Friday 19 February 2016

Franco Prussian S range recasts - full range now available

Earlier this month, I posted some conversions of FPW S range recasts, including standard bearers and gunners.

Prussian Gunners

Bavarian Gunners

I know that not everyone is confident about wielding a scalpel, so how about these as an alternative to converting the line infantry figure?

I am pleased to say that these gunners and standard bearers are now available from John Cunningham at as part of his Franco Prussian War S range recasts. 

With the help of those who have a nostalgia for the old S range, he has been able to add missing figures to his lists and the entire original 25mm FPW range is available again. 

I have added some pictures of my own FPW figures so you can see what they look like (still building the army; Prussian Dragoons and Uhlans being painted, French Marines and Infantry arrived today; Bavarian Infantry coming, will the lead mountain get to big and put me off?).   

So if you fancy a trip down memory lane ..........

Recast Minifigs S Range Franco-Prussian

Prussian & German States Infantry & Artillerymen

PFP 1 Prussia Line Infantry advance
PFP 2     “          “        “        officer
PFP 3 Saxon      “       “         advance
PFP 4    “           “        “        officer
PFP 5 Bavarian  “        “        advance
PFP 6     “          “         “        officer
PFP 7 Wurttemberg Line Infantry advance
PFP 8       “                “        “         officer
PFP 10      “                “    Gunner firing gun
PFP 11     “                “         “       carrying shell
PFP 14 Silesian Rifleman advance
PFP 15      “            “         officer

Prussian Infantry

Silesian Riflemen

Wurttemburg Infantry (could also be Baden if you paint the red piping green

Wurttemburg Gunners

Prussian Cavalry

PFPC 1 Prussian Cuirassier
PFPC 2     “         Dragoon
PFPC 3     “         Hussar
PFPC 4     “         Uhlan
PFPC 5 Bavarian Light Horse

Bavarian Light Horse

Prussian Cuirassiers

Prussian Hussars

Conversions to fill gaps in the range

ACFPW 1 Prussian gunner firing gun
ACFPW  2   “             “       w/ball
ACFPW 3    “          standard bearer
ACFPW 4  Bavarian    “           “
ACFPW 5     “           gunner firing gun
ACFPW 6     “               “       w/ball
ACFPW 7  Silesian standard bearer


French Infantry & Artillerymen

FFP 1 French Line Infantry advance
FFP 2     “        “         “        officer
FFP 3     “      Guard Grenadier a Pied advance
FFP 4     “          “           “               “    officer
FFP 5     “      Chasseur a Pied advance
FFP 6     “      Zouave
FFP 7     “      Naval Battalion Infantry advance
FFP 8     “          “        “              “         officer
FFP 10   “      Line Gunner firing gun
FFP 11   “          “      “        with shell

French Cavalry

FFPC 1 French Cuirassier
FFPC 2 French Dragoon
FFPC 3     “       Hussar
FFPC 4     “       Chassuer-a-Cheval
FFPC 5  French Chasseur d’Afrique

Mounted Officers
FPS 1 French General, FPS 2 Prussian General (both suitable for Crimea)

Thursday 11 February 2016

54mm Reds and White

Following on from our 54mm Turks and Russians game, I started to put the figures away and was so impressed by the 54mm ARTS (Anglo Russian Toy Soldier) company figures that I thought I would get the rest of my collection out of their boxes to see what I actually had.

 As with the White Coated Russians, I bought these back in that 1990s, when I started to get in 54mm wargaming.  I have to confess that the mood didn’t last long and they all went back in their boxes where they have remained for the last 15 years or so, moving around the loft and the boxes gathering dust.

As I have mentioned before, I have 50 White Coated Russians plus Standard bearer and musicians and officers and gunners. 

I found that I have 31 Bolshevik Infantry plus officers and standard bearer and another 42 First World War Russians in great coats plus officer and standard bearer.  The figures are really nice and I thought I would share them with you.  The numbers also make a Reds V Whites RCW game possible, if on the small side.  I have 54mm British and German tanks and armoured cars which will also be able to take to the field and which might add some interest. 

