Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you all have a fantastic time and get the pressies you want. 

I'm looking forward to some time off over Christmas with plenty of time for painting.

Peace and Love.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

French Guardsman vs Russian Jaeger

I'm travelling most of this week which will prevent me getting any painting done.  However, it does give me time in the hotels in the evenings to read through a number of books that I've had sitting around for a few weeks now.

I purchased the new Osprey book "French Guardsman vs Russian Jaeger"a few weeks ago and have just finished reading it. 

This book is one of a number in a new range called 'Combat' which compares the organisation, training and combat effectiveness of two historical foes, in this case the Jaeger and Young Guard between 1803 and 1815.

The book focuses on a number of regiments from each formation (1st, 2nd and 14th Voltigeur and the two Russian Lifeguard Jaeger regiments along with the 19th Jaeger Regiment) as the sources used by the author made it "..possible to form a much more detailed picture of their combat performance".

The first chapter after the introduction provides a comparison of the the two opposing units in sections sub-titled "“origins and combat role”, “enlistment and training”, “motivation, morale and logistics”, “leadership” and “weapons and tactics”.  This section also provide colour plates of a Russian Jaeger and French Voltegeur from both the front and the back.  This is immensely useful fro anyone who is painting figures for these units.

The rest of the book is given over to descriptions of three battles Krasnyi (17 November 1812); the fighting around Gudengossa (16 October 1813), south of Leipzig; and Craonne (7 March 1814).  These battles descriptions contain first hand accounts from both French and Russian sources (including privates) along with analysis of their performance in each battle.

The final chapter is an analysis and conclusions section from both the Russian and French perspectives along with "the Reckoning" where the fate of some of the soldiers referenced in the battle descriptions are revealed.  this final chapter is rounded off with a page on Unit organisations and a page summarising the orders of battle for three engagements.

The book comes in at 80-pages and has numerous maps and pictures.  I particularly like the split screen pictures that show a particular combat scene from the both sides perspectives.  I haven't seen this before in a book and I personally think it is very effective.  The text is very readable and brings these two unit types alive.

What I found most interesting for my 1814 project is how the "..decline of the Young Guard and the rise of the Russian Jaeger arm are starkly exposed".  The description of Craonne really highlights the gulf in prowess between the flexible veteran Jaegers and the poorly trained conscripts of the Young Guard. Something that I need to take account of when putting together orders of battle.

At 80 pages the book lacks real detail, nevertheless, a lengthy Bibliography is provided and the book serves as an excellent introduction to the latter years of the Napoleonic wars and these two formations.  At £9 (on Amazon, other retailing options are available) this book is great value and I heartily recommend it.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Russian Infantry Completed

After a marathon painting session on Thursday night I've managed to finish painting the last few Russian infantry figures that I need for Montmirail.  I've just finished highlighting the flock and grass tufts and so I give you the 10th Infantry Division:

I didn't have quite enough infantry strips to complete the last base, so rather than buying another pack I used some of the skirmishing figures that I had spare and created a unit in firing line.  I've also started to add a couple of casualty figures to the bases, especially the firing line:

And finally a couple of shots of the two completed infantry Corps:

Next up will be the artillery batteries that complete these Corps, I'm going to be struggling for painting time over the next two weeks so may not get much more done before Christmas.  I'm hoping a I can squeeze out a couple of artillery batteries though.

Now that I've completed all the infantry I can really see the attraction of 6mm, the figures look really impressive en masse and it's only taken me two months to complete them.  I'm hoping to get the artillery, cavalry and command bases completed between Christmas and the Vapnartak show in York on the 2nd February. This seems achievable given how quickly I've painted up the infantry.

Comments and suggestions are welcome as always.

I've listed out the paints I used on the infantry figures in case anyone is interested.

Vallejo Medium Flesh (860)
P3 Beast Hide followed by P3 Hammerfall Khaki for the greatcoats
Vallejo Deck Tan (986) for the white belts, straps, etc.
Black followed by a highlight of Vallejo Dark Grey (994) for the Kiwers, backpacks, etc.
Vallejo Bronze (998) for the Chinscales and sword handles.
Vallejo Flat Brown (984) for the Muskets.
Vallejo Model Air Gun followed by Vallejo Silver(997) for the musket barrels.
Vallejo Flat Red (957) for the red collars and cuffs
Vallejo Deep Green (970) for green collars and cuffs on the Jaegar.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Another Brigade Completed

I've only managed to get one more base completed over the past week as work is creeping into my weekends at the moment.  Nevertheless, I've still managed to get another base completed and I've also finished painting the figures I need for two more.

