von Peter himself got all forgetful!

The Son and heir's Prussian volunteer jager IR 11 (1. Silesian)

Way WAY back on 7 October, 2013 von Peter himself bravely released his More pyjamas, a new book and another terrain source post on an unsuspecting world. Amongst other topics von Peter himself proudly showed off his latest literary purchase – the book Polish Troops in the Service of Napoleon 1797 to 1815.

Roll forward to 8 May, 2014 and Jim Rooke posts a comment which is of interest on several levels. For the idle who have not bothered to read Jim’s comment – and let this be a lesson to all you idlers!! – and hopefully without any irritation to Jim von Peter himself hereby reproduces that comment …

I really hate to see this sort of thing happen. The George Street Polish book that you reviewed above is a total plagarism from the old W J Rawkins book from the 1980s, word for word in places with even the illustrations copied. An updated edition of the Rawkins book (really excellent) has been republished as an e-book last year and is a fraction of the price. The publishers are The History Book Man, (www.thehistorybookman.webeden.co.uk) I think this is the author’s company.
Just to let you know… as I got caught and it cost me nearly £40.00 for a book that I already had or could have got as an e-book for £4.00.


The first point of interest is that perhaps the book von Peter himself purchased was not such a bargain after all. <mutter mutter>

The History Book Man

But a bigger point of interest is the intelligence on the existence of the publishers The History Book Man. von Peter himself has at least five of the old W. J. Rawkins booklets and they were packed full of organisational and uniform information. On the downside they could be difficult to read but then they were produced decades ago when print technology for small run booklets was not what it is today. von Peter himself is not even sure that word processors existed for the masses … though he suspects not.

The books are much expanded and now contain colour illustrations to accompany their line drawings. They are supplied on DVDs as E-books which are read via a pdf reader. And the cost is a real knockout – £3.99 plus postage. The thought of these reference books being available again in an expanded format is enough to excite the normally staid level headed von Peter himself.

A review of the book range is available on The Napoleon Series. It is considered that most publishers would be happy to receive such a review of their wares.

The list of titles currently available …

  • The Army of Sweden 1802-1814
  • The Army of the Duchy of Warsaw 1807-1814
  • The Army of the Kingdom of Naples 1806-1814
  • The Army of the Grand Duchy of Berg 1806-1813
  • The Army of the Grand Duchy of Baden 1806-1814
  • The Army of the Kingdom of Wurttemberg 1806-1814
  • The Army of the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt 1806-1814

with those in the pipeline being …

  • The Army of the Kingdom of Bavaria 1792-1814
  • The Austro-Hungarian Army 1798-1814
  • The Army of the Kingdom of Italy 1805-1814
  • The Royal Saxon Army 1806-1814
  • The Rheinbund Contingents 1806-1814
  • The Army of the Kingdom of Westphalia 1807-1813
  • Foreign Regiments in French Service 1795-1814 The Swiss Regiments
  • Foreign Regiments in French Service The Regiments Etrangere 1804-1814
  • The Armies of the Netherlands 1795-1810.

von Peter himself has recently ordered The Army of the Duchy of Warsaw 1807-1814 … as a trial for the greater good of the readership you understand!  8O) The order was placed during a New Zealand night and various emails were awaiting von Peter himself the following New Zealand morning saying that the DVD had been despatched. That was a few days ago and the arrival of the package is eagerly awaited. Upon the orders arrival – or at least within a few short months! – von Peter himself will hark back to earlier in his military career as a dashing hussar(!) and report back on what his daring reconnaissance has discovered.  8O)

Rawkins-The Army of the Duchy of Warsaw 1807-1814

von Peter himself has great hopes for this range of books as a cheap and informative source of organisational and especially uniform information on some of the less well publicised armies of the Napoleonic Wars.

