Saturday 27 February 2016

Blowing my own trumpet

Well, sometimes you have to don’t you? This chap isn’t actually blowing his trumpet but has it slung across his back leaving his sword arm free to engage the French.

I’m really pleased with how this conversion of PN.77 Prussian Cuirassier (mounted) charging came out. It took me a ridiculously long time to achieve the result you see here mainly because creating the tiny trumpet was a right faff! I think it was worth it though for a unique figure saved the indignity of losing his sword in the conversion process.

Now I need to turn my attention away from such diversions and back to a bit of mass production if I’m going to produce my fair share of recruits for Vintage Leipzig.

Sunday 21 February 2016

Vintage Leipzig

Well it would appear that Roy is prepared to humour me one more time as I’ve just had confirmation from him that Vintage Leipzig is definitely on. He is beavering away producing Austrians to add to the hordes of Russians, Prussians and French already waiting patiently in their box files.

Leipzig is (next to Waterloo) one Napoleonic battle I’ve always wanted to refight but the sheer scale of the real event makes it daunting as a wargame. However, if it’s ever going to be done in 20mm Roy is the man to make it happen and once again we’ll be looking to put over 2,500 vintage figures (mostly Hinton Hunt) on to the table – or more precisely ‘tables’.

No firm date as yet but I would hope it will be during the summer – I’ll keep you posted

Saturday 20 February 2016

Ooh shiny!

I finally got over to Frome Model Shop last weekend and got hold of a bottle of Humbrol Clear gloss varnish. I decided to opt for this one in the end because it was advertised for use with both acrylic and enamel paints. It’s very thin and requires 2-3 coats to build up a decent gloss finish. It has the added advantage that it can apparently make Perspex look like glass which would be handy if I was building model aeroplanes, which I’m not.

I’ve also been developing my new technique for painting buttons and have progressed from using a pin to using wooden cocktail sticks. By just nicking off the end with a craft knife, you can create a nice little button shaped stamp which when correctly loaded with paint turns painting buttons from a chore to a pleasure. By cutting the other end slightly shorter I was able to add the white buttons on the coat of my Prussian Cuirassier by putting a white dot over a larger black dot – an effect I could never have managed with a paint brush.

Painting progress has been slow for the last couple of weeks but I have managed to spend a little time on the bugler – more of that in the next post.

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Groovy baby!

I was looking through the Vintage Waterloo photos when it occurred to me that this one had a great 60s quality about it. Lots of Hinton Hunt figures in it of course but there’s also a tape measure in use (photos back then always showed some bloke using a tape measure – presumably to make it look like they were playing a serious game) not to mention Napoleon, Wellington, Picton and La Haye Sainte all in shot .

We all know that Callan played with toy soldiers but what a trick they missed when they filmed Austin Powers

Sunday 7 February 2016

Two Swallows nests does not a summer make

And judging by the weather today this is definitely true.

I’ve spent what little hobby time I had this week trying to convert one of my Prussian cuirassiers into a bugler for the regiment. Creating a bugler for my cavalry units has become a bit of a point of honour for me and for this I blame Roy entirely.

 In this photo my lovingly sculpted swallows nests look like grey blobs but actually they're pretty good.

My problem this time is that all 12 cuirassier castings I have are good ones – there are 10 vintage figures and 2 Clayton’s. All the swords are perfect and the flash (from the vintage figures) had already been removed by the original owner. There are hardly any imperfections except for some pitting on the bases of the Clayton ones and one slightly dodgy hoof. Nothing to suggest which of them should sacrifice his sword for the conversion.

Reproduced here without permission so please buy the book (it really is a brilliant book)

Then while flicking through my copy of “An illustrated encyclopaedia of Uniforms of the Napoleonic wars” (as you do) I came upon a solution. There is an illustration therein of a Prussian cuirassier NCO bugler with his bugle on his back leaving his sword arm free. A Eureka moment - however the conversion still required me to fashion two swallows nests on his shoulders (not too difficult using Magic Sculp) and a bugle to strap on his back (very, very difficult and not to be recommended).

So there we go – one week, 2 Swallow’s nests and a rather strange looking bugle (too strange to show here yet).