Monday, 9 May 2011

New Unit Completed (Well Sort Of)

So, for some time now I've been painting figures as I feel like it (infrequently) and also I've been painting what I feel like painting - the result of all this is...that I have lots of part painted units but not a lot of complete battalions. I've also got a tendency to browse eBay and pick up more unpainted lead (after all, the fact I'm too lazy to paint what I have already is neither here nor there) - and these toys are never going to go down in price, only up, so why not buy now and save myself money in the future?

Over the past couple of years I've bought several lots of painted figures from various sources, and what I've figured out is that, if you take care putting them together and rebase them, then the differences in painting styles isn't quite so obvious. I usually put them aside once I've bought them and only base them when I can put together a what we have here is something of a "composite battalion" in that its been painted by at least four painters and includes four makes of figures (AB, Battle Honours, Old Glory and Fantassin).

So, as you look at it, the left side is made up of AB in the front rank, and to the right of the mounted officer is almost all Old Glory. Hard to see in this shot are the Fantassin and Battle Honours figures - they are all in the rear rank (I decided the AB figures were too nice to use anywhere but out in front). So out of the 34 infantry and one mounted officer I painted the officer, the company second from right (all Old Glory) and four figures in the rear rank. As I look at this, I realise I need to paint the pompoms for each company - and do some touching up here and there.

And this is the same unit from the rear. Lots of people knock the Old Glory figures - and mostly I totally agree with them - but the French Line Infantry in Full Dress are actually very nice. The detail is raised enough to make them easy to paint and they aren't tripping over a tussock. I had high hopes that the campaign dress pack would be similarly such luck, they could be pretty much any nationality and they have that irritating "leaning into a high wind" attitude that so many OG figures have.

Given that the BH French Line Infantry figures seem to vary from very nice to past their best (they may have been "rough" to start with but I can't help thinking this is a range that has suffered from its long production - at least with the figures I've bought off eBay, it may be that the figures from Timecast are much better), the Fantassin (Warmodelling) figures vary from AB-like goodness to very poor (in the same pack) and I only like three packs so far from OG that means that right now AB are the only game in town if you want consistent quality (I hasten to add I haven't tried Campaign Game Miniatures so I can't comment upon them). Which is a shame because I like to have plenty of variants within each battalion - perhaps Mr Barton could be persuaded to add some head variations (pokalems and such) to his French?

But there is hope on the horizon - Blue Moon Manufacturing are evidently planning to produce 15/18mm Nappies - they already do ACW and AWI (along with Pirates, Wild West and French & Indian War). The ACW caught my eye - these figures look like a 15mm version of the 28mm Sash & Saber (forgive the American spelling!) figures:


And the thing about these Blue Moon figures is that they are packed in packs of 30 figures for the rank and file - so I can see myself going a little crazy if the Napoleonics look good.

Finally, Giles kindly nominated me for a "Stylish Blogger Award" the other day - I'm not ignoring him at all, I'm simply trying to think of seven things about me that aren't going to get me sacked / divorced / sued!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Richard Holmes Dead

I was shocked to see this morning that the noted military historian, Richard Holmes, had died yesterday at only 65. I'm sure many of you were enthralled as I was by his TV series "War Walks" - I envied him his easy use of a quotation to bring an action to life (he made it look effortless even though I'm sure it wasn't).

I also thoroughly approved of his desire to put the common soldier at the centre of things - best epitomised by his trilogy that began with Redcoat and followed up with Sahib and Tommy. I'm sure that many of us who like small scale actions would agree with his view that very often it was the men down at the coalface who turned round what seemed like a lost cause.
It isn't often that I get upset by the death of a celebrity but I feel rather saddened today (if only because I harboured a secret desire that he would do a North American "War Walks" series - he would have been an ace presenter of Gettysburg or Guildford Courthouse).

French Line Infantry are "proceeding".