Tuesday, June 5, 2018

28mm Great War French and Verdun Battle Report!

It's always nice to see the back side of a painting project, don't you agree? In this case, it's the culmination of a massive amount of batch painting, to the tune of over 50 models at once. These are the Foundry "26mm" late-war French from the Great War period.

Test model in progress. This project was an unusual one in that I was trying not only to get some reasonably historically accurate colours on the models, but also to match 30-odd models that had been painted by another wargamer already. Let me explain... when friend of the Conscripts Glenn S. passed away suddenly in 2015, he left behind a sizeable collection of models in all kinds of scales, painted and unpainted (and in stages of painting, as you might expect). One of Glenn's passions was the Great War, and I was fortunate to be able to purchase his collection of Great War models from his estate. Some were unpainted, but many were painted, including over 30 late-war French in horizon blue.

Unfortunately the exact formula for Glenn's paintwork died with him, and although I had sourced another 50-some castings to make up a viable "army", I was at a bit of a loss as to how to paint them to match. Happily though (and after a bit of a false start) I hopped down to our local GW and chatted with Mark, who made some suggestions to match the horizon blue.

This ended up being a basecoat of Thunderhawk Blue, heavily drybrushed with Celestra Grey, and finished with a slightly diluted Coelian Green wash. Presto - the T'hawk Blue worked well as a base and the greenish hue of Coelian Green shaded it nearly perfectly. Glenn's models are still a half-shade lighter than mine but not enough to really complain about. Here is the proof:
Newly painted at left; Glenn's at right
And here's some more shots of the group:

These are Glenn's paintjobs

To "blood" the new French we set up a Verdun game. It seemed apropos that it was scheduled three times before we finally played.

The scenario had the French attacking the ruined village of Fleury. They had eight turns to roust out the German defenders, who numbered about half of the French force.

The attack started with a gas barrage, which took a few casualties off the Germans, but accidentally decimated a French command section as well!

French infantry make their way across the cratered hellscape.

Captain Lefebvre, the sole Frenchman to make it to the German lines, prepares to sell his life dearly!

Others infiltrated forwards through a communication trench to the German front.

Storming party ready to retake the ruined village!

In the end, despite the French numerical superiority, the attack ended in failure as the Germans held onto the ruined village. C'est la guerre :-|

However, in the true spirit of France, I set up the whole painted army on the terrain for a little impromptu photo session for propaganda purposes. The trench boards are so atmospheric it'd be a shame to let the opportunity go to waste.

I really like the Foundry Great War range, despite its infuriating incompatibility with any other modern range of WW1 models. Fortunately though, the Foundry range is pretty comprehensive - I just realized that I forgot to photograph the two 75mm guns and crew that I'd painted! Zut alors - but perhaps a mini-post of those models will be in the cards for the future.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

House Hawkshroud Imperial knight

I finished my Imperial Knight a few days ago and finally got around to taking some pics. I'm fairly happy with it, though I won't win points for originality. Most Imperial Fist players seem to go with this house for obvious reasons. I tried to resist, but ultimately I preferred the bold look of Hawkshroud compared to the others Houses. Plus, I'm on a roll with yellow!

The decal was modified to add the fist.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Another 28mm Prussian Infantry Unit

Another batch of 28mm Prussians from Wargames Foundry!
Here is a third unit of Prussians for my slowly-accumulating 28mm Franco-Prussian war project.  As with the previous two units, these figures are 28mm castings from Wargames Foundry, spiced up with a flag from GMB.  There are a total of 24 castings in the unit, with 20 deployed together on the main bases, and four individual figures to be used on the table to indicate the unit has put skirmishers forward.
Flag in the command group from GMB
The classic Prussian pose from this period - the great coat wrapped around the body, advancing into the teeth of French Chassepot fire!

Great sculpts by the Perry Twins - an old range now, but still fantastic, and the most complete one out there in 28mm
I really enjoy painting these lovely castings from Foundry - sculpted by the Perry Twins.  But every hobby has its frustrations, and for me the single biggest frustration is applying the black base coat.  This is most efficiently done by spraying it on.  While Vallejo has a very good primer product that you can paint on, I tend to only do that out of desperation when it comes to metal figures, as the primer has a tough time really sticking, and often creates little air bubbles.  A spray can, for all of the negatives, is just SO much faster and more efficient.

Hooped by the spray cans...F****************K!
But spray cans, in addition to stinking and making a mess, have their own challenges, in that every so often, they suddenly go to sh!t and start ruining figures!  This was the case with several figures in this unit, where the black base coat became scabbed and flaky.

Not a texture you can paint with...
On a few of the figures, some careful painting was enough to work around this.  But on several of them it got so bad the primer coat had to be scraped off, and then I had to use less-than-adequate paint-on-primer instead.

...and so it was scraping time...SUPER fun...NOT!
This is SO infuriating.  It usually happens in the change of season, so no doubt there is some aspect of humidity etc to it, but there really wasn't much change in the conditions, so I don't buy that so much.  Some cans are faulty, and there is no way to predict it...man is it frustrating!!! It's bad enough when it is too cold to spray (common in Winnipeg) and then too hot to spray (common in Winnipeg, or at least it used to be), but when a dud can nails you, that's even worse!!

At least you can't tell in the group photo!
Overall I find the "scabbed" figures don't stand out very much - the beauty of using figures in groups! A new spray can is in action, and the normal painting routine has resumed. I am continuing to slowly tackle my large pile of Franco-Prussian lead in the hopes of staging a "Black Powder" game set in the period.  Slow and steady wins the race...but good thing this isn't a race...

I have also noticed that the excellent "Eagles of Empire" now have Turcos on pre-order...so watch for those to appear this spring!!