Tuesday, October 13, 2015

'Curte Vecchio' - 6mm Meditteranean Hill Town & 3mm British Napoleonics


A couple of months ago I prattled on about 'Blucher', a new set of rules which our group has been using for grand-tactical Napoleonics. This summer I organized a multi-player '100 Days' campaign for the guys which came off fairly well (you can read Peter's posts from his viewpoint as Wellington). We used the cards that came with the campaign pack, which worked absolutely fine, but I knew early on that I wanted to replace them with bases of massed figures. After a bit of hand wringing I went with the 3mm range offered by Pico Miniatures. These figures provide a great sense of mass which I think works very well for this level of simulation.  Over the summer I worked through a fair amount of the French forces (equivalent to 20 or so brigades/bases of infantry, cavalry and artillery), but in amongst that, I also managed to finish the British contingent which you can see in the accompanying photos.


As with my previous efforts, I've used a fairly stripped-down, minimalist approach to painting these little fellas (for those interested, the method to my madness can be followed up here). One thing I've discovered after dorking around with several hundred of these chaps is that you have to get the flags right as they really put the finishing touch on the unit. Nevertheless, since the cast flags only provide a teeny-tiny paint surface to work with you have puzzle out how best to convey their primary elements. (Believe me, after working on Russian and Austrian flags, with their double-headed eagles, whacky iconography and byzantine heraldry, one really comes to appreciate the elegant simplicity of the French tricolour!) Anyway, here are some of Nosey's lads, ready to go toe-to-toe with the best that Boney has to offer.


The red hash mark is to aid line of sight and indicate nationality.
Shown along with these British figures is another little project that I've wrapped up recently. This is a Mediterranean hill town offered by Total Battle Miniatures. DaveD from One Man and His Brushes was kind enough to pick this up for me from Salute this year. Thanks again Dave! 





This is the second set I've worked on from Total Battle. The first, shown below, was a small Austrian village, reminiscent of the village of Essling which was made famous during the 1809 campaign. That set featured four resin buildings on a flexible rubber base - a very nice bit of terrain

My first effort: Essling screened by Austrian forces painted by Greg and myself.

This time round it's a Mediterranean town set on a picturesque hill. Instead of rubber, the terrain base is a solid piece of resin featuring many nice details including insets for the eight buildings to fit within.



After seeing a few examples on the web I decided to tart-up the base with some vineyards, a few cyprus trees and a suitably heroic statue for the town square.

The vineyards were simply tiny bits of clumped foliage set with white glue. I then brushed in brown ink along the rows to give the impression of well-tended soil.



The cyprus trees were made from pipe-cleaners, shaped with diluted white glue and then painted in place.



The statue is a 6mm mounted figure glued onto a pushpin. Kinda lame, I know, but it works well enough. Like the buildings I kept it loose so it can be removed for when playing pieces have to occupy the town.





Now, I just need a few tables shaded with Cinzano umbrellas, a gelato bar and a couple pretty girls wearing big sunglasses... La Dolce Vita in Curte Vecchio! 

Ciao bella!

Have a great week everyone!

48 comments:

  1. Some top shelf tiny terrain there - very tidy work, Curt!

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    1. Thanks Ev! Your comment made me smile: the word 'tidy' and my nature are often at cross purposes. :)

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  2. Now that is simply beautiful work, for a moment I was nearly tempted!!!!!!

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  3. Lovely work Curt. :)

    In the second pic, those buildings make the Brits look teeny tiny - Picton's Pygmies perhaps? ;)

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    1. Thanks Tamsin. Yes, those buildings are from Forge World and are scaled to 10mm which is a bigger stretch than my usual 6mm terrain (which oddly seems to work with 3mm castings).

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  4. Great stuff Curt, I have been really rethinking my approach to Napoleonic wargaming recently in respect to scale. I can not remember are these bases playing card size (i.e. the same as the card deck in Blucher) or did you come up with your own size.

    I actually recently paid someone to paint up the Bacchus army pack of French in 6mm, and still have not decided which base size to go with. I actually really like how the formations look on the cards.

    John

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    1. Cheers John. These bases are 2" x 1.75" (fxd) which allows very large actions to be played on a standard 4x6 table as each square foot roughly equates to a square mile. The 'regular' Blucher scale is a 3" frontage, which might work better for 6mm figures.

