Tuesday, 30 April 2013

More 10mm AWI's and those old 'Warrior' castings.

I'm pleased to say that the 6mm ebay auction went well and I achieved the price I had in mind plus a bit! I'm now engaged on making up small card boxes in order to protect all of the bayonets ready for posting. I decided that the best way was to pack each infantry base individually, a lot of effort but I'm determined that they arrive safely.

Having had a good think about what I want to do next I have decided to try my hand at building and rigging a couple of the lovely Napoleonic ship models from Rod Langton. This is something I have been interested in for many years and have previously built a couple of Navwar models. This time with my painting skills much improved I hope to try and match the finish shown on the Langton website. I've invested in the rigging guide (also written by Rod) and have ordered 2 ships to begin with, a British frigate and a 64 gun. I'm really looking forward to the challenge, especially working with the fine brass etched sail sets and ratlines etc. If it goes well I may build a collection of them and give naval wargaming a try.

Below is an example of Rod Langton's amazing work in 1:1200 scale, shes a Spanish 74 gun vessel, the sail setting is 'Easy Sail with courses furled'. The courses were often furled during battle to prevent them catching fire from the deck below and I think it's a good way to model the ships and this sets the standard I hope to achieve.

Built and painted by Rod Langton, from the Langton 'photo gallery'.
For the blog I will also continue to paint up Napoleonic units now and then to further develop the gallery.

Commission work.
Here is the completed 1st New York Continental's - 10mm scale of course - just waiting for varnish. The 3rd New York are next up. It now looks as though the British and Hessian armies will be coming my way later in the year so that's good news as I'm enjoying this period.

I could not resist painting the two 'Warrior' castings shown in the previous post, they have such charm and character. These are ECW figures painted up best as they can be to represent 'Sedgemoor' command figures. I have some 'Boyne' period cavalry to paint for John before getting stuck in to some Sedgemoor foot.

I also have 2 x 12 figure units of mounted 20mm dragoons plus 18 dragoons on foot scheduled - all ECW. This kind of rotational working keeps the painting fresh and the motivation high I find.

The ebay auction also bought in several requests for quotes for painting 6mm Napoleonics, but I'm pretty well booked for the next few months.


Saturday, 27 April 2013

More painted figures and news.

Lovely morning here in Dymchurch, took the dog out for her usual morning run on the beach, not a soul around, but bound to get busier later today when the day trippers arrive. I have a new camera, a Fujifilm Finepix Z so I took a couple of pics and will now be using it to grab improved images of the figures I paint ...... once I've had a bit more practice with it!

Commission work.
Here are more 20mm 'Boyne' figures ready to head back home to 'Old John'. Some Jacobite cavalry to follow then some nice Sedgemoor figures after that including what looks to be some real old style castings, I'm itching to see what I can do with them, especially these two lovely old ECW types being used as command figures.

 Also another US unit in 10mm, the 'Green Mountain Boys' (Warner's additional Continental Regt).

Right then, I know what you are all going to think but the 6mm Napoleonics ARE back up for sale again, this time on ebay and due to finish late Sunday afternoon. I have a new project in mind now but more of this later. As my painting skills have continued to improve I feel the need to try a different scale that allows me to showcase my work to its best advantage. It's how I roll and that's really all there is to it! They will I'm sure go to a good home where they will be used rather than gather dust. Here's the link, whatever they make I'll be happy.

6mm Napoleonic armies - Ebay.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Russians on the C&C board and Vallejo paints review.

I now have 14 bases of Russian troops plus a first command base completed. I thought it would be a nice idea to deploy them on the C&C game board where they will used, for a  few photos. Still got a good way to go yet but there's almost enough for a trial game soon. Meantime I continue to play enjoyable solo French v Anglo/ Portuguese games on the board.

