Pax's Waterloo

Started by PaxImperator, October 16, 2023, 01:16:40 PM

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In terms of model count, there are two rule sets I'm currently interested in: Black Powder and Valour and Fortitude (free download from the Perry brothers' website).

Valour and Fortitude is very straightforward in this regard: 9-14 for most cavalry units and 24-36 for most infantry units.

Black Powder doesn't count models but base widths. A unit of standard size has a base width of 200-250 mm when deployed in line formation (2 ranks deep for infantry, 1-2 ranks deep for cavalry). The Warlord Games studio armies are based at 20 mm per infantryman and 25 mm per cavalryman, so that means 20-24 models per infantry unit and a ridiculously vague 8-20 models per cavalry unit. That said, Warlord Games typically sell their models in boxes of 12 for cavalry and 24 for infantry, so those seem to be the default. I'd say that's as good an 'average' as you're going to get, but I expect there is a lot of variation. Black Powder was designed to be playable with people's existing miniature collections, hence the unusual approach to model counts.

For my infantry units I'm going to deviate from that default. After seeing footage of a Waterloo reenactment, 20 mm per infantry model seems ludicrously widely spaced. In reality Napoleonic line infantry fought literally shoulder-to-shoulder. So I'm going to base mine at 15 mm wide each, for a 36-man infantry batallion on a 270 mm frontage. That's 20 mm too wide by the measure I just gave, but the Black Powder rulebook stresses that the rules in this regard are more guidelines than hard-and-fast rules and that anything goes as long as both players agree.


I settled on a painting method for the green!

The guy on the left will be the shining example for the rest of the unit. Colours used:

- Vallejo 70.896 German Camo Extra Dark Green basecoat
- Vallejo 70.970 Deep Green layer
- Vallejo 70.891 Intermediate Green highlight

Just three steps and no paint mixing required, so I'm happy. The guy on the right still doesn't look bad to me but the highlights are just a bit more extreme than I'd ideally like.

The skin's done too by the way. Recipe:

Vallejo 72.041 Dwarf Skin basecoat
Army Painter Flesh Wash
Vallejo 72.041 Dwarf Skin layer
Vallejo 72.004 Elf Skintone highlight

Four steps but that's fine for a focal point like the face. And applying the flesh wash is such a breeze it hardly even counts.

Now to start batch painting the whole unit of twelve. I think the hardest step will be the first coat of green paint because I have to very carefully skirt around all the white and yellow bits and bobs. The following steps should be much quicker.


In another small update, I got some work done thanks to the magic of my parents-in-law babysitting. Only 2.5 more models to be base coated dark green!

I also remounted the riders on blocks of wood I cut in the shed. They're a bit rough and ready but they'll do for now. Haven't even got any splinters yet.

I'm starting to think I should probably touch up test figure no. 1 and the bedroll-looking things on the horses. (Which I just learned are actually mini-suitcases called portmanteaux. The things you learn...) Right now they stand out a bit too much. While dry-fitting the riders on the horses I also found out it's nearly impossible to get them into the saddle without scraping off some paint because of the portmanteaux and sabretaches. These Warlord chasseurs really aren't the best sculpts. I'm so looking forward to the Perry brothers' cavalry figures I'm going to eventually treat myself to.


More progress! I got in some more painting earlier this week.

The green and yellow parts of the uniform are now officially done. Having worked on those relatively large surfaces, I wanted to do some detailing. So it was time for pompons and cockades galore.

The cockades were straightforward. Paint them red, then paint a white dot inside, then a smaller blue dot inside of that, as per my ever helpful reference website.

Cockade colours:
Vallejo 72.010 Bloody Red
Vallejo 72.001 Dead White
Vallejo 72.020 Imperial Blue

The pompons were slightly more involved. The 6ème régiment de chasseurs à cheval was made up of 8 squadrons, each with a unique pompon. I'd already decided not to represent the elite 1st squadron because the Warlord miniatures wouldn't be accurate for it. With 12 models in the unit, that made it an easy choice to represent squadrons 2-4 and 6-8 with two models each. So bleu céleste, aurore and violet pompons it would have to be. The blue and peach were easily matched to Vallejo paints I already had. Since I don't have any violet, I tried to mix some with red and blue Vallejo paints and even inks. They all turned grey or brown, however, so they must not be pure reds and blues. Eventually I was able to come up with a passable violet by mixing pink and light blue. Good thing too, since I have no other use for violet paint.

