Saturday, 20 May 2017


I have had this, my first unit of Vikings, finished for more than a week, but only in the last couple of days have I had the time to complete the bases.

There is another batch the same size as this well under way and another unit of Saxons ready to be assembled.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Russian Napoleonic Peasants (2)

Last night I completed the last few figures of this second unit of Napoleonic peasants, from the Perry Miniatures Russian range.

This is the last of the Russian winter dress figures  I am doing, although I do have one small unit of Imperial Guard Chasseurs to finish the Retreat from Moscow collection.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

More Russian Jägers

Last night I finished the second (and final) unit of Russian jägers in winter dress.

Again these are the Perry figures with the addition of an officer from the plastic line infantry command sprue.

I have just another six peasant infantry to do now to complete the Russians in winter dress. They will be finished by the week's end.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Dark Age Saxon Infantry

Three words that I never thought would be seen to describe part of my collections - Dark Ages Infantry, because at heart I am a horse and musket man and it was my intention to pretty much stick to the 19th century. But here we are with with a unit of Saxon Thegns.

The figures are from the Gripping Beast plastics range. There will be another unit of Thegns and two of Viking Hirdmen. They will be joined in time by a couple of units of warriors and some archers. This project has been inspired after watching all four seasons of "Vikings" pretty much back to back over the last few weekends and a desire to create some sort of adventure game around the series. There is an ulterior motive, not for discussion here, that might become clearer as this mini project develops.

Initially I was going to base them all on individual bases, but they just didn't look right to me - they were just spaced too far apart so I kept with my usual 50mm diorama bases, with five figures to a stand.

So here they are, set against of the background of the Dark Ages building posted last week.



Saturday, 6 May 2017

As the Boys from Monty Python would say...

...and now for something completely different.

These three Dark Ages buildings are a part of a new project that will take shape over the next few weeks.

The first is a plain A frame structure with sod roof. The basic form was simply a cardboard form, over which I glued matchsticks as the base timber structure and then a pieces of twigs from the garden as framing. The sod roof was created by covering the cardboard with foamboard with one face of the card cut off, to give it an irregular surface, and the edge were carved into shape. The whole roof was then coated with PVA and a coarse sand was applied. After the roof was painted I added some flock, grass tufts and sisal tufts.

The second structure is a pretty standard thatched building. Again the form is card covered with matchsticks. The roof is carved foamboard covered with a finer sand.

The third is a meant to be a farm house with a barn attached. To give it some real interest I created an odd bend in the structure and used a mix of matchsticks and sand on the outer surface. The thatched part of the roof was made from carved foamboard and sand, while the wooden roof was made of matchsticks.

And so there is the beginning of a village. There is much more to come here yet.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

St Petersburg Dragoon Regiment

Today this freshly fitted out regiment of Napoleonic Russian Dragoons marched off the painting table.

This is the first of two dragoon regiments - the second was ordered just this morning - and I must admit it is nice to be painting troops in summer dress again before I launch back into the last couple of units in winter gear.

I have always liked the Russian dragoon uniform, but last time I painted Russian dragoons was probably twenty five years ago and they were in 15mm, for three divisional strength armies that I painted for sale - sadly those armies met a very messy end...they were sold to a chap who reputedly had an affair and when his wife found out she put the figures on the floor and stomped all over them.

These are Perry Miniatures 28mm figures will not meet that fate. The regiment consists of one command pack two charging packs and one shouldered sabre pack to get the right mix in the line. As with all the Perry figures they have great character - the charging figures in particular are leaning forward in the saddles, stretching with sabres pointing. The standard will be added in a day or two.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

East African Garrison Post

Today I put the finishing touches to the last of the European structures for my East African building set.

This is intended as a German garrison post or Bomb. I wanted it to contain the regional headquarters building, a barracks, a kitchen, a gatehouse and an observation tower. It has to be entirely enclosed in a high wall. 

The outer wall is a solid white washed surface, but on the inside I  wanted as many different textures as possible. To achieve this mix of textures I chose to give the headquarters building, with its inbuilt observation tower, a stone surface, so after making the cardboard basic shape I covered it entirely with stone face plasticard. The windows were made from plasticard strips. The observation tower was perhaps bigger than it should be, but it was made to have a 50mm by 50mm interior so that a fighting element could fit inside it. The cover over the observation tower was made from matchsticks.

Below, the headquarters buildung before fixing to the main base with the observation tower cover removed.
Above, the headquarters in position with the observation tower cover in place.

The kitchens were built open to the front. The ovens and worktable were detailed using plasticard off cuts.
The barrack room had a stone base with timber and corrugated iron face, giving the right amount of texture.

The gatehouse was the simplest structure with a large wooden door. 


The surface of the courtyard was created by applying a fine sand. By chance the sand I used was black sand from the west coast of the North Island - non-New Zealand residents will not be aware of this, but many of the west coast beaches feature a fine iron sand with a black appearance. The advantage of this black sand that all I needed to do to provide a final finish was to lightly dry brush some light brown over the surface.
Finally to finish the whole model I applied some water stains and some foliage on the outside wall.