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 April 2012

Work in progress - Teutonic Knights & Cowboys

No not for the same game - but someone probably has invented one.

Picked up some sets of the Testudo Teutonic Personalities via PD Miniatures - great figures - although the Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen took some work to assemble as there are a number of parts , separate swords, lances , mace , helmet feathers , shield and a two piece cape. I put them together with the soldering iron as i decided that the cape would one day fail and break - well not now its all one piece! Also some serious drilling out of metal from the tail and hind legs of the horse. I can understand Why it was cast like it , but to make the best of it , it needed removing.

The Duke of Lituania Vytautas was a nice clean casting. although i have replaced the cast sword which looked a bit flimsy as it had been bent in transit and would have broken shortly i think. Interestingly the metal used seems softer and had a lower melting point than most figures these days - which was an advantage for soldering bits into place. The facial detail on these two is incredible.

There is also a large mob of Black Scorpion Tombstone (all resin figs) cowboys , civilians , outlaws etc. They were a bit variable in casting quality , with a couple needing some filling , and most had thin flash to remove and some recess to drill out. Also a few Artizan Old West , and Ebob specials in there too.

All cleaning up sorted and undercoated ready to go as the fancy takes.

 Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen

The Duke of Lituania Vytautas 

"Who said to round up a Posse?"

and the first Old West building is done

the livery

Thursday 26 April 2012

Napoleon as First Consul

Well enough of musing , more painting required. So here we have Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, Reviewing his Troops after the Battle of Marengo. From the painting by  Jean-Antoine Gros.

I found this Trent Miniatures figure I had aquired at York earlier this year and it was already undercoated , so while doing prep work on the first lot of Salute purchases decided to finish him off. Nice and colourful with the red coat. A very nice figure to paint.I used the Andrea Red set for for the coat.


Also been working on the first of the Old West building - check out the "One man and his trowel" tab

Monday 23 April 2012

Salute 2012- the aftermath

Well the spendfest of Salute is now over. I really enjoyed meeting up with fellow bloggers,  Fran - 'The Angry Lurker',  Ray - 'Don't throw a one'  Lee - 'Big Lee's Miniature Adventures' Michael - 28mm Victorian Warfare and Tamsin - Wargaming Girl , plus over from Canada Curt -Analogue Hobbies & Dallas - Fawcett Avenue Conscripts. We were able to chew the fat and talk over purchases and plans and just generally enjoy genial company.
I met up with a group of old friends -Rick , Geoff, Gordon - with Mark who runs the Wargames Holiday Centre.  Chris from Itinerant Wargamer  along with John L who is planning a massive Operation Goodwood game later this year at the WHC using his 1/35th collection - a table 28 feet x 18 filled with John's excellently crafted collection will be a sight to behold - can't wait. (you can see some of his collection used at Salute in 2011 here). He truly is mad!

I also took the opportunity to meet up with talented people from the Steve Dean Forum, and meeting up to paint the town red - well what else do a bunch of miniature painters do! Well after having of course decided which shade of red and who made it.

I picked up all the target purchases and of course once that had been done went of mooching about for shiny things - so here is the stash

 In a moment of mad conversation with the bloggers it was mentioned about weighing the stash - so here is mine - 3.9kg

For the planned purchases  I have enough cowboys now in stock to form a serious posse. The second British brigade that fought at El Teb is now sourced as is the Mahdist Cavalry. The personalty sets for Tannenburg 1410 (Testudo from PD Miniatures)are now completed too. The new releases from Empress for the Zulu range . Gurkha's and Naval Brigade from Mutineer Miniatures.

The unplanned purchases mainly from Steve Barber , were some fantastic 40mm Samurai  - , some sample French Hussars and check out the Al Capone mini on the bootleggers rules set.. I was also really pleased with the small paintbrush rack i picked up from Oshiro Model Terrain. An Old West Doc Holliday set of minis plus a western style barn and few palm trees.

The Internet is all well and good for browsing , but it was really good to be able to cast a painters eye over figures in the flesh before buying. The show seemed very busy and there was plenty of hustle and bustle - seems there may life in the old hobby yet.

Anyway time to get stuff on the painting table now - first up the Empress new releases.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Some "Old School Shinyness"

What with all this matt finish of late - it was time for some real old school shine - so get you sunglasses on. Here we have the 5th Line - Northumberland Regiment. Mainly Connoissur with an odd Bicorne. A nice coat of gloss over those scarlet tunics - all the better for seeing off Johnny Frenchman!

Only real challenge with these lads was the facing colour variously described as Yellowish Brown , through to Gosling Green - dunno about you but I have never seen a green gosling (maybe it is American superhero?) . So something I have never seen before is more or less yellowish green , than some else I have never seen... hmm. I took a cue from the excellent as ever GMB flag. I created a mix of Vallejo Middlestone and Golden Olive - seemed to do the trick. So that is the painting table completely empty. Ready for new shinyness & projects - Huzzah!

