Saturday, April 15, 2017

Paint Table Easter Saturday...and resisting temptation

I was very pleased to finish five more figures for my 2nd Afghan War The Men who would be Kings force this week.  Sadly, I mistakenly thought that these would finish a unit (12 men for these rules) but I had only painted five others for this unit so am two short.  Although I have some other painted figures I could have used I like my units to be in similar poses so bunged off an order to North Star to fill the gaps in this and the other unit of British..  

This order will give me some leftovers but I have already decided to build a second force representing troops later in the conflict, where khaki trousers had replaced the blue ones and poshteens were commonly worn.  I can mix my leftovers with these less regulation looking figures for my second army.  Despite the inordinate amount of time it's taking me to paint them the TMWWBK force is only 36 figures plus either a cavalry unit or an artillery piece.  

I am going to have two units of the Royal Surrey Regiment and one of Sikhs plus a Sikh mountain gun, except the gun still hasn't arrived from North Star due to production problems. I might have a look at Salute and see if I can find one.  I am going to paint the artillery in their pre-khaki dark blue with red turbans as I found a period photograph of them on campaign in the early part of the war where they are obviously not yet in khaki.  I want to do a mule train for a gun and am wondering whether I can convert the Perry Miniatures Carlist wars one, given a spare gun.  

Anyway. I had a good day yesterday on the Sikhs and hope to get them finished by the end of the long weekend.  I am finding these a lot easier to paint than the Perry ACW figures but I will get back to these after my Afghan diversion.  With good light and a new Windsor & Newton Series 7 000 brush I got all the horrible straps done today.  I still have shading on the knapsacks, red lines on the trousers, tidying up on loose blobs, bases, varnishing and metal work to do.  Someone was suggesting I try the dreaded dip but, apart from the fact that it is cheating, I find dipped troops tend to have a rather murky look about them. Today my sister is coming over for tea, though, so  I need to have a good bash this morning as Sunday we are going down to the Old Bat's sister in Hampshire.  Guy is hoping my brother in law will have taken delivery of his new Ford Mustang!  

Tries not to think about Louise Redknapp and honey

I don't get hay fever, really, but I have been suffering with some sneezing lately, which is always annoying when trying to paint belts with triple 0 brushes.  Both Guy and Charlotte suffer quite badly but not as badly as my sister who does actually get a fever with it.  In the past, eating local honey has helped Charlotte (it works like a flu jab) but I have always had to order it at great expense from a specialist shop in Clapham.  However, Louise Redknapp was telling the Old Bat that you can get the right sort of honey in the Medicine Garden in Cobham, as she gets really bad hay fever too. Worth trying.

The Old Bat went to the Garden Centre yesterday to look at pumps for our new girly water feature and I decided to tag along at the last minute as I remembered they had a big aquarium section where people from around here can buy Koi carp at £200 a time.  I got an excellent selection of plastic plants for my planned jungle bases.  Eric the Shed very kindly offered to cut me some bases for them but I don't want to put him to any trouble as he has already done so much for my wargaming these past few years.  I have found a big pile of old CDs and am going to have a go at using these as I remember seeing something about someone using these in the past in one of the magazines.  I also remember that you have to score them to make things stick to the better.  I think I am going to have to get a hot glue gun too, given suggestions on my last post.  Fortunately, the Old Bat has used one, although she happily told me that "you will get third degree burns from it!"  I remember studying the case Smith V Leech Brain (1962) where someone got molten metal on them, then later developed cancer and died.  I am sure that hot glue will give the same result.  It's probably deliberate on the Old Bat's part.  If she gets me a hot glue gun for Easter I will know...

More on scenics in that I am assembling the Renedra mud brick house which I bought at last year's Salute (I think).  This is the fourth one of these kits I have assembled and although the concept is good they really are horrible to put together,  Maybe I was just spoiled by building a lot of Hasegawa aircraft kits years ago but the fit of the parts is awful and I am having to use a lot of filler on it. I might have a look at the 4Ground wooden ones at Salute.  Just as I worry about the differences in jungle in South America and the Congo so I worry that, actually, mud brick houses in Afghanistan, Egypt and the Sudan do look different but I doubt whether anyone else does.

