Armée d’Orient

I have been interested in the Crimean war for a long time, but never really got motivated to do anything about it. Having discovered some time, and no motivation to address anything else, I have started to build some armies to game it, using Neil Thomas’ 19th century war-games rules.


The army poses for one of those new fangled Daguerreotypes

I have finished the French (for the moment), having already gone a little over the top. I started with them because I think they get short shrift in the Anglo Centric histories, and rather a lot of them showed up to the ball.


The Cavalerie Légère minds the open flank. Chasseurs d’Afrique supported by Les Hussards

The figures in the army are a mixture; Wargames Foundry, Great War Miniatures, and Cibo’s Little Dudes being the majority contributors.

la Marine

La Marine waits to cross the stream. supported by a completely ahistorical unit of Légion étrangère. I had the figures, and I liked them, so…

The much too late legionnaires are Old Glory.


Not really a grand battery, is it?

The individual figures in the photos are to be used as markers, showing that the unit has received orders. I’ve come to dislike counters or tokens on the table.


La Armée d’Afrique waits by the stream also. Zouaves in front, Turcos behind

Some of the individual figures came from other manufacturers. I think the Sipahi is Askari, for instance.

the guard

La Garde Impériale in reserve. Voltigeurs and Grenadiers. I know the Grenadiers should have blue trousers for Crimea, but Le Pantalon Rouge, C’est La France! Besides, I can use them for 1859.

And my little army has too much Guard. But they are so handsome.

Heavy Cavalry

The Cuirassiers and Dragoons wait to exploit their chance

I did try and use the Orders of battle I could find, so that the units I painted were there. The Dragoons and Cuirassier regiments were both present.

The Line

La Ligne. Lots of vin rouge très ordinaire here. The Chasseurs have crossed the stream, the rest of the infantry waits

I’m going to have to fiddle with the ranges and movement rates in the rules. My bases are rather large, with removable individual figures, so they can be used for other games.


Maréchal Saint-Arnaud and his staff consider a particularly knotty problem

That’s the lot then. Somewhat more than I needed, but fun to paint.

On to the Russians now!


Messing around with boats

Despite appearances, I’ve still been painting things, and gaming. I just haven’t been writing about it that much. Probably because there was nothing much worthy of photography.


Some 1/2400 ships from Figurehead and Tumbling Dice.

I’ve painted something new, though, and thought I might share. I’ve become interested in mid-19th century games, and I found two companies producing small scale naval miniatures for the period (Figurehead and Tumbling Dice). For the moment, I’m sticking with wooden ships. I may do something with ironclads later, but my current interest is around the time of Crimea, so wooden ships it is. I was just pleased to find someone making the things.

The ships are in 1/2400, which is fairly challenging for me, so I regard this bunch as test pieces. I can only hope they’ll improve as we go along. Also, the manufacturers pieces are different, with Figurehead’s stuff looking smaller and frailer, and Tumbling Dice models having the ratlines moulded on. I’m not sure which I prefer.


Steam ships of the Line. Only 3, and I managed to put Agamemnon’s name on the wrong side of the base. And the bloody photo is fuzzy too

I even attempted to rig them, in a number of different methods, hoping to find something that will be acceptably fast and not result in my fingers getting stuck together and me swearing.


Two steam screw frigates

The bases I got from Warbases and etched them with a dremel. Again, I’m hoping that practice will improve the results.


Four paddle frigates and corvettes

I chose the names and color schemes with the help of reference books and Google. Most, for the moment, ended up being British, so I’ll try and insert more foreigners later. I’m not overly concerned with nationality, I think they are going to end up being pressed into service for somewhat imaginary things.

For rules, I’m planing to use David Manley’s Broadside and Ram rules, so clearly I need more boats as this is very much a fleet set. I could certainly use his Dahlgren and Columbiad rules, but for the moment, I’m enamored with the command and control elements so I’ll keep those as a backup.


Biggles in the Desert

If there wasn’t a Biggles book titled this, there certainly should have been.

Over the Desert Rats, 1940 style

Over the Desert Rats, 1940 style. Lyslanders and escort

I painted up some 1/285 aircraft for Check Your 6, and it took an unconscionable length of time. Some are Raiden, some Heroics and Ross, I think. Its been so long since I bought them, I’m not sure.


A flight of Gladiators

And then the matte sealer went all funny on me, causing much heartache. I managed to pull the worst of the damage back, though.


6 Gladiators and 2 Lyslanders, probably 7 more aircraft than a rational person needs

I also spent a while browsing websites to try and find the right colors. Then I gave up, because in this scale, who is to know?

Now to find some Italians.

Somewhere over the Mediterranean


Short Sunderland with two flights of Fulmars as escort. It might be safer on it’s own

It took me much longer than it should to paint these, but I finally finished. Something terrible going on with my dullcote though (probably because it is an antique at this stage). In any case, some 1/285 aircraft for Check your 6 (CY6).


One of the flights of Fulmars. Apparently the yellow tails were for recognition. Like there were all that many two seat fighters floating around the Mediterranean

Embarrassingly I don’t have a very good idea where these came from. The Fulmars are for a Friend, the Sunderland is because.. I dunno. it’s big? I’m pretty sure that some of the Fulmars are Raiden. Others are not; there is pretty clearly two manufacturers here.


Orange and red on the front of the wings too. More ‘recognition’. I think the FAA ran out of paint.

For the Sunderland, I’ve had it a while, and no idea where it came from.