And finally von Peter himself would like to apologise to Jim Rooke whose rather useful and informative comment went unanswered for so long. Embarrassingly this spiel was meant to be part of the proceeding post but advanced age would appear to have got the better of the author … and he forgot! The olde fool!  8O)

The Son & heir’s Silesian Volunteer Jager IR 11 (1. Silesian)

The dear reader may recall in the earlier Old news post that The son & heir had come over all free and easy with some of von Peter’s in reserve stock of unpainted figures. Inspired by some Sharp Practice gaming he had felt the urge to command some Prussian jagers of his own and was over joyed to find a dozen of them – Calpe Miniatures of course – under the gaming table in an unpainted state. Perfect. Well very nearly perfect.

For a number of reasons The son and heir has long had a plan to eventually paint the Prussian Infantry Regiment Nr. 11 (1. Silesian). These ‘discovered’ jagers would therefore be transformed – via some judicious splashing about of various coloured pigments suspended in a carrier – to be the Volunteer Jager of the Prussian Infantry Regiment Nr. 11 (1. Silesian). The rather inconvenient fly in the ointment was that several uniform books would have one believe that this particular merry band of fatherland liberating volunteer jager did not wear a shako but rather their headgear of choice was green caps with yellow bands and piping. Of course the twelve jagers held in reserve under the gaming table for all those years and summoned forth to war by The son & heir wore shakos … to a jager!

But each gamer must be true only to himself … and it can take a proverbial lifetime for figures to travel across the world to New Zealand … and the figures were going to waste … and so the silvery figures were rapidly transformed into tabletop fit jagers.* And eventually some tufts were added – see the original Old news post if this does not make sense – so the Volunteer Jagers of the Prussian Infantry Regiment Nr. 11 (1. Silesian) were complete and therefore of a fit state to be displayed on this here blog.

* In case there is any doubt von Peter himself fully supports The son & heir in this decision.  A rather pleasing unit has been added to the local Prussian roster and we are all the better for it regardless of any issue of caps vs. shakos. And yes it is still very irritating how quickly The son & heir can churn out figures when he wants to. <more mutterings>

The heading picture shows the Volunteer Jager of the Prussian Infantry Regiment Nr. 11 (1. Silesian) skirmishing outside of a village in Saxony, 1813. Some Bavarians unwisely disputed the ground but they have since scarpered leaving a drunk infantryman for the Prussians to recover.

The image below displays the multi functional sabot style basing as used by The son & heir for the unit. For Sharp Practice games the figures will be removed from their sabots and used as individual figures. For larger divisional games where the battalion is the gaming unit the figures will be used in their sabots and moved en masse.

Because each ‘hole’ on the sabot is formed around a specific figure each of them is unique and best suits that original figure about which they were formed. To speed the placement of figures back on the sabot a cunning visual plan was devised. Each of the six sabots was designated a unique colour; each hole on a sabot was marked with one or two dots in that sabot’s unique colour; and each jager was given matching dots on their underside to match the colour and number of dots of their home hole. Perfect.

The son and heir's volunteer jager IR 11 (1. Silesian)

For historical reference #1 the Prussian Infantry Regiment Nr. 11 (1. Silesian) became the Prussian Infantry Regiment Nr. 10 (1. Silesian) after the 19 June, 1813 when the Garde zu Fuss Regiment was removed from the line regiment numbering sequence.

For historical reference #2 the drunk Front Rank Figurines Bavarian is a new addition to the Bavarians of von Peter himself. There is a matching battalion partially based. The figure was painted by Nigel Fun-nell.

As always don’t forget to <click> on any image for a larger and clearer view.

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

A bit of this and a dash of that

Oi! Time for another post. Jump to it!

Sharp Practice game May 2014

The Sharp Practice game pitting the rashness and enthusiasm of youth against the battle scarred and much honoured aged and embittered has been played sporadically over the last few weeks. The benefits of having The Bastion – the military simulation room – where the table is left up and not required for other purposes.

To recap the scenario is the brain child of The son & heir and is inspired by the events in Bernard Cornwell’s book Sharp’s Havoc. The action has moved from the Spanish Peninsular to Central Europe. Things have not gone well for the French and their allies so an escape route needs to be forced. The French have entrusted this dangerous exercise to von Peter himself and mostly Confederation of the Rhine troops – Saxons and Bavarians – with a single French battalion in attendance. The task: force a crossing via the bridge over river #1, through a barricade, cross the board to force a second river/bridge/barricade combination.

