Sunday, 23 September 2018

Interim post - IPhone 7 v DSLR photos.

I'm going to reply to comments to my previous post, thank you for taking the time to do so, it is always appreciated and helps loads with motivation :)

I wan't too happy with the photos though, when I came to Spain my youngest daughter allowed me to hang on to her Cannon DSLR and I must have spent hours messing around with the settings in order to try to get the hang of it. I just took a few shots on my IPhone 7 that I tend to use for my Facebook page, which is mostly about our new life in Spain, and they are so much more focused! OK, so I'm never going to be a photographer, but my main aim here is to present half decent images of my growing 40mm collection. Today I have been working on the bases of the 92nd foot and this has carried over to the 60th Rifles. The intention is to bring all of the collection together using my new static grass mix and Vallejo Flat Earth. Note all will need a final drybrush on the groundwork. The lighting was poor , but the images so much sharper, I think it will be the phone in future!

92nd (Gordon) Highlanders with newly painted mounted officer and 60th Rifles.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Mostly basing, some painting.

My blog seems to be settling back into a regular Friday update again, I find this helps with motivation as I can see week by week how the armies are growing and what I'm achieving. I have written a longish post on how I plan to use my troops on the tabletop as I'm close to that stage now, but I think I'll hold that over as a Sunday 'extra' and meantime record whats been done this week and what's on the agenda for next week.

This morning is a lovely one here in Spain, the temps are set to be in the high twenties again so we are off to explore Gandia beach today and find a nice seafood restaurant to have lunch. The drive through the orange groves is always a pleasure, but more so now that the trees are heavy with fruit that is slowly beginning to ripen and we are looking forward to experiencing the time when the air becomes rich with the aroma of the oranges.

View across the orange groves towards Gandia beach, our destination for today.
This week has been mostly spent getting the basing texture on the French infantry and touching up the numerous figures that were described as 'blocked in' by Andy, in fact they were not far off being finished and I have been highlighting coats, brightening belts and bringing out the faces etc. I'm in the process of organising them into 12 figure companies as you can see below, still need to repaint some pom poms to match, but they are nearly there. Apart from this I also painted two more British mounted officers, one being the colonel of the 92nd Highlanders, I could not resist replacing a bicorne head with a highland bonnet! I hope that by the end of next week I will have all of the French command figures painted, some are already undercoated ready to start.

Working in 12 figure batches attempting to bring them all up to the finished stage.

120 infantry, +16 voltiguers not shown here.

This is how I want them all to look once finished!

Just off the painting desk. No varnish as yet.

Next up are these two fine French officers plus  two more Eagle bearers.
Aside from the above I'm pleased to say that my first order for Vallejo paints sent from the Uk (yes I know, it's a bit mad as they are made here in Spain), arrived in just 6 days via priority mail. This is the Napoleonic boxed set of 16 shades, I have 3 more on the way via Royal Mail international so that will take a few days longer, but for a total delivery of just £6.00 for the 3 sets I think that's very good service. The other 3 sets are the Equestrian shades, the Flesh tones and the 'Basics' set, all contain very useful colours with a few duplicates such as black and white but then I use a lot of those colours. It's good to know that I can still order my modelling supplies from the UK with no problem.

Friday, 14 September 2018

A productive weeks painting.

My wife left for a week visiting friends and family back in the Uk last Friday and is due home tomorrow. I have missed her a lot, it's been very quiet but I have managed to spend a fair bit of time painting. Sharon will be bringing back to Spain the next batch of 40mm Sash & Sabre figures as well as a few eBay orders for basing materials such as static grasses and grass tufts etc. The figure order (from Andy at Old Glory) includes:

British Heavy Dragoons in bicornes plus command pack.
Command packs for French and British infantry, 2 of each.
British flank company marching ( to add to existing battalions)
British and French mounted command packs.

I also have a goodly quantity of Vallejo paints coming via eBay. I'm running low on the basic shades so took the plunge and put in an order for the Napoleonic box set, the equestrian set, the 'basic' set and the flesh tones set, a total of 64 pots of paint! These have been posted directly to Spain at less cost than I had imagined, and are due between 20th and the 24th September....... fingers crossed.

