Thursday, 1 December 2016

American War of Independence - Lee's Legion

Some troops ready to seriously challenge the British 'Light Bobs' on the field of battle.  Here we have the foot troops of Lee's Legion ready for battle.

Usually with painting for a particular project, I will determine the theatre of war that my main interest lays, and then a date range or particular campaign and then build my forces around that.  With my American War of Independence troops, my main interest is in the Southern campaign around the time of the Guilford Courthouse battle.  In this case, I had a conflict in the uniform I wanted to paint Lee's Legion in and what they actually wore.

I have always found artwork of Lee's foot troops resplendent in their purple uniforms an irresistible object of my desire to paint as wargaming figures.  However as I read further into the particular campaign of 1781, it became apparent that  Lee's men are described as being dressed in green making them very similar in appearance to Tarleton's British Legion.

I have recently painted Tarleton's Legion, and very smart they look too, however I really had set my heart on the slightly earlier purple uniform (though I know that the purple is disputed by some).  So I had a dilemma on my hands - though a not un-enjoyable one. I find that when confronted by work issues in the day job it is a nice distraction to think about more important issues such as paints to use on wargame figures when one gets home!

So as we can see, I made the decision.  At least I can use these for earlier campaigns should I wish and I shall just have to imagine that perhaps some old stocks of uniforms may have been found for some men for the Guilford Courthouse battle!

Anyway, the figures are from Perry Miniatures.  The paints used were a combination of colours from different companies, with much mixing of paint to to get subdued shades of a not too gaudy workman-like appearance...and yet be a purple hue.

I think the 'Tarleton' helmet is such smart uniform item and it always pleases me to see units wearing this item of headgear.

I have high hopes of the performance of these chaps on the field of battle given their high morale and light infantry skills.  As a freshly painted unit we will have to see whether they break the age old tradition of new units of fleeing in the first turns of their first outing!

 A few more pics to follow below...

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

AWI - British Brigade Commander

 Slowly but surely my American War of Independence armies increase in size.  As so often, I find that
 I paint units (eventually!), but the commanders get neglected in my desire to get units on the table

I am really pleased to get a commander ready to take his place on the field.  This time we see a British brigade commander and one of his staff observing and giving orders to the men in the field.

The figures are from the superb Perry Miniatures range and painted with combination of paints, mostly Foundry, but also with Vallejo, some Games Workshop and some Miniature Paints.

I love the pose of his officer, leaning in his saddle as he stares at something distant that has caught his attention. One can only guess at the forthcoming drama that has caught his gaze.

The basing material is from Mini Natur with my usual selection of twigs and cat litter rocks to break up the green.

More AWI goodness to follow in due course!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Wars of the Roses - Light Cavalry

After yet another blogging absence I return but this time with the light cavalry of Edward IV ready to take to the field. These fellows are from the plastic boxed range produced by Perry Miniatures.

 These are again another set that I really enjoyed putting together and looked forward to painting. I opted for the livery of Edward, which necessitated applying a yellow edging which added a good bit of time to the painting process, but really makes the livery jacket stand out.

 I made good use of the Citadel Six livery badges and flag sets. I'm getting used to applying the decals/transfers now and find they give little trouble (as long as decal softener is used as per the instructions).

I was tempted to build them as mounted hobilars with bows but I really wanted troops I could use for Tewkesbury and similar actions where light cavalry could be used decisively. I tend to interpret the 'spears' in the woods at Tewkesbury as mounted light cavalry - it seems more believable for a relatively small force to make such a big impact on the battle if they had some horsepower and mobility.  

I have intentionally lowered some of the lance tips to infantryman level. Combat against foot troops and pursuit of the same probably being the most likely role rather than mixing it with mounted heavies in plate armour.

I really like the colour of this period of history and rather than cut down on my photos, I have included the full number including the close ups of each stand. I couldn't decide which to delete so have included the full set of photos.

