Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Year in Review: British and French Napoleonics

(Originally posted on the Home Page, Dec 15th)
I was glancing at my blog calendar just the other day and realized that December 19th will mark a year since I started 'Analogue Hobbies'. Wow. It feels both so long ago and yet it  seems like only yesterday. I must say that at the time, when I started this whole blogging thing, I was a bit leery about it, thinking my interest would quickly peter-out or I'd simply have nothing to say. Well, while I doubt that what I have to say is of any real value I have found that the blog has become very valuable to me for a variety of reasons. First and foremost is that I've met some really fabulous people through blogging - people who have a similar passion for the hobby and whose words of encouragement have been both gracious and helpful. 

A bird's eye view of the two forces.
In addition making new friends, this whole exercise has really helped me focus my efforts at the hobby table. I dunno, but it seems the mixture of getting jazzed in seeing others' great projects and knowing that there are others out there anticipating my own work has really fanned the fires of productivity.

The white-uniformed 16th advancing towards the British position.
To underline this new 'renaissance' I've had for the hobby I thought it would be fun if I spent the next few days pulling out all the stuff I've done over the past year or so, set it up on the table and take some shots - sort of a 'Year in Review'. So, first up is the largest representative of my efforts this year, figures for 'The Beautiful Game': Napoleonics.

Rifles sending out a skirmish screen to meet the French.
The pictures here show the majority of my French and British collection. To be clear, about five of these units had their beginnings many years ago, and a few were started about 14 months ago, but for the most part what you see is around a year's worth of work. I think there is around 550 models in total of which I probably painted approximately 400 in the past year. I'm usually a fairly plodding painter so this is a notable achievement for me especially when this does not include the oddball forays like my Dystopian Wars diversion and things like the recent Russian 'campaign'.

Marshal Ney leading forward regiments of Carabiniers and Dragoons.

Portion of a British Rocket battery getting ready to engage.
Imperial Guard 12 pounders doing hot work.
A view down the French line.

Anyway, like the picture of Ney above, I thank all the visitors of Analogue Hobbies in spurring me on - you've been a great encouragement to me in both getting stuff done and enjoying the stuff that I do. Its been a great year and I'm really looking forward to seeing what the new one will bring. 

Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Napoleonic Russians from the 'Riazan' Regiment - 28mm Foundry

(Originally posted on the Main Page, Dec. 11)
This is an 1812 period Russian infantry battalion whose colours identify it has having been recruited from the Riazan area of Russia.

To be perfectly frank, I need to paint Russian Napoleonics like I need a hole in the head. I actually finished this unit as a 'poke in the eye' to Sylvain who is currently lazily sitting on a pile of unpainted Victrix early-period Russians that he acquired last winter. When I told him that I was going to work on all my other projects PLUS match his Russian 'commitment' battalion-for-battalion he responded with typical Gallic style by saying (in his charming French accent), "Ah, is zis another one of your charming, how you say, challenge 'Gauntlets', Cuurt?  Pff, add it to the pile..."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, laugh it up, Pepe le Pew. ;)

Anyway, perhaps the Painting Challenge will put a fire under his butt, we'll see.

I quite like these Perry-sculpted Foundry castings (I think they were created late in their association with WF). They have great proportions, deep folds for shading and a lot of variation to give units greater character. I started these last February to experiment with Army Painter Quickshade and thought I'd get the unit done and off the table.

I went a little overboard on the groundwork but I'm still happy with how they turned out on the whole. The flags are by the indispensable 'Flag Dude'.

I have enough castings in 'The Lead Reserves' to do a good portion of the 17th Division of  Baggovut's 2nd Corps which saw heavy action at Borodino. Cripes, yet another project on the roster...

Monday, December 12, 2011

From the Lead Archive: Chasseur a Cheval de la Garde Imperiale - 28mm Foundry by Brian Homenick

(Post migrated from Main Page)
Whenever I think that my painting skills may be improving I pull this old chestnut out from my display cabinet to get a reality check. This Chasseur a Cheval officer of the Imperial Guard was given to me as a gift about 15 years ago by my friend Brian Homenick (of Vaubanner Graphics), who is, as you can plainly see, a phenomenal painter. 

This is a venerable 28mm Wargames Foundry casting, sculpted by Alan Perry, which still holds its own amongst the best out there today. The pose is taken from the famous painting by Theodore Gericault titled "The Charging Chasseur" which was first exhibited in 1812 and can be viewed today at the Louvre (see above).

I remember Brian giving me the model in an almost nonchalant manner, just a slight smile and a shrug. Almost like, "I thought I'd give this one a whirl, and well, here you go." Awesome.

A few years ago, when I was living in Ontario, I met up with another good friend, Dallas (another venerable member of the Fawcett Ave Conscripts), to check out a Games Workshop's 'Games Day' event in Toronto. It was pretty cool as the energy level from all the kids was completely off the hook, but the real reason I was excited to go was because the Perry twins were in attendance to show off their latest work for GW and visit with the geeks. I duly stood in line with what seemed to be a battalion of pimply teens and managed to chat with the both of them for a few minutes. During this time I pulled out a few of my favourite Napoleonic models of their design and asked them to sign the bases for me. Of course Brian's Chasseur was one of these and Alan Perry was kind enough to oblige. 

I remember we all thought it pretty funny being at an event which showcases EVERYTHING Warhammer and here we were gabbing on about Napoleonics. I came away completely stoked and I remember Sarah nodding and smiling indulgently as I described by field trip and the cool 'autographs' I received. Yep, complete nerdgasm.

Anyway, there you go. The Chasseur remains a prized gift and a constant source of inspiration. Thanks Brian!

Note: Brian also painted for me the complete set of Foundry's dismounted Napoleon, Marshals and staff (its the one with Napoleon seated with his boot on a drum). As you can imagine its a real treat and I'll post it up in the future.