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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Coping with COVID 19 - Work in Progress: Fusilier-Chassuers and 92nd Gordon Highlanders



One of the great things about a hobby like ours, is that it does lend itself well to time spent indoors.  For me time really ceases to have much meaning as there is a bit of a meditative peace as I paint.  It of course doesn't hurt that I am usually nursing a Scotch whiskey towards the end of the day when I am working on these little guys.  :)


Above is a recently finished expansion of the Fusilier-Chasseur battalion, now brought up to full strength and including some NCOs that can be seen in the 1st file with gold shako rims, and decorated with green and red shako cords.


Of course you can't paint figures non stop, and though working at home now, I feel as busy as ever.  With the advent of the shelter at home policies affecting the way we work, it is important to get out and exercise as much as possible.  The governor and mayor have recognized the importance of getting outside and exercising to maintain health and declared that an essential activity.  We try to get out to the parks early in the morning when we are not likely to encounter many other walkers.


 While the communal places are closed, such as picnic shelters and the nature centers, the trails and walkways remain open.



7:00 on a Sunday morning and not another soul to be seen.



 These two goofballs, Bozon and Darla, are unconcerned and simply thrilled to be out on a walk.  I think they have learned to discern the subtle change in our routines that indicate it is a weekend, and look forward to their morning walks - and give voice to their insistence that they get it soon!



 Spring wildflowers are blooming and along the way we encountered an entire hillside covered with Dutchman's Britches (Breeches).



 Bozie and Darla checking their "pee-mail".  They get a lot of messages so have to check frequently.



Warner Parks has closed many of the paved roads to vehicle traffic and these are now lovely walkways lined with beautiful moss covered walls.  These walls were built back in the 30s and 40s as part of the WPA (Works Program Administration) created to get people back to work after the Great Depression.  I have to wonder if we will need a 21st century equivalent after the Pandemic.



 Around the aptly named Bluebell Bend the Bluebells are in full bloom.






There has been lots of rain this Spring so the creeks are full and the park full of the sound of running water (and squirrels and birds!).





One last check of messages and a quick drink before heading home.


Next up - The 92nd Gordon Highlanders!




 The core unit is painted by Dick Tennant and contains 34 immaculately painted figures.  I will be adding two figures to the battalion to bring it up to 36 total figures.  One will be an NCO with a Halbard converted from a DK 188 preparing to fire figure (above), the other a slight DK variant (below - 2nd image) of the standard Hinton Hunt infantry figure (HH BN33, DK 187)



 Here we have a colonel figure ready to have a head transplant from a poor hapless Highlander with a broken rifle.  He will represent Lt Col John Cameron of Fassiefern: raised to Lieutenant-Colonel 23 June 1808; commanded 1/92nd Foot 1809 to 1815; served at Walcheren 1809; served in Peninsula October 1810 to April 1814, wounded four times; commanded brigade in 2nd Division in Peninsula June and July 1813; brevet Colonel 4 June 1814; wounded and thrown from horse at Quatre Bras 1815, died shortly afterwards.

Source:
https://www.napoleon-series.org/military-info/organization/Britain/Infantry/Regiments/c_92ndFoot.html





Here is the conversion fodder for both the Gordons and the Black Watch.  I decided the Halbards were a bit too long so they have been shortened from those pictured here.  (left to right - DK 188, 187, 188, 150 and unidentified mounted commander with head transplant)




Here they are primed and the painting has begun!



 These were some of the figures that really cemented my interest in the hobby.  They were pictured in the Bruce Quarrie Airfix guide to Napoleonic Wargaming in black and white glory (below).  The figures are HH BN 37 Highland officer marching, BN 30 Highland officer charging converted to ensign for color bearers, BN 38 Highland Piper, and BN 33 Highland private charging)





Mr. Tennant was able to provide a digital copy of the original photographs of his figures used in the Airfix guide, reproduced here in black and white, though the originals are in color.


There is a lot of work to be done on these that is not readily apparent.  Mostly as is usual, touch up on the ankles and elbows and bonnets, but unfortunately in this case the ankles are often painted in the argyle sock pattern!  Nonetheless I hope to get them done quickly so I can be ready for Rolica when the shelter at home order is lifted!

