Sunday 28 December 2014

Ganga Risala Bikaner (The Bikaner Camel Corps) 3. The complete unit.

By Jove! Three weeks from concept to completion. That must be a record for me. Thanks to Steve Langan for providing me with the opportunity to do these figures. I think that these and painting up the new Mutton Chop WW1 figures have to be the highlights of 2014. 

What next? Well, I have a number of Camels to do ready for the same display game where the Bikaner Camel Corps will make their debut and then I'm going to try to move forward with the Queen's Own Dosrset Yeomanry project that has been gathering dust. They too may ride out to defend the Canal in February, but I'm not confident that they will make the deadline. It is a good job I'm on holiday!

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Seasonal Greetings.

Wishing all who drop by a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2015.

Saturday 20 December 2014

The Ganga Risala Bikaner (The Bikaner Camel Corps) 2.

I have been painting rather intensively over the past week to try to make in-roads into the BCC before the Christmas commitments start to demand time away from the painting table. Half way through! Thanks to both Woodbine (Gripping Beast) and Perry Mins. for turning the orders for the raw material around so quickly to allow me to do this.

Thursday 11 December 2014

The Ganga Risala Bikaner (The Bikaner Camel Corps) 1.

The test pieces for an interesting "little" project to be completed as soon as possible in preparation for a planned display game at York in February. Perry Sudan Camel Corps figure with a Woodbine head, a Woodbine WW1 Indian Army figure, both with greenstuff additions to the head dress. These chaps are off to defend the Suez Canal against the Ottoman threat. We could have given them the standard Indian Army khaki paint scheme, but the chap who will use these said he wanted them "to look smart" as they engage the Turk. Inspiration for the white uniform came from a German propaganda postcard. They will add a bit of colour on a sandy tabletop.



Sunday 30 November 2014

WW1 Mutton Chop British Rifle Section

Four figures in marching order complete this group of twelve. 

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Mutton Chop WW1. Pack BEF6.

Four more to do to complete the full rifle section. AK Interactive uniform triad continues to make a positive impression on this painter.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Mutton Chop WW1. Pack BEF7.

To celebrate the passing of a lot of nonsense at work and a return to peaceful and  happier times, I painted something. The first visit to the painting table in about three weeks. Here we have more Hicks Niceness in the shape of pack BEF7 from his excellent Mutton Chop WW1 range of figures. These chaps are painted up with the AK Interactive British WW1 Uniform triad reviewed earlier on the blog. I wanted to see what a group of these figures would look like if painted with this triad. It is growing on me.

The plan is to paint up a twelve man section of these figures and then offer them up to the World for purchase. Watch this space.

Sunday 2 November 2014

WW1 Uniform Triads from AK Interactive.

Having been alerted to the release of  three paint sets I took the plunge and ordered these via the miracle of PayPal on the interweb from the AK Interactive website. Here are the links to each paint set:
British WW1 Uniform
German WW1 Uniform
French WW1 Uniform

At £5.40 a set (current exchange rate) they are not a bad price, but postage from Spain is payable unless you purchase £70 worth of goods.

First up... the German Uniform triad. Here it is...

The paints themselves are very comparable to Vallejo Model Colour paints in terms of coverage and pigment levels.

This triad is useful to paint the TUNIC and FELDMUTZE. It is too green for the trousers.

My take on a triad as marketed thus is that the painter should be able to use the paints straight from the pot without mixing. With the German Uniform set this is true for the "Shadow" and "Base" paints but the "Light" paint is just too light for my tastes and I would recommend toning it down with a little of the "Base" paint. Here are the results on a Mutton Chop figure in light order kit (more tunic is exposed). The red band on the feldmutze has been covered with a khaki band.

The end result is a darker field grey than I would normally paint, and this makes the difference between the "Base" and "Light" shades even more pronounced. Here is an image comparing this triad to my normal field grey recipe of a base of VMC Olive Drab, a mid tone of VMC Field Grey and a highlight of Field Grey lightened with the addition of a little light grey paint.

The British Uniform set is a very brown khaki whereas my personal preference is to have a more greenish tone. As I approached the paints my first thought was that, again, the "Light" paint was too light. Here is the triad and a GWM dismounted Cavalry trooper to show the result . The cap, tunic and puttees are painted with this triad (the riding breeches on this figure are NOT done with this triad but with VMC US Field Drab highlighted up with VMC Pale Sand).

Once the figure was varnished the contrast between the "Light" and "Base" shade is not as pronounced as I had initailly feared and the end result also contained enough green to satisfy me. Here is an image of this figure next to a GWM Tommy painted up in my normal khaki recipe of a base of VMC Russian Green, a mid tone of VMC English Uniform and a highlight of VMC Green Brown.

Having seen the end result I will definitely use this tiad to give a little variation of khaki shades within a unit.

Sadly, I have no French figures in the leadpile so all I can give you is an image of the French Horizon Blue triad in the pot and a swatch painted onto white paper. The "Light" paint seemed a bit lacking in pigment, but that may well be because I had not shaken up the pot enough.

