Monday, December 19, 2016

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, Part VII

Yes, the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is back for it's 7th year (I know, time flies). Better and bigger than ever, with 100 participants! While the Fantasy and Sci-Fi side of the Challenge will occupy the vast majority of my time, I do intend on working on a few things for this place.

So what's in store for this blog? Well two small projects, really.

  1. Napoleonic skirmishes. I've got the skirmish bug recently, for both Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and I've been thinking of doing something similar for Naps. Really, it's an excuse to paint some of the many great skirmishing Napoleonic figures on the market. One of the things I like about skirmishes is the ability to spend more time on each figures, and it's something I especially never do with Naps. So I got myself Songs of Drums & Shakos, because I love the engine, and would like to create small 10-20 men forces. Eventually maybe I'll be able to use them in bigger skirmish games like Sharpe's Practice, although it is not my goal per se. What do we start with? Well some Poles from Murawski Miniatures, of course! Roger sent me this summer some of the new "Retreat from Moscow" skirmishers and they are really good looking. I'll use them for the 1809 Danube campaign to create a wonderfully ragged bunch. 
  2. I'm having a side-duel (well two actually, you can read about the other one on my Marauders and Citadels blog) with Sander Van Straeten, who I met on a Facebook page. The duel is for "80s Military and Sci-Fi Pulp" and consists of a single entry, between 25 and 50 pts worth of infantry, along with one mandatory vehicle piece. Now, you may ask yourself "And what exactly is 80s Military Sci-Fi Pulp?". Well you'll find out! It's not the type of thing usually seen in this blog, but it should be a fun entry. Also, my very first 28mm vehicle. Wish me luck.
  3. There's a 3...kinda. I reserve the right to work on anything else I feel like! It might be historical, it might be Pulp...heck it might be Zombies! If it's not strictly Sci-Fi or Fantasy, I'll post it here! 
Of course, the above doesn't include the bonus theme rounds, and my plan is to participate in all of them but one (I don't do terrain).

My goal for this Challenge is to hit 550pts, although I hope for more.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A few Indian chiefs

A small return to the French Indian War this week. I always enjoy this era for skirmishes and we had two fun games this summer with John  and Rusti (from Crossover Miniatures)

I painted a few Indian Chiefs for the Sharpe's practice game. I had all the Indians needed but no "Big Men" so I went to work on 3 Conquest Miniatures figures. I especially like the "Last of the Mohican" Magua figure (middle figure), although I did not paint it as Magua but rather as a generic Indian Chief. Before anyone comment, no, the war paints are not historical per se, I just went with what I though would look good on the battlefield and what would be easily identifiable as big men. 

I quite like my blue war paint, even though it's not very historical!
I juggled with the idea of using differently sized based to identify the Big Men, but in the end figured it might be a problem in other rulesets, so went with my traditional 25mm slim round bases from Litko, which I use for all my skirmish historicals.  

These pics were taken just last week with my new Foldio lightbox, so its still very much a work in progress. I need more light and probably another background. I'll discuss this further in a future post.

Anyways, hope you like them! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Another hobby this summer...

Been quite busy this summer working on the new house (I moved late May). The house contains both a painting room and a gaming room for yours truly in the basement (yes, I'm very lucky Laurie loves me...and is afraid of spiders, thus abandonning the basement to me!) and I've been working on both. Being a completionnist I'm not showing pics of the house...yet, as there is still much to do. 

But I did start a new hobby; gardening! My previous townhouse had but a small patch of land, which allowed me to learn the trade with few consequences, but this place has a big backyard! The previous owners did a truly great job with the garden, so I just improved on it. It was a lot of fun and, dare I say so myself, it looks freaking spectacular! If you had told me just 10 years ago I'd spend many week-ends gardening...

So yeah, I'm showing off!

Probably heresy to my american friends, but not a patch of grass to be seen!
Blue Hibiscus
Our Cherry tree

Pink roses in full bloom

Very little painting done this summer, although I did spend the little free time I had on prepping miniatures. I should be ready for the Analogue challenge and the cold, bleak, garden-less Canadian winter!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Grand Duchy of Baden, 2nd Regiment, 1st Battalion

Last Fall Murawski Miniatures released the first part of our new range; the Army of the Grand Duchy of Baden. I had been annoying Roger for a while, lamenting the absence of a proper Baden range in 28mm. Of all the Confederation of the Rhine contingents, it was my favourite and the army saw substantial action in my favourite campaign of 1809 in Austria. 

Eventually Roger gave in and put me in charge of most of the historical research, and I did a lot of the work creating the range along with sculptor Christian Ame, as Paul Hicks was unavailable to start working on a complete and extensive new Napoleonic range. I learned a lot, I must say, in this process. It's not easy working on a Napoleonic force, especially a small one like Baden. Conflictual sources abound, and there are so many details to get right. In the end I'm quite happy with our work, if not for a very small issue with the helmet's (raupenhelm) comb. But we did include details I've never seen before in a Baden range, like the small cartridge pouch worn on the belly suspended to the waistbelt of the Schützen (voltigeurs).

I received the figure in October but to my chagrin couldn't start work on them until 2016, completely swamped with real life issues. The Badeners had a very distinctive but great look, and I think we made them justice. Christian did a very good job.

