War of the Spanish Succession Project..

Sections:

Go To “Resources” – useful information sources for the period…
Go To “Armies” – the collection as a whole…
Go To ”Units” – regimental histories and description of the units in my project…
Go To “Books” – fiction and non-fiction
Go To “Rules” – what rules I have tried, and what I’m using…
Go To “Game Reports” – what it says on the tin…

Go To “Figures” – comparisons of look/feel/price of the various figures I have in the project…
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Resources


Armies
At this point in time (ie. January '13), and since the start of the project at roughly the beginning of July '06, I've now completed 28 regiments of foot (14 per side), 14 squadrons of horse (7 per side), artillery (4 guns per side heavy and light battalion guns), transport, and officers (command figures)...

The transport includes some ammunition wagons I bought from Freikorps at Warfare '07 - a little bit rough especially the horse and the figure representing the wagon-er, but I replaced him with a couple of Minifigs artillery crew (these were the figures depicted as pushing the wheel of the gun but they fit the wagon very nicely!) All in all they make up into a nice model and some nice added colour to the game table:



French Army Review

I recently decided to hold a review of the French army to see how my recruits were holding up, and whether there was any gaps that needed plugging.. click on the pictures for a bigger view.



Starting from the bottom (picture above) - Bavarian Cuirassiers (2 squadrons), Infantry - Toulouse on the left, and Lee, then Navarre (in reserve), Bearn and Nettancourt. Next is Bourbonnais and Nivernais (in front), then a Bavarian regiment, Lutzenberg (or Lutzelburg depending on source) with the Royal Italienne, lastly, 3 squadrons of French cavalry in the far distance... most of these units feature below in more detail.


Close up of the infantry...
 

...from left - above - Navarre, Toulouse, and Lee (with battalion gun deployed), Bavarian Cuirassiers at bottom of picture... various command figures, and ammunition wagon also feature...



...closer view of HQ surrounded by his staunchest regiments.. units as before with the addition of Bearn (upper right)

Last of all - first stuttering steps (literally!) into the world of video...


Allied Army Review

First a review of the army as a whole (and please click on any of the following for a pleasingly bigger view):


..and then each of the divisions.. right flank (below):


..left flank (below):


..and now the brigades - right flank to left flank.

First the cavalry - this represents Brigadier General Palmes' brigade - from front to back we have Wyndham's, Schomberg's (my favourites! laughing smileys), Woods, and at the back a Dutch squadron Nassau-Friedland (below):


This one represents Brigadier General James Ferguson's brigade - Meredith's (left), 1st Foot Guards (right) and Orkney's in the second line - Ferguson can be seen in the middle with one of Marlborough's runners by his side... (below):


Next an ad-hoc brigade - in the front rank we have a Dutch regiment - Beinheim (or Bynheim according to your source), in the second rank a composite regiment comprising the grenadiers from four Austrian regiments (below):


Next a British brigade - Brigadier General Archibald Rowe's to be precise, comprising in the front row Ingoldsby's (Welch Fusiliers) on the left, and Derring's on the right. The brigadier with runner is in the middle and in the second rank we have Howe's on the left. The regiment on the right is a Dutch regiment, Rechteren's who are part of the next brigade (below):


Next up the aforesaid Dutch - Major General the Prince of Holstein-Beck's brigade. In the front rank we have the regiments of Goor on the left (and yes, I spotted that the end file have turned round to have a good look at the second rank!), and Heidebrecht on the right with their regimental gun deployed. In the second rank we have the Swiss regiments of Hirzel (left) and Sturler with the Prince between the two lines (below):

Last of all we have the cavalry of the left flank - Major General Cornelius Wood's brigade, with Cadogan's in the front rank, and behind them Lumley's with Wood alongside. I have still yet to paint Wood's own regiment, so for now they are reinforced with the some Austrian cuirassiers of the Alt-Hanover regiment (below):

..and no review is complete without a review of the artillery - safely ensconced in their redoubts in this case (below):


..and just a small part of the commissariat - I'll do a separate post on the transport to do them more justice (below):


I think he looks quite pleased...laughing smileys



Last of all - a video...



All of these have been painted since the start of July '06 when the project started.

