Wargaming the Seven Years War with 40mm miniatures, done by: Johann-Peter Scheck and Anselm Scheck

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

France: supply train with surgeons

Completing the serie of supply trains and ammunition wagons for all our 4 armies, the French got their 2 wagons and, in addition, a small scenery of emergency aid for wounded infanterists on a fast installed and provisional table.  There are 2 surgeons - to seen at their grey coats and red vests, assisted by a nun and 2 artillery lads.
The wagons are Matthias-Manske, with some additions and changes; the figures are composed of Matthias-Manske, some Sash&Saber AWI continental artillerists. The nun is an own work on a S+D miniature (a modified waitress carrying tray) - S+D is a serie for railway settings in 1/43 scale; available in UK by the distributor scalelink.
So, at the last moment of 2013 I have got finished this vignette - it marks also the end of a 3-month period of hard work and stay in China. I wish to everybody a good, successful, happy new year!

The surgeon with willowed sleeves, the Monsieur le Docteur (left) giving some orders

A worker gives some water to the second wounded regular, waiting for the medical treatment...

tiens, prends une goutte!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cossacks! (1)

A horde of cossacks is invading the western part of Prussia, marauding and harassing the local population.... this is the common image we have of that population; and contemporary sources told already about their cruelty and ferocity (see my older post about the destiny of the Eastern Prussian town Gumbinnen 1759, just on the eve of the battle of Jaegersdorf - here.)
The cossacks mostly had a non-national self-concept because of their origins in a definition just to be against someone or something (formerly the Zsar, e.g.) - so their community was a basin for outlaws, refugees and haunted people. Their nationalities were different, also their roots. Nowadays, we locate them in Ukraine and in western Russia
For preparing the painting of their dresses, I looked also on russian sites to get more informations about them. Under a huge choice I also found the interesting fact of a cossack culture revival in Ukraine.
This sources gave me the push to paint them in different, individual dresses, but with one colour theme: a sandy, raw umbra, flour and some crimson red accents.
The miniatures are Matthias-Manske figures, placed on separate bases for a skirmish formation. They should be the Russian answer to the Prussian Jaegers.

I changed the colours of the images and took out all the contrast - sorry for that. I was just inspired by the russian film "Taras Bulba" - all around a dusty, sabulous atmosphere....

Jozef Brandt: Cossacks Return from a Campaign (1894).
source: http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/

scene of the russian film "Taras Bulba". 
Mode of life of Ukrainian Cossacks; source: http://ukraine.ui.ua/

just an eyecandy: a cossack girl
source: http://ua-travelling.com/en/article/cossacks-way-of-life

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Country guest house late summer 1756

On the eve of the Prussian invasion to Saxony, in august 1756, which ended so unhappily at the siege of Pirna for the Saxon army, we find this little scene in northern Lusatia (Lausitz): a country guest house, which shows us a moment of idyllic atmosphere - or better, typical atmosphere... As we can see, there is already an ugly fight in full swing. A young adolescent, having tried the Saxon Schwarzbier, could not do with it - he provoques the other guests with abusing words and has to be calmed down by a Prussian officer of the Freikorps "Le Noble".
The young rowdy looks a little bit like the young Klaus Kinski..
Officer of the Freikorps "Le Noble" - wearing the most beautiful uniform of the Prussian army, in my opinion.

Klaus Kinski provokes the officer and stands ready for a duel - we hope, the officer will succeed calming him down or giving him a good pounding..

The set I built is a new addition to the tabletop and should decorate the battles as a backdrop. The building has the typical 18th century rural architecture style. The them of a guest house is to be found in the famous scene of Frederick the Great after the battle of Leuthen, stopping for a bite to eat at the Gasthof Saara in Deutsch-Lissa. The innkeeper did not recognize him.

The famous inn, Saara bei Deutsch Lissa on an old postcard.

The miniatures are of different manufacturers: Trident (man with pipe and officer), Eureka (3 Musketeers) and Sash-and-Saber (AWI civilians). The building is made with styrofoam and cardboard.