Pompon colours:
Blue: Vallejo 72.021 Magic Blue. Highlight: Vallejo 72.023 Electric Blue
Peach: Vallejo 72.110 Sunset Orange. Highlight: add some Vallejo 72.001 Dead White
Violet: Vallejo 72.013 Squid Pink + Vallejo 72.023 Electric Blue. Highlight: add some Vallejo 72.001 Dead White

Finally, I did the freehand 6s on the sabretaches. They're not quite as consistent as I might have liked but they'll do.

Next up will be the carbines (got a small headstart) and other pieces of equipment. I find models have a point where it 'clicks' and I feel I'm nearly done. I reached that point when I finished the green on these guys. Hopefully I'll have some painting time today to take them further still.


Someone call the newspaper! I've actually completed* a unit!

Presenting the 6ème Régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval:

*I still have to varnish them and finish the bases, but let's not dwell on technicalities eh?

The 6ème Régiment de Chasseurs à cheval, commanded by Colonel Paul-Eugène de Faudouas, fought both at Quatre Bras on 16 June 1815 and at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. At the outset of the campaign they totalled 34 officers and 526 men in four squadrons. They gave quite an account of themselves at Quatre Bras. Along with the 1st chasseurs à cheval and the 5th lancers, they were charged by the Dutch 6th Hussar Regiment. Through a failure of command the charge was performed in a disorganised manner and easily repulsed. The 6th chasseurs and the other two regiments then pursued the hussars, overrunning the Netherlands Militia Battalion no. 5. Their commanding officer dared not to fire upon his own countrymen and so the battalion was exposed to an avalanche of horsemen coming their way. The order among the ranks was soon lost, which made the militiamen easy prey for the French lancers who came behind the 6th Chasseurs. The whole mass of men and horses continued towards a Dutch foot battery that had just moved forward in support of their hussars' advance and now became exposed to the French cavalrymen who were mingled in between their own compatriots. The French sabred down a great number of officers and men of this battery while they passed through them.

Many Dutch hussars were killed or wounded in the chaotic pursuit. The French horsemen tried to exploit their success as much as possible and pressed on to an adjoining  half-battery of Dutch horse artillery, who tried to keep friend and foe at a distance by firing canister into their ranks, but to no avail. The flow of men and horses ran over and past his battery on to the Namur Road, where the infantry had already formed square. The artillerymen ran for their lives to take shelter behind and amongst the infantry.

The French cavalry even reached the crossroads and forced the Prince of Orange as well as Wellington and his staff to find a safe haven inside the nearest infantry squares. Finally the murderous fire from all sides caused the French cavalry to retreat and quit the pursuit of the Dutch hussars.


A French eyewitness in the 6th chasseurs had this to say about the events at Quatre Bras:

'Later that day enemy reinforcements began to arrive successively, and the moment I began to consider my gratitude at the absence of enemy cavalry, there arrived Hussars and Dragoons with light artillery. The division commanded by Comte Piré, with the 6e Chasseurs à cheval at the head, fell upon the enemy cavalry, which was routed and driven back, while the artillerymen who manned the guns were killed and the caissons harnessed. Those artillerymen who could reach their horses followed the cavalry to the rear. However, the artillery pieces which remained were not spiked because we had no means of doing so. It was after this attack that Captain Ésteve and I saw on a meeting between various unaccompanied officers on a nearby height, and our instincts told us that these were the enemy General Staff. We endeavoured to approach this group of officers, who departed at full speed, leaving behind a cavalry officer who we took prisoner. But being exposed to the fire of the infantry who were in square, in a position behind a hedge, the rally was sounded.

At half past four in the afternoon our infantry, who we supported after we had rallied, had great difficulty in approaching Quatre Bras, and were attacked by Uhlans; our division, seeing that the attack was serious and had dispersed the infantry, rode forward. We contented ourselves in not overthrowing the enemy cavalry, but we reached Quatre Bras, which we endeavoured to maintain. But our infantry advanced slowly, whereas we found at every moment the arrival of enemy reinforcements, so we once again were forced to rally behind our infantry.'

