For sartorial elegance … a gas mask

In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.

Games Workshop publish a little Science Fiction game called Warhammer 40,000 which is colloquially known as Warhammer 40K or just 40K. Maybe The dear reader has heard of it. The son & heir and some of his friends certainly have. And ever since he has played 40k The son & heir has been knee deep in the masses that are the Imperial Guard*. 

* Perhaps now renamed to Astra Militarum? It’s all a little confusing when one does not follow these things closely, one is not involved in the game and the new versions seem to continually change things.

At some stage The son & heir decided that the regular Imperial Guard forces sold by Games Workshop were not expensive enough and fell for the gas masked trench coat wearing Death Korps of Krieg regiments as sold by Forge World. And so some Death Korps figures were procured.

Above: the commander stalks out to the tree line to “observe”. Note the blast damage on the base.

Originally the plan was to paint them in a colour scheme reminiscent of French WWI troops but that changed somewhere along the line. With the passage of time the idea of the original paint scheme has been revived. While home for a break from the studies in Dunedin The son & heir dug out a command figure – and some of the paints of von Peter himself!! 😯 – and pigmented a command figure. Other figures were started but not completed so they don’t get to feature here. At least not yet.

Above: having “observed” the commander turns and stalks back into the tree line. More blast damage to the back of the base.

von Peter himself is of the belief that all of the Death Korps of Krieg models – even the horses – are presented with their gas masks firmly in the “on” position. One can never be too careful you know! von Peter himself must further assert that this thematic device often brings to mind “The Spy vs spy” cartoon he used to read as a younger man. Perhaps this is not quite the linkage that Games Workshop were looking for.  😃

Or are the gas masks simply hiding the snouts of rat men – the Skaven of Games Workshop’s fantasy game – in space?! Perhaps there is a dark storyline yet to be revealed. Perhaps not but maybe this provides a clue as to why the Death Korps of Krieg were so alluring to The son & heir. One of his Fantasy armies was none other than the dirty cheating cowardly low life snouted Skaven!!!

Above: A pack of rats from The son & heirs Skaven army. The photo dates from February 2011.

Back to proper historical figures next. At least that is the hope plan!  😃

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

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1st Saxon Foot battery (6pdr) “Dietrich”

Goldie’s birthday bash wargame was looming over the horizon. von Peter himself Prince Poniatowski knew what his order of battle would be and between the local Polish resources and those of Garage Gaming Terry they could be provisioned. Except for a foot battery.

There is a Polish foot battery resident in Neu Schloss von Peter. The problem was that it resided in the unpigmented figure pile and Nigel Fun-nell – the painter of Napoleonic things Polish to von Peter himself – had already been tasked with applying the appropriate pigmentations to a second Polish infantry battalion. So an actual Polish battery was not going to happen.

Also residing in the unpigmented figure pile were – and still are! – several batteries of Calpe Miniatures Saxon foot artillery. And a battery of these was hovering near the top of the units to pigment list. And von Peter himself would be the designated pigmenter. The pigmenting of 1st Saxon Foot battery (6pdr) “Dietrich” commenced.

The usual procedure in Neu Schloss von Peter when creating artillery batteries is that the battery is represented by two cannon – or three for the large Russian batteries not that that is relevant here! – and a crew of four figures for each cannon. Calpe dispense their Saxon Artillery in packs of four figures – a loader, a rammer, a vent man and a firer – posed so as to present a gun crew all working in a synchronised manner towards the same goal. This is good. What wasn’t so good is that Calpe also sell a couple of packs of NCO gun captains and a battery command pack that contains amongst other items some artillery officers. Now how could one in good conscience not provide command figures for each of the two cannon – an officer for one and an NCO gun captain for the other. So now we have five crewmen for each cannon. A whole two extra figures to paint! Damn those cunning marketers at Calpe Towers!! 😃

