Sunday, 28 February 2010

Off topic - nostalgia!

Here are a few scans of old photos taken in the late eighties (I think). They show my old 15mm ECW collection, mostly Minifigs, and my old ACW collection, again mostly Minifigs. All long since sold off sadly. It was about the time I moved from a simple cloth table to a purpose built terrain system of 6 2x2 ply boards. I remember being extremely pleased with it after a weekend spent up to my neck in filler, polystyrene, paint etc. I recall leaving it overnight to dry and waking up next day to pristine 'snowscape'! before painting.

Not sure how good these are, but I hope you can make them out, would seem I was taking 'fuzzy' pictures even back then!

I have also scanned the 'national characteristics' charts from the old Bruce Quarrie (Airfix) rules, I really liked these although I never actually got to use them. (Permission sought of Patrick Stephens Ltd, publishers, copyright 1974). I'd like to incorporate something like this into my future games.

The ECW collection was later replaced by 'Matchlock Miniatures' 15mm, many hundreds of them. About that time I met my old friend Ian, a mountain of a man who was the pike sergeant of the Blew Regiment, London Trained Bands, Sealed Knot. I spent many happy hours gaming at his home and mine and his enthusiasm drew me into re-enactment as a pikeman in his regiment where I recall driving home from my first event covered in bruises and aching all over after being flattened in a 'push of pike', literally trodden under foot! Great times though. I played so many games with Ian and we later moved into ACW together. I last saw him a few years ago helping out on the caliver books stall as he often did, anyone recall the big guy?

Enjoy the scans.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

French battalion.

More or less completed, just the bases and flag to finish off. Quite pleased with them overall. I have assembled the 6 skirmishers from the Perry box next, I want to be able to deploy skirmisher screens on the table, maybe 6 per 2 units.

Does anybody recall a set of rules called 'Playable Napoleonic Wargames' by Barry Edwards (I think!) from back in the eighties? I used them and enjoyed them, fast and fun, I'd love to find an old copy again. Meantime I'm trying to figure how I could use my figures with WGR rules. From the rule point of view I know this is going to be a retro project!

I have found some old photos of my set up back in the eighties :-) I hope to scan a few to upload here. I recall the hours spent making the heavy ply boards and covering with filler etc before I eventually changed over to those lovely TSS boards, so lightweight. But I'm surprised how good the pictures actually look today.
Couple of pics, one a bit fuzzy!! of the French battalion, Back soon.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

British organisation

Finally, after a long period of searching the web and a couple of ‘false starts’ I am well and truly hooked once again on painting figures, and it feels great! What I did not want to do was begin a project that I could not finish, so I have set myself a realistic goal in terms of numbers of figures I need to paint. I plan to wargame at Divisional level only, but I want my armies to include all of the troop types that I like! After some thought I have decided to build my armies initially at least to the following tables. They are based on the Waterloo OOB, with some liberties taken in terms of eliminating the odd unit! I will work to this plan in future rather than painting ad hoc units.

French table will follow shortly :-)

BRITISH/HANOVERIAN.- 4th Division (Lt.Gen. Sir Colin Colville) General Lord Hill’s II corps.

4 th Brigade.(Col. Mitchel)14th Foot (Buff facings), 23 rd Foot (blue facings) 51st Foot (Light inf. Blue facings )

6th Brigade. – (Maj gen Johnson):35th Foot ( ? ) 54th Foot ( Green facings ) 59th Foot ( White facings. ) 91st Foot (Yellow facings)

6th Hanoverian Brigade (Maj. Gen. Sir James Lyon)3 x Hanoverian Battalions.

British & Hanoverian Field batteries. (one of each?)

2nd Cavalry Brigade (Maj Gen Sir W.Ponsonby).Royal Dragoons, Scots Greys,

5th Cavalry Brigade (Maj. Gen. Grant):7th & 15th Hussars.


A nicely balanced little force consisting of : 7 x British battalions, 3 x Hanoverian battalions ( will include some Landwehr). 2 Regts. of heavy cavalry & 2 of Hussars. Plus artillery.

All battalions are 16 figures, cavalry regts. will be 10 figures each.

Composition: All British line/Light will be Perry Plastics, the Hanoverians will be Perry metals (2 x Line plus 1 x landwehr….. I love those caps!)

British heavy cavalry will be Perry metals

British Light cavalry (Hussars), will be Perry Plastics… hussars due shortly.

Artillery, all Perry metal.


French line battalion #1 almost completed, pics shortly.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Improved pictures!

Still not great I admit, the flash is exagerating the shading still, but these are better at least! Its an overall look I'm happy to continue with, hopefully the varnish will further enhance them.

Thanks for the replies re flags, I'll take a look at GMB.

Monday, 22 February 2010

A couple of questions.

Managed to complete the first 8 French figures over the weekend. I also worked on the basing by slightly darkening the stonework and edges, I think its an improvement. The method is fast and non messy so I'm going to stick wih this shade now. I'm going to change camera next post as I'm struggling to get a good close up with my old thing!.... meantime here you see my progress so far. The next 8 French are already undercoated, the flank companies plus 3 metal command figures. I reckon I can paint around 10 per week, how does that compare with you guys? I do have a fair bit more time on my hands thesedays, I could probably push that up a little.
1. Whats the best make of flags on the market these days? or do you all use the free 'Warflag' colours? Are Revo still as good as I remember them?
2 Varnish. Any suggestions ? I used to use the Humbrol spray years ago, had a nice finish, not totally matt but I liked that look. My Foundry paint system varnish pack went solid before I even opened them !! but I prefer to spray them anyway.
Back at the end of the week with improved quality pics and close ups. Cheers for any input.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Contemplating French colours!

