Sunday, 28 November 2010

Quality Control?

Having recovered from the dental surgery, I decided it was time to open the Northstar box and have a look at what I was sent.

Sadly, the news is not good.   Having waited a goodly time for this "Christmas Present" I was expecting fun and excitement with perhaps a few miscasts.   Reality is far more depressing.   I would estimate approximately 25-30% of the order is defective.   Most of the problems concern swords or (in fewer cases) the bayonets where the metal has not reached the ends of the moulds.  That said, there are smooth faces, missing hands and a whole regiment of heavily pitted horses - perhaps they caught the pox?  Odd - as the identically posed  horses sent with the Austrian Generals are fine.

As I ordered from both their French and Austrian ranges the problems do not seem isolated.

I have emailed Nick (the proprietor) and will speak with him on Monday November 28th and explain the whole sorry mess.  Initial responses have been positive.  I trust he will put everything right - pronto - as he seems to be a decent chap.  Unfortunately this has put the (temporary) mockers on B-S 1740 and really dented the old enthusiasm as this was the next item on the "to-do" list.  I would have a drink but my medicine doesn't allow such frivolity.

Report to follow...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Dental Horrrors!

Already it has been a colourful week for your author.   My computer has twice been infected by a "Trojan" which slipped passed "Mcafee".  I am currently rather paranoid about the protection (or lack of said) provided by this BT endorsed service.

Thursday November 25th is likely to be another quiet day as I am getting a tooth extracted in preparation for an implant.  Quite ghastly and I fear there will be much pain.   Considering the reluctance of British Medicos to provide effective analgesia I am dreading the aftermath!

These things considered, I may not be able to achieve all that I wished this week.  Enthusiasm has not dimmed and a few conversions are in progress.  Additionally I want to get my flags printed and I am investigating Campaign Cartographer as a way to produce detailed maps.  It seems straightforward and the ability to import PNGs means I should be able to keep things looking "in period".

More soon - thanks for reading.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Operation! - The preamble

After a visit to Warfare! this weekend, I found myself with some new donors for my latest surgical projects.  As I never like to use stock figures as Colonels or General staff, I thought it essential to get some colourful components from which I can create a few unique models.

I intend to post some step by step conversion articles in the near future.  These will show the components, work performed and (hopefully) the finished article.  First on the cutting mat is a fellow made from three different manufacturers' components  and a good deal of epoxy putty.

I will take some shots later (once my camera has recharged) and hope the photos will prove to be of interest.  Now, just how does one sculpt fluffy looking Ostrich feathers using "greenstuff" and toothpicks...

Cartography - a tricky matter.

Whilst waiting for the delivery of my figures from Northstar, I decided to take the plunge and map Beimbach-Schönau.  Surprisingly, I found this to be one of the trickiest things to date.

The Reichsfürstum is known to be on the very fringes of the Holy Roman Empire and to enjoy a good deal of autonomy.  Additionally, the very real menace from the savage Turk needed to be immediate and relevant to the C18. 

After much perusal of Google Maps and pouring over old documents, I decided upon a plausible location.   In short the ImagiNation is located in the area now occupied by Southern Hungary, Northern Croatia and Eastern Slovenia.   The map I have created is very much a first draft and I can see many ways to improve it.  However, it shows the main highways, fortresses, conurbations and topographical features (the latter two are grounded in reality)

Additionally the cantons, for want of a better term, are shown outlined by a broken line.  These are in the process of being numbered and named.  The system used will approximate to that of the C20 "Wehrkreis" - anachronistic but logical.

I think over the next few weeks I will have to hand-draw a full map complete with all desired information.   However, the above will suffice for the present.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Infanterie Regiment Nr.7 "von Etzlinsweiler" 1740

In a case of history repeating itself, IR.7 is once again led by a refugee.   This has earned the Regiment the troopers' sobriquet "Das Waisenhaus".  The talented military man, Otto, Ritter von Etzlinsweiler was recommended to the Kreigskammer by none other than Joachim von Standorf.  Having been born and bred within a few score miles of each other, they had often met and were well acquainted.  Thus the introduction was quite logical. 