In any case, looking forward to dome desert-y action eventually.

Awake again

Hi there. It has been a very long time since I put anything here; that is really because it has been a while since I have done anything much on the gaming front.

Finally, however, some progress has been made and I finished off the Classical Indians for Art de la Guerre.

The figures for this batch are 1st Corps. An attached general, and some of those large chariots that are in breach of DoT regulations, but do look like fun.


There really is a bunch of lads in those Chariots


I assume that the lad not holding the unberella is the General


I don’t know about anyone else, but they scare me.

Given how long thy took me to complete, I may as well have applied the paint by individual molecule. Maybe I’ll do better in future.

Avanti Savoia or whatever

The local crowd, or some of them, at least, have become enamored of the Chain of Command rules from Two Fat Lardies. I will refrain from any comment about out physiognomy matching that of the rules authors (mostly because I am a major offender myself) and say that I do enjoy the rules, with some reservations about the amount of luck that can occur in one game. Having said that, I must admit that all the games I have participated in, or even watched, have been a bunch of fun.
So coming late to the game (ha, beware weak pun) and lagging much behind such skilled painters as this guy (I do love his stuff, no idea how he turns out so much in such a high quality) I decided to paint some Italians, on the grounds that no-one had any, and I could avoid invidious comparisons.
And the PDF with the army list was free online……

The first squad. Endless chaps with rifles, and 2 LMGs

The first squad. Endless chaps with rifles, and 2 LMGs

So, off I went, trying to build up a reasonable force, without the traditional wargamer “overbuy”, of which I am usually terribly culpable.
So I got 2 full squads, at squad having a rifle team and 2 LMG teams,

The other squad. Notice that the Italians have carefully applied bullseyes to their hats

The other squad. Notice that the Italians have carefully applied bullseyes to their hats

a scout squad of 12 guys and an NCO, 47mm and 20mm Antitank guns, a 65mm I dunno what sort of gun, it looks like it should have been on the Northwest Frontier or whatever the Italian equivalent is, an mug and 2 small mortars.
Yeah, I didn’t overbuy….  at least did not have many figures left over.

The support. Scouts squad, some mortars, MMG, and light ATG.

The support. Scouts squad, some mortars, MMG, and light ATG.

The figures are a core of the Perry ones, with some Artizan ones mixed in. The mortars and the 20mm atg came from Warlord games (to be honest, my least favorite figures of the bunch). The 47mm is a Perry piece but some of the gun crew are Battle Honors and some Askari Miniatures, who supplied all the Libyan type chaps in skullcaps, used for artillery fill ins and the scout squad. The 65mm gun took some getting, finally turning up as a Battle Honors model, which came also with the guys in helmets, which I ended up rather liking.

The artillery, such as it is.

The artillery, such as it is.

One of the advantages of sourcing figures from all over the place was that it gave the bunch a kind of “assorted” look. anything I read on the Italian army in North Africa indicated that the equipment was very mixed; people standing around in pictures with different type of webbing equipment, with different rifles, with grey-green stuff mixed in with the desert yellow. I tried to make them look like the photos, a bit. Added to this was the idea that the officers wandered around in paler coats, bleached by the sun, making them that much easier to distinguish from the regular troopers. I cannot think that this was a good idea, but what do I know…..

Some tanks were purchased also, being the subject of a later (much later, knowing me) post.

In the service of the Tsar

Horunzhy Nemiroff leads the Half-Sonia through the village. Outpost guys in front, old Glorys behind

Horunzhy Nemiroff leads the Half-Sonia through the village. Outpost guys in front, old Glorys behind

I probably have more than enough Russians to fight the colonial battles I have started documenting here. However, prolonged exposure to wargamers has shown me that “more than enough” is not a concept most of them are entirely comfortable with; so much so that it might be more accurate to say that is a concept that most of them are not aware of. In any case, because I am a wargamer for more years than I really care to think about, I decided my Russians needed more Russians.
Though that is probably some sort of terrible faux-pas or misnomer, because what they got was Cossacks, and I’m not sure if they get upset by being called Russians any more. One would probably have to consult some modern geopolitical chap, of which I am definitely not one.
In any case, I needed some Cossacks. Originally I though the traditional Nelson Eddy ones, with the fur hat and the long cloaks, you know, the bad guys in Dr. Zhivago.
Then I found that I had some Old Glory Russian cavalry in forage hat, and found that The Orenburg Cossacks looked something similar. I also came across the wonderful Outpost Wargaming Services, which had both mounted and dismounted guys. As the uniform for the Orenburgs pleased me greatly (dark green and sky blue, whats not to like?).

Parading through the village, the natives all discreetly absent

Parading through the village, the natives all discreetly absent

The result is these lads; seen on the left parading through the recently liberated/conquered/colonised (delete as appropriate) village. The offices and Bugler are Outpost, the bulk of the troopers old Glory, from their Boxer Revolt range.
This being for Sword and the Flame, they needed to get off their horsies. Outpost provided the foot figures, and I am very pleased with them, they have truly impressive beards. The standing dismount horses are Old Glory from their ACW range, where they have a bag of standing horses with some horse holders. well worth it if you are interested in the look of the thing.

Horunzhy Nemiroff and his lads prepare to hold an inclosure. I think the dismounts look well

Horunzhy Nemiroff and his lads prepare to hold an enclosure. I think the dismounts look well

I am not going to go book on the Cossack uniform; the only images I could find were somewhat incomplete. but I figure it is close enough, and will certainly do for me.