Lock down – what good is it anyway?

It’s been nearly two weeks of the official Covid-19 lock down here in New Zealand. Though he is working from home surely von Peter himself has managed to bestir himself and use some of that time to progress things of a wargaming hobby nature. “Hell yeah” is the answer to that particular question though not in ways expected.


Dealing to Slingshot

The stack of unread Slingshot magazines – the Journal of the Society of Ancients – has been whittled down to one almost completely read issue. When the time came to sign up for another year of society membership a little humming and ha’ing was undertaken but ultimately the money was spent for the year’s membership. Like all magazines the articles in Slingshot may not always be of direct interest but they are usually satisfying reading and having paid for them von Peter himself makes sure to read every word! To be honest much of the whittling down of unread issues occurred pre lock down but not all so diminishing the pile of unread goes into the lock down hobby achievement pile.



von Peter himself has long been a proponent of magnetising his figure bases. It makes transporting figures so much simpler. Unconscionably the practice of actually magnetising the 28mm Napoleonic collection had slipped somewhat due to a shortage of magnetic material that remained un-remedied for a period of time. Outrageous. Magnetic material was duly acquired only to be placed mostly unused in the bag with the plywood base supply. Cue more righteous outrage.

Finally a move was made to magnetise a unit. Then another. Then a casualty base. And then more units, casualties and command stands were called up for the “treatment”. From the lowliest casualty to the highest ranked local Austrian – FZM Graf H. Colloredo and his staff – many have been dealt too. To date 68 bases have been dealt to. Phew. But the unglamorous work is never done and there’s more to do. Mostly the bigger bases – at least one artillery battery and a few command stands – which require more substantial magnetic substrate.


18mm delights from the past

When Nigel Fun-New returned the latest tranch of his 28mm Napoleonic pigmentation efforts on behalf of von Peter himself– the 1/4th Polish Infantry Regiment and a few Austrian command types – he included three battalions of 18mm AB Figures. These were somewhat of a surprise.

Way back in time a few Wellington based gamers dreamt up a scheme to play Napoleonic games in 10mm. But those far sighted gamers were ahead of their time. Several 10mm manufacturers were discovered. Some of them were contacted but to no avail. Pendraken Miniatures and their like did not then exist … or at least we didn’t find them. While searching for a suitable 10mm manufacturer the wonderful 18mm AB Figures hove into view and suddenly we were starting an 18mm project.

Unfortunately the project quickly ended up being of the stillborn variety. von Peter himself had purchased some figures and distributed a portion of them to the aforementioned Nigel F. for pigmentation. And numerous figures had been returned very nicely painted. When The family went to the UK for a year more figures were sent to Nigel. There was never pressure to get them back as there was always a 28mm unit that was required. Finally Nigel got fed up being a holding pen for 18mm figures and he painted those three battalions of 18mm AB Figures that arrived like a long lost memory …

Above: the three battalions of long lost soldiery. Two battalions of Saxon Light Infantry and some spares plus a battalion of Bavarian Light Infantry

The idea of the smaller scale – 10mm then 18mm figures – was to play a higher level game with a base representing a battalion of infantry, a cavalry regiment or half for those double sized cavalry regiments, or a battery. The figures could be mounted however one wanted on the base. It was foreseen that the level of rules would not be too concerned with individual unit formation.

Having received those three battalions and being incarcerated under the lock down von Peter himself came over all curious and dug out (all?) of the previously pigmented 18mm soldiery. The two boxes of them discovered are on display below. The figures are all either Saxons or French. They are all blue tacked to temporary bases and the bases stuck to the box for the move to Neu Schloss von Peter. As can be seen only one base has been completed – a yellow faced regiment of French dragoons.

Above: a closer up look at the yellow faced French dragoons preparing to move out from a Russian village having thoroughly “searched” it. The photo dates from November 2006. Yikes!

Besides the 18mm figures von Peter himself procured a “bunch” of 18mm real estate both Western/Central European and Russian. Even better Craig W. pigmented them with his usual aplomb …

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that von Peter himself may complete the basing of these even littler soldiers. Or at least start the completion of the basing. Nigel F. still has some unpigmented 18mm figures and there are certainly more unpigmented ones here at Neu Schloss von Peter. Hmmm. I wondered what the future holds.


The next locally pigmented unit

There are several outstanding pigmentation projects on the painting desk of von Peter himself. But they are all small bananas. What is needed is the next unit that needs bringing to life. There were many temptations. A battalion of the newly released Saxon Light Infantry? Or perhaps a battalion of Saxon Grenadiers? But the Saxons have been spoilt lately. What about the Prussians. They have lingered unloved for too long. The second battalion of musketeers or a regiment of cavalry? In the end the second battalion of the 4th Reserve Infantry in their British supplied Portuguese styled uniform got the pick. With all that damned lace and piping they will no doubt wrench a curse or two from von Peter himself as they get pigmented. But all that lace and piping won’t go away and the unit is needed for the hard pressed men of the 3rd Prussian Brigade of 1813.

