Saturday, 15 February 2020

More Horse for John!

Really enjoyed painting this little group of figures for John C. The horses are fine castings with well defined muscle tone. I'm sure John will tell us the manufacturer. Another delve into the box week to see what it reveals next. Bit shiny under the lamps as satin varnish still a bit wet, they can safely be given a coat of matt varnish if preferred of course.

The Baccus order has now arrived for my 6mm project so that blog will be updated with a few thoughts on basing/unit size and the painting of the first test unit shortly. I'll just say that figures are magnificent examples of sculpting and casting in the tiny scale.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

New brushes and different scales.

After many years of sticking with the same range of brushes I am currently trying out some different ones. Some of the brushes that I have been using daily for several years are just starting show their age, which is not bad considering the hours of painting I do each week. For 40mm figures I stick with a good size '0' for most of the work only using a '000' for highlighting the faces and hands. As I plan to paint more 6mm figures I wanted to find some new ones that could hold the tip well and carry a bit more paint, as my style in this scale has always been to dot and dash colours over a flat black base coat, trying leave some black showing to add depth and shade.

My wife found this range of Daler/Rowney 'Graduate' brushes in Hobbycraft and showed them to me via Face Time (isn't technology a wonderful thing?) so I asked her to get me a few to try out. I have to say I'm very impressed with them so far, they certainly hold a fine point and have a nice balance in the hand, I also like the white handles. painted a couple of strips of the 10mm Goblins yesterday, start to finish using a single 'liner' brush. I think they will be perfect for the 6mm WSS project, time will tell.

New kids on the block.

My brush holder tin of many years.
I will go and grab a few more of these in different sizes. And speaking of different sizes I'm now back painting in numerous figure scales again and really enjoying the changes. Currently on the painting desk are 10mm (fantasy), 20mm 18th century for John C, a couple of 28mm German crew for my Bolt Action half track and a test paint of one of the 40mm RHA officers. It struck me that they would make a good comparison photo. I can see why the early 20mm or 1/72nd scale became so popular with wargamers. The 28mm multi part plastics that seem to dominate the market now can be made in some pretty dynamic poses and each new release from Warlord Games or Perry Miniatures are clearly extremely well supported and profitable, but for me they do lack the charm of the earlier metal ranges. I recently posed the question on the FB Napoleonic page where there are some incredibly talented figure artists - I have to call them that - as to the huge investment of time and talent into painting plastic figures over metal and provoked an interesting debate, many younger wargamers are clearly in the plastic 'camp' whilst many older gamers remain firmly committed to metals.

Finally for now, I see so many photos of other painting areas, most are incredibly untidy with pots of paint and brushes all over the place,  stuff everywhere! Personally I can't work like that, as you can see I like to keep everything in it's place, paints stored upside down in compartments, brushes in the tin and all confined to a small area that can be quickly packed away if required. The IPad provides background viewing/listening as I paint. I just now need to find a new lamp that does the job as well as this one has for the last 2 years.

I am obsessively neat and tidy, can't help it!

10mm, 20mm, 28mm and 40mm.

Warlord plastics and 3D resin print.

Vintage 20mm metals.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

6th Cacadores.

My painting lamp bought in Spain is fading fast now so it's hard to get decent photos, especially on such a gloomy day, but here are the 6th Cacadores a rifle skirmish unit of 12 figures. Bought these some time back and thought it about time I got some paint on them. They are Flashing Blade 40mm figures, slightly chunkier than the Sash & Sabre and Perry 40mm's but fine as a unit on their own. There is more contrast and shading to the brown uniforms than is apparent here, it may the satin varnish or the fading lamp! I really like the unit but will stick with S&S/Perry in future. They are ready for work on the bases, as are the Marines behind them, thanks to Tony at East Riding Miniatures for his usual friendly and efficient service. The bases are two 2mm thickness MDF stuck together to match the rest of the collection, for the time being I am resisting the urge to re base.

