Thursday, 29 October 2009

While we are waiting...

Mameluks: From Mike Ingham's collection at the WHC...Amazing conversion work by Doug Mason
Nothing much happening on the Austrian front. Everytime I go downstairs I glance at the door in case there's a delivery note and I didn't hear the guy knock, but no big parcel from Elite as yet. Despite my impatience the reality is that it probably won't turn up until next week, all things considered. I'm just itching to get started on the white chaps.
I don't have many pics of Austrians, so, I'll put a few pics in here which have NOTHING to do with them.
I just love this unit. I've always coveted it, The figures are Mike's, converted and painted by Doug Mason when he was in his prime. My photos don't do the figures justice at all. They are extra-ordinary conversions. Every figure is different, arms and bodies built up with solder, weapons re-made. I think they were originaly Connoisseur, but I can't tell which figures were used as the basis

All the horses have been re-modeled, reins replaced by brass wire, the horses themselves have in some cases been taken from two different castings and then "cut and shut"..seamlessly. The manes and tails have been teased with a soldering iron to give them more movement

These pictures also don't show up Doug's painting to it's full advantage, the detail on the weapons and horse furniture is painstaking.

Amazing work...
Hey- ho, while I wait for these Austrians to turn up you'll just have to make do with more pics like this.
I have not been idle though, I'm painting up the Connoisseur Grenzers at a fair rate, and have been using them to experiment on techniques to use on this Austrian project, to be honest I don't think I'll change much, I'll paint them the same as I would most things, they look quite good and I'm happy with the speed I can do them. They won't get based up though until I can mix them in with the Elite kit, so you'll have to wait.

Monday, 26 October 2009

What's next? ....LOTS of milkshakes

Wurtemburg Jaeger: Connoisseur figures
So while all this Vittoria stuf has been going on I've not been idle.
Got a bit of painting done, finished the second battalion of Victrix Italians which was good, then polished off a dozen skirmishers for Noel, someof whom can be seen above. I also wanted to do some conversions to create a Wurtemburg Horse artillery battery. No-one to my knowledge makes figures for these, but I thought some Russian Guard Horse artillery gunners with Firing Line cavalry Rapenhelm stuck on them would work. The results are below: Quite a cute little battery.

Wurtemburg Horse Artillery. Connoisseur Russians with Firing Line heads
However, the major development of the past couple of weeks has been the decision to build a big old Austrian army. I've been thinking of what to do for my next painting project for a while, and hadn't come up with much. I had contemplated Austrians a while ago, along with maybe a Big French Guard project...but French Guard? I've got tons already...then I saw that Pete Moreby at Elite was doing his "Christmas Special" offer. I did a few sums and worked out that purchasing 6 of his Brigade packs meant an overall saving of about 30%. Pretty good. SOOOO... I got together an initial (initial....blimey) order for about about 1200 figures. This will form the core of an Austrian army. 16 x 48 man infantry btns, 4 x 36 grenadiers, 3 regts of light cavalry and 84 skirmishers. The skirmies I've ordered are mostly Grenzer so I should be able to make up 2 x 36 man btns out of these. I just happen to have a load of Connoisseur Austrians lying around in a dark corner; Enough cuirraissier for 3 regts (!!) about 100 Grenzers, about 30 gunners and more artillery pieces than I will ever need ( about 20 guns) So I've ordered a few extra Elite gunners to be going on with and can pad out the Elite Grenzers (which are lovely figures) with some of the Connoisseur stuff.
I've asked for the units to have as much variation as possible, including all the "variation packs" plus 4 of the 48's in helmet are the new collectors series which look really good. So by the time I've mixed them all up they should look extremely varied.
I reckon this little lot will keep me busy for 2 years, I might be able to speed things up. Austrians are actually pretty easy to paint, no piping, simple uniforms. I've laid in vast quantities of varying shades of white paint.
Now, the trouble is this week I'm "working from home" (cough), so I'm already in a state of nervous anxiety everytime I hear a noise which is vaguely like a postman/delivery man...I do feel a bit sorry for the poor old postie who has to deliver this- as at a rough estimate it should weigh over 20 kilos!
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