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Offline PaxImperator

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Pax's Waterloo
« on: October 16, 2023, 01:16:40 PM »
At some point during their life all war gamers have to answer the question: When is it time to get into Napoleonics? In my case, the answer to the question is yes.

Some of the things that have drawn me to Napoleonics are the flashy uniforms and the sheer number of rulesets and miniatures manufacturers to choose from. The variety is bewildering. Not being captive to GW is a nice bonus. As the title of this thread suggests, I have decided to start with the omega (and possibly the alpha too) of Napoleonic wargaming: the battle of Waterloo. The main reasons for this are that my ruleset of choice, Black Powder, has an attractively priced Waterloo starter box and that it'll let me collect some units from my own country, the Netherlands.

The Waterloo starter box gives me two British infantry battalions, one Hanoverian infantry battalion, an artillery battery (represented by one gun with crew) and a brigade commander. The French get two infantry battalions, one regiment of chasseurs à cheval (rolls right off the tongue doesn't is? ;))and a brigade commander. I'll eventually get to the French too, but for now I'm concentrating on the allied army.

The plan is to collect a force that is more or less a cross section of the allied army that faced the French at Waterloo. In terms of contingents, that means:

33% British
26% Dutch-Belgian (as part of the shortlived United Kingdom of the Netherlands)
17% Hanoverian (this German state was in a personal union with the UK at the time)
9% King's German Legion (a foreign legion of Germans in British service)
8% Nassau
7% Brunswick

I'm yet to decide on which specific units I'll include. Between the British, Hanoverians and King's German Legion, nearly 60% of the force will be in red coats. The Waterloo starter box has plenty of suitable models, so I'll get started with a British line infantry battalion. The unit I've settled on is the 2/33rd (First Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot. The plain and simple reason is that their facings and turnbacks are red, which means one less colour on my palette. :)

This project is a first for me in a few respects: First time I'm painting anything non-GW, first time I'm using Vallejo paints, first time I'm painting anything historical and first time I'm  using a grey primer. Also the first time I'm painting anything in... 15 years? I hope I've still got it.

Here's a view of the minis with a WHFB free company fighter and a ruler for scale. As you can see they are much less chunky than what GW produces.



Here they are again after getting their Vallejo grey base coat. I've blue-tacked them to a cardboard box to keep them in place (another first for me). The battalion will have a total of 24 men. The 6 metal command figures haven't been delivered to my doorstep yet.



The first order of business is to paint a test figure. I have volunteered Private Tommy Atkins for this duty.



Colours used:
70.957 Flat Red: coat:
72.050 Cold Grey: trousers and gaiters
70.836 London Grey: shako, backpack, cartridge pouch and shoes
72.041 Dwarf Skin: skin
72.034 Bone White: haversack, blanket
72.045 Charred Brown: musket
72.023 Electric Blue: canteen
72.001 Dead White: straps

I then gave the model several ink washes:
72.093 Skin Wash: skin
72.088 Blue: canteen
72.094 Black (undiluted): shako and shoes
72.094 Black: everything else



I then reapplied the paints I used before everywhere except in the recesses to give the colours their vibrancy back. In addition I did the following:

72.004 Elf Skintone highlights on the skin
72.010 Bloody Red highlights on the coat
70.801 Brass for the buckle on the chest
70.865 Oily Steel for metal parts
72.045 Charred Brown for the canteen's strap
72.001 Dead White lettering on the canteen and backpack



Egads, the camera is rather uncharitable to poor Atkins. He looks better in reality, I swear! 8) I'm glad I did a test mini because it's given me some ideas on ways to improve the process:
- Use red ink instead of black on the coat. The black ink makes it too dark, making it hard to get the coat nice and bright again.
- Carefully drybrush some white over the shako before applying the black ink. The highlights on the shako are not as noticeable in reality as the picture would suggest.
- Blue-tack the backpacks in place during basecoating and remove them for most of the painting process. The backpack was a right pain while trying to paint the mini's collar and back. It's too late for this batch but this is a lesson I won't soon forget.
- Use a lighter blue for the canteen. For now I'll have to mix some white into my Electric Blue.

These sites were invaluable for reference:
Les Uniformes pendant la campagne des Cent Jours - Belgique 1815
His Majesty's 33rd Regiment of Foot

Next up I'll paint another test figure. Will keep you posted on the results! Please let me know if you enjoyed this because it motivates me to keep going.

