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.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Strike up the band & some new technology.

Well they say music stirs the soul. This week I have been working on the newly arrived French Guard Band set. It is not always about the fighting troops and these guys will add some colour and fun to proceedings and maybe improve the moral of the fighting troops. This is a "Bicorne" miniatures set of 22 figures. The castings were of excellent quality with little work required to clean them up. In terms of make up the figure mix does lack a few instruments having more trumpeters than required but no trombones and again more bassoons than required but no clarinets. There is a nice two piece casuality set with the pair singing along - these are labelled as flute in the catalogue , but are both actually carrying trumpets. They are all also sculpted in campaign dress. I have access to a lot of information on Napleonic uniforms , but there was not much in the collection on the various bands campaign dress. I did however find one decent reference for 1806-7 where the band wore striped trousers on campaign, so I went for that option.

Usual undercoats, Humbrol 67 (dark grey) for the dark areas and 64 (light grey)for the trousers. Blue is Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue highlighted with a mix of Flat blue. Of course the time consuming bit was the trousers. After uncoating they were done in Humbrol 33 white and allowed to dry. The stripes were done using Vallejo Flat blue thinned with 50/50 paint/water to form a thin ink consistency, Using a decent long sable watercolour brush with long bristles and small point it (it was a No1)  was just a case of loading the brush with  the paint.ink and completing a stripe or two and repeating around the trousers. Once this was done there was a little more shade and highlight added to the folds with a light grey /white vallejo mix. They were Matt varnished. And I refreshed the mettalics using a mix of Vallejo Brass with some added in Rich Gold powder (ROSE paints) to make the instruments shine more.

I enjoyed these as they were something different. I am still on the look out for some nice full dress bandsmen to do another time. I would also like to get hold of the Mounted Cuirassier band produced by Mirliton as well.(Mirliton - Cuirassier Band). Turns out these are available through Vexilla

I have also been playing with technology this week and got hold of "blinky lights" from an internet light effects jewelry website. Product name Alectralights available in a host or colours - I went for Orange - so with a bit of basing and spraying some cotton wool a murky smoke colour I now have some burning firing etc markers

Not great video quality but you get the idea. The actual "blinky" is a two part cylinder about 10mm x 10mm has a battery life of about 10 hours - they can be changed as well - also came with spare batteries. They are also magnetic and come with a small magnet . You just screw the top down until it turns on , and unscrew to turn off or to change the battery. Cost £2 per "blinky" - but sure with a bulk order discounts can be found.

Just to give an idea of size - they are really small.

Available from Warlord games- with a small selection of colours.
Or if you want some more unusual colours  from Blinkylights

Back to more work on the castings for the Vistula Lancers - there is going to be a lot of conversion work here , this unit will be a real one off. I have a French light infantry ready for blocking and finishing as well this week. I am also eagerly awaiting the arrival of more lead from the "Colonial" period - Time to get back to true roots more later.


  1. Fantastic looking band Dave. The light idea looks very cool too.

  2. Brilliant, you never think of the band normally but they were a big part of the armies.

  3. A Superb looking unit!!! Love the effect of the blinky light, it knocks spots of the usual lump of cotton wool.

  4. Lovely! Not something you see very often (and bigger than many people's battalions).


  5. Amazing painting - sure to grab attention.

    Love the flashy light thing - very clever.


  6. I agree with the others - brilliant addition to any army.

  7. Thanks guys appreciate the positive feedback. Just ordered the mounted band today - shoudl arrive from Italy sometime in September, should be interesting


Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

15mm Terrain bits
15mm WW2 Germans

On the PREPATION table.
28mm Sudan.

15mm Napoleonics .