I’m painting ships for an acquaintance in the US and Armoured Fight Vehicles and Infantry for me (for Cold War, Future War and Blitzkrieg Commander from Specialist Military Publishing). I have the modern Danes finished and the modern Norwegians or Greeks planned. I’ve painted and used the futuristic PacFed and have half planned some European opposition (or futuristic Brits) for them. I am only at the point of starting the preparation of the World War 2 Italians for paint – I’ll have them prepped when I finish the 1/6000 Italian World War 1 ships. I’m also planning some World War 2 Russians (both early and late) to allow me to wargame parts of the Winter War as well as Khalkin-gol so I will need to add some early Japanese and Finns. The late war Russians are just because they are interesting.
Why then am I talking about the Confederation of the Rhine? I was looking at Doug’s English Civil War figures that he had painted in 6mm and was tempted. I still am tempted with the English Civil War. I was also looking around for wargame rules to read for inspiration and picked up a copy of Napoleon. The pictures in there were inspiring. A copy of Black Powder followed (OMG – what can I say about the pictures in there – there are not enough superlatives available in English to adequately describe them). I had sorted of decided then to do a 15mm Napoleonic army at some point in the future – possible two – and commenced some research to determine how to base, what armies, organisations etc.
I then came across some pictures of 6mm figures painted and based for Baccus’ Polemos wargame rules. Initially they were American Civil War figures but I just so liked the look of them that I was hooked. 6mm Napoleonic it would be.
What army to work on was the next question. Instead of considering the British or Austrians or French or Russians I thought German. My initial thought was Prussians, which tied in nicely with an article on the organisation of the later Prussian Army in Napoleonic times in Wargames Illustrated issue 268. Simple really. I then had visions of ranks of Prussian soldiers, all uniform in their uniforms and thought “all uniform in their uniforms … hmmm!”
I needed variety. Everything I have been painting lately is uniform and short of painting a horde of rampaging Celts from ancient times, I could not see any irregularity popping up. I was reading the Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars and a reference pooped up to the lancers of Cleve-Berg and a distant memory of the colour of their uniform popped up. The next reference was to the Westphalia’s troops and the words “Confederation of the Rhine” popped into mind.
The Confederation of the Rhine was a collection of German states supporting Napoleon in the early and middle stages of the Napoleonic Wars. It was formed in 1806 when 16 of the minor German states to support Napoleon Bonaparte and ally themselves with France. A further 19 states joined later.
What I liked so much about this as an army was the fact that there were many states contributing only a battalion or two and the uniforms were quite varied across all the states. They would also provide an interesting opponent to the Prussians if I decide to do those later.
So, the decision has been made. Next project after the Italians are painted will be some 6mm Confederation of the Rhine. The research begins and I will, of course, update Thomo’s Hole on progress in the future.