Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Neopolitan Guard - Real dapper dandies!

This is one regiment I have wanted since seeing them on one of those glossy unfashionably shiny sites somewhere. These aren't Connoisseur Miniatures like the ones I saw but hey!  

Neopolitan Guards looking every bit as great as I hoped!
These are Victrix French plastics with Grenadier heads. There's a lot of variety of pose in these sets and great value too.

This shot shows the colour party. Now, I know that these chaps had a rearing horse atop their standard, well this is as close as I could get, a plastic horse banner top from Warlord's Roman set. It gets my vote, cheers Tony MP.
 The flag is by GMB Designs.        

Great sculpts. Every face tells a story, mostly "Why aren't I back in Naples with Mama and plenty pasta?"

Note the barber pole with the standard.

The whole 36 strong regiment lines out to fire, Swiss skulk behind the village in support. 
These were painted by Barry Hill's talented people, hi Barry and family! I highlighted the pink with something brighter as I did the light blue, I just need my toys to "pop" from across the table. Once again these are my take on this regiment and I am damn pleased with the outcome, cheers Barry.

I have a load more units to show off soon so stay tuned. We also playing a series of three linked games which might make it as a series of batreps soon, God knows it's been a while.    

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Italian Artillery on the march 1812 - Fantastical whimsy!

A personal statement about artistic decisions.

Before I wax lyrical about my Italian limber and the pretty paint job and basing I want to make something clear following something which happened on TMP recently. My post re the Highland Light Regiment attracted lots of complimentary comments, rightly as Tony Laughton has done a splendid job of some excellent sculpts. What also happened was a lively discussion about the apparent errors in the paint job and even in the basing, one person describing these as "howlers". This was all very chummy and took the form of a discussion BUT missed the point - these are MY toys NOT an attempt to faithfully reproduce the historical reality which is as vague as the shifting sands of time and possibly rather dreary. The fact is when I commission a paint job I agree with the painter/artist how I want MY toys to look in some detail, even checking out work in progress to keep the project on course. This represents the aesthetic I want on MY wargames table. Nobody else is consulted. People will of course discuss stuff on forums, this is what happens when you post publicly. I get that, I am old enough, ugly enough, & big enough to take this on the chin.

So, understand the above about where I'm coming from with this following set of models.

Back to the toys

Here is my very fantastical interpretation of an Italian limber train heading into Russia in 1812. The inspiration came many years ago when I was researching the Italians as allies of Napoleon, in particular the army which marched in and out of Russia in 1812.      

In order to raise the biggest army possible Napoleon gathered formations from across the empire. The Emperor was keen to have as much cavalry as possible but was short of horses, always a problem for the armies of France. To this end Italian artillery and train were stripped of horses in order to mount French cavalry. This left Eugene to find alternative four legged power to draw his guns and caissons to war. My reading of one source suggested that oxen or bullocks were drafted to the yoke, I forget which book/essay/journal/article this was in, but the story stuck. As a postscript it was noted that none returned to graze in Italy again, which is rather sad.

A proper big piece of ordinance - French 12lb cannon from Elite Miniatures.
This project has sat on the back burner for about 25 years until the Perry's released these ox teams separately from the medieval set they were made for. This kick started the search for bits and bobs and a design decision process of how I wanted this to look. I was not simply after a few Italian artillerymen in overalls/campaign gear trudging eastward. Mine was to have a festive colourful carnival or circus like vibe. 

Perry Miniatures oxen under the yoke, painted by Tony.
The decision was made to have a small marching band or group of musicians to accompany the team giving an upbeat party atmosphere - an almost ridiculous parody but one that accompanies much artwork around military subjects throughout the ages. Call it naive glorification of war.

Check out the face on the white headed oxen - it's so realistic you might expect it to look up and "moo"!  
As we said the Perry's provided the ox teams whilst I scoured the Front Rank ranges to find musicians and character models. The band major was a great find and just perfect to lead the parade.

These two are crying out for a caption competition, go on have a go...  
The massive cannon is from my favourite range of artillery, that of Elite Miniatures, the limber was a spare from the Perrys which someone had knocking around, I think.

A beautiful cornet player beautifully painted, note the pockets on the waistcoat.
"What's in his pocketses?" 
Tony painted the oxen as opposed to Tony Laughton who painted the people. I asked him to paint the oxen as he did a fantastic job on an ox as part of his Saxon Napoleonic train, it was amazing, as are these. Thanks mate. I may still pop a cow pat behind one of them, the devil's in the detail you know!
Lots of gaudy plumes nodding around in this shot! 

The dappling on the rear ox is outstanding, keep an eye out for it.
Sadly I desecrated the red  plume whilst dry brushing the base, since rectified!  
Rich had a pile of thick perspex limber bases cut from someone, not sure who, luckily he gave me loads, thanks my old friend. They are light weight yet strong.

