Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Allez

Ordinarily my French Battalions look as if they were equipped at a succession of charity shops and jumble sales. I thought it was about time that I produced a unit where the QM was halfway competent and able to turn out a unit that was largely uniform. As a further variation I thought that a 2nd Battalion fanion rather than a 1st Battalion eagle might also add to the change. 8 metal and 16 plastic Perry figures they are for sale - pm me if you are interested.






Thursday, 10 December 2015

Tommies

Thought I should follow up today's whinge (see below) with a bit of something constructive. So here are 2 views of my recently acquired EWM tommies . Germans to follow.

You have a choice! 'Over the top' or 'closing on the objective'



Painted?

I've grumbled about ebay before. Let's face it, who hasn't? This time though it is more to do with customers. I like to see what I am getting when I browse the items for sale so the increasingly common habit of selling unpainted figures with a picture of a painted figure irks me.

Because not only is the painted figure a misrepresentation but it tends to be a perfectly painted misrepresentation. And hiding the word unpainted somewhere deep in the advert seems a little disingenuous. The chances of the average shopper delivering such an acrylic masterpiece is less than likely.

Ah yes, some will cry but manufacturers do this on their own websites dont they? Yes they do but there you dont have to guess as to what you are getting. On an auction site there should also be no room for doubt.

Meanwhile here are my latest contribution to the auction behemoth. All painted by me.....

http://r.ebay.com/kPODKG
http://r.ebay.com/PvAwCf
http://r.ebay.com/N1j5u8
http://r.ebay.com/mRq15Q

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

EWM



Annual outing to the Reading show on Saturday. I looked in vain for Bicorne, Renegade, AB, Elite etc etc. I appreciate the economics of it all but it simply reaffirmed my view that online shopping is the way ahead. Or is it? I would not have found these figures if I had not gone.

Early War Miniatures have a comprehensive range of WW1 figures in 20mm. Here are my test figures. Not having done this scale in ages I really enjoyed doing them especially after spending a lot of time recently on 18th Century redcoats. I was told they are old sculpts but to me they are to WW1 what Britannia Miniatures are to WW2 (I hope that makes sense!). Packed in section bags you get between 8-10 figures for around £7-8. Great value. I think EWM do other periods but I didn't stop to look so check out their website. No vested interest here I should add.

I also found some Artisan figures re-branded as rules of engagement. I fancied a bit of pea dot so got a pack and here's the first. He'll be on eBay soon so pm me if you are interested.



Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Cumberland

The latest recruit to the slowly expanding Government army. It's only one and a half Battalions big (or small - depends on your point of view) at the moment but I wanted somebody on a horse so started at the top. Its another of the very fine 1745 range from Crann Tara miniatures.



Probably like most people my first source for Culloden was John Prebble's highly atmospheric book. It's probably fair to say that Cumberland does not get a good press and the BBC2 docudrama which followed did little to even the score as grim faced redcoats were shown bayoneting the wounded highlanders. The recent work of Stuart Reid presents a more balanced picture - the number of Jacobite prisoners is perhaps indicative of a less than thorough approach. True, the prisoners dont appear to be have been treated too well but find me an instance of prisons in the 18th century where anybody was. Jacobite mythology seems to have worked rather well. I gather that the wounded Zulu's at Rorkes Drift did not get the correct human rights treatment either but we dont hear of Butcher Chard do we?

I visited the Culloden battlefield in 2001. The new visitors centre was open but this was before film revamp. All the guides were dressed as plucky highlanders and I looked in vain for the man in a redcoat who might show us round. Presumably he was too busy sharpening his bayonet.


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Hut

Its been a long time since I did a piece of terrain. I look at the range of lasercut buildings that now present themselves and why bother with anything else? Not expensive and very well done but I fancied doing something a bit different so I had a go at a multipurpose peasants hut. The usual mdf construction as I had some spare offcuts lying around.

The thatched roof effect was tricky and despite repeated coats of pva glue it refused to settle down. Finally painting it absorbed huge amounts of acrylic. But I'm reasonably happy with the final effect. I think it could pass muster from the middle ages onwards. Presumably the French officer finds it beneath his dignity to wander in.

