Monday, 31 August 2015

Call to Arms Cuirassiers complete

The past few weeks have revealed that - much to my own astonishment - I can actually paint 54mm Napoleonic figures quite quickly and to a tolerable standard.  As I indicated in my earlier post, I have been putting off painting these chaps for quite a while but now I'm not sure what I was worried about.

 With this lot galloping at you the paintwork will be the least of your troubles!
Speaking of paint, Col was asking what blue I use.  No.22 Mid Blue from the miniature Paints range.  It may be way too pale but somehow it looks right.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

A pain in the cuirass?

This gaggle of A Call To Arms 1/32 cuirassiers has been hanging about undercoated for a few months now.  They have been sidelined by my tacking quicker 'wins' in terms of churning out stuff for the Waterloo game but this week the time finally came for them to confront a loaded paintbrush.
Being such nice figures painting proceeded quite swiftly and I hope to finish them over the weekend.

Friday, 28 August 2015

I feel like I win when I lose - Waterloo visit 3

From Mont St. Jean we drove next to Hougoumont.  Newly open to the public, the ticket bought at the visitor centre also covers admission to this site.  Above - the track leading from Hougoumont to Mont St Jean.  The tall crops and sloping ground as as per 1815.
A distant view of the Lion Mound.
Back in the courtyard at Hougoumont, the chapel and a bit of wall are all that remains of the main chateau building.
The other buildings survive and are in good shape after a recent restoration.

The area contains many memorials - including this one to the French troops who fell during the repeated assaults on the farm buildings.
The view north.
The recent statue commemorating the defence of Hougoumont.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Horsing around

When I noticed a post on the Funny Little Wars Yahoo Group offering some slightly down at heel but cheap figures I happily speculated the required tenner.  A package soon arrived from Neil P containing not only the apparently random selection above...
...but also these promising looking chaps.  They mostly seem to be Timpo figures, several with head swaps.  Clearly of some vintage, a fair bit of repair work was required, so I set to with the surgical PVA.  While that was drying I addressed the issue of horses - the package had contained only one.
Happily I had a load of these Supreme horses - which appear to be from the Italeri moulds.  Actually I have riders for them all but the figures from Neil looked much more interesting.  I can now report that all of the troopers in the second photo above have been re-horsed and are ready to take the field at Waterloo next month.  Photos soon, and thanks again to Neil!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

a weekend of painting

I managed to get a fair bit of time to paint at the weekend.  The focus is still very much on churning out figures for the Waterloo game next month.  The first two photos were taken on Friday evening...
 ...showing a variety of odds and ends, including these old Airfix French Guards.
 Among the figures progressed were these command figures from the Irregular range and the mounted officer from the Italeri command set.

I'll post photos soon of some other recently completed figures just as soon as the varnish dries.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Couldn't escape if I wanted to - Waterloo visit 2

Having staggered up all 226 steps of the Lion Mound we were able to survey the area.  I was a particular delight to me to see the La Haye Sainte farm - star of stage, screen and Airfix catalogue.  The view beyond is to the southeast - no sign yet of either Grouchy or Blucher.
Near LHS are a pair of memorials -  the Gordon Monument (left) and the King's German Legion Memorial (right).  More on the latter later.
Though the farm has sprouted a couple of newer buildings it is still instantly recognisable.
The horse boxes and Renault van weren't in the film.
I could look at it all day, but we must press on.  
Looking sough to Belle Alliance.
The viewing gallery on the mound includes this handy map.

Down that track lies Hougoumont - our next destination.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

I was defeated, you won the war - Waterloo visit 1

I'm the one on the right.  With the impressive hat.

As Waterloo fever grips at least one of the inmates of Megablitz Towers, I took the logical step last month of visiting the actual battlefield.  This was done as a day trip from London in the excellent company of Jack and Bertrand - the latter having made all of the travel arrangements.  My part consisted of driving to the capital the previous evening and enjoying as best I could the evening rush hour.

At 0355* we set off from London and drove to Dover where with very little waiting we were shoved onto the next available ferry.  After a float about we were soon trundling through France and then Belgium with your humble correspondent at the helm of Bertrand's suitably Gallic conveyance.

On arrival at Waterloo, being hardened military history enthusiasts, we at first ignored the battle and had some lunch.  Or it might have been breakfast.  Who knows?

Then it was on the the sparkly new visitor centre.  Now I'm not generally a fan of such centres but this one is a delight.  Built underground - presumably at vast expense - it doesn't mess up the view and contains much which the visitor may ogle.
Seen from atop the notorious Lion Mound, the round building houses the Panorama, while the rectangular hole in the ground and the 'trench' between it and the road marks the location of the visitor centre.
 Among the exhibits is one of Dr. Guillotine's finest.  The 'story' starts with the Revolution and helps put the battle in it's historical context.
 Clearly a man with a lot to say for himself.  He'll want watching.
 My appalling photos fail to do them justice, but you'll have to take my word for it that the uniform collection was pretty impressive.  I'll not insult your knowledge - or reveal my lack thereof - by captioning these photos.

Coming next - the field of battle itself!

* apparently the time 3.55 occurs twice each day.  I refer here to 3.55am