Prussian Landwehr guard the two crossings but are blissfully unaware of the excitement coming their way. Hauptmann von Scharf and his Silesian Volunteer Jagers are rushing to assist the defenders from one flank while the bulk of the Prussian reinforcements would arrive on the other. Hauptmann von Scharf’s mortal enemy the Frenchman Captain Henry has taken command of the Bavarian Light Infantry and if they can he and von Scharf will do their best to put the other ‘in the ground’.

A few images from the game to date. von Peter himself would <right-click> on the images and open them in a new tab or window to see a larger version of them … but that’s just him.

Sharp Practice 2014 1

Above: early in the game the first bridge and barricade have been claimed for the French. The sentries could have done better and they could have done worse but they’ve now done a runner.

A landwehr battalion had tumbled out of the buildings at the alert of the sentries and decided that the crack Bavarian lights and increasing numbers of French Germans swarming over the barricades were all too much and decided to retire down the road between the buildings. The Bavarian cavalry currently on that same road between the  buildings gave them little hurry up which is why the landwehr battalion can now be seen heading towards and crossing the bridge in the distance.

The son & heir is currently painting the two mounted figure command pack PC6 from Calpe Miniatures. The mounted officer on the bare Litko plywood base with the just mentioned retiring landwehr at the bridge is one of these mounted figures. His painting is complete. In the background just on this side of the second river is the second figure from the pack. We decided not to remove him for the bottle top on which he is being painted.

The Bavarian Light Troops – in green and wearing helmets – are holed up in the buildings just over the bridge. This was not the result of a cunning plan by von Peter himself but rather the vagaries of the game that dictated that three of the twelve light infantryman decided to do a spot of looting in the buildings. Captain Henry has taken the rest of the unit into the buildings to reclaim the three miscreants and add them back into the unit. Captain Henry can be seen taking a quick drink from his brandy flask to calm his nerves having taken a minor wound earlier from those pesky Silesian Volunteer Jagers.

Half of a Saxon battalion has foolishly bravely been sent to face off against the Prussian reinforcements coming in from the left of the photograph. They performed admirably … until the Prussians decided to swat them out of the game.

Hauptmann von Scharf and his Silesian Volunteer Jagers can be seen scuttling around in the shrubbery at the right of the picture as more French allied troops cross the first bridge in the foreground.

… and then some time passed by …

Sharp Practice 2014 2

Above: Prussian reinforcements are pouring in from the left. The skirmishing Prussian fusiliers have persuading the Saxon half battalion in the prior photograph to be elsewhere … in rather a hurry.

The Bavarian cavalry on this side of the river have just been persuaded to cease their retrograde movement and merged their two companies into a complete squadron. They have had quite a day with one company beating back some landwehr but then being too tired and disorganised to capture the opposing commander in chief who fought like a man possessed after an audacious attack. The second company managed to catch Hauptmann von Scharf and his Silesian Volunteer Jagers as they retreated to the second bridge and though they managed to cut down a jager and win the melee they were left so disorganised and weary that an immediate move to the rear was required.

The Bavarian light infantry are on the road to the second bridge leading on a French and a Saxon battalion. The red marker behind the light infantry denotes the fouling of some of the Bavarians barrels. Stoopid random effect tables!  8O)

Two units of landwehr supported by Hauptmann von Scharf and his Silesian Volunteer Jagers line the barricade across the far end of the bridge. Gulp!

A half battalion of Saxons cross the first bridge and are about to face off against the Prussian reinforcements coming from the left. Another Gulp! That’s it for the French reinforcements but there are plenty more vengeful Prussians yet to come.

 … and then some more time passed by …

Sharp Practice 2014 3

Above: in the distance the French battalion is on the bridge and fervently hoping that they get to move before the landwehr gets to fire again. The supporting Saxon battalion that was on the Frenchmen’s right flank and firing at the barricade’s defenders have taken a pasting in return and are now about to cross the bridge in the foreground of the photograph!!! though the CinC should be able to arrest their retrograde movement.

The Bavarian Light Infantry are trying to keep Prussians off the flank and rear of the French battalion while the Bavarian cavalry are moving up to the front.

