Monday, 3 December 2007

Figometer

A big fat zero for the month of November. Due to the impending wedding, all miniature painting and construction has stopped. Like an army camped in winter quarters, there will not be much activity until January, when the ammunition will be broken out, uniform dusted down, and the flag will be unfurled once more (in truth thats the time i return from my honeymoon in the Caribbean and the bonus of xmas).

1870 Bavarian Artillery

Here's the Bavarian artillery minis i've been carping on about for ages. I am really happy with the results, particularly with the NMM on helmets and stuff. I only have 5 more guns and crews to complete! I also want to mention i've started using Daler Rowney acrylic soluble varnish over my Humbrol Gloss varnish, and the results are great. It doesn't smell like sweet death like my Testors stuff and its a pretty flat matt. No white out to report either. It can also be removed with some mild thinners.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Austrian Napoleonic Line Infantry Musicians

I'm back after some serious silent running. But, with my wedding only 2 and a half weeks away, (i'm awash with lots of bits of planning being done, tons of day job work etc) i've been unable to paint anything much at all and I dont think i'll get to paint anything substantial until January! Yes the Bavarian artillery minis are finished but I just can't find the time at the moment to photograph them and paste up the final part of the painting guide.

I have, however, got artwork to add to the Uniforms and Equipment posts though. A little bit about Austrian musicians. Right, am off to shed some weight (through sweat!) watching England huff and puff against Croatia at Wembley... (on my tv screen)...

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

The Witching Hour – Figometer Update

The clocks have gone back, its Halloween and the dead haunt the dark as the nights draw in even more... Well, all this really means to me is less time for painting with good old natural light!

Sadly, i've no undead pics to paste in! But it is time for me to post the Figometer tally for the past month of October. The 4 Bavarian artillerymen are finished, just need basing, I have also completed another mini, so the total is 5. I spent a little more time painting this last mini than I would normally. Think i'll be entering this chap in the Steve Dean painting competition so more details about him later but i'd say that i'm very happy with the finished article.

Speaking of finished articles, as is always the problem when work gets in the way, the conclusion to the Bavarian Artillery painting guide will be hopefully posted soon (when the basing is done).

Monday, 8 October 2007

News from the picket

My Austrian Napoleonic Jager officer got trounced in Steve Deans painting competititon first round this month so I thought i'd post him up here now. Was happy with him though, especially the bicorne.

Painting some (Franco-Prussian War) Bavarian gunners and field piece at the moment, progressing well they are too after a quiet weekend bitting and bobbing at them. As ever, I have forgotten to take some pics but will do v soon. Maybe i'll do that tonight, as I am especially happy with the faces.

I think i'm going to have a stab at my Bolt Action resin 251 Stummel soon. It has been sitting on the painting desk for some time. Always a bit daunted by vehicles but this is a lovely piece. Think I might put it up as a photo project so people can have a laugh at its progress! Worried about winterising it.

Some Napoleonic Prussian infantry came up to buy on ebay, but being too poor at the moment, I had to let them slip. Real shame as they were the march attack poses i'm really after too!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Only 2 little chaps painted this past month. Spent rather a long time over an Austrian Jager officer, I think I could have painted more but didn't get the intense feeling you sometimes get where a lot can get done with a spurt of enthusiasm. I have lots of mini's that are part finished and almost finished, namely a full gun crew for the Austrian Naps - a crew I started to paint last November! Think I may push on and complete these and some of the others living on the painting shelf.

Feeling the pinch at the moment too, saving money for the wedding which is not too far away now (December). Kilts to preen and speeches to write...!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Old Bones

Two recent additions to my old CItadel Miniatures Undead collection, from the good old days. One the left a trooper from the Nightmare Legion Regiment of Renown and on the right, an old caveman with a handy club! This week I have also been working on the Napoleonics again, some Austrian Jagers in pike grey, and I will hopefully have some free time this weekend to finish off a couple of these.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Change is as good as a rest (II)

Not a great photo, but heres a Turco Drummer finally finished too. I started a unit of Turco's (Tirailleurs Algeriens) back in 1991, and am still working on it! Very early in the war of 1870 they launched wave after wave of counter attacks with the bayonet at the Battle of Froeschwiller/Woerth, suffering huge losses each time they advanced (The 2nd Turco's lost 93% of their effective strength).

