Friday, 16 August 2019

10 days painting progress.

Had a good 10 days painting, 11 French infantry and 5 French artillery crew, not bad in 40mm I don't think. I'm now going straight into 6 British Heavy Dragoons to add to the two I have from the previous Dragoon unit. I am simply enjoying my painting so much at the moment.

Firstly I completed the seventh French battalion by adding 10 Perry figures to the existing 14 Sash & sabre figures, a few of which are wearing greatcoats. These were the last of the S&S French infantry I had and although the unit is a bit of a mish-mash of uniform styles they don't come together too badly. The Perry fusiliers are very rigid in pose and slightly more slender that S&S but I'm happy that they work well together. In this unit we also see a Perry eagle bearer and pioneer, the officer being a S&S with a very strong face.

A note re the flags. Currently these are generic printed flags and I do intend to replace them all with GMB flags in due course, and when I do so I will research to ensure all units represent those actually present in the Peninsular.

I love this S&S officer, the facial features are really strong. Beside him at right is a Perry fusilier, as he is bare headed I added the shako to his right hand.

The S&S 5 man artillery crew arrived here in Spain only on Tuesday in my wifes hand luggage, and by Thursday they were painted and based alongside what must be at least a 12pdr gun, it is huge! It now sits alongside my other two French guns and looks most impressive.

Also this week I have re jigged my French command bases. I was never really happy with the circular base with three mounted figures so removed them and added the Perry Drum Major you see below. One of the bases contains two mounted officers, the others a single mounted figure and foot figure. The British are getting the same treatment currently.

Perry drum major, the rest are all by Sash & Sabre.
So currently on the painting desk are the British Heavies. Again carried back by my long suffering wife through Gatwick customs, but this time without a mention. These will bring my cavalry to 16 light and 16 heavy  dragoons.

Wet palette proving it's worth in this heat!

I normally paint horse and rider together, but this time I'm trying this method using my little cork handles. The riders are drilled and the cocktail stick inserted (Ouch!) with a spot of super glue to keep them steady when painting.

40mm heavy metal!
Now waiting for S&S Cuirassiers and Highland command. Bit of a landmark, I now have just over 500 painted figures in my collection. I'm very keen to get some terrain sorted, just trying to wait until we know exactly what we are doing and where we will be.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Sash & sabre Polish lancers of the Guard.

Just placing this image so that I can share it on a discussion forum!  It was sent to me by Sash & sabre (USA) in response to request for an image as none on the website. I plan to order some from Andy (Old Glory UK) once my current order arrives. We have been discussing the uniform details of this unit and if and when the lances were carried in Spain.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Feeling the heat.

I'm home alone until Tuesday, when my wife returns from visiting the family. She will be bringing back another pack of Sash & Sash British Heavy Dragoon troopers and another French artillery crew, The heavy metal always creates a stir  at Gatwick customs, they seem to like the figures!

Yesterday the temps here in Valencia touched 42 degrees so I remained indoors and got a good bit of painting in. Took Poppy the dog out early but even then it was hot, and even at 8pm when we went out again it was still very warm, thank goodness for air conditioning is all I can say. I went up and turned it on at 10.30pm and when I went to bed at midnight the room was positively cold. During the day we just tend to use a large fan downstairs (until around 8pm when we use the aircon and close the patio doors), but my painting light showed 31 degrees yesterday and the paints were skinning over almost as soon as I put them on the wet palette, making it a bit of a struggle. I did however manage to finish these three Perry figures. The Eagle bearer and Sapper will be used on French unit number 7, whilst the drum major is going on a command base beside a mounted officer. I'm making up the numbers with the Perry fusiliers you can see in the picture, 8 of them and today plan is to paint the first 4 of them.

My wife has left me well provided for with home made meals in the freezer, 3 individual cottage pies, (because I love cottage pie), bolognese sauce (none of your jars here, fresh tomatoes), Chilli Con Carne, and lots of salad, my favourite being sliced tomatoes layered with mozzarella cheese, sliced spring onions (massive things here) and fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil in true Mediterranean style, I can knock this up in about 5 minutes, add a sliced boiled egg and slice of seedy wholemeal bread and Bingo. Of course red wine is stocked up for the week too, Shaz certainly looks after me on the supplies front! Last night I settled down to eat around 8.30pm, (the Spanish tend to eat very late and stay up late, 10pm dinner is not unusual here), and I watched Carry on up the Khyber, no doubt inspired by Bob Cordery's recent game at C.O.W. I must admit it had me laughing out loud.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

RHA officers and IPA.

