Thursday, 29 April 2010

Cuirassiers completed.

Not great pictures I know and I apologise ( I am going to work on improving my photography skills, I think I need to light them better) ...... but here are the finished 8 cuirassiers. Again a standard that I am happy with overall, and standing back a little the effect is already reminding me of why I loved Napoleonics so much. I know that they don't have the depth maybe of 'darker' styles over black undercoats but this is a 'retro' project so its a retro style..... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! I am seriously considering a gloss varnish effect, any thoughts on this?

I have run out of figures to paint now until my Perry order arrives. What I do have left are 2 metal British line, a sergeant and a pioneer so I'll use these 2 figures to show how fast this wash method over white undercoat works. Both can form part of my next line battalion when I get the figures. Colour by colour guide coming up, with paint codes etc.

Improved quality pictures next post!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Cuirassier horses - progress.

The cuirassiers are finished and I'm now painting the 8 horses. Just the harness etc to go now, then I stick the riders on before going over with a final finishing touch up! Just need to add the separate scabbards/musketoons etc once they are stuck in position. These will be fully completed and based before the weekend.

Going to order another box of British line infantry plus another metal command set (6 figures). So far I have 2 x16 figure units completed plus an additional 8 figures painted towards unit number 3, so plan is to build them up to 4 completed units before moving on to more French infantry.

Having crossed the 100 painted figures barrier I'm looking forward to hitting 200 now!

Pictures show the horses with several colours left to paint, more pics once unit is completed and based.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


Was planning to do a step by step account of how I painted these but my camera batteries died on me! I'll do it next time when I return to painting the British line infantry. Here's where I am so far with the 8 cuirassiers. I love the officer with folded arms and a 'fed up' expression on his face! (Perry metal range). The metal and plastic figures match well, I have no problem at all with that.

Again quick washes of colour of various strengths. I am using the Foundry system paints but not I had anticipated! I'm generally thinning down the shade colours then using the mid colour to highlight. I don't bother with the actual Foundry highlight shade, I add white if I need to. These cuirassiers seemed to take no time to get to this stage, and that includes some quick touching up over colours that may run or stray slightly.

Put the carabiniers on the table for a photo parade!

Back soon with the completed cuirassiers and the horses ready primed. Going to experiment more with these ones, want to try the brown ink for example.


Friday, 23 April 2010

Cuirassiers next up!

Couple more shots of the Carabiniers, all completed except basing which will be done today.

Next up are 8 cuirassiers and I will do a 'blow by blow' account of the paint job on these. Took 10 days to do the carabiniers in total and I will aim for the same with these. After that its down to 2 more British line battalions, although I already have 8 figures painted towards these.


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Almost there!

Two shots of the (almost) finished carabinier unit. Need to just add silver to the harnesses etc and touch up around the sword belts and carbines. I'm not 100% happy with the fit of the latter to be honest, but I couldn't seem to get them to fit snugly any further back! I know that they hung via a sliding brass fitting on the rear of the piece but the Perry instructions says they attach via the saddle holsters which is fiddly to do. I MAY have another go at this or I may just notch it down to experience and let it go this time. Need to darken the carbine woodwork slightly too. The separate sword belts went on quite easily but I would have preferred those to be moulded on. Overall though I'm happy.

I'll add the next update of the completely finished and based unit shortly.

Next up are cuirassiers as I said. I just need to research the situation regarding carbines? Almost all of the illustrations of charging cuirassiers in the Osprey title show them not wearing carbines but they were issued with them. I would imagine the carbine could be a nuisance in action given the weight of them. Having had experience of handling and firing black powder weapons I know the weight of such a piece so maybe they were removed and stored for mounted action? Any thoughts on this?

Back soon.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

'Make ready'

Making the most of my free time this week I took a break from painting figures to get the baseboard up in the newly painted wargame room. I managed to get a 6 x 5 table in there with enough room to move around on 3 sides and get a couple of chairs in there. Its not as cramped as I thought it might be, a good 24" on each side with just enough room to get past on the bottom end, and I'm not the slimmest of wargamers myself! I still have a long way to go yet of course and next week things will slow down but at least its there and it gives further motivation to the project.

I couldn't resist putting the figures painted so far on the table and took this shot of the first British unit that I painted for this project, from the rear. Still no flags yet but that will soon be taken care of.