Change is as good as a rest

Back from my weeks 'rest' and Stag. Spent some time in Scotland at the Connect music festival (horrible weather reduced campsite to a muddy mire that looked very much like some WWI battlefield) climbed a Munro (Ben Lomond) and enjoyed the fine cooking of my fiancee's mum (including a fine bacon sandwich eevry morning!).

I survived my stag in York with 15 'comrades' relatively intact, Weather was great and held myself up well in drinking terms. Obviously I was forced to wear a dress (including 'pearls') and run the gauntlet of 30 people blasting away at me on the paintball battlefield...but i'm still alive!

Well, back to the 'job'. I've found rotating what i'm painting much more enjoyable than sitting block painting one battalion of minis at a time, so here's a bit of evidence of some recent alternative paintjobs. My Franco-Prussian War miniatures have been a long time project, here's a couple of Wurttemberg infantrymen.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Another good weekend

Well, painted up two more of the little men last weekend (Bank Holiday), felt like I was on a roll. That takes the total to 7 for August. No pics of evidence as have been busy since, but will post some when I get back (from a well earned weeks rest) and can get some decent lighting. All in all its not a bad effort compared to last months meagre offering! Am away on holiday all next week followed by my Stag weekend in York, so there will be no painting antics for a little while, only painful hangovers and paintball bruising! So for now, adeui.

Monday, 20 August 2007

A Good Weekend

Been busy with the brush over the weekend, now the temperature is more agreeable, and the fact we had no plans to go away or go out at all really helped. I fancied a change of genre from the Naps , so dug out some of my undead minis. The Citadel undead range (slotta based) from the mid eighties was always my favourite fantasy range, and the pile i've collected over many years has been neglected a bit of late. Managed to complete 3 of the little rotters! Will post some pics of them soon. In the meantime here's a pic of one of the Dutch Militia figures I finished recently.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Dutch Militia WIP

Some of the Perry Brothers Dutch 1815 Militia i'm slowly working on. You can really see and feel the difference in style from the Foundry sculpts that the Perrys worked on in the early 90's. The new miniatures are much more proportionally correct, and as this means smaller features I would say they are a bit more difficult to paint, but the end results are fantastic IMO. These little guys will represent the 8th Dutch Militia, part of Bijlandt's Brigade at Waterloo. By the time i'm old i'll have the rest of the Brigade finished!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Lead Mountain Update (July)

Oh dear, the last post on the bugle etc. Only one mini painted to comlpletion in July. Well, the carry over into August is now 8 figures... I just need a couple of solid days' painting this month. I have several Dutch Naps near completion, honest. Maybe i'll paint up a couple of fantasy figures this month to get back on track. Napoleonics really are time consuming, but its the love of the uniforms that appeals to me so i'll soldier on.

On a side note, saw Transformers last night and while the story was shaky in places (kids appeal factor, and some cheese) it was enjoyable. We got VIP tickets and had a few beers whilst watching it in our 'box', which was a nice extra. The opening scenes of the film were excellent, as was the showdown, and the effects we're amazing throughout, I recommend it.

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Austrian Napoleonic Hungarian Line Infantry

Almost time for the Figometer to rear its fat round head. I have lots of minis in progress, but alas, only one, yes one completed this month. Lots of weekends away and several BBQs to deal with. Been working on the Dutch Napoleonics and will try and get some pics posted up.

I did, however, have time to put this chap together to add to the Uniforms and Equipment, a bit of eye candy to be going on with.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

The problem with drummers

Following on from yesterdays entry, another thing worth mentioning - 3: Under no circumstances attempt painting the 'swallows nests' on Perrys Nap Dutch Militia ;-) Amazingly miniscule sculpting detail, I made a painful pass at them last night, my poor eyes... Not entirely happy with my results but we must press on.

