Thursday, June 30, 2016

Latest Commision

I have started on a wonderful commission I just received of about 250 figures, almost all plastics.  It took a lot of time to assemble these little devils, but my experience paid off and they turned out well.  But painting them has been a delight.  I have finished the Perry French dragoons and the Victrix Highlanders.  My client will be using them for Sharp Practice 2, so they are all individually based.

The natural sunlight is the best lighting to pick up the details and the shading.  Now on to 60 Victrix French Imperial Guard.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How I Made My Spanish Buildings

Someone on another site inquired how I made my Spanish buildings.  Here was my answer.  It may be helpful to someone, and I am happy to pass on my ideas to others.  After all, my ideas are based on what I have picked up from others.

I am a total amateur, Marc, and a cheapskate to boot. I basically used cardboard boxes to cut into the walls and roofs. Using pictures from the internet, I got ideas on how I wanted them to look and thought two inches per story was the right scale. I used super glue to put things together because it dries quickly and holds. Once the walls were together I drew in windows and doors. I then covered the structure with a mix of spackling, white glue which was watered down a bit. I was just looking for some texturing. The roofs were made by taking off one side of the exterior paper on the cardboard to expose the interior. I cut these into small strips and glued them into place. I am getting better at that with each go.
Once that was done I let everything dry overnight. The next day a spray painted in all in flat black. Once that dried, I did a liberal dry brushing in a fairly dark gray. Then I added some white to that and did a second dry brushing. Then a final dry brushing in white. For the roofs, I did a dark brown base, a lighter brown dry brushing followed by a final dry brushing of orange.
Another thing I learned as I went was to use scotch tape to cover the ends of the cardboard. The spackling mixture was to runny to actually seal the ends, and I didn't like the gaps. You can see the tape once the spackling and spray paint are applied.
Believe me, if I can do this, anyone can. And it's very inexpensive.

With the flaps, three sides are perfectly straight, so it makes things easier to line up correctly.

Walls and roofs are measured out, front and back walls first, then the side walls.  

These are the ingredients for what I use to add texture to the plain cardboard.

Here is what it looks like once I have mixed it all up.

Peeling away one exterior piece of the cardboard to expose the interior which I use for the roofing.

Cut into strips and placed on the piece to be used for the roof

Rather than cut into the walls to make doors and windows, I just outline them with match sticks.  I don't put my mixture where the doors and windows are.  This saves a lot of time and hassle trying to get things right with a hobby knife.
If you have any questions, please just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A few more additions to my Spanish Village

I am enjoying my first week of vacation.  Today I finished up yet another building for my Spanish village.  It was a simpler design and I realized that sometimes less is more.  I also made six more wall sections, one of which includes a gate.  The last pieces were road sections that total about 12 feet.  These are made of cardboard covered with a mixture of water, spackling and white glue and then sprinkled with some Woodland Scenics fine ballast.  This final touch would provide some definition so as to depict weeds on the roadway.

For very little expense and an enjoyable use of time I have been able to assemble a substantial amount of scenery to use with my 28mm collection.

The rear of the town and the church

cavalry entering the town

Warlord Games mule train

Newest house. Simple design, but effective.

The rear of the church and some new wall sections

The front of the new house, sporting light blue trim, and a glimpse of a new road section.
A British line ready for action
Here is a link to a brief video I have posted on Youtube.

Youtube video

Sunday, June 19, 2016

More 28mm Scratch Built Spanish Buildings

I have added yet another building and some more wall sections to my growing collection.  This time it is a house attached to a large arched entrance.  I particularly like the wall section that has a portion that has been destroyed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Scratch Built Spanish Church

I finished the church.  I thought it was a little large initially.  But now that it's on the table with some figures around it, I think it will do the job.  I also finished some walls.  These are easy to crank out and add a lot of options to setting things up.  I purchased the ready-made trees from Woodland Scenics.  I added a little paint to the trunks and made individual bases for each one.  It's the least expensive way, both monetarily and time-wise to get a lot of trees in a hurry.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Warlord Games Portugese Cacadores

To round out a brigade of 28mm Portugese I picked up a couple of packs of the new cacadores put out by Warlord Games.  I also forked out a few bucks to secure the mule train they have.  These are metal figures and beautifully sculpted.  There is great variety in the cacadores.  Two packs plus the two figure command group gave me a total of 18 figures.  This is a small battalion for  my collection, but it will be a nice addition.  The mule train is loaded with lots of goodies that were fun to paint up.  These were a bit pricey, but I'd have to say they were well worth it.
A joy to paint

Note the variety of items loaded on to each mule.

