Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Spanish guerrillas & gun.

I removed the previous post as I was not happy with the content, just seemed too repetitive. This blog has always been about painting figures first and foremost, but I'm aware that showing too much of the same things over and again can get a bit boring for followers. The collection video went on Facebook's Napoleonic page and YouTube so that a wider audience can view it should they wish.

So, here we have the first 6 painted Spanish Guerrillas by Perry Miniatures, with 6 more on the way. I decided against using the monk figure on this base but I will probably add a base of Spanish monks at a later stage so he will get used. I went for quite bright shades on these, based on Goggled images and the  Spanish tradition of not holding back on colourful clothing!

I had a few Spanish gunners hanging about since I bought the start of the collection from Andy Copestake early last year, so decided they would make a useful irregular Spanish gun team, just a bit of fun really. The gun was also a spare, not sure where it came from, the carriage is a lot smaller than the Sash & Sabre British guns, but lets just assume it has been acquired by the Spaniards so they intend to use it. Bit of conversion work among the gunners, head swaps and the rammer/sponge needs finishing off with green stuff.

On the subject of artillery my RHA officers have still not yet arrived, I'll give to the end of the week (28 days) and if they still have not arrived I will have to ask Graham to print me 3 more and I'll pay the £10 tracked/recorded postage that generally gets stuff here in 4 days, worth it to me. Ian Smith and myself have been discussing the rest of the crew, 4 more digital sculpts at a cost of 280 Euros split between us. I think the plan may then be to make the crew available to others with any proceeds split between Ian, Graham C and myself as they will be unique in 40mm  scale and Andy Copestake, UK stockist of the sash & Sabre range does seem to be shifting a fair few of the Peninsular Napoleonic range.

On the painting desk now are 7 more French Voltiguers to be followed by the completion of French infantry regiment number 7 using Perry figures including a couple of characters, a sapper and drum major to add a touch more colour to the unit.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Improving the ship models - part 1.

Weirdly unpredictable this Spanish postal service. I have been waiting almost 3 weeks (tomorrow) for the 40mm RHA officer prints to arrive from Graham C, yet an Order from Perry Miniatures arrived in just 7 days. I have no doubt they will arrive within the next few days but there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to delivery times here.

I picked up the Perry's today, they consist of 7 Spanish Guerrillas and 7 more French Voltiguers, every one a gem as usual in it's own little black box.

On order I also have more Sash & Sabre figures, Highland infantry command (5), Cuirassier troopers (7) and Cuirassiers command (3). These may be a couple more weeks and I'm having them delivered to my daughter in the UK.

But to return to the plastic Sails of Glory Napoleonic ships for now, I have been doing a bit of work on two of them to see what can be done. The sails got a wash of thin paint, the masts were painted in a more accurate shade and the yards painted black. I then added the basic standing rigging using Rod Langtons excellent guide. I'm now searching for a method of replicating ratlines before I add some of the running rigging in buff cotton.

So far so good I think, and certainly an improvement on the basic models. I think the ratlines will make a huge difference to the appearance, disguising as it will some of the nasty white plastic behind the sails. Current thinking is possibly dyed medical gauze or curtain netting, hard to find in Spain though. Any ideas chaps most welcome.

A few pics, one Spanish and the other a 1st rate British ship.

I think the darker sails on the Spanish ship look better?


Starting to look better I think.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Napoleonic Naval ideas & that Langton Frigate from 2013!

I have been giving some serious thought to having a go at a bit of Napoleonic Naval, inspired as I have been by the recent shenanigans on Jolly Broom Man's blog. I have had the Sails of Glory set for over a year now but struggled to get to grips with all of the card tokens, the control panel and the order cards, I also find the printed sea bases somewhat detracts from the look of the thing, much preferring either Langton style sea bases or transparent bases. The ship models are quite nice, coming pre painted as they are. By adding ratlines and basic rigging and colouring the sails slightly they could be made even better I think. The base game comes with 4 ships and I added a 1st rate to each side. Here are a few shots of the game components and the additional ships. You can see that the Heroe has been given a bit of paint on her sails and very usefully she can be simply removed from her SoG base and used on her clear plastic basic with alternative rules.

THAT Langton Frigate again.
Some here might recall the Rod Langton model I built back in 2013. The Langton 'rigging bible' proved very useful in helping me to achieve realistic rigging. Oddly enough I have no idea what became of this model, I certainly don't have it anymore, I can only assume she was lost at sea in the defence of the realm, ( or down the back of a bookcase somewhere). The rigging took me days to complete, I went for the full rigging option with two colour threads to represent the different types. Shes at 'Easy Sail with courses furled' as often used in action to reduce the risk of the courses catching fire from the decks. I thoroughly enjoyed building, painting and rigging this little model.

Note the thin brass sails.They needed to be very gently rolled to shape being careful not to create folds in the delicate sails.

The brass etched sails and ratlines from Rod Langton.

