Sunday, 30 December 2012

Death by a million vent lines - or: one way to spend 4 hours with toy soldiers

Next on my project list of units to paint (yes, I keep a list—it helps to keep the momentum going) is the horse battery of the Bavarian army 1st Division of 1809. I already have the 1st infantry brigade and the cavalry brigade painted (4 line units, 1 light, one unit of dragoons and two of chevauxlegers plus asserted brass and lace to command them), and the horse battery is up now. This is the battery of Hauptman Ferdinand Regnier, which featured prominently and gloriously in the engagement at Arnhofen.

I'm representing the battery by 3 6–pounder gun models and 1 7–pounder howitzer. Bavarian horse artillery is of the wurst variety, where the gunners ride on cushions on the back of the gun carriage (not the limber) during transport. As the Bavarians used Austrian guns, I did the same and use Perry Miniatures Austrian artillery for my guns. The gunners will be replaced by Foundry Bavarian gunners. Very nice models, these Perry guns, but their mould maker seems to suffer from a 'never enough vent lines' syndrome.

Virtually every single nub, rivet and whatnot on the carriages and every single bloody spoke on the wheels (I counted) had the little worms of pewter attached. Which is why this took me 4 hours to build:

IMG 3079

OK, I admit it - building a limber and stringing the traces also took some time, but as I abhor cleaning up miniatures, the time spent cleaning up the guns and carriages left a much bigger impression :). The limber is built from French pieces by Front Rank, BTW. I'll be replacing their riders' heads with Bavarian artillerists' heads (Foundry again).

More to follow as and when the various bits of the battery get painted, but I had to get this off my chest :)


  1. Looking forward on seeing those on the gaming table ... Although their footprint seems awfully large. Makes road column manouvres a tricky thing to manage in scenarios that feature them.

  2. Regarding the footprint—I think that's entirely historical. Artillery batteries and all their supporting paraphernalia were large footprint wise. That said, the road column argument is spot on, so I had thought to represent the entire battery using the single limber pictured in that kind of scenario. The four guns deploy off of the single limber—it's atrociously ahistorical and unrealistic, but then we're playing with toy soldiers, not simulating history :)