Crusader Foot Knight/Heavy Infantry

The last of my pre-fall painting, These are the Strelets Military Order Foot Knight painted up as 3 units.


Planning for 2021

Being unable to paint I'm Thinking ahead to 2021, I really don't have a specific idea in mind at the moment, apart from the first two on the list, other than that it's just speculation
  • WSS French Infantry and cavalry plus British Cavalry
  • WW2 SAS & LRDG
  • More "Three Musketeers", especially one the new Redbox mounted figures are available
  • Colonials - Boer Artillery and French Foriegn Legion in camp and 37mm
  • Napoleonics, Prussian Cavalry, Reworking old artillery limbers, Russian peasants for skirmish scenarios, More Spanish Cavalry, potentially upgrade Brish Infantry?
  • Rebase my Early Imperial Romans - these are the last ancients that I haven't upgraded
  • TYW Imperial Croatians/Polish Pancerni/Cossack horse archers/Russian Hussars
  • More British and Jacobite for the 45, WAS and SYW, when Redbox release more figures
  • More WW2 German cold weather infantry - 2 platoons
  • Medievals - Scottish shiltron, Revolting Peasants (Zvezda), other odd units for Montgisard.
  • Rework/Rebase Zulu War forces
  • SYW Austrian Infantry (Roth - Wurtzberg)
  • Cisialpine Infantry - three or four 12 figure units
  • WW2 Japanese for Battlegroup Pacific?
  • The terrain I have failed to make for the last two years
If you have any ideas on where I should focus my attention, then please comment.


Merry Christmas

Prettige Kerstmis!
Frohe Weihnachten!
Joyeux Noel!
Feliz Navidad!
Buon Natale!
Wesolych Swiat!
Kellemes Karacsonyi Ünnepeket!
Feliz Natal!
Sretan Bozic!
God Jul!
Vesele Vanoce!
Merry Christmas to all the readers of my blog and some old rebased figures to enjoy!
The figures are all Atlantic


Christmas came early

Unexpectedly my pre-order of the new Strelets figures arrived yesterday.


Painting/Modelling in 1/72 - My approach

I have often been asked how I manage to achieve such a high level of output of painted figures, etc and given my current problems this seems the time to try and answer some of them. First off, an admission, I'm retired so I do not have the pressures and time constraints of having to work. This is a benefit of "old" age but the downside is I can spend less time on concentrated painting before my eyes and body give up. On a good day I manage around four 1 hour sessions, so my approach to plastic figures is:-

  • Cutting items off the sprue and tidying up the flash, either with a sharp blade or a heated pin
  • Washing the mould release agent off the figures, I use the dishwasher on an economy setting (they go in with the rest of the washing up)
  • Priming/Undercoating, in general I find white and black primers too intense making it difficult to spot the details. Normally I use Humbrol Matt Sand 63, but recently due to shortage I've been using a Vallejo primer, which is thinner and fine as a primer but not thick enough for an undercoat.

Nothing special here, I used to just use Humbrol and mix up any colours I needed at the time, nowadays I buy the colours I need ready made. So my palette is a mix of Humbrol, Vallejo and Army Painter. Washes used to be GW, but they changed their formulation so I switched to Army Painter. Metallics I have found the best to be Army Painter.

I originated in the slap it on, then tidy it style of painting. I have moderated some what, but still paint all the major areas of colour before moving onto the faces, detais, etc. An exception tends to be C18 and Naps where I paint the white straps and light coloured facings first before starting on the coat colour.
Compared to the past, the major changes are my use of dry-brushing and washes. Most medievals are now undercoated black and dry-brushed silver, which deals with chainmail and most armour and highlights the other areas needing painting. Apart from faces and equipment I mainly use washes for C20 figures to tone and blend the colour palette used.

The underrated skill, I used to just buy the latest figures, paint them and organise them after painting. This ended up creating some strange looking units and odd left over painted figures. I now work to an annual plan broken down to monthly targets through the year. For new armies I scope out a broad plan before commiting any cash and keep a prioritised purchasing list, which prevents some of the "Oh shiney" effect at shows. Units are organised before painting and painted in a single batch. I think I reacted against being organised in my hobby while I was working, but now it provides the necessary discipline to keep me on track with projects.

