Monday, May 3, 2021

Arquebusiers De Grassin

Five or six years ago I was looking for some unusual miniatures to use as a minor ally to my ImagiNation army, the Electorate of Lustigzollern-Großgesaß.  I stumbled upon the Eureka miniatures Arquebusier de Grassin line, and decided to use them.  When I began looking at painting them about a year ago, I looked up pictures of the actual French unit from the war of Austrian Succession. As per usual this lead my down a bit of a rabbit hole, as things often do.

First, I discovered that the Arquebusier de Grassin, a light French unit of  infantry and cavalry, were quite a colourful bunch.  I decided to use their historical colours.  My research lead me first to another WAS unit called the Fusiliers de Moliere.  the two units would be merged in 1749 into the Volontaires de Flandre. this unit served in the seven years war.   

when I started looking into SYW volunteer light infantry units I stumbled upon Cran Terra Miniatures Fantastic line of miniatures representing both the Fusiliers de Moliere and  a good number of these light units from the Seven Years War.  They have specific lines for the Volontaires Etrangers de Clairmont, Chasseurs de Fischer, as well as opposing light formations of Hanover, such as the Freytag Jagers, Scheithers Freikorps, and the Von Luckner Hussars.

At first I though creating an imagination army from these volunteer units combined with the fusiliers de Moliere and Arquebusiers de Grassin would be pretty cool.  but also, the more I researched these units, the more I thought it would also be cool to do a skirmish project of  SYW light infantry formations.

And as usual I also pieced together some Flags from these units.

Arquebusiers de Grassin Ordonnance Flag

Arquebusiers de Grassin Colonels Flag

Fusiliers de Moliere Ordonnance Flag

Fusiliers de Moliere Colonel's Flag



Volontaires Etrangers de Clairmont Prince 
Ordonnance Flag

Volontaires Etrangers de Clairmont Prince 
Colonel's Flag

Alas, I have finally painted up the Arquebusiers de Grassin miniatures I bought from EurekaUSA, which started this whole rabbit hole. there was very little cleanup on these and they were lovely to paint.


Both units of 12 Arquebusier de Grassin

First unit, loading and ready to fire poses

Second unit, all firing poses.

this isn't the final unit composition. I intend to get 3 units of 12. split up into Firing/At the Ready, Firing/Loading, and kneeling firing/Kneeling At the Ready, as pictured below. I'll also be buying 8 mounted figures from the same line, plus command.

the 3 sets of poses which I intend to make a unit of 12 of each.


It may be a while until I have the funds available to get the rest of the project moving, but it has very much piqued my interest of late.  I've never seen the Cran Tera miniatures in person, but they look lovely on hte website. I've ordered Fife and Drum miniatures from them before as shipping is cheaper from the UK to Canada then from the USA in general, so I know they are reasonable to deal with.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Mostly Renaissance Command Stands

I was recently looking through my renaissance armies and AWI continentals and realized I was missing a few command stands.


I had the  2 of the miniatures for the Continental light infantry stand painted already. I did an arm swap on the NCO and I built the musician form an extra  figure I had left over.  The musician arm holding the horn and the both the NCO arms are modified Victrix French 1808-1812 arms.  I had seen some research when I was reenacting that hunting horns may have actually been used in the continental army. one specific reference is to using  conch shells as substitutes because the musician's "horns" hadn't arrived yet.  Horns or bugle-horns adopted by the british jsut ptior to hte American revolution, and presumably by the Continental army, had more in common initially with hunting horns than modern or later 19th century bugles(see Article). Also given the propensity of  Colonists of German descent to equip themselves with German weapons(german rifles anyone?),  it follows they might use the traditional German hunting horns also.  This unit in my collection was painted to be light infantry of a Pennsylvania regiment, so there you go. that's my rationale. 


Continental Penn. Light Infantry Command Stand,
Perry Miniatures, with Victrix arms.

Different angle with better view of musician.


