1809 – A New Project

For the last four years, my historical gaming, painting and research almost exclusivley focused on the America Civil War. However, already last year I noticed a certain fatigue, which was amplified by unpleasant developments in the US, culminating in the attempted coup. How nice would it be, I thought, to do a historical project which has no immediate connections to current politics?

My mates Sigur and Virago, as well as some other local wargamers, had some time ago started a Sharp Practice project set in 1809 and concentrating on the uprisings in the Tyrol. Because it’s in 28mm and it seemed to stagnate anyway, I was very reluctant to join in. However, the period seems to have been stuck in the back of my mind, as a couple of weeks ago, I suddenly decided to do some more research. And what I found immediately fascinated me! Rather spontaneously, I decided that this would be my next project.

As always, I will use Sharp Practice and collect both sides in 15mm. I’ve ordered a bunch of figures from AB Figures via their distributor in the UK, eureka.uk. As I ordered them in January, I had to wait a long time for the parcel to arrive and then had to pay import taxes. Welcome to the world of Brexit! Another bunch of figures came from Campaign Game Miniatures, which is located in Spain, so no fees there. Additionally, small stuff for Deployment Points came from Stonewall Figures.

While I waited for the figures to arrive, I build a house and some small scatter terrain. I have a big terrain collection, but much of it is modeled for the ACW and the Central European landscape of the 1800s was very different from the North American one. I find it important to have scenery which makes clear that, as the saying goes, we are not in Kansas anymore, so I plan to make more stuff in the near future. The 3D printer came in very handy, I printed a lot of fences and other small stuff.

My initial forces will be based on the skirmishes around Vienna. For the time being, I will leave out the Tyrol and concentrate on my immediate neighborhood. After we had to cancel our trip to Gettysburg last year, I kind of like the idea of going to a battle field by subway! On the Austrian side, I’ve started painting up figures for Infanterieregiment 39 (Duka), which defended the Lobau island against French troops from Molitor’s division. Painting napoleonic figures is actually a lot of fun after years of painting ACW!

IR 39 (Duka)
French Voltigeurs.

I’ve also built two Deployment Points, as this is always fun.

The Austrian Deployment Point features a Hussar from the Stipsicz Hussars and a sceptical looking woman. Incidentally, the fences, the rustic toilet in the background and the table with benches came out of the 3D printer (the food was modeled on with green stuff).

The French Deployment Point features a straggler enthusiastically greeting a Vivandière. The wayside cross was also 3d printed.

Last but not least, I’ve also bought a couple of books and I’ve started on the first volume of John Gill’s 1809 trilogy, which promises to be an excellent read and a great ressource. As the ability to do research is one of the key prerequisites to get hooked on a project for me, I was very happy to discover that many sources are available online, either via google books, archive.org or Gallica, the French National Library’s excellent digital repository.

I’m really enjoying myself with this new project and I’m already looking forward to having a first game. Maybe when I’m finished painting, it will even be possible to play again with my mates…

7 thoughts on “1809 – A New Project

  1. cstoesen February 17, 2021 / 12:57 pm

    Love Sharp Practice in 15mm. Great to watch this project come together.

    • Thomas Brandstetter February 17, 2021 / 1:01 pm

      Thanks! Yes, for reasons of space and budget, 15mm is the go-to scale for me and it worked really well for the ACW, so I’m sure it will work fine for the new project.

  2. James Fisher February 20, 2021 / 5:54 am

    Great looking figures and terrain. The 1809 campaign is a real fav.
    Regards, James

  3. Richard Hubbard February 21, 2021 / 11:48 am

    Hi Thomas, and thank you for another great blog post! Your enthusiasm is infectious! Though not for 1809,but for 15mm. Time and again I’ve tried to “break free” from 28mm – for the costs and inordinate amount of storage space required – but never quite made it back to 20mm,let alone 15m.
    But this post of yours, and the photos of the figures, has turned the corner for me. I can see the simplicity, yet still attractive, painting of the uniforms and as my hobby time becomes less, 15mm certainly seems the way to go! Cheers!

    • Thomas Brandstetter February 21, 2021 / 12:00 pm

      Thanks! I’m really glad to be an ambassador for 15mm figures. It’s such a great scale, even, or perhaps especially, for skirmish games – because terrain is much easier to build and store, and I like my games to have lots of diverse terrain options.

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