Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Airfix French Redux

I was going to title this post "Airfix French Refurb" but Redux sounds more French.  Oh, I dunno.  Anyway, I mentioned in an earlier post I was delving into other projects and I'm afraid to say that after more than 30 years I am revisiting the Napoleonic era.  I've bought some books and everything.
L'ordre mixte (French for 'what an odd mixture')
This stems from Geoff's logistical suggestion that, as the 15mm Napoleonic French and Austrians we've been using recently are at his house, why couldn't we use our old figures (which happen to be at my house) when he comes over for a game, to save him lugging his figures about.

As with much else in wargaming (such as the ACW period) we started with Airfix figures (with Esci, Italieri and some metal figures mixed in) and I still have most of mine.  But sadly many are not in a state to be used just yet on the table, being inadequately based on thin card and/or badly painted, or indeed not painted at all.  So this is one of the things I did this week.
These are the classic Airfix French Line Infantry, with their massive shakos and even more massive chests.  They are quite imposing figures I think but do dwarf other better proportioned makes such as Esci and Italieri.  Their best match in terms of size and style is in fact the Airfix British Line Infantry.  Still, they have a lot of character and to do a quick job I just gave them a basic '15mm style' paint job but not bothering with a shade coat.
A few of them started out unpainted but others had been lying there in gloss green as Brunswickers or some such, so all of that had to come off.  For preparation I washed them thoroughly and then gave them a thick undercoat in black acrylic.

The other figures I have that are already based are set up for WRG 1685-1845 rules (60mm x 20mm bases) (and before that the classic Bruce Quarrie rules) so I just made new bases by doubling layers of thick cardboard. 
Basing was done using my usual coarse shelly sand, painted Dark Earth, drybrushed and then with patchy static grass added.  The officer is an ancient conversion from an Airfix French Old Guard figure, which are considerably smaller than the line, but I think I got away with it this time with the bodged up shako.


Chris said...

Considering that these figures are pretty fugly in their native state, the paint job you did on them is OUTSTANDING!!

Best regards,


Al said...

very cool, nice work

The Wishful Wargamer said...

Well, as you know with people who are considered 'fugly' they often try to make up for it with 'character'!

Thanks for the kind words on the paint job - very basic though - not worth huge attention as it'll probably flake off after a game or two - in fact I noticed a bit of yellow on one of the muskets already...

cheers WW