Tuesday, 18 June 2019

1st Foot Guards WIP and RHA resin print.

I have had these Perry Miniatures sitting in my drawer, and having used 3 to complete the previous battalion decided to go ahead and build a 24 figure unit of the 1st Foot Guards as they appeared in 1809. I find the pose quite stiff and formal with no variation other than the choice of separate heads, but for such a disciplined bunch as the Guards they will do very well. The first 8 are painted, 4 more underway and I have another 4 assembled in the drawer. They will need the command group of 2 standard bearers, officer and drummer boy, plus 4 of the flank company figures to complete this all Perry battalion. After that I'm back to Sash & Sabre for more cavalry, and a couple of guns for the RHA figures.

1st Guards at Corunna, mine will have trousers without gaiters.

Cuffs need attention with piping to upper above the buttons.
Back to Blighty!
This could just be the last battalion I get to paint in Spain as we are planning to return to the Uk around end of July, possibly for 6 months but more likely for a couple of years at least. No regrets at all, Spain is a beautiful country and the people are wonderful, the climate suits us, although August can be blisteringly hot. The bottom line is simply that we are missing our family and friends far more than we thought we would and need to get back to them. I also miss real Ale (badly) and the hobby scene.
Perry packaging: bayonets and muskets bent into a 'U' shape.

Every one arrives like this but no problem bending back into shape - the metal is extremely flexible.

Each 40mm figure arrives in it's own little black box with label, and packed with this material that I really hate!
Royal Horse Artillery crew - progress report.
Graham C sent me the first images of the 3D printed RHA officer, I'm really excited by this project and the amazing technology, and can see much potential for producing unique additions to current 40mm ranges where there are gaps, Portuguese in metal being one area. Soon as I receive a couple of the RHA officers I'll get them painted up here. Images show the resin prints and an example undercoated and inked.
Glowing green as he emerges from the 3D printer.

Three of them to begin with. Graham tells me these took 12 hours to print, but same time for just a single figure. He's going to print a couple more as Ian and I will go with resin for our gun crews. I have no idea how this works, but I am totally in awe of the technology!

Rear view, primed and inked.

Front view. 

Thursday, 13 June 2019

RHA gunner teaser - 3D sculpt #2.

While we wait with baited breath to see the first resin prints of the 40mm RHA officer, Ian sent me this 'teaser' of the first gunner figure.... I guess it has to begin somewhere! I remain fascinated by the technology that enables a model soldier sculpt to be created on a computer, Digital Sculpting certainly is the future, but the skills of traditional sculptors will not be replaced, I can see them being complimentary to each other. This is of course the early stages of the process as the basic anatomy is created and then the layers of uniform and equipment built up. This is the website of the guy who produces these wonderfully animated sculpts should you wish to see more: http://digitalsculpt.se/

We have been discussing what we might do beyond the artillery crew, I am really keen to produce some Portuguese infantry, line and Cacadores down the line, but we will focus on the RHA crew to begin with. If there are any other 40mm collectors out there who might wish to avail themselves of  some RHA gun crews please let me know as Ian and I are happy to share the investment.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

45th Foot completed, a parade of British infantry and basing decision..

The 45th Notts. Regiment completes British battalion number 5, with just the 5 Highland command to complete battalion number six, each of 24 figures. It's taken over a year to get to this stage and I have finally used up every Sash & Sabre figure that came from Andy when I first arrived in Spain.

I was actually 3 figures short, so had to use 3 Perry line infantry to make up the numbers. They are slightly thinner and in my opinion less well animated than the S&S castings but slotted in pretty well apart from one thing ....... they are out of step! Never mind, I only used one in the front rank and two in the rear so it's not too apparent, but I'm sure the sergeant will be having a word with them. Apart from another light infantry base planned for later for me now the future is Sash & Sabre.

Please see below re bases, now they can form line with command in the centre.

Note the 3 Perry infantry used to make up the numbers on this battalion. Out of step!

Next I'm back to S&S for the Highland command pack, more Heavy Dragoons and the French Cuirassiers.

Currently the collection, British & French, are evenly balanced, consisting of :

12 x 24 figure infantry battalions (42nd Highlanders require 5 command figures to complete) = 288 figures.
6 x skirmisher bases (21 French + 19 British as the 60th rifle bases are 6 figures each) = 40 figures.
6 x 8 figure cavalry units = 48 cavalry.
10 x Mounted command figures with 6 foot figures.
20 x gun crews with 4 guns.

