RSS

Category Archives: Victrix

Régiment Joséph Napoleon / Régiment Éspanol

Régiment Joséph Napoleon / Régiment Éspanol

So here it is… the next French unit for my Völkerschlacht / Möckern project. The Régiment Espaniol, also known as the Régiment Joséph Napoleon.

Now it has quite an interesting history. In 1807 the Bourbon Monarchs of Spain send an expeditionary force to serve in the Grande Armée. The around 10 regiments of all branches were split up and served in Denmark. They were still there when Napoleon forced the Spanish Bourbons to abdicate in 1808 and made his brother Joséph King of Spain. For most of the soldiers serving the expeditionary force this was disgraceful and an insult. So when their commander, the Marquis de la Romana, was contacted by a British agent offering transportation to Spain to fight with the allies, he accepted. Unfortunately he and his men were betrayed by one of their own regiments and over 3.500 soldiers became prisoners of war. Later that year the idea was hatched, that there would be enough men loyal to the French to create a unit to fight in the Peninsular. So by decree of 13th February 1809 the regiment was formed. It consisted of four battalions (three Line, one Depot) all organized to French regulations with four Fusilier, one Voltigeur and one Grenadier companies each. The only difference was that the official language of command was Spanish and that their uniforms were of different colour (white with dark green breast). Formation was slow, since the French wanted to be sure that only those would serve, who would not desert at the first possible chance. So the Regiment was only completely formed by spring of 1810. But Napoleon still did not trust them enough. They were not sent to Spain after all, but split up by battalions and deployed to France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

During Napoleons invasion of Russia in 1812, the whole regiment took part. The second and third battalions as part of I Corps (Davout), first and fourth battalions as part of IV Corps (Prince Eugene). All four fought at Borodino, the third and fourth battalions taking part in the attack on the Great Redoubt. They were badly mauled in the retreat from Russia, just like the rest of the Grande Armée. They took part in the fighting in Germany in 1813, where they were decimated even more. So on December 24th 1813 the remaining troops had to surrender their weapons and were converted to a pioneer regiment, which was disbanded on 17th April 1814.

So now on to the minis themselves. At first I had though about using Perry Miniatures for them, since they had been issued with Bardin uniforms after Russia. But on the other hand, they are not only useful for Leipzig, but even more so for Borodino. So in the end I wanted to keep the option open to expand these minis to use them for Russia. So I went for Victrix minis instead, although with a few Perry heads and arms. Flag is from GMB. I was quite stereotypical with the hair this time, as I went mostly for blacks and browns.
I also wanted to use these as testbed for Austrians, since their uniforms were predominately white as well. Usually I paint white uniforms in shades of light grey, with a final highlight of white. But here I went for creme tones, also with a final highlight of white. Not sure yet if I like it or not. The big problem in my opinion is that it a) looks a bit dirty (which is not too bad for the campaign look) and b) that the dirt around the feet and knees does not really come out. So let me know if you like them or not!

Régiment Joséph Napoleon - Régiment Éspanol

Régiment Joséph Napoleon - Régiment Éspanol

Command base

Command base

Skirmishers

Skirmishers

 

Victrix Plastic Austrian Review

Well I am down with the flu and on sick leave. Not much I can do right now (except watching TV), so I thought I should use the time and write some posts for my blog. Now last year and earlier this year, I wrote a review of Warlords plastic Prussian Landwehr as well the Perry plastic Prussians for Martins Befreiungskriege blog. Both went down well with readers so I thought I would do the same with future releases from other manufacturers as well. Now I know the Victrix Austirans have been out a couple of weeks, but I wanted to pick mine up at Crisis last weekend. Since Victrix could not make it, they shipped my order (a whole 10 boxes plus some metal) out to me and it arrived yesterday. To cut a long story short… here is the review!

General notes:

Now I bought these three boxes:

  • Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1806-1815)
  • Austrian Napoleonic Grenadiers (1798-1815)
  • Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1808-1815)
Victrix Austrian boxes

Victrix Austrian boxes

Now they have one more set and that is the Austrian Napoleonic Infantry (1789-1805) since all three boxes I got are vastly similar (more on that later), I shall review them all in one go.