Trumpeters horse.

Here is the trumpeters grey horse, just the basic (very) thin black wash applied this time then white mixed into the paint to quickly highlight. Again very quick to do. Once the horse furniture etc is painted it should look OK. As the troopers saddles were covered with a white sheepskin I have decided to wash the whole lot with thin black again and then come back and dry brush pure white over it. 'Dogs teeth' have now also been done with Foundry 'sky blue shade' (21A) again thinned down, then highlghited with sky blue 'light' (21C). main thing for me is that standing back a foot or so the effect works well I think. Again its about speed of brushwork, controlling the thinned washes and being prepared to tidy up a little here and there if I need to.

Trumpeters horse. Next update will show the completed unit I hope. Trumpeters sheepskin cover will be black.

Slightly changing subject I see that Victrix now have the British foot artillery set out! 3 guns with choice of barrels, 15 crew plus various bits and pieces of equipment all for £19.99. Much as I wanted to stick with Perry I cant resist a set like this one so this will go on my order list. Any comments on how compatible they are?

Monday, 19 April 2010

Carabiniers part 3 - Test horse.

Decided to try a 'test horse' to see how the black would look. Carabiniers of course rode all black horses except for the grey of the trumpeter. I have found black horses hard to get to look right in the past. I think this will be OK. First I washed thin Foundry black 34A over the white u/coat. Then I used strong black to shade beneath the body and in the legs, neck etc. A quick touch of white on some legs and the blaze and done! Placed a carabinier on to view the overall effect and I'm quite happy. Its not solid black, there are lighter tones and I think it works. photos show 2 stages plus one with the rider. All detail, saddle, reins etc have not yet been painted, I just wanted to test the wash effect.

Should have this unit all completed by Friday, then straight onto the Cuirassier unit before returning to paint more British Line infantry...... I'm planning ahead. When I paint the Cuirassier unit I'll do a blow by blow account of how I build up the colours over the white undercoat..... its fast and furious!!

Back soon, I want to keep this blog lively and regularly updated.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Carabiniers (part 2)

Here are the completed 8 figures! Seemed to take no time at all, simple washes of colour then in with a bit of detailing/shading. Gloves for example are brown ink wash then white. I did the 'ochre belts edged in white' by quickly painting them white then painting the 'ochre' stripe along the centre...easy! So today I should get the horses undercoated then have a break until tomorrow .

Sword belts/straps and carbines are s till on the sprues for painting and will be glued on to the figures, again it makes the job much faster and easier.

I have made a measuring device (in the great tradition of vintage wargames!) to allow me to use the WRG rules with my basing system. It simply shows the number of 45mm frontage bases that I use and how many figures each base frontage represents under WRG, for example a 4 figure 'element' for foot a 3 figure 'element' for cavalry, 2 for skirmishers etc. Probably harder to describe than to illustrate with the device so I'll upload a pic later. Essentially my bases frontages are what counts NOT the number of figures on my bases, which are purely representative of the 'type', hope that makes sense? For example while my cavalry units are of 8 actual figures the 4 'element' frontages actually represent 12 fighting figures under the rules as regular cavalry are 3 per element under WRG. ....... simples!!!!

The finished carabinier riders.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Carabiniers underway.

I have started painting the 8 figure carabinier unit and so thought I would post some pics as they progress. Decided to go with the correct 1815 blue coats, the officer retaining his earlier white coat as is also correct. Trumpeter in Imperial Livery with troopers helmet (some did aspire to a white plume but officially it was standard troopers helmet with red crest). Pics show initial colours. I gave the breastplates a wash of brown ink over the base colour which really picked out the detail. I then mixed a touch of Foundry 'shiny' in to highlight the helmet etc. The plate and scales just need a touch of silver to finish them. The lining or padding that shows a round the shoulders,waist and neck was a challenge to get right!! After a glass or two of cider last nightI managed to add the white line over the blue so that it looks OK -ish I think? So far so good. I should get a few more colours done today s the family are all out for the day. I can't wait to see this unit completed.

The blue of the coats need highlighting and the breeches 'grey is just an initial wash but pics show progress so far.

