To Horse!

More cavalry for the Medetian expedition to the battlefields of Granprix at this weekend’s Ayton event.

First off, some older cavalry which I’ve finally gotten around to equipping with lance pennons. This is the El Z’teeth regiment (RSM Ottomans) who fought in the sands of Byzarbia a couple of years ago. I contacted GMB Designs to ensure I got some pennons in red and blue (turned out the Silesian Landwehr Uhlans were what I was after). I touched up the white paper edges with appropriate daubs of Vallejo. They enhance the unit nicely and give them a little bit more uniformity – important now they’re off to war in Europe and everyone else is in serried ranks of splendour!

Then we come to a brand new regiment, the Saxon Rutowski Dragoons, who are in the pay of the Kingdom of Fleurie and who will be fighting alongside the Medetians in Granprix. These are Minden Miniatures Austrian dragoons, and lovely figures they are too. After talking with John Ray I came round to the idea of having some historical units among those of my imagi-nations, and this unit appealled both due to its interesting (but not necessarily glorious) history and its attractive colour scheme.

I have had these painted by the very talented James Roach of ‘Olicanalad’ fame, whose painting on his blog has always impressed and inspired me. James kindly fitted these in among other larger commissions he’s working on and has produced a fantastic looking unit. All I’ve done is base them. Little is known about the flag this regiment would have carried, so James created one based on his research and understanding of the Saxon army of the period. I’m delighted with it and hope the first picture does it justice. More unpainted cavalry will certainly be winging its way to Ilkley soon!

 

Obviously with all of these recent additions, I am going to be at serious risk of ‘shiny new unit syndrome’ at Ayton, but at least pretty much everyone else is too!

Latest recruits

With the big Ayton weekend galloping towards us, I’ve been hurrying to base some figures I’ve recently finished painting. So let me introduce Sebastiani’s battalion of converged Medetian Grenadiers, containing a company from each of the first 4 line regiments. This is a 30-strong unit of Huzzah Miniatures.

I’ve also added a unit of Wurttemberg Jager who are in the pay of Fleurie. These are Perry Hessian AWI figures which have lots of variety of pose. I bought a dozen on eBay which were made up of one pack of command and one of Jager. This meant I needed to convert one of the two figures carrying horns, as otherwise the unit would look more musical than martial! He’s not hard to spot, but at least I managed to arm him and paint him as just one of the guys.

 

Next up will be some cavalry, but with the need for some pre-game secrecy I may not post pics of them for a couple of weeks. Can’t let the despicable enemy (you know who you are) have too much information!

Powdered wigs and a bit of lace

Despite a shortage of posts this month I’ve not been completely idle. The figures I’ve been painting recently only had their bases painted this weekend so this is the first opportunity I’ve had to take some pics. Also, with the Ayton multi-player game at the start of May (and more specifically the pre-game campaign that Henry is going to run) there is a requirement for a little discretion about the forces being mustered in case any dastardly enemy spies are operating in Medetia!

Not much to be given away here though, so here are some command and staff figures and a new company of grenadiers from the Vantua Regiment resplendent in their new uniforms and mitres.

Minden Seydlitz figure and one of the mounted colonels. Grenadiers are Huzzah figures.

Minden Nadasty and another mounted colonel.

Nadasty again, showing the use of a bit of Rendera’s plastic fencing for scenery. Lovely stuff to work with, easy to snip bits away and takes a dry brush very nicely.

Seydlistz again, fantastic posing of rider and horse.

The daddy himself. Medetia’s General Barolo who’ll lead the expeditionary force to Grenouisse. Fife and Drum Knyphausen figure, with another Minden colonel.

In the gentlemanly spirit of the age, and for the benefit of any potential enemy agents who may be watching, I will offer the information that each of these pictured luminaries will of course be commanding a full brigade, or more, in the forthcoming campaign.

I wish!

 

A 15mm Diversion

I recently fancied a dabble in a smaller scale, after all the 28mms I’ve been doing lately. I was given some very nice Khurasan 15mm Goth cavalry and command, and already had some Baueda Dark Age (Lombard?) foot command figures to go with them. These are intended as an extra command base, and some ‘heroes’ for my Goth army, which are inserted in the middle of a unit to provide some additional characterisation and battlefield punch when playing more ‘heroic’-style historical games. When I get round to certain future Armies of the Month this will make more sense!

In the meantime, while the Khurasan figures are very nice, the basic heavy cavalrymen lacked a bit of drama – specifically a lack of cloaks and some very short, insignificant looking swords. An upgrade was in order, so out came the green stuff for 4 cloaks and a couple of sword extensions. Much better. Quick pic below. I just need to squeeze them into the painting schedule somewhere now and they can join the army.

And that reminds me, after my earlier announcement, I’ve only got 5 days left to post January’s Army of the Month. Better get cracking on that!