Back to top of page... Units:
First the Allies (French and Bavarians next)....

Click on the link to be taken to the relevant post showing pictures and histories of the units (where available)

Side Country Unit Type Unit Name Notes/Background Manufacturer
Allies British Artillery Medium No. 1 . ??
Allies British Artillery Medium No. 2 . ??
Allies British Artillery Light Battalion Gun #1 . ??
Allies British Artillery Light Battalion Gun #2 . ??
Allies British Artillery Light Battalion Gun #3 . ??
Allies British Artillery Light Battalion Gun #4 . ??
Allies British Cavalry Schomberg . Dixon
Allies British Cavalry Lumley . Dixon
Allies British Cavalry Cadogan's Painting/history here.. [clicky] Freikorps
Allies British Cavalry Wood's Painting/history here.. [clicky] Freikorps
Allies British Cavalry Wyndham's Painting/history here.. [clicky] Essex
Allies Dutch Cavalry Nassau Friesland . Dixon
Allies Austrian Hvy. Cavalry Alt-Hanover Cuirassiers Painting/history here.. [clicky] Peter Pig
Allies Ansbach Infantry Heidebrecht Regiment Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Allies Austrian Infantry Imperial Grenadiers Painting/history here.. [clicky] Essex
Allies British Infantry Orkney's . Dixon
Allies British Infantry Ingoldsby's . Essex
Allies British Infantry 1st Foot Guards . Minifigs
Allies British Infantry Meredith Painting/history here.. [clicky] Warrior
Allies British Infantry Howe's Painting/history here.. [clicky] Black Hat
Allies British Infantry Dering's Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Allies British Infantry Lord North & Grey's Regiment Painting/history here.. [clicky] Black Hat
Allies Dutch Infantry Beinheim . Minifigs
Allies Dutch Infantry Sturler (Swiss) Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Allies Dutch Infantry Goor Painting/history here.. [clicky] Dixon
Allies Dutch Infantry Rechteren Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Allies Dutch Infantry Hirzel's Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs

The French and Bavarians..

Side Country Unit Type Unit Name Notes Manufacturer
Franco Bavarian French Artillery Medium No. 1 . ??
Franco Bavarian French Artillery Medium No. 2 . ??
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Orleans . Dixon
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Chartres . Dixon
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Souastre . Dixon
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry De Montreval Painting/history here.. [clicky] Freikorps
Franco Bavarian French Cavalry Regiment de St. Pouanges Painting/history here.. [clicky] Roundway
Franco Bavarian Bavarian Hvy. Cavalry Weickel Painting/history here.. [clicky] Peter Pig
Franco Bavarian Bavarian Hvy. Cavalry Arco Painting/history here.. [clicky] Peter Pig
Franco Bavarian Bavarian Infantry Lutzenberg Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Navarre . Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Toulouse . Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Bourbonnais . Dixon
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Bearn . Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Royal Italiene . Warrior
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Nivernais Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Nettancourt Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Lee (Irish) Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Dorringtons (Irish) Painting/history here.. [clicky] Dixon (mainly)
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Champagne Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Agenois Painting/history here.. [clicky] Black Hat
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Foix Painting/history here.. [clicky] Minifigs
Franco Bavarian French Infantry Saintonge Painting/history here.. [clicky] Black Hat