The band.
Sometime ago I picked up the Perry's plastic cottage set x 2 and both the barn and church sets. The latter are for the ACW but seem perfect for any northern or eastern European setting and thus just right for our games. We built them and mounted them on hefty diner plate mats and added scenic bits mostly from that Tajima lot on ebay. Maybe they'll get a post of their own some day soon.

The circus comes to town.

Slightly fuzzy aerial view of the procession heading east to their doom.    
This project came together exactly as I had envisaged - not in the least but accurate but certainly inspired by a small corner of history and a very pretty addition to my Army of Italy.

That's a wrap for this lot. These are gaming pieces so watch out for their appearance in battle reports.
As usual please feel free to comment, best wishes,

Friday, 11 September 2015

48 today!

Not usually one to crow about my birthday but this caught my attention today somewhere online...
This is about as fuzzy as I see my miniatures! 

However, kind gifts include a brigade of Elite Miniatures, 3 x British line and SYW two guns and crew from their SYW range for my embryonic Maurice project. So things are looking very positive there, now I just need a reliable painter who can still see!

I have picked the worst September to go "dry" for! The Rugby World Cup kicks off soon and as well as my own there are numerous other celebrations to suffer sobriety through! I might have a drop tonight, possibly, maybe.

Tomorrow will see a merry post as my festive Italian circus marches into town complete with oxen - stay tuned, it's one of my faves.

Best wishes,


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Polish Foot Battery

In keeping with my theme for September I continue to reveal shiny new trinkets!

I have always wanted a Polish Division for my Napoleonic collection. The Poles seemed to pop up all over the place alongside the French and were numerous enough to form a separate Corps at times. Their distinctive head gear, ferocious Uhlans and variations such as the Vistula Legion make them a striking addition and easily recognizable on the table top which is handy in big games.    

The battery deployed for action, three guns and a howitzer - FIRE!
My issue was the available models which simply didn't appeal! The Elite Miniatures somehow didn't inspire and the Front Rank range looked too "wooden". The older ranges simply looked too old so I waited! Warlord Games caused a stir in the loins with a plastic set which I snapped up only to find ugly separate metal heads which soon dampened my ardor! I shall sell them.

Looking along the battery. The howitzer is about to send a shell high above the enemy - FIRE!  
The stars aligned for me when Roger Murrow released his extensive and ever growing range of Poles under his Murawski Miniatures brand. These are sculpted by Paul Hicks who has come a long, long way since his early works for Gripping Beast. These sculpts are from the "modern" school but fit in alongside everything else in my collection just fine.

Barry Hill and his family of painters in the Philippines did great things with this battery getting the green uniforms and red braid/cords/pompoms just to my liking i.e. very bright! I can recommend his painting service to anyone, neat, quick, bold & bright! Chris and I based them, ammo chests have since been added. Maybe a limber or caisson would be fun?  

Zooming in on a gun and howitzer. these are lovely cannons.

Another close up, this time at the other end of the gun line.

That howitzer again! The officer is an Essex Miniatures chap who replaces the model ramming the gun barrel because he overlapped the base too much for gaming use. He fits in just fine, at least the other crew don't seem to object. 
I picked up an initial batch of four battalions, some skirmishers, this battery and 24 Uhlans, the infantry are all finished and obviously the battery too! The Uhlans came separate arms which I hate so are sitting a box still! Tony has access to a laser welder so may be persuaded to weld them on and then weld the lances in too. It just seems so unnecessary! Maybe I'm a spoiled brat? I don't know.

The final shot is from the rear as the battery fires on a distant foe. I am very pleased with these - cheers Barry. 

I have since picked up a fifth line battalion and 2 Vistula Legion battalions which still require painting. I can't have this many Poles without a general so some high command and of course the original nappy plucky Pole Prince Poniatowski himself are in a box also awaiting painting, Infact I am posting them to Barry soon.

Murawski have released more since of which the hussars appeal most. I don't fancy a horse battery or the Krakus either! Sadly they have fallen into the trap of starting another range ahead of finishing this one; the Baden infantry look very tempting though - must resist.

That's it for today, the remainder of the painted Poles will appear soon so keep your eyes peeled. Have fun out there, Jeremy

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Civilians and Ecclesiastical staff...

One of the most fun things about table top wargaming is the spectacle of the thing. That's why we paint (or have painted) piles of costly miniatures, we build or buy pretty towns, hills, hedges, rivers, woods and marshes etc etc. Some people get as far as adding in members of the civilian populace around whose property our warriors fight. Some battles even attracted spectators! These extra toys are a bit of a luxury for most of us. However Tony and I spotted these on the Redoubt Enterprises stand last year as a set for a reduced price, we struck a deal thus, "I'll buy them if you paint them?" I said. "OK" quoth he! Deal done. These ladies with burdens or children and the Nuns on the march will look just the job in the background of some piccies in battle reports and photo shoots.

