Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Retreat 1812 - Duchy of Warsaw figures

Finally this weekend I was able to send Curt the first entries for his painting challenge. Since I didn't have time to paint anything else during the first week of the challenge my first entries were my contribution to the "cold" bonus round:

A band of Duchy of Warsaw soldiers for Napoleon's retreat from Moscow
The miniatures:
The miniatures are from Murawski Miniatures. This small company run by Roger Murrow publishes a nice range of 28mm Napoleonics for Polish troops especially for 1812 - 1814. Above all he has some excellent figures in campaign and full dress but likewise two sets of ragged soldiers for the retreat 1812 theme. The seven miniatures I’m presenting here are from one of these sets.
The miniatures are sculpted by extraordinarily gifted Paul Hicks and by themselves a feast for the eye. The details are crisp and clear, the casting quality is extremely good and each and every of the figures is full of character. To cut the long story short: It was pure joy to paint those fellows.

In case that you like the figures have a look at Roger's (Murawski's) homepage. He's offering free shipping until 31st December.
The colours:
As usual I used Vallejo Model Colors to paint the boys. Because of the chaotic background of the retreat I didn’t want to paint them too uniformily and so decided to use different shades of brown and grey for the overcoats. But nevertheless the band should contain an idea of cohesion. Therefore I tried to give all of them special items in dark green. Most of them wear scarves or gloves where I seized this colour. Only exception is the grenadier which unfortunately doesn’t wear anything else than the tabard which I painted brownish.

Most of the figures didn’t have gloves because they’re operating their muskets. Anyway for some of them I painted half-fingered gloves because I found it plausible that they might have protected themselves this way.

Actually I used nothing too special. The usual mix of sand, filler, (white) paint, static grass and PVA glue. As snow I use “Korundsand” (engl. May be: corundum sand). It’s a fine-grained and pure white abrasive which dental technician use for sandblasting. It has some sparkling grain in it and keeps its colour very good. Besides it’s extremely durable so actually perfect for the hard missions on the wargaming tables.
I hope you like my humble work.
Although Curt didn't actualise the standings yet those chaps should have earned me 35 points in addition to 50 point for fulfilling the bonus round. A good start which pushes me slightly above my expectations.
My goal for this week is to get as far with the figures for the next bonus theme as possible. This time it's "Mount(s) and Rider(s)" and I'm painting a couple of Normans / Early Crusaders for it. Deadline is 28th December but I'm pretty confident to have them finished before Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Painting Challenge Week 1 - On target so far

Finally the first week of this year's painting challenge is over and luckily I'm on target so far:
For the first week my goal was to paint six Murawski Poles for Napoleon's Retreat in 1812. Fortunately I managed to finish seven instead so I'm slightly better off then I calculated. Only 5 points but better 5 points in front than 5 points behind.

Here's a small preview for the 1812 Poles which I'll cover more detailed tomorrow respecting Curt's request to publish the pictures 24 hours in advance of us condributers:
During the weekend I started to paint the horses and riders for the second bonus round on 28th December. That departs a bit from my initial plan but I decided that I should do the compulsory tasks first. We'll see how that'll come out on the spreadsheet but actually I hope that preparing the bonus rounds in advance should create some space during the later weeks of the challenge.
Unfortunately I wasted nearly the whole Saturday with searching Thor for the "Myth" bonus round and spent yesterday evening with my lovely wife and the second part of the Hobbit triology. On the one hand a good time to relax but on the other hand I feel a bit behind my schedule on the painting table.

So for this evening "Full steam ahead !" is the motto. My wife will leave me behind with our girls but I hope they'll fall asleep early and will mete some free time out to me.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Generous Mr Awdry !

Constant readers of Michael Awdry's outstanding blog 28mm Victorian Warfare might have noticed that I was the lucky winner of his 500k hits raffle. Today I realised how incredibly lucky I was because his highly generous gift arrived today. A gorgeous selection of precious items awaited me inside a prudent wrapping:
Crikey! He even added a tea bag to his splendid mug: Newby's Earl Grey tea. Although I didn't know this brand Earl Grey is my favourite flavour. Either Michael guessed right or we share some similar preferences or Earl Grey is simply THE tea for wargamers. Anyway I was really pleased to find it besides the mug and a very witty pair of cufflinks. Another perfect item since I actually prefer shirts with double cuffs. Maybe these are not the set to choose for business but they'll find use during some leisure activities.

Most eye-catching part of the set is maybe the miniature Michael included. A set of two wounded British soldiers from Empress Miniatures' excellent Anglo-Zulu War range painted by the goodman of Awdry Towers in person.
My picutres hardly do justice to this piece of art and it demands to be framed with a collection tackling this theatre of war. Originally I wanted to disregard this conflict but at least a couple of South Wales Borderers will follow sooner or later.

As well as those miniatures the mug found instant entry into my household. Here you see it besides my other two favourite mugs:
Last but not least Michael topped the set off with a very nice Christmas card and best wishes from him and his dear wife.

Honestly I don't want to over-egg the pudding but I cannot thank him enough for this generous present which really made my day.

Finally I sat down to finish my set of miniatures for the first bonus round of Curt's painting challenge. Of course I had to employ my new mug to hold a sip of Michael's tea and added a slice of Christstollen a traditional German fruit cake which my mother baked:
What else can I say?
Exactly my cup of tea.