Back to top of page... Books:
  • Charles Spencer - "Blenheim" - in lots of remainder bins and second hand book shops at the moment - don't be put off, it's an excellent narrative read, and single-handedly kick started this project for me...
  • Chandler - "The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough"(Chandler) excellent as a primer for the organisation and tactics for the time for foot/cavalry and artillery of both sides... if you could only have one book on tactics/organisation this would be it for me.
  • Charles Grant - "ARMIES & UNIFORMS OF MARLBOROUGHS WARS" - Volume 1 - which covers off the major protagonists in the WSS. Not huge amounts of description, but an excellent overview of the basic uniforms of foot and horse, and the most valuable resource for uniform details.. absolutely invaluable when trying to find out what colour coat, hat trim, facing, breeches, the Navarre Regiment had (for example..) Most recommended, and a very reasonable price..
  • Charles Grant - "ARMIES AND UNIFORMS OF MARLBOROUGHS WARS" - Volume 2 - which covers off the smaller states not covered in volume 1, but in addition has a number of new colour plates, and descriptions of the major battles of the war.. I'd always said I wasn't going to bother, but one browse was enough and I succumbed! I'm not disappointed, the new colour plates are excellent - well recommended...
  • David Green - "Blenheim" - very similar in content to the Spencer book, albeit 30 odd years older, OK but the Spencer (I think) is better....
  • Rene Chartrand - Osprey "Army of Louis XIV" - an absolute bargain off eBay, and a valuable resource on the French army. Have now read this cover to cover and my earlier assessment was correct - the reign of Louis XIV was very long, and his armies were engaged in one war after another for almost the whole of that time. Given the technological advances in weaponry and tactics during this time then a book of 30-40 pages is going to be hard pressed to get into any detail. However, what is there is good, it's an excellent overview, and the uniform plates are very good.. I do wish Osprey would bring out some volumes dedicated to the armies of the period.
  • James Falkner - "Blenheim 1704" (Battleground series) - this was an amazingly quick read for me - in fact I couldn't put it down as the author has a very narrative style that I found easy to read and understand.. lots of maps, eyewitness accounts, and a useful section at the end for anyone planning to walk the battlefield... I got this second hand from eBay and am not disappointed.. recommended..
  • James Falkner - "Ramillies 1706" (Battleground series) - just finished, and Falkner is rapidly becoming one of my favourite military history writers (see also his book on Blenheim in the same series), he writes clearly, lucidly, with good sources, and lots of eyewitness comments. He also has the happy knack of being able to keep me turning the page - very easy to read, very exciting and therefore lot's of imagination fuel (which is what all wargame armies run on!) ....
  • Michael Barthorp - Osprey "Marlborough's Army - 1702-11" - a fairly recent purchase from eBay and well worth the money spent. To a great extent it suffers from the same problem as the Louis XIV volume in that it has so little space to cover off such a huge subject, but the text is entertaining and gives a good general view of all the allied countries, and the Angus McBride colour plates are very nice... what you really want, though, is a book with the depth of detail of Chandler (and I'd be happy for Mr. Barthorp to write it as he has a easy-reading style), and packed to the gills with Angus McBride plates!
  • "Tactics and Strategy of Great Duke Marlborough" by Hilaire Belloc. Got this on eBay - 240 page hardback - but with lots of maps and illustrations. Excellent and detailed analysis of six of Marlborough's operations, including Blenheim, Malplaquet, Ramillies, Oudenarde, forcing the lines of Brabant and "1711". Good maps, index. Analyses his tactics and strategy, to illustrate Marlborough's brilliance at tactical and strategic level - good book, recommended!
    • By way of a taster there is an electronic (free) transcript of Belloc's Treatise on Malplaquet (which went on to be one of the chapters in the book I think) (click here)
  • ..I guess I need to set my stall out straight away and state up front that this is the best book of his that I've read - it even exceeds "Redcoat" which I thought was inspired. The depth of detail is amazing (seven pages of bibliography!) and Holmes has drawn heavily on Marlborough's private correspondence in addition to all the expected primary (Parker, Merode Westerloo, etc) and secondary sources (Chandler, Tincey, Falkner among many others) to draw up a picture of a very complex "genius"..

    ..he was married to a nightmare but loved her deeply, showed enormous compassion for his men but never flinched from ordering them into the breach and the bloody assault (Schellenberg for one), was notorious for his ability to gather cash and favours but was never less than wholly supportive of his friends (his relationship to Godolphin was a good case in point)..

    ..Holmes is best when he's talking at the soldiers eye view and this one is no different - his primary sources are well used to give a good view of what it was like to serve, and fight, with "Corporal John".