EDIT: Picture sizes
« Last Edit: October 19, 2023, 02:16:36 AM by PaxImperatrix »

Offline Sir_Godspeed

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2023, 02:47:36 PM »
I will make sure to pour over every minute detail of uniforms and cross-reference them with period regulations, which is what I understand what Napoleonic wargamers are expected to do.

Looks great though, and good luck! ;)

Offline PaxImperator

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2023, 01:33:36 AM »
Cheers and please do! ;D Accuracy matters to me. This aspect of Napoleonic wargaming does appeal to my obsessive-compulsive side. I could already tell you a thing or two about stovepipe shakos versus Belgic shakos, as they are commonly referred to. For example, poor Lady Butler got them wrong in her famous painting The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras. If she found out she'd be doing some high RPM in her grave to this day, given her dedication to historical accuracy. Let's hope I find out in time about any mistakes like that in my minis.

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2023, 12:59:17 PM »
I understand it has to be napoleonics or trains for your modelling subclass. I went for trains.  8)

The trouble small models is they look great until you take an up close picture. I've been painting some epic and looks great until I take a picture to post and then see everything wrong!
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Offline PaxImperator

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2023, 02:13:47 AM »
I understand it has to be napoleonics or trains for your modelling subclass. I went for trains.  8)

The trouble small models is they look great until you take an up close picture. I've been painting some epic and looks great until I take a picture to post and then see everything wrong!

I do like me some sweet sweet trains in real life but I've not yet been bitten by the model railroad bug. You're right about pictures of minis. They look so bad compared to the miniatures themselves. Luckily I've just found a way to shrink the pictures to a point where not every little mistake becomes glaringly obvious. I might go back to my first post to correct those pictures too.

Speaking of painting, I completed a second test figure. I've taken side-by-side shots with the first one for comparison.



Things I did differently:
- Used Vallejo 70.820 Off-White instead of 72.001 Dead White. Like the results.
- Drybrushed 70.820 Off-White on the shako before applying black ink. Happy with that too.
- Tried red ink on the coat but found it was too light to shade 70.957 Flat Red. Bummer.
- Mixed 70.820 Off-White with 72.023 Electric Blue for the canteen. Like the result.
- Blacklined parts of the mini with 72.094 Black ink. Like the result on the backpack but not on the uniform and skin.
- Edge highlighted black parts with 72.050 Cold Grey. Happy with the results in real life, less so in the picture.

Overall I think it's an improvement but I'm not done yet. I'm considering giving the next test model an off-white drybrush before painting the red uniform. That might help to get it as bright as I want.

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2023, 07:22:16 PM »
The thing about napoleonics is that it focuses on the core elements of wargaming. Which is generally modelled on classic military theory of infanty, cavalry and artillery in a sort of rock/paper/scissors.

Even 40K does this just using bikes or jetpacks for cavalry and lascannon for artillery! And so on... (I'm sure you're already aware and don't need me explaining how to suck eggs! So my apologies)

They both look pretty well painted to me in fairness. My painting is more rudimentary than fine detail like this!
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2023, 07:33:51 PM »
Looks really cool - first I've seen of these kind of wargames outside of bolt action - I definitely like the detail you're pulling out there with the red coats!

I look forward to seeing your progress  :).
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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2023, 01:59:15 PM »
The thing about napoleonics is that it focuses on the core elements of wargaming. Which is generally modelled on classic military theory of infanty, cavalry and artillery in a sort of rock/paper/scissors.

Even 40K does this just using bikes or jetpacks for cavalry and lascannon for artillery! And so on... (I'm sure you're already aware and don't need me explaining how to suck eggs! So my apologies)

They both look pretty well painted to me in fairness. My painting is more rudimentary than fine detail like this!

Hey, thanks! I'm getting happier with my own painting as I'm gradually getting back into the swing of things. Going easy on the camera zoom helps too.  :)

Looks really cool - first I've seen of these kind of wargames outside of bolt action - I definitely like the detail you're pulling out there with the red coats!

I look forward to seeing your progress  :).