Another gentleman dispossessed of his ancestral lands by the aggression of the Bourbons, he proved most eager gain a colonelcy in our army.  Von Etzlinsweiler yearns for the day that he can return to Lorraine and reclaim his Estates.  Until then he devotes himself to matters military eschewing the finery of Court choosing instead the soldier's life of hard-campaigning.

Again, the Regiment has a small compliment of artillery and these are served by cannoneers in old-style Tobacco-Brown uniforms.

Inhaber: Otto, Ritter von Etzlinsweiler

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Infanterie Regiment Nr.6 "von Falkenau" 1740

One of the first appointees of our current Sovereign's reign was Theophilus, Ritter von Falkenau. A well travelled and highly educated young man, he studied at both Wien and Paris. He returned to his ancestral lands upon learning of the premature death of his father.

He favours a detached and intellectual view of warfare and regards troop placement as something akin to a game of chess.  This studious approach has yet to be tested in a major conflict (IR.6 being left in the garrison during the recent war of 1737-39)

Fond of all things Gallic, he sports the latest Parisian fashions and insisted that his newly acquired Regiment was uniformed in coats cut  in the latest French style (Unusually, the Grenadiers are not distinguished by fur caps, instead they sport tall plumes atop their tricorns)

The Francophile nature of the Inhaber should not be taken as disloyalty to the Empire, von Falkenau is merely a cosmopolitan young man with tastes "à la mode".

Inhaber: Theophilus, Frieherr von Falkenau

Monday, 15 November 2010

Infanterie Regiment Nr.5 "Conte di Poretto" 1740

The last of Hubertus' Infantry appointees to remain in command is Pietro di Poretto.  As such, he is now fairly elderly but this has not caused a mellowing of his outlook or a deterioration of his famously dapper appearance. 

His merciless approach to warfare will undoubtedly prove useful in the coming campaigns against the savage armies of Pasha Zahi.

Another "German" coated Regiment, IR.5 sports the regulation uniforms and details.  As with IR.4, this Regiment has organic Artillery of the "Schmetterling" type.

Inhaber: Pietro, Conte di Poretto

Infanterie Regiment Nr.4 "von Standorf" 1740

When Graf von Wertheim recieved his posting to IR.2 "Markgräfin", command of IR.4 "Die Rosen" passed to Joachim, Ritter von Standorf - a cousin of Reichsfürstin Philippine.

Through his energetic command of IR.7, he has gained a great deal of military expertise.  He espouses a "fluid" and modern approach to warfare, sometimes to the displeasure of his tired men.  At Court, von Standorf is regarded as one of Beimbach-Schönau's most dashing Infantry commanders - a reputation he enjoys thoroughly.

The first of the Regiments to present a truly "textbook" appearance, IR.4 wears "Mustard Yellow" coats of the "German" style and the Grenadiers sport new-regulation fur caps complete with bag (striped with Pink and Gold)  IR.4 has a small quantity of "Schmetterling" guns distributed amongst the Battalions.  These are manned by Artillerists in old-style Tobacco Brown coats.

Inhaber: Joachim, Ritter von Standorf

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Infanterie Regiment Nr.3 "von Zsadány" 1740

In the last decade or so, the incorporation of Eastern influences into the Army has become highly fashionable.  The first of our Regiments to display this vogue is IR.3.  

Led by the Magyar magnate Nikolaus, Graf von Zsadány, this formation is the oldest of the "Line" Regiments.  The personnel are drawn from the Eastern areas of the Reichsfürstum but are not entirely Magyar.  The overtly "Hungarian" nature of IR.3 owes much to the aesthetic preference and ethnicity of the present Inhaber.

Graf von Zsadány assumed control of IR.3 following the demise of the greatly admired Ludwig von Frauenberg.  The latter led the Regiment for more than three decades and built himself a formidable reputation.  The Officers of IR.3 observe many of the formalities beloved by von Frauenberg and the present Inhaber has wisely ensured that these traditions are respected.