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Salute 2012

So it is off to Salute 2012 this weekend . Two wargames shows in the same year, blimey, the bug is obviously well and truly back. I am probably in danger of catching  The Painting Disease or Shinybloodyitis!. I do recognise those symptoms - wonder if you can get a "fit note" for it, figures on prescription would really help - don't you think?

But as the Vogon says "Resistance is useless," - Time to embrace some shinyness.

The last time I went to Salute it was still in Kensington & Chelsea town hall , and it was packed out thoroughly unpleasant.So I am looking forward to seeing the new venue. As it is good distance from God's Own County I am making a weekend of it and going to be a tourist on Friday too. I go to London almost weekly with the day job , but never really get chance to see anything of interest to me. So I will see what time me and friend  Steve (aka GINGA - guess why?) land and see where we end up.

So having downloaded the helpful plan and list of traders what are to be the  targets of the shinyness logistics corps?

Mutineer Miniatures - Thanks to Michael and his 28mmvictorianwarfare blog  will be top of the list for Gurkha's and Naval Brigade units. - they should have you on commission!

Empress Miniatures. For the new Zulu releases - A "film" and historic versions

The second pack contains historical depictions of Chaplain George Smith, Corporal Friederich Schiess of the Natal Native Contingent, Acting Assistant Commissary James Langley Dalton, Surgeon Reynolds and Private Hitch.

Testudo to pick up some more mounted commanders and foot for the upcoming Teutonic mini project.

Dave Thomas - to pick up some more bits for the El Teb project -

Followed by a good old mooch about , and meeting up with some old friends , and hopefully some new ones from the blogosphere (it looks like 1-2 in the seating area at the end - but if anyone wants a more definite arrangement use the "contact me" link in the sidebar and we can sort something out) . Perhaps I may even partake of a sherbert or two - or 3..

Well I can't just ramble and then not show you something new , from the "Old School" . 28mm French Dragoon officer - consulting his map. 


Pretty sure he is a Connoisseur casting. Some work done to add wire reins, other than that a standard oil horse done with a mix of Raw Umber and Lamp Black over a Humbrol 62 leather undercoat. Greens as per the previous lot of Frenchies. Finished in lovely shiny gloss - like all proper toy soldiers.

If you are at Salute have a great weekend - if you not , have an equally good one too!


Friday 13 April 2012

Lt Melvill - Zulu Wars - Empress Miniatures

Well there has been a lot of French green here lately, so to finish of clearing the painting table I found this figure part done, as I had started the horse but was struggling to get on with the look of  it, so parked it unitl another time.

The horse was done with a Burnt Sienna oil rub over Humbrol 62 (leather) however i did not like the end look - not enough sculpting on horse to make it really work well I think. I then varnished it with matt enamel varnish (once it was dried!), and gave it a wash with Vallejo Sepia dipping formula. Highlights on mane and tail were then done with Vallejo biege brown, the socks and blaze were Vallejo Ivory and then an offwhite highlight!

I used the Andrea red cololr set for the tunic

A bit  more about Sepia Wash
it works like the unbiquitous GW Devlan Mud, excpet you get 16 times the amount  for about 2.5 times the price... do the maths - i am Scots/Yorkshire....
LINK - Via Antenocitis Workshop

I have had more goodies turn up to add the Gunfighters - with a host more of civilains and bad guys again from Black Scorpion. more soon.

cheers! TGIF!

Wednesday 11 April 2012

French Line Lancer - a change of scale

It's been a productive Easter break - mainly with the weather being bad I have been able to focus on clearing off the table with a number of items coming to completion.

I showed you the 18mm AB trumpeters last time , well they have now be joined by their mates. I have been really impressed with the quality of the casting - really makes the painters job easier.

Basically exactly the same colour mix for the greens as the Chasseurs - Vallejo Military Green , and Flat Green. The horses were done in oils bar the trumpeter and the officers. I undercoated the bays in Humbrol 62 Leather and painted on the furniture in black Vallejo - I highlighted some of the flanks with a little Dark Flesh or Ochre , just to give a little variation as well. After 24 hours they were given an oil rub using Burnt Umber , Burnt Sienna , and mixing some black in on some. I did use my more expensive better quality oils for this as the pigment is finer and given the actual size of the figure it was needed to give a fine finish.

For the basing I used Minatur moss tufts due to size required - these were fairly dark so i gave them a light drybrush of a yellow ochre just to lighten them slightly while they were still attached to sticky sheet.

Time for a bit of something not green based i think.

