Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Battles of Yesteryear

Over the years I have seen pictures of painted box sets supplied by Alberken in I guess the mid to late 60s. These box sets cost £2 2s 0d or 2 Guineas in 1965.

I have a fondness for the Alberken range and I was pleased to pick up a box of these figures on ebay for a modest outlay (I was the only bidder)

The box contains 20 Russians and look to be Grenadiers possibly codes RN3 and RN4s.  The painting is basic and the paintwork, particularly the white , shows, the effect of age with yellowing varnish.

I will do a bit of paint refurbishment and generally tidy these figures up rather than a strip and repaint. I have 2 Russian DK standard bearers and couple of SHQ Grenadiers I can use to bring the unit up to full strength as the Arakcheyev Grenadiers.

Friday, 3 January 2020

2019 Painting Review

So with 2019 done and dusted I thought it would be a good time to review my classic Napoleonics painting completed in the year.  Each Infantry/artilleryman figure painted counts as a point with a mounted figure and artillery piece counting as 2.

In all I painted 69 Infantry/artillerymen, 28 mounted and 2 guns.  So in all 129 points worth.  I had hoped to do more and aim to do more this year. I am going to move onto some Prussians next and I am hoping that the simpler uniforms may make it quicker to paint

In chronological order this us what I painted.

British Rifles.

British Lifeguards

British Royal Horse Artillery

Brunswick Line Infantry

Wellington and Picton

French Voltigeurs

Davout and Ney

Brunswick Hussars

And finally the first 12 of the Flanker Chasseurs. The other 12 are on the painting table.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Fixing Broken Bayonets

I have collected enough Hinton Hunt French Fusiliers (FN15) to provide the figures for the fusiliers for 2 French Line Battalions.

Unfortunately most of them have lost their bayonets and require fixing.

I have in the past tried plastic card and this has been moderately successful. This time I used a plastic HaT figure to be my bayonet donor. The size and shape of the bayonet are almost the same as the HH bayonet and it most importantly it looks like a bayonet.

I cut the bayonet and the end tip of the musket of the plastic figure. I then cleaned upon the HH figure and filed a straight edge before scoring the ends the of the joint to make a rougher join.

I stuck the replacement to the figure using super glue and a little PVA glue. Once set I reinforced the joint area with a little Milliput.  Once dry this can be gently sanded.

I have tested the join and it is solid. The flexibility of HaT plastic helps as it bends without putting pressure on the join.  Hopefully I can get the paint to adhere and not flak.

And the final comparison photo showing my repaired next to a complete one. Once painted I think it be near impossible to tell the difference.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Chasseur Flanker of the Guards.

I finished the varnishing this morning of the first  12 of my Chasseur Flanker of the Guard.

For this unit I have used the Alberken/early Minfig FN16 - Line Volitigeur Advancing figure for the Rank and File.  This is one of my favourite Alberken figures.

The Chasseur Flankers are a useful addition for 1813/14 French Armies and will form part of my Young Brigade along with a unit of Alberken FN20 - Young Guard Voltigeurs.

They look rather natty in Green.  I have had these figures since the early 70s and I bought them from BMW Models in Wimbledon.  I had originally painted them as Austrians.  For some reason I black lined them in yellow. 

It's good to get these figures resurrected after so many years.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Brunswick Hussars

The summer months have been rather slow on the painting front.  I have had a unit of 12 original Brunswick Hussars on my painting table for months.

Over the last week I decided enough was enough and got my brushes out and finished the unit.

The figures are all original Hinton Hunt figures (BRN 17).  I like the one piece castings. They are slimmer than the 2 piece castings.  I am not sure when Marcus Hinton switched from one piece to two piece castings.

I have started my next unit - a unit of Alberken French Voltigeurs which I am painting as Chasseur Flankers of the Young Guard.  The green uniforms will make a nice change from the black of the Brunswickers.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Refurbing my ACW collection.

I taken a break from my classic  Napoleonics to do a spot of refurbing of my old ACW collection.

I have a reasonably sized 28mm ACW collection of some 700 - 800 figures which I collected over 20 years ago. I have not used them for a while now and decided to rebasing and touch up the chipped paint.

As  I no longer have a permanent wargame table I decided to reorganise the Infantry as 24 figure regiments on 6 30 by 40mm bases.  I have also kept the basing style fairly simple with no exotic flora as seems to be the fashion nowadays. My armies fight in fields and not a show garden at the RHS show.

