Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Little Prussian Sideshow

...In which our protagonist starts takes another miniscule bite out of his pile of accumulating lead, and begins yet another project unlikely to go anywhere, this time with Prussians.

Two battalions of the Prussian IR no. 49 Muffling. Colonel Muffling himself rides with the first battalion.
Another quick post this week (shocking, I know!). This rather small and whimsically-embarked-on venture is not so much a project as an experiment. I like to call it:

You can't have enough Napoleonics

Yes, those tumultuous decades bestriding the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries are the one period that I seemingly can't get enough of. To those in the know, it's pretty easy to see why: there were not one or two, but many competing powers of near-equal strength, all with expansionist foreign policies; the battles were big, the uniforms flashy, and all the shooting tended to take place at manageable distances. There were great personalities, epic battles, whirlwind campaigns and bitter slugging matches as well. In short, it's a great period for wargaming... except the only Napoleonic miniatures I've heretofore owned have been part of my Borodino project.

Adler PA 2C - Prussian Musketeer, bicorne, marching. Nice detail, as can be expected from Adler Miniatures. The hat lace is somewhat tricky to paint behind the musket stock, and the three multicoloured pompoms can be tedious, but hey-- you can't claim the detail isn't there.

Not that there's anything wrong with what I've done for Borodino. It's all turned out quite lovely, and I look forward to doing more. Sadly, the issue is that I don't really see myself gaming with them. I've barely scratched the surface of the Borodino order of battle, and I've already got more troops than I can comfortably fit on my gaming table.

Why just learn from someone else's mistakes, when you can learn from your own as well? 

Anyway, I wanted to do some period gaming, of necessity on bases smaller than the 60mm x 60mm I've been using for Borodino. The thought of doing 1812 again with different basing seemed redundant, so I looked at all the other Napoleonic campaigns I was interested in (which, admittedly, is most of them), subtracted the ones lacking complete 6mm figure ranges, and picked one. I blame Andy McMaster over at Another Slight Diversion for the end choice, since he was working on an 1806 Prussians-versus-French project during the time I was pondering all this over.

Adler PA 8A - Prussian Musketeer cmd (5). Again, very nice sculpting. Apparently the early Prussian range hasn't been that popular; on the plus side, this means that the molds are in good shape and the figures have relatively little flash. The officer's sword and the bottom of the colour guard's spontoon (or half pike, or whatever) are fairly flimsy.

Settled on 1806, it was time to figure out how to do it. I'd agonized over basing size, unit scale and figure choice for Borodino, and I wasn't eager to repeat the process. Many a 6-mil gamer before me has confronted the basing issue; their reminiscences can be found all over the net. Long story short, I went for 60mm x 30mm, because: a) I already had some spare bases, b) I knew I could paint enough figures to cover one in two or three evenings, and c) they would work for a variety of rule sets. No, I didn't have any particular rules in mind when I made the decision, and I still don't.

The arse end of the two battalions. By 1806, the Prussians had given up their powdered wigs, but evidently soldiers were still required to wear a pigtail. Also clearly visible is the straggling line on the 1st battalion; many gamers complain about Adler's singly-based figures, but I find the basing possibilities more than make up for the annoyance they cause.

For unit scale, I went with one base = one battalion; again, a common choice, and visually appealing to boot. The figures I went with were largely determined by what I was already doing-- I'd already done lots of French, so I decided to start with the Prussians for a change. I was already planning another order from Adler for some Borodino odds and ends, so Adler it was going to be. And since their 'advancing' pose tends to significantly increase how long it takes to base them, I opted for the ol' march attack. Lessons had been learned.

One step forward, two steps back

So am I going to plunge headfirst into the 1806 campaign on 60 x 30 bases? Well, no... Like I said, this is more of an experiment than an outright project. Also, I'm a dedicated fan of Richard Borg's Commands and Colors: Ancients and Memoir '44; and since I bought these figures, GMT has since released the new Commands and Colors: Napoleonics. I'd love to do armies for C&C:N, but that would mean Peninsular War armies, and multiple bases per unit. In short, I'm still pondering the possibilities.

Next time: something different. Hopefully with more and better pictures.


  1. I am amazed how any one can see to paint 6MM soldiers. These are very well done. Thanks for displaying your hard work.

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  3. I have just found your and joined - the work is superb.

    I have just rediscovered my passion for Adler Napolonics after painting close to 200 battalions etc approx 10 years ago. Slowly getting back into it while also pulling out the old ones.

    I have added your blog to my blog roll at my site.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Fantastic!!! Can't beat 1806 Prussians and the Adler figures are fantastic. I painted a bunch as well. Pictures on the blog:

    Keep up the great work. Hope to see more Prussians soon.

  5. Just joined your blog, your figs are great! My wife thinks your ships are beautiful. If you don't mind, could you share how you painted the Prussian figs? I'm working out what to buy/paint Adler mini's for Montmirail, and any advice on how to paint 6mm would be very welcome!


    1. Hi munds3,

      I did a how-to on painting Adler figs a few years back. I was painting French at the time, but the same techniques are obviously transferrable. You can find it here

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