Sunday 15 December 2013

Analogue Hobbies Painting Competition

Have spent the last few weeks doing some Highland reinforcements for the 42nd, 79th and 92nd - I'd forgotten how long these take, on top of the usual fiddly British lace there's the tartan kilt, the diced band around the socks and the checkered band around the bonnet. I'm still only half-way through.

The majority of my time, however, has been spent undercoating figs in preparation for Curt's amazing painting challenge I undercoat each fig by hand so it has taken quite a while!
It's my first time doing anything like this and I'm really looking forward to it (today, 15th Dec is the start day). I've given myself a target total of 1200 but have no idea if that is realistic or not - whatever, I'm hoping it will drive me on to get more done, and that's the main purpose of the "competition" I think!

My main project will be to do the whole of Halkett's Brigade at Waterloo. This was made of the 30th, 33rd, 69th and 73rd. Unfortunately (for them) they were almost annihilated at Quatre Bras and thus at Waterloo (fortunately for me) were so reduced in number that they could only be amalgamated into 2 squares instead of 4.
In the past I've mixed Victrix and Perry but recently I've started making "pure" units - the 4th are entirely Perry, example. For Halkett's men 99% of the figs are Victrix (Steve or Julian, if you're reading this, yes I WOULD love some decals for this lot! :)).

Obviously, after these 800 or so redcoats I'm going to need a nice change so I've lined up a number of "carrots" to work towards. These are:

  •  a unit of Hanovarian sharpshooters from Westfalia Miniatures and some Perry plastics (thanks Stefan!) plus some 95th Rifes - nice and easy green and black, in terms of painting like going to a relaxing spa when compared to redcoats (especially Highlanders!)

  • a bunch of "retreat from Moscow" French - this is a very naughty project as I will be straying from my 1815 project and feels like cheating on a girlfriend. But I love the new Perry retreat figs and have scratchbuilt a whole load of figs to add to that range.

I think I'll have fun painting these but mustn't get too attached as I shall be trying to sell them to fund more 1815 British cavalry!
  •  Other carrots include some RA or RHA and some Lifeguards

and a scratchbuilt wagon full of wounded from Halkett's Brigade

A massive thank you to Curt for organising the competition - I am frankly amazed at the amount of work he must be putting in, I find it hard enough to manage to update this blog more than a couple of times a month.  Speaking of which, I've been doing this all morning when I should be starting on the painting (!)...but wait a minute...Herself is saying we have to go out shopping...and then visit some family...and then do some DIY...and then some more shopping.... maybe tomorrow then!

Saturday 16 November 2013

4th Foot and 15th Hussars

It's been a very hectic few months - moving home, new job, - and this blog has suffered accordingly. To a lesser extent  the Waterloo project has also been neglected; I haven't had much opportunity to do much painting and my new flat - cramped and dark - is even less conducive to productivity than my old London hovel!
But I have managed to get started on the enormous 4th Foot. Much of Wellington's army had been so knocked about at Quatre Bras that their nominal strength on the 18th June was down to a couple of hundred men. For the Black Watch, for example, I think I've actually painted too many figures! There were probably no more than 180 men in the field at Waterloo and thus I can get away with companies of 18 men or so.
Not so Lambert's brigade which consisted of the 4th, 27th and 40th Foot. Absent from Quatre Bras they were at full strength at Waterloo and this means that I'll need at least 600 figs each for the 4th and 27th Foot and a whopping 800 or so for the 40th.

 My camera is also caput so these pics were taken using my phone and are not great.

 As well as the 4th, I've also had fun assembling the 15th Hussars. Stationed on the far west of the battlefield they didn't see much action but I've been keen to do them as I wanted to have them in covered shakos. Many sources show them as in busby but I found a contemporary sketch somewhere (which I now can't find!) which showed them clearly wearing a shako in oilskin covers. So I scratchbuilt these using French infantry heads with plumes grafted from spare Perry hussar heads.

Terrible pic and still work in progress but you get the gist.

Saturday 17 August 2013

"A" Squadron - Scots Greys - finished

Here at last are the 106 men of A squadron of the Scots Greys - comprised of No.1 Troop (Bernard's) and No.2 Troop (Payne's)

These have taken me months, I lost nearly five weeks with holiday abroad and visitors staying, but I've enjoyed doing them - they're great figures from Foundry and Perrys, and a joy to paint.

