Bavarian Artillery

To take a break from Bavarian infantry I decided to paint up some artillery. In reality the single Bavarian battalion in my chosen campaign were supported by two captured Austrian 3pdr guns crewed by some men from an artillery depot company. Seeing as I’ve already turned the one battalion in a four battalion brigade I figured I would make the artillery into a regular 6pdr battery.

The guns and gunners are all Front Rank and really fun to paint. It was interesting having painted a number of hard plastic miniatures recently how much easier the metal ones were to paint. I think there were a couple of reasons for this the metal miniatures have much deeper or raised details than the plastic miniatures and the Front Rank miniatures being of an older era have exaggerated features as opposed to the more in scale plastic miniatures all of which just makes it easy to pick out the details..

With the Artillery painted I just have one battalion (half plastic Victrix half Front Rank metals), which will be this weeks project, and then a command base and some causality markers for games to finish my Bavarian contingent.

Second Bavarian Light Infantry Skirmishing Unit

Another week and another batch of Bavarian infantry. I’m guessing people might be getting a little bored of them now but I’m finding the once a week blog posting is helping to keep my output up so I will keep posting pictures of yet more Bavarians for the moment. With these guys done I have one more battalion of 16 infantry, an artillery battery and a command base and some casualty markers left to paint. I think next week I will paint the artillery as a change of pace from all the infantry I’ve been painting. Not a lot to say about these miniatures really they are basically the other eight action pose plastic Victrix infantry again painted up as the same light infantry 5th battalion as the first skirmishing unit.

Another Bavarian Battalion

This is the 2nd battalion of the 4th infantry regiment to accompany the 1st battalion I’ve already painted. As the 2nd battalion there are some subtle differences to the 1st battalion. The Grenadiers red plumes were actually halved white in the 2nd battalions of Bavarian regiments. The other difference is the flag there were a few variations during the Napoleonic wars but in 1809 the 1st battalions carried a white Leibfahne and the 2nd battalion carried a blue Ordinarfahne (personally I prefer the Ordinarfahne). I also decided to make the 2nd battalions officer walk instead of riding a horse. Right more Bavarian light infantry to paint for next week.

Bavarian Light Infantry Skirmishing

This weeks offering in my 2023 project is some skirmishing light infantry. In my chosen rule set of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames infantry are split into.. err infantry and skirmishers. The Victrix Bavarian set, like a few of the plastic Napoleonic sets, contains a majority in march attack which I like and wanted to use for all my formed infantry battalions and a small number in more action oriented poses which to me look better as skirmishers. Now I had enough of these miniatures to do two units of eight miniatures as skirmishers the only decision was what type of unit to use as skirmishers.

The Bavarians unlike most other nations didn’t have a light company in their battalions instead each fusilier company had a small number of Schutzen armed with rifles that could be deployed as a skirmish screen they looked much like a fusilier except with the addition of a green plume this would have been a decent option but the Victrix miniatures all have musket and bayonet which wouldn’t be correct for Schutzen. The second option was to use some light infantry these gave me the option to paint some green jackets, instead of blue, and the muskets were correct. As I mentioned in my last post I’ve changed a composite battalion that took place in the 1809 campaign into a small brigade made up of the units that formed the composite battalion in real life in this case there was a company of 5th light infantry battalion so I decided my two skirmisher units would be light infantry.

I decided to put my skirmisher units on round bases as I like the look. Only having to paint eight miniatures made this unit a bit of an easy win and I liked the way they turned out now back to another infantry battalion next week.

Bavarians first battalion

Having painted a couple of battalions of Austrians I decided to switch it around and paint some Bavarians from the very nice Victrix plastic set my kids brought me for Christmas. If you remember back to my post a couple of weeks back I’m planning to do the 1809 Saxony/Bohemia side show. The Bavarian presence in this theatre was very small basically consisting of a single battalion made up of the depots companies of the 4th and 8th infantry regiments and the 5th light infantry battalion and a small artillery battery of 2 captured Austrian 3pdrs manned by gunners from an artillery depot company from Forcheim all attached to Junot’s French forces.

