Thursday, September 30, 2010

A completed project?

Is there anything like a complete and completed project in wargaming?!? Am I going to die, next?

Well, yes and no (about the project, not about me dying, of course!)

It seems that my colonial Abyssinia project is extremely close to reach its conclusion. My original target was to have all the necessary units required to play every scenario in Mark Fastoso's Colonial Campaigns book, Ethiopia 1887-1895. And I am now glad to report that the target, by and large, has been achieved. The line-up is nearly completed: all the miniatures are in, painted or very near to be finished. I can count, for the Italians, three units of line infantry, two bersaglieri, five askari, three Eritrean bands, one squadron of mounted askari lancers, plus guns, Maxim guns, and wagons. For the Ethiopians, bands of Galla warriors, Bana warriors, and Danakil lancers (two each), four bands armed with muskets and rifles, four bands of Tigrai irregular, two generic spearmen units, four mounted bands, and guns.

Of course, with hindsight, a few choices could have been different. One day, I might buy a few packs from the Italian shop Aude and get some real "Penne di Falco" askari lancers, instead of my own conversion from Egyptian lancers. And yes, sooner or later, I would add an Ethiopian "barded" cavalry unit from Eureka, a range which did not exist when I embarked in my project. But again, these are minor quibbles, refinements on a project which is now firmly built, and ready to be brought to the next stage -- the tabletop!

As I was going to the final touches to some of the aforementioned unit, I had to good idea to take some picture of the final result. You may have already seen some of these miniatures in early stages of development (here and here), and so you may imagine my satisfaction of bringing the work on them to a closing.

The first two pictures show the Tigrai irregular bands, 15mm Irregular miniatures.

Next, Bana warriors from the excellent 15mm Tin Soldier range, which I plan to deploy as Shoa warriors.

I made sure that at least one miniature could stand out as leader, and here's the detail on the Shoan one.

Tin Soldier also offers Galla warriors, and here's what I was able to came up with.

And here's a more dramatic shot of the charging Galla. Notice again the leader.

Finally, the band(s) of Danakil lancers (Tin Soldier.)

I also completed the painting job on the Ethiopian leaders. Special attention was paid to create a nice vignette for Negus Neghesti, but I also made sure to paint some good details on the other general offered in the Tin Soldier command pack.

A final note: all my Irregular and Tin Soldier 15mm miniatures are distributed in the U.S. by Silver Eagle Wargame Supplies. Over the years, Jacob has provided top notch customer service and assistance, and it is a distributor whom I enthusiastically endorse and recommend.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

WAS & SYW 15mm options for minor armies

A few days back I posted the following question on TMP, but the answers I received were unusually inconclusive... so I am re-posting here, hoping to find some additional insights.

I am tempted to expand my WAS/SYW collection, now being built around Prussian, Austrian, and French forces. In particular, I'd like to add some selected regiments from minor countries; I am looking in particular to Saxony, Bavaria, and the Reichsarmee. Since I am working with 15mm, as a matter of fact it all boils down to the style of the coat.

In the case of the Reichsarmee, the excellent article in the Seven Years war Kronoskaf site helps a lot, stating very clearly which contingent wore a Austrian-like type of coat, and which ones followed the Prussian style.

But what about Bavarians and Saxons? I found reference for the Bavarians pointing both to French and Austrian styles; as for the Saxons, I have been looking to plates for quite some time, and I have not been able to decide which way I should head to.

Unfortunately, available 15mm miniatures cover well only the major players: British, Prussians, Austrians, French, Russians; all the 15mm ranges I know of remain somewhat wanting for the smaller contingents. Which leaves me with the doubt about what would be good "stand-in" for Saxony and Bavaria? Could any expert in the field help?

As always, thanks in advance for sharing your insight!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A momentous decision

About a couple of month ago, I had an epiphany.

I was looking at my Marlburian miniatures, feeling not too happy about the basing, nor about my painting, or lack thereof... I looked at the pile of well-ordered units waiting to be painted on my workbench. I quickly thought of how much time it would take me to add just one or two new units to the current roster. And all the sudden, I had to ask myself the question: what is my hobby? Is it my hobby primarily painting miniatures? Or it is about playing battles with them? Until a couple of years ago, my answer would have been a resolute "Both!" but what about now? I am at the stage of my life in which time has become the scarcest of the resources. Back in the days, I was not bothered by projects that would require one, or two years of painting units before one single die could be rolled on the tabletop. But now? Those one or two years have become three, or four, or who knows how many. Painting in any significant batch of time has become nearly impossible, and you don't make much progress with twenty minutes here, and twenty minutes there.

