Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy holidays!

It's christmas time again. Wow - where the heck has the year gone?
I really wonder about the speed in which time has passed this year. Maybe it's because there was that much to do. Many things happened, some good, some bad - but now it's time to lay this year to rest and have some nice and stress-free days with family and friends.

Which will, of course, include some hours of painting. Hopefully. ;-D
I haven't taken a new photo yet, just because I don't have finished anything in the last weeks. I'm not very good in painting the same sort of soldiers in large numbers and so I have, again, the feeling that nothing will ever get finished. You know - one day you paint muskets and shako plates for hours, but that doesn't finish a single figure. The only thing to prevent frustration is to remind myself that one day, I'll finish 40 in a row.

That brings me to the question: was this a successful year in painting? Did I reach the goals I set up for myself back at the beginning of this year?

- all not yet painted Swiss regiments (3 are left, of which I have one on 75%)
- soldiers for the regiments Isle de Ré and Walcheren (currently at 50%)
- Baden foot guards (one at 90%)
- Wurzburg light infantry and regimental artillery
- 1st provisional Croatian infantry
- King Joseph Napleons' Spanish guard grenadiers
- Italian light infantry

Well okay – those were the plans that I set up at the beginning of this year.
What of that has been completed?
Let's just see – due to my records, the list above represents around 48 figures.
Plus two single figures for competition reasons, the goal was 50 figures (net).

And here's what I've finished from that list:
  • two Swiss regiments and one figure from the remaining regiment (leaving four)
  • Isle de Ré and Walcheren soldiers
  • One Baden foot guard (leaving three)
  • Wurzburg light infantry (leaving one for the regimental artillery)
  • 1st provisional Croatian infantry
  • Both competition figures
With the Spanish and the Italians, I haven't even started. Total in comparizon to goal: 25 of 50 (the Italian light infantry represents (in full order) 14 figures alone, on three bases).

As always, I got too distracted again. It started in January, when I was distracted by painting something for my visitors and went through the whole year when I painted this and that and got finally involved in two new projects, after a long election campaign which drew me away from painting for several weeks. So – objectively – what did I manage two complete?

Apart from the things mentioned above:
  • two Russian hussars
  • two Belgian line infantrymen
  • three soldiers to complete the 1st etranger regiment display
  • three early Italian light infantry carabiniers
  • one figure of early Naples foot velites
  • one figure to complete the Hanoverian legion display
  • two figures to represent the Dutch grenadier guards of 1808/9
  • five figures for the 63rd French infantry regiment of the line
  • three figures for the Tirailleurs du Po regiment display
  • five figures for the 33rd French infantry rgt. in white uniforms
  • eight figures for the early Kingdom of Holland grenadiers display
  • one French soldier for the deserter project
  • one mounted Cleve-Berg national guardsman
  • four figures of the Andeas Hofers' band set
  • ten Westphalian guard grenadiers (conversions of Franznap Naples guard velites)
  • one Westphalian mounted ADC (paint-conversion of a French ADC from ARTminiatures)
  • one Westphalian NCO of line fusiliers (paint-conversion of French fusiliers from Schilling)
  • two competition single figures
In addition, this is what I recently started:
  • two elite Hussars of the French 4th regiment
  • one Naples sapper
  • a farmers' wife
  • 26 Westphalian line fusiliers
  • 11 Westphalian guard hunters
  • 2 Westphalian generals (mounted)
  • 2 Westphalian ADCs (mounted)
  • 1 Westphalian hussar (mounting)
  • 5 Westphalian artillerymen and a 8pd gun
Okay. This sums up to 80 completed figures. Plus 51 in different stages of process.
In relation to my output of the years before, I'm pretty happy with that, taken into account the few time I had for painting. I even guess it wasn't too bad to miss the intended specific goals. ;-)

I'm happily looking forward for the next year. I will not set up another to-do-list for 2014, because it doesn't make much sense. Let's just paint whatever we like and have lots of fun with it!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More metalheads!

Okay. Thanks to an incredibly fast packing and shipping service, I got a parcel full of more work to do today. I don't complain - I wanted it that way. So here are 29 new figures, waiting to become Westphalian line infantry.

