Tuesday 29 October 2019

A little more building work!

I have completed the shell of all three buildings now and started to add a touch of dry brushing to the walls, so far not entirely successfully I have to say. I'll keep working on it though. The pantiles for the roofs remain in the planning stage, but a couple of good ideas have been suggested to me. The Foot Guards popped in for a photo opportunity. (Note, those colours will be reversed when replaced with better quality commercial flags, the Kings colour is the red flag in the Guards I am informed).

I now have the rest of the figures to complete the 95th Rifles and Andy informs me that the British Marines should hopefully be landing next week sometime so perfect timing. I'm looking forward to painting them, they will be a firing line battalion wearing those wonderful round hats.

The RHA resins are being resized by Graham as they are still a little too tall I am told, but in pictures I have seen they look great. The guns will be going on my next Sash & Sabre order so it will be sometime before they appear here.

Thursday 24 October 2019

Struggling on - building number 2.

For the last two days I have been suffering from a painfully stiff shoulder that has been preventing me from sleeping properly through the night. Possibly it's a result of my struggling to cut out thin plywood sheet with a blunt knife blade a few days ago as I can't think of anything else that might have caused it, I know my arm was aching at the time. However, it's been worth the pain as I'm really getting into this house building business now and have moved onto the first of the town houses, the church being essentially finished save for the tiling of the roof once I find the best method of doing this.

Pictures taken this morning with more figures to show scale, I think just about right, any smaller and the cavalry would have looked wrong alongside. I should have slightly reduced the height of the first house against the chapel maybe, but can't do much now so I'll run with it. Second house ready to cut out later today and I'll vary the style a bit. Doors require painting and all windows need card frames fitted next, then to tone down the stonework/render, wish I had an airbrush for that.

I think the tiling will now need to be laid from individual semi circular overlapped tiles, that's going to be a real labour of love! More to follow.

News on the RHA crew from Ian, he should collect the first full printed set from Graham on Sunday, very slightly reduced in height to better match S&S/Perry 40mm's. More printed sets hopefully the following week, this is very exciting news.

We also finally have an offer on our house this morning, hopefully we can finalise the deal today. Very nice Swiss couple returned for second viewing yesterday. We also have a Dutch couple booked in for the morning if negotiations go pear shaped but fingers crossed. Not a British buyer to seen apparently and any mention of Brexit has our fellow Europeans falling about with laughter, what a mess!

Monday 21 October 2019

Spanish church - more work.

I must admit that before I started this I had questioned if the time spent would be rewarded with a half decent building or be a waste of time. I'm pleased to say that at this stage I'm really pleased. My modest ambition was to create a generic set of 'Peninsular' themed  buildings that would work with 40mm scale figures. I took the basic footprint from a set of 28mm's and increased height so that doors in particular would not look too out of scale against the figures, the result is still a BIG model but the houses will be smaller and the church is a bit of a statement piece after all.

The four sides have now been glued together and based to add rigidity. The windows have had more work and black card glued inside which may later be painted or fitted with frames. The reason I added a bit of grass texture to the base at this stage was to try to see how the overall model was going to look once complete, I'm going to line out the rest of the inside to disguise the Se Vende foamboard used for the main walls.

Next stage is to get the main roof sections to fit, so a bit more cutting and trimming required yet. After that it's going to require tiling with the Mediteraean style overlapping tiles for which I can use my own roof as a guide! If corrugated card overlapped in rows does not produce the look I'm after I'm prepared to tile the roof with individual card tiles shaped around a pencil or such to achieve a more realistic effect. Surprisingly, I'm really enjoying doing this so far.

British light infantry shown for scale. More once the tiling is underway.

Roof placed on to get an idea of fit at this stage, more cutting required.

Ignore the roof pieces at this stage!

Sunday 20 October 2019

Making a start on terrain.

With the cuirassiers now sitting on the display shelves I find myself with time on my hands as I wait for the British Marines and the 15 resin figures that will comprise my Royal Horse Artillery gun crews. Ian has asked for the base thickness to be reduced slightly and has asked Graham to reduce the print size by a couple of mm's each figure to bring them into line with Perry's and Sash & Sabre, I had noticed that the officer was a man of stature. Ian tells me that once this set are completed the designer Dan can do conversions for 30 euros per figure, so when I get to add a rocket battery base down the line the rocketeers can be converted from the existing RHA files.

So, what better time to make a start on some buildings as I had been planning. I had drawn out three basic Spanish style buildings a few weeks ago on foamboard and decided to begin with the church/chapel. I needed the buildings to be larger than existing 28mm ones on the market whilst still retaining a modest footprint, they needed to be taller to work with my 40mm figures. Buildings will be based on textured bases to match the figures.