Madame Bonnacieux with her husband in the background - We imagine, they are huguenots settling in Prussia - this explains the baguette and the bottle of red wine on the table....

The maidservant in the ambulatory

This maidservant brings beer and wine.

A Sash-and-Saber farmer with a Frontrank head

Front view of the guest house.

The entrance to the "Etablissement": The font of "Etablissement" should be the original typography of this period. It is called "Blankenburg" and is available for download as a free font.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Book released: Krieg an sechs Fronten - war on six fronts

After my announcement a while ago working on some 3D renderings of the battles of the SYW, their final result found now a place in the newly released book "Krieg an sechs Fronten" - "war on six fronts".
The author and writer is Matthias Manske, who is also known as manufacturer of 40mm-miniatures. He has a wonderful, exciting flow of writing and describes in this book Prussia´s acutely difficult situation in the years of 1758-1759. Surrounded only by ennemies, the Prussian army hastened from one place to the next to fight and to avoid the breakup of this young state in Europe.
We did the layout for this book, added pictures of miniatures and created renderings of the battles at Zorndorf and Kunersdorf.
The terrifying battle of Kunersdorf: the initial operation in the morning. Prussian batteries fire, the infantery is advancing through the forest. Thanks to Vicky and Steve, they created all renderings. Cutout of the original image.

Just have a look to a typical page:
typical layout of the book; here with a coloured diagram of Zorndorf, explaining all the actions. We studied 5 different sources and maps to evaluate the original event.

Highlight of the book are the renderings of Kunersdorf - here you find 4 double-pages with all the operations at sunrise till sunset of this day:

Kunersdorf, the last operations - everything is in fire. Cutout of the original image.

Summary: After travelling to the locations of the SYW, after studying written and drawn sources we composed this renderings with the most possible and serious accuracy.
Manskes text sweeps around this graphics in an easy-readable and exciting style.
Some of my own miniatures found place as high-res photographies - all-in-all a fine and entertaining documentation of this period.

I already encouraged Steve with his marvellous blog "Castles of Tin" to publish his splendidly painted figures in a book - I hope he will think about that? :-)

The book is available here:
Volume II of our chronicle about the history of the Seven-Years-War in the Middle of Europe, which had finished the domination of the Habsburgers in Germany. Since July 2013 available at PH.C.W. SCHMIDT publisher or on the link in the bottom.
A detailed and very lively reappraisal of the occurrences and campaigns at the river Oder and in Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia, Saxony and Western Germany. Analysis of the battles of Domstadtl, Zorndorf, Hochkirch, Bergen, Minden, Kay, Kunersdorf and Maxen in a modern and very clearly form of expression. It is the first time, that all locations get connected in a geographical senseful way in the text. Therefore, all incidents are very comprehensible and the text is easy to read. Overall, we create many toy-soldiers photos in the style of film clips. Graphic-designers made battle plans with 3-dimensional effects and coloured schemes.

Matthias Manske: Krieg an sechs Fronten

ISBN: 978-3-87707-883-9
Erlangen 2013
Language: German
Vertical format 210 x 280 mm, 199 pages,
with many coloured pictures and illustrations
glossy softcover

Euro 29.00 (US $ 38,50)
matthias.manske-zinn (at) web.de

Monday, July 22, 2013

the italian style of wargaming

"Non si può dire che non si provi di tutto per promuovere l'hobby".
source: http://freeforumzone.leonardo.it/discussione.aspx?idd=10601765

This is the italian style promoting the hobby of wargaming... seen at the DADICOM site, the wargamers forum site in Italy. The beauties promote a - as I guess, following the red draperie on the left - Genovese wargamers club.
What do you think about moving all future game-conventions to Italy?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Battle: Rossbach reloaded

First of all, sorry for not posting anything so much time -  as every year in june, the academical semester goes into its hot phase, accompagnied by other projects with strict terms. So the SYW-armies had to wait till Anselm, my nephew, came from US to open the annual summer battle wich has already a 4-year-tradition. Thanks to him that he took time for reading the whole rule book of "Black Powder" the night before, which we used our first time for wargaming this year.
Shortly, "Black Powder" is a rule book full of fantasy, written by experienced wargamers and made us some problems but also gaves us some enriching ideas.

