Sunday, 10 August 2008

Filling up the Ranks

Finally finished the grenadier and fusilier, to complete the set.

To give you an idea on size of the figure in comparison to some common makes, here he is in a line up of (from left to right) Front Rank, Foundry, Hinchliffe, our lad and finally an RSM. I was aiming for something that was of similar size and heft to the Hinchliffe/RSM type figure, but with a little more detail to ease painting, a compromise between "old school figures" and there modern "chunky, pumpkin head, baseball mitt" brethren. I'm fairly pleased with the results.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Lookout the boss is about

Finished the two officers and the standard bearer.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Playing for Time

Thanks for all the very positive comments, I must admit its fascinating painting up a figure you've sculpted yourself, you know exactly where everything is, and what it's meant to be. You also haven't got much grounds for complaint either!

Its been slow progress in the last week as "real life" took over for a while. However the drummer is now complete and the rest all partially finished, with smiling faces beaming out asking to be completed.

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.



Saturday, 14 June 2008

Something Different

Just for interest, I've taken a few shots of a figure I sculpted and cast a while ago, but using one of the same basic dollies that I subsequently used to create the French. The unit is Lord Rawdon's Volunteers of Ireland from the AWI period, again created to fill a gap that isn't serviced by any of the commercial figure ranges that I like.

The photo's will give you some idea of how the french will look, although hopefully slightly better, as this figure is an older sculpt, and I think I've improved since then.

In best Old School style, this figure is gloss varnished, which unfortunately doesn't help with photography, but you get a good idea anyway.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

It takes two

Decided on reflection it was probably best to do the chasseur and grenadier while I was on a roll, and before I resumed on painting, so here they are.

That's going to be the end of sculpting for a while, I need to get these masters cast up and some units cast and painted, I'll post these up as they get done, but it will probably be a while (too many other distractions)



Sunday, 4 May 2008

Back in Command

A significant delay in progress with sculpting, as I've been sidetracked onto painting for a while. However I've taken a break from that for a couple of days and finished off the next figure, another officer. The swords probably a little bit too thin for effective casting/longevity in lead, but this doesn't matter as I replace these on gaming figures with flattened paper clips, which are much stronger than lead in such dimensions.

This little project has now produced a fusilier, drummer, standard bearer and two officers. Sufficient now to start producing units, hurrah. I think the next couple of figures will be simple conversions of the fusilier into a Chasseur and Grenadier in the same pose.

I'll post again, once I've done these, might be a while, depending on progress on the painting front!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Flying the Flag

Firstly thanks for the feedback on the big issue, namely the with/without sculpted lace debate, in the end I went without and I think this was the right direction. Anyway, its been a long time since the last post, which is probably how things will continue from now on. The original intention of the Blog was to show how to sculpt and make miniatures, and I hope this has largely been achieved.

A few kind souls did however indicate that they would like to see the other sculpts as they are completed, and to that end I shall continue to put up some photo's as each one is finished. So without further ado, here is the next edition, a standard bearer/ensign or Sous-lieutenant as the french would say!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Opinions Sought

Bit of a dilemma with the drummer. I've basically finished the figure, however I'm not sure about how much of the lace I want to add to the sculpt, as opposed to just painting this on the final figures. At present I've added the shoulder "swallows nests" or whatever you like to call them, but not the lace running down the sleeves. I'm a bit concerned that if I do this it will make the figure a bit clunky. After all in "real life" this would not have been raised up, which it will be, at least to some extent if I add it to the sculpt. Doing this however would make it a lot easier and more consistent to paint. The nub of this dilemma is the old school vs new style figure debate, and this is a good illustration of this point in action. New style would have all this sort of thing in high relief making it easy to pick out, but it would be an artificial look and the figure could potentially look like a gorilla, though hopefully not! Old style figures either wouldn't have it, or it would be very lightly "etched" on. Not sure how to go on this one, interested in people's views, do you think I should add or not, some photos attached to get an idea of how he looks presently.