I can only say that Schilling-Figuren ( is a great distributor.
Not only that they are reliable and fast, they also produce highly detailed metal figures which are worth their price (while being quite cheap in comparizon - another 'plus').

Well. This is going to be a long painting job, I guess. I never ever painted so many figures for one single sort unit - I just was too impatient for such a thing. I'm curious if I'll be able to manage it this time. :-)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tiroleans - here comes Hofers' band

Back at Heiden, a visitor showed up at the Bennos' forum booth and gave me a little gift:
some brand new casts made of tin. The group of four represents Tiroleans of the Tirolean uprising led by Andreas Hofer against the Bavarian oppressors.

If you like to have your own, you should visit Tom's blog and contact him under

Okay Tom, here they are:
A little bit closer:
And from the backside:
This is a quite unusual subject, because these are villager militiamen wearing typical Tirolean traditional dresses. It took a while to find sources with proper descriptions of the different variations for this region.
I enjoyed painting them, they are well modelled, show all relevant details, with highly detailed faces. Therefore, it's easy to give them character through painting.

Again, I'm noticing that I have turned into the metal figure business quite a lot. In two weeks, there will be another figure trade show in Herne, Germany (1st of December) which I will mainly visit in order to buy more metal figures.

But I will soon come along with some new figures for my long-term project, I promise. Although I begin to doubt that I will fullfill my own plannings that I made at the beginning of this year.
I still have one Swiss regiment to complete and I haven't started with the Italian light infantry and the Joseph Napoleon guard grenadiers. And looking at the calendar, I don't expect to finish them this year, there has benn - again - simply too much other stuff that attracted my attention. :-)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Continuing with the Westphalians...

I'm just back from an 11 day holiday at the German Northern Sea coast. I enjoyed a rough storm and many days of quite sunny and mild weather - out with my wife, my kids and my parents-in-law at the shoreline.

In the evenings, I tried to continue with the HaT Wurttemberg grenadiers I started to paint in my last Northern Sea vacation almost two years ago - and again broke it up because it's just no fun to paint these dudes. Too few details, too less face detailing... it simply doesn't make fun. Maybe I'm getting too fastidious with these metal figures from Franznap, Schilling and Schmaeling I've been working with.
It's much easier to get a satisfying result with a good sculpted figure then trying to force a merely sufficient result out of a low detailed, 2nd generation plastic miniature. They're good enough for low wargaming standard, not more, not less.

Luckily, I had some other figures with me, so I was able to start with the Tiroleans and proceed with the French Elite hussars from ART miniatures. Both are still not ready, so the following pictures show you what I've completed shortly before I left to the sea.

Both are paint conversions, because the original model allowed to paint them differently then intended with only some minor modifications.

The first example is a French ADC from ART Miniatures, converted into a Westphalian ADC.
Blue and yellow. I like that combination. What I don't like that much, are horses of the white kind. I'm still not too happy with the result, but nevertheless it fits best with the colours of saddlecloth and rider.

In addition, I have finished my 10-soldier-row of Westphalian guard grenadiers. I paint-converted them from Franznaps' incredibly good sculpted Naples guard velites. Here are some examples:
 To the left or two the right? The officer and his NCO seem to have a little dispute about which way to go...

...while the soldiers are asking themselves what should be done next if someone would ask them.

I decided to try a harder shading, using thinned light grey in two shading steps. The result looks a bit rough in close-up, but seen from a 30cm+ distance, the contrast works pretty fine for the eye, especially because these guardsmen will later be positioned in the backstage of the diorama.

It's especially a delight that they correspond very well with the figures from ART Miniatures and Schilling, both in size and appearance. The only thing I need to do now is buying some additional tin-men. :-)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Short greetings to Peter!

Hey, Peter - that's one for you to give you the proof you're not sending me all those figures for nothing. ;-)

That's why I wanted to have one of these French dragoons - an easy conversion into a mounted Cleve-Berg national guardsman. I only had to add a plume to the helmet and that was it.
I first saw that uniform on the Histofig website and directly loved it - so much white and gold. :-)
Sorry about the sheepskin.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Photobox error

Well. Things are a bit complicate here at the moment, which explains the temporary silence on this blog.