We placed the tabletop into the garden, because we had 30° C sunny weather and, to reload the battle of Rossbach, the summer heat was perfect. We simplified the village a little bit and, instead of the Janus Huegel, we placed a high forest piece on the tabletop.

Enough space for having 3 different locations: the village (left), the field (center) and the clearance (right) for testing the rules and scenarios and, last but not least, enough space for our 700 miniatures, taking place in the commanded ranks.
the guy with the Frank-Zappa-haircut is Anselm (Prussians) - me in sporty shorts (French).

We started the game with a long-during deployment:

the left wing of the first French brigade had to face the village of Roßbach, where they remark a nest of Prussians...
a peaceful moment just before the storm

"Fertigmachen, Jungs!" the Prussian battery is moved to its position, the hussars are rallying.

Monsieur le Général gives the last orders, just behind them a good old Meisterzinn-Regiment (Couronne).

the last bird´s view before the melee begun. Prussians (left and forground), French the line on the right side.
Prussians opened the combat operations by a barefaced attack of the Green hussars "von Kleist" straight to the French artillery. The "Black Powder"-rules allowed them to do so, doing devastations in the French lines without any excuse!

I have to mention the good Prince-August-Pikeneers (Piemont) - they will sweep into the cavalry´s flank next...

same scene, from the artillerists´ point of view - oh mon Dieu, restez calmes!

The French artillery was victorious, the Kleist hussars retired. The moment was good for a broad advance operation as counterattack in the center. Regiment Flandres with 2 battalion guns, followed by Commissaire Général cavalry (both Sash&Sabre).

At the same tme, the French advanced on their right wing with 4 cavalry regiments with the order to overwhelm the week Prussian units behind the forest:
view to the right flank. Prussians are waiting an attack; not visible. The Prussian Jaegers, hidden in the forest and operating as snipers (Scharfschützen). They benefit a lot of the rules...

French cavalry in its best form: Mestre de Camps Général (Sash&Sabre), Mousquetaires du Roi (Prince August)

En avant, garcons! The Prussians has some really hard moments...

The regiment No35 (Front Rank), a battalion gun and some Manske-Jaegers awaiting the French thunder..

Haltet hoch die Fahnen! 

Prussian Jaeger (Manske) loading

The attack was victorious, but the French paid a high price: they lost one heavy cavalry regiment (du Roi). Enclosing the Prussian regiment No 49, some brown hussars (Fleischhacker) break in their flank..

The Brown hussars (Manske miniatures)

The French Brigade commander is nervous...

The French cavalry could break the Prussian resistance on this wing, but were not able to move further: Seydlitz commanded a second defensive line.

Meanwhile, the Prussian center launched a second attack, this time by Cuirassiers "Garde du Corps", pushed aside the Commissaire Général and were just intercepted and enclosed by the French infantery "Auvergne" and "Couronne".

same scene, view from above. The French infantery suffered under heavy casualties.

The Cuirassiers are pushed back - here a view from behind the Prussian lines, as Seydlitz could see that (he is in the center of the image).

Pikeneers and Swiss "Lochmann" supporting the cavalry.

last attack of the French before they defeat the 2 Prussian Cuirassiers regiments.

The victory seems to be so close...

But the Prussians never give up. They mobilized all the reserves, coming out from the village of Rossbach and advancing against the French center.

The were successful in 2 turns: in combination with 4 guns and 3 regiments they were able to erase all the French infantery - left alone the commanders and 1 cavalry regiment behind the forest.
Victory for Prussia, nonetheless it was not Seydlitz this time. Mes compliments, Monsieur le Roi de Prusse.

You can see it at the moving shadows on the tabletop: we wargamed 4 hours. 50% of the time we lost by throwing dices and counting, but it was a fine and terrible, respectable and merciless battle.
Thanks, Anselm!