Monday, 30 December 2019

Marines on the painting table!

Don't you just love it when you get those first couple of colours on a new unit, long way to go but you know it's going to be rewarding.

Yesterday following a very lively and enjoyable family Christmas with eleven of us for Dinner I found time to set up a painting space in the kitchen table. I had been itching to get the brushes out again and start painting the Sash & sabre Royal Marines. As usual they are very nice castings with minimal cleaning up required and should paint up a treat. The Cacadores featured previously have been put aside until after the Marines, unless of course the RHA beat them to it, but they will get painted eventually.

As mentioned earlier I got the standard 20 figure pack which includes in this case an officer, sergeant and drummer figure, plus an additional 5 figure pack to enable me to make a 24 figure unit, but I am now having some second thoughts about the size of this particular unit. As Marines I am wondering if I would be better to make them a 20 figure unit, 2 bases of 10 rather than my usual 12, given the special status of the troop type. I need to research a bit more, but my gut feeling is that rather than shoulder to shoulder formation these guys would just shake down a little more? They will be a firing line unit, front rank firing rear rank reloading in 2 poses, reaching for cartridge and pouring contents of cartridge into the barrel, the latter being something a little different from the usual ramming pose. As they won't carry colours I'm having a think about how I want to place the figures for best effect.

Space management.
I have been giving a lot of thought as to what I want to do in the New Year.  I need to find a solution that allows me to get some of my figures on the table, even if it is just small games with say 6 to 8 units per side on a 6 x 4 table, which is about as big as is practically possible in the new home. It is clear that to make this work I'm going to have to use 28mm scale buildings and terrain, and I have been looking at a few examples of this solution in use, it seems workable, especially when buildings are placed upon plinths in order to give the height a slight boost of around 10mm. The commercial buildings I am looking at have a height of 125mm anyway which I think will work with 40mm figures just about. Simon at S&A scenics makes some fine 'more realistic' large trees which stand at 4.5" and he has told me that any of his terrain items can be made to order in any scale upon request. I want and need to keep things quite simple here, maybe 2 or 3 buildings on bases that will each hold a battalion, woods and vineyards plus roads that are more tracks and possibly home made. The big issue though is how to model hills. As I plan to game scenarios from the excellent One Hour Wargames book possibly with DBN rules I'm going to have to find a solution to represent different shape hills without breaking the bank. To look 'right' any hills will need to be quite tall to sit alongside the building models, again Simon tells me he can do this for me, but I need to be bringing everything in on budget so may need to look for another solution, possibly home made in maybe 3 basic shapes/sizes that can approximate to those used in the scenarios. Research continues.

Monday, 23 December 2019

The Merry Christmas post!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. It's good to be back home again and I look forward to attending some shows next year and hopefully meeting some familiar names and faces.

Rochester Cathedral and the historic High Street, just a 10 minute bus ride from our new home, bit shocking to find everything open on a Sunday after a couple of years in Spain! Lovely atmosphere there last night though, I think we will be happy here.

Saturday, 21 December 2019

A road trip.

We are slowly settling into our new home in Rochester, Kent. I finally brought the figures in from the car yesterday and can see no sign of damage, not even a broken bayonet which is pretty good going for a 1000 mile road trip from Spain, through France and across the Channel via Le Shuttle. The journey was not an experience I would wish to repeat in a hurry, we left Villalonga at 6pm Sunday and arrived in Kent around 1pm Wednesday, driving mostly by night when the roads were quiet, grabbing a couple of hours sleep here and there in the car as and when needed. We did book into one hotel in France and slept from 2pm until midnight when we got back on the road again. Needless to say this left us all feeling quite shattered, (my Son in Law was driving the 7.5 ton lorry in front of us and my eldest daughter did most of the driving of my car).

Due to a cock up on my part the anti rabies shots for Sheldon the cat and Poppy the dog had been given slightly late so the Pet Passports were invalid for another 9 days as a result of which we had to book them both into a Pet Hotel in Calais and will return to collect them on Friday 27th December. That was an interesting experience as we don't speak French save a few words, but the place was nice and surprisingly rural considering it was only 10 minutes from the Channel Tunnel terminal. It cost us an extra 450 euros for both but they will be safe there until we collect them.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Packing up day for the figures.

Everything is now boxed up for the journey home on Monday morning. I bought several large and strong boxes and simply added a blob of PVA glue to the bottom of each base so everything is securely stuck down but will be easy to remove with a sharp knife later. Fingers crossed for no breakages. Made a quick video of them all before they went in the boxes.

We will be renting a house for the first year in Rochester Kent (not far from Posties Rejects I believe), to be close to family and will then decide where we want to go after that. Hope to meet some of you in the New Year when I get to attend some shows again, which I'm really looking forward to. 

Friday, 6 December 2019

'Flashing Blade' 40mm Cacadores.

Things are getting somewhat stressful, so much to do, so much to organise, so it was nice to find the Correos card in our postbox yesterday informing me that I had a parcel waiting me and it could only be the 12 Cacadore riflemen I had ordered a couple of weeks back. I can only guess that this was intended as a fuller range of 40mm figures at some point in the past, maybe sales did not live up to expectation, I don't really know, but at least we have these excellent castings to add to our Peninsular collections.

I did not really need another skirmish unit but could not resist them so I ordered 12 figures to make up my usual 2 base unit of 6 riflemen each. They are nice clean castings and fit well with sash & sabre and Perry, maybe just a tad chunkier but not by much. At £3.00 per figure they sit between S&S and Perry on the cost front. Some figures have cast on heads, others have a choice of 4 different heads including bare head and bandanna head for contrast.

With just 10 days before we leave here I'm not sure I'm in the mood for painting right now but might just undercoat a few to help take my mind off things this week. I'll be using the excellent 1979 publication pictured below by our very own 'Foy' as a uniform reference, together with selected internet images for colour guides etc. The figures seem to represent Cacadores of the post 1810 period wearing the British style shako.