Friday, 11 December 2009

Austrian Casualty

Finished the first of the Austrian casualties that will lie around my units looking ill. His hair ended up blonde, though it went through several stages as I gave it a wash here and there without any real plan as to a final colour. I am happy with the off white of the uniform, which was intended. My earlier Austrians have a much more black to white shade though I think I will mingle the two hues as units progress.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

West Prussians

Only got to sort out the flag for the 2nd West Prussians to stick on this bloke on the right. Sent a Christmas list to Santa for some new paints. Asked him nicely for the Foundry Prussian Blue palette amongst some other bits. I'm interested to see what the palette is like, it's been my quest to find a 'prussian' blue that i'm happy with without mixing it from several concoctions.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

King's German Legion

Realising that to be painting up a Dutch Belgian Brigade, a Prussian Brigade and a fair few Austrian units is not enough, I thought i'd finalise my plans on parchment for the Anglo allied contingent i've been building slowly over the last few years, with a pack bought here and a pack bought there. This is my theoretical strength of my King's German Legion brigade. It's mostly made up of Foundry miniatures. Most of which were bought before the plastic revolution that grips our hobby. I could, however, potentially buy the Perry's plastic brits to fill the ranks of the 8th Line Battalion. And one day soon, i'll start the tartan terrors that are just 'there'.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Figometer Update (November 2009)

Finished 7 miniatures this past month (Prussians and Dutch militia), some of these have been sat waiting to be completed since the summer, but also finished 3 new miniatures as well. Not a bad tally considering extreme lack of painting time over the last few months. Hope to get some pictures up sometime soon.

On a bit of a downer at the moment as we've had to pull out of buying our next house due to lack of building regulations regarding conversion work (the house would have had a lovely painting area too!). Sure we'll bounce back, but the run up to Christmas is looking hectic now, with house hunting in a winter market to add to festive madness.

Friday, 13 November 2009

WIP West Prussian Fahnentrager

Started the colour bearer for my 2nd Battalion 1st West Prussians (IR Nr 6). The first battalion's colour had a white background with the black eagle on a green field, the second battalion carried the colour shown here. The staffs these colours were nailed to were, as far as I can tell, painted white for both battalions.

Having no desire to freehand the flag at the moment, I reckon i'm going to print and use this rendering of the flag, photoshopped up a bit. It might look a bit crap and basic at 'normal' size, but when it is shrunken down to about 3cm, and worked up with a little acrylic paint it will look fine.

When this chap is complete there'll only be one more officer to paint and the rest will be rank n file, I really want to finish these guys (along with the Dutch militia and Landwehr) so I can move to other units.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

WIP West Prussian

I've almost finished this chap too. Dressed in a reservist shell jacket with faded facings and lacking a good musket and pack, and non regulation overalls - probably made from a sack! I have included a couple of these figures in my 6th Regiment battalion to add some flavour and slight shabbiness to the unit.

WIP Austrian casualty

I said i'd get some painting in last weekend, and I did. Bought some Austrian Napoleonic casualties a while back from Foundry, to one day grace a part of some gaming table, or to act as markers. Used an off white (Foundry Granite A followed by Vallejo German Camo Beige) to paint the uniform, rather than my usual Foundry Arctic Grey triad. He has the first face i've painted for 3 months and I was pleased with the outcome. The face is paler than the hands in the real world, camera hasn't picked this up much.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Austrian Napoleonic Uniforms

So I was a little bored at work, and decided to update the Austrian uniforms stuff. Put it all on one page in one place so it's easier, and because I fancied photoshopping up a grenadier too.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Helion and Back

Just when my time investment in miniatures is at an all time low, I discovered these little beauties (not my brushwork by the way) from a firm called Helion and Company ( 1866 is a growing love of mine, probably because of its proximity - timewise - to the Franco-Prussian War. there are countless variants in this range and little details like captured water bottles make them even more appealing. The range is ever growing and the Austrians in greatcoats are something i'd like t have a brushstroke at.

yes, I have no time to paint anything, so why not add to the mountain with a new range and new period, ha ha ha. I think i'll get a test pack or two of these guys at some point.

