Sunday, July 20, 2014

They don't look too flash yet but...

Over the last couple of weeks I have been putting together the first 8 battalions of what I hope will be about 15 battalions of Pre-1808 Spanish. Actually I have dirtied up the figures by adding grey to the white coats and changing the colours of the trousers of a few of the figures. They are still a long way from finished and the grenadiers especially will take an age to just have their bearskin caps painted. Even then they will not look anything like the masterpieces which have been displayed on the Hat website.  These figures have been a real pleasure to paint in spite of the trepidations I had before about painting figures which were going to be predominantly white. I did manage to put a couple of flags upside down though but I am too lazy to change them at the moment. Once I have finished the static grass I will post another photo. I guess that will be another week away.

In the meantime we are just hunkering down for a few weeks as the shittiest part of winter rolls over the island. Hopefully soon the blossom should start and the days will be noticeable longer and hopefully a little warmer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Spanish Are On Their Way!

So for the last week and a bit I have spent my free time cross legged with my back to the fire in the lounge painting my Spanish. I started off by base coating them black which was a pretty silly thing to do since the uniforms were predominantly white. Anyway, after about three additional layers of white enamel the uniforms were back to the colours that they should have been in the first place. The weather down south has been pretty tolerable but traditionally in the month and a bit after the shortest day we are inclined to get the worst of the winter. Anyway, the fist four battalions are on their way and the next four are already based. I am planning on painting 10 battalions of line and two of light in the nest couple of months. This coming weekend they should be (at the least the first four) presentable enough for a photo. With the Spanish painted the next plan should be to get some cavalry and artillery to support then as they do battle with General Dupont.  The problem is that Hat haven't produced any and I don't think that there are any in the pipeline...

Friday, July 4, 2014

"Realism" verses Idealism

In my world of toy soldiers it is always summer. The grass on the bases therefore is always a verdant green - no matter where the soldiers are marching. I understand that in the middle of summer in Spain the grass would probably be a lot sparser and would be burned into a less attractive colour by the Mediterranean sun and winds however - not in my world. When I look at my soldiers I want to see them in an ideal way. The grass they get to walk on is what I would be walking on during a New Zealand summer and the uniforms the figures show are all clean, bright and new.  In fact in all the years of my painting I have never had the courage to paint dirt on the clean breeches of any figure - I've thought about it but I just can't bring myself to "despoil" the figures just to make them a little more realistic.  The result of this is that all of my figures have a parade ground look to them - nothing out of place and all pretty generic.

This brings me to my current set of figures. So the Spanish primarily had white uniforms. Will I use Humbrol white enamels for the figures? Will I go out on a limb and paint OFF-white for the figures? Realistically the Spanish wouldn't have looked all that pretty on the field because they were issued with uniforms once every 30 months. But... can I stand to open a box off figures and see DIRT represented on them? What would Sigmund Freud have thought about the dilemma I am facing now?

Wait, I think a dead poet had something to say about painting toy soldiers...

Truth is beauty and beauty and beauty is truth
That is all you need to know... yada yada.

Oh fuck it. They'll all be clean and bright.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Spanish Army Arrives!

These dudes will fit into my line and light battalions.

The meat and potatoes of the Spanish forces

Very cute mini-boxes which hold 32 figures
My earliest attempt at a command figure patiently waits for his army to come out of the boxes and deal to the French at Bailen.
Just when the crappiest part of winter hits the South of the South I finally got the new Hat releases of their Spanish Napoleonics. I bought four boxes of Fusiliers and two each of Light,Grenadiers and Command. When I opened the boxes I was really impressed with the level of sculpting. Hat seems to be really hitting its straps at the moment. I think they will be on a par with Zvezda pretty soon.

The plan s to make three regiments each with three battalions for the line like this...

F F F  F F F
F F F  F F F 
G G G G G G 
G G G C C C 

That will be for the first battalion because the grenadiers hung out in the depot battalion.

There are two other battalions which make the regiment....

F F F F F F 
F F F F F F 
F F F F F F 
F F F C C C 

This gives me at least three regiments and four battalions of lights.  Cool little addition to any Peninsular battle list.

More to follow as the weekend starts and I prepare for the winter painting extravaganza!