Thursday, October 13, 2016

Prussian Musketeers and Landwehr

With the first stage of the French army now done, I'm getting started on with the Prussian army. The unit of landwehr was painted up earlier this year, when I was contemplating a collection in this figure scale, so it was nice to have already struck a blow. The unit of musketeers was quite enjoyable to paint, with some nice detailing on the command figures. My understanding is that the Prussian landwehr units didn't usually have banners, but the figure pack came with one, so I added him in anyway. Once all the units are done I'll be going back and adding flags to them (as well as the French units).

Thursday, October 6, 2016

French Light Infantry and Artillery

I'm pleased to say that my French starter army is now complete. Last week I finished the crew for the four canons - a total of 10 figures (still another 10 to paint at a later date) - and yesterday the bases finished drying on the two light infantry battalions. I decided to base the artillery crew individually for now, and not to bother putting the guns on bases. My thinking is that it will be easier to position the canons on the terrain, and I'll be able to remove individual crew members to represent casualties / hit losses etc, depending on the rules being used. 

In total, I now have two battalions of line infantry, two light battalions, four canons, nine cuirassiers and a mounted general. A recent purchase has added a unit of line infantry in greatcoats waiting to be painted up, but for now I'm cracking on with the Prussian starter army, which will be about the same size as the French.

Both armies will be quickly expanded, but once I've done the initial forces (hopefully by early November), I'm planning to get some small sized games played. After buying and reading numerous Napoleonic rules over the past year or two, it'll be nice to actually try some of them out!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Winter Warmer - TTC Challenge

The "Winter Warmer" hobby challenge is about to start over on Tabletop Commanders, so I've decided to get on board and pick a hobby project that's been languishing under the table for far too long.

It's unlikely I'll be doing anything except 20mm Napoleonics over the next few months, so rather than doing a painting challenge I thought I'd try to improve my collection of terrain, which at the moment is pretty woeful.

About two years ago I bought a couple of boxes of the Hexon terrain made by Kallistra. I got as far as covering the tiles with my homemade flock, but that was about it. Fine if I wanted to play a game on flat, featureless grassland, but not much good for anything else (and very uninspiring).

For the Winter Warmer,  I would like to finish what I started, which means adding various hex terrain features. I still need to come up with a list but it will include the usual things like hills, roads, river tiles etc. When it's finished, the whole setup should have a more unified appearance, so I'm going to go back and reflock most of the tiles and the few hills that I have previously made. Kallistra makes a good range of Hex terrain features, but I'm going to try to do this on a small budget, which means building my own features as far as possible and making use of the materials I already have lying around. If I do splurge money on anything it'll likely be a bridge or two, and maybe some buildings, so part of the time spent will be on painting up any resin terrain I buy.

I like the Hexon tiles. They are a good size for my 20mm figures, and even if I'm not playing hex-based rules, they should be a good modular system of terrain for playing any game. All going well, by the end of the year I should have a terrain system that will be practical for gaming but also look good on the table. At least, that's the plan...

So, challenge set. I'll write it up in more detail for the next post and like everyone else I'll share updates as I go along. I'm looking forward to seeing what the other TTCs are doing for their Winter Warmer.


Monday, September 26, 2016

20mm French - some more progress

Work on my 20mm French army continues at a good pace. Last week I finished off a second battalion of line infantry, with just a flag still to add and the bases to be tarted up a bit at some point. I also took a break from doing line troops and painted up the first general. I only have one of these at the moment, but will certainly be adding further command figures in due course. I'm quite happy with how he commander turned out. I tried to paint the gold fabric areas of his uniform using flat colours, which I think looks a bit more realistic than using metallic paint (or at least it should do once I get better at it!)

Currently on the paint bench is the first of what will be two battalions of light infantry and a battery of four guns. Once they're done, that will be the entire starter army done, but I already have more minis on order from Newline, so the lead pile will be replenished very shortly.

Along with more French, the Prussian are coming! I'm looking forward to starting them once the French lights and artillery are done. I already have one unit of Prussian landwehr painted, which I bought a while back when I was first thinking about doing 20mm Napoleonics, so I'll show a picture of that unit in a future post.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

French Cuirassiers finished

I finished the first unit of heavy cavalry for my 20mm French army this week. Having done the initial paint test on one figure, the remaining 8 miniatures went quite quickly. I could have spent longer on them, but it was still a little over a full day's work, which was enough for me. The bases are 30x30mm with two figures to a base, so I have one miniature left over, although I will probably add more cuirassier units in the future. For now, it's back to the French infantry.

I'm also trying to keep other projects moving along at the same time, albeit more slowly. My 10mm SYW Prussian and Russian armies are now big enough to be able to do a very small battle, so I think I might take a break from painting this weekend and play a couple of games. A while back I bought Keith Flint's Honours of War rules for the SYW, so I'm looking forward to giving them a try. Once I have better table set-up, I hope to bring you some battle reports in future posts.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

20mm French - first battalion finished

I finished the first battalion of French infantry for my 20mm project at the weekend. A big thank you to the guys over at the Tabletop Commanders hangout. It was great to share in a bit of hobby chat while getting these figures finished off. I'm looking forward to more paint and chats in the future. They're great fun, and definitely a good motivator for keeping the paint brush moving.

I'm quite happy with how these guys have turned out. I've still to add a flag and I'll probably go back and dress up the bases a little bit, but they're otherwise finished. I think I have about another three battalions to paint for the French army pack I bought, but I'll go back to doing the cuirassiers first before painting any more infantry.

For anyone interested, I decided to shoot a quick video of these minis. I hope to do more videos in future, although it's all quite new to me, so don't exepect great production values to begin with!

More soon!


Friday, September 9, 2016

French Cuirassier - 20mm

20mm French Cuirassier from Newline Designs.

Comparison with 28mm Cuirassier from Foundry

It feels a bit embarrassing coming back to a blog after such a long time since posting anything. It was supposed to be a hobby diary, which hopefully might have some content that would be of interest to others, but for some reason I lost focus. A loss of focus sounds better than just admitting I got lazy - which is probably the truth of it.

Anyway, rather than waste words trying to explain my feeble attempts at blogging thus far, I'll just get back to actually doing it again.

First up, I thought I'd show a couple of pictures of something I painted yesterday: a 20mm French Cuirassier from Newline Designs. I have another 8 of these guys to paint, which I'll do in one batch.

You don't find very many photos in the community of Newline's Napoleonic figures, which is a shame because they really are rather nice in my opinion, and their range is massive. I bought one of Newline's French army packs, and the plan is to paint up some Prussians for them to go up against. I'll post some photos next time of the infantry I've done so far for both armies.

I really like the 20mm scale. Compared to 28mm you can get a lot more on the tabletop for bigger battles, but they're still big enough for the uniforms and details to be appreciated from a distance. This French Cuirassier wasn't too fiddly to paint, so I'll how the rest of the army goes.

I pretty much like all wargaming figure scales, and for Napoleonics I have projects on the go for 6mm, 10mm, 20mm and 28mm. As always, though, the downside to having so many projects on the go is it takes ages to get any single one finished. I have this idea that one day they'll all be finished at the same time and I'll suddenly be in wargaming heaven!