Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Austrian Generals Perry 28mm

Here's some Austrian generals, from Perry miniatures again. From left to right, Prince Liechtenstein, Archduke Charles, Prince Hohenzollen, and some German Officers. 

Now flocking my last lot of German infantry, which will also be posted soon!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Austrian Cuirassiers Perry 28mm

Austrian Cuirassiers are finished! Fine models once again from Perry. (Also entered into the Analogue Challenge, putting me (temporarily) into 5th place!)

I did one regiment with red facings and the other with blue. Standards replaced with brass for strength. Flags are just from Warflags again, but better sized this time.

Some rear views. The back of the collars should really be white, as most reference materials I have suggest. I'll probably come back and fix up this little detail, but ok for now and frankly I prefer this anyway!

The regiment with blue facings.

Both units again (with more Austrian Infantry in process behind them...)

Also starting to assemble the Austrian artillery. How many guns is that?! :) I've been cleaning up more bits and pieces during my lunchtime at work!

And lastly, here's my entry into the "cold" bonus round for the Analogue Challenge - a straggling infantryman feeling miserable in the snow. Considerably less strutting than the proud heavy cavalry above!

Right enough procrastination - back to the painting!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Analogue Painting Challenge progress...

Well the Analogue Painting Challenge is under way, and first entries have been submitted and are worth checking out! No submission from me yet, but I've made some decent progress on my Austrians this weekend. All the black highlighted on 150 figures, and much of the work on 30 cavalry figures done. I need some yellow paint I've mail ordered to continue much further with the cavalry, so I might switch to the infantry for a while. In any case the cavalry need to be submitted later in December for the "Mounts and Riders" theme so no great rush! I'll also add a brief tutorial on my horse painting technique in the near future.

I've also been planning out my entries for the painting challenge so as to snag maximum points in all the bonus rounds, which shouldn't be too much trouble compared to these masses! Two extras for this purpose can be seen in the left foreground getting ready for "Cold" and "Victorian" themes. Onwards!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Analogue Painting Challenge - ready... set...

It's the annual Analogue Hobbies Paint Challenge, starting in less than 24 hours.What's that about? If you don't already know check out the site. This is my first year in the challenge and I'm entrant number 36, ready to go and go and go...

According to the rules you're allowed to have figures assembled and primed, but nothing more added than that. Thus I've spent the last four evenings getting more Kaiserlicks ready for the initial assault... mass formations coming right up. Boom! Good luck to all the other entrants, you'll need it! ;)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Austrian Line Infantry Perry 28mm

First four regiments of Austrian German Infantry done! Two 24 strong and two 36 strong. Would have been done last weekend but I was away on holiday instead. Here's a closeup look at one of the 36 strong regiments from various angles.

There is actually a light grey in the creases on the white, but doesn't show in the photos very well! In the end I skipped the spirals on the standard poles as my experiments showed me that to do them to a quality I was happy with would take far too long when I'm looking at doing maybe twenty or so! It also didn't add much visual impact en masse either which is my bottom line. Historically I understand some were left blank anyway due to logistics issues, but I expect this sounds like bit of a wargamer cop-out (which it is!), and most of them probably had the spirals. There's actually little of the standard pole left showing on these figures once I stick the flag on. I'm not entirely convinced by these flags either, which are just downloaded from Warflag, I might replace them in the future with something of better quality and perhaps a little smaller in the future - but they will do for now! All flags are the yellow Ordinarfahne, but as I might want to use these regiments as 24's I'm also going to add a few more command bases with the white Leibfahne.

Anyway enough rambling, here's a look at the first four regiments completed!

Another four regiments to go and that will be the Austrian 'German' regiments finished. The 24 command figures of the next four regiments are already done which leaves another 120 infantry to paint. This is a lot to do in one hit yet again, and probably too much, but it's satisfying to get a big batch like this finished!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Why I undercoat Austrians black...!

But Austrians are white! Yes I know. I have also seen some nice examples of Austrians base coated white and washed with things like Army Painter Quick Shade, and nearly did this myself. But after careful consideration I decided to go with the usual black undercoat. Why? 

Well I gave some careful examination to how much white is actually involved on these figures and realised that it's not quite as much as first appears to be the case. I also figured that this approach would better suit what I described as an 'operatic style' of bright colours and strong definition in a previous post on painting. Madness? Perhaps... as might be beginning with 150 figures at a time...

So here we go. By undercoating black and then doing a grey drybrush I manage to 'paint' the knee-high boots, shako, ammo pouch and various other straps and equipment pieces all in one go... that's details I won't have to come back to later and try to paint in over the white, nor all the black detail in recess on the figures.

