Sunday, 21 March 2010

Apologies, Apologies, Apologies

After saying I should post more frequently what happens? I don't post for three weeks - mostly because of a dodgy video card in my PC (which was "state of the art" a few years ago and is now more "state of the ark") which meant I was off line for sometime.

You would think that not being able to surf the web I'd spend some quality time painting - and I have. Just not enough to keep up with the ten figure a week mantra. And I seem to be remarkably incompetent - I promised myself that I would finish a complete unit for once, and what did I do? I've painted eight French Cuirassier but only seven horses!

So here is (almost) a squadron of French heavies:

The figures are Battle Honours by Anthony Barton I believe. I'm quite pleased with how they turned out but they were very time consuming to do, I found the detailing took ages so finding that I was a horse short was rather annoying to say the least.

I also worked on a second batch of Pavlovskii Grenadiers - realising too late that I had painted the first batch of figures with their mitres in 1798 colours and the second batch in 1812 colours (orange and red respectively - or is it the other way round?) - I haven't decided whether to repaint the first batch or the second.

I'd like to paint the figures pictured below - but I have no idea what they are. I'm sure they are by Anthony Barton but I've looked through the Fighting 15's and Eureka websites and cannot see these guys. I asked awhile ago on the GdeB forum and it was suggested that they might be Austrian Chevau-Leger from the Revolutionary War. This is certainly possible as the "big box" includes some Austrian Revolutionary War generals.

It was also suggested that I could paint them as Spanish Cavalry (as I already had some Peninsula War British infantry) but that doesn't really appeal. I'm thinking more and more of the Russian campaign of 1812 - so if anyone can suggest a unit that these chaps could fill in for, then please let me know.

Finally some time ago I bought a number of lots from eBay - all French Line Infantry. As I didn't have enough to produce full 36 man battalions from any one of the lots I decided to mix the together. So the following pictures are of figures from four makers painted by four different painters - the only thing tying the units together is the basing I've done on some of the stands (on a couple of stands I've also painted the pompoms to match one another - and obviously I'll get round to doing the rest at some point).

From a few feet away the differences aren't too noticeable, I think. The makers are OG, BH, AB and Fantassin - of the four brands I think the Fantassin figures are the weakest in this instance. I'm frankly a lead snob - I can't see why anyone would want to paint roughly designed figures when there are much nicer ones out there.

AB are simply superb - okay there has been a bit of scale creep between ranges but overall Anthony Barton's body of work is incomparable and I'm very pleased to see him producing a few new figures now and then for Eureka.

Battle Honours (BH) now subsumed within OG are also designed by Anthony Barton and are not quite so nice as his later work but more than serviceable (I've bought some bags from eBay that were a bit rough - I haven't bought any from Timecast who now sell these figures so I can't comment on their current production qualiy).

Old Glory (OG) are a producer that, I believe, uses different designers for different ranges - unfortunately they have not enforced a "house style" meaning that some ranges are good and some are verging on the awful. They have a fluid style that usually includes in every bag some figures that are in "tussock tripping" poses that look like they are about to fall over flat on their faces. The production quality in the past has sometime been a bit iffy - many bags of ACW infantry that I've bought include some whose faces are simply not there. I think the moulds are run on beyond their lifespan and miscasts are the result. I haven't bought any recently so I can't comment on current quality levels. Given that OG have a fluid style I suspect that ranges where you want lots of variation in figures (like ancient Celtic warbands for instance) are extremely suitable for OG figures but Marlburian infantry (whom in my mind's eye I see striding along like automatons in neatly dressed ranks) not so much. So my advice for buying OG is - see them in the flesh before you buy them.

One thing I've been doing instead of painting the last three weeks is read "The Battle of Borodino" by Alexander Mikaberidze. It's very good but my lack of detailed prior knowledge is counting against me - I find his discussion of what previous scholars have written about the battle confuses me somewhat. I've also found it difficult to find a really good map of the area so I can try and follow the actions on the map. Anyway, I'm plugging away at it - the fault is not Mr Mikaberidze's but my own for being so dim.

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