SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2007

I had hoped to get these on the site last week, but hey life gets in the way once in a while.  So, sorry for the delay in the updates.  My wife was out of town this week and I had planned to get a lot of painting done, but was sucked into the ROME series.  Here is what I did accomplish.

These are the first troops that I have been disappointed with since I started this project.  I think they look fine up-close, but from table distance they seem a bit "blobby"?  I had hoped for more contrast between the yellow and the white edging.  Instead I think it is hard to discern the difference from a few feet away.

You can not tell the difference between the buff gloves and the yellow cuffs.  The yellow and white in general is not readily identifiable from a distance.  I have learned from this unit that I will have to be more careful in the units that I choose to represent in the future.  I have already canned a planned Dragoon regiment based on what I learned with this unit.





This website has been one of my best finds in a long time, since Kronosaf in fact.  I am head over heals for this site.  I'm sure anyone who actually reads the site will remember me lamenting in the beginning of the blog about the lack of online plates and my mission to secure some blank ones so I could start producing my own.  Well, not two months later come "Not by Appointment".  Here is a guy with drafting skills that has an interest in SYW uniforms, an eye for detail, and the determination to get it right.  And better yet, he will share the work with the rest of us.

This site is a real boon for those "imaginary" SYW countries out there trying to flesh out details.

The man is pumping out uniform variants quicker than I can check back to see what's going on.  Drop him a line, he seems a great bloke from our correspondence.  I will update the links pages to include this fine site.

Artwork by David from Not By Appointment


I come from a small town in the Midwest where there was one hobby store, and after a five minute walk around, you knew everything in the store.  So there was never really any reason to stop in unless you ordered something, because you knew what was there.  So, I have been a mail order guy for these last three years.

Traveling to Boston this last week, I went by the Hobby Bunker to visit a real hobby shop.  This place was amazing.  I encourage anyone to stop by and have a look and support this business.  There are very few places like this left in our internet equipped world.  This place had it all and with a strong emphasis on historical miniatures of every scale. 


I have finished my first dragoon unit recently.  These guys were fun to paint, but unfortunately the only sculpts that I have run across in the Prussian range that haven't been re-sculpted in the new style.  So they still have the cartoonish tricorns.  If I had it to do over again, I would have used the Austrian Dragoons and just painted them in Prussian colors, as they have been resculpted in the newer and vastly superior style.  Another thing that stood out with these models, was the high percentage of miscasts.  I had about five miscast horses legs out of the 33 models I look at to make this unit.  I am also attributing this to the older castings.

I'm still very happy with them as a unit.






I have painted a new commander for the army.  I wanted to start doing some accurate commanders.  The Baccus range has a great little pack of SYW Generals that are generic for all of the armies.  The Prussians had general officers that were also Chefs of regiments and they dressed in the uniform of their particular regiment.  So the general officers will need to be in cuirassier uniform or hussar uniform as well as infantry uniforms. 
My first attempt at a general officer that is not from the generic pack is Seydlitz as I was already painting cuirassiers.  He was the Chef of the 8th cuirassier regiment, so that meant black facings which was fine, but I ran into problems with the saddle blanket.  It is white with silver lace, and I don't think the lace shows up very well against white, not enough contrast.  Not quite as impressive as I had hoped, but it is a welcome addition. 

I have plans for a hussar commander when I paint them next.

In a previous page I documented how I seperated the  individual figures from the others on a strip.  It took a few steps and a few pictures to demonstrate.  I didn't think it was to involved of a process.  Then someone either emailed me or posted on a message board, that all he did was clip them.  I thought "Well, that's fine, but my way isn't a chore really, it just looks that way." 

While separating the dragoons for painting, I think I had four casualties while performing the operations.

So I decided to give these "clippers" a try when I saw them at the Battle Bunker in Boston.  Now, I was flush with cash (read more than $5 in my pocket) and couldn't find enough to spend it on due to my daughter constantly playing with things in the store and having to run blocker for her.  So at checkout, I saw clippers on the wall and bought them.  Unfortunately, they were a GW product.  Now, normally I won't buy anything from GW on principle, hey I started there but have progressed since then.  I spent around $15 on them and literally the next day saw the same thing in a hardware store for $4.

I separated my hussars with them and it was a dream, no casualties even.  So, moral of the story in two parts:

  • buy clippers if you are working in 6mm and don't have them
  • avoid GW products like the plague!

TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2007

I finished my second unit of dragoons last night.  The 3rd Dragoon Regiment, an nice pink faced unit.  Overall they were fun to paint, but I ran into a little problem with the basing.  I think it could be placed into the "No one will ever know but me" category, but I'll show you.

These guys are based on a very small slant, and towards the back of the base as opposed to in the middle.  Again, I know that no one else will care, but it kinda' bothers me.  I try very hard to get them on the right place on the base as I think that basing a figure well really makes a difference in presentation. 

I'm still very happy with them, so here is the unit in all it's glory.


3rd Dragoon Regiment








I have been hard at work understanding hussar nomenclature these past few weeks.  I think I have it all down now, except for the difference between a pelisse and a dolman.  Every book seems to think the difference is pretty evident, but I just can't grasp it.  It seems all of my references show both in a picture, while stating that they were never worn together "while on campaign."