It should be noted that whilst this Regiment is the first of the "Line" Infantry formations, it nevertheless considers itself to have a degree of seniority and this is reflected in the somewhat haughty manner of the Officers.

 Inhaber: Nikolaus, Graf von Zsadány

Infanterie Regiment Nr.2 "Markgräfin" 1740

Second in seniority remains "Markgräfin Katharina".  As described in the entry dealing with the 1720 pattern uniform, IR.2 is known as the "Mourning Regiment".  Retaining the funerary waistcoat and now sporting a tall cylindrical Grenadier headress, the Regiment presents a unique appearance.  Additionally, it will be noted that IR.2 carries the only Regimentsfahne bordered in black.  This acts both to distinguish it from the "Line" Regiments and also as a further mark of "mourning".

As with IR.1, "Markgräfin" boasts a double compliment of Grenadiers and also a collection of Regimental artillery pieces.  Many of these are of the rather outdated "Sacre" style but are thought still to confer an advantage on the battlefield.

Currently led by the elderly, yet effective, Helmuth, Graf von Wertheim (formerly of IR.4)  As a recognition of his many years service to the von Löwensee family, he was recently (1734) granted a new title and extensive estates.

Inhaber: Helmuth, Graf von Wertheim

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Infanterie Regiment Nr.1 "Kronprinz" 1740

As in the Army of Hubertus II, IR.1 retains the honorary "Kronprinz" along with the unique uniform distinctions - Scarlet waistcoat and Charcoal-Grey coat.

Along with IR.2 "Markgräfin", this Regiment boasts a double compliment of Grenadiers.  These wear the "normal" uniform complete with fur cap.  As would be expected in an élite formation, the Officers sport a wide variety of flamboyant uniforms.  The most popular being an adaptation of Hussar style attire.

The Regiment retains a number of light artillery pieces for direct support.   These are crewed by dedicated specialists.  Their uniform follows the standard system but with the addition of the Scarlet "Kronprinz" waiscoat.

Led, cermonially, by the Sovereign's eldest son, actual administration is performed by his close friend Moritz von Grafenwald.

Inhaber: Moritz, Reichsfreiherr von Grafenwald

Waiting and waiting...

I thought it only right to explain the quiet week at the B-S Chronicles.  I ordered some figures for the 1740 army from the folks at North Star but sadly after two weeks nothing has arrived.  I am more than a little peeved by this and think this level of service is not too good.  I know you can get snowed-under when you run a "special" but in such circumstances it's always polite to send an update to your customers.  I am hoping the time they are taking to get here is due to rigorous quality controls and that the metal troopers are going to arrive without any miscasts or breakages.

Anyway, I had been waiting until the troops arrived before posting the 1740 Regimental profiles, now I think I will just press on and do them.   I can always judiciously edit in the future...

Hopefully, I will get the figures on Monday and I will be able to post another review along with the far more gripping profiles.  Additionally, I can get my custom printed flags ordered.  If they do not get here soon, I fear I may succumb to the Beimbach-Schönau 1785 project that is fermenting in my addled mind.  I know which figures I would use and I am sure Front Rank's fine proprietor, Mr Brown, will deliver them with alacrity!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Unveiling the 1740 pattern "Regimentsfahne"

Along with the reorganisation of the Army, it was decided that the Regiments should carry splendid new colours.

The new "Regimentsfahne" is of standardised design.  Bearing a black cross upon a field of the Regimental coat colour.  The quadrants sport "flames" of the Regimental facing and the flag is bordered in the applicable lace colour.  In the centre of the cross is the State Crest.

During Mass at Sankt Ulrich Cathedral, the flags were blessed and the Reichsfürst presented them to the Colonels.  In subsequent ceremonies the banners were paraded in front of the massed Regiments.

To illustrate the system, the colours of IR.1 "Kronprinz" (Top) and IR.2 "Markgräfin Katharina" (Right) are shown.  Please note, IR.2 is unique in sporting a black border. 

