Sunday, September 20, 2009

South Essex - Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers

WOW!! I can't believe how long it's been since I've up-dated this blog.

It was intended to keep a boot to my butt to get some painting done...guess it didn't work.

I have been doing some sporadic painting while working on the house and Land Rover, but not near as much as I have wanted.

I am gearing up to start on a new unit though, the South Essex ~ Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers. It is based on the fictitious regiment in the Sharpe Books by Bernard Cornwell.

Going along with the ITGM rules this unit has 30 figures.

You might note that there is actually 31 figures. I'll get to that later.

If you look real close you will see a Rifles figure in the second row (second from right).

The light company is going to be a mix of Rifles and Light infantry, just like Sharpe's Regiment. Since there are only three minis per company I might go with two Rifles figures instead of just the one like I have now.

And here is Mr. Sharpe.

I know it's not one of THE Sharpe figures some companies make, but until I purchase one it'll have to do. What I would really like to have a Sharpe & Harper figure to make a small command stand.

I do think this is one of the best, single, officer figures made by Old Glory though!

And here is my vision of Sharpe's regiment.

You might notice that the officer figure it it's own stand. In game play this figure would be purely eye-candy.

The miniature regiment originally had two drummer figures on their own base. This base would have been eye-candy as well and placed behind the regiment.

I know that these mounting style is unorthodox, but I saw some photos of some Napoleonic armies done this way and they were the coolest things!! The guy who made them said that they were there ONLY for the aesthetic value.

Here is a close-up of the flags.

Since the regiment is purely fictional there is no flag for the South Essex ~ Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers I had to come up with my own.

I would really like to have these flags look as nice as the one you can get from the likes of the 'Flagdude' and GMB Flags. I need to find someone who can makes these for me or see if one of the flag makers out there will do it. Either way I think the flags look great.

Also, I have added several new links and such to the side bars so be sure to check them out as well.

Till next time...


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quick Up-Date

Hello Everyone -

I'm posting a quick up-date just so you all know I'm still alive and kicking.

I have spoken to some of you off line and part of that discussion was me being able to devote a lot of time to painting the past few days. Well, let's just say that didn't happen.

If you are interested in the whole torturous reasons go to my house blog and you will understand.

I did manage to do one painting related thing on Friday though. I had to go into the big city to pick-up SWMBO from a business trip. I went a little earlier so I could go by the comic book store that sells miniature paints such as Vallejo and Citadel. It isn't often that I get to do this and I was going to be less than 2 miles from the place.

The main reason I wanted to stop by there was to see if they had a set of the Citadel Washes. A new cyber/gaming friend of mine, Iannick (from Canada), highly recommended the set, as well as a few others.

The set contains the following wash colors:

Badab Black
Gryphonne Sepia
Ogryn Flesh
Devlan Mud
Baal Red
Leviathan Purple
Asurmen Blue
Thraka Green

When I went up to the register to buy the set I noticed what looked like coffee had been spilled on the box. It was under the clear plastic covering so I figured one of the bottles leaked. The guy who worked there let me open up the box to have a look. Sure enough, one of them had leaked - the Gryphonne Sepia one.

The guy offered me the set at a discount so I took it. Once I got home and got a much better look (the dried wash had glued the bottle to the package tray). Turns out that MAYBE 1/4 of the wash leaked out.

I have seen a few sites that offer some in site to these washes, but one of the best is here. Out of everything I've read about these washes no one has had much of anything negative to say about them.

Anyway, I am determined to get some painting done tonight...really, I am...honestly.

I'll keep you posted.

Till next time...


Monday, February 9, 2009

My 'Core' Russian Army

I have finally organized the core of my Russian army.

This should give me a good table top army and one that is easily added to.

Following the organization chart is a break down of the figures.

4 Musketier Regiments (32 figures each = 128 figures)
2 Jäger Regiments (32 figures each = 64 figures)
1 Pavlovsk Grenadiers (32 figures)
1 Cossack Regiment (20 figures)
1 Hussar Regiment (32 figures)
1 Dragoon Regiment (32 figures)
1 Cuirassier Regiment (32 figures)
1 Foot Battery (3 Guns & 12 figures)*
1 Horse Battery (3 Guns & 12 figures)*

NOTE* The artillery batteries will eventually double per the ITGM rules.

This comes to a total of 365 miniatures + 6 artillery pieces; and does not count a General or other personalities.

I do plan to add additional miniatures such as limbers w/crew; caissons w/crew and other assorted baggage wagons and such.