In that moment, I realized it was time for a decision. Either I make painting my primary hobby, and I postpone for good any hope to fight a battle any time soon, or I focus on the gaming side of the hobby, which may require... somebody else to do my painting.

OK, I said it. Until a few years ago, this was anathema to me. But now my disposable time has evaporated, and it might be time to reassess how I do things. My good friends Peter "Gonsalvo" and Bob Jones, of "Piquet" and now "Zouave" fame, have been recommending the outsourcing of painting for a long time. I think the moment has come for me to follow the lead of these wise men. As of July 2010, the decision is taken: I am back to miniature wargaming. And a large package is about to be shipped to Fernando in Sri Lanka to get the proverbial job done.

I feel I am about to enter a new era of appreciation and enjoyment of my hobby.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I am back!

Well, it has been a while since my last update, wasn't it?

You may imagine DestoFante leisurely reclined next to a pool, or on a beach, with a frozen margarita in one hand, and the latest issues of the Battlegames magazine is the other, maybe only partially distracted by a couple of beauties sunbathing nearby (that's usually when Mrs. DestoFante's slap brings me back to reality...)

And you couldn't be any farther from the truth. In fact, the last 60 days have been busy. Really busy. On the personal front: the DestoFante family bought a new home in May, went to closing in June, did the remodeling in July, and we are now ready to move next week! The job has kept me busy, too, with travels through the Midwest and the East Coast. The good news is -- because of a meeting in Philadelphia, I was able to be at Historicon, although for just one day and half! I will provide my personal report from the convention in the next few days.

But, most importantly: I am getting into a new period. The war of Austrian Succession/Seven Years War. This sounds like a momentous decision, but it is not: it is the result of a couple of years of pondering (read what I wrote back in 2008, here and here) and some conclusions reached over the last couple of months. The explanation of which will take the next post.

For the time being -- I am back!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Alternative Europe -- courtesy of The Economist

Over the past several months, I have noticed a growing interest in expanding the concept of imagi-nations, traditionally linked to 18th century Europe, to more contemporary settings, namely the 1920s and 1930s. Originally, at least on my radar, was the development of the "Very British Civil War" project -- I have not bought the booklets yet, but I am waiting for a review by Bob Cordery who recently took the plunge. More recently, a joint effort has culminated in the blog Interbellum, with its associated links to the imaginary nations of Borduria, Tradgardland, and the like.

I have to confess to remain tepid to the period. Call me an elitist, or an old school whig, but the age of mass ideology has little appeal on me. Past the early 1920s, I'd rather fast forward to the 1950s and pick it up from the de-colonization conflicts. But that's just me.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued by a recent article in the magazine The Economist. It seems the editors did a good job in shuffling the cards, and coming up with an alternative map of Europe, more reflective, to their saying, to the current geo-political realities. What I like in the piece is that the new map is which is both "realistic" (whatever it means...) and stimulating for our hobby purposes. It does not create an imaginary geography from scratch, but it adjusts the continent in a way that is very stimulating for designing scenarios in the 1920s and 1930s. And, how cool, they even made room for Ruritania, Borduria and Vulgaria!

Here's the re-drawn map of Europe according to The Economist, and the article that I am copying in its entirety.

Redrawing the map -- The European map is outdated and illogical. Here's how it should look