The Army of Maximilian - Field Artillery 1740

As has been mentioned previously, the artillery has been thoroughly reorganised.

This has entailed the concentration of all pieces heavier than 3lb (Including the Siege Artillery) into a central "Great Battery".  From this reserve the High Command can dispatch batteries of guns that act in unison against a given target.  This concentrated fire is thought to be capable of severely weakening a portion of an enemy's line making breakthrough a less daunting proposition.

The Infantry Regiments have been permitted to retain their small calibre pieces such as the "Galloper" and "Schmetterling" guns.   These being used in their traditional, infantry-support, rôle.

Coat colour remains Tobacco-Brown and in the case of Regimental Artillery the appropriate facing is still displayed.   When it comes to the Great Battery, the personnel display burned-orange facings on their brown coats - as was the case with the earlier "Siege Train" troopers.  It should be noted that all indigenous Regiments equip their artillery troopers with either of the "German" pattern coats, albeit with subtle differences to best reflect the parent formation.

The Army of Maximilian - Cavalry Regiments 1740

Less in need of reorganisation than the Infantry, nevertheless the Cavalry Arm was found to be in need of attention.

It was decided by Reichsfürst Maximilian that, in line with the other Regiments, the "Leibgarde" should be reduced to six squadrons.   The men freed by this reduction formed the cadre of the two squadron Prinzen-Jäger zu Pferde.  These troopers act as the personal escort of the Sovereign.

Another radical change was the re-distribution of Grenadiers throughout the Chevaux-léger (as the Dragoons have been renamed) Regiments.  This has neccesitated the renaming of KR.2.  No longer bearing the honorary "Grenadiere" they are now known as "Reichsfürstin Philippine" (After our Sovereign's Consort) and when combined with Regt.Nr1 and the Prinzen-Jäger squadrons comprise the "Household" Cavalry.

A further Regiment of  Chevaux-léger and a second Hussar Regiment have also been added to the Cavalry establishment.

Finally, an eight squadron regiment of Bosnian "Uhlans" has been raised and fulfills a similar rôle to that of the Hussars, although equipped primarily with a lance.

Thus the 1740 Cavalry Arm comprises:
  • One Regiment of Cuirassiers
  • Four Regiments of Chevaux-Légeres
  • Two Regiment of Hussars
  • One Regiment of Uhlans
  • Two squadrons of Jäger zu Pferde
As with the Infantry, it has been requested that Colonels acquire more modern coats and equipment for their Regiments.  This, coupled with the new "Grenadier" element in each Regiment, has resulted in some unusual Regimental dress codes.

The Army of Maximilian - Infantry Regiments 1740

Following the end of the recent War against the Turk, it was recognised that our army required modernisation.  Essentially unchanged in forty years, the military remained the child of Hubertus II and was rooted deeply in the military traditions of a bygone age.

After much debate within the deeply conservative Kriegskammer, it was decided that four main changes would be desirable.  At the insistence of Reichsfürst Maximilian, these measures were enacted with great speed.  The steps taken are as follows:

  • The creation of an independent massed artillery.  The Regiments were ordered to surrender all guns above 3lb to the central artillery park. Regiments that had "Galloper" or "Schmetterling" pieces have been allowed to retain them for close support purposes.
  • An increase in the number of Regiments.  The nine pre-existing formations have been expanded by five. These comprise; one Line Regiment,  two "Pandour" Regiments (former irregulars now incorporated into the standing army) and finally two "Foreign" Regiments.  This expansion is expected to be more than adequate for the immediate future.
  • The adoption of new uniforms.   Whilst retaining the traditional dark-yellow coats, the Colonels have been encouraged to adopt coats cut in contemporary styles*.  It is felt that these are more suited to modern warfare.  Additionally, the Regimental facing colours were "fixed" at this time to avoid future confusion.
  • Finally the formation of six dedicated "Jäger" battalions.  Recruited largely from game-keepers and frontiersmen these troopers are used to skirmish with enemy light-infantry and act as piquets for the encamped army.
It will be appreciated that such large-scale reorganisation cannot be effected immediately and at present the Army is in a transitional stage.   That said, Beimbach-Schönau is in a far stronger position now than five short years ago.

