Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy New Year!

As the title says! Hopefully all reading had a very happy and enjoyable Christmas.

I thought I’d start the New Year off by posting two larger scale busts that – quite shamefully – represent my entire completed painting output for 2013*. I know, I know. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

First down the military catwalk is a 1/10 (c. 200mm… I think?) representation of a Waffen SS grenadier during the Ardennes offensive of late 1944. The resin kit is from Young Miniatures of South Korea, one of a range of excellent busts the company offers from the Second World War and other periods.

Spot the difference...
Initial assembly was reasonably painless; not least because I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and omitted the included belt of machine gun ammunition intended to be draped around the figure’s neck. The cigarette dangling from his mouth was knocked off at some point during at least two separate immersions in Dettol to start the painting again from scratch. Probably just as well. Dangerous habit and all that.

My effort at the very distinctive SS autumn oak leaf pattern on the smock and helmet cover could at the most charitable be described as an approximation. I was wary indeed about attempting a camouflage pattern on what was my very first large scale piece, but yielded to temptation when I saw the kit available in a local hobby shop here in Dublin.

Next up is a slightly smaller 1/15 Napoleonic kit from Nemrod. Big men on big horses, the armoured horsemen of the French cuirassier regiments have always been a personal favourite from this era.

The kit couldn’t be simpler, with the helmet plume the only separate piece. Unsurprisingly, I’ve chosen to represent our gros frère during the Hundred Days campaign. This led to a spot of humming and hawing over the correct facing colours, as each regiment sported different uniform distinctions. I’m eventually satisfied that at least one of the cuirassier regiments at Waterloo had yellow facings, but as ever, I’m open to correction from the more knowledgeable.

I’ve played it very safe with the painting. Both busts were done in acrylics in plain single colours, over a sprayed white undercoat. No varnishing or sealing.

As I progress with larger scale figures, I’d like to push my boundaries and experiment a bit more with shading and highlighting. For now, though, I’m happy with a reasonably neat, tidy finish. Everything looks roughly the colour it should be, and the paint is in the right place. That’ll do for the moment.

The wooden bases were picked up at different model shows, while the name plates on both came from the fantastic Name It! in the UK. I was initially cautious about ordering with the company; partly because they don’t have an online ordering facility, and partly because my inner OCD demon was fussy to the point of distraction about exactly the font and finish I wanted on the plates. However, Julie from Name It! couldn’t have been more helpful and pleasant in helping me select my order over the phone. She even went so far as to send a Euro coin as a refund with my order as I had mistakenly made my cheque out for too much. The plates make for a lovely finishing touch to the completed pieces, and I’ll certainly be ordering from Name It! again in the future.

Last but not least… well, I can’t claim this as a model, but it was one of those can’t resist type purchases a while before Christmas. The QM’s Locker offer a range of rather snazzy military-themed mugs, including this one depicting British infantry regiments of the Waterloo campaign. The artwork is a delight for anyone with an interest in historical uniforms, and the price of the mugs won’t break the bank.

After a few days on tea and coffee duties, I decided my new vessel was just too nice to rattle through the dishwasher every evening, so it now boasts pride of place at the painting desk as my brush holder.

 *And to be strict, bar mounting him on a base, our Waffen SS friend was actually finished in 2012. At least I don’t have much of a target to beat this year…