Source: The French at Quatre Bras

That's enough history for now. On the painting front, I tried three colours from Vallejo's Metal Color range (gold, silver and steel) on this unit after growing dissatisfied with the metallics from Vallejo's Model Color range. The new paints had great coverage and flowed well so they're keepers. The gold has a bit of a greenish tinge though so I'm going to look for an alternative. I'll probably try The Army Painter next.

Finally completing my first unit is a serious morale boost and I'm going to use it to get straight to work on the next unit: the British 33rd Foot. I completed 18 models before, which leaves 18 more to paint to complete them. Watch this space...


Excellent work, Pax! They look great!
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Quote from: Myen'Tal on May 10, 2024, 08:47:50 PM
Excellent work, Pax! They look great!


Three days later and I'm very pleased with my progress on the 33rd Foot so far.

I've basecoated the skin, trousers and gaiters already and have done the first pass on the blanket rolls and haversacks. I figured that painting the backpacks separately would be faster still than painting them on the miniatures, hence the return of the chasseur torture device. On the left are some of the British infantry I completed before, which I'm using as a painting reference.


Not quite at timelapse-level granularity but still good for a game of spot the differences. I've finished basecoating the haversacks and bedrolls, the canteens and all wood parts.


Hav' 'er sack? I 'ardly know 'her!

I see you're painting both brits and french, do you plan to field them as separate armies, or is it more a pure painting project?

Guildmage Aech

Horsey boys look great. Nice bit of variation on the horses.
Rules Expert 2007 | Kijayle Commemorative Award for Acid Wit 2008 | Most Notoriously Valuable Rules Expert 2009 | Most Notorious 2014


Quote from: Sir_Godspeed on May 17, 2024, 05:51:01 AM
Hav' 'er sack? I 'ardly know 'her!

I see you're painting both brits and french, do you plan to field them as separate armies, or is it more a pure painting project?

At this point I'm doing this mostly for the fun of researching, collecting, modelling and painting the miniatures. But I'm trying to make them into fieldable armies in case one of my non-wargaming friends wants to give Napoleonics a try or (heavens forbid) Pax junior.

Quote from: Guildmage Aech on May 17, 2024, 02:29:14 PM
Horsey boys look great. Nice bit of variation on the horses.

Cheers! Artillery will come soon after this batch of redcoats I promise!

Speaking of redcoats, just as I was getting into the swing of assembly line painting I could no longer resist the urge to faff about *optimise* my colour palette. I'll let the pictures do the talking*.

*The dark tone is actually a 1:1 mix of dark tone and mixing medium.

I've eliminated one step in painting the red, which so mission accomplished. I might like it a bit brighter and less orange though, so we'll see...


Another small update. Slow and steady does it.

I've basecoated the red and white parts of the uniform jackets as well as the canteen staps, washed the white straps and the bedrolls on the backpacks and am now basecoating all white straps and crossbelts. Also basecoated the drummer's and sapper's aprons and the lieutentant colonel's greatcoat. Let's hope the French skirmishers are colour blind because the lt. col. certainly does stand out like a sore thumb if they're not!


Some more progress to report.

I've finished basecoating all white areas, have painted the backpacks and cartridge boxes black, and am nearly done painting the belt buckles and some other details brass. Also basecoated the officers' sashes a muted red colour.


Looking excellent, Pax! Coming together very cleanly, great work.
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Guildmage Aech

Looking good, I was surprised horsey boys are two to a base. Are they a multiwound thing is is it horses are just easier to scare away if one gets 'got'?
Rules Expert 2007 | Kijayle Commemorative Award for Acid Wit 2008 | Most Notoriously Valuable Rules Expert 2009 | Most Notorious 2014


Thanks guys!

On the horsey boys, the rulesets I'm basing them for both effectively treat units as multi-wound models. There is no removal of individual casualties. Units fight at full effectiveness until they have taken X number of wounds and failed a leadership test, at which point they are removed from play. The two horseys per base is more or less the standard, though I've seen them based individually too. I thought two per base would be a good compromise between protecting the models while still being granular enough to let the unit adopt different formations like line and march column.


