Saturday, February 25, 2017

Paint Table Saturday: Union Cavalry Completed and what's next.

Paint Table Saturday sees me leaving the American Civil War behind, temporarily, and moving on to the North West Frontier, which I first started two years ago. . I will concentrate on these Artizan British and Sikhs, which I began back then.  The problem is is that it is really dark again this morning so how much I can do is not clear until I start.

I bought The Men Who Would be Kings to use with these and, as I have now played a game with the rules and liked them. it is time to work out some forces. For the British I need 36 infantry and a unit of cavalry or one gun.  Artizan don't do any cavalry (they really are dreadful for starting ranges and not finishing them) but do a nice mountain gun, which will be a lot quicker to paint than eight cavalry anyway.

 So far I have painted eight British troops and three officers and have four more rank and file and two officers under way, so I can get the first unit of 12 finished quite quickly. The next unit will be Sikhs and I already have eight started

For the Afghans I need 68 foot and 20 mounted figures. I have painted 28 foot and have about 16 more already started. Artizan don't make mounted Afghans.  I didn't know who dd so went onto The Men Who Would be Kings Facebook page and asked the question.  I had lots of helpful answers, particularly that both Studio Miniatures and Perry have them in the works.

The big achievement for this week is that, I have finished my first unit of American Civil War troops (since Airfix plastics, anyway), in the shape of this unit of Perry plastic cavalry.  I enjoyed painting them, despite some ongoing concerns about my eyesight.  Fortunately, we had a bright day yesterday so I was able to get them finished Friday morning, after my meetings in London were cancelled due to electrical problems with trains for those I was supposed to be meeting.  I always intended to paint these just to wargames standard and I did, having realised that I now cannot manage the standards I could even two years ago.  En masse they look OK, though.  So, next up I should finish my first Confederate unit, which will be the Texas infantry. The picture isn't brilliant as it always seems to be the case that whenever I complete a unit and want to photograph them the weather is too dark to take pictures!  I have now painted 44 figures this year which is more than the whole of 2015 and 2016 put together! Hopefully the next batch of ACW will move along quicker as they will be infantry.

Lack of cavalry has also been one of the reasons I didn't get on with my 1864 Danes but North Star have just announced Danish Dragoons are coming out next week.  So I will get on with my Danes after the Confederate infantry I think.

Recently, Eric the Shed has announced that his latest project will be skirmishing in the Peninsular, something I have been thinking about for many years (well, since I saw the first Sharpe on TV in 1993).  This was prompted by his acquisition of a bargain 28mm model Spanish village and Chosen Men.  As I said last week, I was not convinced by the rules when I first read them through but Eric is much cleverer at rules than I am so it will be interesting to see what his thoughts are on them.

Two more good reasons to watch Sharpe

I have been watching Sharpe again on TV, usually accompanied by chorizo and Rioja and had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and quite how many lovely young actresses appeared in it.  I am still very tempted by Paul Hicks lovely Brigade Games figures for this period but now I will be able to see how the rules work in practice (as it were), hopefully.  Anyway, I have just ordered some new figures for another nineteenth century conflict I have wanted to do for some time! 

I will continue to alternate ACW and other units this year, which will, hopefully, stop me getting bored.  I keep projects which are under way in these plastic boxes on my desk, along with those paints I am using currently.  It would be nice to see if I can empty some in the next few months.  One thing about having painted the Perry figures is that they are quite challenging and also the ACW figures are on the small side.  I am hoping that the Artizan ones will be easier and I hope to move them along quickly, although I have just ordered another three packs.

On the scenic front I just took delivery of an American colonial house from Charlie Foxtrot Miniatures.  This will make a good tavern for Centerville but looks like a challenging build!  Something for the summer holiday, I think.  I am going to start painting the Renedra American church, shortly, though.

Today's music is Alfred Newman's score, appropriately, for Gunga Din (1939).  The CD also contains Max Steiner's music for the Errol Flynn The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), although much of the film actually takes place in India.  I have been tempted by the Crimean War many times and even bought a box of Warlord's British infantry but sensibly disposed of them some time ago!

The Kelpie (1913)

Today's wallpaper is a watery maiden by Herbert Draper (1864-1920). Kelpies were spirits who haunted rivers and lakes and would prey on sailors and other travellers. Draper's Kelpie does have something of the sinister about her, although the picture was not well received when it was exhibited; critics thinking that the girl's figure was "too modern" for a mythological subject.  Kelpies were creatures of northern myth and her background setting reflects this. Draper was fascinated, as were other late Victorian artists, with portraying beautiful but evil women and this figure joins his sirens and snake women as another metaphor for the destructiveness of women's sexuality.  The fact that her toes are dipped in the water symbolises the fact that she has lost her virginity.  No innocent maiden, therefore, but a dangerous sexual predator. Draper was an expert at combining source material from different places and fusing them together to provide a realistic and convincing looking whole. In the case of The Kelpie the source material appears to be some photographs he took of a stream in Scotland, together with some detailed pencil studies he made in Savoie. The rendering of the transparently clear water in the foreground of this picture is nothing short of miraculous. 


  1. Nice work on the cavalry and some great plans there :)

    For putting together the MDF building rubber bands, butterfly clips and Lego bricks are your best friend and don't forget to wipe off excess PVA that comes out of the joins.

    1. Thanks for the tips. Plastic kits are one thing but wooden ones start to approach DIY!

  2. Your painting table is abuzz with activity! Very good to see you kick into high gear. NWF British and Federal ACW cavalry look smashing. Keep the momentum up!

    1. Just need better light. Really dark again todau. disappointingly.

  3. Great looking figures - fantastic brushwork on all.
    Can understand where you're coming from on the boarding. I keep starting jobs get board and move on to something else not to go back. Maybe smaller chunks in one go but keep the project close at hand to pick up in between.

    1. I used to only be able to manage six figures at at time but I can do twice that now...

  4. Have a look at Empress Miniatures' Jazz Age Imperialism range for the mounted Afghans you require. They are sculpted ( by Paul Hicks) with the 1920's in mind & look very nice. The only caveat is whether they match your Artizan figures in stature. Happy hunting HGA.

  5. Those finished minis look very nice, good work!

  6. Thanks for the lovely picture of The Kelpie and the info, very interesting.