I'm more and more unpleased about my current self-built photobox, because it's more and more becoming far too small. It's almost impossible to make good shots of the larger vignettes and having more and more larger unit displays for my uniform-project (, I'm getting in trouble when trying to photograph the complete unit because no matter from which angle, you cannot avoid seeing the edges of the coloured background.

Well - the display for the Swiss 1st regiment has become a little bit larger then the ones of the other regiments. Therefore, I had to make two photos of each position. Left half...
...and right half. Just because the uniform references of mine showed two different drummers and (the guy on the left side, wearing blue) a regimental artilleryman.
With three units completed, there's only one Swiss regiment left to be painted - which will hopefully be completed until the end of the year. The grenadier is already completed.

I've also completed the 33rd regiment in white uniforms for which the grenadier was still missing:

There's surely more to come. Later. I still have a bunch of ART-Miniatures on my desk that are in several stages of work. And I'm about to finish the guard grenadiers from Franznap (only the backpacks have to be finished) which are about to become a part of my planned Westphalian army vignette. Could be ready until next years' September, with a little luck. I tried out a Schilling figure for a paint-conversion and it turned out quite alright:
Which means that I'll have to order some more Schilling French fusiliers.

I also have some special figures on my desk that were given to me for exclusive painting back at Heiden. What it is?
I won't tell until they are ready. And I've already started with them. ;-)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Heiden 2013 - what a nice day!

Hello, friends and followers!

Back again. I can hardly believe that this years' Heiden small scale show is already over and done again.
On the one hand, it makes me sad - I really miss having the free time for painting. On the other hand, I'm really thankful for having had that day of relaxation among other hobbyists.
For hours, painting and chatting was all I had to do - marvellous!

If you like too see more photos, you can do so on Bennos' forum:

Btw - a week ago, I received my first metal Franznap miniatures, the Kingdom of Naples guard velites.
I could not withstand to take them with me to Heiden, where they gained a lot of attention.

And I could also not withstand to start painting them - modified as Westphalian guard grenadiers.
Well... I can only say WOW. Great work, Francesco, and really worth their price. It's really great quality with no extra metal to be cut off, no flaws, etc. Plus they are great to paint - richly detailed and having everything just at the right place. And yes - they are not completely done and the drum is also not complete.

And to my great happyness, I won a price again: bronze medal in the standard single figure contest with a very lonesome rider on guard:
There's a fox in behind...

A little bit larger...
Where is he looking at?
My best regards go to Bookman who created this great, unique model tree which is the center part of this little diorama. I can only say that there's a hell of a lot that I must learn regarding diorama building.

Unfortunately, the show lacked an adequate number of visitors. Let's hope that the organizers will give the show another try next year - from the fun factor, I can already say that I'm going to be there for sure.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


That's what this dude does. He waits. For the others of his kind to join the ranks and become a diorama.
Next year perhaps.

I'm trying to create something with a more shabby, less uniform-plate-like look. A real-life scene including dirty and dusty uniforms. The predestinated set for this is Strelets' set of dismounted dragoons, which includes a lot of figures that don't look that much as parade-like dragoons. Also, as the dress is comparable with that of the line infantry, you can easily convert these figures.

Well. Apart from this guy, I didn't finish many things. I have the 1st Swiss regiment finished - but I must make better photos. The first shots were just terrible.

And apart of that, I have a bunch of different figures on my desk - but they are all in different working stages. One of the next projects will be a scene with Westphalian troops - a mix-up of ART-Miniatures and Franznap figures, that's if they correspond with each other. I bought several nice ART tin figures and I'm really pleased with the quality of these figs. The main thing about them is that this company offers lots of poses which are not often seen in plastic sets.

Well - none of these things will be finished this year, I guess.

In fact, there are too many other things to do at the moment. So there's not much time left for painting figures. Hope that this will change at the end of September.

