Monday, April 22, 2019

Franco-Prussian War - 10mm Turcos & Friends

10mm Franco-Prussian War castings from Pendraken.
The blogging pace has slowed in the past few weeks - work has been rather busy, and abysmal "spring" weather has finally relented somewhat, allowing glimpses of a bright, glowing orb in the sky that appears to generate sufficient heat even to melt snow! I have been trying to get outside to maximize my enjoyment of this wondrous development...

But I have still been painting a bit. The period and setting will be a familiar one - the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, but I have switched scales for a bit, adding a few more 10mm figures. These castings are all from Pendraken. They add to some "test" figures I painted last year, and to some more I painted during the recent Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

These 10mm figures are being based with the game "1870" in mind.  In the basic version of this game, one base equals one battalion of infantry, two squadrons or cavalry or a battery of guns. This scale allows for some of the very large engagements from the Franco-Prussian War to be played out on a gaming table of a somewhat reasonable size in a somewhat reasonable time. 

There are a few different elements in this post - up first is a regiment of Tirailleurs Algerian, the feared "Turcos", colonial troops from Algeria in French service.  The Turcos were fine soldiers and performed bravely during the war.  The three bases together would comprise the whole regiment.
The Turcos are ready to march in defence of the Second Empire!

Incredible detail and quality on such small figures - Pendraken sculpts are incredible, and really do justice to these iconic troops!
These same sculpts can be used to represent Zouaves...I'll paint some of those up soon.
Up next is some cavalry - French Dragoons.  These two bases together would comprise an entire regiment of Dragoons.

French Dragoon regiment in line.

French Dragoon regiment in column.
Then we move on to artillery - there are three batteries of French "4-pounders".  These were rifled muzzle-loading pieces and two batteries of these guns were attached to each division in the Imperial army.

These 4-lb artillery pieces were the main components of a French divsion's artillery strength.
Then we have that exotic French weapon from 1870, the Mitrailleuse. Generally speaking, each French division in the Imperial army had one battery available.

The mysterious mitrailleuse.

One battery of these exotic weapons per division...
Finally some small stands to represent command - there is a French base and a Prussian one. 

French divisional command base.

Prussian divisional command base.
How dumb is it to paint one setting in multiple scales? Certainly this causes a diffusion of overall progress toward goals...and this is true - when you spread your efforts out, you make a smaller percentage of progress towards a larger number of doubt this approach helps fill my basement with unpainted stuff, right? But there are many other positive things I find from collecting and painting a period or setting in different scales.  

First, there are some big battles from this setting I would like to game with the guys - but that won't happen in 28mm.  I love and enjoy my 28mm collection, and will continue to add to it, but this will almost always be used to play smaller components of larger battles.  Most of the main engagements in the Franco-Prussian War featured at least one Corps-level formation per side. At a battalion level, a French division alone would have 13 battalions of infantry.  With 24-figure battalions, that's 312 figures just for the one division...a French Corps would have had three divisions, plus a cavalry division, and then the attached artillery...and that doesn't even count the Prussians!

My 10mm Franco-Prussian war collection to date...not very big, but as the gaps on the shelf fill in, we'll get towards a game...still you can already see how the smaller scale can offer a big "sweeping"  view for the period... for rules like "1870" this small collection still represents a total of 21 battalions of infantry, 12 squadrons of cavalry and 10 batteries of artillery...
And even if I could somehow summon the time and skill to paint all of those figures in 28mm (hey, that would be cool, if miraculous), I'm not sure I could find a table or the space to represent, say, the battle of Spicheren or Mars-La-Tour...those would have to be enormous tables, so far beyond my skills to create, or the size of my house to hold!

A Prussian division in 10mm for "1870" - two brigades of infantry (each of two regiments), a regiment of Dragoons (cut off on the left of the photo). The divisional artillery at the back. Command stands are at the front, along with a battalion of Jagers (cut off at the front left of the photo). 
So diving into smaller scales is the answer.  But there is a further benefit...I find it refreshes my interest and motivation (oddly), to paint a period/setting in different scales.  While I'm painting my 28mm figures, I'm saying to myself "oh man, this takes time, it would be so cool to just get a whole regiment painted in a few hours".  So I crack out the 10mm figures, and boom! But then, while painting the 10mm figures, I'm saying to myself "oh man, these uniforms are SO awesome, I would love to see them in 28mm", so when I finished a stretch of 28mm, well, boom! I'm fired up for the larger figures again!

An Imperial French division taking brigade of infantry is now complete, along with artillery and the attached Chasseurs a Pied battalion (they are at the front, lower left).  Needs five more infantry battalions to complete the second infantry brigade. The cavalry, meanwhile, is the start of its own division...needs some lancers and Hussars to round out...always more, right?
And while I'm blown away by the quality of the 10mm castings from Pendraken, I'm also experimenting with castings in the other small scales - some 6mm from Baccus and 15mm from Old Glory.  Hopefully I'll have more to share here on the Blog at some point.  Again, each scale offers a different set of trade-offs in terms of look vs. table size vs. game scale...and dabbling in each figure scale feels different enough that my interest and overall motivation remains pretty know, until I decide I need a new Titan or some more Space Marines :)

Thanks for visiting!


Neil Scott said...

They look great

Moiterei_1984 said...

More fabulous looking FPW goodness! I really, really love what you‘re doing here and I certainly don‘t mind you giving it a go in the umpteenth scale.

Phil said...

Great looking units, a beautiful work for a fascinating period!

Jonathan Freitag said...

Beautiful work in 10mm! 10mm is perfect for FPW although I am fielding my armies in 15mm. Same period, two scales is not so unusual.

alex sengir said...

Great work!

L'Empereur Zoom 13 said...

Very good painting and great basing!

Curt said...

Cracking work Greg! As weird as it sounds, I always like the rounded corner bases on these guys.

Dallas said...

Great work dude! Love the small scale!