Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Some British

Two posts? In one day? I might need a lie down! To go with the French, some British.

Firstly, an unarmed infantryman in forage cap. In my games I think he's going to be a batman or messenger. I'd have liked to have him without the backpack, but the conversion work in doing that I'll leave for another day. The head is from the French sprue, so I'm not sure if the cap is quite right, and I've guessed colours based on a figure in Uniforms of the Peninsular Wars, substituting facing colours.

The next is a drummer, in the reversed-facings coat. It's been a bit different painting some green.

The drum on the Victrix models is a bit fiddly to assemble, and casting-wise not the highlight of the set, but painted and on the table it looks fine.

Lastly, someone else not in red- an RFA officer, in the traditional blue coat. The pose is a conversion, with an outstretched hand as if ordering his men.

I'm particularly proud of the face on this model; it's probably the best I've done on my Napoleonics. I tried to photograph it closer, but I didn't get the resolution or focus quite right.

The head, I should mention, comes from the British foot sprue, and not the RFA sprue. One of the great joys of plastics is the almost endless variety in mixing and matching parts.

Some French

Right, my first proper post in aaages! Here are some pictures of the French I've been working on: a grenadier, left, and a voltigeur, right.

Largely these have been painted as the others on my blog, although the blue of their uniforms is GW's Enchanted Blue with an Asurmen blue wash. It's a much bolder effect, similar to the red+wash I've done on my British. They're both lacking packs and swords, both of which I paint separately.

My first Eagle-bearer, sadly lacking the colours at the moment until I decide whether to do the flag myself, or use a paper one.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Change of Name

You may have noticed, my blog has had a change of name. "En Avant!" was okay, but it's a fairly cliché term in Napoleonic gaming and fandom. Instead, I've named my blog after one of the most interesting Napoleonic articles on Wikipedia.

Lord Uxbridge's Leg

Uxbridge lost his leg at Waterloo, which was only the beginning for that poor appendage. Apparently, the original leg led quite a life as a tourist attraction after it's amputation. Uxbridge (as Marquess of Anglesey) also lent his name to the artificial leg designed for him, which featured moving toes.

So then, a worthy (and apt) new name for my blog!

Happy New Year!

Well, this is my first post of 2011, and a chance to reflect on how I want things to go this year.

Paint More

In many ways, painting is the real hobby here. Most gamers probably spend many times more time painting and collecting than actually playing, but it's something of late I've done increasingly less of. Part of it is down to the long winter nights and my lack of good artificial light to paint by, but more of it is down to inertia. For a relaxing activity, painting is surprisingly draining, and it's easier to switch on the Idiot Box than get out the brushes.

So this year I'm setting myself targets. Of course, the danger with targets is that standards will drop, and I like painting to my best. Hopefully, I'll get the best result which will be more miniatures painted well. This will then let me do my second resolution, which is...

Game More, Game Better

I had one evening of gaming last year. It was fun to be wargaming again, but it was deeply lacking, as we committed every wargaming sin in the book. We had unpainted miniatures, proxy miniatures, unpainted proxy miniatures, no table covering and wooden blocks for terrain. Aesthetically, it was horrible, but I'll say again, it was good to be wargaming.

This year then, priority number one is to build a game-board that can be easily stored and brought out for games. A 6'x4' piece (or two 6' x 2' pieces) of MDF, covered appropriately, will work wonders. If it can be kept a generic green/brown, it can be pressed into service for most of our battles. Priority number two is to run good games, where there are objectives and tactical considerations beyond "kill everything", and the rules come to more than "roll more dice than your opponent". This hopefully will let me do resolution number three...

Blog More

I wrote ten blog posts here1 last year, of which four had no pretty pictures whatsoever. I feel like I'm turning into this guy. Blogging is supposed to be a way to share progress, so this lack of blogging is understandable given my lack of progress. If I'm painting and gaming more, I'll have more to talk about!

1I haven't included my 6mm blog in this, but the situation over there is much the same. Too much inertia, not enough painting, not enough content.

That is the plan for 2011, then. Hopefully, in the not-too-distant-future, I'll have some shiny new pictures for you! In the meantime, have a great 2011.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Some WIPs

I've been a little quiet in the last few months- jobhunting has gobbled up a lot of my time. That, and I've been working on another project, the results of which can be seen at my other blog, imagi-nation-in-6mm.blogspot.com. From now on, this blog is going to be as intended- just for my foray into Napoleonics.