This week I want to get the 10mm figures for James' project finished and some more figures for Old John. Andy at Old Glory UK has my RHA guns in stock now but while I'm waiting for the gun crews to be cast I might make a start on the Rocket battery crew conversions. I'm still waiting on Baccus for the 6mm order, they are extremely busy still.

Many thanks to Graham C for the 3D prints, I have a choice of officer pose now.

Can anyone recommend an efficient painting lamp please? I do prefer a lamp in the 'blue' or daylight spectrum.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Polish Winged Hussars.

20mm scale for the collection of John C (Old John). A pleasure to paint and I will add printed lance pennants to them. Next 10mm High Elves For Joshua, then I'll delve back into Johns box to see what I fancy doing. John has supplied full printed painting guides and there are many colourful troops to choose from.

I must be mad, but I'm seriously considering rebasing the entire 40mm collection on something more elegant that would also allow me to break down the battalions into 3 x 8 figure bases, the current bases are somewhat scruffy and were cut by hand, I also now have access to a wider choice of materials that would greatly enhance the appearance. I'm thinking of having a test run with the Marines first.

Lovely little Pendraken castings.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Royal Marines form up!

The first and second battalions of Royal Marines saw considerable action along the Spanish coastline during the Peninsular War, and Wellington was sufficiently impressed to request they be placed under his command, which was refused by the Admiralty.

I have represented this battalion in fairly good uniform order as they travelled mostly aboard ship and so were not subject to the rigours of field campaigning. In order to make up the 12 rear rank figures I included a line sergeant with replaced marine head, so there is a sergeant at either end of the unit. The bases will be the standard 120mm centre base with two flanking bases of 60mm when deployed in line. The MDF bases will be ordered from Tony at east Riding Miniatures today. Figures are all Sash & Sabre.

This brings the 40mm infantry total up to 8 battalions per side, each of 24 figures plus skirmisher bases, about another 36 figures per side.

Sash & sabre Royal Marine battalion, painted over 6 weeks Dec to Jan.

Next I will begin to tackle the Rocket Troop base along with the winged Hussars for John and the last of the Goblin archers.

Friday, 31 January 2020

A few different things on the go!

I'm still getting used to the grey skies and the rain, that and the first bout of flu for over two years has left me feeling somewhat low this week. I still managed to get some painting done and I'm excited about the box of 20mm figures that John C has sent to me for painting. They are mostly WSS and GNW vintage castings and first up on the table are six lovely old Minifigs Polish Winged Hussars, surely one of the most spectacular heavy cavalry types ever to grace a battlefield, I'm going to enjoy painting them. I'm not great on vintage figure details so if I get anything wrong I'm sure John will correct me here, not sure of make of the horses for example.

The last 4 Royal Marines are underway, I realised that I was one loading figure short for the rear rank - I have a couple of leftover firing poses - so I have had to draft in a sergeant of line infantry with marine head added. He does look a tad more chunky but will be fine. The Marines of course are from the Sash & sabre 'War of 1812' range.

This morning a parcel arrived from Graham C containing 12 resin 3D prints, 7 of which will be used for my rocket battery. The prints are great quality, if I have one reservation it is with the file for the open handed rocketeer, the hands are very close to the body and I will have to see if the rocket can be fitted down between in a convincing way. This is of course nothing to do with the printing but rather the conversion file. The alternative is to wait for the main crew to be cast in metal and convert the figure with upright sponge/rammer. I really like the alternative officer pose, hand on hip. These were resized to 37mm foot to eye so the previous pointing officer is very slightly taller but still usable as a six footer! It is great to finally have some of these resins in my hands and now I just need to be patient until Ian Smith gets the main gun crews to Griffin for moulding and casting but I have plenty to keep myself occupied meantime.

Finally for this week, more Goblins for James 'For Joshua' charity project. I'm getting into my stride now with these and it's fun painting them. I just need to paint another 18 archers and then it's on to the High Elves.

Wolf riding Goblins!

Goblin command pack.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Goblins, Marine progress & BA houses.

