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Sunday 28 December 2014

French Artillery

After a break, during which I have changed jobs, moved house and shipped my army to a new location, I am back in production.

Adding to the French army ranks is this rather nice set of figures, which I found on Ebay, from B&B (I think) figures. They are a good match height wise compared to the other 20mm figures, but are very stocky, but I really like them:

I am working on a couple of French staff officers from the same source and a bunch of Cossacks from three sources, Douglas, Irregular and Tumbling Dice miniatures.

Sunday 23 November 2014

More Turkish Infantry

These soldiers were a real joy to paint. Consisting of Minifigs S Range recasts from Old John, they are a mix of different ranges. The command group are from the S Range Turkish Crimean War range, while the soldiers are in fact S Range French Napoleonic Egyptian Infantry (F22). I am not keen on the infantry poses in the Crimean War series, which is why I went for these; besides, Egypt contributed several thousand troops to Turkey during the war and the uniforms appear correct. They probably should have a green flag, and I may produce one at a later stage. I really like these figures and I can feel the urge to purchase some more!

There will be a lull in production for the next couple of months as I am moving house.

Friday 21 November 2014

Russian Cossack Lancer

This rather splendid figure is a Minifigs S Range one piece casting that came with some other figures as a sample from Old John. He has been sitting in a box for ages, so a couple of nights ago I decided to paint him and really liked the result, The figure is a true 25mm and is thus a little large for Douglas range, but he does look the part:

Meanwhile work on the Turks continues.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Algerian Tirailleurs

Here we have another batch of Douglas Miniatures F1 Zouave figures, but this time painted as Algerian Tirailleurs, in French service. I was attracted to the sky blue uniform, with white, red and yellow tasseled turban. The officer, drummer and standard bearer are by Wodensfeld. All the figures are available from John Cunningham's  ranges.

I have almost finished a batch of Minifigs S Range Turks, which will join the collection shortly.

Friday 7 November 2014

Converting Douglas Miniatures

With the limitations in the available castings - I am sure there are more out there somewhere, it is necessary to make simple conversions of figures. I am currently starting to create a Russian Naval Battalion, using the soft hatted advancing figure. As mentioned before there are no command figures available, although according to original publications they were made, or at least were planned for the range.

At the moment the only solution is to swap heads between figures. I thought I would share my technique, which is simple, but a bit fiddly. Here I have used a helmeted officer figure and carefully sliced his head off using a sharp modelling blade. It would be possible to simply glue a new head on him, but given the tiny area in contact, it would not be a strong bond. Thus, some kind of peg will be needed.

For the new head I chopped one off an advancing soft hat soldier, again being careful to try and match the angle of cut on the body (otherwise the new head will sit at an odd angle). The peg is made from the thin wire found in a bag tie, with the plastic stripped away (see pic). Using a pin vice and a tiny drill, a hole is prepared in the body, followed by the insertion of a small length of the wire (about 5mm, you can just see this in the picture). This is secured with superglue. I then let this harden for a couple of hours. While that is going on a similar hole is drilled into the head.

A bit of fitting is needed and the wire peg may need to be trimmed, but the next step is to pop the head on, again securing with super glue. I leave the whole thing to fix over night and that's it, job done.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Ottoman Turkish Artillery

Production has been slow in recent weeks, as I have let work get in the way of painting and we have been very busy. I recently bought a few 25mm Minifig S Range Turks from Old John, as the Douglas range lacks Turkish troops and Scruby do not make them either. I had my doubts when I fisrt saw them as some of the detail is vague and the figures themselves are somewhat larger than Scruby figures. However, they have a real charm about them and when painted look quite good. Here is a picture of the completed crew and gun:

In the pipeline, close to completion I have another unit of Scruby ottoman infantry, plus some Douglas Miniatures French Zouaves, which I am painting up as Algerians.

Sunday 31 August 2014

Scots Grey - Commanding Officer

This figure depicts Lieutenant Colonel Henry Darby Griffith, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Royal North British Dragoons, or Scots Greys. Griffith led the Regiment at the Battle of Balaclava, during the charge of the Heavy Brigade. Sadly, Griffith was one of the first casualties of the Greys as they started their charge. Unfortunately he was struck in the head, probably by a carbine bullet fired by a Russian cavalryman. So he only took part in the very first minutes of the action. That said, he seemed to have survived, because a check of the Balaclava casualty roll lists him as slightly wounded during the battle.

