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.

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Happy Birthday

Well the blog has reached a major milestone - its first birthday!

Comments by ZingerBug.com

Some 20,000 plus hits and 70+ people expressing enough of an interest in my ramblings to follow me. I thank you one and all

I set this up with the intent of just giving me somewhere to record my foray back into painting and gaming, without much thought to the interaction that this would bring. It has really helped me to keep on painting and creating. Having had a significant break from my hobby the changes brought about by the t'interweb and the blossoming of a multitude of manufacturers has been refreshing.

As for the you wonderful people who drop by and comment occasionally and consistently with praise, suggestions and encouragement - I can honestly say it really helps. The interaction from like minded individuals around the global bloggerati is an inspiration.

So I am looking forward to much more this year, keeping on with the conversions and creations and looking forward to meeting up with some of your for a beer at Salute.

So for you lot ,- A bit of a Birthday giveaway - If any of you would like to choose your "One Man & His Brushes" birthday give away just reply with the item you are interested in. If there are more than one of you interested I will draw from the hat. If you are interested in more than one then do so - but only one prize each!. I will confirm who got what and then you can contact me to sort out delivery. I will close the give away on Monday morning 9.00am BST!

                                           Give Away - 1 - Kevin Dallimore Masterclass book.
All you ever wanted to know about painting figures the Foundry 3 colour way..and lots more.

                  Give away 2 - "Zulu" special edition DVD -(As if you lot ain't got it already!)

                            Give away 3 - "Band of Brother" DVD set-(As if you lot ain't got it already as well!)

                                               Give away 4 - "Victoria Cross Heroes" Book

Give away 5 -"The Old Contemptibles" Book

Give away 6 -Hell Riders" Book

All the books are great reads and come recommeded by me! But I need to make some space on the shelves and you might have some that needs filling

thanks you lot !

Saturday 24 March 2012

Chasseurs à Cheval - Work in Progress part 2

So work on the two Chasseur units continues, now starting to get toward the serious painting end of things. Conversions always take a serious amount of time compared to just wielding the brushes.

All conversions and sword replacement pinning done, first regiment horses finished , riders all mounted and ready for painting, The commander has had a sword added with wire sword knots created, replaced the scabbard with shaped metal one and this is made flying loose form the body. In addition the horses tail was completely remade in solder replacing the one that was cast down one of the rear legs - it gives more movement and life to the end result. The standard bearer  has had his shako helmet removed and bandaged head created using the iron and dremel., One of the two  trumpeters has been  converted from original casting to be made as blowing his trumpet.

Second regiment horses oiled ready for highlights, riders undercoated ready to be affixed once horses done - I have done the standard bearer on this one as a falling casualty. The horse completely repositioned with legs altered and soldered to the base, a  new tail made from solder as the cast one was wrapped around the leg. The rider himself has both arms removed from the casting and repositioned and soldered on , reins added on into a remade outstretched hand. The commander is made firing a pistol and again one trumpeter is converted to be blowing it in a more forward and upward position than the first regiment one. Twisted cooper wire cords are made and attached to the home made trumpet and passed around the figure under the arm.

Photos of the trumpeter conversion showing the "as is it is cast" propped up and what it now looks like - you can't beat blowing your trumpet..... oooo  er..

Also had some 18mm AB French Lancers turn up - I had forgotten just how good those castings are - a little job for completion in April ..

 The are all "Elite Miniatures"

Thursday 22 March 2012

Painting Challenge - Finis

Curts winter painting challenge has finally worked its way to the end. It has been a real fun 3 months.

Hats off to Ray & Kent for the sheer number of figures finished and the quality as well - well done guys.

Curt - It must have been a hectic time - especially the last few days - thanks again for the original inspiration and keeping it all in order.

I  managed a respectable 1975 points - with a wide variety of entries which I really enjoyed doing. I did have a few hundred more worth planned for the final week - but you know the way that things kind of get in the way - well they did. But I was more than happy with the showing. I also have really enjoyed the cameraderie and community spirit engendered by it - uniting us around the globe.

One lesson I will take from it is the sheer variety of themes and periods there is out there, and some cracking figures to be painted. I look forward to the next one. More prep work will be done before starts! May be we should take it in turns hosting one.

I look forwards to seeing some of the further judging results as they come in - so many high quality entries to choose from it will be fun to see how they go.

Well done to all the participants & thanks for sharing your work

Sunday 18 March 2012

"Zulu" Lt. Gonville Bromhead & "Old West" Pat Garret

I received this pair from Black Scorpion Miniatures this week and liked the look of them so I  wanted to get them included in the painting challenge - and to give me something interesting to do between oil painting the horses that are on the go). I don't find just working on one figure at a time terribly productive so always do at least two so i can switch between them if waiting for something to dry etc.