As mentioned the gun crew packs come with four figures. What wasn’t mentioned was that all those figures in each pack wear the same head gear – either covered shakos or uncovered shakos. There is also one outlier pack of “Head and forage cap variants”. Upon receiving the packs von Peter himself assumed that when the time came to paint them that he would just pick a pack and use it in its entirety as supplied to crew a cannon. The problem was that doing this would mean that all the crew for a cannon would either wear covered or uncovered shakos … or “Head and forage cap variants”. This did not seem right so each cannon is crewed by figures extracted from different packs giving a mix of covered shakos, uncovered shakos and “Head and forage cap variants”. This provided a much more satisfying result. It must be the rebel in von Peter himself! Take that you marketers at Calpe Towers. 😇

The placement of the figures is a bit less random than is normally the case for the batteries of von Peter himself. This is because the Guides and Research section of the Calpe Miniatures website has a section on the Saxon Foot Artillery which not only supplies details on the uniforms but also the placement and activities of the various crew specialties. It is to be hoped that von Peter himself has managed to interpret and replicate the positioning of the crewmen with at least a modicum of accuracy.

Uniform details were distilled from two main sources …

  • the aforementioned Guides and Research section on the Calpe website
  • The Peter Bunde Brigade Uniform Plate 188 – Kingdom of Saxony Foot Artillery & Engineer Corps 1810-1813. von Peter himself sourced his from Calpe Miniatures but they are also available from the Brigade Uniform Plates website. Don’t forget to change the little flag at the top of the screen to the Union Jack if you are ignorant and mostly speak English!
  • and a third source – yes von Peter himself knows that he said two! – was the painted Saxon Foot Artillery pack “SA6 – Team 1 covered shakos” on the Calpe website with both front and rear views available. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

The more astute of The dear readership will have noticed that the wheels on the two cannon are different. One set is finer and more detailed. The other is less fine and less detailed! It is thought that the less fine and less detailed are from a preproduction version of the 6 pounder Saxon cannon that von Peter himself got his mitts on … preproduction! Certainly a quick review of the remaining Saxon cannon in stock – 6 & 12 pounders and howitzers – does not reveal any more of the less fine and less detailed wheels. Luck of the draw when von Peter himself pulled the cannon out of the unpigmented figure pile.

If the dreams of von Peter himself are to ever come to fruition then his 24th (Saxon) Division of the Grand Army as it mustered at the end of the 1813 armistice requires one more 6 pounder foot battery and additionally a 12 pounder foot battery from the Corps artillery reserve. Fortunately Calpe produce enough Saxon Foot Artillery packs that there will be no need for the duplication of packs or figures to man the batteries. Excellent provisioning Calpe Towers … and grudging respect to the Calpe marketers.

Above: Saxon artillery earning their keep. Action from The Battle of Grossbeeren (von Peter himself thinks!) – 20th August, 1813

By the usual standards of von Peter himself the battery was painted in rapid mode. The night before Goldie’s birthday bash game saw the completion of the battery with the static grass and tufts added yet that was the result of cunning planning rather than the much more normal blind panic. Nothing short of amazing really! 😇  As usual the Calpe figures made the painting of piping, buttons etc a simple exercise by sculpting the detail in relief. All one has to do is take ones time when picking out the supplied detail.

There are a few touch ups required and a spray to fix the static grass – von Peter himself is a little gun shy of doing this after Varnishgate – but overall von Peter himself is content with his latest unit.

The pictures of the battery are “clickable” and The dear reader is encouraged to do so to see a larger and clearer images.

And in the interest of full disclosure the usual caveat: von Peter himself remains a self confessed Calpe zealot.  🤓

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Polish Infantry appear at the front

As recently mentioned von Peter himself has been honoured with an invitation to play in Goldies Birthday Bash Game. It is believed the game will be based on a portion of The Battle of Leipzig 1813 and von Peter himself is to play the part of the Polish Prince Poniatowski. All that crimson in the uniform should go spiffingly well with von Peter’s varicose veins!!

So it is most fortuitous that von Peter himself has recently commenced his recreation of General de division Dombrowski’s independent 27th (Polish) Division of 1813. Admittedly the current roll call of Poles falls a little short of what is required for the game but each individual gamer’s forces will not be large and that gentlemanly Garage Gaming Terry will make up most of the shortfall … in exchange for the use of some Austrian grenadiers. Worringly there is a distinct possibility that this exchange may end up being none too clever as von Peter himself suspects that he may be seeing those same grenadiers up close and personal in the game. But what can one do?!  