I'll use this base to represent a single Brigade from the 16th Division that was present at Montmirail and attached to XIth Corps. 

I've tried to take a close up shot with my camera to give some idea of the detail on these figures as I'm quite impressed with the amount Baccus manage to get on them.

And finally a shot of all the figures painted so far.  I should have all the remaining infantry painted over the next couple of nights and basing completed over the weekend.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Another Division

I've managed to complete another Division and now only have four more bases to finish in order to complete the Russian infantry for Montmirail.

Although progress has slowed I'm still managing to maintain the motivation to paint.  I've now painted close on 500 figures in less than two months.  This is close to the total number of 28mm figures I've painted in the last fifteen years.

My target now is to complete the last four bases before the Recon show in Pudsey on 7th December.  I've placed my order with Baccus for another batch of figures to keep me going through until the York show in February (mostly artillery and cavalry) so want these completed.

New bases:

Bases completed so far:

Thanks for all the comments and encouragement.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

First Infantry Corps Completed

Another slow week in terms of painting, but, I've still managed to get the 18th Division based and I'm half way through the second base of the next Division.  I always get a 'buzz' from completing a unit which helps me start the next one.  What I'm finding with 6mm is that the speed of painting units means that 'buzz' is happening far more frequently that it does with 28mm.

If all goes to plan I should have another Division finished next weekend which means I'll have 3/4 of the Russian infantry I need for Montmirail.

Within a few weeks I have managed to paint enough figures for the whole of a Russian infantry Corps.  I'm now starting to see the mass effect that these figures give and can't wait to get the next Corps completed.  I'm also finding that my painting is speeding up as I'm not as concerned about the look of individual figures as I was when I started. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

Steady Progress

Despite heavy work commitments, I've made steady progress since my last post and have now based up two more brigades of infantry.  I have now completed the first of four infantry Divisons required for the two Corps under Sacken.  In between waiting for glue and ink to dry on these bases I have managed to finish the painting on enough figures to do three more bases over the weekend.  This will then give me enough bases for the whole of the XI Corps.  I still need to add a final layer of matt varnish to these so I'll do the flags once that is done, probably once I've got the whole of XI Corps based up.

I'm quite pleased at how quickly these units can grow, it's just a matter of finding a time efficient approach to basing and painting.

I'll get the other three brigades based over the weekend and then get some pictures posted of the whole Corps early next week.  At this rate I should have all of the Russian infantry for Montmirail completed by early December.

With three bases competed, I'm now starting to see the benefits of 6mm.  The figures are really starting to look good.  Once I have the whole Corps completed I'll set my camera up and get some decent photo's.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The longest journey begins with the smallest step

First off, thanks to Ian and Tamsin for your responses to the varnish question.  I just used Matt varnish rather than gloss then matt.  Also thanks to Doug whose comment on using lighter colours on 6mm.  When I looked at the figures from a reasonable distance they did just merge into a dark blob, so I spent some time adding fresh highlights to the greatcoats to make them lighter and stand out more.

I have also completed my first base over the past couple of evenings.  I decided to complete one base initially as I wanted to play with different colours, etc. until I got a result I was happy with.  I also learned that its not a good idea to place the strips so close that you can't get a brush between them to highlight the gravel or add flock.  I also added gravel to the entire base before I had glued the skirmishers on, this caused me a number of problems getting them to look right. In the end I did the best I could and then used more static grass than I planned to cover up the messy basework. I'll use less grass on the next base.

I initially went for a muddy brown winter effect on the groundwork and grass, however, this with the brown greatcoats just looked like a fifty shades of brown homage.  So in the end I went for a brighter effect which I'm much happier with. The grass was too green for my liking though so I drybrushed it with green ochre to give it a more autumnal/winter look.

So pictures of my first base completed below, I'll continue doing the bases one at a time for the moment until I'm completely happy with them and will add more pictures as each is completed. 

Once again, thanks for all the comments and tips.  I really do appreciate them.

Friday, 25 October 2013

What varnish on 6mm figures?