Monday 9 April 2012

Chasseurs à Cheval - Work Completed

After what seems like an age , these two regiments are now complete as far as I am taking them - looking forward to seeing them based & flagged. Very happy with the end results. The "Elite" miniatures give some real life to a unit. I think you have to remember these are designed to be fielded as large units en masse , all mixed in with a load of their mates. They are not hyper detailed, super anatomically correct - and i love them all the more for that. I see loads of Perry Napoleonics,all beautifully sculpted and individually well painted  yet very few have really struck me as delivering units that really look the business - but maybe it is my "old school" goggles that cause that.

One thing for sure is that these two units are truly individual with the extra conversion work done, so no other collector or gamer will have ones quite like them.

 24th CaC
 24th CaC

24th & 23rd CaC

Work progresses on the 18mm AB miniatures French Line Lancers - very nice they are too. So here are the trumpeters as a little taster.

Also next up is a Connoisseur British Line battalion - proper old school miniatures. 

 Also taken delivery of some Fireforge Mounted Teutonic Knights , and some Testudo Personalities (from PD Miniatures in the UK) to go with them.

Also got my eye on the Great Escape type Stalag Luft set by E-BOB - you gotta love the personalities. Sometimes you just have to paint for the fun of it.

Personality set picture taken from the EBOB website

Doug C will be pleased to hear his AWI Highlanders are about to get a serious looking at too ...

And less than 2 weeks to Salute - who knows what goodies that will turn up..

Sunday 8 April 2012

The Winning line up

Well Curt has posted the results of the judging from the "Analogue Hobbies - 2nd Winter Painting Challenge"

Not only were there prizes for the amount of figures painted ( and boy did the lads at the top churn out some amount of quality kit. Well done Ray, Kent & Tim.). But there were also other categories to aim for.

People's Choice Award- Voted on by viewers of the challenge in general. Curt had over 100 different people pick their own choice of the winner. It went deservedly to Chris & his 15mm Ayyubid Mamluks

Sarah's choice- Suggested by Curts wife for a best female and an inspired idea that produced some great entries. Ultimately won by Phil's and his 1930s Gangsters Moll

Challengers choice- This was voted on by the participants in the challenge for their favourite entry which was won by my very own  Bavarian Chevaulegers "Konig". Judged against a panel of ones peers I am very pleased to have picked up this one- thanks guys.

Judges Choice- Awarded by Curt for his own favourite entry.  Curt decided to give Juan the prize based on the overall standard of Juans various entries. Indeed they deserved recognition well done Juan.

Prizes were also very generously sponsored by :-

You can find links to the guys who took part below - shamelessly nicked for ChristopherS Bunker Hill blog who now tells me he nicked it from Ray... all roads lead to Ray. Thanks again one and all for a great display. All the blogs are full of lovely eye candy - apart from Rays of course - he just uses a large brush.... ;-)

KentG: 4724
TimB: 3385
FranL: 2152
SteveM: 2044
ChrisP: 2029
MilesR: 1061
GregB: 1019
JohnM: 1000
IanW: 900
MikeW: 867
Curt: 791
Scott: 695
PhilH: 519
JuanM: 446
ChristopherS: 442
DallasE: 420
Michael: 315
JohnB: 310
RossM: 269
TimmyD: 138
Sylvain: 90
PaulP: 34

 I am sure if Curt has the stamina to ever host another one then there will be a mad rush to join up- and no doubt lots of pre challenge prep work. I have a few ideas for projects if there is a next time.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Chasseurs à Cheval - Work in Progress part 3

The first regiment - the 23rd has now been completed as far as I am taking taking them apart from a further coat of varnish and I will wait and do both units together to ensure a consistent finish. I will get a photo back of them based and flagged.

The 23rd Chasseurs were commanded by a certain Major Marbot in 1812 and i was asked to do some conversions on the unit commander. His head was replaced with one with a a Colpack and plume on (from the spares box), A sword was made to and placed in hand as the original is just waving , add  loose sword knots from wire, and a flying scabbard was added. A rather nice individual creation.

I have had a few queries on the greens to be used. The main colour is Vallejo Model Colour Military Green (975) as the overall base, this is then highlighted with VMC Flat Green (968), and VMC Light Green (942), with some mixing between them . It gives a pleasing result to eye I think.

Of course the other fun with these is that French colour "aurore" , which seems to vary from a yellow to scarlet - although can be orange to salmon pink! So in the end I went with a VMC scarlet base mixed with a little VGC 028 Orange Fire and highlighted with a touch of the pure orange.

Also been doing something a little smaller - some AB miniatures French Lancers are on table once the 24th chasseurs are done.

so a little taster - and just to put things in scale

These AB are 18mm - but they seem a lot smaller than that. However the casting quality and detail is superb making them a real joy to paint. more next time.