Best wishes to you all and be safe out there!


Saturday, March 28, 2020

2/58th Rutlandshire Infantry Regiment

Yet another Battalion of Infantry ready for the tabletop; this time the 2nd Battalion of the 58th Rutlandshire Regiment of Foot from the Tennant Collection.



 British regiments during the Peninsular War were rarely reinforced, so often fell below strength.  The Rutlandshire Regiment will take to the field with thirty figures as opposed to the normal 36.



 The brass (Correction - Mr. Tennant has informed me they were actually made from Dutch Colgate toothpaste tube metal - well scrubbed I hope!) flags were beautifully hand painted by Mr. Tennant, but did require some touch up.  The end result is quite nice as I was able to add some highlights.


 The light company


The Grenadier Company
 

 The white paint on these figures had yellowed a bit with age, so I did an extensive highlighting with bright white to compensate, which had the effect of adding some nice dimensionality to the figures.


These fine fellows turned out so well I think next I will do one of the most famous regiments, the 92nd Gordon Highlanders.  I am paint stripping some extra DK figures I received to add a couple of infantry figures to bring the unit up to a 36 figure unit.  I have also identified an unpainted DK brigade commander who is due for a head transplant to serve as Gordon himself.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Conan of Cimmeria and his Hyborian Allies and Foes

One of the ways I try to keep my painting interest going is to mix up the kind of projects I work on.  So while the last several posts have been about Napoleonics, while I was working on those I almost always had another creative diversion in process as well.  Here are a few new elements for my Hyborian armies from the age of Conan.  Paul Potter is really the guilty party here as he had some lovely Hyborian armies for sale at Nashcon and so provided the bulk of the troops.

Many can be seen here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/648832952224598/for_sale_search/?forsalesearchtype=all&query=potter&referral_surface=direct_link&availability=available

Thanks to my daughter I have an anthology of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories that is my bedtime reading these days.  It's a good thing as I am relatively new to the stories, my only exposure to Conan being the movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  In any event I now have Kushites, Shemites and Stygian armies ready for the game Hordes of the Things, by Phil and Sue Barker. 

Below is a map of the Hyborian world just to orient any strangers to the world of Conan.



All of the armies needed a few additional elements to really make them playable so I have added a few extras. 



 A Shemite priestess with her Magician acolyte


 A Kushite Shaman and his guard


 The 15mm figures of the shaman, Kushite hero and the Priestess with Magician are all from the miniature line by Crom's Anvil in the UK.

https://cromsanvil.co.uk/characters.html
 

 Kushite Hero


Conan with Valeria


This element was actually mostly Paul's work, but I added a few more bodies to the pile.






Howard must have had a thing for green jade, because he is always writing about green towers of stone rising from the jungle, invariably populated by some horrid monster or wicked sorcerer.  This particular tower was provided by Terry Webb as some swag for attending the Good, Bad, and Ugly Hordes of the Things (HotT) tournament last year.


And lastly, a stronghold for the wicked magician's of Stygia, modeled on the ancient Egyptian culture.  Have to love Amazon as I found this lovely little statue for just a few bucks.

Now that these elements are complete it is time to get these armies out of their cigar boxes and on to a battle ground!

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog.  Don't forget to follow my blog or drop me a comment if you have enjoyed this work.  Y'all stay safe out there!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Napoléon Bonaparte - Empereur des Français

My French army has gotten big enough that it seemed only fitting that the Emperor himself should show up for a review.  Before Wellington Man provided a Hinton Hunt original, I had purchased this Art Miniaturen version of Napoleon, and so it was that this one made it to the painting desk first.  His escort, is a painted Elite Chasseur a Cheval from the Tenant Collection.


 The Art Miniaturen figures pair very well in size, and in some respects stylistically, with the Marcus Hinton sculpts.


 I particularly like the animation in the horse.