The figure is a Strelets plastic Scots Greys officer from the "Charge of the Heavy Brigade" box. He is mounted on a Douglas Miniatures metal horse:

Monday 25 August 2014

Scruby - French Chasseurs a Pied

Another French unit marches out of the paint shop. This time it is a battalion of French light infantry - Chasseurs a Pied. The figures are 25mm Scruby, from Historifigs in the USA. Like their line infantry cousins they are beautiful castings and fun to paint. I am awaiting the next batch, which includes some command figures, grenadier guards and artillery.

The French forces are slowly taking shape:

Saturday 23 August 2014

More French Line Infantry from Minifigs

Slowly building up the number of French battalions, the latest to come out of the paint shop are some French line infantry. They are from Old John and were originally that highly versatile Minifigs S Range American Civil War US Marine figure. The uniform is very close to the early Crimean War French dress and, for a change, they are in light order, with no back pack or blanket roll. I think they look OK.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Ehmar Russian Artillery

These plastic troops from Ehmar have been lurking in a cupboard since long before I began my Douglas Miniatures Crimean War project. So I decided to dig them out and see how they look painted to match the metal figures. Size wise they work pretty well and in their new colours they are not too bad and will make a useful addition to the Russian artillery capability.

Sunday 17 August 2014

8th Hussars

After a break for the summer, production has restarted. This time it is another regiment from the Light Brigade. These, like the 11th Hussars, come from the Douglas Miniatures Napoleonic range. They are depicted in full dress wearing pelisse, plumes and cords, which was most unlikely in the Crimea. That said, they make a pretty sight. Their uniform is blue with yellow facings:

Also on the painting table are some Scruby French light infantry and Minifigs S Range French line infantry.

Monday 30 June 2014

Painting styles

I thought it would be interesting to compare painting styles. I use the 'toy soldier' gloss painted style, but the Douglas Miniatures range look superb in the more normal wargames painting style, in matt colours, with highlighting and shading. These examples are produced here with the kind permission of John Cunningham, from his Vintage 20 Mil website:

Friday 27 June 2014

The Russian Field Army

Not to be outdone, the Russian Field commander decides to parade his troops. Not quite as big as the British element, the Russian still look quite good en-mass. This stocktaking exercise reveals that with all the armies combined I have so far painted over 400 infantry, 130 cavalry and 5 gun teams.

Thursday 26 June 2014

The British Army takes to the field

Having almost completed the 1st Division, most of the Cavalry Division and part of the 4th Division, I thought I would deploy the whole lot, as I have not seen them all on the table together before. Here are the results:

In the foreground is the Heavy Brigade, then the artillery of the 1st and 4th Divisions. In the centre front is the 1st Division, with the Highland Brigade, and the Guards Brigade to its left. Behind is part of the 4th Division, The Rifle brigade, and the 20th and 68th Foot, making up one Brigade. In the rear is the Light Brigade with its Royal Horse Artillery support.

Closer shots of the Highland Brigade of the 1st Division, with the Division staff:

Another overview:

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Scots Fusilier Guards

This is the third regiment that makes up the Guards Brigade, which forms part of the British 1st Division. The Scots Fusilier Guards deployed to the Crimea along with the Coldstream Guards and the Grenadier Guards and the Brigade saw action at the Alma and Inkerman during the early months of the war. The figures used are the Douglas Miniatures charging British Guards figure, but I bent the rear leg down to make it look as though they are advancing. The standard bearers are officer figures with the standard added. Meanwhile, the drummer was made from a running guardsman who had a broken bayonet. I cut the rifle away and added a drum from rolled up paper sealed with pva glue. The drumsticks are made from thin plastic rod - see below:

The drummer figure started as an ordinary guardsman with the rifle cut away and arms bent into  position.

 I then addedsome plastic rod drumsticks

The drum was made from a roll of paper coated in pva glue.

A bit rough and ready, but looks the part en masse!