Yesterday was a good day. I went down to the Correos in Ador to pick up an eBay package of paints, brushes and other bits and pieces and to my surprise was handed my recent Perry Miniatures order (7 days), and a package from Graham C containing the resin 3D printed RHA officers. I think this was day 30 and I had given up on them, in fact Graham had printed replacements for them only the evening before. From the postmark I could see that they had actually been in Spain for 3 weeks! So the Spanish postal system works, but only at it's own speed.

The resin prints are surprisingly good, I had concerns about how crisp the detail would be 'in the flesh' but have to say I'm really pleased. Once I got a nice flat black undercoat on two of them they looked even better and the fine detail seemed to jump out. I spent most of this morning painting them and the result is as good as I had hoped for when Ian persuaded me to go down the digital route.

Just need to check a couple of details, lace colour and buttons on the pelisse, but they are about finished. Just the gunners to go now, I think Graham may have the first gunner file now.

The third officer will command my long planned rocket battery using converted gunner figures and scratch built launcher once the two guns and crews are completed over the next few months.

Edit: A couple more shots to show size comparison with a Sash & Sabre sergeant and a couple of unpainted Perry Miniatures. Just about spot on I'd say. These can of course now be printed in any scale, but in 40mm there are no RHA figures currently available.

Lots of pointing going on!

The 3D resin prints.

The first version digital file. Cross belt was removed and a couple of the details were tweaked.
And more good news! I have managed to find some decent IPA here at last, it's a real treat for my taste buds and is sold in our local Supermercado in packs of 4 bottles for 4 euros 80 cents, 1.20 per bottle. I  keep them in the fridge and they go down a treat in this heat - 38 degrees today. Cheers.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Lots to think about!

As the prospect of the dreaded No Deal Brexit grows ever closer, it has become one of the major talking points among British expats living in Spain. Healthcare, private pensions, tax, driving licenses are all considerations as our legal status here as non EU citizens will change. The major concern is healthcare, especially for those of us who have not yet acquired  full Spanish Residencia and health insurance, relying as many do upon the European Health Insurance card. Health care here in Valencia is excellent, and of course the EHI card provides us with peace of mind but a No Deal Brexit would effectively mean we may as well tear up that card. 

The house remains on the market - our German buyers having pulled out saying they were unable to afford it, surely they would have known that at the beginning? - we have new agents who are far more pro active and have had four really positive viewings in the last week from non Brits. Our plan to return to the UK end of August is now on hold until we find a committed buyer. Funny enough we have started to make new friends here over the past few months and are enjoying life in Spain again. The prospect of returning permanently to a UK under Boris Johnson does not fill us with excitement! We are now re-considering retaining a base in Spain, non residencia, and spending more time each year back in the Uk with our family.

Next week my wife will be returning for a weeks holiday and we are both booked to return for a week in October that takes in the SELWG show at Crystal Palace. We have relatives who live close by the park there including my cousin and 95 year old Auntie Vi, who we are planning to visit. 

This leads me onto a couple of hobby related matters. The RHA prints have still not arrived, its over 4 weeks now. Graham C has kindly said that he will print me 3 more so that Shaz can bring them back with her safely on her return. I have a sizeable order for paints, brushes, grasses, tufts, varnishes etc coming via eBay and requested tracked/registered mail which is very reliable and fast, 4 days UK to Spain on a previous order, I'll probably stick with this in future on all orders.

The Perry orders seem to be averaging 7 to 10 days to arrive now, standard International Mail, aside from that first one that took 28 days for some reason. I have another due this coming week which will complete the 7th French battalion, utilising some of the greatcoat wearing figures already painted. On order I have the following:

PEP 1  French Fusiliers, march attack in habits x10  ( Good deal on the basic line infantry figures, half price if you buy 10 for £22.50) They all still arrive in their individual black boxes of course.
PE 42  Eagle Bearer in surtoat.
PE 44 French sapper with axe over shoulder.
PE 45 Drum major.  (A magnificent figure that I could not resist!).

In addition there are 6 more Spanish Guerrillas to compliment the base below.

