Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September Painting Totals

September was another very good month. I finished 30 15mm figures and 174 28mm figures. You've seen most of the figures on the blog, and the few you haven't seen should be up within the next few days.

15mm Macedonians, 30 infantrymen (last of my commission work)
28mm AWI Americans, 16 infantrymen
28mm AWI British, 8 infantrymen
28mm ACW Confederates, 60 infantrymen
28mm Macedonians, 70 infantrymen, 10 cavalrymen

That makes for 831 SPPs this month and 3598 for the year. I'm averaging about 400 SPPs per month in 2009, and September saw me crank out more than double that. In addition to the figures, I also painted a 1/35 scale tank. I may do a post on the tank next week, but maybe not. It's not for wargaming, but for display, and I'm not sure any blog readers would be interested in seeing it.

I've painted the following figures so far this year:
28mm Foot: 454
28mm Mounted: 68
15mm Foot: 564
15mm Mounted: 105
15mm Elephants: 6
15mm Guns: 2

Macedonian Skirmishers

I finished painting my 28mm Macedonian army last night, and I finished the basing about half an hour ago. While the tacky glue dries, I took some pictures of the 30 skirmishers I'll field in my Warhammer Ancient Battles army.

All the figures are from Foundry. I actually didn't buy any of these figures direct, but snatched them up on eBay whenever I could find a good deal. While I was painting commissions, one of my patrons sent me a box of Foundry javelinmen as a tip. Between hunting for bargains and freebies from a satisfied customer, I was able to get all my skirmishers for a good price.

My Macedonian line troops are all in uniform, with red tunics, white plumes, and cloaks whose color scheme differs by unit. I wanted the skirmishers to look a little more motley and a lot more colorful, so you'll see quite a few different tunic shades and almost no similarity between shields. I used 1" steel washers as bases, which means the figures will stick to magnetic sheeting for easy transport.

First up are the archers.

The eight bareheaded figures are from WG 3/8 "Greek/Macedonian Archers" The two figures in hats I bought on eBay. The seller claimed they were Foundry, and they may be, but they're sculpted in a noticeably different style from the other figures. I bought a bunch of hoplites from the same seller, and they were so ugly that I quickly sold them again. Still, I needed two archers to fill out this unit, so I went ahead and included these two stinkers.

So there are my 10 archers. The other 20 skirmishers are all javelinmen, the standard skirmish arm of ancient armies.

The javelinmen come from two packs: WG 3/7 "Greek/Macedonian Javelinmen" and WG 1/6 "Greek/Macedonian Peltasts Attacking." I hand painted all the shield designs.

I still have a lot of work to do in preparation for Saturday's show, but much of the time I'll be waiting for paint to dry. I'll try to get some more photos of my Macedonian army on the blog over the next couple of days.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Painting Like a Fiend

I'm on track for the show this coming weekend. I painted 70 Macedonian foot figures over the past seven days. I made good progress on my 1/35 Tiger II, which is starting to look like a tank now.

By Friday I have 10 Greek cavalry to paint, I'll have to base and flock all 80 figures, and I'll be weathering the tank.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Modeling Show Coming Up

The Society of Palouse Area Modelers (SPAM), of which I am a member, will be holding its annual "Show Off the Good Stuff" show on October 3rd in Moscow, Idaho. I'm feverishly working on my 28mm Macedonian army in order to exhibit at at the show. I have 22 pikemen, 20 javelinmen, 10 archers, and 10 Greek light cavalry to finish in the next 12 days. I hope to have some pictures of the completed pikemen up tomorrow.

At the same time, I working on a 1/35 scale Tiger II, the first tank I've ever painted using an airbrush. This is a stretch for me, working on something well outside my comfort zone. We'll see how it comes out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sash and Saber 28mm Confederate Infantry

While I continue to wait for my Perry AWI figures, I painted up 60 Sash and Saber rebels for my Guns at Gettysburg army. I did all of these in grey jackets, although I did vary the highlight tone I used. Trousers are, of course, in a variety of colors. Almost all of these men got brown hats, but that was just to keep the assembly line going. I still have 100 more figures to paint, five lots of 20 figures, and I'll add some more variety in hats and jackets in those lots. Click on the picture to get a larger image.

Monday, September 14, 2009

HO Model Railroad Terrain

While I wait for the Perry Miniatures AWI order, I'm continuing to work on my 28mm ACW figures. I have a batch of 60 Confederate infantry that are at about the halfway point, but I'm also working on my terrain for American battlefields from 1775 to 1865. I bought a terrain mat, roads, hills, and streams from the Terrain Guy. Now I'm busy adding trees, crops, fencing, and buildings.

One great source for realistic terrain is the model railroading hobby. Scenery Express has a great web store, with good pictures of their inventory. I've done a post on the cornfield you can see below (it's actually O scale, which fits better with 28mm figures). Here is some HO scale rail fencing that I bought at a local store. All in all, I got 144" of fencing for $10.