Prussian Fusiliers move through the town on their way to the vicinity of the far bridge while in the foreground the landwehr prepare to bayonet the Saxons to their front. And another battalion of Prussians arrive on the battlefield on the right.

It’s all down to the French battalion and its charge over the bridge. A chance for them to be real heroes.

von Peter himself has been guilty of keeping his best general in the rear areas recovering units rather than having him at the front bolstering the attack. To some degree this resulted from his late appearance – the arrival of all units including commander types was randomised – but the fleeing battalion of Saxons in the last photograph will look accusingly at him as they wonder where he was when they were getting shot up at the front with no help from the brass.

A turn or so left in the game. May the best French side win!!  8O)

More Calpe Prussians

Continuing the unveiling of The son & heir’s resculpted Calpe Miniatures advancing Prussians. See Old News if this is all a bit of a mystery. Two more packs this time around.

The figures are presented as they arrived excepting the removal of the occasional ‘runner’ and the splashing on of a home made black wash in an attempt to accentuate the figure details. The usefulness of the wash varies markedly from figure to figure.

P5 Advancing command pack

Comprising a standard bearer, a drummer and an NCO so as to hold aloft the battalion standard, provide the cadence to keep the battalion in step and generally keep the men in hand should they get a little excited.

P5 Advancing command pack front

P5 Advancing command pack back

P7 Falling casualties

Who doesn’t like casualty figures and these falling casualties are just the thing to bring your battalions to life!  Ha ha ha.

The cavity at the bottom of the middle figure’s right arm is not the result of overly enthusiastic sculpting of a cannonball strike. A separate hand holding a musket is provided which is inserted and glued in place. von Peter himself suspects that the reason for this is to do with the difficulties of casting the figure if it were one piece but it has the added benefit of allowing the hand and musket to be glued in a variety of angles for that extra bit of variety.

P7 Falling casualties front


P7 Falling casualties back

For the record this three figure casualty pack helped to create a fourth casualty. To ‘wash’ the figures von Peter himself glued them to old paint pots using PVA/wood glue. Usually the bond created by the PVA glue is easily broken but this time around the figures seemed to like their bottles and didn’t want to be separated. So out came the trusty modelling knife to assist in the process. The first figure was removed after a little cursing and muttering. The second was then popped off by sliding the knife between the bottom of the figure’s base and the bottle top and deeply into the left hand index finger von Peter himself. Queue an immediate increase in the volume and rate of cursing and muttering. What a damnably stupid thing to do. Normally von Peter himself prides himself on doing the safe and sensible thing around sharp implements … but there are exceptons it seems.

Blood started to flow in impressive quantities and von Peter himself realised the true horror of the situation. It was late at night, von Peter himself was the only one awake and if help was required then Fraulien von Peter herself would need to be awakened. And the good Fraulien was having her pre birthday sleep!! Perhaps it would be better to bleed for a while and see how events panned out! And there was still a third figure to prise off a third bottle top so that the photographs could be taken! Oh the horror!!  8O)

The good news is that von Peter himself survived. At least to date. The finger is tightly bound and bandaged and is not yet as good as new. The photographs were taken and you are reading this dubious prose. Medals for gallantry are anticipated!

Work provides access to a military museum

Back in March von Peter himself was involved in a conference that was convened at the NZ Army’s Waiouru Military Camp in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand. Not  surprisingly Waiouru Military Camp is VERY close to the township of Waiouru and on the edge of Waiouru is the National Army Museum. It has been a few years since the National Army Museum hosted a state visit by von Peter himself so when the opportunity presented itself for a quick visit that opportunity was snapped up.

There is quite a selection of displays to view covering the various wars that Kiwis have fought in and is well worth a visit. On the occasion of this state visit von Peter himself had his trusty iPod Touch to hand and used it to snap a few of the displays. Apologies for the quality of the photography. The venue has dimmed lighting which does not bode well for a strictly amateur photographer and his iPod Touch!

