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Sunday, April 8, 2018

1812 Russian Guard Cossacks Completed!

They have been a long time coming, but at last they have arrived to bolster the defense of the Motherland!

 The setting sun, or burning villages, illuminates the skyline as the Guard Cossacks prepare to charge.

A fellow contributor to the Miniature Page asked that I take some close ups of the officers when done, so here is just one of a series I took to thank him for uniform help provided.

 I took inspiration for the painting style and motivation to complete these fellows primarily from two sources.  Matt from the Hintonspieler blog continues amaze with his fantastic work, and much reassurance that I was on the right track with the uniforms came from the My Ever Growing Armies blog.

 Horse butts - 😀

A rather intimidating block of cavalry.

With all of the straps and saddle bags and other paraphernalia, I think these figures ended up looking just as good going away as moving forward.

The original cast on lances were held horizontally, so one of the byproducts of removing them was that most of the canvas food bags had to be augmented with a little green stuff epoxy sculpting compound to disguise the cut marks.  This was more or less successful, with some turning out more convincingly than others.  Below is a series of close-ups of the troopers and officer stands.

I believe the Guard Cossacks were the only Cossacks considered a formal organized force and were the only unit of cossacks given the distinction of carrying a guidon.  I was able to find a picture of some reenactors on line who used this flag, which was confirmed as appropriate through some knowledgeable folks on the Miniatures Page.

Der Kriegspielers did not make Russian Cossack Command, so these figures owe their command arms and Busby's to newline designs 20mm Ural Cossacks.  Those busbys unfortunately had no cords or plumes, so I had to sculpt those once again using Green Stuff.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Hinton Hunt and DK Russian Cossacks Picking up Speed

 I have finally been able to carve out some painting time this week and made significant progress on the Cossacks.  It is when the painting starts to come together like this that usually I am able to make some quick progress.  I have almost all of the colors blocked in, so now it is just detail work to bring them to completion.

I will admit to being quite nervous about how these would come out, given the lance conversions and general lack of detail on a lot of the figures, but in the end I have to say I am quite pleased.  Hopefully the end result will equal the vision I have for them, but that is yet to be seen.  Many thanks to Matt of the Hinton Spieler for his painting inspirations and also the painting of this unit as seen in the My Ever Growing Armies Blog.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Russian Cossacks Plodding Along

It has been so long since I started these Cossacks, that I thought I needed to at least share some photographic evidence they they have not been abandoned.  Here they are, slowly taking shape:

 All the lances were painstakingly replaced and now I am realizing the challenge of painting these old Der Kriegspieler figures in earnest.  Some castings are great with subtle detailing, whereas as others are going to require a lot of painting skill to make any kind of detail show.  Hopefully I'm up to the challenge, but the detail bits are yet to come.

The current state of my painting desk is one of the reasons the Cossacks are taking so long.  I have tons of small projects underway and have also been trying to clear out excess lead through some garage sale posting (more to come today!), so there has been a challenging lack of painting space.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Russian Reserve Cavalry Cleaned and Preped - Ready for Painting

Three regiments of Cavalry finally cleaned customized and ready for priming.  The three regiments are the Guard Cossacks, and an unspecified (as of yet) regiment of Cuirassiers and of Chasseurs.  The Chasseurs a Cheval were the last to be customized.  Below is an example of taking a trooper and turning him into an officer.  I removed the carbine and ammunition pouches, and then added epaulets and an officer's sash out of green putty.  A simple, but necessary conversion.

Next post will hopefully have some color added to the first regiment on the painting desk; the Cossacks of the Guard....

Monday, November 20, 2017

Russian Guard Cossack Conversions

 Since Der Kriegspielers did not offer any Cossack command, I set myself the task of modifying some figures to fit the bill.  Originally I thought I would just use Newline Designs figures, but the style just didn't seem to fit.

I did use their busbys though and replaced the tall headgear on one of the DK variants with the busby from the Newline Designs figures, since I did not have enough of the variant wearing the busby to create a full unit.  I also cut off trumpet and sword arms to replace the lance arm of the DK figures for the command.  Some cords for the busby and a plume made of green stuff got me pretty close to what I had envisioned.  The cords were pretty tough to manage, but the plume was just a textured lump of green stuff over a wire rod for support.

 Some of the figures were in pretty rough shape, so here I have added some putty to the tail to keep it from snapping off.

 This poor guy just would not come clean, but enough old paint was removed that he will look brand new when primed.  Note the lance was removed and replaced with a strong wire lance and re-positioned.  The original lances were in such rough shape, I just didn't think they could be salvaged.  Not that I really mind, as I prefer the wire lance to the easily bent and overly thick lead ones.  The reins have also been repaired, as many of the figures had an incomplete casting, and the reins were left with a large gap in the middle of the free hanging loop.

Here's the original figure with the lance in it's position resting on the head of the horse.  Makes it kind of tricky to remove without lopping off the horses ears, but it can be managed.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Stones River 10mm ACW at the National Battlefield

 Last weekend we took advantage of a nice crisp fall day and recreated the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, TN at the actual site of the battle.  We converted a picnic table into the center of the battlefield and played using 10mm figures and a variant of DBA called appropriately DBACW, available from 

The confederates occupied the heights on the opposite bank of Stones river, and would launch an assault across the river on the second day, after the initial assault had stalled by the end of the first day.

 The Union forces try to hold a line after the initial shock of the confederate assault.  The Union brigad seen at the far top left of the photo was the only Federal position to hold the line both in the actual battle and in our recreation of the day.

 The Combatants: Pete Duckworth and Terry Webb.  Pete had traveled all the way from England and was the inspiration behind the battle at the battlefield, having fought Nasby and Edgehill (I think) from the English Civil War when Terry was visiting across the pond, at the site of those battles.

 Terry found a kepi and jacket for Pete to wear to celebrate the occasion, and as the "umpire" and Confederate left wing commander, I donned a Confederate artillery kepi picked up at a local re-enactor's store.

DBACW uses an attrition system for moral to simulate casualties.  One white pipe cleaner indicates shaken status, two equals badly shaken.  A red marker indicates a shaken unit that can not be rallied.  The Federals started the day strong, but an unfortunate series of bad rolls led to a cascading loss along their right flank, as confederates from other parts of the battle, began to appear behind the Union right flank.  

All in all a great day.  The Confederates squeezed out a victory in the end that closely resembled the actual combat results at the end of the first day.  In the actual event, by day two however, the Union forces were in a strong defensive position along the railway line and decisively beat back the outnumbered Confederates with massed artillery as they tried to assault the Union left by fording the Stones River.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Old School Dapol English Cottage

 I've always liked this cottage ever since I saw it in the Airfix guide to Napoleonic Wargaming by Bruce Quarrie.  It seemed like every time I turned around I would see it again in someone else's games, so I finally asked Matt of The Hinton Spieler blog fame where he got his.  Turns out it is available from Dapol and is dirt cheap.  It's actually a very nice little kit, to which I added the stone wall and critters, but here we have it.  There is just enough room for a full battalion of infantry to crowd in behind the walls.

Some Russian Grenadiers scaring away the livestock!