Thursday, 30 June 2022

French Gendarmerie (Les Higgins) and Epic progress!

Really very pleased with the way these two regiments of French Cavalry turned out. They are of course commission work for Tony and as usual arrived in spic and span condition along with a full reference guide for painting. Being the only French cavalry unit I have painted toward this project - the previous cavalry wearing sky Grey coats - I wanted to find a shade that differs from the British Scarlet as the reference was of slightly deeper colour. I started with the usual drybrush of Cavalry brown ensuring all shade areas were covered, this was followed by a more controlled dry brush of Flat Red which was then worked back on to give some highlights. At this stage they still looked very 'flat' but I went on and painted the rest of the figure with the intention of coming back as a final colour to further highlight the red with Aramanth, that really helps the figures to 'pop'. The two trumpeters were challenging (in a good way), the flashy Royal Livery looked very complex to reproduce on a 20mm casting so I had a good think about how best to approach it as an impression. I decided on a sky Grey dry brush to start with followed by stripes of red edged in fine blue lines (the coat was actually blue beneath all that lace!) followed by some fine white lines and then finally dots of silver down the red to represent the chain link silver pattern. I must admit it does look quite busy but when I look from a few inches away I think it represent the livery nicely?

Black horses were requested for one unit and mixed dark brown for the other, the trumpeters being the exception on Greys of course. My standard black horse is a black base followed by Black Grey highlights and a touch of drybrushing here and there on tails and manes using Ivory or London Grey. Gloss varnish was requested as usual and I'm finding my confidence is improving somewhat now having used it several times, it does need to be carefully applied, thinned slightly with water, and a couple of thin coats leaves that classic shiny wargame soldier look. If I have one comment on the use of glass varnish it's that it can tend to over exaggerate some of the highlights, something to bare in mind when applying them. 

Tony requests the bases be left black in order that he can apply his house shade of green. Overall a very satisfying paint job. I have some more infantry units to do for Tony, but next week I'll be painting for Simon, more of the lovely 10mm Warmaster Fantasy Figures. 

Les Higgins WSS 20mm  cavalry for Tony. Note the white saddle cloth edging to the trumpeter was spotted after taking the pics (always useful) and corrected to silver!

Finally the Epic Napoleonics have taken hold of me! I can't help myself, I think I have fallen in love with them. Now painted over 300 of them and they will feature in the next post. Meantime here's a glimpse of some of them. I have decided to go with 60mm frontage bases for DBN so everything is being doubled up. More in the next post.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

ECW camp scene, more cavalry and Epics!

OK, I'm going to spare you my gruff mumbling voice this week and do a good old photo update of this weeks progress and what's ahead. 

Above: The painting desk this morning.

Firstly, I have finished the latest batch of 15mm ECW's for Graham which consists of more (the last?) of the Peter Pig cavalry and a wonderful camp scene set by Blue Moon. The cavalry include eight figures representing the Kings Gentlemen Pensioners as present at Edgehill, and so being a unit of wealthy individuals they are wearing cuirassier armour which is a bit more polished than the usual blackened armour and I gave them somewhat fancy matching saddle cloths. I'm very pleased with the overall look of these, I have thoroughly enjoyed painting the Peter Pig cavalry. The camp set consist of some lovely character figures as you can see, topped off with a commanders tent. I was a bit concerned that my paint scheme was a bit too Medieval looking but Graham is happy with it so I'm happy. 

Next up on the commission front are more WSS 20mm Les Higgins French cavalry for Tony, the usual two regiments each of nine figures. I'll be prepping them up this afternoon ready to start tomorrow. As usual with Tony the castings are always crisp and clean and fully cleaned of any flash etc. We have a system now where the Les Higgins riders are left off the horses until I have painted them due to the outstretched sword arm that made painting the horses necks slightly awkward. The command figures are supplied already glued on as they are Irregular Miniatures on Les Higgins horses are require a bit of 'fettling' (Tony's word), to make them sit correctly, Perfect!

I have also managed to knock off a few more Epic Napoleonics with the first French infantry painted. Great fun to paint I decided to go with most bases in field dress and a couple wearing greatcoats, it would be possible to mix them but that would require more cutting of the strips and as this is intended as a quick DBN project probably a step too far. Once again I'm happy with the overall look, a much quicker paint job than I would if painting say AB's but perfectly adequate for my plans. That's over 200 infantry painted in just over a couple of weeks and it really does not feel like I have spent that much time on them at all!

Massive thanks to Graham for sharing some Epic sprues with me as a gift, this will give me light and heavy cavalry for both sides, Highlanders, Old Guard, and some Prussians towards the next planned army. Much appreciated and all will be put to good use.

First of the French, 9 points in DBN terms. I'm waiting for another French infantry sprue to add an additional command base and a couple more full dress bases.

Thanks to Grahams generosity all of the required cavalry types are covered plus Highlanders and French Old Guard.