National Army Museum - horses

There is currently … or at least was … a display on New Zealand’s war horses. Apparently over 20,000 left New Zealand for the Anglo-Boer War and World War I and only 5 made it back! If the memory serves correctly the above photo is of a display replicating the results of rear area shelling in France during WWI.

National Army Museum loading landing craft

The above photograph would appear to be a scene out of World War II with the troops clambering down the side of their transport into a landing craft. Good luck on the beach lads! It can be viewed from a walkway looking down or from ground level looking up as per this view.

As always don’t forget that you can <click> on any image for a larger and clearer view.

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

Old news

HMS Victory

von Peter himself had cause to mention in the post before last how in a state of excitement brought on by playing Sharp Practice the The son & heir had availed himself of a unit of Prussian Silesian volunteer jager from von Peter’s stock of unpainted figures. And how the paint was applied in a very efficient and speedy manner – damn him for this ability to quickly paint units – and how the figures were then based. Well … almost based. All is complete except for the final stage of applying the tufts which von Peter himself kindly and generously makes available in a variety of sizes and colours. After a series of intense interrogations it transpires that the tufts will most likely not be applied until the school’s end of term break when school work is less pressing … and perhaps Napoleon Total War less diverting! Said unit will be displayed here when the basing is complete. A strict editorial policy don’t you know.   8O)

The almost completion of the jagers may not have resulted in them being outed here in a photographic format but they did spur the ever philanthropical von Peter himself to conscript the next battalion for The son & heir’s Prussian force from Calpe Miniatures. A unit of resculpted Prussian musketeers in the advancing pose was ordered and received. And so the first of the resculpted Prussian infantry made their way into Schloss von Peter.

Sometimes the hard decisions need to be made. The son &heir is not to take possession of the musketeers until they have been photographed for this here blog. Three packs duly photographed and presented here for your delectification. Three more to come at some stage.

von Peter himself will allow for the proverbial thousand words to be spoken by each picture but he will say that the big difference between these figures and the original Prussian releases is in the shape of the covered shako. Also von Peter himself has a feeling that the figures have trimmed down a little though the blanket rolls make this a little difficult to fully discern. And Mr Calpe’s sculpting has developed over the years.

A home made black wash has been applied to the figures in an attempt to bring out some of the detail. This has been more successful on some figures than others. Damnation … where is my Badab Black GW?! The only other preparation was the removal of some ‘runners’ left over from the casting process. As usual with Calpe Miniatures these are very clean castings.

On with the show …

P1 Advancing musketeers with levelled muskets

14-03-18 P1 Advancing musketeers with levelled muskets - front

14-03-18 P1 Advancing musketeers with levelled muskets - back


P3 Advancing musketeers with 45 deg muskets

P3 Advancing musketeers with 45 deg muskets - front

P3 Advancing musketeers with 45 deg muskets - back


P4 Alternative head variants of P3

P4 Alternative head variants of P3 - front

P4 Alternative head variants of P3 - back


Hobby – what hobby?!

Besides a nightly session scanning the internet, a few games over the Christmas period and chatting with friends von Peter himself has been remiss in his hobby activities for several months now. The paint brushes have remained undisturbed and several of the paints have possibly dried up! This is a totally unacceptable state of affairs and needs to change. The arrival of a painted command stand and a battalion of Napoleonic Bavarians from Nigel Fun-nel may <gulp!> help kick start this rejuvenation as horses need to be painted and the figures based. Hopefully some Bavarians will be on display here soon.

The heading picture

There will be few reading this blog who would not be able to identify the vessel in the heading photo. Of course HMS Victory’s most famous day was when she acted as Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar but she served for much longer than that one glorious day. von Peter himself ably assisted by The son & heir boarded her on the 14th June 2009 during The families overseas adventure. It seems like only yesterday and so long ago all at the same time.

Note that von Peter himself arranged for some regular sized humans to be included in the picture so that the readers will get a sense of scale. You’re welcome!

There is no particular reason for this picture being selected so apologies to anyone who got excited thinking Napoleonic naval was a topic for discussion. Though von Peter himself will own up to owning several Langton Miniatures 1/1200 Napoleonic vessels … … …   8O)

As always don’t forget to <click> on any image for a larger and clearer view.

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself