Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Analogues Painting Challenge - Casualty Round

For my entry in the casualty round I have this group from the Perry Crusader range.  I love the Perry's stuff and enjoy painting their figures.  We have one brave soldier passed on with another likely soon to join him given the arrow in his belly.  Things look brighter for the armoured chaps, one has his wife to look after him and the other seems to just had his bell rung from falling off his steed.

These figures will see service as casualty markers in my El Cid era Christian Spanish.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Painting Challenge - Grand River Six Nations

Next up for the painting challenge is another War of 1812 unit - as Anne O'Leary says I've got around to the good guys.  This is a unit of 12 native warriors from the Grand River Six Nations, who featured in  many War of 1812 actions especially along the Niagara.

The figures are 28mm from Crusader's FIW range.  I did some poking about of Webstores before settling on the Crusader figures.  I was looking for figures which had a mix of European and native clothing and equipment, and these guys did the trick.  I have some Crusader figs in my El Cid armies so I knew the company.  Plus Caliver Books in the UK had them in stock and they ship world wide post free if you order £15 of figures.   At some point it would be great if North American hobby suppliers could be even in the same ball park as the UK firms in terms of shipping costs and timeliness of delivery.  OK, I'll get off the soap box now…..

For painting these figures, for me the big challenge was skin tones.  I live in a city with a fair Native population so have the ability to do some people watching among fellow bus riders, shoppers and people wandering the halls of academentia.  I hope I didn't come off as too creepy!

I settled on Liquidtex "Dark Portrait Pink" with a heavy wash of "Raw Umber"  - being a Artist's Acrylics man at heart.  This contrasts with my European figures which use "Flesh" topped with washes of "Terracotta" to give a tanned look and Raw Umber to get the crevices.  This Bloom County gem from the 80s sums up the process nicely I think.

I never paint eyes on 28mm figures, or at least I haven't in 20 years or so.  I subscribe to the theory that eyes are only discernible at much closer range than that implied by a 28mm fig.  That and the fact that most figures I see with eyes remind me of pandas and raccoons.

I wanted to base these figs to give the impression of native warriors operating in a loose order and taking advantage of cover.   Therefore I used double sized bases with 2 figs per 40mm square base instead of 2 per 40mm*20mm.  The fuzzy caterpillar grass is an Evil Empire product while the other scenic items were produced by mother nature.  Incidentally SWMBO had me roast the sticks at 400 degrees to make sure that no new friends were introduced to our indoor environment.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Painting Challenge - 8th (King's) Regiment

I have plugging away on this unit for a while now and finally finished them last night.  I was slowed down by February blahs and grumpiness, a broken figure (thanks Victrix for the weak joint) and another kitchen injury involving chopping vegetables.  This time it was a sweet potato and I sliced a bit of the tip of my left ring finger.  Next time, I'll listen when my wife says that the knives need sharpening.

Any way not a lot to say about this unit (24 strong).  The figures are all Victrix, except for one of the standard bearers.  The flags were downloaded from Warflag (a great free resource)

I've developed a real preference for the Perry plastics after working with Victrix.  The Victrix poses offer ore variety at a cost of far more fiddliness.  Plus I find the Perry poses more natural and easier to paint.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Challenge Entry - Meese

OK before either the grammarians or the biologists get on my case, I know that "meese" is not a correct plural of moose.  For the record either Moose or Mooses are acceptable plurals (like fish and not like Goose).  While the Beaver may be Canada's national symbol, to many the Moose is the quintessential Canadian critter.

These figure came about from a google query "28mm Moose figures".  They are made by Brigade Games, come singly or in a pack of 3 and are quite nice figures.  I intend to use them as game markers for unknown or suspected units.  So hopefully that gets me over the umpire's hurdle.  If not then I claim that they are mounts for the Teddy Roosevelt amphibious assault force.

I've based them on Perry Miniatures bases left over from my plastic infantry boxes.  Since moose are happy both on land and lake and like marsh plants, I've given bases with a watery edge.  I did the water in Ultramarine artists acrylic topped with Acrylic Gloss medium to  give the effect of ripples (hopefully).  I also used taller plant like to show rushes along the water's edge.  I am sure that there is plenty of Moose Moss for the trio to munch.

Originally I was going to base each moose separately.  But Junior Moose is definitely too small to be far away from Mum so two bases it is.

To give an example of size for the figures, I have one photo with Laura Secord - a combination of Canadian icons if there ever was.

Oh and just for the Mad Padre I've included a shot of their backsides, since I know he is a connoisseur of moose butts.

More moose info on moose can be found at the link below.
Hinterland Who's Who 
Canadian baby boomers like me can likely recite the narration from heart.

Shameless Plugs

I've just found this blog care of the Mad Padre, but on a cursory perusal it's a veritable treasure trove of information (see I new the Thesaurus would be useful).

Annibal Invictus

Oh yeah and he's having a 200k hit milestone give-a-way.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Analogue Painting Challenge - Hero(ine)

This fortnight's bonus round has the theme of "Hero or Heroic Group".  My submission is Laura Second from the War of 1812.

Laura Secord and her husband were from loyalist families in the Niagara area of Upper Canada.  By the summer of 1813 the war had been rough on them.  James was injured at Queenston Heights where he fought with the militia and thier store was destroyed by American bombardment in the same battle. After the US capture of Fort George they lived in the US occupied zone.

There are photos of Laura Secord later in life when she was Victorian and matronly.  However,  I prefer this sketch of her before her marriage when she was well, pretty darn cute.

Laura overheard US officers planning an attack on a British outpost.  Leaving her injured husband and 5 children (ages 3-14), set set off on a 32km trek through the US lines and the Canadian wilderness to warn the British.   The result was an ambush at Beaver Dams by Native forces with a few redcoats and the capture of the entire force of 500 Americans.  Here's a link to the full story at Wikipedia and a Canadian History video vignette.  They built them loyalist women tough!

Ok there's the history snapshot, now onto the figures.  Laura is a Reaper Bones  Townsfolk - intended for medieval times but her clothes work well for later periods too.  I opted for plain colours but tried to work hard on shading and highlights to bring the details out.  She is based singly so that she can be a civilian on table.

The US command stand shows two infantry offices (one Perry and one Victrix) with a Victrix sentry.  They can serve as a command group on table since infantry officers often took the role of leading detachments.  I posed the figures to (hopefully) give the impression of the officers deep in conversation without noticing that they are being overheard.  The map is made from vellum paper folded and crumpled.

The details are fuzzy on how and where the invaders were overheard.  For simplicity I have placed them in a wooded area, presumably close to Laura's house where she has been occupied with domestic duties.  The trees are woodland scenics and the rise is floral foam shaped and flocked with ground cover.  I placed the figs on my standard gaming mat for land based games.