I received my order from Pendraken Miniatures within a few days of ordering and I must say that the 12mm scale castings are excellent. This was to be my first attempt at painting Fantasy subjects in over 40 years of figure painting so I was a bit concerned about how t approach it. I decided to start with one of the Goblin packs with assorted weapons, 24 figures, which I undercoated my usual black. I then just went with my instinct and worked through the unit until I ended up with what you see below, A few highlights to make them pop a bit here and there and overall I am happy with the result. Next up is a 24 figure Goblin archer unit, followed by the command pack and a Goblin wolf rider unit! Then it's on to the High Elves. This will be my contribution towards James' charity project 'For Joshua'.

I hope they look right!

The 40mm Marines are coming along well, 16 down now with 8 to go. The satin varnish really lifts them. The unit should be completed by the end of next week and after that I should be in a position to make a start on the RHA rocket battery crew which Graham C is kindly printing for me.

Note: Drum detail needs correcting to red edges.

Finally this week I added some of the excellent Noch leaf to the cheap MDF buildings I bought for Bolt Action. I find it makes a big difference and helps to disguise some of the pegs used in construction.  Next job is to add a few vintage French posters here and there, simply resized in Word and printed before finishing the edges of the bases. I still have one more building to construct which is a ruin.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

First 6 marines painted.

It's taken me a few weeks to get back into my full painting mode but the first six of the Royal Marines battalion are now done and I'm well into the next six. I'm really impressed with the castings and the poses and think they have turned out well, as usual with the Sash & sabre figures they have lots of character and wonderful faces. I might yet brighten up the trousers but not sure, I'll see how they look when more are painted.

With plenty of time on my hands now that we are settled back in I have ordered some figures from Pendraken 12mm ranges as my contribution towards James' 'For Joshua' project. Should be here with me tomorrow so looking forward to getting started on them. I'll be doing Goblin spearmen and wolf riding cavalry and some 'Goodies' - High Elven archers and horsemen. As this represents my first attempt at Fantasy I'm keen to see what I can do with them.

I'm also going to be painting more figures for 'Old John', 20mm Les Higgins WSS. It's been a few years since I last painted for John and profits will be ploughed back into my own projects so I'm delighted to have the opportunity again.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Big ideas!

This morning I got the first chance to take a proper good look in the boxes at my 40mm figures following their long - and at times rather bumpy - car journey back from Spain. Not so much as a bent or broken bayonet, every base remains glued down to the bottom of the boxes and the next job will be to gently remove them and give the bottom of each base a rub down with sandpaper to remove any remaining dried glue. I used PVA glue and only a single small blob per base so that they could be removed without damage.

I think that it has done me good to have them packed away for a while because peering into those boxes again reminded me of how much I value the big chunky figures. The Royal Marines are now back on the painting table and I reckon it will take me about another three weeks to complete the 24 figure unit.

I have quite a few ideas buzzing around my head at the moment with regards as to how I could get a small game up and running on a 6 x 4 table, I'm waiting to see how the new terrain ordered from Simon at S&A scenics will measure up, given that many 28mm figures these days stand at around 30mm and that my S&S/Perry 40's are closer to 37mm foot to eye level I have a feeling that it might work. The buildings featured in the previous post also given me an idea, but I'll get to that in a later post.

RHA Rocket battery.
I'm giving a lot of thought now to the building of the rocket launchers for my RHA base. This will be a scratch building project and as such I'm going for a the simpler type of launcher rather than the wheeled frame with ladder. I did consider milk bottles, as suggested by Tony (of course!) but think I need launchers. I saw a clever image recently featuring a rocket leaving the launcher, in mid flight, what appeared to be a pipe cleaner formed the swirling smoke trail and supported the rocket, very good indeed and something I will look into further for my base. Graham now has the files and and it won't be long before my modest ambition to add RHA to my collection becomes a reality. Next step is to get some brass rod in various sizes ordered up along with a tube of Green Stuff. First time I have actually seen one of the 3D files and I'm still amazed at the technology, I have been revolving the images to view from different angles whilst chuckling like a deranged person to myself, it's quite mad. Screenshots of the revised officer pose and gunner loading rocket.