 Given Napoleon's rather simple uniform and overcoat, I decided to lavish extra attention on his horse.  The dappled spots were painted on a basic white horse, but then a dilute white coat was added to blend in the gray dappling, followed by a dilute black ink wash.


The gold fringe of the saddle cloth was not deeply sculpted, so in order to help make the fringe read well, I detailed it with a brown micron ink pen.


 And here is the Empereur des Francais ready for publication in a 1960s black and white wargaming treatise.

On the Painting Table



 The 2nd Battalion of the 58th Rutlandshire Regiment of Foot is nearing completion.  It will take all of Napoleon's guile to hold back these eager fellows.


Behind them is however a worrisome threat for the British.  The next 12 soldiers of the Fusilier Chasseurs are coming along nicely.  Also pictured are some elements of the 28mm DBN army for Waterloo.  On the left is the seventh French Hussars underway, and a camp scene complete with a flying ambulance.  In the very back is a 54mm Highlander sculpted by Tom Meier in the style of a caricature, that will be used as a ZOC marker.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

One Step Closer to Rolica

This week I was able to finish work on another line Infantry Regiment for the British forces under Wellington, the 1/50th Foot, West Kent.  I took this opportunity to photograph the 9th British Light Dragoons that I completed last month as well.  Both of these units were originally painted by Dick Tennant, so my work was really just a touch-up.  I also finished adding 12 additional figures to the French 17th de ligne (my own work), to bring them up to battle strength given Dick Tennant's different organizational structure.

 

 British 9th Light Dragoons




 Every time I look at these I find more detail elements painted by Mr. Tennant.



The horses benefited from a dilute black ink wash for a bit of shading and to help with definition in the detail work.




  The painting on the saddle cloth is particularly nice.



 The 1/50th West Kent British Regiment of Foot is a 36 figure battalion, with three figures representing the light and grenadier companies on either flank of the unit.


 Apart from a little exposed brass, the flags of the 50th survived the journey across the Atlantic quite well.  The reason some did not fare well I believe is that some of the metal flags were made with a very thin foil, which did not travel well, whereas these were made from brass sheeting.



 Mr. Tennant has an incredible eye for detail, all the way to the color of the flag holders that distinguish a first battalion from the second battalion of the regiment.



 While initially I thought these had escaped relatively unscathed, as I began painting individual figures it became clear that there was a good deal of chipped paint on exposed areas.  Easy to repair, but it does require a meticulous treatment of each figure; plumes elbows and ankles are the usual subjects for chipped paint, but with these I also decided to highlight some of the white paint, as it had yellowed over time.




 The Colonel of the 50th (I think).  Originally designated a brigadier, so I need to do a bit of research and ascertain whether this figure can be demoted.  If not there is nothing that says the 50th can't be led into battle by their brigade commander.


 The newly expanded 17th French line infantry.  If you look closely you can see where twelve figures have their heads angled as if looking to the right.  I thought these were all the same pose and didn't notice the turn of the head until I was gluing them on their stands.


 I do love the bigger battalions!


 Below is an element I just finished for De Bellis Napoleonicus (DBN).  This is a very different approach to wargaming than the old school figures and rules for the collection above.  In DBN each stand represents roughly 1200 men.  The two figure stand below is meant to represent an under strength Cavalry brigade. 



 The figures are plastic 28mm French Hussars sculpted by the Perrys.



 The matt finish is easier to photograph, so I feel like the color is a little truer on these.  The high gloss of the old school look is so reflective it is trickier to photograph well, and I must admit to struggling with it.  I think I will see if I can try a diffuser next time to cut down on reflections.



 I am embarrassed to say how long these have been sitting on my desk unfinished.  I am going to try and keep plugging away and do a stand at a time with the eventual goal of being able to game Waterloo.  Currently I have over eighty stands done, but not all are usable for Waterloo, so I still have my work cut out for me.



 I was particularly pleased with the way the undulating terrain turned out.  The contour of the terrain was accomplished by gluing a block of blue insulation foam to the stand, and then cutting with a hot wire tool to shape it.

Hope you have enjoyed seeing these pictures.  If you enjoy my blog please leave a comment and follow my posts.  All the best,

David