    ..Marlborough waged ten successful campaigns, besieged over thirty towns, and never lost a battle or a skirmish - the book is a fitting tribute and I recommend it wholeheartedly...
  • John Tincey - Osprey Campaign "Blenheim 1704"
  • Chandler - "Marlborough as Military Commander"
  • James Falkner "Great and Glorious Days: The Duke of Marlborough's Battles"
  • Following a recommendation on GrimsbyMariners blog G M Trevelyan - England Under Queen Anne:
    • Blenheim (1930).
    • Ramillies and the Union with Scotland (1932).
    • The Peace and the Protestant Succession (1934).
  • "GIANT OF THE GRAND SIECLE: THE FRENCH ARMY, 1610-1715" by John A. Lynn - I was looking for was something that covered the French army as well as Chandler - the book is huge (almost 700 pages!), has had good recommendations elsewhere, so I decided to take the plunge and blow some of the Christmas vouchers... I'll give a more comprehensive review once I've read it as a taster however the contents indicate that the book covers off Administration, Supply, Commissariat, Command (Regimental and Higher), Army Composition, Recruitment, Discipline, Morale and Motivation, Weaponry and Tactics and Positional Warfare
Lastly - a selection of novels.. if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

"Men of Honour" by Iain Gale. First book in the Jack Steel series set against a background of the War of the Spanish Succession by a writer I quite enjoy (he also wrote "Four Days in June" which was about the Battle of Waterloo from the particular perspective of a number of the actual participants) and is in the style of, quick intake of breath, "Sharpe" .. I know, it sets very high expectations, but on the whole I wasn't disappointed, a good start that will only get better as the author grows into his new character.... this volume covers off events surrounding Blenheim - nothing like starting at the top then..!





.....and just finished this the second book by Ian Gale in the Jack Steel series, and follows on from "Man of Honour" which I reviewed previously - this one is set against Ramillies. Gale has a fairly interesting approach to these major engagements as unlike Cornwell, who works his way up to the major engagement throughout the course of his books, Gale seems to start his books off with the actual engagement, the rest of the book then deals with the aftermath. ..in this case then the story starts off at a cracking pace with Jack Steel (the hero of the story, and a Captain of Grenadiers in a fictional British infantry regiment) taking part in the assault on Autre-Eglise and subsequently, Ramillies. Excellent description of the battle and some good insight into the views of the commanding officers (especially Orkney - who sounds an interesting if not very pleasant character!) when told they had to withdraw from Autre-Eglise following their hard won victory...
Following the assault on Ramillies however, and Marlborough's victory, the rest of the book covers off the aftermath of the battle. Gale goes into some detail on the difficult political position Marlborough faced in Belgium with the start of Belgian nationalism (Marlborough was offered and turned down the governorship of Belgium - I think he knew it was going to be a thankless task!) Also the difficult political position at home - Marlborough never had an easy ride of it. Most of the second part of the book however, deals with the siege of Ostend. The port was needed to provide a supply line for Marlborough's further campaigns, it was also a base for French privateers who preyed on British shipping in the Channel. Gale packs in some interesting description on Vauban's fortification. Steel of course is selected to lead the forlorn hope in the assault, but not before he experiences a number of other adventures and escapades in and around Ostend.. good book/author, recommended!

"Cornet of Horse" by Henty is still very good despite being very much in the "ripping yarn" genre - try also Strang and Stead's "With Marlborough to Malplaquet" which is same era and tone.. Happily you can get both of these free on Project Gutenberg (click here)

"Captain of Dragoons" by Ronald Welch which despite being more modern was also very much in the same genre as Henty, and follows the exploits of the Carey family in the War of the Spanish Succession - serving as a captain in Cadogan's Dragoons... very similar plot line to the Henty book as well...

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A recent question on the definitive library of books for uniforms and flags of this period on the "Early Linear Warfare" [click here] Yahoo group was answered by Dan Schorr (he of the Great Northern Wars [click here] website) as follows - it's worth repeating (and keeping!):

"The standard, essential works on uniforms, and flags for the period are as follows:

Jean Belaubre. Les Triomphs Louis XIV. This work was self published by Belaubre 1969-72 in limited numbers. It is extremely difficult to come by, but is the definitive work on colours and standards captured by the French between 1674 and 1714. Virtually every other author on the period relies on it.

