Monday, 27 July 2020

40mm Spanish infantry completed.

After several months lay off I have finished the last 10 figures of the 40mm Spanish infantry battalion. These are Perry Miniatures.The flag is not correct for the unit but it is very colourful, it is one of the flags created by Tony (Foy) for his 20mm army, simply resized.

I doubt that I will go any further with the 40mm's, I list the collection total below. I just have two more guns painted ready for when I can get the RHA crews, which I think now will need to be resin printed.

Just the bases to finish off now.

British/French/Spanish Napoleonics 40mm scale.
16 infantry battalions @ 24 figures.
7 skirmisher/ light infantry/riflemen units @12 figures.
7 field guns, each with 5 crew.
9 cavalry units @ 8 figures
Mounted command figures 10 figures
Odd foot figures 10.
4 Oxen pulling huge siege gun with Spanish guerrillas.

513 foot figures.
82 Mounted figures.
8 guns.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Hinchliffe promotional film 1975.

This popped up on my Facebook feed this morning, but as I know that not everyone follows FB I thought I would share this lovely bit of film here for a few days. It was long thought lost in the mists of time but has now been re discovered and digitalised. One thing that struck me was the number of figure sculptors listed which may go some way to explain the variation in size within some ranges, for example the Napoleonic and Roman ranges.if you have not already seen it, enjoy!

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Polish Lancers - that's about it!

Ten days from starting these and the satin varnish is on and they are looking nice and shiny. I have since noticed that the horses eyes could do with a touch of black (being careful not to make them look like human eyes!), so they will get that. Unfortunately the basing will have to wait until Tony Barr's laser cutter (East Riding Miniatures), is repaired so it may be a week or so but no problem. The reins were a bugger to fit from the same black card that I used for the cuirassiers last year, not perfect but overall I'm happy, it's quite stiff card so has a habit of springing off before the super glue can secure them.

They can be put aside now until the bases arrive. I have ten Perry Miniatures Spanish infantry to paint to complete a battalion and that's all the 40mm stuff done, I doubt that I will add any more to this collection save for the RHA guns when the crews are ready.

40mm Polish Lancers by Sash & Sabre, painted over the course of 10 days. 



Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Rocket Troop RHA - progress.

After a lot of experimentation and trial and error I think I have found a solution to making the Congreve rockets for the planned 40mm Rocket Troop base. I have looked at so many images. all appearing to show different types of launchers and frames along with numerous different designs for the actual rockets as they clearly went through an extended development period. What I can't pin down for sure are the type of rockets used in 1813 and later at Waterloo in 1815 but I do have a good idea now of a kind of generic design for the period. My Peninsular collection is based (loosely) around the 1810 to 1812 period so I'm pushing things a bit here with my rockets, but if was good enough for my favourite episode of Sharpe, then it's good enough for me!

The latest image that I have found shows the weight and sizes of the various rockets and I must admit that I had not been aware of such variation, which explains the differences I see in model versions from small almost hand held size up to monsters which must be 8' long in total. I had decided to base my rockets on those in the Warlord Games set, clearly large with the rockets attached to the tail by 3 metal bands, some images show brass bands others steel. With such heavy gauge rockets they clearly require the heavy duty launch frame, the laddered version with half pipe supports fitted to each side to enable two rockets to be laid for firing. Mine will be scratch built with one rocket laid on and another in the process of being fitted by a gunner. A third rocket will be held upright ready to load once they have been fired. The officer will be pointing towards the target whilst keeping his fingers crossed that the trajectory will at least be in the right direction. A fourth rocketeer will hold the extended portfire used to ignite the rocket up on the frame.

I'm using the open handed digital conversions that I commissioned from the original RHA crew set plus the Mk.1 pointing officer figure. No doubt that there will be a home made look to this base but I'll do the best I can and that will part of its charm, especially as it will be unique in this scale.

Borrowed image to show a similar style of launch frame.
Note: the figures just require some finishing touches to uniform details. These were painted some time back  and I will need to correct the piping colour to a warm yellow not metallic.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Polish Lancers - Establishing the horse base colours.