Geeze - I guess I better get painting!!!!

Till next time...


New Toys

Hello Everyone!

This past week has been a major pain. Not only have I been fighting with the wood stain in our kitchen but I've also caught the 'crud' that's going around. SWMBO has been keeping me doped up for the past few days.

With the exception of a few hours Saturday afternoon I've been in bed for the most part. Towards miniatures I've been doing research and playing with some organization stuff on the PC. I decided not to do any painting. Not to be gross, but painting with a runny nose would not be good.

Anywho...Saturday we had promised to take SWMBO's father to the train show in the big city. I also needed to pick-up a few items for the house as well.

While I really like model trains and such, my father-n-law is the big train enthusiast. I like to go and see the scenery and the items that can be used for modeling.

This year did not disappoint - even if I was doped up. The problem is is that there are more items for the 15mm gamer than the 25mm gamer. However, I managed to come away with three items.

From the top there is a 'Wonder Cutter' (gotten dirt cheap); some Faller HO fencing (excellent for 25mm trellises); and a section of stone wall in plaster.

I have wanted one of these styro cutters for quite awhile and couldn't believe my luck in finding a new one in a junk box!

Now I can build some items out of foam without the mess now. I have read that these things eat through batteries so eventually an electrical one will end up in the tool box.

Here is a closer look at the stone wall.

I am thinking about making a mold of this thing so more can be made. I have a few projects in mind that will require stone walls and making a mold is not hard.

Hopefully I will get some painting in tomorrow. I wanted to some tonight, but my arms are sore from all the sanding and my nose is running again. At this rate I'll be lucky to get a Russian army finished in the next 10 years!

Well, till next time...


Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Standard Bearer

Just a quick post.

The new standard bearer has been brought up to speed with the rest.

Introducing Принц Алексеи Павел Вазилевич.

Also known as Prince Aleksei Pavel Vasilevich, Leksei to his friends.

Just barely old enough, the young Prince is eager to distinguish himself on the field of battle for his father, his Czar, Holy Mother Russia and most of all his God.

Hopefully, by this time tomorrow more color will have been added to the Prince and the rest of the men of the Simbirsk Musketeer Regiment.

До следующего раза...

За Ваше здоровье!

Faces - I hate painting faces!!


I think the title says it all.

I hate painting faces, actually ANY skin. I can never get it right.

My all time favorite paint to use as a skin base tone is Ral Partha's # 77-911 Warrior Flesh. I have not been able to find it for many, many years and have not found a good substitute either.

So, I'm playing around with a few colors trying to work something out. I had found a real good combo when I was working on my OG F&IW British foot but have lost my notes. I still have the sample card I made but for some reason I didn't write down the paints on it.

So far I've tested Vallejo Game Color 72004 'Elf Skintone' and Citadel's Foundation 'Tallarn Flesh'. The first one was too pink and the other looked good wet, but strange when dried. I have also played with a few combinations as well.

The combo that I've settled on is Vallejo Model Color 860 'Medium Fleshtone', Vallejo Game Color 72041 'Dwarf Flesh and DecoArt Americana 'Cashmere Beige'. I used equal parts of each and it's 'Okay', but still a bit pale. I've talked to a few friends about what they use and am going to try some of what they've suggested.

This is an example of the combo paint being used as a base.

You might note that my picture taking is getting a little better as well. This time the green shows up better!

This next photo is of a couple of test figures. While blocking in the uniforms I noticed what looked like hoodies on some of the heads, under the chinstraps. I didn't like it so I replaced them and am using the figures as test subjects.

What you are seeing are two of the minis with the combo skin tone and a flesh wash.

The flesh wash is Games Workshop Citadel Colour 61-76 'Flesh Wash'. I used it straight out of the bottle and undiluted.

These are the same figures.

Next time I'll use a wash formula given to me by a friend of the net. Here is the formula he uses for a basic black wash.

"...basic Black Wash I'll use about 1 part in 6-8 Floor Polish, the balance being water and acrylic paint or oil (typically 3 or 4 parts Tamiya Smoke and/or Black with 2-3 parts Water and 1 Floor Polish) – this is designed to give best of both worlds, break the tension and help provide a bit of a hard coat on the pain job."

What I'll try is one part floor polish to 3 or 4 parts Flesh Wash and 2 or 3 parts water.

I'll let you all know how it turns out.

Before I go, let me tell you about another figure that disappointed me.

