Russian Transport Wagon
Russian transport wagon (pre-war use: hauling coal). This one is from Perry and it was a pleasure to paint, at least once finished. I put a little extra effort to the base. It was first covered with a layer of milliput which excels for this kind of job. I made various "tools" to make the wheel-marks and hoof-marks. Then I went on with texture, tufts and paint as usual.
Russian Transport Wagon/Ambulance
Transport wagon with wounded. I painted the uniforms of the wounded one by one while painting each unit. This meant that once I finished the wagon the soldiers were all finished and eager to hitch a ride!
The wagons (including the ammunition wagon I showed together with the artillery) took a great deal of time to complete. There ire many things to do - horses, custom bases, assembling the wagons and painting horses, men and the wagons themselves, all in different colours. All in all it´s kind of like painting cavalry and artillery together, but a little worse. In hindsight I am glad I have done them. They look beautiful and add character and realism to the force and the entire project. But you really have to ask yourself if it´s worth it. In the time it took to paint these I could have painted up an infantry battalion or a cavalry regiment. And the wagons are mostly for show - you can´t really bring them on to the battlefield!
However, I also feel a little morally compelled to do these kinds of things as well. Partly for historical correctness - the armies of this time used a lot of horse-drawn wagons! But also partly because it is so nice of the Perrys to cover these subjects, and their Russian range is great in this aspect. That should be supported!
This said, I have two limbers and a another ammunition wagon acquired for my Cossack artillery... I have certainly not learned my lesson!
When choosing Russians for Napoleonics you really need to paint some guns. Actually, my main reason for taking 12 pdr (that's heavy field artillery) was aesthetics - in miniatures the bulkiness of the human figures dwarfs the smaller 6 pdr guns. So if you want something that looks like bad-ass guns you need to go to the heavies. This is a little unfair - I can tell anyone who hasn't tried it that when you stand besides a 6 pdr at a museum, they indeed feel quite big!
The Russians paid great effort to the artillery arm - with many guns and a great proportion of heavy ones. They also organized them in very big batteries - 12 guns per battery when most other nations had six or eight. Maybe this overworked the commander and probably they also often had more of the batteries guns in reserve during battle (in a six gun battery maybe four guns fired and two were in reserve, but some argue that the big Russian batteries maybe had four or six guns in reserve). In any case this made the Russian batteries more resilient and likely to keep up the fire for longer time.
Another reason for the big batteries may be that properly trained commanders were in short supply in the Russian army, whose officer corps were known for being not too good! Drinking, gambling and a place in the army because of birth privileges anyone?
The artillery pieces were modernised and of very good quality - with state of the art aiming devices for instance. The Russian artilley also had very good horses.
However this does not count for much in a skirmish game, so let's see what I did with the miniatures!
The business end. The guns and most of the crew are from Perry Miniatures. To flesh out the crews for SP I got three more, including an artillery officer, from Front Rank. They are the two behind the guns and the third from left on the right hand gun.
I am very pleased with how the polished bronze turned out. I mixed gold in it at first, then washed with black ink and then added more layers of "highlights" in which I had silver as well as gold to get it bright enough.
A three-horse ammunition wagon. This set up is known as a "troika" and a famous Russian one. Most (all?) other nations chose even pairs of horses for their equipment. To have a three-horse variant must have been convenient. So, not only be good-looking and useful for Sharp Practice, this one adds a certain Russian flavour I really like. Thanks Perry for making these more usual wagons, they add a lot!
Thats all for this time. Next time I will show even more wagons!
"Glory is fleeting,