Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Antoine Charles Louis, Comte de Lasalle

Back to real Napoleonic painting with a figure I have had for while. Initially inspired by seeing a Doug Mason produced command stand many years ago. It pays homage to the painting by Edouard Detaille which depicts Lasalle at the Battle of Wagram, leading cuirassiers in his final charge - complete with pipe!

Extra work done to the  horses tail to give more movement, horses head moved and the original cast reins removed & replaced with flattened wire ones soldered into place on the bridle and into his hand.

Time for a little Xmas break - back next week after a few days offer. Merry Xmas One & All

Thursday 22 December 2011

Analogue Hobbies - Winter painting challenge.

I have joined in this wonderfully international affair run by Curt in Saskatchewan. The wonders of the Internet never cease to amaze , joining together people of like mind from around the world. Looks like Curt will have his work cut out keeping up with wonderful creations people are working on. I really like the idea of Analogue - you know doing something in the real world you look at and touch & using the virtual or digital technology to unite people. Technology at it's best.

Oh and Ray Roussel - you need to get yer finger out mate.. I reckon 1/2 points for casualty figures, I mean they are mostly in the mud....

Sunday 11 December 2011

Something got me started.....

Back on on the Colonial period. I have been badgering Mark at the WHC about doing something different such as a Sudan game,so following reading the write up of the playtest of the Reigate clubs rules I decided to make some effort to get my own collection moving. I had these once before but sold it on, "everything has a price" as I say. The newer ranges of Perry miniatures have caught my eye (I have not traditionally liked the older shorter, squatter stuff). They are excellent figures.

Well might as well start at the top. The Mahdi - why can't I get the Laurence Olivier voice out of my head. I find the scenario for the relief of Khartoum fascinating. The British commander has to move driven by time constraints, and not just bring to bear overwhelming firepower if they wait long enough.

These are undercoated in Humbrol Matt White, a change from the usual, but you have to use the the best option for the job in hand.Why make work hard for yourself , make the base paint do some work. The whites are shaded with Andrea Color White clothes sets , a mix of 6 colours , which work really well for these. The base of the flesh is Humbrol 62 Leather, and this is highlighted with Vallejo Dark Flesh only to keep the tones dark.

Basing is really simple.White PVA  glue covered with my usual sand, cat litter, budgie grit mix, allowed to dry and drybrushed using a Vallejo White. A bit of "tree" added made from a piece of the beech hedge in the garden. The grasses are by Noch and are a dried summer grass matting from which I have just cut a small bit and stuck it on.

This will be a long term project to build these armies up. I am going to try a box of the plastics Ansar to see how they make up. The smell of plasitc glue will take me right back to the early days of making Airfix kits. Oh and having signed up to Curt's  Analogue Hobbies winter painting challenge they may come in handy!

Tuesday 6 December 2011

New gadget- Paint Mixer

While browsing around the E-Models store I came across a new toy. An electric paint mixer (£12.50). Any of you users of enamel paints will know the problem of getting them to mix. This great device takes all the effort out of it and thoroughly mixes the paint and carrier medium in the small humbrol 14ml tins no problem. The mixer is just a little too big to fit in a Vallejo bottle,I may experiment and file about a millimetre off it , as i have a few of those that could do with refresh too. Given the price of paints anything that help to ensure they last will help. I found it particularly good for mixing Matt Varnish and results of using it after mixing resulted in a really Matt finish. Probably good for those frothy coffee's too.

Saturday 3 December 2011

Anglo Danish Warband

Well , and now for something different. This is a Gripping Beast Warband set I have recently done for a friend who is going to finish them off with the shield transfers and basing. They made a change from the more uniform Napoleonic.

Main colours used are the Andrea Colour sets for  Greens & White(well the base colour is linen). Chain mail done with Vallejo oily steel and gunmetal. Once Matt varnished the mail and other metal where highlighted with a pure silver mix.

I also experiments with a washing/staining process. This involved using a carrier of Humbrol Satin Varnish with a stain of Humbrol Dark Earth added, this was then washed over the figure prior to final Matt Varnishing. It worked really well on some of the shading areas on the lighter colours and faces. More experimentation to come here with different colour stains. Of course I now have a tin pre mixed of my dark earth stain for future use.

Back to more traditional fare with the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot on the table next.

