Saturday, 29 March 2014

Paint Table Saturday & More On The Erb Prinz

Apologies for no posts for almost three months - I had a busy work schedule for the first few weeks of the year that has now abated and then we had a domestic disaster that stopped me painting for a week or so.

As you can see - the room was in a state of disarray. We had a major toilet problem and our hall had a small flood (our tenants in the flat below had a rather bigger flood) - this was the incentive we needed to finally replace the carpet throughout our flat (Archie and Toby had pretty much trashed this over the last seven or eight years). And so, some of the junk scattered throughout the flat made its way to my room (the carpet in here is fine, I like it and it would mean disturbing my soldiers so this room kept the carpet it has).

I'd like to say I'd been a busy bee over the past three months but it wouldn't really be true. I've done a few bits and pieces but not really done much. I lost my painting mojo - and generally had a sense of ennui. However, I finally got round to priming my first batch of AB Jena Prussians (along with a couple of other bits), which are standing in for the Hesse Darmstadt Erb-Prinz Regiment of Laval's Division in the absence of any real alternative. And they do look the business - each variant has an individual face with real character, the detail is as well defined as you'd expect from Mr B and they will look great en masse.

So my plan for the last couple of days was to sort out a few odds and ends (I've slightly undermined my "clear the paint table" resolution with these chaps but I'm planning to keep on at that) and paint my trial figure for the Erb Prinz. I took a look at the calendar and the end of Week 13 of 2014 falls tomorrow - I can't believe the first Quarter of the year has ended already (so next week more BS reports to do at work). Anyway my painting total for last week (Week 12) was as follows:

2 French Legere Grenadiers
2 French Line Voltigeurs in Greatcoat
4 Hesse Darmstadt Erb-Prinz
15 Spanish Militia

So 23 figures. I didn't keep a proper count at the beginning of the year so forgetting those figures from January, I should have painted 120 figures by now. So I am a mere 97 behind schedule!

The Hesse Darmstadt figures for the Peninsula have been giving me a few issues (not painting - they seem quite straightforward) - you will recall that the troops were originally organised in the Prussian manner (the German states seemed to think that following the lead of Frederick the Great in all things was the route to military success) with a regiment composed of three battalions - two line and one light. The Line infantry had blue jackets, while the Lights had green - each battalion had a four company organisation.

Prior to the march across France to get to the Peninsula the three battalions were merged into two - my problem is that I've seen two conflicting descriptions of how they were organised. The first says that the Light battalion troops were simply mixed in with the Line battalions to give stronger four company battalions (which I guess would have the advantage they didn't need to learn new drills for battalion deployment). And that the un-military mix of green and blue uniforms within each company caused the French to insist on new uniforms for them - this wouldn't be a huge issue except it would mean each company would be very large in GdeB terms - which isn't ideal.

The other story is that the Erb Prinz adopted a six company organisation with the Lights being mixed in with the Line. While mixing blue and green uniforms on each stand has some attraction, I'm going to go with a variation on this - the flank companies will be dressed in green and the centre companies in blue; my rationale being that, should I ever need to field units for an 1806 game I can reorganise the battalions into three 24 figure units. Such is the kind of mental pickle you get into when adopting a slightly "alternate history" version of the Peninsula!

One thing I noticed after undercoating the AB Jena Prussians is that some figures seem to have axes hanging down at their backs - were these issued to particular companies?

Speaking of trial figures - here is my trial figure for a private from the Irlanda Regiment of the Spanish Army - by the time of the Napoleonic Wars there probably precious few Irish soldiers in the regiment but many of the officers were descendants of the Wild Geese. I'm not too sure when I'll paint his colleagues (the regiment wasn't at Ocana) but I rather like him.

Finally, I'm taking the plunge (literally) on the 12th April in aid of the Stroke Association - I'll be "zip-lining" in a generally downward direction from one side of the Oval Cricket Ground to the other. If it all goes horribly wrong I'll be hitting the pavilion face first (a prospect some of my staff are rather looking forward to I suspect):

For those of you wondering - I booked a 10.30 slot so I can still make it to Salute in time to fill my shopping bag (assuming all goes well and I don't wind up in A&E).