I then use a 'Lupin Grey' colour from Coat d'arms for the base coat for the white.  This offers great coverage over black. Note I'm also leaving some black lines between the different elements of the white uniform like the various belts. Not very tidily done, but will be cleaned up in the final stage by 'black lining' as I described in a previous post on the French.

Note how little of the figure is actually white from the rear.

Without the flash better showing the tone of the Lupin Grey paint I'm using.

And 150 figures with the second layer of actual white paint done (Army Painter Matt White) I did a very quick 'third coat' just of this white on some of the larger areas to make it nice and consistent. Checking these out so far I think they will be less time consuming than the French uniforms. The knee high boots in black and other little details like less straps to paint on the backpacks helps.

So white is the most monotonous bit done, now onto the rest of the detail. As you can see I've started on these on the closest figures in the photo below.

Another 120 troopers need to be added to this lot, which will give a total of 8 regiments to start with. Six of 36, and two of 24, or by reshuffling slightly - 11 regiments of 24. After much agonising over the helmet issue I think I'll give two of the 36 strong regiments helmets and all the rest shakos... That way they can be a bit 1809, with only a few of them slightly wonky for 1813 (when I strongly doubt any still had helmets?!). 

I also have 6 Landwehr, 2 Grenzer, 1 Insurrectio and 1 Jaeger regiments to add. Onwards!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Assembling Austrians... and so it begins!

I started putting my Perry Austrians together over the weekend and here's a few random thoughts about the figures and the process! I've got over 550 infantry to do, including over 100 metals. I'm aiming to paint in groups of about 150. 

First I took over the kitchen and did my usual hot water and detergent wash for the plastics. The intention is to wash off any oily residue from the production process. I've heard this is no longer necessary(?) but I've done it with plastic figures for decades, so the habit continues. It only takes a short amount of time and if it helps the paint stick it's probably worth it. Perhaps it's really just superstition these days though? Anyway here's what 450 Austrians and 39 French Dragoons look like on the kitchen bench!

Onto the assembly. Starting with 8 command groups each of six figures, taken from the command sprues. This is the most time consuming element... as some of these figures are in many parts. The Officers and Sappers only have three pieces each and are thus my favourites...

Drummers are the worst, in eight pieces! Each tiny piece of which must be cleaned and glued together - as I apparently complained about to my partner (repeatedly she tells me). You do get more pose variety with all these pieces, but when you are doing hundreds of figures speed seems more important... I wait for each piece to dry before gluing the next piece of the model. Here I'm about to glue on the Drummers right arms, followed by the left arms of the NCO's.  Then finally the heads. 

Getting ready to glue the left arms of the NCO's, a needle file, plastic glue and craft knife are all that is used in the assembly process. Plus modelling clippers to remove models from the sprues. 

Finally done and glued on painting bases. Painting bases = card strips cut from shipping boxes the figures came in.

And starting on the regular infantry. These are only in three pieces, body, backpack and head option, and they assemble much more quickly.

The troop sprue with options for German helmet, Shako and Landwehr Corse-hut. I'm going for the later period (1809-1815) so will be using the Shakos and Corse-hut. Shakos  will also be far easier to paint than the helmets in my opinion which is an added bonus. I've heard complaints that they could have included Grenadier options on these sprues, I'm not sure though as it looks pretty packed! And you do get 48 figures in this box set too, compared to 42 for French and 40 for Russian. 

Command sprue. Standard Bearer, Musician, Officer, Sapper and two NCO's. these command sprues can also be purchased separately from Perry. Excellent sprue if you don't mind all the parts.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

French Line Infantry 28mm Perry

Some detail shots from different angles of one of my French line infantry regiments as promised in my last post on basing. These are all just from the Perry plastic French infantry set.

I have now completed painting 12 regiments like this, (4 regiments in greatcoats), though I still have to finish the basing on half of them, and the drummers of 4 of the regiments. I'm also about to do another order to Perry which will expand the numbers to 15 regiments and this will include some more of the metal product codes to increase the variety and visual appeal. Once all regiments are done I'll take some more photos. I also have some of the 1814 Paris National Guard to do up for a bit of fun. This weekend though, I'll probably start assembling the many hundreds of Austrians I have lying around that have prompted feelings of guilt about neglecting them for so long.

Photos of the regiment below. The flag is just one printed out in colour from Warflags. Glued on with PVA (white wood glue), and when dry carefully shaped to look like it is waving in the wind. Edges painted with gold to avoid the white paper look. Officer has a rolled sky blue greatcoat, which I understand was a fashion for a time, plus it just looks bright and colourful!