While painting the flesh tone on my Russians I noticed that one of the standard bearers had that same hoodie type thing on it's head as well. The only thing I can figure is that it's a head wrap to keep the ears and neck warm. I still don't like it so he had to go as well. The poor chap has been sent to the Gulag in Siberia as a test subject.

Here's the new recruit who replaced him.

I think I'm getting the hang of using the pin drill. This time I was able to get a perfect hole drilled right through the center of the hand/pole section. All that had to be done was the removal of the tiny sliver of pole left on the outside of the fist.

This guy will get his primer coat and then will be brought up to speed, paint wise, with the others. After this I'll get to work on the flesh.

Perhaps tonight additional pictures will get posted. I have some work to do on the woodwork in our kitchen first. We've had a bit of an indecent at the house that has turned into an nightmare. If your interested you can check that story out here.

Till next time...

До свидания!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Russian Up-Date

Okay, I have finally made headway on my OG Russians.

The unit will be based on the I Battalion of the Simbirsk Musketeer Regiment.

The Simbirsk Musketeer Regiment came from the Simbirsk area within the Middle Volga region. It is located along the Volga River and is about 554 miles east of Moscow.

The citizens of Simbirsk took an active part in the 1812 Patriotic War. The Simbirsk Infantry Regiment performed many heroic feats and distinguished itself in some critical battles.

During the Battle of Borodino, the Simbirsk Musketeer Regiment was a part of the 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Neverovsky and attached to the VIII Infantry Corps commanded by Lt. Gen. Mikhail Mikhailovich Borozdin. The VIII Infantry Corps was part of Prince Peter (Ivanovich) Bagration's Second Western Army. During the battle the Regiment was commanded by Capt. R. Baykovsky.

The Simbirsk Musketeer Regiment was virtually wiped out during the fighting against Marshal Davout at the fleches at Borodino.

This would be the standards carried by the I Battalion

Before we get to the pictures it might be worth noting the following.

In the I battalion the Grenadiers had solid red cockades tall black plumes; the Strelki had solid yellow cockades with tall black plumes and the Musketeers had white cockades with green center. The shoulder straps were green with red ends except for the Grenadiers who wore solid red ones.

This should give you a general idea of what the shoulder strap would look like.

Anyway, here are some pics for you to look at.

Just your typical 'before' picture.

Behind the Russian unit is the British Peninsular Line unit I want to get started on as well.

The tubs with blue lids are various other units.

You can also see a couple of canoes for the F&IW as well as an elephant.

An here is an 'after' pic of today's work.

Now that you've seen the whole group, let's see a few close-ups. Again, please forgive the photo quality.

Before we get to those let me show you the following picture.

This is a sampling of the greens I considered for the Russian uniforms. I have never been too good at picking the proper colors but I wanted something that was as dark as the original green the Russians used, but still green enough you could tell it was green. Does that make sense?

As you can see I started with 9 possibilities.

I decided on Vellejo Model Color 3980 Dark Green.

I hope the color comes through in the pics, but I just don't think they did. Oh well, maybe the next time I get pictures it'll show up better.

Anyway, here they are.

This is just a general picture of what I got painted so far.

I have blocked in most of the black items, the white breeches and of course the green jacket.

I do not bother being too neat at this point.

For those of you interested...the hideous wallpaper in the background is from the mid 50s. I know one of the guys who helped hang it while he was in high school.

Here is a closer picture. I think you can see the green a bit better.

I noticed that the digital camera picked up some spots that didn't quite get paint on them. OY!!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to start on the flesh and adding a few more colors.

Before I call it quits for the night, let me show you a couple more pics.

Here are a handful of Front Rank Russian horses that I've primed.

I'm going to practice a few horse painting techniques on these. I'll let you know how it goes.

This is just one of those 'interesting' pictures.

In case you are wondering why I'd be showing a picture of my paint rag - there's a good reason. I have had this rag since the summer of '76. It's got paint on it from every project I've ever worked on. Believe it or not, I even have the same little, folding, card table I used back then as a painting table!

Well, that's enough for now.

Till next time...


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just In!!!!


I just scored a copy of 'Tactics and Grand Tactics of the Napoleonic Wars' by George Jeffrey off of eBay!!

The best part - dirt cheap!

Till next time...


Some Past Work

Hello Everyone!

I know I haven't posted for a while, but working on the house has to come first. I'm going to do my best to set aside at least an hour or two a day to paint.

I'm a little leery of getting started though. Since starting this hobby, shadowing and highlighting have caused me problems. Switching to 28mm is going to force me to work on these two techniques and I'm not sure how it will work out. When painting 15mm figures I didn't really do a lot of this.

