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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spanish Farm House for DBN

I decided it was high time I gave the 95th rifles a Spanish farm to defend. This is several hovels pieces put together to make a BUA/Fortress for DBN.

Here you can see the courtyard with ample space for an element of infantry to defend the town. The tree is made with a German railroad modelling product call sea moss. I simply sprayed it woth adhesive and sprinkled on some turf flock and voila, instant tree. The final product is flexible so I don't know how much handling it can take, though hopefully having it as part of a larger terrain feature will help protect it from breaking.

The exposed brickwork was painted by using a thin white wash which collected in the textured brick and gave the appearance of mortar. I had to be careful not to get the black wash I used for the stucco in the brick work, but I thought the end result was quite good, and more importantly was quite simple.

Looks like a nice place to live, bigger than my house at any rate.

Friday, October 29, 2010

ACW and AWI Distractions

I decided to get my desk cleared off and so have been taking care of some older projects before continuing with the Renaissance Venetians. First up are some Perry 25mm plastic Union Infantry. I was a bit disappointed at first with these, as they are a bit chunkier than I have come to expect from the Perrys, and the detail is not as crisp as I would like. With that said however, I thought they painted up quite well and more importantly, the final product has made me excited to try some more. Now I just need to find a good set of skirmish rules....

To facilitate a more uniform look for the federal troops I only chose figures with the sack coat (at least I think that is what these are called). This was my first foray into the ACW period so I was on a steep learning curve to try and get the uniforms correct. I did some custom cutting as well to maximize the number of troops I could get from the box in a firing line position, converting marching pose to holding a rifle horizontally like the figure above. The officer in the back is holding a pistol from the cavalry set.

A birds eye view of my first Federal company. I have another on the way with shouldered arms, but they will have to wait for the completion of the Venetians - unless I get impatient!

The firing line from Johnny Rebs point of view.

Next up the American War of Independence in 54mm.

I got sucked into the 54mm scale by a demo game at Nashcon by All the King's Men. Though I would like to have purchased their artillery, I ran out of funds, but found this Imex plastic set on sale at my local hobby shop for $8. They were marketed as Americans, but as the uniform was the same for both countries, I simply painted them as British. Above you can see a gunner stripped to his waist coat in the heat of working the guns. I replaced the plastic rammer with a metal rod which I inserted into the sponge and rammer of the plastic original.

Fortunately the Imex set came with the same proportion of 6 crew to one gun that is used in the All the King's Men rule set.

I thought the sculpts of the plastic figures was actually superior to the metal ones, though mold lines in this Imex set were not well placed, hence many a crewman with a mold line down the middle of his face. I have found plastic mold lines very difficult to shave or file well.

The commander. I did some work on the gun with green stuff to make it look more like a Brown Bess musket. It was originally sculpted with a long barrel without a supporting stock, which looked more like a long cavalry carbine. Maybe the sculptor knew AWI weapons better than I, but I could find nothing for the period that looked like it, so I changed it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Venetian Culverin

Just finished basing the artillery element for a DBA - RRR or DBA - Hx Venetian army. The Culverin and accessories are by TAG, the crew are customized Ral Partha, and the Gabions were provided by Barry Scarlett of Murray Terrain.

This element is an odd assortment of scales, but they all seem to work with each other. The Ral Partha figures are true 25mm figures. The barrel of the canon is 50mm long which scales to about 11-12 feet in length, making it a large culverin, but by no means the largest that were used in the Renaissance period. The gun is designed for use with 28mm figures, but as artillery in this period was so variable it works quite well. The gabions are really meant for 15 - 20mm figures, but in comparison to the Ral Partha figures they end up scaling out to about 3 feet high, which though not as large as some, seems a reasonable height for gabions on top of a sloping earthwork.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thanks To The Assault Group!

The Assault Group was nice enough to let me have this marvelous Ottoman Renaissance canon in exchange for a painted sample. This is a truly marvelous piece and I can't wait to show you all the final element. The crew are almost done and I will be mounting it behind some gabions and earthworks, so it should make for an eye catching element.

Thanks again to Pete and the folks at TAG!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More 25mm Ral Partha Condotierri

Above are two elements of pikemen in 3/4 plate. These were simple to paint and a nice break from the more complex slashed sleeves of the crossbow and blade elements. The DBA-Hx rules allow for two pike elements, but the DBR lists only allow pikes for a very brief period, the Venetians relying more on Spanish mercenary sword and buckler men it appears.

A view from the front showing the manly beards of the pikemen.

Probably one of the few home grown units from Venice; the mounted arqubusiers.

Venice was famed for importing stradiots, most notably from Albania. I have seen some nice illustrations of severed heads decorating their saddles, so I suspect they had a fierce reputation. They are listed as light horse, but they functioned in close combat as well, not being afraid to use their long lances.

Venice can have two elements of stradiots. These were some of the few castings my friend Terry did not have in his collection, so I had to order these online. Fortunately the 25mm renaissance line is still being manufactured by Great Endeavors, though they are not advertised as available unless you look really hard! Here's a link:

Crazy for Artillery

Shown above are some Ral Partha conversions. Unfortunately Tom Meier never got around to sculpting artillery for this line of figures so I have been forced to improvise. The artillery piece below is an absolutely magnificent piece from the Ottoman section of The Assault Group's renaissance line. I agreed to paint this for them in return for the casting so a very generous offer from TAG indeed. I have put on a base coat and will work on making the barrel a nice metallic brass soon. The carriage will be unpainted wood, with the possibility of painted red wheels.

The TAG artillery comes with a great selection of accouterments as well. The powder barrel is particularly nice and corresponds very closely with descriptions I have read. The gun barrel itself is 50mm long, so a very large gun. In the true 25mm size of the figures, that translates into an 11-12 foot long barrel. This is actually well within the size range of renaissance pieces and makes it appropriate for a large culverin.