The models are well sculpted although a bit roughly cast with mould lines and some dodgy lumps here and there in recesses. Tony has painted them up to a good wargames standard, I based them.    

Supplying the troops or fleeing with whatever they can carry?

These look like refugees to me, mothers with crying children, the blond has barely concealed assets!  

Pitiful scene - the realities of war.

These might fit into our Peninsular games rather well. Not sure which religious order they are or what verse/ psalm the Bible is open on, possibly "Thou shalt not kill?".  
So that's another mini post with some new stuff. You'll no doubt spot these again in some breathless battle report at some point in the future.

Take care, catch up soon, Jeremy

Friday, 4 September 2015

Napoleon and Staff vignette

Another new batch for you!

We have a couple of Napoleon vignettes between us plus a single Front Rank model Napoleon painted by Ian Staples which is staggering to behold. The other two are sets of Foundry tiddlers, one mounted, one set on foot with the grumpy bugger sat on a drum or something at Borodino. I wanted a more modern set of variable size hence the three separate bases which all work individually or as groupings depending on the space available and type of game.

The models here are all Perry sculpts and very nice they are too.
All brush work is by Tony Laughton, basing by me!  

Marshall Soult doffs his cap to Ali...

Ali very much keeps his turban on his head!

All that gold braid and silk pantaloons; fashion has lost its way of late I feel. 

The great captain looking a little worried possibly.
The horse's nose and muzzle are excellent.

General Staff and ADC. I love the pat on the neck this guy is giving his horse which seems to appreciate
his masters reassurance.
Great sculpt - very natural. 

The two side bases had slightly more basic paint jobs but are none the less striking.

The duty officer from the Chasseur a cheval of the Guard is a French engineer officer with a snazzy paint job.

Same group different angle, love the leopard skin here. The dappling on the horse hasn't blown up quite as well.

The whole ensemble from above right, this looks great.

Excellent picture in my view and about life size - I want to sit behind these and send my armies to victory! 
Just a quick one to keep up with my promise to post a pile of new stuff. Hope you like these and feel free to comment or follow if you're new to us here. Plenty more to come. Be good, JeremyJ

PS We have just started a three part game with some clever back ground & plotting on maps etc - juicey battle reports to follow I hope.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Glasgow Regiment (71st Light Infantry)

You were promised updates throughout August of new units, well you'll get them; only a month late.

These fine fellows are designed to join my Portuguese brigades as a token British unit. I saw someone at Salute with these in a 40mm or 54mm skirmish game and was instantly inspired - i.e. I had to have some too! The blue shakos are apparently the usual bonnets with the lining folded up to form what looks like a stovepipe shako with the bobble on the top hence slightly truncated.    

The 71st in line outside a peninsular  hamlet.

I understand the Regiment was deployed to the Peninsular straight from America and consequently still in tartan troos!
It was only later that the boring gray overalls were issued.  Mine are in a mix.  

These are Elite Miniatures hence the collective animation I love in some of their ranges.
Critically the red, white and blue band on the head gear is cast on. Note drummer in reverse colours.   

I really appreciate the characterization on these, the 'burners' and expressions actually look Scottish, think Fraser in Dad's Army.
The officer looking down his nose from under his peak  is classic. 

The commander and colour party, note the piper behind the horse's head.
Also note the thistles on the simply superb GMB Designs flags, Front Rank tassles. 

Different angle to above, more of the piper and fab flags.

Final shot of all forty in line getting ready to 'give it' to some Frenchies.
I have ten skirmishers ready too but not enough bases, balls!
Maria pours drinks while Isabella sweeps up the courtyard.
The Credits
Elite Miniatures painted by Tony Laughton who reaches new heights all the time, Ladies by the Perrys and painted by Alan Tuckey of Blue Turkey - hi mate. GMB flags topped by Front Rank finials and tassels. Flat pack MDF buildings PAINTED BY ME from the internet with plastic roof tiles from Niles Tiles(?) I challenge anyone with some wargames pedigree to tell me where the green vines are from...  

Bad news & good news
Infact its all good really depending on your point of view. Rich has landed a new job - miles away. This is great news for him but means he moves away to search out a new club to terrorize - bad news for us. A consequence for we three last Marauders is that we don't have the use of his large collection of Brits and fairly hefty French too. I have over fifty battalions of French and French allies plus plenty batteries and cavalry so this is no stress. However we can't really do Peninsular battles with Russians, Austrians and Prussians! Never fear I shall get some Brits soon enough to bolster the Glasgow boys above, this just takes time and money. Playing big games with three is cumbersome so we have invited Tony Laughton to join us when he can so keep an eye out for him sweeping around a flank near you soon. So we are four again! With luck Rich will settle in to his new role but I know we'll catch up when ever possible, I've been playing Rich for 35 years on and off - he'll be back.

More to follow. JJ