Sunday, October 19, 2014

Clearing the Desk

I have I think a working surface that is about 120cm by 60cm.

It is completely covered in various bits in odd stages of completion.

I have decided it's time for a bit of a focus on cleaning things up.

Nothing new until the back of this is broken.

So, to begin, I painted these:

A pair of Spencer Smith plastic artillery pieces to add to my Imperials.
 I played about with a couple of different approaches, but in the end, the white undercoat seemed best with the yellow carriages. And I was pleased with the "naive" style of the nails or rivets or whatever they are called.
I am very happy with how the gun barrels came out.

Next I'll get cracking on my ECW cavalry. I have eighteen that are about 95% done. Shall we say about two hours' work?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Christmas in Safi?

LCVP and crew
 That's the plan, at least.
LCVP and LCM III - both by Frontline
These landing craft are on the one hand cheap, and on the other a bit rough and require a bit of sanding and filling to bring them up to a decent standard before painting them. Recommended on the whole.
 Gunners. More are in preparation; I am waiting on more Raventhorpe heads to arrive here.
 About two-thirds of a battalion of Tirailleurs du Maroc. I need another ten and the batallion staff. Getting there quite quickly. The twenty figures here took only a week to plough through.
 The odd red chechiy'ya is left uncovered for effect. Very dashing!
 And of course, Pook's carbineers. I will be starting to prep up another ten light cavalry as my next batch for painting.

Friday, September 05, 2014


No pics yet, but the following WiPs are that close to being done.

* For the Safi/Torch project, the "Bernacole" and a handful of crewmen. Does anyone make 20mm US sailors in dixie-cup hats? I needs a few. The superstructure on the Bernacole needs doing and am waiting for a few bits to make the forward gun platform to arrive.
* Ditto for the Safi project, some Vichy artillerymen and the first of my Moroccan Tirailleurs.
*Another nine ECW Cavalry. Carabiniers, or light cavalry, I suppose. Butt of weapon braced on the thigh. Fairly quiet horses, which is a relief. They've been a while in the painting, but came together in a rush at the end as the lining-in was done. Really just need gluing to their horses to be done.

On the Hinchcliffe ECW cavalry, I am rapidly becoming a Gilder fan-boy. So much is revealed as you go on painting the castings; yet the "so much" is just enough. One might say so much and no more. Or even  - an elegant sufficiency. The castings are perfect and respond so well to acrylic washes on a white undercoat.
 I like them more and more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Isi Godolo and Pals

Just a little eBay find
Cheap too, just like me.

I recall reading that numbers of Zulu girls would follow the army out for a day or two providing some logistical support until their food ran out then they'd make for the old home kraal.

Willie figures, of course, the breasts are unmistakeable.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

So, what did you do this week..?

Who're we fighting this week? Italians? Germans? English? les Americaines?
 I painted a small pile of Raventhorpe early war French, this week as I waited on my next batch of Hinchcliffe ECW cavalry to arrive in the post. I'm looking to put together a few units for the old Rapid Fire! "Safi" scenario eventually.

This is not a big job, as the scenario pits a couple of battalions of French with a company of light tanks, a battery and a little air support against an American landing force with a few light tanks, a large battalion of infantry, a couple of jeeps and lots of heavy naval bombardment. Say 120-140 figures in all.

RF! is 20 years old this year and what better way to celebrate?
Painting: It's a wash of the basic colours, a thinner wash of very greatly thinned Army-Painter dark-shade and a bit of dark green lining, applied quite selectively. All on a white undercoat.
 As you can see, the Raventhorpes are an older style of figure, but certainly none the worse for it.
That's a HaT Renault FT-17. Excellent kits, great value for money. Thinking of their 75s for the artillery and hang the inaccuracy of spoked over pneumatic wheels.
 I've painted them using a wash-and-line technique, doubtless familiar to the Gilder fans out there. Personally speaking, I've always liked those figures Richard Marsh painted for the original RF! book and they've always been an inspiration.
Probably a white cover on the kepi would be more accurate, but where's the fun in that?
 The Laffly-White armoured car was knocked together in about two hours' worth of painting session time. this is a great product from the Ready-to-Roll range of vehicles. I regularly comb through this particular catalogue. You never know. I'm eyeing off their French hal-track trucks, although Frontline Wargamings are cheaper and also look the business. As do their Renault R-35s...
MG is pale grey with a black wash on top of that. I'll rub a bit of graphite on for a bit of a sheen.
One of the best things about the Raventhorpe range are the multiple head options. Expect to see these figures again some time with fezzes on as Moroccan Tirailleurs.

SAE Horsemen

I recently won an eBay auction a week or two back, the fruits of which arrived yesterday.

If I am not mistaken, they are sculpted by the incomparable Holger Ericsson. The thickness of the bases suggests SAE to me, as do the paint-jobs.

The subject matter is another thing altogether.

Up until now, I had thought SAE had produced ACW, AWI and WW2 toy soldiers only. These look to me very much like FPW Prussian dragoons. Equally interestingly, the mounted figure in dark blue seems to be riding a limber horse and quite frankly, his helmet speaks to me of the British army of the last quarter of the 19th Century.

Was there an SAE Franco-Prussian War Range at some time? One day will I turn up a forgotten SAE gun and team?

Fascinating prospects.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Ye Horse

 Stand fast! They're more scared of your pikes than you are of them! In hommage to Mr Gilder, I'm preparing my own King's Lifeguard of Horse.
 The Cuirassiers thunder pasw, trailed by their lesser bretheren.
 Colonel Pook? perhaps. He's a Hinchcliffe one-piece casting. I rather like one-piece cavalry. Quite easy to deal with. Now I think of it, I really ought to do a Peter Young tribute figure. Is that an assasin levelling his piece at the Colonel?
The horde. 29 figures. MAny pin-swords and minor bits of animation in the form of head-twists and arm-bends. This is a fairly ticklish business with the hard white metal used in the casting, but I am relieved to report that I've not yet had any breakages. I have another few in the stash which I'll get sorted out before I make another order to Hinds'.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pook Manor IV

 Not quite finished yet, but getting there. Still chimney-pots to add and some merciful outbreaks of ivy to hide my sloppy joints.
 The gable is a bit too high for the roof and might benefit from being about 3mm lower!
 Pooks Lifeguard of Horse are mustering in the gardens. Still one or two to paint up.
The thatch was made from strips of towelling stiffened up with PVA after being fixed to the roof. It was then painted with spray-paints. The bone coloured paint is - you guessed it - GW Bleached Bone and the red brick was mixed up from a cheap students' set of gouache paints I bought for $6.

I might take some more photos in natural light. the flash is rather unkind.

I want to mount the whole thing on some 5mm MDF I have and then model a little walling, a few trees and perhaps some ornamental hedging from pot-scourer.