Two different shades of green coated Bolsheviks

So rather than pack everything away for another 15 years I am setting up a game to have with Bob next time I see him.  So another AAR to look forward – hopefully.

As I have mentioned before, after a search of the web I couldn't find any information to indicate that the ARTS company were still in business.  However, what I did find was a reference in the 'blurb' of Osprey's The Russian Civil War (2) White Armies to Andrei Karachtchouk  who was involved in illustrating the book.  It credited him with making the master models for the Anglo Russian Toy Soldier Company. Andrei Karachtchouk is also shown as an illustrator for Osprey's  the Russian Army 1914-18, the Russo Turkish War 1877; the Russo Japanese War 1904-05; and Russian Civil War (1) The Red Army.  So maybe Andrei made the master for all these ARTS figures?  They certainly match his illustrations in the relevant books.  Does anyone know?

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Franco Prussian War with S range recasts

Having got my old Minifigs S range Crimean War figures out on the table, I was impressed with their charm, all the figures in the same pose and the nostalgia of simple figures.  I could paint up more figures with recasts, or try something new.  I decided on something new.  The Franco Prussian War to be precise.

 I felt that I already had a substantial part of the French forces. The Guard, Zouaves, Chasseurs D'Africa and the Spahis would move reasonably smoothly from the Crimean to Franco Prussian War.  A  repaint of some S Range Napoleonic Cuirassiers and Carbineers gave me my French heavy cavalry.  

I consulted John Cunningham's recast list for the Franco Prussian War and ordered figures. The problem I felt was that the list lacked the 'extras' that I love to have where possible , namely flags and musicians.  I painted up some Prussians and Wurttembergers and did what I think is the classic conversion by making one of the officers into a standard bearer by replacing his sword with a standard. 

To be honest whist it worked, I wasn't that happy with it.

So I came up with a couple of conversions which each took 10-15 minutes.  I know the timing is right because I have been listening to a serialisation of the Matrix on the radio and each episode lasted 15 minutes.  It (the conversion, not the Matrix) involves snipping away as much of the gun as you can with a pair of pliers, then slowly carving away the remaining parts with a scalpel and filing it down.  The left arm can them be gently repositioned, raised and twisted slightly for the standard bearer.  You can leave the arm in the same position for the drummer if you like. Then it is a case of drilling holes in the hands to take the standard and drum sticks.  The drum itself is made from Milliput or Green Stuff, whichever you prefer.

Silesian Riflemen and Wurttembergers converted to standard bearers and drummers.

I actually used a small piece of wooden dowl to make the drum drilled a hole in it and the figure and superglued the two together.  It was a lot easier and quicker for me that green stuff.

I think they work.  I am now working backwards to give my units musicians and standards.  Here are my Bavarians again just made from the advancing rifleman and a Prussian drummer also made from the infantryman as described above.

Mounted Officers

With a few head swaps which are very easy - a pair of pliers and a quick twist and the head is removed a couple of minutes with a 'hand drill' , a thin piece of wire to link the new head and body and held in place with super glue and the job is done - it is possible to create new command figures. 

I had to file away the braiding on the French General coat for the Bavarian General.  The great thing about the Minifig S Range figures was that getting the right anatomy wasn't sometimes highest on the list, so a slightly over sized head does not stick out too much. I did however angle the Bavarian infantry officers head slightly to reduce the 'oversize' effect.

I used a Saxon Officer head to make the Prussian Colonel of the 5th Hussars and then it was just a paint job.

 For those of us old enough to remember the only way to get a certain figure with Airfix was swapping heads and using pins to fix them to the new body none of this is new.  This is just the same except you have to drill two small holes to get the pin into the head and body. 

I am doing the same thing to make Prussian Gunners.  The original Minifig S range only made the Wurttemberg gunners.  Again a quick head swap and a file job on the spike changes the Picklehaub into a ball.

I hope to finish my Prussian Army of the next couple of months and they can take to the table to continue to promote a range which is still full of charm.  They can then take the field against the French and result in another battle report.