These are my two Spanish scratch built buildings.  I painted the railings and window frames yellow to add a bit of color.  I have also finished a church and some wall sections which I'll post pictures of soon. 
Warlord Games had a special going in May; 10% off their figures and free postage.  I also got a couple of boxes of early French.  All was well until I opened the boxes and found that the metal command figures in both were Russian and not French.  This is the third straight order that there has been something wrong.  So far, they have been good about making things right, but it is getting annoying to have something not right each time I order figures from them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Scratch Built Napoleonic Spanish House

Figures need terrain.  28mm terrain pieces can be very expensive.  As I am without any figures to paint at the moment I decided to try my hand at building a Spanish house and barn based on some photos from the internet.  I was only going to use what was readily at hand, which was cardboard, some spackling I use for basing my figures, some white glue and a few match sticks.  My only tools were an xacto knife and a pair of scissors.  Over the course of three and a half hours on Sunday night and an hour and a half yesterday I put together this Spanish house.  In addition, I finished the barn to go with it, but still need to paint it.  My mistakes are clear to me now, and I am sure that I will do much better in the future.  But for a first try, I am quite pleased.  The roof is detachable, and I may put removable floors in it so that troops can be placed inside.

I was most pleased by the way the roof tiles turned out.  They are the insides of the cardboard cut into strips.

I need to do a better job on things like railings the next time around.

I will also use tape on the corners to avoid gaps like this one.  I added extra plaster and a bit of Woodland Scenics ballast to provide some relief to paint on some shrubs.

The back of the house
I wanted to do some stairs up to the door here, but that seemed a bit out of my pay grade this first  attempt.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

28mm Collection in their First Action

Several members of a blog that I posted on were rather adamant that I should actually game with my 28mm collection.  Today I did just that, though only briefly.  But I did a short video and took several pictures.  The figures do look nice out on the table. Enjoy.
A British square

This cavalry melee ended in a draw.

French columns assault the British line.

A closer look at some highlanders

French lancers regrouping after destroying a battalion of highlanders that couldn't form square in time.

A line of highlanders is able to halt two battalions of the Old Guard with a ferocious volley.

Royal Horse Artillery stand their ground against a French attack.

This Spanish battery is in trouble.

These British light dragoons were able to gain the advantage over a regiment of French hussars.
For a brief video of the first couple of turns, just click the link.  Thanks for visiting.

Youtube link

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Perrys' Battle in a Box Youtube video

It's so easy to do these videos I thought I squeeze in another one before I head off to bed.  This is of my completed Perrys ACW set.  This is one of the best values out there.  I am sure that I'll be able to enjoy this with my grandsons for many years to come.

Youtube Video

Perrys Finished, link to Youtube post

I have just finished the last two regiments from my Perry Battle in a Box set.  There are now four regiments on each side, plus two cannons and crews and six cavalrymen as well as a general officer.  I have enjoyed this project very much.  My plan is to use this as a vehicle to introduce my grandsons to the marvelous hobby of historical wargaming.

A Union regiment.
Some rebels in mostly gray uniforms.

This is the special officer figure you get if you order the set directly from the Perry Brothers' web site.
I have also, at long last, gathered all of my 28mm Napoleonics from around the house and set them all up on my gaming table to get an idea of the size of my collection.  I was truly amazed at how large it has become.  I literally have collected it a box at a time over the last several years mainly because I love painting the larger figures.  I have never gamed with them; I simply collect them.  But I am quite proud of them.  Even my wife commented on how colorful they all were.  That is indeed high praise coming from her!

Here's the link to my Youtube post.  Please let me know what you think.