Wednesday, October 12, 2016

SYW Hessian Artillery

Another set of AWI Hessians, this time a Perry set of metals featuring 4 artillery men and a "Swedish" four pounder.  As with my other troops from Hesse-Kassel (grenadiers and jaegers to date), these are perfectly suitable for SYW as the Hessians adopted Prussian style uniforms for both conflicts.  These were lovely figures and a joy to paint.

Side view of the piece.  Poor photo but the carriage is a very dark blue.
The Perry box comes with a "Swedish" 4 pounder.  These were captured from the French during the SYW and were apparently very nice pieces.  Captured pieces served with the Hanoverian and allied German states during the SYW.  I have painted the carriage a dark blue which was typical during the AWI and later.  Krosnokraf gives sources for a white/light grey scheme with red trim,  but I went with the most utilitarian and less flashy blue.

In action shot.  As always the Perry crews look like they are actually working the piece.
I will of course use these for SP2 actions, which give a standard artillery unit with one piece and five crew.  It also helps a lot if you field a leader for the artillery.  This means that I'll need to add two figures.  Right now the plan is to use a Warlord plastic  infantryfigure to represent hired help to drag the gun around.  For the leader I may use a plastic Warlord officer figure on foot or a Perry mounted figure.

Ground level shot from behind.  Note the drag ropes for prolonging the piece once unlimbered.

Lovely crisp details on the belts and packs

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hessian Grenadiers

These are a set of 9 Hessian Grenadiers painted for my SYW Sharp Practice project.  They are 28mm hard plastic figures from the Warlord AWI Hessian Infantry boxed set.  They have been some time coming as it took a long while to get them together and then painted and then photographed and blogged.  Basically problem children, with many of the problems lying somewhere between the chair seat and the tip of the paintbrush.

These were my first experience with Warlord figures and they were a learning experience!  Ok lets start with the plus side.  
  • The box includes enough figures to do a reasonable sized unit and options for  a Prussian/Hessian Fusilier (the early pickelhaube helmet), Musketeer (Prussian style tricorn) and Grenadiers (classic mitre) plus command stand and a handful of Jaegers.
  • The figures are well moulded and have a good set of accurate kit for the AWI.  I am fudging the trousers a bit going back to SYW but otherwise they fit the earlier period well.
  • There's a good variety of poses, and some of these (firing, loading and priming) are very good.
  • The box comes with a good full colour insert with instructions on putting them together and painting, plus flags.
  • I managed to put together a usable group for SP2, so they are mostly idiot proof!

 OK now for the not so good.

  • They are fussy to put together, way more so then the Perry boxes (the gold standard IMHO).
  • As always some of the figures are not so great.  The figure at the trail (the NCO and one ranker in my unit) go into this category.
  • Most of the torsos have exactly one set of arms that work with them.  This limits the variety of poses greatly.  I far prefer the Perry approach and love mixing and matching bits from different figures and boxes.
  • The heads are two-three piece constructions!  The musketeer hats have to be glued onto the heads and then the pigtails come separate (really?!?).  I went with Grenadiers in part because  their hats come cast on the heads reducing the number of steps/chances for error.  And let's just say that frustration is maximized trying to glue a pigtail on a 28mm figure, or trying to find a grey pigtail on the floor.  Several grenadiers have gone with a more cropped hair style as a result.
  • Down at the feet we have more issues, namely the figures have separate bases and the feet end at the bottom of their feet.  This gave me more conniptions trying to figure how to get these painted.  Eventually I went with the Warlord individual square bases.  They'll work well for skirmish games but be a pain in kiester in a larger game.  They are also fall over easily and I had to apply a quick fix in the form of ballast in the base.
  • You'll note that I managed to get the facing of the figures off in some cases so some grenadiers are firing at a 45 degree angle to strait ahead and will be hearing from their Sergeant shortly.
  • The seemed to take a while to paint, this may be me or it may be the figures.  But I painted a set of Perry metal AWI figures shortly after wards (post to come) and they took the paint very well with far less do overs and fixes required.

Herrs Schultz and Muller need to adjust their aim.  Eyes front soldiers!

Hoffman at least has his eyes on the prize and is aiming dead ahead.  I am not a huge fan on the head down at the trail figure that doubles as an NCO with a swap of a partizan carrying set of arms.

The other problem with the bases, being hollow they don't have much ballast and the figures topple over easily.  I compensated by supergluing a small washer into the hollow space.

Rear view showing the kit and the problematic pigtails (or lack there of).

Again from the rear and above.  Much of the slowness in painting came from the cross belts (and lapels on the front of the figures).   The detail wasn't crisp enough to get it right first time out.