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  5. Excellent work curt - I do find the 3mm stage very intriguing

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    1. Thanks Miles - it's an odd scale but it works very well for certain periods.

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  6. Excellent stuff, Curt!
    Wonderful detail level for that tiny scale.

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  7. They look great, I love the mass effect at this scale. Volley and Bayonet used a similar approach, some thing is missing from the aesthetic when units aren't changing from column into line or even square.

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    1. Thanks Adam. I've been playing around with the idea of doing some bases with the troops in square and march column. At this scale the cost/time is not as big a deal as with something like 28mm.

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  8. Curt
    They look great. I do like the added cypresses, but get with the times. I know from when Lynne was a Brownie Leader that "pipe cleaners" are now sold as "Chenille Craft Sticks".
    Cheers
    PD

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    1. 'Chenille Craft Sticks'? That sounds very... unmanly. Hmm, has the stuff actually changed - does chenille work well for cleaning pipes? Probably not. Heady questions these.

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    2. I don't think the design has changed, except for the bright colours. Mostly there are a heck of a lot more crafting girls than pipe smokers. It's like the Auxilliary Power Outlet I had car...

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  9. Lovely job as always mate - very effective indeed. I played around with 2mm years ago but found it just didn't give me the effects I wanted for the genre I was playing. Lovely for horse and musket though.

    PS If this means you don't want all that lovely 6mm terrain any more, Dux and I can give it a good home in our forthcoming ECW project :-)

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    1. Thanks Paul! The great thing about this scale is that it's a bit elastic - 6mm buildings work fine with 3mm, at least to my eye. I even think 6mm buildings would mesh with 15mm figures, giving a Warcraft kind of look to the table.

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  10. Beautiful work Curt, really like your modular thinking with the open slots!

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    1. Superb terrain pieces and I like the idea where the buildings slot into the ground.

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    2. Thank you - they are very nice little kits.

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    3. Thanks! I'm happy you like them.

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  11. That's a lovely looking bit of kit Curt.

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  12. Too minimal scale for me, but fantastic, they look really well. I like a lot the village in its hill.

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    1. Yeah, I realize this scale is not to everyone's liking but thanks for the thumbs-up Juan!

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  13. Fantastic work dude, very very well done.

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  14. I don't know how you do it, but my word they look wonderful!

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    1. Thanks Michael, they are wonderful little models and a delight to work with.

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  15. Well done Curt. Hard to resist Napoleonics when you see how good the small scales look. I recently did a Paper Terrain monastery in 6mm but I have to say yours looks better in 3. I should look into what TBM does in 6mm.

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    1. Thanks very much Mike! To be clear, this set is in 6mm - I find that 6mm and 3mm interchange quite well. From my experience TBM is not cheap but the quality is A1.

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  16. Superb Curt! Great terrain piece and the 3mm miniatures are excellently executed.

    Cheers, Ross

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    1. Cheers Ross, I'm delighted you like them. Also, my belated congratulations on your own small-scale addition to your family. I expect your hobby time is at a premium now! :)

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  17. Hi Curt, thank you for the congratulations. Yes, hobby time and come to think of it all time is at a premium just now. Still hoping to be able to join in the painting challenge just at a reduced scale.
    Cheers, Ross

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  18. Most impressive Mr. Snowman! Quite interesting to see what is achievable in 3mm. It seems to really give a nice feeling for a big formation.

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    1. Thanks Nick! Yes, it's all about the mass in this scale. Thankfully I do Napoleonics in 28mm - a better size to salve my uniform fetish.

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  19. Actually the statue is genius. Lovely looking terrain. I was surprised to read 3mm size troops. Another scale? Looks nice.

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  20. Thanks Sean, it was a simple mod but helps to add a bit of character to the base.Yes, another scale.... Probably getting rid of my 6mm collection as it seems silly to have two micro-scale forces for this period.

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  21. 3mm? You're a crazy crazy man. I'm not sure I could find the figures with the brush at that scale! Great work (as usual)

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    1. Cheers Paul! These buggers are mounted on strips so they're really not that bad, especially with my impressionistic approach to painting them.

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  22. Certainly looking good.glad to be of service.

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    1. Thanks Dave! Yes, this was a real treat to get in the mail from you - much appreciated.

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  23. Looks brill, I too have painted up this village and it's a great bit of kit

    Ian

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