Friday 19 November 2021

Austrian Jager

I've just completed a small unit of Austrian jager,

For these I used the following figures:

  • The new infantry kneeling and standing firing
  • The new hornist
  • The Russian infantry officer with 'musket'
  • The Prussian NCO with 'musket' from Russian officer
  • The Prussian advancing infantryman
  • The new jager head

My troops have gaiters rather than the high boots depicted in most illustrations. The figures have gaiters, and the information is contradictory, I did not feel it worth the effort of showing boots, which would be difficult to model on the bent legs.

The casket in the mould is not quite right, so I made a couple of modifications:

  • The casting has a domed top, whereas I think it should be level - not a difficult job to file it down. (Do it before sticking on the plume, I had not spotted the need to file the top down until after I had glued on the plume, which made it more tricky).
  • They are usually shown with a green plume, which is not present in the mould. I made one by cutting the bayonet off the muskets (see below), gluing it on the side, cutting to length (it is easier to cut off the top after gluing, as it gives more to hold as the glue sets (superglue and accelerator)), and then roughening up the sides using a mini-drill.
All of the figures have the musket cut down to a rifle. The Austrian jager rifle was 1120mm long. Assuming an infantryman is 5'5" (1652mm), with the figures standing 42mm high this gives a length of 28.5mm.

I quite enjoyed making these, they are a good example of what we have been trying to do with the range, making a figure which is close to the historical detail by mixing and matching other components.

Friday 5 November 2021

Austrian command variations

I've been having a play with the mounted 'general', with a bit if filing around the arm locating lug he can be given the sword from the dragoon officer (the sword should probably be filed down to a more gentlemanly epee), With three arm options, the ability to vary the arm angle, and a variety of heads there is a fair scope for making the commanders for our metal armies.

I have also taken the dragoon officer's horse and body and fitted the bare head and arm with hat from the general. Again the arm needs a bit of filing to make it fit, I decided to have the arm/hat lowered in a sort of respectful greeting - I think it works well. (He needs another coat of varnish - fell over whilst wet!)

Moving on from the mounted officers, I painted up the new foot officer as a dismounted 'general', the new figure is modeled with gaiters, however the buttons can easily filed off to allow cavalry boots to be  painted on - again a nice figure.

With a little more effort it is possible to make a nice bare headed 'general' figure on foot. Cut off the sword and hand just above the cuff , then replace it with the cuffed hand and hat from the mounted officer's arm (I suspect it would work just as well using the hand and hat), and slot in the bare head. He should have a sword in his scabbard so glue on a hilt from a French infantry sword. I think the resulting figure is another cracking officer.

Next I need some commanders for the other armies.

Thursday 28 October 2021

Austrian Command

 The last of the recent batch of moulds - the Mounted Officers.

These are painted to represent Austrian general officers. I have made no attempt to paint the intricate gold lace on the clothing and saddle cloths, as it is beyond my ability/patience, and also would be mostly lost under the high gloss finish (that's my excuse).

I think these are rather splendid gentlemen, worthy to command anyone's armies.

The two arms in the mould allow for waving the hat or pointing with a baton, both very nice poses. I have also been playing with some other options, including the arm pointing with a sword from the dragoon mould. I have tried swapping the other way, adding the arm waving the hat and the bare head on the dragoon officer. None fit perfectly, but look fine with a little filing around the locating lug (I will share them when painted).

The horse/torso is cast in 'scrap' metal, and generally casts OK, however I had difficulty with the heels on the boots, which I built up with 'green stuff', later figures cast with Model Metal were better. The heads and arms are in Model Metal as they give better detail. The hair on the bare head is a bit smooth but paints up fine, the head with the tricorne is from the Russian officer (I really like that head).

I think with the options of mixing and matching arms from this and the dragoon mould, and the wide range of heads from across the whole range , it should be possible to make quite a varied collection of staff officers (someone has to paint a mounted Russian Guard officer).

As always comments and suggestions welcome.

Sunday 17 October 2021

Prussian Frei Korps

Following on from the Grenz I have painted a a small 8 man unit of 'double blues'.

The new firing infantry are nice figures, and are designed to mix in with the very first Prussian moulds. The bodies are cast in 'scrap metal' and came out reasonably well, however I used heads from the original Prussian moulds (cast in Model Metal), as I prefer the proportions of the older heads.

A rear shot, the kit is similar to the original figures, however size is inconsistent, but they look fine mixed together - the chaps will go thirsty as the water bottle is missing.

Comparison with the original Prussian infantryman (they have heads from his mold), even with the different kit size they mix fine.

