Sunday, March 30, 2014

1st Battalion, 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot

Hello everyone!

I was out late last night doing stuff and finished up my Highlanders too late to post any pictures like I promised, so here they are now. Here, in all their glory, are the little lead men of the 1st Battalion, 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot. (Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

Here is the 74th, drawn up in firing line.

Here the 74th's colonel has pushed out his light company to act as skirmishers.

The 74th deployed into column by companies.

Here's the 74th parading with her sister regiment, the 45th, both under the watchful eye of their brigade commander, Colonel Mackinnon.

Sometime next week I'll probably start making preparations for my next painting project, it all depends on how busy I end up getting this week with school. As always, I'll keep y'all posted. I hope you've enjoyed the pictures and I hope you have a lovely Sunday!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Another Book and WIP Highlanders Part 2

Hello everyone!

I've got another book to share. Not really an academic book, but The British Redcoat of the Napoleonic Wars by Martin Windrow, part of the "The Soldier through the Ages" series of children's books, is well worth a look. Richly illustrated by the venerable Angus McBride, this book, while very simplistic (though factually correct) in terms of content, is a visual masterpiece, with bright, vibrant artwork that makes great eye-candy for the wargamer. It makes a welcome addition to my Napoleonic library.

And then on to part 2 of my step-by-step walkthrough of painting my Highlanders. Check out my last post for part 1. (Remeber to click on the pictures for larger versions.)

Here I painted all of the black pieces of equipment: cartridge boxes, bayonet scabbards and Trotter packs.

Next I painted the haversacks in a beige color.

Then the canteens, in the same "True blue" color that I used as the base color for the tartan.

Here I've used a dark brown to paint the canteen strap and the buttons on the haversacks.

And here I've painted the greatcoats rolled up on top of the packs a dark gray color.

At this point I was pretty much ready to start applying the white, but first I needed to pull the Light Company figures aside and give them a coat of green for their elite company wings. I don't believe this was an actual practice from looking at all of my references, but it helps give the figures another identifying detail.

At this stage I applied the white, covering collars, cuff, turnbacks, cross-straps, backpack straps, epaulettes and elite company wings.

Next musket stocks were painted a medium brown.

Here I added gold details to the musket, cross-straps, tunic buttons and lace on the cuffs.

At this point I painted the musket locks, barrels and bayonets in metalic silver...

...before I finished the muskets by painting the slings in white.

Here each figure's hands and faces are painted in a flesh color.

The hair is added. In my British army, all soldiers have brown hair!

Here I've given the figures with queues a black bow in their hair, and some of the figures with prominent brims under their bonnets a black brim.

Here the exposed remnants of the shakoes left peeking out from under the greenstuff bonnets were painted white, acting as the bonnet's band.

The white band is diced in red.

The bonnets are then painted a dark blue, and the toories (or pom-poms) are painted according to the figure's company: line companies were given a red toorie, the grenadiers a white toorie, and the lights a green toorie. Here they all are, split into their bases and ready for basing.

Last night I cut out and labeled the bases, and began to process of getting them based. However, I hit a snag when I ran out of super glue (a rookie mistake if there ever was one!) after only sticking the Light and Grenadier company figures to their bases, so after getting a $h!t-load more super glue after work today I'm finishing them up tonight. I should have pictures tomorrow.
In other news, I would like to welcome Paul Alba to the blog. If you haven’t checked out his blog NAPOLEONICS IN MINIATURE then you are in for a treat. The work on his blog makes 15/18mm look like 28mm, and brings out the full potential of AB’s fine figures. I hope that you enjoy my own humble efforts!
Coming soon: French. I’m going to finish up the 19e so I’ll have two finished French battalions to match my two finished British battalions. Then either the British or Portuguese, and maybe a command stand thrown in there somewhere. We’ll see.
Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated! Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A New Book and Highlanders WIP

Hello everyone!
Today's post is a bit of a mix-match as far as topics, covering a new book and the progress of my "large batch" painting efforts.Today I recieved in the mail a new book that I thought that I would share with my readers, Philip Haythornthwaite's British Infantry of the Napoleonic Wars, as seen below.
This book covers the organization, tactics, daily lives, uniforms and equipment of the British infantry from the start of the French Revolution through Waterloo, and does so mainly with contemporary drawings and paintings as well as with photographs of actual pieces of equipment and uniforms. A good number of the plates are in color as well, making it a good painting reference. Ebay can be a wonderful thing, as I was able to snatch up this great book really cheaply.
Now, on to the 74th Highland Regiment. Progress is slow, but steady. So far I've been taking a photo after every completed step of the process, which might give y'all some impression of how I paint my figures. It's different from the way many others go about it, but I've been painting this way since I first began painting and I'm loathe to quit my system now that I've got the hang of it. Anyway, on to the pictures!
(Remember to click on them for bigger versions.)
Here's all 30 Highlanders on my cluttered painting bench, greenstuff bonnets dried and glued to their bottle-top painting bases. I arranged the figures with all of the like poses together to speed up painting.