Part of the reason for my high output is the large batches of figures I paint at one time. Batches can vary between 6 and 100 figures, the smaller being specialist units and the larger being the non-uniformed irregulars, usually the batch is one or two 24 figure units. This means I can systematically work though a single colour at a time, proportioately reducing the time spent preparing and cleaning up.
I am typically working on 4-5 batches at one time, so I can switch my attention between them according to my mood. So fine detailling is done when I'm alert and undercoating when I'm tired.

Another area of significant change over the years. Originally I just used green paint, then adding fine sawdust/cork. I then attempting various basing mixes before I ended up with my current PVA/sand/grit mix (link). Obviously This change has incresed the time it takes to complete figures.


Premature end to the year!!

Yes done it again, slipped off a stepladder and broken my clavicle (collarbone). So my right arm will be strapped up for the next 6 weeks. So this puts an end to painting/modelling, but I have a couple of units just waiting to be photographed.
keep safe Will


On the workbench - December 2020

I feel I'm literally on the last leg, It's been a difficult year, but I've kept painting and I've nearly achieved my targets for the year. Currently what's left from November is well underway on the workbench

So I will be working on finishing of the last of the years objectives and also staring something new.
  • Finishing off the Crusader foot knights/heavy infantry and turkopoles
  • 28mm Colonial militia (already started - back left tray)
  • Another WW2 German winter limber as I found some wheels to fit an existing limber (started on back right tray)
  • Then loads of the new Vietnam figures from Redbox
  • Plus finishing off as much of the oddments that I have half started so I have a clean start for 2021


Renaissance Galleys

They've been a long time coming, but it has been a sequence of stops, starts and odd diversions that didn't work, until I had them close enough to call it a day. First up with Ottoman crews

They take my standard units based on 45mm square bases

A total of 5 bases, one command/crew, three sailors/marines and one gun

The Ottomans can be swapped for European crews

Similar crewing, but not as colourful

I haven't bothered with a rear awning as I haven't worked out how to do it and keep it removable and I'm also not sure whether it would be kept up during combat. If they furl the sails then I would expect the same for the awning.

basic construction is foamcore, with the edges covered by cardboard then planked, the ram is a left over piece of hard plastic, and the oars just matchsticks. The mast and spar are wooden stakes used for supporting small plants, with a kitchen roll sail. Hopefully I can use them with 28mm figures it it every becomes necessary.


Austrian Napoleonic - German Light Infantry and Hussars

"Something old something new" The new is the unit of German Light Infantry created from the HaT Austrian Landwehr. The old is my long serving Airfix Hussars that were painted as Austrian and now rebased.


Austrian Pioneers for the Seven Years War

It's a bit unclear which unit I have represented as Project SYW says they are the Pioneer Korps, the text in my Osprey book says they are Pioneers, but the illustration says they are Sappeurs. I'm going to call them Pioneers.

The figures are Revell SYW Austrian artillery with head swaps from the HaT Austrian Chevaulegers.

The similarity between the Austrian casquet and the British Belgic Shako are quite striking.


Extra Austrian Kuirassiers

Observant readers may have noticed that I would have eight Kuirassier figures left over. These were modified with the bicorne heads from the Chevaulegers to provide an earlier version of the uniform suitable for the French Revolution period. I also swapped the horses for some old spare Italeri Carabinier horses as there were a few badly moulded horses in the sets.


Boosting my Austrian Napoleonic cavalry

Over the years I acquired an extra packet each of the HaT Austrian Kuirassiers and Chevaulegers. So earlier this year I decided that I would replace all my Airfix conversions with the newer HaT figures, so I bought another packet of each. This gave me two more units of Kuirassiers, one of Dragoons, and two Chevaulegers (one with green and the other with white coats).

