Thursday, February 21, 2013

Send Three-and-Fourpence...

The last couple of weeks has been a blur, and with the wedding now only three weeks away, i'm not expecting much more out of the next few. Nonetheless, while preparations may be proceeding apace, I have managed to snatch a little time for gaming related things.

So, accordingly this update is a little brief, but hopefully does still hold some interest. Most of my painting time has been taken up by commission work, but i have managed to take some photos of a few odds and sods for my Sharp Practice project. For this year, i'm planning on painting up another three 10 man french groups of Line Infantry (incidentally making a 1:10-ish scale Line battalion), along with some Leger voltigeurs and chasseurs, and a limber set. Up against them, I'd like to finish off a few more Austrian 12 man groups, an artillery piece and limber, and perhaps some of the new Perry chevauxlegers. Add in some Bavarians and Wurttembergers, and I've set myself quite an ambitious target. 

Alongside the 1809 guys, i've also got the first of my Peninsular War British, an xmas pressie from Laura. In the metal (and plastic) mountain i've got a box of the perry Line infantry and some metal rifles, all to be painted up and organised into 8 man groups with accompanying Big Men. Laura also got me an excellent 28mm sloop, along with a load of the superb Paul Hicks sculpted Brigade Games Royal Navy jacktars. 

The French reinforcements
So them's the plans for Sharp Practice in 2013. I've also recently become the owner of a plethora of 1/300 scale WW2 aircraft (1939-40 RAF, Armee de l'Air and Luftwaffe mostly), a copy of both Check Your Six! and Bag The Hun 2, and an excellent european fields Hotz Mat. More on my BTH2 plans in future posts though, for now, on to the latest Sharp Practice French reinforcements.

First off, I've painted up the tete de colonne (the battalion command) of the 3e Regiment de Ligne. Comprising 1e and 2e portes-aigles (the eagle bearer and the halberd armed eagle guard), a drummer and grizzled sapper, this base is a complete redux. The first version went on eBay to help fund the purchase of Laura's engagement ring, so it's perhaps fitting to post these guys up a few weeks before the wedding. The uniforms for these guys are supposed to be for the 3e Regiment de Ligne, which served in St. Hilaire's  division of Marshal Davout's III Corps in 1809.

Next up, the first of four planned line infantry fusilier companies. After what was most likely far too much research into something so trivial, I've ended up not painting the 1st company pompoms in the usual vert fonce, but rather in the bleu-de-roi. The 2nd company will be the infamous orangey-brown aurore, 3rd violette, and 4th cramoisie, which i'm reliably informed is a purplish red. At the head of this company is a new big man, the dastardly Lt. Montalban. 

Lt. Montalban

Final lot for this update is another addition to the French leading cast, Lt. Lemoine along with his 4 pound cannon and crew. The gun and bits and pieces are all from Nic at Eureka, and are fabulous, crisp castings with excellent detail. I find the front rank cannon a bit clunky.


All these figures are Front Rank, which I know are often disparaged but I find quite charming. You might also notice the bridge, river sections and ford, all recent additions to my gaming terrain made with the excellent 'Magic Water' resin which, while having a steep learning curve, comes out a lot better than white glue or gloss varnish.

So that's it for now, next update will undoubtedly be regarding all Spitfires, Hurricanes and Messerschmitts as I embark on my first foray into aerial wargaming with Bag the Hun 2, so stay tuned!


  1. Very nice figures and scenery. Best wishes for your wedding.

  2. Fantastic figures and terrain, Ben. They look really great - I like the Front Rank sculpts as well, and you've more than done them justice. Terrific stuff!

    1. Thanks Sid. Got more on the desk at the moment, but i've been distracted into painting up the Scarab minis 'Bon Chance' vignette. Trying out an updated bleu horizon recipe.

  3. Beautiful work Ben - the figures are brilliant!

    You wouldn't have ordered the Front Rank mini's through Essex miniatures by any chance?
    All the best for the wedding

    1. Thanks Jeremy. I have, but not for a while. Laura used to live down the road from Essex in Hornsby, so used to be easy to drop by and pick up whatever odds and sods i needed. Ray is a real gent, and a pleasure to deal with.

    2. I actually live around the corner and down the road in Hornsby Heights- small world!

      Been thinking about getting into Sharp Practice, as I've always liked Napoleonics, and the skirmish scale appears, and I agree, Front Rank Mini's are nice - will definitely check them out.

      Currently priming some Bolt Action late war Brits with the idea of eventually getting into solo TW&T and Platoon Forwards. Plan to pick up some Vallejo paints from Hobbies in the Hills tomorrow all going well!

  4. Fantastic looking troops! Great work!

  5. Superb collection of figures and terrain.

  6. Some brilliant work there. Your painting continues to inspire me. Your Big Men are especially impressive, and had me wondering if Lt. Montalban's first name is Ricardo?
    Blessings on your coming wedding.