With this in mind, let me show you some of my past work. All of the minis are 15mm Old Glory and Battle Honours. Also, I'm still learning to get pictures of my minis with the digital camera, so bear with me - the quality isn't the best.

These minis are the only exception to the above statement.

If you look close you'll see a small white thing sitting on the stand. That's a grain of rice.

The minis are 2mm Russian Musketeers. For the life of me I can't remember who made them.

This is my favorite mini.

I don't think he needs an introduction!!

Vive l'Empereur!!

These are some Russian samples I tried out.

The one on the left is from OG and the one on the right is from MiniFigs.

Next are some of my French.

"Good line infantry is, without doubt, the sinew of an army." - Napoleon

French Command with members of Fusilier company No.1 , OG miniatures.

French Voltigeur company, OG miniatures.

French Grenadier company, OG miniatures.

French Fusilier company No.2, OG miniatures.

French Drummers, OG miniatures.

Okay, here is one of my idiosyncrasies when it comes to building wargaming units.

I like to have the musicians on separate stands. I saw this done with another persons minis and liked the effect. I don't count the stand as one of the unit stands. It is there as eye-candy only.

I'm not sure if I'll do this with the 28mm units or not, but I still think they're cool.

Here's the whole battalion.

Now you can see how the drummers are positioned.

Not counting the drummers there are six stands total for this battalion.

Here are some of my Waterloo period British.

"Scum. Nothing but beggars and scoundrels, all of them. Gin is the spirit of their patriotism." - Duke of Wellington

Command stand; Standards; and Drummers, BH miniatures.

Again, I did these drummers just like the French ones.

Sergeant with Center company trooper and the Standards again, BH miniatures.

A couple of the Center company stands, BH miniatures.

Elite companies, Light company on the left and Grenadier company on the right, BH miniatures.

Here's the whole battalion.

Just as with the French you can see how the drummers are positioned. Not counting them there are 10 stands total for this battalion.

Thought I'd toss in this picture for fun.

Not only can you see some of my Brits in action, but they are defending a cottage I built.

I really like scale buildings as well!

Well, I guess that's enough for now. Let me leave you with a couple of parting shots.

"Are you ready...


Till next time...


Thursday, January 8, 2009


Hello Again Everyone!!

I thought this post would be a bit more eclectic.

As you will soon learn, I'm more of a gaming 'Wannabe' than an actual gamer. I have had a devil of a time finding gamers in my area so I do not game much at all. In fact, there is a guy in my area who games, but we have a very hard time getting together. Hopefully that will change with the new year.

Anyway, since I don't get to game a lot I live vicariously through other gamers and their web sites and blogs. What I do is a lot of reading and research, collecting and painting miniature armies, and building terrain and buildings.

Part of this process is the purchase of books (I'm passionate about books - so LOTS of books) and other items used in the hobby. This past week as afforded me the chance to go to the hobby shop and crafts store to purchase some of these items. Unfortunately, the store I really wanted to go to was not open. This shop is a HUGE comic book shop that deals in fantasy gaming. I've never had an interest in fantasy gaming, but the shop has lots of paints and other goodies for the hobbyist.

While at Hobby Town USA I picked up a Citadel Hobby Drill.

This is what the little bugger looks like. It even came with a small case of bits.

Before we continue... Even though the link for the drill will take you to Amazon, I do try to buy as much as possible from local dealers - especially hobby stores. No one carries historical minis, flags or such so those need to be ordered. But items like paints, brushes, tools, and terrain materials I buy local.

That being said...a stop at the local Hobby Lobby was in order to pick up some Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colour paints as well as brushes for them.

A friend in the UK showed me an interesting way to paint horses using artist's oil paint so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm going to see if he'll give me permission to post his method. I've never worked with this type of paint so we'll see what happens. Luckily I have a handful of 28mm Front Rank horses to practice on.

Okay, even though the excursions to the hobby shops was fun, the big event was going to the book stores!! I love books - all kinds of books. My favorite types are history books and if they are heavily illustrated the better. This hobby gives me plenty of reasons to buy lots of books. Even though my concentration is on the Russian army of 1812 right now, that does not prevent me from buying books of other areas I'm interested. Come to think of it, a discussion of those other areas might make a good post.

Again, this past week gave me a chance to lurk around a few of the shops and find some nice volumes.

Here are the ones that came home with me:

Mr. Kipling's Army by Byron Farwell.

