Tuesday 28 April 2020

Jacobite Rebellion 1745 - British Infantry-1st Bde - 10mm Pendraken Miniatures

First posts of a new project (yes, another one!).  I actually started this project one last year but made very slow progress until this virus lockdown.  Pendraken Miniatures are still operating and I thought it would make sense to build on the couple of regiments that I nearly completed last year.

I finally finished these units today.  One unit was awaiting it's Kings and Regimental Colours.  Pendraken sell the 10mm flag sheets too, though I have painted on the regimental details as the flags are supplied with basic colours only, allowing finer detail to be added (and indeed, I have repainted completely as I required).

2nd Battalion, 1st (Royal) Regiment of Foot 

These three regiments consist of the 1st British Brigade at the Battle of Culloden.  The 1st Brigade consisted of the 2nd Battalion 1st (Royal) Regiment of Foot, 14th (Price's) Regiment of Foot and 34th Cholmondley's Regiment of Foot

I am getting to really like 10mm as a scale.  The figures allow the detail to really burst through, and allow some intricate painting if one wishes, though there is always that trade off between what is worth being painted if it cannot be seen from a couple of feet away.

I have tried to paint on only the detail that defines the character of the troops.  So lacework has been confined to be around cuffs and tops of tricorn hats, any more is just not worth the time expense.

The exception to this are the grenadiers who needed that little extra detail as their mitre caps deserve, and also officers and drummers, who have had a further application of lace and detail as necessary.

I have mostly used the Foundry 'triad' painting method and really only using the 'A' darker shade and the 'C' lighter shade.  This enabled a greater contrast and made the highlights stand out more from the depth of the lowlights.

 34th (Cholmondley's) Regiment of Foot

I try to complete a unit in two days (mostly evenings) and work through a typed procedure which I can pick up again at any time if my interest should wane.

Lining in and touching up has been kept minimal intentionally.  I tend to line in around the cuffs and sword/bayonet strap.  As I used a black undercoat which I have tried not to go over too much, this means that I don't have to over-fuss to finish off.

14th (Price's) Regiment of Foot 

It was a hard choice between making two ranks or three ranks for these units.  It all came down to ground scale and the visual impression I wanted to create. 

Basically I hope to portray the battles of the Jacobite Rebellion at a scale of around 1:10.  So this would have a good number of troops on the table and have a relatively short base length to fit the whole battlefield on comfortably.  Culloden will undoubtedly be the main field of battle for these troops (though they may yet see fields as far as Europe in the Seven Years War yet!).

The British line tended to be three ranks deep at this time and I was keen to show that too.

...and here we are with the regiment next to a 50 pence piece, showing the small size of the 10mm figures and the minimal ground size that they occupy.  This should allow some pretty mighty battles to be fought!

Thursday 16 April 2020

Wars of the Roses - Gallowglass - 28mm

Another complete change of period...again!  I don't seem to be able to stick with painting one period for very long.  Too much khaki or field grey leaves me wanting to get the bright colours out and vice versa.

I think the longest I was able to focus on one period for was two years, and that was for my Wars of the Roses collection. This two year period enabled me to go from a collection of zero to having two very playable armies, so it has its advantages if I can summon the focus.  That was a few years ago now and since then I just flit like a butterfly, painting whatever gets my interest.

Well, I'm back to the Wars of the Roses again.  For a good 10 years now I have really wanted to play the Battle of Stoke Field of 1487.  This battle fought near Newark, in Nottinghamshire. I always think of the battle when I have to drive past the battlefield for work, every few months (and I stop to visit Wargames Foundry who reside on the edge of the battlefield too).   It was notable for several things, one being the last serious throw of the dice of the Yorkist cause (if the Perkin Warbeck rebellion is not included). 

A large component of the Yorkist army was a contingent of Irish troops.  These were the well armoured Gallowglass mercenaries and the lighter kerns.

The troops here are from two sets of Gallowglass.  One group by Old Glory and the other by Perry Miniatures.  The command stand here is from the Perry's.  I have kept one piper ready to put on the brigade command stand, lead by Sir Thomas Fitzgerald (yet to be painted).

I used a generic Celtic flag from Little Big Men Studios.  I hope that it has enough character of the original to be passable. I have tried to find a recorded example of an original banner, but alas, this research came to nought.

The figures above and below are all from the Perry's range.  I painted the Old Glory figures last year, but then I discovered that the Perry's had brought out Gallowglass figures (and I do have a liking for their figures).