The game will see the blooding of the 1st battalion of the 2nd Polish Infantry Regiment recently raised and itching for a fight. It seemed best to present them here before they are shot, bayoneted and sabred in the battle.

The mildly attentive of The dear readers may have noticed the strap of the horsey tack that goes over the horses snout has not been painted black. von Peter himself wishes he had noticed this before taking the photograph and uploading it to the web for the world to see! Easily rectified of course but who knows when – if ever – a replacement photograph will be created.

And what’s a battalion if it doesn’t have any supporting casualties? So here is a supporting casualty.

The figures are Front Rank Figurines. Pigments applied by Nigel Fun-nell. Figure selection, horse pigmentation and basing by von Peter himself. The flag is a GMB Designs product.

A Polish battery is required for Goldies Birthday Bash Game. von Peter himself has the figures for that Polish battery but they are currently firmly entrenched in the unpigmented pile of figures … ummm …. that are kept as a large strategic reserve! 😃 In the fullness of time Nigel Fun-nell – the pigmenter of things Polish to von Peter himself – will get these.

Also squirrelled away were some Calpe Miniatures Saxon foot artillerymen that needed pigmenting so a batteries worth were extracted from that unpigmented pile of figures and pigmenting commenced. Historically the Poles & Saxons had a shared relationship so von Peter himself has no qualms substituting a Saxon foot battery in for a Polish one. Miraculously it looks like the battery will be finished in time for the game. Admittedly there won’t be much time to spare but on present trending it should get there. A work in progress image has been deployed below by way of proof that the artillerymen at least are not just fragments of a fevered imagination. More pretty Saxons … but still in that manly way you understand.

Further details on the Saxon 6pdr foot battery in the future.

Todays top tip: all photographs are clickable for a larger and clearer view.

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Varnishgate

The men of the Polish 2nd Uhlans have been sworn in to the Napoleonic Polish Army of von Peter’s himself. But not without incident.  😥

All was well until the penultimate stage of their formation – the varnishing stage. von Peter himself cannot recall ever having problems with varnish before but sadly this is no longer the case. A can of Army Painter “Anti-Shine” was procured and tested and all seemed well. A light spray was applied to the figures as the first of several planned layers … but it soon became evident that not all was well! 💀

On inspection the figures were revealed to be frosted! And what had been smooth surfaces now had a distinctly rough feel to them!! Bad words may have been uttered. This was a first Army Painter purchase and though it may not be the cans fault there will not be a big rush to acquire many more of their products. This is life and death “stuff” we are talking here after all!

Apparently one potential solution is to respray the varnish with the theory being that this will dissolve the applied varnish and all will hopefully dry correctly. von Peter himself was not brave enough to attempt this technique as his first remedy. It was discovered that rubbing a damp finger over the affected areas seemed to slowly remove the varnish or at least improve its looks. So rubbing has been undertaken though a close look at the picture below will reveal that more is required. As evidence see the dusty looks around the front legs of the leading elite uhlan’s horse and the white speckle marks on the neck of his fellow elite uhlan’s horse. A click on the image will reveal the flaws more clearly. More remedial work required.

It’s all a bit of a let down. Sob!

Close inspection of the image below may also reveal a horse without a rider. Uhlan Wolkonski has been delayed in his journey from the recruiting school to the front. He is expected imminently.

Front Rank Figurines figures, GMB Designs flag and pennons, men pigmented by Nigel Fun-nell, horses and basing by von Peter himself. Varnish supplied by Army Painter.

Above: General de brigade Krukowiecki watches the 2nd Uhlans pass through a Russian village.

“Zere iz somezing not quite right vith za men today. Zey seem to lack zeir normal lustre”

More fantasy Arabs

The son & heir has long since returned to Dunedin in preparation for another year of hard working study. At least that is his parents dream – the hard working bit! 😃 Of course there was no room in his luggage for any figures … and of course he wants to continue painting some and even play with them. So von Peter himself carefully packed up some paints and brushes and his Lord of the Rings Haradrim – minus the painted cavalry for which there was no room for such fragile sculpts – and sent them down.