Over a couple of sessions today I have managed to get the base colours on the eight horses, a true labour of love. I just did a couple at a time and tried to get some variation without any glaring differences to the overall brown tones. My main colour here is Vallejo Flat Brown, worked fairly dry over the black base coat, the following colours were then mixed into the brown to achieve an assortment of shades.

Cavalry Brown (50/50) and then a touch more for the highlights, care is needed as it is quite a strong red tone. I then gave these 3 horses a thin wash of Sepia ink to knock the red back slightly.

German yellow Ochre, again about 50/50 with the flat brown to begin with and then adding more ochre to work up the highlights being careful not to go too yellow, I see far too many yellow horse on the internet! 2 horses.

Black mixed with flat brown established the base colour of 2 more horses and these were then highlighted with the pure flat brown, blending and drybrushing to give a slighter darker looking horse shade overall.

Finally the trumpeters horse got a fairly dry London grey which was then blended with ivory and again used quite dry on the brush to allow the darker shade to show through. I'll probably add some subtle dappling later.

Standing back I'm very pleased with the overall look, obviously there remains a lot to do but it's always a good feeling when you get the basic shades established. The troopers still require a bit of finishing off including the lances, the 'N's added to the shabraques etc. The final job will be to add the reins from the riders hands to the bit in the horses mouth.

Friday, 17 July 2020

40mm Polish lancers - day 5.

I'm really recording the progress of these as something I can later look back on. I have started on the next 4 troopers. Prussian blue + dark grey, deep red + old rose, london grey as a base for all the white/silver to follow. There is a lot of white on these so over the grey I paint off white and highlights will be pure white. The faces are light brown, touch of red added to give a little shade colour along sides of nose and cheeks before picking out highlights with flesh tone highlighted with a touch of white mixed in. Eye sockets then touched in with white and a tiny dot of dark blue. Today will be finishing off the white and silver to be followed by brass and gold.

Tomorrow will be a day off as it's our Granddaughters 4th Birthday so I'll be out much of the day but I hope to have these finished on Sunday ready to start the eight horses next week. Bases will be four to a base 120mm x 70mm as is standard.

Thinking ahead a bit I think It's about time I finished off the 40mm Spanish unit (Perry Miniatures) that I started earlier this year and painted just 14 figures, so another 10 to paint to complete the unit. Also in mind are the RHA crew that Ian Smith and I commissioned a year ago, unfortunately Covid 19 bought the moulding and casting process to a halt so I'm thinking of going with the resin prints but we shall see how things go. I have the officers and the two guns painted and ready so it's just the 4 gun crew.

These are the digital conversions for the intended rocket troop, the actual gun crews will consist of officer, rammer, portfire, loading shot and carrying buckets.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

40mm Polish lancers - day 3.

Managed to get about another three hours painting in yesterday over a couple of sessions so the first four figures are progressing well. The next four are now cleaned and assembled, the lance hand needs to be drilled out and the heads are separate so that they can be turned and positioned for some variety. I will probably try to get them undercoated today, which is quite a time consuming job in itself in 40mm scale! The plan is to finish the first four to this kind of basic standard, paint the next four the same and then work on highlighting, retouching and generally finishing off all eight riders before moving onto the horses. As previously said I'm taking my time with these and painting slowly with as much care as I can, even so there will be areas that require touching up or tidying up.

Before I attempt to paint the 'N' on the shabraques I'm going to see if I can find some kind of pen out there that will allow me to draw an outline guide for accuracy. Problem with freehand or brush is getting the paint to flow sufficiently well.

I have solved the problem of the lances. The brass rod looked a bit too thick and was going to prove difficult to create the point, quite by chance eldest daughter brought us round some incense sticks - I'm not actually keen on them myself and these are apparently White Musk - but the first thing that I noticed was how suitable the handle section would be for making lances, as you do! So I chopped off the end 70mm, carved the tip to a point and the result is what you see below, I think scale wise they should actually be 60mm.  I'm now looking for printable pennons that I can paint before adding, or I may hand paint one and then scan it.