I have had and got some time to paint over this week, so I will definitely be posting some results next week. The new lamp is working fine and I discovered the paints haven't dried up during my 3 month hiatus.

Incidentally, in none miniature land, our little girl Isla turned 6 months last week and is obsessed with wanting to walk, she bunny jumps and wriggles everywhere! And I recently discovered the joys of spoon feeding and its explosive messy outcome.

Enjoy the fireworks.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Daylight lamp update

My new Daylight lamp finally arrived last Saturday, took a month to arrive due to being out of stock. During that time, my miniature painting mojo withered somewhat. I have however, assembled the lamp and it works. Hope I can find the time to paint something soon now I have the 'light'.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Daylight lamp

Well, the replacement tubes for my painting lamp didn't fix my lighting problems, though one of them manages to flicker with a very weak light. I'm concluding that it's a problem with the ballast and I can't really be arsed with ordering a new ballast unit and attempting to be an electrician, so have ordered a new lamp and lo and behold, it's out of stock at the moment.

So painting has ground to a halt from the sad trickle it was anyway. I still have my conventional secondary lamps but they don't give optimum conditions. Probably be a month before I get a new lamp. Anyway, all this means is I get more time to spend with my baby girl, which is good.

Monday, 21 September 2009

West Prussian Drummer (WIP)

Been away on holiday in France this past week, great to get away from it all. Spent time in a lovely French farmhouse with family in the Midi-Pyrenees region. Lazed by the pool, drank the odd brew and ate a lot of cheese!

The new fluorescent tubes for my lamp should be installed later today which will enable me to get back in the painting saddle. Here's a pic of the Prussian drummer which is all the recent painting activity i've done! This chap and the officer are more complete than not. It's not the best photograph though due to the lack of adequate lighting.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Daylight Deadlight

Still without daylight tubes for my lamp, replaced the starters thinking it may be those that have gone but to no avail. Next will be replacing the tubes, if that doesn't work it'll be the ballast in the lamp and I may as well ditch it. I limped on with an hours painting at the weekend but found it a bit difficult. Hopefully the new tubes will arrive this week and karma will be restored if they work.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Painted something

Managed some painting at the weekend, almost completed a West Prussian drummer. But unfortunately my daylight lamp is out of action so the experience was rather laboured. Sourcing new starters at the moment and if they don't work i'll need to buy a couple of new tubes. The current ones have lasted 2 and a half years so they do probably need replacing. Once this is fixed i'll be able to take some photos... I'd also got a couple of new Series 7 brushes and managed to snap the end off one opening a bottle of Foundry paint. The gods of painting must have been angry that day!

Monday, 10 August 2009


In the absence of painting anything for 3 weeks, here are some pics of my visit to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight hangar at RAF Conningsby. I recommend a visit here, you can get a good look at the kit they've got up close, though you cant climb all over the aircraft, but you get a very informative guided tour by ex pilots. There's the constant roar of Typhoons flying outside too.

In my anal way of photographing just about everything, included in the pics here are a standard WWII blind flying panel, a TR 1154 radio transmitter from bomber command, a gun camera, and they have a nice little model of a Beaufighter in the visitors centre too. In all, the BBMF operate 2 Hurricanes, a Dakota, the Lancaster, 5 Spitfires and two Chipmunks. One of the Spits was out on the apron when we had a look, but I didn't ask if it'd been up that day.

Friday, 24 July 2009

WIP – Prussian Officer and More 8th Dutch Militia

These guys have come out well, considering I was frustrated by the weather - Getting home from work at 6.30pm this week, I have only had around an hour and a half of real daylight time to supplement my daylight lamp, and almost each evening a huge black sodding cloud (sometimes with drizzle) has darkened the painting session and made things alot more difficult to paint.

The two dutch militiamen will bring the grand total of finished minis for the battalion to 12, that's halfway. Packs, musket, canteen, feet and shakos to finish up here.

