CRUSADER SYW British: Supplemental Review
Having completed painting the first half of my grand 48th battalion of foot for my Quebec British army, I thought to submit a post-script regarding the Crusader Miniatures British Seven Years War figures. Firstly, let me say they were a joy to paint and just as well given the numbers I have committed to for this one battalion. It is an interesting fact that you can never really appreciate a model soldier fully until you've painted it. The un-coated, bare white metal figurine can hide detail and present new difficulties even after the undercoat is applied and the full complexity of any sculpt is rarely revealed until after a painter starts to 'colour his world'.
At this stage I have as yet to paint any grenadiers or any musicians (drummers). The level of simple detail and the depth of some features simply drove me to put extra effort on such things as their hide kit bags. I ended up apply three shades of dry brushing to raise the relief of the fur. I would also like to amend a previous comment I made about the identicle faces. Whilst the variously and subtly posed figures have a strong likeness to one another, they are in fact different, made more so with the application of paint - at least with my 'washing' style. These chaps really came to life for me which again spurred me to put just that little bit extra into them. I had previously commented on the fine lace relief and that did prove fiddly and thus slow going. Having said that, the rise from the body caught the paint off the brush easily enough and it proved less hard going than I anticipated. Thanks to an old mate of mine (Grant) who reminded me to use a tooth-pick to dot the lace, what could have been nightmarish was only laborious. Hell ... I'll take what I can get.
I was pleasantly surprised about the poses themselves inasmuch as some details were hid and I avoided several pain points such as the pocket lace. In fact, much of the lace is hidden by external kit and the positioning of the arms and musket. There is defined lace for the rear of the waistcoat, exposed by the turn backs which I elected not to paint. Most half of the left lapel and coat lace for both pockets are obscured. In turn, the musket underside is couched in the crook of the left arm hiding the trigger and guard with the musket bracing covered by the musket sling. All very handy. Whilst I prefer painting bigger gaiter buttons found on other sculpts, these are simply far more accurate with a better finish. There is no butt-plate on the musked stock (less detail for me) and I had no inclination to affect one through painting. Also, the ram-rod end is not well detailed but again, this does not detract from the painted figure. Many of these details are most probably over emphasized on other figures for the 28mm scale in any event but that's no doubt up for debate. I ended up applying a wash to the musket barrels and locks after my traditional aluminium over gun-metal approach and am pleased with the effect.For some reason these figures asked for it and now I see myself doing so in future for all muskets. What is it about getting fussier with age?
I'm not able to base these figures whilst I am stationed in the Pacific as I will transport them wrapped on my trips home. Nevertheless I couldn't help but lay them out for the grand shot of the half-battalion. Incidentally, they stand up on their own - well centred and balanced with very neat bases. No blue-tack! Now that I've freed up my cork painting stands, I can move on to the rest of them and the first of my Light Brigade regiments for Balaclava which will feature on my other Blog.