Monday, 25 March 2013

18mm Spanish - Day Three

Ok, so - a close call. I had a worrying moment (well few hours) where I thought I'm already screwing this up. Yesterday I said I'd blocked in the collars, cuffs, lapels and turnbacks red on some figures. I then realised that all Spanish line regiments had white turnbacks (some were piped red) so that is an error. There were a couple of line regiments at Tamames that had red facings but neither of them had red collars - but then the Betanzos Regiment (24 figures, 2nd Line) came to my rescue. The Betanzos Regiment was a Provincial Militia unit which had the red collars and turnbacks. Of course, figuring this out took me quite awhile - the penalty for just piling in.

So no progress to speak of on Sunday (Day Two) - an hour or so painting soldiers red. And today even less progress - about half an hour of the same. 18 figures now done to this stage. This is really a bit useless as I'll need to paint a further six figures just to hit the 24 I need to complete the battalion. Still - managing to spend even half an hour on three successive days is a lot more painting than I've done in the last six months.

I'm also conscious I haven't posted any work in progress pictures but my camera seems to be temperamental  today. So here is a pic from (I think) the Aspern Essling game at Salute 2012 - 18mm (mostly AB / BH) Austrians and French put on by Dave Brown and the Loughton Strike Force.

No posts tomorrow I'm afraid as I have to attend a sales and marketing meeting (despite my working in finance). As it is also a young colleagues 30th birthday I suspect the evening will get rather messy and I will spend Wednesday with a headache - hopefully I'll have recovered by the time I get home and will be able to do a bit more. On the other hand we'll be trying some cracking Burgundies during the day so that should be good.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Apologies For Absence - 18mm Spanish

Hello again,

Sorry to abandon this blog for eight months but I've not really had the Mojo to do anything with it. I reverted to inertly looking at other people's work or playing PC games (Civilization V and Medieval Total War mostly) but not much painting to speak of. I'd sit down at the painting desk, look at the half finished stuff on my desk for awhile and then get up and walk away to do something else. I was happy to look at other people's wonderful work but couldn't gather the urge to actually do some myself.

Anyway, that rather changed a couple of weeks ago. No particular reason but I felt the need to paint something. Rather than open the boxes of half finished stuff (or even the primed stuff that had gone no further) I reached into the "big box" and dug out a small bag of rather nice but unidentified figures (although clearly the work of AB). I had a look on the Fighting 15s website and quickly identified them as Spanish - I then looked here on Gemigabok  and got some inspiration.

And that was all it took - a bit of googling for uniform info (which seems pleasantly simple) and as I only had a few figures a swift order to Fighting 15s for a brigade deal of Spanish Line Infantry In Bicorne, March Attack. And Ian Marsh's time displacement postal service meant it only took about 22 hours for the order to arrive in my office from the time I clicked the Paypal button. Wonderful service!!

Anyway I got them home, opened the small box, and inspected my purchase. There was a bit of minor mould slippage but nothing that would cause too many issues, and some minor flash. Overall they are about as nice as you would expect from Mr Barton.

I'd been looking at the GdB Scenario books and found Tamames 1809. This featured a rare Spanish victory (I bought these because I liked the look of them - not because I wanted to win) and featured a Spanish army with a number of 24 man line infantry battalions, a couple of light infantry units, a little bit of cavalry, and a couple of batteries of guns. All in all it looks like a nice scenario.

The brigade pack that I bought contains four 32 man battalions (no grenadiers) - so I'll have 36 rank and file soldiers left over. However there are later scenarios where some Spanish troops make an appearance alongside British troops and here the scenario book has 32 figure battalions. So, my thinking is to paint the 32 figure units and "drop" a stand for Tamames.

The following evening I cleaned up the figures and attached them to spatulas (one benefit of having a wife that is a beauty therapist - easy access to some useful stuff - 100 spatulas for £2.09 and you can use them over and over), and then sprayed them with GW Skull White (yes I know it is a product of the Evil Empire but I prefer it to the Army Painter version and I haven't come across an alternative in Halfords or B&Q).

So inspired by Gemigabok and even more so by Paul Alba's Saxon Infantry - both of which use a technique where the basic colours are blocked in and then Army Painter is brushed on. Once dry, highlights are added and voila, you are done. Being incredibly lazy this appealed to me.

So, I set myself a target - two 24 figure battalions in a week. Given that the title of this blog reflects my struggle to paint any figures in a week this is a challenge for me. So, yesterday, I started.

Saturday 23rd March 2013 - Day One
I usually paint a "test" figure to completion in an attempt to see which order I should paint the battalion - as I was on a deadline I gave this a miss and painted nineteen figures black gear (so, bicorne, bayonet scabbard, cartridge box, gaiters and shoes) - this took about two hours. I had some minor issues because my GW Chaos black was drying out and the paint was a bit difficult to work with. At this point I decided to take a break and browsed the web. After doing this and watching a couple of films I came back to the figures and painted the flesh (my first pot of GW paint had dried out - I bought this new six months ago, used it once and put it away, properly sealed - very annoying) on the nineteen figures. I then started started blocking in the facings (red plume, collar, cuffs, turnbacks and facings on four figures) - as there are several variations in AB's Spanish Line some figures seem easier to do this with than others. This took another hour or so - so three hours work in total.

Sorry about lack of pictures - I'll try and post some later today.