Monday, 24 October 2011

GW and Alchemy

Games Workshop have given up trying to screw you over the increasing costs of metal, or is it plastic, or maybe it’s now Resin – and have now decided to get rich through Alchemy and to this end have invented Green!
Black Adder aside, they really have brought out liquid green and its worth its weight in Gold. Not very often I am happy with the GW boys but today I am...
My first application of this liquid treasure was to make my Perry Zouaves even better. No more gaps and seams where arms are glued to the body etc.

Apply a dollop of green, add water and simply paint/blend the green across the seam.

ACW Union army progress so far this week

Progress this week has been reasonably good but not on the Zouave front.

Here is my first batch of 12 Zouaves. They are painted and varnished but require basing. I ordered the Renedra (40x45) bases from the Perry Miniatures website as there were not enough of them in the Zouave box set.

I have really enjoyed painting these plastic models and it was almost a disappointment when I finally started to paint the metal Sharpshooter figures by Redoubt. Up until now I liked the Redoubt miniatures and thought them characterful – now I find them heavy and buff.

Not very Zouave looking but they got painted all the same. A nice regiment of horses ready for some damn yankee riders. The first regiment I painted was a very mixed affair but this batch of horses is all brown. Am I lazy or was I inspired to be lazy by an article on British Calvary posted on Dave Taylors blog ;-?

The Horses were painted in scorched earth then given a heavy wash of Devlin mud. I highlighted the Brown with a mixture of Scorched Earth and Dark Flesh. I would normaly do the bridles and webbing in black or dark brown, but Dave Taylors article steered me in another direction.

Some soon to be riders...

Monday, 3 October 2011

Berdans Sharpshooters and far too much to paint

Still have far too much to paint and as much as I love the Zouaves my sanity demands I work on other things.

My Project list is looking nice with the following still to do:

  • Union cannons
  • Regiment of Berdans Sharpshooters
  • Dismounted Calvary
  • Mounted Calvary
  • Union camp and tents
  • Ambulance

I’m currently working on the Zouaves but plan to complete one base of Berdans Sharpshooters whilst working on blocks of 12 Zouaves.

I will depict the Berdans Sharpshooters in the early war uniforms with the Sky Blue trousers.

As with the Zouaves I will:
  • Paint all the base colours
  • Apply a heavy wash of Devlin mud
  • Shade each area of the model
Example of Model with base colours applied
 After Devlin mud wash is applied

I have found that in some cases a single shade in the original colour is enough. In all other cases I will add white to the mix and continue to shade down.

Berdan Sharpshooters with base colours applied

My brush style has changed over the years and I now apply most fine highlights using a tapping method. Instead of drawing the brush along in a classic stroke I tap the brush on the model and work my way along.

The Sharpshooters are already based but this is not a painful experience as they are skirmishers with only 2 models per base. As you can see from the above pictures I apply sand to the bases.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Painting Perry Miniature Zouaves - updated again!

OK, I haven't made a good start - far to keen to get 3 examples ready.

I intended to paint these figures on the spru then assemble them, but quickly decided this was a stupid idea. Next I thought I would assemble and paint 3 figures to a high standard - so how the hell did I end up with 3 complete bases! I wasn't drinking so I guess the glue was stronger than my tolerance - the joys of getting old.
These will be awkward to paint but I must "endeavour to persevere".

Once I have this insanity out of the way I plan to continue this exercise by making 12 figures at a time. I will glue them to a ruler, paint and then base them.

UPDATE 8/9/11
Here are a few progress pics. I am focused on getting the 155th Penn stand finished . All the base colours are complete and I have shaded the jacket and trousers. 

To get the Blue I mixed Shadow Grey and Electric Blue together and created a separate pot of the new colour (Zouave Blue). I washed the painted models heavily in Devlin mud to darken before I started to highlight the blue. Highlighting was achieved by adding more and more white to my Zouave Blue colour.
I assume you are all comfortable with the concept of Highlighting ;-?

Instead of using Devlin Mud to darken figures you can add a little black to the base colour and highlight up from there. Devlin Mud is probably a little lazy of me.

I work pretty heavily with Devlin Mud wash,  I find a watered down wash of mud is very good for grounding shading, especially after you review it in the morning and find the shading doesn't flow as it should. I hate looking at models in bright day light as they always disappoint. I plan on getting a couple of lamps with natural light bulbs to help address this failing.

The metal work on the models was achieved with the following formula.:
  • Paint metal areas in Charadon Granite
  • Use a common Pencil and lightly draw on the raised areas of the metal
  • Apply a liberal coat of Develin Mud

Not entirely satisfied with the effect (bit dull) so I might re-do with a Charadon Granite and Boltgun Metal mix.

Here are the other 2 stands (140th NY & 146th NY).

UPDATE 12/9/11
Bar the basing these boys are done. Reasonably happy with the results but conscious that I have to find a speedier technique - that's probably why I'm so Devlin Mud happy.

And thanks to my Son I now have 12 more figures waiting to be painted.  I must confess that painting progress was slightly interrupted by Xbox-360 and Space Marine.