Thanks for the kind words! Bolt Action is pretty popular here too. In terms of Napoleonics, what little I've seen of it so far has been mostly Sharp Practice by TooFatLardies. It's a skirmish game and seems pretty fun for what it is, but I'm looking for something suitable for larger scale battles. I already mentioned Black Powder by Warlord Games. The Perry twins' website has a very interesting competitor in Valour & Fortitude, written by Jervis Johnson. I love how these old warhorses are still going strong after all these years. Valour & Fortitude is not just free, it's also only a handful of pages and promises a very streamlined and fast-paced play experience. Keen to try it out once I've got a few units.

Speaking of progress, I cycled to the local game store to buy a bottle of Vallejo's 72.095 Glacier Blue and 72.009 Hot Orange. I got good news and bad news. The good news was that they still had these particular colours in stock but the bad news was that they are phasing out Vallejo paints because they can no longer get them from their supplier. I may have to find a different store or look into the AK acrylic paints the store clerk was eager to sell me. He said the quality was generally equal to Vallejo although AK's black was a bit lacking. If anyone has experience with AK paints, I'd love to hear it.

New paints in hand, I finished a third test model over the weekend. He's on the right in the first picture.



Applying the orange over the red uniform was one of the scarier moment of painting these test figures. It just seemed too orange while wet and it still did after it dried. Then I applied a coat of red ink and that did the trick. Finally got the red just the way I wanted it! It's time for some batch painting. I have four figures in various stages of completion because they got whatever paint was left from the test models before it dried on my palette. Will be finishing those up and retouching the three test figures as I go. Just noticed I missed a bayonet scabbard on the second one for example...

Some other lessons learned:
- Glacier blue's too light for the water bottle. Guess I'll continue mixing white and blue for now.
- Tried blacklining the piping on the cuffs and chest. Didn't work because it was too harsh. Off-white over grey it is.

More pictures to follow once I've got the next batch of four done!

Offline PaxImperator

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2023, 03:32:54 PM »
I finished the next batch of four models. To celebrate, here are some group shots of all seven completed models!



You may notice five of them have 'swallow's nests' on their shoulders. These set apart the grenadier and light companies within an infantry battalion.



I handpainted '33' on the backpacks to signify this is the 33rd Regiment of Foot. At Waterloo the 33rd had about 600 men divided into 8 so-called centre companies, 1 grenadier company and 1 light company. I'll represent this with 24 models, 8 with swallow's nests (4 grenadiers, 4 light infantrymen) and 16 'regular' models including a command group.



The more of them there are in any given picture, the better they look to me. :D



The 'bases' are of course temporary. I'm planning to do four models to a 40x40 mm base, so six bases for the whole battalion. All the cool kids use laser-cut MDF bases these days and so will I. I'd like to try to magnetize the bases too so I can easily and safely transport them in a biscuit tin or similar container. Currently looking into suppliers.

I still have plenty to do with 17 models left to paint for the unit. They seem to be taking me a lot more time than Imperial Guardsmen did back in the day. I think it's partly a lack of practice and partly having many more finicky details to paint on these. I must've spent at least an hour, 000 brush in hand, wishing the sculptor had just forgotten about the ramrods and carry straps on the muskets. Because I can't. Happy with the results though and eager to paint the next batch.

Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2023, 07:54:39 PM »
Looks awesome! What are the blue disks on the bottom of their bedrolls? Historical significance?
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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2023, 08:02:18 PM »
« Last Edit: October 28, 2023, 08:05:59 PM by The GrimSqueaker »
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2023, 08:19:26 PM »
Oh lol, I didn't recognize them at all!

Thanks for the info!
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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2023, 08:26:47 PM »
Pax called it a water bottle as he's foreign and not from around 'ere.
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Offline PaxImperator

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2023, 02:02:41 AM »
I stand corrected. I was actually debating between 'canteen' and 'water bottle' and chose the latter because that's what the 33rd's re-enactors call it. Perhaps they're not from around 'ere either? :D

Will continue to experiment with the canteens to try to get a paler shade of blue. The ink's made it look too rich, I think.

