Sonntag, 30. Mai 2010

Books about the Sikh wars

There are a lot of books available on Amazon. Another good source for original memoires or first hand accounts are available as reprint from Leonaur books and the naval and military press.

Here you can get real bargains! And not to forget google books for free.

One of my favourite books is "At Them with the Bayonet: The First Anglo - Sikh War 1845 - 1846" from Donald Featherstone.

Maybe in a future Sikh project the battle of Chillianwallah?

Not the size as Bill Horan does it usually, but maybe something like this.

The Sikh wars

For anybody interested to read more about this "Napoleonic wars under Palmtrees"
take a look at this link

Aliwal 2009

And here are the first impression on the ressurection of the diorama in 2009.
As my brother decided to marry just on this weekend we put it on show I wasn't able to join the fair this time:-(

So if anyone was there and has some more photos to offer, I would be very greatful!

Sonntag, 23. Mai 2010

Again Akalis

Here are two paintings of Akalis. See the rings they have around their caps. These are deadly weapons thrown at the enemy. Reminds me somehow on "Goldfinger"...

If you surfe the web, you will find a lot of paintings and the history of the Sikh people which is really interesting.


Because Aspern with 16.000 figures was a big job and we needed two years to create this diorama, I asked Alfred if he can show his Aliwal again and we would reinforce it with some more hundred figures.

So we decided to put Aliwal on show again at the DUZI in 2008. As since the birth of the diorama much more useful figures came on the market we were able to use a lot of figures from the Strelets Crimean war range as well as more conversions from Esci.

A unit that I wasn't able to convert and which are not available in 1/72 on the market are the Sikh Akali fanatics.

So I asked Alex of Valdemar fame who is another hobbyfriend of mine for his help.
Alex helped and sculpted for me 8 different poses of Sikh Akalis. Great to have such friends!

As our diorama usually take some money and we do this all as enthusiasts and not to earn money I thought it is fair to offer these figures for sell.

In the meantime I had the idea to make my own range of figures in 1/72. The idea behind was to bring figures on the market that for sure (what is sure with nearly 300 new sets a year?) no manufactor will ever do. So I've collected some money from other enthusiasts and with this I paid sculptors and casters to make the troops we wanted. All the profit from selling them will go into new masters, nobody earns money with it. BTW, these figures are sometimes soooo exotic, that you can't sell enough of them to cover the cost of the master already. But for me as a collector it is good to have them:-)

Here are some photos of the Akalis


I still remember the first time I visited my friend Alfred Umhey in Lampertheim. This was - and still is - the largest collection of figures, books, archives I have ever seen in my life. Going down into the cellar I saw shelves after shelves full of painted figures in 1/72. Most of them from the "good old times" 20 years ago when we had nothing but Airfix and Esci. Beside all the other interesting stuff, one got my special interest. Alfred painted armies for the Sikh wars, thousands of conversions, great ideas and for me such an exotic subject (well, in the meantime I have around 25 books about it) that it became a special interest of mine.

Alfred showed me the old photos when he put this diorama on show nearly 20 years ago.
See here the first impressions of Aliwal!

Our diorama system

Here are some photos of the how to do. Our system is to glue the figures on big stands in formations. We ordered some special boxes 30x50 centimeters for our wooden plates on which we already glued the units in correct formations. Well the formations are
usually my job. I always want the armies in the correct positions, organisations etc.
Sometimes I am the nightmare of the guys when I remove their units or tell them what has to be changed. You can imagine the nicknames they give me from time to time when it is too much for them:-)))

Before we put the diorama on show I study the historical maps and try to give the diorama the right shape in ground and space. Often this is very difficult because of the missing space we get. Here for example the distance between cavalry squadrons should be the whole length of one (1,50 Meters in 1/72). We were just able to have 80 centimeters between them.

Comming to the diorama itself. We use tables on which we put wooden plates for the ground. On this we put styropor plates to create hills if we need them. Here at Aspern everything was flat. Then we have a special fleece which is usually in use when constructing a cellar for a new house (sorry for my bad english here).

On this we place the wooden plates with the figures and afterwards we poor our special mix of modellrailwaystuff, sand, parsley, coffe etc. on it. Smells good and is much cheaper than original modell stuff.

Ok enough words, here are some photos. And no - I haven't smoked this stuff, it was for making the ground more green as it is mid May in the diorama!!!!!



Comming to an end, here are some nice overviews of the complete diorama

Austrian Jägers

Some Jägers took part in earlier attacks on the village and later fought in the Wiesengrund and the woods south of Aspern. So I decided to put a few of them on the plate to give the white Austrians more colour.

As no plastics are available I took all available metals in 20mm I got. These are mostly Hinton Hunt, Newline design and Kennington. If anybody knows about other manufactors with which I can round up my collection I would be glad.

Freitag, 14. Mai 2010

Baden Dragoons

Take a look here at the regiment of Baden dragoons. Around 200 of them took part in the battle. While 100 of them guarded the Baden artillery which supported the French in taking back the village, the second squadron joined the French attack on the Austrian column.

Here two photos from the diorama and a well know uniformplate from Richard Knötel showing the uniform of 1809.

And here an overview of the cavalryfight

Austrian cavalry

While the fight in the village went on the French light cavalry tried in vain to break the Austrian batallion masses.

Now the Austrian send forward their Chevaulegers who charged the French in the left flank. The first squadron is breaking in, while the rest follows. Because of the space we had, we were not able to make the distance between the squadrons the one we needed and which was a full length of a squadron itself.

Here we painted 700 Chevaulegers, mostly HAT with a few conversions and some metals.

Samstag, 8. Mai 2010

Church Aspern

And here see our version of the museum. The credit has again go to Ingo.
In front of the church you see some dead from the first attack on the church. Behind are some Austrian staff officers together with some Staffdragoons in light blue uniform.

Again the village

The Church at Aspern with it's high walls was a kind of fortress. We wanted to have it as exactly as possible. Sadly the original church hasn't survived. So I've collected as much temporary drawings as possible. We tried to find a plan of the old church, but didn't succeed here.

The paintings here are part of the nice collection in the privat Aspernmuseum within
Aspern itself. Entrance to the museum is free and the museums leader Helmut Tiller is a really nice guy who is always happy to help historical buffs.

Beside the museum in Aspern there is another one in the old Schüttkasten in Essling, which still survived until today.