Bang!… and the fusiliers are gone! (but without Barry Scott!)

Here are three versions of the same of thing more or less. I had these boys knocking around for a while whilst the inner workings (of the part of my brain that actually works) did a bit of imagineering (huh?) about how to do the explosions.

Looking at paintings of troops in battle and to a lesser extent film of explosions its quite clear that when a Napoleonic howitzer shell explodes it caused a lot of noise a great deal of smoke full of bits of soil, grass and chunks of iron – most of which seemed to miss people, and really not much else. Casualties appear to be knocked down rather than blown up into the sky.

Scary – very much, a hazard to most, but deadly to only a few. The conundrum was to model something that could clearly cause death or serious injury to the soldiers on the base, but looked fleeting or ‘wil’o’the wisp’ like – soon dissipated.

I think I have got it just about right with the skills I have.

It starts as a small ball of milliput drilled to take some small pieces of white pipe cleaner. This assembly is painted yellow with bits of black and mid grey. Once stuck to the base, with the pipe cleaners pointing in various directions I took some wool. This particular wool is actually Harris Tweed wool picked up last year. It has some lovely colours in it browns blues greens and off whites. These were glues around the base of the blast and teased out until the threads were very open and you could just see the ‘yellow’ of the explosion. Above and around this I put some stuff called Kapok which is very fine open weave cotton (actually I am not actually sure it is woven as such) Its sort of like teddy bear stuffing but much less dense. It is white or off white so I coloured it greyish in patches.Once fixed in place it was further teased out.

White glue was dotted around all over and used dried tea leaves scattered liberally over. Some catch the glue others find themselves stuck in the fibres.I tried to glue some lumps of garden earth on it took but they didn’t take.

I glued scatter and flock to paper  painted brown, and cut very small bits off this and glued these on to the smoke to simulate disturbed clods.

 

The kicker is to work out how to do this in 18mm scale!!! and the pics together with some recently completed sacrifices to eBay.IMG_7791_edited-1IMG_7790_edited-1IMG_7788_edited-1IMG_7787_edited-1IMG_7786_edited-1IMG_7785_edited-2

Some French AdC’s IMG_7798_edited-1IMG_7795_edited-1IMG_7794_edited-1

 

Oh Happy days! – A blast from the past and its awesome!

A long time ago, in the early 80′s my wargaming life changed completely. At the time, I, along with most other gamers it seemed, was locked into WRG style rules. We were all masochists back then. We knew they were crap and badly written, the cause of arguments that could spoil a Sunday afternoon and they created an arms race every bit as financially draining as the Cold War.

Moreover, we could not stop inflicting these horrors on ourselves week after week.

Then at Sheffield Triples 1981, our poor sinner’s lives were illuminated by the golden rays of ‘Empire’ by Bowden and Getz.

I hadn’t taken too much notice of Napoleonic’s until that point. I had always been bowled over by the sight of Richard Lawrence’s immense Napoleonic collection, but trying to ‘game’ those wars didn’t work for me at all.

And then…

Suddenly I was in a gaming heaven. Stuff I had read about in Chandler or Petre or Lachouque could actually be reproduced with toy soldiers. Richard and I sold our souls, and our ancients and renaissance figures, and poured gold into 15mm Napoleonics.

Alongside of this was the requirement for more knowledge and at the forefront of this was a strange little magazine from the U.S. – Empires Eagles and Lions, written by the New Jersey Association of War gamers. Guys just like us!

These fellows didn’t use Empire, and perhaps didn’t even like it, but their little magazine was chock full of inspiration and information. Every other month or so we waited eagerly for EEL to come from the States (via Caliver Books?). It always had a good mix of information that we couldn’t just get hold of: – and these people were in New Jersey for Pete’s sake! It was full of humour, uniform information and genuinely entertaining battle game reports.

I think we were quite jealous that this small crew could produce so much. Our gaming group at the time consisted of three people who actually bought books on the period and half a dozen that were happy simply to turn up on a Sunday to have a laugh and a good game.

I used to daydream that one day everyone at our group would develop a deep interest in the period and contribute to our knowledge. Alas, this was not to be.

So why this little essay?

Well some generous soul has pdf’fed Empires Eagles and Lions and put them on line. I don’t know if it is Jean Lochet the old editor of EEL or what.

Whoever it is; thank you, thank you, thank you!

Go to http://www.zaotlichiye.net63.net/EEL/

I have downloaded them all just in case.

If you haven’t seen it before, a treat awaits you!

Look out! Here we come!…and its about time too!

With the Russians more or less out of the way it has been time to revisit the Landsknechts. So two command stands follow.

