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Monday, 1 August 2016

Unexpected Reinforcements

As any wargamer knows, the best kind of reinforcements are the ones that come as a surprise. I was certainly surprised recently when my wargaming friend in Northleach, Stuart Asquith, offered me a whole drawer-full of tricorn-wearing figures entirely for free. Stuart is in the process of thinning out some of his current collection, and has sold many of them, but decided this lot would be a gift. I was bowled over by this act of generosity from someone I have only known for few months - thank you Stuart.

As the pictures below indicate, this is not a collection of battle-scarred veterans from way-back. These are beautifully painted 25mm figures in mint condition, mostly organised in units of 18 figures, which suits Honours of War perfectly. What was particularly intriguing is that Stuart had forgotten which manufacturer's figures they were (both plastic and metal figures are present), and he had painted them in various fictional uniform schemes just for the pleasure of creating colourful units. Immediately, the idea of developing a group of units that were fictional but fitted into a believable SYW narrative was born.

Stuart finishes all his troops in gloss varnish, and the units were based to allow single casualty removal à la Charge! rules. I had the briefest of notions to give the figures a coat of matt varnish to match my own figures, and prise off the individual castings to rebase them. Such sacrilegious thoughts were soon abandoned. The figures look wonderful in their glossy coats, and they wouldn't be Stuart's figures if given a flat finish. As for the basing, this had been done so well that re-basing would be an equal mistake. Stuart had given each figure a 20mm x 20mm space, which fits my basing scheme exactly. Some thin plastic card is already ordered, and the current bases can be glued onto 40mm x 40mm squares of this material to bring them together.

With that decided, an extremely pleasurable afternoon was spent inventing a set of suitable backgrounds for the new units. Some of them received new flags as a result, but that was about the limit of my 'conversions'. The results are described below.

Here we have the 2 battalions of the Royal Lomdardy regiment, allied, of course, with Austria. In gratitude for their service, the Empress Maria Theresa has given permission for them to retain their green uniforms and the flags of their home country. The command figure was a further gift from Stuart, just so that my new units wouldn't lack officers! Wonderful. Plastic figures to the rear, metal in front.
The Fusiliers Francaise. This volunteer unit of Frenchmen resident in the Habsburg lands has adopted the white
Austrian uniform, but again they retain their own national flag by special permission. Plastic figures.
The magnificent blue-coated men of the Polish-Lithuanian regiment Zamoyski. This mercenary unit of exiles are for hire to the highest bidder. Note the grenadier company on the left. More plastic figures.
These imaginary units are designated as originating from the real Prussian ally of Hesse-Kassel. In the rear are the men of the regular regiment von Gräffendorff, and in front the two smaller Freikorps battalions of Haller and Bischausen are seen. The mounted command figure was another gift from Stuart. All these are metal figures.
There was also a group of about a dozen dismounted hussar figures. These close-ups reveal the quality of the painting they had received. They will be re-based as light troops for HoW, providing a very valuable resource of dismounted men for either Prussian or Austrian armies. Metal figures.

So there we are - 8 new units for the table, ready in an afternoon. Can't wait to get these guys into action. Thank you so much Stuart, this was a much appreciated act of kindness.

10 comments:

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

The word "windfall" seems something of an understatement in this instance. Wow! What a lovely gift to receive and with an equally interesting provenance. Enjoy them.

Best Regards,

Stokes

Steve J. said...

Well 'Huzzah' for Stuart! What a damned fine chap to have donated these figures. They have certainly gone to a good home. I look forward to seeing them in action at a future get together.

Stryker said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr A a few months back - a real gent! A great addition to your forces.

Chris Gregg said...

A very nice and fortuitous acquisition. I'm sure you have made the right decision to keep them intact and original, given the esteemed source. I feel sure the dismounted hussars are by Foundry.
Chris

MGB said...

Stuart Asquith has been a supporter of 18th century wargaming projects for near 40 years, and often generous to those that share his enthusiasm for the period. Forgive my forwardness, its about time this was fully recognised in all war-game circles.
Michael

Jim Walkley said...

That is cheering news on a wet cool day. It is not uncommon to hear of wargamers being generous when they know their unwanted figures are going to a good home - which yours undoubtedly is. I am sure you will enjoy them and, like others, I look forward to seeing them in action.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

He's a good egg that Mr Asquith - I've been on the receiving end of kindnesses from him as well..

PS. Greetings to Mr Walkley as well... we've not spoken in a while! :o) I'm still working my way (delightfully) through the Wargamers Newsletter's, Jim!

Stuart Asquith said...

Hello All,

Thank you very much for all your generous comments.
Ever since I purchased a copy of 'Charge!' way back in 1971 I have been interested in the 7YW and have used the rules contained in the book for 45 years now. Currently my armies in the period are 6mm (Irregular Miniatures), 25/28mm (Holger Eriksson) and 30mm (Suren/Tradition), so my interest shows no sign of waning!
Thank you all again for your kind thoughts.
Stuart Asquith

Archduke Piccolo said...

A worthy gift indeed! I recognise some of the figures - notably the Lithuanian fellows - as Wargames Factory WSS figures. What I liked about them was the variety of types you could make, but that left a heck of a lot of spare bits. In my own collection, I have decided upon 36-figure regiments that can be subdivided into 18-figure battalions; two out of my three 24-figure cavalry units are helmeted cuirassiers, and the other bicorne-crowned dragoons. My army has no light troops whatever. The Emperor Violoncello is something of a conservative...

Now, they have been assembled and based. They just need a paint job...

Isembourg said...

The hussars are exactly how I base my figures. Plain base Painted olive green in my case.
I have a 500AP DBMM army and I think pre-cut bases and lots of mail dry brushed