There is a slight height difference between the Old Glory figures and Perry Miniatures troops.  As the units would probably be fighting closely together, I added a slither of card beneath the bases of the Old Glory figures to bring them up in height.  I then built this up with base texturing until it became invisible. 

This method seemed to work as it completely fooled me.  The first picture at the top of this blog post was supposed to be just of my Perry's figures.  In error, I added a stand of Old Glory troops  to the line and only realised afterwards!

The photos above and below here are all of the Perry Miniatures troops.  As always, they are a joy to paint.  There is quite a lot of static grass on the figures though, which only became apparent when I enlarged the photos. I wish I gave them a quick blow of air before getting the camera out!  Maybe Stoke Field had the grass mowers out on the day of the battle!

The figures below are from the Old Glory range.  I think that the Wars of the Roses range are one of the best that Old Glory produced.  These figure have a lot of character and look quite fearsome.

I hope you are all staying in and keeping safe.  Making the best of a horrible situation, the extra painting time is certainly useful, though I am missing getting out to shoot at the local ranges. One can sit around indoors both working and painting just a little too long!

Thursday 9 April 2020

New Project - 10mm 1914 Imperial Germans - Pendraken

A new project?..and while I have so many projects to work on and make playable...yes!  I'm afraid so.  The move into WW1 has been a recent thing for me and the more books read, the more myths and perceptions are discarded, as history opens up its truths.  The innovations in every aspect in this period, from technology to tactics, was incredible.

 ...and yet after creating a late war WW1 28mm skirmish 'army', I find myself drawn to the period of pickelhaubes, soft hats and brass buttons and those early days of WW1 where the 'Old Contemptibles' proved themselves in those early actions.

Recent games of 'Spearhead' brought out the megalomaniac in me as I'm currently finding myself interested in seeing Corps sized units on the table.  It was when I saw the rule-set 'Great War Spearhead' advertised that it started me thinking.  On researching further I discovered 'Great War Spearhead II' had been brought out too, along with a series of scenario books including for 1914. 

Seeing all of these books at a stand at the Overlord Show in Abingdon (in those good days before the plague back in early March), prompted a major impulse purchase and a new project was begun.

The next question was in which scale?  15mm always looks nice but seemed a bit large for the size of actions being produced on the table.  6mm would be ideal...but I just don't enjoy painting them.  I bought a large set of Napoleonic 6mm armies ready to paint up rapidly to recreate Wellington's glories in the Peninsular. Alas even painting just one unit bored me.  The satisfaction of the finished models just isn't there.  I think perhaps, that once a few divisions are on the table then they might look impressive, but one 6mm unit painted did not enthuse me at all.

So I opted for 10mm. They are identifiable in this scale, reward a bit of attention with the brush and make nice models.  I still can't paint more than a couple of units without having to switch to 28mm though. It's the satisfaction of the finished items that act as a spur to painting the next unit.  However, doing the occasional 10mm battalion of 24 figures only takes a day or two and is not too painful.

These figures are by Pendraken with who I was already familiar from purchasing figures for another project.  I love the fact that the figures are just about flash free. There was just a tiny amount at the bottom of the base to be cut with a blade and it was a case of simply gluing to the painting base for the undercoat.

I must confess that I put way too much detail into my first units, using 4 shades of colour over the undercoat just on the basic tunic/trousers.  This was excessive.  I have cut other bits out of my painting procedure since as too much detail applied with the brush does not reward the effort at this size. 

It does amaze me to think that each figure is only 1cm tall,  The photo below is of the troops with a £1 coin!

Perhaps foolishly I made an attempt at giving the impression of painting the Regimental number on the front of the pickelhaube cover.  This took some time!  I also painted the uniform lace edging in red.  Was this necessary - no.  But for me it is part of the character of these early war German uniforms.

I tried to take enough care so that touching up/lining in was not necessary so time would be saved in the long run.

This picture shows Infantry Regiment Number 75, complete with its 3 battalions and machine-gun company and regimental command.  Each stand represents a company in Great War Spearhead II.

I also painted up 6 batteries of artillery and I have to say what nice models the Pendraken guns are.

The labels were produced as a word document and the use of colours enables the units to be easily plotted and kept track of.  The labels are on the back of the base as well as underneath.  I nearly put them on top of the bases but that for me, always detracts from the figures...though it would probably make the game play a little quicker.  I decided not to use Gothic script on the bases this time in order to assist rapid identification!

Clearly there is a lot more to go, but I have to say that the figures are becoming more painless to paint as I find elements that do not justify the time input. I will probably still continue with the red lace edging though!