Sunday, January 20, 2019

SYW French Grenadiers and Command

No posts last week, but two in for this week.  Wife's away looking after her mum following surgery so production will be up for the next couple of weeks I hope.

Curt says he enjoys gamer bios, so here goes.  It all stated in a 5000 watt radio station... (two brownie points if you get the reference).  I started gaming as a teenage about 1975,  with Airfix Waterloo kits badly painted in Humbrols.  I paint almost exclusively historical stuff, but will play Fantasy of SciFi when someone else puts on a game.  A big part of the attraction is the research aspect of the hobby - I like ferreting out info on uniforms, OOBs and tactics from bygone ages.  Even if I was attracted to non-historical figures, picking up a "Codex" over history books would be a deal killer for me.

I grew up in Halifax NS and was a long time gaming partner of RossM of Battle Game of the Month who is likely known to many Challenge participants.  I relocated out west to Regina about 20 years ago and for a long time was a solo gamer due to lack of opponents.     Back in 2011 I followed Ross' lead and ventured into the Blogosphere with the Single Handed Admiral, a reference to the fact that I was going solo, planned to due naval gaming and that Nelson had only one hand.  Blogging got me in touch with gamers around the world, and then a year later with gamers 2kms from my doorstep as Sylvain reached out via Curt's blog having noted my email address.  The naval projects turned out to be a dead end and have been put on hold, but I've enjoyed working on Italian Wars and Seven Years Wars projects over the last few challenges.

Over the years it been a bumpy ride but I'm mostly in a good place now and enjoying my time at the painting table and on the Challenge.  I've adopted the simple philosophy voiced below.

Grenadiers in front of the structures from my first post.

OK off with the blather and on with the painting.  I've got 8 French Infantry from the Grenadiers de France from the SYW.  Figures are 28mm Front Rank and are very nice. This is the initial set of 8 from a planned battalion of 24 so I'll natter on more about the unit on later posts.

I also have a French command stand of two figures, general and trumpeter.  The general is  Casting Room figure on a Front Rank horse.  The rider had me perplexed as to his provenance for a while but then I worked out that I an extra dragoon officer (with no horse) in my Casting Room order.  Luckily, SYW uniforms are more flexible than for later periods and panting him in a blue coat laced with gold did the trick.  His trumpeter is a Front Rank figure as is his horse.  I painted him as coming from one of the myriad of cavalry regiments using the King's livery,

For the tally man, these are 8 28mm figures on foot plus two cavalry nets me 60 points on the scoreboard and on the Black Powder Challenge.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Sarissa Precision 28mm MDF Buildings

For the first post from me this week I have two 28mm buildings, MDF kits from Sarissa.  I have a number of the Sarissa kits and I'm very happy with them.  They go together nicely (other than the odd user error), look the part and paint up nicely.  A pleasant evening building these and another pleasant evening painting them up.
I didn't show it, but the roof lifts off and there is a removable upper floor.

First up is a farmhouse from their English Timber Framed range.  I figure that similar buildings existed in Hesse and Westphalia in the mid 18th century.  I built the kit straight out of the box, as there was enough detail that no add on bits were required, the only change I made was to add black yardstick behind the windows to hide what lies within. 
I do like the  details like the brick work.

I hemmed and hawed on priming, and went unprimed in the end which I think was the right choice.  The details are lightly etched and I didn't want to fill them in with primer (I can have a heavy hand with the spray bomb).  Paint wise I found that a light touch and various degrees of thinning with water did the trick.  It's all one coat, except for a wash over the brickwork, and only four colours - red oxide, unbleached titanium, carbon black and raw umber.   
This is a very tall piece but can be dissembled for storage or transport.  The blades come off, and the building lifts off the pedestal (and swivels on this).  The main structure has two stories plus a roof that lifts off.

Next up is the post windmill, which seem to have appeared all over Western Europe in the black powder years.  IIIRC, having a windmill in your village tended to put you on the map back in the day.  Ligny and Valmy had prominent windmills on the battlefields.  This kit was actually built last spring (it appears in my challenge 8 wind up photo), but it took me until now to get the bottle up to paint it.  I used only three colours for the actual windmill - raw umber and carbon black, with only a touch of unbleached titanium to lighten the woodwork on doors etc.  
The base has stayed in the same place but I rotated the windmill.  I like the stairway and the crane.

Point wise, i used the rough dimensions on Sarissa's site, converted mm to medieval king's body parts and came up with figures that the farmhouse is 49% of a 6" cube and the windmill is 46% of the same cube. if the minion's feeling generous he can round this to 20 points for a full cube, if not then it'll be 19 points.

These will be used for Black Powder wargaming (and yes Ray unlike yours my figures actually appears on table).  We didn't define whether terrain counts for the BP side duel, so I'll ask for my fellow duellists call on that one.  Not that it'll matter as both Ray and Alex have paint bombed me into submission this week.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

SYW Hanoverian Commander on Recon

For the Reconnaissance Bonus Round I have a Hanoverian Command group having a scout of the enemy.  We have a general with a jaeger officer and sentry.  Figures are all 28mm, the general is Front Rank and the two Jaegers are from the Perry AWI Hessian range.

I picture the scene where the general goes forward to get the lay of the land.  He lets the sharp-eyed Jaeger office use the glass to get the best report.  Meanwhile the jaeger on guard takes advantage of the break to get in a puff or two on his pipe.

I had trouble finding information on Hanoverian generals uniforms during the Seven Year's War, but in the end went with an officer's regimental uniform.  Generals in both the British and Prussian armies wore their regimentals, so I figured that would work for Hanoverians too.  This fellow wears the Uniform of the Wangenheim Infantry, red with straw facings.  The inhaler during the SWY was Georg August von Wangenheim who was promoted through the general ranks over the war.  He served in detached roles on occasion and seems to have been less of a fossilized relic than other Hanoverians.  

