Monday, 14 July 2008

Final Countdown

A few months ago, it started to become apparent to me that it was going to take me an awful long time to make up and cast the figures I had sculpted, and that time was something I just don't have at present. However I was keen to move the project forward.

In an attempt to resolve this I ended up getting the first master (the Fusilier) moulded and cast for me into a proper production mould by Griffin Moulds (link at side). At the time I was quite happy to do this, as I knew that I would want, over time, several units of this figure and the number of figures I would require would justify the cost (or at least that's what I told myself!). Anyway the figures duly came back and I was delighted with them, very nice, clean castings.

As time moved on, I have to admit that I gave in to temptation (or perhaps laziness) and just thought well in for a penny, in for a pound, and got the rest of the masters done in the same way. It was a bit of an extravagance on my part, but I'm content I made the right move.

So happily in the ownership of some production moulds, I had a batch of figures cast up of all the types, sufficient to make up a few units. I could have got more done, but don't want to put myself off with a Lead mountain. Anyway now I've got the moulds I can go back for more anytime, and no freezing in the garage pouring hot metal about!

The packaged arrived on Friday, and I'm busily in the process of painting one each of the seven figures to see how they look. Initial progress looks good.

When I paint figures for the first time, I usually do one right through to the end to test the colour scheme/paint combinations, to make sure I'm happy with this, before I do a whole unit.

So in no particular order I painted the Chasseur through to a conclusion, and here he is:

He's painted as a Chasseur of the Soissonnois regt in the 1779 uniform, with rather fetching crimson facing colour. I've pictured him prior to the application of varnish.

I wouldn't mind views on a couple of points on the paint job. Firstly as most will be aware, the french uniform of this period has an awful lot of white, something that personally I find difficult to do well in 25mm. In an attempt to break up the expanse of rather boring white, I've cheated a little and made the waistcoat and breeches more of a cream, just to give a bit on contrast. What do you think, does it work or would it just be better in white the same as the coat and gaiters?

On a similar vein, I've gone with white gaiters, but black is a theoretical option, again not sure which way to go on that one.

Anyway I'll press on and finish the rest, and post them up over the next week as their completed.

Overall, I'm pleased with this little project, its taken a bit of time, longer than I would have wished, but we've gone from this:

To this:

And I hope this has been a useful journey for those of you who have travelled it with me.

Back in a few days, with more shots of painted figs.




Martin said...

Hello John,

WOW!! That is one eye popping miniature and a great paint job. I wouldn't worry too much about the shade(s) of white. There were no colorfast dyes back then, and after exposure to all kinds of weather while being on campaign, repairs made by the soldier, and other fair wear and tear, I doubt that the uniforms were all that uniform. Personally, I like the contrast you have achieved. How do you resist the temptation of casting tens, if not hundreds of these fine looking fellows?



Stokes Schwartz said...

I agree -- WOW! A lovely, lovely paint job. I'm almost beside myself gazing at all of the black lining. Can't wait to see a whole unit of them!

Best Regards,


Stokes Schwartz said...

Hi John,

Me again. The cream waistcoat and breeches are a nice touch, particularly when painting pre-20th century figures, whose clothes would have been woolen and not exactly "uniform" in the modern understanding of the term. The white gaiters too are a good choice. They always help make infantry figures look just a bit fancier to me. Again, great work there!

Best Regards,


MiniWargamer said...

You done good, 'pard.

I echo the "Wow" comments!

David said...

Yup, I agree with all the aforesaid! :-)


Fitz-Badger said...

Me, too, Wow, very nice all painted up! Excellent job!
You continue to astound and inspire me. Makes my own effort look rather silly by comparison (but no matter - I'm having fun).

As far as the colors, I agree with the other comments on that, too. When you put together a unit of these guys it'll look amazing.
By coincidence I just finished painting up a test mini for my Francophone ImagiNation that is similar in color (I didn't do cream trousers though, and I went with black gaiters). Usually when I do "white" uniforms I really do a very pale gray (by contrast it looks white, but allows me to really set off particular things, such as officer's uniforms, with true white)

Steve said...

...lovely job!

White's a very difficult colour to get right for uniforms, I was reading Lord Ashrma's blog ( and he has a similar problem with a large force of Austrian Napoleonics, he's gone the magic dip route though, with some interesting results....

Once again - very nice!

Snickering Corpses said...

He looks excellent, John. And I agree, I like the contrast you've achieved with the cream breeches and leggings.

A Thousand Hats said...

Superb - the uniform looks great.

As many have already mentioned - repairs, no colour-fast dyes etc. mean that variations of white are more than acceptable.

Very good work indeed.

It must have been a great feeling painting a mini that you'd sculpted yourself and then had professionally cast up.

Very inspiring.


tidders said...

Nice looking fusilier. I don't blame you having figs cast - casting figs one at a time can be a pain

-- Allan