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 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.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Pandemic Projects: Finishing off a few Loose Ends

 This week I decided to take it easy and slow down before I burn myself out. I  had a half finished Front Rank French foot battery half painted( 1 gun and 4 crew painted), and half-based individually from my skirmish project. Also, having decided to switch my personal  artillery to 4 crew on a gun on a 60x80mm base, I went a head and converted my lone Prussian battery to that standard. I found a bag of Front rank Russian foot artillery crew, so I fully intend to get my 3 Russian foot batteries upgraded to this new standard once the bases arrive.

Stuff I put paint on this week


I also had some regular french infantry in great coats and a Prussian command base kicking around in various states of being painted, so I took some time to finish them off.


Front Rank artillery battery with
Perry  infantry in great coats

Front Rank Artillery Closeup

I had the left gun and crew painted and individually based for skirmish.  the right gun and crew were primed but not painted. I managed to Match the dark blue colour pretty good.  then both were based on 60x80mm bases.

Perry plastic infantry with
some metal command added.

 Prussian I Foot Battery, Perry Miniatures

Blucher(left) and Gneisenau(right),
Perry Miniatures, on a 60mm base

The Prussian foot battery was  finished and based as 1 gun and 2 crew on a 50x50 base. Recently I have decided to abandon this basing because Perry guns come 1 gun and 4 crew to a pack for about $16.20 CDN (£9.50).  most companies o comparable quality don't sell individual guns and crews.  Front rank are the major exception. but a FR gun and 2 crew cost almost as much! so I decided to completely convert to the Perry artillery standard on 60x80mm bases. I do admit this looks nicer on the table. it still going to be awfully expensive for my 2nd Russian division's artillery.  I need 3 batteries of 3 guns(9 guns total).

This week I also assembled a  Perry Prussian regiment ( 1 fusilier battalion, 2 infantry battalions), but I'm still waiting for bases to arrive so I'll need to find something to keep my occupied next week.