I have made good progress over the past week and a bit and now have close to 6 bases (60mmx60mm) worth of figures painted and ready to be based.  I decided to press on with the skirmishers and complete enough for all thirteen bases (78 figures) as I found these quite tricky to paint compared to the marching infantry.  In fact the skirmishers and the command sprues seem to be slightly smaller than the normal infantry sprues.  This is not noticeable when they are ranked up but I found them a little trickier to paint.

Anyway I have now plucked up the courage to start basing my first 6mm units and one question I have is - how do others varnish their 6mm figures?  On 28mm I have always used Humbrol enamel gloss varnish followed by two coats of Daler Rowney Matt varnish.  I'm wondering if this is necessary on 6mm figures though as the way they are based means that they won't be handled as much as 28mm's.

Appreciate any comments you may have on this and on basing 6mm figures in general.

On the plus side I have now finished all the figures I bought in my batch and have ordered the rest of the infantry (plus additional command stands so that I can have two standards in each unit rather than one) artillery, casualties and officers.  I hope to pick these up at Fiasco on Sunday and have a look at the new French figures that Baccus have released.

Photo's of based figures coming up soon.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

6mm WIP

I've managed to complete my first 6mm figures over the past few nights and have posted a couple of WIP shots below.  These figures represent three 60mmx60mm bases or a Russian Division of six regiments (all single battalions by 1814) including two regiments of Jager.  I've painted the Jager with green cuffs, I'm quite certain they didn't have coloured cuffs in reality but this adds a bit of colour so I'm going to stick with it.

These have taken about 10 hours to get to this stage and I think I can reduce that now that I'm getting used top painting this scale.  I'm going to need twenty six regiments (or thirteen bases) in total for the two Russian Infantry Corps commanded by Sacken at Montmirail.

I've moved onto some skirmishing figures which will go at the front of each base, I should have these done over the next few nights.  I can then start basing them over the weekend.

Apologies for the quality of the photos, I did these quickly with my phone camera, appreciate any comments or suggestions:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

6mm Napoleonic Russians

I've finally given in and realised that my limited painting time and gaming space just aren't compatible with 28mm for recreating Napoleon's 1814 campaign.  The reasons for this are explained on my Napoleonic blog (La Patrie en Danger) along with my initial plans for this project.

After a trip down to Castle Donnington at the weekend I now have a couple of packs of 6mm Russian Infantry in greatcoats from Baccus.  I'll get these painted over the next week or so and post some pictures along with my initial reactions to this size of figure.

I have to say that I am amazed at how much detail these little chaps have on them and I'm looking forward to painting them.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Trying to get going again....

After nearly eighteen months of disruption in my personal life (moving house, changing job, renovating house, etc.) I've finally managed to get my paints and figures out of the boxes they were packed into many months ago and onto the new shelves I now have in my study.  It's quite inspiring to see them all in one place and visible for the first time.

First off, A big thank you to Doc for the Liebster award which was a pleasant surprise alongside the kind words regarding my humble attempts at figure painting.  Good luck with your new site over at Wordpress, I hope to live up to the award over the coming months.

It seems that a lot has changed whilst I've been out of the wargaming/painting scene.  Warhammer Historical has disappeared and a number of new entrants have come into the market to sit alongside the established rule sets.  I now see myself moving towards Saga for skirmish level games and Dux Bellorum and Impetus for larger scale games, so some rebasing may be in order in the future.

Now that I have all my figures in one place, I have been able to sort through them and be quite ruthless about which ones I am never going to paint.  These will be making their way onto eBay over the coming months.  My intention now is to focus on a few periods that I have always been interested in until I reduce the unpainted figure mountain to a tiny molehill.

The periods I'll be focusing on are Dark Ages, Napoleonics and some fantasy figures that I've had for over twenty five years.  I'll be focusing this blog on Dark Ages and general musings on wargaming and painting.  Although I intend to post pictures of painted figures for Napoleonics and fantasy on here, the historical/background information for these periods will be put onto dedicated blogs as I find this easier to manage and is probably easier for others to read.

My main focus over the coming months will be Napoleonics (see my other blog at La Patrie en Danger for details)  although I will be mixing in Dark Age figures for SAGA and Dux Bellorum on a regular basis.

It actually feels quite good to be painting and blogging again after so much time away.  I'll get some pictures of painted figures loaded up soon.