Saturday, 28 January 2017

More French infantry & how to add 'Ivy' to model buildings!

This weeks painting output has been another 12 French infantry figures, the last 8 figures to complete this unit are underway and I hope to finish them on Sunday morning before the family arrive for lunch. I find my Sunday morning paint sessions to be my favourite, nice and quiet, good coffee and I'll normally watch/listen to a few YouTube videos as I paint. I'm currently working through some 'Sharp Practice 2' videos in order to see if I can get any enthusiasm to try these rules. They do seem to give a lively fun game, and they work in numerous periods, so for example yesterday I watched a 15 minute overview of a game set during the American Civil War in which the Union force had to try and capture a coffin full of rifles! I think there was only about 80 figures per side (28mm), but the players were obviously enjoying themselves. The coffin - a lovely little model on a wagon, escorted by Confederate women - was taken on about turn 6 winning the game. I'm in the middle now of watching a longer demo game set during the Indian Mutiny, and I must say I'm finding that period very tempting. I have no doubt that if I could get into Sharp Practice 2 it would open up a lot of possibilities for me. Some of the mechanics of this 'large skirmish' game that I initially found a bit strange and hard to grasp are becoming more familiar to me the more games I watch, and there are a lot of 'add on' options that you build on as you master the basic game system. The opportunity to play ACW games without having to paint hundreds of figures is also tempting! However, some reviews have not been favourable, and there seems to be many omissions  and a fair bit of errata judging by the pages and pages of FAQ for Sharp Practice 2. I'm put off by the large numbers of dice that need to be thrown to work out a basic melee combat, in one example there was a total of 26 dice - red and blue- that needed to be rolled together! Again, I keep being drawn back to those wonderful Commands & Colors dice rolls, they just work so well at resolving both shooting and close combat as well as morale.

This French battalion for FIW will be the last of the infantry for this period, just a couple more guns per side and I can look to whats next. I'm committed to painting 28mm figures going forward, I just get so much pleasure from painting in this scale. I have placed an order with GMB designs for some very fine FIW flags, not cheap but the quality speaks for itself, just look at the Napoleonic flags HERE. Figures are by Front Rank Figurines.







Ivy tutorial.
I have been asked a couple of times to do a demo on how to achieve the 'climbing ivy' effect on model buildings. The key really is to use the excellent leaf flock produced by Noch, as it's very realistic and quite cheap. Decide where you want your ivy to go and simply use neat PVA glue to paint the pattern, start thicker at the bottom and then separate out into 'fingers' as you work up, it looks good on the sides of buildings and also on wall sections etc, especially effective on MDF buildings that can be quite plain and flat looking otherwise.

15mm MDF buildings by 4Ground, before and after.














12 comments:

  1. Splendid uniform and beautiful painting on these French troops...and great looking building!

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  2. I have so wanted to like the Too Fat Lardies offerings, but have to say that every one I've tried I've found massive holes and confusion in, so I've now given up.. am I alone I wonder (or just old and grouchy) in also finding the slightly messianic nature of their fans a little overwhelming!? :o))

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    1. Sharp Practice are proving tough going Steve, but I really do want to get to grips with them. The possibility of using the same set of rules for different periods (1700 - 1865) is tempting. I'm working through the dedicated 'Lardy' forum now and picking up a lot of tips, I plan to have a run through shortly. The idea is that the focus is on Command & Control, as with most Lardy sets, so other mechanisms are 'simplified', but they can be confusing!

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  3. Really lovely french troops, a tempting period if I wasn't already committed to so many other periods! Can't comment on sharp action, trying chosen men for napoleonic skirmish while we build our respective forces to black powder size, I like osprey games as even if they don't work out you've spent about the equivalent of 2pints of beer which I can cope with, oh and lovely ivy effect.
    Best Iain

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    1. Hi Iain,
      I'm thinking about expanding into Black Powder at some stage in the future possibly, but at the moment my head is full of Sharp Practice as I attempt to get to grips with them!

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  4. Very nice painting work
    I like much...

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  5. Nice painting and good tutorial.

    Yeah, TFL games seem to be a love-me-or-hate-me thing. Me, I am a Command and Colors guy, hands down.

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    1. Hi Dale, thanks for the comments. I agree 100% re Commands & Colors, they are the only rules that I have ever really fully got to grips with, so elegant in their apparent simplicity yet challenging to play. It's constantly in my mind to use them for this FIW project, but I can't work it out ...... yet!

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  6. GMB make some of the best flags out there imo. My own 15mm Confederates have some of them and they look splendid.

    Your French are a sight to behold! You paint their white/pearl coloured uniforms in a very believable fashion.

    I'm planning with a mate to try out Sharp Practice 2 in March with our 15mm ACW collections. I've read/heard more good than bad about the game, so am rather interested to see how it all plays compared to our staple ACW rules set (Regimental Fire & Fury).

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    1. Thanks once again Dai for your kind comments. Still waiting for GMB flags to arrive, but they certainly do look good, I like the ACW flags a lot. I am really tempted to do ACW next for SP.

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