On this occasion I decided to go a little down the 'imagination' route and give the troops the new hornist figure as their musician; these are skirmishing troops in my army, and the horn looks far more appropriate than a historically correct drum (and it used the brand new figure). Using similar logic they are commanded by the new staff officer. - I can see him popping up in all sorts of places. 

And finally a mix of the old and new figures.

Next I think a couple of mounted officers.

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Austrian Grenz

 I finally got around to casting and painting up some Grenz - just a small 8 man unit for use using the 'A Gentleman's War' rules (which are highly recommended).

These are (currently?) the only two Grenz figures in the range, with no dedicated command. To complete the unit I also cast and painted up a Hungarian officer (with a Russian officer's musket) to act as their commander, size wise he fits in OK; however he looks a bit odd in an advancing pose when the rank and file are all stationary firing.

The original plan was to also have an advancing figure, so after mixing in a few of those the advancing officer would look fine. I will have another attempt to have some more Grenz figures made - if anyone else wants them then let me know, and it would help if you contact PA on their Facebook page to ask them to make some more Grenz poses.

Casting wise;  I struggled to get the fine detail, particularly on the face and shako fur, however they paint up fine.  I was using my 'scrap' metal which often struggles to produce fine detail, I had run out of Model Metal, but now have some, so will see if I can get better results next time I have a casting session.

I have also cast some light infantry and generals, which I hope to get painted in the next week or so.

As always your comments would be appreciated.

Sunday 15 August 2021

New Releases! Generals and Light Troops

Yes I am still here, however I have not done anything with my semi flats for some time.

I recently had an email to say that PA have (finally) released four more moulds, and that there is a 10% discount if you buy the full set.

I have to confess I have not yet seen these moulds, so have not had chance to try them out and see how they cast. The packaging illustrations are prints of the computer generated designs - not castings.

The moulds are labelled 'Austria', however they are intended to be more generic than has been the case previously, and to produce figures that are 'near enough' to fill some of the gaps that exist across all of the armies. 

General Officer

The mounted general officer is based on the Austrian uniform, with different heads (from other moulds) and varying paint jobs he should do nicely for all of the armies. 

We decided to try and make something a little different from the usual pointing with sword, so went for the raised hat and pointing with baton. Hopefully a dragoon or cuirassier arm can be used if a sword is wanted.

Light Infantry

These have been 'a little while' in the making - looking back through the blog the discussions about what figures to produce were back in September 2014, and then the first sculpting shots were back around Christmas 2019 - no one can say they were rushed out!

Grenz & Pandours

Currently just a single mould for these, the kneeling and standing firing poses are fine for skirmishing. I would have liked to have seen another mould with an advancing pose paired with either one marching or loading - any thoughts?

The mould contains heads for Austrian grenz, Russian pandours and also a mirliton to make the various frei corps units.

The Hungarian officer will stand in nicely for their commander.

 Frei Korps and Jager

Although labelled 'Austria', the second light infantry mould is even more generic, designed to cast figures which will be acceptable  for a wide range of troops; again a single mould with two firing figures. The figure's kit is the same as the Prussian infantry figures, so can be mixed with the earlier moulds (and would make a close order firing line).

Officers can be provided by the line infantry moulds.

The figures have gaiters, so are correct for light troops such as Prussian frei korps, however as they have gaiters they are not quite right for jager (although these are also sometimes shown in gaiters).

The mould includes a head with an Austrian jager style casket, so the figures will also give a reasonable approximation of the Austrian jager, again as they have gaiters they are not quite right .

General Officer on Foot and Hornist

The general officer is intended to be paired with the mounted officer to make a command group, with the two of them having a chat.

The hornist should add a little more variation to the skirmishing lines.

Hopefully I should get the moulds soon and will see how they cast.

As always comments are welcome.

Saturday 2 January 2021


Best Wishes to everyone for the New Year.

Sorry I've not written anything for a while, my gaming interests have been elsewhere.

With lock down I have not had much chance to play with my toy soldiers, however I have done a lot of on-line gaming. A group of us have been playing Commands and Colors Napoleonics, using the VASSAL platform for the game and DISCORD for the chat. If any of you are feeling a need to get some interactive gaming done I can highly recommend this combination, as to play requires constant discussion/interaction between players, so almost as good as a face to face game.

Plans for the SYW Range

I have recently had a chat with Chris Tubb, PA's sculptor, who assures me that PA are planning to continue/complete the SYW range, however as you can imagine the pandemic has made things difficult for them.

The good news is that I am in possession of 3D prints of some of the next releases, which will comprise a mounted general, grenz and other light troops, as discussed in previous posts these will have a variety of poses and heads so will cover most armies. Hopefully we should see these in production in the next couple of months.

Everyone take care - hopefully we will all be gaming again soon.