All of the figures undercoated with Reaper's white brush-on primer. I like to undercoat in white... black primer makes the final painted figures too dark in my opinion.

Here the mini bases are painted in the yellow-brown that serves as my basing color. This was a departure from my normal method of painting, as I normally save this for last; I didn't feel like putting a lot of work in the figures just to fat-finger the basing color at the end and have to redo a bunch of once-completed figures. Here I just quickly brushed on the base color with a large(ish) brush.

I paint my figures from the feet up; the last thing I paint is the pom-pom or feather at the top of a figure's hat. Here i have painted all of the Highlander's shoes before going on to the base color for their trews, in this case a color called "true blue."

The next step in painting my 15mm Government Sett tartan is to apply a grid of dark green over the blue base coat, which can easily be seen in this picture.

The last step is to apply a tiny dot of navy blue in the center of the squared formed by the dark green line. When dry this technique, in my humble opinion, makes for a very passable imitation of Government Sett tartan in 15mm.

And here's the last stage that I have pictures of. Here I have painted the red coats on each of the figures, covering all crevices in the figures and any straps and equipment that crosses the bodies of the figures.

As I write this I am working on the Highlander's equipment, which will be enough for one night. All of the above work took place over three or four nights; the tartan drove me crazy, not through difficulty, but through the demoralizing prospect of having to paint the same thiry pairs of tiny legs with three different coats of paint! I'll continue to take pictures after every step and will post them later.

Coming soon: More Highlanders! And British, as my Fantassin figures arrived from Scale Creep Miniatures the other day, which are very nice and a full 18mm tall, like their AB and Eureka cousins. I also got the simply awful idea of painting some of my French figures up as Irish Legion... as if I don't have enough foreign French regiments! Plus the Portuguese and 3e Hussars, they go without saying by now. :)

Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated. Thanks for looking!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Portuguese Cacadores and Highlander Conversions

Hello everyone!
I've been pretty busy as of late but I have been able to get a little bit of work done on my Napoleonics over the past week or two. I've been doing a little bit of buying, a little bit of converting, and a little bit of painting. First up is the fruit of my latest painting efforts, a completed command stand for the 11th Regiment of Portuguese Cacadores.
(Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

The Cacadores were light infantrymen that were nominally equivalent to the British Rifle regiments, and most were eventually armed with British Baker rifles by the end of the Napoleonic Wars. They wore brown uniforms and had black leather equipment. These figures are Revell 1/72 scale British Riflemen that I repurposed as Portuguese Cacadores. I couldn't find any hard and fast evidence as to what colored facings the 11th Regiment had (frankly I was lazy), so I went with blue as it contrasted the best.
Now on to my buying and converting. A while back I mentioned purchasing a bunch of British infantry off of eBay. I was hoping to use them to complete the 88th Regiment of Foot. When they arrived, however, I was a bit disappointed. Ten of the figures I ordered were not suitable for anything, as they had an odd light infantry helmet that looked as if it belonged in the American War of Independence than the Napoleonic Wars.
The anachronistically-helmeted Britons of mention.

The other twenty were wearing Belgic shakos, but that's not a travesty as they can easily be converted to Portuguese with a new paint job. But these weirdly-helmeted figures presented me with a dilemma. So I broke out the greenstuff and my X-acto and got to work converting them into Highlanders for the 74th Regiment of Foot.

The weird helmets were chopped off with my X-acto and a small blob of greenstuff applied to make a Highland Balmoral bonnet.

Once I got started I decided to go ahead and convert another twenty British infantry figures to complete the Regiment. All of the figures I chose (a mix of Eureka, Old Glory and Old Contemptibles) were picked because their heads were easily suited for conversion. The tops of their shakoes were subsequently lopped off and greenstuff applied.

The original ten with the "toories," or pom-poms, sculpted on after the main bonnet had time to fully cure. Tonight I will add the toories to the other twenty figures. 
I'm planning on painting all of these highlanders up in one big batch of thirty miniatures. I've never done anything like that before, but I've read in forums that this type of massive batch painting really speeds things along. We'll see... it'll be interesting to see how it goes. At least at the end of it all I will have another completed battalion.

On the buying front, in addition to the above figures that I converted into Highlanders, I went ahead and purchased enough figures to complete the 88th Regiment of Foot as well. I'm getting tired of blue, and I'd like to see a little bit of red paint thrown around the workbench. These newly purchased figures are a mix of Fantassin figures from Scale Creep Miniatures and some Essex infantrymen to fill them out.

Coming up: Highlanders and British... maybe some Portuguese while I wait for greenstuff to dry and for orders to arrive.

Questions, comments and criticisms are always welcomed and appreciated! Thanks for looking!