Sunday, 28 November 2010

Perry, Front Rank & Victrix infantry comparison.

Some may recall that I recently asked how compatible the Perry plastic riflemen were with Front Rank metal riflemen. Compatibility between manufacturers is a frequently asked question on blogs and forums. John, over at the excellent 'Wargaming in 28mm' blog put up some photos showing artillery and cavalry of various makes (see here), so I thought I would post a shot of some infantry side by side for information.

Left to right: Victrix Highlander, Perry Plastic riflemen (note the figure on left is set back slightly so appears slightly smaller), Front Rank riflemen and a Perry British Line Infantry figure. I think actually of the 3 that the Victrix is the slightly chunkier possibly, but all blend in pretty well? I guess that I could have mixed the FR & Perry rifles but as I have bought the full 16 figure battalion I will complete them and use the odd 8 Perry rifles for something else later, possibly something Hanoverian maybe?

The figure at right (Perry) is one of the 4 test figures I did with the Hanoverian cap conversion(here). I'm afraid I could not get the image of a large crusty loaf out of my head so I decided to replace the heads with Stovepipes, repaint the facings yellow and these will in due course become a full battalion of the 28th Foot, possibly the only British line regiment to wear the old style shako during the 100 days campaign.

Hope some of you will find the comparisons useful. The pic was taken in my new light box with a mix of 'daylight' and standard bulbs, the result is much better I think than recent shoddy efforts!!

Back on Friday.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Roadworks & Rifles!

Friday again already. This week I have completed the 16 road sections which form the first part of my terrain building plans. Each section is 30cm long and I made a couple of junctions, a couple of curves and a crossroads as well as many straight sections. They dried out nice and flat but by using a lot of PVA glue in the filler they are slightly flexible. Edges were made from stone and static grass to match the figure bases. Overall I'm happy with them. Next up will be stream sections and a couple of fields edged with fence/hedges.

Also completed the first 8 of the Front Rank rifles. A real joy to paint. The unit should be completed by next Friday. I gave the officer blonde hair in homage to Major Sharpe of course, and my wife said that FR had given the figure a 'peachy little backside' just like Sean Bean :-) I noted that only those members of the 95th designated 'sharpshooters' and who had passed the test could wear the green cockade, the rest wearing white.

I feel I'm getting closer to that first game now, but I want to get everything just right. I still need more French artillery so that will follow the rifles.

Again apologies for the poor quality of the pics, I will sharpen them up for next weeks completed rifles shots.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Drybrush & terrain.

Thanks to those who responded to my 'drybrush' question. I thought long and hard about it, tried a lighter colour as suggested and then made my mind up. I have decided to stick with a fairly stark white but done as lightly as I can. I have done a few more units, including the other two French cavalry units and I have to say it does seem to make a big difference overall. I'm now working through all of the bases!

I cut out twenty 30cm road sections yesterday including straights, curves, T junctions and a cross roads. A jig-saw made light work of it. The sections are 60mm wide and I intend to edge the sections with a 5mm strip of stone/grass to match the figure bases, leaving the roads 50mm wide to accommodate my 45mm wide bases. The surfaces will then be textured with a PVA glue/filler mix and painted. Next I will cut the stream sections. I have decided that I will also cut bases for the woodland areas to enable me to stand individual trees on. In 'WRG' style I want to standardise the sizes of woods, fields, BUA's, hills, etc. I should have some pics of the completed roads ready for my Friday update together with the first 8 painted 95th rifles.

Friday, 19 November 2010

To drybrush or not?

That's another week flown by. I have finished the French 6th Hussars and I'm very happy with them. I did have an issue with 2 of the horses as I used an old Coat D'Arms horse colour I had here 'Dun' and it came out a bit flat and 'buff' looking, but some extensive re working eventually produced 2 quite nice horses. The Coat D'Arms ' Chestnut' is an excellent horse colour and I use that a lot. The trumpeters sheepskin should in fact be black not white as the rest of the troopers, so I may correct that!

I'm left with 6 more Hussars from the box so I will do the 7th at some point in the near future as I like the green uniforms and they were also present at Waterloo. I will need to add 2 more command figures to complete the unit though and I have a choice of adding 2 Front Rank Hussars OR the plastic command sprue from Perry, but at £6 for the sprue of just 2 plastic figures I may well go for metal!

OK now the question I would like your opinions on please. My bases are basically brown painted model railway ballast with added Citadel static grass. The stone is painted with watered down brown leather. However, as you can see I did a test paint of white drybrush over the stones to see if it improved them. My gut feeling is yes it does, I would like your thoughts on this before I go ahead and drybrush the bases of over 320 figures now! I'm sorry my photos are poor but hopefully you can see the contrast in the picture.

Next up is the 16 Front Rank riflemen, excellent figures, should be a joy to paint. After that I hope to add the 3 guns and crews to make up some French artillery. These I think will be Perry as the 1 gun I have is Perry and I'd like to keep them all the same. I'm also itching to do a Nassau battalion and the Scots Greys.