*A wide variety of styles has arisen as the Colonels have taken this opportunity to re-equip their men according to their whim.   Most notable amongst the changes has been the adoption of some rather unusual Grenadier caps and the use of coats of a decidedly "Gallic" flavour in some of the Regiments.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

"Der Pistaziekrieg" 1744

No doubt our well informed readers will be aware that the Reichfürstum is again embroiled in hostilities to the South East.  However, the cause of the so-called "Pistachio War" is less well known.  To rectify this, a brief summary follows.

Following the cessation of hostilities with the Turk, the Treaty of Beograd (1739) required the Emperor Charles VI to relinquish control of territory won earlier this Century.

Through skillful diplomacy, Beimbach-Schönau had avoided major involvement in the war but had been required to dispatch a contingent in support of the Reichsarmee.  This force acquitted itself well and returned with honour.  However, despite the bravery of our soldiery, the deficiencies of what was in effect an outdated institution were made apparent during this conflict.  This resulted in a reorganisation and expansion of the military.

Amongst the lands lost to the Empire was the highly volatile area known as the "Banat of Nuštavar".  This area has, following the Treaty, acquired a semi-autonomous nature and is now ruled by "Pasha Zahi" (formerly a general in the Ottoman Army)  Masquerading as a Liberator and man of culture,  Zahi has a long history of atrocity and intolerance toward all non-Mohammedans.  This cruelty is matched only by his insatiable greed.

Even though his rise to power in the Banat was of grave concern to all Christians in the area, it was hoped that Zahi would at least attempt to show a modicum of decorum when dealing with his new "neighbours".  Unfortunately, this did not occur.

As the Banat of Nuštavar sits astride the highly profitable Oriental Trade routes, there are many Imperial merchants present within the capitol, Torşova (more properly named Torschowa).   In addition to the well developed spice and textile trades, there are a goodly number of merchants (the majority Subjects of out State) whose livelihoods depend upon the demand for exotic foodstuffs.  High on the list of comestibles is the versatile Pistachio nut, grown in Hellas and Asia Minor.  These nuts are used in dishes both sweet and savoury and, as such, form an important part of many an exotic recipe and hors d'œuvre.  It could be said that the Aristocracy's enthusiam for these green morsels has become something of a craze.

The wealth accumulated by these traders did not escape the notice of the rapacious Pasha.  Through a series of blatantly criminal actions Zahi's regime levied outrageous taxes on non-Moslem commerce and additionally dispatched thugs to extort further funds from these industrious persons.  This robbery was accompanied by the closure of many Churches and frequent acts of anti-German violence.

The most prominent of the "Pistachio Merchants" was Johannes Schürlein  formerly of Alt-Beimbach.  Having established his offices in Torschowa some twenty years earlier he had acquired a fine reputation and earned a considerable fortune - which, within the space of three years, had been drained by Zahi and his cohorts.

The situation reached breaking-point during 1743, when the remaining merchants decided to make a stand against further extortion.   This noble action by Schürlein and his fellow nut traders was met not by negotiation but by force.  A mob was encouraged to murder these good people during Sunday Mass, their families being enslaved and what little assets remained confiscated by Pasha Zahi.  The orgy of violence spread throughout the city and after a week of murder, rape and theft no foreign traders remained in Torşova.

This resulted in outrage throughout Christendom but the Empire was enmeshed by the great wars elsewhere in Europe. Beyond issuing formal complaint, to both Torşova and Constantinople , Wien took no action.  The Tokapi expressed regret but pointed out that the affairs of the Banat were not under the Sultan's control.  The vile Pasha acknowledged the grievance by executing the Imperial messengers and thus further inflamed the situation.