Btw - the ISSC in Heiden is only a month away. I'm going to join the single figure contest only. I have built something by using the magnificent tree that Bookman made for me - but as long as I'm not sure if the 'base' might be too large according to the competition rules, I made a smaller one as plan B. Why?
Because writing to the contest organizers doesn't result in getting answers and then it's better to be prepared. In fact, one way or the other I already have a single figure for next years' FIGZ! :-D

P.S.: Peter, I already painted that rider you sent me. I'm extremely pleased with the result - thank you so much. In fact, the result is so good that I'm keeping it on hold for a special occasion...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

8 in a row

Back at FIGZ I spoke with Jan from "Alde Garde", a team of wargamers who have specialized in presenting demos at wargame shows. They came up with a really impressive hypothetical Peninsular War demo setup at FIGZ and among their nice 15mm figures were - units of the Kingdom of Holland army.

Well. The kingdom of Holland was another satellite of Napoleons empire. In the first period, when the Batavian republic turned to become the kingdom of Holland, uniformology showed up a pretty chaotic evolution of uniforms. At the start, these chaps wore a Bardin-style uniform - and that's what makes them interesting for me.

The Kingdom of Holland army had 8 line infantry battalions, devided into fusiliers, grenadiers and voltigeurs in accordance to the French army concepts of these days. They wore white uniforms in combination with regimental colours.
In fact, sources remain unclear about the combination of cuffs and collars. Some pictures show them in regimental colours, some in white, some mixed... pretty chaotic thing. I decided to go along painting them all in regimental colours which made the most sense to me, because on some pictures, you can see soldiers of the same regiment standing together in a group - and everybody wearing a slightly different dress.
However, this Bardin-style uniform was officially only used for a period in 1806, until the full-closed-breast type of uniform was introduced. It seems that transformating the whole troops - as usual in armies of these days - took quite a while and regiments often had companies equipped with the new uniform standing besides companies that still had the old uniforms.
Well - I discovered that having 8 soldiers on one base is a practical problem for my small, self-made photo box. I cannot make a closeup-picture of the whole group because then the borders of the blue background would appear in the line of sight.
Nevertheless, I sooner or later will have to make two other groups of them - voltigeurs and fusiliers.
The light infantry (two regiments only) will then, as usual, wear green uniforms.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New hobbyspace opened!

Hey-ho. Finally, the biggest part of renovation is done. Our kitchen is 90% completed, so is the living room. I have now a completely new hobbyspace, much more storage space, a bright painting area besides the window plus a glass showcase so that my figures have no longer to hide inside a closed cabinet.

You cannot imagine how happy I am with that. I'm no longer depending on plastic boxes.

I'm still a little bit low on time - not much time for painting. I have currently the French hussars and some grenadier conversions (Kingdom of Holland) on my desk, hoping to get them finished within the next one or two weeks.

By the way, I finished the Tirailleurs du Po for my pre-Bardin uniform project:

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a picture of an officer for that unit, therefore it's only a group of three.

Oh - and, as promised, I'd like to present you some pictures of the 33rd French regiment in white uniforms. The grenadier is still missing, I know. I'm still not sure if I paint a bearskin or a shako version - I have pictures of both and I'm yet not sure which one I'd like to take.

 Oh my. These colours! X-D
Well - painting the kingdom of Holland infantry, I'm now facing pink and light purple, which also looks a little bit odd when combined with white. I hope to get these grenadiers ready soon - it will be another great display.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tree awesomeness

In the beginning, I didn't even care about base making. Then I started to make bases in order to make my project units transportable and more presentable. Then I got into that competition thing, saw all those nice little dioramas and found it interesting to create such little vignettes as well.

One of the things that are vital for larger vignettes are trees and bushes. Two years ago, I watched a workshop on how to build trees on basis of a wire framework, held by Das_Dirk ( who is also a member of Bennos' forum. These trees looked great, but when I tried to make one, I ended up with... well... wire scrap. So I threw it all apart and concentrated on other things. At FIGZ 2012, I bought a single figure and spontaneously had a scenery in mind – unfortunately, this scenery would require a tree of some size. I looked around, but all ready-made trees available on the market looked either odd or where ridiculously expensive. With a little luck I managed to get an individual one – made by another great modeller whos' work can be seen on
Thanks to you, Bookman, I was able to build the scenery I had in mind, you'll see it at ISSC in Heiden ( this September!

