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Sunday, September 29, 2019

Bavarian Infantry Regiment Kinkel Converted from Airfix Plastic Old Guard Grenadiers

After ten long months the Bavarian Infantry Regiment Kinkel is finally done!

 If you are a reader of my blog, you will know that these figures started life as metal copies of Airfix French Old Guard that someone had done a head transplant on and recast.  They were nicely cast with the exception of the muskets, which were stumpy and misshapen to say the least.

Fortunately I received some replacement muskets from Matt Golding and now they are able to march with pride.

The next perplexing step was to make a decision on the paint for the jacket color.  The illustration by Knotel above shows the jacket color as quite light, which is commonly used when painting Bavarians.

Fortunately my friend Terry Webb, who is a walking encyclopedia of Napoleonic uniforms, was able to direct me to some period illustrations and even a surviving example of the color (I think), which tends to be a good bit deeper than that in the Knotel illustrations.

The officer's "caterpillar" crests tended to be quite lush compared to those of the enlisted men, but since I suspect all of mine came from converted Airfix British Royal Artillery, they are more equitable in their fluffiness.

I ended up using Army Painter Deep Blue for the Jackets, with highlights done in the Army Painter Wolf Grey.

Not sure if this is a reproduction or a period piece, but yet another example of a medium blue as opposed to the more commonly depicted sky blue.

There ended up being a surprising amount of detail in these bad boys.  Well, bits of detail that had to be painted on for the most part, to be more precise.

The  standard bearer is simply a converted foot soldier, the officers, a Hinton Hunt AN 14 Austrian officer with a head swap.  The intricate Bavarian flag was just too much for me to even consider, so this one came from the "Flag Dude".

About face!

I was glad I took the time to black line the saber handles, which I thought set them off nicely.

Given the lack of detail on these, especially the faces and straps, I am a bit reluctant to do close-ups, but here you go, warts and all.

Some of these guys are not exactly handsome, but my goal was to make the faces look acceptable en masse, which I think I achieved.

Very glad to have these done and off the painting table!  Next up the second battalion of the 39th French Infantry Regiment, some Narnian fantasy figures, and then some more 28mm Napoleonic Hussars.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Almost There.....

Just a quick work in progress shot or two this week.  The Bavarians are nearing completion at long last.  Just some detail work and a little bit of highlighting and they will be ready for basing


 Only the sword hilts remain to be done on the backside of the figure.  They will need to be black-lined though, so not insignificant.

 Buttons, cross straps and shoulder straps are all that remain on the front side, but once again, the cross straps at least will need to be a two-step process so that they will stand out against the crossed belts.

Despite the very long time to get these figures to this stage, there is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing they started out as the figures above.  As a reminder, with the help of readers I was able to identify these figures as metals casts of converted Airfix French Old Guard grenadiers.  Matt Golding provided some replacement muskets and I suddenly had what I needed to make a unique battalion of Bavarian infantry.

 I've been slowly whittling away at a series of smaller painting projects, and I am determined to get these off my desk before starting another unit of 1/72 Napoleonics.  On deck I have some figures to supplement a Narnian fantasy army, a base camp vignette for a Napoleonic 28mm army based for a DBA variant, and three elements of French Hussars who have been awaiting paint for a number of years that is embarrassing.

 As a final distraction from painting I have been promising to create an appropriate display for the Tennant collection.  Over the years, our study space became a repository for all kinds of odds and ends (and one massive oak desk that was a gift from one of my wife's colleagues).  Now that or eldest child is settled in Florida and the youngest away in college, I have gotten spousal approval to turn this space into my office and decorate as I wish, so wanted to get a few "before" pictures. 

 I had intended to paint the woodwork (it is inexpensive pine paneling), but these photos gave it a richness it really doesn't possess that I find quite appealing.  It is in actuality quite pale and washed out in appearance.  I may try and give it an application of oil or varnish and see if I can save it, before I commit to painting the room.

 The futon and artwork will be relocated.  I am hopeful that I can find some reasonably priced bookcases or display cases that will take their place and let me show off the Tennant collection.

We have two writing desks or display cabinets in the room that came from my wife's grandparents.  I think one will get relocated and the other will stay.  I may have to try my hand at installing LED display lights within the cabinet.  In any event I wanted to document the state of the study before I get started on bending it too my will.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

15e Chasseurs a Cheval

 Recently I decided to tackle the first unit of Cavalry from the Tennant collection and get them back up to battle readiness.  The cavalry suffered the most in their trip across the Atlantic (with the exception of the artillery limbers).  Most arrived as if taking a sharp turn and had a 35-45 degree lean.  Fortunately the Hinton Hunt company must have used good quality metal, because there were only a handful of snapped ankles and most of the horses were easy to stand upright again.  There was however a significant amount of chipped paint that will need to be corrected as I tackle each new unit.

The Elite Company in their fancy Busbys with red bags trimmed in silver form the right wing.

 They are as beautiful from the back as they are from the front!  As is now fairly standard, the only significant changes to the figures is the addition of highlighting and a wash for shading in select areas, especially the flesh colored areas, as well as the horses.  The horses started as a very uniform enamel brown which really begged for some shading.  This is a super quick process (I just brush on some acrylic colored with black ink) and it makes a huge difference in the appearance of the figure.

Originally painted as the 21e Chasseurs a Cheval, I decided to rename as the 15e since they were a part of the Army of Portugal that I am attempting to use as the model of organization for the Tennant collection.  The 21st had dark orange facings, the 15th, light orange.  With the addition of some high-lighting I felt like it was a justifiable change.  Here you can see some of the amazing customization work Mr. Tennant did.  I believe the trumpet and trumpet cord are both custom additions to the trumpeter.


 Now that I have had a little practice, I feel like my highlighting has become much more subtle and integrates much more seamlessly into the original painting.

 One of three line companies, each with its own distinctive lozenge below the plume.

 Oh my gosh the detail work!

 I didn't want to break off the officer from the trumpeter vignette so added a little gold to his epaulets and gorget to mark him as a major.  Above is an original figure that I have added to the collection to serve as their regimental Colonel.  This is an Art Miniaturen figure of Baron Meda, that is used here to represent Colonel Fran├žois Jacques Guy Faverot de Kerbrech, who served with the 15th from 1811-1815 and was also made a Baron of the Empire, so I figure the fancy tiger saddle cloth might not have been too much of a stretch for him.

 Love all of the silver bullion/lace on his uniform!

Size-wise the Art Miniaturen figures are a good match for the Hinton Hunts, even if just a wee bit bulkier.

 A shot from the new fangled hot air balloon overhead.

Changing the unit designation presented a unique problem, as each of the battalions in the collection has its own name plate.  I was able to find some green card stock that is almost a precise match and identify the font used (which took forever).  The version of the font I have is very slightly different, but so close as to be virtually indistinguishable from the original.

 Now that the French have a couple of cavalry regiments (the 13e Cuirassier and the 15e above), I needed to get a brigade commander and his aide ready to command them.  Fortunately Mr. Tennant has done an excellent job providing appropriate generals.

 These figures really came out well.  The addition of the washes not only brought out detail in the horses, but also the detail in the fringe of the saddle blankets.  The amount of work it must have taken to paint all of the leopard spots is staggering!

So for now I will ride off into the sunset like the General de Brigade and his Aide de Camp, but will return with a new battalion of Bavarians, which has been slowly progressing, but is now coming to the stage of painting where all of the hard work starts to pay off.