Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On the Workbench

I have been working diligently on some new figures for Bob to paint, seeing as he thought the last batch were agreeable to paint. As I am using the figures for both Song of Drums and Shakos skirmishes and Drums and Shakos Large Battles, I have decided to make units of 14 infantry and four cavalry figures each.

This first picture is of eight horses, for two cavalry units. A few changes from previous horses in this scale. First, I added necks between the head of the horse and the chest. Previously I just filled the gap with modeling material, but I liked how the 28mm Armenian cavalry looked, so I have switched. I use a small spool for the neck, which makes it easy to use a dowel to fix the head to the spool and the spool to the split egg acting as the horse's chest and forelegs. I will use modeling material to fill in the gaps between the spool and the split eggs. Otherwise, the figures are the same.

Next up is infantry in shako. I still have not determined which nationality this will be (I just know it is not British, as I use a dowel for their shako). I think it will be French as I am still trying to figure out how to simulate the oilskin cover over a Prussian shako. I will probably use a dowel for that, and not a spool, which creates a noticeable trim around the top of the shako. Nothing new here other than I am using the 'defending' pose that I used with my Prussian Landwehr, rather than the older 'march attack' pose.

I would like a little more color in my army, so maybe I will make them something from the Confederation of the Rhine, or Italian troops (white with green and red!).

The last batch are the riders of the two cavalry units. They use the same pawn figure as the infantry above, but I have shortened them by about a 1/4". The bottoms are then sanded so they fit the curve of the spool used as the back of the horse. I've temporarily mounted them on toothpicks for each of painting. The one thing I have learned is to paint the riders before putting them on the horses, especially for Napoleonics, where there might be quite a bit of detail that would be hard to get if it were glued to the horse, yet is visible so needs to be painted.

On the left are four French Carabineers, in the early uniform. as shown below. These figures have a simple dowel for the bearskin, but at a straight angle on the bottom and a 15ยบ angle on the top. I then take a coarse carbide bit and 'comb' the dowel from top to bottom, giving it a 'fur' look. (I will provide better photos when it is complete and painted.) Flat toothpick parts for the plume and the scabbard.

On the right are four French Hussars. I am looking forward to experimenting with craft foamsheet and making the pelisse (the jacket draped over the left shoulder that so defines the hussar). For these the plume was a round dowel thinned at the bottom. Once it is firmly glued to the spool I will also 'comb' the plume, only horizontally, to represent the feathers.

Three units on the bench, working all at the same time. Again, this is a way to produce more, quickly, by reducing the amount of time spent switching tools. Further, while one item is being glued and drying on one set of figures, you can work on another. By the time you rotate through all three units, the first one it usually ready for the next step.

I am actually hoping to get five or six units to Bob, so I can increase my armies quicker, but we will see.

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