For reference, these infantry were painted according to the method described in this earlier post.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

How I base

Following up my "How I Paint" post, here is a post on basing. Fortunately this won't be nearly as long or detailed!


First off the bases. I am using 3mm wooden MDF bases that I bought off "Dopey Dog Laser Engraving" here in New Zealand. Very fast and cheap, and I have typically received extras with orders. They are also happy to make bases to different sizes and specifications. The other company I have used for MDF bases is "Warbases" in the UK, who also provided good service. I've also used "Litko" from the United States, but found their service rather slow and expensive in comparison.

I base Cavalry and Infantry on 50mm square bases, and Artillery on 50x75mm or 50x 100mm bases. The aim is that they might then be useable for a range of rules, and it is also a common basing standard for Napoleonics here in New Zealand.

Basing Material

The basing material I use at present for my Napoleonics is all from Army Painter. I chose this because much of it seems comparable to existing ranges out there, and I want to ensure standardisation. Army Painter seems to have been around for a few years now, and likely to be around for a while too, so I imagine I'll be able to keep getting the same material for years into the future.

As an alternative, Woodland Scenics has products which I have also used a lot of, and they are a long established quality company. My main basing material for my 15mm and 6mm figures is a 50/50 mix of their two Blended Turf mixes - Green Blend and Earth Blend. I have also used this same mix to flock my two wargaming tables. I also mix in a bit of the "Coarse Yellow Grass" to break up the garden lawn look with some low lying shrubs or tussock. Their ballast range is good for a basing material under the grass and turf if desired, with the Buff and Brown Ballast being useful in this regard.

The Basing Process

Here then is a stack of bases and figures ready to go...

I rule a couple of parallel lines, 1.25 cm from the base edge from the front and back of the base, thus ensuring that multiple ranks will be evenly spaced when the bases are in column. I roughly centre the figure bases onto this line, gluing them on with with PVA (white wood glue).

My existing French infantry (128 of them) were based four to a base, but I decided to rebase six to base. It looks far better, though of course it is a lot more work to get the same number of units! Here's the first six regiments based up. As many were glued on with PVA to their old bases rebasing was not too painful an exercise (though still something to avoid if you can help it!).

After the glue is dry, I paint the top of the base matt black using an old 5-6 size brush.

Then I paint the top of the base including the figure bases with PVA glue using an old size 3 brush, and apply basing material. The material I'm using is "Army Painter Black Battleground", (Edit - I'm now using 'Army Painter Brown Battleground' as described below as it saves a step and looks fine!), together with a few larger pieces of "Army Painter Battlefield Rocks" to add a bit more texture. I scatter a few of the rocks on top, and then dip the whole base into the Black Battleground material.

Once this has dried (I typically wait a couple of hours or overnight), I scrub the top of the base with an old toothbrush to remove excess material. I do this over a large container so that the material which falls off can be tipped back into the supply and reused.

I then paint the few pieces of rock black, before drybrushing the top of the base with an earth colour. This is done reasonably quickly again, but taking some care not to splash it all over the figures shoes. I use an old 3 or 4 size brush.

Here's a picture without the flash.

As an entirely acceptable alternative to basing with black then painting it brown, I could have just used "Army Painter Brown Battleground" instead. This would save a step and I have in fact done this with my 15mm figures. It looks slightly less good to my eyes, but not enough to justify the extra time I take doing the black then drybrushed brown. However, I started doing my French the way I show here, so will persist for the sake of consistency until the army is completed (Ha! As if a Napoleonic Army is ever completed...)

I then drybrush the top of the base with a bone or sand colour, to give the texture some more depth. If using the Brown Battleground basing material I still do the same. I then paint the edges of the base with the earth coloured paint, typically doing two coats to ensure an even colour.

Once again, showing without the camera flash.

The next step is the flock. I'm using "Army Painter Field Grass". I roughly splodge on patches of PVA glue with a size 3 or 4 brush, leaving the earth colour showing through in places, and then dipping the entire base into the flock. I find that I tend to have to press clumps of this stuff on a bit more with my fingers or tweezers rather than just dip it into the flock, as the material tends to stick together. Once it is dry (another hour or two), I once again scrub the base with an old toothbrush to remove excess material, collecting the excess again for reuse as described for the earlier basing material.

I then apply 2-4 clumps of various tuft material to the base, glued on again with PVA and placed with a pair of tweezers. I use a mix of "Army Painter Highland Tuft", "Army Painter Winter Tuft", and "Army Painter Meadow Flowers". Note that I've got the packets mixed up in the photo below, that colour shown is actually the winter tuft not the highland tuft!

And there we have it, unit done! I will take a few more shots of a Line Infantry unit from different angles for a future post to show them in more detail.