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Frontline Reports: William Russell’s Black Powder Armies

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Historical Gamer/Painter William Russell recently brought in two epic Black Powder armies for us to take a look at, Warlorder George took a few notes…

When we asked how he got into miniature painting, he simply says, “I blame my Dad.”

As it happens, William has a lot to thank his Dad for; he is an exceptionally talented painter. As he sets up his Armies for a quick photoshoot, we ask him what he’s brought for us.

William: “I brought two separate armies. Both can be used in the Black Powder Peninsular Campaign (note the Anglo-Portuguese) and the Waterloo Campaign. First, we have a French army. A lot of people talk about the French army as in, they were all French. But they weren’t. You had Germans, Polish, Swiss. You also had Portuguese. So, the picture above is a representation of the Unit Regiment Nations that were involved in the campaign… Then there’s the British, that was Anglo-Portuguese so that covers 1808 to 1814.”

We marvel and take some shots. We ask him how long this has taken.

William: “What you see here is the culmination of four years graft. That’s four years of research, reading and painting. If you’re gonna do Napoleonic, do it big!”

We ask William about his typical painting habits.

William: “Typically, if I’m focused, I can get a regiment done in a week. However, some regiments take longer. I try to batch paint (working on a rank at a time) to keep the uniformity”

Why does the Battle of Waterloo interest you, we ask.

William: “It’s the period at its core: it’s vibrant. It’s one of the first major world wars. It’s not just Europe. It’s India and Asia, America and South America.

But also, in relation to the Black Powder rules and how they work in this period and how they fit in with this period, they work so well because they’re so flexible. They’re easy to understand and they flow.”

We ask what the biggest challenge was whilst painting both armies.

William: “I think the research. You find with Napoleonic’s, it’s such a broad period that you have to specialise in one area. You have to focus. So I thought let’s focus on two armies: the French and the British.”

Thank you to William for bringing in his two epic armies! Check out some of the images we took on the day


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