Now this was a bit of a problem as the Victrix set contained 50 odd miniatures and I’d be using about 16 of them seemed like a waste so I decided to errr… play with history a bit and make the Bavarian battalion into a small Brigade instead turning the depot companies into battalions. So I picked up a few extra Front Rank metals for an artillery battery and some officers. on a side note I like that Front Rank are still available as single miniatures rather than having to by 6-8 metals in a pack which seems the normal now.

Here is the first battalion finished this is the 1st battalion of the 8th infantry regiment I have to say I really struggled to paint these guys the Bavarian uniforms look very cool in my opinion but aren’t very painter friendly (or maybe its just me). In the end I think they came out ok but they certainly aren’t my best work.

Bohemian Landwehr 1809

My second unit for my Napoleonic project is some Austrian Landwehr. I’m modelling my Austrian forces off the XI corps in Bohemia (Czech Republic today) which contained 11 battalions of Landwehr (in contrast it only contained 2 battalions of Regular infantry and 2 battalions of Grenz infantry). The Landwehr were 2nd line territorial units called up in war time from men not in the military. They were equipped by the state and were meant to be uniformed but from what I can tell this wasn’t always the case. When I found an order of battle the Austrian XI corps I was pretty chuffed as it gave me the names and battalion numbers for all the Landwehr battalions for example 4th Koniggratz. Rather naively I thought this would make tracking down the uniforms and flags of the units easy but it turns out Landwehr uniforms and flags, in 1809, is a bit of a murky area.

Firstly Bohemian and Austrian Landwehr had different uniforms. Those from inner Austria tend towards grey uniforms with red facings those from Bohemia, which is were all XI corps Landwehr originated, tended toward blue trousers with Hungarian knots, long boots with Brown coats and red facings and black equipment. That’s when uniforms were available it seems some units actually wore civilian clothing under a long grey coat (possibly with blue epaulettes) to give some uniformity. For head wear the corsehut, the round hat which seems to have the most popular in Bohemia and various civilian style hats were in use however in the case of the Prague volunteers they wore a shako. There is some suggestion that some Landwehr units adopted the facing colours of the infantry regiment recruited in their area rather than the standard red so the Saaz Landwehr might have adopted orange facing to match Infantry regiment No.42 for example. On top of this, other than some units from Prague (none of who where in Xi corps), there doesn’t seem to be any info on what individual Landwehr battalions were wearing. Where with regular Austrian infantry regiments you can easily find facing colours and button colours with a quick internet search or in numerous books when it comes to the Landwehr (at least the Bohemia ones) there doesn’t seem to be the information out there.

Flags are another issue there is some debate about whether the Landwehr carried any, and if they did, if they were old pattern flags from before 1806 or possibly special flags bearing any Austrian Ordinärfahne on one side and a local coat of arms on the other. Honestly by now my head was starting to hurt. To compound my stress slightly more my kids had brought me some lovely Victrix Landwehr that are very nice but their uniform is more suited to inner Austrian Landwehr (for example they don’t have long boots, Hungarian knots and only have an option to wear the corsehut) than Bohemian Landwehr that I wanted to use. In the end I just decided to say bollocks to it I’d paint up my Victrix Landwehr as best as I could to represent Bohemian Landwehr. They might not be quite right and they might give button counters the cold sweats but they will do the job. It’s same thing with the flags I’ll give them normal Austrian flags because frankly its the easiest thing to do.

So here are some pictures of my second Austrian unit some (maybe not quite right) Bohemian Landwehr

2023 My Napoleonic Year

Before Christmas I posted up a test piece Austrian infantry man for a new project I planned for 2023. I’ve had a desire to do something Horse and Musket for a while I wanted horse, foot and guns to push around the table and some pageantry and fancy uniforms . I toyed with the Seven years war, the war of Spanish succession even ACW but in the end Napoleonics seemed to trump the others either because it was more colourful (than ACW) or much easier to source the miniatures and cheaper due to the availability of plastic sets (than WSS or SYW).

