The holiday period is usually quite slow for me. We go away for a week to the beach (this is the southern hemisphere we are talking about), as well as have the whole family shindig at Christmas time. The upshot is that not a lot has been completed in the three weeks since my last post saying that not a lot has been done. But I have finished off the second battalion of Perry French, as well as put together a box of Vixtrix British. I’ve also ordered cavalry and guns for the French from Elite Miniatures, and 2 more boxes of Victrix – 1 of centre company and 1 of flank company. That will give me enough figures for eight battalions of Brits, and I’ve already got 8 battalions of French to face them.
I’ve got hold of the beta version of some rules being developed by a guy named Andrew in Aussie. I’ve read through them a couple of times and I think they are exactly what I’m looking for. They are kind of like Shako, but also reminiscent of Warhammer Ancient Battles and Flames of War. They have plenty of character, but the great thing is that they are designed with 16 figure infantry battalions and 8 figure cavalry regiments in mind, and for games of about a division a side (in fact they are designed for Brigade sized engagements in tournament play, but I like the divisional option). One of the reasons I like the 8-10 battalions and 2-4 cavalry a side sort of game is that this fits with the scenarios that Charles Grant has in his scenarios for wargamers book. True, I believe he envisaged slightly bigger battalions being used, but I’m one of those people who has too many wargaming distractions to sit down and build 48 figure units!
Anyway, latest pics with the basing for the Tactics and Gloire rules:
The first battalion of the 18eme Ligne, and:
The second battaion of the 25eme Ligne. I haven’t put the white dot in the centre of their pompom yet, and the command stand will actually be used in the first battalion when that is painted. I’m waiting on some Elite minis for all the greatcoat figure commands, and they will, of course, have the fanion, not the eagle.
How I painted them
I’m quite used to using black undercoat, so if something works for you, try something new! I felt that I wasn’t getting quite the finish I wanted on the white bits with the first couple of figures, so I went and bought a GW Skull White spray can and sprayed the figures still on the sprues. I had previously already sprayed them black, and it ended up giving some interesting shadow effects. No detail was obscured, but I wouldn’t recommend doing this as it is a bit of a waste of spray!
I then popped the figures off their sprues and cleaned up their mold lines with a blade, just scraping them down. On some of the figures I left them, and with others I touched up the white of the undercoat. In the end I only touched up the trousers, as it is quite possible to paint solid colours straight onto the plastic without priming. Cleaning mold lines on these guys takes about 20-30 seconds a figure. Plastic is really easy to work with in that regard.
In order to pick out details and give myself some shading, I used the GW Badab Black wash, and washed the figures all over. This provided the shading for the white undercoat, as it comes out in a convenient grey-black if diluted a little.
I then applied paint, using mostly Vallejo colours but the uniform blue is GW Midnight blue highlighted with Regal Blue. The faces are Vallejo Dark Flesh, with GW Ogryn Flesh Wash and then highlighted with Vallejo light flesh. The eyes are not my best work and I think that my hand is not as steady as it once was, or I’m less patient than I was. They are black lines with 2 white dots added.
The white parts were picked out in solid white for highlights (I use vallejo white), but the washed undercoat was left as the shade. If I felt it was too dark or not looking right, i touched it up with soem Vallejo London Grey.
The Backpacks were painted seperately glued on after the figures were finished. The reason I did this was to ensure that when drybrushing the light brown on the backpacks I didn’t have to go and touch up anything else on the figure later, and because with a white undercoat it is really noticeable if you miss any of the detail between the backpack and the figure. Incidentally, the backpacks are the only kit to glue together on the average figure. You need to add and arm to the officer (with the sword), the eagle to the Eagle bearer and the drum and arms to the drummer. I put all of these together before painting. I’ve only used a couple of skirmishing figures, but they are not much more work than the rest, just needing the arms glued on.
Would I recommend them? Yep. Cheap, nice, no more work than metal figures. I haven’t had a broken bayonet yet, and that could be a possibility, but unlike metal, broken bits reattach with just a bit of Tamiya model glue, and I anticipate any problems of this sort being easily fixed.
Compared to the last lot of metal figures that I seriously painted, Great War miniatures Brits where I was clipping and filing flash for hours, these guys are a dream to prep. Last comment would be that the plastics will hold the paint better than metal in terms of taking knocks. It doesn’t take much for chips to start appearing, even on varnished metal figures after they’ve been handled in a few games. I don’t think chipping is an issue with these boys, unless you want to take a chisel to them.
The Victrix British are a different story, and I thought I might try and paint a battalion of them next. They take a while to put together as they are a bit more multi-part than the Perrys. I will also go back to Black undercoat with them, due to very little white being needed. I should say that if you look through my blog you’ll see several different painting styles, and I don’t think I’ve managed to stay consistent through a whole project yet! I have no doubt that there will be a little more experimentation before I am settled on painting Napoleonics!
Note in the background there is a backdrop which I whipped up today. Expect to see it more often. I also have a new camera and am going to get a tripod to make sure that all of my pictures are as good as I can make them in the future.
Next I should have some Flames of War pics to show off. And of course, another Napoleonic battalion should be painted soon.