I am also working on some artillery for my 54mm British AWI. This is a very nice plastic set from Imex, which includes a well designed howitzer. I have replaced some of the fiddly bendy parts with metal and added some green stuff to make the muskets more accurate for British infantry (This was actually marketed as a colonial set, but the uniforms are the same).

Monday, August 30, 2010

54mm American War of Independence figures

Above are some British 54 mm figures by "All the Kings Men". These are painted as the light company from the tenth line regiment. The red vests are a distinguishing characteristic of the light infantry, as well as the shoulder "wings".

And here they are in close order. I must admit, that as my eyes get worse I have truly enjoyed switching to these nice large figures. I normally paint while wearing reading glasses, but I may have to invest in a better magnification system, as it is getting progressively more difficult for me to see detail on the smaller scales. Some aspects of getting old suck, but so far the good outweighs the bad by a longshot.

The ensign or trumpeter of the set. Epaulets were just coming into fashion, so at this point my understanding is that they did not denote rank. Here I have stuck with a latter tradition of only one epaulet for the junior officers, while the company commander (below) has two.

You have to love all the frilly shirts and tights. It reminds me of a Seinfeld episode...

None of the figure sported any shoulder boards or epaulets, so I sculpted my own. I have seen pictures of line infantry without, though most at least have shoulder boards. I decided the light infantry really should have wings, so I took the time to pull out the green stuff and make some. Time consuming, but in the end well worth it, and it gives me a unique product.

I recently found a copy of Mollos book on uniforms for the AWI, and hence finally got a good look at what Tarletons dragoons most likely looked like. All the versians of the portrait of Banastre Tarleton that I had access too were very dark, and I could not tell if the buttons were silver or gold and what color the turban around the Tarleton was. Thanks to Mollo as a reference I have spruced up my figures with gold buttons, green turbans and in the case of the officers, gold lace. Mollo had them with a green plume, but I just thought that was a little too much, especially for the troopers, so I left all of the plumes black. The little splash of gold does help the figures make a dashing appearance though.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Italian Condottieri - First Look

Here is a preview of the Venetian condottieri army I am preparing from Ral Partha 25mm figures. The basing style is new for me and based on a friends system. The base itself is a Litko wooden base, over which Elmers wood putty is applied to mask the bases of the figures. That is then painted and Railroad ballast added for the grass, which is then painted as well.

Here are some sword and buckler men converted from crossbow figures.

The shields were typically metal with relief decoration. I tried using various shades of metallics to try and approximate that design with limited success.

Two different styles of dress. Those on the left would be more typical of the Venetians around the turn of the 16th century, with the fancier slashed sleeves being somewhat later style of dress.

The same figures from the front.

The Ral Partha figures are from the early 1980's and sculpted by Tom Meier, and have excellent proportions and detail, so aside from their size, compare most favorably with more recent figure releases. The true 25mm size makes them one of the few ranges that will actually fit well on DBA base sizes recommended for 25mm figures.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Work in Progress

I don't usually post with work in progress, but I'm trying a few new things this month so thought I would show some pictures of my experiments

I have been working on finding a good way to paint the slashed sleeves common in Italian Condottieri. I have been using very thin washes of white paint which pool in the recesses of the figure and color the undershirt. I paint the overshirt first, so some touch up is usually needed after the white wash to brighten the colors. I have also used the white wash as a base for another darker wash, to brighten it. An example is on the right hand figure with red hose and blue slashed pants. I was afraid a red wash over blue would be too dark, so I painted the blue leggings, then washed first with thin white paint, and later put a thin red wash over that. I was quite pleased with how this technique worked.

Some times the figures require two washes to get enough of a build up of pigment. The left leg of the figure in light blue looks like it could use another pass of a thin white wash.

Nothing all that extraordinary about these crossbows other than showing off a marvelous sculpt for a Venetian army. They have turbans wrapped around their helmets which is fairly common for Venetian soldiers and showed the influence of their trade partnerships with arabic and oriental nations.

Lastly I have a selection of 54mm British American War of Independence figures made by All the Kings Men miniatures. The light infantry are sculpted withoput wings and the officers without epaulets, and I just didn't like that choice, so have taken the time to try and sculpt my own. I won't win any sculpting awards, but all in all I am quite pleased how these turned out and am excited about getting started painting these.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Italian Condotierri and Tarlington's Dragoons

This month was a bit different from my normal painting endeavors, but I will start with an example of things to come. Above is a modified Ral Partha 25mm Swiss Crossbowman to play the part of an Italian sword and buckler man. I will be working on a Venetian Italian Condotierri army based on DBA-Hx and DBA-RRR made from this wonderful old line of figures. The detail on these is marvelous, and should provide many painting challenges as well as inspirations. The original figure is below.

I was suckered into some 54mm figures at Nashcon (it didn't take much to push me in that direction). These are American War of Independence figures by All the Kings Men. These are my first attempt at 54mm and were a blast to paint. The horses are plastic and proved a bit difficult to work with, especially in terms of removing all of the mold lines, but I did what I could. The original heads provided for the metal riders were a bit small, so I opted to modify some larger heads from the 1812 line and was quite pleased how that endeavor turned out. The cavalry represent Tarleton's Dragoons. Next up are some British light infantry.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Italian Velite Grenadiers

The Italian Velite Grenadiers are not quite as well documented in terms of uniform detail, but I have tried to paint a unit as it would have appeared around 1808/09. Once again this is a mix of figures that I had lying around without a purpose, so I was glad to be able to find a use for them. The privates are Hinchcliffe miniatures that I stripped and repainted, the command figures are Old Glory I believe. The Velite Grenadiers did not have a flag, but I do believe were given an eagle.