Once I’d decided to go for Napoleonics I then needed to decide what theatre and year. My first thought was the Peninsular war mostly thanks to Messrs Sharpe and Harper however I’ve had a long standing love of Austrian uniforms ever since I had a set of ESCI 1805 Austrians and Prussian as a kid. So when I saw the Perry and Victrix plastic Austrian sets I was sold. I wanted my Austrians in helmets (which are way cooler than Shakos imo) so that meant 1805 or 1809. Frankly the Austrians were crap in 1805 while 1809 they gave the French and their German allies a much harder fight. Having settled on 1809 I was trying to workout what division from each side, from the frankly huge armies fighting in the main theatre, to represent when I jogged a memory of the Battle of Gefrees.

Gefrees was a very small battle by Napoleonic standards and was the main battle in a side show that happened in Bohemian, Saxony and the Bavarian Bayreuth region. As a side show the forces were small and of a very mixed bag. The Austrian forces included only two regular infantry Battalion and a regiment of Grenz regular border troops the bulk of the Austrian forces being made up of Bohemian Landwehr battalions. The Austrian cavalry was cobbled together from reserve squadrons of various light cavalry regiments. On top of that Austrians were supported by some small Freikorps made up of German rulers and their followers who lost their lands after Napoleon created the Confederation of the Rhine the main one being the famous Black Brunswickers of the duke of Brunswick.

Against this ragtag Austrian force was arrayed the Kingdom of Saxony. Unfortunately for Saxony the vast Majority of their army had been sent to support Napoleon in Bavaria. Which meant the defence of Saxony fell on Johann von Thielmann with another scratch force including 2000 men combed out of depot battalions many of who were invalids although he did have a regiment of the Zastrow Cuirassiers. Along side Saxony was the newly formed kingdom of Westphalia under Napoleon’s younger Brother King Jerome on paper the army looked quite good but many of the men were quite raw and king Jerome had already had to weather two uprisings, one lead by one of his own trusted officers, in his kingdom so there were questions over the loyalty of these German soldiers to their French King. Jerome could also call upon some Dutch troops from the short lived Kingdom of Holland who had already help put down the uprising of the Prussian hussar officer Ferdinand Von Schill in Northern Germany in early 1809.

The French also had forces in Northern Bavaria in the form of the reserve corps made up of a division of 4th infantry battalions which were made up of raw recruits and the elite companies of the old French regimental depot battalions, some scratch artillery crewed by infantry and some horse artillery gunners and two provisional Dragoon regiments cobbled together from the 4th squadrons of various different Dragoon regiments (and allegedly so raw that hadn’t even been trained to charge mounted yet). the French were also supported by a small forces of Bavarian infantry and artillery drawn from local depot companies.

The more I looked into this campaign side show the more it appealed the lack of elite formations, the smaller sizes of the battles (or almost battles), the fact the Austrians did quite well and the variety of different units involved really spoke to me. Now I had sorted out my theatre of operations I need a rule set. I decided I want something simple and quite old school my children had brought me a copy One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas for my Birthday a while back but I hadn’t done much with it. Revisiting the rules I decided they would fit my needs really well. The rules are very simple but the simplicity allows to me add a few house rules for flavour with bog everything down.

Now I have a plan nailed down to build several small forces in 28mm based on the forces in Bohemia in 1809 I will try to stick to units in the various orders of battle but I may have to play around with numbers especially in the case of Austrian cavalry reserve squadrons, various depot companies and German freikorps to turn them into useable units under my chosen rules. I may also bath tub some of the larger forces because, for example, I don’t want to paint 14 battalions of Austrian Landwehr or the whole Westphalian army. To kick off I finished the first battalion of Austrian Regulars to accompany my test piece from Christmas. This is the 3rd battalion of IR 10 who were part of the Austrian XI corps in Bohemia in 1809 hopefully the first of many.

Test Piece For a New Project

I’ve wanted to do something horse and musket themed for a while now. My lovely wife has bought me some nice new toys for Christmas, so I have a new project in mind for January. I wanted to try some practice painting before launching into the new project, being a new period, I’ve never painted before, so I got a couple of sprues of Perry plastics off eBay. Here is the first test piece. I’ve tried to simplify the painting as I’m going to be painting several battalions of infantry, regiments of cavalry and batteries of guns I’ve decided the mass effect is more important than individual figures. As such I started this guy off with an airbrush, to speed up the undercoat and base coat and then added a few washes and highlights and skipped painting the eyes. I think he has turned out pretty well just 15 more to paint now.