Saturday, 31 August 2019

Keeping busy - tidying bases, cleaning and varnishing.

Right, so the Perry's are on the way and Andy now has my Sash & Sabre cuirassiers and Highlander command. The latter will be travelling out with Daughter number two and Grand daughters Lilly and Violet week after next and the Perry's could just take any time as usual. Packages seem to arrive in Spain within a few days and after that who knows where they go until they arrive at Ador Correos, still they get here eventually.

I'm using the time to work through all of my units in order to bring all of the bases up to a standard style and allowing all infantry units to form up in line with the command in the centre. It's been a little messy but it's done now. All the of the figures have also been given a thorough clean with a soft brush and warm water, they were quite dusty. Any of the original figures that were matt varnished have been given a coat of Vallejo satin after the clean up, which is now my standard varnish. The 60th Rifles were one such unit but the Satin sheen has really lifted them, although I know varnish is very much a matter of taste.

Having worked through the British I then did the French. The vast majority of the French were those I originally purchased from Andy early last year. With my additions of extra command groups etc they are actually the work of several painters, one being myself. The style does vary but I simply mixed them in all seven battalions and where shades of blue etc do differ with units I put that down to the ravages of the Peninsular weather, I like the overall appearance. Again I have tied in the bases, I know they are quite thick but need to be if I am to pick up or move what are very weighty figures.

Once everything is finished I plan a grand revue with them all gleaming!

Monday, 26 August 2019

More Spanish Guerrillas, Italian test paint and Perry heads!

This week I have painted the second Guerrilla base of 6 figures. I wanted a character for this base and decided to use the figure from the S&S Spanish supply train set who arrived with the original purchase from Andy. I removed the whip hand, drilled out the sleeve and replaced with a spare sword arm, I think he looks suitably menacing. All other figures are by Perry Miniatures as I had not realised that S&S did a pack of 20 Spanish guerrillas for half the price per figure!

I now find myself at a bit of a loss whilst I await delivery of more 40mm figures. I have 22 Perry French on order and they will be painted as the Italian 2nd line regiment regiment in white coats with red facings. I painted a couple of leftover Perry fusiliers as test figures, something I don't generally do but they turned out well. I have a lovely flag for this unit so they should look pretty smart once completed. I will re check references for the uniforms, collars seem to vary but this image is a good one, although I will need to repaint collars white.

 I also have the cuirassiers on order from Sash & Sabre along with a highland command pack, but these have yet to arrive from the US to Andy at Old Glory UK who will dispatch them to Spain. The Cuirassiers look excellent on the S&S website, can't wait to get my hands on them. Mine will be attired in drab brown coats and represent the 13th regiment in the Peninsular.

Copyright sash & sabre miniatures.

The above means that I could be facing a couple of weeks before I have more 40mm painting to do. What I am working on is the splitting of the second bases of all the infantry battalions so that they are able to form line with the command and colours in the centre. It's not something I'm enjoying as the 12 figure bases have to be soaked and the figures replaced onto 6 figure bases. I swore never to rebase these, but luckily when I based these I simply stuck the existing card bases onto sabot type bases so they do come off without much damage and just require the edges touched up with filler. Still a bit of a pain though but worth the effort and at least I only have to do one base per battalion.

The Dragoons featured in my last post now have bases finished and carbines added. I have noticed a slight difference in the red shade, the previous 8 figures appear to be lighter, I must have highlighted using more Amaranth in the mix. I'll probably correct this during the week and re varnish where required.

Finally for now, it is good that Perry offer alternative heads with each figure, but I seem to have accumulated a large collection of spares that are basically unusable. Each figures arrives in it's own little box with a choice of 4 heads and obviously you can only use one! This just seems a terrible waste of metal, given that every collector of 40mm Perry's will have the same issue so I can't even give them away. 40mm heads anybody?

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

British heavies!

The British Dragoons are now at full strength 16 figures and looking most impressive, although my intention has always been to use them as two 8 figure units when I get round to fighting a battle with them. I need to make a trip to Leroy Merlin tomorrow - sort of Spanish B&Q - for more filler powder and earth pigment plus PVA glue to finish off the bases.

I was really tempted to place an order for some of the 28mm scale Peninsular buildings I featured here some time back, but instead put another order into Perry for more figures while I'm waiting for the Sash & Sabre order to arrive. I'm actually going to have another crack at making some basic Spanish style buildings again myself from scratch, this time with a clearer idea of what I want to produce and in a scale closer to 30mm than 40mm. My favourite Merca China store has restocked on the ply sheets which are perfect for the purpose, being thin enough to cut with a craft knife but quite robust. This time round the roofing material will be corrugated cardboard which gives produces a reasonable simulation of Mediterranean roof tiles. The more terrain items I can produce from scratch the more money I can spend on 40mm figures. I'm currently sketching out a few ideas for the buildings.

The next Perry unit will actually be the Italian 5th infantry regiment in white uniforms, once again taking advantage of the 'buy 10 fusiliers, get them half price' offer so they work out £2.25 per figure for the 20 fusiliers. Of course the officers etc have to be purchased at full price. I have a couple to use as test figures experimenting with a London Grey base coat for a change. I need to check references as I have seen this unit shown with both red and green facings/lapels, I'm not sure which is correct. Currently on the painting desk is a second base of 6 Spanish Guerrillas by Perry.

Friday, 16 August 2019

10 days painting progress.

Had a good 10 days painting, 11 French infantry and 5 French artillery crew, not bad in 40mm I don't think. I'm now going straight into 6 British Heavy Dragoons to add to the two I have from the previous Dragoon unit. I am simply enjoying my painting so much at the moment.

