Sunday, 6 January 2019

The 'Reconnaissance' Theme Round is Now Up ... and Curt's Napoleonic British Exploring Officer, Iberian Peninsula, 1810


I apologize for the delay in getting our first theme round up on the blog. I was preparing to get things wrapped up and then our neighbourhood had a power outage (snow load on power lines probably). So here I am, laptop in lap, at a nearby coffee house that has power (and more importantly wi-fi and heat).

Anyway, our first theme round is now up for viewing! This time it's 'Reconnaissance' and we have a record number of submissions (I think 53) for your viewing pleasure. So get your favourite beverage and settle in for a wonderful tour of all things sneaky, wily and observant.

One thing to note when viewing the gallery is that Blogger has a glitch dealing with large uploads, where when you advance to view the next submission it may skip one or two ahead. Yes, very aggravating and it's been an issue for years. Anyway, the way to get around it is to use the master submission list on the right sidebar to advance through the entries. 

After you've enjoyed the gallery please take some time to consider all the entrants and vote for our favourites. There is no limit to the number you can vote for, so don't feel constrained.  Next Sunday I'll announce the results of the voting and give out bonus points to the top three contenders. 

Have fun!

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Last week I picked up David Brown's 'General d' Armee' rules and realized that I haven't painted a Napoleonic figure (much less a unit) in an age. This is amazing as when I started my personal blog years ago that's ALL I painted. It's funny how things go in cycles.

So today's update is a British Exploring Officer serving in the Peninsula, circa 1810. 

These chaps composed a group of intelligence officers that served Wellington during the Peninsular Wars as his 'Peninsula Corps of Guides'. Their primary function was to survey the countryside and make modern maps for strategic planning, but increasingly they were used to gather intelligence on French plans and movements.



The Exploring Officers refused to be considered as spies and so conducted their missions behind enemy lines wearing their full uniforms. They relied heavily on local partisans for local knowledge, guides and support. Since they were usually excellent horsemen, mounted on fast thoroughbreds, they had a good chance of evading French patrols using speed and evasion.


Colquhoun Grant (great name btw) was perhaps the most famous of Wellington's Exploring Officers. He provided sterling service throughout the wars and had many harrowing adventures in French territory (even posing as an American officer in Paris!). Wellington held him in trust so much that during the Waterloo campaign he essentially relied on Grant's reports on French movements to the exclusion of all other intelligence (which, as we know, almost led to disaster).


This figure is from Brigade Games, sculpted by Paul Hicks. I quite like the rider, with his wide brimmed sun hat and jaunty pose, but the mount provided was a little stiff and uninspiring. So I used a damaged horse I had from a spare Riders of Rohan boxed set (Thanks Byron!), feeling that it had a more animated pose. I had to shave off a few bits of offending tack and horse armour and then 'greenstuffed' a more period-specific saddle blanket, blanket roll and a sporty forelock to his noble head. The other issue with the poor brute was that it had one hoof missing - so I sunk the 'abbreviated' leg into a base of greenstuff, affixed both to the base and then masked the mess with some strategically placed groundwork. 

Done!

Enjoy the Bonus Round everyone!


32 comments:

  1. fab job, all Wellington's intelligence men will look like Brian Cox (the actor not the physicist) to me

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    1. Yes! Though I also had Blackadder's 'Flashheart' in mind when I was working on him. 'Wuuf! Wuuf!'

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  2. Excellent work, especially the colours and contrast.

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  3. I hope the power and heat is now restored. Thanks for the extra work in getting all this posted for our viewing and reading pleasure. The Exploring Officer is superb and I enjoyed the historical notes.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan. Yes, the power is back and we are enjoying all the pleasures given by electricity (and marvelling at how dependent we are upon it!).

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  4. Suitably dashing rendering of this master of espionage!

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  5. Great work dude. An amazing amount of bother on the horse, but it sure turned out well!

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    1. Thanks dude. Yeah, it turned into a bit of a rabbit hole. Glad to have it done.

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  6. Very nice and great history. cheers

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  7. Smashing job my friend! I can really imagine him roaming the countryside behind enemy lines in his striking red uniform.

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  8. Shading on the horse is first class. Horse also seems looks a little more intelligent than the rider!

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    1. A common theme amongst the English nobility, I'm sure. ;)

      Thanks Noel.

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  9. Cracking work sir, very dashing!

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  10. Brilliant work mate. Those brigade Napoleonics are excellent, but you've improved this chap with the converted mount and superb paint job.

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  11. Love the hat and the Rohan salvage job!

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  12. Great figure and horse conversion Curt!

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  13. Such a lovely piece of work and exquisitely based again.

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    1. Thanks Michael. I think I spent more time on the base covering up the damaged horse than I did on his paintjob!

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  14. Lovely work on the rider and nicely converted mount!
    Best Iain

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