Friday, 8 January 2010

Curiouser and Curiouser...

When I logged onto TMP today, I received a PM telling me that an anonymous donor had arranged for me to have a free year of Supporting Membership. This came as quite a surprise as to be honest I hadn't thought I'd made any waves on TMP. However it all seems to be genuine, so to my anonymous benefactor- Thank-You!

Something a Bit Different

A while back a very generous person on the TMP gave me a book on Napoleonic uniforms. It's a mine of information, and is especially good because several of the uniforms are French infantry-style (or close enough for a bit of putty and a knife to fix), which means that I can take a break from all the blue and paint my Victrix in different colours.

The first such break is a Voltigeur based on plate 55, from the RĂ©giment Irlandaise. It's been a bit different painting him- the green is four sucessive coats (thinned yellow, GW green wash, thinned dark green, green wash again) which I'm still not immensely happy with. That said, I really like this uniform scheme so I think I'll perservere.

Now, the plume pictured has order (from the top) of yellow-green, which I've copied. However, I've seen other pictures of voltigeurs (including one in the same book) that go green-yellow. I'd be grateful if I've made a mistake to be corrected for next time.

Birthday Brits

It's been my birthday recently, and for it I got a shiny box of Victrix centre-company British. It was a toss-up whether I asked for flank or centre companies- on one side, the roles of the flank companies could fit more easily with the skirmishing I plan to do; on the other side, I think the shoulder wings look a bit silly and if I ever do go into full battles I'll need fewer flank company figures than centre.

They're a little easier than the French to paint, I think, partially because the French have more piping and buttons. The straps are done fairly easily, with a dark brown wash over the white undercoat, and then picking them out with a fine brush, and the lace is just a once-over with the wash. I haven't made a distinction on these two between the white straps, the strap for the water canteen (brown) and the strap for the haversack (greyish-natural). Now I'm used to the miniatures I might start, although if it looks to messy I'll go back. I'm not particularly fussed in dropping accuracy for aesthetics.

This is the first I painted. I'm quite happy with him, especially how well (entirely by fluke) I've managed to keep his collar white-piped. Less good is his canteen, but that's an area of improvement.

So far, I've painted one with green facings and the other with blue. One of the suggestions on a TMP discussion that I may implement is to create my own regiment, as the protagonists (or antagonists) in my skirmish campaigns. That way, I can freely have caddish cads, vile villains and heroic heroes without insulting any real-life figures. Of course, this is probably a bit wooly for some people but I like to have stories and conflict in wargames, which is perhaps why I like various forms of RP.

One of the big decisions then is what colour to paint the facings, which I haven't yet decided. As much as I would like bright purple facings I'd quite like to keep them historical, but beyond that I only have two conditions. The first is that they can't be buff, because it's boring, and the second is that they can't be yellow, because that is far too Sharpe and his South Essex.

Two New French

For Christmas, I received some GW washes and white undercoat, with which to work out a new style of painting that better fits the fiddlyness of Napoleonic uniforms, and I think I've almost cracked it. I hope you agree!

The first miniature I painted was a fusilier, using the blue wash for his coat colour. I'm not unhappy with it, but the sergeant has a better colour which is a first wash of a thinned-down humbrol blue and then the blue wash over the top for shading.

The whites are now done with the sepia wash straight over the undercoat, then hilighted with white. It gives sufficient shading whilst looking a little bit grubby in the process. I want to strike a balance between parade-ground and the full raggle-taggle nature of the reality, and this does it for me.

The fusilier sergeant is much the same, composed out of a voltigeur/grenadier body with fusilier arms and head. I'm not sure if I got the slashes correct, I have a feeling they should have been lower down. The sword & bayonet belt also needs some black.

You may have noticed that all of my line so far have had the orange pom-poms of the third company. Because I plan on doing skirmishing actions I want enough from a single company to be believable. I settled on the third company because I like orange!