Wednesday, 29 April 2020

A final push - Lockdown project.

I have just two days left to complete my personal challenge to paint and base 24 DBN elements by the end of April and it's looking good. Today I have 10 x British line infantry to paint and tomorrow 4 French Dragoons and that will complete my target.

Each morning starts with coffee and a dog walk followed by my usual breakfast and the replenishing of the previous days mini wet palette. Generally speaking I have completed the painting and basing by around 5pm with breaks to do other things of course. I think I mentioned previously that I like to keep my evening free from painting.

On the subject of the palette, as you can see it's very much a miniaturised version of that I used for many years, especially in Spain where the extreme summer heat meant paint dried out in minutes. I find this little lid can keep paint open all day so any retouching does not require more paint and wastage. I generally cut out  a few days worth of grease proof paper circles and keep them in the drawer. I give each fresh circle a rub over with water and away I go.

Right, I'm off to paint some soldiers and will update on Friday (1st May) with pictures of both armies completed .....fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Lockdown project - 9 becomes 14!

Over the last week I have managed to add 4 elements of French infantry to the total, 3 line infantry and 1 of light infantry (Voltiguers). I'm now switching to some British troops by way of a change with 1 base of line infantry done. As said, these are being painted specifically for DBN and one thing I am pondering is if I should represent each base with a flag, and in the case of the British a single flag or two flags? I think two flags in a 10 figure base will look too much so I'm thinking along the lines of maybe alternating Kings colours and regimental colours. The other question is should I have say half the bases without flags? Meantime I'm painting a single standard bearer per base while I think about it.

So that's a total of 14 elements painted so far, so I'm pretty much on track for 2 x 12 element armies by end of the month, although the days do seem to be whizzing by!

I also have another box of figures to paint for Old John which I plan to start at the weekend. Painting aside I'll be playing my first 6mm WSS game during this week, and I'm expecting my Baccus order any day now as it was posted end of last week.

Another decision that I have taken is that the future for my hobby is going to be very much small scale and small space, with the 40mm's being kept as display figures which satisfies the collector instinct in me. To this end I'm selling off the last remnants of my Bolt Action stuff (I have plans to do WW2 in 6mm as Baccus expand the range). Staring with the German SS platoon which is now on ebay (link below), I will follow with the late war US platoon later this week when I find time to do it.

As I won't be requiring the 28mm terrain items any longer my two youngest granddaughters received a large box from Grandad containing S&A trees, hedges, walls & roads along with three large buildings with which they were delighted and quickly set up as a 'farm' populated by plastic animals and 'Paw Patrol' characters. Obviously I have only seen the photos but they are clearly getting a lot of enjoyment out of it, far better than selling it on ebay. I am told that it's now called 'Tree World'.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Lockdown project - 6 days progress.

Today is day 7 and I have an element of 10 French line infantry in campaign dress to paint but it's already 3pm and I have not yet had a chance to pick up a paint brush so they probably won't get finished until tomorrow now. I'm going to have a bash through the French infantry this week, not sure if I should mix campaign dress with others in greatcoats (capotes in Spain?), or maybe use the greatcoated figures to represent lower grade troops and campaign dress for the better quality line units. I'll think it over.

Got the basing style down now, they looked too light so added some sepia ink to the non grassed areas and I'm much happier with them. I also painted all the base edges in Vallejo 'Glossy Black' to see how it looked and I must say I like it.

British cavalry completed (!) 4 elements.

British command base done (really enjoyed this one)

French light cavalry completed (3 elements)

Solitary base of Highlanders ( rest will be standard British line)

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Lockdown project - 18mm DBN.

