A tray full of Russians
It might seem a bit previous to be working on Russians before we've played all the scenarios in the Spanish expansion, but not only am I thinking ahead with regard to my Napoleonics, the little grey cells are positively vibrating with wizard schemes for the Crimea.
These chaps are all being prepared to be sent off to Mark as soon as the last few standard bearers and musicians arrive from OldJohn.
I shall have to write a review of this one, it's holding my attention so far.
In fact this whole idea started with OldJohn, who has a lot to answer for frankly. Essentially it started like this, Old John pointed out that the undress uniform of the Russian army stayed essentially unchanged for about fifty years. While the Russian infantry of the Napoleonic Wars wore shakos and gaiters and all that, they usually kept them packed away for good wear. Victory marches that sort of thing.
In the field, they were more likely to wear a sort of flat cap like the one pictured above and a great coat. This uniform persisted and was still worn during the Crimean War.
Now as it happens, I have five or six battalions of Napoleonic Russian infantry in shakos and fine fellows they are too. However, I realised that if I added some units of flat capped infantry, not only would it finish off my Napoleonic army - it would also give me the start of a Crimean army.
Note the Crimean era Russian trying to do for one of the Light Brigade.
To be honest, a lot of this Crimean fancy has been spurred on by Bob the Painters 20mm Douglas Miniatures blog, which is about his extensive Crimean collection. This blog is a treasure trove of beautifully painted 20mm Crimean war figures and is criminally under-subscribed, so I would go have a look if I were you.
A Russian infantryman (or possibly a gunner) next to an artillery caisson
Speaking of blogs that are worth a look, Uwe's History in 1/72 blog is always worth reading, but it featured a particularly interesting post about an exhibition in Germany about the Napoleonic wars 1813-1814. There are some wonderful pictures there, both of artifacts and of model soldiers.
Note the chap in the curiously Crimean uniform in the picture above.