Tuesday 26 September 2017

Leipzig on the Lawn

Der Tag has come and gone and what an splendid day it was!  11 players, 2,000+ 54mm toy soldiers and even the weather co-operated.  My heartfelt thanks to all those who participated, lent toys or helped with domestic logistics.

The cast list was as follows - click on the names for details of their other crimes.
Umpires - PW and myself
Combat photographer - Bob Cordery
The French
The Corsican Ogre - David Crook
Murat - Eric Kemp 
Ney - Mike Lewis
The Allies
Schwarzenberg - Brian Carrick
Blucher - Russell King
Bernadotte - Conrad Kinch
Barclay de Tolly - Mike Snape
Wittgenstein - Jack Wright

What follows are purely my photos - taken between umpiring and other essential tasks such as chatting to players.  See also the blog posts from Bob here and Brian here.
 As usual, clicking to increase the image size will save your eyesight.
Prussian cavalry & Jagers.  Given that I had only 6 Prussian cavalry for the 2015 Waterloo game, this force - mostly from ebay purchases is quite impressive!
 The city of Leipzig
  It's a law that at least one village in any Napoleonic game is made of of Belgian farm buildings...
 Eric's rather nicer French cavalry.  Generally acclaimed as the best painted figures of the game.
  The Russians plod forward. 
 Leipzig featured a rather splendid cathedral 
 Russian infantry and cavalry advance
 While the Russians were heavily engaged, the Austrians appeared and formed a big square.
 More Austrians.  The dark bases are my chaps, Brian brought the others. 
 The thin blue line?
 A slightly thicker blue line faces off the Austrians.
 The Russians forces included these newly arrived (from eBay) Grenadiers. 
Note the British Rocket Troop top right.
 Lots of Russian cavalry.

 The Rocket troop feel victim to a stray French artillery round - and that was Britain out of Europe
 Russians and French fighting in a village.  These are plastic model railway buildings by Faller and similar - picked up while on holiday for a handsome 3 Euro each.
 French cavalry (right) trying to sweep round the flank...
 ...and Russian cavalry preparing to stop them.
 The resulting melee saw the Russians gain the upper hand, with the surviving French being forced back on Leipzig.
 As the Russian steamroller gathered pace the French were forced into some innovative formations.
 Back came the French cavalry for another go, this time with artillery support.
 Party popper shrapnel in action
 It emptied a couple of saddles.
 By now Marshal Murat was overseeing things at the front.

 A French square being assaulted by Russians.  Lots of Russians.
 As is historically appropriate the Russians seemed to have ever more troops.
 Murat dodging grapeshot.
 The main Russian column heading for Leipzig.
By now the Emperor had boarded his coach and was heading for Dresden.  French rear echelon units were also moving out.
Finally, I'll borrow one of Bob's photos.  While the Russians had been heavily engaged from the start and the Austrians kept Ney at bay, it was of course some cheeky Prussians who sneaked through the crumbling walls of Leipzig and claimed the city as their own.  
As the umpires announced the game's end, nearby church bells began to ring- what a moment!

Thursday 21 September 2017

Even more Russians

I managed to photograph some of the latest Russians in the open air.  
They are HAT figures with Tehnolog command.

 The gunners were made by cutting about some HAT musketeers.

Saturday 16 September 2017

Bf 109G again

Hot on the heels of last week's '109 is another. Again, this looks like the old Airfix offering and emerged from the pile in good shape. Even the undercarriage has survived!

The neat paintwork is a tribute to the original modeller.

Sunday 10 September 2017


Latest to emerge from the Partizan 'plane purchase pile was this rather neat Gustav. It looks to me like the old Airfix model. Aside from slapping a bit of varnish over the markings I've left it unmolested.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Atlantikwall - European Road Trip day 9

Just west of Ostend (but not as far west as Westende) is a lovely stretch of Atlantikwall.  
Next door is a German coastal battery dating from the Great War but when we visited it was being renovated.  Which gives me an excuse to go back...
Unlike many such lumps of Atlantikwall, this one is well preserved (one careful owner, never assaulted) and still fitted out with many of the original toys.  Like this rather nice PAK40.  
I'll let the photos do most of the talking.
Read all of this - it's worth it!

A very dangerous thing.  And a big bomb.
There is a good display of beach obstacles.

A Belgian gun - under new management as a 12cm K370(b).  Actually it's a replica but it looks good.

A 105mm U-Boat gun.

Several of the bunkers contain these well-equipped mannequins.  In some museums these can be rather cringe-worthy but here they are very well done.  I think the chap second in from the left looks a lot like Martin R.

This was the Commandant's house - very nice too!
After a couple of hours it was time to fill up with relatively cheap Belgian diesel and head back to Zeebrugge for the ferry.  Three miles short of the terminal the mileage for the trip hit 1,000.

Coming soon - the Command Bus tours the Netherlands...