Monday, June 30, 2014

WSS Collection, Julian Blakeney Edwards - Part 2, Grand Alliance Infantry Units

Jyske or Jutland Regiment - Danish
Barry Hilton - It has been a while since I first posted some pictures from Julian's long departed collection so I thought it timely to delve into the archive for another selection of work that went from me to South London several years ago and now resides I know not where! Maybe someone reading the blog knows where it all is these days.. answers on a comment here please.

The Jutland Regiment are first up. I actually liked both the figure and the colour combination I used on these. The flag is of course in the cotton style which I specialized in between 1990-2010.

Regiment Prinds Georg - Danish

Regiment Prinds Georg are an old favourite of mine. Having painted them for my own collection and for another customer I was happy to do them for Julian too. This flag is that which first appeared on my own battalion before I re-flagged them.

Regiment Lochmann - Swiss
Swiss regiments in the Grand Alliance service are less common subjects for wargaming armies than those who ably served the French. Regiment Lochmann have a very similar standard to that of the Gardes Suisses. This was, in my opinion one of the better Old Glory poses.
Regiment Pallandt - Dutch
I am almost sure the unit above is Regiment Pallandt. I remember misnaming them somewhere else and being gently corrected! If I have erred once more I apologize. The mix up was with Regiment Beaumont  I seem to remember.
Gard Dragonders in the dismounted role
The famous Black Dragoons. Infantry figures painted as a dismounted dragoon battalion. I enjoy painting black uniforms, it is an interesting challenge to make them appear as if they have depth without going overboard.
1st Foot Guards - English

The 1st Regiment of Foot Guards are of course the senior regiment of infantry in the British Army (now the Grenadier Guards. In this iteration they are still English and not British. The pose was one of those I felt less comfortable in the Old Glory range.

Hales? Regiment of Foot

I think the chaps above are Edward Hales's Regiment but without going to check my source material I can't be sure. They look nice though!

Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards - English
The final unit is the famous Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards. An English regiment named after a Scottish town right on the border between the two countries.

More from Julian's collection soon.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Defensive Behaviour.. building fieldworks with Warfare Miniatures accessories. Part 6

We are almost there. The finishing touches are covered in this part of the series. Some of the effects worked early on in the tile grout can now be seen. Lots of cart tracks were traced using the wooden end of old paint brushes. All the areas of sand patches will be washed down in a 25 paint 75 water mix of brown and black to create some ground contrast.
Light sand highlight added to the groundwork.
Static grass will be added and highlighted

I usually wash cart tracks with the 25/75 wash. It looks stark without the grass covering but when this is added with PVA and drybrushed (in Japanese Uniform) it all tones down. 

The dark patches will receive a varnish coat as muddy areas
The wash effect can be seen on groundwork patches of this mat. These will become less stark when the grass is added.

A solid section of Fascine racks

So, the pieces are almost finished and ready for the table. Everything you have seen in this series of articles was completed in a week of spare time sessions no longer than 2 hours each. I think I have finally done justice to the excellent siege range!

Grassed, glossed and set ablaze!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Defensive Behaviour.. building fieldworks with Warfare Miniatures accessories. Part 5

four finished pieces in the context of a game.
Now we are getting to the interesting bit. Painting the construction and making it come alive. As previously mentioned, my way of building these pieces is crude and bold. I don't mess about with high contrast artwork on things that are essentially piles of mud, wood and stones. A dull, dirty aspect is what I am after.

Use emulsion paint - chocolate brown or similar

Coat the entire piece. I included some finished sample pieces in the constructions

This won't take long to dry but leave it for 24 hours on a flat surface

The breach section has a broken gun screen and Costa coffee stirring sticks

The gabion wall is code WLOA929
Density of colour, drabness and lack of delineation between components. You will need to use no brush smaller than a 2 and that only for dabbing on the wine binding around fascine bundles and the metal hinges and ties on the gun screens. Otherwise its 6+ brushes,  brushes used for painting doors or skirting boards, washes of ink and acrylic paint and old splayed or flat brushes you can use for anything else any more!
Defence works painted and groundwork given first coat of drybrush

 The painting of the defences works was with Vallejo paints and crudely done. First drybrush over the emulsion base coat was a mid brown. This was drybrushed with a mid flesh tone. This was lightly drybrushed with a lighter flesh colour. One dry wash the whole thing down with a 50/50 paint water wash of cavalry brown/black. Go back over the open topped gabions and paint in the earth almost black with a skim of khaki to suggest drying earth.
The finished works get their surrounding groundwork attended to.
 The wooden planking is done by adding dark flesh to black to make a brown-grey mix. Add white a couple of times for successive drybrushing. Wash it down with the 50/50 mix to dull it and bring up the grain effect.I used some old red-brown emulsion mixed with a dab of chocolate for the first groundwork drybrush. Don't worry, it tones down as your see.