Firstly I completed the seventh French battalion by adding 10 Perry figures to the existing 14 Sash & sabre figures, a few of which are wearing greatcoats. These were the last of the S&S French infantry I had and although the unit is a bit of a mish-mash of uniform styles they don't come together too badly. The Perry fusiliers are very rigid in pose and slightly more slender that S&S but I'm happy that they work well together. In this unit we also see a Perry eagle bearer and pioneer, the officer being a S&S with a very strong face.

A note re the flags. Currently these are generic printed flags and I do intend to replace them all with GMB flags in due course, and when I do so I will research to ensure all units represent those actually present in the Peninsular.

I love this S&S officer, the facial features are really strong. Beside him at right is a Perry fusilier, as he is bare headed I added the shako to his right hand.

The S&S 5 man artillery crew arrived here in Spain only on Tuesday in my wifes hand luggage, and by Thursday they were painted and based alongside what must be at least a 12pdr gun, it is huge! It now sits alongside my other two French guns and looks most impressive.

Also this week I have re jigged my French command bases. I was never really happy with the circular base with three mounted figures so removed them and added the Perry Drum Major you see below. One of the bases contains two mounted officers, the others a single mounted figure and foot figure. The British are getting the same treatment currently.

Perry drum major, the rest are all by Sash & Sabre.
So currently on the painting desk are the British Heavies. Again carried back by my long suffering wife through Gatwick customs, but this time without a mention. These will bring my cavalry to 16 light and 16 heavy  dragoons.

Wet palette proving it's worth in this heat!

I normally paint horse and rider together, but this time I'm trying this method using my little cork handles. The riders are drilled and the cocktail stick inserted (Ouch!) with a spot of super glue to keep them steady when painting.

40mm heavy metal!
Now waiting for S&S Cuirassiers and Highland command. Bit of a landmark, I now have just over 500 painted figures in my collection. I'm very keen to get some terrain sorted, just trying to wait until we know exactly what we are doing and where we will be.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Sash & sabre Polish lancers of the Guard.

Just placing this image so that I can share it on a discussion forum!  It was sent to me by Sash & sabre (USA) in response to request for an image as none on the website. I plan to order some from Andy (Old Glory UK) once my current order arrives. We have been discussing the uniform details of this unit and if and when the lances were carried in Spain.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Feeling the heat.

I'm home alone until Tuesday, when my wife returns from visiting the family. She will be bringing back another pack of Sash & Sash British Heavy Dragoon troopers and another French artillery crew, The heavy metal always creates a stir  at Gatwick customs, they seem to like the figures!

Yesterday the temps here in Valencia touched 42 degrees so I remained indoors and got a good bit of painting in. Took Poppy the dog out early but even then it was hot, and even at 8pm when we went out again it was still very warm, thank goodness for air conditioning is all I can say. I went up and turned it on at 10.30pm and when I went to bed at midnight the room was positively cold. During the day we just tend to use a large fan downstairs (until around 8pm when we use the aircon and close the patio doors), but my painting light showed 31 degrees yesterday and the paints were skinning over almost as soon as I put them on the wet palette, making it a bit of a struggle. I did however manage to finish these three Perry figures. The Eagle bearer and Sapper will be used on French unit number 7, whilst the drum major is going on a command base beside a mounted officer. I'm making up the numbers with the Perry fusiliers you can see in the picture, 8 of them and today plan is to paint the first 4 of them.

My wife has left me well provided for with home made meals in the freezer, 3 individual cottage pies, (because I love cottage pie), bolognese sauce (none of your jars here, fresh tomatoes), Chilli Con Carne, and lots of salad, my favourite being sliced tomatoes layered with mozzarella cheese, sliced spring onions (massive things here) and fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil in true Mediterranean style, I can knock this up in about 5 minutes, add a sliced boiled egg and slice of seedy wholemeal bread and Bingo. Of course red wine is stocked up for the week too, Shaz certainly looks after me on the supplies front! Last night I settled down to eat around 8.30pm, (the Spanish tend to eat very late and stay up late, 10pm dinner is not unusual here), and I watched Carry on up the Khyber, no doubt inspired by Bob Cordery's recent game at C.O.W. I must admit it had me laughing out loud.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

RHA officers and IPA.

Yesterday was a good day. I went down to the Correos in Ador to pick up an eBay package of paints, brushes and other bits and pieces and to my surprise was handed my recent Perry Miniatures order (7 days), and a package from Graham C containing the resin 3D printed RHA officers. I think this was day 30 and I had given up on them, in fact Graham had printed replacements for them only the evening before. From the postmark I could see that they had actually been in Spain for 3 weeks! So the Spanish postal system works, but only at it's own speed.

The resin prints are surprisingly good, I had concerns about how crisp the detail would be 'in the flesh' but have to say I'm really pleased. Once I got a nice flat black undercoat on two of them they looked even better and the fine detail seemed to jump out. I spent most of this morning painting them and the result is as good as I had hoped for when Ian persuaded me to go down the digital route.

Just need to check a couple of details, lace colour and buttons on the pelisse, but they are about finished. Just the gunners to go now, I think Graham may have the first gunner file now.

The third officer will command my long planned rocket battery using converted gunner figures and scratch built launcher once the two guns and crews are completed over the next few months.

Edit: A couple more shots to show size comparison with a Sash & Sabre sergeant and a couple of unpainted Perry Miniatures. Just about spot on I'd say. These can of course now be printed in any scale, but in 40mm there are no RHA figures currently available.

Lots of pointing going on!

The 3D resin prints.

The first version digital file. Cross belt was removed and a couple of the details were tweaked.
And more good news! I have managed to find some decent IPA here at last, it's a real treat for my taste buds and is sold in our local Supermercado in packs of 4 bottles for 4 euros 80 cents, 1.20 per bottle. I  keep them in the fridge and they go down a treat in this heat - 38 degrees today. Cheers.