Contents of the box:

The box contains a total of 56 minis, two of them horse-mounted. There are two different types of sprues in there. The command sprue (included twice) and the infantry sprue (included eight times). They are all cast in a light creme coloured plastic, which is a nice touch, since I suspect most people will prime these white anyway and there is less chance of dark plastic shining through this way.

The command sprue contains two officers (one on horseback), one drummer and one standard-bearer. The horse-mounted officer has his left arm (holding the reigns) molded on, the standard-bearer both his arms (the hands are part of the separate flag pole). There are ample arm options for all of them. Now this sprue is universal for all four of their Austrian sets, since it includes heads for Landwehr, infantry in helmets and shako as well as grenadiers.One more word on the horse. I felt that it looked strange in some of the pre-view shots Victrix released a couple of month ago. So I removed one horse from the sprue and dry fitted it (it comes in two halves). And it looks fine in real life. My better half, who understands more about horses then I do, said that the pose is fine, too.

Victrix Austrian command sprue

Victrix Austrian command sprue

The infantry sprues each contain 6 men all in marching poses. Each pose is represented twice giving you three different poses in total (B1, B2 and B3). Each of them comes with separate heads and backpacks. Now the backpacks are actually irritating me quite a bit since there are twelve on each sprue, giving you twice as many as one needs. [Edit: Half of them have sabres attached, so they are for the grenadiers and for NCO’s] But these can always be used as battlefield debris or to convert a mini from another nation that “foraged” an Austrian backpack. B1 comes with separate arms, B2 has his left arm cast on cradling his musket (shoulder arms) and B3 comes with arms cast on (shoulder arms).

I know the Perrys have caused quite a stir about the Victrix set when they showed previews or their upcoming Austrians stating that a pose similar to B3 would be wrong since the right arm would be too close to the body under Austrian drill regulations. Personally I could not care less, since I really doubt that a soldier marching into combat and being fired at would have cared too much, how much sunlight would pass between his arm and body.

But back to these minis here. There are enough arm options for both B1 and B2 on the sprue, with all kinds of options (firing, loading, shoulder arms, attack, musket butt resting on the ground). B1 one is an excellent pose in a sense that it will look believable in any pose from firing to marching. While only three different infantry poses in a box is little, the variety of arms and separate heads will prevent a cookie cutter look.

Between all three types of boxes I have the infantry sprue was the same, with the exception of the heads, which were unique to each box. Since the heads are always in the same spot on the sprue, I assume the early infantry will share the same bodies, arms and gear as well.

Victrix Austrian Grenadiers infantry sprue

Victrix Austrian Grenadiers infantry sprue

Also included is a flyer with assembly instructions (which arms fit which mini best) and 6 flags. Since the sheet is printed on semi glossy paper and I would advise you to photocopy the flags for use. The flags are nice and have a good contrast. The detail is good so one does not really need aftermarket flags to go with these (no big surprise since one of the owners of Victrix also owns LBMS). Included are the Leib- and Ordinarflagge for the 1792, 1804 and 1806 patterns.

Historical information and information which regiment used which facing colour can be found on the back of the boxes.

Price (as in November 2011):

As mentioned each box contains 56 minis. They retail for 21,95 GB£, which means a price per minis of 0,39 GB£ (cost of the horses not taken into the calculation).

This puts them on the cheap end of plastics.

How does this compare to metals? If you only compare them to the manufacturers that offer Austrian (to my knowledge Foundry)… Alban, Foundry are 1,50 GB£ per mini, Elite are 0,97 GB£, Old Glory between 1,16-1,25 GB£.

So all in all, these are the cheapest solution out there. But how good are they?

Detail:

The minis are very crisp and clear in detail. Opposed to some other manufacturers out there the level of detail is almost equal to that of metal minis. Now this level of detail applies to the whole of the mini. You do not get the flat areas required to remove them from the mould (undercuts) that you see on some plastic minis, due to the fact that they are mildly multipart. Separate parts are so few, that even those who have no modelling skills at all, should not be too challenged.

