Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 passes away... let it do so

Let's face it – the year is over and done. Here are the holidays and in a few days, 2016 is history. On political and global level, it was a year certainly not being of the best sort. We saw a lot of good artists die and go, we had almost every day a terror attack somewhere on this planet and, after all, never in past-world-war history, there have so many people on the run worldwide. So let's keep in mind to try making this world a better place for us all should be our intention for 2017, everybody on his/her level of abilities.

And to the hobbyists: keep on painting!

Statistics time again!

But away with that. As always, at the end of a year I'm doing an inspection of my 'painting performance' which was, as always, not as high as I would have wanted. Here's the original plan was:
  • One single- and one multi figure vignette for Heiden ISSC (CHECK)
  • One single-figure vignette for FIGZ (CHECK)
  • Baden jagers
  • Completing my 12 Russian-hussar-regiments display
  • 4 other Austrian lancers
  • Voltigeurs and command of the seven Italian line infantry regiments (CHECK)
  • Fusiliers of the Kingdom of Holland line infantry regiments (CHECK)
  • French colonial troops (CHECK)
  • Guards of Venice
  • Garde de Paris, white, green and red uniforms (one of four)
Okay. The Baden Jagers were, together with a lot of Baden fusiliers, my xmas present. So, finally, I can start with them next year. The checklist doesn't look that impressive, but I've done a whole lot of other things instead:
In total, that's 111 completed figures plus a tank and 10 figures still on my desk, being in an different states of painting. Taken into account that the building and painting time for the SU100 was equaling the painting time for a row of horses, my performance was slightly above that of 2015. Which is, once after all, a surprise for me because I thought I had done less then that. Plus: I had lots of fun painting other things then Napoleonics. Sorry to say so, but it's just like that. 

Now here's my personal Check-and-don't-make-it-once-again-as-alway-list for 2017:
  • One single or multi figure display for FIGZ
  • A multi-figure setup just in case I decide to go to the Lingen show
  • Completing Baden Jagers and fusiliers
  • Complete my Russian hussar vignette
  • Complete the SU100 vignette with tank riders
  • Complete the French departmental guard display (14 figures left)
  • Finish my Kingdom of Holland setup of Pre-Bardin units until FIGZ (only 4 figures to go)
  • Finish the Garde de Paris (3 units left)
If finances are good enough, there's a very special figure up to follow and I'm planning to buy some figures from Hagen in order to dress them up for representing 1812 US-american militia.

Okay. Course is set. Engage!

Saturday, December 24, 2016


All the best to you and all your friends and families! Have a nice christmas time, lots of fun and some relaxing time.
(and don't let that little nasty snowman catch you ;-))

Thank you for following my blog in 2016, hope to see you here again also next year and many more years to come. I wish you all much success, health and fun for the forthcoming year 2017.

P.S.: that little snowy dude is one of the Xmas bonus figures from Schilling figures - thank you so much for it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Garde de Paris, first step

Well, well. Long on my list was the garde de Paris.

As First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte created the municipal guard of Paris in 1802. Originally, it consisted of two half-brigades, which became two regiments in 1804.
These regiments were recruited from former soldiers who aged at least 30, but still were under 40, measuring over 1.65 m and able to read and write. To apply, the men must have had five campaigns under their belt. They had to commit for at least ten years, and more prosaically, had to carry a leave signed by the military authorities. [source: French Wikipedia]

The first regiment wore green uniforms with red facings/lapels/collars - this is the second regiment, which wore colours vice versa. Which means, I have to paint another regiment, plus both in the white uniforms that were used in 1807 only.

There are some tricky things about these regiments when it comes to uniforms. On the one hand, you find various plates that leave you puzzled about when this or that part of the unit wore either shakos or bearskin hats. I finally decided to let the grenadiers appear with the bearskin no matter what, as well as I took in that bearskin-hat chasseur on the left side although I weren't able to research if they actually served in this uniform parallel or before the chasseur uniform with the simple green feathered shako was used. Parts of the unit seem only to have existed during the time when the garde de Paris was part of the Flanders campaign that led them to Kassel, later Hamburg.

Next thing is the drummer uniform. On early regulation, drummers often wore a uniform in colours reversed to that of their units' common soldiers. But a uniform that was similar to the troopers' ones, only differing in golden/yellow pipings around cuffs, collars and breast, was also usual among French infantry units, although it is rather common for a use after 1807. Unfortunately, I found no evidence on what exactly was the case here. Uniform plates and paintings differ a lot, as if the painters also had the same troubles that I had. One time you see this, other times you see the other uniforms in use. Therefore, I decided to go with the golden piping version.

The garde de Paris, though being a municipal guard unit, saw lots of real battle. From October 1805 to February 1806, it served as an auxiliary force of the Grande Armée during the occupation of the Netherlands. The guards occupied Antwerp, Arnhem and Nijmegen, then moved forth to Hamburg. In 1807 they were vital part of the force that besieged Danzig. It also took part in the battle of Friedland, were it successfully stopped the approach of a ten times larger Russian force for nine hours.

In 1808, the unit was moved to Spain where it served until 1812 and participated in battles like Bailen and Burgos. It was dissolved due to an involvement of it's commanders in the Malet coup attempt of 1812 and later reinstalled as Imperial Guard of Paris in 1813.

