Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gribeauval 6-inch howitzer

All my artillery and their crews are from Front Rank miniatures.

French Field Guns

A Gribeauval 12-pdr field gun

You can't really have a waterloo game with out taking the mud into account. I used this muddy technique while painting up my Roman baggage train and liked it, so I thought I would use it on the French field guns.
The mud was very easy to achieve, I simply painted PVA glue onto the wheels and flocked them. I then painted them brown before the glue had time to dry this way the brown paint and glue mix while still wet. As PVA glue drys shiny and wet looking, it makes ideal fresh mud.

Waterloo men

A heavy nights rain turns the soft ground to mud as Artillery crews work feverishly to keep up a steady fire on the enemy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

French Voltigeur

A small framed, agile Voltigeur (vaulter) skirmishes a head of the advancing French column.

I love drawing voltigeurs more than any other Infantryman, I think Its the colours of these Light Infantry that catch my imagination. Like many a Napoleonic war gamer I got my first taste for the era by watching the TV series 'Sharpe'. After first hearing the term 'voltigeur' on the programme, I struggled to get a good look at them and I suppose my fascination grew from there. All my drawing are done from memory while I pass the time on the train coming home from London, so there may be mistakes in the details. It's a very tricky era as far as uniforms go.

French Line Infantry dipped, varnished and finished

First six finished and the next batch drying.
I finally cracked the French blue using the dip, for It proved a real tricky colour to get right. The base colour was foundry's French Blue 'B' from their Napoleonic range. Once dipped it went a slight shade darker. Now comes the trick, rather than highlight with the same colour, I went one higher and used the 'C' pot. This created a higher contrast and for the first time the dark blue colour looked shaded. Simple but It took a few goes to get right.

Another Batch

This Battalion has been dipped in the medium 'brown' dip. I think It offers the best all round shading for their colour scheme, with lots of browns and whites.

Before and After

Weather layering or dipping, Napoleonics still eat up the time with their tricky uniform detail.
I am pleased though at getting results I can live with and speeding up the painting process slightly. I set about painting this Battalion in groups of twelve, thinking I could bash through them in a night. However, I soon changed this to groups of six because of the time consuming uniforms. Six allows me to enjoy the painting process more and see results at the end of the night. It's nice with the dip because there's kind of a production line thing going on, when one lot is drying, another lot is being painted and so on. For me It makes painting these tricky fellows a little more enjoyable.

Artillery dipped

An Artilleryman dipped using the strong tone. I was interested to see how the black would shade the white trousers.

Matt Varnished Artillerymen

I was pleased at the way they turned out, the highlight being formed by the white undercoat showing through.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

French Artillery

Here are the rest of the Artillery crew ready to be dipped. Again, I thought I would try something new with these guys and so painted on some mud before the dipping process. The black has been highlighted before hand again and I opted for a lighter blue this time (Foundry French Blue 'C' instead of 'B'). Hopefully this will contrast more with the dip shade and produce better shading. Only time will tell.

French Light Infantry

Artillery Chef de bataillon

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rebasing the 2nd Legere for 'Napoleon'

The last of the Regiments finally gets based onto 40mm x 40mm bases. It worked out quite well with even a few left over to form the skirmish line.

The quick French Regiment test

Not quite ready to leave the ranks of Napoleon yet, I thought I would do a test to dip a Line Regiment quickly. The troops have been sprayed in different base colours and this should make the whole process even quicker and take away the need for a lot of brush work.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Private, 27th Regiment of foot

Here you can see how black stain has shaded the red tunic. I think I have worked out my dip of choice for the rest of the Regiment.

Private dipped with black

I think after seeing how this guy turned out I would have to vote the dark stain the winner between the two. I prefer the shading on the red and it has also done great things with the white and grey trousers. Again I retouched the red to see what it would look like when varnished, but I didn't really need to. It looked great as It was. Also the details on the front of the tunic came out good which i was surprised at, all colours considered, the black dip is the winner for me.

It would be interesting to test it on a French line Regiment with all its whites and blues.

It's only when you look at the figures in macro you notice all the details you've missed and the mistakes. I will go back and paint all the buttons in and try to get the detail on the cuffs to match up. Macro can be a handy tool, once you done one right the others are easy.

I sadly pride myself now on being able to paint French line Infantry without research after painting so many. It has become a real joy to paint them and I don't what to leave them just yet. This is because I know that once I learn another uniform, I'll be off again for years, carried away with red coats and never look back. I think before I leave Napoleon's army I might just try dipping a marching unit of Line Infantry and of course finish those extra Artillery pieces. i hope my findings here are of use to anyone out there hoping to start dipping the dreaded Napoleonic era.
Napoleonic armies look very scary at first but If I can learn them, than any one can...and I mean that.

27th Foot Sargent

Here are some more close ups of the Sargeant. you can see the brown of the mid tone on the close ups, it's works well with his white equipment.