Sunday, May 6, 2018

Project Quebec: Regiment Guyenne

I've really enjoyed building this unit. For those of you who follow my blogs, it should be understood I am enthusiastic about too many periods and armies. Each project distracts me from the other and it's no small wonder I have plans and desires which can take years to achieve - many years in fact. Well this is one achievement which was well overdue. I have wanted to build a French Seven Years War regiment for the French Indian War since the 1980s ... and now I have.
My auto-focus caught the drum!

I have also enjoyed it because it's a small unit (only 22 figures at 1:9 representative scale for the Plains of Abraham) and because of the fine quality of these Crusader Miniatures - they really are a pleasure to work with. Oh, and it makes a pleasant change from all those red-coated British I've been banging away at. By the way, after I painted the drummer (pictured above) even with my magnifying lamp I couldn't pick out the buttons on his lace to paint them. The pin-dot lace proved too disruptive for my ageing eyes.
To differentiate the two officers I amputated and re-set one of the arms (left). It's an imperfect result but not so much that anyone will notice. I used grey and shaded up to white on all the coats but used ochre as a base for the gaiters. Not sure if it made any real difference in the end and I'm going to try the beige base for the next regiment.
This is a poor photo but I took it to highlight one thing I've changed in painting bayonets. After the blackened steel base coat and steel dry brushing I run silver just along the edges of the bayonet to simulate a sharpened edge. I've also started copying other techniques such as using grey on the faces for that unshaven look - I always used thinned black wash before.
I also love the flags - colourful and best of all, simple. The colour panels are done in three tones. I left the regimental colour (right) to dry over night before painting the white cross otherwise the colours would smear. The left colonel's colour is white on white so I've base coated the panels light grey and the cross beige/white prior to dry-brushing white to better pick up the design. Oh, and before anyone asks, yes, I made sure the flags of the regiment are also on the drums which you might make out on the drummer picture above.

I've struggled with how to base my French. I was always going to base them in three ranks but by how many files per base? In the end I went with four and three figure frontages on four figure frontage bases making for less handling.
The next unit will be identical in size and they are my smallest regular foot regiments. They are also Crusader Miniatures figures but I will be buying some Black Hussar figures for a firing line or two next time around and I'm looking forward to find out how they are to work with.
I've only tacked down the standard bearers as I'm still finishing the colours and will be transporting them separately back to Canberra. Last time the finials broke off and I'm still waiting for mine to turn up. I've opted for the Front Rank French finials with the cravat as I didn't care for the fiddlier and smaller Crusader Miniatures finials. I use thicker steel wire for my poles and they couldn't be seated securely. The Front Rank finials allow for deeper holes to be drilled.

I finally finished the colour party and I'm happy with the results. The finials arrived just after the original posting - so here they are. The finials are Front Rank and they are great.  word of warning - when twisting the ribbons be super careful - they are on the brittle side and I came within a whisker of snapping one.
Anyway, their accompanying war-party are on a go-slow as I decided to take a small break from figure painting and finish a couple of early DH2 pusher-type 1/72nd scale bi-plane fighters which I suppose I'll post next.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Dutch Artillery Limber: And Guns ... Part 2

At last my allied army for Waterloo has some artillery support - a half-battery of Dutch Horse Artillery. What is it about undercoating that reveals all the bits you miss when you are cleaning up the figures prepping them for the paint-job? Maddening. Well, this has been an interesting and fiddly build.

I've never had this happen before but it's amazing how unobservant I can be at times. When I finally got to painting the belts and straps for the artillery train figures I noticed that the rear figure has no hanger straps for his scabbard. Unlike his counterpart up front, there is nothing attaching the scabbard to his belt. His sword is just hanging there, suspended in mid-air. Looks like a design flaw to me and I think in all the figures I've painted in my life (thousands I suspect) this was a first for me. Tut-tut Perry bros.

The drivers have shako covers on with a pom-pom. This makes painting the shakos easy but every reference I have refers to plumes - not pom-poms. This is because the Perry's offer a generic limber (Dutch/Belgian) and I suspect these 'train' figures are foot artillery drivers. I've gone with black consistent with my sources.

Images for the train are a rare as rocking-horse dung and references in my Osprey sources are scant - they same 'same as the horse artillery' which makes for a black plume. Then again, images often show pom-poms for rank and rile with plumes for officers - so that's what I speculate my train drivers to be.

My artillery crew have all got their new white issued belting but you can have them retaining black if you like - I didn't mix them up this time which is normally the sort of thing I'm likely to have done.
I have gone for my gun carriages in the French olive green paint scheme. I think I may have misinformed previously as the Dutch had both Dutch and French equipment - but not any British.
The brass barrels are simply dark brown based with a slightly tinned dry brushing of Vallejo Brass. Normally I'd wash it over again with thinned dark brown but it didn't seem to need it - not to these ageing eyes anyway. I also blackened the muzzles and the touch holes. I want my field pieces to look  like they are being worked.

I elected to go for a plain wooden limber but kept my gun carriages French olive green consistently. I had thought to cut away a spoke here and there and even have a couple in plain wood to represent field repairs but dismissed the idea in the end. Perhaps another time.
The limber took much longer than I expected. Even once the horses were completely painted I had to wait 24 hours after gluing them to the base before I could tie off the rest of the harness to the limber.
As with so many references for the less popular uniforms there is conflicting details for the train. I've opted for black belts as per my Osprey reference but I also see them in white
It may have been the frame of mind I was in at the time but painting the striped shoulder rolls is not something I enjoyed but it does sort of make the figures in a way. Other than those affectations the uniforms are straight forward.
When I complete the bases some time in the future I will be sure to muddy this lot right up.