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Monday, August 21, 2017

Mystery Figures

French 1/72 chasseurs a cheval.  Are these Qualiticast figures?  Has anyone ordered from them recently?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

More Russians and a Village to Defend

2 Battalions of Grenadiers, the St. Petersburg and the Pavlovski, march through a Russian village on the way to toss out the French invaders.  They are protected by a screen of jagers, who have already adopted their cold weather trousers, signalling the approach of General Winter.

My last attempt to photograph the jagers was an abysmal failure, but was able to get somewhat better shots of them this time, despite the sun flitting in and out behind the clouds.  I had a reflector placed to bounce some light on the front of the jagers, but the sun was only marginally cooperative.

Here we have the Russian forces arrayed thus far.  I am working on constructing the 1st Division of the 3rd Army Corp from the Russian First Army.  Next up will likely be a couple of line infantry battalions, probably Tchernigov and Koporski.  After that I hope I will have been able to find the remaining figures I need to model the Imperial Guard Cossacks.  There will also be some attached cavalry, probably a squadron of Cuirassier, and either dragoons or chasseurs, maybe even some more cossacks.  

The buildings you see are mostly by Pegasus Models, the big on is actually a pre-painted model they produce.  I must admit I was inspired by a post I saw some months ago, which inspired me to go ahead and paint up the smaller cottages and add the fire highlights to the windows of the larger structure.  The small log cabin on the far right is actually made with the Linka system for building HO scale plaster models.  You can see some other examples by clicking the Linka label on the left hand side of my blog.


The St. Petersburg grenadiers formed for battle.  These were a relatively simple touch up to make serviceable, but still required quite a bit of effort after all the little fixes were accounted for.

Up next will likely be some more scenic elements, a road and a small stream.  Before any more units are touched up for the Russians, I need to switch gears for a while and finish up a civil war project before a friend comes to visit this fall from England.  We will be recreating parts of the battle of Stones River, on the actual site of the battle in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

A Brief Interlude - Spain: Barcelona, Sitges, Cadaques

Miniatures painting took a back seat for a while as we got ready to head to Spain for a family vacation.  My daughter Carolyn got a travel grant to go, so we packed up the whole family and headed out with her.  It's been twenty years since I was outside of the USA, but I figured we better get out before "the Donald" built a wall of isolationism around the whole country.

Gaudi's Magnum Opus - the Segrada Familia.

The inside of the basilica was amazing.  Filled with light due to the soaring support arches modeled after trees.  It literally moved me to tears.

Looking up.  It is extraordinarily difficult to capture this in a way that shows the sheer scale of these arches!

Roman Amphitheater at Tarragona, south of Barcelona.

The Cable car to Mount Serrat.

The view from our room in Cadaques.  We stayed in an 800 year old home, literally a fifty yard walk down the cobble stoned street to the Mediterranean.  We had the top two floors and the owner had her painting studio on the first floor.  We could not have asked for a finer hostess or place to stay.

Carolyn outside the B&B with one of the many street cats.  The artist Dali lived just outside Cadaques and started a hotel for cats, that was just up the street from us.

A view of Cadaques from the light house

A happy family!

Thanks to Carolyn for providing the inspiration for the trip!

Snorkelling and Scuba (for Connor) from our base in Cadaques.  We came up from our dives into a hailstorm, but our guides kept us safe and got us back home in one piece.

Good think we had on the wet suits - those hail stones packed a wallop!

The final stages of our journey.  On the way back to Barcellona we stopped in Allela and had a tour of a fourteenth century winery.  Got to sip wine under the shade of a mulberry treee with a view of the farmhouse and the Mediterranean - simply amazing!

Just a neat house in Alella

Carolyn was able to stick with her vegan ways, even in pork loving Spain.

One of our best - and cheapest meals - was in Alella.  A fresh tomato salad and locally caught Mackerel for me.

Monday, May 29, 2017

DBA Marian Romans and Spanish Auxillaries

The new army lists in DBA give the Marian Romans a little extra variety, so I decided to add some of the Spanish, and Numidian allies.  I assume the elephant was probably supposed to be from Numidia, but I have chosen a hang over from the Carthaginians, and in any event thought it would look best as an element in Scipio's army.

VVV decals were used to decorate the beast.  One of Scipio's Iberian allies guards the elephant on foot.

On the other side of the elephant, a warrior in captured Roman armor guards the elephant from the attack of lightly armed psiloi.

Iberian heavy cavalry - ineffective but pretty.

Here's what started this whole project.  I found some Roman Bolt Throwers in my collection of unpainted lead from Testudo miniatures, and couldn't resist getting them into action.  In their first outing versus an Indian army, they proved devastating to the enemies elephants.

Numidian allied light horse - the most feared horsemen on the battlefield.

Spanish light infantry auxiliaries.

And the heavies - really had fun with the shields!

The largish Xyston figures mix quite nicely with the Testudo Romans - next up, the Gallic mercenaries of Caesar.

Der Kriegspielers Russian Jagers and Artillery

Let's just say that as a former professional photographer, I still haven't learned how to take decent pictures of these glossy little fellas!  I'll keep working on it, but for now just know they are a lot better looking on the tabletop.  Here we have the 3rd Russian Jagers.  I have decided to model the 3rd Corp of the Russian first army, primarily due to the presence of the Pavlov Grenadiers.  Not to mention that eventually I'll get to paint the guard cossacks...

The infamous Russian artillery.  The Unicorn is actually plastic, but I have some stand ins from Newline Designs on the way.

The soldier with the barrel swab thought he was being rude, so turned around to not have his backside facing the camera.

Progress on the Russian army thus far.  I have three other infantry battalions mounted that will require minimal brush work to make serviceable, though I will need to replace the flags.

The view from the ground....

and from the observation balloon.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Old School Napoleonics - Der Kriegspielers and Hinton Hunt

At the Siege of Augusta convention I was fortunate enough to find a large lot of Der Kriegspielers miniatures for sale at a bargain price.  They were adequately painted so I am endeavoring to touch them up as best I can without doing a complete repaint, to get them ready for the table top.

First up is the 1st squadron of the 2nd regiment of French Cuirassiers.  Thanks to Matt in New Zealand for the additional cavalry to complete the regiment.

The standard bearer in the middle is a converted officer but I am unsure of the make.  He is similar in style and size to the Der Kriegspiers / Hinton Hunt figures, but the base is enormous, being almost a full 1/8th of an inch think.  Anyone know what manufacturer he might be from?

Here we have a foot artillery battery, with what appears to be a Russian gunner wearing a French shako.  The gun itself is plastic, so I have added a few details to the stand to try and distract from the simplicity of the gun carriage.

The crate is a 20mm scenic detail from the WWII FAA line, but looked universal enough to fit in.

The water bucket is a filed down 28mm French Shako and the sponge is an old lance with the sponge sculpted from epoxy putty, as well as a couple of epoxy putty round shot.

No Russian army would be complete without the Pavlov Grenadiers.  This is the first battalion and I will model the third battalion down the road, but it may require a complete repaint so is likely to be some time before joining the fray.

Have to love the red mitre bags!

The Standard bearer is a converted Musketeer which has been decapitated and then had a grenadier head added.  The cast on flags are so large and heavy for the Russians, that I decided it would be best to replace the staff with a wire spear and make a paper flag.  Thanks to the folks at Warflag for making the downloadable flags!  I just print them in black and white and paint over them.  Makes a really nice template for painting the flags.