Friday, 22 January 2010

Recruiting cavalry and "classic" Vs. "Modern"

This time introducing the birth, or rather, conception of a new unit. And some thoughts on unit organisation.

Leopold sat in his office wondering why it was taking Kolonel Nyudrev that long to equip what was to be his prime unit. But he guessed that in a young State as the DDU it would not be simple to set up or change, from one day to another, all the administration and regulations and laws so that even the smallest thing as paying for uniform buttons could be performed. But he knew (from his "inside" men) Kevinovich Nyudrev was earning his pay.
More importantly, he had just heard of a band of horsemen roaming the east banks of the river Meuse. He suspected they were former Flemish-Austrian cavalry that had deserted. His idea was -as he didn't have the means to try and catch them- to find a way to approach them and offer them a job as the first cavalry unit of the DDU army. That way he would have solved the problem of the rogue horsemen holding up merchants and travelers and at the same time he would have the means to catch other highwaymen. Maybe they could even serve as his mounted bodyguard, or as messengers or even as spies at the borders.

-A band of  horsemen ready to rob unsuspecting travelers, kill their women and rape their dogs.-

As you can see, a small Ebay purchase was delivered by post this morning. So I'm now the proud owner of some original plastic Spencer Smith miniatures: 13 dragoon troopers and two charging officers . Two smallish squadrons?

I've been contemplating how to fit in"classic" (as defined by Phil Olley) and other (modern?) wargaming. The clue is that I reversed my reasoning. Instead of combining several smaller "modern" units into a "classic" unit and calling that a brigade, I'll be deviding the "classic" units in smaller "modern" ones. Clever, not?
The classic 48 model regiments can be broken up in two or three smaller "modern" units, depending on the rules being used. All that's needed are a couple of extra standard bearers as there will be enough drummers, officers and NCO's. Now that will of course give three identical units, uniform wise that is. That doesn't really trouble me. Maybe I can fidle around with pompom colours or something. My smaller special "modern gaming" units (i.e. The Hasselse Garde) can then become "Charge" or "The Wargame" independent companies or detachments.
I"ve also started -again- to study painting techniques. I have yet to decide a name and uniform for the new DDU cavalry unit, but the painting style will be totally different from the (in)famous Hasselse Garde. Slowly but surely things progress...
Does anybody have any idea how to straiten the swords on the plastic Spencer Smiths, hot water maybe?

By the way, anybody wanting to get rid of Spencer Smiths, Willie by Suren or Tradition by Stadden can always contact me. But I don't intend paying as much as I did for the plastics, knowing I can buy new models in metal. Also, I probably wouldn't consider paying to high a price for painted miniatures as I would probably end up stripping the paint anyway. That's why I didn't bid on those Spencer Smith Cavalry and infantry on Ebay. I should know who the seller is. From the background on the pictures on Ebay I'm sure I've seen pictures in some publication or on the net of his gaming table before. I also know that in the end the units weren't sold. It's a pity...I wish I could contact that person. 
As always: any comments, ideas, suggestions, remarks, free miniatures or cash are welcome...

Happy Gaming


  1. Peter,

    One possible idea (which you might hate -- which is okay) would be to have each "small" unit's horses be a slightly different color.

    Say a mid-brown, darker-brown and reddish-brown. Now some fellows like all of the horses in a "unit" to be the same (which is fine); and others like a bit of variety (also fine) . . . whichever group you belong to may determine whether you like or hate this idea.

    In either event, I wish you good luck and much joy with your project.

    -- Jeff

  2. Jeff,

    I actually like your idea. I can't recal where I read it or which (napoleonic) army it was (I actually think it was in the Napoleon-series website)where different squadrons did have different coloured horses.
    Thanks for the input.


  3. off topic, found your blog, as you did with mine :-)

  4. Glad to see you enthusiastic again! Looking forward to enjoy your cavalrymen in their glamorous painted flesh (well, plastic actually).

    Not all 18th C. armies had individual facings for each of their regiments, anyway -think Russia for instance.

    This band of horsemen seems to be of the bright kind raping churches and burning nuns...

  5. Nice figures Pjotr - enjoy painting those

  6. Ludo, welcome aboard.
    Jean-Louis, you noticed the state of mind these horsemen are in...and thanks for confirming my "reasoning".
    Mad, I'll certainly try. Still working on my own painting style. But first some tedious removing of flash.


  7. Congratulations on your purchase Pjotr! Surely Spencer Smith Plastics is a s classical as it gets. Glad I decided not to bid on those after all!
    As for organisation, either make it two small squadrons, or turn one of the officers into the ensign and have a full squadron of Guides te Paard for Leopold?
    Either way I shall look forward to seeing those painted, especially as my own "classical" plans have now firmly taken a back seat to Waterloo pursuits...

  8. Most people don't seem to bother straightening the swords on Spencer Smith plastics, Pjotr. I guess maybe it all adds to the "Old School Charm".

    But they do have a tendency to snap off rather easily, as the plastic gets brittle with old age.

    You could try very hot water.... but perhaps a better method would be to trim off the swords and replace them with pins.... blunt end outward, of course!


  9. I have a spare single cavalry man if you need an extra recruit.

  10. Mark,
    I want to say: yes please...but postage being what it is, you shouldn't really bother for the one figure. Thanks for offering. (I guess E-Mailing the figure isn't an option?).
    I very much like your Ilkley Old School blog: awesome set up and very inspiring.


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