Saturday, February 22, 2014

First of the Boxers

First group of Boxers for the project! These are your everyday run o' the mill Boxers from the Old Glory collection. I have another two 8-figure pole-armed units in the painting queue although I have also ordered another bag of Boxers with swords that when painted can be mixed in to get a variety of weapons in each unit (eventually 48+ figures). For a couple of these figures (the one in green on the left and blue on the right), I needed to carve out the pole and replace with brass wire (adding on the weapon head afterward). This was a bit fiddly but I think well worth the effort. The flag is again from The Virtual Armchair General but I've painted over the sub-par printing quality to give some clarity and depth.

With my current OG order, I've also added some Japanese infantry and artillerists and some Chinese gunners. The Chinese guns I think will be ordered from Redoubt Enterprises. These look suitably exotic!

I've also been considering the inevitable terrain questions. There are little or no suitable Chinese buildings available on the market so I suspect there will be needed some serious scratch-building efforts. No real worries there since I've handled that before (as anyone who knows me knows well enough). 

I'd like eventually to produce a scaled-down version of the legation quarter in Peking. Most of the buildings and walls will be relatively easy to construct but I may order at least one piece to build off of, Redoubt Enterprises' gate to the British Legation:

Friday, February 21, 2014

17th Lancers

In 1899 the debate over which was the better primary weapon for the cavalry: the lance or the sabre, was still fierce. Alas, Boer riflemen settled that debate quickly with their Mauser rifles.

I thought I would hop on the bandwagon and post some pics of my recently completed figures. My newest production is a squadron of 10 British lancers, painted in the colours of the famous 17th Lancers of Crimean fame. All figures are Old Glory. Without further ado:

I tried a new method in regards to the guidons on the lances. I cut the pattern out of normal printer paper, as I would normally do. However, between the two folded halves of the flag I glued a small piece of aluminium foil (cut to fit). This is by no means an original idea and I take no credit for it, I just can not remember where exactly I saw it! Regardless, I am happy with the results. The flags maintain a nice "wavy" effect while still being rigid. A bonus is that the foil provides a nice surface on which to paint the texture of the flag.

This squadron, though pretty, will undoubtedly prove to be useless on the table. But no matter, I prefer my troops to be pretty and useless than useful and boring. On second thought, I might have chosen the wrong project...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

German SeeBattalion flagged up

Another flagged example for the Boxer Rebellion project. This time, German SeeBattalion with the Imperial German battleflag. Again, this is from The Virtual Armchair General and is of generally better quality than the Boxer flag of the last post.

Kansu Braves

Many of the Imperial Chinese troops in and around Peking during the Boxer Rebellion were from units of Yung, or Brave Ones, form Kansu Province in western China. These were recently raised units and many had not yet been issued the blue Imperial uniform trimmed with yellow lace. These figures are from Old Glory and were actually an accidental purchase. With my initial OG order for this project, I thought I had ordered the Imperial Chinese infantry mentioned above. Oh, well, these make a fine starting point for the Boxer /Chinese forces. And I just realized I forgot to add the Chinese characters to their blouses...tunics...shirts...whatever. I think I'll be able to add these on with a fine-tipped architectural pen. 

I ordered the flag from The Virtual Armchair General as part of a much larger sheet collection. While the designs are quite good, the printing is sub-par, especially for the 21st century. But there is little else available. The flag for the next unit of Boxers was of similar quality so I touched it up with paint to add a little more depth and texture. The one pictured below was not touched up but the matte spray seemed to give the colours a bit more depth. Short of designing my own flags and having them printed out, these will have to do. What I may do though is scan the sheets and edit the colours avec M. Computer.

I haven't yet decided on the coloring scheme for the base sculpting. My initial thought was to make a slight step away from my tried and true method to date. Well actually, the method will stay the same but the colouring will be altered, I think. Perhaps a bit more reddish brown than my traditional dark brown. Why? Why not?

Next in the queue are some Righteous Harmonious Fists. Then come the Russkies!

Monday, February 17, 2014

playing with a new camera and software

A shot from a new camera (borrowed actually) I've been fiddling with. I also downloaded a free image editing software package. Not too keen on the latter but you can definitely see the difference in the photos from the original a few weeks ago with my iPhone and the new version. This is the Eureka version of Frederick the Great (now the Grand-Duc de Gourmandie).

Nikon Coolpix L24 in macro mode, modified using ACDSee 17 software.

iPhone 5, modified with Microsoft Photo Editor.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

ImagiNation additions

I recently acquired Phil's ImagiNation collection and I've included a couple of quick shots below. I'm trying to decide whether to keep the unit and principality names that Phil's fevered imagination conjured up...or conscript these into Das KasierReich. Hmmm, third world problems...

These are all Crusader figures (again, my chosen manufacturer for the entire collection...well, except for a few front Rank figs). Phil's done a particularly good job on the mortar (I'm not this a Eureka model?).

Currently there are three battalions of infantry (recently flagged up), a unit of jagers, a squadron of cavalry, two light guns and a mortar. The cavalry arm definitely needs to be bolstered. Luckily, I have in my lead pile two squadrons of hussars and two of Bosniak lancers which will serve this army well. I think there army also be some more infantry battalions floating around in the unpainted box as well.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Boxer Rebellion: Germans

The first of my Boxer Rebellion project...German SeeBattalion troops. I opted for block painting and Army Painter dip for these Old Glory figures. In retrospect, the dip on the white helmets was a mistake. The dip browned them too much. In future, I will use a black wash with whites. The rest of the uniforms turned out OK with the dip though.

Next up, some Boxers and Russians.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

1940 Brits...finally

Finally finished up the basing on my first section of Brits for 1940. The painting on these was complete before Xmas but only in the last few days have I gotten around to finishing the bases. These are Crusader figures, the chosen manufacturer for my WWII collection. These were incredibly easy to paint. I started with an Army Painter primer (Desert Sand?), block painted the details, then used the Army Painter strong tone dip. Finally, I dull-coated them. No high-lighting or shading. I wanted to find a way to pump these figures out as fast as possible with decent result. They won't win any painting competitions but for gaming at three-foot distance, I think they're more than adequate.
The Matilda behind is an old AGNM model (maybe even from the original casting run when Vince first started his business) modified and painted by Michael as a past Xmas present. I particularly like the way he added the signal flags for the commander.
So now, only three more rifle sections, a command group, and support units.
Oh, and the fallschirmjager platoon...can't forget them :)