Wednesday 9 February 2022

 After a sizeable gap, I think I can safely say that things are back in motion. I have started creating the first battalion of French Guard Fusilier-Grenadiers, using Sash and Saber Old Guard with line infantry covered shako heads. The uniform is pretty much the same, I used covered Shakos as nobody makes any with the eagle plate and my sculpting skills probably don't reach that level of detail. 

I have also started another French Line Battalion, which is actually 54th Line, which wasn't at Medina, but I'd rather have them as generally available for any game, so I'll paint units that are interesting. In the case of the French, it would mostly be the drummer's uniforms. 

Monday 29 June 2020

The AWI project has continued apace and will the subject of a new blog.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Bit of a gap since the last entry, been very busy at work and, being a butterfly, distracted by other figures.

Firstly, the AWI. I have always wanted to do AWI forces but never found the figures I wanted. In 40mm I have now found that Trident Designs Miniatures are perfect. I have bought and painted some Rebels/Patriots as the 2nd Maryland. I am going to base a long term project (yet another one!) on some of the forces at Brandywine 1777 at a scale of 1:10. I can't do the whole thing, that way madness lies.

Photos of 2nd Maryland - there were only 118 of them so 12 figures. Cloth flag by Maverick Models.

Great figures, great service from Doug at MSC, slightly marred by the process of having to pay VAT and a holding charge before Parcelforce delivered them in the UK. 

I have also bought a batch of Trident Designs British to use as the 15th Foot. Trident do the right headgear and, with a little greenstuff added for collar and shoulder straps (based on an illustration by Don Troiani), I have done a test figure. Only another 23 or so to go, although at 1:10 I will need to buy a few more.

I'll also use some Sash and Saber 40mm figures too, they have some good figures in the AWI line. Some of the Trident figures are pretty big, so it ill be difficult to mix the 2.

Friday 2 March 2018

With stage 1, Masters, completed, I cleaned them up and sent them back to Griffin for Production Moulding. A few weeks later 100 miniatures arrived at my door.

Here are examples of the final production models.

Good work by Griffin, detail is crisp, mould lines are minimal.

The keen eyed will note that the gaiters of the left hand Grenadier come to just below the knee. This is deliberate. I found several different types of gaiter in source illustrations so I went for something minimal that I can add to. For the gaiters that go over the knee, a small amount of putty is all that is needed. I'll do the regular Grenadiers with over the knee gaiters.  

I think for any more production runs, I will ask for a more flexible alloy to be used as the metal in these is a little brittle, particularly on the bayonets. Easily fixed, and it's always good practice to brush a small quantify of superglue on the bayonets before undercoating. 

So far I have painted a base of 6. 

Painted as Provincial Grenadiers in the 1802 uniform. I haven't painted the patterns on the flammes as I am currently unsure exactly what the pattern was. Further research will no doubt, in time, turn something up and I can complete them.

Paints used are Foundry Mediterranean Flesh, Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue basecoat, Vallejo Prussian Blue main coat, same again with a touch of light grey for the highlights, Foundry Scarlet for the facings, Foundry Austrian White for the white bits, Foundry Bay Brown for the brown bits, Foundry Spearshaft Brown for the musket and various metallics for the gold, brass or steel areas. I use washes of Army Painter Strong Tone and Dark Tone for recesses etc.

It is proving difficult to find the flamme patterns for many of the regiments I need. Most uniform plates do the usual thing of not showing a rear view if they are unsure, which is frustrating.  I could just make a 'best guess' I suppose.

To complete the first of the Provincial Grenadier Battalions, I will need to paint another 18. I didn't want any Ensigns or Drummers with the Grenadiers, just to keep it simple and keep costs down.

On that note, some comments on the costs of having these made.
Sculpting costs can be eyewatering particularly for 40mm. However, careful planning and a dialogue with your sculptor can help to keep this as reasonable as it can be. I thought ahead and had dollies made first. This will allow me to create other figures later on.

Mouldmaking is also a surprisingly pricey expense.

Will I have more figures made? Absolutely yes, and I have a list!

Am I prepared to sell any left over castings? Probably, but I need to complete the first unit of Provincial Grenadiers first.
To solve one issue I have taken the step of having some figures made - the Spanish Grenadiers.

This has been an interesting process. I am not a sculptor, so I needed to find one. A short message on TMP and a few queries later, I picked Christian Amerise - I particularly liked the proportions on some of his examples. This was in 2016.

Christian is in Italy and I am not, I don't speak Italian, his English is getting there.

Christian produced a basic dolly, a couple of Grenadier heads, Musket and a few bits and bobs.

I sent these off to Griffin for Moulding and casting.

Quite some time later, I had collected a heap of reference material, sent this to Christian with some components, and asked for 3 figures. An Officer and 2 Grenadiers, 1 in Gaiters and 1 in Overalls. I wanted them to be a size match for the Perry 40mm range in a similar 'march attack' pose.

Christian produced these in short order, sent them to me, I made some small adjustments (I am a tinkerer) as the language issue had led to a couple of minor things needing to be changed - the length of the turnbacks being one.

I sent these off to Griffin for mastering and when they came back, I painted some examples, shown in the photo below with a Perry figure for size comparison. I think Christian did a pretty good job.

Some issues with the Spanish side is that nobody makes (in 40mm) , Grenadiers, Cavalry, firing/skirmishing Infantry, Infantry in civilian dress, Artillery.

So quite a task to recreate.

The solution is to create a representative selection of regiments. 1st Division (Cagigal) looks the most promising, there is a mix of 1802 and 1805 uniforms, Light Infantry (Barbastro), Infantry in British uniforms(Buenos Aires), but with the clear issue of the Grenadiers and Artillery figures.

Spanish OOB.

Army of Galicia - Blake

Vanguard - Maceda
Zaragoza - 1 Bn 700
2nd Light of Catalonia 1/2 Bn 400
Light of Gerona 1/2 Bn 400
Grenadiers 2Bns 300 (Grenadier Companies of Zaragoza, Mallorca, Aragon and Vol de la Corona)

De Montesa 1 Sqn 80
Dragoons de la Reina 1/2 Sqn 70

6 Guns

1st Division - Cagigal
Rey 2Bns 700
Mallorca 1Bn 1000
Hibernia 2Bns 1200
Buenos Aires 1 Bn 500
Light of Barbastro 1/2 Bn 550
Provincial Grenadiers 2Bns 900
Militia de Salamanca 1 Bn 266
Militia de Tuy 1 Bn 580

5 Guns

4th Division - Portago
Grenadiers 2Bns 300 (Grenadier Companies of Toledo, Navarra, Sevilla, Napoli)
Principe 2Bns 1600
Toledo 2Bns 1400
Aragon 1 Bn 1068
Militia de Santiago 1 Bn 800
Militia de Lugo - 1 Bn 500

5 Guns

HQ Guard
Voluntarios de Navarra 1 Bn 754
 4 Guns

Army of Castille - Cuesta

1 Division
Covadonga 2 Bns 1500
1 Tercio de Leon 1 Bn 800
2 Tercio de Leon 1 Bn 800

Guardia de Corps 1 Sqn 100
Carabineros Reales 1 Sqn 160

2nd Division
3 Tercio de Leon 1 Bn 800
Tercio de Alba de Tormes 1 Bn 600
Tercio de Valladolid 1 Bn 700
Tercio de Benevente 1 Bn 800

de la Reina 2 Sqns 300

As I have said before, to do all of these would need a sizeable chunk of funding, which I don't have!

 After a sizeable gap, I think I can safely say that things are back in motion. I have started creating the first battalion of French Guard ...