Monday, 20 June 2016

Cröbern 1813 - Book Review

Wow! That's the word that springs to mind when you view this book. 'Cröbern 1813 - The Battle of the Nations in Miniature' details the conceptualisation and creation of a truly massive diorama of part of the South sector of the Battle of Leipzig. The diorama is centered on the village of Cröbern 16th October, at 16:10 hours. Austrian infantry, cuirassiers, hussars and allied Prussians and Russians are all concentrating for a counterattack against the Polish and French. The diorama documents the scene at 1:1 in terms of ground and figure scale, using 1/72nd scale figures and buildings. Something that has rarely if ever been done on this scale before I'm pretty sure!

The book provides some background information about this section of the battle. It is a tiny portion of the overall battle in the big scheme of things of course, which also serves to illustrate just how huge this battle was (largest prior to the 20th century).  It was also a fairly important location from my reading though, with Austrian counterattacks halting a French breakthrough on the first day.

Another section details the research involved, which was extensive, including examination of archives in Vienna and elsewhere. The actual village of Cröbern was destroyed for strip mining in the 1970's, but because of this it was photographed extensively at that time, and so some very good records of buildings and terrain that date back to 1813 exist. Architectural plans for the prominent church were also found and used to recreate this in 1/72nd scale. The diorama thus serves not just as a recreation of a battle, but as a memorial of a village that many ex-residents still have fond memories of.

The majority of the book, many dozens of pages of the approximately 200 pages total, is full colour photos of the diorama from various perspectives. The following brief sample gives an idea of these.

Look at those massed battalions of Austrian Grenadiers!

And Cavalry!

Also many close up photos of small details.

The village itself is faithfully recreated including the civilians, who gathered at the church at this time. 

There is also a list of materials used in the construction, and a bibliography.

So as you can see there has been a truly startling effort in the creation of this diorama. If you are interested in the 1813 campaign, this book is something of a must buy for details of the landscape, scenery, and architecture of the area. Highly recommended and I can see myself returning to this for inspiration for years to come. I also hope to visit the diorama in person one day, which seems likely given my wife is a native of Markkleeberg where the diorama is located (though not sure if it is still there).

To order the book I e-mailed a man named Patrick at After a few days I heard back and the book arrived here on the other side of the world in New Zealand a few weeks later for 38 euros including shipping. I think Caliver Books also has some copies but it would have worked out more expensive for me. A few more pictures of the diorama can also be seen at the official Cröbern diorama site.

Also worth viewing here's a short video review of this book from fellow blogger Paul Alba (Napoleonics in Miniature blog) who supplied me with contact details for ordering - many thanks Paul!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Polish General - 28mm Murawski

Duchy of Warsaw general and aide from Murawski Miniatures. Murawski also has a nice seven figure generals pack including Poniatowski that I might add later. This is a start on command though!

Monday, 13 June 2016

Polish Uhlans - 28mm Murawski

More cavalry for my Polish. Here's Duchy of Warsaw 20th Regiment of Uhlans. Murawski miniatures again who make both pre and post 1810 Uhlans. These are the post 1810 version. 

Love the uniform colours of this regiment. Also close to Vistula Legion cavalry uniform I think. Flag by GMB, and lance pennants from Aldopho Ramos. 

The lance arms come separately and have a small pin that fits into a hole in the body so super gluing them on is easy. I then glued in the lances to the hands with superglue. Once dry I used maximum strength epoxy glue to strengthen both the bond of the arm to the body, and lance to the hand. Similar to the Krakus Cavalry, a bit of filing was also necessary to fit some of the riders to horses.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Polish Krakus Cavalry - 28mm Murawski

Work on my Duchy of Warsaw forces continues. Here's some Krakus cavalry. Kind of like Polish 'Cossacks', but more fierce and reliable as I understand it. Again, these models are from the excellent Murawski range.

I did find some of these a tight fit for certain of the horses, and had to do a bit of filing to get some of them to fit. Not sure why that was, but not too much extra effort.

There were probably not enough of these to justify having a unit if aiming for a brigade level wargame, but I liked the figures and they are an easy paintjob. :)

Flag pennants are from Adolfo Ramos Store in Spain. Quick contact and service. Decided to switch to these paper pennants as I think they look better than metal versions.