The Eastern renaissance Command stands consist of a Sipahi, a Janissary, and a Polish guard Haiduk stand, All The Assault Group(TAG) Miniatures. TAG  Miniatures are always fun to paint.  THE Polish Haiduk command packs each come with a young boy holding a weapon for his officer, which adds a lot of character I think. The musician is from the haiduk musician pack. the Ottoman Janissary command stand is one janissary officer with one of the "exclusive" miniatures, which is an ottoman higher officer of some sort.

TAG Sipahi command stand

Sipahis Reverse angle

Polish and Ottoman Infantry command stands

Infantry reverse views.



so with this the AWI and Ottoman projects are pretty much done for now. I still have 24-ish renaissance polish cavalry to paint, but I have no where to store them at the moment. and I won't bother finishing them until I have a decent storage option.  Sadly that will be a while as I'm still unemployed at the moment and very low on funds.


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Native Americans

 After having done a bunch of AWI figures recently for sharp practice, I had a conversation with some local guys about what figures I had.  I realized that I had an entire old GW case full of Native Americans left over from the French and Indian War project I sold off 5 years ago. 

Upon inspection, I remembered I had updated some of the painting on most of them, but had not photographed them afterward. These are a combination of pre-Warlord Games Conquest Miniatures and Perry AWI Native Americans. the ratio is about 40% Perry, 60% Conquest. 58 miniatures in all.

the full Native American Contingent.

Native Americans with Muskets

Native Americans on the attack

Native Americans with bows

More Native Americans with Muskets

Mounted Native Americans and  Big Men

When I was selling my FIW collection, I liked these miniatures too much to sell. the Conquest miniatures are spectacular miniatures.  directly from Conquest, they were virtually flash free, clean castings, with no mold shifts. The Perry miniatures are equally as good, and the chiefs pack has some great character. I've seen some of the Conquest miniatures on offer from Warlord, and the casting quality has slipped, but otherwise are the same quality miniatures.

I still have a couple of chiefs to paint up, as well as a Christmas miniature(native pulling a Christmas tree) and the Last of the Mohicans character pack to repaint.






Saturday, March 27, 2021

Last of my AWI for now...

 this week I finished the last 3 complete units for my American War of Independence SP2 project. I still have a unit of  British grenadiers but I'm missing 1 figure, and I don't have money to buy a replacement right now unfortunately.

This week all 3 of the units are British.  I have 2 units of 6 British light infantry, and 1 unit of 8 grenadiers. The grenadiers are a mix of Perry and Foundry metals and the  light infantry are Perry plastic.  I also had a an extra mounted commander which I painted up as a British officer with the same facings as the light units.

24th Regiment of foot, light infantry,
Perry plastics
=
Grenadiers of the 42nd Regiment of Foot,
Mix of Foundry and Perry Metals.

I picked these units at random.  I liked the idea of dark green horse hair crests on the "saratoga" cap so I did the lights as that unit. I just like the blue facings on grenadiers, so I picked a random unit that would have used that facing colour.


I realized last week, while talking with a friend, that i have 50+ native Americans that I kept from my FIW project, as they were both the nicest figures form that collection, and probably the best painted. I don't think they've been photographed since i touched them up, so I'll be taking pictures some time in the near future.  Expect that to be my next post.








Sunday, March 21, 2021

Brown-coated Continentals

 I've been pretty lax of late with the painting. I've already missed my aim to update no less then once a month.  I've also been lax on getting my miniatures photographed, as I've had these miniatures painted for about 10 days.

Anyway, here are some brown-coated Continental Infantry I painted for Sharp Practice.  These are the left over from the 2 Perry Continental boxes I bought, hence why there is only 16 instead of 24. I have 2 extra unpainted. I threw in the mounted overweight militia colonel from AW195, as its just a great miniature.



Perry plastic Continental infantry,
with metal colonel from AW195

I have 20 British  infantry left for this project on my desk, partially painted. I'm hoping to get them knocked off next week.


