Saturday, 4 August 2007


And sound the "Pas de Charge"!

I have long had an interest in wargaming the Napoleonic era ever since I was ten and my dad gave me some boxes of AIRFIX HO/OO French and British Waterloo plastic miniatures back in the early 1970's. I have been hooked on wargaming ever since. In the 1980's I did a fair amount of 15mm Napoleonic gaming, Mostly Russians and some Austtrians, but I had always felt that 25/28mm did the uniforms the most justice.

When I came to Japan in 1992,I left my gaming buddies (and miniatures!) behind me. It didn't take long to realize that despite being immersed in all that a new job, a new country and a new culture had to offer, old habits die hard and I found myself needing a gaming "fix". So, I took the opportunity to do what I had always wanted to do and start painting up 28mm Napoleonics using the then-new and extremely gorgeous Front Rank 28mm French line Infantry. Just a few infantry to start with, but fifteen years later I find myself with boxes full of French and Russians with some Austrians, Poles, and Bavarians thrown in for good measure.

The Front Rank figures are easy to paint, are incredibly well detailed, and have an extensive range. Some of their more recent offerings are simply amazing. They do have a uniformity of appearance that while not to everyone's taste, is something I like in my battalions. I DO like variety in officers and variation in headgear, however, so I have done a lot of conversions over the years to give the army a "customized" look.

My first battalions were painted using Tamiya paints, which were readily available here in Japan (of course!). The figures were based individually on 20mm x 20mm card stock. I was not happy with the results, as the paints were not really designed for miniatures. Not only that but Japan can be humid- so humid you can almost swim through the air when summer is at its worst. One year it was so wet and humid that I found that the card bases had warped badly in the heat. So I then took the decision to start again from scratch, this time using proper hobby paints and plywood bases. So I ordered some proper craft and hobby paints, ordered some pre-cut 3mm plywood bases from Litko, stripped off the old paint jobs (sniff!) and started again.

The saying goes that "failure to plan is planning to fail", so this time I had a plan. A big one!

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