Apr 29th 2010 | From The Economist online

PEOPLE who find their neighbours tiresome can move to another neighbourhood, whereas countries can’t. But suppose they could. Rejigging the map of Europe would make life more logical and friendlier.
Britain, which after its general election will have to confront its dire public finances, should move closer to the southern-European countries that find themselves in a similar position. It could be towed to a new position near the Azores. (If the journey proves a bumpy one, it might be a good opportunity to make Wales and Scotland into separate islands).
In Britain’s place should come Poland, which has suffered quite enough in its location between Russia and Germany and deserves a chance to enjoy the bracing winds of the North Atlantic and the security of sea water between it and any potential invaders.
Belgium’s incomprehensible Flemish-French language squabbles (which have just brought down a government) are redolent of central Europe at its worst, especially the nonsenses Slovakia thinks up for its Hungarian-speaking ethnic minority. So Belgium should swap places with the Czech Republic. The stolid, well-organised Czechs would get on splendidly with their new Dutch neighbours, and vice versa.
Belarus, currently landlocked and trying to wriggle out from under Russia’s thumb, would benefit greatly from exposure to the Nordic region, whose influence played a big role in helping the Baltics shed their Soviet legacy. So it should move northwards to the Baltic, taking the place of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These three countries should move to a new location somewhere near Ireland. Like the Emerald Isle, they have bitten the bullet of “internal devaluation”, regaining competitiveness by cutting wages and prices, rather than taking the easy option of depreciating the currency, or borrowing recklessly as Greece has. The Baltics would also be glad to be farther away from Russia and closer to America. Amid the other moves, Kaliningrad could shift up the coast towards Russia, ending its anomalous status as a legacy exclave of the second world war and removing any possibility of future Russian mischief-making about rail transit.
Into the slots vacated by Poland and Belarus should come the western and central parts of Ukraine. Germany, with the Ukrainian border now only 100km from Berlin, would start having to take the country’s European integration seriously. The Ukrainian shift would allow Russia to move west and south too, thus vacating Siberia for the Chinese, who will take it sooner or later anyway.
Next comes some reordering of the Balkans. Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo should rotate places, with Macedonia taking Kosovo’s place next to Serbia, Kosovo moving to Albania’s slot on the coast, and Albania shifting inland. Paranoid Greek fantasies about territorial claims from the deluded Slav irredentists from the north would evaporate. Bosnia is too fragile to move and will have to stay where it is.
Switzerland and Sweden are often confused. So it would make sense to move Switzerland north, where it would fit neatly into the Nordic countries. Its neutrality would go down well with the Finns and Swedes; Norway would be glad to have another non-EU country next door.
Germany can stay where it is, as can France. But Austria could shift westwards into Switzerland’s place, making room for Slovenia and Croatia to move north-west too.* They could join northern Italy in a new regional alliance (ideally it would run by a Doge, from Venice). The rest of Italy, from Rome downwards, would separate and join with Sicily to form a new country, officially called the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (but nicknamed Bordello). It could form a currency union with Greece, but nobody else.

* A welcome side-effect of these changes will be to make space for previously fictional creations such as Anthony Hope's Ruritania, Hergé's Syldavia and Borduria, and Vulgaria, the backdrop for “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.

Lot of food for thought and dream, uh?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A tale of four (postal) orders

This not a "test", because it was not really designed to be one: just an interesting "tale" about ordering miniatures all over the world, with different conclusions to be drawn about consumer services -- mostly, very positive conclusions.

In the evening of March 23rd I submitted four orders for WWI miniatures to complement my Turkish and Australian/British/Indian forces for the Middle East theatre. The four orders were not exactly comparable, as I picked and chose missing elements here and there. From Eureka in Australia I ordered a few Light Brigade mounted figures. From QRF, a mix of infantry and mounted troops both for ANZAC and Turks, plus a couple of guns and some MG sets. From Peter Pig, some WWI Indian bags plus a few other bags from the Sudan range, and some heads in sun hat for swapping and conversions. Finally, from Minifigs/Caliver a variety of items including more mounted Light Brigade and Indian infantry, plus British infantry in sun helmet, some Yeomanry troops and a Rolls-Royce armoured car. And a few bags to check out (Circassian cossacks, uh?) Minifigs was probably the largest and most diversified order, with QRF coming second in variety, Peter Pig third with a couple of unusual items. Eureka was probably the simplest, most straightforward order to fill.

The submission of orders and payment went very smoothly, with prompt email replies with payment receipts from Peter Pig, QRF, and Minifigs. For Eureka, I had to check back on the website. All in all, it was a total of three orders from the UK and one from Australia to be shipped to Chicago, USA.
[By the way: can you tell we just experience a dollar rally in currency markets?]

That was in the evening of Tuesday, March 23rd. On March 24th, an email from QRF announces that my package has shipped! Good, that's promising... I wonder how this little contest will play out. On the very same day, an email by Minifigs/Caliver tells me to expect the package by mid-April. ...mmm... this sounds a little optimistic. During the winter, my orders to Minifigs took about three weeks to ship, and other three-to-four weeks to be delivered: based on that experience, I was not really expecting my miniatures before early May, but we'll see.

A couple of quiet days follow, and on Wednesday March 31st... the Peter Pig order shows up in the mail! WOW, that was fast, five working days! On Friday April 2nd... surprise! Eureka package is at the front door, too! This is even better, seven working days from Australia! And yesterday, Monday March 5th, the large-ish QRF models are delivered! Excellent!

