Sunday, 29 December 2013

Russian Uniforms

My Crimean War booty has given me a few small headaches. The first is that my current paint palette was not set up for the colours I need, hence a trip to Dark Sphere near Waterloo Station. I know they stock both GW and the full range of Vallejo paints. (They also had the Warlord paints there as well). In the end having bought 5 or 6 possible, I decided that the most accurate paint for the base colour of my Russian  Greatcoats was GW Karak Stone. I could have 'faffed' around trying to mix my own colour but to be honest as the Russians are in 'campaign dress'  I can argue that the uniform was altered or adapted to match what was available at the time. Photos taken by Fenton even show British officers committing the cardinal sin of mixing uniform and civilian clothes!

The more problematic issue was to do with Russian Uniform facing colours. I am not massively hung up on getting all details absolutely correct but this is reasonably important. My research was limited to the Intraweb and some  Kindle Books ( being cheaper than their hardback or soft back brothers).

This is what I am going with unless I discover it is hopelessly wrong

1st Brigade Known as the Line Brigade
                               Belt.        Collar.      Shoulder Boards.           Cap Band
1st Regiment.     White.      Red.           Red.                                  Red
2nd Regiment.    White.      Red.           White.                               Red
Outlining?                              No.             No.                                   No

2nd Brigade Known as the Jaeger Brigade

1st Regiment.      Black.     Dark Green.        Light Blue.            Dark Green
2nd Regiment.     Black.     Dark Green.        Dark Green.          Dark Green
 Outlining ?                           Red.                     Red.                       Red  

Rifle Regiment                     Black.    Black.                  Red.                        Black
Outlining ?                            Red.                     No.                          Red

There were 4 active battalions per regiment and each battalion had different piping around the top of the forage cap

1st Btn.       Red
2nd Btn.      White
3rd Btn.       Light Blue
4th Btn.       Yellow

The one thing missing from this is the complete absence of any 'Guard'  Regiments. I wondered why that was the case until I realised that none of them were sent to the Crimea.

Now this is decided I can get on with the painting. I have already completed the flesh on my first regiment and will basecoat the greatcoats tomorrow.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Thank you

Just a short post this time.  I've now nearly had 1000 views since I started blogging earlier this year. Sheer madness in my view  as I wonder what on earth I have to say that anyone may find remotely interesting.

I make an assumption that many may have will stumbled across it looking for information on Red Admiral or Cabbage White butterflies rather than wargaming and to those that thought 'What on earth is this ?'  I apologise.

However I would give everyone else my sincere thanks and wish you a happy, peaceful, healthy and prosperous Christmas and New Year.

Monday, 9 December 2013

The Russians are coming

Due to work commitments (shifts all changed no leave over Christmas)  I suspect I have had my last game of 2013.  As I am an upwards  sort of person I am looking forward to 2014 with some anticipation. I have made the decision to start on my 28mm Crimean figures starting with the Russians. This is for three reasons.

First is that the Russian figures I have are predominantly in greatcoats. This means less button, finery  and assorted Victorian fanciness to paint. Hopefully  this should speed up the number of figures painted per month.  At the moment I am aiming for  1 x 32 figure regiment/ month. This is probably ludicrously optimistic but if I then complete 24 figures which is probably what many would consider a 'standard' sized battalion then I will be happy. Target therefore is three battalions by the end of March.  Additionally I would like to add one 'luxury' per unit completed. This may be a smaller unit or Gun. I have found a few French infantry so adding them a few at a time will provide encouragement and boost my resolve

Secondly is that I already have some British Guards, Line and a few Highlanders completed as well as my Cherrybums (11th Hussars). The Russians will provide some opposition for them and I can have a stab at Black Powder.

Thirdly, if I can crack into the Russians I can then treat myself at Salute knowing that I have a chance of painting a reasonably balanced force. The one thing I am short of is Russian Cavalry so that is my target.

Having properly waded through the figures I will probably only need to buy a few more figures from Foundry to round out the units. This won't be too costly at  perhaps a single  or two packs per month. Not financially efficient but as the only male in a household of 5 I have to face unfair and unjust questioning of 'necessary purchases' from 4 ladies who simply neither understand or appreciate this hobby ! I will  need another Russian Infantry Command Unit or two plus the British Lancer Command at the very least.

I still haven't decided on Unit size but with Greatcoated Russians I can increase or decrease the size  with relative ease. You can't see the facing colours (and to be honest I don't know them anyway). I am fairly certain I will base them in two ranks with 4 figs per base and that also seems to be the 'industry standard'.

First task though is to clear the assorted Christmas 'rubbish' from around my painting zone.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Re basing

As I am completing my Armed Civilian unit I thought I would top and tail a few other bits and pieces before I get my teeth into the Crimea.

First up is my Interwar British Police Unit. The guts of this are complete as it has two improvised Armoured Vans and a Supervisors Staff Car. In terms of figures what I really want is to convert one or two of the pistol carrying figures and arm them with LMG's.  Courtesy of the very fast delivery from Caliver  Books, a couple of 28mm Lewis  Guns from Minifigs arrived and I have to say that the detail on them is excellent.

I also read Loki's blog entry on his basing method. I use a very similar system but use cheap filler which I can then mold accordingly. I then use Quickshade dip to both shade the base and also provide it with protection from flaking.

As an example here are a couple of scratching 15mm MG bunkers that I cobbled together out of cocktail sticks and skewers. The walls of the bunkers were built up with foam and the filler was laid over the top of that.

These are the MG nests/bunkers as they would appear at the start of the game.

This is what they end up like!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Camels and Mahdists

I have brought more of my newly acquired 'stash' home from the office and have been sorting through it whilst 'Mrs J' is at work. Amongst the goodies are a treasure trove of 15mm Essex Colonials. I counted 150 Zulu (unpainted) plus around 430 Sudanese infantry 80 cavalry, 50 camel troops and 6 field guns. The only Sudanese that aren't painted are the cavalry. Not in the style of my choosing perhaps, but they are properly painted and therefore can be used on the gaming table.

Here are the Camels and artillery

This is the mass of infantry

I am funny like this, unpainted figures are a real 'No way, Jose!' I still have nightmares of my small lovingly painted unit of Polish Lancers racing to the assistance of a pile of unpainted, unprimed and unbased Minifig Curassiers who were under attack from a heap of Russian Guard Uhlans (similarly uncontaminated by enamels). My Lancers failed to make charge contact and were then wiped out by the 3rd 'Metallic' Cossacks.  But I digress...

I was originally going to donate the Colonials but the 'butterfly' has taken grip again. For a relatively small outlay I could acquire a mid 19th Century British Colonial army that over time could be the opposition to either the Sudanese or Zulu forces. Both are 'horde' type armies and I can use a card controlled system a la Peter Guilder for Solo Gaming.....
Fortunately the figures arrived in Box Files that I can store flat in my 'Toy Cupboard'. The good Mrs J will just assume that these contain articles cut from old Gaming magazines and the pressure to otherwise dispose of them will reduce. At the very least I can delay any decision until next year!

Up until now 2013 had been a very efficient year in that not only had I painted what I had bought but I had  started completing unfinished projects as well.  At least I can have a sort out his evening and dispose/ hide the evidence. The big question for me is whether to finish the Sudanese or make a start on my Crimean Russians (especially as they are in greatcoats). At the moment the Russians are winning.