Here a few of the units of I have completed so far.

The 4th Texas using 1st Corps figures.

Louisiana Tigers with 1st Corps figures with an odd figure which I think is Hinchcliffe.

A Confederate firing line again all 1st Corps figures.

The Iron Brigade - all 1st Corps figures.

And inevitably the 20th Maine using Old Glory figures with a 1st Corps standard bearer.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Charge Rules - Napoleonic Amendments

I have put my thoughts on paper (well this blog at least) regarding my Napoleonic changes to the classic Charge rules. These are based on the Napoleonic Supplementary rules published in the Athena version of the Charge rules plus some of my own ideas thrown in.


I use half scale units with Infantry having 24 figures. Cavalry with 12 figures, in 2 squadrons of 6, and Light Infantry with 12 in 2 companies of 6. Artillery is a gun and 4 crew.

Cavalry and Light Infantry can operate as 2 single 6 figure squadrons or companies as required but cannot then rejoin to form a consolidated unit.


All unit movement is reduced by 50%.


Move and Fire 3”
Battalion in Line 4 ½”
Battalion in square 4 ½”
Company in Line 6”*
Column of fours 7 ½”
File, single file 7 ½”

* A infantry company is 8 figures operating way from its battalion.

Light Infantry in open order:
Move and Fire 6”
Move without firing 12

Line Artillery:
Move and even chance to fire 3”
Move deployed without firing 6”
Move in column of route 7 ½”

Horse Artillery
Move and even chance if fire 6"
Move deployed without firing 9"
Move in column of route 12"


Heavy Cavalry 12”
Light Cavalry 15”
Staff 15”


Waggons 6”
Mules 6”


a) Infantry changing formation: no figure may move more than 6”
b) Infantry squares must be 2 ranks deep on each face, and may not move if engaged in firing or melee.
c) Light Infantry in open order must be a minimum of 1” apart. If in close order they move an fire as line.
d) Cavalry suffer no penalties for changing formation, and formation does not affect their speed of movement.
e) The Artillery’s “move deployed without firing” equates to move and unlimber , or limber up and move.


All firing distances are reduced by 50%


When using the Infantry Melee resolution for large numbers of figures, rather than the individual combats, use the following dice per figure.

Guards one D6 per 4 figures
Line one D6 per 5 figures
Militia one D6 per 6 figures.

The total is then halved to determine the number of figures lost.

For loss from firing and melee I round down for under half a figure, round up for other half and roll an extra dice requiring a 4,5 or 6 to round up a half casualty.


When resolving individual melees, such as Cavalry vs Cavalry or Light Infantry vs Light Infantry I use the following  additional rules

I give a plus +1 to the dice score of the side that has the net advantage in the melee.  The net advantage, if any, is by determining by assessing the following factors.

Heavy vs Light Cavalry
Lancers in 1st round of melee.
Better morale class than opponent
Defending an obstacle
Cavalry and Infantryman vs Cavalry

So for instance an elite cavalry man fighting a heavy line cavalry man would be one advantage each so no net advantage where as if the light cavalry and heavy were both line the heavy cavalryman would be +1.

The maximum advantage can never be greater than +1 so an elite heavy against a line light will only be +1.

This rule allows better quality troops a slight advantage in melee.


Two factors are recognised for the rifle- accuracy of fire and relatively slow rate. It is assumed rifles will only be used in company strength, attached to infantry brigades.
Move and fire as Light Infantry, but riflemen fire only on alternate moves:
0-3” 3 4 5 6 Kills 1 man
3-6” 4 5 6 Kills 1 man
6-9” 5 6 Kills 1 man

Generally speaking, howitzers made up 1/6th of the artillery arm of an army, so this proportion should be maintained. Howitzers may be foot or horse artillery and all are assumed to be of the same calibre.  Crew of 4.
Ranges: 30” maximum 12” minimum
Range Dice for hit as usual

Dice for effect
12-18” 2 3 4 5 6 In all cases the dice score stands
18-24” 4 5 6
24-30” 6
Effect dice are subject to the usual halving for cavalry, gunners etc. Casualties are taken from the centre of the target.
Overhead fire: a howitzer may engage any target provided it is not within 3” of the lee side of a building, hill, wood, etc. and that the trajectory of the shell does not pass within 1” of friendly troops.

a) Crew of 4.
b) Effect dice +1.
c) Move as foot artillery