The tree by the way is not something I made but it adds a bit of arboreal colour



Monday, 19 October 2015

Redcoats

The first of hopefully a range of units from the armies at Culloden at a rough scale of 1 to 20. This is supposed to be Munro's (or Dejeans) 37th foot although it could probably stand in for any yellow facing regiment of the time. Figures are from the Crann Tara Miniatures range.


Friday, 28 August 2015

Orange


This lot are the first stand of the Orange Auxiliaries for my ECW collection. The more observant will note that apart from the very odd piece there is nothing orange about them. When I put up some recent pictures of my Blue Auxiliaries dressed in a variety of blue uniforms I received some very helpful feedback starting 'Very nice, but....'. In short a number of visitors said that the only thing blue or red or orange about these Regiments was their standards. The soldiers simply turned up in what they could find in the wardrobe so hence I decided to do this Regiment in a collection of drab colours. It also took away the vivid option of orange which frankly would be a little too much. I mean, Brookes Regiment in purple is bad enough.

So I get the historical accuracy thing but would a Regiment with a colour in its title really not have at least a handful of men turning up in that same colour? Imagine saying to your Mum 'I'm in the orange regiment' and trying to stop her going down the plague ridden shops the very next day trying to find at least something orange to wear. I'm willing to bet a good proportion of men had a token marker.

Equally dreary Pikemen coming next.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Dolomites






The Foresight family have just spent the week in the Dolomites on the border of Austria and Italy. Specifically the village of San Cassiano which is probably better known these days for its skiing and Michelin starred restaurants. 100 years ago it was near the front lines of the Austrian and Italian armies in the Falzarego region following the Italian offensive in 1915. As with everywhere else in that year things did not go too well for the Allies.



Being British its easy to see the war solely through the prism of the western front and the occasional sideshow such as Gallipoli. However a short hike in the mountains will soon convince you that others had it just as bad. Before you even get to the fighting there is the terrain and weather to deal with. Peaks two to three thousand feet high accessible only by goat tracks and not a stitch of Goretex. Both sides tunnelled extensively and everywhere you look you can see cave openings which housed observation posts and alert machine gunners. 



I've put some pictures below but they give little sense of the scale of the place. Apparently it took the efforts of 900 men to sustain just 100 in the line. Well, so what, I hear you ask. Apart from the fact that its a fascinating place to visit it will give you a new appreciation of what the Italian infantryman had to put up with. It's the sort of place where if you as B Company Commander are given a task then your immediate reaction would be to ask if it was not one better suited to A Company.


In his book White War (highly recommended) Mark Thompson refers to one line of attack that was similar to climbing a cathedral roof. A brilliant line and the Italians did it.
















Saturday, 6 June 2015

Munro's

Finally, some opposition to the charging highlanders. First Company of Munro's regiment complete


Thursday, 4 June 2015

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Paint

As I sit at my desk I gaze across roughly 125 pots of various paints. The vast majority are Vallejo with an honourable second for Games Workshop. 3 lonely bottles of Foundry Spearshaft triad sit quietly at the back somehow outshone by the vibrant purple of the single candidate from Cotes d'Arms. The industrial presence of Humbrol varnish and black undercoat complete the set. It's an impressive array but I found myself wondering how many I actually use?


I found myself base layering some ECW trousers with VMC brown violet yesterday.It's not what the name implies and has a sort dirty green finish to it. I looked around for a main colour and picked up the Panzer Aces dark mud which looked like it too had a dirty green finish to it.Now, it wasn't an exact match but close enough to make no difference. I guess that a purist would have seen the variation but I couldn't. I then looked across the 10 or so variations of yellow ochre that I have of which I only really use yellow ochre. I don't have a bottle of Deck Tan which seems to be the latest ochre of choice but if I get it I'm willing to bet its not a million miles away from something in the first 10.


Take a look at chocolate brown, burnt ochre and leather brown. All suspiciously similar. Yet I can remember working myself into a frenzy when I didn't have a bottle of off white because white apparently wsn't quite right. Black red. That's burnt cadmium red isn't it? Or shadow flesh. The only truly independent colour I could find was gunmetal blue which is unusable for anything in this universe anyway.


So how many colours do you actually need? Presumably black, white, red, yellow, blue and silver would be sufficient for the true minimalist but the mixing would be a pain, wouldn't it? But 125? I think not.