So I finally finished my first battalion just yesterday. It was supposed to be my last and most glorious entry in the Analogue painting Challenge but house visits screwed up my plan. 

I decided to start with the 2nd regiment, as I'm always a sucker for yellow facings. The 1808 facings were as follow :

1808 uniform (w/ raupenhelm) (Taken from Blunders on the Danube)
Buttons, etc
Leib Regt Grossherzog
Scarlet w/ white lace
Deep Yellow
von Harrant
Deep Red
von Porbeck*

So here it is, the first battalion of the 2nd regiment, obviously set in 1809, proudly waving the white Leibfahne. 

The Grenadiers had red epaulets but white plumes, while the Schützen had both green epaulets and plumes; notice their belly cartridge pounch.

The collar, lapels, and cuffs were of the regimental facing colour but turnbacks for all regiments were scarlet.

Each of the 4 regiments received two flags, a Leibfahne which was given to the 1st Battalion and a Regimenterfahne which was carried by the 2nd Battalion. The flags were of a common design and differed only by the colour for each regiment. This did not necessarily equate to the regimental facing colours as the original flags were retain by their battalions when the regiments moved in the line seniority: 1st Regiment – Scarlet; 2nd Regiment – Scarlet; 3rd Regiment – Dark Blue, and 4th Regiment - Yellow. Obviously it was originally intended that each regiment carried flags matching their facing colours. Peter, over at Blunders on the Danube, decided to go with the intended logic and gave each of his regiment the flag matching it's facings. I almost followed in his footstep, as it indeed looks better. But since my battalions are going to be used extensively on our website and advertising, I thought it better to go with historical accuracy in this case. No matter the colour, those were rather superb flags!

The officers wore a Bicorne until the shako was adopted; they never wore the helmets. Gold or silver rank epaulets depending on the regiment. The front of the coat was made so that the lapels could be unbuttoned and closed over the breast; the right lapel folding inside the left which was then fastened using the buttons on the right of the coat. This gave the appearance of a double breasted coat with two rows of buttons down the front; the expensive colour faced lapels were thus protected during everyday wear or when on campaign. The officer on the left has thus closed it's lapels.

Drummers had scarlet swallow nest trimmed by a livery lace in white with scarlet and yellow piping. On both sleeves, six chevrons of livery lace, seams covered with same lace. I didn't do the yellow piping, as it really was too much and didn't look good on such small figures.

One of the great thing about this little army is that you can build the whole thing at the tactical scale. In 1809, the army consisted of : 

1 Battalion of Leib Garde of 
1 Squadron of Guard du Corps
4 Line Infantry Regiments of 2 battalions
1 Jager Battalion Von Lingg 
1 Light Dragoon Regiment
1 Hussar Regiment 
1 6 lbr Horse Artillery Battery 
2 6 lbr Foot Artillery Batteries (one in Spain)

A Napoleonic army you can actually finish, isn't it awesome!?

I strongly recommend to anyone interested in the Duchy of Baden to have a read over at Blunders on the Danube : Peter has written the definitive blog post on the army. I thought of writing something similar on this blog but what's the point, as Peter covers everything, and writes a better english than I!

Right now Murawski Miniatures offers everything you need to build a line infantry regiment in full dress. Infantry in campaign dress, mounted officers, as well as artillery and cavalry are in the plans. Anyone who knows Roger and the way he does things knows you can expect a complete range in due time. But we do need your help to fund the rest of the range range! Buy people, buy!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Princess and the Frog

Last week's theme for the bonus round of the Analogue Hobby Challenge was "l'Amour". Probably not the most natural subject for us Wargamers! But I was in luck. Last year while ordering my Frog Jester from Dark Sword I stumbled unto a few figures which I got as a future gift to Laurie. And of course this bonus theme landed on St-Valentine's day. The miniature painting Gods were smiling upon me! 

So I painted a romantic scene of a frog prince courting a frog princess. Your classic love story, really. A frog cupid, sending his love arrows into the prince's heart, was added to the scene, to tie the whole thing with Valentine's day. 

The figures are from Dark Sword's Anthropomorphic Animals range, and painting a frog during the challenge has become an annual tradition for yours truly! You may remember two years ago I painted a frog knight "Sir Kermit", and last year I went with a frog jester. This year I went big with three frogs! 

Painting this range is always a lot of fun, as I can let my imagination run wild and just go with lots of colours. I'm also getting good at painting the critters and really happy with this lot. I'm especially proud as they were painted using a GW brush! In a moment of sheer clumsiness I ruined my precious Rosemary and Co. brushes by spilling army painter varnish on them, and so had to buy the only available brushes in Montreal. They are worse than I remember! 

So obviously this entry is also my Valentine's day gift to Laurie, my girlfriend and mon amour. The Dark Sword's frogs have always been a favourite of Laurie (yes for some weird reason she prefers them to Chaos Champions and Napoleonic soldiers) so I spent two weeks working on them in secret, when I was alone or when she was sleeping! 

Not only did she loved it, but this piece won 1st place in the Challenge bonus round. I'm quite happy as my best score before that was a 3rd place for my Jabberwock. And the competition was fierce with some awesome entries. 

And for those wondering, so far my entries in the Analogie Hobby Challenge have been Oldhammer and Sci-Fi, which you can see in my other blog. But I am working on two historical pieces...