I'll probably retain the greatcoat wearing grenadiers (Sash & Sabre) and a few more to make up the numbers, should be a nice varied unit with some real characters.

Photos below show this weeks painting completed, the Spanish gun and crew, the first Guerrilla base and another 7 Voltiguers of the 15eme de ligne to complete that unit (skirmisher units are each of 2 bases, 6 or 7 figures).

Finally....... I know that I have the 60th rifles but I am just so tempted to add the 95th, I keep looking at them on the Perry site, and tell myself I must resist, but then they might just fill a gap while waiting for the Sash & Sabres to arrive, what am I to do?

Waiting on static grass and varnish. (All Perry).

The four skirmish bases together.

I'm adding another layer to the bottom of these bases to standardise my thicker wood bases now.

These are by Sash & Sabre.

The start of French battalion number 7.

French officer (Sash & Sabre), selected to command the latest unit, I love that face!

Spanish Guerrillas awaiting 2nd base, varnish and static grass.

The 'Spanish' gun featured previously with added sponge from green stuff.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Spanish guerrillas & gun.

I removed the previous post as I was not happy with the content, just seemed too repetitive. This blog has always been about painting figures first and foremost, but I'm aware that showing too much of the same things over and again can get a bit boring for followers. The collection video went on Facebook's Napoleonic page and YouTube so that a wider audience can view it should they wish.

So, here we have the first 6 painted Spanish Guerrillas by Perry Miniatures, with 6 more on the way. I decided against using the monk figure on this base but I will probably add a base of Spanish monks at a later stage so he will get used. I went for quite bright shades on these, based on Goggled images and the  Spanish tradition of not holding back on colourful clothing!

I had a few Spanish gunners hanging about since I bought the start of the collection from Andy Copestake early last year, so decided they would make a useful irregular Spanish gun team, just a bit of fun really. The gun was also a spare, not sure where it came from, the carriage is a lot smaller than the Sash & Sabre British guns, but lets just assume it has been acquired by the Spaniards so they intend to use it. Bit of conversion work among the gunners, head swaps and the rammer/sponge needs finishing off with green stuff.

On the subject of artillery my RHA officers have still not yet arrived, I'll give to the end of the week (28 days) and if they still have not arrived I will have to ask Graham to print me 3 more and I'll pay the £10 tracked/recorded postage that generally gets stuff here in 4 days, worth it to me. Ian Smith and myself have been discussing the rest of the crew, 4 more digital sculpts at a cost of 280 Euros split between us. I think the plan may then be to make the crew available to others with any proceeds split between Ian, Graham C and myself as they will be unique in 40mm  scale and Andy Copestake, UK stockist of the sash & Sabre range does seem to be shifting a fair few of the Peninsular Napoleonic range.

On the painting desk now are 7 more French Voltiguers to be followed by the completion of French infantry regiment number 7 using Perry figures including a couple of characters, a sapper and drum major to add a touch more colour to the unit.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Improving the ship models - part 1.

Weirdly unpredictable this Spanish postal service. I have been waiting almost 3 weeks (tomorrow) for the 40mm RHA officer prints to arrive from Graham C, yet an Order from Perry Miniatures arrived in just 7 days. I have no doubt they will arrive within the next few days but there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to delivery times here.

I picked up the Perry's today, they consist of 7 Spanish Guerrillas and 7 more French Voltiguers, every one a gem as usual in it's own little black box.

On order I also have more Sash & Sabre figures, Highland infantry command (5), Cuirassier troopers (7) and Cuirassiers command (3). These may be a couple more weeks and I'm having them delivered to my daughter in the UK.

But to return to the plastic Sails of Glory Napoleonic ships for now, I have been doing a bit of work on two of them to see what can be done. The sails got a wash of thin paint, the masts were painted in a more accurate shade and the yards painted black. I then added the basic standing rigging using Rod Langtons excellent guide. I'm now searching for a method of replicating ratlines before I add some of the running rigging in buff cotton.

So far so good I think, and certainly an improvement on the basic models. I think the ratlines will make a huge difference to the appearance, disguising as it will some of the nasty white plastic behind the sails. Current thinking is possibly dyed medical gauze or curtain netting, hard to find in Spain though. Any ideas chaps most welcome.

A few pics, one Spanish and the other a 1st rate British ship.

I think the darker sails on the Spanish ship look better?


Starting to look better I think.