Wednesday, 26 February 2020

40mm RHA 'rocketeers' painted.

I am really enjoying my painting at the moment and seem to be churning out figures at  a fair old rate. I'm working between the scales which also seems to be helping keep up the momentum. If you are a fan of 6mm Baccus figures please check out my War of the Spanish Succession (click) project on my dedicated 6mm blog.

A big chunk of last weeks painting time was spent on trying to get a good start on the 6mm's but for this week my aim is to complete the 10mm Elven figures for James' 'For Joshua' project and the 20mm WSS figures you see below for John C. But I did finally decide to throw some paint on the 40mm figures that will crew my planned RHA rocket battery base. A long time in the planning - almost a year - these are the resin prints that Graham Cummings kindly did for me from conversion of the STL files for the gun crews.

The prints are very good, I could not even have conceived of such a thing a year ago when I started out by going down the conventional rout of commissioning metal masters until Ian Smith persuaded me to follow the digital sculpt/3D track which has proven to be very successful.

The two open handed 'upright' figures had one slight issue, which was that the intended 1mm brass rod for the rocket trails could not be passed down as the arms were too close to the body so I had to cut off the right arms at the elbow and then re attach them at a different angle slightly away from the body. A bit of green stuff and I felt they looked OK, I could actually pass a 2mm rod down so there is a bit of wiggle room there. I also removed a head to turn it to face a different angle. Overall I am very happy with the results once painted.

They look a bit shiny in the photos as the satin varnish was still a bit wet. Once the rocket base is finished I will have something that is completely unique in 40mm scale. Next stage is to scratch build the simple launch frames and the rockets themselves, I'll be playing around with brass rod, tubing and green stuff no doubt next week. The legs of the frames will probably have to be cut from plastic card, you can see a few images below of what I hope to end up with!

*Edited to add improved photos!

Please don't get hair all over my figures!

The two unpainted resin officers at right will each command a gun crew. The other 4 crew figures will be metal from the original files thanks to Ian Smith who has them going into moulds at Griffin. The two Sash & Sabre guns have arrived from Andy at Old Glory, the usual 40mm scale bags of heavy metal!

Elven archers in progress 'For Joshua'.

Some lovely 20mm sculpts for John C.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

More Horse for John!

Really enjoyed painting this little group of figures for John C. The horses are fine castings with well defined muscle tone. I'm sure John will tell us the manufacturer. Another delve into the box week to see what it reveals next. Bit shiny under the lamps as satin varnish still a bit wet, they can safely be given a coat of matt varnish if preferred of course.

The Baccus order has now arrived for my 6mm project so that blog will be updated with a few thoughts on basing/unit size and the painting of the first test unit shortly. I'll just say that figures are magnificent examples of sculpting and casting in the tiny scale.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

New brushes and different scales.

After many years of sticking with the same range of brushes I am currently trying out some different ones. Some of the brushes that I have been using daily for several years are just starting show their age, which is not bad considering the hours of painting I do each week. For 40mm figures I stick with a good size '0' for most of the work only using a '000' for highlighting the faces and hands. As I plan to paint more 6mm figures I wanted to find some new ones that could hold the tip well and carry a bit more paint, as my style in this scale has always been to dot and dash colours over a flat black base coat, trying leave some black showing to add depth and shade.

My wife found this range of Daler/Rowney 'Graduate' brushes in Hobbycraft and showed them to me via Face Time (isn't technology a wonderful thing?) so I asked her to get me a few to try out. I have to say I'm very impressed with them so far, they certainly hold a fine point and have a nice balance in the hand, I also like the white handles. painted a couple of strips of the 10mm Goblins yesterday, start to finish using a single 'liner' brush. I think they will be perfect for the 6mm WSS project, time will tell.

New kids on the block.