Our Prince was enraged by Pasha Zahi's arrogance and the maltreatment of the traders.   Encouraged by the apparent indifference of Constantinople and the strength of his newly reorganised army, Reichfürst Maximilian determined upon a punitive campaign against the Banat with the dual aims of deposing the Pasha and acquiring the territory, in the interest of Christendom, The Empire and fine canapés. 


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

St.Hubertus Day review 1720

Starting this morning with a great amount of activity on the streets of Bad Löwensee, the annual St.Hubertus day celebrations have proven to be more popular than ever.

After a day of street theatre, feasting and pageantry (including the parade of the Leibgarde) the populace appears to appreciate fully the Golden Age in which we live.  The more cynical amongst you may attribute this unprecedented success to the generous wine donative made by our Prince.  However, your author feels that the widespread elation is rather a manifestation of our peoples' gratitude to Hubertus II for ensuring their continued prosperity.

In the evening the Prince retired to the Cathedral of Sankt Ulrich where he celebrated a "Te Deum" followed by a magnificent fireworks display over the waters of the Löwensee.  Whatever menace the future may hold, we feel we are in safe hands.

Monday, 1 November 2010

The Order of Radegast

Reichsfürst Maximilian has, with great  benevolence, instituted The Order of Radegast   Effective immediately, this decoration can be awarded to individuals deemed to have provided great service to the Reichsfürstum.  Recipients may proudly display the Order at their websites or blogs.

Unauthorised display of the Order will be seen as a Treasonable Offence.

28mm Figure Review #1: Front Rank & Dixon

It is often asked, on sites such as TMP, is such and such compatible with this and that.   In many cases the answers is an obvious yes or no.  In others the matter is open to personal interpretation.

As such, anything I write here is my own opinion.   I present photos with a scale so you may draw your own conclusion.  Likewise, my opinion concerning customer service and speed of delivery etc is precisely that - my opinion based upon my experiences.

Anyway, let's get to the figures.  In October 2010, I decided to get £50.00 worth of samples from Front Rank Figurines and a smaller selection from Dixon Miniatures .  I have long been a fan of Front Rank, having bought their figures for close on two decades, thus I felt no trepidation concerning the quality of the sculpting and the customer service.  Mr Alec Brown's "Spanish Succession" and "Early 18th Century" ranges did not disappoint.

They are large (over 30mm to the top of the head) well detailed miniatures.  There is a decided "flair" to them and Alec has certainly captured the feel of the period - the wigs make me feel itchy!  I have heard complaints about "scale creep" from some quarters and yes it's true these miniatures are bigger than earlier Front Rank offerings.  However the difference in size is not enormous and I do not feel they are incompatible with the later C18 ranges (for comparison see above)

You will note the horse furniture is cast with the figure, this makes it easier to "seat" the figures upon the horses.  This is the case with the vast majority of Front Rank's cavalry figures.   The website indicates clearly which horses are most suitable for a given figure.  As for the horses, they too are well designed.   Not over-animated and they actually look like equines.  More than can be said for many of the other manufacturers' ranges! 

I picked up a good few Command figures and some of the "generic" Cuirassiers from the WSS Cavalry selection.  The latter are shown in the comparison picture - below left.    Again very good figures with, I am told, random cast-on head variation.  

After seeing these figures "in the lead" I can wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone wanting something for the Early 1700s.   I intend to modify my Cuirassiers with some judicious head-swaps (to model KR.1 Leibgarde) but they are fine as-is.

This brings us neatly into the appraisal of Dixon's far older "Marlburian" range.

Ordering these was a bit more of a gamble for me as I find the sculpting quality of Dixon Miniatures to be a little variable.   This is not surprising considering they have been around a very long time.  I decided to go for cavalry and artillery only, as I am expecting Wargames Factory's plastics to fill the foot-slogger ranks.  I spoke with Mr Trevor Dixon over the 'phone and he proved to be most helpful.  Unlike quite a few suppliers, this gentleman didn't seem to find customer queries a nuisance.