All in all coming along a treat and it's already done wonders to lift my mood.

Edited to add images with lance pennons - first attempt! lances cut down to a scale 9' (60mm).

Monday, 13 July 2020

40mm Polish Lancers - a therapy challenge!

Whilst this blog was started 10 years ago as a therapy blog for my battle with chronic depression I don't generally these days bang on about it too much here, but rather try to keep the focus on painting model soldiers. But sometimes living with Dysthymia, (Persistent Depressive Disorder as it's more commonly known now), does present challenges that can be difficult to cope with, and on the occasions when a major depressive episode comes along (delightfully known as Double Depression), things can get very tough indeed. Knowing the illness as well as I do after so many years I am at least able to recognise when the latter is the case and just recently I have been locked into a period of the DD's! It's more than just a touch of Lockdown Blues, I coped well with that and the DBN painting project certainly helped to get me through the days. It's a kind of 'locked in' syndrome where simple everyday things just become hard to get done, you feel constantly fatigued, an overwhelming sense of sadness, low self esteem and just generally mentally blocked. I almost deleted this blog over the weekend.

Yesterday I decided to try and give myself a push in order to fight back against it, by amongst other things setting myself a new painting challenge, to paint the 40mm Polish Lancers that have sat in my drawer for almost a year. I know that completing a unit of 40mm soldiers gave me the strongest sense of hobby satisfaction, a really uplifting sense of achievement that I just don't get with the smaller scales.

So, I'm going to paint a unit of 8 Sash & Sabre Polish lancers and probably record the various stages of progress to keep me focused. I'm starting with the officer, trumpeter and two lancers with a further four lancers to follow to complete my standard eight figure cavalry unit. So far I have blocked in the two main shades and done a bit of work on the faces. I'm keen to get the colours right which is tricky as almost every reference shows slight variations in shades between the 'blue' (actually a dark blue/grey) and the 'red' ( which varies from crimson to deep red to almost pink in the references). I settled upon the reference image you see below as being most representative of the true colours and these are what I'm attempting to match. Early stages but happy so far, obviously I need to find a suitable highlight for the main coat colour without going to light.

Lances will be made from brass rod and I will need to create the sharp point, add the lanyard and the pennon and I'm wondering how best to do this. carbines will be painted and added separately and reins will need to be added to the horses as I did with the 13th cuirassiers, then I used card but this time might go with foil from wine caps. I estimate the unit will take a couple of weeks or more to finish and that they will give me a real boost at a time when I could do with it.

Friday, 10 July 2020

Fun with hex hills!

I seem to have spent hours this week messing about with MDF and foamboard in an attempt to make some hills for the C&C mat. First attempt was to draw around a hex and then cut out freehand with a new scalpel blade but that was a total failure as there was too much variation in the sizes. Next I hit upon the idea of gluing each MDF hex down onto the 5mm foamboard to produce 7mm 'slices' three of which were then glued together but once again the end result was not to my satisfaction. I then textured the edges with my basing stone before painting (you can see the results below), but yet again I was not happy as they looked far too chunky and the lot went into the bin. The final solution was to make 10mm slices, two of which would create each hill. By gluing together two sheets of the foamboard and allowing to fully dry before cutting around an MDF hex held in position by a couple of small blobs of blu-tac I managed at last to get the results I desired. The edges were then painted and a printed hex shot from the mat itself was glued down on top.  So what I have are lots of 10mm hexes which can be used singly or doubled up, I think they probably look better using two together although I can build some larger hills using a single level rising to two levels.

Having now perfected the method I'm in mass production with another batch currently drying for finishing tomorrow.

Version 2 - 7mm slices.

I should have just painted the edges, the texture ruined them!

Mark 2 - ruined by the rough edge texture so in the bin they went.

Broken ground, printed texture with a few garden stones.

The printed top surface photographed from the mat.
Mark 3 - 10mm foamboard hills accurately cut.... finally!

The finished mark 3 version - Swiss infantry standing on a single 10mm hill.

EDIT: I am now the proud owner of 12 upper sections with printed tops and 12 bottom sections, enough to be getting on with!