Monday, 7 May 2012

New 2mm Blocks from Irregular: Painted Examples

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!


  1. We were looking at 2mm for Napoleonics and other rule sets. They look fantastic and allow for the really big battles to be played with ease.

  2. i had no fun painting mine, but very good for big battles still having probs with the rules they sent with them, what do you use?

  3. Hi guys, thanks for the comments - I've always liked 2mm miniatures for their ability to depict 'Mass' on the table-top, and I think they are unique in that they can be painted very simply and quickly and still fulfil their purpose, whilst also having enough detail to allow for a more representative paint job if required.

    @Phil, I agree about Napoleonics, I've always shied away from taking it on as an era in other scales - I'm going to be partizan and say only 2mm can truly depict the grand sweep of the battles of that time - particularly if you are on a budget, or don't want to get bogged down in the colour of buttons or shape of shabraques!

    @Aled - Awww - that depends on how you define 'fun' doesn't it! :-) Stick with them, the more you paint, the more you have, the better they will resemble an army, and it will feel better about painting them....

    Rules wise, I've mostly played Horse Foot and Guns by Phil Barker:

    If you google it, you can easily find an up to date free download document on line, or have also used Rodvik's 2x2 Napoleonics:

    To be honest, I have heavily modified both, and they are more 'homebrewed' now than one might recognise, but I think they give a great platform to work from.

  4. I think they look great painted, I've always liked how you get variety in your paint jobs at 2mm. I guess it's time for another Irregular order (WSS and SYW this time). For SYW I'm looking at the "King of the Battlefield" rules, but the new Maurice ones for WSS.

  5. I play Volley & Bayonet or DBx games with mine, usually the Humberside Extension to DBA rather than HFG - it got more complicated than I wanted very quickly.

    It's also good for games of HoTT - 6mm monsters can look very scary in 2mm. Similarly, 6mm commanders with 2mm regiments make games like Black Powder, Hail Caesar and Pike & Shotte really come to life.

  6. Hiya, some great rules suggestions there guys, there are plenty that play well with 2mm minis out there - after all, a standard base size might just as easily hold a variety of 2mm blocks as a couple of those 28mm chaps - and look a lot more like a unit in battle too..... ;-)

    @CJR - just remember to get Blogging about them once those 18th century armies get underway! Would love to see more as they develop.

    @A-Historian - good call on the HoTT - always a blast to play, and being Fantasy a whole mix of scales is more than appropriate - loving the idea of the 'giant' Commanders as well - that way you get three scales at the table - 1/900th, 1/300th, and of course 1:1! (if you include yourself...)

  7. Beautiful stuff! Puts my 2mm Old Guard to shame, man.

  8. Thanks Thaddeus, that means a lot, seeing how good your 2 and 3mm are!

  9. Lovely blog - Im just starting my 2mm armies and they do seem to paint up nicely for their size - although I wont be buying extra flags - my poor old eyes are suffering enough as it is!

  10. Would you mind if I used one of these photos on Wikipedia for the miniature wargaming article? Would you consider releasing them under a free license, so that anybody could use them?