With any luck, 3 more of these Dutch Militia could be finished very very soon. SD's forum is now back at full speed ahead too, and I can happily trawl once more.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Broken Arrow

Steve Deans forum is down. Into work this morning, all set to have a vote on the painting competition's latest round, and the fateful words Critical Error have splashed accross my screen. Hope it can be sorted out soon, cos I need my lead fix!

Managed an hour of painting at the weekend, and will be pushing on with the Napoleonic Dutch Militia tonight for a couple of hours, all being well. Hope to post some pics of these asap. Two other things worth mentioning. 1: I ate calamari for the first time on Friday (not as bad as I thought but will not be making a habit of it) and 2: I am living in fear of the Figometer...

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Marsch

Painting is down to a trickle at the moment, maybe its the humid weather, or maybe its because i've always got something on at the weekend at the moment. This guy was one of last months finished minis, was particularly pleased with his face. Got round to painting his base last night, along with some others. Am feeling a shift to working on the Napoleonic Dutch Belgian Militia battalion coming on. Painting too much white can warp the mind...

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Austrian Napoleonic Line Infantry Coat 1898-1808

The Austrian uniform of the period was unfussy, but elegant and smart, and for the most part, didn't change too dramatically throughout the whole period. One reason for its good quality uniforms was that Austria's economy was stronger than most of France's enemies (Prussia, for example, crippled by French terms after 1806, relied heavily on British subsidies). To have such uniformity in dress and quality is all the more remarkable when noting that Austria almost constantly put men in the field against Imperial France throughout the period. Regimental esperit de corps and pride in dress was emphasised. As Philip Haythornthwaite describes in his book (Austrian Army of the Napoleonic Wars (1), (Osprey Publishing)) "ranks from feldwebel upwards (were) urged to set an example, and never to appear in a uniform other than that prescribed by regulations".

Austrian Napoleonic Line Infantry Headgear (1)

I have decided to put together a not too ambitious uniform and equipment guide for the Austrian Napoleonic army. Due, I guess to the fact that that is what I am researching and painting at the moment, and also because I enjoy being fairly artistic and creative. Hopefully, It will be a useful reference guide for others, as well as myself. Anyway, here is the first instalment, a bit about the Line infantry headgear. I'll post up more stuff in an ad hoc way, when I get the time to draw it, write a bit about it and post it!

Monday, 2 July 2007

Lead Mountain Update (June)

Well, I had a late spurt of painting on Saturday and managed to finish June with a grand total of 3 minis completed. The weather was awful but had a 'painting session' with my friend Mr Wilson-nunn. Haven't done the 'buddy' painting thing since school days but it was good to spend a couple of hours painting, listening to musak and chatting in what is otherwise often a solitary activity. The fourth mini will now be added to July's target (I have started this one, honest!), so now for July, it's 5.

All June's minis were the good old Austrian Napoleonics, and I will have some pics up soon, and possibly a guide as to how I painted them.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Taking Hits

Painted these chaps a long time ago, in the 90s. A couple of French line infantry under fire, fine Perry twins sculpts from the older Foundry range. Entered them in Steve Dean's forum competition a while back, where they didn't do too well. I've always liked the poses so am posting them up here in the absence of fresh blood, er paint!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Bring up the reserves!

Getting slightly worried. Due to family commitments and concerns I have done ziltch over the last week and a half. Busy with work and the weather's absolutely sh*t! Junes figure tally is 2.5 as we stand, and I can't see any real painting time between now and Saturday. Well, lets steady the ranks and stand firm, then see what happens...

Monday, 18 June 2007

Colours

End of a week of sorts. Following the happy time of a wedding the week before, I had a family bereavement, the passing away of my gran on Thursday. It wasn't entirely unexpected but was still a shock.

A couple of sad days led to a quieter reflective weekend for me, going out with K to walk a friends dog and a few drinks followed by an outing to the Fine Burger Company. I summoned some stamina to get a little painting done. Finished the Austrian standard bearer for one of my 'German' battalions. Painting the 'barbers shop' staff was a bit daunting but it all focused the mind, ultra steady hands needed, but I think I just about pulled it off. Still needs the base work completing though.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Leibfahne or Bataillonsfahne, that's the question

After an enjoyable and busy weekend involving family getting hitched, I finally got round to an hour or so of painting last night, before Springwatch ;-).

