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 30 January 2012

Mamaluke progress - part 2

I have now done the main horse colours and the faces, headdress and some of the main blocks of colour. They are going to be very colourful when done.Horses were done in what was for me a fairly old oil and enamel mix technique - this gives plenty of time to shade and highlight to get he result I wanted. I undercoated the horses in range of differing colour shades and gave them a light oil wash and left them overnight. Next day I again did another light oil wash of Burnt Umber or Burnt Sienna or Indian Red and then used Enamel white and leather brown and some white spirit blended the colours with oil to get a whole range of shades and finishes.

I have then just worked on one to finish it , to work out the various colours and processes that need to done for the rest.
He has come up rather well I think.

In between all this colourfulness I have also knocked off a French Legere - they seem to have been popular recently! 
Aim is to complete the Mamalukes this week - there is the sound of Sudan drums - there is an order on the way! 

Monday 23 January 2012

Work in progress - Mamalukes

Well they have to be one of the most colourful units in the Napoleonic period. I have had these rider casting from Bicorne for some time - they are a really nice figure, and having recently taken delivery of some some new horse casting from Firing Line I have started work on "customising".  They are going to be a fully unique unit with each figure and horse different. Almost all the original arms have been removed and repositioned and soldered back on, heads moved, reins added (to be soldered on after horse painting). Additional work is required on the horses due to extra horse furniture decorations these guys had too (done with the soldering iron and files). A number of horses are re-positioned and turned etc.

The left hand side one is a straight original casting.

This one was fun - removed sword and made it
hanging from wrist on cord,and added in a pistol to the hand
 The command trio - added banner & cord to the trumpet, made the Toug? from milliput for the standard bearer. I may even add in a proper eagle bearer to.

 Right - now all we need is some paint on the blighters....

I am looking forward to doing these

oh and JD has finished the horse, basing and flag on 1st Regt of Vistula infantry I did last year so here they are.They look really good and great posed shot too.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Band of the 1st Cuirassier Regiment

Something a bit different this time. After previously completing the Old Guard band I had been looking for some mounted musicians. Having been on the verge of trying to create my own set I was given a steer via the group knowledge of the Steve Dean forum to this set of "Mirliton" castings(makers of some really unusual stuff!) from Italy via Martin at "Vexillia" who specialises in imports. They are an older style of 25mm figures. they have separate rider, saddles and horses.

" Timbalier"

Very few regiments had full mounted bands that also included a Timbalier or Kettle drummer and the 1st fit the bill. But they nearly became the 22nd Dragoons in yellow were it not for the lack of the Timbalier. If you want to know anything about Trumpeters and Musicians there is a fantastic new French publication on the 1st Empire - "Les Trompettes de Cavalerie sous l'Empire"

How many other units do you get with white horses -alright apart from the worst led cavalry in Europe.. those Scots Greys.

Left in glorious gloss , with Red, White & Blue was else was I gonna do!

Really enjoyed doing  these guys, nice to do something different.

More good stuff on the prep table, lots of cavalry.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Mahdist Camels

I have a few older Connoisseur casting to try out so have completed 5 of theses.I soldered the riders in place as there was not much surface area for gluing in place.  I really like the look of the camel it is well designed, The running ones have some real movement in them. They are done a basic Yellow Ochre Humbrol 83 colour and highlighted up using Vallejo Yellow Ochre and a White mix , this is applied slightly thinned to the higher areas that need defining. The falling one is a straight casting no work required. The riders are a basic casting without loads of detail, and are done with a white undercoat and the skin tone is a Humbrol Leather 62 washed on , and then given a further wash of a flat brown. The jibbah is washed with a thinned Vallejo khaki or Andrea linen white colour  and then the tops highlighted with a neat white. Coloured patches added. They were quick to do and that was the real test , as these will be the first of around 150 that will be added to the collection - and it is the mass that will really impress.


Sunday 8 January 2012

"Heads up, gentlemen, these are bullets, not turds". Colonel Major Louis Lepic

I created this rendition of the commander of the Grenadiers à Cheval de la Garde Impériale as depicted by Édouard Detaille something like 15 years ago. This was one of my very first attempts at creating something unique and have always enjoyed looking at it!

He was originally modelled with winter groundwork as per the battle of Eylau , but has been changed over to years to see "active" service on the table - as if the "Gods" actually needs any extra help usually! 

