first battalion thereby sporting striking sky blue pompons. A less regimented look was desired showing something a little different so a fusilier in greatcoat, a fusilier with covered shako, a fusilier taking a sip from his canteen and a fusilier advancing head turned to look at the aforementioned drinking fusilier were ordered. All were in campaign dress as opposed to full or parade dress. A little surprisingly they were the first Napoleonic French infantry that von Peter himself had painted. Ever!
But two battalions will be in need of command
Being the mature, sensible and fun loving hobbyists that we were the The Fusiliers went through a stage of allocating military ranks or positions to some of The Fusiliers. The group’s founder Roly became The Fusilier General or as von Peter himself preferred The Fusilier General Sir!. Along with Eric Veilt (from France) von Peter himself had become a moderator to help Roly administer The Fusiliers. For this we both became Fusilier ADCs – and for von Peter himself in particular Fusilier ADC Peter. While chatting about the group painting project with Roly – The Fusilier General Sir! himself – von Peter himself jokingly raised the idea of creating a Fusilier ADC Peter figure. Davout’s head – modelled by Front Rank bareheaded with male pattern baldness & glasses – would be attached to a hussar type figure to create a miniature me – a distinguished looking chap with male pattern baldness and glasses! The idea took hold so Front Rank were contracted to supply the Davout figure and a dismounted French horse artillery officer who is dressed in the hussar style with pelisse etc. Fusilier Greg was commissioned to perform the head swap – he enjoys this sort of thing and is rather good at it – and all von Peter himself had to do was create a uniform. In the end it was quite a conservative uniform with only several kilograms of gold thread to show that the figure represents a particularly important ADC to a particularly important Fusilier General Sir! Some may opine that the glasses have a rather heavy steam punk look to them. von Peter himself would spin the line that they authentic for the time and provide a rather fetching look. von Peter himself would of course be wrong! 😊
Above: The Fusilier ADC Peter figure was based as part of the International Kapiti Fusiliers command base along with the mounted Fusilier General Sir! and the falling – hopefully just slipped in a cow pat! – Fusilier ADC Eric figure. Photo care of Roly.
Finally Roly created a tricolour standard for the Kapiti Fusiliers personalised with their war record
Above: The standard of the International / Kapiti Fusiliers with two honours. Both honours were won in battles fought in a campaign played in 2007. “Segensburg” was earned for victory over a Russian battalion and “Biburg” for taking and holding the town of Biburg in the battle of the same name. Nice artwork Roly.
The Friday Night Fusiliers Yahoo Group still exists but has been dormant for several years now. RIP. Although it is effectively consigned to the annals of history von Peter himself owes it a debt of gratitude as he has made several good friends around the world due to the bonds forged when we were The Fusiliers.
The Kapiti Fusiliers website has long since ceased to be. Roly posted a notification on The Miniatures Page in October 2011 along the lines of …
The increased popularity of personal blogs over the last year or two has resulted in the Kapiti Fusiliers website not being updated for some time.
As we’re paying for a domain name for a site that we no longer keep up, we’ve decided to let it lapse. This means that from a week or two’s time, any links to the Fusiliers website will no longer work.
The site itself will still continue exist, but not under this domain name (I’ll find out what the actual host name is, and post it here soon).
Even though it will no longer maintained, the site is still a valuable repository of many inspiring articles and photos.
And although it was given another year or two of life thanks to various Fusiliers – including the normally parsimonious von Peter himself – donating the required money the end eventually came.
Many thanks to Roly for supplying photos and other details that needed dredging up from the archives and our poor old human memory banks!
The above has mostly been generated by a steadily degenerating brain. If it needs any correcting then please let the author know.
And in other news
Until we meet again …
von Peter himself