Saturday, 18 June 2011

Twenty Twenty Vision

Following my post on the 3rd Cheveau-Legers Lanciers Don emailed me to explain his technique for painting tiny writing on his figures. Here’s how he did it (in his own words):

Painted those decades back. However, if I recall correctly, the trick was not actually painting a nice threaded '3' but something more bulky closer to a 'B'. Then I'd sharpen a round toothpick to a fine point and use a 'Degas' inspired method of literally dotting the excess out with the background color. One has to keep sharpening the toothpicks to keep the point tight and the paint from clumping on the end long enough to do a troop of the figures. It's a technique that worked its most extensive when painting the battle names on the British colours. Unfortunately, the pic doesn't do it justice, but gives an idea of just how small you can get with the method.

Excellent stuff - if you zoom in you can actually read the Battle Honours. I believe it was painted in Don’s BB years (before bifocals – as he puts it) but it’s pretty impressive all the same.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

In the Pipeline

I did mention a few posts back that Matt had agreed to do some more painting for me. This is good news because I greatly admire Matt’s handiwork and particularly appreciate the way he takes care to produce figures in a style that fits neatly with my own efforts. It’s also good news because (as regular visitors will have spotted) my own painting out-put has gone from very little to almost nil despite my plan to have a monthly target.

So what’s in the pipeline? Firstly you will remember I have the composite unit of British Guards. These are mostly vintage castings in an assortment of poses gathered together from various sources. One or two may be later Clayton USA castings and one of the Officers and the drummer are Der Kriegspieler figures (but of the kind that are hard to tell apart from good HH ones). Below is the test figure I have painted for Matt as a guide.

BN/3 I love this pose – the only one like this in the entire HH range

After that Matt will be painting up an eighteen strong unit of French Voltigeurs. These are actually French Line Grenadier figures but as I don’t have any line Volitgeurs they will be standing in. Here again is my test figure.

FN/3 Lovely figure in a classic HH pose. This is a Grenadier painted as a Voltigeur

So that’s the hard bit done, all I have to do now is sit back and relax whilst Matt beavers away.

On a completely different note – we made another trip up to Scotland a couple of weeks ago and I finally got to visit Culloden. I had heard there was a Visitor’s Centre and was expecting some little wooden shed on the middle of the moor. What I wasn’t expecting was a multi-million pound gleaming truly excellent museum/visitors centre with well laid out battlefield trails.

View of the battlefield from the roof of the swanky Visitor’s Centre. The whole battle area is only about the size of six football pitches – much smaller than I imagined.

What a treat – and well worth the ten quid to get in (or free if you're a National Trust member).

And finally here's a neat new tune from my son Joe - follow the link and play "Lets move to France". Nice to think all the money we spent supporting him through his music degree and Masters may not have been wasted.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Return of The Emperor

I am pleased to report that Royal Mail (how appropriate is that name) have safely reunited the Emperor and Bernadotte with the French army. Arriving in the same package was a lovely flashy old casting of BN107 British General – a generous gift from the Russians.

And all on my birthday!!!