This combined with my much earlier painting of Hat figures gave me a total of four Kuirassier (at the front), three Dragoons (rear right) and three Chevauleger (rear left). I also had to rebase the older figures to match.

Kuirassiers followe by dragoons, typically I spotted I had forgotten to flutter the flags on the new units before taking the pictures.

Kuiraasiers followed by Chevaulegers


First boats for Cruel Seas

So I've managed to finish all the small boats I have accumulated for Cruel Seas, certainly enough for a range of scenarios.

British MTBs

German S-boats

US PT boats, these are in grey for the European theatre of operations, rather than the Pacific green.


Three brothers went to War

The eldest William Thomas, enlisted in 1907 and served with the Wiltshires in India before returning to fight with the BEF in 1914. He was invalided out with Frostbite and epilepsy in December that year. He subsequently died in 1921 due to diseases picked up in India. He left a widow and three children.

His brother George joined the Wiltshire Yeomanry in 1915 and fought in France through 1916/17 He was killed on the Somme on 23 March 1917. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial

The final brother Sidney enlisted in the Warwickshires in 1916 but wasn't transferred to France until April 1918. He suffered a severe gunshot wound in his left arm in July and was returned to hospital in England. He was discharged as unfit for service in October. He was my grandfather.


Just a few more DAK

All my WW2 units are organised for Rapid Fire, but I also play Battlegroup, so I find I am always raiding figures from other units to make up platoons, so these very nice Esci hard plastic figures are just the job to provide spares. Many thanks to Peter B (via Dougie) for the donation.
There are almost enough for a full platoon on their own
There are also a few Matchbox hard plastic DAK from the Panzer II kits included.


Cactus patches

Although I have some of the Pegasus cactii I was tempted by these cactii that I found on ebay as they were a good match for Agave and other similar cactii.
I had to paint them to remove the bright plastic effect and I've added a figure for scale


On the workbench - November 2020

Well it's another month in lockdown and luckily I'm well stocked up, so my main drive is to finish as much as possible of my year plan by the end of the month. But first here's my progress on the galleys
I'll be working on 
  • Finishing the galleys (as seen above the crews are already finished) 
  • Some hard plastic figures from Esci to fill a fe gaps in my DAK
  • Some cactus patches 
  • Napoleonic Austrian cavalry
  •  Crusader Turkopoles and dismounted knights/heavy infantry
  • SYW Austrian pioneers/miners 
  • Cruel Seas - German S-boats, British MTBs and US PT boats


Last of the Greeks - commanders and cavalry

The last but hardest stage of rebasing my Greek army, and it is now completed.
A couple of the mounted commanders were 25mm metal figures, and the other was a Rospak conversion. I gave each one a supporting infantryman, for the others I added some standard bearers from the last remaining hoplite figures. It's not clear if the ancient Greeks used Vexillia, but it looks much better. The Spartan commander was a Rospaks Roman centurion and his standard bearer was a odd Rospak phalangite that I found in a job-lot of figures.
For the Thessalian cavalry I used some Rospaks that had been converted to Companions with tinfoil cloaks. I removed the cloaks, replaced a number of arms and repositioned the heads before adding new cloaks from greenstuff.


Seven Years War cavalry selection

The last of my SYW cavalry figures, once again using the Revell Austrian SYW Dragoons.

British (Mordant's) 10th Dragoons

Hanoverian Breidenbach Dragoons

Austrian combined horse grenadiers, These had their tricorns replaced by bearskins and painted to match each of my existing dragoon regiments

I decided not to paint any of them as French as there are some nice new WSS French cavalry in the pipeline from Strelets, and I'm sure some of them will be suitable for the SYW or WAS.


