Thursday, 15 September 2011

Uniforms of Genoa and Modena

Recently I've been taking a bit of a detour through the War of the Austrian Succession with my reading and at the moment the campaigns in Italy have particularly grabbed my attention. I think the uniforms were what drew me in initially, especially those of Savoy which are beautiful in their simplicity. That, and perhaps the scarcity of books in English on the subject initially gave it an air of mystery. For the past week or so I've been reading Duffy's The Wild Goose and the Eagle and when I reached the section dealing with the fighting against Genoa I remembered some absolutely lovely plates on the New York Public Library's Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms. I first ventured there a couple of years ago and spent most of my time perusing the sections on the big players (Prussians, Austrians, French, etc.) but there are some real gems hidden in some of the smaller nations so I thought I'd post a few and the links to them, as they are really worth a browse if you get chance.

The plates in question all seem to be done by the same artist and cover the uniforms of Genoa and Modena. There are also some more by him of later Italian uniforms from the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. All of the plates take the form of scenes and this gives them a real character and charm. I don't know the artist's name, but if you happen know anything about them (who did them, did he do any other mid 18th century, are books available with them in etc.) please let me know in the comments section of this post. I'd be very grateful for any help you can give. 

Anyway I'll stop waffling on now and post a few pictures:


A little bit of information on Genoese uniforms can be found on Uniformology's website.

 Officer reading a message while Swiss and Genoese soldiers, and what I think is a scout or light infantryman of some kind, look on.

Genoese soldiers march down a dusty Italian road under the watchful eyes of their sergeant.

Swiss infantry marching behind their fifers.

A rather forlorn-looking Piedmontese prisoner (from a Swiss regiment, I believe) is brought before relaxing officers and a lady.


A soldier and follower dance in camp.

 Swiss soldiers go for a stroll.

A selection of uniforms, I particularly like the combination of colours on the two gossiping in the middle.

Towards the end of the century a soldiers' fight rapidly escalates into bloodshed.

If you haven't been on the New York Public Library's Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms I can't recommend it enough. It's great that such a valuable resource has been made public, and on top of that they actively encourage sharing by providing links to embed the pictures in your own websites. More plates by the same artist as did these can be found in the Italy section under Genoa, Modena, Italy 1796-97, Minor States and probably more besides.

My painting has stopped completely over the last few months as I've been cramming in as much overtime as I can but I hope to get something posted in the next couple of weeks or so. I really can't let myself down this month. I've got a bit of extra motivation, though, because as soon as I get through the stuff I have on the go already I can get on to painting some lovely Minden Miniatures hussars currently sitting in the cupboard.

A few more books

I've added a few more books to the Seven Years War book list (although one is strictly about the War of the Austrian Succession):

Irish Brigades

By John Cornelius O’Callaghan

By Mary Anne Bianconi O 'Connell

By Andrew O’Reilly

War of the Austrian Succession

By Richard Rolt

Monday, 28 March 2011

New additions to the French and Indian War Free Book List

When I initially posted the list of French and Indian War books on TMP, forum member Thomas Mante very helpfully suggested some more related books (thanks!). That was a few months ago, but I've pulled my finger out and added them to the list now. I've listed the new additions below to save you searching through the list if you've already downloaded the ones that were there before:



By George Washington

By Mary Carson Darlington (includes the letters of Generals Grant, Forbes and Bouquet, and the Journal, letters and orderly book of Captain Simeon Ecuyer

(includes extracts from the papers of Colonel Henry Bouquet)

By Robert Rogers, John Bradstreet and Franklin Benjamin Hough


By James Johnstone

By Mary Carson Darlington (includes account by Pierre-Joseph CĂ©loron de Blainville)


By William Harrison Lowdermilk

By Mary Carson Darlington

By Mary Carson Darlington
By William Smith

Sunday, 27 March 2011

A little bit of progress on the painting front

Well, I've had a sudden burst of painting energy and am getting ever close to my (rather pathetic) goal of finishing my first unit. I've been helped along the way by Channel 4's '4OD' service where they have uploaded large sections of their back catalogue for free viewing on the internet (without a one-week-to-view limit like the BBC). So whilst I've been getting down to it, I've re-watched the Devil's Whore and The Book Group, on top of my usual wrestling, Corrie and ANTM painting TV programmes. Corrie has been especially good this past week with Becky's antics, including a particularly nasty (for corrie at any rate) fight with her sister and David Platt before going to work behind the bar without bothering to clean herself up. It  isn't this violent usually and I think three bloody noses within the space of a minute is a record for Corrie. Becky certainly proved that she is anything but 'all talk' and I'll be gutted if Katherine Kelly doesn't get best soap actress at the next TV awards. But enough waffling about soaps, I'm sure you all have to put up with listening to enough of that in real life, and I don't think my attempt to increase my blog content by substituting soaps for actual painting is fooling anyone.