Cleared for action - Captains valuables including his fine crockery stowed in the ships boat at stern.

Standing rigging in black thread and running rigging in buff thread. The running rigging was never tarred as it required to run through blocks and tar would have clogged them.

The Sails of Glory models .
Having taken some time to think about things since writing the above it is clear to me that I will never be content with using the SoG models as they stand. While the hulls are very nicely done the sail sets are - in my opinion - not so good. I can see from the production point of view why they are the way they are, being resin and designed for frequent handling, but while they look fine from the bow or stern they are not so good from the sides.

My idea is that these models would be greatly improved with the addition of Langton metal sail sets and brass etched ratlines. On the frigate above I went for 'fighting sail' setting and used the etched brass sails, very fiddly as paper thin and delicate, but the finished result was very pleasing. The SoG decks are drilled and plugged so the plastic masts can be removed without damage and metal one's inserted. If Mr Langton has no objection to selling me 6 sail sets without hulls then that's the way to go. I would go for the brass sails again, fiddly as they are, in for a penny in for a pound as they say. I think a very nice little fleet could be assembled this way and the option remains to expand with Langton metal hulls down the line.

The white plastc sail sets just don't do it for me. Now imagine her with Langton metal masts and etched brass sails and ratlines plus full rigging!

A nice component from SoG.

HMS Victory, I just can't fault that plastic hull.

I did apply some thin paint to these sails but still not happy.

The Rod Langton Bible.

Below: the SOG models on their sea bases, I really don't like them at all!

Ugly plastic base!

Friday, 12 July 2019

43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment. of Foot - light infantry.

When I decided that I wanted another 'skirmish' unit for my British army I knew as soon as I saw these on the Perry Miniatures website that I had to have some. The officer wearing the red pelisse with grey fur trim obviously caught my eye so the 43rd it was to be.

I had considered doing an entire 24 figure close order light infantry unit in firing line but the cost would have been prohibitive when is so much else I still want to do. Whilst Perry do offer a half price deal on the basic French, British and Spanish line infantry (10 figures for £22.50) the rest of the range retail at £4.50 per figure. So these 14 figures represent a cost of £63.00! Sash & Sabre do not as yest make British light infantry unfortunately. Cost aside - and they are 40mm figures after all - I'm really pleased to add these guys into my British Army.

Under DBN rules each they represent 'skirmish' bases and under C&CN 'light infantry'. They have an increased movement rate, can move and fire or make a standing fire at increased effect, very good troops.

In 1803 The 43rd along with the 52nd and the 95th Rifles became the First Corps of Light Infantry and formed the Light Brigade under Sir John Moore at Shorncliffe barracks, Kent, (a place I know very well incidentally). Their Peninsular War record of service is extremely impressive - Vimiero, Corunna, Talevera, Bussaco, Fuentos de Onoro, Badajoz, Cuidad Rodrigo, Salamanca, Vitoria, even persuing the French army back into France. They returned home in 1814.

I present the 43rd Foot here alongside the 60th Rifles representing my Light Infantry contingent. Behind them are the guns of the Royal Artillery, (as they have not been featured for some time and are starting to complain !). Please note I have run out of static grass so the bases look a bit bare, will add more to the 43rds bases when resupplied. Also the Rifles need a second base layer added to bring them up to my now standard thick bases for ease of picking these heavy figures up.

There may be slight hiatus while I get an order in to Sash & Sabre for the Cuirassiers and Highland command. As we are now booked to return to the Uk end of August I'm starting to think about just how I get over 450 of these big figures safely back home but I do have an idea on how to pack them. Meantime I'm expecting the resin 3D printed RHA officers any time now so they will probably be next up here.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Foot Guards on parade.

1st Foot Guards - 24 Perry Miniatures  painted over the last few weeks. The 1812 Colours with Peninsular battle honours (!) are very much temporary until I can replace with superior commercial ones preferably slightly earlier, but for now they are the best I could find.  I tried to paint the belt plates square, but hopefully the overall impact of the unit will detract from the fine detail.

They will still get a few touch ups here and there, the drum could do with some highlighting for example. I almost felt slightly deflated yesterday when they were finished, they took a lot of hours painting but I really enjoyed working on them, a true labour of love.

This completes British infantry battalion number 6 with only the Sash & Sabre Highland command pack to complete the 42nd Highlanders for battalion #7. In addition there are the 60th Rifles and 43rd Light Infantry skirmish units.

Now adding 3 Perry command figures to a Sash & sabre French line battalion to round off French battalion number 6.

A French battalion for a change! Sash & Sabre figures with officer, drummer and Eagle bearer by Perry Miniatures. The enthusiastic sergeant at right was slightly modified by placing his shako on the bayonet.

Finally, these 3 chaps will be on their way to Spain today, having been printed by Graham C this week for me. Many thanks Graham I can't wait to get my hands on them!