Well. So far, so good. As I told you, I bought some nice hussar miniatures at FIGZ in Arnhem recently. Again, I had a special scenery in my mind, which would require some smaller trees and bushes for the hussar scouts to hide between. Mmph. Tree building problem again.
Nothing against the arts of Bookman – but I found it way too expensive to have all the required plants to be made. I saw the cool trees that Ralf presented at FIGZ and suggested these to be a real solution. I tried to bribe the guys (Ralf and Dirk) to make some trees for me, but they refused. I suspect that they wanted me to do it all on my own. So that's where I started.

Following the advice of Ralf, I bought myself some things:
  • NOCH 23100 Nature trees
  • a small can of UHU sprayable glue
  • a bag of sawdust, which I got for free at the local tool market

Price: around 20 Euro. Which doesn't seem bad for approximately 30 trees/bushes.

Look at the amount of basic material in the box:

So how does it work? Very fast and simple.
At first, I prepared two smaller nature tree parts, cut off lower branches, etc. Smaller trees usually don't have an expanded rootage and as the trees will be simply sticked into the basing material, it was not needed to create a rootage base at all.

First step: I brushed the trunks with wood glue and then dispersed sawdust upon them. Laying on my desk, they had time to dry out overnight. 

Next day, I carefully took them up with a plier and sprayed the glue upon the branches. The UHU spray glue works out fine – nearly pinpoint accuracy. I just dispersed some artificial foliage material onto the branches, blowed away the loose parts and – here you are, two small trees!

Well – I have to clean away the green parts that by mistake attached to the trunk and then drybrush the whole thing. Next time, I'm going to paint the trunks and branches before applying the foliage. That will certainly look much better, but for the start, I'm pretty happy with the results. Thanks for the inspiration, Ralf!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Thanks for a great FIGZ day!

This has been a really great day. Unfortunately, this years' FIGZ is now over, but it was - again - a pleasure to be there and meet so many nice hobbyists. My special dedication goes out to Remco and Benno from who - again - hosted a really good miniature event.

I put a lot of photos into the aftershow-threat at Bennos' forum: where you can see pictures of other visitors as well (hopefully all people will have put their pictures into that section soon).
I've also posted there the pictures of all competition entries. Bad for me, the jury liked dwarfes and elves more then goats. MEH!

Well - no matter what, I said I'd paint a goat and I kept my word doing so. X-D
The figure is one that was left from the test sprues that Francesco ( gave me back at FIGZ 2012, a French lancer of the line. The goat is from the Pegasus farm set.

Thanks to Ralf, Dirk and Conny I learned some new things and will shortly start my very own tree-building experiments - the raw-materials are already ordered. I need to build a handful of trees in order to place my new figures between them:
French elite company hussars from ART miniatures. Finally, light infantry that deserves the name - being on scouting duty and not wavering sabres in that stupid full-charge-whatsoever-action. :-D
I have something really nice in mind, hopefully my limited diorama building abilities will do fine.

In some, I spend around 50 bucks on brushes, figures and coffee. Now ISSC Heiden will be my next event of this year. And I very luckily look forward towards FIGZ2014.
Time enough to prepare new beautiful things to exhibit. Which means: it's back to the brushes.

Oh - and don't forget stop eating hamburgers:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ready for FIGZ

Okay, friends, followers, random visitors - it's about time.
Whoever is interested in small plastic guys and vehicles should come and visit FIGZ in Arnhem, the Netherlands, on Sunday the 2nd of June. Yes. That means NEXT SUNDAY!

Yay, I'm really anticipating for this event since days. It'll be great to meet all these great hobbyists I know from Bennos' figure forum. Great guys, great day - a whole day out with the boys, enjoying the marvellous works of other painters. I suspect that there will be lots of nice new painting work and a lot of real eyecandy to be seen.

Btw - I managed at least to bring some of the white/purple Frenchies onto a base, but it's not completely finished yet. Therefore, there's no picture before FIGZ and the people visiting the show will be the first to see those strange uniformed guys.
In the meantime, I have started to paint the tirailleurs du Po. Nice blue and white colours.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find out a belonging officers' uniform for them. Maybe some of my followers may help me?

Well - the box is filled with figures. I have my competition entry ready. I have some spare money for buying new equipment, perhaps a new figure or two and - of course - the limited special FIGZ figure 2013, created by the formidable Alex:

CU all at FIGZ!