Mould lines are minimal, and they always run over the easily accessible sides of the minis. The poses are fairly dynamic for marching poses.

Compatibility:

I can not compare them to the Foundry Austrians out there, since I have none. Comparing them to the Foundry Bavarians and Russians… they are slightly slimmer and taller, but not so much so that they should stand out when mixed in a Brigade. I would not mix them in one unit thought since the Foundry muskets are a good deal bigger.

Unfortunately I have none of the others (Alban, Elite, Old Glory) so I can not give you a comparison for either of these.

In general terms they should fit in well with the other 25mm miniatures for the Napoleonic period on the market.

Conclusion:

All in all this is a great set. The level of detail and quality is real good and they offer great value for money. Like all later Victrix boxes they require minimal assembly, which should calm those who had problems with the multitude of options in their earlier boxes (although I miss it).

So if you are not one of those people who hate plastics just for the sake of it, this should be a good set for you.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Miniatures, Nap.: Austrian, Napoleonic, Reviews, Victrix

 

Prussian Feldjäger

So to follow-up yesterdays post, here are some Pictures of my Prussian Feldjäger. Now the Republic to Empire rules have a nice mechanic which only allows brigade orders to be changed if a divisional level officer or above gives them. He can either do so be being close enough or by sending a messenger. Now the later need not be represented on the tabletop, but I feel they should be. Since there are no base sizes given, I decided to go for somewhat larger bases here, to tell little scenes with my messengers.

In the modern German Bundeswehr a Feldjäger basically fulfills the role of military police. In Napoleonic times this was different. Back then they also served as messengers and Calpe has some very nice specimen.

Now the first two come from the PC7 set. I felt the horses had nice energetic poses and wanted to convey that feeling with the base itself. So these two are riding  through a small river or creek with the water splashing up around their hooves. The bank was build up using high density styrofoam. I then added the sand (fine sand for the riverbank and coarse sand for the riverbed). Next I applied something called “Easy Water” to the base. This is a paste for fine scale modelers, that can be applied to plexiglass to give it the look of water. But it can also be applied straight to the base, which I did here. The slashing water itself was build up in three layers until I was satisfied with the looks. The (non slashing) water looks a little milky in some spots, but this is due to the fact that the paste had not completely dried through, when I took the photos and will be clear once 100% dry. The reeds are fibers from the bark of a palm tree.

Feldjäger riding through creek

Feldjäger riding through creek

The second Feldjäger comes from set PC4. I did not just want him to be jumping some fence or wall… I wanted him to look like he was charging through an enemy patrol to deliver his message. To that end I converted a Victrix French fusilier. He is supposed to be in some kind of shock turning towards the enemy he had seen too late or never expected to attack. He is rather pleading to be spared, then actively defending himself, only to be cut down the next moment. Hope I captured that idea. The stonewall was build up using walkway gravel.

Feldjäger attacking Fusilier

Feldjäger attacking fusilier

Just a few last words… after combining yesterdays picture post with some musings, I decided to keep them separate today. So if you are interested in some comments regarding GMB flags and a history lesson about the place where I live… those can be found here.

 

eBay, volcanoes… oh and miniatures

I do not know how you feel, but it is my impression, that eBay has gone from a good site to buy stuff to a run down flea market. Here in Germany you either find professional traders that sell for the same price you can get in any brick and mortar store or people who try to get rid of their trash using the 1 Euro auction (and relist it every week until it sells). So my eBay account has gone mostly unused in recent month. So what a surprise that I actually bid (and won) on 6 auctions this weekend.

I started on Saturday with two Black Dog upgrade kits. These are 1:48th scale stowage for modern US vehicles and should come in very handy with those Hummers and Strikers I am doing at the moment (and maybe if there are some leftovers add to my already finished USMC vehicles).

Next up on Sunday was a die-cast Spürpanzer Fuchs. Now it took me well over a year to get this one three times. When it arrives, all three will be disassembled, converted into the transport version, repainted and finally complete my modern Bundeswehr force.

And last but not least, I got three 1:48th scale WWI bi- and tri-plane kits. Two German and one Australian. While I was not in urgent need for these, they were reasonably cheap and came from one seller (saving me additional shipping).