It was pretty hot up in the rafters, paint like tar, but managed to fill out the flesh areas and put the eyes in on a couple of...wait for it... Austrian line infantry, flavour of the year! No pics but am posting up the unfinished 6 pounder gun and crew to add to the Hapsburg Gallery as thats all I got to hand right now. The gun was painted with the Foundry Ochre colours, some elements were carefully drybrushed to bring out the grain in the wood. I should get around to finishing that BEFORE finishing the Dutch Belgians BEFORE I start on the Prussians.... Arrgh! Fiddling about with the Austrian standard bearer from last week too... The 'barbers pole' staff awaits me.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Something for the weekend

This is the Dutch officer I mentioned earlier. Hes been matt varnished over gloss. Not entirely happy with the blues and the stark eyes look is too much, (less definition round them next time Dinium) but we'll soldier on.

Mini-wise, I had a good weekend. Spent alot of Saturday up in the loft painting an Austrian colour bearer. The hot weather meant drying time was a bit of an issue but we got by. In terms of June's quota of figures this is good, only 3 to go! Laid the brushes down on Sunday and went for a swim at the lido. Oh, another exciting development is Paul Hicks at Bolt Action Miniatures asked me if i'd create some painting guides for the BAM website off the back of the one I posted on Friday. Now that was an offer I can't refuse.

Friday, 1 June 2007

WWII Colour Guide 1

Tales from the Crypt

Here's those undead cavalry I was touching up. Still need to do some revarnishing on them. Thinking of whether to matt varnish or Satin varnish as they were originally. I put down the paintjob on these a long long time ago, before I hung up my paint brushes in the early 90s... Think I copied the 'uniform' on one of them from the cover of the Citadel Journal way back in the late 80s.

I seem to have spent most of my time painting bases and touching up recently. Maybe its the warm weather, it's had me opening the loft window and its been drying my paint quicker than i'd like so perhaps thats why i've been taking on the more palatable option of basing, or...

Think i'm turning into Retroman, all this revisiting old miniatures - i'm revisiting old music too, and find myself thinking of the smell of school dinners more often than i'd care to admit. Perhaps there's alot to be said about this modern life and a longing for your youth, or maybe its just something natural we do when we get to the age of 33.

But It's time to crack on with some fresh paintjobs and I can hear the Austrian Napoleonics calling. Perhaps tomorrow i'll push on with that project, plenty of those little fellows to bring to life.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Lead mountain update (2) ...and some undead samurai that have risen from the er, dead



Mission accomplished for the month of May.

Figometer is upto 4 for the month of May, i'm safe in the commitment stakes - Varnished a Dutch militia officer, he's technically finished but he still needs matt varnishing, no pic at moment but he's all but done, honest. Will probably have a picture by Saturday.

So following on the recent undead theme.. these aren't exactly fresh paintjobs but here's something completely different. Classic Citadel undead samurai, named Bek and Gi originally. A great range of figures long out of production. Tested my Vallejo reds on 'Gi' and I liked the outcome. Vallejo Scarlet is a really good red, nice and vibrant. Why should undead figures always be dressed in dirty old tatters!!

I've bought a few of the Coat D Arms paints, my old Citadel colour Bleached Bone is sadly no more and in my quest to get the right replacement colour i've gone for these as i'm told Coat D Arms are the original Citadel colours rebranded. Think the postie has them for me today so i'll be testing them very soon on my pile of lead bones.

Friday, 25 May 2007

They paint horses don't they?

Well, managed to touch up a couple of old Citadel undead cavalry while K was out the other night. They need a rebase too. Makes a change from the Naps fix i've had recently. That'll be it for a while, am off away to visit my brother in Plymouth for the bank holiday. Am happy that i've received the Austrian hussars I won on ebay, now just got to paint them. Got them fairly cheap for once, but think they'll be staying in the bag for just a little while.

On a non mini note - Spent a fortune at Gordon Ramsays restaurant last night. Its not a habit of mine, blow outs at expensive eateries, and I probably wont ever spend that much on a meal again, but I have to say the food and service was amazing. No doubt hobby funding will be affected for some time to come...