These fences were actually three rail fences when I bought them, but with some clever knife work and careful glueing I was able to build taller six rail fences. I based the fences on strips of basswood, spray painted them brown, drybrushed a light grey, and flocked the bases.

These fences may seem too high, but compare them with the rail fence on the Hagerstown Turnpike at Antietam. The top rail on that fence is just over head height, which matches very well with my fences.

Model railroaders also seem to insist on more accurate trees than most wargamers do. In keeping with the Antietam theme, here are some trees in autumn colors.

Notice the dappled appearance of the bark on these aspens!

The model railroad terrain can be pricey, but once I've spent a couple thousand dollars on miniatures, I really don't mind spending a couple hundred dollars on terrain. If I'm going to spend the time to paint really impressive looking armies, I want the field on which they fight to look equally impressive.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Old Glory Second Edition AWI British

When I bought my packs of Americans from Old Glory, I had them through in a single pack of British so I could see how I liked them.

The British are dressed according to the 1768 clothing warrant, which really only makes them suitable for operations around Boston from April to June of 1775. And it's actually doubtful that many British infantry wore full dress even then! Still, this is the classic "redcoat" look that filled all our school years imaginations, and I'm not pedant enough to bar full dress Brits from any battlefield. These figures probably bear as much likeness to the wet and muddy foot slogger as any Napoleonic full dress figure does, and I doubt many Napoleonic gamers would banish full dress figures to the parade ground.

I painted these figures in white facings and lace, meaning to use them as Marines at Bunker Hill. The red coats got a slight highlight of pink, which I hope helps them to pop.

So what's the verdict? I like the figures well enough, and at $.60 apiece, they're a bargain. With Foundry and Front Rank as their only real competition, these figures will likely form the bulk of any British army I choose to build. Since Austin is focusing on figures in campaign dress, a few full dress regiments might allow us to fight the very earliest battles or field a bit more variety in later fights.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Old Glory Second Edition AWI Americans (4)

I finished terraining the bases of my rank and file last night. I'll wait on the command stands until I have some GMB flags for them.

The figure basing scheme I'm using is the same as for my American Civil War figures. Close order infantry get four figures on a 30mmx40mm Litko base. This gives only 15mm of frontage per figure, which is a pretty tight fit, but it accomplishes two goals.

First I get that close order, shoulder-to-shoulder look that many horse and musket wargames armies don't have. My 28mm Napoleonic armies, for example, based for Piquet, have three infantry figures on a 40mm square base. They end up looking like a reinforced skirmish line, rather than a dense, ordered formation of infantry. These Continentals (and my ACW regiments) are much denser.

Second, I can really pack the troops on my 9'x5' table. My 15mm figures are also four to a stand, but their stands are 25mm square. My 28mm troops take up only an additional 5mm of frontage, which means I can fight big battles and use almost the same number of 28mm troops as 15mm troops.

My ACW infantry have a very simple terrain scheme on their bases. I started by laying down a layer of Woodland Sceneics dark brown medium ballast. I drybrushed the ballast with light chocolate paint, then used white glue to affix bright green static grass.

I mixed that up a bit for my AWI figures. I used Woodland Scenics light brown fine ballast with no drybrush, added the static grass, and affixed some scatter with tacky glue. The scatter is a mix of medium talus (stained with a burnt umber oil wash), medium green clump foliage, and Silflor late summer prairie tufts. I think it gives a lot more texture to the base, but you can judge for yourself with these comparison shots. Click on the photos to get larger images.

I may start adding some leafed and dead branches as well once I base my Perry figures. I need to hunt for some good looking twigs.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

15mm Xyston Hypaspists

I've finished my last commission, which was for a pretty big force of 15mm Macedonians. All the figures were from Xyston Miniatures. They have a reputation as the very best 15mm ancients, the AB of their period, and they live up to it. Here are the hypaspists, which I painted using the same techniques of shading I would use on 28mm figures.

As you can see, my patron wanted to use these as silver shields. Should I ever decide to build a 15mm Macedonian army, I know which figures I'll use!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Old Glory Second Edition AWI Americans (3)

While I wait for the Perry order to come in, I finished painting the last of my Old Glory second edition AWI Americans. These figures are all in full dress, and I'm happy to report that the sculpts are solid efforts, with nice faces and good proportions.

Here first are the command figures from AWI-61 "Continental Command Full Dress." I painted the figures for two different regiments, one with blue jackets and red facings, based on an early New York Regiment, and one with brown jackets and red facings, which can be used for any number of pre-1778 regiments.

The command figures are nice enough, but I was even more pleased with the rank and file. The following figures are from AWI-57 "Continental Full Dress - Cocked Hats."

I thought the figures looked very natural, and as you can see, the faces are indeed much better than those in the hunting shirts packs.

As I wrote in the last post on the Old Glory Americans, I'll definitely use these figures in my games. Having dropped close to $400 on Perry figures, however, I'm not going to order any more Old Glory figures in the foreseeable future. These 36 figures will have to be grouped together in regiments without any additions. Here's how the Old Glory figures look with a mix of packs.