So, an overall verdict? Well, I bought them and I shall use them but certainly in regards to the German and British Uniform sets the similar results can be obtained without the expenditure... unless the lure of some of AK Interactive's paint sets for WW1 and WW2 AFVs means you need to top up the order to £70!

Saturday 1 November 2014

Doing that Voodoo that you do so well.....

Every now and again something different lands on the painting table. Last year it was a Jazz Band and 1920s flappers. Now this.  Don't normally do this sort of thing (and it probably shows) but here are some Haitian Zombies from the Brigade Games Caribbean Empires range. A few more live Voodoo types to follow. The strange green creature is a Chupacabra.... you don't find many of these in the Vale of the White Horse so visual reference material was hard to come by. The bulging eyes, thousand yard stare and misaligned pupils on the undead types are intentional... not just poor rendering of eyes. I am completely out of my depth with this sort of thing so big thanks to Michael Awdry who was kind enough to give me a few pointers on paint schemes for Zombie flesh before I got started.

The one thing I did not want was a end result that "popped" to the eye. These individuals are the undead.... not the cartoon flesh eating types,,, just the shuffling and gently decaying sort. Instead of using my normal "apply paint with trowel" approach, these are done with a series of thinned washes foregoing a final highlight.

Thankfully, the rest of this project involves US Marine Corps and Haitian Gendarmarie. I think I can cope with them.

Back to the comfort zone, next, as I try out a couple of test figures using the new WW1 triads from Spanish firm AK Interactive. A review to follow.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Perry Plastic DAK Zug.

The first section of Perry DAK in faded tropical greens. Similar to some posted about a year ago but with a few more recipe variations for the faded green than previously. All in helmets to ease the painting process. Figures in caps to come later.

Monday 20 October 2014

Perry DAK. Pack GWW12 DAK Zug Command.

Painted up in faded tropical greens.

Monday 25 August 2014

August 1914. The Retreat from Mons.

I've been meaning to post this for a couple of days but have been unable to get to the technology. For me, the commemoration of the outbreak of the Great War began on 23rd August with the anniversary of the Battle of Mons. This is the excellent, the late Prof. Richard Holmes' programme on the Reteat from Mons, part of his "War Walks" series from 1996/7.

Sunday 17 August 2014

Mutton Chop WW1. Pack BEF5. British Command.

I have just created the Second Edition of the "Tommies 1914-15" Painting Guide. The guide now uses figures sculpted by Paul Hicks from the Mutton Chop and Musketeer Miniatures ranges. Email for a copy!

Friday 15 August 2014

With the RGH to Suvla and a meeting with Billy Sing.

We were back again at the National Archive last week. Again, once the official business was over I ordered up the Regimental War Diaries of some of the Yeomanry Regiments that went out to Gallipoli in August 1915. They landed at Suvla  as part of  the now dismounted Mounted Division and were withdrawn at the end of October.

Officers of the 2nd Mounted Division receive orders and briefing before the night attacks on Chocolate and Scimitar Hills 21 August, 1915.

I was particularly taken with the diary of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars. Written by the Adjutant, Lt. Michael Hugh Hicks-Beach, Viscount Quenigton, initially on pages torn from his notebook and only later on the official sheets. He signs himself simply as "Quenington".

Lieutenant, later Captain "Quenington" survived Suvla and continued as Adjutant until his death at the disaster at Quatia, 23 April 1916. More on this in a future post. 

Captain, the Honourable Michael Hugh Hicks-Beach, Viscount Quenington, 
Adjutant Royal Gloucestershire Hussars.

Here's the official  RGH account of their time in Gallipoli (WO 95/4293):

I also rummaged through the diary of the Middlesex Hussars for the same time period. I was pulled up short by this page where Captain Subbins charts the effects of disease.

I was also very pleased to discover that the diaries of the Australian Light Horse Regiments 1915-18 are at the National Archive. Some are photograpgic reproductions (the originals now at the Australian War Memorial, I believe) but a few original pages are mixed in there as well. I called up the Gallipoli diary of 5th Australian Light Horse. This diary was a photographic reproduction done quite some time ago and it did not photgraph well, there being very little contrast between the writing and the background so no images I'm afraid. However, the tone of this Aussie diary is very different to those of British Regiments. Ordinary Troopers are named throughout when they are wounded, sick or do something worthy of note. The naming of "ORs" in British diaries is relatively rare.

I read, with interest, a reference in the diary to Trooper Billy Sing, a Chinese-Australian and legendary sniper known as "The Assassin". The diary entry celebrates Sing's accuracy as he had just increased his tally to over 150 confirmed hits. The entry describes Sing's "modus operandi" (the diary's phrase, not mine). His spotter, armed with a telescope, would train it on a "loophole" in the Turkish sand-bag parapet or any other target that presented itself. Sing would cover the spot with his rifle at ranges between 400 to 1000 yards. When the spotter saw movement he would simply tell Sing to shoot. Sing would oblige and the spotter would record the result. Sing went on to claim 201 kills and earn himself the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Have a read about Billy Sing here. Here he is: