It's taken me a few weeks more than I had anticipated, but I've finally finished the first three Austrian artillerymen. For Sharpe practice, the crew for a gun is five figures. I'm painting up the crew plus a grizzled old Feldwebel (picture to the right) to serve as a big man.
I had a bit of a varnishing disaster with these guys. This seems to be a recurring thing to me, so much so that i dread varnishing, and always put it off as long as I can. In this case, i think the problem was that I didn't wait long enough between the gloss and matt varnish layers. I also failed to mix the Daler & Rowney matt varnish well enough. The result: the figures i'd spent so much time on were coverd in alternating splotches of semi-gloss and a sheeny , foggy white colour. Needless to say, I was not best impressed, and I actually literally 'threw my toys'. Not really the smartest move, as the only results from this were some nice little paint chips on one of my almost-finished French grenadiers. As it turns out, I managed to salvage these guys, thanks mostly to some great advice from Andrew Taylor and the rest of the lads over on the SD forum. Now i'm actually quite happy with them. Heres hoping the next lot of varnishing goes more successfully.
The last three blokes are also on the way, i've finished the flesh and done the basecoat for the white. I'm planning on painting two of them up with the sky blue collar and cuffs of the Artillerie-Handlanger corps, just for a bit of variety. Fingers crossed, i should have the lot finished next weekend. The gun itself, a 6 pounder, has been undercoated and had it's basecoat of 'tweaked' GW foundation dark yellow plastered on.
I picked up a few MDF coasters from the local craft / sewing store and my plan is to uese these for diorama style bases for the gun. I've based the crew on metal washers, which i'm planning to have sit flush in the terrain i'm going to sculpt on to the base. This way, the crew will be removable if they are forced to abandon the gun! I'm not sure how this will turn out, but in my mind's eye this system should work well and look good to boot. Laura even suggested to do up some plain washers with grass and terrain that can be added to the base when the crew are removed.
On another front, i've been working on a 28mm scale Austrian/Bavarian walled farm compound, based loosely around the 'Sommerkeller' which played a role in the battle of Abensberg. I was inspired by the awesome terrain projects by Theomar Pius, and i'se stolen quite a few techinques from his walkthroughs. The project, which consists of two main buildings and a walled yard, is coming along nicely. It's nice to have something i can do in front of the TV, even if individually gluing the 4mm square cardboard tiles is driving me a bit loopy. I'll hopefully have these far enough along in the next few weeks to get some WIP pictures posted up. If these are successful, i'm planning on building up a 28mm scale Aspern Church.
Anyway, my current focus is to finish off the artillery crew and gun. Once they're done, i'm going to go on to finish off my next french groups, one each of Voltigeurs and Grenadiers from the 3e Regiment de Ligne.