Three of the figures packed and sent were painting in progress Haradrim Abrakhân Merchant Guards. These are big men of fearsome strength if von Peter himself has the fluff understood. They looked interesting so a quick photograph before they disappeared into the box was snapped and here it is …

 

von Peter himself has been invited to a Birthday Bash game in early April – thank you Goldie. The scenario is based on a portion of Leipzig 1813 and von Peter himself is to play the part the Polish Prince Poniatowski. As long as a swim is not required at the end of the game von Peter himself is happy enough with his allocated role. This is especially so as the Poles are currently getting some attention at Neu Schloss von Peter. It may even be that a few Poles will be available to be sourced locally for the game.

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Send for the 2nd Uhlans

It’s time to unveil the first three – six if you count the horses separately!  😎  – figures for the latest Napoleonic nation to be represented in the stables of von Peter himself. The impending arrival of the Poles of the Duchy of Warsaw has been foreshadowed for a little while and it has finally now begun.

Nap Polish General de brigade Krukowiecki 1

Above: General de brigade Krukowiecki spies out the ground for the following Polish forces

The more dedicated of The dear readers will be aware that the 28mm Napoleonics of von Peter himself are fashioned after the armies of the 1813 campaign. Post the Armistice of Plesswitz to be precise. Further as a dedicated follower of history the various national army contingents are generally collected to replicate actual orders of battle of the period. For the Poles this means the independent 27th (Polish) Division under the command of General de division Dombrowski from around the time of the Battle of Leipzig. A nice compact four battalions and 2 cavalry regiments …

27th (Polish) Division: General de division Dombrowski

  • Brigade: General de brigade Zoltowski
    • 1/2nd Polish Line Regiment
    • 2/2nd Polish Line Regiment
    • 1/4th Polish Line Regiment
    • 2/4th Polish Line Regiment
    • Foot battery
  • 18th Light Cavalry Brigade: General de brigade Krukowiecki
    • 2nd Polish Uhlan Regiment
    • 4th Polish Uhlan Regiment
    • 1st Polish Horse Battery

The 4th Uhlans are interesting in that they were originally the 4th Chasseur à Cheval Regiment. In early 1813 they were converted into uhlans. It is the belief of von Peter himself that by Leipzig the unit would have transitioned into its uhlan style uniform. A uniform not quite the same as the usual uhlan uniform. The search for suitable figures continues … sporadically.

To set the Polish ball rolling von Peter himself presents General de brigade Krukowiecki, brave leader of the 18th Light Cavalry Brigade.

Nap Polish General de brigade Krukowiecki 2

Above: General de brigade Krukowiecki has summoned his Aide de Camp to deliver an order – the 2nd Uhlans are to be brought on to the field of battle. The requisitioned trumpeter of the 2nd Uhlans looks on.

The trumpeter of the 2nd Uhlans wears the regimental trumpeters uniform as documented from 1809. Perhaps it would not have survived into 1813 … but perhaps it did! With information a little scant on the ground von Peter himself has ordered that the 1809 uniforms be retrieved from the regimental stores. They’re just too pretty to leave to be eaten by the moths in the stores!  😎

The figures are sourced from Front Rank Figurines. The Poles are a later released line of figures from From Rank and to the eyes of von Peter himself these figures most comfortably sit alongside the Calpe Miniatures figures which are an ever growing proportion of the Napoleonic collection. They also match the other Front Rank figures in the Napoleonic collection!  😀

The chaps were pigmented by Nigel Fun-nell. Horses, choreography and basing by von Peter himself.

Next up will be the 2nd Uhlans. The figures are in hand but their steeds need further work, pennons need hoisting etc. It’s best not to rush these things you know!!

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

Snippets #9

The good von Peter himself and even better Fraulien von Peter herself availed themselves of a Singapore Airlines sale and spent a few days offshore celebrating their joint wedding anniversary and the few days not working. The dear reader can decide which of those two aspects was the more important. 😃 Those away days account for some of the lack of local productivity. Assorted distractions and general idleness cover the remainder. But the lack of local news should not deprive The dear readership of an update out of Neu Schloss von Peter. That would just be cruel, unjust and just plain unfair! So …

 

A new General d’Armee video

A brand new instructional video for the Napoleonic rules General d’Armee starring the rules author Dave Brown has been created. At the time of typing von Peter himself has only viewed a few minutes of said production but what was seen was well worth the time invested. The tactical options available in various situations were discussed as well as the expected rules discussions. From the viewing so far – a big fat “vPh Recommended”.