Zouave Rack of Ribs to go.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Black Powder test game

Here are some pics from a test outing. The victorious Rebs belong to Roundie as does most of the wonderful scenery. The Battle lasted for 3 hours and consisted of two battalions on each side. The Rebs attacked out of the woods with the aim of silencing 2 batteries on the hill.

Excuse the Jelly beans - I used them for wound markers (they proved very popular). These poor Rebs are about to get dusted by a huge regiment of New Yorkers. Still, it wasn't long before they where off the table and I was munching on Deli beans.

 The below Rebs thought they would spend the game resting on a fence. A command blunder soon put a stop to that nonsense. Before you could rip a rebel yell they where off and beating the shite out the New Yorkers pictured above.

 Here we have a whole Brigade of Rebs turning up to win the game - notice the very well handled Calvary at the back.

The Cavalry regiment below was creamed shortly after this pic was taken. Their heroic charge attracted lots of unwanted attention. Guess you have to try these things - ironic that is was well handled Reb Cav that claimed victory for the Confederacy.

All in all a very enjoyable, fast paced and BRUTAL affair. Next time, more toys on a bigger table. Lucky that 3 boxes of Perry Zouaves arrived on Friday ;-?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Re-basing ACW Yank miniatures

Having almost finished re-basing and repairing my Confederates I have moved to the Yanks. I have used the same basing technique (with flowers) although progress with the sieve seems slower/harder.
These boys have the original flock scrapped back. I have repaired damage areas by covering with sand, This I will paint and dry brush before applying the new flock and flowers...
Examples of the finished item - although I still have to touch the paint jobs up and re-varnish.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

About the Black Powder Game

The game will be held at Battle Cry 2012 and will start at 12 noon on Saturday the 18th of February.

At this stage I have no set scenario in mind but I have a handle on the forces to be employed. Both the Confederates and Blue Bellies will have 3 brigades each, meaning I have the scope to allow 6 people to participate in the game. If you are interested please post a comment and we can take it from there.
Mr. Lincoln's minions of hypocrisy - Union Army.
Iron Brigade 1st Corps
7th Regiment Wisconsin
6th Regiment Wisconsin
19th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Berdan's Sharpshooters

Zouave Brigade
146th New York Volunteer Infantry (Garrard's Tigers)
155th Pennsylvannia Volunteer Infantry (Pearsons Zaouves)
140th New York Volunteer Infantry (Ryan's Zaouves)

2nd Brigade 1st Corps
7th Indiana
76th New York
1st Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry (on loan from Michigan/Wolverines Brigade)
5th Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry (on loan from Michigan/Wolverines Brigade)
Maine Second Light Horse Battery

The Southern Conscripts - Confederate Army
Texas brigade
5th Texas
4th Texas
1st Texas
Bedford (Virginia) Field Artillery

Hays Louisiana Tigers Brigade
Wheat's Tigers
1st Louisiana
1st South Carolina Calvary (on loan from Hamptons Brigade)
Hart's (South Carolina) Horse Battery

Kershaw’s Brigade
2nd South Carolina
3rd South Carolina
1st North Carolina Field Artillery 
1st North Carolina Cavalry (on loan from Hamptons Brigade)

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Re-basing Confederate Brigade Commands part 1

Well I have made a start on the project by re-basing my command stands. The original basing was very heavy and dark green. I wanted my final collection to have lighter bases that have a dry summer feel. With one set on scenery tiles to my name I have to ensure it fits with all my collections. I'm afraid the Flames of War collection swayed my decision to base in a dry summer theme.

I had meant to take before and after shoots, but I didn't get round to it - one of those regrets I have more often than not. The re-basing wasn't as painful as I excepted and the addition of flowers doesn't seem to have diminished my manhood - still being told to take cold showers by the other half!

Very pleased with the results so far. The grass is a mixture of healthy and dry flock. This was mixed together then sprinkled on several times using a strainer. After each application I turn the model upside down and repeatedly tap the bottom of the model. This removes the lose flock and helps the remaining flock to stand up.

On the left hand model I also added grass clumps. Once again I used to different colours of grass clumps. I figure the more depth you add the better. I originally bought a number of grass clump packs from Warlord games but have since found a good supply of them locally.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Project Black Powder - The beginning

Introduction to Project Black Powder

This blog is all about toy soldiers, an event(Battle Cry 2012) where lots of people play with toy soldiers and a set of rules (Black Powder) that allows you to play against other peoples toy soldiers.

Project Black Powder has 3 prime goals.

1. To give me the motivation and gumption to finally paint my collection of toy soldiers
2. To give me the excuse I need to collect and put together the terrain and scenery required to make any game of toy soldiers look authentic and perty.
3. To put it all on display and allow any one who attends Battle Cry the chance to play with toys using the simple and enjoyable Black Powder ruleset.

The Black Powder participation game will be themed on the American Civil War and run on the 18th February 2012 at the Auckland ASB centre.

That's enough text dribble, some nice picks next.