Sunday 25 October 2020

9th Lancers to Kandahar

 From the very beginning of my NWF efforts a painting by Orlando Norie kept fascinating me:

Thus acutally since 2015 I've been pondering about painting a unit of lancers to represent those brave men. To be honest those figures have been lying on my lead pile for a while but during the last weeks I finally took the time to finish the horeses (they've been primed ages ago...) and to paint the riders. All in all I aimed for a twelve men unit to have them ready for any rule set from 'The Men who would be Kings' to 'Blackpowder':

The miniatures themselves are from Perry Miniatures' sublime Sudan range. Actually they represent the 10th Hussars fighting against the Mahdi rebellion with improvised lances to catch prone enemies. After I compared them to Norie's painting I came to the conclusion that they should serve rather well. There are a couple of small inaccuracies: The blanket on the back of the saddle is missing, the 9th lancers on the painting appear to carry an Indian style water bottle, it's not clear whether there are pugrees on the painting. Anyway I was ready to accept those minor flaws. Especially since I didn't find any better models.

There are several photographs of 9th lancers during their tour of duty in 1880. On these the fellows show a variety of clothing: home service pieces, padded winter jackets, khaki jackets etc. After some pondering I decided to paint the unit uniformly in khaki jackets and blue home service trousers.

For painting the figures I employed my trousted Vallejo paints. The khaki sheme is bases on VGC 'Khaki' while most other paints where from the Vallejo Model Color range. For the first time I didn't employ Wargames Foundry's skin colour sextette but Citadel's contrast paint 'Darkoath Flesh'. I'm really pleased with the result. Especially because it safes loads of time. It's just one layer. No more no less. With the Foundry colours I painted fours to six layers to build up shades, highlights etc.

For the lances I decided to use steel pikes rather than the delivered lead ones. My experience showed that the latter tend to bent and never get straight again. Although those don't represent the bamboo lances used at that time perfectly I appreciate their durability. The pennants are self-made. I cut them from common printer paper and apprlied super glue to give them a plastic like stiffness. Finally painted them red over white.

To pretect the models I applied a couple of layers of gloss and flat varnish by airbrush.

That's it for now. Soon there is more NWF stuff to follow but not now. I hope you like them. Please feel free to leave a comment to let me know.

Wednesday 30 September 2020

Ships of the Desert

A couple of years ago Iron Duke released some wonderful sets with camels, elephants, pieces of load and other useful bits and pieces to bring a table to life. Thus on Tactica I bought a couple of these camels from Empress and they've been lying on the lead pile for a while now. Finally last week I found the time to paint them:
The figures are of excellent quality. The sculpts and nice and detailed and the casting is superb. Literally I didn't have to clean any flash.
This time I combined Citadel Contrast Paints for the basic fur colour and the red blanket and Vallejo Model Colors for the other parts and the highlights. Afterall I'm pretty happy with my first camels. Later there's loaf to come and maybe more camels for the Camel Korps as part of the Gordon release expedition. 

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Sedantag, 150th anniversary: Kaiser Wilhelm I.

In view of the occasion I painted a miniature that had been resting on my lead pile for a couple of years. It's a wonderful incarnation of Kaiser Wilhelm I. which was sculpted by Alan Perry as a special miniature for Tactica 2016. I'm not sure whether I'll ever need him on table but it was a great figure to paint.

On the underlying picture by German painter Wilhelm Camphausen both uniform and coat appear to have the same nearly black colour. Nevertheless I decided to give my Kaiser some more play of colours. So I opted for the classic Prussian blue for the uniform and a rather greyish-blue tone for the coat. The figure is painted with Vallejo Model colours and some Citadel contrast paints here and there.

I hope you like it.

Thursday 11 April 2019

King Henry V

So it's the final days of the challenge and two entries to go for me. Here's one that is very near and dear to me:

King Henry V
of England

Actually this figure has been lying on my lead pile for ages. I've bought it a while ago when I saw that wonderful sculpt by Alan Perry but I didn't find the time to paint it. But since Henry V by Kenneth Branagh is one of my - if not just my - favourite movie I always regretted not paying attention to it.

Now after our ACW project came to a temporary end I took the time to splash some paint onto Harry. The figure is part of Perry Miniatures' AO01 set from their Agincourt range. He's a mounted 28mm figures of two parts: Horse and Harry. Since I didn't like the original horse delivered with my set I changed it to a more 'royal' breed with nicer horse tack.