In part 6 the pieces begin to assume a more finished aspect.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WARFARE FEATURED CODE: WLOA153 Maison du Roi Musketeers

I was frustrated that this important code together with the pikemen and the command were released at a bad time for me. I had so many other things on that the best I could manage was a coat of grey primer. Hardly an appropriate coverage for the King's Household troops! And so it has stood for months, a single NCO painted and no complete battalion to show off.

Despite my poor marketing the codes have proved very popular and have already gone a long way to recovering their development costs. I am now working to yet another deadline - SALUTE 2014. This however directly involves the Maison du Roi as I am painting a sample unit for the display cabinet. Warfare are also offering a nice bundle deal at the show with a battalion plus artillery, defence works, generals and flags for £50 so the pressure is on once more!

The brief during design was to make them appear like veterans. A confident, slightly contemptuous look with the officers as grand as a French noble could be! Clibinarium fulfilled that brief excellently providing us with haughty looking, long haired combat veterans - Scourge of the Dutch!

The pose chosen for the musketeers is from a formal drill pose illustrated by Giffart. I chose to paint the musketeers in a dark blue which I prefer as a uniform coat colour to the mid blue often highlighted up too much in my opinion by painters of miniatures. The reds are probably too vivid but provide an excellent contrast to the flat tone of Midnight Blue. I gave up using pure White long ago after some conversations with Pat Connor, a painter who I greatly admire. Pat switched me on to Off White, Ivory and even a very Pale Sand colour in lieu of White.

At the same time as I was painting up the Gardes Francaises I had a go at a few Gardes Suisses. I used my traditional approach on the red - Cavalry Brown followed by a Cavalry Brown-Vermillion Mix, followed by Vermillion and finished in Scarlet. It is quite dramatic but I have used it many times over the years and really stands out on the table. The arm variant positions combined with the choice of Matchlock or Flintlock weapon allow for a wide variety of options for the Maison du Roi. From early 1680s to early 1700's including a transition between the two weapon types - all combinations are possible. I favour a mixture of Matchlock and Flintlock between companies.

We plan to do the Attack of the Maison du Roi at Neerwinden on the demo circuit this year so watch out for massed French Guard battalions at Newark and Edinburgh... The Dutch will be quaking in their clogs!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Defensive Behaviour.. building fieldworks with Warfare Miniatures accessories. Part 4

gun platform - I did two sections like this in the original four.
A lot of fancy detailed painting could have be done on these defences but the effect I was looking for was very particular. I wanted a massive, consistent, interesting but at the same time not overpowering terrain feature onto which the eye would be drawn but in the context of the entire table. In Part 4 you will begin to see how the mental vision of the piece takes shape logically. Ultimately I wanted something which would set off my figures and table not overpower it.
Matchsticks! - tile grout spread thinly using a palette knife

Notice the section of cork base left clear. Muddy puddles at a later step!

On some sections I wanted to install prepared gun positions with wooden flooring. I had in my head to use stirring sticks from McDs or Costa. I never got their and found a bag of matchsticks I had bought from a craft shop years ago.. they'll do said I!
I glued them onto a layer of PVA setting them carefully but not too carefully.. it was a hurried position remember! The lay out is clearly visible in the shots above.
Heavy application suggests excavation at the front edge.
Leave patches of grout clear to contrast the ground effect

The gun was add to encourage me to continue. Be bold with the sand!
The next step is one which I am often asked about - creating some texture to groundwork. Pretty easy really. Using an old paintbrush spread aruond some patches of PVA and then sprinkle with rough builder's sand(no I don't mean the sand from a rough builder!). If you want to make rocky patches dollop it on thick, place the little stones in first and then sprinkle over with fine sand to create a bonding cement. Then, do your rough sand patches as per the picture.