There is very little to say: these three companies showed a fantastic consumer service... it makes me want to go back and order more! Bravi! to all the gentlemen involved: Nic in Australia, Martin and Geoff in the UK.

Now I am rooting for a prompt delivery from Minifigs/Caliver. These are miniatures I love, and I know the staff at Caliver has been struggling a bit during the transition from the previous ownership. I have been a big fan of this line for several years now, despite the sluggish delivery performance. I can only hope that, by now, Caliver has successfully turn the situation around, and they will indeed succeed in having my package delivered by next week.

Overall, a very satisfying customer experience. Let's knock on wood about the final parcel.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

It has been almost 40 days since my last post. In the meanwhile, business took me almost on the other side of the planet for a trip to the Persian Gulf, and then a few days in Washington D.C. Unavoidably, traveling has slowed down my wargaming stamina. Although, there has been something else going on. The hobby flame comes and goes in spurt, and about every two months or so I feel the need to take a break from the current project and refocus on something else, different, or new. For financial reasons, I try to limit the new project at one per year, while old ones come back into the rotation cyclically. From November to February I was very much into Napoleonics, but after my traveling I felt the need to take a break from it, and direct my energies somewhere else, at least for a short while.

So, where do I stand right now? There is an old project gaining strength, and a couple of ideas about a new period to start in 2010.

Old project back on the workbench. This would be WWI Middle East -- Sinai & Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Gallipoli. I have almost completed a full Turkish regiment; I have a mix ANZAC brigade on foot ready and available (Australian and New Zealand troops), and I am currently working on a Light Horse brigade as well. Arabs were already available from my colonial collection. Assorted guns are also being painted. Also, being slowly worked on, a Indian brigade with one British battalion and three Indian ones, plus a Gurkha battalion just because nobody can make it without Gurkhas. I got some missing elements for all the above by filing a few small orders with UK Minifigs, Peter Pig, QRF, and Eureka. At the end, this should make for an interesting collection of troops for a fascinating area of operations. Pictures and progress report to follow soon.

New projects being considered. Fundamentally, there are two. Two and half, to be precise. One of them is WWII in the desert. I have a lot of scenery for this setting, again thanks to my colonial collection. I have some unpainted figures already, sitting in some box in the closet. I am holding back only because of the cost of adding armour. In 15mm scale, the quantity of tanks, armored cars, and various mechanical gadgets required for this front can be intimidating. I am almost tempted to mix 15mm infantry figures (which, in the case of Eureka and Peter Pig, tend to be on the smallish side of the scale, i.e. "true" 15mm) with 12mm tanks from GFI. In general, I am not fond of this type of mixing. But , ehi, I might try with a few vehicles, just to check whether the "feeling" is acceptable, or just plain wrong. Any comments?

Alternatively, project # 2 would be the Thirty Years War. Again, there are miniatures sitting in the closet, and again, I did some stimulating readings on the topic in the past. Here, the question mark relates to the size of those early war tercios, and I also question how a game of the period would "feel." I have a couple of good rules that could easily work: "Father Tilly" (the new edition), "Piquet - Anchor of Faith", "1644". The temptation is definitely there.

Finally, the "half" project I mentioned would be the the Russian Civil War. I can pour some enthusiasm in leading a White Army, but overall I find the military dimension of the whole affair somewhat lacking; or, maybe, I just need to study it more. This would be a natural progression from my WWI project (not the Mesopotamia/Sinai/Gallipoli: the "other" project about the European theaters.) And some of the miniatures could be used for any type of troubles in the 1920s -- Germany & Weimar, Poland, maybe even a pre-dated Very British Civil War, which appears to be the latest fad in wargaming. This theater would be very playable with any WWI rule set, and it would be a perfect way to test the Perfect Captain's "Red Actions" rules that I read with some interest some time ago. I'll keep this idea in the backseat for the time being, but it is not completely off yet, despite not being completely on, either.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More pictures: Austrian and French infantry

Tonight I will post a few pictures from the set I took yesterday. this time, it's the turn of the infantry units, French and Austrian.
Austrians first. Each individual unit is painted to represent an historical
battalion. You will recognize below troops from from IR 23 Erzherzog Ferdinand (red facings), IR 10 Ansbach-Bayreuth (green/paperlgrun facings), and IR 16 Terzi/Erzherzog Rudolf (violet facings), among the others. Flags are from Warflag, resized. Somewhat I nailed down the correct technique to resize and fold a flag only later, when working on the French. You will notice the difference.