Excellent little book. It gives and interesting, and humorous, 'Upstairs/Downstairs' type view of life in the British army during the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

Battles in Britain Volume 1: 1066-1547 by William Seymour.

Now that I have this one 'Battles in Britain Volume 2: 1642-1746' NEEDS to be on my shelf as well.

The Retreat from Moscow: the Memoirs of Sergeant Bourgogne 1812-1813

The title says it. This will be an excellent read for the project at hand.

The best part about the three books above - I got them at an antique / used book shop for next to nothing!!

Weapons & Fighting Techniques of the Samurai Warrior 1200-1877 AD by Thomas Conlan.

Now this is one of those types of books that's a pure joy to look through. This book has tons of illustrations and fascinating facts. If you enjoy learning about Samurai you might want to check this one out.

After looking through this book I was ready to buy some 28mm Samurai, but I restrained myself...really...I did...

Well, I think this is enough for now. However, this post might give you an idea of what to expect in from future posts. Even though this blog is dedicated to historical wargaming, it isn't going to cover just minis and games.

Till next time...


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Russians are Coming - the Russians are Coming!!

Hello Everyone!

This post is a bit past due. I had wanted to post this a few days ago, but life just sort of got in the way. Better late than never though - eh?

I thought I'd go ahead and do a post introducing my new project - Napoleonic Russians for the 1812 Campaign. Let's just say that this project is getting off as well as Napoleon's advance on Moscow did.

The figures I'm using are the 28mm Russians from Old Glory. Some gamers do not think that the OG miniatures are all that good, but I like them and the price is right.

So, the goal is to get these:

To look like these:

I'll be very surprised if this is pull off.

While the first picture shows the unpainted version of the minis I'll be working with, the second picture shows a unit painted by a very talented painter who's name I have misplaced.

Now, I'm not saying I'm a bad painter, I'm just not as good as such illustrious artists as Steve Barber, Steve Dean or Sascha Herm.

Here are a few examples of sources I typically use as painting guides.

These are some plates from the Osprey books.

Here is another sample of an Osprey plate.

I also like to use more contemporary sources if they are available. Here are some samples of these.


Standard Bearer...


& Line Infantry.

The first step in getting ready to paint (for me anyway) is the removal of flash, mold lines, and other such aspects of the raw figure.

Once this is done I then glue each miniature to a roofing nail.

This rather strange picture is just showing the prepped minis getting ready to be primed.

Perhaps this is a better picture. Actually it isn't; it's a bit fuzzy isn't it?!

I'm not the best photographer when it comes to small items. Hopefully I'll get better.

Anyway, in this pic you can see the Officer, Drummer, and one of the Standard Bearers.

Here are the same minis, just bit more organized and primed.

And these are the same Officer, Drummer, and Standard Bearer.

You might have noticed the 'spear' looking thing laying on the wood block. Keep this in mind for later.

Before I go much further, perhaps I should explain a little about the unit to be painted.

As I said earlier, the unit is going to be a Russian Infantry battalion of 1812.

The Russian infantry battalion of 1812 consisted of 1 Grenadier and 3 Infantry companies, composed of 2 platoons each. Of special note, the Grenadier company consisted of a Strelki platoon and a Grenadier platoon.

This is what the typical Russian infantry battalion would look like in "Closed Column by Division".

BTW - the Russian's had two other 'Column' formations besides this one.

The miniature unit is based on the 'In the Grand Manner' Napoleonic Rules. So, at a 'miniature to real man' ratio of 1:20 this Russian battalion will have 32 miniatures.

This is what the miniature battalion will look like.

O = Officer; F = Standard Bearer; D = Drummer; S = Strelki; G = Grenadier X = Infantryman.

Now lets get back to those photos that had the spear type thing on the wooden block. remember those?

Anyway, that spear was actually the flag staff that had been on the miniature. It snapped off right after the figures were primed.

I was not happy. This meant that the staff would have to be replaced with metal wire.

So, after a long drawn out process of removing the remainder of the flag staff it was replaced with 1/16 brass rod.

I used a pin drill, X-acto blades, and a tiny file to to dig out the remains. Just to make matters worse, I went ahead and tortured myself by replacing the flag staff on the other figure so that they would match. To finish these new flag staffs out finials will need to be added.

Here is how they ended up looking.

To be honest, the results were not as good as I had hoped, but it could have been worse.

Maybe they will look better once finished.

I do know I won't be doing this again unless there is no other choice. At least the flag staffs on the British unit waiting in the wings are good!

Well, till next time...