In the mid-80s I brought a unit of Connoisseur Miniatures 28mm Saxon Garde du Corps off Peter Gilder. They sat unpainted in a box for nearly twenty years until I brought them some stable mates – a unit of Connoisseur Zastrow Cuirassiers from JT Miniatures who at that time owned the Connoisseur line. Of course, they all sat mocking me until this past weekend. So the Garde du Corps got undercoated and ready to paint.
These Saxons will be part of my miniature 4th Cavalry Corps (1812), alongside regiments of Westphalian and Polish Cuirassiers.
One problem with the old Connoisseur line was the lack of standard bearers and musician models in the cavalry ranges. I have converted a trooper to be a standard bearer (far left).
I have almost no freehand ability so the monograms on the pistol holster covers and the saddle cloth wont be there. I was reasonably happy with this model, given my level of ability.
And a trumpeter who is partially completed.
These models are quite chunky and full of mid-80s goodness – The horses are a bit small compared to the riders but I still like them. Connoisseur miniatures are still available from Bicorne Miniatures in the UK. I really love these old-style figures. As much as I like modern figures with their crisp mold lines and fine detail, I find they lack something in animation and personality. To me they are all much of a muchness.
Recently Eureka released a good line of Saxon heavy cavalry. They look really nice and I am tempted to get a unit to paint as the third Saxon Regiment that seems to get forgotten – the Leib Kürassiere Garde. They have those fiddly monograms that I could never paint in a million years molded on the figure. That has to be good.
After requests I thought I would post a few shots of the interior of the woolshed. It has been partially converted from a working woolshed but the shearing boards are still there. You can see the four bays complete with their working electric motors. I could probably sell them but I think they look pretty cool.
This is a panoramic shot down the main length of the shed. I currently have 2 6×6 tables ( or one 6×12) and a 9×5 (table tennis table). On the right are the rooms and further down the lean to that currently houses gym equipment and couches.
The study/painting room. Just beyond the bedroom.
Exterior of study.
This is where I try to reduce my classic wargamer physique down to something more healthy. Further down another bed just in case I get tired at the thought of all that exercise.
The shed has traditionally also been used as a local party venue. Continuing this tradition our neighbours across the road celebrated the wedding of their son and his new bride there last summer.
The homestead. It is a named property called “Oeta”. We don’t have many really old buildings in New Zealand. This house is well over a hundred years old which is pretty ancient by our standards. It was built by a chap called Jimmy Hunter, who played 2nd Five Eights for the 1905 Originals All Blacks who toured the UK and France that year. He played in 23 games and scored 44 tries on that tour. He lived here and farmed in this area for decades and eventually his son took over the farm. Like many of these old properties it was broken up over successive generations. We own just a fraction of the original land and the house and woolshed. Enough to grow our own meat (beef and sheep) and grow a lot of our own vegetables and fruit.
For starters, I am going to do something toward reducing the Napoleonic lead and plastic mountain. Those boxes are all pretty much full. I never realised exactly how much crap I had accumulated. Then there are the GW plastic and lead mountains. the 28mm Samurai lead mountains and countless other boxes of random stuff (pirates, western, post-apocalypse). I had better get cracking.
I have made a start. I painted the first Napoleonics I have done in over ten years in the past few weeks and have embarked on a project to rebase my 28mm armies.
French Old Guard Chasseurs by Front Rank.
French Old Guard Grenadiers by Victrix.
My wargame shed. An old Woolshed on my property. My new man-cave is 207m2, which is bigger than our last house. The previous owners were going to develop it as a farm-stay and had converted part of it to include a couple of bedrooms. I retained a bed in one and use the other as a painting study.
My painting desk.
And the first rebased units – mostly made up of old Connoisseur, Elite, Front Rank and Hinchliffe models all mixed together. I really like the animation of the older style figures. I find most models today to be somewhat wooden, but a hell of a lot easier to paint.
Here is a typical base – figures from three different manufacturers.
For starters, there are not many opponents. You get to do a lot of naval gazing, and I don’t mean looking at my 1/1200th Napoleonic ships. I spend a lot of time reading and interacting with fellow gamers on the internet, but just occasionally I get to have a real wargame with a real live adversary. Welcome to my ramblings on wargaming, modelling and rural life.