So I was talking to my friend Stu yesterday and we agreed to build and paint two brigades each of French and foes by this September for play using the new Black Powder rules penned by Rick Priestly and Jervis Johnson. So each of us will be building and painting one (Black Powder) brigade of French and one of the allies. Now I'm not buying any miniatures for a year so I've got to do my part with what I have. What I have for the French is a box of Victrix late French foot, a box of Perry French foot, and a box of Perry French Heavy Cavalry. I started the Victrix last night and I have now got all 60 of them cleaned up with heads and backpacks attached/glued on. Here they are in the foreground. You can see the miniatures primed black just to the right and behind? They are the 42 Perry French foot.
So I have 102 foot and 14 cavalry (in the Perry French Heavy Cavalry box). I don't have any artillery, and with only 14 cavalry I can only make one unit of cavalry. The foot will be divided into 4 units of 24. The Victrix box has 8 officers. Given that the Perry box has one already, I only need three from the Victrix box, so I've demoted 5 officers back into the ranks, though they are in the elite Voltigeur and Grenadier companies. ;-)
Because of this arrangement I ended up short 6 backpacks for my Victrix French. So I stole 3 from the Perry box (leaving me with 40 for them) and left my Victrix drummers without backpacks despite the stern requirement stated on the Victrix Instruction Sheet, which I quote:
"Backpacks are to be used on all figures except B13, B14, B15."
Stu is going to regift me a couple of Wargames Foundry French 8 pound cannons with crew that I gave him about 4-5 years ago. As well, he is regifting me a unit pack of 10 Newline Designs French Cuirrassiers. This will give me a bare minimum standard sized brigade of standard sized battalions for the French for Black Powder (using only one gun).
As for my allies, I will probably do a brigade of Prussians from my collection of Calpe Miniatures Prussians. I basically have everything Calpe has produced over the past 8-9 years so that will not be a problem. I was originally going to go British for the brigade of foes as I have a couple of boxes of Victrix British and a box of Perry British. However, I have neither cavalry nor guns for the Brits, so the Prussians it is, Prussians that have waited long enough to see the gaming table in any event.
Otherwise, you can see my Khador jacks on the painting table, namely Drago and two Beserkers, along with another nearly completed EIR Roman Legion and various other odds and ends.
I am really excited about this new venture. The Victrix figures are very fine, with very little and easily removed flash, and while it is a fairly labour intensive business putting the figures together, it is an interesting labour. I've wanted to play 28mm Napoleonics for years and now, with the Black Powder rules - a set which I think to be animated by the true spirit of wargaming - along with the amazing developments in plastic miniature manufacturing, making large armies of quality miniatures available at very reasonable prices, I think there's finally a chance for me to get a few games in after all.
I'll post developments as they occur.