Vallejo paints.
For some time now I have been thinking about giving these a try, having read several positive reports on them. For a good eight years I have remained committed to the Foundry paint system, replacing individual pots as they run out. Over the years though I have noticed that I'm tending to use just the main shade and mixing lighter shades as I work more with the smaller scale figures, where some of those highlight shades can look a bit to garish for my taste. Above all what I look for are strong colours that will cover well over black in a single coat. I turned to numerous colours from the Citadel 'base' or foundation range, but most of those I relied upon were subsequently renamed and the new range just did not match the old ones I felt. I love Mephiston red and have used several pots of it, but others were just not right for me. A week ago or so I visited the Foundry website for a stock up to find that it has been upgraded, a good thing I'm sure, but I just could not navigate my way through the paints range as previously. I spent a frustrating half hour getting nowhere and to be honest they are expensive should you want to purchase individual pots, and I get through a lot of paint now days! So I turned to vallejo.

Having been using the first 20 pots for a week now I am very happy I made the decision to switch. I will keep quite a number of the Foundry pots too, at least until I find suitable matching colours but  these Vallejo paints are superb. Coverage is excellent in every case, yet they do not seem to skin as fast as Foundry or Citadel. They are easy to mix and the white is very strong and flows superbly off the brush enabling the finest of lines to be painted cleanly. I like the droppers too. I'll be adding further pots for sure as they add a whole new vibrancy especially to 6mm and 10mm figures.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Rhode Island Regiment - 10mm.

These were a bit of a challenge but I think turned out well. I undercoated in black, dry bushed carefully in grey then built up the white from there. I need to check a couple of details re cap lines/badges and also the shade of the haversacks carried and strapping. I need to feel my way back into this period. My customers choice of regiments is great, varied coloured coats etc. These 24 figures took me around 3.5 hours to paint from start to finish, including two trips into the kitchen for more coffee and a stretch of the legs! Finished with a coat of vallejo matt varnish - hand applied, I don't like spraying this scale.

On a Commands &Colors note, I hope to get another couple Russian infantry units painted over the weekend with luck but in the meantime I am attempting to play my first C&C Vassal game - Corunna - with Conrad Kinch, who has kindly given me the shove I needed to get started. I think we're having some initial incompatibility issues - modules, not personally - but I'm sure we can sort it out and get on with the game. We shall be playing via email, saving the game each turn and sending it back and forth - with luck.

Some pics, 10mm Pendraken AWI range.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Some random photos!

This morning I painted up the first 'test' unit of the new AWI commission for an American army. I think it went well. These are as previously, said 10mm figures from Pendraken, and they are great castings as you can see, in my opinion as good as any 15mm AWI range out there surely. The first unit of a new job is always about of getting a feel for the castings and customers requirements. I'm painting at speed of course, but with controlled brushstrokes. I had previously painted two 15mm Peter Pig AWI armies (again excellent castings) so had some knowledge of the period, of uniform cut and civilian styles which helps. (You can see these in the '15mm' gallery on my painting blog should you wish, I'm rather proud of them!).

Anyway, enough blabbering on, here are the 8th Massachusetts State Troops resplendent in light blue coats, and also more 20mm figures for John C painted today, currently I'm painting 5 regiments of Irish troops for the Battle of the Boyne, these are Gordon O Neill's Regiment, or rather part of it. Splendid Les Higgins castings.

I thought it might be fun to give some scale comparisons so I've included a couple of shots including 6mm Baccus Russians and 28mm French from Victrix. Hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

A handy little painting tip?

For some time now I have been working at developing a method of ensuring full control over fine brushstrokes, especially useful when painting 6mm figures. For a guy in his mid Fifties I think I'm lucky to have reasonably steady hands and good eyesight close up, although of course one never knows how long these will last! But some brushwork on these tiny figures demand incredibly fine strokes of paint and this is the method I use for such work as belts, edging of saddle blankets etc. I thought I'd post it here as it might be of help to other 6mm painters. Of course it may be that you all do this already, in which case I apologise.

