Friday, April 29, 2011

From Greg: 28mm Foundry Austrian 10th Hussars

As we approach the finish line for the Painting Challenge Greg submits the balance of his Austrian 10th Hussars. As they are shown here they are 20-models strong. Greg has been waiting for several months for the last package from Foundry to finish the unit, but alas it has not made its appearance so Greg is going ahead with the unit as is (the lonely trumpeter waits unbased on the sidelines...).

If you want to check out how he painted these lads check out this earlier post here where he worked out his colour scheme on two test models.

As those two horsemen have already been counted we'll add another 18 cavalry (36 points) to Greg's total. With this group done that puts him in the lead with less than three days to go in the Challenge! Bravo Greg - top notch work all around, my friend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

From Greg: 28mm Perry Napoleonic French Infantry

Greg had originally done these Perry plastics around a year ago as two separate units for Shako. This was his first foray with painting French (being a dyed-in-the-wool Austrophile). This past weekend he basically combined the two to form the equivalent of a 32 man unit for Grand Manner style games.

I could be wrong, but from a close look at the colours it looks like this is the 3er Regiment de Ligne who, except for Jena-Auerstadt, was present for most of the major campaigns.

In rebasing this unit Greg has begun to experiment in using long grasses and other foliage to ornament the unit. Looks very nice indeed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

From the Lead Archive: Old Glory 1:2400 Napoleonic Ships-of-the-Line

Since Sylvain is running an Age of Sail scenario this week (Battle of Grand Port) using his modified 'Trafalgar' rules I thought I'd reacquaint myself with the period by touching-up some model ships that I had in the 'Lead Archive'.

These are 1:2400 Old Glory models. They are kinda grotty up close, but at an arms length away I think they give a nice impression of the ships of that time.

I particularly like that they are one-piece castings, with the seabase, masts and ratlines modeled as part of the same sculpt. I purposefully over-exaggerated the colours and highlighted heavily to give the models more 'punch' when seen on the tabletop. The pennants are just thin strips of paper dipped in a white glue and water emulsion, wrapped around the mainmast top and painted.

The models paint up quite fast and I'd recommend them to anyone who wants to first dip in a toe with Age of Sail gaming before investing in more complex, expensive and demanding castings from manufacturers such as Langton or GHQ.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Test Models: 28mm Perry Dismounted Dragoons

I assembled and painted these to get an idea of how they would look done-up as skirmishing models for both 'big battalion' games and the odd 'Sharpe Practice' dust-up. I think you get 8 in a box and I have about four boxes so I should be good for making a decent sized unit (assuming I don't go mad gluing my fingers together).

I used the same basic paint scheme as my mounted dragoon regiment so as to be able to depict them in their hybrid role as ground troops. I think I'm going to go back over these to dirty them up a little. They look a little too crisp and clean for my tastes.

Does anybody know of any good horse models that are 'at rest' that I could use for making up a horse holder stand? I thought such a stand would serve well as a rally position and a place where the regimental colours would be situated while the rest of the unit is dispersed to the front.

AND I get to chip in with another 3 points to the Challenge. Woo! (Cripes, talk about 'nickel and diming' to stay near the lead, eh?)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Product Review: 'Wings of War' Magnetic Gimbal Mounts

We've been playing a 'Wings of War' campaign lately and so I picked these magnetic gimbal mounts up from the Wings of War Aerodrome as I thought they were a brilliant little add-on for the game.

They're simply a ball bearing matched with a magnetic collar that fits between the existing stand and the aircraft model.

The assembly process is straightforward: first snip off the existing post at the bottom of the model and drill in a small hollow that will allow for the bearing to sit. Then put a drop of superglue in the hollow and place the bearing. Leave to cure.

Next assemble the stand and apply some superglue to the top of one of the posts. Then afix a magnetic collar to the post and allow to set-up.

So after about 5 minutes work you have a model that can depict it's tuns, climbs and dives (or, for me, impending crashes).