One thing I think is kinda' funny about Hussars is that every nation tried to dress their Hussar light cavalry very much the same.  Why is that?  I know most of the original Hussars were Hungarian, fine enough that Hungarians dress like Hungarians. But why would say French folks dress like Hungarians?  Just because they serve the same purpose on the battlefield they don't need to dress a like.  It just seems kind of funny to me.  The uniform doesn't seem like it serves the purpose of reconnaissance and pursuit better than, say a dragoon uniform. 

I think it may just be a difference of an 18th century mind and a 21st century mind.  I can't imagine the same thing happening today, and would love it if anyone could send me a modern example.  I think one thing stopping this type of situation happening in today's world, the fact that very few foreigners serve in national armed forces (with exceptions like Britain and the Vatican)  But again, these situations aren't like having soldiers in country A's army, from country A, dressing like soldiers from country B.

Don't get me wrong, I love painting them and I'm quite happy that things worked this way during the 7YW.  Here is my work in progress.

I have had some great photos sent to me from Tom Primrose and more good stuff from Paul Finlay.  I will put them in the Guest Gallery for your viewing pleasure.

Please feel free to send in pictures of your well painted SYW 6mm figs to go up in the gallery.

A small sample:


FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2007

I have given the site somewhat of a makeover this week.  I spend a lot of time looking at this site and I needed a little variety in my life.  I have tried to keep it very readable, please let me know if you do or don't like it.  Not that I will change it, but I'd like to know.


BOOK REVIEW - The Anatomy of Victory
I have just finished reading Brent Nosworthy's fine book The Anatomy of Victory.  I felt it was important to start with this book as I wanted an overview of how battles were fought in the period.  I had no idea before starting this project what a true 18th century battle looked like.  It would be hard to game a period that you didn't know anything about.  After all, we are here to recreate a certain style, aren't we?

So, my goal was to learn about battle in the 18th century, and this book delivered in a big way!  It begins with pike and shot tactics and takes you through to the beginning of "Napoleonic" tactics.  It is divided into three sections.

  • Linear Warfare
  • Evolution of Tactics and Grand Tactics 1714-1756
  • Doctrine and Training in the SYW Period
I could have only read the last section, Doctrine and Training in the SYW Period, and been very happy.  But I started in the beginning and read it cover to cover and feel it was a worth while decision.  I think most gamers would do the same.  Mr. Nosworthy is an excellent writer and brings to life what could easily be the most hard to read subject imaginable, discounting text books. 

He adds a good deal of diagrams in the back of the book, I would love to have seen more.  If I had a complaint, it was that the diagrams were not referenced in the text.  You have to remember to look and see for yourself.  Many times I would be reading and the situation would go like this.  "The first and third platoons moved across the fourth and second, but only after the eighth and twenty-third has started going in the opposite direction, blah...blah...blah."  (Well not exactly, buy you get the point.)  Then I would check the diagrams in the back of the book and everything would be made clear.

The book is pretty much divided between Prussian developments, French developments, and "Everyone Else."  It was hardest for me to get through the large sections about the French, simply because I'm not really interested in them.  Nothing against the French you see, I'm just rather hear about Austrians, Russians, and Prussians.

By reading this book, you will understand why men would dress in lace and stand 40 paces apart and fire muskets at each other.  It also covers the best ways to fire muskets and throw the most lead.  The evolution from 30 rank formation to 3 rank formations, and many, many more interesting things that you might not even know is interesting yet.

Overall, I can't recommend this book to the beginner enough!   It is a must read to get acquainted with linear warfare.  I enjoyed reading it and look forward to finding time to read more from the author.  He also has a book on "Napoleonic" tactics that is tempting, but I have too much to read for the SYW for that now.

I had the chance with my first unit of Hussars to try some different colors of base coats.  With the first unit, the 9th Hussars, they have a completely black uniform and a black base coat, a match maid in heaven.  I painted them so quick that I thought I must have missed something or done a half-assed job on them.  But I think the reason is that a very tedious step had been removed.  Putting the main uniform color on a model, to me, is a very tedious step, you have to make sure you get such a large surface area and don't miss all the nooks and crannies.  I much more prefer lining things and doing the detail (lucky for me).

I then put a gray base coat on the second unit I am painting, the 8th Hussars, and they have gray horses.  Here is another tedious step removed, even though I did use a different color of gray, I didn't have to worry about missing a spot as they are close enough, I managed to lighten the color with very little hassle.  Great!

So I recommend that you try and find a spray paint to use for base coating that is used on the finished model.  It can be tough, as you want to touch it up, so the color has to have a corresponding acrylic that you have access to.  The spray should also be a "flat" color, or so I have been told.

I am using generic Wal-Mart "Color Place" paints and they come in flat gray, black, and white colors.  And all for $1.09 to boot.  I think I will try base coating in white for my Prussian Infantry when I get to my Fusiliers.

Here are my first Hussars, the 9th Hussars.  I struggled a lot with how to base them, 7 in a line like my other cavalry, or loosely like irregular cavalry.  This is an issue because they used closed order tactics like heavy cavalry and skirmish tactics.  I asked others how they did it on a few forums and got no real opinions that I could use.  It seems many people are forced to use straight lines due to size restrictions or use loose order to tell units apart.  But no one gave me an answer that said, "I do it this way because they fought like so..." which is what I was after.  So I decided to use 5 on a base in loose order.  Here are the

The 9th Hussars






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