Focussing on the single miniature was pure joy again. The sculpt is tremendously detailed and Alan even managed to work out an indication of Harry's coat of arms. Thus it was difficult but at least possible to paint his surcoat properly. I hope you like my humble piece of work.

Last but not least let me deliver the two scenes I watched / listened to over and over while painting this figure:

That's it for now. Besides: God for England, Harry and Saint George!!

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Union Troops for Tactica

Main part of my winter efforts were troops for our presentation game at Tactica in Hamburg in February. Namely ACW Union troops. Somehow I didn't manage to post the units step by step so I'll present them all in one go now.

For our game we needed several units of Union infantry. So I promised my friend Holger to deliver two 24 men units respectively four units of 12 figures. One of the units was painted before the Painting Challenge started but the other was to enter and leave the painting table around Christmas. Here it is:

The unit is made of 24 figures from the Perry Miniatures plastic boxes. Here obviously mainly skirmishing poses from box ACW120. Of course it's a bunch of work to clean and assemble all those parts but they deliver a wonderful variety of combinations to create unique units.

Two bases carry the colours. One the Union flag and one the regimental flag. They are by top-notch flag maker GMB Designs who delivers some of the best flags on the market. I decided to split the colours to have them truely in the centre of the unit when fielding all six bases. When using two 12 men units then each of them keeps one flag. To my mind that looks better than having two flags in a smallish unit of three bases.

The whole unit is based with for figures per 40mm x 40mm base. Somehow that took root as our standard basing for Blackpowder games.

Every infantry brigade need a certain amount of artillery support. Thus I prepared three guns and four crew men per piece.

Two of the guns were based properly and with its crew properly attached to the base. The figures and guns are again by Perry Miniatures and come from their excellent plastic box. It contains enough parts to build three guns, three limbers and 18 crew. It is also versatile enough to produce either Union or Confederate artillery.

With the describtion from the leavlet it's possible to build figures according to the ACW artillery drill which I did more or less.

The third battery is kind of unfinished. The gun itself is painted as the other pieces are but the crew is kind of substitute. All four figures are completely painted but actually they are the remaining crewmen of the first two guns. They are meant to operate the limbers but in this time of dearth they were ordered to handle the third gun. Thus they haven't been based yet...

Command Vignettes
Those reliable Yanks needed some commanding officers of course. For our game I had the honour and pleasure to deliver a brigade commander and a divisional commander. The first one was made from the plastic sprue that the Perrys deliver when ordering Blackpowder 2 from them:

Actually I wanted to give him a standard bearer aside but then I noticed that this plastic figure is significantly smaller then the metal cavalry figures. Thus he had to stay on his own and I mounted him on a rund 40mm base. Nevertheless it's a wonderful frame. It has enough parts to build a Union or Confederate officer and has a large variety of options. Additionally it's compatible with the plastic boxes delivering even more options. For this very special incarnation of a Union colonel I used the plastic figure as a base, assembled another head and made shoulder straps and collar from greenstuff. Actually the figure comes with seperate plastic shoulder straps but I cut them when I tried to loosen them from the sprue so I had to sculpt new ones.

However our division needed a commander so I made another base representing this honourable officer:

Here we have three mounted soldiers. All by Perry Miniatures as well: One mounted general, a standard bearer and a trumpeter. The officer comes from one of the mounted generals sets while the soldiers are actually cavalrymen in sack coates. From my humble point suitable enough for an escort.

This time the flag isn't by GMB. It's rather a product of yours truely himself because he forgot to order the correct standard and didn't realise it until it was too late. Thus there was no other way then printing the flag by himself. Anyway I'm rather satisfied with the result.

Well that's it. In addition to the priorly painted unit all the stuff I brought to Tactica and main project this winter:
  • 24 men unit of infantry. Flags by GMB only glued to shape and edges repainted. Whole unit based on 40mm x 40mm bases with four figures per base.
  • 3 artillery pieces and 12 crewmen. Two guns with crew based on scenic bases, one gun and four crewmen unbased.
  • 1 mounted brigade commander. Based on 40mm round base. Multi-part plastic figure with converted head. Collar and rank insignia resculpted with greenstuff.
  • 3 men divisional command vignette. Three mounted figures. Standard self-made. Based on an oval base of 100mm x 50mm
Having finished those in time really made me happy and maybe kind of proud. Although my club fellows brought more figures by far, it was the largest amount of figures I provided to a presentation game until now. We'll set up ACW for another small convention in Germany again and I'm looking forward to seeing my Yanks on the field again. In Hamburg they earned their stripes and helped to win the day twice.