I must say that I am impressed by the sculpting and poses in this range.   The figures are certainly closer to the Industry-Standard 28mm but wouldn't look out of place in the same army as Front Rank.   That said, I wouldn't care to mix Dixon and "New" Front Rank in the same regiment.  The moulding is crisp and the detail is good.  The figures have a certain charm and will certainly look very smart with a lick of paint.  The horses (with furniture attached) are good.  Sturdy looking beasts but in no way monsters or giant Shetland Ponies.

Where Dixon has really scored is the fantastic deal on the Marlburian 6lb Artillery.   They offer the gun and four crew for an outstanding £6.30 (correct November 2010)  The figures are of a similar quality to the cavalry and the gun (shown at left) is really quite splendid. 

The crew I received comprises:  Pointing Officer - bewigged (Late C17 / Early C18 style hairpiece) with spontoon,  Gunner with rammer,  Gunner with linstock and a Gunner in shirtsleeves with trailspike.   They make up a good "Firing Group".

When it comes to the gun, there is a nice level of wood grain detail (not over-played) and the barrel certainly has the right look.  Far better than would be expected when you look at the pack price!  I will certainly be picking up more of these for the Beimbach-Schönau military as they would not look out of place for the majority of the C18 and thus have a good shelf-life for a cheapskate like myself.

I would summarise by saying that both Ranges are well worth a punt.   Front Rank have the edge in terms of "modernity" and sheer quantity of different uniforms and poses but the Dixons have a pleasant look to them and are very good value (especially the artillery)  

For the record, both orders had mismoulded figures.  This is very unusual for these manufacturers as generally they excel in this area.   However the problems were rectified and replacements promptly sent (FR) and promised for inclusion in my next order (D).  I have therefore ignored these anomalies when awarding my scores.

Scores out of 10 - thoroughly personal ratings explained:
Sculpting - Quality of detail and accuracy
Casting - Mismoulds and flashing
Variety - How comprehensive is the range
Service - Was the seller easy to reach, polite and helpful
Delivery - How long did they take to get to me
Value - Are they a good deal overall

Delivery time based upon my experience - UK to UK delivery.

Sculpting:                 D 6/10 - FR 9/10
Casting:                   D 8/10 - FR 10/10
Variety of Subject:   D 5/10 - FR 9/10
Customer Service:    D 8/10 - FR 10/10
Delivery Time:         D 5/10 - FR 10/10
Value:                     D 7/10*- FR 9/10

*10/10 for the Cannon and crew!

Expanding the ImagiNation

The more astute amongst my readers will have noticed a few subtle changes to the blog.  I have decided to include not just the army of Hubertus II but also that of his heir, Maximilian.  This decision was prompted by a few recent developments.

  1. The relative difficulty in finding good quality (and sensibly priced) 28mm figures suitable for 1720-30.  I was banking on buying a lot of the upcoming Wargames Factory WSS models.   Cheap and readily convertible thought I.  However, they are still not off the Chinese banana boat and I am wanting to get moving!
  2. Crusader Miniatures have had a very limited 50% blowout sale of their SYW Austrians.  When added to the fact that the WF stuff is delayed, I couldn't resist!  At about 50p a figure they are cheap enough to chop up - guilt free.
  3. Added to this I have a large unpainted stock of mid-18th Century lead and a general enthusiasm for the whole 1700-1765 period.  Why limit myself? 
Please note, Beimbach-Schönau 1720 is not dead! - Far from it new stuff on the way.   It is just going to be developed in parallel to the 1740 timeframe.

It is also my intention to add reviews and "how-to" articles as and when I get the models and time.  Early stages but this should become a useful resource for ImagiNationeers.

Finally, I have changed my alias.   The choice was simple, using an alternative version of my Christian name along with a "von" linked to my ancestors' village of Krautheim - yes it is real!  Picture choice was straightforward - I have a pet bird of prey (or at least a vicious Parrot)

Anyway, back to the 1740 uniform plates - a bit more complex this time...