Saturday, 27 March 2010

Work in progress

Keeping it simple has been the theme of this weeks work and that has proved much harder than I expected.

Look at these Stadden 25mm Guardsmen, what could be easier just paint them how we used to 40 years ago.Simple block colours in toy soldier style, gloss varnish, lovely job!

And yet, I am wondering, those epaulets; do they really stand out enough or are they just a white blob? I could just run a black line around them to bring them to life. Of course if I do that then I really should black line the cross belts, and suddenly the toy soldier look is starting to disappear. The danger is that 'improvements will make the figures just like all the others that I own.

I have been planning a third Army to go with the British and Russians. French is the obvious choice and I have had the pleasure of reacquainting myself with an old friend:

The very first uniform book I ever bought. This is not my original copy, I sold that many years ago but this new copy has brought the memories flooding back. It is hard to use by the standards of to days books and lacks much detail but it still gives a broad sweep of a fantastic and colourful army.

I have planned to have French and British Armies which will be suitable for re fighting the invasion scares of 1846 and 48. The British are relatively easy as the Crimean army fits the bill perfectly. The French are a little more problematic and I have decided that the best compromise is to use the Strelets Light Infantry box, for line and light troops in the 1845 uniform.

Strelets are unfairly neglected, the plastic people don't like them because they look like like metal castings. The metal fans won't touch them because they are plastic. In fact I quite like them though they are even more infuriating than most plastic manufacturers. Each packet has one or two outstanding poses, real must have stuff such as the vignette below from the ACW commanders set. Then you have a whole bunch of bizarre stuff...

Zouaves playing football and teeing off at golf.

The aim is to knock out an army quickly and cheaply. you will notice that I have put the figures on to their bases before painting them and then sprayed the whole thing with black undercoat! Never let it be said that am unreceptive to new fangled ideas and fashions. Some people speak very highly of this style of painting so I shall give it a go and keep you informed of the results.

And finally.......... ON THIS DAY.....
175 years ago, Professeur Tournesol the noted Belgian inventor approached the British Admiralty with his idea for a self propelled barge. By using a cast sectional iron hull and abandoning paddle wheels for the top secret 'Tournesol propulsion system' he insisted it was possible to build a flat bottomed barge capable of carrying up to 300 men and supplies, that was capable of withstanding the rigour of the open seas and independent of wind power.

He was shown the door with little ceremony and advised that there may well be nations who had so little sailing skill that they would consider an enormous bath tub appropriate to consign their armies to a watery grave ,( the French sprang to mind), but that Britain had no need of a ridiculous foreign death trap.


Mad Carew said...

Those Guardsmen look great - keep them simple!
Personally I have alot of time for Strelets - I like the chunkiness and some of the oddball figures they make.

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Hello there John,

Agreed. Nice looking guardsmen there. I'm also eager to see how the black basecoating works for you. Happy painting!

Best Regards,


DC said...

Black undercoat! Whatever next - matt varnish?!?

Those Tradition figures are lovely - i have a few hundred of their AWI figures but have so far chickened out of painting any as the detail is so delicate i'm afraid of cocking them up.

As for Strelets...i can see why you like them, they do have a certain charm. Their Crimean range is extensive, and i particularly like the 'Valley of Death' box, but the question is how compatible in height are they with 25s - would they work better with Douglas 20s for example? Cheers.

Ross Mac said...

Black lining? tsk tsk, no a bit of blush on the cheeks and a manly shade of lips and then once the facings and buttons are done and the gloss applied, they'll look splendid. Amazing what a difference 2 coats of gloss makes at the end.


Peeler said...

John, looking good I'd say. I painted up some plastic 1/72 Hat figures Colonials a while ago, very nice figures too, and used a tin of Humrol Gloss varnish on them. The result was a semi-gloss, with a happy old world look to them. Took me back a few years.

Anonymous said...

I fully understand your dilemma. Old School figures painted in a "modern style" can look fantastic...however I find painting up some "Shiny British Grenadiers" very tempting! The 42mm Irreugular Miniatures website has some lovely images in their Franco Prussian War range. Whatever you choose I look forward to the results.