These Epic Highlanders will be painted this afternoon and the metal 20mm's at left will all be primed ready to start tomorrow for Tony. A small blob of blue tac glued to the top of a screw holds the riders firmly in place for painting.

Below: I was asked about my seemingly limited number of paint post on the desk, as you can see I keep plenty of others in the drawer below, although many are spares to replace those that run out. Most of my painting is indeed done with what is the desk, carefully selected over the years for coverage.

Right, I'm off to paint some Highlanders, found a useful kilt painting tutorial by Miniature Realms (Stuart) on YouTube, well worth subscribing to his videos if you are painting the Epic range. 

Saturday, 18 June 2022

A few more Epic Napoleonics!

Rather enjoyed myself with these this past week, I must admit. No way will I be drawn into the full Epic Waterloo concept but as you will know my pleasure is in the painting so I can't help having a crack with them. Easy and fast to paint. The new video discusses my thoughts on the sprues and my method of painting them using matt black base coat and quick application of bold colours carefully applied. The speed is down to avoiding the need to come back and paint any back areas after the initial base coat. As usual I ramble on a  bit in my gruff voice, but I do find it saves me a lot of time spent typing these days so there it is.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

An Epic adventure and Bum Hussars !

Earlier in the week I caved in and ordered myself a single sprue of the Warlord Epic Waterloo British infantry from eBay. Having seen and heard so much about them over recent months I was itching to have a go and see what I could do with them. I'm sure everyone is now familiar with the product so I won't go into a long description of the content and layout of the sprue but suffice to say that for the grand sum of £5.50 I got100 infantry, a gun and crew and a mounted commander which is pretty good value in my book. The figures are of course 3D renders and measure 13.5mm head to foot in strips of 10 infantry. Super impressed I wasted no time in black undercoating 60 of them having first decided to cut the strips in half so 5 figures per strip which would fit a 30mm frontage base. I did this because I had seen it done in a YouTube video and it was a very simple thing to do without causing any damage, by cutting through the base and bending the strip they broke in half almost as though designed to do so. As I have no intention of doing a full on Epic project - I just wanted to see what they looked like painted up -I was struck by the fact that there are enough figures on the single sprue to make up 10 points towards a basic DBN army! A sprue of light and another of heavy cavalry (the light sprue contains a RHA 6lb gun and crew) and Bob's you Uncle. Of course there would be a lot of cavalry left over, but they are so cheap it does not really matter and besides there would be the potential to expand later.

Anyway, enough of my waffling, here are a few pics of the 60 infantry that I knocked up over the weekend and I must say I do like them. Of course I'd like to try others, probably just single sprues or odd figures but the Epic concept is something I could not even contemplate taking on. That said these figures would work very well for DBN and cost next to nothing.

Bum Hussars for Old John.

When John told me that he would be sending me a box of Bum Hussars to paint I confess I had no idea what they were. All was revealed when the box arrived (please see the pics below). It did make me titter in a school-boyish sort of way. I was struck by the poor quality of the box art and design in general and especially the painted examples on the front. John had told me the figures were extremely fragile and liable to break easily so care was required when handing them. My understanding is that this set are extremely hard to find and to be honest they are far from the best plastic figures that I have painted with soft detail and quite a rough surface texture so presented a bit of a challenge to paint. Given the fragility and the common issue of getting a good fit between plastic horse and riders without applying a bit of extra pressure as the glue dries John had made the decision to mount them upon Les Higgins metal horses which they fitted well and certainly saved me a lot of time. I used liquid superglue to attach the riders to the horses which worked fine and once dry used black primer to fill in any unsightly small gaps. I certainly think they turned out a lot better than the box artwork, the pics below were taken just before my final check over before applying the satin varnish. I'll wrap each figure individually for posting as the swords do still feel quite fragile.

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

2mm potential video and more 15mm ECW horse.

Almost  three weeks into this latest 'small is beautiful' project 2mm Napoleonics I decided to lay the bases out on my Geek Villain mat to see how things looked. To save a lot of typing I made another of my quick gruff mumbling voice videos to illustrate it. The potential is obvious and I am SO tempted to do a Fire & Fury set up in this scale, something I have been thinking about for a few years now. Imagine the rolling hills and winding streams and rivers, extensive woodlands with clearings, cornfields etc!

You Tube channel - The potential of wargaming in 2mm scale.

And a few stills.

Commission painting.
Should you require that extra regiment or unit painted to a very good wargaming standard at a competitive price with fast turnaround and no upfront payment required then please see my painting service link above for full details Thank you.

This last weeks commission painting output is another 40 ECW cavalry towards Graham's Edgehill project. Mostly of course Peter Pig figures but with a few personalities from Matchlock which are a tad larger but not by much. As I have often stated I really enjoy painting the PP's and have painted many of the ranges over the years. These are painted in a mix of coat and saddle blanket colours with only the sashes designating the Royalists from the Parliamentarians. There are lots in the classic buff coat/back and breast/pot helmet.