The method is simply to hold the brush slightly further back than usual and rest the handle on the extended thumb of the hand holding the figures. After a bit of practice you will find you can guide the tip into the smallest area and make very controlled strokes. I should add that I now use only Foundry sables as they last for months of daily use. I wash the tip frequently, often every 2 or 3 strokes to avoid paint drying on the hairs, and keep the paint as open as possible. When painting very fine things like 6mm crossbelts I re- dip the tip before every stroke, ensuring only the very point of the brush picks up the paint and that you don't get any small 'blobs' that will spoil your fine lines. This 'resting method' really helps I find and hopefully the photos will demonstrate how it's done. I hope it's of use to somebody, worth giving it a try?

Thanks to my daughter for taking the pics after several failed attempts to do it myself....... needed an extra pair of hands. So that's another unit of Russian cavalry almost finished. This time I resized and printed a generic Russian banner and glued it to the cast flag which I also think gives a better result.

 Russian progress so far:
4 battalions of line infantry
2 battalions of light infantry
1 battalion of Grenadiers
2 batteries of artillery
3 units of cossacks
2 units of cuirassiers.
1 command base.

Coming along nicely. Back to commission work tomorrow, last few 6mm WoR armoured cavalry to finish off, the first of the 10mm AWI's and more 20mm 'Boyne' figures for John for the week ahead.

Hopefully you can see how the brush is rested on and guided by the thumb?  

Another pic, I always paint directly under a 20watt 6400k 'blue' or 'daylight' bulb for a crisp light, it really makes a huge difference I find.

Finished Baccus Cuirassiers.

Just need to finish off the base.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Loads of casualties!

Another quick post to showcase some 6mm casualties that I just completed for a regular customer. I really let it flow with these and picked out the colours boldly. I think they should good on the table. There are 3 packets, Celts, Romans and Greeks, from Baccus and very nice too in a gruesome sort of way.

Over on the 'WarArtist' blog I have also just added new pics of recently commissioned 6mm H&R Wars of The Roses  bowmen & some H&R 6mm Austrian Napolenics should any of you gentlemen care to take a peep it's on the 'Current work' page.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Russian command base, grenadier battalion and some Baccus casualty markers.

A quick update - here is the first of my Russian command bases and a new grenadier battalion with those nice tall plumes! I decided to stick with 3 mounted figures per command base, despite them being slightly too big for the C&C hex when attached to a unit. I just like the look of them this way.

Also a shot of some Baccus casualty figures I'm painting for a regular customer. I like these, especially the guy with his legs stuck beneath his horse. I might get some Napoleonic markers like this for effect here and there on the odd base.

Next Monday I'll be starting work on a 500+ 10mm AWI army for a customer, the Pendraken figures are quite amazing, first time I have seen them 'in the flesh'. I'll add pics as things develop, I'm looking forward to this project. I have now also added my 10mm prices to the 'WarArtist' blog.

Russian generals - lot's of green and gold, always a good combination.

The first of 3 packs of Baccus casualty markers for a customer.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sunday afternoon photos.

By way of lifting the mood following the recent dip, and it being an amazingly nice day here I took advantage of the bright sun to try a few outdoor close ups of my figures. Given that we have barely seen the sun for what seems like an eternity I'm not surprised that the village is busy with day trippers, and the buckets and spades are out.

Thank you for all of the messages of support, I very much appreciate them all. Onwards and upwards and all that, here we go with some new pics.

Russian foot artillery.

Russian cuirassiers.

French cuirassiers, vistula lancers and dragoons .... blast, just noticed the shadow!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Normal service is (almost) resumed!

One problem about living with a depressive illness, even in recovery, is that it can without warning take you right back down again. Thankfully such episodes are less common for me now days, but it can still happen, and when it does it can affect me in odd and unpredictable ways. My last post here, which I have now deleted, was a typical example of such behaviour. I could quite easily have picked up that drawer full of painted figures and thrown them in the bin! Thankfully no offers were received so I am taking the advice of my good friend Tony and putting them away for a short period while I refocus.

I won't waffle on here, I'll just take some time to let things settle back down again, which I think is the best course of action for the time being. It is after all a 'therapy' project, and there was always going to be ups and downs.