Saturday, July 18, 2020

Paint Table Saturday: Danes and an off the wall SF project

I haven't posted for six weeks or so as I hadn't painted anything but this has changed this week when I finished my 1864 2nd Schleswig War Danish infantry, so I can have another Paint Table Saturday post today. 

Not surprisingly, given my glacial painting rate, I started these twelve figures in October 2015 but had real trouble finding uniform information about them. I started off painting them dark blue until a helpful Danish reader pointed out that actually only the jackets were blue and they were all wearing greatcoats which were almost black. I took this to mean very, very dark  blue but, in fact, the coats were very, very dark grey. Having painted them all blue I gave up on them for a bit and only sporadically went back to them. Over the last few months they have had much more attention and I finished them on Tuesday.  The backdrop, which enhances them considerably, is a painting by the nineteenth century Danish painter LA Ring, who painted some wonderful Danish landscapes.

The Little Hornblowerr in Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard, Copenhagen

These are a set of figures that I bought when they first came out, before I had seen the TV series 1864, which inspired them, of course. There is rather more information about the uniforms now, so that I could even do an accurate company flag. Unfortunately, North Star have temporarily taken the range off their website while they are running at a reduced staff level but I hope they get some more soon. They are even promising more figures for the range and I do have some Danish dragoons started. I used to travel to Copenhagen quite regularly (to the extent that I acquired a lady friend from the Danish Treasury) and remember a statue of a soldier in this uniform near to the Tivoli Gardens and Dansk Industri, where I was working at the time.

I also had a distant member of the family's Swedish branch, Lieutenant Johann Frederik Nielsen (1831-1886), who was in the Danish army at the time of the 1864 war.  One think I vacillated over for years was how to paint the bases. The beginning of the war took place in cold, snowy weather but by the end of the war the weather was unseasonably bright and sunny. Having read lots of depressing stuff about all the ways doing snowy bases didn't work. I abandoned my plans to have snow bases (which would meant a snow board too, of course) and went for mud with the sort of yellow grass you get after the snow has melted and a semi-frosty effect on the earth.

So what are my current three projects, now? Well I have put the Romans on the back burner again as they are going to take forever. Doing the black undercoat for the metal armour on the figures will take an age but every time I use some black I will paint one. So the next ones I work on will be the Lucid Eye Savage Core Atlanteans. 

I had started the seven figures they do but then spotted a new one I hand't got. I added some more character figures frm the range which were relatively new so then had a group of five extra on order. These are lovely figures to paint so I will keep them to hand. I have now based the extra Atlantean so need to get him to the same initial stage as the other figures and then I can do all eight together.

In the second row are five figures I said I wouldn't get because they are made in China (it looks like the poor Old Bat may not fully recover from the Chinese Virus, according to her doctors). Unfortunately, I caved in and am delighted I did, as the new Wargames Atlantic Afghans are lovely. It still took me over an hour to construct five, however, although they fit together very nicely. Somewhere I have some Perry metal Aghan figures I have undercoated so I will move these along together.

I had several girlfriends who were reptiloids underneath

The third group of figures is one of those insane impulse purchases I sometimes go in for. I am on the 7TV Facebook group (for some reason) even though I don't play the game (I may have the rules, somewhere) and someone showed some photos of some characters from the eighties TV miniseries V.  Now, I remember watching this in the summer of 1984 when ITV ran it against the opening of the Los Angeles Olympics, which the BBC had exclusive rights to.  Lo and behold, there it was on Amazon prime. I watched it again and quite enjoyed it. I noted a number of things. The special effects were pretty poor (but probably good for a TV show at the time). The accuracy of the aliens' blasters make Galactic Stormtroopers look like Stalingrad snipers (you would have to make it throw a one to hit). At this time, American actors had normal coloured teeth and not fluorescent white ones. Despite being resistance fighters, living in a series of secret bolt holes, they all had access to hairdressers able to blow dry their hair (even the men). Michael Ironside played a character appropriately called Ham. The best thing about it, of course, was Jane Badler in a cardboard scenery chewing performance as Diana; one of the best female SF villains ever (up there with Jacqueline Pearce's Servalan in Blakes Seven). So to find I could get a little model of her was enough for me to order all eight figures Crooked Dice make. They are promising more fairly shortly. More on this bizarre project as it develops but my initial main concern is finding the right shade of burnt orange! I am now watching the 2009 reboot but it is rather dreary so far, despite the presence of the luminous Morena Baccarin and, frankly, the special effects hadn't come on as much as they should have. At least the hair was more under control.

So, what has been making me grumpy? Well, everything in the news, so I won't talk about that (several more people unfriended on Facebook in the last six weeks or so). Mainly, though, lack of social distancing in supermarkets. Rules vary, so Tesco are very strict (move in one direction, no overtaking and one queue for checkouts). If the person in front takes five minutes to decide what soup to buy everyone has to stop moving.  Get a move on!  Pea and ham or Lentil and bacon. That's it! Move! Move! Move! Don't stop! Cattle prods!

In Waitrose, however, it is almost a free for all, with people taking no notice of the distance rules and shopping in couples or families. Why does it take two people to do the shopping? You both write a list and then one person does it. It's not a social activity, unless you are very, very sad. If you see an unmissable offer on Brain's faggots then ring up your wife (who is probably called Vera or Mavis) and ask how many packs you need to stock up on. Well, you won't see them in Waitrose as they don't sell them, of course. Iceland, Asda or Budgens, probably. Actually I'm surprised the perpetually offended haven't objected to the name yet. Also.keep to the edge of the aisle so people can pass you (if allowed) if your brain is so small that you cannot decide what soup to buy. Do not block the centre of the aisle!

Victrix 12mm WW2

My wargaming related grump relates to Mr Non Sequitur. They appear in every manufacturer's model release thread. Proud wargames company with excellent new product says 'here are our lovely new 12mm WW2 tanks'. They want them to be admired. They want people to talk about what other 12mm WW2 will be coming out. No. Mr Non Sequitur says "What about the Persians?" or "Why don't you make Samurai?" No! That is not what we are talking about! Or. proud manufacturer with new 28mm range they have spent ages developing says 'Here are our lovely new 28 mm figures'. Mr Non Sequitur. 'Can you do them in 15mm?' No! No! No! 15 mm is for people who eat Brain's faggots and have wives called Mavis. They are for people with no appreciation of the proportions of the human body! They are, with very few exceptions (Copplestone Barbarica range) aesthetically offensive. Do not even get me onto 10mm and 6mm. Hello, we have made figures where their heads are the equivalent of two feet tall. I expressed an interest in the 12mm figures on the Victrix Facebook page and all these people appeared saying 'wish they had been 15mm'. No, they are not, so Victrix can sell more figures and tanks not supplement already existing collections. Then all these people popped up saying 'buy these lovely metal 15mm equivalents instead.' Guess what? They all had really weird proportions like most 15mm metals.

Another rant, about plastics companies asking customers for what they want released, will be in the next post.

Keeping it Baltic, today's music is Swedish Composer Lars-Erik Larsson's (1908-1986) enjoyable symphonies one (1927) and two (1936). Larsson is little listened to outside of Sweden, which is a shame as he wrote some fine, melodic music.

Today's wallpaper is Erigone: daughter of Icarius by the French painter Georges-Marie-Julien Giradot (1856-1914). He quite often employed this tight framing on his subjects rather than a more distant full figure view. Apart from his mythological studies he produced many paintings of village life. In a complex plot, even by Greek mythological standards, Erigone ends up being deceived by Dionysus who seduced her after disguising himself as a bunch of grapes. Hmm. Anyway Erigone is Virgo of the Zodiac.