Saturday, May 31, 2008

the Hessians are coming! the Hessians are coming...

Individually, the BMC figures are nothing special. However, make a unit of them and they don't look too bad. In fact, I think they look better in the eyes of the painter simply because a unit--even a small one--gives one a greater sense of completion.

With the growing cost of steel, I've found myself balking at buying fender washers on which to mount figures. For my ECW project this was not an issue since I was basing the figures in groups of two. But with the AWI I wanted to mount the figures individually on round bases. I just can't accept spending more for a figure base than I paid for the figure itself! Consequently, the Hessians are mounted on plastic poker chips obtained at the grocery store. Cheap. Convenient. Just my style. (I didn't even have to go get them myself... I just added them to the weekly grocery list.) One never knows where one might find gaming supplies. Keep your eyes open!

Many of the BMC Hessian figures exhibit awkward posing. Some look as if they're stabbing at bats flying around their heads; some appear to be caught in mid-air right after tripping. Most of them just aren't inspiring. (Well, blarmey! Why don't you buy better figures, you cheapskate?!) Still, a figure not used is a figure ripe for conversion. This standard bearer on the left is actually a BMC American artillerist with his linstock cut away and his head swapped with one of the bat-stabbing Germans. The regimental colors of the Hesse-Cassel von Lossberg regiment was printed out from this French site. That page got book-marked.

And, finally, another close up of one of the Hessians. This is not a bad pose. Is there anybody out there that wants to trade for some German bat-stabbers?

bmc awi, etc., continued...

I'm always a glutton for project distraction. My projects never grow too large for my space, there are just too many projects that appeal to me. Though for the most part I've not been too tempted by 54mm figures. I've stuck (mostly) to my original plan of working in two periods: the English Civil War and the American War for Independence.

Having said that, though, I should also confess that I've picked up ten or twelve gladiators along the way. But that's a story for a different day. Oh, and the colonial British... and the Zulus... and the Spanish American War soldiers... and that one lone Confederate officer....

These are a few more of my original BMC purchase--recently painted. Specifically the Marquis de LaFayette and George Washington. General Washington's horse is a separate purchase from the Columbus Toy Soldier Show. Fifty cents, I think. The proprietor informed me that it was actually a horse from a 60mm Plains Indian figure. But it was such an animated figure that I felt the need to acquire it. The base has obviously been twisted over the years and a bath in boiling water didn't seem to help correct the awkward angle. I do think I'll glue a rock to the base, though, since the horse looks like it's avoiding stepping on something. The added weight on that side of the base won't hurt anything either.

Monday, May 26, 2008

rebuilding a fleet...

Small scale plastic galleon kits seem to have been more popular in the past. I don't think any of these kits are in production any longer. Nevertheless, I was lucky to find 8 kits, 7 already assembled, to augment my ever so slowly growing fleet.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Easy Off... not just for ovens, anymore...

I started out scratch building galleons but didn't get too terribly far. However, not too long ago I acquired seven old plastic models--a couple of assembled Pyro/Life-Like/Lindberg Golden Hinds, Santa Marias, etc., at a toy soldier show in Indianapolis. They'll work. But it appears as if they've been sitting in someone's attic, uncovered, for about 30 years. They're filthy. I've been cleaning them up but would like to strip the paint. In fact, I'd like to disassemble them if possible.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

the march of the musketeers...

Interesting enough, there are no poses of musketeers firing included in the musketeer sets from Call to Arms. However, they do include four of them in the command set. Seems a little odd. Nonetheless, I'm glad to incorporate them into the musket companies.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

the big picture is a little scary...

So I took the plunge and ordered three more boxes of pikemen, four boxes of musketeers, two boxes of cavalry and a box of command figures from my local hobby shop. I also found that they had a box of artillerist on the shelf for $5. Scarfed that up, as well as a bag of BMC American Revolution figures (thinking that the cannon would do double duty). Once they came in I couldn't resist and simply had to sort them all out by pose and take a look at what I'd gotten myself into.

You can also see the state of my workbench... well, after a bit of cleaning. I must admit to being puzzled by the price charged by my hobby shop. I intentionally ordered through them rather than on-line simply because I know how tight things are when you're running a brick and morter hobby shop. Yet, they charged me $11.98 per box. As far as I can see MSRP for these figs is 10.98. Now, I'm not one to complain about supporting the store, but I might think twice before making another special order through them.

Clearly this will not be enough figures to put on a game of any size. But since I'm fielding both sides it's not like I have a set schedule. Nobody's waiting on me. I've yet to see any information on the number of cavalry that would be included in an army of this period. I suspect it would be about the same as the number of infantry. In any case my paltry eight horsemen will need to be beefed up. I also came across a non-specific warning about using the Haythornthwaite book as a reference. I suspect the clothing IS a bit too bright in the illustrations. Of course, that won't stop me since I'm not looking for a totally historic representation.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

pudel and peper learn to paint on plastic...

So I tried a number of different techniques gleaned from the internet on how to keep acrylic paint on plastic figures. Special soaps and glues, chemical brews, plastic etching shenanigans. None passed my rather gentle scrape test, I might add.