Finally got round to starting the officer for my battalion of West Prussians too. Only the boots and sword/scabbard to finish here now. The undercoat of humbrol matt black let me down on this little chap, and has made painting even more difficult (adherence issues). For some reason the undercoat (even after the required shaking and stirring) went on in a satin finish. I bought him on ebay and can only think the problem may have been perhaps some residue from stripping, but then again, I cant remember if the model had been stripped! Anyway, subsequent models undercoated with the same humbrol black have turned out fine.

With the baby and mum away, that's all I could manage to paint.

I was sad to hear of supercentenarian Henry Allingham passing away last weekend, at the grand old age of 113. He was the oldest survivor of the First World War, served at Jutland and the sole surviving member of the Royal Naval Air Service.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Interesting Read

I've recently been trying to find out a bit more of my grandads wartime past. Sadly he died before I was born and the only information I can glean is from my old man, who would say his dad was with the 8th Army in North Africa and Italy, and mention the odd detail like Monte Cassino. Recently however, my dad found my grandads Comrades Club card which lo and behold had his unit and individual number on it. Turns out he was in the 46th Reconnaissance Regiment.

Off I went online to find out more and while there is some limited info out there about them, I found this Osprey title to be the only modern account of what these recce formations got upto. I don't usually plug stuff up here in the loft, other than the odd new miniature, but this book has shone some light on what the Reconnaissance regiments got upto. The battalion sized units were created specifically after the retreat from France to fill a gap in the Armys scouting ability at divisional level, and would tear around in scout and armoured cars like the light cavalry of old. Grandad was in North Africa and, from Tunisia, landed at Salerno with 46th Division and fought on up Italy. Its all made me a little prouder of what my grandad and chaps like him did back then, and that's a nice feeling.

I'm off on holiday for a week tomorrow, and hope to paint some miniatures when I return - as my little baby will be staying on hols for another week while I come home and back to work. It means nights will be free for a little brushwork.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Figometer Update (June 2009)

Finished the two Prussian 1806 Jagers last month. Painting has taken a hit from the fatherhood flank attack and undercoating sessions that used to be done on arrival home from work are now replaced with baby bathtime and bedtime story. Managed to start three more minis last week, and hope to finish them this month! We'll see what happens. The weather isn't really helping either at the moment, I love the sun, but it's hard to use acrylics when the temperature is 31 degrees!!

Something i've noticed about me recently - I used to hate tennis, now I watch Wimbledon like it's the last show on earth. I think it's just wind-down time after Isla goes in the crib, so I guess it's understandable to sit in front of the box motionless for a while.

Incidentally, I got bored with my plain background on the blog, so experimented with a scroll thing to make it look a bit more less -stark, and added a couple of 'chaps' in the wings. I quite like the results.

Monday, 29 June 2009

US Marines in the Pacific

These little guys got to the quarter final of the Steve Dean painting competition before getting beaten, and I put together this painting guide a little while back for anyone that's interested. Looking back at them now, I would have added some more colour to the piece, the sage green and ash greys do make for a 'dull' paint job. I had intended to add small empty cartridge cases and a discarded radio but ran out of time at the er, time. When I placed the all elements on the base there wasn't enough room for a scratch built radio, but I could have added the shell cases to give some extra colour.

Nice little figures from The Assault Group, I think they have lots of character, although there was some detail loss/ casting imperfection around the legs of the guy on his knees. Click the image to open it in a larger frame.

Monday, 22 June 2009

1806 Prussians

Fathers day went well. Isla gave me a lovely little card, and she'd even bought me a DVD! The sales assistant should be disciplined though, for selling a 15 certificate to a infant! The weather was good so we all had a refreshing drink outside a nice little pub we know nearby, though there was only breastmilk on the menu for Isla.

Fathers Day also meant I had some time to head up to the loft and paint for a while with K's blessing. Finished the two Prussians and got some more base colour work done on a couple of the Dutch Belgian militia. All in all, a good weekend.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

SdKfz 251/9 Schutzenpanzerwagen Part IV

Something that has been going on for a long while is this Stummel. This part four bit has been waiting to be uploaded for ages but I hadn't written the text. Not much left to do to it apart from the dreaded numerals and other bits.