Saturday 26 November 2011

Vistula Lancer - completed

After a final push over this week these lads are now completed. There was more work to castings overall getting the unit composed and the conversion work sorted than the final paint jobs.No figure is just an original casting & no two are the same. 2 squadrons modelled at the charge and two ready to support.  Each has wire reins added and soldered into hands. Each officer was remodelled from the original casting,with replaced pin swords. There was major work on 3 of the 4 trumpeters. Each trooper has the lance soldered in to the hand with arms re-positioned, the straps from the lance added around the arms as well. Overall a fully unique unit , which I am very happy with. Flag and pennants from GMB.(Yes i know they lost the colours in Spain - but ya need a nice flag!). Lances made from 0.8mm piano wire.Horses were a mix of Elite, Connoisseur and Bicorne to provide variation. Based up for Grand Manner 20mm per figure frontage , 45mm depth.

The full unit

There have been some interesting modelling challenges , all over come and skills enhanced with the soldering iron. I will be adding the Lancers of Berg next year i feel.

Monday 21 November 2011

Lt -Col Stanislaw Klicki

 As the Vistula lancers are nearing completion - just a handful of troopers left to do and the basing I decided to also complement them with a staff officer type figure Lt-Col Klicki was commander of the Vistula Legion cavalry in the peninsular and served in Russia. I had a spare French guard lancer officer figure ("Connoisseur" I think)  in the lead pile, so decided to create one from that.

I have added a flattened pin sword, replaced the cast sword knots with wire and soldered in place. I then filed off the ends of the cast racket & cords on the czapka and remade these from 3 strands of copper wire (from am old piece of household appliance flex) braided together &  wrapped around the plume and soldered in place. The racket is made by wrapping the braided wires around the end of a round needle file to create a doughnut which is then filled in with solder filling. the cord is then positioned in place as if flying loose & tinned with solder to stiffen it place. I also added wire reins. The secret to all this small scale soldering - liquid flux - Bakers No 3. The horse is an "Elite miniatures" one which was completed in the big batch done in the summer.

The blue used is the Andrea Color blue clothes set . A really excellent set of paint shades that work well.


I added a spare shako to groundworks as well Overall very pleased with him.

One man & his dog

I have been working on a different request for a friend last week. Not my usual fare, but I have done plenty in the past. A set of 25 figures for an Anglo Danish warband from Gripping Beast. They are nice clean uncomplicated figures. The only real challenge being deciding on colour schemes, non of this referring to uniform plates stuff! I started with their Chieftain figure. He is pretty simple to do as a lot of chain mail , and then a large cloak. Chain mail is done with a mix of Vallejo Oily steel and Gunmetal ,then highlighted up with a little silver after Matt varnishing.

To this I have also added the Warhound , a large bull mastiff type dog available as part of a set from Warlord games, all nice snarly dogs!

So just the rabble to finish off. He made a nice change to do. I will get some photos of the wole mob done once fully based up

Monday 14 November 2011

Vistula Legion Lancers - getting there

It has been a very busy week in the real world! I have completed the officers to go with the trumpeters for the Vistula Lancers and part based them (ready for colours to be applied),  also the first of the men with pointy sticks.So for your delictation.

Holding steady.
 Sound the charge!

 Hacking their way through
Flying czapka! and crashing trumpter.
"Who's idea was this charge?"

First of the lancers

I have had some different requests come in for the brushes so there may a short delay on finishing these lads while i sort out painting an Anglo Saxon warband! - that's different!

Monday 7 November 2011

Repairs to an old friend "Mamaluke"

While down at the WHC last weekend I picked up a figure I originally converted and painted about 12 years ago. He was in need of a little bit of a refresh and repair as there was some damage to the rear legs and sword. This has all now been sorted out. The figure is a "Bicorne" miniatures one on a Bicorne heavy horse which has had wire reins added & been cut free at the front so it appears to be leaping.

In addition i have completed the trumpeters for the Vistula lancers. All have had extra wire reins added. Trumpets were made for 3 of them from scratch and then added to the converted  figures as required .

The one on the left is pretty much the standard figure with just the head turned more to its right. The falling one is the same figure and horse. I must thank Doug Mason for the knowledge & teach in of how to do this with the soldering iron (watching him create a splayed out hand just using a soldering iron is incredible)  and the inspiration of looking at his own creations.

