More Napoleons!!

Have now completed the latest commission two bases with several interchangeable Napoleons that can be ‘slotted’ into position depending on the situation. Napoleon can be consulting a map or sat in his chair or looking intently over the field of battle.

One of the pieces includes a heavily milliputted Baueda tent which took several goes before it looked right. Apparently the big fella’s tent was oval in shape, but that would have meant starting from scratch. An interesting option for me but rather too costly for the customer.

The figures are a mixture of Warmodelling and AB. The only comment I will pass on completion of this model is that Warmodelling figures are ‘not’ AB. There are some great ideas there with the figures but only some of the sculpting is successful. For example their Napoleon and Roustam vignettes are very nice but Napoleon bent over his map is quite poor. and there is little one can do with it. I wish Tony Barton would cast his imagination back to the French high command. I could do with some more AB Napoleons and of course the ever absent Murat.

The figures are based on square metal bases at the owners request. This was a shape I found to be surprisingly restrictive  to my imagination. A lot more so than a round one or an irregular shaped base.

The bases were decorated with soil ground foam, earth powders and static grass.

I gave a couple of the AdC’s a head swap using the very nice Peter Pig spare heads (though PP could do me a favour and release several more different packs for variety).



Once more I am unhappy with my photography. Just cannot get it right…


Bombed photos of Landschnechts (new spelling)

These are a few days in to the process and try as I might I still cannot take a decent photograph.

What you see here is ‘contrast major’ – the transitions between the whites are not as stark as they look here and frankly I am disappointed at not being able to show you what they really look like. I am really pleased with the guys in white even though there is a bit of work to do.

Standard poles are now fixed in – I don’t know why I didn’t do this initially.

I have found a couple of really good ideas for flags – one definitely will be scene from an allegorical woodcut and the other might include pigs to which I will add a coat of arms.IMG_7535IMG_7533IMG_7534IMG_7514I will have to tone down the shadows of the white figures. The second standard bearer will be red and blue and the bloke with the sword I am not so sure about.


Hey ho!


Landeschnekte Boogaloo

What ever spelling you prefer I have decided to keep a painting diary to keep me on the ball. I have four Landeschnekte on the go here they are all gesso’d up and raring to go…

cleaned and gesso'd

cleaned and gesso’d

It is my intention to do a daily update just to see what actually goes on during the process.

These were started whilst waiting for my current commission to finish. I have used some metallic oils ion some 18mm Naps and they do take time to dry. I expect to complete the project by the weekend and I shall comment further on that project in due course.

WordPress spellchecker wants to change Landeschnekte to ‘clandestine’ and does’nt even like its own name!

‘Gold Fever’

Much to my delight I was awarded a Gold Medal and the ‘Model of the Month’ award at the White Rose Military Modelling Society for the 18mm model of Napoleon I did for Mr Lawrence a month or so ago. This means Napoleon and his chums have to return to compete in the ‘Model of the Year’ competition in February.

The other gold medal winner this month was a rather lovely 75mm Byzantine cavalryman with an excellent banner, so I am really chuffed.

I hope to get my dio of the Czar completed for the Christmas show. It won’t win as that attracts European champion painters but I can hold my head up in the comp.

Christmas comes early!

My Croebern 1813 book arrived today and by golly its wonderful! Certainly worth the cost.

What I am  really impressed by is the scale. Not just that there are 20,000 model soldiers in the model, but the ‘scale’ of how much space all those soldiers took up during manouvres. A painting simply cannot give a proper indication of the distances and space involved for moving just one batallion. Wargame designers could do worse than examining this model, before making assumptions about the space, time and level of organisation required to get a division through a village and deployed in the fields beyond. All the waggons and horses involved in moving just one battery of artillery are quite staggering.

It is simply a stunning piece of work.

I wish…

If I had quibbles it is the lack of plans of the model with dimensions and more pictures of construction methods. These are of course on their website so it is not really much of an issue.

If you are short of ideas for Christmas, ask your nearest and dearest for this book.

Fields of dreams

Here are some fields created as terrain pieces. Two Cabbage fields and a maize field. All are on 4 inch by 3 inch metal bases.

This is the first time I have used metal bases and I have to say I really like them. I like the weight and the fact that they dont warp. My only concern was how to stick things to the metal. I was lucky enough a couple of years ago to chat with a crafts person who introduced me to the ‘Rolls Royce’ of glues, the wonder glue E600. I intend to do a review of glue (ahh the poetry!) in my next post, so more on that later,

I used card board as the basis of the fields, with a defined ditch between the cultivated area and the wilder fringe. Corrugated cardboard is great for modelling ridge and furrows of ploughing. The card was covered with a generous dollop of watered down PVA and several handfulls of dried, sieved garden dirt,

The grass is a mixture of static fibres; starting from the edges with the preferred (and supplied) colour of the client gradually changing colour in the ditch, and supplemented with various ground turfs.

The cabbages (or should I say ‘bloody’ cabbages) were made from scrunched up ‘punches’. These were cut from paper pre-coloured with various blues greens and yellows. These took an age to make.

The maize plants were from two sources, one set is plastic. These suffer from slight flashing along the edges which needed to be cleaned. They were then plunged into hot water and twisted to form random plant like shapes. Painting was rather troublesome as they were quit fiddly, and being plastic they didnt take the paint well. But they are really quit good, Especially with the fine golden flock glued on to their tops.

