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?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Some Conversion Ideas

One of the best things about the plastics revolution is the practically limitless way of combining the pieces to make your troops. Now, this isn't to everyone's tastes; a lot of complaints by grognards on TMP about Victrix and Perry are about the amount of time it takes to put them together. The big problem with plastics comes with characters.

Characters, by which I mean officers, sergeants, ensigns, drummers and so on, should be the focus of skirmish games. Most stories of daring-do focus on these, after all. Plastic sets fall down because of the limited number of bodies and heads for characters. The British sprue has one sort of officer body, and one sergeant body, whereas the French sprue has two officer bodies (line NCOs can be made from elite bodies, I've discovered).

So, my challenge to myself is to get out my greenstuff and knives, and convert some interesting personalities for my skirmish games.

Currently on the list (I'll expand this when I get ideas, or suggestions):

  • A Major who's missing an arm, Nelson-style
  • A Sergeant directing, or thrusting with spontoon

A Plan!

Finally having finished my degree, I'm left with a couple of free weeks before I graduate. As it's been a while (close to a year) since I last read any of Campaigns of Napoleon, I've decided to go back and begin reading it again from the beginning, taking notes as I go. I've set myself the somewhat ambitious target of reading 50 pages per day, which should put me halfway through by the time I graduate, with the momentum to finish.

Now I'm looking towards life after Uni, and enjoying the thought of getting back to regular painting again. My blog posts have been very infrequent, because I've only been able to paint during the holidays. Now I hope to get back into scheduled painting.

My first resolution is that I'm going to aim to paint at least eight miniatures a week, four coalition (British) and four Empire (French). I think this is an achievable target- two miniatures, four nights/week, and should quickly build up my forces. In three weeks, I'll have enough for small skirmishes.

My second resolution is to get the new Victrix British foot artillery. People on TMP seem to be quite excited about this set, because it includes limbers which were apparently very expensive to have in metal. All I know is that it's plastic (tick!), suitable for the Peninsular war (tick!) and made by Victrix (tick! tick!).