Here is progress so far, the four main components being worked on with the front pretty much as I wanted it to look. Roofing is being given a lot of thought with corrugated card laid in overlapping strips being the favourite to date. I invite any ideas or thoughts on this project as it progresses. The other two buildings will be simple Spanish villa types to match and then I plan a kind of Moorish tower. I'm also planning to make vineyards and have a few ideas on these. Rough road sections and wall sections will also follow, the idea being that the more terrain I build myself the more I can spend on the figures!

Thursday 17 October 2019

13th Cuirassiers finished.

I knew from the start that I would eventually want to add cuirassiers to my collection and 18 months on from starting my 40mm project here they are. After a lot of head scratching I decided to go with thin black card rather than wine cap foil for the reason that I was worried about scratching the paintwork. The card was cut into thin strips and carefully attached with a tiny blob of superglue, once dry they were given a thick coat of matt black paint. I don't think they look too bad at all and this had made me think about adding rein extensions to my British light dragoons as the reins don't reach the hands and it has bothered me for some time now.

Things will slow down here for a while now as I focus on painting winter Soviets for my Bolt Action project. I do have a battalion of British Marines in the pipeline, plus of course the Royal Horse Artillery crews and guns in due course. You can see printed examples of the full crew on Grahams blog at right.

Sash & sabre cuirassiers, painted over 3 weeks.

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Cuirassiers mounted, and a request for help?

The 13th Cuirassiers are now painted and mounted, the final job will be to add the reins and here I am asking for advice. All my other S&S cavalry came with cast in reins but I know there were issues with them not reaching as far as the riders hands which might explain the switch to this method on latter additions such as these and the Carabiniers. The horses are superb, big chunky castings packed with animation and the riders fit well into the saddles.

I'm really not sure how best to add the reins, what material to use, without doing any damage to my paint job. Thin black card has been suggested using PVA glue, I note that Superglue can tend to react with the varnish leaving a white mark so I'm kind of tempted to try the card/PVA idea. Before I do so, any ideas from you chaps who might have done this job please? Thin wire hammered flat? black thread? Rob, I'm  sure you mentioned rolled foil?

Once the reins are added I'll get them based up in 4's as usual.


Saturday 12 October 2019

Cuirassier progress report!

First week of painting on the 13th cuirassiers, the figures are mostly done and the horses all have their base coats on. I'm pleased that the brown coats do not seem to detract from the overall appearance of the heavies, the highlights do not show up too well in the images but there is contrast there. The trumpeter in reverse colours needs his lace repainting white, some references show the horsehair to be white for musicians, others black! I really enjoyed painting the big characterful faces.

Yesterday the family headed off to the wonderful Oceanographic centre in Valencia for the day so I managed to get a couple of solid painting sessions in. The horses are the result of over 4 hours painting, base coat and blended highlights only so far, they should be finished by the end of the week. Once the riders are mounted I will need to add reins, possibly from wire.

Saturday 5 October 2019

Chosen men.... well, half of them!

It's been a busy week all round here what with taking the grand children out and taking the car for it's ITV (MOT), plus engaging another agent to sell the house, but still got a bit of painting done.

The ITV was an interesting experience, unlike in the UK where one simply drops the car off for an hour, here in Spain it's a far more interactive experience. Here the ITV centres are not independent testing centres but regional centres where they are able to work on  8 to 12 vehicles at a time. You remain in the car, following the testers instructions as you progress through the various stages beginning with the emissions test. The tester tells you when to rev the engine and where to hold the revs, slightly confusing due to the language limitations on both sides but we got through it OK. You then drive onto the next stage - brakes and steering - as another vehicle enters the emissions test area behind you. At this point you get out and move to a viewing platform along the side of the bays and you follow along through the stages to the inspection pit before being asked to park the car and go into the office for the result. It's like a social occasion for the Spanish with groups gathering in the smoking area along with testers having a quick fag between jobs, (imagine that in the UK), where there is much lively discussion and plenty of gesturing in true Spanish style. The office presents you with a dated yellow windscreen sticker and stamps the ITV card and you're done. Took a couple of hours from arriving to leaving but it's done for a couple more years.

Anyway, this week has seen the painting of the 12pdr gun to bring the French battery up to 3 models. It's a lovely little kit to assemble, lots of bits and bobs on metal sprues to stick on and the result is another large weighty lump of metal with plenty of detail. The centre base is the one I painted to add to the original two guns and crews that came from Andy C. Overall not a bad match I think.

95th Rifles - due to a slight admin error at OG UK HQ I was only sent a single bag of rifles plus the command pack, I did receive a bag of 40mm Dark Ages figures by mistake which are being returned. No worries at all, for the time being here is one base of Chosen Men including the fine Sharpe and Harper castings. The sculptor Chris at Sash & Sabre has certainly caught the likeness of both characters, not an easy thing to do in the small scale, a testimony to his skill. Could not resist sending a couple of pics to Facebook friend Darrah O'Malley!

'Ees not a proper officer'.

'Officers weapon Sir, shouldn't have it Sir'

And now the real fun begins! 8 x S&S cuirassiers representing the 13th regiment in Espana.