Quick update. Made a few changes to the blog as you can see and I have also been playing with initial colours on the French infantry. I have decided that I want it to keep it to 2 main shades max for the greatcoats, plus the blue of the habit-veste. The pics look brighter than in reality, the shading is more subtle but I'm trying to improve my photography skills! This is about the half way stage of painting so they will improve but on the whole I'm happy with the colours I have. Any comments/suggestions are most welcome, might as well get it right from the start. I have been studying the images on the 'Wargaming in 28mm' blog for an idea of shades, and I really like the subtle wash effect used on those figures.
Other pic shows the 4 metal British command figures that completed the 2nd British batttalion.
I'm also now re thinking basing method, the 'stone' is not working for me (although it was fine for 15mm figures), so I'm going to re do that in a browner shade. The grass is from Games Workshop basing system, expensive but good I think.
Just need flags now, used to use Revo but Warflag look good, again any recommendations welcome please.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Progress report.

The 4 metal British Line command are finished, so that completes 2 x 16 figure battalions plus 4 riflemen. Obviously there is slightly finer detail in the metal figures, slightly deeper undercuts etc, but on the whole they are an excellent match for the plastics. No doubting now that the white u/coat methed is MUCH faster than the black method and produces much brighter finished figures, very much in a retro style...... I like it a lot. Its odd, after 20 years of painting over black matt u/coats its a bit like having to re-learn the art of white again! Might take a few battalions to get fully dialed in again I reckon, but so far I'm happy-ish.

First 8 French line fusiliers are u/coated and ready to start on tomorrow.

I need to start working on organisation now and planning ahead, initially at brigade level, then as it progresses at Division level. I'm basically out to recreate in 28mm the collection I once had in 15mm many years ago, even down to the TSS terrain boards and the lovely Hovels buildings etc. I anticipate a good 2 year project ahead.

Main thing for me though is that I'm loving every minute of the painting again, and that feeling of achievement after a painting session is a real buzz.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Better late than never!

Well, my order actually turned up on Saturday! I'd given up up on it but that the PO for you these days I guess.

I have the 4 metal Brit command figures u/coated already to go. The metal figures are a good match for the plastics, maybe a little more detailed facially but I'm nit picking there. I also have enough figures for the next 2 French line battalions...... so on we go.

I'm going to order some cavalry next.

Now a Question about rules. it is clear that my goal is to collect nice figures/units rather than play accurate table top games, but that said I do want to be able to play some fast and simple games with them down the line. I want a set of rules that are 'retro' in mechanism, fast and quickly memorable, the emphasis being on the 'fun' aspect. I'm trawling through the 'freewargamesrules' site looking for something to suit but will throw this open for suggestions? I really like the WRG rules but my basing style wont work now and I want to keep my 2 deep basing style, I have never liked a single rank of figures in line even though I know it is accurate in terms of width and depth! The old 'Quarrie' rules are proving somewhat complex in reading, and will clearly play very slowly ( as you said Ian:-) ).

'Stryker' what rules do you intend to use for your HH project? Are you going 1970's rules too? Anyone else knows of a good playable but fun set of Napoleonic rules please post them here for me, I'd appreciate that. Cheers.

More pics to follow shortly.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Reinforcements delayed!

Just when it was all going so well I have an email from Alan Perry telling me that my order failed to arrive! I happened to have been given a postal order as a gift s0 decided to use it to order the figures, first time I have used 'snail mail' to order anything for years. Not much I can do but write it off I guess, luckily it was only £30+ odd, but its annoying. So I'll re order ONLINE this time and in the meantime I decided to paint the last 8 figures from the box to keep going. Bloody PO.

When I re started this blog it was my intention to build around the old 'Airfix' Bruce Quarrie rules. I then looked at WRG but didnt like the basing style required. So I'm back to the BQ rules. The organsiation suggested for the 1815 campaign in the book is:
British Line battalion = 20 figures in 10 companies. Inc 1 grenadier and 1 light co.
French line battalion = 24 figures in 6 companies of 4, inc 1 light and 1 grenadier co.

This is very managable and gives an accurate representation I feel?

I will try to scan some of the pages from this lovely old book, its my first edition from 1974 and is full of lovely old photos in b/w. The other book is from 1971, and again is a first edition now falling to bits!
Meantime I'm adding 4 more figures to each battalion to make them up to 20 each.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Quick update!

No new photos yet. Been working on the basing and improvements while waiting for my order from Perry to arrive. Next post should show the completed line command for my second battalion. I'm itching to get into the French, the Perry Plastics look brilliant.

I'm already planning the next order! I HAVE to do a unit of Carabiniers AND a unit of Cuirassiers after the 4 infantry battalions. They will be of 10 figures each. I'm amazed at the quality of these plastics so far and with cavalry figures working at at just £1.00 each for both horse and rider how can I resist?

Perry should be releasing the Dragoons and Hussars in due course, both look excellent. For the British cavalry it will have to metal and Perry produce Household cavalry, plus Dragoons so they will follow the French cavalry in my project.

Meantime here's a shot from the Perry twins website, the French cavalry plastics....... pretty hard to fault them in my book.

(Image from Perry miniatures website)