samedi 24 février 2018

Back from the past: 24th Prussian line infantry

After the disastrous Napoleonic campaign in Russia (1812) , the armies of Prussia reorganized, and many men were called to arms. The Prussian uniforms had become very different from those worn in 1806, as modern as possible. But it was impossible for the industry to produce the regulation equipment (with blue jacket) for every man, so many units had to wear grey reserve uniforms.

This is the situation I wanted to represent here, using the Hät 8052 set Napoleonic Prussian Reserve Infantry. In the picture below, you can see two reserve infantrymen from the 24th line regiment, following an officer. On the left of the picture, we can see a NCO (Revell mini) who could get a blue uniform, probably an experimented soldier from another unit.

I painted these men more than ten years ago, and the pictures were sent to Hät for their website (they are still there, I checked this morning :)). For those interested by painting techniques, you will notice that I didn't use any wash at that time, but underlined every surface with very dark brown paint - it was a very long process :)
Some closer views:

As most Napoleonic painters, I use the excellent site by Alexis as a reference for the waterloo campaign:

The box art was another great painting by Giuseppe Rava.

Hope you like these (not so) old minis :)

mercredi 21 février 2018

Musician of the month: Swiss drummer, 15th century

Remember my challenge, to paint a musician every month ? I explained here what happened in 2017. In 2018, I'm in for another attempt. This is the musician for February: a Swiss drummer from the 15th century, when the Swiss confederation was at war with Burgundy.

You will recognize a drummer from an Ultima Ratio set, UR008 Swiss Infantry (Bern) released en 2017.
For those who appreciate Fantasy, you will notice that this guy might also be used as a drummer in a Empire army from the city of Talabheim (from the Ancient World created by GW).

So this year, two musicians so far:
- January: Ancient Egyptian drummer
- February: Medieval Swiss drummer

For March, I would like to paint a man from another era, and another music instrument. Will you guess ?

dimanche 18 février 2018

Some more info about Wolfens

In the previous post, I showed a conversion of a Wolfen in 1/72, and asked everyone to guess how I did it.
Only a few minutes later, Paul from Paul's Bods gave the right answer:
"The Body is a Caesar Orc, and the head, one of those Zombie dogs you painted a while back".
The knowledge of Paul concerning minis or history is phenomenal ! Game over :)

1. The conversion

Here are the basic elements of this simple conversion:

orc + zombie dog + green stuff

The minis, before priming:

And after:

You will note that dog head still look like the zombie he was, because at that moment, I didn't know whether I would paint a living or a zombie Wolfen, or some sort of demon... one of my future projects would be to paint a demon army inspired by the art of Wayne Barlowe... but that's another story).

I eventually made a decision, and here is the result:

2. The original Wolfens

The Wolfens are a creation by Rackham, a French miniature and games production company that was active between 1997 and 2010. Their main miniature game was Confrontation, a skirmish game in a fantasy world called Aarklash, in which several people fought and allied with one another. One of these factions are the Wolfen, giant half-wolf half-human creatures.

Here are some artworks representing Wolfens:

Artist: Paul Bonner

Artist: Paul Bonner

And some of the minis, painted by the Rackham studio:

The minis I converted are rather different from the original: they are much smaller, compared to humans figures in the same scale, they wear boots, they have no tail (I am definitely not a sculptor), they are not as dynamic... but it was fun to do, and to paint :) The only think I will change on the next one will be the painting of the eyes, because the pupil on my mini is too round and too big.

Some more photos to compare the sizes:
Left:1/72 man from the Redbox Landsknechts, right: converted Wolfen

Left: 32mm man of Alahan, right: Wolfen of Ilyia

If you are curious about the Rackham miniatures range and want to know more, you will find below a link to a blog that has collected many pictures of Confrontation figures, ordered by faction:

 Thanks for reading :)

samedi 17 février 2018

Conversion: a Wolfen in 1/72

I have always been a fan of Rackham figures. Do you know them ? I hope so :)

Rackham was a french company who created the best 25, 28, no 32+ mm fantasy figures more than ten years ago. The concepts were marvelous, and the minis themselves even better, so full of details that you had to think twice before beginning to paint. And of course, the studio painters were so talentuous that is was even intimidating :) One of their most impressive minis were the Wolfens, some giant half-wolves half-men savage creatures, with very dynamic poses.

I won't show you one of these Wolfens (I have a few to paint, but not enough time, and not enough skill, sorry), but  I wanted to convert some 1/72 plastic minis into some sort of Wolfmen, inspired by the Rackham concepts.

Here you are what I achieved to do after the first attempt. Will you guess what I used for this conversion ?

The answer in the next post :)


dimanche 11 février 2018

Sometimes I paint Napoleonics

Not much to say this time. A few more men for my Napoleonic Middle Guard unit, together with the musicians painted last year. In this scene, they are walking through a small village, somewhere in Europe.


We can also see a Cuirassier riding in front of them.

Middle Guard by Hät, Musicians and Cuirassier by Strelets.

samedi 3 février 2018

Late Crusaders: Maronite auxiliary archers

This year, I've decided to complete the armies I've started to paint in 2017 or earlier. The more I read l'Art de la Guerre, the more I wish to play with these rules, so I need different armies to test most situations. One of the most epic scenes is the charge of units of heavy cavalry, so I need an army with knights. Since I painted a few Templars for DBA last year, I decided to paint a Later Crusader army.

I prepared a list for a 100 pts army, the closest format to DBA. Here it is:

  • General (1 knight + 1 standard bearer + 1 monk): 5 pts
  • Templar knights (6 knights): 26 pts - 4 painted, see here
  • Crusader knights (6 knights): 20 pts - 2 painted, see here
  • Turcopoles with bow (2 horsemen): 6 pts - 1 painted, see here
  • Bedouins (2 horsemen): 6 pts
  • Sergeants on foot (8 men): 16 pts - 4 painted, see here
  • Sergeants with crossbows (4 men): 7 pts - 4 painted, no pictures
  • Maronite archers (4 men): 10 pts
  • Light infantry with bows (2 men): 4 pts
There is no manufacturer who released Maronite archers, but the Andalusian archers  are close enough in my eyes. I also painted a couple of figures from other manufacturers to add some variety in the poses.

Here is my unit:

 Not as impressive as the knights of course, but they will be highly valuable auxiliaries.
Some close-ups:

These figures come from the El Cid Andalusian infantry by Hät (set 8168). They are perfect as Maronites, but two poses are a bit short, hence:

The firing archer comes from the Italeri Saracen warriors (set 6010), He is rather close to the previous ones. The other one comes from the Strelets Anglo-Saxons before battle (M050). He would be perfect in my eye if he was equipped with a composite bow - let's say that he was compelled to use an occidental one :)
If I find a better mini for the fourth Maronite archer, the Saxon archer will downgrade to light infantry. Any suggestion ?