Monday, 23 November 2020

Napoleonic review - April to November 2020.

2020 is certainly going to be a memorable year, for all the wrong reasons, but if I have achieved one thing this year it has been assembling a goodly number of painted 18mm figures. I have not done a full count but I think close to 700, now all on their new bases for Commands & Colors Napoleonics. 

The new hex mat has arrived and the first nine 125mm hills are about finished (just need to glue on the last few printed tops). Road and river sections should arrive later this week so I will be able to start working on them next week, but in the meantime I hope to get a small game on the table sometime this week.

It's been a joy painting these figures, although I must confess that I have recently run out of steam a bit. I'm now focusing on John's 20mm's by means of a break!

18mm Peninsular War (mostly) Napoleonics by Blue Moon and AB.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Spanish Napoleonic command group by AB.

OK, so I'm trying hard to resist the 20mm WW2's! This morning I gave myself a good kick up the backside and painted this 4 Spanish figure command group. Hard to describe how much pleasure I got from painting these colourful mounted figures. Couple of episodes of Father Ted in the background made for a most enjoyable couple of hours at the desk. I do have a fair stock of AB Spanish in the painting queue.

Just waiting for a re stock of MDF circular bases from Tony (ERM) who is also cutting road and river sections for me. As an aside Tony has some really nicely pained Lamming ancient Egyptians on his home page. Tony owns the full rights to the old Bill Lamming range although he does not currently have the Napoleonics listed in his shop. He is gradually working to replace some of the old moulds with new ones where required but can cast figures to individual order if you contact him.

A rewarding day's painting:

Edit: As Ray asked about the figure with the lance slung behind his shoulder, he is a  Garrochista, Spanish irregular cavalry. AB have more of these in the pipeline so will be possible to have a full unit of them in the future! The second centre figure (above pic) is a Cazadores a Caballo and I have a unit of these on my desk ready to follow up in due course.


Monday, 16 November 2020

Windmill work and new hill hexes.

Where did that last week go? With all of the 18mm's painted so far now fixed on the new doubled up bases I have started to turn my attention to a bit more terrain. The painting focus for the next couple of weeks will be 20mm WSS figures for Old John as I really need a break from painting my own! It's been a fair bit of work and has involved vast numbers of MDF bases getting to this stage but it's been well worth it. A printed label was first glued to the rear of the standard 100mm x 45mm base then two of the smaller bases glued on side by side before giving the edges a thick coat of Vallejo 'glossy black. The result is nice chunky playing pieces for C&C, the thicker bases being easier to pick up and handle. The final bases completed were the French carabiniers and the Royal Navy landing party, both doubled up to full base strength. Only the single base of French Guard Marins remains because I just cant  find anyone that makes Engineers in the scale so I am contemplating a few conversion down the line. 

I am a little unsure about the Carabinier trumpeter in reverse blue coat, most image show the 1812 Royal Livery with gold trim, but I have seen model units with the blue coated trumpeter so for now, blue it is, until I find out different. At least he looks rather pretty.

It had bothered me for some time that my lovely Hovels Spanish windmill did not have covered sails after it was pointed out to me. So now that it can be used in play due to the larger hexes I cut small sections of linen raided from my wife's craft box, glued  them on with PVA and water to give a kind of sagging look and painted them to represent canvas. Job done.

I spent a fair bit of time making the hills for the smaller grid but at least got the method worked out. This time I think the larger hexes will look better, I'm using just 3 'slices' of 5mm foamboard glued together with a 2mm MDF hex top and bottom for a height of 19mm. I refined the way of cutting out the hexes this time by gluing 3 small blobs of bluetac to an MDF hex which then held it firmly in position while I cut round it with a new scalpel blade. So far I have made 6 hills with more to follow, a couple each day. Once I have enough they will all get a skim of filler to the edges before painting them. Finally a printed top surface shot from the actual mat and printed on card will be glued to the top.

Roads & rivers: I am considering asking Tony Barr at ERM if he can cut me some straight and curved sections that will fit the hex grid as he did for me several years back. I think this might be the quickest and easiest way to solve this issue as I could then just edge them, paint and varnish them. Unfortunately the road and river sections that I have from S&A can't be used on the grid, which is a shame.

Inspired by Hornblower, two packs of the AB Landing Party make up this base for which I will need to create a set of C&C stats. I'm thinking 3 blocks, fire effective than line infantry but good at fighting hand to hand?

New hills under construction. The black plastic river sections were an experiment that I am just not happy with. MDF sections with a nice wavy edge will look much better I'm sure and save a lot of cutting out.

The larger hills look much better to my eye.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Basing completed and a new printed mat on order.

I have now finished basing all of the French/British & Portuguese figures on the new 100mm frontages. A total of over 50 bases all in so far. The Spanish will be next but I'm taking a break from my own figures to start on Old John's WSS figures.

I had been thinking how best to create the Commands & Colors hex grid but in the end decided that it would involve far too much time and effort to make one myself so I have on order another of the excellent Tinywargames printed mats (grass with some rocks) over printed with a standard 13 x 9 hex 125mm grid. I have requested that this time the grid be printed slightly lighter than black which is a service they offer.  I like the fact that the cloth can be rolled up and ironed if required, but above all you get a very accurately printed hex pattern, something I have found impossible to achieve by hand in the past. Once again I will attempt to reproduce a printed matching hex for the top of my hills which will be 20mm high with plain green painted sides. I have a good stash of MDF hexes thanks to Tony at ERM and these will again be used with 5mm foamboard to create the hills. Might seem a bit odd doing the same thing over again but slightly larger but I'm 100% convinced that the bigger units on the bigger hexes work and look much better, with more space for trees/buildings etc. The fact that it still all fits comfortably within a 6 x 4 space is also very pleasing.

I'm going to do a Grand Review of all the bases so far when I get the chance, but here are a few more finished unit bases in the meantime, I really can't wait to get this lot on the table and into battle. What I like is the ability to mix troops types, for example 'Guard Heavy Cavalry' base consists of 4 Horse Grenadiers and 4 Empress Dragoons which works for me as I really could not paint full units any longer. The 'Old Guard' are represented by 2 battalions of Grenadiers as both were issued Eagles so it looks OK. 

The collection consists of both Blue Moon and AB's as said previously the BM infantry sit pretty well beside the AB's but not so the cavalry who seem to have smaller heads/headgear. For me the future is AB though.

Finally I can fit my windmill together with a troop base into the hex!

The Imperial Guard so far!

Guard Heavy Cavalry.

Enthusiastic Swiss infantry.

The 'Grumblers'

Command bases.

French artillery.

The 125mm hex.

First Spanish unit.

Edit: Image sent to me by Tinywargames - decided to stick with the black grid.