As usual flags are painted. Both are made up. I dont know what flags they may have carried. However, I am bored with some of the specimens often shown. The  Doppel Adler or whatever, and the usual few southern German city arms are fine, but I am not convinced that as mercenaries they would have carried these unless employed by  those places. It’s an arcane subject area. I don’t doubt that there are good descriptions/illustrations out there, its just that the wargaming community (and me!) haven’t found them yet

The one for the chaps in white was inspired by Durer’s Ship of Fools they have a flag with the head of a “Narr” on it. The other is from some coat of arms I have a picture of. Its sort of Imperial, without claiming too much authority. I am sure it’s German.

The drummer has glasses on. Almost without exception I have seen these painted as blue with highlights, as though reflecting the sea. These tend to have been painted by foundry fanbois.  They don’t look like this. Generally all you can see is an approximation of the wearers face – a smudge of pink. So this is how I have done mine. Wouldn’t look good on the front of a Magazine of course but I do try to keep things more or less accurate here at Atelier-Robin. (rant over)

I am both happy with and unhappy with the dudes in all white, perhaps the underclothing showing through the slits ought to have been lighter, or some sort of bluey- grey. I just happen to think that pale browns look fine.

The figures are from Pro Gloria and are rather nice. I am doing the vignette of the dice players at the moment.

The Company of fools

The Company of fools

IMG_7673_edited-1IMG_7671_edited-1IMG_7722_edited-1IMG_7688_edited-1

 

Next up appears to be some miscellaneous  Napoleonic 28mm that I have had around for a while. It may be that they are straight to eBay releases rather than appearing here!

 

These two bases are for sale. I’d rather not do eBay so if they tickle your fancy contact me direct!

A new general, some close ups of banners and Moreau’s dog

I ended up with a spare general from ABs 1806 Prussian command. The others slotted nicely into Russian or Austrian command groups – with a bit of help from Messrs Milliput and Green Stuff.
However, this figure of a very dramatic Blucher did not fit with any plans I had. I gave him a ‘fore and aft’ bicorne and he suddenly became very French. Messrs Milliput and Green Stuff called again and he got a nice fur lining to his jacket and some badges of rank and became, in time a General of light horse. He could easily pass for Lassalle, but there were plenty of other blokes sporting fancy uniforms.
He is on a base with a senior officer and trumpeter of the Guard Chasseurs.
Our photographer has caught a particularly dramatic moment in the charge. A six pounder has struck the earth just in front of the general, and because luck and glory are on his side; the ball has bounced and will continue past him on its destructive path. It does have some ones name on it but I am guessing it will be the name of some unfortunate trooper.

its just a turd, boys. Pay it no heed

its just a turd, boys. Pay it no heed

 

You can clearly see said 'turd'. It does have someones name on it, but not these fellas!

You can clearly see said ‘turd’. It does have someones name on it, but not these fellas!

Pierre Bezhukov is based on Antony Hopkins (glasses) and Sergei Bondarchuck (top hat) One can never have enough dilletante Francophile spectators with your Russian Army.

IMG_7667_edited-1

This is Moreau’s dog. I dont know what sort of dog it was or what colour it was. So it is THIS dog and it is brown. Here he is having a good bark at a fleeing Russian!

IMG_7658_edited-2

I was very pleased with the way the religious banners came out. I had surrounded my painting table with postcards of Orthodox depictions of Jesus and Mary. I can take the all down now thank heaven!!

IMG_7649_edited-1IMG_7666_edited-1IMG_7665_edited-2

 

I am back on to the Landsknechts via Perry’s new General Washington  and then I’ve got some flats and Austrians to do!

 

Another success at White Rose – pleased with myself.

I took the Russians to White Rose M.M.S. today and was very gratified to get a bronze medal. To be honest I thought that there were plenty of models that should have been placed above me, but I got some amazingly positive feedback especially with regard to the banners and icons.

I find it fascinating that nearly all of them say that they would never touch something in such a small scale whereas I wouldn’t know where to start with a 54mm figure. I know its different techniques. I will have to have another go with flats, but you have to be so subtle and careful with colour to get the effect right.

The Gold Medal this time went to an awesome 75mm flat of a semi nude lady wearing (barely wearing I must emphasise) a silk thingy. The effect of the skin showing through the silk was simply superb. Silver went to a militia man of the AWI.

I am in awe of the talent on show here at this club. There is fellow who makes 1/76 scale vehicles from WW1 out of plastic card and the detail makes your jaw drop. Some of the flats are inspirational.

The camera battery is recharged so I will have another go at photographing the Russians. I will have another vignette completed this week and hopefully a 28mm George Washington completed. I am tempted to dig out the Landsknechts again too.

