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Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday Project Done

Finished the 14 stands of Soviet Naval Rifles (Morskaya Strelcovy) to complete the Soviet Infantry Battalion for Flames of War. Pictures to come!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Early Combat Photography

Newly discovered photos from history:

Aetius, Last of the Romans

Barbarians charging the Roman line


Colin Campbell plugs another rebel

Captain Dugold Campbell leads the counterattack on the road to Cawnpore

The French Army advancing in Spain

Marshal Soult before the Lines of Torres Verdes

The Lieb Regiment of the Bavarian Army

Bavarians advancing at Blenheim

Richard Sharpe leading the South Essex

The Earl of Uxbridge

Wellington at Salamanca

Black and White Historical Photos (sorta)

Honorable Son #2's girlfriend showed me how to make my photos into black and white photos. Hmmm . . . time for the combat photographer of World War II to share his pictures:

Trying to Finish the Soviet Naval Infantry

With some extra time off this weekend, I've decided to try and finish those last 14 stands of Soviet Naval Infantry for Flames of War. I have finished 7; 7 more to go!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Indian Mutiny Preview

I was working on a scenario for the Indian Mutiny and I took a few pictures. Just a quick preview of some of the units.

For gaming the Mutiny, I use a delightful set of rules called Sepoy by Graham Evans. The basic unit is the Company represented by 6 figures or the 3 figures for a squadron of cavalry. The above pictures do not represent how the game is organized as I was just working out the game balance of the scenario. More on Sepoy later.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

42nd Highlanders - All Done

I am now satisfied with the base for the 42nd Highlanders.

As a general rule of thumb, I usually use the same basing technique and style for an army; it gives a unifying effect. With the units for my Napoleonic Volley and Bayonet armies, the units have a variety of finished bases. It actually happened by mistake as I have experimented with various basing styles while I've been painting them. The first units I just used green flocking, then moved on to sand (which took forever to do and was difficult to paint around based figures - this was before I discovered the wonders of pumice) and back to flocking with the addition of static grass.

Here is how I did the base:

1. Before mounting the figures, I prime the wood with flat black, add the label on the back edge and then glue the figures on with ordinary white glue. After the glue is dry I use blended turf from Woodland Scenics which is available in most hobby stores or online to cover the base. I mix in equal parts of Green Blend and Earth Blend and put it in a plastic tupperware tub that is not too deep. Again using white glue, I put it on the base in different areas in "globs" and then spread it out with an old, wet paint brush to get and even effect.

2. I then add tall grass, rocks and bushes. The tall grass is also from Woodland Scenics; I used Field Grass - Harvest Gold and Field Grass - Medium Green. When I first started using field grass it was recommended to use a glue like Hob-e-tac; in my experience it takes to long to dry and can be hard to work with. Super glue works great. For the small rocks I use Talus and affix it with (surprise) white glue. The bushes are various hobby lichens.

3. For the last step I scrape away some of the flocking for where I want to put the static grass. A little watered down white glue is put on the spot and then I sprinkle on straw-colored static grass from GaleForce Nine.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

42nd Highlanders WIP #2

Almost finished with the 42nd Highlanders for Volley and Bayonet. I still need to finish the base; so far I'm not happy with the placement of some of the tall grass. I'll probably pull and reposition some of the grass and need to add some rocks, lichen and static grass.

The dead French Soldier is a hard plastic miniature from Perry Miniatures' French Napoleonic Dragoons.

The pictures are not great as I'm working out focus issues and lighting with a new camera.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stapelton Cotton - Finished

I forgot to post the completed Stapelton Cotton after I finished his base. He only has 2 Brigades of cavalry to lead on the tabletop at this moment, but I'm sure more troops will arrive.

42nd Highlanders Work in Progress

Since I decided to make a dent in the Napoleonic Armies and to paint units my ancestors were in, naturally it was time to put another Highlander unit on the tabletop. Since Coll and Kenneth M'Dougall were both Captains in the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot, it's natural (at least for this wargamer) to paint the 42nd Highlanders.

Here are some excellent images I found in 1:6 scale (about the size of a original G. I. Joe). :

As I continued my research I discovered that the kilt of the 42nd is much darker than other patterns:

Whenever I do a new type of figure or a figure where I am not sure of the correct colors to use, I paint a "test" figure. I will use either extra figures I'm not using or one of the figures that will be part of the unit (after all if you make a mistake, just paint over it!). This allows me to write down which paints I use on what and to have a "pattern" to look at a copy.

As I started to paint my test patterns for the kilt of the 42nd, I soon realized after a couple of tries that the kilt was going to be too dark for the wargames table. By that I mean, when looking at the figure from a gaming distance, I could not see any details on the kilt; it was too dark. I have run into this before with other figures, especially in the 15mm scale. To make the figures look presentable, it is often necessary to lighten the colors so the details or colors can be seen. After experimenting, I came up with the following tutorial for the kilts of the 42nd in 25mm/28mm scale:

Paint the entire kilt a dark green. I primarily use GW's paints. After the figures were primed black, I used Dark Angel Green as the base color.

Paint thick black horizontal and vertical stripes. Don't paint the stripes too close to each other as a thinner stripe is going to be painted between them later. If you are not used to painting stripes, practice on some spare paper or cardboard until you are confident that you can get the lines pretty straight. They don't have to be exact; at this scale you won't be able to tell the difference. I always tell myself it's a fold in the fabric!

Paint a blue stripe over the black stripes. Don't use a blue that is too light; I used Royal Blue for my color.

Paint some lighter green in the dark green squares but don't cover up the dark green completely; this will give it a nice shaded effect. I used Snot Green (yeah, love the names GW uses for their paints).

Carefully(!) paint a thin vertical and horizontal stripe to intersect the green squares. Don't worry if your lines are not exactly straight; again at this scale you won't be able to tell the difference. Before you know it, you have a pretty good government pattern kilt for your rank and file men in skirts.

Here is the result of the kilt pattern I used on Highlanders manufactured by Wargames Foundry in 28mm.

Figures are not quite finished but since I have a couple days off from work, I think I'll be able to get them finished this weekend.

This is an Officer figure by Front Rank Miniatures. This is going to be the mighty Captain Coll M'Dougall leading the highland charge into the face of the French invaders of Spain and Portugal!

Yes, I do have a CD of the Royal Highland Regiment Pipes and Drums . . . and yes I play it when any of my Highlander units attack.