Saturday, April 6, 2013

Milestone passed and (some) figures painted!

It just slipped by without me noticing - 100,000 visitors to my little blog!

Yippee! Who'd-a-thought it eh?

I have to confess that I have been somewhat distracted with little chance to blog as the program of works for my recent retirement reaches fever pitch.  For example: just finished putting in 35 meters of Colorbond fence - or rather remove the old one (and attached greenery) so the contractor can put the new one in.  Crikey - I underestimated the job - it filled a 4 meter skip with enough rubbish left over for another.  Damn job nearly killed me (old age is a bugger!) - luckily my boys were here to lend a hand at the last moment (and get to play with the chainsaw as a reward!) and we got the job done.  Well, just about - my lumberjack ambitions are still to be realised with two more trees to fell.  But ah got mah boys and mah trusty Stihl - them thar trees will be match-wood in no time!  (ok, ok - no more lumberjack talk!)

Long and short of it is all my painting projects have had to be put on hold - just for the moment.

But I haven't exactly neglected my hobby either.  I've been trying to organise my Napoleonic figures into suitable forces for the next Black Powder game scheduled at the club next weekend.  Its been a bit tricky to say the least balancing home and hobby lately.  Nonetheless SOME progress has been made since my French Chasseurs were finished. I've decided to get stuck into the avalanche of Perrys' that have arrived as well as finishing off others that have been on the back-burner such as my Victrix Austrian Landwehr.  I'm halfway through my Perry Hungarian Grenadier battalion but more than that with the Victrix with one group of 16 finished and two more at least half done.

The finished Victrix Landwehr - with very en-vogue wintery dark grey clobber with red highlights!
Very nice lads.  Wait a sec - Oi! Number two - where's your bleedin' 'at then?
I must say that the Victrix turned out better than I thought they would.  I've always though them a bit too cartoonish and large but although on the big side for 28mm figures, they still fit my 'orrible old WRG sized bases (four figures to a 60mm x 20mm) - just!  And the flags supplied in the box literature are very good quality. Plenty of other figures painted or in the process of being painted, some of which have been seen in previous posts (like the Fallschirmjaeger), my Polish command stand and others which haven't made the blog like my ACW figures - an extra VMI gun (made from a Perry's Union Napoleon and crew) and two Sash and Sabre artillery limbers or even some of my TYW figures - more Poles from the Polish Commonwealth army of the early-mid 1600s (command stand).  Which reminds me - I've got to put together and paint a regiment of TYW dragoons!

Polish shotte command - mixture of figures including old Foundry, Redoubt and God-knows-what!
But the interesting thing was in addition to exploring my photography (i.e. of the none wargaming variety!) I also I picked up the pencils and tried a bit of drawing again.  Its been quite a while and my skills were very rusty. I think I may have over-worked it but not entirely un-happy with the way it turned out. Don't like the straps on the pack but... In fact I may ink this one in and do some more - when I get the time!

Polish infantryman in campaign dress 4th Regt Vistula Legion.
We do love the Poles and my 1st Regt Vistula Legion are looking likely to see action next weekend if all goes well. Still got two more battalions and an artillery battery to do as well but I had no idea when I'll be able to get to them!

My Polish pretty boys will hopefully get blooded in next week's BP game.
Well, that just about does it for this brief post - beats my usual marathon AAR's!  Game-wise we have a Crete campaign (Op MERCURY) one planned - but not sure when exactly - and I have my German Gebirgsjaeger  to put together as well.  But the big one will be the Napoleonic game next week which will feature most of my collection.  We are also contemplating a Carlist Wars game using Doug's collection of Perrys and if we can organise it, another TYW game with my Poles.

It would be very remiss of me if I did not thank all of you - now a massive 148 followers!!! ;-) who have taken the time to visit my humble blog and particularly those who take the time to comment and with whom I have intermittent correspondence over the blogosphere. I cannot tell you all just how therapeutic and fulfilling it is as well as being an outlet for my somewhat eclectic wargaming tastes!

A very big Thank You to one and all.


PS:  I usually don't edit my posts that long after posting them but this time I had to as I completely forgot something that I was very excited to find in the first place. You see I have found the original painting by Edouard Detaille of the charge of the 4th Hussars at Friedland.

What's so great about that you may ask? Well, although the image of the artwork has been captured in print and replicated many times, particularly on the Web, the original painting was 'lost' for over 50 years.  It was bought by the NSW State Gallery just after the turn of the last century (so early 1900s) from its exhibition in the French Academy. After hanging in the Gallery for over thirty years it was considered old hat and consigned to the basement where it languished for decades. It was rediscovered about 7 or 8 years ago but in a very poor state, badly damaged by damp. A publicly funded subscription saw it restored - that alone took nearly five years. It then went to the High Court building in Canberra (or so I was informed) but my inquiries suggested it may not have been there.  So I'm heading to the Archibald Portrait Prize exhibition at the State, I walk through one of the main halls and viola - there it is!

It is one of if not the largest painting in the collection at some 30 ft long and twenty high - the main figure of the mounted officer is at least life size.  Its stunning to stand in front and look at.  It is a truly amazing painting and even more amazing, the painting so admired by Napoleonic affectionados and wargamers the world over actually resides here in Australia. Not only that, Lady Butler's(?) 'Rorkes Drift' - another famous battle painting - hangs just down the hall from it.  Apparently it was purchased by the NSW Academy around the same time as Detaille's Hussars.

Detaille detail - the trumpeter behind the officer - he's about 1 & 1/2 meters high and he's in the background!
It is a huuuuge painting!

If you are ever in Sydney, its well worth the visit to the NSW State Gallery to see them.  Anyway, just thought I'd share this with my blog followers as I'm sure some of you appreciate this great art as much as I do.