I'd say that this is a unit of interest for wargaming scenarios. A municipal guard consisting of battle-hardened veterans.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

French colonial troops

Did I mention how sick I am about that lousy photo situation I'm in?
Yes, I know - I'm a lazy dog that has said how urgently he needs to build a good photobox, but I still didn't find the time to do so. Today, I thought that I would have excellent light conditions, so I made a few snapshots. And guess what? The result still doesn't convince me. Nevertheless, as a sign of life, I hereby present you something rather unusual.

Although the French lost their American territories to the British, they still had a number of colonies, including islands in the Carribean sea and around Africa. I found it interesting to see that these batallions (which was what they were in numbers: regular batallions, strenghtened up with local militia) really had their own uniforms. So here's the first display, including example soldiers for the islands of Reunion, Seychelles and Guadeloupe.
Personally, I like the Reunion uniform the most. It looks not even French at all - no blue and merely some white on it.

Right at the moment, I have the next bunch of Austrian-Hungarian fusiliers on my desk. I'm not too much in a hurry with them, because for completing the diorama that I have in mind, I will need a firing line of Baden infantry plus 'em Baden jagers. That will require some additional time and money that I currently don't have, so until then, it's proceeding with the many other figures that I already own.

Friday, October 21, 2016

'A long way home' - ISSC competition entry

I almost forgot that I wanted to show you some pictures of my diorama for this year's ISSC competition.
Once again, I used some figures from Alex' dystopian future set. You can find them and more of his work here.

I called the diorama 'A long way home'. It's a family on it's way back home through a post-apocalyptic environment.

They reach the outskirts of a village. There's a road barrier here - seems as if there has been a battle taken place for this spot, only a short while ago.
Nevertheless, they are prepared. Mommy is armed.
Look at all that debris and the empty bullet shells on the road. Autumn is coming and the wind is taking brown leafs from the nearby trees onto the old, wet road.

Once there was a big old house standing here. It must have been hit by something really big - all that's left now, are piles of debris.

...and you will laugh when I tell you how I created that huge amount of bricks and debris: I simply took three or four evenings of time and shreddered all plastic sprues that I had available. Recycled plastic parts, inked in bright grey and then heavily washed with two strong tones of dye. Simple, but with a good effect.
The whole diorama has been build during a period of about four or five months and finally won a bronze medal. :-)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Angels once again

Mmpf. It's October. Which means that the time for XMas-markets is closing in. Which means that my mom-in-law is setting up all her stuff for having enough decoration material to sell on XMas-markets. Which, again, means that she needs supplies. Supplies for little crafted angels. Which, again, means that she had begged me to paint 'faces' on little wooden balls.
*sigh* Okay. If she askes me, I guess it's the best thing to do her this favor. Even if it means not having the time for painting Napoleonic figures. Or getting along with that SU100 that I bought in Heiden.

And I mean it's a lot of wooden balls...
...even more then you can see on this picture.

Wish me luck. I can need it.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

OMG - I just published my first book! :-D

At first, I must say sorry because normally, I'm not the kind of guy who makes marketing for himself, but in this very case, I just can't spare you, because I'm so happy that I must share the story. Well. It's here. It's lying on my table. I can touch it. It's really physical.

Folks, I still can't fully believe it. I've just published a novel. For years and years, I have started to write more then just one story, but never finished one. I even started to write a historical story which I work on from time to time - for more then five years now. Finally, I really made it. Thanks to Kindle's storyteller awards 2016, this time I had a certain deadline that determined me to complete my work right on time.

For the setting, I put up the popular zombie apokalypse scenario and altered it by trying to find an answer to the question that most dystopic novels put aside in order to focus on the outbreak itself: what if mankind survives such an outbreak in more or less good shape, with order being restored in fortified, highly populated safe zones? What would society look like, even if the facade shows no big change to the 'real world' in the first place? And what happens if all these fancy new technologies get into the wrong hands?

It's been fun to write this story which is in fact Part01 in a row of 3 or 4 books in total.
The book is available on Amazon (Alpha 67) as an EBook or in a printed version. Language is German (haven't started to make a translation into English yet).

Well - now you know why there's not that much painting progress on my blog at the moment. I hope you understand.
But: there's more about figure to come soon. I still have to make a few good shots of my medal-winning contributions for this years' show in Heiden and I have some very interesting stuff on my desk, including Soviet tank riders, wolves from Nicolai and a real SU100 tank model kit. Isnt't that amazing? :-D

Stay tuned, friends!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

ISSC Heiden 2016

To my regret, this year marked the very last time of an event that I have joined as an exhibitor for several years now: the international small scale convention (ISSC) in Heiden, Germany. The organizers have decided to merge the show with the Euromodelexpo and move the whole thing to Lingen, a one hours' drive up to the north.

I'm still unsure whether to join in or not, because it has also been decided to let the event take place over a whole weekend, which would require to book a hotel for the night plus being away from the family for two days and so on and so on. Well - we'll see.

For this time, I can only say that it was a great day at Benno's figures forum booth. The competitions won me two medals (bronze and silver) - and I have been virtually 'beaten' by my elder son (10) who won a gold medal for his antique Greek warriors (nevertheless, I'm happy for him ;-)). Once again, I have learned a lot from other modeler's advice and tips that will help me with my future projects. So beware - there are several things to come.

For now, here are uncommented pictures from the show - just enjoy!