Tuesday, June 30, 2009

French Infanterie de Ligne

I got a bit more painting done over the weekend, the Austrian gun crew and the Calpe Saxons are well on their way. I struggled for a while trying to pick the paints to use for Austrian 'roedeer brown', the colour of the Artillery uniforms. I ended up experimenting on an old figure until I came up with a combination that looked 'right'. I'm going for the yellowy-brown colour as seen in the Osprey and in Hourtouille's Wagram book. I'm hoping to have them finished and based up next weekend. I picked up some MDF coasters from the craft store which i'm hoping to use as bases, hopefully with the crew being removable.

I did manage to get some pictures though, these are of my first French line infantry 'group' for Sharpe Practice. They're painted up as the 1st company - denoted by the dark green pompoms. I've still got to do the metallics for the bayonets and musket barrels, and then finish the basing and muddy them up a bit, but they're pretty close to being finished. These guys were the first lot of 28mm Napoleonic figures that I painted - quite a few years ago now. This is their third repaint.

I didn't clean the figures up that well before painting, and so that explains the mould lines can be seen on some of them. They're not that noticable in the flesh, but they really showed up in the pictures. Still, i'm happy enough with them. The stripy pants were fun to do, these were my first attempt and i'll be doing more of these in my next lot of Frenchies. I like painting up units for the 'campaign' look, rather than looking like they've just stepped off the parade ground. Hope you like 'em.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The French Arrive

Well, we finally saw a bit of sun on the weekend, which gave me the chance to snap some photos of my latest work. I've also finished off the first unit of Austrian infantry, and they're just waiting for the basing to dry then i can add some static grass and silfor.

Next on the painting desk, i've just started on a Front Rank Austrian gun and crew. I've also been distracted from my 1809 project by the absolutely superb Calpe Saxons. I've got an officer and a musketeer on the painting desk at the moment. Hopefully my next post will have some pics of these, they are fantastic figures.

Now, for some pictures. These are all Front Rank figures, and as with all of my Napoleonic stuff are for the Sharp Practice rules by Too Fat Lardies.

I chose the 3e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne as the unit i'd model up - basically because I like the colouring scheme and they were in the thick of the action throughout 1809. The 3e was a part of General St. Hilaire's Division, which served with Marechal Davout's elite III Corps for the first phase of the 1809 campaign, and then was transferred to Marechal Lannes' II Corps for the Battle of Aspern-Essling, where both St Hilaire and Lannes were mortally wounded. It was also the first major French unit engaged in the entire campaign, being thrown into a hasty attack at the start of the Battle of Teugn Hausen.

Without further ado, here is the commander and his support 'group', the 'Tete de Colonne' (lit. head of the column). The unit consists of an eagle bearer with the Imperial Eagle, an eagle guard, a drummer and a sapper. I've based them individually on GW 25mm slotta bases, and made up my own movement tray, a system which i'm pretty happy with. The commander is 'the' big man of the regiment, Colonel Laurent Schobert, who commanded the 3e Ligne from 1805 to 1811.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whats on the Painting Bench?

After reading quite a few positive reviews, I've recently picked up a copy of the TooFatLardies 'Sharpe Practice' Napoleonic skirmish rules. I've read the rules through a couple of times, and decided that they look like just what i've been looking for. They seem to strike the balance between an entertaining set of 'fun' skirmish rules and a great looking reconstruction of Napoleonic warfare.

As it's in my nature to be contrary, i've decided not go with the general consensus and build up a British/French force for the Peninsula, but instead to go for a less popular period - the 1809 campaign in Italy and the Danube valley. The fact that i was reading John Gill's 'Thunder on the Danube' when i picked up the rules was a major contributing factor, added to the fact that i've always had an interest in the Austrian Empire.

I've decided that i'm going to have my groups represent companies, with the French at 10 figures per company, and the Austrians at 12. That decided, i ordered a bunch of Front Rank figures and started painting.

As of now, i've almost finished my first French and Austrian infantry units - a fusilier company of the 3e Ligne Regiment for the French, and an infantry company from the 4th Infantry Regiment ' Deutschmeister' for the Austrians. I've also painted up a 'big man' a piece. I'm hoping to have the basing on these finished off this weekend, and i'll post some pictures when I get a chance. In the meantime here are a few 'in progress' pics of the Austrians.

Next will be some pictures of the completed French command element - the 'tete de colonne' - of the 3e Legere, along with a mounted colonel.

Hello and welcome...

I've finally decided to bite the proverbial bullet and to set up a blog. The intention of this is to follow the trials and tribulations of my miniatures painting.

First, a bit about myself. I've been painting up metal miniatures for about 6 years now i guess. Before that i was a 1/35th scale modeller, building mostly modern and WWII stuff. I guess that i got into miniatures painting in a roundabout way. I've always had a very keen interest in history, and especially for the lesser known areas. A couple of years ago I was reading a book on Frederick the Great, and while looking around online for info about the Seven Years War, I stumbled upon the 'Kapti Fusiliers' website. Browsing through the pictures of the superbly painted 28mm units and reading with great interest the accompaning descriptions, I decided then and there that I had to get into this hobby.

My first venture into the world of miniatures painting was with a bunch of 28mm Seven Years War Prussians and British from Front Rank. When I received little box I must say i was as excited as a school kid. I dusted off the old painting box and set to work on them with the old humbrol enamels. Since then, the SYW guys have gone to ebay land and i've been through several half-finished projects - which I gather isn't that uncommon of a problem. Along the way i like to think that both my own skill and my appreciation of others painting has increased. One thing that I've gathered from my figure painting 'journey' is that it is a constant learning experience, albeit a very enjoyable one.

Recently on the Steve Dean forum there was a thread which asked to rate your best painting purchases which made me think about how i've gon about attempting to improve my painting style. I'd have to say that the two things which have helped me most are practice and observing the work of others. I know that it's cliched, but there really is no substitute for sitting down with a figure and a brush and experimenting with different techniques, or spending a bit of time looking over figures which grab your eye.
I have to say that the friendly guys over on the Steve Dean forum have also been a great help. The encouragement, to say nothing of the tips, colour recipes, and general advice i've gleaned from the SD forum, along with the ubiquitous TMP, could fill a dozen volumes. I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who has helped out - from Kev Dallimore for writing his superb painting guide (my first real intro to serious painitng), to the plethora of TMPers who provide lightning fast responses to the most obscure of uniform queries.

Anyway, on with the show.