Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mid-19th Century Russians for Great Game

A third battalion of Russian line infantry march off the painting desk to mobilize for the 19th Century Great Game project.  
Battalion is composed of 22 foot and one mounted officer.  Figures are from Wargames Foundry's excellent Crimean War range.  Infantry wear a mix of helmet and cap.  As seen from the photos, a number of the infantry in helmet have suffered bayonet breakage.  Interestingly, no fatigue cap soldiers suffered bayonet damage.   
Wearing the ubiquitous Russian greatcoat, these Russian foot sloggers paint quickly and take the Minwax stain very well.  While a large battalion such as this is not my preferred battalion size in 28mm, it is always enjoyable to put paint to these terrific figures.  Once completed, a battalion of this size is very enjoyable to see on the gaming table.  Enough figures to field one more Russian battalion await in The Lead Pile.
What's in the painting queue for the project?  Two Russian limbers and teams are on the painting desk as well as two native guns and crew await in the painting queue.  Native guns and crew take the form of one native Sikh gun and one Afghan gun and crew.  
With three Russian infantry battalions, six Russian cavalry squadrons, two Russian guns, four native infantry battalions, and four native cavalry squadrons, the Russian contingents are ready to challenge the British in the Great Game.    

Monday, July 18, 2016

Parade Ground: Great Italian Wars Project

Having several requests to troop the 28mm Great Italian Wars project out for a Pass-in-Review, following is a photo op of the state of this interesting project.  Work on a fairly large pile of unpainted lead remains to be tackled but must be prioritized.  Mustering the troops onto the parade ground is a practical tool in making an assessment on progress made and guiding the direction for future work.
Project Group Photo
The photo above and the two photos below illustrate the current state of the project in group photos.  With Impetvs as the basis for basing, the units mustered, thus far, include:
  • 4 stands mounted gendarmes
  • 2 stands Stradiots
  • 1 stand mounted archers
  • 4 Pike squares 
  • 2 stands 'T' arquebus
  • 2 stands 'S' arquebus
  • 3 stands Artillery
Figures are drawn from Wargames Foundry, Perry Miniatures, Old Glory, and The Assault Group
Project Group Photo
Project Group Photo
Given the overview of the project, what does the project need in order to create a more well-rounded army that could be fielded as more than one Impetvs force?  When will these fine lads see action in their first action?

Now, for two handfuls of photos of the troops.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Seeing the Elephant

Work on this project has virtually ground to a halt after having painted sufficient forces to field two armies for Impetvs.  Project hiatus has not dampened my longing to field an elephant or two for my 28mm Punic Wars project.  If you plan a Punic Wars project, elephants must be included, right?  Well, I finally took advantage of a weakening British Pound and placed an order with Aventine Miniatures for two elephants and crew.
The Aventine ellie is a magnificent beast.  The crew must be ordered separately, however.  Aventine offers two poses for the elephants and several combinations of crew.  When assembled, the model is a visual treat.
Accompanying the Aventine elephant and crew are three runners wielding javelin.  The javelin men are Libyans from Renegade Miniatures.  Having a handful of the Libyan skirmishers left over, I figured they would make good companions to the elephant and crew. 
The composition as a whole works well with Impetvs basing on a frontage of 120mm and depth of 80mm.  A second model remains in The Lead Pile to be added at a later date.  I look forward to fielding this model on the field of battle.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Improve Photos with a Light Box

DEEP light box as assembled
After struggling for years with various schemes to get consistent photos of finished figures, my troubles were eased with a Christmas gift.  That gift was a photo light box made by DEEP.
Light box assembled showing front camera aperture.
Now, among the many trials of producing good quality images, one such attempt was to make my own light box.  That Mark I version was constructed from white foam core and illuminated either from the front or top.  The light on top was a small ordinary desk lamp perched precariously on the top of the box.  A hole cut in the top fit the light cylinder such that the fixture would fit into the light box and shine into the box interior.  Not an optimal solution!
Frame with tent unzipped and removed
The DEEP light box measures 24" x 24" x 24" with a metal and plastic frame covered by a reflective,  zippered tent.  The light box assembles easily.  Two LED light bars (having 60 LEDs each) are attached to the top of the frame by small screws.  The kit comes with three different background boards that can be quickly swapped out and a handy carrying case.
Two LED light bars attached to top face
Photos can be taken from either the front or top.  With a two foot square photo space, this device can accommodate large groups of figures.

After having regularly used the DEEP light box for more than six months, what are my impressions?  This photo tent is easy to assemble and easy to use.  While the DEEP photo box has not improved my brushwork, it has improved my figure photography.  Consistent results can now be produced without relying on much trial and error.  A terrific product that I wish had been on my Wish List sooner. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Great Italian Wars Command

While the current version of Impetvs does not require independent command stands, still, I enjoy fielding a command stand and attaching it to its integral unit.  This visual attachment helps remind me to which unit receives the commander's benefits.  Given that Impetvs Baroque introduced separate command stands, I expect the next release of Impetvs to follow suit.
Given both of the these very good reasons to field commanders for the Great Italian Wars project, off the painting desk trots a two figure stand of mounted commander and aide.  This pair of mounted dandies is from Wargames Foundry's Renaissance range.  Both mounted figures are striking sculpts and a pleasure to paint.  Rummaging through The Lead Pile finds two more similar figures from this range.  Since the project could easily absorb a third pair of mounted command, I will add them into the painting queue.

Having filled two large boxes with painted figures for this project, time to set them out for a group photo.  That event must wait until I clear off the back half of the game table.  Group photo soon, though.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

AB Austrian 3rd Dragoon Rgt in Bicorne

Continuing on from the French hussars for the 1799 project, off the desk is a dozen Austrian dragoons.  These dragoons are kitted out as the 3rd Dragoon Regiment still wearing their increasingly, old fashioned bicornes.
The 3rd Dragoons are AB Miniatures from the Austrian Revolutionary Wars range and have quickly become one of my favorite sculpts.  Such crisp and fine detail.  Marvelous figures!
After photographing both the hussars and dragoons and placing them in their storage box, I discovered an error.  To my despair, I found that I mounted these cavalry on the wrong size base.  I know, I should measure twice and base once.  Unfortunately, confusion arose after basing cavalry for the 1859 project.  One uses 40mm x 30mm stands while I have opted for 1.5 inch squares for the 1799 project.  Rework!  Most unpleasant.  Still, better than the time I dullcoated  24 15mm French infantry with flat black.  Took years to recover from that episode.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

French 1st Hussars for 1799 Project

After having seen four out of the last five units pushed across the painting desk in the 25/28mm category, activity returns to 15/18mm figures generally and the 1799 project specifically.
Figures are French hussars from Lancashire Games' 15mm French Revolutionary Range.  These troopers are kitted out as the 1st Hussar Regiment in their light blue dolman, pelisse, and breeches.  Wearing a mirliton wrapped in red flambe with red over green plume plume,  these sharply dressed troopers are ready to impress.
As other Lancashire 15mm figures, the cavalry contain only a single pose and no command.  I wonder if command will be forthcoming?  Command would be a welcome addition although too late for these fine chaps.  Besides lack of cavalry command, one other minor complaint is the trooper's base.  Base is very narrow making standing upright until the glue sets a precarious proposition.  In the end, all is well and these fine fellows await their first battle.
Soon to join the French hussars for the project will be a third regiment of Austrian dragoons in bicorne.
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