Saturday, 28 February 2015

Be Pink and Proud!

First of all, apologies to all those who have been waiting for part three of The Assault on La Belle Josephine.  

The reason for the delay is simple; while I have been able to devote time to my hobby, it needed to be rationed.  I could spend it on two out of the three; painting, gaming, or blogging.  

Now, while I enjoy the creative process involved, these AAR's take some time to write.  But my job over the last few months has had me spending a lot of my working hours sitting in front of the computer churning out documents and reports for some major projects, all involving revision and tight deadlines.  It took its toll, and consequently killed a lot of the motivation for blogging as I often found myself in no mood to even so much as look at a keyboard on the weekends.

In contrast to this, these last few months since Christmas have seen me on something of a painting roll; wanting to take advantage of the positive mojo while it was with me, I opted for painting and gaming instead.

Having made very good progress on those two fronts, I will post the last installment of the report before the weekend is out.

Here are some of the results of my labours so far this year, at least as regarding Napoleonics.  

Voilà, c'est le 7e régiment de Chasseurs à Cheval. 
Talk about your delayed gratification...these have been in progress since 2009!  But like a fine wine, hopefully better for a suitable period of aging.  Despite the long gestation period, I quite like how they've finally turned out.
These are all Front Rank miniatures, with some head swaps for variety- forage caps and covered shakos.

And here is the fine fellow who will be the Brigade commander, GdB Antoine, Baron Maurin.  
Commander of the French 9th Light Cavalry brigade at Leipzig,  he is wearing a very non-regulation uniform of the 4e Chasseurs à Cheval

He's a Front Rank ADC figure, but with such a haughty demeanor, the miniature cried out for assignment to a position of high command.  Wonderful detail and a real joy to paint.   

This dapper light cavalryman will be commanding the 4th and 7th Chasseurs along with the 6th Line Lancers.  

Each regiment in the brigade had a strength of only two squadrons, so will be represented by just twelve figures each.   The 20th Chasseurs were also attached to the brigade according to some sources; but I might send them off on detached duties- depending on whether I will be wanting to paint up any more chasseurs once these are out of the way 

I like cavalry, but I've been much less keen on painting them and the 7th regiment had been cursed; it suffered from the fact that this is the first cavalry regiment I have painted for some decades now.  During their long stint in the painting queue, they have had the paint stripped off them twice.

The first time was as a result of our kitten managing to get into the closet where they were in an open plastic tray, and- but naturally- he chose to pee on the miniatures, despite having had a host of other options to choose from.  Cue really bad language on my part, and I wasn't able to wash the smell away despite having had to take off some of the paint in the process; so out came the paint stripper, which removed not just the smell but some considerable hours of hard work.  


The second time was because the horses just weren't turning out the way I wanted them, and the green I had first used on the uniform was way too bright.  Efforts to paint over them was just resulting in overly-thick coats of paint, so back in the turps bath they went.

But third time lucky.  Green, like dark blue, is a tough colour to get right for 28mm models.  In the end I applied Ceramcoat Jungle Green over a black undercoat, and highlighted with my old bottle of Ral Partha Olive Green.  It worked; dark without losing its "greenness".

These miniatures were finally finished last month, but then came the issue of basing; I had based my Dutch lancers three to a 60mm x 60mm base, but this wouldn't work for the beefier Front Rank charging horses for the cuirassiers and carabiniers I'm working on.  If I put the heavies two to a base, they would fit, but then each figure would have a wider frontage than the lights, which is not at all the effect I want. 

I also didn't want any figures individually based.  With no individual figure casualty removal in Black Powder, that would just complicate storing and transporting the models to and from games.

After a lot of experimentation, and looking online at what others have done, I finally decided to mount them three to a stand, on bases 80mm wide x 60mm deep (the same sized bases I use for my artillery, turned 90 degrees).  This is about 26mm per figure, which looks better than the 30mm I was considering.  For the heavies, I will base them two to a stand on 50mm x 60mm bases.

While I was at it, I also went for a radically different method of modelling the bases.  This time I decided to move beyond the standards of the 1980's and to get with the program at last; I used static grass as well as tufts which I had picked up at the local Warlord Games store.  This resulted in much brighter and natural looking bases, which set off the miniatures much better than my traditional way of painting them.  It proved a lot quicker to do as well, so this will be the way of the future for me.