So right now I am waiting for these to arrive. While talking about waiting for things to arrive and planes. I am waiting for a couple of packages from the UK and it seems they are being delayed by Chuck Norris opening the BBQ season. In other words there is a volcano in Iceland that has decided blow some ash into the air which had an effect on flights to and from Germany last week and seems to be delaying my packages as well. 😦

Grímvötn vulcano on 22nd of May 2011 (NASA picture)

Grímvötn volcano on 22nd of May 2011 (NASA picture)

So what is on my table right now? Well I am working myself through another unit of Prussian Landwehr and finished the bases for the minis I showed you last week. So lets start with a French Brigadier (the Prussian Feldjäger will be added this week). The officer is from Victrix. I painted him up in 2009, this actually being my very first Napoleonic mini. Back then I had planned to make him a regimental officer and put him on a base in a infantry unit, but in the end decided against it. So he lingered around for almost two years now until I decided to base him up as a Brigadier. The other mini on the base is the converted grenadier from last weeks post.

French brigadier

French brigadier

French brigadier

French brigadier

And while we are talking about it… this is the unit he was meant to be part of. This is my first Napoleonic unit I painted, started in 2009 and only finished 8 month later in 2010 due to me working in the south of Germany during that time. Minis are all Victrix. This one is meant to be a generic unit and does not depict any specific unit for a specific battle. Sorry for the strange photo format… these pictures were originally edited for the Steve Dean Painting Competition, where they failed miserably.

Generic French infantry unit

Generic French infantry unit

Close ups

Close ups

So stay tuned for the Feldjäger posts!

 

Napoleonic WIP

I know I have been unreasonably quiet in recent days, so to break that situation… here are a few more pictures.

First up… I finally got to play a game this Friday. If I am not mistaken, this was only the second one I played this year, making it an incredibly poor start to a year. Anyway… we wanted to give the R2E rules another test. Since you have seen virtually all the Nappy minis I have painted so far, it is obvious, that these are not enough to play a proper game (yet). Good luck has it though that one of my friends Dirk, has a vast collection of 15mm Napoleonic minis, so we are using those for playtesting.

R2E playtest

R2E playtest

So what did we do? I got the French and Dirk played Russians. He had a distinct advantage in infantry and a bigger battery of guns, while I had the only cavalry on the table. During the game we had to find, that we had chosen too small a table, with too much terrain. So I had huge problems using my cavalry properly (actually to the point where I failed to do so at all) and that the plans for my infantry had been too ambitious. I lacked the necessary maneuver points to have them perform as wanted in a critical moment and got pretty much beaten up as a result. But the nice thing about it is… we got a lot of close combat and were able to get an in-depth look at that and we found those rules quite satisfactory.

Anyway… what else happened in the past almost two weeks? I am in the process of painting a few minis for a vignette. Minis come from a variety of Perry sets and are meant to depict a French “command centre” (please forgive the use of this very modern term). In general terms it is staff writing orders and handing them out, a messenger arriving on the scene, while Napoleon and his high-ranking officers are planning the next moves at a map table. Now this vignette has a very mixed history. At first I had planned to use it as a table top base showing Napoleons HQ. Then I bought the Perry´s mounted Napoleon set and decided that this would make for a much nicer command base. So I bought a plinth and decided to just do this arrangement for my showcase. But there is still the option to use it without Napoleon, making it a generic army level command base. But right now I am undecided what to do. So I will just paint them up whenever I feel I need a slight break from painting units, see what I like best and decide then. But here are the shots of the first finished pieces.

Map table

Map table

Mounted messanger

Mounted messenger

Writing the orders

Writing the orders

Now I have to say… the faces looked good in real life, but I do not like them at all on these pictures, so I am probably going back to them.

So this is what I did the other weekend. What did I do this last weekend? Prussian Feldjäger. The R2E rules have a nice mechanic, that only allows the changing of Brigade orders if a divisional officer (or above) is within command distance or if he sends a messenger. These need not be represented by actual minis on the tabletop, but what is the use in playing a miniatures game, if you choose not to use minis. So painted these up. Minis are from Calpe and a lot still needs to be done on their bases.

