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.

Monday, 6 April 2015

WSS Danish - Regiment Prince Carl

There have been quite a few distractions of late, what with some new projects and a recent wargame AAR that I may post about (but without pics, as I managed to lose the camera).  However, I have finally finished the third of my Danish War of the Spanish Succession (WSS) regiments, thus completing Bielke's Brigade as part of my planned reproduction of Scholten's Danish command at Blenheim.  The previously completed regiments are the Livgarde til Fods and Prince George's Regiment.
As before these are Blue Moon (15mm/18mm) figures and my painting guide was a combination of CS Grant's books (The Armies and Uniforms of Marlborough's Wars Vols I & II) and the booklet by CA Sapherson (the Danish Army 1699-1715), both from Caliver.
Learning as I go, I made the contrast between the shade coat and the top coat as great as possible this time: the coats are a dark grey base overpainted with light grey and the facings and breeches are ochre overpainted with yellow.
I generally prefer Revell Acrylics, typically because the Tamiya paints I sometimes use can leave a slight sheen and I like my figures to be matt.  Also, if the Revell paints start to dry out a bit you can just add cold boiled water to them to thin them up again.

Anyway, a slight pause now for the WSS whilst I get on with a few other projects.  I have another three Danish regiments to paint, representing Rebdorff's Brigade, and then it's a toss up between choosing more Allies or painting up a few regiments of French to balance up the available forces.