Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Last of the Azabs

This unit is comprised of sword and pole-armed Azabs and represents the third and last unit:

There is a decent variety of figures in the TAG unit builder pack which makes them fun to paint, although I did notice that there was some flash behind some of the shields which I personally found too difficult to remove. I ended up leaving these parts black and painting around them, which was no great imposition:
Below is a close-up of a stand of sword-armed figures:

And one of pole-armed foot:

I probably could have been more adventurous with their shields but, given that Azabs were recruited from provincial villages and were probably not going to be spending a great amount of time worrying about shield design, I decided to be lazy and save the effort for some Sipahi cavalry which are next in the queue.

And what an effort that is proving to be with the first three horses taking the better part of a week alone, although I am hopeful I'll be able to speed up as I can lay down a template as to how best to approach this part of the project. With any luck I may have something to show for my efforts before the end of the month.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Bow-armed Azabs

Another Azab unit completed, this one armed with bows:

Azab (or Azap) is an Ottoman word meaning "bachelor", and the units were formed from volunteers from villages in the Rumelia and Anatolia regions covering most of what is now Turkey up through southern Greece and into the Balkans:

I found these much easier to paint than the previous musket-armed Azabs, partly because bows are simpler but also because I had the colours I wanted to use worked out from the last batch:

The TAG figures are nice, and contain an interesting mix of poses with enough detail that can be picked out:

One more Azab unit to go, hopefully before the end of the year, and then I'll get started on some spahi cavalry.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Ottoman Azabs

The first of three planned Azab units, this one is again from The Assault Group and is comprised of musket-armed figures:

I tried to give them a bit of colour variation and found myself using around forty different colours and shades. At the same time I was trying to not go too wild with it to try to avoid them looking like a bunch of circus performers:

I used one of the smaller Little Big Man Studio Islamic banners for this unit. As previously mentioned they come in two halves and have to be applied as decals to paper, and I was probably a little over-confident with this one and ended up applying the two halves slightly out of alignment. However, I think I managed to make a reasonable effort of rescuing it and they are very nice flags (although that halberd staff needs straightening).

I have another unit of bow-armed Azabs on the painting table at the moment, which I hope to have finished this side of Christmas.

Monday, 4 December 2017

More Janissaries

Another Ottoman Janissary unit completed, this time in more combative firing and advancing poses:

I stuck with the same colour scheme as the previous unit, mainly because I enjoyed the look and it was fun to paint, but will vary it for my forthcoming units:

Again, these have a banner from the Little Big Men Studios range. I nearly cocked this one up as the flags are in two separate halves and have to be applied as decals on a blank sheet of paper. I put the first one down on a slight off-angle, but managed to line the second one up that when trimmed and with the edges painted, it is difficult to tell they are slightly out of alignment:

They really are worth the minimal effort though and, I believe, add a nice finishing touch:

I have two more units of Janissaries to complete, but will be making a start on some Azabs which I have prepped and ready to go.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Ottoman Turkish Janissaries

After painting so many units of French Napoleonic line, I was looking for something a little different.

I have always had a soft spot for Renaissance Ottoman Turks, and have the core of a 15mm army stored somewhere. It saw action in a few very enjoyable games in the 80's, so I decided to do the whole thing over again but in 28mm this time, and managed to complete the first unit of Janissaries over the weekend:

These guys have jumped a rather long painting queue, but it was a relief to be able to paint something without piping :

I have purchased miniatures from The Assault Group, or TAG as they are more commonly known, for this project. They are very nice figures, but took a little bit of "working out" in terms of what to paint where. That is probably more a function of the period and a lack of definition as to what combatants of period actually wore however, combined with the usual uncertainty when first approaching a new project:

There were also four command figures in each pack which I decided to spread across two elements, as I am basing in threes:

One of them includes a standard bearer, so I turned to Little Big Man Studios and their Islamic Banners, which I believe fit quite nicely (even though the Janissaries themselves were predominantly Christian):

These are decals which have to be applied to paper. This was actually very easy, although the bit that I found slightly mystifying is that they are in two separate halves with no join, so you have to position them carefully and then paint the blank space in between the two parts. It should be noted however that this is not the case with the bulk of Steve's banners and, even if it were, the end result more than justifies the extra minute or so of effort as I believe they look terrific.

That's it for the first unit or orta, and there is another on the painting table at the moment which I am hoping to complete within the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

French Line Infantry Colonels

I accumulated twenty-two colonels that came with the Foundry French line command packs, so decided I may as well use them and base them with some surplus line figures:

I'm not sure that I will ever need this many, especially when there are a considerable number of the higher command echelon to complete, but I couldn't stand the thought of them sitting idle:
They are a little repetitive as they are all in the same pose:

Adding different figures:

And using a variety of horse colours helped mix things up a bit:

I like the Foundry figures, but find the metal rather soft and bayonets and plumes have a propensity to snap easily. This was however a good way to use up a couple of the march attack figures who were sans bayonet:

I have quite a few French allied contingents to complete down the track, so now have sufficient staff figures to cover them as well. Apart from that, I have enough to form them up into their own mounted regiment if ever I need to:

That's the French line part of the project completed. There are another dozen later line regiments stored somewhere which I hope to complete in the next couple of years, but I feel like a change and will paint some Ottoman Turkish renaissance Janissaries that have jumped the queue and made their way on to the painting table.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

French Converged Grenadier Battalions

After having completed all my Foundry French line regiments for Albuera, I found that I was left with forty or so spare grenadiers. To my surprise I found that there was a converged French grenadier battalion of eleven companies and over a thousand men at Albuera, which was just perfect:

The strange thing is that this was never actually in my original planning, but is one of the few occasions when my over-ordering fits perfectly:

The converged grenadiers were actually made up of men drawn from the 45th, 63rd and 95th ligne, alongside the 4th Polish regiment, so there is little chance that they would appear as homogenous as depicted here. That said, it was nice to be able to paint some more of my favourite line grenadiers in caps:

Even if they don't get to carry an Eagle:

That's definitely it for the French line. I'm now going to concentrate on a few command stands to soak up the remainder of my Foundry command pack figures, and hope to have these completed very soon.