zaterdag 2 juli 2011

French Fantasies


It's a bit of a sketchy title to this topic, I admit it, but bear with me and all will be revealed in due course. Anyone checking the HäT website has discovered that their 1:72 scale French Napoleonics have gotten a separate page all to themselves

On this page masters and drawings of the new French MAC infantry sets are show:

French 1815:

and French pre-1812

It's about the latter two sets I'm thinking a lot lately. For the diorama I will need heaps of pre-1812 Frenchies of course, and while it is perfectly possible to make such a force of combining all kinds of existing plastic and metal figure sets, I really want my figures to have an overall same-ish look. The new HäT British Peninsular Infantry will set the benchmark (with some converted Revell Brits mixed in for diversity) and this is no problem as most other troops I have for the project will mix with those nicely: Italeri Hussars and Revell Chasseurs of the Guard as the 3rd French Hussars, Revell Life Guards as Portuguese Dragoons and Revell and HäT British artillery as... well RHA and RFA obviously.

The real problem at the moment is the French infantry as stated above. The present HäT 1812 Big Box is not a bad set at all but the figures are pretty chunky and very different in style to the newer Brits and French Légère MAC sets and while I could opt to alter several sets of the latter into regular infantry it would take a lot of work.
Seeing these shots of the pre-1812 masters has convinced me to wait for them and start with the Brits already lying around here. The drawings clearly show the panoply of separate head-options were gonna get with the French sets and these are superb for my purposes because I want to depict the rigours of campaigning in Spain at the time and have a big diversity in headgear and colours of clothing.

Other opportunities arise as well with the spare heads in these sets like using the Tarletons provided for AWI light troops. Or converting Dutch Light cavalry into British Peninsular LD's since the announced HäT set on Peninsular cavalry has been a little slow in progressing so far. The shako's included will be great for loads of conversions: i.e. I want to make several wargames units of French Artillery with shako's rather then the horrible Italeri busby's or the bicornes on the latest HäT set because I don't do the very early Napoleonic Wars.

Still the problem with all this is: we'll have to wait for a while yet before these figures become available. Argh! I want it all and I want it NOW! as the popular saying goes...

While I got a grip on myself again, let's talk about the MAC system. HäT has come up with, in my eyes, one of the best ways to sell plastic troops in current production by dividing the sets in 3 boxes: a box with Marching figures, a box of Action poses and a Command set. Now we can buy just as many boxes as we need figures and so will not have poses lying around which we have no use for and do not need to buy even more boxes to fill out our units with enough troopers that we do need.This system does have an Achilles heel: it will save us money because we need to buy less boxes but will leave HäT with lower sales... Hopefully we will all buy more of these sets in total then we are buying sets that leave us with spare poses but all the same it's a humongous gamble HäT is willing to take for the convenience of us customers; thanks heaps guys!

For my Salamanca project this just works out great indeed, since I need but a few action posed French and quite a lot of marching ones. So I will keep my fingers crossed the progress on these sets is speedy and without much of the trouble which happens during the production process.

Well that's my ramblings for today,

Cheers Sander

zaterdag 18 juni 2011

They have arrived!


As I posted earlier today, on the 196th birthday of the Battle of Waterloo, the diorama modules for my Salamanca Project have arrived at my home.

Hans Slaager of Waterloo and Cambrai fame delivered them this morning and together we unpacked them into my purpose build table. Without further ado I hereby present you some pictures of the occasion:

Hans showing the modules in their excellent cassettes.

Of course I had the honour to put in place the first plate in the table...

...and the final one!

Enjoying Hans' handiwork together.

If you have never seen any of Hans' work up close and personal you cannot begin to perceive how excellent and with just how much eye for detail he makes his masterpieces. This isn't only true for his landscapes but also for the cassettes they come in. It all fits like a glove.

At first we were a little afraid the modules wouldn't fit in the table, but as we put them in place we discovered we actually have about 2 cm's to spare, which is no problem since it makes retrieving the modules from the table easier by far.

I'll make some detail shots later on, and leave this with just one more really big THANK YOU to Hans.

Cheers Sander

donderdag 16 juni 2011


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Breaking news this afternoon: on the historic day of 18th June 2011 the long expected Diorama Modules will arrive here at home-base!


Cheers Sander

zaterdag 11 juni 2011

Blogger trouble!


I am having some trouble with placing comments on other peoples blogs but now on my own as well so sorry if you're not getting a reaction you'd hoped for!

Quick reaction to the chaps who commented on my last post:

@Matt: thanks mate, that's sound advice and I will wait for them.

@ Peter: your blog is brilliant, nice stuff. Sadly the diorama will not be finished next year or even the year after that, because of the 1:1 project that will be ready in september and from then on will probably request all of my free time. Besides for someone without a car or driver's license it's nigh on impossible to get anywhere with a big diorama...

Cheers Sander

zaterdag 21 mei 2011

Update anyone?


Work on the diorama is slow, well fairly non existent at this moment. I still have a large amount of 60th Rifles primed and awaiting a paint-job on my desk, but somehow I cannot bring myself to start painting them. Perhaps having the diorama-tiles in here will help motivate me, but they are not due till somewhere halfway June.

I have been reading quite a lot on the Peninsular War lately and this keeps me tuned and not too much distracted with the other projects I've got going.

On my night stand are these two books:

Oman's "History of the Peninsular War Volume 5"


"Albuera, Wellington's 4th Peninsular Campaign" by Peter Edwards.

The first one I hoped would reveal some more details concerning the Battle of Los Araphiles or Salamanca, which it does, but not particularly useful for the actual work on the table. Oman is a brilliant read however so I enjoy this book immensely anyway.
The latter isn't just about the battle of Albuera, which was fought by Beresford and not Nosey after all, but also tells about the first siege of Badajoz. Very interesting details are given of the discussion which started after some accusations were directed towards Beresford for the way in which he (mis-)handled both Albuera and the first stages of the siege, before Wellington took back overall control.

At this time I am suffering from a dilemma: HäT has announced they will be re-doing French pre-1812 and post 1812  infantry. This is good news in itself, specially if they decide to produce them in their recent MAC-format, but it means I will have to choose between using the present set of pre-1812 French of which I already own several and so can start painting mini's at this very moment, or wait till I get the new ones who will be undeniably in better sculpted style and details and thus fit better with the other stuff on the diorama.
  So what to do, what to do?

When I have more thoughts or opinions on this issue, the Peninsular War or Salamanca to share, I'll post them here but for now this is all folks...

Cheers Sander

maandag 7 maart 2011

diorama base here we come!


Since updates on this blog don't pop up too often I'd like to bring you a bombshell each time they do! So here are some pictures of the modular plates the diorama will consist of.

First up a birds' view of the lot:

Next a side shot with some 1:72 figures for scale reference

Then a picture with the plates and the travelling casettes to the right:

And last a picture of the modules in their casettes.

All the work has been done by Hans of waterama fame who has done them exactly after my "instructions" the final details I'll have to do myself and then the great "placing of figures will start!"

Hans you're the best!

Cheers Sander

zondag 6 februari 2011

3rd Hussars

As I predicted progress on the Big Project is tiresomely slow. Other smaller projects crop up continuously and keep me from proceeding.

I did manage these testers of the French 3rd Hussars which came into action with some regiments of Chasseurs a Cheval against the Portuguese and German cavalry accompanying Pakenham's attack.The figures used are of course Italeri's French Hussars and Revells Chasseurs de Garde.

I´d say keep an eye on this spot in the future, but I cannot garantee an update soon so...

Cheers Sander