Saturday, February 11, 2017

Paint Table Saturday: The Germans are Coming!

Time for another Paint Table Saturday, without a lot of actual painting having gone on.  It was snowing lightly this morning but the Old Bat has me on an exercise programme, mainly so she gets some exercise herself, and made us go for a run.  Well, I say a run but I have been running a bit and walking a bit (like the 95th Rifles) since we started this torture last Saturday.  Today, however, on our fifth outing in eight days, I managed to run non-stop for twenty minutes (something I could not have managed last Saturday) and half ran, half walked on the way back (which I did in eighteen minutes; which shows that my walking is faster than my running).  It is a long, long time since I ran the London Marathon (twice) but there is some muscle memory there at least. I think this all came about when she went over to her parents last week and when she rang her mother didcovered she was playing tennis (outdoors, in February) and when she got there the next day her mother was out for a run...and she is 82!

Anyway, by the time I came back, the light still wasn't good enough to finish shading my ACW Union cavalry but I did paint the base colour faces and jackets on my new Unfeasibly Miniatures Germans.  These are designed for a theoretical German invasion of Britain at the beginning of the twentieth century.  One issue with the range is that they were posited upon a late nineteenth century situation but, with the provision in the range of a Krupp 77mm field gun (first produced in 1906) this date has slipped and the concept of British red coated infantry fighting in 1906 does seem ridiculous.  I know it is a fictional scenario but it would have been better to have gone for an 1890 date, I think.  I may abandon the Krupp that came with my order and set the whole thing in 1890 if I do, indeed ,paint enough figures for a skirmish.  

I actually bought the figures for use in In Her Majesty's Name but the British look so nice that...  One issue seems to be that the figures for this Kickstarter were promised a year ago and have only just started to be sent (and I gather that the British still aren't quite ready).  I didn't mind waiting as it's not as if I haven't got any other figures to paint but some of the other backers were getting very annoyed with the man who runs Unfeasibly, who failed to answer queries on his Kickstarter page and seemed to be coming up with a series of excuses as to why things weren't ready. This is a stupid thing to do as now I am loathe to buy more figures until supply settles down.  The least he could do is a weekly update when he knows people are cross.  It is like waiting for a train that is delayed;it is better to be kept updated regularly, even if the news is bad, rather than not hearing anything.  So I shall see if I buy any more.   The figures themselves are very nice but they do have full kit which means they will take a long time to paint.  I have done a bit on my ACW troops this week, too, so they are still moving along and I aim to finish them by the end of the month. 

Talking of skirmishing, my copies of The Pikeman's Lament and Chosen Men arrived at the end of the week.  I  haven't had a chance to look at them yet but I have enjoyed the other Daniel Mersey rules I have played very much and the size of the forces you need its much closer to what I can achieve, painting wise.  

Some years ago I started painting some Musketeer Miniatures (now Footsore) Great Northern War figures and although I know I am never going to be able to field armies of hundreds, a few dozen is well within my capability.  I have painted a couple of dozen Swedes and eight Russians (my command unit for the latter is above) and the Musketeer.Footsore figures are very easy to paint.  The only issue is that I mixed a paint for the Swedes based on uniforms I saw in the Stockholm Military Museum but Humbrol number 24, which forms the basis of that colour has changed out of all recognition in shade since then.  It is now quite a dark blue (I used it for the jackets of my Germans at the top but it used to be a much lighter mid-blue.  Hopefully, adding some white will give me what I need. 

I also have about 100 painted ECW figures which are the large Renegade (see one of my units, above) and Bicorne ones.  These are completely out of scale with the Warlord plastics which Eric the Shed painted so many of last year but they would work for my own skirmishes.  I am now considering extending my study at the back of the house so I can get a wargames board in here.  These new skirmish games with small boards will be just right for that.   The only thing I am not sure about with The Pikeman's Lament is to what extent pikemen were used in skirmishes.  If you were going to beat up a village in the ECW would you have taken a load of pikemen with you or just dragoons and commanded shot?  Not sure.

As regards Chosen Men, this is about Sharpe, of course, in the Peninsula, which the rules are mainly centered upon. The figures for this that I have seen which look really splendid are the ones Paul Hicks has been doing for Brigade Games (above).  The US/British exchange rate being what it is means I won't be ordering any for a while (shame you can't get them in the UK) but I will eventually (when my mother's estate gets through probate and I can afford them).  Probably all I will have left is enough for a couple of packs of figures after paying inheritance tax, paying off the mortgage and paying the children's flat rentals at university!  I am sure my mother would have approved of me buying these, as she enjoyed Sharpe!

The Chosen Men rules also have a section for Waterloo (if ever there was an antithesis of a skirmish battle..) but I wonder whether I could employ my Dutch 27th jaegers here (the first allied troops engaged in the Waterloo campaign), the only Napoleonic unit I have painted.  The opening of Quatre Bras had a lot of skirmishing.  Something to think about!

Today's music is the wonderful Georg Solti Paris Version of Wagner's Tannhäuser.  Wagner put this new version together in 1861, fifteen years after the opera was first performed in Dresden, for a performance in Paris.  Parisian opera goers demanded a ballet in Act 2 for every opera, which the original didn't have.  This was so gentlemen about town could have dinner first and then roll up to the opera half way through, just in time to watch the ballerinas flashing their legs.  Ballerinas in the French theatre were, at the time, only a step up from prostitutes and then only because they were a bit more expensive (this must be true as Darcey Bussell told it to me at a lunch, once). The ballet in Act 2 enabled the gentlemen to make their choice for their after show entertainment. Wagner stopped all this by putting the ballet in Act 1, to their annoyance.

Salammbô (1921) by Henri Adrien Tanoux

Today's wallpaper distraction is Salammbô by Henri Adrien Tanoux.  Salammbô is the heroine of a novel by Flaubert set after the First Punic War and, amazingly for someone as non-literary as me, I have actually read it.  Tanoux (1865-1923) was a later orientalist painter producing many pictures of sumptuous harem girls at the beginning of the twentieth century when the genre was already becoming unfashionable.  Forgotten for many years, his pictures are becoming collectible again and go for upwards of $75.000.


  1. The Paul Hicks Riflemen are lovely figures - they are anatomically more accurate so look quite slight against the likes of Front Rank (but nowhere near as skinny as the Alban Miniatures' ones!)

    1. I'm hoping they will work alright with Perry Miniatures...