Sunday, January 19, 2020

Many more for the First Carlist War

Figures for the First Carlist War tend to come in fits and starts-at least in 15/18mm.  Ranges appear, disappear and are suddenly reborn.  Currently, we are not doing too badly two out of three are in production. The missing range being very sadly due to ill health.

QRF are regularly, if not speedily, adding to their range.  The latest pulse has brought us the British Auxiliary Legion (BAL) in the form of Grenadiers, Light Infantry, Centre Company, Command and BAL artillery.  The BAL was 10,000 men strong at one point which is well for me because I have more of them than I originally intended.

Chas of QRF informs me there are more to come too . In the form of BAL Rifles, British Marines, and a rocket battery!  I’m particularly pleased about the rockets.  There will also be Carlist and Cristino generals, artillery and crews. Should the Cristino artillery be in side caps I'll be able to use them for the French Foreign Legion gunners too.  All in all welcome news.  

The previous QRF release brought us French Foreign Legion and Cristino Royal Guard so let’s start there.  Here are the Guards I have two battalions of them.

Here is a battalion of French Foreign Legion.  I have another to do.

Another battalion of Carlists, 6th Viscaya infantry this time.

More Carlist cavalry in the form of the Ontoria Hussars this time from Capitan.  

I do like the Capitan cavalry.

Finally, a look at the BAL. I’m currently painting the Westminister Grenadiers (above) and (below) the Munster Light Infantry.  I like these figures and they mix well enough with the (single pose and command) Capitan BAL.  

You could also use these BAL figures for a couple of the Cape Wars. 

I can think of a few fellows who, rather splendidly, do the First Carlist War in 28mm. In 15/18mm only two and that includes me.  No doubt there are other devotees of Carlist War 15mm out there. If you're one of them do drop by and say hello.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Rambarre! The Vendée War with Rebels and Patriots

I saw the advent of Rebels and Patriots as an opportunity to try projects that were different or even a little obscure.  My first choice was Napoleon’s efforts against the Mamluks.  It proved to be loads of fun at little cost in time or money. I also have the Greek War of Independence and Ridgeway in hand

My latest choice is the Vendée War and it sort of crept up on me.  One of the fellows, Hi Vincent, on Lead Adventure Forum (LAF) was looking for 15mm Vendéen figures and I knew of some.  My interest was piqued and I had a look at various Vendée games and I could see a lot of fun and an interesting contest of systems.  The Vendée War was different, and once again I found myself thinking of Suvorov and his wise bayonets and foolish muskets. 

Next, I read reviews of Rob Harper’s Fighting the French Revolution, one of them complained about excessive military detail.  That made up my mind I bought a copy and I’m very pleased with what I got.  I like a project to be a learning experience and this one will be no exception.

The Vendéens fought with a core of mainly pike men sometimes supported by light cannon.  Their right flank comprised of their best armed bands and it always initiated any attack.  The left flank was not quite so well armed also sought to envelop their opponents.  Once the double envelopment was complete the centre pikes charged with cries of Rambarre!  It was a good and often effective system, sort of Zulus with firepower.

The figures I needed are to be found in Lancashire Games Archived Ranges and I was lucky enough to buy mine in their Sale.  You can see them here and I think they are excellent figures.

I needed a scattering of militant clerics, half a dozen horseman and a gun and suitable crew.  Irregular Miniatures provide all of that.  Useful additional officer figures can be found in the Peter Pig and Polly Oliver AWI ranges.

Flags can be easily found on the web. The figures here were painted in accordance with some excellent information kindly provided by Blue Willow on the LAF Vendéen thread.  Rob Harper’s book also provides info' including details of a unit of colourful uniformed Republican Hussars entirely comprised of freed American slaves.

All in all, it’s coming together splendidly. Better, there are options of what type of force to field. 

Following an interesting discussion on LAF I'm convinced that the basic Rebels and Patriots category for most Vendéens should be Natives.  

As the war progressed and the Vendéens became more experienced the right flank, where their best armed and most motivated fellows were could be Aggressive Natives, the left flank simply Natives and the centre, where the worst armed troops were Natives Poor Shots.  You could also in Rebels and Patriots terms opt for some

Skirmishers, Light Cavalry and a Light Gun with Limber

For the early war I'd go for Natives on the right flank and Natives Poor Shots for the centre and left.  I'd add some Skirmishers too, possibly including some Good Shots.
You may have other and better ideas, if so, do let me know.

More on this as I go, meantime Rambarre! which might be very loosely translated as 'We have them!' and was used at the conclusion of a cattle round up.

In passing I see Blue Moon are producing a Vendéen range.  I'm hoping it will include a pack of cavalry or at least some mounted officers.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Matchlock 15mm FIW Highlanders? Anyone know?

Back in the day Matchlock Miniatures were forever announcing new, exciting ranges of figures.  Maroons in 15mm for example. Somehow they never got around to releasing all of them.  Or maybe that was just how it seemed to me.  Perhaps distribution was a problem. Perhaps limited quantities were produced and sold.

That brings me to the point of this post.  About three years ago a bought a load of FIW figures on eBay. It was truly a great bargain.  Before they all got put into the FIW drawer I noted most of them were Matchlock with a few Essex.

I got them out today in preparation for Muskets and Tomahawks 2.  Among them were 20 British FIW Highlanders.  Two poses firing or marching.  They look very much like Matchlock to me. The size is near identical and so is the sculpting style.   

Here's one with a Matchlock Compagnies Franches soldier.  See what you think.

And from the front.

They don’t appear in the current Matchlock listings but that doesn’t mean that they never did.  If anyone can confirm who made these figures, I would be delighted to hear from you.