Monday, December 1, 2014

Urrah! More Russians done!

I have recovered (almost) from my little tumble and have been somewhat busy in the yard to make amends for my enforced put-yer-buggered-foot-up (you old fool) shenanigans. I've commissioned an ex (or perhaps not so ex) bikey cum tree surgeon to cull my Amazon-in-the-backyard and turn it into a savannah like setting in time for summer.  Old mate's done a pretty good job and I've also slaved away too hauling truckloads of vegetation outta the place. All of which hasn't left as much time as I'd like to finish up my Russian army.  Nonetheless since last posting I've managed to paint up no less than 64 Russian infantry to an acceptable standard, with another 24 half done and 24 more 'prepped and ready to go. Reasonable effort in the circumstances. That gives me (finished) 3 x regiments (or battalions of 24 figures) of line, two of grenadiers and one 16-figure battalion of Jaeger. The one half-done will give me a full brigade of line when they're finished. Most satisfying! Nearly half my Austro-Russian army now completed. A regiment of dragoons, one of jaeger and two of line? grenadiers? will finish it up.  I have a few nice mounted Perry's officers to go with them too.  As command figures I plan to lavish a bit more attention on them.

The figures are a mixture of Front Rank (the Jaeger) Warlord and Perry. The FR Jaegers are a bit Tellytubby-ish in comparison but are still a very nice figure - and all are 28mm so within a mil or two of each other size-wise.  The Jaeger are resurrected figures with a new, proper paint-job and basing. The Jaeger's green uniform was so dark it was almost black at a distance according to authoritative sources. I've given them the matching green trousers as well rather than the summer whites as it more befits their skulking, scurrying and shooting role as the Russian army's outnumbered skirmishers!

The Warlord box was the one with the metal command stand that contains those very useful cords and tassels for the standards.  The plastics are OK - reasonable detail and poses (well, they are all marching aren't they?) but the command are less... er, OK?  They are all in marching poses (drummer and bearers) save for the officer who seems to be having some kind of a fit with sword in hand. Doesn't really go with the rest but could have if he wasn't looking at the ground while he's waving his sword about!  Dunno what the sculptor was thinking there.  Nonetheless done up together with the bits of annoying flash cleaned off (not the greatest metal casts) they look quite reasonable as a command stand.

As you can see I've done them up as the Ekaterinoslav Grenadiers who were brigaded with the Pavlovs (my other Front Rank unit). I like the flag cords which you can bend into whatever shape. They fit very neatly onto some copper rod flag poles.  If only that officer didn't have his head at such an odd angle it'd all work! Still, a decent 'regiment' in a box for under $40 so shan't complain.

The last lot are the Perry's plastic Russians. Very nice figures as you'd expect and very clean casting - virtually no annoying flash to clean up. Gotta hand it to Rendera - their molds are some of the best there is in the biz. Have a look at the Perry's Facebook page to see the step-by-step process of doing the latest knights in HD plastic shown in short videos. Real craftsmen at work. Amazing stuff.

I've made them up as the Narva Regiment in Bagration's 2nd Army.  They were part of Raevsky's 7th Corp defending the Redoubt at Borodino I think. Stout lads all!  Apologies for the photography - its a bit overcast and about to bucket down outside.  The clouds make it very glary without enough light to show the details on the figures - too much contrast. At least its a good rendition of the colours which (I hope) are pretty close to what they would have been historically.

That's it for now.  As I alluded to in a previous post, I could not resist getting some of the Perry's new Bavarians. Once the last Russians are done I'll have to get stuck into them but I doubt I'll get much done before Christmas is upon us once more.  I also have a squad of WWII German Fallschirmjaeger motorcycle combos to do, and some Panzers, which I am trying to resist but, as we all know, resistance is useless!

Who knows, I may even get a game in too.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cossacks! Urrah!

Well being banged up at home with a sprained ankle its probably time to do my monthly post. Nothing like an enforced lay-off to get productive with the hobby!  Anyhow I finally finished off my Perry Cossacks.  Lovely figures in well animated poses with an officer in a classic Cossack 'follow-me' pose leading his swarm or sotna (which sums up their battlefield tactics too!)

A scruffy-looking lot in simple blue uniforms (have I made mine too blue?) which fit the bill nicely. But as we know appearances can be deceptive for they were universally acknowledged as the finest light cavalry of the time. They are brigaded with my earlier Front Rank versions with the plumed fur kolpaks. And Platov - can't forget my legendary Cossack general! Also a rather nice Front Rank figure.

Urrah! The cossack sotna sweeps forward.
Platov and his Cossack pretty boys in the fancy kolpaks with the showy plumes (just like his!)
The Cossack Brigade
The only thing slightly out of place is the gun and crew which pedants will have noticed is of Crimean vintage. The fact it fits in at all just goes to show how little the Russian army had changed from 1812. The Cossack gunners also look very much like the Russian Opolchenie (militia) of the time - have a look at the Perry's versions in their Napoleonic Russian range. To go with them (or not) I also have a regiment of rather nice Front rank Russian lancers I've done up as the Lithuanian Uhlans. Three regiments of Russian lancers - its enough for any Frenchman to require a change of undies.

I must admit I prefer the Perry's versions only because of the poses - the Front Rank are beautiful figures but it just doesn't look very Cossacky to be just standing there holding your lance as it were! Its a pity because a more animated version would be perfect. I used the classic dark blue for their uniforms too - sans washes or highlights which may have been a mistake however, given the number of Russians I still have to paint, not one I have the time to correct!

The very bright sunlight I took these photos in make the Perrys Cossacks look like they have sky-blue uniforms in comparison to the Front Rank boys behind them - but they don't. If they look too light a blue I can always put another black wash over the uniform.

The Front Rank Platov figure - a beauty with his mace of authority and painted in the days when my eyeballs allowed me to paint theirs!  I should spruce up his base though - its a bit sparse for a commander of his stature!

To be honest I'm not unhappy with the results.  Now hopefully to get a game with them. I've got to try and get Doug lined up for a GdB stoush - he hates Russians!  Trouble is I've only got four 24 figure infantry battalions - I need to paint up another eight - yipes!  Better get cracking then!

Before I go it would be remiss of me to mention something very exciting to 28mm collectors and gamers.  The German firm Pro Gloria have recently announced their intention to release a box of plastic Landesknechts in early 2015.  Pro Gloria make some of the most beautifully sculpted late Renaissance figures around. In my opinion these figures are as good as anything the Perry's or Paul Hicks do i.e. the standard  is incredibly high - the benchmark for figure makers; the best there is! 

Also check out their Facebook or even better their IndieGoGo page: 

The latter is a very good means of funding projects over the Internet.  I'm currently examining my rapidly shrinking hobby fundage with a view to investing in these beautiful figures for my Impetus armies. They have a lot of great deals going so do yourself a favour and nip on over to their IndieGogo site and check it out.  If you spend a squillion Euros on an order they even offer to get your mug on the head of one of their figure releases!  Awesome.  Never heard of that before (although Alan Perry sculpted Michael as a squished/dead Rohan on their Muamak base) but given the standard of the sculpts they've already put up on their site, I can believe it!

Until next month, Doc out.