Having done most of the messy work in Part 5 we'll get the paints out!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WARFARE FEATURED CODE: WLOA154 Maison du Roi Command

This code is special. The Gardes Francaises are the premier infantry formation of the period and their Command pack was always going to require special attention.

Of course the pack can be used for the Gardes Suisses and I would say you'd be on fairly safe ground using them for any French infantry unit of the period.

The senior officer is extremely elegant and has a haughty and superior air about him.
Clibanarium was really hitting his stride when he sculpted these chaps. All are outstanding.

The officers/ensigns are richly attired with voluminous periwigs and elegantly tied sashes. The cuff detail is exquisite and accurate according to the Giffart plates.

The drummer's coat has intricate detail in the Livree du Roi style and a grand sized drum. My own personal favourite figure is the sergeant. His uniform is relatively plain. His hat is enormous as are his cuffs.

The facial expression, plaited hair and handlebar moustache really finish him off. The stance is very natural and confident. He looks every inch a veteran of an elite unit.

Painting this pack was a real pleasure, particularly the sergeant. I have used 30mm versions of the Quindia Gardes Francaises standards as these show off the models best in the shop gallery by not dominating the shot.

The pictures speak for themselves.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Defensive Behaviour.. building fieldworks with Warfare Miniatures accessories. Part 3

Many Warfare components are visible in this shot
The project used Warfare Miniatures pieces from codes WLOA918 through to WLOA947  which includes; fascines, gun screens, gabions (medium, large and under construction), artillery maintenance equipment, furniture, barrels, cauldrons and containers, digging tools and various wagon and gun pieces. In addition the modelling materials include Milliput, tile gout, coarse and fine sand, super glue, Bostik, PVA glue, matchsticks, coffee stirring sticks, dinner matts, emulsion and acrylic paint, gloss and matt varnish and flock.
The tools I used were very limited: sanding block and coarse sand paper, two different pallet knives, some old brushes, oh yes and my brain!

A single section including parts from 4 code packs
A bloke I know once said to me ‘terrain construction is all about drying times’. That is so true. Much of the work is not particularly onerous but if you leave it too late to get certain things started or the sequence is wrong you can run into all sorts of problems. I knew this project would require short bursts of building and setting followed by 24 hour periods of nothing happening as the work dried out. Fine if you find yourself living and working from home base but for me, this is by far the biggest challenge. I have a nomadic lifestyle being home less than 50% of my life most of each year and this in odd chunks of days. Had I left it too late? That was my biggest worry.

Dressing the pieces with wrecked guns and burning wagons.
My chosen dinner mats for this project Mrs H had grown tired of. I knew that as I found them in a stack at the front door which is the intermediate step between household treasure status and scrap heap. Each item is offered to Barry as a pre-dump staging post. Roughly 30cm in length and 20cm wide they offered ample space for creativity.

marking the mats with distances helps alignment on multi mat assemblies
My first piece was to feature the gun screens (WLOA919) as a centrepiece. I firstly took a cork sanding block, wrapped it in heavy duty sandpaper and chamfered the edges of the mat all the way round. This meant it would blend well with the table when placed on top and would not have an unsightly lip. I marked off the halfway point in the length and then found the centre point of the entire piece. I measured 3cm in from the long edge. This would be the nearest point to the edge of the mat to which the defensive line would extend. I then measured a further 3cm towards the centre point of the mat and drew a line here. The gun emplacement would arc out from the main defensive line. The latter would run parallel to the long edge 6cm in. 

I glued three gun screens to the cork covered base of the mat as shown. Having let this dry I then began to build up the shape of the defences using fascine racks and gabions as shown. Being metal and unyielding I was clear that gaps exist. The obvious ones were plugged up with fascine bundles both large and small from WLOA920. Having filled the length of the mat by gluing various pieces of defences to it I let it dry for a few hours.

close up of undercoated pieces with Milliput holding fascines in place
I now used Milliput and tile grout to seal the defences as seen. Worth pointing out that I was undercoating most of the metal components before gluing to the base board. Although tedious I knew from experience crevasses and curves would leave lots of exposed metal if I was trying to undercoat in situ.  

tile grout was used to seal the section and begin the groundwork

Front view - lots to be done but taking shape!

In part 4 I'll continue with the assembly process step by step to allow those interesting in trying their hand to have a go. It is pretty straightforward!

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