Cheers!

Monday, January 25, 2021

World war 2 Terrain

 Its been an interested month.  I've half-painted about 30 figures and assembled some french cavalry but I've been Pretty unmotivated about actually finishing anything. this past weekend I was looking in a box and I found a 4Ground Polish Rural Dwelling model, and a pack of 4Ground Yard Panel fencing with Gates.  both of these will work well for eastern front terrain so i decided to get them assembled and based up. I also had a pack of Wizkids Deep Cuts log piles, that I tossed into the pile to work on.


4Ground Polish Rural Dwelling with
scratch-built fence


I built a wooden fence using 2 types of balsa wood(posts and planks) and  matchsticks(crossbeams).  i used a steel wire brush to accentuate the wood texture.  the building kit came with fur for thethatch roof.  I soaked it in PVA to harden it and then I highlighted it with light cream colour. i then applied patches of GW Agrax Earthshade wash(brown) and Athonian Camoshade( green-brown) wash to mottle the colour a bit.  I also added a pile of stacked wood from the deep cuts pack to one of the walls on the opposite side of the base from the fence, and added a trio of matchsticks to the peak of the roof to cover up the seam of where the teddy bear fur pieces meet. Otherwise the building is unmodified, other then some Scenic Express  Super Turf  texture foliage around the base to make it look less like a building glued to a piece of HDF.


4Ground Polish Rural Dwelling internal detail.

 this kit is well designed and is much nicer looking then some of 4Grounds early, more simplistic looking buildings. the interior has a nice stove/fireplace and the front door opens and closes. it also comes with matte board blue shudders.


Wizkids Deep Cuts Wood Piles(3). I fixed the
stacked woodpile to the building.


I left the remaining 2 wood piles lose so they can be placed as needed. they aren't big enough to affect anything so they are just around to add some character to tables. still they are nice and not hugely oversized like some end up being. the Wizkids Deep Cuts line is as always wonderful. 


4Ground Yard Panel fences with Gates. 

The Yard Panel fencing is nice looking and easy to put together, but badly designed.  They have the fence panels situated along one edge of the base, with no overlapping bit to improve stability. As a result if left unmodified, they fall over if you breath a little too heavily.


lower angle of 4ground fences for height comparison

As you can see below, I added some pebbles I have kicking around to help counterbalance them. this makes the fence sections much more stable. the fences are tall enough to lock infantry LOS, and give concealment to even large-ish tanks. I didn't check but it may actually completely block a 1/56th BT-7 or T-26.

Rear view to display rocks needed for stability.

If anyone is interested in what makes the models i used for size comparison, the tank is an Army Group North Miniatures T-28 medium tank, the infantry in front of the panel fences are Crusader Miniatures  Soviets, and the soviet infantry inside the fences are 1 each of The Assault Group and Black Tree designs.  the AT gun on the building base is a 47mm at gun I got from AGNMiniatures (old force of arms model?) with crew from Warlord Games and Black Tree Designs.

Given my fickleness with painting, I'm now aiming to have at least one new post a month. if I'm in the painting mood, I'll post more often. when the mood strikes me I paint a ton, so I'm sure I will end up with a good deal more then 12 posts in 2021. But i think otherwise that is a more reasonable way to ensure I get some progress done on something regularly.



Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

 Happy New Year!

As 2020 draws to a close, I finished 8 french command stands.


French Generals

Light Cavalry Generals

Divisional Generals

Heavy Cavalry Generals


I decided this time to add more stuff to the bases to make them a littler more interesting.  I have a bunch of leftover pieces from various 4ground kits, including a ton of wagon wheels.  I'm happy with how they turned out.

Looking back at 2020, I had a pretty productive fall. Since September I've painted 122 Cavalry, 378 infantry, 4 cannons and 5 limbers/carts. that's pretty good. the rest of the year was pretty much a wash. Thanks Covid.