Jean Belaubre, C-P Golberg and F.G. de Wilde. Les armees qui combattirent Louis 14. A series of 9 booklets again self-published by Belaubre in the 1970s, also difficult to find copies. The booklets cover the Dutch Army, The Upper Rhine Circle, Mecklemburg, Hesse-Cassell, Holstein-Gottorp, and the three Brunswicks (Celle, Hannover and Wolfenbüttel). C-P Golberg also published a similar series of booklets which are still available. Many of the Sapherson booklets on the armies of this period are based on this work

August Kühn. Materialen zum Spanischen Erbfolgekrieg 1701-1714. A series of 33 booklets of varying quality/accuracy covering most of the armies of the War of Spanish Succession. A number of these have been translated into English and published by Pat Condray, and Robert Hall has used these booklets as the basis for his booklets, along with Belaubre, but with a great deal of additional research and graphics, greatly expanding their accuracy and utility.

Siegbert Wagner. Bemalungsangaben für die Zeit des Spanishen Erbfolgekrieges 1701-1717. AKA "The Wagner Plates". a series of 300 b/w plates, published in the 1980s. These were in fact the work of C-P Golberg. Wagner was only the publisher. Difficult to find. Another source used by many others.

Anton Hoffmann.Army of the Blue King 1684-1727. The standard work on the Bavarian Army. Still available both on the internet and in printed form.

Lars-Eric Höglund and Åke Sallnäs. The Great Northern War 1700-1721 Colours and Uniforms I. The definitive work on the Swedish Army during the Great Northern War. Also, The Great Northern War 1700-1721 Colours and Uniforms II. Covering the other armies of the Great Northern War; although less definitive.

GianCarlo Boeri. The Spanish Armies in the Wars of the League of Augsburg 1688-1697. The definitive work on the Spanish Armies of the period and based almost exclusively on archival research.

Robert Hall. His books are too numerous to mention. Most are based on solid archival research, and in many cases revise and update the previous works of Golberg and Kühn. All are available on CD and some are available in hard cover from the Pike and Shot Society. You will find no better uniform and flag references than these.

One thing you will find, however, is that we do not have specific details on every regiment in every army. In many cases, all that we have are coat and facing colors, and then only for a specfic period of time. There are few like Robert Hall, GianCarlo Boeri and Jean Belaubre who invest their own time and money delving into the archival material, and have the expertise to properly assess the material and draw the proper conclusions. Others like C-P Golberg and F.G. de Wilde have passed away.

In the case of the Russian Army, there are current efforts underway in Russia to develop and present a more complete picture. In many cases the material runs counter to much of what we think we know. We will just have to wait and see, and hope that some of this will eventually be published in English or another Western European language".

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My War of the Spanish Succession library:

Back to top of page... Rules:

Not surprisingly given my intense liking for the elegance of his AWI rules, I'm using Will McNally's "Seven Years War" (click here..) rules for this project, with the relevant changes to make the rules more period specific..
So far my research has noted the following required changes:

  • Under "Units and Bases" - added 'Dismounted Dragoons' after Grenz
  • Have divided all the movement and firing distance by 75% as I'll be using 15mm.
  • Under "Movement Notes" - added "Dragoons mounting or dismounting take a third off their current movement rate (either mounted or dismounted) - when dismounted they move and fire as OO infantry."
  • Under "Firing Factors" -
    • replaced 'Prussian' with 'British/Dutch/Swedish' (close order infantry firing) to represent the fact that those nations had adopted platoon firing..
    • added 'Mounted Cavalry (not British/Dutch)' after "Militia" to represent the fact that British cavalry was trained to close with the sword, and in fact were issued only with limited ammunition..
  • Under "Testing Charged Units" - add 'Dismounted Dragoons' after 'Open Order Infantry' (+2)
  • Under "Melee" - change factor to 'Unit is charging or counter charging (only available in first round)' and '+2 (+3 for British/Dutch)' - not too sure about this but my reading would indicate that the French horse was not the force it had been by the time of the WSS. What I don't want to do is make the British "supermen" though!
  • Change of Formation: Infantry and cavalry on the whole were not well drilled in this period, moved comparatively slowly, had not yet learned to march in step and consequently their formations were much looser than they were to become later in the century. This in turn made unit manoeuvring much slower and evolutions were ponderous by later standards. Nor was drill as practised or sophisticated. To represent this, infantry and cavalry need to test in order change formation - throw 2D6 and add the morale bonus previous mentioned.
    • If the score is 6 or greater then the unit can change formation and the normal delays following apply
    • If the score is less than 6 the unit remains stationary, in mid formation change, and is counted as "disorganised" (blue pin, effects are the same as "shaken" for melee and firing purposes, and it only clears as soon as the units successfully changes formation so no morale tests required)
Infantry/Cavalry