Unfortunately one of Barclay de Tolly’s mates broke yesterday. He was a conversion and I am not sure that I can fix him with out it looking really bad. He will probably get a replacement chum.

Moscoss!

The  usual crappy photography notwithstanding I am very pleased with the latest lot of vignettes. Unfortunately the camera battery ran out before I could show every detail. I have also lost the ability to use focus and stuff. I really do not understand photography at all.

Anyhow here are some Russian generals 1812 through to 1813. Many are standard AB, many are converted AB and a few are Atelier Robin originals! They are not difficult to spot.

I did the kneeling Opolchenya and the Monks/priests carrying the banners and Icons.

I reshaped several quiffs, made lots of bicornes and a top hat -Yes! that dapper young man on Kutusov’s base is meant to be Pierre Bezukhov !

The Icons and banners are painted by me.

Terrain is the usual mixture of static grass, Silflor, ground foam and earth with three etched brass trees.

The Tsar and Kutuzov are detachable should one want to travel around the battlefield.

General Moreau’s loyal dog makes an appearance on the Tsars base, but that was one of the elements that failed to make it to the pictures.

Once the battery has recharged I will take some more pics and see if I can get some less fuzzy or stark images.

Bag1 copy

General Bagration pays his respect to God

Barclay de Tolly

Barclay de Tolly

general Kutuzov

general Kutuzov

Bezhukhov

Pierre Bezhukhov watches

 

Icon Procession detail

Icon Procession detail

another view

another view

His Imperial Majesty, God's Right Hand on Earth, Alexander, Tsar of all the Russias!

His Imperial Majesty, God’s Right Hand on Earth, Alexander, Tsar of all the Russias!

comfort for the wounded?

comfort for the wounded?

bag2bag3coss

Can't remember who this general is...

Can’t remember who this general is…

More Napoleons!!

Have now completed the latest commission two bases with several interchangeable Napoleons that can be ‘slotted’ into position depending on the situation. Napoleon can be consulting a map or sat in his chair or looking intently over the field of battle.

One of the pieces includes a heavily milliputted Baueda tent which took several goes before it looked right. Apparently the big fella’s tent was oval in shape, but that would have meant starting from scratch. An interesting option for me but rather too costly for the customer.

The figures are a mixture of Warmodelling and AB. The only comment I will pass on completion of this model is that Warmodelling figures are ‘not’ AB. There are some great ideas there with the figures but only some of the sculpting is successful. For example their Napoleon and Roustam vignettes are very nice but Napoleon bent over his map is quite poor. and there is little one can do with it. I wish Tony Barton would cast his imagination back to the French high command. I could do with some more AB Napoleons and of course the ever absent Murat.

The figures are based on square metal bases at the owners request. This was a shape I found to be surprisingly restrictive  to my imagination. A lot more so than a round one or an irregular shaped base.

The bases were decorated with soil ground foam, earth powders and static grass.

I gave a couple of the AdC’s a head swap using the very nice Peter Pig spare heads (though PP could do me a favour and release several more different packs for variety).

IMG_7548IMG_7545IMG_7544aIMG_7544IMG_7543IMG_7542IMG_7541IMG_7540IMG_7539IMG_7537IMG_7536

 

Once more I am unhappy with my photography. Just cannot get it right…

Bombed photos of Landschnechts (new spelling)

These are a few days in to the process and try as I might I still cannot take a decent photograph.

What you see here is ‘contrast major’ – the transitions between the whites are not as stark as they look here and frankly I am disappointed at not being able to show you what they really look like. I am really pleased with the guys in white even though there is a bit of work to do.

Standard poles are now fixed in – I don’t know why I didn’t do this initially.

I have found a couple of really good ideas for flags – one definitely will be scene from an allegorical woodcut and the other might include pigs to which I will add a coat of arms.IMG_7535IMG_7533IMG_7534IMG_7514I will have to tone down the shadows of the white figures. The second standard bearer will be red and blue and the bloke with the sword I am not so sure about.

 

Hey ho!

 

Landeschnekte Boogaloo

What ever spelling you prefer I have decided to keep a painting diary to keep me on the ball. I have four Landeschnekte on the go here they are all gesso’d up and raring to go…

cleaned and gesso'd

cleaned and gesso’d

It is my intention to do a daily update just to see what actually goes on during the process.

These were started whilst waiting for my current commission to finish. I have used some metallic oils ion some 18mm Naps and they do take time to dry. I expect to complete the project by the weekend and I shall comment further on that project in due course.

WordPress spellchecker wants to change Landeschnekte to ‘clandestine’ and does’nt even like its own name!