Monday, 19 April 2021

French 3rd Hussars

 I was looking forward to the French Hussars as I thought they'd add a splash of colour to my French Army, which is obviously why I chose the brown pelisse of the 2nd and have now followed up with the grey of the 3rd:

Even the sabretaches of the centre companies is a rather uninspired '3':

At least the elite company and command sabretaches provide a little more elan:

That said, given the prima facie unappealing colour combination, I think the uniform actually works quite well:

The other thing is, being Perry Miniature Hussars, there was no standard bearer and so no disintegrating flags to deal with. On this subject, I went out and purchased a Japanese-manufactured acid-free paper-glue. Rather amusingly called 'Yamato' glue, it looks like an oversized tube of Wasabi and comes out with the same consistency. Not cheap, but after losing five flags to three different brands of PVA, price was only a secondary consideration. Thinking by now I must surely have the problem resolved, I charged straight in and attached the flag to some French dragoons I have nearly completed, only to wake up the next morning and be greeted with the following:

As with the PVA disasters, the unit label printed on standard photocopy paper had also disintegrated:

I have been happily gluing flags and standards together for the past ten years, five of them in the same painting area, and the last month is the first time I have ever had this issue. Four different types of paper glue have now been tried, and I'm running out of ideas other than touching up the disintegrated flags and calling it canister damage (although another 24 hours after this photo was taken the flag had all but disappeared). I'm off to the art supply shop to try a fabric white glue next, but will make sure I try it on some off-cuts before I destroy any more flags...

Monday, 12 April 2021

French 2nd Hussars

It is nice to have finally finished another regiment toward the Napoleonic French army, this time the 2nd Hussars:

March was a bit of a lost month in terms of completed units. I got near with a few, but suffered a few minor mishaps as the water-based PVA glue I used to put flags on two completed units ended up eating through them. I had never seen anything like it before and didn't believe it could have been the glue having attached dozens of flags before, so replaced them from some spares I had on hand only for the same thing to happen again. I now have several completed units now waiting for fresh flags to arrive, but thankfully the flag on the 2nd Hussars suffered only minor damage and was easily touched up:

Then there was the shabraque issue. I noticed that Little Big Men Studios sell sabretache decals for Perry Miniature French Hussars and thought that might be a nice touch. I was planning on doing 1st, 2nd and 3rd Hussars and these were all available on one sheet, and was hoping they would be a close enough match for the Perry-sculpted Foundry figures.

Anyway, Steve from LBMS accidentally sent the sheet for 7th, 8th and 9th. He was most apologetic and sent the correct sheet immediately, but that necessitated another three week delay. I laughed somewhat when they arrived as the sabretache designs for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd are among the simplest (the 3rd is basically a white '3' on a black background), and I probably could have had a go at doing them freehand anyway. Still, they are much neater than I could achieve and are not too bad a fit, although they required a bit of trimming and touching up:

All minor quibbles in the great scheme of things, but it is nice to finally have all the bits I need to complete a unit:

I have been powering ahead with preparation work for another nine regiments while I await the arrival of the replacement flags, so there should be a few more completed units rolling off the production line before too long.

Friday, 12 February 2021

French 2nd Cuirassier Regiment

 The last of five, this one is comprised of Perry figures and is my favourite in terms of the variety of "at rest" figure poses. The figures all look very natural and relaxed:

The three figures on trotting horses were the easiest to paint:

Whereas the ones in stationery poses were far more interesting, although the faces on a couple appeared to lack the same definition, possibly because the moulds are starting to get a little old now. It is not  however overly noticeable and they are great sculpts, and probably the most enjoyable Napoleonic figures I have worked on to date:

That's all five regiments of French cuirassiers now completed:

I do have one unit of carabiniers ahead of me, but have readied three hussar regiments and will start work on them next followed by some chasseurs. Hopefully within a couple of months I will have the core of the French cavalry completed, assuming I can maintain my motivation.

Monday, 8 February 2021

French 11th Cuirassier Regiment

 The fourth of five, and the third comprised of Foundry figures. I wanted to do one with pink facings as it gave me an excuse to finally open my Foundry shadow pink paint triad set which I purchased six or seven years ago, and the 11th fitted the bill nicely:

I must say I have always loved the heft of metal figures and, as I have mentioned before, it is quite noticeable how heavy these twelve-year old Foundry castings are. Very sturdy lads:

The flag is again from GMB, and I painted the trumpeter in reverse colours. The Foundry Shadow Pink is on the darker side (and bearing in mind my lighting here is full of shadows anyway), but it was a lovely colour to use. I wanted something solid and with some definition against the white straps and trumpeter's epaulettes as opposed to their lighter Nipple Pink, which I was concerned might look a little too washed out:

That's the 11th and fourth cuirassier regiment completed then:

Next up will be the fifth and last French cuirassier regiment in the form of the Perry's "at rest" figures. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

French 8th Cuirassier Regiment

This is the third cuirassier regiment, and the first of two cuirassier units comprised of Perry figures. What I find a little hard to believe is how this is actually the first Perry unit I have completed, these having sat in the pile for the best part of eight years:

These are the charging cuirassier figures, augmented by three of the 'hit by cannister/volley' figures. I am a little undecided as to whether these last three make good wargame figures as opposed to being perfect for an arranged diorama or command piece, but this does mean that every figure in the unit is unique with no double-ups:

While this was a good thing, it did create some additional work in trying to determine what certain parts of a figure not visible on others actually was, as opposed to just being able to work it out for one and repeat. I also made a mistake in snipping away some of the tufts of grass connecting the horses hooves to the base on a couple of figures which had the effect of rendering them a little bendier than others, but once I realised the error of my ways I quickly stopped this practice and will simply have to remember to always pick them up by the base (which is what I try to do anyway):

The flag is again from GMB, and I painted the trumpeter in the later standard musician livery as opposed to reverse colours:

Three down, with two regiments left to go.

Friday, 29 January 2021

French 3rd Cuirassier Regiment

 The second regiment of cuirassiers to roll off the production line is the 3rd regiment, looking pretty much the same as 1st regiment due to similar scarlet facings:

The figures are again from Wargames Foundry, the original purchase having been made fifteen years ago, and again carry a GMB flag:

These are however in the charging pose, where the bottom half of the figure is part of the horse casting and the top half is glued into position which means they can be subtly positioned to provide a slight variation in pose (although perhaps not noticeable in this picture):

I like these figures, and they again required very little cleanup which is always a bonus:

That's two regiments down, with three to go. Quite a slog if I'm honest, but I'm sure I'll be pleased once they are all completed.

Monday, 25 January 2021

French 1st Cuirassier Regiment

 The first of five cuirassier regiments, the 1er French cuirassiers fought extensively throughout the Napoleonic Wars including Austerlitz, Eylau, Essling and Wagram and Waterloo:

I have had these Foundry figures for  close to fifteen years and they are some of the original Perry sculpts created before they branched out on their own. They have been languishing in my painting queue for the past two and a half years and had accumulated a layer of dust over the primer, so it was high time they were completed:

Apart from the lack of variety in the trooper figures, all being comprised of one pose, the figures were good to paint and the figures themselves had little flash and required only minimal cleaning up. Perhaps this is because the molds weren't that old when I actually purchased them:

The other thing that struck me is how heavy and sturdy they are, and the metal that Foundry have used seems quite strong which is a good thing. 

After having spent the past couple of years painting 15mm I had forgotten how much more effort 28mm Napoleonics seems to require in comparison, but it was good to complete some French cavalry and to finally give these figures some attention. One cuirassier regiment completed then, with four more to go.