Looking forward to 2021, I'll be painting many more Napoleonic miniatures.  I have a Russian and a Prussian division, and  I have more French, mostly cavalry and artillery.

Heres looking forward to a better 2021!





Sunday, December 13, 2020

Pandemic Projects: Victrix French Infantry

A few months ago I started re-purposing my Peninsular skirmish project and rebasing for larger battles. I started with the British side. The French half had been built with the wrong mix of posses to be able to build battalions of similar poses, so I had to get another box of Victrix 1907-1812 French infantry to get useful battalions.  well I finally got a hold of another box last week.


6 Battalions of Victrix French Napoleonic
Infantry 1807-1812, in 3 Regiments

I painted about 48 figures this week. and touched up the remaining 48 so that they blend well with the newly painted ones. i also did several head swaps. out of 2 boxes  I got 7 battalions of 16, and have 7 figures left over(3 drummers, and 4 centre companies kneeling). I didn't get to the 7th battalion this week. the 7 battalions are split into a 2-battalion Legere regiment, a 3 battalion Line unit, and a 2 battalion line unit(only 1st battalion painted so far). I also have a box of perry french in bardin uniforms, so I'll probably add a 3rd battalion to the smaller of the 2 line regiments.


French Legere Regiment

French Line regiment

Reverse angle

1st battalion of another line regiment.

Since I normally build my stuff to be 1812-compatible, I did my units with the older style flags, since it would have taken time for the new style to disseminate. the light infantry still have their eagle, as some of them kept them as late as 1814.  but the light infantry were ordered to leave their colours in depot earlier so I figured I would use the fanion for the 2nd battalion. I made it with an imperial eagle on it and under the eagle is the battalion number.

when I initially assembled the first box of  Victrix french a decade ago, I was not fond of them. This time around I found them much better, both to assemble and to paint.  Maybe I just have more skill at both now.  while they certainly have more pieces then your average Perry plastic miniature(5-6 pieces versus 2-3 for most  Perry Napoloenics), you can get a much more diverse  selection of poses, and more miniatures in the box. I also don't have to buy extra command sprues for each box to fit the size of my units. I do rather like Victrix a lot more now.  I'll certainly use them if I ever do an Austrian army and I look forward to them releasing their Bavarians.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Pandemic Projects: Ten Years in the Making...

Around a decade ago my friend Jonathan Holmes and I started doing an eastern renaissance skirmish project. I bought a whole host of Polish From The Assault Group.  Jon was going to do Zaporski cossacks, but he sustained an injury that made it hard to paint, so the project was shelved. Some time later the infantry component was repurposed for my Polish themed ImagiNation.

In my attempt to find something to paint this week(Still lots of Napoleonic to go, but waiting on a shipment of bases), while searching through boxes I found my not unsubstantial Renaissance polish cavalry contingent. I have 32 hussars, 16 Pancerni, and 11 Rieters.  8 of the Pancerni were painted, and about 12 of the Hussars were half painted.  I pulled out the hussars and had at them.

 

32 TAG Polish Winged Hussars
 

TAG hussars done in the traditional red and white.



Winged Hussars in less traditional blue and yellow

As always TAG miniatures are lovely models and fantastic to paint. I have 2 renaissance armies, and I've painted dozens of modern british and iraqis(which i then sold), so i have a great deal of experience with TAG. 

I snipped off the white metal lances above the ball guard and drilled out the balls to replace it with music wire. I shaped the tip using a dremel with a grinding wheel.as with all my flags, the pennons are printed off, folded around the lances and glue together using carpenters glue.  I wrap the pennons around the shaft of a narrow paint brush immediately after I've glued together the pennon, so when dry it takes the wavy shape.  The carpenters glue makes them surprisingly resilient.

 

Finally, my mother made me this:

Bunka interpretation.


This is Japanese embroidery called Bunka. we took the reasonably famous picture by Angus McBride(below)  and my mother recreated it in this rather unique form. I have yet to frame it, but when I do it will grace the wall of my game room!