In addition there are:
1 base of 12 Spanish infantry.
1 bloody huge 'captured' French 12pdr drawn by 4 oxen with 8 Spanish character figures/gunners.

For a grand total so far of 374 foot  + 58 mounted = 432 figures and 5 guns. Not bad at all in 40mm scale and there is plenty more planned. To be honest I really have little interest in much else, the pleasure I get from painting these large castings exceeds anything I have done before.

The British Infantry .... so far.

42nd foot minus S&S command pack.

3rd east Kent Regiment 'The Buffs' my Grandfathers regiment in WW1.

Reworking the infantry bases.
Finally, I have been giving some thought to basing/formation. I like the big DBN bases but there is one thing now bothering me ...... my battalions can't form line with the command group in the centre! For DBN this is less important of course, but it would also give me the option of playing more conventional games with 24 figure battalions able to form in column or line. So I did a test on the 45th Regt by simply soaking the rear large base in hot water, removing the figures intact from the sabot bases I use and replacing them on half size bases. It took no time at all, a bit of trimming here and there and a touch of my filler mix around the edges and the result is as you see below, just what I wanted. The two half bases can of course be used together as a single DBN base....result. Now I just need to give the other 11 battalions British and French, the same treatment! Not strictly rebasing - something I have sworn not to do with these - but a simple 'cut and shut' job! I know they are slightly scruffy looking but they are practical for picking up and I may well dress those edges once they are all done.

Monday, 3 June 2019

French Voltigeurs.

Shaz returned from a week back in the Uk visiting the kids this morning, early flight from Gatwick to Valencia, metro to Valencia railway station and a pleasant train journey down the coast to Gandia where I met her for lunch. I was of course glad to have her back, but also glad to have the IPhone 5 back because I just cant take half decent photos on either the Cannon or the smaller older phone that I use when she's away, hard as I try. So I have replaced the images of the 43rd light infantry base in the previous post with much sharper ones and took a few snaps of the latest skirmisher base I completed yesterday.

This base represents Voltigeurs of the 15eme de Ligne, they are wearing tatty 1807 white uniforms with black lapels, piping to turnbacks and cuffs. I assumed the light company would have yellow collars (the battalion companies wore black collars). The epaulette arrangement is based on an image I found on the net, they should possibly be yellow but the green/yellow arrangement does look nice and makes a change! These are again all Perry figures.

Next up is the job of finishing off the 45th Notts. Regt who have been just 3 figures short of the full 24 for some time. As I have now used up all of my Sash & Sabre British infantry I'm painting 3 Perry line infantry and will probably fiddle things around to they mix into the rear rank of the second base, they're really not a bad match, maybe just slightly slimmer, but I prefer the more animated S&S figures.

The thick bases are mostly practical as they allow me to safely up these heavy figures.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

43rd Light Infantry - composing the base.

Had plenty of time on my hands this week so got a fair few hours painting in. These Perry Miniatures were painted over three days, not sure how long they took but I watched/ listened my way through the entire series of 'Hatton Garden' ( I worked there years ago and the safe deposit facility that was robbed was just a few doors down), followed by a couple of factual documentaries about how the police caught up with the perpetrators, a couple of History Cold Case episodes and a 90 minute documentary about how the Kray twins built a huge financial empire from inside Wandsworth prison. I must also confess to having watched a couple of episodes of the old 1970 series UFO ....ahem, purely nostalgia you understand! Anyway, that must add up to a lot of hours spent painting these seven figures. I think they were worth it.

They represent a unit of 'SK' infantry under DBA rules, so my standard 7 figures on the 120mm base for such. I used a more staggered basing on the French Voltiguer bases but for these I went for a more formal loose firing line effect. I could not make up my mind if I should place the skinny officer figure in the front or the chunky sergeant, but after a bit of trial and error went with the officer as he is a real character and in my minds eye is giving the order to fire by lowering his sword. I'm pleased with this base and will be adding a second base of the 43rd later in the year.

 I had 4 Perry Voltigeurs from the original lot of painted figures I bought from Andy over a year ago now, a couple were in white uniform coats so I thought I would make up a full seven figure 'SK' base in white coats. I just need to add two more voltigeurs firing/loading and the magnificent Perry 'French Voltigeur cornet standing in habit'. A bit of further research is required regarding the white uniforms, I do recall a couple of French units in white in the Peninsular, but need to check facing colours and other details.