  • Column to line (and vice versa) 1 move stationary.
  • Column or line to mass (infantry only) ¼ move.
  • Mass to line or column (infantry only) 1 move.
Artillery limber/unlimber sequence

Move > unlimber > fire > limber > move

  • Light artillery may perform any three of these evolutions in sequence each move.
  • Medium artillery may only perform two sequential evolutions per move.
  • Heavy artillery may only perform a single evolution.
... and that's it...... so far!
Back to top of page... Game Reports
  • A game report in three parts, played by DG and I, from "Scenario's for Wargamers" by Charles Grant, specifically the scenario "Holding Action"...A smaller force is holding a gap in a ridge of hills with the intent of holding off the much larger force for the maximum amount of time...
     
  • (Click here..) for the account of a recent refight of the Charles Grant "Advance Guard" Teaser... lot of fun, and a quite fiendish scenario, but at a good victory for the Allied forces, and leaves me open for a re-match this time fighting as the French!
  • (Click here..) for a report on the first game of 2008. DG and I decided to have a go at the teaser in issue #10 of Battlegames, "Siege Train, or Caught on the Move". It was a win for me, but only in the face of some of the most appalling dice throwing I've ever seen...!
  • (Click here..) for a report on the latest game "Assault".. this was a quick set up game with uneven sides, but equal points... a good win for the Allies (for once!)
  • First game of 2007, (click here..) for the report of a most enjoyable evenings gaming as we tried to "Cross the Bridge"..
  • A re-fight of the Wagon Train game this time with larger forces on each side, and with a dramatically different result. (click here..) for the report of a most enjoyable evenings gaming..
  • "The Wagon Train"...(click here..)...for a report on my first War of the Spanish Succession game/skirmish (with pictures) which was based on the Charles Grant 'Teaser' from the April '78 issue of "Battle".
Back to top of page... Figures

When the project started all those years ago (2006? 2007?) the unpainted lead Darrell passed over were all either Minifigs or Dixon Miniatures. As of now, the only bits of that original lead that I have left is the Minifigs cavalry, and some Dixon infantry - which I think speaks volumes... I've now painted/obtained examples from many manufacturers, with varying results and in this section I document the results..

Essex

Infantry
Like most wargamers I'm of the view that you can never have too much lead sitting around the place, so in a visit to Colours ('06) I decided to invest in 3 packets of Essex infantry (figures come 8 to a pack). I then set up the digital camera and took some comparison shots of the Essex v's Dixon v's Minfigs:





The Essex figures have now joined the British ranks as Ingoldsby's Regiment of Foot (later the 23rd Foot, also known as the Royal Welch Fusiliers). Any down sides? Well only one for me, and something that I've noticed before with Essex figures which is the size of the base on the figure. These are so small that it's difficult to get a good area contact between the figure and the basing material … not a major issue though.

Cavalry

I finally took the plunge and obtained some Essex cavalry at Salute '08 - first impressions are that these are bigger and heftier 15mm's than some of the other figures I have but by no means oversized - I've included some new comparison shots below, but this is them on their own. I have to say that I'm really impressed and I like them a lot - good detail and loads of animation.



The only downside is the same one as for the infantry, the base size could become irritating as attaching them to the painting stick using my usual method (blue tack) is prone to failure..

Warrior and Roundway

Infantry

Having placed orders with both companies (and at least in the UK, Roundway are marketed by Navwar) I received enough figures to make up a regiment of foot and cavalry from each. First impressions were good - their delivery is second to none - the parcels from both companies dropped through the letter box a mere 4 days later!

My second piece of feedback is on the actual figures themselves which you can see in the graphic following - I've reduced these to fit on the page better, but if you click on it you'll get the full version of the picture:



Cavalry

Now the cavalry - see following for the picture(s) - as before I've reduced these to fit on the page better, but if you click on each graphic you'll get the bigger version of the picture:



Freikorps

Cavalry
I bought some 15mm cavalry from Freikorps at the Colours show ('07), and I liked them so much I also bought more at the Warfare show in November!

