Being somewhat dissatisfied with the Irregular Miniatures 6 inch 30 cwt Howitzer (underscale) for 97 Heavy Artillery Group, I decided to replace it with a scratchbuild. Here is a 1/56 (approx) 6 inch 30 cwt Howitzer on the top carriage in the static position, wheels removed, ready for some high angle work. The figure for size comparison is a Mutton Chop wth a Woodbine head.
Friday 29 December 2017
Thursday 21 December 2017
Since completing the 4th Australian Light Horse, the Painting Mojo decided to go for a holiday. Both it and I needed a break from the brushes for while. However, I got the itch. The itch to build. So, as I took time away from the paints, I began work on what will become 97 Heavy Artillery Group and I built the guns. These are all approximately 1/56 scale. They are not meant to be exact scale models but something that, in the end, looks like the real gun and will pass as a gaming piece.
Mark VI 8 inch Howitzer: There were two Mark VI guns in Palestine during 1917 and 1918. All scratched with the addition of converted wheels from the JTFM Mark I Tank steering gear.
26 cwt 6 inch Howitzers: One of these is a complete scratchbuild, the other uses the barrel from an Irregular Miniatures 6 inch howitzer. I bought Irregular Miniatures gun out of curiosity but the carriage is completely wrong and it went straight into the "bits box".
A fourth howitzer was added using the Irregular Miniatures 30 cwt 6 inch Howitzer (on the extreme right).
Mark II 60 pdr: These two guns took the most work. Again, the barrels and carriages are scratchbuilt and the wheels are converted from the JTFM Mark I Tank steering gear.
In the fullness of time I shall have to convert some gunners, do some more Holt tractors and towing limbers, an observation balloon, a flatbed truck with a massive winch, two lorry mounted AA guns and some AA Lewis guns. What have I started........?
Monday 11 December 2017
Monday 20 November 2017
Every self-respecting British-Imperial force should have a kilted unit. Here's mine but no tartan in sight, only Hodden Grey. Footsore Miniatures with Woodbine heads and a Jazz Age Imperialism Lewis Gun team from Empress Miniatures. The circular yellow patch is correct. Wearing the The London Scottish light blue hackle on the Wolseley helmet is entirely conjectural but it adds a little interest and colour.
Thursday 16 November 2017
These figures are from Blaze Away available from Lancashire Games. Painted up as the 4th Australian Light Horse (tiny detail of the the patch in the sleeve) with some added clutter and an extra blanket to the saddle. Half way through the unit of ten mounted and ten dismounted. The keen eyed among you will notice that, through the miracle of "Instant Mold" and green stuff, I have added swords to these Lighthorsemen. They were issued swords in 1918 and these chaps will be used for a game set during "The Great Ride"of that year through northern Palestine and Syria. Another post showing all complete will follow in due course.
Sunday 5 November 2017
I took some time to experiment with speeding up the painting process for my own collection of Tabletop Tommies given that I don't have a lot of time to devote to painting my own figures. I decided that I would cut cards with the Devil and have a go at a basecoat-wash-highlight technique. I have not done this before. Needless to say that this speed painting technique is NOT something I will be offering to my paying clients!
I had all the ingredients to make up my own ink washes (acrylic medium/inks/water/a drop of washing up liquid and some 10ml plastic dropper bottles). I mixed up three different shades and intensity of wash not really knowing what the end results would be like and tried all on these ten figures.
I think I found the right one by the end... a mix of six drops sepia ink and six drops umber ink in a 10ml bottle. Some washes are too subtle and do not pick out the detail enough, particularly on the front of the tunic.
I also tried both a black and a grey undercoat. Again, I think the two figures painted on a black undercoat are more successful.
These figures are a mix of Woodbines, Mutton Chop and a Footsore officer figure, all with Woodbine tin helmets with neck flaps. The Brodie helmet arrived in Palestine in the interval between the Second and Third Battles of Gaza when there was sustained period of trench warfare on the Gaza front.
This technique worked better with the Footsore and Mutton Chop figures. The Woodbines (the Lewis Gun team) are very "smooth" figures and in my opinion, do not take well to washes.
This was very much a steep learning curve and when I repeat this technique on the 2/13 London Regiment (Kensingtons) I think all will be black undercoated and washed with the sepia/umber mix.
Did it save time? Yes. I was able to "knock out" this unit of ten in half the time it would normally take to paint in my normal style.
Would I use it for everything? No. The bulk of the infantry would look acceptable from a distance but I don't think they bear up to close scrutiny. Command figures and other specials will always get my normal painting method.
So, these are, I think, the two most successful of these experimental ten. The figure on the left is black undercoated. The figure on the right is grey undercoated. Both have the darker sepia/umber mix wash.
The blue patch is correct thanks to some interweb trawling and the excellent pool of collective knowledge that is the Great War Forum. 179 Brigade adopted a system of circular patches during their short time on the western front prior to being dispatched to Macedonia in June 1916. They brought this scheme with them to Palestine in the early summer of 1917:
2/13 Kensingtons - green
2/14 London Scottish - yellow
2/15 Civil Service Rifles - blue
2/16 Queen's Own Westminster Rifles - red.
2/14 London Scottish are almost complete. I relised that I lacked a kilted Lewis Gun team. An order to Empress Miniatures is in the offing.