Edit: just spotted another of those casting worms at end of officers sword...it has been removed!

These 4 were already painted. I like the white coats.

Prepped up in a grey dry brush before the off white goes on.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Perry Miniatures 40mm's first impressions.

Yes, you read that right, the Perry Miniatures finally arrived on day 28 from posting! I must admit I was getting a little concerned as the average wait here for standard post from the Uk is about 10 to 12 days but at least I have them now. As usual I took my card down to the Correos in Ador which is only open for collection Monday to Friday 1.30pm to 2pm. Typical of Spain it's an open office, no security screens, cigarettes and ashtray on the desk along with a muddle of papers, labels, packages etc. You are supposed to show ID so I always take my passport, but the woman behind the desk just waves it away with a smile. It can be a culture shock here to walk into a post office or bank, the first thing one notices is that there are no screens to be seen at all, business is conducted across open desks, cash passes back and forth within grabbing distance, there are no security guards and the employees wear their own smart clothes - no corporate uniforms here thank you very much. I'm not sure what that says about Spanish culture or possibly UK culture?

Anyway once I had returned home and given the dog her second walk of the day I set to opening the box, everything securely packaged in typical Perry fashion. The first thing that struck me was that each individual figure is in it's own little black cardboard box. I'm really not keen on the packing material within the boxes, it's the stuff gamers use to mark smoke as it can be pulled apart. I find the casting gets annoyingly caught up in it and removing them the stuff gets snagged in bayonets and other pointy bits. Once extricated from the material the next thing you spot are the numerous little casting 'worms', again this is something that you come to expect from Perry metals, they just need a careful check over and most will fall away with a scrape of a fingernail, a few will need a scalpel to remove.

These figures cost £4.50 each, more expensive than Sash & Sabre castings, and are of course excellent in detail, very slightly slimmer than S&S but a good match overall. The British Light Infantry figures require right arms to be glued on or muskets glued into the sockets, they fit reasonably well and allow for a slight variation on the musket position. The right arm on the sergeant holding his musket to his side troubled me a little in getting the fit right, he still does not appear totally natural in his pose somehow. Overall though they are lovely figures and will paint up well, I'll make a start today I think. As said previously my light infantry bases are of 7 figures on a 120mm x 70mm (deeper than line infantry). I find this looks just about right. They will be painted as the 43rd Monmouthshire Regiment with white facings and a second base will be added later complete with distinctive pelisse wearing officer. Meantime I intend to return to Sash & sabre for a stock up.

Note the officer in his special little case, I like the boxes, takes me back to Hinchliffe days!

A rough idea of base composition.

Note the sergeants arm position, I guess it will grow on me.
RHA officer update.
We are about there now as you can see below, ready for a first test print. The crossbelt has been removed and the sword hilt enlarged to match the scale size of the hands. I have noticed the thickness of the end of the cuffs, but lets see how he looks when printed as I'm looking at the image about 120mm scale. The face is brilliant and if he retains that detail in the print he will be amazing.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

42nd & 92nd Foot, enough tartan for the time being!

Here are the 92nd and 42nd Foot together to illustrate the different tartan impressions. The 92nd look a bit darker in reality, the satin varnish I think is responsible for this, but I'm happy now when I step back a foot and look at them together. The Sash & Sabre Highland command pack comprises 2 standard bearers, officer, piper and sergeant to fill the remaining gaps, three of them wearing trews.

I'm a bit stuck now as the Perry's have still not arrived after 25 days and my wife returned to the UK for a week yesterday and I had planned to get a lot of painting done. I'll give it a few more days to see if they turn up before contacting Perry miniatures to see what can be done.

Shaz carried the French 1/72nd battalion that I painted for Tony back to the Uk in her handbag as I thought it would be safer and quicker if they were posted to him from there. They were  individually wrapped, each with a short piece of plastic straw protecting the fragile Les Higgins bayonets. I decided to attach a printed picture of one of Tonys units to the outside to illustrate what was inside before they went through the scanner and this caused quite a stir among the customs guys at Valencia airport. I don't think they had seen model soldiers before because at one point three of them were looking at the picture, all smiling, one of them said as the package was handed back "No bang bang on the plane" which made everybody laugh..... Shaz was suitably embarrassed, but all in a good cause.

No Bank Holiday here in Spain on Monday (they have far too many anyway), so I'll be down checking that buzon again tomorrow!