Flames of War have just brought out their new range of colours and have helpfully prduced a chart which tells what old colours they are equivalent to. It seems strange - is my old pot of german cam orange ochre so wrong that I should buy some Panzer yellow or whatever they are calling it? Especially when it comes in a bottle that looks, well, unusual...


Am I being marketed to here?

Monday, 20 April 2015

Clan

Finally finished the first Clan for Culloden. The Atholl Brigade who took very heavy casualties in their attack on the Government left flank. Fantastic figures from Crann Tara. Lochiel's Cameron's next.



Sunday, 12 April 2015

Lidl

I saw this advertised on TMP. Lidl are selling golf mats at 1m x 2m for only £5 so Mrs Foresightpaint was tasked to get one. Its more of a thick felt with rubber studs across the back but it is an excellent base. The green may be a bit deep for some but at that price you can't be too fussy. You can even practice your putting on it.


Monday, 6 April 2015

Niche

I've noticed recently an increasing number of niche figure suppliers. I mean that in a positive way as I wish each and everyone of them luck and hope that all go on to build Perry-esque empires as we gadfly painters and gamers skip eras on a whim.


Each week something new appears - Crann Tara and their Jacobites, Red Star and their French Indo-China, Iron Duke and their Indian Mutiny, Mutton Chop and their first world war. Not to mention the kickstarter for the First Sikh War. The roll call seems never ending with an array of figures which seem to keep Paul Hicks in a constant state of non-zero hours contracting. The standard is so high that I saw a range of Franco-Prussian troops criticised for having rifle butts that were too short. When you are afforded this level of detail then perhaps you need to give your head a wobble before getting too picky.


What prompted me to write was the recent range from Iron Duke. Check out their website. I guarantee you will want their figures.But get this, they are differentiating their figures according to which model of rifle their real life forebears carried. When we have reached this point where on earth is there to go? Personally I dont mind if some generic 18/19th century musket is used but I know there are those who do. The detail is reflected in the price but frankly the £1.75 you will pay for each figure is piffling when it comes to quality.


I've nailed my colours to the Crann Tara mast - their clansmen are perfect but progress is slow. I've vowed not to buy any more until I've finsihsed what I have got. In the meantime another niche makes things hard to keep on track

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Jacobites 2

The second stand of Crann Tara highlanders. Carrying the colours of the Atholl Brigade on their way to meet up with Barrell's and Munro's where they don't come off too well.


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Jacobites



It's taken a while but here's my first base of the fantastic highlanders from Crann Tara. To my mind they really look the part and tartan isn't so daunting once you get into it. The challenge is trying to ensure that each one looks different. Anyway I'm hoping for some casualty figures and humble folk to add variety. I've started on the redcoats but so far there's only two completed. Culloden is a long way off.

Monday, 16 February 2015

88

A Flames of Glory WIP


Yorkists

I've had a couple of frames of the Perry plastic WOTR archers set lying around for a while. So, I thought that that I would have a go at some minor conversion work. It's sort of a diorama but sort of isn't if that makes sense. I very much like the trend for a lot of figures on a base rather than the ubiquitous 'single figure on a round base' that is very popular. Anyway 8 Yorkist foot soldiers providing close protection to a banner. Conversions were pretty simple and mostly involved cutting arms to remove longbows and adding pole arms. It's on eBay at Perry 28mm Wars of the Roses Infantry if you are interested:






Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Wrong

A recent commission did not go terribly well. Some fair criticism from the  client and I hope, everything sorted out amicably.

Now I know that its wrong to blame the figures but try as I might I just couldn't get them right. These were 18mm SYW Prussians and the blue was awkward, the red patchy and the white shaky. Having recently done their Austrians and French which came out perfectly (he said immodestly) I began to wonder what had changed. Nothing. I tried several sample figures and they refused to work.

I recall having a similar problem with some 28mm Prussians (Artisan I think) and prior to that some Front Rank samples. I've come to the conclusion that its an era I should keep away from. Is it me or is there something more mystic going on here?

Oh and by the way, its the first time somethings gone wrong. Don't let me scare you off! 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Ligne

It has been a busy few months so as light relief I've been working on these:





Perry figures as usual and a mix of 8 metal and 16 plastic which seems to work well. They are for sale so if you are interested then drop me a line. They will of course come with eagle and standard.