Wednesday, December 30, 2015

All the best for 2016!

Damn! Where has 2015 gone to?
Another year is passing by. Only a few hours and 2015 will be history.
A year that, for me, had a good start but didn't end all too well. We will see if 2016 will be an improvement or... whatever. Me and my family are at good health (after the flu catched us during the holidays), we have a roof over our head, a water tap that provides clean water, enough food storage that spares us from starvation and we mustn't fear that all that might be bombed away just the other day. In other words: although I'm far from being a wealthy man, at least me and my family can enjoy more life comfort then most of the people on this planet.

Let's not forget: if that's your life standard too, you're privileged. Be thankful for that and give your share to others!

But let's get back to the hobby. Last year, I made a plan for 2015. Let's have a look how much I have fulfilled that.

- Baden infantry and command (Franznap) - DONE
- Completing my vignette for Heiden competition – DONE (won bronze medal)
- Completing my single figure for Heiden competition – DONE (won experience)
- Completing the 7 Franco-Spanish line infantry fusiliers - DONE
- Completing the 33rd French line inf. rgt. (white uniforms) – DONE
- Kingdom of Italy guard infantry - DONE
- Kingdom of Italy velites – DONE
- Guards of Milano and Venice – done Milano, failed Venice
- Kingdom of Italy colonial troops and coast guards - DONE
- Regiment Illyrien - DONE
- Kingdom of Naples light infantry voltigeurs, carabiniers and command – FAILED
- Baden guard grenadiers - FAILED

Okay. That's not a 100% performance, but not that bad at all. But what was my actual painting performance this year?

  • Baden infantry (12 foot, 1 mounted)
  • Anti-Zombie-Squad vignette for Heiden contained 7 figures
  • Single figures for Heiden and FIGZ contests – 2 figures
  • Foot soldiers for my Pre-Bardin-uniform project - 56
  • Franznap Austrian hussars and lancers – 8 mounted figures
  • French dragoons – 4 figures (mounted)
  • Brunswick infantry - 6
  • 2 Berg chevaux legers with one horse
  • 1 civilian (see above)

That's a total amount of 90 figures on foot and 14 mounted ones. More then in 2013, but less then in 2014. Taking into account almost 3 months of time during which I nearly didn't paint anything at all due to moving to another place and managing my new job, I regard this years' output as well enough.

So what's up for 2016?
On the one hand, I'll have to proceed with my PreBardin-project. I found some new uniform pages which raised the total uniform number to 401, which means I'm still half-way through, having 197 figures left to be painted.

I will, of course, also make some pieces for the forthcoming FIGZ and this years' Heiden ISSC. Possible features for these may include antitank obstacles, Kois and time travelling. ;-)
In fact, I'm planning to finish some old projects of mine. The Russian hussars, for example. I had some ideas in the last three years for which I bought figures (or the other way round), but I never finished – or even started – these projects. With all these great figures that Alex, Francesco and others are producing, I decided that I cannot wait any longer. If I do, I'll end up with a hundred ideas and some thousand figures sooner or later.

The plan for 2016:

  • One single- and one multi figure vignette for Heiden ISSC
  • One single-figure vignette for FIGZ
  • Baden jagers (which I must still buy)
  • Completing my 12 Russian-hussar-regiments display
  • 4 other Austrian lancers
  • Voltigeurs and command of the seven Italian line infantry regiments
  • Fusiliers of the Kingdom of Hollan line infantry regiments
  • French colonial troops
  • Guards of Venice
  • Garde de Paris, white, green and red uniforms

Sounds manageable. But we will see. ;-)

Thanks to all my regular visitors. It's nice to have you here and share my work with me. To all 'comrades in hobby' – keep up your brushes and enjoy painting!
May you all have a great New Year – goodbye 2015, let's welcome 2016!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hussars all over the place

The end (of the year) is near!
So before I start looking back on how I matched my painting goals for this year, I'd like to present my latest paintwork to you.

