Tuesday, 3 January 2017
Two posts in three nights what am I thinking! Well this rapid post is all due to a discovery made in the attic yesterday. This probably represents the turning point for me from being a modeller to being a wargamer.
From the age of about 8 I stuck model aircraft (and my fingers) together and attempted to paint them. After a good many kits and reaching the age of around 14, I had become fairly proficient for my years. Other recent attic finds have surprised me at the detail I tried to put in at that age. I even had a 1/24th Scale Hawker Hurricane where I even painted a handlebar moustache on the pilot!
Certainly, I went through that phase of throwing marbles at plastic 1/32 airfix figures in garden gaming, not exactly HG Wells style but I had fun. But I hadn't tried wargaming 'properly'. A friend had shown me how to use a ruler to give rifles a distance and grenades other distances but lethality was decided by who was in range rather than any dice throws, effects of cover etc so it was barely one up from the marble method.
I think there were 3 co-incidental factors which happened at the same time.
1. A history project in class which we had to work on and present (I chose Waterloo because of the next point).
2. A rather good book on the Battle of Waterloo which I had on near permanent loan from the school library. There was something about the first hand accounts which wouldn't leave my imagination alone.
3. This battle set produced by Esci especially the artwork by Rick Scollins, I mean look at it! It has everything - drama, colour, desperation, heroic officers, smoke, battle lines wavering. This picture inspired me as I painted as many plastic 1/72 figures as I could get my hands on - (not realising that within a few years the paint would ping off!).
When I found this lid,battered as it was, it all came racing back, those thoughts and inspiration which it gave me some 33 years ago. I have the box sat behind me at the moment rescued from the attic. I don't know what to do with it. Thoughts of framing it come into my mind.
One thing is for sure though - I'll be keeping it safe now and seeking inspiration from it anytime I need it. Thank you Rick Scollins (sadly deceased now I understand) for helping me to get into this fine hobby with your amazing artwork!
Saturday, 31 December 2016
The figures are 28mm from the plastic boxed set produced by Perry Miniatures. I love these figures and really enjoyed putting them together and painting them. I'm not normally a fan of marching poses, preferring the more dynamic poses of shooting or attacking with bayonet (it's my Airfix upbringing!), however I do really like these.
This is my second attempt at finishing this unit. The stars and stripes flag is produced by GMB and is beautiful. As I couldn't find any images of the flag for the 4th Virginia I decided to paint my own regimental colour. This looked pretty good and I used a gel pen to produce some pretty nice scroll work and writing BUT overnight the gel pen ink spread like a fountain pen on blotting paper so by morning it looked like I had used the flag to wipe my tears (which I could well have done at that point!). This yellow flag is instead a replacement and rescued me. It is produced by Flags of War and is lovely. I have just in the last few minutes painted the edges of it and replaced my duff flag. I am really pleased with this flag. Flags of War allow you to choose your own regiments and colours for the unknown colours and then they print it to your desire. A perfect solution.
Paints used were my usual combinations of Foundry, Vallejo and Citadel. I went for the the Foundry Triad French blues which are a tad darker to my earlier painted units, but I feel this has the right look.
I have about 6 minutes now before New Year so I had better post a bit quick to get it into 2016 as mentioned earlier! Enjoy the rest of the photos!
Wednesday, 21 December 2016
I apologise for the poor lighting on the following close-ups- I nearly didn't post them but as they are only few and might be of interest, I included them.
Well, December is racing by - I reckon I can get one more AWI post of recently completed troops in before the end of the year if the new flag arrives in time for them. It's going to be a post on this or a rambling blog post about my first thoughts on playing Team Yankee and reading the rules for Flames of War. I hope the AWI flag arrives quickly!
Thursday, 1 December 2016
Some troops ready to seriously challenge the British 'Light Bobs' on the field of battle. Here we have the foot troops of Lee's Legion ready for battle.
Usually with painting for a particular project, I will determine the theatre of war that my main interest lays, and then a date range or particular campaign and then build my forces around that. With my American War of Independence troops, my main interest is in the Southern campaign around the time of the Guilford Courthouse battle. In this case, I had a conflict in the uniform I wanted to paint Lee's Legion in and what they actually wore.
I have always found artwork of Lee's foot troops resplendent in their purple uniforms an irresistible object of my desire to paint as wargaming figures. However as I read further into the particular campaign of 1781, it became apparent that Lee's men are described as being dressed in green making them very similar in appearance to Tarleton's British Legion.
I have recently painted Tarleton's Legion, and very smart they look too, however I really had set my heart on the slightly earlier purple uniform (though I know that the purple is disputed by some). So I had a dilemma on my hands - though a not un-enjoyable one. I find that when confronted by work issues in the day job it is a nice distraction to think about more important issues such as paints to use on wargame figures when one gets home!
So as we can see, I made the decision. At least I can use these for earlier campaigns should I wish and I shall just have to imagine that perhaps some old stocks of uniforms may have been found for some men for the Guilford Courthouse battle!
Anyway, the figures are from Perry Miniatures. The paints used were a combination of colours from different companies, with much mixing of paint to to get subdued shades of a not too gaudy workman-like appearance...and yet be a purple hue.
I think the 'Tarleton' helmet is such smart uniform item and it always pleases me to see units wearing this item of headgear.
I have high hopes of the performance of these chaps on the field of battle given their high morale and light infantry skills. As a freshly painted unit we will have to see whether they break the age old tradition of new units of fleeing in the first turns of their first outing!
A few more pics to follow below...
Tuesday, 8 November 2016
I paint units (eventually!), but the commanders get neglected in my desire to get units on the table
I am really pleased to get a commander ready to take his place on the field. This time we see a British brigade commander and one of his staff observing and giving orders to the men in the field.
The figures are from the superb Perry Miniatures range and painted with combination of paints, mostly Foundry, but also with Vallejo, some Games Workshop and some Miniature Paints.
I love the pose of his officer, leaning in his saddle as he stares at something distant that has caught his attention. One can only guess at the forthcoming drama that has caught his gaze.
The basing material is from Mini Natur with my usual selection of twigs and cat litter rocks to break up the green.
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
After yet another blogging absence I return but this time with the light cavalry of Edward IV ready to take to the field. These fellows are from the plastic boxed range produced by Perry Miniatures.
I was tempted to build them as mounted hobilars with bows but I really wanted troops I could use for Tewkesbury and similar actions where light cavalry could be used decisively. I tend to interpret the 'spears' in the woods at Tewkesbury as mounted light cavalry - it seems more believable for a relatively small force to make such a big impact on the battle if they had some horsepower and mobility.
I have intentionally lowered some of the lance tips to infantryman level. Combat against foot troops and pursuit of the same probably being the most likely role rather than mixing it with mounted heavies in plate armour.
I really like the colour of this period of history and rather than cut down on my photos, I have included the full number including the close ups of each stand. I couldn't decide which to delete so have included the full set of photos.
Even though I have been absent from blogging, I have made some progress with other projects and got several excellent games in. Summer is always really busy for me with as much time spent outside on the ranges as possible and making black powder smoke with my muskets. I also spent time with my crossbow at the range between painting sessions of these troops - I think I was suitably inspired and with a medieval mind! Crossbow shooting in good company on a fine summers morning has a lot to recommend for it. More photos of recent projects to follow in due course!