Original picture by Angus McBride




Saturday, November 14, 2020

Pandemic projects: American War of Independence

 I started my 28mm American War of Independence  skirmish project a little over a year ago. I painted 120 figures in about plus artillery and command in about a month. I used the project as a test bed to learn how to use GW contrast paints. It was also the fire project to seriously use tufts during the basing. i learned 2 things:

1)  most Contrast paints aren't really worth using.  The Blood angels Red is the most notable exception. it shades constantly and produces a red that works well for British uniforms. other notables are skeletal horde and Apothecary white.  most other colours I used were either the wrong tint and required mixing multiple colours to a close enough colour and/or they went on with an inconstant effect. 

2) tufts are way too expensive to use on every project. I spent over $40CDN dollars on just tufts! it literally doubled to cost of the basing. they look nice, but if i used them on every project I'd definitely have fewer projects! unless there is a viable way to bulk buy them(in Canada, specifically), its not worth it in my opinion.

Everything I've painted since last post, last week.
 

Anyway, I had not painted 2/3rds of 1 group of 24  in each army so  I pulled them out, touched up the finished figures and painted the remaining ones. I also finished up the remaining artillery bits and officers.

I refer to each unit of 24 figures as a "regiment"  as I only paint 24 figures from a given regiment usually. since its a skirmish project, obviously its not an actual regiment, its not even half a company. its just the terminology I use.



Continental(top) and British(bottom)
grasshopper guns and limbers

Grasshopper guns, limbered

I had a pair of Fife and Drum grasshopper guns to paint. 1 each for continental and British. i decided to leave the gun loose so I could limber it as shown in the pictures.  I coated the peg on the limber in carpenters glue to protect the paint.  The guns fit securely on the peg, so when I store them they get stored limbered. I don't normally do this with guns so this was a bit of a viability experiment.


A pair of limbers for my 6pdr cannons

These limbers belong to my 2 6pdr cannons, 1 British, 1 continental. They are also Fife and Drum miniatures.


Continental light infantry, from Pennsylvania

These continental light infantry are Perry plastic with Perry AWI British arms. I just didn't paint the lace in the cuffs. they are painted up the same as my Pennsylvania regiment, and there was at least one entire Penn. regiment that wore light infantry caps, so they can be used either way.  a 24 figure light infantry "regiment"  can be used as show in 3 units of 8 line or 4 units of 6  skirmishers in Sharp Practice.  I repainted the blue coats and all the white on the 8 figures that were painted last year. the mixed contrast blue I made(Tallasar blue and Ultramarines blue) didn't consistently shade to my liking.

this "regiment" also has an attached amusette team not shown that i had previously painted. I did some reading and found that at least one armoury in Virginia? made amusettes for the Continental army. There are even surviving examples. so I bought a pack of Perry Hessian jager amusettes and converted one team to be in (plastic)light infantry caps, and then painted them to match my light infantry.

Loyalist Kings Carolina Rangers

The Kings Carolina Rangers are Perry British plastics. they can be used as any green coated loyalist regiment. I picked Kings Carolina Rangers because they name sounds cool, and because they had green lapels on green coats with no lace. Easy to paint! I repainted a lot of the white on the 8 figures that were already painted, as well as added some colour variation in the gaitered breeches.


Bits and pieces

 I had a few bits and pieces of other "regiments". The commander and infantry in hunting shirts belong to my Maryland regiment, and the brown coated commander is going to be the leader to a 16-man unit of brown coated continentals/militia that have yet to be assembled. the water cart is a 4ground accessory I think.


I really like these figures.  I only used the collection once before the pandemic began, but I'm looking forward to getting more gaming in with them when the pandemic is over!  I still have some British grenadiers to paint, and enough plastics for a 16 figure continental/militia "regiment"in brown coats, and a couple of 6-figure British light infantry units at the trail.  I plan on ordering some cavalry eventually but that is down the road a ways.