K and I have started to phase in some kind of bedtime routine for 7 week old Isla, and once she's in her crib, she generally falls to sleep pretty well – (she slept through from 11.30pm to 5.45am last Thursday night, almost the entire night without a feed! so she gets a gold star for that) - If this early bedtime thing goes well I may have a little spare time knocking about... maybe.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

1806 Prussians (WIP)

There have been stirrings in the loft. The stirring of paint. My baby and wife are away this week, taking a break with the in-Laws up in Walberswick, Suffolk. A very nice place of the world that is, by the way. On the one hand i'm missing the wife and my new daughter very much, on the other hand - i've found a little time to paint something.

It was my birthday a few weeks back, and in amongst my presents, there was a little box from my mate Dave, (who isn't a miniature collector/wargamer in any way). He'd bought me a pack of the new early Foundry Prussian Jagers with a note inside saying here's something new to paint. There has been alot of negative critisicsm of the Michael Percy sculpts, and i'll add myself that they are not up there with say, the Perrys, Mr Barton of AB and the Front Rank bloke. But they are definitely not the worst figures out there, and Mr Percy seems to be getting better with time and practice. I also understand its a cost thing that makes peoples blood boil with Foundry, and while I wouldn't necessarily buy this range myself, I decided to paint these guys up because they were a present and to get something different painted in the brief time I have available.

Only the weapons, gaiters/boots and plume to finish now. I will say that some of the figures have a cartoonish anatomy, though some are alot better than others, and there is a slight tendency for creating sausage arms by the sculptor, but I would say that Mr Percys faces created here are quite well done. These two little guys were quite a joy to paint, and I think they would stand up well against many of their contemporaries.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Figometer Annual Tally Report

46. I've managed to beat last years total output by 7 figures, an improvement but still 2 short of the target. Not missing the painting at the moment really, little Isla easily fills the void left by not picking up the brush, and sleep does for the rest. Still visiting the forums and dreaming of getting figure related stuff for my birthday though, but general funding for purchases of the hobby kind are very limited, taken over by baby wipes, cotton wool balls and stocks of nappies.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Baby Isla Jean Ward

Isla Jean Ward arrived at 10.35am on Sunday the 26th April, and I have to say it was the happiest day of my life. She's now settling in well at chez Ward and we've been out and about (she likes the pram) and seen quite alot this past week. Mummy is now feeling a lot more human after a long labour, and I think we're coping very well with the big adjustment to life Isla brings. Its been a steep learning curve but I can wield the nappy better than my 00 brush and change, burp and bathe the little one as if a veteran of many campaigns (well, almost).

Hijacking my mini blog here's some proud dad pics. Blowing a bubble with mummy, grumpy face and getting a manicure!

It's tiring but great, and for a little while at least my hobby will have to take a back seat (mind you, I painted the face of a mini last week while Isla got a feed, sneaked that one in!!). As MacArthur said, 'l shall return'.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Figometer Update (April 2009)

As you may have seen, I managed to put in quite alot of work on several of my Dutch militiamen. The paint was flowing really well and I consider these chaps to be some of my best to date, you start to get a feel as to what the unit will look like when you've painted up 10 models or so, and the blues and greys seem to work a treat. Well, this was the last big push (8 miniatures finished) until the arrival of my little baby - A timely arrival in the world of the Figometer, as April saw the last months work before my end of year tally of painted lead. A new graph will chart the highs and lows of the past 12 months soon, but I think the total is up on last year. But now t'is time to put down the brush for a wee while, because somebody arrived last week...

