Thursday 24 May 2012

Backpack numbers and decals

I've been looking for ages for someone to produce decals for backpacks and canteens as I'd love to add that extra detail to each unit. I remember as a kid daubing a massive "4" on the back of some Minifigs and feeling very pleased with the result. These days there's no way I could try and paint numbers that small.
Alban started to make them but then never had any in stock, and seemed to have given up on the project.
Thus, last week I started trying to make some myself by just making the numbers in Paintbrush and then printing out the shrunken image on my ordinary printer.
I made backpack numbers
and canteens

 The backpack numbers looked ok but, when printed out, the details of the canteen was just too weak to be picked out - white being too faint on light blue, at least on my printer.

I started sticking them on with a dab of glue, and as long as you don't look too closely, the join is not visible.


 But then....! (and these things often seem to happen!) I read that Flags of War would be producing exactly what I was trying to do.

Better still, you can just choose whichever regimental number you want so I will be getting a rather large amount of these!  My only worry is if they fit on a Victrix pack - they are considerably less broad than Perry packs, but I'll be happy to get them regardless if only for the canteen decals. I suppose in a perfect world I'd have liked to have had company numbers on the canteens too but I mustn't be greedy.

Of course many of the backspacks - Victrix and Perry alike - are not suitable for the decals as they are further festooned with cooking pots, spare shoes etc but I look forward to adding a decent showering of numbers among the massed ranks of all of my units.
I hope Iain at FOW turns to British hussars next -  all those saddle rolls need numbers too!

It's the first nice day of the year so I took some pics of some 32nd men that I've been working on this morning.
On the left is Serjeant Patrick O'Brien from Temple Michael, County Longford. He was 27 years old at Waterloo and served in Number 5 (Wallett's) company
The figure is a real hybrid - Perry legs, Victrix body, Victrix arms, Perry shako, Victix backpack, Perry head - I've just realised I should have given him a sword, will add one later!

Sunday 20 May 2012

Ears burning

One of the interesting features of the Blogger interface is the ability to see the most popular traffic sources. Recently this has led to me stumbling across three different forums discussing my humble blog!  So a big hello and thank you to the Devon Wargames group

the Sheffield Wargames forum

and the Warlord Games forum

There have many kind and complimentary comments, so thank you!

What is a bit weird is finding my income, marital status, level of sanity (or lack of), etc being discussed online!
So, for the record:
a) I'm not married but I live with my partner of 10 years and she very patiently puts up with my obsession. Actually, to my immense shame and embarrasment she can now distinguish between Victrix/Perry/Foundry/Front Rank figures - that's the degree to which she has born the brunt of my tedious wittering.

b) I haven't won the lottery and I'm certainly not rich by anyone's standards! I teach English as a foreign language - one of the worst paid professions in the world. I have certainly spent more of my income on figures than I would care to calculate BUT 1) I ONLY do this - other people have collections of many periods, scales etc whereas I've put all my eggs in one basket 2) I rarely buy figures new - the great majority have come from ebay and often are about 30p per foot figure and never more than 90p for a cavalry man.
When I HAVE bought new figures I have usually made use of deals such as Caliver Books who provide a good discount.
Steve at Victrix has been really kind and sent me some extra kneeling figures that he had lying around to make up my squares - it's kneeling figures I need folks! If anyone has any leftover I'll happily buy them from you!
I haven't done any flags yet, I'm leaving them to the end as the kind of cherry on the cake and I once got a very nice email from Flags of War offering to help out when that times comes.
I was hoping the Perry's might help out a bit - I've put together some pretty large units of their British hussars - but I guess they're pretty busy and I don't want to hassle them with begging!
I've also had a very supportive email from Dave Taylor at Wargames Illustrated but I somehow managed to delete all my inbox so, if you're reading this Dave, please get in touch again!

c) of course I have no realistic chance of ever getting this project finished for 2015 but I'm having fun trying. Where I'm going to put them all? Well at the moment I live in a tiny flat in London (is there any other kind) and  each unit - in their varying states of completion - lives in its own cardboard box in a cupboard in the bedroom. I suppose, if I fantasise, I can imagine moving out to the country one day where perhaps a barn lies waiting for the whole force to stand on display...

Saturday 5 May 2012

32nd (Cornwall) Foot - work in progress

Thought I'd put up some pics of what I'm working on, and to reassure people that those hussars didn't finish me once and for all. This is the 32nd Foot in line - I have decided to do the whole of Kempt's brigade in line, mainly as I can't get enough kneeling figures to do any more squares! 


Shot up terribly at Quatre Bras the normal 10 company battalion was reduced at Waterloo to six makeshift "division", so lacking were they in officers and NCOs. This helps! It means I only have to paint about 300 men!

The left "division" consisting of the combined flank companies.


One of the things that has been taking up a lot of time has been  redoing all the faces of this unit.  I'd actually finished the 32nd's faces a long time ago but, over the last year, I've improved quite a bit at faces (entirely thanks to Oniria), and the old standard now looked so awful to my eyes that I had to go back and redo them all!

I just hope it's not like the Firth of Forth bridge and, by the time these are done, I'll want to go back and redo them again! Nooooooo!

still boss-eyed and won't win any prizes but, en masse, I can live with these now
   The line is too long for my table so some have had to be squeezed into a third rank.

There's still plenty to do, tidying up, washes, highlighting needed on every figure here before I can even start thinking about basing- but I'm pleased with the way they are going. Sorry pics are a bit dark - that's the weather in England for you.