Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ultima Ratio Regna

As I said previously, there's been precious little wargaming going on in the Kinch household of late. I'm still emptying the war room, though the wood is now ordered and will be delivered next week.

However, the Russians are coming and I've been doing my best to be prepared. I've been reading Digby Smiths' book on Borodino, which while well written makes for awful reading.  Perhaps I've been reading too much about the Duke and he was not without his faults, but he was commendably abstemious with life when he could manage it.  Borodino reminds one of a small boy crashing toy cars together for the fun of it.

With that in mind, allow me to present some gentlemen of the Russian foot artillery. These are Zvesda figures, painted by Krisztian Takacs of Budapest, and very beautiful they are too.

The Russian artillery was in poor shape at the beginning of the Napoleonic wars - but was reformed under the ultra-conservative General Arakeev. Arakeev was a martinet who frequently used his professional position to pursue personal vendettas, but he introduced standardised calibres and other reforms into the Russian artillery which made it very formidable indeed.

Once my MDF bases from Products for Wargamers arrive I'll get these chaps based up, but until then they'll have to carry on living in a box. These pictures were actually taken by Krisztian, who sent them on to me a few weeks ago. Stealing other men's glory, what!

The last thing many Frenchmen ever see.

I am blown away by how fine the detail on the Zvesda figures is and the fine job K did bringing it out. I think it's also rather fine how well the crew fit together, there is a definite sense of what is occurring here, rather than the old ESCI standing around with a bucket looking decorative situation.

In the Russian service, guns were served by a team of gunners split into two parts, the cannoneers (or gunners proper) and the "long arms", chaps who brought a strong back, but little else to the job.

Of the cannoneers, there were four.

No. 1 carried the swab.
No. 2 carried the charge.
No. 3 carried the slow match.
No. 4 carried the tube pouch and prickers.

I'll leave you with some up close pictures of the gun crew.


  1. Zvezda at their best are extremely good. These look like examples of their best. By the way, if you ever want to see footage of Napoleonic Russian artillery in action, take the scene from the Russian production of War And Peace, and hold out for the rear-guard action scene in the 1805 campaign. No fancy camera work: just gunners going about their business amid the smoke and dust and explosions and noise and flying bits of metal - fan-bally-tastic ... 'It is well,' remarked Genl Robert E. Lee, 'that war is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it.'

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Conrad

  2. Lovely figures with a superb paint-job! you're a lucky man, Kinch!

  3. Damn good work on those Russians. The Zvezda stuff is rather nice.

  4. Yep! Sharp looking figures.

    Best Regards,


  5. Dynamic poses there! They look "the business".


  6. FAntastic job on those. I can never get plastics painted to that level.