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!

Friday, 30 December 2016

French Guard Horse Artillery - 28mm Perry

Horse Artillery of the Guard. Perry Figures again.

The figure in the back row 4th from left (photo below) is the same as the figure with his Colpack on the ground next to him  (back row 5th from left), except that I stuck his Colpack on his head (bit of cutting and filing).

Ending with a 6 pounder style 'bang' then, that's the last post for me this year. :) 

Thanks for looking and for all your comments and encouragement, and a happy new year to all!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

French Guard Cavalry Part 1 - Perry 28mm

Here's the first units of my Guard Cavalry completed. From front to back are Grenadiers a Cheval, Empress Dragoons, and Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard. 

I encountered a few dilemmas with these. First, ideally I would have preferred full dress versions, (which means a bit more white, tassels, and plumes). However, I sent an e-mail enquiry and Alan Perry said they wouldn't be doing full dress versions. Damn. But as the uniform is still pretty colourful even without the extra bits I thought they would be good enough, and better than alternatives at present (such as Front Rank, which while characterful in their own way, are a bit large and chunky in comparison to my other Perry figures unfortunately). Other manufacturers take note though, there seems to be a lack of Perry compatible French Guard in full dress...! 

Another dilemma was painting one of the distinctive features of these regiments - the 'Aurore' colour on saddle cloth, braid and so on. This is a tricky French colour - 'dawn', referring to the orange, pinky, yellow colour of the sky at dawn. Though as I notice, that could be quite a few colours...

Here's a painting showing one interpretation of it. Looking on the internet you will find paintings, figures and re-enactors with a whole range of orange, pinky, yellow or gold colours.

Feeling pretty sure that just yellow wouldn't do, I went with a 50/50 mix of orange and pink, highlighted with golden yellow. These are Vallejo paints (and their "Heavy Orange" would also be a good base I think). This method also suited my aim of going a bit lighter to help correct for scale factors, for reasons I've described previously

I also asked my wife what she would call the final colour, and she said "orange", which reassured me that the colour was not too yellow and distinctive enough from that seen on other units.

Onto some close ups. Here's the Grenadiers a Cheval of the Guard. Nicknamed "The Gods", "The Giants", or "The Big Boots", by the rest of the army.  These are the "Old Guard" of the Guard Cavalry, wearing tall black bearskins and mounted on big black horses.

Coat colour is Vallejo Prussian Dark Blue highlighted with Vallejo Dark Blue. (The photos make colours a bit lighter than in real life.)

All flags are GMB, and you get all the flags for these three regiments in a single pack.

Next, here are the Dragoons of the Guard, also known as the Empress Dragoons in honour of Empress Josephine. They were similarly equipped to the Grenadiers a Cheval, but with brass helmet with horse hair mane and simulated leopard skin cover.

Coat and saddle cloth colour is a dark green/black green highlighted with Vallejo Deep Green.

And lastly (for now), the Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard. Another dilemma with these. I wanted them with their pelisses and wrote another e-mail to Perry enquiring if they came with them. Alan replied again and said no as they are in campaign dress so wouldn't have worn Pelisses except instead of the Dolman (jacket) on occasion. I said I'd like to have a go at converting to full dress versions, and he very kindly supplied the extra pelisses. Unfortunately I rapidly gave up on the idea of converting to full dress due to the challenge exceeding my skill... but I decided to keep the pelisses anyway, especially as they were glued on with epoxy glue already, ha. As my wife wisely said, they are Guard and can wear them if they want!

Coat and saddlecloth colour is a dark green highlighted with Vallejo German Camouflage Bright Green.

Pelisses add a bit more colour to the uniform and help confirm their Guard status!

So that's the first half of the Guard Cavalry done. Arguably a few other details could be varied/corrected, e.g. I think saddle cloths of some musicians/officers could be red. Not sure about the white Colpack on the Chasseur a Cheval musician either, but that seems to have been a thing (though not for the Grenadiers a Cheval musician).  Also not sure top of Colpacks were red (the bag thing in full dress definitely was), though I've seen them done this way before. I might go back and add more detail to braid too. But never mind, I'm pretty happy with them all despite the troubles encountered and that's the important thing!

Thanks for looking! Still to come in an eventual Part 2 will be Polish and Dutch Lancers, and the Garde d'Honneur. Weirdly Perry do actually make a full dress variant for these lancers (and Garde d'Honneur will be made from a plastic Hussar set), so these next units will be even more colourful!