Finally, no Austrian Army should be allowed to take the field without deploying a unit of *pink* infantry -- in my case, IR 38 Wurttemberg. I was bold enough to use a bright, Magenta fluo color... what to say: you notice this unit.

Now, the French. By the time I started working on these units, I figured out the proper way to fix the flag, and courtesy of Warflag again I was able to create a couple of cool stands.

As previously explained, in my French Army I use a mix of color-code and grenadiers and voltigeurs to identified individual units. The color-coding part is still a work in progress, in part because of the delays in the shipment I am waiting from the UK. But at least some of the grenadiers are in place, as you will see in the next pic.

And finally, let's not forget the officers! Very likely, you have already recognised a General Lasalle look-a-like in the picture above, but a second officer is portrayed here as he stands in front of a battery (... maybe not a great idea...)

I hope I will have the time tomorrow to share a couple of pictures of my french artillery and cavalry. Thursday I am leaving for a business trip overseas, so blogging will be once again to take a backseat. Fortunately, I am well-prepared for the 15 hours flight: I have already packed Fredrick Kagan's "The End of the Old Order: Napoleon and Europe, 1801-1805", on the Austerlitz campaign, and the first volume of John Gill's trilogy, "1809 Thunder on the Danube: Abensberg". A lot of Napoleonic readings, and a lot of food for thought about my future French vs Austrians battles.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Latest Napoleonic photos -- Austrians

For the past several weeks I have been steadily working on my Napoleonic armies, both the Austrian and the French. The results are beginning to become apparent, and forces are beginning to build up despite some delays in mail delivery (in particular, i am still waiting for a crucial order from the UK, submitted on 12/15 and yet to show up in my malbox...)
Tonight I took a few pictures, and I will post the best or more informative of them over the next few days. Right now, I start with some Austrians. Today I completed four officers, and I added the final touches to several infantry, cavalry and artillery units, as well as to my windmill, which you will be able to spot in the background in some of these pics. At the moment, my Austrian Army counts two cuirassier squadrons, two hussars, one of dragoon (with two of chevau-legers on their way), two artillery batteries, twelve regiments of infantry, one of grenadiers (two on the way) and one of jaegers (one on the workbench.) In the mail, more artillery, two grenzer regiment, and some odds and ends.
Here's tonight pics. First, a spiffy officer showing some leadership:

This is one of the two cuirassier squadrons:

Next, the 7th Hussars Squadron - Liechtenstein:

Last but not least, the heavy 12lb guns from one of my batteries:

I have a couple of cool pictures of the infantry units, but for tonight I will only share a group photo taken of the whole lot in the box... it still looks cool to me!

Tomorrow I will try to post infantry pics for the Austrian and the French, and later this week some other shots of the French artillery, cavalry (the Empress Dragoons of the Guard!) and some officers (included General LaSalle!) And, crossing my fingers, if all goes as planned, in two weeks after a business trip abroad I should be able to fight a little meeting engagement!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rant on badly advertised rules

I just posted this in a thread on TMP, in reference to a new, and apparently mysterious ruleset titled "Ridiculous Vanity 2nd." [No link provided because no relevant link is found, to further prove my point.]
I repeat here my rant almost verbatim, just to get it off my chest.

I am always a little puzzled when a new ruleset is announced on TMP, but then it results nearly impossible to get any information about how the system works. I usually repeat the same questions all the time: how does the sequence of play work? (I stay away from I-go-U-go) What basing is required for miniatures? How many units do you need for an average game? What are the basic mechanisms for morale/combat/melee? Orders of battle or army lists? Or tournament point? Etc. etc. These are basic questions, and I would expect to be included by default in any presentations of new rules. Instead, oftentimes you get nothing, nada, nicht, niente.

Really, it is always the same basic questions that players ask, so you would expect that people making a pitch for their rules would care to comment and inform the public, especially when the set is priced at $35-$40... I don't spend $40 on a ruleset just for the surprise to discover how it works, nor the joy of realizing that it is not the type of game I like or I am interested in playing.

Bottom line: Sorry, rules writers/publishers: but a cool picture on the front page doesn't make it for me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 5th, 1970

DestoFante turns 40 today. I missed the '60s by four days and three hours, and I share the birthday with fellow economist Jean-Baptiste Say (b. 1767), German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (b. 1876), King Juan Carlos of Spain (b. 1938), and Diane Keaton. The day appears to be void of any significant event in military history, other than the battle of Colmar/Turckheim, fought on January 5 1675, which resulted in the victory of the French forces under the Vicomte of Turenne over the Brandenburgian and Austrian armies commanded by the elector of Brandenburg, Frederick William.