Since the painted figures arrived in Spain when we were back in Calpe I have added the following, mostly since being settled in my own home with my old familiar things around me:

16 x British Light Dragoons, not decided which regiment as yet, still looking for a suitable flag, probably via GMB designs. Meantime the standard bearer appears to be making a rude gesture towards the French 2nd Hussars!

Surviving example of a Light Dragoon banner, post Waterloo.
16 x Highlanders, 92nd regiment, including 4 grenadiers painted in a single day yesterday, bringing the total strength to 28 infantry.

5 x Royal Artillery crew and 1 gun.

Very pleasing total. The 92nd still await their mounted commander, who will be wearing the feathered bonnet.

Once the bases are fully coloured, grassed and highlighted the rocks and stones will be far less noticeable.

I also still have a unit of line Chassuer a Cheval in the draw to paint also.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Royal Artillery crew & 9pdr.

I have just completed the five Royal Artillery crew as you see below, just varnish required. They took a lot of painting to get them to this stage where I'm happy with them.  I'll move onto more British Cavalry next. I tried to match the existing gun and crew as closely as I could, the gun might just need a little more work.

This morning my wife has flown back to the UK for a week visiting friends and family, so as it's just me, the cat and the dog here I intend to get a good bit of painting done. Shaz has taken a fair few bits back with her that she won't be bringing back again so with spare room/weight in the suitcase I plan to get in some orders for hobby items that I need.  I need basing materials, static grasses, tufts etc in order to match the existing bases, and I'm looking at some large tree kits, possibly woodland Scenics. She will also be bringing back another 2.5kg of 40mm figures!

Royal Artillery crew and 9pdr, 40mm by Sash & Sabre. Just noticed I have not painted the gun sergeants stripes! Blue appears slightly lighter shade in these pics than in reality.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The state of the French Army & more Dragoons.

I have just about finished the first 8 Light Dragoons now, still need a final detail check and tidy up then ready for varnishing and base painting. I do have another 8 in the bags but going to take a break as they are really demanding to paint with all that lace! Next will be another Royal Artillery 9lb gun and 5 crew to be followed by a unit of 8 heavy dragoons that are on the way from Sash & Sabre via Old Glory UK.

As I also have more British command packs coming to round off the 4 regiments with standard bearers and mounted officers etc it will soon be time to turn my attention back to the French. I laid out my initial 4 battalions of painted figures for some photos and to see where the gaps need to be filled in. The front 2 battalions are mostly complete save for an Eagle bearer in the second unit. The rear 2 battalion both need officers, Eagle bearers, drummers and mtd officers to finish them, again all due here shortly. These battalions will be BIG, both in stature and numbers! Still a fair bit of basing to complete as yet. In addition to those on the table I have almost enough basing infantry for another battalion still sitting in the drawer, but these will form part of phase 2, maybe next year as I do still plan to tackle a 'Tank War' Eastern Front project (Bolt Action armour rules).

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

British Light Dragoons.

I have long had a thing about the early British Light Dragoons in those lovely Tarleton helmets. I'm planning a full unit of 16 of these figures, but for the time being will paint just 8, to include an officer and trumpeter. It only just occurred to me that I had given no thought to which regiment I want these to represent, I simply followed the single painted example that came with the collection, but I will do a bit of research before I paint the command figures.

These 4 were painted over 4 sessions and three days, I found them quite an enjoyable challenge. In 40mm scale the detail is quite well defined so one needs to be careful not to over-paint the lace for example, and a fairly dry brush is required to achieve this to avoid blocking in the lace and straps etc. The cuff lace was the final challenge for me, having messed it up by trying to paint tiny white loops I opted for painting in small circles of white and when dry spotting in the blue in the centre, this gave far more convincing results. I kept the faces simple and in my own style, avoiding the clown like faces of some of my Highlanders (which were subsequently toned down!). They took a lot of work in terms of hours spent on them, but I'm confident they will sit proudly beside the rest of my 40mm figures once fully completed, varnished and based.

I have some ideas now on how I want to build my table, one decision is that given the fragility (and indeed cost) of these large figures a textured surface is out, the less handling they take the better and I want to be able to slide them around via the bases. That said I don't want a flat shade of green either, so some kind of painted surface with variation in shade is the way I'm going. What I have in mind initially is a very subtle grid, 6" squares - inspired by Ross of course - for the simple rules I want to use. My brief to myself at this stage is to try to produce a gridded table that looks like a conventional table, and I have numerous ideas of which more later.