Prussian Feldjäger on jumping horse

Prussian Feldjäger on jumping horse

Two Feldjäger

Two Feldjäger

Two Feldjäger

Two Feldjäger

And last are two French minis that are meant to complete a command and a messenger base. These are Victrix minis converted to fit the bases they are intended for.

Jubilant grenadier

Jubilant grenadier

Fusilier being attacked

Fusilier being attacked

 

42nd Highland “Black Watch”

This is actually the third time I have painted the “Black Watch”. The first time was for a Sci-Fi game called Battletech, but those minis were sold off almost a decade ago, when I turned my back on Sci-Fi.

The next one was a mechanized platoon for my modern troops that I did in 2002 or 2003 and they are still performing a stalwart service. I guess I will have to take a few shots of these in the near future and post them as well.

Now these guys were begun late last year, with about a third of them being painted this side of New Years. They are meant to represent the Regiment at both Quatre Bras and Waterloo. To this end, I simply painted enough for the former and will simply remove stands when playing the later. The minis are all Victrix. They are great for this purpose since I wanted to bases to look like the men have formed square. So I needed a kneeling front rank  and a rear rank in firing or loading poses. The Victrix sets gave me all that.

The big downside were the kneeling minis. Had I known beforehand how *bleeping* hard it would be to paint a tartan pattern on their kilts when you can hardly get the brush in between their arms… well I would have settled for marching poses!

As one might see, this regiment has always held a special place in my heart, so I knew by hard, that the hackles on their bonnets did not have the standard colour coding. The one thing that gave me headaches were the kilts. While the regiment is supposed to wear Government pattern tartans, some sources say, that the grenadiers had red stripes added to their pattern. Since these sources were the minority and I could not find a clear timeframe for this practice, I decided not to do that. One the other hand a good number of sources say, that the pipers wore Stewart pattern. While it was hard to verify this or not, I decided to simply do it. The piper was in my last batch of 4 minis together with the mounted officer and ensigns and by this time I was so sick of the government pattern, that I simply needed a break.

Black Watch

Black Watch

Command Base

Command Base

Colour Guard

Colour Guard

Drums and Bagpipe

Drums and Bagpipe

As you can see from the different backgrounds, these shots were taken in two different sessions. If like either better (white background or scenic background)… please tell me. I will try to keep this in mind for future posts.

By the way… these minis were entered into the 34th Steve Dean painting competition. They came second in their group, which meant they advanced to the main competition (only the second time ever one of my entries did so). Unfortunately they were then kicked out in their first match-up. Which was no big surprise, since the quality of the 34th competition was amazing. So I am glad I even came this far!

 

54ème Inf. de Ligne

So now it is time to keep a few promises. I have decided to spread posting pictures out a little. So today I am going to start with the 54ème Inf. de Ligne for Waterloo. The minis are based for Republic to Empire by Barry Hilton. Which means the Regiment is represented at a 1:20 ratio. While the rules do not require it, I based them 4 minis to a base (which incidentally equals one combat group) on a 4cm x 4cm base from Victrix. The minis themselves are all Perry. Most of these are the greatcoated minis  from their plastic set. The NCO´s command, drummer, sapeurs and so on Perry metals. Some of the minis have been slightly converted, using either the alternative heads from the Perry box or some Victrix heads.

54éme Reg. de Ligne

This first shot shows both battalions behind one another, with the skirmisher bases in front of them.

2nd Btln. Command

Grenadiers

Now the R2E rules allow you to deploy skirmishers from a Regiment. They always deploy as pairs, with the number of pairs depending on the size of the parent unit. In case of the 54éme it is one pair per Btln.. While the rules give you quite a bit of freedom when it comes to basing them, I liked the idea some people had to mount them on hexagonal bases. I decided to use plastic Battletech bases for them, since they are cheap to get  and have a sunken centre.

Skirmisher pair 1

Skirmisher pair 2

I hope you liked this first complete post. As I said… there will be more to come over the next few days.