Wednesday, 25 April 2018

On to bigger things!

Since my late Teens I have always told myself that one day I would own a large collection of Napoleonic soldiers. Lord knows I have painted and sold many thousands of figures over the years as my enthusiasm for wargaming - though not painting - has ebbed and flowed. I had recently been looking into painting and collecting 54mm figures for display, but I like to build units featuring the different types, fusiliers, grenadiers, light company etc. I started to paint some of the 18mm Blue Moon figures the other day, but it's a busy time with a lot going on right now and I found it hard to focus. I always find starting something from scratch demanding.

When I saw that Andy Copestake of Old Glory Uk was selling off his fantastic collection of 40mm Peninsular War figures by Sash and Saber, I was unable to resist contacting him. It struck me that 40mm is large enough to satisfy my 'collector' instinct and they will look great in the large glass fronted display cabinet that comes with our new home, while still being a practical size for 'old school' wargames once in a while. Upshot is that I am now about to become the new owner of these lovely figures, I am delighted with them and Andy has kindly allowed me to share some photos here. I fully intend to add to them as the range is quite extensive. They run to about 240 or so figures painted, plus another 80 odd with basic blocked in colours waiting to be finished. The French 2nd Hussars comprise 16 figures and are magnificent!

Going to be a while before I can get my hands on them as they will probably travel out to Spain with my Son in Law on 16th June for a safer journey in the lorry with our furniture. I'm going to order some extras via Andy's Old Glory UK webstore and hopefully they can be posted to Spain. I want to add British Heavy Dragoons to start with.

Here are a few images from Andy to begin with, and a shot of what will be our new home in Turis, Valencia by mid June.... if all goes to schedule. I have already picked my future hobby room on the 1st floor, large enough for a 6 x 4 table, a painting area and the display cabinet, it is lovely and bright.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Sourcing Vallejo paints in Spain.

It's been a busy few days, we have found our new home and started the legal process of the purchase. The house is in the centre of a wine producing region and as such is surrounded by vines on all sides, it feels very rural and typically Spanish, yet is only 30 minutes from the bustling centre of Valencia. The local village is Godelleta, just 6 kilometres away. A  bus service operates from Godelleta to Valencia daily. Our drive into Valencia to complete the paperwork was quite eventful, especially when still getting used to left hand drive on the wrong side of the road! The Spanish are very keen on the car horn if you show any hesitation. But Valencia is lovely, beautifully clean and the people are relaxed and friendly.

Today I managed for the first time to check my box of paints and brushes properly, all survived the long journey intact. I wanted to be sure that I will be able to source Vallejo paints relatively locally here - they are of course a Spanish company - and was surprised to find that there are actually two stockists in Valencia, and one in Gandia so I should have no problem in stocking up as and when I need to. I had already checked with Andy at Old Glory that I would be able to get more troops posted out to Spain so that's sorted. I will need more line infantry and command packs.

I have the first figures ready to undercoat, British line battalion. I'm simply going to take my time building conventional units and  see where it goes. I'm now thinking that 24 figure battalions work best, allowing for the addition of the flank companies. Just one issue to solve now, that of suitable bottle tops for holding the figures. I need to start again, but all the local Rioja still has corks so water bottle tops it will be.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Spanish hobby plans!

We are here in Calpe for 6 weeks and our property hunt begins in earnest with plenty lined up to see. It was hot enough yesterday for my youngest daughter to get a touch of sunburn on her shoulders despite parental warnings.

View from the roof terrace towards Calpe and the Mediterranean.

I have two hobby related projects planned for life in Spain. Firstly, 18mm Blue Moon Napoleonics, and a newly acquired game - 'Sails of Glory' that recreates ship to ship action in the Napoleonic period. For those who have not seen it, the game features superb models of Napoleonic fighting ships, and the game can be further expanded by a whole range of different ship models. They come pre painted and are very nicely done, but I intend to add a little more detail to them in due course such as staining the sails, basic rigging, ratlines etc. I may well use the models with a different set of rules such as 'Action Under sail' and must admit it was the quality of the ships that attracted me to the game. I acquired my set at a discount from Dave Ryan due to a slightly damaged box corner, and then added a further two larger ship models, one French and one British, the latter being HMS Victory as I simply could not resist them. Once settled I'll feature this game and a review on the blog.

My Blue Moon order arrived from Andy Copestake at Old Glory and the figures are superb, I would say easily on a par with AB Miniatures. With the Peninsular War in mind and to reduce postage going forward I ordered a fair few packs as you can see below! Some pretty serious painting lies ahead. I have decided to base them conventionally in units of 16 figures to begin with, but may expand in the future. I'm trying to decide on a set of rules to use.

The quality of the Blue Moon figures is superb. Thanks to 'Big Andy' at Old Glory UK for getting my order out in time to make the journey to Spain.

I have settled on a painting area - my box of paints and brushes all survived the long journey intact - the light is so good that I wont need a painting lamp here. I had my eyes tested for new glasses before we left the UK and was delighted to be told my close sight was perfect, and even my distance sight had improved slightly, I had expected some deterioration. So as usual I remove my glasses to paint figures, not bad for a 60 year old.

Now to try and source some blu tac and superglue out here, and I want to order new brushes and MDF bases may have to come from the Uk possibly.

I'm also delighted to say that I'm only 20 minutes away from Parcent where Paul of the 'Napoleonic Wargaming' blog lives, and we plan to meet up for a coffee when he and his wife are here in Calpe on one of their weekly shopping trips.

Finally......... the Rioja is beautiful and less than half the price of the Uk!