Fear not, though! I haven't totally neglected my Victrix, and I now have some semi-complete (all but the backpack and grassing the base) and some in a state of "in progress". I've taken a couple of photos of the in-progress lot for two reasons- firstly, to show how I paint, and secondly, as a motivator to complete them! I don't know if anyone else gets this (I'd be glad to hear if you do), but when a miniature has been sat on my desk for a long time I have real trouble finishing it; I'll do a little here, and a little there, but it never amounts to a finished figure. Dozens of other miniatures will be primed and painted before those stragglers ever make it to the table.

The first and second are line fusiliers, the third a legere chasseur, and the fourth a line grenadier.
Apart from the second in line, these show the new way I've experimented doing French blue, similar to the way I've been doing British red- a colour and wash technique, as opposed to just using a wash over white. It's okay, a bit shinier than I'd like, and harder to correct mistakes. You may notice they don't have arms; this is because I find it much easier to paint the chests without the musket-arm. Multi-part plastics can create poses much harder to paint than metals, where the firing arm would be "fused" to the chest, instead of distinct. For really close inspection, it does matter to paint that detail.

This is a conversion I've been planning for a while, giving an alternative to the one pose for sergeants given by the Victrix box. The hands are made from greenstuff, with the shaft of the spontoon made from an old plastic spear. The hands could do with some work, although there crudeness could be gotten around by painting them as gloves.

This is more whimsical, made from a kneeling trooper with his legs repositioned. Again, it's a bit rough-and-ready, but with a little cleaning up should look okay. I intend to put a facsimile newspaper in his hands, as if he's catching a cheeky break.

Monday, 9 August 2010

An Update

Well, it had to happen eventually. My heady student days are over! Time to grow up and get a job... apparently.

Unfortunately, I haven't kept to any of the resolutions I made in my post 'A Plan!'. I did start re-reading Campaigns of Napoleon again, but I got less of a way through it than I did the first time around. I think my painting speed is closer to 2 figs/week, and I haven't bought the foot artillery yet.

However, that aside, my new situation is going well, for painting at least. I'm managing to do a little each day, even if it's just blacking-in some boots or a shako. My current Napoleonic total stands at about 15 painted, 4 part-painted and 8 undercoated in readiness. All done, that'll be enough for their first outing.

Now for something a little bit different. Before I'd been muttering about 6mm miniatures, and their siren-call. Well, I've finally gotten around to painting some of the strips in the Baccus 18th Century sample pack that I bought, and I've taken some photos of the best for your review.

This strip of grenadiers is the best of the three infantry strips I've painted. I started from a white undercoat, mostly because that is the only spray I have but also because brightness of colour is very important on small figures. On the others I tried using thinned black washes to shade but at this detail depth the result is poor, the paint actually settling away from the recesses. This strip had no shading, just block painting over a white undercoat, making sure to 'fill in' properly, as you can't leave the white in the recesses as you could if you were using a black undercoat.

Here's a front and back view of three cavalry models mounted on a slottabase. These were painted much the same way as the grenadiers. The basing was an impromptu whim, making it look more 'playing piece' and less 'simulation'. I'd probably go with a lower base if I were to get more, although there would be the temptation if I were to use the higher bases to paint the lip in a different colour or add the regiment name to easily differentiate units on the tabletop, again making them more tokenesque.

So, my verdict? Not too difficult to paint, with the right size of brush, and my efforts look okay under the camera and at eye distance. I didn't time myself, but I think I probably made fairly good time for my first few attempts, so speed of painting is definitely borne out. At the very least, they're not taking longer to paint than an equivalent base-size of 28mms.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A Sense of Scale

For a long time (well, long for me), I've been considering 6mm miniatures. Peter Berry of Baccus Miniatures has a very convincing piece on his website extolling the virtues of 6mm over 28mm. Now, it's in his best interest to make 6mm seem appealing, but in looking at photographs on his site and on other peoples' blogs, I do like the massed look of 6mm. I'm also drawn to the speed of painting that comes with the lower level of detail. In particular, there are good pictures on Reinforcements by Post's website. I have two problems, however.

The first is that I've already invested in Napoleonics, and 28mm Napoleonics in particular. I've bought a reasonable number of books on the period, and two boxes of Victrix infantry. I like the look of 28mms, but my output is slow (a couple of hours per figure, at my relaxed speed) and my space is low. This blog has photographs of almost all the Napoleonics I've painted in two years*.

*My slow speed is mostly down to being at University and having to dig everything out in the holidays.

The second is that the Napoleonic period isn't the first period I'd choose to do in 6mm, for several reasons. Even in 6mm the uniforms are fairly detailed. I don't like the bayonets on Baccus figures, but Adler Miniatures are individual castings (Baccus come as a rank of four), and I dislike the thought of basing them all.

So the questions are, do I do 6mm at all? If so, do I do it alongside or instead of 28mm? In either case, should I do Napoleonics, or do another period?