After having them on my desk for somewhat over a year, I finally finished the Austrian hussar skirmishers that I got from Francesco (Franznap). I decided to paint them in the colours of the 5th regiment, especially because I liked those red shakos. Regarding the yellow upper rim, I'm still unsure wether that black/yellow pattern is authentic or not - I found both versions on pictures. Maybe someone could help me with that detail?

These are really fine models, as always when it comes up to Franznaps' figures. Most appreciated is the fact that these horses are standing still. In plastic sets, you usually find trotting or gallopping horse poses and I suppose that everyone can imagine what sort of accuracy you can expect when you try shooting a Napoleonic age carbine from horseback while the horse is moving.

I'm still not absolutely sure what to do with these chaps. I have a small diorama in mind, with Austrian hussars, lancers and infantry fighting Baden troops in the woods. We'll see about that, I'm still thinking about the concept.

Talking about concepts, I re-discovered some figures I started to paint quite a long time ago. Three years ago, I thought about a display with figures from all 12 hussar regiments of the Russian army of 1812. I started painting but never finished the whole party. Now I found them in my cabinet. Actually, most of the paintjob is already done. I just thought that I might finish that job next year, what do you think about it? Here are some pictures of the figures that are already finished:

Belarusian regiment...

...fur colour is disputed - was it black or white?

Alexandria regiment

Irkutsk regiment

Olwiopolski regiment

Here I have two different sources regarding the belt - should it be red+white or green+white?
Main problem with them are the different sources. But I still think that - with some corrections concerning the faces - this little project could be worth to be finished. These Zvezda hussars are highly detailed, although I find them hard to paint in concern to all these very small stripes and cords.
And is it just me or are the horses a bit too small and slender for their riders?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

My current paintwork - Brunswickers, Dragoons and Hussars

Well - christmas time is coming. For my family, this means particularly to tidy and clean the rooms because we'll have a few family members coming to visit us. Half a year after we have moved into a smaller appartment, we have still some boxes left and some stuff to be sorted.

When will the holidays start and give me lots of painting time? sigh

In regard to the Brunswickers, I have painted 5 of 9.
On the right side, you can see the representants of the three line batallions.
Additionally, we have the lifeguard and the light infantry of the avantgarde.
Light infantry batallions and avantgarde 'gelernte jaeger' are still under construction.

Oh - and then, it's people on horseback once again. I can't stand mounted figures too much. As I said for a multiple times, didn't I? Nevertheless, sometimes you can't avoid it. For a forthcoming diorama project, I needed some rather relaxed French dragoons.

I found them at - the group contains four figures of which you can see two here.
The muskets are delivered separately which allows some modfications. I really like the fact that the figures are modelled together with the saddlecloth - it fits much better onto the horses as it does when only the rider has to fit into a saddle that has been modelled onto the horse.

Which brings me to the next story - Austrian hussars, made by Franznap. Brilliant stuff - the figures are really detailed down to the button. But in case of these sets, you need to be a bit careful because not every rider fits good onto every horse.
Francesco Messori models rider and horse much more as a unit. They fit perfectly together as long as you take the correct horse for a specific rider. As all other figures in this posting, these are metal figures.
For some reason, I haven't painted many plastic figures in the last months. Probably, the range of different units and poses is much greater in the metal figure market.

Which doesn't mean that I'm not continuing my long-term-PreBardin-uniform project. I've started to work on Italian line voltigeurs and French reserve companies, but this'll take more time to get finished just because of the higher number of figures in these units.

Anyway, the year is coming to it's end. I hope that I'm going to finish these hussars - I have laborated on them for months. It's time to get this small project finished.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

405 - bad photography error

It's autumn. And I greatly dislike it. It's not because I don't like coloured leafes and mild winds - it's because in my current domicile, getting adequate light for photos is almost impossible.
I tried it with my mobile lamps - the pictures got too yellowish. I tried several positions in combination with daylight, lamps, etc. and every picture looked bad in one or the other way.

That's the reason why I haven't posted any pictures in the last few weeks.
It's quite hard to find the time for painting anyway - late evenings are the only time I have. Apart from lots of private stuff, my job is quite time consuming.