These were surrounded by my usual choice of etched nickel maize plants, These are really superb, but again are quit fiddly to paint and to twist to shape. However they look great. I put them round the edge because I am not convinced that plastic plants will take knocks very well.

Both types are very expensive to buy and take quite a while to paint and model effectively.

The etched brass tree is from 4D model shop. This is well worth a visit as they sometimes have ‘seconds’ on sale. Etched brass trees are so much better than the crappy twisted wire ones you can get. Having said that you can get decent model trees from China. They haven’t quite understood the colour scheme of trees yet, many are excruciatingly bright, but once they do, they will be a great cheaper alternative.






More AB Generals

Its been sometime, once again, since I updated my blog. I wish I was more disciplined and did it weekly, rather than save lots of stuff up. Luckily I have an update now and plan another one in a couple of days.

Here are some more French General vignettes. I hope you like them.

Marshal Davout this model has a peter pig cow!

Marshal Davout this model has a peter pig cow!

another view of Marshal Davout (hey its poetry corner!)

another view of Marshal Davout (hey its poetry corner!)

Marshal Lannes

Marshal Lannes

Marshal Lannes

Marshal Lannes

A general of Division

A general of Division

A Cavalry General

A Cavalry General

I am disappointed with my photography again I just cannot get it quite ‘right’. Some of the facial shading looks a lot darker than it actually is and my lighting makes the figures look as thought they are gloss varnished – They are well Dull-coted. Hey ho.

The next pictures are of Hetman Platov the first of some Russian generals that may make it to eBay soon.

Platov and his escoert

Platov and his escoert



I am planning a mass conversion of figures into a procession of priests with Icons and banners to go with Alexander 1




Some photo’s now of the latest completed Vignette.

The ‘Petit Maison’ – This model comes in two parts.

The larger (outer) part has Roustam, Constant, and Imperial AdC, and two members of the Duty Squadron.

The smaller (inner) Part has the Emperor and a mixture of Generals and Colonels.

The idea is that when Tony Barton gets round to doing more models of Napoleon, now inner vignettes can be subsitituted, depending on what the Emperor is doing – looking at a map, discussing something with Berthier, sat with his foot on a drum like at Borodino.

All we need now is for AB and Eureka to come up with half a dozen Napoleons.

Oh and half a dozen Murats!









The World Turned Upside Down!

I have finally finished a little project, ahead of schedule.

It’s a topic that I have never visited painting wise, though I did study the American Revolution at Uni.

The commission was to create a French gun emplacement, originally to include within it a spot where the gamer could place his commanders. I thought about this for a while and did some research, especially of pictures and decided that it was unlikely that a general would place himself in this position if a safer spot was available; and a permanent place would look very odd IF the general was elsewhere marshaling his troops.

So I decided to create a generic emplacement without reference to generals, or indeed the 18th Century, as this would render the position useless for Napoleonic, or Thirty Years War etc. The general would be separate, and to give him a good view, he would have his own ‘temporary’ hill. The figures were the excellent Perry Miniatures.

The generals are just lovely, full of character. The artillerymen are nice but, for some reason I found some of them difficult to paint. Some of their faces were a little odd. Many have lovely expressions which suits my painting styles, and yet others were difficult to prise any character out of. A number of them were the subject of head-swaps, and a few were given new tools to hold.

The base of the generals hill is card, built up with cork tile, edged on one side with cork bark. The whole was covered with milliput and then lots of dirt and layers of Silflor, Polak, ground foam, ground olive stones and etched brass plants. One of the officers rests with one foot on a tree stump, so I decided to add more stumps to the base. Plenty of trees needed to felled to create the siege works so that was great. I also added seven Pine trees, just for show. The base has eight figures, a dog and a table laden with lunch. Luckily the client agreed that French officers would never be far from lunch! I based the generals and the trees on little sabots which fit into holes in the base, and I made finger sized holes so that they could be easily removed from the base. This was partly to allow the general to be used elsewhere, and also that if the trees were fixed permanently the model would not travel very well. I supplied blank sabots so the hill could be used elsewhere – I am not sure that this works as well as I would have liked – but there you go…

The emplacement is based upon  some extra thick plasticard. The mounds were built from LEGO. I found these bricks to be fantastic for building up models- and especially buildings where you end up with a solid and straight model. I used some of the new Renedra gabions. I found these to be OK but had a lot of flash and mould lines- too much for my liking really. However, if I had to do the gabionage by hand it would have taken for ever and would have damaged my hands! After some work and a lick of paint, these gabions look very good though. The whole was liberally covered with soil and airbrushed. A disaster struck while I was airbrushing in the garden (its been hot). I managed to lose a vital piece of the machine in the grass, which was very silly. It wont happen again.I made a shed load of Abbatis from twisted wire and Milliput.. These are felled trees, laid crown-wards towards the enemy, with their major branches sharpened. Famously these proved too much for the British assault on Ticonderoga in 1758, and I think the French understood the value of these types of works.

It does look rather formidable. I also had to incorporate niches on either flank to enable the clients trenches to match up with this work. The gunners were based on 20 mm square bases covered in earth and a bit of Silflor. My dilemma was that the gunners will have to serve both in the entrenchments and in the field. Bare earth looked really bad so some greenery looked better. A nice project.