Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Muskets will be back...

Hello again and sorry for the silence - again I´ve been working way to quietly on my projects without documenting and posting them here.

I´ve recently focused on my long term project of renaissance warfare. Remember, this blog is called Rifles and Muskets? Well, we´ve been skipping the muskets part way to much in the past. When I re-entered wargaming in 2012 one of my intentions was to create a 17th century army, as this period always held some fascination for me.

Back then I tried building up some 10mm forces, quickly aborted the attempt after moving into a region where this period is played in 15mm and never recovered from that setback. Then, about two years ago, I purchased a copy of the then new ruleset By Fire and Sword and set my mind to starting a muscovite army.  Unfortunately, I was never happy with the figure choices on the market for muscovites. I sculpted some of my own 15mm Soldats Infantry and had them cast along with my 20mm Minis (pics will appear when the unit is fully painted)  but that never kicked off either.

The problem is: I need cavalry, dragoons and cossacks to build a suitable skirmish force - not Soldat infantry that I built in the spur of the moment. I can only use these guys in engagements that are way larger than what I need to start. And while I managed to sculpt Infantrymen, I wasn´t able to do horses. Hemmed by this frustration, my focus shifted to other projects and miniatures.

In the last few weeks I´ve felt the urge to continue/restart the buildup of my muscovite forces as they were gathering dust on my painting shelf, waiting to be finished.  After getting in the mood, I built some 15mm Cossack/Dragoon half-figures that I can fit with spears of muskets in different poses after getting them cast in metal. This will form the core of my dismounted light Infantry.

Yet I had still not found cavalry that suited my taste - there are some nice high quality choices for infantry figures that have been released by Totentanz. I´ll definitely purchase some at some point to supplement my own minis, but that doesn´t solve the cavalry-issue... Well, Totentanz has some nice cavalry for eastern europe as well, but it would require quite a bit of conversion work to transform them into Boyar Sons / Pomiestna Cavalry. I don´t mind the work, however, the miniatures are very nice and a bit pricy to cut them up and rebuild up to 60% of them.

The Wargamer figures / BFaS-Range Boyar Sons are an option, but I don´t like them.
All the other manufacturers I found don´t really offer nice Muscovite Cavalry with a variety of poses that would make an order worthwile.

At that point I went back to analyse my problem. I wanted/needed cavalry, but I don´t like the choices or chopping up nice and expensive figures when I can sculpt them from scratch on my own. But I´m not proficient enough to build horses.  Well then, maybe we can find 15mm horses...

Yes we can!  And very nice horses they are!

AB Horses - Picture from
 I found these excellent AB Horses in 15mm which they offer for their Napoleonic Range. I went ahead and ordered 4 packs, which will yield 48 horses to build my very own Russian cavalry force.

I´ll be building some dollies for cavalrymen and start customizing them according to my needs. That should enable me to field a sizeable cavalry force all by myself.  It will probably take a lot longer, but I´m already 2 years behind schedule and don´t really care. This is a long term project after all.  I´d be more than happy to field my first playable force in spring or summer.

I´ll do my best to document my progress here. Let´s hope this is not another failed attempt to restart this project ;)

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