At $6.99 for a set of 10 these gimbal mounts provide a nice bit of added animation to the game - recommended!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

From Tim: 28mm Front Rank British Command: William Carr Beresford


Back in February when I issued the Spring Thaw Napoleonic Painting Challenge my friend Tim said he would kick in as he was on the path to collecting a British force for 'Black Powder'. Well, Mr. Tim's a busy lad as you can see from his blog but he knew he had commited himself and so sends in this entry - probably the first of what will be a mad dash to the finish line.

Here we have a lovely British command stand made up of 28mm figures from Front Rank. I think the bald fellow is Carr Beresford who was basically Wellington's second-in-command for much of the Peninsular War. Beresford was instrumental in organizing and training the Portuguese army along British lines. In fact, by the end of the conflict in Spain almost a half of the 'British' army under Wellington was in fact Portuguese. The usually dour Wellington paid a rare compliment to the Portuguese in calling them 'The fighting cocks of the army' - they were very hard fighters and this combined with Beresford's administrative abilities made them a potent force.

Though they were painted just before the Challenge date I'm taking the liberty to poach some shots from Tim's blog to feature his excellent 42nd Highlanders.

Some poor wee jocks taking a 'dirt nap'.

... and another command stand.

I really like Tim's painting style. I actually reminds me of Paul's - very clean and distinct, with great choice of colour tones. Beautiful stuff, Tim! You're officially on the board!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From JohnM: 28mm Front Rank Riflemen and Victrix Commander

'He says I have to advance in line in front of those Cuirassiers. Get stuffed, I say. 
Oh well, here we go...'
Well, it didn't take John long to pick up my gauntlet and send in these boys to up his tally, taking the lead once again.  

Here we have 4 British Riflemen from Front Rank and a mounted Colonel from Victrix. John says the Rifle officer represents Mr. Bean, er, I mean Richard Sharpe while the mounted officer is the ill-fated Col. Umpteda of the KGL.

John is currently playing a solo-scenario depicting the French assault on La Haie Sainte - check out his blog to see how its unfolding.

Monday, April 18, 2011

From Curt: 28mm Perry 1er Regiment de Dragons

Some might remember that some of these boys were featured in a previous post last autumn back when they were a unit of 16 figures. Well, I've added another eight to bring them up to a stronger 24-man regiment in order to face-up to Greg's Austrian Dragoons.

The 1st Dragoons had a long and distinguished career that extended through the Revolutionary period, the Republic and the Empire - right up to Waterloo (where, oddly, they were converted to lancers). One of their more notable feats was during the early part of the 1805 campaign where at Wertingen they cut up the Austrian Kuer Albert Regiment Nr. 3, took 6 guns and forced a Hungarian grenadier battalion to surrender. A good day to be a French Dragoon apparently...

These are Perry plastics which are some of the best figures I've ever built and painted. Lack of weight aside I really can't recommend them enough.

Dragoon green is bit of a fiddly colour as its quite distinct from other greens, and either you have the right shade or it looks completely wrong. After trying to mix my own (epic fail) I finally threw in the towel and bought the Foundry set of Dragoon Green (70A-C).  Foundry's 'paint system' has each colour spread over three shades: a dark-tone, a mid-tone and a highlight. For the most part their paints work quite well, give good coverage and have a rich tone which I quite like. I find that they have a bit of a satin finish but this can be managed with a good matt spray.

There you have it, a regiment done and another 16 points tucked away for the Challenge. With these lads I've managed to slip by JohnM to take the lead - but for how long can I hold before someone catches up?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In Progress: 28mm Foundry 1er Regiment de Carabiniers (early uniform)

I've always admired the early uniform of the French Carabiniers with their plumed bearskins, buff trousers and long-tailed coats. Except for a few details, their uniform was very similar to the Grenadiers a Cheval of the Imperial Guard. Personally, I think these were some of the most elegant uniforms of the period.

