Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Glossy Young Guard

I’ve been making a fair bit of progress with the Young Guard Voltigeurs although this has slowed somewhat in the last few days. I’m optimistically hoping to have the whole unit finished by the end of the month (or by mid-Feb at latest).

I finally took the plunge and bought some Winsor & Newton Artisan Gloss Varnish as recommended by Wellington Man and Ilkley Old School. Those of you who have followed this blog for a while will know about my various varnish problems. Originally I was using Humbrol Satincote but as the quality of this product decreased I have been travelling more and more towards full gloss. I thought that if any troops deserved to be 'proper shiny' it should be the Guard.

The figures pictured are FN/77 Voltigeur Guard (running at the trail). These 5 plus 1 officer will make up one of my 6 figure companies, the others will be comprised mostly of FN/75 Voltigeur Guard (charging). The running at trail figures here are all vintage castings but 4 of them had miscast musket butts which had to be extended by using some extra muskets I had lying around. It was a bit of a fiddle and I’m hoping the ends won’t drop off in action.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Old Guard for a New Year

Work on the Young Guard continues while a host of foot
Chasseurs wait patiently in the background.
Spurred on by the arrival of the foot Chasseurs I have decided to make 2018 the year of the Old (and Young) Guard. My rather ambitious plan is to paint all my remaining Imperial Guard foot figures so that at the end of the year I will have 2 x units Old Guard Grenadiers, 2 x units Old Guard Chasseurs, 1 x unit Young Guard and 1 x unit Marines of the Guard.

It’s a great plan but to make it happen I will have to paint 113 figures which although it may not seem a lot is a tall order for me when you consider that last year I only managed to paint 49 Hinton Hunt’s. Even when you allow for the fact that 7 of those were mounted figures (let’s count those as 2 foot figures) and if you add in the 27 figures painted for my Boer War project and 14 figures painted for my WWII western desert project (not anywhere near as time consuming as Napoleonics so let's count those as half a Hinton Hunt) it still only comes to the equivalent of 76 figures.

This means I will have to resort to some production line painting methods (not a favourite of mine) and also stay focused (so no tanks but maybe a few Boers) if I’m going to achieve my aim. To get things moving I have cleaned up and primed the rest of the Young Guard unit and lined up my new paint brushes ready for action.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Let it Snow…

The weather outside is frightful (with 3 inches of snow and still falling thick and fast)
But the fire is so delightful (not lit yet but at least I’ve brought the wood in from the wood store)
And since I’ve no place to go (already been to Sainsbury’s)
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Our back garden - 3 inches of snow and still falling.

A good time to open up the painting desk and take a proper look at the two units of vintage Old Guard foot Chasseurs that Santa brought me. The marching figure is FN/67 Chasseur (marching) and the firing figure is FN/65 Chasseur (firing). It’s great to have these as they seem much harder to come by than the foot Grenadiers.

The Chasseurs differ from the Grenadiers in that the left foot
of the marching figure is forward (right foot Grenadiers) and
the firing figure is leaning forward (whereas the Grenadier is
more upright).
The mounted Colonel appears to be a conversion from the Blucher figure with a head graft from Dorsenne. If it snows for the next 12 weeks I might just get these painted.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Russian Parade

My Hinton Hunt Russian Grenadiers were paraded today to receive their colours at long last.

As there are no Russian Generals in my collection the duty of presenting the
colours fell to Marshal Blucher. "Here mein children take zis early
Christmas present!"
The regiment is proud as punch, they've only been waiting since 2006!
Off they go, drums beating and flag snapping in the wind. There'll be a few
miniature bottles of vodka consumed at the barracks tonight.

Thanks to Tzar Alexander and WM for making this possible.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Young Guard Command

I’m on a bit of a roll because tonight I have completed my Young Guard Voltigeur command group by finishing off a marching officer FN/74 Young Guard Officer (marching). I’ve had this particular figure for many years, in fact I think he was included in one of the first batches of figures I acquired at the start of this project.

I guess that’s the fun bit of this unit done as I’ll have no option now but to move onto the rank and file next. Perhaps painting them one at a time is the way to go to stave off boredom although it would probably be quite wasteful of paint.

Four down twenty more to go.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Young Guard Flag Bearer

Although painting time is now officially over until after Christmas I just had to have a go at the Young Guard Flag Bearer. The figure used in the conversion is FN/70 Young Guard Officer (charging) and the amazing flag is the handiwork of Wellington Man.

I had to do another paint job conversion for the strap that holds up the flag (there must be a proper name for it) and I still need to do some touching up however I’m very pleased with the result. Of course Hinton Hunt never did produce either flag bearer or drummer for the Young Guard in common with several of their Napoleonic ranges and perhaps this was to encourage such conversions.

Three down, only twenty-one more to go.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Young Guard Drummer - Take 2

Matt gently pointed out to me that my drummer was missing the shoulder strap that supports the drum. He was right of course and I was vaguely aware of this while I was painting him but not enough to engage my brain.

I have now corrected this and removed the levitating drum effect by adding a suitable strap by way of a paint conversion. Matt had even gone to the trouble of removing the cartridge box for added authenticity when he did the conversion so shame on me for my omission.

I also took the opportunity to repaint the drum hoops in a lighter blue which matches my other French drummers – consistency is everything.