Hello everyone, here's another post, if not quite what I had planned. The intention was to arrange the pine trees, fir trees, coniferous wood bases and some Austro Prussian figures into nice scenes, just as folks out there in wargames-land seem to like best. But I've been very solidly locked into my project to populate the 1870 battlefield with villages, over the last couple of months now, and that's starting to bear fruit. So here's what I've been up to. There are seventeen houses for the Lorraine region built, leaving maybe four buildings to go before the paintbrushes come out: two churches, and inn and something industrial. After that there'll be some sort of village bases, a couple of detail items and perhaps some railway line. And then I'll be ready to refight a lot of the Franco-Prussian battles, from Spicheren to Rezonville.
Probably I've made this point before, but the FPW was fought over the whole of Northern France and each of the provinces had its distinctive local style of architecture. I did do some for the French Ardennes region twenty years back, but they are a bit drab and I felt I could make something better now, so had to decide between the vernaculars of the half a dozen regions remaining. There is no "generic French" look, as wargamers like to think, or certainly not before the twentieth century. This was my thinking, after discussions with gaming friends:
- Alsace? Lovely half-timbered buildings, would serve for Germany, but b*****s to build and only two FPW battles happened there. And we've already refought one of them (Wissembourg).
- The Somme/ Northern Front? Tempting, because we've been playing out the adventures of the Armee du Nord, but there weren't many battles and the armies were very unevenly matched. It was all snowy when the battles happened, and I'm not ready to build winter woods and all the rest of it.
- North of Orleans? Same issues really, even though more battles happened there.
- Around Paris? Same issues again.
- Franche Comte/ Belfort? Same again, but even more so.
- Lorraine? The most dramatic, decisive battles were fought here, with the armies "fairly" balanced. The style is a little plain, but I was inspired by the paintings of Alphonse de Neuville, and especially the Panorama of Rezonville. And I thought the rendered, pantiled houses would do at a pinch for something in Spain or Italy some day. So that was the decision.