By mixing figures in hunting shirts and full dress, I'm able to depict something of the rag-tag look of the continentals. This may well be the way some units looked in 1777, when the early issue coats had mostly worn out and Washington was asking the states to send hunting shirts to equip his men.

The Old Glory line actually allows even more latitude than I've been able to show. They have packs of full dress and hunting shirts with floppy hats, which would allow one to vary his units yet more. But I still feel like that would give too uniform a look. In my mind's eye, Continentals looked as they do in this Troiani painting, but that would take figures in shirt sleeves, figures in civilian coats, and figures in uniform coats with trousers, none of which Old Glory has.

The final verdict? I would be happy enough with these Old Glory figures to field an army of them, but I'm treating myself to Perrys. Will the painted figures look good enough to justify the difference in cost? I'm going to find out.

In the meantime, if anyone knows of any images of painted Eureka Continentals, please point me in their direction!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Huge Perry AWI Order

The fellows and I have decided to take on a group project, Freeman's Farm in 1:20 for British Grenadier. I'll paint up the entire American army, Austin will paint the British, and Jon will paint the Hessians.

We spent some time deciding on a manufacturer. And by "some time," I mean that we spent about five minutes before settling on Perry Miniatures' AWI range, which have to be the most beautiful 25mm figures I've ever seen. With the exchange rate turning back to the UK's advantage and with the cost of postage, the figures will be pricey, about $2 apiece for foot, $5 apiece for horse, and $15 for a gun with four crew.

And this isn't a small order we'll be making, either. Our three forces together will run us £651, which translates to $1,053. Ouch. But the figures do look very nice, and I'm in a mood to splurge.

I thought some of you might be interested in seeing a really large order in all its glory. Here's what we're getting.

AW30 Warriors advancing with rifles and muskets x1 A
AW34 Riflemen skirmishing x2 A
AW35 Riflemen advancing x1 A
AW37 Mounted infantry officers x1 B
AW38 Command Advancing x1 A
AW39 Command Standing x1 A
AW40 Infantrymen advancing, shouldered arms x5 A
AW42 Infantry advancing, shouldered arms, hunting shirts x4 A
AW44 Command advancing, hunting shirts x1 A
AW45 Command standing, hunting shirts x1 A
AW46 American casualties x3 A
AW47 Mounted officers x2 B
AW53 British command standing x1 A
AW54 British infantry firing line x1 A
AW55 British infantry standing, shouldered arms x4 A
AW56 British infantry command, slouch hats and cut-down coats, advancing x1 A
AW58 British infantrymen, slouch hats and cut-down coats, advancing, shouldered arms x5 A
AW59 British casualties x2 A
AW60 British command, standing, "Saratoga uniforms" x2 A
AW61 British infantry standing, shouldered arms, "Saratoga uniforms" x4 A
AW62 British infantry firing line, "Saratoga uniforms" x1 A
AW63 British infantry advancing, shouldered arms, "Saratoga uniforms" x4 A
AW65 British command in "Saratoga uniforms" advancing x1 A
AW74 Hesse-Cassel Jaeger command x1 A
AW75 Hesse-Cassel Jaegers skirmishing x2 A
AW76 Hesse-Cassel Grenadier command advancing x1 A
AW77 Hesse-Cassel Grenadiers advancing ,shouldered arms x3 A
AW84 Hessian casualties x1 A
AW87 Hesse-Cassel Musketeers command advancing x3 A
AW88 Hesse-Cassel Musketeers advancing, shouldered arms x9 A
AW99 Hessian mounted Generals (Knyphausen, Riedesel and Stirn) x1 B
AW100 British officers interrogating a capitve Continental officer x1 A`
AW109 British royal artillery running up six pounder, Saratoga dress x2 C
AW110 British royal artillery in cap-hats firing six pounder x2 C
AW112 Continental Artillery firing three pdr "butterfly" x1 C
AW113 British royal artillery in cap-hats firing three pdr "butterfly" x1 C
AW115 British royal artillery in Saratoga dress firing three pdr "butterfly" x1 C
AW121 Hesse-Cassel Artillery firing Swedish four pdr 1 C
AW122 Hesse-Cassel Artillery Loading Swedish four pdr 1 C
AW136 Southern militia / continentals advancing, shouldered arms, in shirt sleeve order x3 A
AW139 Militia in coats, advancing, shouldered arms x3 A
AW140 Infantry in regimental coats, overalls and various hats x3 A

That's 75 packs of infantry, 4 of mounted generals, and 9 of artillery. I think this is the second largest miniatures order I've ever made, just behind the massive Sash and Saber ACW order I placed 15 months ago.

We're setting an ambitious timetable, hoping to field our completed armies by Christmas. With my last commission in its final stage, I'll have my painting table clear for this project. Expect this blog to turn into a lesser version of Tarleton's Quarter for the next few months.