Friday, November 16, 2007

20mm Wehrmacht Engineers

More Fantassin figures. German combat engineers and Flamethrowers. My client picked these as AB don't do suitable figures. They weren't much fun to paint, the details were often a bit fudged. I've heard the helmets are a bit square, and they are, but some AB are guilty of that too. The fact that many of the figures are in camo smocks helped to prolong the process of painting.
A number of these guys suffered from really deep eye sockets, and receding chin, both of which were fixed to an extent with greenstuff, but its an annoyance to have to do it at all. The officer pointing is a particularly ugly face, the guy with the demolition grenade has a lot of flash over the left of his face, and though cleaned up still looks a bit rough. Other than that I'm not sure why I dislike these figures, because objectively they aren't that different from AB.
The flame thrower teams are actually quite nice figures, the leaf camouflage on the operators helmet is well done, and adds a bit of character. I had tried to think of a way to put a flame on the end of the flame thrower, but decided against it in the end as it was too difficult to do without wrecking the nozzle. They look like they are in a fairly static, 'waiting for action' sort of pose anyway.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

20mm Red Army

As mentioned in previous posts I've had to do some 20mm WW2 figures this week. Like some of the Napoleonics they are from Fantassin. These Russians are quite nice figures, though the weapons sometimes suffer from "scrambled eggs" i.e. the details are a bit messy. I can sympathise as weapons are hard to sculpt. Some of the the figures have pointy elfin chins, which gives some an odd look. The man firing the Maxim had no lower jaw at all, so I had to put one in; unfortunately its obscured now behind his weapon.

Fantassin's Maxim crew is quite a nice rendition, apart form the man missing a chin the guy aiming the rifle has a very rough bit where his head meets the but of his rifle. It turned out to be one of those blurred areas that its hard to do anything with without tearing the figure to bits.

Hopefully these figures are the first of many, I've painted loads of Germans for this client, and others and I do fancy doing something different for a while.
Its a pity AB don't do Russians beyond a few tank riders, which are of limited use in wargaming. I am sure many others wait in vain (so far) for their appearance. As far as I know SHQ do nice Russians, though they are a bit smaller than AB. These Fantassin figures are not the equal of AB in quality, but are in size. They are still nice figures, AB is a very high standard to judge others by.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Spanish Napoleonics

Last of the Napoleonics for a while. These are mainly Fantassin with the odd AB figure thrown in. Probably the most interesting unit, with a nice amount of variation, but still looking reasonably like a cohesive battalion. There are a few head swaps done b the customer for even more variety. The Regiment is Principe as far as I recall.

The Fantassin figures fit well with the AB, but they can be picked out. The detail on their muskets is not very crisp, and that makes painting them a bit more difficult, not knowing what exactly is what, given that the detail has been fudged. I have some 20mm Fantassin Soviets on the table at the moment, and they appear to have the same problem. More on those in the next few days.

You'll have noticed that none of these figures are based. The customer wishes to base them, as most customers do in order to keep them consistent with their existing collections. In one way that's a bit of a relief as I really don't like basing, but at the same time it would be nice to see them completely finished. Nice basing can improve mediocre figures and bad basing can ruin the look of nicely painted figures. Without the miracle of basetex, my life would be much harder.

Overall these guys were probably my favourites, though the variety did prolong the process of painting. There are some nice characters in there, including a guy with a gituar on his back.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

More Napoleonics

More pictures form my recent Napoleonic commission. Two units of Prussians; one of reservists in grey jackets, one of Landwehr in blue coats. Nearly all ABs, nice figures, a bit simpler than the French, but their caps require careful attention when free handing the coloured bands around them. Landwehr have some nice touches, like bare feet and clogs on some figures.

It's not all good though; recurring problem with these figures is the weakness of the bayonets. Most figures without them had them snap off in the post on their way to me. Some were barely hanging on and had to be removed, some were repairable with greenstuff. Repairing figures is an unwanted distraction, and doesn't bode well for their actual use.
I suppose its a fault of the sculpting being too accurate for once, the thin attachment of a bayonet does not scale down properly and its a part than needs proper reinforcing. Its a particular problem for these Prussians as they had their bayonet permanently fixed; they can't be passed off as being in their scabbards.

It is worth thickening up the attachments as the minor cosmetic blemish this involves is much better than the loss of the bayonet, or, even worse, it becoming bent.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Unusually for a professional painter I had never painted any Napoleonic figures until recently. Naps are one of the most popular periods, and indeed one of the most colourful. A painter's dream (or nightmare). I was asked to paint a selection of Spanish, Prussian, and unsurprisingly, French figures from AB and Fantassin, '18mm' in size, which it seems are 15mm figures who ate their crusts. If they grow enough a whole new scale is born.

It was a pretty tough job, these are finely detailed figures, with plenty to work on, but they reward careful painting. Don't think I'd like to be painting them every day, but the provided a break from the steady stream of WW2 stuff I've been doing. Now I need to get back to WW2 to give me a break from shako plumes and cuff linings.

French are the fanciest of the group, the customer wants to decide which figures go into which centre companies so their pompoms have been left black. The flank companies, the voltigeurs and grenadiers have all their finery on. I believe these figs were made by Eureka who produce AB now, intended to be French for the 1815 campaign.

Starting out

I've started this blog to act as a point of contact for my painting and sculpting. Though I have painted professionally for a couple of years now I am more excited by the idea of sculpting as I find it more creative.
I will try to keep this blog updated with news of projects that I am currently working on