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

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Bavarians - Flags, and a Possible Wizard Wheeze...

Continued (very useful) correspondence with Giovanni suggested that the line infantry flags I have used with my new Bavarians might be of wider interest. Now I have to say straight away that the flags are such a nightmare to draw (not to mention the risk of epileptic seizure) that, unusually for me, I was happy to go for the examples in the Napflag bit of the Warflags site. I have long admired the Napflag material - Alan Pendlebury did a splendid job of giving a free offering of all his research and very impressive graphic work. The pity is that the site hasn't been updated since 2001 - not because the flags are wrong, but because more modern internet bandwidths would have permitted higher-resolution (bigger) files.

So I downloaded Alan's Bavarian flags image and - entirely for my own preferences and use - I used the trusty Paintshop Pro to alter the shade of blue a bit, and to replace the black outlines and construction lines in the image with the predominant blue shade. I've also, for my own purposes, swapped some of the centre sections between flags. The tweaked image is here, if it is of any use to anyone - please note that this is Alan's intellectual property, from the Napflag site, and I take no credit for any of this. The images are a lot smaller than I would normally use, but for my 20mm soldiers I have printed them so that each flag comes out 24mm high (they were 173cm, according to the regulations), which is 1/72, and they work out fine. I would not recommend them for anything larger. Oh yes, the Leibfahne (carried by 1st Bn) is on the right of each horizontal pair, the Ordinarfahne (2nd Bn) is on the left. If you want more details of dates etc, check the Napflag site.

These are slightly tweaked versions of Alan Pendlebury's flags from the old
Napflag site. If you use them, or pass them to anyone else, please explain that
they are Alan's flags, though it was me who probably spoiled them! 
I was mentioning to Gio that my only concern about having a burgeoning Bavarian army is that I don't have anybody for them to fight. Yes, they could have a bash against the French after Leipzig, and I can always change history and get them sent to Spain as part of the Confederation contingent, but for the most part I will be relying on visiting (or hosting) generals at social games to provide an Austrian army for opposition. Gio, of course, humorously suggested that I was now irrevocably committed to building an Austrian army of my own to complement them. This has already been suggested by a number of other humorists, and the joke is not what it was. The Austrians are no kind of niche army - that would be a very serious undertaking, though the idea does have a strong appeal for about 8 seconds, until the full horror of the implications hits you.

One campaign I do have an interest in, however, is the Bavarian involvement in the Tirolean Rebellion in 1809. This would be a smaller undertaking all round, would involve relatively few Austrian line troops, and, for me, has the scholarly underpinning that my imagination was caught by Andreas Hofer and all that lot during a couple of fairly recent holidays in the Tirol. Yes, all right, all right. Hofer and ice cream. Highbrow stuff.

There is still the problem of sourcing suitable figures. The only known models of Tyrolean rebels in a scale which suits me are a single set of plastics by German, which got a very muted reception in the pages of Plastic Soldier Review.

German's Tirolean rebels
However, Gio suggested that my existing Napoleonic Spanish guerrilleros might just slot right into the Tirol. Hey! There are plenty of round hats and capes, lots of knee-breeches, priests, mad women with blunderbusses. He may well be on to something. And, of course, I have about 130 of them. As Napoleon said, quantity has a quality all of its own.

Thinks: if I added a sprinkling of celebrity figures - maybe a box or two of the German plastics - I could already have the makings of a rebel army. Some of the flags might seem a bit inappropriate, but that's not bad for this week's potential Wizard Wheeze. If you half-closed your eyes, you might not notice that some of Hofer's heroes looked a bit Spanish.

I'll probably have gone off the idea, or have been talked out of it, by this time next week. My local providers of Austrians may have some understandable doubts about their prized regiments appearing alongside some very scruffy guerrillas. It does go to show, though, how sometimes we are so hidebound by history that we can't see the possibilities.

Part of the Bergisel Panorama, Innsbruck


  1. The Bavarian flags have always been one of my favorites as well as cornflower blue my favorite color. Perhaps my German heritage has some ancestral pull?

    As for the Bergisel Panorama, I visited Innsbruck not two weeks ago. I enjoyed gazing at the panorama very much.

    1. I like Innsbruck very much - did you get to visit the Kaiserjäger Rifles Museum, next door to the panorama?

      Whereabouts in Germany did your forebears come from (or five bears, or however many you had)?

    2. I enjoyed Innsbruck too. It exceeded my expectations and a place to which I could return. Yes, we visited the Kaiser Jager Regimental Museum. While my wife was feeling jet lagged after the trip from the States, I found the museum having much to offer.

      While my maternal side has much more genealogical info than my paternal side, that limited paternal lineage suggests a migration from Saxony.

  2. I have been taken to task for not mentioning that there are a couple of other makers of 1/72 Tiroleans - Munich Kits do a small number of sets in resin, which look very nice, but my eyes are watering so much from the pricetag of €8.50 for 3 figures that I'm not sure; these are available from Germania Figuren, and elsewhere. I didn't know of these.

    There are also some metal figures produced by CW-Miniatures - details on Tom's Miniatures in 1/72 blog. I didn't know about these either.

  3. Your Bavarian flag tweaks are just brilliant, Foy. Thank you very, very much. As templates for my painted flags they will be just the thing.....dammit, I'm going to have to paint some more Bavarians now!
    Bestest regards

  4. Essex of course does a fine range of metal Tyroleans, but they are probably a bit too large for your purposes. 2nd Berg Isel is on my tentative plans list for 2019; I have some of the required Tyroleans on hand already.