Foreign Legion Artillery

Some welcome support for my French Foreign Legion a couple of gun and loader teams with a pair of Canon de 65 M (Montagne) Modèle 1906 by Strelets
Plastic Soldier review found a number of faults in the uniform, but they are not really noticeable


British 8th Army Tank crews

A small bit of catching up on WW2 with these Orion figures. They are very nice sculpts, but unfortunately they are a bit too large for some of my 1/76 scale vehicles that are missing crews, so only the figures I will use dismounted are shown, the remainder have been safely stored.
The Monty figure with a mug is a nice touch


2020Q3 - Progress against plan

Most of the year gone already and I don't see much chance of getting any gaming before 2021. Overall painting progress is still good with 1,655 items completed which broken down by period gives:
  • Ancient 769
  • Medieval 278
  • WW1 241
  • Renaissance 140
  • Napoleonic 133
  • WW2 28
  • SYW 26
  • Terrain 21
  • Modern 19

Looking at the plan in detail
  • An Achaemenid Persian army, I've about 200 items already purchased -completed in Q2.
  • Cruel Seas - British/German/US flotillas of 6 boats each, plus some merchant ships- still not started.
  • Black Seas - a small Dutch fleet (something a bit different from the norm)- completed this quarter.
  • Medieval – More WOTR longbow/bill units, mounted archers, cavalry, Scottish cavalry and extra Crusader foot- completed the WOTR bill/bow units and extra bits for Tannenberg including the Scottish cavalry pretending to be Lithuanians In Q3 more foot for the Crusades were added.
  • Renaissance – Russian Stoldatski, etc. using up the Strelets bonus figures plus Galleys- completed the Soldatski and Town Cossack plus I've started work on the Galleys and their crews.
  • WW2 – bits and pieces (I'll try to avoid buying more)- Managed not to paint any in Q3!
  • SYW – More (French?) Cavalry, British guns- British Artillery completed so far.
  • WW1 – increase/rebase Germans for 1917 and add some French - Completed
  • 28mm – “skirmishing” WSS figures to provide more opposition for my pirates and Spanish- not started yet
  • Terrain – more buildings, fences, balkas/wadis, vines, etc.- Only a few bits completed so far
  • Organise the forces for the Lance and Longbow games at York, which will be Tannenberg 1410 and possibly Montgisard 1177 at Recon- successfully ran Tannenberg and we had agreed to run it at Phalanx in June, but this never took place not at all sure when I'll next get to a show so all on hold for now
  • Q2 addition - I have decided to rebase my Ancient Greeks to match the Persians, so they can either provide mercenary units for them or fight against them.- Virtually all completed except for some cavalry and commanders


Bedouin Horse Archers

A quick start to the month as these only needed basing. I've used some left over horse archers from the HaT Andalusian Light Cavalry as Bedouins.
I do need more but I'm not sure how to source them as all the sets only provide a proportion of horse archers


On the Workbench - October 2020

Well another month has passed and we are back in semi-lockdown, at least I have plenty to be working on even if I can't get go go gaming. This month's work includes:
  • Finish off the bedouin horse archers
  • Continuing work on the renaissance galleys and crews
  • Reworking the Thessalian cavalry and Greek commanders
  • Orion WW2 British tank crews
  • Strelets French Foreign Legion artillery
  • SYW Cavalry
  • Possibly start work on Cruel Seas

  • I'm having a bit of a clear out and various bits have gone on ebay


    Austrian Napoleonic Landwehr

    I delayed buying these HaT figures until recently as I disliked the rubbery plastic they were using when they were first issued, Since then they have reverted to a more normal soft plastic, so I invested in some. These are 1813 Landwehr, painted up as the 4th battalions of my line regiments.

    I already had two battalions, one of converted Springwood Austrians and the other a very rough and ready reuse of some Airfix Confederates, the later will certainly now be retired.

    The remaining figures will be used in due course for German light infantry and as head donors to make for some of the more unusual Austrian troop types.




    In the background of my last post you would have seen a couple of mounds, these are Kurgans, burial mounds typically found on the Russian steppes. They appear in the Battleground terrain generator so I decided to make a couple.
    They are quite simple construction, just some insulation foam on an old CD, I added an entrance so it was obvious what they were.


    SYW British Artillery

    Some not quite so simple painting conversions of the Revell Austrian Artillery with my best effort at all the lace. Two medium batteries and one light.

    The medium guns are from the Italeri/Esci French Artillery set.