Close to ten years ago I painted a unit of ten figures from Foundry but I thought I'd at least double it up so it would better conform to the big-battalion rules we're now using. I'm finding it interesting revisiting these figures, seeing how aspects of my painting style has changed over the years. I certainly had a steadier hand back then! Nonetheless the 'Old Warhorse' has learned a few tricks and I've noticed a few areas where I would now do it differently. So I'm touching up the original castings and slowly grinding out another group.

I'm also redoing the bases and groundwork to better blend in with the rest of the collection.

I did a slight conversion of a Foundry cavalry casualty, cut off a carabinier bearskin and drilled it out. I'll make a vignette in the second rank of a downed trooper with his horse (in the front rank) faithfully continuing on with the charge. 

I'll post an update when I get the unit completed (update: visit here to see the new full unit). 

Monday, April 11, 2011

From PaulP: 15mm AB Prussian Cuirassier Regiment

Paul sends us a few photos of a beautiful new addition to his 1813 Prussian force: a regiment of cuirassiers mustered out of East Prussia. 

I think the reason that these guys were such hard nuts was because they were always angry for being cheated out of getting a proper cuirass. Yep, a classic case of cuirass envy. Really, can you blame them? C'mon, talk about using the old bait-and-switch trick. 'Hey lads, come join the Cuirassiers! They are the elite of the Fatherland's cavalry. We'll make sure your custom embossed breastplate is delivered to your address at the front. No, really.'

These AB castings are just amazing - its difficult not to think of them as being 28mm.

'Quit your whining, Dieter! Cuirasses are for sissies...'
The flag, and a nice one it is, was sourced from Signifer

So, Paul adds another 24 points to his total. Nicely done! I wonder what can we expect from him as we go into the last few weeks of the Challenge?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

28mm Perry French Command, Foundry Young Guard Skirmishers and Plowed Field from Architects of War


Its been sort of hectic lately, but I managed to get some stuff off the hobby-table this week. I actually started this French command stand at the beginning of the Painting Challenge back in early February. I dunno why, but I found I just wasn't inspired by it, so its been waiting in the wings ever since. Nonetheless this weekend I resolved to put my head down and get it done so here it is.

These are 28mm Perry sculpts from their Waterloo range. The abandoned drum is a plastic extra from a Victrix box. Its funny - I've discovered that most of my command stands are composed of officers who are basically yelling at one another. I guess I always assume that tempers run high during battle so having these guys barking at each other seems sensible.

'Mon Dieu, vous ĂȘtes un imbĂ©cile! Louis! Did you leave your bloody bicorne back in your tent again?'

I used Army Painter Quickshade 'Strong Tone' on the mounted figures, matte sprayed them and then went over them again to pick up the highlights. I was concerned that the gray horse would end up being too 'muddy'  but it seemed to turn out alright once the highlight was applied. I'm pretty happy with how the Quickshade works on the whole. It suits my painting method which I liken to Kabuki theater makeup - it looks good at a distance, but as you get closer it becomes increasingly  blocky and frankly kinda ugly (Hmm, reminds me of a few pub experiences I've had...). That being said I find it works well for my purposes as I reason most wargaming stuff is seen at an arm's length away.

Next up is a group of 8 Young Guard skirmishers. These are from Foundry but the sculpts, of course, are Perry. I remember years ago seeing these castings in a colour advertisement in 'Wargames Illustrated'. I've always liked the prone and seated figures. These are on the smallish side of 25mm but they seem in the right spirit for Young Guard.

And finally here is another piece of terrain from my winter Architects of War purchase, a large plowed field with a low stone wall on the edge. Like the Vegetable Garden I pretty much painted this stock from the box and overall I'm pleased with the results.

Again, I just added some scenic tufts and groundwork to give it some extra texture.

The command stand and skirmishers will nudge me twelve points closer to John's score as we go into the final three weeks of the challenge.