It is to be hoped that the appropriate blue can be identified. You know – the same one as on the first battalion. Gulp.

Above: The 1/4th Reserve Infantry Regiment behind what is hoped will transform into the 2/4th Reserve Infantry Regiment. The muskets – and accompanying hands! – are for the six Trail Arms figures in the second battalion


What needs to move off the painting desk?

So what is currently residing on the painting desk? Errr …ummm, please excuse the dust!

Back row left to right …

  • a fantasy mounted knight. His chances of further pigmentation the near future are tending towards zero but there he sits forlornly waiting
  • the next four horses are bound for a Prussian limber
  • next up are two Prussian mounted Feldjager and their horses (to eventually make them mounted … please keep up! 😃). The figure lying on the ground in front of them is another mounted Feldjager with the plan being to paint the three at once. These figures are for use as individual ADCs or on command stands.

Middle row left to right …

  • two horses for the two senior Saxons officers to their immediate front
  • a Napoleonic civilian of the female persuasion
  • a Prussian casualty
  • a Saxon casualty.

Front row left to right …

  • a horse for the Austrian mounted officer (coming along shortly)
  • a horse for a future Austrian general. The cunning plan was to paint it at the same time and in the same colours as the prior horse. Cunning or what?
  • the figure lying in a bed of paper tissue is the mounted Austrian officer for the first horse on the row.
  • a Saxon colonel and adjoint who along with a previously painted ADC will comprise a Brigade command stand
  • Four Frenchmen to complete a French battalion.

Nothing too intimidating. So why are they all still there?! Most of them have been idling on the desk for quite a while having suffered the indignity of watching other figures – even whole units! – come and go. They’ll all have to get a move on. The 2/4th Reserve Infantry Regiment will be wanting that real estate on the painting desk.


And of course there is always the internet

Ah yes. It must be admitted that by using time as a measure the internet has consumed most of von Peter’s hobby time. By quite a margin. So has it been for many moons now and most likely will for many moons to come. Both a blessing and a curse.


All the photos are clickable for a larger and clearer view.

Take the greatest care out there.



Until we meet again …

von Peter himself

A bit on the NZ bit of ANZAC

We are now well past the halfway point of January 2015. Yikes! von Peter himself remembers being told as a young boy by his maternal grandmother that the older you are the faster time passes. A very sage observation but she never warned the awkward youngster of the sheer brutal speed that time could attain!! So quickly on with this the second post of 2015 before the first half of 2015 passes!  😃

Thankfully Christmas 2014 keeps on giving. A box of newly minted Calpe French has been receipted into stock and a second of new French and Saxons is looked for in the coming weeks. Despite the best attempts of The family life is good!  😃

An ANZAC endeavour

Some of the dear readers may have heard of Sir Peter Jackson the movie guy. Said Sir Peter Jackson has quite an interest in militaria and has a business relationship with the Perrys going back several years. All of which helps to account for his and their involvement in a project to create a Gallipoli diorama constituted of 4000 x 54mm figures as created by those Perry twins.

Packing figures for NZ

The Perry twins and helper packing the first consignment of figures

Sir Peter will provide the figures and diorama but the whole show would look much better if the figures were painted. This is where the assistance of the humble Kiwi wargamer has been requested.

See Sir Peter Jackson needs Kiwi war gamers for more details of the project and the call to arms paint brushes. Also keep an eye on Roly’s Dressing the Lines blog for the announcement of the dedicated support site for the project. Even the Perrys have come clean on the project.

Prepare to man your guns brushes.

Turk and NZ 1st batch

Some of the Kiwi and Turkish models comprising the first consignment


Perry Miniatures Heroes of Waterloo vignette

Speaking of the Perrys …

A hard contest


A Perry Miniatures newsletter included the above image and proudly proclaimed that …

This is the first of series of vignettes depicting episodes during the Waterloo campaign for this anniversary year.

Sergeant Ewart and his associated French victims are a very nice set but perhaps of limited use on the gaming table. Then again the set is advertised as a vignette and a diorama so scratch that observation.

Any thoughts on what the other sets could be? Perhaps Wellington meeting with Blücher?

Front Rank Russian Reinforcement Pack update

Speaking of Perry Miniatures one of their competitors Front Rank Figurines has added a little more detail to their upcoming Russian Reinforcement Pack release(s) via there newsletter …

Alec is now working on Napoleonic Russian Reinforcement Packs to add to our Russian 1812 range. These new figures will include more Line Infantry variants, plus infantry in 1809 style shakos, PLUS the long awaited Russian Guard!
They should be available late Feb/early March 2015 – look out for our newsletter!

von Peter himself will be watching for these with interest. At some stage he may very well be needing those two extra Russian grenadier battalions to complete his reserve brigade of Colonel Acht.