I'm also working on some road sections too now, cut from hardboard and edged with the stone/grass as the figures. I'm doing 12" sections and then some stream sections the same method. Surfaces will be painted filler with some texture. I'm getting eager to play that first game.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

6th Hussars - figures completed.

It's Saturday morning and I have just completed the 8 hussar figures. Family have all gone shopping so in between sorting the dishwasher, hoovering and generally tidying up I have managed to get a solid couple of hours painting in! When I feel enthusiastic about painting figures I could sit for hours and lose myself in the hobby, but of course Life must come first so there are always other things that have to done. I do feel lucky that I currently only work part time . Might change in the future so I make the most of it while I can. I'm approaching one year of painting these 28mm Napoleonics and I reckon I will hit the 340 mark for that first 12 months. I have had to budget my purchases, which is why I have not yet got round to terrain, buildings etc but after Christmas I will be in a position to get started on it and get down to some wargames. I envisage my games will be 'Old School' style, simple fast rules and probably not the accurate re-fights I enjoy reading on other blogs. For me its more about pushing my collection around on the table and having a bit of fun.

Really enjoyed painting these and I'm happy with the overall look. The sabretache with its green laurel leaf and tiny no.6 was a challenge, not perfect but good enough for me. Looking at the pics here I can see a couple of bits I need to touch up later. One thing I wanted to avoid was the lace being a solid blob and a bit of careful drybrushing seems to have done the trick. I used Foundry 'Shiny' metallic and mixed in Foundry 'yellow' for this. The coats are Foundry 'Bright Red' highlighted with 'bright red - light'.

Right, Hussars horses up next and the unit will be finished and based by Friday as planned. I have put a small order into Games Workshop for more static grass and a few other supplies.

Friday, 12 November 2010

French 6th Hussars -progress.

Well the Hussars finally arrived and I could not help myself starting on them! This is a fantastic box of figures, the sprues are packed with parts to enable you to produce almost any French Hussar regiment from different stages of the Napoleonic wars. I like the red and blue contrast of the 6th regiment (present at Waterloo) and the later style post 1812 headgear. Not got too far yet, just the basic colours blocked in and a bit of work on the faces. Like all the perry plastics the figures go together like a dream leaving no gaps. My Hussars are in campaign dress of overalls but I was very tempted by the 'booted' legs. This 8 figure unit should be completed and based by next Friday. I will be left with 6 more Hussars so by adding another command sprue (available directly from Perry, as are all the plastic command sprues now), I will be able to field a second unit at a later date. But next up after the 6th will be the 95th Rifles.

Gurkha Rifles.
I'm also pleased to report that our local Gurkha Rifles have this week returned home from Afghanistan. The Gurkhas are based at Shorncliffe Barracks near Folkestone, which is where the Light Infantry were based and trained during the Napoleonic wars, including the 95th Rifles. A more respectful and peaceful community you could not wish for and the Gurkhas are very highly thought of in the local community. Sadly this tour has cost them 4 lives, and Sunday's remembrance parade down here will be particularly poignant.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Twiddling my thumbs!

Well, it's 10 days now since I ordered a box of Perry French Hussars from Leisure Games and still no sign of them! I've emailed them but no reply so not sure what's happening. No charge is made until the figures are despatched so can't complain there, I assume they are waiting on stock, maybe I should have ordered them direct from Perry, but that's Life. Hopefully they will show up shortly. Meantime I have ordered more Front Rank infantry including the 95th Rifles battalion and some British Light Infantry and can confidently predict they will arrive in the next couple of days, so efficient is the service from this company. The next FR order will be for French artillery, 4 guns and crews.

So, meantime I have tackled an issue that has been bugging me for some time, infact ever since I painted up my box of Victrix artillery some months ago. Under my rules 2 guns represent a battery. I had 3 guns from the Victrix and added a 4th from Perry metal but this has not looked right. The Victrix are in full dress and the Perry's in campaign dress, and as you might recall I had issues about the size of the wheels being slightly smaller than the Victrix model. So I have removed the metal wheels and barrel from the Perry gun and added plastic Victrix replacements. I have also managed to put together another plastic crew by using the remaining 3 Victrix figures and making an officer from the body of a leftover Highland officer and adding a Perry head and left arm and Victrix right arm. The result is 4 crews and guns to make up 2 batteries of field artillery. I am much happier with the result and just need to base the 4th gun and crew. As you can see, the quality of the victrix plastics is every bit as good as the Perry metals once painted up. The battery commander has flouted regulations and is wearing a lovely bicorne. I intend to add another 2 gun battery of Royal Horse Artillery once Victrix release them next year.

So, change of plan now, I'll do the 16 x 95th Rifles next and maybe the French Hussars if and when they turn up!

Finally, I was browsing through the SELWG site recently and came across some wonderful old pictures of club nights taken in the seventies when I was a member. Can't see myself in any of them but they brought back so many memories of Friday nights spent playing/watching great games in the old Grove Park Youth Club. I just had to post the link here for you:-

Pics: The pic seems to exaggerate the highlights on the trousers, it is more sublte.