 

Oddcast Number Ten

The TooFatLardies have released Episode Ten of the TwoFatLardies Oddcast podcast. It  can be directly got at here. Apparently …

Our regular team are joined in the studio by international wargaming celebrity Dave Brown as they discuss Richard’s recent visit to Historicon, the demise of the Summer Special and this episode’s Big Issue, BIG Battles.

Unlike the video above of which von Peter himself has viewed only a few minutes this podcast is totally unlistened to by the same von Peter himself. However, based on the experience of the preceding nine episodes the risk of advertising episode ten and it turning out to be a turkey does not seem that great.

Dave Brown is certainly getting around – see the prior item. But then what else would one would expect from an “international wargaming celebrity”.

 

Calpe Saxon Foot Artillery now online

One way or another von Peter himself has been banging on about the Calpe Miniatures  Saxon Foot Artillery for a few posts now. So why stop now?! 😃

The latest is that the gunner packs have now found their way on to the Calpe Miniatures website. The dear reader can now see pictures – front and back – of all the packs and order them online. Sadly only one of the packs is shown in a painted state as not only do the painted figures provide some tasty eye candy but they also provide an excellent uniform guide. Click here for direct access to the wee chaps.

The image above is ah … um … “backed up” from the Calpe Miniatures website to add a little colour and class to the proceedings here. von Peter himself could not resist including the image below as well because it shows off the detail to be found on the rear of figures.

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself

More Saxon foot artillerymen immigrate to NZ

As told in several of the preceding posts Calpe Miniatures have released their Saxon Foot Artillery … though their website is yet too catch up! von Peter himself already had five packs of gunners in hand – see SA stands for Saxon Artillery – and now the NCOs, officers and a few “others” have arrived so that finally it will be possible to create the gun crews for a battery … or two. It is these NCOs, officers and “others” that are the reason for this post.

When selecting the latest artillerymen von Peter himself foresook his default preference for uncovered shakos. These all have covered shakos to reduce the bling and represent what was probably the more likely occurrence of covered shakos being the more common in the field.

Still being of a rather idle disposition von Peter himself proposes to let a couple of images of each pack top all the talking. But first the usual stock standard copy and pasted caveats …

  • The figures are presented as they arrived excepting that the larger runners inherent in the casting progress have been removed with a craft knife and the fingers of von Peter himself. The same fingers straightened any bent ram rods etc
  • The figures have been cunningly rearranged between the front and back images so that the figures in the matching front and back photographs match left to right. Ahh … that is to say for example that the figure second on the left is the same figure in the front and back photos. If this has not been adequately explained then don’t worry about it as it probably doesn’t matter. Just be aware that von Peter himself went that extra step to the benefit of The dear reader
  • von Peter himself has quickly ‘washed’ the figures with ‘Shader Black’ from Coat d’arms to bring out the details a little
  • While marvelling at the figures please remember that they are presented in larger than life size … depending on The dear readers device of course!
  • ‘Click’ the photos for a larger and clearer image.

Above: SA15 – NCOs (gun captains) covered shakos

 

Above: SA17 – “Others” pack. Three ammunition runners and three trail spike holders, covered shakos

 

Above: SA19 – Battery command – mounted officer, two foot officers, sapper, drummer, Feldwebel. (only available in covered shakos).

FYI – the images do not do justice to the mounted officer.

 

The feeling in Neu Schloss von Peter is that a Saxon foot battery will most likely be the next unit to be painted. But there are still several non unit paint jobs – leaders, limbers, horses etc – sitting partially completed on the painting table. The order of anything being painted truly is a lottery. And there has not been a lot of painting happening recently. Perhaps it’s time to don a hair shirt until the behaviour improves.

 

Enough.

Until we meet again …

Salute
von Peter himself