Nevertheless, I use as much time as possible to move on with my projects. One of them is a small vignette that shall show all the Brunswick regiments which fought at Waterloo.

It's pretty easy to paint them. They only differ in the colours of their collars, shoulder straps and the side stripe on their trousers.

In fact, painting these chaps is pure fun. All black, a few items, that's it. Plus it's only nine figures in total.

The figures are from Schilling miniatures.
They offer a wide range of Brunswick infantry figures, all metal.

I guess that I mustn't say that those are the best Brunswicker I know in 1/72, must I?

Additionally, I  have a lot of cavalry figures on my desk. Which is, in fact, what takes the most time. Especially because apart from some Schmaeling French dragoons, they are all Franznaps - legendary for their details, but very time consuming to paint. For example, I can show you a few Austrian Uhlans I have recently painted:
Yes, there are some flaws on them which I need to correct, but I guess this snapshot gives you a little inspiration how great these chaps look when painted.
I have some Austrian hussars on my desk as well. One day, I will build a diorama with Austrian cavalry and infantry fighting Baden infantry. Which means I'll have to paint a lot of new figures.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

International Small Scale Convention 2015 in Heiden, Germany

You know that effect when you've prepared something for weeks and then... <woosh> it's away with a glimpse of the eye?

This is always the case with the two usual 'suspects' I annually visit - the FIGZ and the ISSC.

Unfortunately for my purse, I wasn't able to resist buying different stuff.
What these little thingies on the figure box are? You won't guess, I suppose: they're cats! :-D

Once again, the showroom was filled with many exhibitors and plenty of sellers. Therefore, it was much to discover, very much to see and even much more to spend your money on. In comparizon to other people, I actually didn't spend that much money.

Once again, the exhibits contained a lot of really great stuff. Several things were already to be seen in former ISSC shows, but there was also much new eye candy. Here are some examples:
That's how it looks like when you have trees in correct size


Remember that Bond movie scene?

If you think that's a bin gun... would you call this one?

And finally: Dinosaurs!

Small saurs...

...larger saurs...

...and even really HUGE saurs! :-D

A swampy, rusty scene... pretty rotten.

And one of my favourites - WW1 plane flying over the trenches.
Once again, there was a competition. In my opinion, it was a really hard one again. Have a look at all these great work!

A nice Quetzalcoatlus - against which my contribution lost. :-(

Now look at these details - loads of junk and rubbish on the streets.

My favourite tavern scene

This one is especially remarkeable because of the whirly movement of the water surface...
My single figure, being placed in the 'fantasy figure' cathegory lost against that Quetzalcoatlus. BUT as there were only these two contributions and the flying dinosaur not even won a gold medal, I'm pretty puzzled if my entry was really that bad not to deserve a medal at all. Strange. But I'm too friendly to insist on such things - I just wonder.

At least, I won a Bronze medal in the figure-related Diorama_standard cathegory - which was very lucky because the jury seemed to have had decision problems. There were three bronze medalists in this cathegory. Having seen all that marvellous work on the competition desk, I feel really honoured. And: all the medals I have ever won in Heiden were bronze medals. I'm starting to fell like Mr.Bronze. X-D

This car diorama, by the way, earned a gold medal, the best-of-show-gold-award and Bennos' special 1/72 trophy:
And another best-of-show award plus the diorama_s silver medal was given to this completely scratch-build film studio:

Being in Heiden was again a really great thing. My son (9) bought himself a box of HaT Romans and talks about nothing else ever since.

Special thanks go to Francesco (Franznap) who gave me a sneak preview of the forthcoming 1/72 Baden jagers and Baden general staff. There are some really great figures coming ahead, that's for sure!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Detmold reloaded

Hey folks!

Among the little states that formed the so called Rheinbund was the Principality of Lippe. It was a small state with Detmold as a capital and never sent more then a batallion into active duty.
This battalion served both in Tyrol and in Spain and was finally newly setup in 1811 after facing a lot of losses in the catalonian campaign.

