Sunday, 17 October 2021

Tinker Bill

For the last few weeks I've been colouring in a battalion of 20mm Lamming French line infantry. I actually started these over two years ago, so I thought it might be a good idea to finally finish them.

It's been a fairly slow process so far because I've been trying to block out the entire battalion in their basic uniform colours before getting into the details. In theory this will make painting them a bit more efficient, but whether or not this really turns out to be the case remains to be seen.

Completed this evening were the two elite companies.

The voltigeurs were the trickiest, but the wonderful wee trumpeter I found for them was just too delicious to resist, so he kept me motivated.

The grenadiers were a lot simpler, but while painting them I discovered there were actually four slightly different variations, as I hope the next two pictures will illustrate. The first three have a rather Hinchliffey type quality, which makes me wonder a bit. Bill Lamming certainly seems to have tinkered about with the range quite a bit.

Next up should be the fusiliers, although I also have several personality figures in production, so we'll see how we go.

The luscious wooden surface they're all standing on is my new painting desk, which is a gorgeous old fold-up writing bureau which I've squeezed into a corner of the living room. It's a lot warmer in there and I can play my music on a proper sound system while I paint. I'm hoping this will do wonders for my productivity.

Stay safe my friends,


Thursday, 2 September 2021

Life Savers

It is the Spring of 1813, and at a secret location Generallieutenant Baron von Winzingerode arrives with the Leib-Garde Grenadiers, who have been newly promoted to the Russian Imperial Guard. Marshal Blücher rides forward to greet them.

Blücher: Aach, Vinzingerode! Ve vill make ze Gardes Brigade togetzer, jah?
The Leib-Garde Grenadiers parade for inspection. They haven't received their new Guard standards and uniforms yet, but make a proud showing nonetheless.

Two passing British officers can scarcely believe their eyes.

Lyon: Look, Wussians!
Alten: Oh yes, Wussians!
The Leib-Garde Grenadiers march and countermarch.

Winzingerode (under his breath): Hmmm, I must say zose
Garde zu Fuß
 are a rather weedy looking lot!
The Prussians begin to wonder what they've let themselves in for.

To recap, the figures are all Garrison Miniatures circa 1973-1975, being:

RN 8: Russian Line Grenadier x 20;
RN 8: Russian Line Grenadier x 1, converted into a drummer with a Musket Miniatues drum;
RN 8: Russian Line Grenadier x 2, converted into standard bearers; and
RN 1: Russian Pavlovski Officer x 1, converted into a grenadier officer using the head of an RN 5: Russian Grenadier officer bearing a flagstaff

Many thanks again to Rob Y for so kindly sending me these wonderful figures, and to all those who've encouraged me to get them finished. I'm very pleased with them.


Sunday, 22 August 2021

Russian WIP

Not much to report this week, except to say that we're five days into our second national lockdown, which looks all set to continue for a while yet. It's not all been working from home and doom scrolling, however: I've also been working on my Russians.

Progress to date is illustrated below. All the white bits are on at last, and although there's a lot of tidying up to do, I think I'm definitely on the home stretch with these now.

I'm very hopeful that they'll all be done by next weekend.



Sunday, 20 June 2021

An Austro-Russo-Hanoverian

It's a dark and stormy night here in Wellington, but the fire is roaring in the hearth and there's a wee dram of very fine single malt parked up beside me, so all is well with the world.

As promised, I have a new general to show off. He's a beauriful old vintage Hinton Hunt RN 85: Russian General Staff General with spy glass, who had a rather adventurous journey before he finally came to me, but he got here in the end. He's painted almost exactly as specified in  Marcus Hinton's painting instructions (thank you Clive!). He is to be Ludwig Georg Thedel Graf von Wallmoden, aka Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn, the commander of my Anglo-Russian-Hanoverian corps (which I really must get round to finishing some day).

Wallmoden was an extremely capable and very highly decorated Austrian soldier who also happened to be a grandson of George II. He was a specialist in leading light troops, so in 1813 he was just the chap, or so it seemed, to  keep Davout's Corps safely locked up in Hamburg while the rest of the allied armies marched against Napoleon. He succeeded in this task very well, although he could never quite manage to corner Davout or his Danish allies. Nevertheless, in doing so he kept the Prussians out of Hanover, which was all that his British paymasters really cared about.

Wallmoden was in Russian service in 1813, so this is probably what he would have been dressed like during that year. His Chief of Staff was none other than the famous Carl von Clausewitz, who was also serving the Tsar at this point, so I'll probably need to paint him too.

The RN 85 was the only Russian General produced by Hinton Hunt so until I can get another one I thought he'd also do very well as a temporary commander for the Leib Grenadiers.

Auf Wiedersehen and Do svidaniya


Sunday, 13 June 2021

Half Life

I've finally finished the first half battalion of the Garrison Leib Grenadiers.

I couldn't work out why it was taking me so long to paint these, but when I thought about it for a bit the fact that it takes nine separate steps just to paint their wee cuffs and collars probably has something to do with it.

Thankfully, I was able to rescue the flags by coaxing just a little more blue out of my tin of Humbrol 89: Middle Blue by mixing the paint properly. They're still not all that vibrant, but definitely a bit bluer.

The last shot illustrates the difference in height between Garrison RN 8s, Hinton Hunt RN 17s and Lamming FI/1s (Lamming didn't do any Russians, unfortunately). The HH is definitely on the short side compared to the other two, but it's nothing that can't be cured by a bit of stand thickness variation.

It'll clearly take me a while to get the second half of this battalion finished, but I've a new general to show off in the meantime who'll probably be making an appearance next week.

Toodle pip,


Sunday, 2 May 2021

Flags for the Lads

My Russian Leib Grenadiers have been going a bit slowly lately, not least because I decided that they really ought to have two flags rather than just the one. Apart from anything else, this meant I had to carve out another standard bearer despite the fact that he was already partially painted.

The first battalion of the Leib Grenadiers were entitled to carry a "white flag", being a white cross on a field of pale blue, and a "coloured flag", where the colour scheme was reversed. These flags were issued in 1797 and not replaced for another thirty years, apparently.

My main issue with my version of these flags is that the new tin of Humbrol 89: Middle Blue I had to break into produced a blue which was not really all that blue when it came down to it. This concerns me a bit.

I'm all of a dither about this. I've been loyally painting almost everything in Humbrols since I started this project, but the decline in quality in some of the old standards is starting to get really noticeable. The metallics are particularly awful. When I finally run out of the old stock I've managed to scrounge off a few mates I may be forced to take up acrylics. I'm really not happy about this.

Yours, somewhat dejectedly