(P.S.: and afterwards, I promise to post lots of photos and a post-FIGZ report for those who can't visit the event.  ;-))

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

FIGZ is getting closer!

Only a few days left until FIGZ 2013!

Just a reminder: FIGZ will take place in Arnhem, the Netherlands, on the 2nd of June.
Anyone who is interested in 1/72 figures, small miniature painting and modelling should consider to visit this nice little eent - it's worth the journey.

I'm quite happy that I have managed to finish another legacy - the 1st rgt. etranger (Tour d'Auvergne), which was one of the first things I started for my pre-Bardin uniform project. It started with two painted figures and stood in my cabinet for far too long.

Shortly before the FIGZ is going to start, I'm happy with having finished almost all of my units, except from the Baden guard grenadiers. The Italian guards&velites will be abandoned - I don't feel comfortable with the old results, I think that I can do better with that subject.
And for the 33rd - still under construction. ;-)

Next thing will be the Tirailleurs du Pô - because my wife said so. Must be the nice blue uniforms. ;-)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Back on plastic!

Yee-haaa! I found it! Finally! My camera is back!
Hurray, I'm back into picture business again. Well - the light was not the best today, but after weeks and weeks I was just too eager to bring the pictures of the recent painting work online.

Since the beginning of this year, I had been working on contributions for the forthcoming competitions at FIGZ and Heiden. Unfortunately, at the moment I only think that I will manage to bring up single figures for both events. Well. Nevertheless, I can't show them here at the moment.

I could possibly have finished the group build projects also, but I was far too much fascinated by the new research results for my pre-Bardin uniform project (

For that reason, it was necessary to finish as many of the old stuff as possible in order to be able to start with the new things. Again, I had to see that figures painted more then one and a half year ago, look a wee bit strange in comparizon with the newer ones...

The first are early Carabiniers of the three light infantry regiments, Kingdom of Italy in 1809:
I especially like coloured vests of these guys. Plus the green uniforms - green is in my opinion the quickest-to-paint uniform colour of this period.

Additionally, I finished my setup of soldiers for the Hanoverian French legion:
The last missing figure was the officer. I experimented a little bit with static grass again - this time, the result looks quite nice, although I have not used that silly rattle-box or other devices for creating the static electricity effect - I just grinded the grass between my fingers onto the base, then put it upside down and knocked a bit onto the backside. Done.

Back to green. The next one is the completion of something quite old. A longer time ago, I painted a fusilier for the first (provisional) Croatian regiment.
In combination with yellow, the green looks even nicer, doesn't it? These guys required a lot of carving work on the shakos because in almost all cases, I had to carve off all shako insignia.

In regard to modifications, these folks were much easier to create, because they are basically standard voltigeur figures, representing early members of the 1st and 2nd regiment of foot velites of the Kingdom of Naples:

This is an 1808 outfit - a lot less splendid and spectacular then the later guard velites uniforms with bearskin caps and loads of golden laces. Nevertheless - a pre-Bardin uniform.

But who are these chaps? Any suggestion?

Hehe. What do you think from where these folks came?
The time is around 1809 - and they're Dutch!
A grenadier and a chasseur of the lifeguard grenadier regiment. I found them when I wondered why there was no "No.1" line infantry regiment in the army of the Kingdom of Holland. The reason is simple: regiment number one were the guards.

For a long time in this project, I kept my eyes on Frances' allies, it's special troops and foreign regiments. I never took much notice on the French army itself. I just thought that at the time I'm finished with the whole project, I'll paint a single bunch of French line infantrymen and that's it. But I was wrong.
In the meantime, I have not only discovered a wide range of different uniforms within the French core army itself (especially when it's about drummers' dresses, plume and epaulette colours, etc.) - I have also discovered that with a few modifications, this set works well for light infantry as well.
This one represents the 63rd line infantry regiment. More of them are about to follow, taken into account that creating French core infantry requires the smallest amount of modifications.

We will see if I'm about to finish the 33rd in their ridiculous white and purple uniforms until FIGZ. I have finished my setup of the 1st foreign regiment (tour d'Auvergne) yesterday, but the basing still has to be done, so I have not posted them here yet. As there are around two weeks left for basing work, I'm going to bring around 30 units to the bring-and-show at FIGZ for this project only.