The base casting was a Bicorne miniatures Carabinier if i remember correctly which had a fair bit of work on it to bend and twist (- heated it up in an oven  to get that little more pliability - seemed to work) and to get the uniform right . The horse also has all its furniture removed and replaced with wire, head turned and tail moved.

As I have decided to create the Grenadiers à Cheval sometime this year ( a full 40 figure Grand Manner unit) and I will find it inspiring looking at him, and look forward to doing them all the more.

Thanks Stephen for the "loan" - you might not get him back - I might hold him to ransom!

Friday 6 January 2012

Bavarian Chevauleger-Regiment Konig

Back to Napoleonics. I think there will less Poles this year and more German states. I had these "Connoisseur" castings in stock so decided to create a wholly unique unit, so have converted every single figure in some form. No two horse and rider combinations are the same. I swapped out a few horses for Elite ones for more variation.This range also does not include a dedicated trumpeter casting (as Peter Gilder who designed them never got around to doing them for purely economic reasons – i.e. how many would he sell!). The officer and trooper castings come with the right arm cast down by the side and sword attached to the boots.

"Connoisseur" figures designed to be used en masse! 
So to list the conversion process.

Work out what I want each squadron doing! Key part of the planning.

 Squadron 1

Remove right arms and sabres and solder into new position, with soldered shaped flattened pins added to replace the swords. I really liked the one turned and drawing his sword from the scabbard in squadron 4.

Reposition heads, some just turning, bent forward or back  some removed and soldered back on. Turn the feet of the rider to dig in more to horse if rider position warrants it.

 Squadron 2
Make trumpets from solder and wire, solder these to hands for those that will be blowing them and solder arms back into position. Add loose trumpets with cords to those with their swords drawn

Make falling horses for front squadron – cut from bases bend/cut, position and solder back to base. Model the falling riders – one trumpeter with splayed out hands (done with soldering iron) to cushion his fall – and dropped sword attached to wrist by cords. Add loose flying trumpet ,scabbards and billow out the saddlecloths.

Squadron 3

For the horses match the riders and turn heads & tails to match the riders movements.

Solder flattened wire reins into riders hand. Once the horses are painted these are soldered onto the bridle.Attach riders to horses with two part epoxy glue.

  Squadron 4

Now all I have to do is paint the beggars!  

Horse were in various brown shaded oils for troopers, Black for officers and White for trumpeters.

The base tunic green is Shade 5 from the "Andrea Color" green clothes set highlighted with a Vallejo Flat Green
The Red's are again from the "Andrea Color" red set used in the "wrong"order starting dark and working to lighter.

The blue lozenges on the shabraque edging were certainly fun if you like that kind of thing - along with the ciphers in the corner.

A bit about varnish:-
For protection they are given a coat of polyurethane Gloss varnish and then a Matt coat - as that seems to be the fashion these days. I don’t think a full Matt finish at this scale always work, so once varnished Matt the areas that should be shiny are redone in a satin varnish to give a little sparkle! In addition i did the buttons last in a neat silver after varnish to keep the shine as they are not in area that will get touched and rub off.

It is just a shame these guys never carried a standard - one of those Bavarian ones would have really added to the overall look. I did not have any decent infantry casualty figures in stock to adorn the bases - so that is another thing to add the near time purchases!
I am very pleased with these , the finished article looked how I had imagined when i started out.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Mixed Mahdists

I have completed the box of Perry Mahdists. I have been trying to find a way to produce a large number of figures in short time to an acceptable standard (this should be the start of around 1600 figures ) . I think I am about there with them. The guys with Jibbah were sprayed white and then has a Humbrol 62 (Leather) colour washed onto them for the dark skin tone.This  was then highlighted with Valljo Dark Flesh. The Jibbah was itself them washed with a choice of an Andrea colour linen white , or a thin Khaki to run into the folds. The patterns were added by hand. Then it is just weapons to paint in.

I have done them in a range of base sizes to see what works and how to create a mass with some variance. Only slight issue I had was on a larger base which wanted to warp a bit - due to not haveing any weight of figures on it. It was cured by wetting the ply slightly and bending back in shape.

Overall to paint & base the 40 figures took 3 hours. With some more levels of industrialisation that will come down some. There are time savings to be had with mass spraying of several hundred.This will leave extra time for the good stuff!

I have today received a bunch of Connoisseur range Mahdists. Some will fit in fine here as well - although not as finely detailed as the Perry they will be absorbed into the mass easily with the added time bonus of NOT needing assembling!. Some interesting towns people and the Camels & riders look very good, so they may be a next project.