Saturday, 3 April 2010

Je reviens à la selle!

After visiting some of my favourite blogs out there (just check out the links on the right), and seeing some quite excellent photos of peoples work on Napoleonics, I have been inspired to take up the brush again and work on my long-suffering French.

I managed to do quite bit- by my standards!  I  have been ploughing through the penultimate stand of the 1/28e Regt. Légère- now getting tantalizingly close to completion- and I forced myself to spend some time on painting the ironwork of the 6pdr. gun.

Here are the 3rd. Company so far.  Six figures for this stand.
The soldat on the right is a bit of a departure.  I painted the overcoat a light brown as usual, but this time I gave it an ink wash to give a shaded effect and then went over the highlights again with beige.  

It's hard to tell from the photo, but it came out pretty well; the ink really seemed to "deepen" the colour.   I don't know if that represented much of a saving of time over my usual method, though.  But I'm still experimenting with the effects that inking can produce.

It certainly works well for the hide backpacks, and I'll probably do all the French backpacks with a variety of brown base coats given the Citadel brown ink wash.

Looking ahead, Matt is in the middle of working on his Victrix and Perry British, so it looks like some fun and games in the Peninsular before these boys end up taking on the Russians.  

This is good, in as much as it vindicates my purchase of these some ten years ago.
Just prior to getting married, I splurged on the seven-volume reprint of Sir Charles Oman's classic History of the Peninsular War.  

I should state immediately that this was not the result of some kind of fearful anticipation of the door of opportunity being slammed forever shut afterwards!  Rather, I remember having drooled over the copy in the university library,  Greenhill was only doing a limited edition reprint, and at the time I had more money than sense; so... we wantss it sso bad, my preciousss... 

It was- and remains- a good read. But a few years later, I found myself sending off what few Peninsular British and Portuguese I had off to Roly Hermans in New Zealand (where he certainly put them to good use!), and promptly decided to do forces for the Leipzig campaign instead.  

Part of the reason was simple; I found the British uniforms a pain in the butt to paint with all that lace, and for some reason they just didn't turn my crank in the same way as did the Russians.

The books have been gazing reproachfully down at me from the bookcase ever since, but now that it looks like the Peninsula is an option, I find myself looking at the volumes again for scenario ideas, and to check the orders of battle.  I don't believe the 28e Légère served in Spain (lucky sods!), but the 69e de ligne as well as many other regiments of the 8th Division certainly sent battalions there.   Not that it matters much, as I'm not that much of a stickler about such things.

And of course the Peninsula does give me an excuse to get some of those Perry Dragoons, and for Gen. Bouillon-Cantinat to add glory to the family laurels...(and to add some loot to the coffers!)


DeanM said...

They're looking great; lots of character. Front Rank, I presume? Dean

Robert said...

Thanks, Dean.

Yes, almost all of my French are Front Rank. But I have a box of the Perry plastics as well. They seem to match up in size fairly well, although I'll be putting them in separate units.

Docsmith said...

Good to see you painting again - I like the grungy campaign look. The highlighting the coat over the wash accentuating the folds gives a nice tone depth to it. You'll enjoy the Perrys - they are great to paint!


Iannick said...

I also use Citadel brown ink on the backpacks; quick and easy. One has to find ways to speed up the process!

oh, and great painting, as usual.