These are a single piece casting, workmanlike, simple and elegant - not as precise as the Dixon, but a fraction of the price and with my standard of painting that's not an issue!

Suffice to say that (as of now) I have two squadrons made up from Freikorps figures and have another under-coated on the painting table...
NB. These are marketed by them under their SYW range, but in this scale they are close enough...
Black Hat Miniatures

Infantry

Coming back from holiday (Summer '08) I was pretty excited to see the announcement on the The Miniatures Page about a brand new range coming out, it's even rarer to find that it will be in a scale and period that matches one of your own projects. As you can imagine then, I contacted Mike at Black Hat pretty quickly to find out how soon the figures would be available, and how they'd fit with other ranges size'wise.

The up and down of this (pleasant) conversation was that Mike sent me some samples of the new range to have a look at, so that I could see how they fitted with other examples from the range.

So - let me share some pictures with you (please click on any of them for a much bigger view)... first the infantry - front and back:


I don't have any unpainted examples from Essex at the moment, but initial impressions are that the figure does not strike me as being significantly different to these samples - certainly in it's own unit (which I always do anyway) it wouldn't stand out. He's slightly shorter than the Minifigs figure, but has a more solid presence - I particularly like the stance - very pugnacious!

Lastly the officers and what a fine pair of characters these are! I think I'd probably trim the spear and replace it with piano wire (or similar) but these are lovely figures... I really like the fact that they're both shouting...


At Warfare in '08 I bought enough infantry for two regiments of these guys - you can see the finished examples of these in the Units section (French Agenois Regiment and the British Howe's Regiment). Lovely figures that paint up very well..

Cavalry

Mike has now bought out the cavalry and I pre-ordered and collected enough for two squadrons at Salute ('09).

A comparison show is included below - the Black Hat figure included is the French trooper:


First thoughts?? He's sitting on one HUGE horse, not only that but the rider is also big - very noticeably so. The horse reminds me of the Essex casting, think they'll be OK with in their own units, but I don't think they compare as well as the infantry do (NB. I later sold the cavalry unpainted - couldn't bring myself to paint them...)

CP Models

Infantry

A new range only just announced a the time of writing (February '15) . The following show some close ups with my two favourite figures.. CP in the middle..

The CP Models and Black Hat figures both have a thick base, but despite this the CP figure is the shortest of the three..


The Black Tree figure has the bigger "heft" but only from the front - if you look in the following you see he's actually well modelled... the Minifigs figure is possible the most anatomically correct, and also wins for having the better modelled musket and tricorn...


We'll have to see how the CP Models figure paints up...
Summary/Overview

Infantry

  • Roundway/Warrior - Size'wise they are good - slightly bigger and heftier than the Dixon infantry, which I think is a good thing as the Dixon infantry always looks a little lost to me, not as big as the Minifgs, about the same size as the Essex.
  • Sculpt'wise I prefer the Minifigs (it is a very clean and elegant model) but the Black Hat figures paint up very nicely.
  • The Black Hat figures are definitely 15mm (ground to the brim of the hat) and are identical to the Minifgs in height, but they are a more modern style and have slightly more heft and bulk.. extremely fine figures though..
  • Of the others I prefer the Warrior, as the Roundway figure although excellent is let down by that small hat (although they do have the most amazing face - very pugnacious!) My only concern with the Warrior figure is that there is a little pitting - suspect the metal was a bit hot when casting.. I also prefer Warrior to the Essex figur, which are a little "static"..

Cavalry

With the arrival of the Black Hat cavalry I thought it was time to do a full comparison..