I am looking forward to Salute next week and I am hoping there will be another Bloggers meet up, although I haven't seen anything yet about one. I don't think that I am after any figures but will be looking for scenic items, although nothing too big as I have to carry it home on the train.  Eric the Shed is planning to go on to the newly reopened National Army Museum afterwards but I usually get to Salute a bit later.  to avoid the queue, so won't be able to fit it in.  I used to live in Chelsea and just along from the NAM was a really good restaurant I used to go to called La Tante Claire, which was one of London's few three Michelin star restaurants (Pierre Koffmann was the chef) at the time.  It closed some years ago, though and is now Gordon Ramsay's main restaurant in London.  Last time I went Helen Worth, from Coronation Street was there (she has a house nearby, I think). 

Even though I am painting much more than last year I still have a huge lead and plastic pile but that doesn't stoe me looking at new tempting things.  The ability to resist temptation is not one of my defining characteristics ;whether it comes in a blister pack, a bottle, or a cocktail dress.  I am intrigued by North Star's new plastic fantasy range, which will be coming out later in the year and will consist of dwarves, elves and goblins.  The pictures of the dwarves look good but I think I can resist these as I have so many Lord of the Rings figures to paint.  

I do like dwarves though and the only Warhammer figures I ever painted were some dwarves (above).  I bought a big army box but sold them all in the end as I didn't like any of the opponent figures in Warhammer.  Wargamed Foundry (I think) used to have a nice series of Norse Dwarves some years ago but as I have actually painted some Lord of the Rings ones I will not be sidetracked by these figures!  Definitely.

The next figures I must resist are Black Scorpion's new Wild West figures for their new Tombstone rules which are the subject of a Kickstarter (which was funded in four minutes!).  I have always had a hankering to do something set in the Wild West and I like Black Scorpion's very unhistoric pirates and have even painted some (above).

These western figures are also bordering on fantasy (especially the women) but their resin figures are really nice to paint so I am quite tempted by this one, especially as I can see some of them turning up in Victorian London for In her Majesty's Name.  Speaking of which, I definitely want to get the new IHMN Gothic supplement.

Finally, one Kickstarter I am also having trouble resisting is The Drowned Earth one (it begins tomorrow), despite it being a very different game and setting from that which I am usually interested in.  This has been well marketed with some stunning supporting artwork and some very interesting figures.  I am not sure what it is that I like about this; maybe it takes me back to the days when I read a lot of science fiction but I like the small factions and the variety in the figures.  Whether I will be able to do them justice with paint is another question.

Today's wallpaper is A Young girl Sleeping by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) or Une jeune Italienne à demi-nue, couchée volupteusement sur un lit de repos, où elle s'endormie as it was described when sold in 1776 for a thousand livres (the equivalent of about £10,000 based on the value of gold then).  This was an early nude by Fragonard, painted when he was in his most Boucheresque phase during his first trip to Italy from 1756 to 1761, so he would have been in his twenties at the time.  In fact, it was the only nude he painted in this period but is a forerunner of the tastefully erotic work he would do later in life.

The picture disappeared from the record at the end of the eighteenth century and reappeared in 2014 when it was put up for auction.  Due to a piece of luck it could be positively identified, as someone, at the original 1766 auction had made a quick sketch of the painting in their catalogue and this had been preserved in the Bibliothèque National.  It was sold in 2014 for the comparatively bargain price pf $395.000.

Today's music comes from the period the painting was created.  The eight symphonies of William Boyce (1711-1779) like Fragonard's painting were also not known for many years and weren't performed again after his lifetime until an edition of them was published in 1928.  They are very melodic and mood lifting.  It is impossible to feel fed up when listening to Boyce, however much filler you are having to shovel into a Renedra biilding!


  1. Your colonial British force is coming along nicely :)

    I'm pretty sure that Ray did post about a bloggers' meet-up a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think it's been reposted by anyone else - I'll have to correct that. It's 1pm near to the painting competition display.