Also been thinking a lot about my aims for this project. Its clear to me that I'm out to reproduce the sort of games that I used to enjoy when I was a member of SELWG back in the late seventies and in some respects it a very 'retro' project. We always played WRG on 6 x 4 tables with a couple of brigades a side, 2 or 3 hours and then down the pub! Whilst I really admire those who reproduce the big battles on the table top and love reading your blogs and write ups, for myself my emphasis is on getting the look of everything to blend in, figures, terrain etc and that's what I enjoy, painting figures, landscaping, building terrain . The actual 'gaming' aspect is secondary for me which explains why I want to stick with WRG rules. All terrain items will be 'lay on' and hand built when I reach that stage.

Couple more days and I should be into the horses for the carabiniers, black horses of course, a grey for the trumpeter.

Games room is ready for a coat of paint, got our old pine dining table in there as a base for the heavy ply baseboards which will be landscaped to match the bases. Put a British line battalion in column on the table to see how the 5' width works and that extra foot makes a big difference I think.

back again soon.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Heavy cavalry & French line infantry.

Thought I'd post a couple of pics of the French line I began in the last post as it illustrates my simple painting method for this project. Images show the figures about midway and completed save for backpacks etc to be glued on. Its so fast this method and I think the results will be good enough en mass, for me at least. Of course I could go further and work in extra shading or lining etc but I'm not going to!

Have now had the Perry heavy cavalry out of the box and compared the metal command figures, again I'm happy with them, can't really see much difference at all in scale/size etc.... all just as it should be. (The command figures in the above infantry shot are also metal Perry and blend in perfectly with the plastics).

I'm itching to get painting on the first 8 figure Carabinier unit but need to do a bit of prep first. I was not aware that by Waterloo the Carabiniers had swapped their splendid white coats for light blue :-( I'm having a bit of a think about what to do as I REALLY wanted to paint those white coats. The metal command figure shown is of course the cuirassier command to enable me to also complete an 8 figure cuirassier unit and I may paint these 'at rest' with shouldered swords, there are enough spare arms in the box to choose either 'charging or 'rest'. This box gets 10 out of 10 from me, incredibly good plastic figures.

Back soon.

Monday, 12 April 2010

The wargames room progress.

Been busy tidying up the walls ready for painting but I hope to have it finished by the weekend and the 5' x 5' 6" table top up and ready for landscaping. I've figured this is the best I can do in there and I'm happy with it. With my small units and slow movement rates etc (WRG rules) it gives enough scope for the small games I plan to play in there. The 5' width has meant sacrificing length but overall it will be fine and the rules will work well. Few pics of the scale plan (rough). Leaves me enough room to get a chair either side plus a monitor as I intend to transfer the tatty old rule set onto the PC (more of that later).

Just finishing the final 8 French figures I have left then its straight onto the 8 figure Carabinier unit followed by the 8 figure Cuirassier unit. Its all coming together in my head at least! Then need to order another box of British line and French line to complete the 2x 'half' battalions I will have painted to make up 3x 16 figure battalions per side.

Image shows the white undercoated French with just 3 colours painted..... GW Midnight Blue, thinned wash, then GW 'brown ink' wash over the faces hands and muskets, then flesh light (Foundry) over the ink wash on faces and hands. Next I paint all the black in a fairly thin wash before strengthening where I need to. This method is so fast and flowing I really enjoy doing it, I cant see myself ever going back to a black undercoat again.

Next update should show the carabiniers underway. I'll paint all 8 figures together with the riders glues to their mounts. The command for the carabiniers will be plastic and the command for the cuirassiers will be FN59 Command charging from Perry. Pics of these to follow.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Apologies for the short break!

Been busy with work and family recently so have had a short break from painting and the blog. The Perry heavy cavalry are on order now so painting will resume as soon as they arrive. The spare room has been finally cleared out so I'm redecorating it ready to move the table top into. I'm still undecided if I should go for a 5 wide x 5' 6" long tabletop or a more traditional 6 x4 table. Small units on a small table are OK I think and much of my wargames over the years have been on a 6 x 4 table so I may well go with that now. As the room is just 7' 6" x 9' 6" I can't really go much bigger.

Have been reading through a 'new' set of rules, those of Paul and Jan Lenniston from the wargames blog 'Napoleonic wargaming' Designed for Corps level games with small units I like the way they emphasise command and control. As I'm currently reading through myself together with the associated game reports I'll post the direct link to the rules here for others interesting in seeing what they think of them. I have to say that I really like them.

Back soon with more painted figures!!