Saturday, 30 September 2017

A Brief Interlude

Following Mark's recent posts on his trip to Vietnam, which can be viewed on his blog '1866 and All That' at , I thought it might be a good idea to do the same with regard to our recent trip to China, if nothing else than to explain the recent lack of output on the miniature painting front of late.

A week and a half all up for the wife and daughter number three, commencing with five nights in Beijing and a visit to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City:

And then on to the Great Wall, which was far more impressive than I was expecting. The part we visited was quite steep and the steps were quite uneven, so it took a lot more effort to climb than I was expecting:

It also made me wonder why they actually went to the effort to continue it in certain places, as the hills were so steep that I could not imagine an invading army being able to navigate the terrain even in the absence of a wall:

We also visited the Ming tombs, which were very peaceful at this time of the year and were quite happy to spend some time just sitting in the well-maintained gardens:

Then on to the Summer Palace which was full of weeping willow trees, and was a little like walking through a scene on a piece of Spode pottery:

We also spent an afternoon shopping, although we weren't adventurous enough to load up on some of the multi-coloured delicacies that the locals appeared to enjoy:

Then on to Shanghai, which was every bit as Westernised as I had been lead to believe, but with its own unique flavour:

A visit to the zoo, and more shopping:

And a night cruise to round out the trip:

A very enjoyable trip, but it was great to get home and tuck into a nice medium rare rib fillet and it will probably be another month or so before we can look at another Chinese meal. I have managed to get back into a painting routine again however, and hope to have a few more posts up during October.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

French 55th Line Regiment

Another one done, this time the 55th Ligne, made up with what I have left of the Foundry march attack figures and a few sundry others that weren't going to find a home elsewhere:

These included a few more "under fire" figures which provide some nice variety:

I have also used grenadiers in caps, which are among my favourite Foundry Napoleonic figures:

The 55th regiment were part of Werle's brigade at Albuera, of which I have completed two of the three battalions and topped them off with the usual GMB flag:

That's seven regiments comprised of fourteen twenty-figure battalions completed this year, with another three regiments nearing completion.

In spite of wavering a little around the halfway mark I'm nearly there with them now and so will get them finished before I move on to something new, which will hopefully be some Empress ECW figures I have prepared and which now have a thin layer of dust starting to appear upon them.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

French 100th Line Regiment

After a small lull due to some recent university exams I have managed to get back on track and knock out a couple more units, this time two battalions of the 100th Ligne:

The 100th were part of Gazan's 2nd Division in V Corps at Albuera, where they first came up against the Spanish Irlanda regiment and then the British 57th, losing 267 officers and soldiers from a total of 738, or 36% of their strength:
Zayas had done some extensive work with his Spanish prior to Albuera and it must have been a shock to the French when they stood firm, and then managed to successfully pass lines with the British who were hurriedly redeployed to reinforce them:

I keep trying to take a break from French line and get started on some English Civil War figures I have prepared, but find myself in the groove and now just want to complete the remainder of the Foundry line figures:

That's six regiments comprised of twelve battalions now completed, with four regiments left to go.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

French 88th Line Regiment

My pace has slowed a little over the past month due to a combination of work and family commitments, plus some assignments that have fallen due as part of the second year of a law degree that I decided to take up last year for the sake of something a little different. I have however managed to complete the 88th Ligne which is the last of the line regiments that formed part of Girard's division at Albuera, alongside the 34th, 40th and 64th:

The grenadiers in this regiment apparently wore the bearskin caps, so it was a good opportunity to include some of these instead of the usual shako-wearing figures:

These are the Perry-sculpted Foundry advancing figures which are nicely detailed, although there were a few "chunks" at the back of the right arms on a few that were a little too difficult to cut out in some cases, but luckily the French dark blue obscures most of this quite nicely.

That's five regiments or ten battalions completed, so not bad progress for the year so far:

I have a couple more on the painting table so might get those out of the way, and then get stuck into some English Civil War foot regiments I spent a day prepping a couple of weekends ago for a change of pace.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

French 64th Line Regiment

The next French regiment completed, the 64th Line were present in Girard's division at Albuera alongside the 34th, 40th and 88th Line:

Since I have already completed the first two regiments, and have the 88th on the painting table at the moment, I have just realised that at some stage it must have been my plan to put together the first division, especially given that Albuera is one of my favourite Napoleonic battles. I can't remember actually deciding upon this which is slightly worrying, and have simply been painting the regiments according to the GMB flags that have been sitting in a drawer for the last six or seven years:

I put some of the Foundry "under-fire" figures, which thankfully I could remember having purchased some twelve years ago, into the second battalion to provide a bit of variety:

I really like these figures and they are nicely animated, even if the one second from the left looks like he has slipped on something unpleasant:

That's four regiments now finished, with the 88th hopefully to be completed before the end of the month.

Monday, 6 March 2017

French 58th Line Regiment

Another two battalions completed, this time the 58th line and again the Perry-sculpted Foundry figures in march attack pose:

I am much happier with having trimmed the length of the flagpole for this regiment as it doesn't look anywhere near as unwieldy. According to the Terence Wise Osprey the French staves were two metres in length whereas these would now be roughly around four metres (when compared to relative height of the flag-bearer), but I think it looks about right especially with regard to accommodating the GMB flag:

Even after having completed one hundred and twenty or so, the Foundry figures still seem on the smaller end of the 28mm continuum, which I suppose was always going to be the case after having completed two armies comprised mainly of Front Rank figures. The detail is most definitely there however to the extent that the relief on things such as cross-belts in the picture below are actually more a result of the sculpting and shadows under light than my actual painting efforts:

I am also putting a white disk on the pom-poms of fusiliers in the second battalion. I have read conflicting reports as to the accuracy of this, but I think I'll stick with it for the period of (roughly) 1809-1812 I am currently aiming at:

That's three regiments comprised of six battalions done, which is not a bad start to the year. I think I'll probably do one more two-battalion regiment and switch to something else. I spent a fruitless hour last week looking for my Murawski Badeners, and am hoping I'll be able to find them soon.

Friday, 10 February 2017

French 40th Line Regiment

Another two battalions completed, this time the 40th Line Regiment:

These were also present along with the 34th at Arroyo dos Molinos where they suffered heavy casualties, and were similarly brigaded with them at Albuera and much later in defending the crossing of the Nivelle.

I have used a mixture of the Foundry French firing, loading, and "at the ready" figures in an attempt to give the impression of a unit that is engaged with the enemy:

One problem I have found with the Foundry figures is that the eagle standard was too small to accommodate a GMB flag, so ordered some eagles and poles from Front Rank. This is their standard pole which looks just fine on my Front Rank figures, but perhaps could have done with a trim for the slightly smaller Foundry French:

I have also found I have to be a little more careful with the Foundry bayonets, having snapped off a couple when I dropped them, but am enjoying the change and will hopefully manage a couple more regiments over the coming month or so.