Sunday, January 19, 2014

Announcing the Third Fortnight Theme Bonus Round: Vehicle(s) & Curt's 'Sledging for Marbot'


So to end the weekend we find ourselves careening headlong into the much anticipated 'Vehicle' bonus round. In viewing all the entries I was struck again by the wonderful creativity of the participants. (How Andrew managed to successfully rationalize a giant spider for this round still baffles me...). Anyway, enough of my blather, the link to the gallery is here. I hope you enjoy your visit and I urge you to leave a comment if an entry (or let's face it: entries) tickles your fancy. Also, please remember to to take the time to vote for all your favourites - yes, you can vote for as many as you like!

For my own part I had the best intentions to submit a fairly ambitious (and dorky) sci-fi entry but was thwarted waiting for bits to arrive from Europe so I was forced to tack back to my (somewhat less dorky) Retreat of 1812 project.



These snow sledges are an interesting set of models. The history behind these vehicles is that amidst the gruelling French retreat from Russia, when men and horses were perishing by the thousand each day, Colonel Marbot of the 23rd Chasseurs a Cheval came upon the idea of utilizing the many snow sledges common amongst the local peasantry. So Marbot had his entire regiment requisition around 100 sledges (yes, the peasants got the stick again), assigning two men for each sledge, with the passenger acting as a 19th century version of a tail gunner. As muskets were easily found, discarded along the retreat route, Marbot had each sled armed with several ready-loaded muskets so they could 'give a brisk and lively fire' when they were harassed by Cossacks.



And speaking of Cossacks, I've included a troika of the hairy, vodka-swilling fellows that I've recently completed. These are a mixture of Don and Ataman Cossacks, each armed with pistol, sword and lance. Again, all castings are from Perry Miniatures.



The sledge models were a bit of a puzzle to figure out, but once I referred to a few pictures on the web I managed to bodge them together.  Pretty neat all-in-all, and I can imagine quite a few interesting scenarios with them scampering through Russian forests with hordes of Cossacks madly in pursuit.

50 comments:

  1. Wow Curt! This I call an outstanding paintjob. The sledges are great with all the litle detail like the frost on the faces and the skids. Your basing is very effective also.

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    1. Thanks Nick. I actually ran out of time on these guys. I need to go over them for some more highlights and perhaps add a stump or two. Nonetheless, I'm happy with them overall.

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  2. Oh, Curt, please stop with this Retreat project. You're making me want to buy some even more...

    Very fine once again, of course :-)

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    1. Thanks Phil. I would think these would tickle your Pulp Adventure sensibility. They are great little models and the cost is actually quite reasonable.

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    2. Absolutely. Hopefully the Perry twins will add Eylau and the 1806 winter Polish campaign to their lines after this Russian fall excursion. (I'm being pedantic - every member of the Grande Armee was back in Poland before the winter solstice).

      Of course, if they do that, I'm sunk - I've always liked doing "winter troops" and have a soft spot for Augerau's VII Corps, since that was my first command with my very first French troops.

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    3. Ohh yes, Eylau would be sooo awesome as it would have the pre-Bardin French uniforms which are much more elegant than the later, cost saving ones.

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    4. Austerlitz and Hohenlinden are two more where you need winter-based troops in bicornes. With a bit of work, you can do greatcoated troops in bicornes now - buy a box of Victrix French infantry 1804-1809 and their Chasseurs a pied, and then swap heads and shave off epaulettes. But I really do think "winter French" are ideal for plastics - troops in greatcoats, with lots of variable heads, and you're set for anywhere the French fought 1805-1815.

      The upside of the "glory days" is also that bicornes are vastly faster to paint - black and pom-pom and you're done.

      Looking through the Perry Catalogue, you could do French forces for the 1814 campaign easily enough using their plastics, the retreat from Moscow and National guard lines. If it's France, the winter folks go in. If it's Italy, then only guys in uniforms and greatcoats. Toss in a few Victrix in the pre-Bardin uniforms and you're good to go.

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    1. By the way Curt, I don't envy you the job of calculating points for some of these entries

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  4. Very cool models, had no idea about the interesting history.

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    1. Cheers Baconfat. Yes, the background to these are quite rollicking, providing many ideas for skirmish scenarios.