New AB Figures website

Speaking of miniatures manufacturing companies … well here’s some news on another one …

AB Figures graphic

AB Figures – makers of …

  • a large and expanding selection of 18mm Napoleonic
  • a select selection of 18mm Ancients
  • 15mm American Civil War
  • 20mm WWI – one pack of British Tank crew
  • 20mm WWII

figures has a new website.

The Napoleonics and WWII are best known to von Peter himself. Truly great figures that put some larger sized figure manufacturers in the shade.

AB Figs French dragoons

AB Figures French dragoons. Remember that these guys are 18mm in size. Nice painting Nigel Fun-nell. Wonderful composition and basing von Peter himself!!


A third Russian building

Another Russian Hovels building has dropped out of the bottom of the production line. A little larger than the proceeding two. Yes – von Peter himself is still on the job sloshing around paint, glue, flock etc.

Russian buildings 1 thru 3

Father Disputin – wild ancestor of a certain Rasputin – looks for the faithful with one eye while looking very closely for heathen invaders to bless with his pistol. The latest addition to the village is the middle building which is a little larger than the other two. The headman’s house until something better comes along.


Game at Greg’s

Not only is von Peter himself still painting but he has even indulged in a game. So … Roly’s wife was talking to Matt’s wife when it was discovered that their husbands were both children at heart and played with toy soldiers. Roly then met Matt and discovered that Matt basically lived across the road from wargaming Greg … and had done so for many years. So much for that friendly neighbourhood then!

Matt plays 40k and Fantasy and was interested in some historical wargaming. So a game of Napoleonic Black Powder was played at Greg’s in the throes of being renovated house. Greg & von Peter himself provided the leadership for some of Greg’s Russians vs. Roly with von Peter’s Bavarians and Matt with some of Roly’s French.

The game involved much looking up of the rules – it had been a while! – and the forces grinding each other to a standstill. von Peter himself had cunningly got a battalion on the Bavarians flank as a game winning masterstroke but the battalion repeatedly ignored the pleas of their commander to charge the open flanks presented to them. The only reason that they eventually got involved in the game at all was that a Bavarian battalion turned to face and charged them!!! Needless to say this would never have happened had von Peter himself taken along his own Russians. Much more reliable troops!!

von Peter himself snapped a few photos of the game in progress but they were all rubbish and not worthy of this here blog or the dear readers so no picture(s) . Sorry.

More of Matt’s hobby activities in a future post.


The Army of the Kingdom of Italy 1805-1814

Speaking of the game at Greg’s there were no Italians on the table but that could soon change. What a perfectly desperate linking sentence!

The The History Book Man have released their latest e-book – The Army of the Kingdom of Italy 1805-1814. From the announcement email …

THE ARMY OF THE KINGDOM OF ITALY 1805-1814 The original paperback edition of this title was published in 1977 with a revised edition in 1982 and was reprinted 13 times finally going out of print in 1984. The new e-book edition has been completely rewritten with all new colour illustrations, many from contemporary or well known sources and finally uses the original colour illustrations never used in the original editions.

Now 389 pages with almost 800 colour illustrations

As he has ranted before regarding this series at £3.99 plus postage von Peter himself considers the value for money equation is hard to beat for this cd.

von Peter himself has a copy on order for the benefit of The son & heir who has a battalion that he wishes to paint up as Italians. Yes he has extracted yet more money from the old man’s coffers. Well done The son & heir!

The Army of the Kingdom of Italy 1805-1814



This post started with a reference to New Zealand’s involvement in WWI so what better way to end it? And certainly this section should not be construed as a naked grab for the model railway market … though should they have the good sense to pay a visit or two who is von Peter himself to turn them away?!  😃

AB 608, Passchendaele

On a hot summers day shortly after Christmas The family piled into the car to visit some friends in the back roads of the Wairarapa – a province to the north of Wellington, New Zealand. On the return journey The family ended up driving alongside AB 608, the Passchendaele memorial locomotive as it pulled an excursion train around the countryside. Many were the cars that had stopped so that there occupants could cast admiring glances and take photographs of the locomotive from an era past. There seemed to be a level of general excitement and appreciation amongst the human onlookers … unlike the cattle in paddocks adjacent to the rail tracks who were high tailing it away from the snorting belching monster just as fast as they could. The problem with your modern day bovine is that it has no sense of history!!

AB 608, Passchendaele nameplate


That’s all for now dear readers. Don’t forget to click on the images for larger and clearer views.

Until we meet again …

von Peter himself