Thursday, 17 October 2019

13th Cuirassiers finished.

I knew from the start that I would eventually want to add cuirassiers to my collection and 18 months on from starting my 40mm project here they are. After a lot of head scratching I decided to go with thin black card rather than wine cap foil for the reason that I was worried about scratching the paintwork. The card was cut into thin strips and carefully attached with a tiny blob of superglue, once dry they were given a thick coat of matt black paint. I don't think they look too bad at all and this had made me think about adding rein extensions to my British light dragoons as the reins don't reach the hands and it has bothered me for some time now.

Things will slow down here for a while now as I focus on painting winter Soviets for my Bolt Action project. I do have a battalion of British Marines in the pipeline, plus of course the Royal Horse Artillery crews and guns in due course. You can see printed examples of the full crew on Grahams blog at right.

Sash & sabre cuirassiers, painted over 3 weeks.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Cuirassiers mounted, and a request for help?

The 13th Cuirassiers are now painted and mounted, the final job will be to add the reins and here I am asking for advice. All my other S&S cavalry came with cast in reins but I know there were issues with them not reaching as far as the riders hands which might explain the switch to this method on latter additions such as these and the Carabiniers. The horses are superb, big chunky castings packed with animation and the riders fit well into the saddles.

I'm really not sure how best to add the reins, what material to use, without doing any damage to my paint job. Thin black card has been suggested using PVA glue, I note that Superglue can tend to react with the varnish leaving a white mark so I'm kind of tempted to try the card/PVA idea. Before I do so, any ideas from you chaps who might have done this job please? Thin wire hammered flat? black thread? Rob, I'm  sure you mentioned rolled foil?

Once the reins are added I'll get them based up in 4's as usual.


Saturday, 12 October 2019

Cuirassier progress report!

First week of painting on the 13th cuirassiers, the figures are mostly done and the horses all have their base coats on. I'm pleased that the brown coats do not seem to detract from the overall appearance of the heavies, the highlights do not show up too well in the images but there is contrast there. The trumpeter in reverse colours needs his lace repainting white, some references show the horsehair to be white for musicians, others black! I really enjoyed painting the big characterful faces.

Yesterday the family headed off to the wonderful Oceanographic centre in Valencia for the day so I managed to get a couple of solid painting sessions in. The horses are the result of over 4 hours painting, base coat and blended highlights only so far, they should be finished by the end of the week. Once the riders are mounted I will need to add reins, possibly from wire.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Chosen men.... well, half of them!

It's been a busy week all round here what with taking the grand children out and taking the car for it's ITV (MOT), plus engaging another agent to sell the house, but still got a bit of painting done.

The ITV was an interesting experience, unlike in the UK where one simply drops the car off for an hour, here in Spain it's a far more interactive experience. Here the ITV centres are not independent testing centres but regional centres where they are able to work on  8 to 12 vehicles at a time. You remain in the car, following the testers instructions as you progress through the various stages beginning with the emissions test. The tester tells you when to rev the engine and where to hold the revs, slightly confusing due to the language limitations on both sides but we got through it OK. You then drive onto the next stage - brakes and steering - as another vehicle enters the emissions test area behind you. At this point you get out and move to a viewing platform along the side of the bays and you follow along through the stages to the inspection pit before being asked to park the car and go into the office for the result. It's like a social occasion for the Spanish with groups gathering in the smoking area along with testers having a quick fag between jobs, (imagine that in the UK), where there is much lively discussion and plenty of gesturing in true Spanish style. The office presents you with a dated yellow windscreen sticker and stamps the ITV card and you're done. Took a couple of hours from arriving to leaving but it's done for a couple more years.

Anyway, this week has seen the painting of the 12pdr gun to bring the French battery up to 3 models. It's a lovely little kit to assemble, lots of bits and bobs on metal sprues to stick on and the result is another large weighty lump of metal with plenty of detail. The centre base is the one I painted to add to the original two guns and crews that came from Andy C. Overall not a bad match I think.

95th Rifles - due to a slight admin error at OG UK HQ I was only sent a single bag of rifles plus the command pack, I did receive a bag of 40mm Dark Ages figures by mistake which are being returned. No worries at all, for the time being here is one base of Chosen Men including the fine Sharpe and Harper castings. The sculptor Chris at Sash & Sabre has certainly caught the likeness of both characters, not an easy thing to do in the small scale, a testimony to his skill. Could not resist sending a couple of pics to Facebook friend Darrah O'Malley!

'Ees not a proper officer'.

'Officers weapon Sir, shouldn't have it Sir'

And now the real fun begins! 8 x S&S cuirassiers representing the 13th regiment in Espana.

Monday, 30 September 2019

42nd Highlanders & RHA crew latest.

Here are the 42nd Foot completed by the addition of the five figure command pack.  As said previously I am not a great painter of tartan! After much fussing about I settled for this 'impression' of the Black Watch kilts which I hope at least contrasts OK with the 92nd. On the subject of the 92nd I'm aware that they did not wear peaks to the caps but I was not going to start cutting them off expensive 40mm castings, I can live with them. 48 Highlander castings from Sash & Sabre plus a command base painted over the past year or so. This now completes 7 infantry battalions for the British army, plus the rifles and light infantry units.

Battalion number 8 will be the British Marines in round hats when the next order from S&S arrives in the Uk to Andy at Old Glory. Good to note that designer Chris was happy to accommodate my request for a 24 figure unit pack - the marines come as a 20 figure pack including command figures, additional castings can be purchased at extra cost, worth bearing in mind for the future.

All flags will be by GMB in due course.

Now assembling and base coating the French 12pdr to finish the battery, it's a hefty chunk of metal.  I might just jump straight into the cuirassiers next as I can't help myself. they will consist of the three command figures plus five troopers, I'm sure the other two troopers in the pack will be used at a later date. I note the horses are cast without the reins which I feel will produce a neat finish using flattened wire. The horses are lovely chunky castings.

Over a year getting to this stage!

And the RHA sculpts are coming along a treat, Ian sent me these last night. A couple of minor tweaks to do, belt plates on all shoulder belts, extending the braid further across the chest and exaggerating some shallow detail so they print sharply. I'm really pleased to see this project coming to fruition and we do plan to make the set of 5 figures available to other 40mm collectors in due course, they will fill a gap in the market.

Here's the full gun crew at this stage. Officers lace needs repainting gold.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Special delivery, Sharpe & Harper and an intriguing bracelet.

On Tuesday my Daughter and her two girls arrived for a 3 week stay in Spain, it's still hovering around the 30 degrees mark and they were straight in the pool that afternoon. The box of 40mm Sash & Sabre figures came through Gatwick customs with no questions asked this time and it was a hefty box of metal.

Delighted with the contents, the Highland command pack is undercoated, (the 42nd have been patiently waiting for months for them), and I also assembled and undercoated a few of the rifles. I had been looking around for a 40mm Sharpe and Harper for the 95th as I was not aware that the two characters below were included in the command pack. The sculpts are very good and certainly resemble them, Harper has his volley gun in hand and I gave Sharpe a rifle rather than sword, they should paint up a treat.

I mentioned on the Facebook Napoleonic page this lovely little bracelet my wife found in her late Mother's jewellery box and wanted to share it here on the blog as I'm keen to try to discover more about it, where and when was it made etc. It features Napoleon and symbols of the Empire, it must have been of some sentimental value to the original wearer. Any ideas on where to begin my search?

Also, a few shots of the assembled French army as of this week, 8 infantry battalions, 2 skirmisher units, 3 cavalry units (the Cuirassiers will follow), and a battery of guns (the 3rd gun just needs assembling and painting). There are also 4 command bases.