Saturday, 12 September 2020

Great War Miniatures early WW1 German Infantry

A number of Great War Miniatures early WW1 German infantry painted up as a Guards unit. They are blu-taked onto bases so they will stand up for photography. They will be based by their owner when they cross the pond.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Western Front 1914-1918 Painting Guide Now Available

 Now available from Caliver Books my lastest painting guide that covers WW1 Western Front, British, German and French troops. BUY IT NOW FROM CALIVER BOOKS! 
In the USA the book is also available in PDF format in three separate files from Wargames Vault:
The French
The Germans
The British

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

1 Bn. Princess Charlotte of Wales' (Berkshire) Regiment, Suakin Field Force, 1885.

To be honest, these could pass for any of the regiments clothed in grey serge during the Sudan campaigns, but to me they are A Company, 1 Bn. Princess Charlotte of Wales' (Berkshire) Regiment, Suakin Field Force, 1885. Eventually there will be four of these companies completed. All Perry Miniatures straight out of the box.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Empress Miniatures WW1 British 4.5 inch Howitzer

Behold...the Empress Miniatures WW1 British 4.5 inch Howitzer, ammunition wagon and gun crew. The limber and team will follow in due course. The gun and ammunition wagon are from the hands of ace model maker John Hart and the crew from the skilled putty pusher that is Paul Hicks. There are a couple of really lovely touches in this set. Paul Hicks has sculpted each of the gunners wearing a lanyard on the left shoulder and John Hart's eye for detail has included a cracking dial sight for the gun. Other variations will follow including an early WW2 version of this gun and ammunition cart with rubber tyred wheels and crews for the same time period and some gunners in Wolseley foreign service helmets. Top work, chaps!

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Empress Miniatures French Paratroopers, Indochina, 1950s.

I will say it again...I am not a natural painter of modern subjects, particularly those uniforms that require camouflage patterns having very limited experience of painting such things. Some time ago I was asked to paint up some of these excellent Paul Hicks sculpts of French Paratroops in Indochina from the Empress Miniatures Vietnam range. Initially reticent because of the subject matter I took on the job. Here they are wearing US "Duck Hunter" camouflage tunics and British brushstroke trousers which, from what I gather, was fairly common for French Paras in Indochina. One figure has some very minor conversion work with the addition of a paratrooper's head wearing a beret (forgive me but I do not know which manufacturer this came from) and a helmet cast from greenstuff in an "Instant Mold" mould formed from a spare helmeted head. I also used these figures to try a new (for me) technique for basing...scrubbing pigment power over a sand and rock base. The pigment powder is held in place with fixative.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Royal Engineers Balloon Detachment, Suakin, 1885.

I have had a desire to build this for quite some time. The figures are Perry Miniatures from the Sudan, Victoria's Little Wars and Mafeking ranges, both plastic and metal. Some have had headswaps. The two wagons are scratchbuilt, based on images of vehicles used by the RE School of Ballooning at Aldershot in the 1890s. The balloon itself is a 12cm polystyrene ball covered with the plastic netting that oranges are packed in. The whole project was great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed researching the exploits of Major James Lethbridge Brooke Templer (OC Balloon Detachment, Suakin). He is the figure on the ground in a blue patrol jacket holding binoculars. Lt Mackenzie, his second in command, is in the balloon basket.

The detachment was led by Maj. Templer RE, with Lt Mackenzie and eight other NCOs and Sappers. They took out with them three 13000cu/ft observation balloons, "Sapper", "Scout" and "Fly" and enough hydrogen in 9ft x 8ins cylinders to inflate a balloon twice. They also took with them a portable hydrogen production plant but due to a shortage of trained manpower, they never used it. Each balloon was made from goldbeater's skin which, as you all know, is made from the membranes of the intestines of Oxen. Each 13000cu/ft balloon was created using the intestinal membranes of 74000 oxen. Almost all of this material came from South America. Maj. Templer did not fly in a balloon in the Sudan. He made his last flight in a balloon in England in 1881. The balloon, involved in an experimental free flight, crashed on the coast on landing carrying one passenger, a Mr Powell, over a cliff to his death. Templer would go on to be a great advocate of military ballooning, becoming Lt Col. and Officer Commanding the School of Ballooning established at Aldershot in the early 1890s. He was accused (and acquitted) of passing on Ballooning Intelligence on the manufacture of military balloons to a foreign power (Italy) in the mid-1890s. The case collapsed. 

As this group will no doubt play a vital part in tabletop scenarios and also provide some table dressing, the decision was taken to add a splash of colour by painting them up in plain red frocks and blue trousers rather than grey serge.

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Empress Miniatures Model T Utility 1917+

Just doing my bit to spread the word. Two years ago John Hart made the master models of this vehicle for Adrian Shepherd and myself. The plan was always to get these onto the market as no one made a Model T like this for 28mm figures. Sadly, Adrian didn't live long enough to see the project through, but Paul Eaglestone (Mr Empress Miniatures) took on the job last October and yesterday the first Model Ts with crews by the talent that is Paul Hicks went live on the Empress website in their Jazz Age Imperialism range of interwar vehicles. On behalf of Adrian and myself I extend grateful thanks to John Hart, Paul Eaglestone and Paul Hicks for making the dream become reality. Top work all round, Gents!
Here they are on the Empress Miniatures website.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Empress Miniatures 3.7 inch Mountain Howitzer in transit.

The eight mules carrying the broken down 3.7 inch Mountain Howitzer from the Empress Miniatures Jazz Age Imperialism range.