Here an early picture of mine from August 1970.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Napoleonic Renaissance -- part II: the French

I can hardly believe that about six month ago I sat at my workbench and I seriously considered to get rid of all my 15mm Napoleonic miniatures! What a difference six months do. There were a couple of reasons, definitely not that compelling (!), behind that thought. Maybe the idea was not much leaving the Napoleonic period, but rebuilding it in a different scale other than 15mm (6mm? 10mm?) Maybe it was a sense that momentum was lost in my Napoleonic project, as I had not done any progress on it for several months. Maybe it was an issue with esthetics: 15mm Napoleonic miniatures were my way into the hobby in the late 1980s (ouch!), and I sense I have been dragging them around too long, with too many changes of heart about rules, basing, and painting styles (I do paint much better today than in 1990... and I paint with acrylics rather than enamel.)

Anyway: I am glad I did not make that mistake, and I am now working full steam on Napoleonic miniatures with a renewed enthusiasm. Lesson learned: if I am into a period, it is because I made a thoughtful decision in the first place, and despite the momentarily ebb-and-flow of my interests, there is a long-term reason for sticking with it.

One positive outcome of my mid-summer crisis is a complete rethinking of the organization for my armies. I will start today with a review of my "new" French, and will add more later about the Austrian.

First of all, I stated a goal. I want an organization that will be historically plausible, and that will provide me with an immediate identification of all the units on the terrain without having to add labels to the bases. And I want an organization system that fits well with my units, 12-miniature "battalions" each made of four 3-miniature stands. (I'll use "battalion" as label of convenience; depending by the rules, my 12-miniature unit may in fact represent a battalion, a regiment, or even a brigade.)

Here's what I came up with. I arrange my battalions into regiments, each with three battalions. In order to visualize the differences and to easily ID them, I color-coded them based on the pompom on the shako. Thus, the miniatures in the first four regiments will respectively wear red, blue, green, and yellow pompom. And in order to differentiate among the three battalions in each regiment, I made a unique base for each of them: the first unit has a command base, with officer, tambourine and standard bearer; the second battalion has a grenadiers stand, where grenadiers wear red plume -- and one of them a bicolor plume with red and the regimental color; the third battalion will include a voltigeurs stand, with green plumes but for one bicolor one with green and regimental color. It's convoluted to write, but very easy in practice: just by looking at the unit, you will spot the color of the pompon and by the nature of the fourth stand (command, grenadier or voltigeur) you will immediately know what unit it is!

This is the theory. In practice, the adoption of this new "model" has required a few adjustment. First, I had to re-base several stands of French infantry. Never a fun job. Then I had to make an order for the voltigeur, which I am still waiting, thus I am hanging until USPS will deliver the package. Fortunately, I had some grenadiers around, so I have been able to work on them. Pompoms need to be re-painted. And, since I am at it, I am taking the opportunity to add a few touches to the old Ligne infantry, which was painted years ago on... a different standard. This is a work in progress, but I can share some preliminary photos. Here I have added the Litko bases for the missing miniatures (voltigeurs, the grenadiers and fusiliers still on the painting deck.)

Not shown, there are several other infantry units that will complement my army. Two battalions each of Guard chassuers and Guard grenadiers; four battalions of infantry in bicorne; two battalions of infantry in overcoat. I only have one unit of Legere, but by the end of the year I would not mind to add two or three more.

Now for the cavalry. Currently, I have one unit of cuirassiers and three units of chasseurs a cheval. In order to keep the distribution of units balanced in historical terms, I recently ordered another unit of cuirassier, and two each of hussars and dragoons, plus one of lancers de Kleve-Berg. For the Guard, I have a unit of Empress Dragoons and I hope to add soon some Polish Lancers (New Year's resolution #2!) This should result in a good variety of units for my battles!

Finally, the artillery. Still a work in progress; I have some 4-pdr and 12-pdr, and a lot more in the order being delivered. I confess that my thinking is still evolving on this, but once my package will be here, there will be the opportunity to come to some conclusions. ideally, I'd like to have units for line foot and horse, plus at least one guard unit. We'll see how to proceed on that front.

Happy New Year!

I am writing, right now, my second post about the Napoleonic Renaissance... but while I type, for the time being, my best wishes to all of you for a fantastic 2010, filled with more and more new toys, nail-biting games, and hours of joyous painting!