Wednesday, August 22, 2012

So no one's going to sculpt her...

Most likely few of you have ever heard the Catalan expression "fer-se't les dents llargues" --literally, "getting your teeth enlargened". It is used when something provokes to you an intense envy or desire, I guess the expression is intended to illustrate the kind of "hunger" you're assaulted by in such occasions. Such is the kind of wild hunger I've been possessed by after watching at Emperor vs Elector blog the Minden superb greens of mounted personalities.

This time it was enough, though. Is no one going to sculpt such lovely miniature in 15mm? OK men, won't beg for it any more! If you can't get it anywhere, let's make it by yourself, then! (grrrrrrrrrr...) Damned Supply and Demand Laws...

(Oh Lord, what did I say?)

Well, as a result of such temporary alienation, I started stirring my lead mountain in search for the necessary bits to build a gallantly mounted Lady Elisenda of my own, as a true Frankenstein apprentice: --hum, that Preiser plastic farmer woman might to the job, only that her torso... --well, maybe if combining her legs with that Peter Pig she-pirate torso... --Hey, wasn't this the so famous green stuff? --OK, a 1/87 lady will need a bigger horse, such as those of Black Hat...

Well, this is a first approach. Much to be worked yet, admittedly.

Sincerely, what would you do to improve her? (Besides of waiting until a professional does the job, I mean)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The boat

Versailles, 18th November 1713

Claire Baizanville would knock on the door, but hesitated for a moment. Pensive, she turned to watch the small garden, still undecided. After a while, she sighed and finally knocked gently.

A maid showed her the way. It was actually unnecessary, because the palace was quite small and she'd have been able to go all around it without any effort. When she arrived Princess Elisenda's deskroom, she knew there was Marquis of Vilana too. She was gently invited to join the meeting, and afterwards they continued their conversation:

--So, dear Marquis, has King George been finally crowned at Westminster?

--Indeed, Your Highness, according to our ambassador in London, Lord Dalmases.

Claire sat and watched at them in silence. Vilana radiated satisfaction, while the Princess was simply radiant. Biting her lip not to speak too soon, she tried to smile as well and buy some time to think how to start... Quite unsuccessfully indeed, because Elisenda noticed immediately that something had gone: --Claire, what's wrong?

Claire forced herself to use a voice the most professional possible: --Nothing good, Your Highness. Our Monte-Cristan network of agents have just got news that last week there was a big battle in a town called... Montblanc. One of your main armies was encircled there and annihilated by a superior enemy. One of your most valuable generals was taken prisoner, and there have been numerous casualties. It is feared that the enemy may force the road to Barcelona.

Vilana seemed as if suddenly petrified. Elisenda paled hard: --I am s-sorry, Your Highness --Claire stammered.

A thick silence filled the room for a long while until the young princess rose sharply, eyes twinkling: --It would be ineligible to stay here, doing nothing while so many people suffer from our cause. I'm going to Barcelona right now!

--Winter is about to begin, Your Highness. The road would be too hazardous --Vilana objected.

--Let's go to Netherlands and charter a boat, then --Elisenda replied.

--Too dangerous if unescorted --Claire intervened--, especially around Finisterre, where a Spanish warship could intercept you.

Claire's face suddenly lit up: --I've got a better idea. There is an unemployed brigantine at Calais harbour. A fast and well armed one. Her captain is a friend of old from Caribbean who owes me a favor... Her crew is rude, but trustworthy. Have you ever been on an... er... a privateer? --she mischievously smiled.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Greatest victory

La Panadella Heights, 17th November 1713

After the battle of November 12, where a Catalan column had been encircled and annihilated at Montblanc town, the Spanish High Command ordered their armies to massively scroll northwards, with the intention of opening the way for the Lleida - Barcelona road. If they managed to destroy the Catalan army blocking that area, the way towards the capital city of the rebel Principality would be finally open to them.

The targeted Catalan army was encamped at Panadella Heights. Lead by the capable Marquis of Poal, who was assisted by his brother General Desvalls and General Ortega, the force consisted of 4 squadrons of Dragoons, 2 of Hussars, 2 battalions of Line Infantry and 1 of Mountain Fusiliers, besides of a few independent companies of Foot. No Artillery was with them.

Facing to them, there was already encamped a Spanish column of similar size commanded by the Duke of Popoli, who was leading a force of 2 Dragoons squadrons, 4 Infantry battalions and 1 field battery. Both armies had been watching to each other from a close distance for some time, seeking an opportunity to unbalance the situation and attack.

Such opportunity was finally coming at a fast pace --but by no means in favour of the Catalans, but to their doom: on this day, a second Spanish column lead by the brilliant Marquis of Aitona went to reinforce the Spanish lines with 2 squadrons of Guard Cavalry and 2 battalions of Foot Guards. Marquis of Poal quickly realized the chances of being attacked in the short term had increased critically, and started pondering about a wise withdrawal in time.

It took little time to take a decision, after the scouts sent at dawn came back with alarming news: a third Spanish column was about to arrive in Panadella Heights too! According to the scouting reports, that new force consisted of 2 Horse squadrons, 3 Infantry battalions and 2 batteries! ...No matter how favourable to them terrain could be, if waiting for the arrival of that third column, the Catalans not only would become outnumbered by 3 to 1, not only would they harmlessly have to face 3 enemy batteries but also risked to be outflanked and encircled, just as General Bellver's army at Montblanc!

If such ever happened, 2 out of the 3 main Catalan columns on field would have been destroyed in less than one week's time! This time, choosing a gallant stand wasn't any option. Putting aside his self-pride, Marquis of Poal finally gave the order: --It's time for leaving this place, gentlemen --he told to his officers--. There's no victory greater than a withdrawal in due time.