Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Musketeer Miniatures Swedish Infantryman

I finished the Musketeer Miniatures Swedish infantryman at the weekend. He was very easy to paint and the only problem I had was on his musket. I wasn't quite sure where the barrel of his musket finished and the stock began but as this is on the inside it wasn't too critical. The bayonet scabbard is a separate casting which looks nice but it is a bit fragile and I have accidentally knocked it off once already.

As to colours I had a look at the displays in the army museum in Stockholm.

They have several reproduction uniforms, such as the one above, and a few real ones. The level of detail in and quality of the reproductions indicates to me that these are very carefully researched indeed and are not just knocked up for show. Certainly the colour on the reproductions matches the original examples. The blue did not look nearly this bright in natural light: this is closer to pure Humbrol 25 in the picture which it certainly was not in reality.

This is an original coat from 1756, slightly later than the Great Northern War, but the uniform had hardly changed other than the coat turnbacks. The colour in this photograph is pretty spot on to what was there and this is what I based my colour scheme on. It is always hard to tell how much things have faded in 250 years but this sort of tone is justifiable and to me, anyway, looks right. Note hos pale the yellow coat is in the background.

With flash photography the colours are never quite as they are (there is a green cast to my pictures) but I am happy with the colours that I used. I may try to get some daylight pictures.

For the coat I had originally imagined quite a dark navy blue, like the current Swedish Guards uniforms. Comments on the Musketeer Miniatures Forum indicated that the coats were "lighter than had been thought". Certainly the ones in the museum were what I would call a mid-blue. I had to mix a colour specially: one third Humbrol 109 WW1 blue and two thirds Humbrol 25 Blue.

For the yellow facings I wanted to avoid bright yellow; these were pre-chemical dye times. One of the reasons I prefer enamels over acrylics is that they offer a more muted palate. I used Humbrol 81 Pale yellow rather than the brighter 24 Trainer yellow.

I think that this gives a good approximation of what I saw in the museum.

All in all I really enjoyed painting this figure, particularly after a rather fallow period, and I have now based and undercoated the other seven figures I bought at Colours. I have started work on a Russian infantryman. I bought these figures just as a painting exercise but I am now contemplating three units of infantry, a unit of cavalry and a cannon for some skirmishes. There are, apparently, a couple of very good books on uniforms which I will have to get.

So far, Musketeer have enough Swedes (musketmen, grenadiers, pikemen and command) so that you can build an infantry unit. Flags from Little Big men studios are also under way. They only have two packs of Russians, both musketeers. Somewhere on the forum they say that the Russians aren't selling so well, but if you can't build a unit it's not surprising. They are promising more Russians and cavalry for Warfare in November. I will probably be going to this as Guildford is running Cynoscephalae again. After that they are promising Danes (hooray) and Saxons. It is quite good to be getting into a range as they are released as hopefully my painting can keep up with their releases! The danger is, of course, that they never finish the range!

My next challenge will be to find a set of rules. There are some specific GNW rulesets out there and another to come from the League of Augsburg club but they all have element basing which I don't like. I wonder if anyone has any patches for Warhammer ECW?

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