Monday, 20 April 2009

8th Dutch Militia

Had a productive two weeks. Cracked on with the 8th militia as you can see. Coming up on half the battalion finished. Been waiting around for the baby to be born you see, so with not going out anywhere, except for walks, i've picked up the brush more often than I would have.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Dutch Belgian OOB

Like I did with my Prussians in an earlier post, I have visualised my Dutch Belgian 'Brigade' for the Waterloo campaign. Its semi factual (though some battalions are missing (5th and 7th Militia)) with cavalry attached. I need to buy some more Jagers and the dragoons to complete the force, and will do so from the Perrys as soon as the recession and other outside forces allow!

I keep swinging from project to project, chipping away, and now it seems it's their turn again. This is the only way I can keep focussed, it flies in the face of the way most people paint up their forces. It seems the most common way is to paint a unit at a time. Well, at the moment i'm painting about 10 battalions from all eras! At the moment, i'm still painting the 8th Dutch Militia (that I started in June '07!).

Update: Clock watching at work. It's 20 minutes to go until the Easter break begins for me and i'm dreaming of sneaking in some mini painting. If I survive a night out with pregnant wifey and friends tonight... and once i've cleaned the oven with Mr MuscleTM and made a hole outside the house bigger (dont ask) tomorrow, I may, just may be able to paint the 8th Militia for a couple of hours.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Austrian Artillery Piece

Well, with possibly the last throw of the dice before our baby is due to arrive later this month, I managed to finally finish the Austrian artillery project at the weekend. It's based on plasticard with a frontage of 60mm to allow enough room for the crew. Each figure was pinned in place for a secure fitting (for handling strength - just in case I game with it one day!). The officer and gunner at the back are seperately based, I added a random scratch built box to add to the diorama feel. If you were wondering why the guy at front left has light blue facings, its because he's a Handlanger. These troops we're the non specialist 'muscle' that moved, and helped, the gunners serve the guns. Trained gunners had the red facings.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Figometer Update (March 2009)

Completed 5 miniatures in March. The Napoleonic Austrian gun crew are all but finished, hopefully i'll get that based and wrapped up this weekend. Also finished my figures for the next competition on Steve Deans forum. I put something together that I hope is a little more interesting than my usual single figure fare, we'll see. Not much else to report. I have been scratching my head about basing recently, constantly changing my mind about base sizes and dreaming of finishing units to stick on them. Our work is never done.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

French Mitrailleuse

Whilst we're on the subject of painting artillery at the moment, here's a French mitrailleuse from my FPW collection. Painted last year, photographed and then placed with the other chaps in the relevant box. Was about the time I began putting some more effort into blending. I was especially pleased with the gun itself, in particular the brass work and fittings. Wanted a worn in look and was happy with the results.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Austrian Artillery Crew

Started these chaps a long long time ago. Did some more work on them over the weekend. I would have painted the flesh differently if i'd started them now, but hey ho. Hopefully will get them finished pronto and based with the gun which has sat forlorn on my desk for so long. Also got alot of work done on my new vignette, which i'm really pleased with so far. No pics until it's finished though. More on that later.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Figometer Update (February 2009)

Two figures completed in February, both FPW. Not had much time to paint really. Hoping to get some time in this week, I have several figures started, Naps and FPW with mainly flesh finished on them. Now the evenings are getting a bit lighter I may get a chance to do a little work after work.

My entry into the Steve Dean Painting Comp (Berg musketeer from 1815) has just bitten the dust in the first knockout stage, beaten by a fine set of 6 Samurai. Here's a picture of him - an older Perry sculpt for Foundry, with great character. I'm resting up on the next comp, but have a plan for the competition after that one - if I get the figure(s) in time...

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

February Figures

Life has got in the way a bit recently, preparing for a baby and plotting a flat extension. Been buying all the paraphernalia for a child, Car seats, cots, nappies, changing mats etc etc. Our baby is due in April and it's getting nearer and getting more exciting. I should be able to make it to Salute again this year, as it's in March, and that could be the last huzzah for figure spending for a little while! I have managed to finish two Franco-Prussian figures this month. Another Bavarian for the collection and a Turco in winter kit. I doubt i'll have the chance to up the painting tally for February any more. My very limited time has meant the Napoleonic diorama is still on hold as is just about everything else.