With the Bromhead figure all dressed up in his cloak I could just hear Michael Caine's voice - "Well chin chin.. do carry on with your mud pies"

In terms of sizing however the Black Scorpion is considerable larger and well fed than the Empress Miniatures one completed recently - both different and both great to paint.

The Old West lawman Pat Garret is from the Black Scorpion Tombstone range - just need to get hold of a Billy the Kid. Another one to add to the law man collection

Back to conversion work on the second regiment of Chasseurs tomorrow, then they are ready for undercoating.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Chasseurs à Cheval - Work in Progress

Currently working on a couple of units 23rd & 24th. Some conversion work with replaced swords , one trumpeter made to be blowing his trumpet (starts cast to leg) .The officer on rearing horse has been made with pistol added into to hand and the other hand freed from his body to hold the reins. The standard bearer has had shako removed and head & hair remade with a bandage around forehead. Horses are base coloured ready for oiling up. so that's the first regiment on the go - on with the second lot of conversion over the weekend.

Used a range of base colours ready for oiling the horses.

Monday 12 March 2012


So how is your painting mojo doing? Looking around a few blogs some people seem to be losing thier painting mojo as the days lighten (well for us N Hemisphere lot). So what is you recipe for keeping those brushes working?

Mine is doing just fine I could happily paint all day - damn the day job! Having had a long break from hobby  I have come back and I actually really enjoy it , more so than gaming I guess . The community of shared interest enabled by blogs and forums seems to put like minded people in touch which can be very inspirational . I enjoy the challenge of creating new units something with a bit of unique value. Variety does help as i am sure you will have seen from me of late there has been more than usual Napoleonic fare - I have to thank Curt from Analogue Hobbies for this his Winter Painting Challenge has been fun, and I look forward to catching up with some of the guys at Salute.

A few people have asked me about how to keep focus when doing larger units so here you are :-

Method 1
Do all the prep and undercoat on them all , and then some major block work. I will then split in to sections , suchs as the officers , the grendiers and lights , then the others to finish them off, this breaks it into manageable chunks.

Method 2
 I paint listening to music , or radio - i love BBC iplayer and after a while just end up tuning out of concentrating on progress and before i know it another chunk is done.

Method 3
Plan how I am going to paint the unit. Write down all the individual processes or colours that need to be done and then start ticking them off as they go. I find this sometimes help to structure the way I paint the figure , and can mean less rework - rework and touching up is all wasted time and effort which you can mostly get rid of with planning and it also speeds up the overall process.

Method 4
Reward yourself by having something you really want to paint up next, a special , or command stand.

Mehod 5
Don't stress too much if you don't make the progress you want - enjoy the journey - it is supposed to be FUN!

So how about you? Any stratgies for getting through "the block" you would like to share?

Oh and here is the picture. I completed the 2nd Vistula Infantry (Elite Miniatures) for John D back in Janaury (thanks for the photo) , and he's got them based and flagged - and very nicely done that is too.

Proper old school gloss boys.. go on you know you want too..

Photo courtesy of JohnD
And my inane ramblings are coming up on it's first birthday - I will have to work out a giveaway for those of you mad enough to stick with me.


Thursday 8 March 2012

'I'm Your Huckleberry.'

As Doc Holliday says to "Ringo" in the film who would be a "cowboy". These guys are Black Scorpion Miniatures Tombstone range. Virgil, Morgan & Wyattt Earp and thier friend Doc Holliday on the street howitzer. Really good quality figures with little work other then a paint job required.

Saturday 3 March 2012

Meet the Angry mob

Well the lads from the Naval Brigade had better hope their "infernal coffee grinders" don't roll a JAM!. The first major warband of Beja tribesman with their religious leader is on the warpath  and looking for trouble.Altogether 109 figures + mounted commander.

I have created a number of stories across the unit , with a mix of casualties and various poses being used. I have also embedded a "blinky" light in one stand to represent a shell burst. All i have to do is turn the modelled shell burst - made out of milliput/ pumice and cotton wool to turn it on. There is a little video here - not great quality but you get the idea.

Very pleased with the look of the unit overall - only another 12 or so to do!

The skin tones were done by undercoating the figures in Humbrol 186 - a mid/dark brown.  Add the black hair , and use this for metallic areas too.This was then given a wash using Vallejo Sepia shade dipping formula- this can be easily thinned with water to give differing effects and it comes in a 200ml bottle! I then did a thinned wash of Vallejo German Camo black brown to help pull out the muscle areas. The clothing was then added in a range of off white , linen, sandy, khaki colours then the whole was again given a thin wash of the sepia dip. A little muscle top highlight was done using a thinned Vallejo dark earth  After that is just wet brush in the shield colour highlights  , and colour the spears and metallic bits.

Right , Napoleonics next I promise - the 23rd - 24th Chasseurs on the stocks