I have been pondering this idea for quite some time and with the enforced lockdown likely to go on for several more weeks I decided I needed something to keep me focused and busy. With the Baccus project temporarily stalled until my order arrives, (they are still working on orders but with just the one casting machine operating), and having reached the conclusion that for the foreseeable at least the 40mm's will remain as display figures once I can find a suitable unit, I took the plunge and re invested the proceeds from painting Old Johns 20mm figures into Blue Moon 18mm's. They will be painted and based for DBN so no large units but lots of variety to paint. Like many others at the moment my hobby is really helping me to cope with the extraordinary circumstances and so I'm setting myself a painting challenge of producing two 500 point Napoleonic Peninsular armies  over the next 3 weeks! This equates to around 12 elements per side (to begin with), 3 to 4 cavalry figures, 10 infantry figures and individual guns with 3 or 4 crew (horse or foot). DBN standard bases are actually 40mm wide by 30mm deep but because I could not fit 4 BM heavy cavalry on the 40mm frontage I increased frontage to 50mm and added +5mm to the depth for everything. The stated 8 infantry per base looked a bit lost on 50mm frontage so I'm going with 10 per base which just looks a bit better to my eyes.

In DBN bases represent brigades not battalions and several bases can be formed into 'formations' which move and fight together offering mutual support, so while a 10 figure infantry base may not look impressive on the tabletop a formation of 5 such bases does have considerable visual impact. At 500 points per side the game is designed to be played on a board just 600mm square, which fits in nicely with my current interest in small space wargaming which is also the inspiration for my 6mm WSS project.

So, I'm off to a good start with 2 British heavy cavalry elements and 2 light cavalry elements and yesterday I painted a Highland infantry element, start to finish over about three sessions. Today I have two French light cavalry elements on the go (3 per base) and at this point (almost 4pm) I only have the horses to paint later. I have still had time for a beer in the garden with my youngest daughters boyfriend Liam ( both are here in lockdown with us!) and a walk with the dog, I'm aiming for a base of troops per day for the next 3 weeks or until I complete 24 bases. I don't generally paint in the evenings.

When the Baccus order arrives I will probably put it aside until I reach my target with this and the 40mm Spanish infantry have also been pushed back for later when I will complete the battalion. This lot aside I have another box of figures due from Old John and will work these alongside the 18mm's a few each week. I know this target based painting does not work for everyone, but for me I find the discipline helps me to keep focused on getting through the days until life returns to some semblance of normality.

I also received a little gift package of metal dollies from Graham Cummings today as I had been playing around with green stuff and asked him where I cold buy some, many thanks Graham, I was really not expecting that lot. I just want to try my hand at basic sculpting to produce some traditional toy soldier style masters, it's something I have long wanted to try and with so much time on my hands why not.

So the race is on, 24 elements for DBN by the end of April. The trusty old painting desk is back up and running again in the lounge, (it was just far too busy and noisy in the kitchen), paints and figures are well stocked up so it's all systems go!

Take care and stay safe all.

Thanks to Graham.

Vallejo spares and extras.
Ton's of Blue Moon 18mm's!

My perfect set up, what more could I need?

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Spanish progress - 14 down, 10 to go!

This week has been mostly spent painting 40mm Spanish infantry by Perry Miniatures. They are nice castings and worth the money, if you buy 10 line infantry you get them half price, so £2.25 per figure although the officer, standard bearer, drummer and sergeant still come in at £4.50 each. I'm sure it's not the done thing to discuss our collections in monetary terms, just putting it out there for information, 40mm figures are expensive to collect and given the fact that mine are still in the boxes they arrived back from Spain in some might question why I still continue to buy and paint more, fact is that I love them, I enjoy painting them and I enjoy owning them, I'll probably never be able to game with them but I do intend to get them back on display in a suitable cabinet in the future. When this battalion is finished I have the eight figure Polish Lancer unit to paint and then I shall see where I go.

With Baccus struggling to get orders out the door - they are still working but with a single casting machine operating - it could be some time before my order is filled and posted, so I'm close to running out of figures to paint. I still have another box to come from Old John which is great, but if this lock down continues as I fully expect it will I'm going to have to start something else for myself. I have a project in mind but more of this in due course, let's just say for now it's something Napoleonic in 15mm scale.

Spanish line infantry, 1805 uniform, painted over the last week. Bases cut for me by Tony Barr at east Riding Miniatures who is still battling on, I never go anywhere else for my MDF.