Sunday, 19 February 2017

French Marie-Louise Infantry - 28mm Perry

Added to the late French Empire ranks, here's some Marie-Louise infantry. 

At the sunset of Empire in 1813/14, Napoleon was desperate for troops and young conscripts formed an increasingly large part of the French army. They were referred to as "Marie-Louises" in reference to the fact that the young Empress Marie Louise signed the conscription orders. And as I understand it, also perhaps because many of them looked as young as the Empress.

Increasingly often these troops did not have proper uniforms, instead being equipped with a grey greatcoat and Pokalem headgear instead of the more expensive shako. That's how I've chosen to depict them here.

Most of them would have been added to regular line units to help make up numbers, but I wanted to have some separate units to clearly represent provisional infantry regiments, so did them up in their own units.




Each box of Perry French Line Infantry contains 18 spare heads with Pokalem, so you end up with heaps of them lying around. You have to snip off the shako head, trim the collar area with a craft knife, then stick on the pokalem head. It's pretty quick after the first few, though it also generates a slightly disturbing feeling like you're guillotining the little chaps!

This is a closer look at a Pokalem. Apparently the term 'Pokalem' comes from 'Poka = Polska, Lem = helm', the 'Polish helmet'. Though of course it was made of felt. Not very pretty but quite practical. Having done the blue, I decided that adding the very fine red trim was not worth the time investment for the moment given how hard to see it would be on the table. Maybe later! 


And lastly here is a portrait of Marie Louise, Empress of the French 1810-1814, after whom these troops take their name.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

French Dragoons - 28mm Perry

Finished these a few days ago. Some French Dragoons added at last. These are Perry plastics which are very nice models and assemble easily.

For the Dragoon Green of the coats I used Vallejo Black Green highlighted with Vallejo Deep Green.


 4th regiment.  Elite company still with bearskins.






15th Regiment.





22nd regiment.




Picking out the sawtooth lining of the sheepskin is a little challenging with these, but not too bad!

Also using a new photography setup for these with start of 2017. Phone camera rather than tired slow old digital camera, and on wargames table rather than desk. One day I might get a proper lighting set-up, but today is not that day... :)

Saturday, 7 January 2017

2016 Painting review and thoughts...

I've just completed a tally of my 2016 painting. Here's a list with links. Over 1000 28mm figures. Plus given discussion with two wargaming mates yesterday, I've added a few thoughts on how to get many figures painted!



28mm Napoleonic painted in 2016



The vast majority of my painting time was spent on Napoleonics in 2016...

96 French Old Guard
96 French Middle Guard
96 French Young Guard
96 French Artillerie de la Marine
96 French Line
36 French Guard Cavalry
16 French Guard Horse Artillery crew + 4 guns
1 French Cantinière

78 Polish Line
36 Polish Vistula Legion
12 Polish Uhlans
12 Polish Krakus
16 Polish Foot Artillery crew + 4 guns
16 Polish Horse Artillery crew + 4 guns
2 Polish General

72 Austrian Hungarian Infantry
24 Austrian Jagers
12 Austrian Uhlans

(Plus some bridges and churches, and basing up dozens of trees which I haven't yet posted)

28mm Ancients painted in 2016


These have expanded since the last time I mentioned them.  In total I painted the Macedonian force shown below. More pictures here.

153 Phalanx
50 Peltasts
8 Slingers
60 Cavalry
3 Elephants

6mm Sci Fi painted in 2016


6mm hardly counts in comparison to 28mm but hundreds of these were painted too. In total effort probably still less than for a single Napoleonic Guard Cavalry 28mm unit though...!  But small scales are the way to go if you want very fast painting and larger games on smaller tables. It is particularly suitable for 'modern' style conflicts, though I've seen some very nice Napoleonics in 6mm too. My Hordes of Things blog is for all my non-Napoleonic wargaming.

Total 28mm Figures Painted in 2016


950 Infantry
134 Cavalry
12 Guns
3 Elephants and 6 crew

So a total of 1105 28mm figures total last year (or 1239 figures if horses also count as a figure each). I'm slightly tempted to get it all out on the table to have a look, but that's quite a mission so not yet! I'm well on the way to some huge Napoleonic games though, and I must order some more KR storage boxes for cavalry...

This blog also passed the 100'000 view mark a few months ago and is rapidly closing on 200'000.

Thoughts on Mass Painting... How?



A few thoughts on this topic to close. Quite few people have expressed surprise at the number of figures I've managed to get painted over the last few years, including two wargaming mates visiting yesterday. It initially surprised me too, as I never considered that I'd be able to get all this done on top of work and time with wife, friends, wargaming and so on (not to mention writing journal articles, playing computer games, watching a few movies etc).  

However, considered in the cold light of reality I'm not sure it is that much. It is afterall a grand total of about 3 figures a day. Doing that number of figures or even a third to half of that amount should be quite achievable for most people I would think (aiming for a lower amount if you have younger kids or health issues for example, higher if not). And imagine what could be achieved if retired, provided hands and eyes are still sufficiently competent...!

Even if budgeting a full hour for a 28mm figure, and so 3 hours a day to paint 3 figures a day, most people spend more time than that watching TV each day. So painting while listening to TV would achieve that goal. And these days, fortunately there are instead vast numbers of free audio podcasts, audio-books and so on that you can listen to while painting. I think the easy availability of these has made a big difference to my painting volume, as I can't imagine painting for very long without listening to something beyond just music. Recently I've been listening to the excellent Wars of Coalition podcast by Mark Jessop. Before that it was an audio version of Origin of Species.

I don't paint every day, but even an hour or two on most days really starts to add up. Especially if you use the odd weekend or holiday to give the process a boost. Do it while listening to audio material and it's not even replacing other activities. Much of what I listen to has some bearing on my work as a psychologist and manager, or to science/history in general, and there are also many podcasts on wargaming these days too. Perhaps some extra motivation comes from working as a health professional where the fragility and transience of human existence is daily evident. It reminds me not to waste time on lesser activities.

Of course to get speedy it is also very important that you don't paint just  a couple of figures at a time. Instead batch paint them as this previous post suggests and you'll race through them faster. And if you're painting non-Napoleonic figures it will likely be even faster due to lower level of detail. See my other painting articles in the sidebar for more tips I find helpful.

Anyway, I hope that brief analysis provides some inspiration to someone out there. Set yourself what you consider an ambitious but achievable goal and go for it!

Thanks for reading, and do let me know in comments below of any ideas you find helpful in getting many figures painted!