So... initial thoughts on the mounted figures when compared to other figures I already have? Well to be honest, not nearly so clear cut as with the infantry... size'wise they are good - the Dixon figure is my favourite but very expensive, there are a couple of contenders that will also do (Essex and Freikorps):
  • The Roundway (click here for their website..) figure suffers from the same pork pie hat problem as his dismounted colleague, he's the biggest figure of the four, but only because of the horse. I noticed that the horse for this figure also suffers from a fair amount of flash...
  • The Warrior (click here for their website..) figure is mixed bag - the horse is a decent size, but the rider is very small - I also don't like the pose (sword straight up in the air) which I guess is easy to get round by ordering a different figure!
  • The Minifigs (click here for their website..) cavalry suffers from "Minifigs horse" syndrome ie. most Minifgs horses seem to me to have huge rear ends and huge heads! Not sure why this is - other than that the figure is clean and well cast, and like the infantry it's a very elegant model, I'm just not sure I like the pose of the rider - arm out to the side with sword pointing upwards... and suffice to say - even after two years I've not been tempted to paint up a squadron of them.
  • The Dixon (click here for their website..) figure speaks for itself, and is still my favourite - size'wise it's fairly average, but what get's the vote for me is the fit of rider to horse (best of the four), and also the pose.. if you look at him in the side-on shot, you'll see what I mean - this guy looks like he's been on campaign for a while....!
  • The Freikorps (click here for their website..) figure is the first from a manufacturer that I think matches my liking for the Dixon figure - the figure design is fine, nothing 'weird' in the way of waving sword arms in the air etc. The figure is a good, workmanlike, cavalryman - nice figure. The cast quality/detail, however, is much coarser than the Dixon. Having said that, it's a one piece cast so the figure sits well to the horse. One thing of note, this is from their SYW range so is slightly later in period, but not noticeably so at this scale.. what's interesting is that I had an immediate desire to paint these guys, whereas the Minifigs/Warrior/Roundway figures are stuck firmly in the "to paint" pile despite having had them for some years/months now. Suffice to say that I’ve now got two regiments of these guys painted and I can see more joining the ranks.. J
  • The Essex (click here for their website..) figure is a late arrival but a strong contender - I'll know better when I've finished painting up the squadron currently on the painting table, but initial thoughts are that is on the chunky side of the scale, not over-large, but solid. Animation and design are lovely, separate horse and rider (which is not an issue to me as I paint them after I've glued them together) - nice figure..
  • The Black Hat (click here for their website..) figure is the latest arrival - on the large side of the scale. Animation of the horse is nice, separate horse and rider (which is not an issue to me as I paint them after I've glued them together) - OK figure, but big..
  • I've missed Peter Pig out from the review as the only cavalry of theirs you can really use for this period are the Cuirassiers/Roundheads from their ECW range - shame, really as they are excellent - suffice to say I have used them for two regiments of Bavarian Cuirassiers, and also Austrian Cuirassiers...




..same order - slightly different perspective.


...close up of the Freikorps next to my favourite cavalry figure..


...last off, a comparison including the Essex cavalry..

Prices/Thoughts/"Which one's to get"




Infantry










Price'wise the Warrior figures are clear favourites - in fact I'm amazed at the price - following are from the websites today (beginning December '14) but check the web sites for up to date prices!










pence per figure ('ish) Regiment of 24
Minifigs 8 figures for £3.25 0.41 £9.75
Warrior 12 figures for £2.50 0.21 £5.00
Roundway 8 figures for £2.00 0.25 £6.00
Dixon 10 figures for £3.50 0.35 £8.40
Essex 8 figures for £3.30 0.41 £9.90
Black Hat 10 figures for £2.50 0.25 £6.00
CP Models 8 figures for £2.50 0.31 £7.50
Freikorps** 8 figures for £2.70 0.34 £8.10






** from their SYW series








Ignoring the difference in price, I do love those Minifigs infantry!! Must try the Freikorps infantry some time - Minifigs & Black Hat are my choice of figure for the project






Cavalry










..how do they match up in cost? Pretty well in fact...










pence per figure ('ish) Regiment of 24
Minifigs 4 figures for £3.25 0.81 £6.50
Warrior 6 figures for £2.50 0.42 £3.33
Roundway 4 figures for £2.00 0.50 £4.00
Dixon* 5 figures for £5.00 1.00 £8.00
Essex 4 figures for £3.30 0.83 £6.60
Black Hat 5 figures for £2.50 0.50 £4.00
Freikorps** 4 figures for £2.70 0.68 £5.40






* you have to buy horses and riders separately)
** from their SYW series


My cavalry of choice remains Freikorps at £5.20 a squadron but if the Dixon figures were a more reasonable price I'd buy them every time…
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