Since the last update I've painted the belt buckles and other details brass, washed all skin with flesh wash and other parts with 50/50 dark tone/flow medium, put black ink on the shako covers, painted the shako visors black and painted the first highlight on the skin.

I used the dark tone much more sparingly on the uniform this time, which resulted in a brighter finish. Here's a side-by-side comparison of:
Left: red, 50/50 dark tone/flow medium all over, red, orange
Right: red, 50/50 dark tone/flow medium purely for blacklining and shading

I like the brighter finish. It didn't even take any highlights to get it this vibrant. We'll see if touch-ups and highlights with red and orange make it better still.


Excellent, more Redcoats! Crisp paint jobs, makes me a little envious  ;D.
- Blog #6  A Five Star Comeback!


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Quote from: Myen'Tal on June  3, 2024, 09:40:09 PMExcellent, more Redcoats! Crisp paint jobs, makes me a little envious  ;D.

Oh I have nothing on you in terms of crispness! Compliment accepted though. :)

The past seven days marked the 209th anniversary of the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. I would have liked to post this update on Waterloo Day proper but it had to wait because of the forum update. I'm done painting the British II/33rd (1st Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot.

Front view of the final batch of 18 figures:

In the front rank, from left to right: sergeant, ensign, ensign, lieutenant colonel, drummer, sapper

Rear view:

Group shot of all 36 models that make up the unit:

Colours used for my own future reference:

Shako covers and shoes:72.094 Black Ink
Shakos, backpacks and cartridge boxes:72.051 Black, 72.050 Cold Grey
Skin:72.041 Dwarf Skin, AP Flesh Wash, 72.041 Dwarf Skin, 72.004 Elf Skintone
Cloth:72.010 Bloody Red, 50/50 AP Dark Tone/AP Speedpaint Medium (applied sparingly), 72.010 Bloody Red
Lace:70.820 Off-White, 50/50 AP Dark Tone/AP Speedpaint Medium, 70.820 Off-White
White belts and straps:72.001 Dead White, 50/50 AP Dark Tone/AP Speedpaint Medium, 72.001 Dead White
Bedrolls and haversacks:72.034 Bone White, 50/50 AP Dark Tone/AP Speedpaint Medium, 72.034 Bone White
Canteens:72.023 Electric Blue, 50/50 72.023 Electric Blue/72.001 Dead White
Canteen straps:72.045 Charred Brown
Scabards:72.051 Black, 72.050 Cold Grey, 70.801 Brass
Trousers and gaiters:72.050 Cold Grey, 50/50 AP Dark Tone/AP Speedpaint Medium, 72.050 Cold Grey
Muskets:72.045 Charred Brown, 77.712 Steel, 50/50 AP Dark Tone/AP Speedpaint Medium, 77.724 Silver
Hair:70.875 Beige Brown, 70.941 Burnt Umber, 72.045 Charred Brown, 70.982 Cavalry Brown and others
Sashes:70.957 Flat Red, 50/50 AP Dark Tone/AP Speedpaint Medium, 70.957 Flat Red, 50/50 70.957 Flat Red/72.034 Bone White
Aprons:70.940 Saddle Brown, 50/50 AP Dark Tone/AP Speedpaint Medium, 70.940 Saddle Brown
(All colours from Vallejo except where otherwise noted. AP = The Army Painter)

The Duke of Wellington had spent his early army service as the lieutenant colonel of the 33rd Foot. The 33rd fought at both Quatre Bras and Waterloo. It had a particularly hard day at Waterloo, where it was so badly mauled by persistent French cavalry charges and artillery bombardment that its surviving members were no longer able to form a viable square formation on their own and had to join up with the 69th Foot, who were in an equally sorry state. Here's a more detailed account of the 33rd Foot's exploits during the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo for those interested.

What's next, then? I'm still waiting for new 45x40 mm MDF bases for this unit. Once I've glued them on, I can varnish the models and affix the flags to the flag poles. It may be a while before I get the bases. In the meantime, I have a freshly basecoated British brigade commander and artillery piece to paint up. To be continued!


Excellent work, those redcoats are certainly dressed in some finely painted up attire  :). Very cool about the anniversaries!
- Blog #6  A Five Star Comeback!


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Audiobook production still going strong!

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