Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Retrospective

2016 was yet another busy year for me.  I felt like I really hit my painting stride this year, cranking out the figures while not sacrificing quality.  I finished 1,821 figures this year, or about five figures per day.  Not too shabby!

Virtually all my painting (more than 90%) was done for Glenn's massive commission.  I did finish up some figures for my gaming buddy Kevin as well, and I was able to paint a few figures for myself.

My 2016 totals were:

54mm Foot: 1
28mm Foot: 64
28mm Mounted: 42
15mm Foot: 1260
15mm Mounted: 416
15mm Guns: 38

For My Collections:
28mm WWII Germans, 28 infantry
28mm WWI Germans, 8 infantry
28mm Saxons: 4 infantry
54mm Romans, 1 infantry (painted alongside my daughter)
15mm Napoleonic Spanish, 34 cavalry
15mm Napoleonic Russians, 32 infantry

For Commissions:
15mm Napoleonic Austrians, 546 foot, 122 horse, 13 guns
15mm Napoleonic Russians, 682 foot, 258 horse, 25 guns
15mm Napoleonic Prussians, 2 horse
28mm Napoleonic British, 24 foot, 42 horse

My Analogue Hobbies scoring system total for the year was 5,086 points, a 13% improvement from last year.  I was also able to complete a few scale models, including my first ever aircraft and a large diorama.

All in all, 2016 was one of my most productive years.

All of that commission work has had one goal in mind: to fund a hobby room for myself.  I will be tearing down my old garage and replacing it with a new garage, 960 square foot gaming room, and another 480 square feet of basement storage.  The permits came through the week before Christmas.  All the bids are in, and my wife and I have chosen a contractor.  As soon as the temperatures rise, we will break ground!

So 2017 should see me finish my massive Napoleonics commission.  It should also see me moving in to a gigantic new gaming space!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

28mm World War I Germans

The Great War has always fascinated me.  When I was a boy, I used to volunteer at the retirement home my church ran.  I spent most of my time there just talking with the residents, many of whom were lonely and really needed someone to talk with.  Two of the men I talked with were American soldiers in the war, and I spent many hours listening to their stories.  I vividly recall one man's description of a two day German barrage.

My own great grandfather was an American cavalryman in the war.  When his unit shipped to France, they left their horses behind and trained as infantry.  He was in the 32nd Infantry Division and fought in the Second Battle of the Marne and the Meuse Argonne Offensive.  I never knew him, but I have several photos of him looking dashing in his uniform.  I also have his M1903 Springfield, an unusual variant that had a stripped down stock for the cavalry.  It is a surprisingly accurate weapon, and I can routinely knock over soda bottles at 150 yards with just the peep sight.

I have long wanted to game World War I at the tactical level, but I have not ever found rules that worked for me.  That changed when Too Fat Lardies released their Great War Chain of Command supplement in one of their specials.  I picked up a dozen packs of Great War Miniatures' American infantry, and when I have time to paint for myself, that will be one of the first projects I tackle.

A couple of years ago I traded some painting for a LARGE haul of 28mm figures from Glenn Drover.  He had a few odds and ends of World War I figures in that lot, and these Foundry Germans are the first I have put my brush to.  I tried a couple of techniques on these that I usually save for 1/35 figures, such as oil and ink washes.  I am pretty happy with how these turned out.

These will probably be my last painted figures of 2016.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Giant Commission -- More Casualties

Before I pack up Glenn's army and send it on its way, I had a few extra casualty markers to paint up.

Austrian infantry casualties

Austrian cavalry casualties

These are French figures, mostly chasseurs a cheval, with a quick painting conversion.  I think they turned out pretty good.

Russian cavalry casualties

Once again these are French figures, four dragoons and two cuirassiers.  I trimmed the horsehair from helmets as much as I could to make them look like Russians.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Giant Commission -- Complete Russian Army

It took seven months, but this big army is complete!  Glenn has at least a base for every regiment in the Russian army.

Line Infantry







Cuirassiers and Horse Artillery

Foot Artillery

Russian Guard

Emperors at Austerlitz

Emperors at Leipzig

This is the largest army I will paint for Glenn.  There are a total of 682 foot, 246 mounted, and 25 guns.  I have a few odds and ends to paint up for Glenn's French and Austrians, then on to the Prussians!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Napoleonic Spanish Cavalry

I am in the middle of basing up Glenn's enormous Russian army.  This means lots of little pauses while I wait for glue or paint to dry.  I took advantage of those breaks to paint up some figures for myself, the first figures I have painted for myself this year!

I have long wanted to expand my Peninsular War collection.  I have all the major pieces I need to game most battles: British of all arms, Portuguese infantry, Spanish infantry, and the assorted French allies.  I decided to tackle a couple of units of Spanish cavalry so I could tackle Talavera.  A quick order to Eureka, and I was ready to go!

My scenario calls for a regiment of mixed Spanish light cavalry.  I decided to paint all the figures as the Voluntarios de España Cazadores.  As with all Spanish cavalry uniforms, some of the colors here required conjecture.  Still, I think the unit looks plausible enough.

The other Talavera scenario calls for a large regiment of Rey Line Cavalry.  This was an easier unit to find uniform information for, and I think the details here are spot on.  I cribbed a bit from JJ's Wargames Blog.

It was nice to paint for myself, as I don't sweat a little overpainting here or there, and I generally skip a few steps.  These 34 figures took only about 8 hours to paint.  I cranked them out in three days while waiting for glue washes on Glenn's flocking to dry!

The bases are all Litko with 1" frontage and 1.25" depth.  I glued Wargames Accessories metal bases to the bottom so they will stick to my magnetic transport sheets and sabot trays.  The Rey Regiment's flag is from Warflag with some hand painted touchups on the crest and the fringed edges.

Painting up all of Glenn's Russians inspired me, so I also picked up a few regiments worth of 1805 Russians.  I have a grand plan to play three linked Austerlitz scenarios, and if I live long enough, I will do it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Giant Commission -- Emperors

First up is a base I had forgotten to photograph with the rest of the Russian guard cavalry.  These are the Guard cossacks.

Glenn wanted some high command stands for Austerlitz and Leipzig.  These will be large vignettes with Alexander I of Russia, Francis II of Austria, and Frederick Wilhelm II of Prussia.

Russian Aides de Camp, Alexander I

Austrian Aides de Camp, Austrian officers

Russian officers, Austrian officers

Francis II, Prussian ADC, Frederick Wilhelm II

Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes the painting of the Russian army.  I will spend the next week or two basing and packing all the troops.  I will post pictures of the whole army, and then the blog will likely be quiet for a while.

I started this beast in May.  Since then I have painted 682 foot figures, 246 mounted figures, and 25 guns, all to the highest standard.  This was the largest army I will paint for Glenn.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Giant Commission -- Russian Guard Cavalry

I am very close to finishing this army.  These guard cavalrymen are the last fighting figures in the force.  I just have a couple of command stands left to go.

Dragoons of the Guard

Mounted Guards Regiment

Life Guards Regiment

Hussars of the Guard