This one had his arm released from the casting , the existing trumpet was cut away and replaced by a scratch one. The head repositioned by twisting, then the trumpet was then soldered to the hand and positioned as if being blown. The the arm is then cut & bent to match it and soldered back on . The cord of the trumpet is created from 3 strands of twisted copper wire from a normal piece of household electrical flex. This is passed around the figure and soldered to the trumpet.

This one has his sword out as if to slash down on some poor infantryman and trumpet flung behind him.

Almost finished the officers too.

Monday 31 October 2011

Leipzig at WHC

I finished off last week with a 3 day game at the WHC. A refight of the big one! The Battle of Nations. So many toys to play with it takes 3 days. I ended up being French for the first time in years. Given the job of co-ordinating the defence of Souhams & Marmonts army corps to stop the Army of Silesia, and then attempt to break out. I met some old friends from many battles fought over the years - we did wonder where exactly how many of those years had gone - especially with that old video Tony - , along with new guys. A weekend with like minded folk is good for the soul.

I managed to persuade Napoleon that we needed a little more battle cavalry to put Bluchers combined Russo-Prussian army to flight, and was delighted to have the services of the Saxon, Guard du Corps and Zastrow Kuirassier. There are a few extra rules to hamper the Saxons in this battle,but apart from one low roll they followed orders all the time. Mind refusing to charge into the routing mob in front of them was a real roll to choose to be disobedient! I guess they thought their work was done.

Thanks go to Lee Sharpe for playing out a great battle,which lasted the full 3 days. In the end the Grenadiers a Cheval really put the boot into the tired Army of Silesia - it wasn't pretty. Mark from the WHC will have a full write up on the WHC website soon.

Lee looks on as those pesky Zastrow Kuirassier force his Russian infantry units into square. Grand Manner really rewards combined arms play.

 Riding down Russians, that would be two battallions destroyed then..

I enjoy looking at other painters creations, and these are a joy to look at. You can always pick up little tips by just looking . I may have to do some of these.

Cracking on with the Vistula Lancer  trunpeters and officers this week.

Friday 21 October 2011

Vistula Legion Infantry - part 3 & started painting Lancers

Finished off the fusiliers for the Vistula Infantry. Very pleased with how these turned out. The castings by "Elite" are first class. It was nice to not have them looking up at the sky as they sometimes seem to be.

Groundwork and photo courtesy of John D
I have also started work on the painting of the Vistula lancers. Just a test one to start with (Officer hence no lance), and I am pleased with the results. More work over the next few days to finish of the soldering and final tweaks to the rest of troopers. It will be a real one off unit once completed.

I am enjoying the modelling challenge here. Lots of extra work going into the castngs with moving arms , replaced swords, sword scabbards remade and flying loose, reins added, czapka has chords and rackets added. All good fun!

I have also come across some old 30mm Stadden figures which need a little repair and restoration before going to auction at Vectis, pictures next time

Sunday 16 October 2011

Vistula Legion Infantry - part 2

It's been a busy week , so progress has been a little slower than normal. I have finished the Grenadier and Voltigeur companies, with the fusiliers about half way there.I have also got some paint on the first of the Vistula Lancers - well it's the same colours, so i thought i might as well.

The more of them I paint , the more impressed I am with the castings. More next week

Monday 10 October 2011

Vistula Legion Infantry

It is back to it after the break. I have been working on some "Elite miniatures" Vistula legion infantry. They are very nice casting and paint up well.

These have yellow facings and the drummers with reverse colours have yellow jackets. Yellow can be a difficult colour to work with I find sometimes. The yellows here are initially undercoated in a yellow ochre and highlighted up with a an "Andrea color" Basic Yellow which is finely pigmented and covers well. Further highlights are Vallejo Flat Yellow  and very top colour is Andrea Light Yellow. The rest of the unit is blocked up ready for fine detailing.

The French Cuirassier band has also turned up all the way from Italy. Looking forward to doing them over the winter. I have a 28mm French field hospital set on the way as well..