My brush holder tin of many years.
I will go and grab a few more of these in different sizes. And speaking of different sizes I'm now back painting in numerous figure scales again and really enjoying the changes. Currently on the painting desk are 10mm (fantasy), 20mm 18th century for John C, a couple of 28mm German crew for my Bolt Action half track and a test paint of one of the 40mm RHA officers. It struck me that they would make a good comparison photo. I can see why the early 20mm or 1/72nd scale became so popular with wargamers. The 28mm multi part plastics that seem to dominate the market now can be made in some pretty dynamic poses and each new release from Warlord Games or Perry Miniatures are clearly extremely well supported and profitable, but for me they do lack the charm of the earlier metal ranges. I recently posed the question on the FB Napoleonic page where there are some incredibly talented figure artists - I have to call them that - as to the huge investment of time and talent into painting plastic figures over metal and provoked an interesting debate, many younger wargamers are clearly in the plastic 'camp' whilst many older gamers remain firmly committed to metals.

Finally for now, I see so many photos of other painting areas, most are incredibly untidy with pots of paint and brushes all over the place,  stuff everywhere! Personally I can't work like that, as you can see I like to keep everything in it's place, paints stored upside down in compartments, brushes in the tin and all confined to a small area that can be quickly packed away if required. The IPad provides background viewing/listening as I paint. I just now need to find a new lamp that does the job as well as this one has for the last 2 years.

I am obsessively neat and tidy, can't help it!

10mm, 20mm, 28mm and 40mm.

Warlord plastics and 3D resin print.

Vintage 20mm metals.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

6th Cacadores.

My painting lamp bought in Spain is fading fast now so it's hard to get decent photos, especially on such a gloomy day, but here are the 6th Cacadores a rifle skirmish unit of 12 figures. Bought these some time back and thought it about time I got some paint on them. They are Flashing Blade 40mm figures, slightly chunkier than the Sash & Sabre and Perry 40mm's but fine as a unit on their own. There is more contrast and shading to the brown uniforms than is apparent here, it may the satin varnish or the fading lamp! I really like the unit but will stick with S&S/Perry in future. They are ready for work on the bases, as are the Marines behind them, thanks to Tony at East Riding Miniatures for his usual friendly and efficient service. The bases are two 2mm thickness MDF stuck together to match the rest of the collection, for the time being I am resisting the urge to re base.

This week I want to get the 10mm figures for James' project finished and some more figures for Old John. Andy at Old Glory UK has my RHA guns in stock now but while I'm waiting for the gun crews to be cast I might make a start on the Rocket battery crew conversions. I'm still waiting on Baccus for the 6mm order, they are extremely busy still.

Many thanks to Graham C for the 3D prints, I have a choice of officer pose now.

Can anyone recommend an efficient painting lamp please? I do prefer a lamp in the 'blue' or daylight spectrum.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Polish Winged Hussars.

20mm scale for the collection of John C (Old John). A pleasure to paint and I will add printed lance pennants to them. Next 10mm High Elves For Joshua, then I'll delve back into Johns box to see what I fancy doing. John has supplied full printed painting guides and there are many colourful troops to choose from.

I must be mad, but I'm seriously considering rebasing the entire 40mm collection on something more elegant that would also allow me to break down the battalions into 3 x 8 figure bases, the current bases are somewhat scruffy and were cut by hand, I also now have access to a wider choice of materials that would greatly enhance the appearance. I'm thinking of having a test run with the Marines first.

Lovely little Pendraken castings.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Royal Marines form up!

The first and second battalions of Royal Marines saw considerable action along the Spanish coastline during the Peninsular War, and Wellington was sufficiently impressed to request they be placed under his command, which was refused by the Admiralty.

I have represented this battalion in fairly good uniform order as they travelled mostly aboard ship and so were not subject to the rigours of field campaigning. In order to make up the 12 rear rank figures I included a line sergeant with replaced marine head, so there is a sergeant at either end of the unit. The bases will be the standard 120mm centre base with two flanking bases of 60mm when deployed in line. The MDF bases will be ordered from Tony at east Riding Miniatures today. Figures are all Sash & Sabre.

This brings the 40mm infantry total up to 8 battalions per side, each of 24 figures plus skirmisher bases, about another 36 figures per side.

Sash & sabre Royal Marine battalion, painted over 6 weeks Dec to Jan.

Next I will begin to tackle the Rocket Troop base along with the winged Hussars for John and the last of the Goblin archers.