Monday, 7 May 2012
Thought I'd share some photos of how the new 2mm Column and Command blocks from Irregular Miniatures paint up, having thrown caution to the wind and had a bit of a painting session over the weekend.
I mention caution and wind only because I decided to paint the various blocks in the guise of Napoleonic units, which up 'til now I had avoided doing, as this era had been pencilled in as a possible future project, and I didn't want to plunge into yet another period before having a go at finishing some of the others!
Anyway, in some way to disprove a point I made in my previous post about the size of the cavalry headgear apparent on the Horse Column figures, I decided to paint them as the Garde Chasseur a Cheval circa 1815, and of course, had therefore to adopt the Infantry in Column as the Old Guard (who else....!)
With the castings themselves being so clean, it was easy to get started, and the new sculpts paint up very well, I think, although I found some of the detail on the Infantry figures a bit hard to realise; I know it was there - a definite suggestion of rifles in hand down the right hand side of the block - but I just couldn't bring it out. I'm sure better painters than me will do a lot better - I just consoled myself by saying that it was down to my mass-block painting technique rather than anything else....
The new Command triangle, as I feared before, is a little light on detail, depicting a huddle of chaps around the flag, and the flags themselves are on the relatively small side, in line with the existing blocks - but for all that, I enjoyed painting them up as they are quite charismatic when done, and are great at marking out the head of the 'Colonne' as you will see in the pics.
I found attempting the renowned bearskins of the Garde, and especially the red and white detail on the high rear of the headgear quite a challenge, repeated blobs of blue when doing the uniform colour, then black, then red, then white ended up looking a bit of a dog's diner up close - but actually at a decent distance give a good account of themselves - certainly a bravura depiction, big on general sweeps, rather than micro-detailing!
The Cavalry on the other hand, were an easier proposition, and responded splendidly to the brush (if I do say so myself), a quick blob of red for the Kolpak busby-bag being quite possible on one side of the heads.
I wasn't going to be painting in every trouser stripe or leopardskin shabraque anyway, so again a broad brush approach of blocking in various colour details, but the minis respond really well to this, with their discernible rider's legs, sabres, sadlecloths and the nicely proportioned horses themselves.
I was so enthused by them, I threw in a Guard Artillery limber to accompany them!
So then, sometime in the late May of 1815, Napoleon's elites do some marching in column near a Chateau called Hougoumont......
Little do they know that within a few days this area will become the scene of l'Empereurs' greatest defeat....
Just to finish up, I also threw paint in the general direction of a couple of the new separate flags, and finding that I had a spare BG34 Inf in 3 ranks block lying around that already had the original integral one filed off, whipped up a quick British Seven Years' War battalion:
Excuse the base, just temporary to illustrate the effect - the flags are obviously nice and visible, but are a little fiddly to handle and attach - I think if you were doing a lot of them it might get a bit frustrating, but then again, at least they can be made to more resemble the real thing, and of course be done in pairs should the need arise, depending on the unit, era and army.
So, final thoughts?
As you can probably tell, I am pretty chuffed with both the new blocks and how they turned out - only one small thing - in order to remain objective - I noticed that on a couple of the blocks supplied, the head of the second rider on the left hand side of the Cavalry block was, shall we say, a little 'under-cast', being noticeably smaller than those around him - a mould issue perhaps?
To be honest, I don't think it would really notice positioned amidst a large unit, but might look like he had met with a nasty accident involving a cannonball if viewed in isolation!