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2023, 06:11:50 PM »
For your penance you're required to rewatch the Sean Bean Sharpe programmes. The Waterloo episode is one of the lesser ones unfortunately.
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Offline PaxImperator

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2023, 04:05:35 AM »
Sharpe?? You're not pulling any punches are you. I've seen enough snippets of it to decide it's not for me, especially the Waterloo episode. Sharpe's made the 95th Rifles what they are today: the single most overhyped unit of the Napoleonic era. They were excellent, sure, but not the gods of war that the series makes them out to be. There's a British Napoleonic line infantry box from Perry Miniatures in my future, which includes four riflemen models. I'll use the riflemen for any unit other than the 95th, just to make a point.

I'm currently enjoying the 2007 War & Peace miniseries. I'd definitely recommend it. Maybe not enough battle scenes to please all wargamers, but the atmosphere is great. It has a 7.2 IMDB rating compared to Sharpe's 8.4. Is there no justice in this world?

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2023, 05:25:32 PM »
The books are significantly better and remember that rifles load slower than muskets rather than seemingly seldom require reloading at all. Sharpe being at Trafalgar was a good read and the author was quite open at how absurd an army soldier being in the middle of it was but just wanted to do it.  The programmes are pure escapist fun. Especially when you see the production limitations being hand waved away. Like how there's only ever two cannon as that's all they had and borrowed from reinactors. I like them.
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Offline Guildmage Aech

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2023, 09:17:14 PM »
They do look pretty cool once they're ranked up together!

The 'bases' are of course temporary. I'm planning to do four models to a 40x40 mm base, so six bases for the whole battalion. All the cool kids use laser-cut MDF bases these days and so will I.

I've gone for laser cut ply. 1.5mm in my case. Its a little more sturdy than MDF and takes paint better without risking absorbing it all and becoming a fluffy mess. (Or you can just seal the MDF I guess...)
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Offline PaxImperator

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Re: Pax\'s Waterloo
« Reply #18 on: November 1, 2023, 02:51:50 AM »
The books are significantly better and remember that rifles load slower than muskets rather than seemingly seldom require reloading at all. Sharpe being at Trafalgar was a good read and the author was quite open at how absurd an army soldier being in the middle of it was but just wanted to do it.  The programmes are pure escapist fun. Especially when you see the production limitations being hand waved away. Like how there's only ever two cannon as that's all they had and borrowed from reinactors. I like them.

To each his own. To be fair, I might find out I like Shape if I try watching more of it than the odd snippet I've seen on YouTube.

They do look pretty cool once they're ranked up together!

Cheers!

I've gone for laser cut ply. 1.5mm in my case. Its a little more sturdy than MDF and takes paint better without risking absorbing it all and becoming a fluffy mess. (Or you can just seal the MDF I guess...)

Interesting, I didn't realise that was even an option. Where do you get them? Coincidentally you've just answered a question I asked you in your thread upon seeing your Epic space marine bikers' bases.

Post Merge: November  1, 2023, 01:38:39 PM
In the future, please use the modify button. Double posting is against the forum rules, and for that reason, the system merged your posts.

Time for a small update: I finished painting the red on the next batch of five. Plenty more to do but it's a start.

More interestingly, I tried out my new pin vice on the command group. For some strange reason the banner poles come separate and you need to drill through the hand for the standard bearer to be able to hold the pole. This is a first for me. I'm used to flag poles that are cast as part of the model holding them. I must say Warlord Games' flag poles are rather vicious looking. Wouldn't want that anywhere near my eyes! The pin vice did what it had to do though, so money well spent.



The hobby shop I got the pin vice from also stocks Vallejo's model colour line and is willing to order paints from Vallejo's game colour line in batches of 6, so my paint sourcing problems are now officially over.
« Last Edit: November 1, 2023, 01:38:39 PM by PaxImperator »

Offline Guildmage Aech

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Re: Pax's Waterloo
« Reply #19 on: November 1, 2023, 09:20:31 PM »
I get them from here, so far they have been just the job. If drilled holes in a few to make flying stands out of them as needed for my Eldar vehicles. Theres lots of options on size and type, plus they'll do MDF if you want to compare price!

The sides are blackened from laser burn, the eldar models I left 'as is' as I didn't spray the models on the bases, I quite like the laser finish.
Sadly the White Scars will need their base edges painting, I'm yet to decide how to base them... it might be old style goblin green and meadow grass!

http://warbases.co.uk/product-category/bases/circular-bases/plywood-circular-bases/
« Last Edit: November 1, 2023, 09:26:21 PM by Guildmage Aech »
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