For those of you who have been asking “Where’s Clarkie?”, the fact of the matter is that with Sharp Practice published and all of the distributors supplied, I suddenly realised just how bloody knackered I was, both physically and mentally. So, on a whim, I decided to have a week off. Of course taking time off is problematic as my schedule is rather too packed to allow such luxuries, especially with a busy June of Lardy Games Days approaching fast, so I simply shifted my attention to doing stuff that allowed me to have a bit of peace and quiet, specifically painting my second Imagi-Nations Army for the Duchy of Strudelsheim.
Strudelsheim is a small German state somewhere near the Silesian and Moravian border. It has long been a supporter of Austria and this is reflected in its uniforms. Indeed, the uniforms I have used are Austrian, well Hungarian actually, as I want then to have multiple functions. Having completed my Freikorps force entirely with Foundry figures, I was slightly concerned that their range did not stretch to cover Austrians, so I was going to have to look elsewhere. I wanted as close a match as possible, so decided to go with Crusader Miniatures as I knew that the sculptor, Mark Simms, had worked with Foundry and I was vaguely under the impression that his Seven Years War range was one of the first he did after setting up on his own. I need not have worried. Here’s a photo of a Foundry Prussian (painted a Garrison troops to serve as local security in the campaign) and a Crusader Hungarian. Spot on.
Okay, to upset the purists out there, I have yet to paint the bases, but that’s a job I loathe, so I am waiting until I have all the support options done before doing them all in an horrific session of tedium. For now you’ll just have to accept the fact that they will be done for their first outing at the Lardy Tractor Rally in Evesham on the 4th of June.
Here’s the force en masse.
At the front we have a couple of Groups of Grenzer skirmishers, followed up with three Groups of Hungarian infantry and three more Groups of Grenzers in line. Behind them are two Deployment Points. Let’s have a look at these individually.
Double trouble. Two Groups of Grenz ready to skirmish and screen the main body. Below are the Hungarians. With the Freikorps I went with pink as a unifying colour. Here, blatantly obviously, I have gone with red. It is a striking colour on the battlefield and with an Imagi-Nation you can do whatever you like.
Next are the Grenzers in line. The choice of colour shcemes for the Seven Years War Grenz regiments is huge and very striking. I was very keen that this project was not just an “early Napoleonics” venture, so going with some of the more flamboyant color schemes helps reinforce that.
Finally we have the two Deployment Points. I really like to create a nice vignette with interesting figures. I was very fortunate that Foundry provide some excellent packs of “personalities” for their ranges and Crusader did have one such pack for their Grenzers. However, the choice of things like civilians was not present so I added some bits from elsewhere to these.
I know, there’s a theme emerging here, but these two Grenzers relaxing from their labours were too good to pass up. The table and chair are from Foundry, the stillage with the barrel are from Ainsty Castings. The Cantiniere is a Foundry model and the “landlord” is part of a really nice range from Black Hussar Miniatures in Germany which may be found here: http://www.blackhussarminiatures.de/shopware/28mm-miniaturen/siebenjaehriger-krieg-1756-63/zivilisten-und-diverse/
A brief word on Black Hussar Miniatures. I have ordered from them several times and their service is speedy and very professional. The web site has a button you can click to turn the text into English if you can’t be bothered to learn German. If you have the remnants of schoolboy German you won’t need that. The best thing is that these civilians are specifically designed for the Seven Years War and they are doing a wide range of things, man beer related. What more can one ask.
Next is a religious scene, the Austrians being keen to protect their Catholic faith from northern Protestant vices. The Crucifix was purchased on eBay and is a model railway model. The grave stone and the fallen monument are from the Renedra gravestone pack. The Priest was an Essex Miniatures casting of a monk which I bought in the early 1980s to serve with my Mediaeval naval force. The sculpt is a bit primitive and had a tonsured hair cut. I used green stuff to add a surplice and then more green stuff to put the stole round the neck. Finally I added a biretta hat to cover the bald tonsure. To be honest its a bit of an ugly figure, but it’s fine for a Deployment Point.
The fat Cantiniere listening to the sermon is from the Foundry Prussian range. I used my dremmel to turn the lapels on her tunic into Hungarian braiding so she turned her coat pretty easily to join an Austrian force. The lamb is a 1:48th model from a box of farm animals from Pegasus Hobbies which seemed to fit in with the religious scheme. To be honest, I am not a religious person and, when I do dabble, I kick with the right, so apologies to any of our Roman inclined chums if I got the priest’s kit badly wrong.
And that’s it. As you can see, I stuck to my “rule of three” with the line troops which gives me two options for a core force. I now need to add some artillery and cavalry to add support choices. I am currently working in a Physic and want to find a proper Catholic Priest for the period (any suggestions?) and add an Engineering officer.
|Finally, I am very pleased with the Crusader Miniatures; they figures are very nice and there is some variety of poses and heads among the figures. I do wish that they would add some more character packs along the lines of Foundry as with a large skirmish game like Sharp Practice it is variety which imbues character to a force. I do have to say that the only figures I am disappointed with are the officers on foot. These are rather two dimensional and lack the character I am looking for. Bizarely the NCOs and mounted officer are perfect, so why this is the case for the two foot officers I cannot guess. I have ordered several officer figures from Front Rank to supplement the force. Front Rank have a style of their own which means I restrict them to forces where I am doing the entire Army from their range (like my 1745 armies), however, the odd officer figures will be fine.
So, with the buildings largely complete, I now wanted a spurt to the finishing line to get this off my desk. I need to get cracking with the fields and irrigation ditches, but finishing this was my first priority. The final step would be to give the village a lived-in look so that it would