Cuirassiers join the army

Finished at last! I painted a sample figure for this unit in September 2012 and have finally gotten round to completing them as my first heavy cavalry regiment (Montanelli’s Cuirassiers) for the Medetians of the 18th century. These are Minden Miniatures and they were a pleasure to paint. They’re actually British Heavy Cavalry figures which I admit I chose due to their lighter equipment load (ie. easier painting) compared to the ones from Prussia, Austria and France.

The flag has a clipart griffon and was printed out from MS Excel and highlighted with paint. The uniform is basically buff coats with Medetian pale blue trimmings, which work well together I think.

Although these are now done I admit to thinking about increasing the size of my regular cavalry units, from 12s to 18s – basically to be more in proportion with my infantry battalions (36s). I think 2 squadrons of 6 figures each might look, and be, a little weak compared to their footslogger compatriots so a 3rd squadron may need to be added. Oh well, more painting…!

 

 

 

New regiment based and flagged

A Sunday evening painting session finally allowed me to finish the bases and add the standard to the newly raised Vantua Infantry Regiment. I’m very pleased to have made this progress and can now look to finish fairly quickly the other unit I’m working on.

As mentioned last time the bases were first undercoated black with slightly thinned matt ink, then painted with Sandtex Chocolate Brown and dry-brushed with Vallejo Iraqi Sand. The foliage and rocks each had two shades, to match my terrain boards.

The flag was designed in Microsoft Excel, using a clipart eagle in grey/black and adding the letters A (for Duke Amadeus) and M (for Medetia) as text boxes. The flag is yellow to match the regimental facings so I printed it with a yellowy-brown background to highlight up with brighter paint. I’ve previously done some standards in 15mm using this method and it works pretty well, allowing me to have flags with much better artistry on them than I could ever hope to paint freehand!

Looking ropey part-way through

The finished unit

 

The Gritty Bits

A bit delayed but I’ve moved the new battalion on to the next basing step. A full covering of sand, stuck down with more wood glue, added to with some cork rocks and.. loose leaf dried tea straight from the packet. This is a hardy basing material with a coarser granularity than sand, and I find it works very well for generic grass/vegetation. I guess the only tip is to avoid immersing your bases in boiling water at any point in the future!

Next up, once the glue has dried, a coat of black to seal it all in.
In the meantime though, it’s back to the cuirassiers I’ve been painting, and which will get a post of their own soon..

Two basing stages done

The Vantua Regiment have now been formed up and are going through the phases to match the basing style I use for my 18th century forces. First up they go onto 50x50mm (sorry Iain!) laser cut mdf bases from Warbases. This might seem the easiest part but actually it’s a a challenge getting them lined up perfectly both within a single base and as a unit overall. This involves a lot of squinting and minute adjustments – which has to be done before the glue dries! With Old School style Lace Wars units I think it’s important to achieve a formal regimented look where possible and these Huzzah! figures look their best when neatly aligned. Frederick would approve 🙂

Actually, as a pre-stage 1 activity I sealed the bases first with a slightly watered-down coat of wood glue (I believe PVA shrinks a little as it dries so I avoid it now for basing) so that the bases wouldn’t warp later. You never know if this will be 100% successful until a bit of time has passed, but hopefully they’ll stand up to the rest of the basing and painting process.

Once the figures were in place I (carefully!) applied a layer of ready-mixed filler all around the figure bases to bring the ground level up to a consistent height. While they are drying I’ve taken some quick pics (below). Next up comes the really messy bit – applying a layer of sand. I used to stick this down with nice thick black masonry paint (and still do on the odd ocassion where I’m basing unpainted figures) but as you can imagine, one accidental swipe of the brush and that’s a lot of re-painting to do! Nowadays it’s clear PVA or wood glue as a damage limitation tactic. I hope to get this stage done tomorrow.

In the meantime:

At last..

.. I’ve finally finished the next battalion of 28mm musketeers for my mid-18th Medetian century army. Why is this a big deal? Because I started them in July and frustratingly ground to a halt a few weeks ago, despite being within sight of the end. This created something of a self-induced painter’s block as I was determined to finish them before painting anything else.

Although these Huzzah! Miniatures figures (from Fighting15s) don’t perhaps have as much detail as some, the uniforms of the day still make them a challenge to paint en-masse. 30 figures is a lot for me in one go, and I’m not the quickest, so units of this size require a fairly big investment of time. Seeing them ready for the table is, of course, the reward – so I need to crack on and get them based now (and add a standard). In truth, I’m also intending to add a battalion gun and a grenadier company, but psychologically it’s important to tell myself the unit is ‘done’!

In the meantime, here are the newly raised Vantua Regiment who will soon be formed up in close order ready to march off to join their comrades in the (slowly) growing Medetian army.

 

 

The lighting isn’t great today as one of my spotlights has failed and it’s very dull outside!