Saturday, April 11, 2015

Some Napoleonic Real Estate

OK, this picture has nothing to do with the subject, but the day before my MA thesis defence last Wednesday, a friend sent me a simple message:  “Le mot de Cambronne”.    I didn’t know that expression in French, but I know it now.

While I didn’t say anything rude during my defence, my friend’s message was inspirational, and fortunately the outcome was a lot happier for me than it was for the Old Guard.  Now I have a few days to relax before I get my military posting message and can start worrying about packing and moving.  Thanks to all of you who made encouraging comments on my blog during this last year while I was writing the thesis.  Those comments were always helpful.  At some point soon I’ll revise the manuscript and see if an academic publisher is interested, as my committee was quite encouraging.

The next day I celebrated in part by stopping by a craft chain store, Michaels, that was having a sale on these scrapbooking boxes.  Normally they sell for $9.00 Cdn each.  I bought six for about $12, quite a happy deal.  That same day also met a nice chap in an outlet mall who wanted to give me 70% off an $1800 Armani suit.  That too sounded like a good deal, but I decided the boxes were a more affordable luxury.  


And now I have a storage solution for my 6mm Napoleonics collection!  The Austrians have settled in quite happily.

I’ve used some of my time as a gentleman of leisure these past few days getting ready to try these figures out with the Blucher rules.   I needed some scenery, so I finished this lovely church model from Timecast, based on the 18th century German church new Leipzig.   A lovely model, though I found the pieces needed a bit of smoothing with a light sandpaper and the steeple is slightly askew, which I am sure will make this  famous tourist attraction in the years to come.  

It’s pretty much de riguer that all of my gaming tables have to have a model church.  I used a piece of MDF board as the base, and some balsa strips to suggest a walled church grounds with a bit of a garden path.


The paint scheme is pretty much stolen from the TImecast website.  I briefly thought about painting the dome of the steeple in bronze, but ended up thinking it would look odd.  I am going to southern Germany this summer, and will be taking lots of photos of Napoleonic era  buildings for my own reference.

Trees are also from a pack ordered off the Timecase website, just for a bit of show.



And a walled farm.  The buildings are metal, from GHQ, picked up at the 2013 Hot Lead convention thanks to my eagle-eyed friend James.


Again, base is MDF.  Walls are 10mm high pieces of balsa.   The texturing in the farmyard is DIY store plastic wood, dry brushed.


I scored an outline for a small gate in the back wall, forgot to paint it.  Better fix that.


I made each base large enough that it could hold one of my standard infantry bases, so these terrain pieces can serve as objective markers.




Also finished a set of three Timecast bridges.


I just got some rubber river sections in the post from Baccus that should be more or less compatible with these bridges.   

Thanks for looking!  Blessings to your bushes and die rolls!

These figures bring my 2015 totals to:

28mm:  Foot Figures: 19; Mounted Figures: 10


15mm: Armour/Vehicles: 5

6mm:  Scenic pieces:  5

Kilometres Run: 160


  1. They look great Michael. Congratulations on getting through your MA defence too!
    There's a lovely little analysis of 'le mot de Cambronne' in Houssaye's 1815. You can find it here:
    See note 40 page 433

    1. Thank you James and thank you for this terrific resource, I've sent the PDF of the book to my Kindle to read later. I do think Houssaye's note is excellent and judicious, but I like his comment that "le mot" is "psychologically true".

  2. Ooh - very inspiring photos. Congratulations also on your defence. I trust it was tenacious. My doctoral defence was a nice chat followed by a couple of pints at the pub. I think I got off very lightly.

    1. Thanks mate. I did my doctoral defence in '92 and I remember it as a fairly perfunctory affair, with at least one of the examiners visibly bored. My MA defence was structured as if was a PhD, which I and several friends who attended found a little odd. I've never seen an MA with three readers, the supervisor, an external reader and a chair before, and while I worked hard for an hour, the conversation was pleasant and thoughtful and enjoyable. And there was a pint afterward, which was awesome.

  3. Great news for the MA, those Timecast and GHQ do scrub up well


    1. Thanks Ian. They do clean up well, but I got some feedback on the Facebook Napoleonics group that the farm roofs looked a little pink. I was going for faded red. Maybe a bit of a black wash is in order?

    2. I would go with a brown wash,
      But otherwise everything is le bombe and I can't wait to try them out!

  4. Congrats! And also well done on the buildings, they are lovely.

  5. Glad you defence went well- would be fantastic if you could get it published.

    Love the 6mm terrain- it looks spot on, the little farm looks like just the setting for a desperate last stand.



  6. Congrats on your MA. That terrain look fantastic. I especially like the church.

  7. Congratulations on a successful defense fortunately it wasn't against Napoleon. The building look great the walled in courtyards in particular. The bent steeple would have bugged me enough to try to straiten it.

  8. Well done Mike - all that hard work paid off handsomely it sounds like.

    Those terrain pieces are very nice indeed!


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