The general was a breeze to paint - the Front Rank figures generally have clean poses and good detail.  Front Rank's run a little chunkier than Perry's do but I figure that Jaegers should be lithe and wiry and the general's mount looks a solid block of German warm blood horseflesh.

The Hanoverian Freytag's Jaegers (along with the Hessian Jaegers) were seemingly everywhere in the campaign in Western Germany and heavily involved in the Kleine Krieg.  Greatly expanded over the war by 1760 there were 6 mounted and 6 foot jaeger companies.  Dress was utilitarian, green without facing colours with straw breeches.  While the Hanoverians intended to arm them with rifles, apparently regular muskets were more common due to shortages.  By contrast Hessian jaegers brought their own hunting rifles!

I find that the jaeger green is always problematic to paint, it being difficult to get the sweet spot between two faded and too flat matte.  I shaded and dry brushed to the point of "close enough for government work" and left them at that.  The officer's yellow sash was also interesting.  These figures are from my favourite packs from Perry, AWI Hessian garrison musketeers and command at ease.

I've been using round bases for command stands, and this one looked a little big for the figures.  I therefore tried to add some terra forming using a bark chip.

Aside from the Bonus Round points, make that 20 points for the 1 mounted and two foot 28mm figures.  Duels Wallah those points should be ratcheted up on the Black Powdometer.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

AHPC IX French SYW Dragoons

First post of this year’s challenge for me, I think this makes it 7 for me but my numbers are often wrong.  I am firmly in the by drips and drabs camp and will be bringing units to the table piecemeal, since that’s what works to keep me motivated.  I started work on Boxing Day, and have these four Dragoons complete plus other projects in various stages of completion.  I’ll be focusing on my SYW project, one that started two years ago on the Challenge.  Originally planned as a side project for a Sharp Practice, I found I loved working in the lace wars era and have expanded it to my main horse and musket project.

These are four members of the French OrlĂ©ans Dragoon Regiment.  The figures are old Foundry ones, sold under their Casting Room line.  I don’t normally spring for Foundry prices but got taken in by a deal.  Even so they’re out of my normal budget when shipping and exchange rates are factored in.  However, the figures have a lot of character and look rough and ready which suits the French Dragoons of the era.

French Dragoons were far more a Dragoony than other nations’, and were expected to fight on horse and foot.  They carry muskets not carbines, wear shoes and gaiters  instead of boots and have axes for  impromptu pioneer work.  The dragoons did were very useful in the Kleine Krieg and also appeared in the bigger battles.
I do like that the Foundry sculpts are carrying full sized muskets.

Dragoon regiments had drummers instead of trumpeters as befit their origins as mounted infantry.  Many regiments also had mounted oboists (hautebois), but sadly no one makes such a figure.  As my daughter both plays oboe and did horse riding, it would be great to have one.  But having seen both oboes and horses close up, I have to say that playing oboe on horseback took balls - it looks like a recipe for having a sharp reed embedded in your upper palette.

I fudged the lace work here to keep myself sane.  The picture of the regiment's lace from kronoskaf (the go-to online SYW site) is shown below.  This appears on a shoulder strap, the saddlecloths and the drummer's coat.

Once the whole regiment is complete, I will add unit labels along the back edge of each base - I've left an un-sculpted strip to hold these tables.  You can see the axes with covers on the horse tack on the right shoulders.

I have two picture references in uniform books showing a shoulder straps with a simplified version with blue and white stripes, which could well be the effect from a distance.  However looking at things again I misinterpreted the direction of the striping and should probably redo it (or not depending).

The drummer figure looks grumpy, I wonder if he's dealing with a sore head after a night carousing!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

Mother in law and daughter arrived from out of town, turkey in the fridge and Gungerbread baked,  Ella, Bing and Bowie playing, ‘‘tis the season.
Merry Christmas all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Still Not Dead Yet - But Warming Up for the CHALLENGE

Not a lot of painting of gaming recently, if fact just about diddly squat on both counts.  However, that will change once end of semester and Christmas pass.  It's been a very busy fall for me - added responsibilities at Uni with the Retirement of a colleague and a daughter moving back in province for grad school and needing set up in her new place - a 2.5 hour drive away.  Plus  braining myself and getting stitches in my scalp didn't exactly help.

I have signed up for this year's Painting Challenge, now in it's 9th incarnation and I can't remember how many times I've signed up for this thing but long enough that I get on the preferred service queue to lock in my spot on the roster before Curt let's the general public sign up.

Again this year it will be almost all SYW affair for me - French troops plus a few Ango-Allied.  I've also got some terrain to throw into the mix. A low target of 500 points (that's about 100 28mm infantry or 50 28mm cavalry).   I've also entered a Side Duel for 17-19th century painting, let's see how badly I get my clocked cleaned on that one.

There has been some painting progress as I crawl along at glacial speed to finish up a battalion of Hessians.  Teaser photos below, they are almost done except for finishing bases, boot clean up after basing and adding flags.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Not Dead Yet...

Painting and gaming has just about ground to a halt here, although I did pick up the brushes last night for the first time in a couple weeks.  I’ve been busy but also been stupid.  I needed a reminder that standing up under a shelf that’s six inches shorter than me isn’t so bright.  Three stitches in the scalp and a lasting head ache proved a valuable lear8ng experience.  Stitches out, head doing better so pressing on but with a watchful eye overhead.

The article below was in my local paper today.  Hopefully I can visit this WWI bike before it leaves town.