Monday 26 September 2011

A little R&R

The brushes have been resting for a few weeks as i have been on holiday. I have been to Normandy yet again enjoying the food & wine. Of course Normandy is also full of history. I have previously been there photographing wargraves as part of  "The Wargraves Photographic Project". The project aim is to enable families, scholars and researchers to obtain, via the CWGC or TWGPP websites, a copy of the photograph of a grave or memorial which for many is impossible to visit due to the location. When i started there were less than 50,000 photographs, it is now up to over 1.7 million, and also fully recognised by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission. It is very moving when you get a thank you from a relative for taking the time to provide the photograph. A really worthwhile project.

Private Jack Banks - Jerusalem Cemetery , Chouain, Calvados. - Age 16
The price of freedom is high

View along "Omaha" beach from inside WN62 - Nowhere to hide.

Just how much closer can you land a Horsa glider to a bridge in the dark?

Into battle with a set of Pipes. 

Anyway all ready to pick up the brushes again. Next up some Polish Infantry.

Monday 5 September 2011

A few riflemen

I have been working on a variety of things this last few weeks. I have been painting some figures I have not done before which are the Trent Miniatures 5/60th Rifles. They were very pleasant to paint. Nice clean crisp castings. These figures do not have backpacks, coats etc ether so not cluttered. Usual dark grey undercoat and then I used the Andrea Green paint ACS09 set and the odd bit of Vallejo Flat Green. The Andrea Color sets give a very subtle change of hue as they give you a dark base coat and then 3 light shades , and then 2 darker shades, the idea is to mix two together each time. it gives a really good effect. They do dry darker however, and as these were to be gloss varnished they need a little extra lift hence using a little Vallejo Green just to lift the overall effect with the varnish

Also a handful of mounted French officers. One of which was an Elite Miniatures Collectors series. This had separate scabbard and reins. Really not sure of the overall value of these to the average collector. I end up replacing the cast reins with some home made ones , I think they looked better as well.

I also took delivery of some of the newer 1815 range of Perry miniatures French command sets. I am not a great fan of Perry stuff as in the past it has all been to me a bit small overall. I was pleasantly surprised by these. There are some some really good story telling sets. The Chief of staff wrting orders, the ADC's waiting and the hangers-on (FN53) pictured here.
.  For now they can be added to lead pile. I have completed casting work on about half the Vistula lancers , so hopefully they will be ready for painting some time in October.

Monday 22 August 2011

Repairs to an old friend. "Prince Eugene"

This week has been mainly spent working on preparing the next lot of projects. I picked up an old friend at my last visit to the WHC, who has seen much duty over the years. However he has picked up a few war wounds along the way, the horse was broken from its base, his plume was gone, his sword was broken off too. I would swear someone has stood on it!  I asked Doug Mason to repair the horse  with solder from the base to the knee joint of both hind legs. He also created the plume from solder. I was able to sort the sword out re soldering it. I then had to try and match painting that was 30 years old. Mainly used humbrols and a bit of a khaki wash to add a little ageing prior to the gloss varnish. Overall I think he is ready for duty again.
I seems this was an original Peter Gilder creation and still looks great. The base figure is Willie figure I am informed with the head being a PG creation as is the horse (thanks Phil for info)

Talking of the WHC. I also found an old photo from 1990. This was the invitation game held on the 175th Anniversary of Waterloo. With Peter Gilder leading the French against Mike Ingham's Brits. I was on the French side and we got a good drubbing!

Rear (Brits) - Mark Freeth, Andy Moorhouse, Mike Ingham , Ricard Harris , Steve Shann
Front (French) Me! ,Chris Flowers, Simon Clark, Doug Mason, Paul Williamson, Peter Gilder.
(Thanks to Tony Dillon & Richard Harris for clearing up a few names )

Peter was in a wheelchair at the time suffering with the motor-neurone disease that he succumbed to later that year. I think this was his last game. I was even helping to feed him. I know it was certainly sad seeing him like that. But he enjoyed himself as we all did. 

And here are another couple of Vistula legion lancer conversions completed ready for painting.

 Trumpeter crashing to the ground, hands flailing, trumpet flying loose - in my minds eye I see the canister striking!

Officer about to crash his sabre down upon his foe, drawing his arm back & leaning into the blow. The sword scabbard is flying loose on its belts, His boots are dug into the horses side for more purchase . The horse is turned to that side pulling on it reins  too. Mane and tail are reworked with the soldering iron for more movement.