Captain Charles Bernard, commanding the right squadron, was the elder brother of Cornet Bernard of the King’s Dragoon Guards. Both were killed at Waterloo.  Their mother died upon learning of her sons’ deaths. Another brother, Francis, had already died on service in Portugal. Charles was born in 1790 and had previously served in the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Foot and the King’s Dragoon Guards. He had seen previous service in Germany and had been wounded whilst serving in the Peninsula. 

No.2 Troop was commanded by Captain Edward Payne. He quit the army a few months after Waterloo. He is reputed to have returned from Waterloo with the coat of Colonel James Hamilton (the Greys commander, killed at Waterloo) and married his widow.

Here are Lieutenants James Carruthers and Thomas Trotter. Both were killed at Waterloo. Trotter was shot through the heart by a French officer in the first charge. Carruthers fell near Brigade commander Ponsonby who was also killed.
Between them are Corporal Hugh Wylie, who was promoted to Serjeant after the battle,  Private Will Taylor from Suffolk, still listed as wounded in December 1815, and Trumpeter Henry Stevenson.

 The Greys were about 76% Scottish (mostly from Glasgow) and 23% English. Over 20% of the regiment were killed - the worst casualty rate of any British cavalry unit at Waterloo. The average age was 30; Serjeant Will Porteous, above, was 39 and was discharged in 1816 having received 8 lance wounds at Waterloo.

No.2 Troop (above) had a nominal strength of 77 but perhaps 15 or more of these would have been at the rear with baggage etc. The Troop lost 22 men in the battle. Just out of shot in the bottom right is Trumpeter Hutchinson who was killed in the charge. According to one account it was Hutchinson who first took the French Eagle, not Ewart, "The flag in question, and the largest of the two hanging in Chelsea Hospital, was taken in the first instance, in the first charge, by a trumpeter named Hutchinson, who, with his horse, was immediately killed;whereupon Ewart, then a corporal, seized the colour and having fought hard for it, kept it."

Troop Serjeant Major William Robertson was born in Renfrew and joined the Royal Fifeshire Yeomanry in 1794 aged 16 before joining the Greys. He served over 11 years as an NCO and in 1809 was recommended for an Ensigncy by General David Dundas. In 1821 he was discharged from the Greys after injuring his knee after jumping from a wall. The officer signing his discharge papers wrote his conduct had been, "most excellent in every respect. I am not aware of his having any faults… Behaved most gallantly at Waterloo."

Sunday 7 July 2013

Scots Greys (2) update

Still working at these - I'm quite pleased with the gauntlets and plumes now that they've been painted up. I got a few late reinforcements off ebay and they've been added.

This might be the last weekend I get to do any painting for a while so thought I had better post something!  P.S. If anyone reading this has any "spare" heavy cavalry (dragoons, life guards etc.) by Front Rank, Perrys or Foundry - I'd be very interested in paying you for them. They will be very welcome!

Sunday 16 June 2013

Happy Quatre Bras day!

Little to report but I thought, it being 16th June, I should post something.
Here is the beginning of the next project, 2 squadrons of the Scots Greys (about 120 men)
They are a mix of Foundry and Perry figs and I will probably divide them up into one squadron each. I'm very far from rich so these have been accumulated through numerous little ebay bargains, hunted down over the last 12 years or so. The other four squadrons will have to wait for some distant date in the future when, hopefully, someone starts making 28mm British heavy cavalry in plastic!

The new Perry figs are lovely sculpts but I can't help wondering why they were cast without the heavy white gauntlets which they wore. If you were about to engage in combat, probably with another big guy chopping at you with a big, sharp sword which would you go for? a) bare hands   or b) massive, thick leather gauntlets
So yesterday I spent about 4 hours adding my own milliput gauntlets to about 60 figs. They're a bit rough around the edges but I think they will look good when all painted up.
I'm also in the process of adding plumes to all the figs - I strongly believe that the Greys removed their oilskin covers and wore their plumes at Waterloo, and could ramble on at length, probably tediously, about all the primary evidence which supports this (not least being Corporal Dixon who describes having his plume shot off in the first charge!)

Whatever, there's nothing I can do about the oilskin covers adorning all of these figs but I can add a plume (cleverly protruding through an aperture in the cover...I have decided!)