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Lead mountain update (1)

A Figometer update on the reduction of the lead mountain. Well, almost the end of May and only 3 miniatures painted. There has been some undercoating and some basing activity but I know that's a secondary affair...

Oh and I've bought 7 more miniatures off ebay, which means the lead mountain is in fact back into the red at -4. Arrgh. The struggle continues

Had a bad back from sitting in the car for 4 and a half hours on Sunday, but I wasn't driving it I hasten to add (K was). She's out tonight and the back feels good enough, so its maybe a good time to tackle some bits in the loft tonight.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Another Year Older...

It was my Birthday yesterday, and to mark the occasion, here's a pic of a French carabinier that I painted quite a long time ago, and recently got round to photographing. K and I spent the weekend up at my folks house in Doncaster. Managed to get to see my Nan who is ill in hospital, she's quite tired and weak but recovering slowly I think. Fitted in the FA Cup final too, and a few pints. Received alot of fine gifts from my beloved (including a very nice engraved flask and some fine cigars for when we get married) and some cash from various others. Hmmm, what to spend it on... (Lead perhaps!) - a busy weekend but a good one ;-)

Friday, 18 May 2007

Withdrawl

Haven't picked up a brush since last Sunday. Sat and stared at the small pile of lead on my painting table midweek, then hurried away and watched Property Ladder. Away at the weekend too so it'll be nada for a few more days..

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Olive Drab

Something a little different. My first US WWII, tested out my olive drab combinations on these two guys. Plenty of Vallejo colours. Wanted to get a grimy worn look. I was pleased with the way they came out. The figures are by Bolt Action and a joy to paint, i'll try and finish the squad one day!

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Figurine Non Dipinti...

The Figometer TM will look something like this...

In my efforts to paint consistently, i've devised the Figometer TM and set myself the goal of trying to paint at least one mini a week. Not too hard huh. Well, we'll see. The Figometer will never lie, ever. Each months tally will be presented on the Figometer TM, and if the score ever gets below 4...

Monday, 14 May 2007

Bearskins

Austrian German grenadiers, just about ready for varnishing and the completing of the bases. Only 10 though, still plenty to go to finish the unit...

Colours: Foundry Arctic Grey A, then B through to white for the uniform colour. I quite like leaving some of the black undercoat deep in the folds of the clothing, I like the definition it gives against the white. Some might say its too harsh but I like it. Base colour will be GW Scortched Brown then Foundry Base Sand B to A, then its time to break out the static grass.

*Updated the pic now (August 7th!), bases are now finished, maybe a few tweaks with the black lining then a coat of varnish.

First Pic

Have been working on an Austrian Napoleonic army for more years than I can remember, but in a recent spurt of activity have managed to paint 4 minis for it in the last week (this is a good output for me!). one of which is this Hungarian grenadier officer. Still plenty of unpainted metal to go though, and thinking of purchasing the cavalry element for my army very soon... just to add to the lead mountain!

The grey oberrock makes a pleasant change to the usual Austrian white uniform. This mini is a Foundry sculpt, and was painted with the Foundry paint system, Vallejo colour and some Citadel colour. I used Citadel colours for years and recently 'changed' to the Foundry paints and have found them very good. I'll probably post the colour combinations I use at some point.

They Live...

So here we are, my blog is born. Am aiming to post up stuff i'm painting, so as to have some record of whats produced from all that time I spend hunkered down over my little Ikea desk in my loft. This stuff is probably not of much interest to most viewers, and probably seems sad to some, but it keeps me off the street and is a relaxing outlet which takes me many miles away from everyday stresses of 'normal life'.

I started painting white metal miniatures around 1984, but the modelling ‘thing’ goes back further to the good old airfix plastics, to a time when my dad used to put my kits together and paint my soldiers all sorts of weird and wonderful colours. I'll be posting up some pics soon. (This is weird, like i'm talking to myself, which I am?!).

I often wonder if i'll get back problems from insane postures whilst painting, and RSI in later life from gripping small paintbrushes. There's only one way to find out..

Lets get to it.