Even though I have been absent from blogging, I have made some progress with other projects and got several excellent games in. Summer is always really busy for me with as much time spent outside on the ranges as possible and making black powder smoke with my muskets. I also spent time with my crossbow at the range between painting sessions of these troops - I think I was suitably inspired and with a medieval mind!  Crossbow shooting in good company on a fine summers morning has a lot to recommend for it.  More photos of recent projects to follow in due course!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

WW2 British Infantry 15mm - DCLI

Seeing as I posted a WW2 Hawker Typhoon in my last blog entry, I thought I would follow up on the same theme.  These are probably the first WW2 British Infantry I have painted since splodging paint onto Airfix 20mm figures in my teenage years.

These figures are 15mm Flames of War figures produced in plastic.  I have to say that I was a lot more impressed with them than I thought I would be.  There is a lot of detail and character to the figures, without the figures being too 'cartoony' as seems to be the case with some 28mm figs.  They look purposeful and usable on the field.

WW2 Normandy is something that I have been wanting to do for 20 years. I bought a lot of 15mm Skytrex troops and tanks back in 1996, and in the boxes they sadly remained.  That dormant interest finally rekindled when I recently purchased a set of the PanzerGrenadier rules (2nd Edition).  All it took was driving down summer country roads, high hedgerows and seeing stone farmhouses and my imagination put everything together.

Things have changed of course in 20 years in our hobby as you will be well aware! We are so well catered for in WW2 figures and vehicles it is simply amazing.  One cannot help but admire the Flames of War range with this period.

Now for some odd reason, when I took these fellows out of the box and decided to paint them, I thought it would be a quick job. A splash of khaki, a few strokes of mid-stone on the webbing, flash tone, boots rifle and voila!   But it just didn't work out like that.  I ended up putting as much time in as I would have done had they been from a more colourful uniformed era.

For one thing, getting the light contrasts on the uniforms so that they looked right and did justice to the guys who wore them, became an interesting and enjoyable challenge.  I found myself really wanting to get the detail right.  Owning and shooting original Lee Enfields also meant that I found it impossible to scrimp on time and detail on the rifles. It became more a labour of love.....not something that I had intended!

I also drew on inspiration on a book that I have owned for 30 years 'Hill 112' by Major JJ How. This book written by an officer in the Monmouths who fought through the Normandy campaign is a remarkable insight into the ferocious battle for that Hill and it's box-shaped wood.  I remember in the early 1990's meeting my Great Great Uncle Charlie Savage from Cornwall for the first time.  He recounted to me his days in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.  His brother was at Hill 112 though he himself had been transferred to the Kings Regiment mid-war and found himself fighting throughout the siege of Malta.

As I painted these I couldn't help but think of Charlie and his brother and so I painted these figures up to represent the DCLI. On the upper sleeve of these 15mm figures is the Wyvern of the 43rd Wessex Division of which the DCLI were part. It is more of a representation of the Wyvern at this scale I should skills are not that good!

Paints used were mostly from the Flames of War ranges but also Vallejo and Foundry.

Bases are MDF from Warbases.  I wanted something with slight curve instead of straight corners so that it wouldn't look as if I was forming Napoleonic line when my sections were alongside each other

A few more pics below..I'll stop my narrating for a bit....

I had a bit of dilemma in how best to represent the formations which make up the battalion.  For me it was all about accuracy and also knowing where I was up to as I built the Battalion up.  I really do want to know which Platoon is where and where the relevant commanders are on the field so they can keep in communications and lead the right sections.  I knew I had to label them up but the question was how.  I'm not a big fan of visible labels on bases but with MDF bases and very small print, I found that a small strip of info could be placed on the very rear edge of the base.  Because my playing mat has raised grass, it makes the label less obvious, a small push down of the grass and I can see exactly which unit is where.

On the underside of the bases (beneath the magnetic sheet) is more detailed information which I can pick up and look at should I really need to.

Handy for being accurate in what exactly is contained on support weapon bases when I can't remember my 2" mortar from my 3" (not a euphemism!).

Well, that might be all of my WW2 stuff for the time being. More colourful things will follow as I have been playing with colourful paint palettes after all that khaki!