Frei-regiment von Gerlach WIP

First up, Frei-regiment von Gerlach. I've decided to carry on using the Perry musketeers at ease for these. At one point I was thinking of changing to something more 'actiony' which would suit troops not firmly ranked up, but that was really down to being unsure of how a Frei-regiment would operate. The decision to carry on using these came from reading Duffy's Instrument of War (thank goodness for inter-library loan) in which Duffy says this with regard to the Green Loudon regiment:

'As a full regiment his troops would be able to lend solid support to the Croats, who had a way of dispersing after a successful attack'

I'm taking this to apply to von Gerlach as well, that they are there to provide solid support (which won't disperse) to the Jaegers who will fight in a 'skirmish' order. I'll be ranking the miniatures up using some of the one penny movement trays from, which will also allow easy casualty removal as I'm planning on using the Sharp Practice ruleset. Usefully, posting this picture has made me realise that I've missed the belt off of one of them which would have got me miffed if I'd only noticed it after varnishing them all.

Arquebusiers de Grassin WIP

Next up are some Arquebusiers de Grassin. I've got 24 in total and these are the first 12. You'll probably notice the gaiters are all different colours. The grey triad on the front row is what will be used for the models rather than the white, which was too much of a chore to paint on the few I tried it on. I quickly realised I wouldn't be able to get through 24 sets of white gaiters when I was getting frustrated with the first few. Thankfully there are a number of different depictions of the Arquebusiers de Grassin and one of these includes them wearing grey gaiters (below). The switch to grey has noticably affected my painting rate, as I am now able to overcome my laziness to do longer painting sessions on the Grassins.

Grey gaiters

Finally, I've been interspersing something a little different between the SYW stuff in the form of some Very British Civil War Royalist territorials (I've shamelessly jumped on that bandwagon). I've found it really helps me to vary what I'm painting to stop me getting too bored, as well as giving me the opportunity to paint up some Great War British I impulse bought a couple of years ago. VBCW also gives you a bit of freedom to use your imagination so I've given them blue dress caps (think Whites in the RCW) and white armbands. These ones are finished apart from the basing.

Lancashire Fusiliers, assigned to the detachment tasked with defence of Royalist supply lines to the forces on the Liverpool Front, in the Leigh and Tyldesley area .

I think the most important thing at the moment, though, is that I've managed to get myself back into work which means I'll be able to structure my painting over work night evenings. It also means I'll be able to unable to resist buying more stuff which is probably a bad thing. I'm set on doing some AWI and some 15mm SYW, but every time I check the internet there seems to be a new range that I feel compelled to buy. I really don't think I'll be able to resist the new Empress Maori Wars range, for example.

Oh, and from now on I won't start going on about what TV I've been watching on this 'wargaming blog'. It's just that Corrie at the moment has been too good for me to be able to resist the compulsion to subject all and sundry to my opinions on it. Sorry.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Test/practice models

"This blog is an attempt to motivate myself to paint Seven Years War wargames armies with the aim of posting something new every month."

Well, seeing as that was the stated aim of this blog when I started it months ago, I'd say with certainty that I haven't really done what I set out to do. In fact every time I look at my own blog that sentence grates on me, reminding me of my own slothful ways. Thankfully, I've begun to make some progress, even to the point where painting is starting to become enjoyable rather than a chore. I think purchasing a daylight bulb and Argos' cheapest floorlamp has helped with this. It's enabled me to paint for a lot longer in the evening and, more importantly, enabled me to combine this hobby with my main couch potato activities. No longer will Coronation Street, TNA Wrestling, X factor (though I'll have to wait another year) and the like have to be in a seperate sphere to wargaming. With these sorts of thing I tend to only be interested in some of it so I can concentrate on painting whilst just listening and only look up if something interesting's happening. Like John Stape comedically tampering with a crime scene, Mrs Karen Jarrett schreeching at ex-husband Kurt Angle, or saucy scouse songstress Rebecca Ferguson making 'Candle in the wind' her own. I suspect that some of you will now be of the opinion that, apart from 18th Century military history, my interests are decidedly low brow, but I'm unashamed and if it helps me paint more it can only be a good thing.

Anyway, I started my painting off with some French and Indian War Rangers. These aren't finished yet, as they were mainly a means to try out a number of different colours for my SYW skirmish 'project'. Especially to find red, blue and dark green triads I'm happy with.

Trying out a red

Trying out a blue

After these experiments with colour combinations I painted a test model from the unit i hope to complete next (first, in fact), the Arquebusiers de Grassin. I think I will be doing this on all units from now on as this one proved to be very helpful in deciding the order I paint the various part of the miniature in. On this one I left the fur trim until near the end, which proved to be a bad move as, even when using a relatively small brush, white paint started going on other bits of the miniature whilst drybrushing, which I then had to touch up. All that remains now is the musket woodwork and the cartridge box and strap. I did actually find a couple of browns I liked that would have suited this purpose a couple of years ago, but I neglected to write them down at the time and now the miniatures they were used on taunt me from the shelf.

Arquebusier de Grassin

One thing I have definitely learnt from making this post is that the expression 'the camera never lies' is an out and out lie itself. I assure you that up close it is clear that I have slapped the paint on thick and chalky, and that the eyes on the Rangers look so goggly that I didn't bother trying to paint them on the Frenchman as  I don't want them to look high as kites as well. Apologies for the dark and blurred nature of the photos, even if it does work to my advantage.

Hopefully, I will be posting a photo of these Frenchmen at the end of next weekend if not before. After that, a change of tack as some local gamers have very kindly allowed me to join in with their 28mm AWI and 15mm SYW projects. So you should soon be seeing some Americans and Hanoverians on this blog.