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  5. Fantastic figures and imagery - it looks so festive, then the reality sets in!

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    1. Ha! Yes, Indeed. As you have said before Dean, 'Those woods stink of Cossacks!'

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  6. More cracking work Curt... But my there are some wonderful entries in this round.

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    1. Oh, yes, week by week things are hotting up. Thanks for the thumbs up.

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  7. Once again an enchanting snow theme from you. Those sledges have a such a rural feeling to them. Makes one want to sit in front of a fire with a warm blanket and a hot toddy.

    Btw, how do you manage to paint and still post all our mini's?

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    1. Thanks Anne. Except for the muskets and military headgear they would be quite idyllic little models.

      In regards to my own work, this year I made a promise to myself that I'd block-out an hour each night for my own work, no matter how many entries are in the queue. Its made all the difference as this year I feel more like a participant than purely an administrator.

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  8. Hah! Beautiful work. I would have put money on you entering these this round.

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    1. I HATE being predictable but thank you for your kind words. ;)

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  9. Beautiful winter scene Curt! love those sledges!

    Christopher

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  10. Wonderful work for your winter wonderland again.
    Cheers

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    1. Cheers Kiwi. It wasn't a Bing Crosby Christmas for these lads to be sure.

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  11. As if those poor Frenchies didn't have enough on their plate facing "General Winter" a couple of weeks ago. Now they've got dastardly cossacks to cope with as well. As with your last bonus round entry, these superbly finished figures really capture the full wretchedness of the retreat. Once again, very well done Sir.

    For those who haven't read Marbot's "Memoires", they are a rattling good read, with the gallant Colonel (upon whom Conan Doyle based Brigadier Gerard) showing remarkable foresight in September by ordering his Regiment to gather sheepskin coats - something they resented at the time, but were extremely grateful once the snow started to fall.

    Pip pip

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    1. Thank you Provost Marshal, very kind of you.

      I agree, Marbot's memoirs are a great read and one of the few first-hand accounts of the Retreat (plus many other events).

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  12. The points are in your bag Curt, I don't think anyone's gonna top this!

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    1. Hmm, thanks Ray but I think we'll have another close race for this one.

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  13. Curt, you've just got to stop this dashing through the snow nonsense, you're going to sweep the painting competition, by unanimous consent. Again, they're quite splendid, if not as colorful as the last bit of trudgers.

    The Cossacks are especially fine - I have to go through the lead pile for mine and move them further up the queue.

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    1. Cheers Rob, very kind of you to say. Yes! The Cossacks are superb sculpts, with each one exhibiting so much character and animation. I can't wait to debut them in a skirmish game. I'm aiming for late next month but we'll see.

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  14. Lovely stuff, Curt. Kay, the arborist, is very impressed with the poplar/birch trees, which is high praise indeed. Your focus on the Retreat is one of the highlights of this year's challenge.
    I am now wondering of the Perry Cossacks would not look out of place in an 18th century army. Hmmm.
    Cheers,
    Michael

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    1. Thanks very much Michael, very kind of you both.

      Yes, I think these Cossacks could easily serve for 18th century service and their uniform and equipment stayed pretty static for generations.

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  15. Fantastic work again Curt. I'm amazed you can find the time to paint during the Challenge, but I'm glad you do otherwise we wouldn't get treated to such fine eye-candy!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Lee. This year I promised myself I'd leave a bit of time each night to work on my own stuff and it has made all the difference as I've been able to reduce some of my project backlog with the rest of you!

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  16. I am speechless. Utterly Brilliant.

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  17. Curt
    Well done. I suspected that we might see these in the vehicle round. Have you a Marshall Ney for the heroes round?
    Cheers
    PD

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    1. Thanks Peter. It would be the easy thing to do...

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  18. It is a fantastic painting work, Curt. Really nice. I am awaiting a game with them...

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    1. Thanks! I'm wanting a game as well! But I need to get a bunch more done...

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  19. Excellent work! The snow is awesome.

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    1. Coming from a Montrealer that is a compliment indeed!

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  20. Way to go dude - amazing stuff.

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    1. Cheers Greg - I hope I can get enough done for our get together next month.

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  21. Another slay-er entry Curt, these are great

    Ian

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