Monday, May 27, 2013

Horse & Musket back on the Agenda

I was going to call this post "Start, middle & end" since it represents the end of the start of one project, the progress towards the middle of another and the start of the end of a third.  Confusing though so I scrapped that idea.

The end of the start? 
Flats for want of another name.  My first company is complete and here they are marching through the gardens of those buildings that were part of the inspiration for the project.  The figures I've kept deliberately shiny with a good quality yacht varnish.  I've decided I don't like painting flags though.  Really difficult to get the folds and creases right and I need more practice - I redid the undercoat with a strong white and then layered red, then shade then highlight.  the white cross was then painted back in and some shading applied.  Funny but it comes out right in some light but not under artificial. 

 The buildings are now thirty years old and were hand made by my maternal grandfather (he was the reason why I got into the hobby and he fuelled my addiction with gifts such as these every birthday - Christmas was the time to receive some more painted figures from him too!).  They are simple blocks of wood crafted and painted to resemble houses, churches, manor houses and farms.  Simple but for me quite special.
 The progress to the middle?
The Great Northern War is (Tony please note) my LAST big project.  And by big I mean anything over 200 figures.  So far for the Great northern War I think I'm approaching 1,500 figures of which approximately 500 are painted but only 200 are based. 
Here are the first of the Russians fully finished and waiting to go.  They have actually been based for a while but I was never happy with the finish of the texturing or the fact that they had no flags. 
Flags are courtesy of "The League of Augsberg" ( and are superb.  Printed on high quality heavyweight paper they look terrific.  I though that they might have been too big but once mounted I'm very very happy with them.  Cords and finials from Front Rank.

 The bases, I thought looked too plain and it was an article in "Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy" that made me rethink my approach.  Originally I'd intended just a few clumps of autumn tone silfur tufts but then, after reading the article and a Sunday drive made me rethink.  It was the Sunday drive returning from a day in Lincoln that really gave me the inspiration.  There is a stretch of road between the small hamlet of Firtrees & that of Holton le Moor near Caistor where you turn a corner and then look down into a valley.  The road there is lined with small tree and heathland covered with gorse and it just made me stop and think how I could do better with my terrain basing.
 So now I've added some green late summer tufts to the bases, some small clumps of heather, a few bright yellow bushes (all from Antenociti) and some additional darker green and yellow clumps from Ebay. 
 Much happier now and not quite so spartan.
The start of the end?
My 25mm French Napoleonic project has been in desperate need for a further two battalions almost since inception.  I've had ten battalions of infantry for a long time but never got round to providing the last two in order to have three brigades.  With the advent of the plastic figures and the desire to clear unfinished projects I bought a box of the Victrix 1809 figures.  Previous posts have recorded my dislike of these figures and the difficulty I've had in getting them finished.
So imagine my frustration when I did finish them only to find myself twenty figures short because I decided I didn't like the way that the bases looked with five figures, even when mixing plastic and metal together to disguise the weight of the base.  Determined not to paint any more I actually purchased some painted figures at Triples and removed any more excuses.
So on the painting desk are 19 bases of six figures which only need Basetex and highlights for me to say "Finished"! 

Lurking to the right of the photograph is the next batch of figures.  Eight Musketeer Miniatures Great Northern War Swedish cavalry.  So far I've got the horses completed and the faces of the troopers.


BigRedBat said...

They look terrific.

I don'ts suppose that WSS article was mine? :-)

I was walking on Hampstead Heath yesterday, looking at the buttercups and thinking "I'm not using enough yellow". There was also an interesting long grass, with the blades a dark, rusty red colour, that I'll out try today.

Cheers, Simon

Grimsby Mariner said...

Surely was Simon. It was a thought provoking read and inspirational as it turns out.

BigRedBat said...

Ha that's great! One writes these things, and never knows if they get read.

Cheers, Simon

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Everything looks great, but the flats (and flag) are amazing. Well done!

Best Regards,


MurdocK said...

Huzzah to completed projects!

Your work on the flats is inspired by your most youthful memories and that inspiration will carry you far.