When Napoleon attacked Russia in 1812, these troops were integrated into the 5th Rheinbund regiment which was set together by troops from the principalities of Lippe and Anhalt.

The prinicipality units formed the so called 'division princiére under the command of General Daendels, eventually becoming part of the 34th division under General Morand. They saw action at Kowno and Wilna, where later stationed as garrison troops of the fortress of Danzig from where only a few men returned home.

The old ones:

I painted the fusiliers on basis of a uniform sheet several years ago - they were in fact my first bring-and-show-contribution for the very first FIGZ I visited.  That was even before I really was engaged in that Pre-Bardin-uniform project. In the meantime, the way of presentation - basing, style, intention - has changed very much.

In addition, I not only found Knoetel pictures about Lippe units, but also a Histofig plate. They showed the complete range of unifoms of this battalion and as I found it unlikely to scrape off the old figures from their sandy base, I just decided to paint this unit once more.

No, that's not a painting error on the drummers' pompom and the grenadiers plume. It's a light reflex. :-(

Plus I found some new uniform plates for Frankfurt soldiers - so I'm sorry that I'll have to refurbish that unit as well. And colonial units... My oh my...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Illyrien regiment

Here's another unit for my Pre-Bardin uniform project. In fact, this one was quite difficult to paint - not because the uniform is that much complicated (except from the stripes-and-blue-circles-pattern on the drummers' arms) but because it's one of these units whith a uniform design that seems to be heavily disputed among the various artists.

Boissellier, Marbot, Knoetel, Humbert - the well-known painters of Napoleonics units all seem to have gone wild about this subject. Some show white, some black gaiters or light infantry boot-style gaiters, with or without tassels, in red, white, whatsoever. There are pictures with red and pictures with blue epaulettes - same with cuffs. Total confusion.

What is sure is that the Illyrien regiment was founded in 1810 with general uniform style of French light infantry. The Illyrien provinces were the former Austrian occupations along the Adriatic sea - Istria, Croatia, Dalmatia, Carinthia - with Ljubljana as a capital. It existed until 1813.

Parts of the correspondence between Napoleon, his military attaches and the responsible governors and officers for this regiment still exist. It seems that its' worth in battle was rather poor. When on action away from its' country of origin, the regiment suffered badly from desertion.

Well - I had to make decisions. So I went with Humbert and Knoetel. Others may tell me that this might be 'historically incorrect' - but then they must proof me that their sources are more accurate. ;-P

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Some Italians

Meanwhile, the long-term Pre-Bardin-Uniform project continues. I have just finished another more unusual unit: Italian coast guard (cannoniers garde-côtes).
It's not that much that I found out about this unit, except that they were organized at company strength - approximately 120 men - and that the highest given rank among them was sergeant-major. Because of that, I've attached an NCO to the trooper and the drummer.
As no officer was mentioned in the reglementary, I suppose that they stood under the command of a fortification commander or were attached to other units - garrison battalions, for example

Not the most splendid example of work, I know. It's more kinda standard sort of... whatever, they're not that bad anyway - and I have completed another unit. ;-)

Monday, August 3, 2015

An experiment: Berg chevaux leger

I stumbled accross a picture of a light cavalry lancer of the Grand duchy of Berg (one of the many German minor states allied with Napoleon), dressed up in white and crimson (or dark pink, if you like). It fascinated me so much that I wanted to have one of my own.

Unfortunately, this is a unit not produced in 1/72 - as far as I know. I had to build one. But how?
At first: the uniform is basically that of a line lancer, except from the cords and strings and - of course - the Czapka hat. Czapkas were Ulans' hat of choice - but who has single lancers and single Ulan heads? Franznap has. So I placed a small order.

This is how the result looks like.
Second epaulette, cords and the small ribbons on the button sides have been added with green stuff.

Same with the Czapka, where I added cords, plume and the front plate.

I can't help loving that uniform. Flamboyant, colourful and well... something different then the usual black, blue and green.

Quite a lot of people have painted up some conversions - now I've got my own one.