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.

Thursday 2 November 2017

French 103rd Line Regiment

Finally there with the last of the Foundry French line and the completion of the 103rd:

The 103rd were present in Gazan's second division at Albuera, giving me all the French line regiments that were there, albeit in two battalion formations as opposed to the three that were present on the day:

This represents twenty battalions of four hundred figures in total finished, alongside twenty Portuguese completing that project back in January, so not a bad effort for 2018 thus far:

I believe I have another nine battalions of Calpe French line stored somewhere, but will save tackling them for a later date (mainly because I have forgotten where I have put them).

I also have forty or so line grenadiers left over as a result of my usual over-ordering, and will be using them for two converged grenadier battalions. As luck would have it (and much to my amazement), there was a converged French grenadier battalion at Albuera. It is almost as though I had planned it!

Friday 27 October 2017

French 25th Line Regiment

My favourite French grenadier uniforms are those in grenadier caps, so it was good to finish a regiment which includes a few more of these nice Perry-sculpted Foundry figures:

Unlike all the other French line regiments I have completed thus far, the 25th weren't at Albuera, nor were they at Fuentes de Onoro, so I'm not sure what my thought processes were with this one, other than I like the look of French grenadiers in caps:

I will have to have a proper look back through my Oman volumes to see whether they did indeed make an appearance in the Peninsular, but I'm sure they will be of use in any event:

Just one more regiment of line and then a couple of battalions of converged grenadiers to complete this part of the project, which I hope to have done within the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday 25 October 2017

French 51st Line Regiment

After a few weeks away I have managed to get stuck back into the last three regiments of French ligne, with the first being two battalions of 51st:

Another unit present at Albuera, which indicates I must have been working to a plan when I purchased the GMB flags for these figures seven or eight years ago:

That's sixteen battalions completed now, with another four just about finished:

Hopefully I should have them all completed within the next fortnight, now that my other hobby in  law studies is winding up for the year. Good fun for the most, and it is definitely using parts of the grey matter which have been under-utilised for twenty years or so, but it will be nice to fully concentrate on some Napoleonic French again.

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 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 very 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. They were very peaceful at this time of the year and we 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, which 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.