A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Napoleonic Bavarians - Uniform Sources

Ex-Falcon figures - now available from Hagen. I'm waiting for samples
of these - this picture from Uwe's
History in 1/72 blog - thanks, Uwe
Early days yet for my Bavarians - I have some figures, I'm expecting some more - in particular I'm waiting for the postie to bring me samples from SHQ and from the Falcon series, which have recently been taken over by Hagen. I've received a packet of standing Bavarian staff figures made by Hecker & Goros - very nice - they need to be put on bases (we are into specialist diorama figure makers here, with eye-watering prices to match); the H&G figures were sent by Germania Figuren, of Duisburg. There will, I am led to believe, be some new, mounted Bavarian staff figures coming from Hagen some time reasonably soon - they are in Uwe's famous "pipeline". All very promising. Also Art Miniaturen do nice (though expensive) Bavarians - I am interested in their drummers and sappers - and Franznap produce some fiendishly expensive Bavarian Manson-pattern cannons - these are currently 3D-printed, I believe - my plan is to equip the Bavarian artillery with French guns!

Catalogue picture of the Hecker & Goros Bavarian staff figures - this is most
definitely not my paintwork - the grenadier with the cased colours is from
1814, so out of my time period. Presumably that must be Herr Hecker and
Herr Goros on the left...
So no painting yet - I'm at the reading and pondering stage. I have a first-cut OOB - based on Deroy's division of Lefebvre's VII Corps on the Danube in 1809. Classic case of wargamer's dilemma: naturally I want my version of Deroy's crowd to be correct, but I am disappointed to find that the 9th and 10th infantry regiments, who were brigaded together, had identical uniforms, apart from the button metal - that makes four near-indistinguishable battalions, which feels like too much of the same for a small and potentially colourful army. At present I propose to substitute a different regiment for one of these two - one with different facings, to enhance the spectacle. Wargamer's licence - it's my damned army, I can change it if I want. Yet I know that if, maybe a year from now, some visitor points out that I have the wrong regiment present, I will find my lower lip trembling.

So I could justify it like this - the next phase (after the one that hasn't started yet) will be to add another division - I'll borrow one of the regiments from that next division now, the understanding being that I'll put everything right when the second division is complete. Yes, that would work. Anyway, let's not get into that - I haven't started yet, and I am aware that this is all silly in any case - I would happily produce any number of identical line battalions if the division were French.

Thanks to Goya - if God had intended us to buy expensive uniform
books, he would not have given us Osprey
I already had some of the standard general purpose hobbyist books which provide information on Bavarians - I even get as exotic as all 4 volumes of Elting and Knötel. Goya very kindly gave me a copy of Otto von Pivka's Osprey title on the Bavarians, which is attractive and welcome. [Aside: I used to have an earlier edition of  this book - back in the days when I was still obsessed with the idea that one day I would build up all the armies for 1813. I have some uncomfortable personal history with OvP and his works, but I'm very glad to have this back in my collection.]

I also ordered this (below) from Blackwell Books - excellent - artwork is by Peter Bunde. The book is only available with German text, so my reading of the historical bits requires a lot of coffee, and I must keep the big yellow Langenscheidt dictionary handy.

Last, I must make a gentle plug for the works of the worthy WJ Rawkins. I had a couple of his booklets years ago - I suspect that if I have a good search they should still be here somewhere [problem is that my OCD leads me to store my odd booklets in big-box magazine holders, of which I have rather a lot, and which enable me to lose whole sections of the archives in a single step...].

Goya drew my attention to Rawkins' website. Wow. The books have all been enlarged and enhanced - they are excellent. I bought the Bavarian title and a bunch of others - I bought them on CD, sent by post, and they are astonishingly inexpensive - we are talking pint-of-beer prices here. If you choose to purchase by digital download then they are even cheaper, but my own ability to keep track of a digital file without a physical copy is likely to be even worse than my ability to hang on to a paper booklet through the years. There are all sorts of Confederation Napoleonic topics, the French foreign regiments, Austria, the Kingdom of Italy - all sorts. If you have not checked these out, do yourself a favour and do so now - the link to the website is here.


  1. Tony, you are laying the foundation for a good foray into building a Bavarian Corps. I have a few of the update Rawkins booklets and it is good to see new life breathed into these old works. I have a few of the originals from many years ago. I went the digital route but then printed out the content. i prefer having a paper copy laying around.

    As for your conundrum regarding pairing regiments having the same facing colors, YOU are commander, brigade them as you wish!

    1. Hi Jon - I was surprised that the Rawkins booklets had become quite a lot bigger! - agree about a preference for printed books - I've mostly given up getting any kind of reference books on Kindle, because the illustrations often don't reproduce well and because you can't flip backwards and forwards very easily (whatever they might claim...).

      I found it easier to print out digital books in the days when I worked in a computer department with a massive laser printer [allegedly].

      I'm looking forward to getting some serious soldier painting done this winter!

    2. I look forward to seeing you get some good figure painting done this winter too! Say, the painter of the H&G Bavarians is quite a talented artist. I forgot to note that the H&W Bavarian book is a new one to me. Thanks for mentioning it.

    3. Unfair! - I said "serious" painting - that just means I shall be trying hard. It doesn't mean the painting will be "good". I doubt if I ever did any good painting in my life - I have a reputation to maintain.

    4. I stand corrected. You did say "serious!"

  2. I'd not heard of the Rawkin's booklets before?

    1. They've been around for years - I had a couple of them a while ago, and to be honest I forgot about them - they were somewhere in the mass of paper. I hesitate to say it, but I fear they are not as famous or well respected as they might be because they are inexpensive - nobody forgets they've got Elting and Knötel or Commandant Bucquoy - a sad reflection on our hobby as a subset of a failing society? Well they get a big thumbs-up from me - and Goya too (so you'd all better buy some...).

  3. AN interesting post. Bavarian uniforms have always fascinated me. I'll enjoy vicariously watching your progress once things begin in earnest.

    Best Regards,