Friday, 6 February 2009

SdKfz 251/9 Schutzenpanzerwagen Update

Not been up to much this week, apart from struggling to get to work due to all the snow on Monday. Took these shots of the halftrack last week. I'm no expert on painting vehicles, and been a while since I worked on this one - worked up some of the highlights, done some blending too. In the absence of decals, have hand painted the Balkenkreuz on the side and the tactical sign at front. Added the number plate too. Holding off on doing the numerals on the side. Working out a template so as to get them fairly neat.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Figometer Update (January 2009)

6 miniatures painted in January, quite a productive spurt. I Have been working on Napoleonic, Franco-Prussian War and WWII stuff, and am a little closer to finishing the German halftrack I started just over a year ago! I Saw Valkyrie at the weekend. Cruise (Tom) was well, Cruise, and if you can get over him speaking in Cruise english and the numerous Brit actors doing what they always seem to do for hollywood (playing German officers), its not a half bad film. Some great little touches at the beginning and the Junkers transport scenes are good shots. Overall, I think the subject was handled very well.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Work in Progress (January 09)

Finally got round to working on the Sd Kfz 251/9 Stummel some more. There's no full pic of it here, as i'll put a new 'sheet' in for the Painting Guides section when the Stummel is complete. Although I think i've gone way over the top with the weathering on this vehicle, it was my first attempt at some armour and I don't profess to be an expert. Apparently, the red oxide primer that the Germans used as a protective undercoat for the steel was so good that bare steel was very rarely seen on the vehicles that were chipped etc, so oops there! Painting that tiny number plate was fun. I finished the main gun, and handpainted some insignia on it. Holding off on adding vehicle numbers on the side until i'm feeling tres confident!

Well under way with this Artizan Designs German with panzerfaust too. First go at splinter camo on the smock and i'm very pleased with that too. Really do like the Artizan figures, lovely details. Only slight critisism i'd say about them is they all have heavy jaws, but that's nit picking.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Mid January report

Amidst the gloom and this bloody freezing weather i've had a fairly productive start to the year. It's just over mid January and I have completed 4 miniatures and hopefully I may get another couple done but we'll see. Managed to get an entry into the Steve Dean Painting Comp again too. K and I had a break to Barcelona last weekend, lovely weather and had the chance to really unwind. Took in all that is Gaudi and ate some fine food. It was our last 'break' before the baby arrives in April, then I guess it'll be a while before any more weekends away!!

Still fannying about with the diorama project, need to buy a couple of lancers for it. Have decided it'll be a night scene from the Leipzig period though (so I can get Polish lancers/ the Austrian grenadier/ and the French infantry in post 1812 uniform all in it!) No new photos of current work at the moment - but here's a pic of a finished French lancer from the war of 1870-71. I painted the horse with various orange browns and used a fair few washes of ink. I used to use the oil wipe off method, but am quite pleased with the results here. I have a regiment of these guys and one of Prussian kuirassiers to finish one day...

Monday, 5 January 2009

In 1812

This little French chap just got knocked out of the Steve Dean Painting Comp in Round 2. He wasn't painted for the competition but with nothing else to offer up, I stuck him in as I liked his character. I started this miniature a long time ago, worked on the greatcoat then left him for around 10 years (no joke). Bit of a dull figure really, but that's because he's supposed to be trudging through Russia in 1812, tired and depressed, staring blankly into the white void...

Figometer Update (December 2008)

Happy New Year! Back to work today (grr) but I had a 12 day break over the Christmas period and it felt like a longish holiday, though it was pretty cold throughout. Spent Christmas up with the wifes family in Scotland and then had my parents down with us in London for New Year.

I completed 3 figures in December. The new year is looking good as I got some painting in this past weekend and am well on the way to finishing several minis for January. Finally got to open my only miniature related pressie, the Perry's French Line Infantry, and have to say i'm very impressed. Wonder if i'll get time to paint them this year!? The whole package looks great and the detailing looks fantastic.

Hope to start the new diorama project sometime soon and have acquired some of the minis for it, just need some lancers now.