Saturday, March 29, 2014


I bought another Osprey Campaign series book about the Battle of Zorndorf earlier this week. Although The Seven Years War lies outside my traditional hobby area, I am fascinated with the life and times of Frederick the Great. One of my motivations to keep in touch with the German language was that through German I was able to read some books by great authors on the subject. Some were better than others and some frustrated me more than others. Nowadays, I have forgotten so much German that whenever I go to my library to pick up a "Frederick book" the dictionary Ap on my iphone gets to thorough working over and I am often depressed about what I used to know compared to now.

Anyway, if you are a German reader, I recommend the definitive "recent" work on Frederick by Theodor Schieder. It is an Incredible book scholarship. Unfortunately being German ol' Theo has a genetic disposition to build sentences which are so long you have to go to another book to find the verb at the end!

My favorite book in English is Chris Duffy's Frederick the Great -A Military life. Dr Duffy's book really introduced the subject to me and even now a occassionally take out the book and skim through it. In fact, I took it out a few weeks ago and I can't find it to take a snap of the cover!

Anyway, As a get older I become lazier and lazier and by brain requires more cool pictures. Reading great tomes on Frederick is fun for only a short while and eventually I get hungry for easy text and cool pictures. In steps Osprey books. They seem to be designed to take to bed for a 15 minute read before lights out. They have plenty of colourful pictures for the lazy historian yet enough text and depth for the nerdier of the category.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Painting for the School Fair

Every year Columba College has a school fair - and every year I have never actually got around to donating anything for it. This year's New Year resolution was to be a more active parent. Unfortunately that idea failed miserably. I am not the type of person to give up the comfort of my evenings to sit on committees and I am too lazy to coach a sports team. I am a bad parent.

However, I have decided to donate a set of 1/32 Hat Russian Command figures to the school to auction off at the fair. Over the last week I have been painting and basing and they are beginning to look pretty cool. I wonder if anyone will buy them? There can't be that many Napoleonic nerd dads amongt the parents but you never know....

The problem about painting 1/32 figures is that they are so big that they almost demand to be displayed when they are finished. I don't really have space ti display figures like these - especially since I am not really a painter with the skills to produce to competition standard. With 1/72 the figures can be stored in a box and can still look pretty cool even with my meager skills.

So there they are! I hope a Columba College dad finds space in his man cave for my first efforts in 1/32 for about 10 years!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Waiting for the Spanish...

I ordered 10 boxes of Spanish Napoleonics from my Australian supplier a few weeks ago but I'm not sure when the figures will reach Australia from the Chinese factory where they are being made at the moment. It seems that Australia is the first country to get hold of any new production from Hat Industrie (which does the coolest plastic Napoleonics). In the meantime I am at loose ends as to what to do in terms of painting. Over the last week I have pulled out some of my French battalions
and started to put some flags on them to replace the ones which were originally part of the figures. This will entail a repainting and I am not too happy with the results. I've done about 15 battalions so far. I guess it adds a bit of spark to those tired old early painting efforts. I also notice that I had better get may paints out and touch up those musket barrels....

Saturday, March 8, 2014

No Painting This Week

This has been a hectic week. Work is busy and promises to be the same until next Sunday. I have spent this Saturday loading a 9 metre mini skip with crap which we have accumulated over the last few years. There is so much greenery on the property that we are probably going to need another skip in spring.

On a brighter note, a bought a few more books for my mini- library....

Once upon a time I did actually have an Austrian army of sorts. The Austrians and the French were the first armies that I painted when I was at uni. Sadly, I only decided to repaint the French and the Austrians were relegated to boxes where most of their paint flaked off. A well painted Austrian army would look lovely but I am not sure whether I want to put the Austrians ahead of a Spanish or Portuguese army. At the moment I don't have either but I do have a birthday coming up... perhaps that can justify an army painting binge over winter...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Another Sunday - Another identical set

Here are the Prussians riding in front of four battalions of British foot which happen to live in the same box as the Prussian Curassiers. To the right are a couple of riflemen sniping some of Boney's officers!
I thought that when I finished the Guard Cavalry (Curassiers - without Curasses - go figure!) I would move on to other sets. But then in the back of my mind a had a niggling idea that there may have been other set in the basement -  a set that I bought when I was living in Hong Kong way back in '92. I went for a hunt on Monday after work and there in a box filled with odds and ends of years of on and off collecting - was a bag of figures of original Esci Prussian Curassiers. And it is these that I present to you now. I painted them as dragoons and according to my daughter they look better than the first ones I did last week.