A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Monday, 27 March 2017

1809 Spaniards - First Batch of Granaderos Provinciales - Command


I've split my batch of 46 figures, for two battalions of Granaderos Provinciales, into three sub-batches. First lot (completed this afternoon) comprises the command for the two battalions - 10 figures in all - they will not win any beauty contests, but they will do the job. Mostly Falcata castings - the ensigns are NapoleoN, and the colonels are assembled from bits of this, bits of that. Once again I am faintly bemused that Falcata always gave officers two epaulettes - I suspect they did not understand the rank distinctions. No matter. Everyone is at least a major - the Spanish army was clearly a big deal. Especially my Spanish army.


That's the fiddly bit done - next I have to divide the rank and file into two separate "factory" batches - very few colours required - I reckon (after the undercoat) I'll need white, red, flesh, black, musket brown, linen slings, gunmetal, brass, silver, green for bases. The end. Oh yes - plus a bit of yellow for touching in the flammes on one battalion.

Going OK. I'll keep working away at them - short sessions. Plenty of music - today was Compay Segundo (he of Buena Vista Social Club fame) and Saint-Saens' violin concertos, plus some vintage Chet Atkins.

Eclectic to a fault, moi.

13 comments:

  1. Things are coming along nicely. Chet Atkins eh?

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    1. Windy & Warm, Trambone, good stuff!

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    1. Thanks Ian - I am swithering (good Scots word) whether to do the other ranks with grey undercoat - make em a bit shabbier than the officers!

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  3. Good looking Spaniards! An Old School look to the figures where some details must be painted on. They have a certain charm, I think. I want to see your scroll work on the grenadier's bearskin bag.

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    1. Scroll work is deliberately minimalist I have a simple version of the flamme which is suitable for the 3rd Provincial Grenadier "division" (Andalucia - Giron's regiment) - it dates from about 1805, but will do. The other battalion has been interesting. If I attempt something too fancy, it can look silly (i.e. a mess) if it's less than perfect. At 20mm - especially given my "cow tools" standard of painting - ornate embroidery is almost too small to see. I've done a simple flamme with a white piped edge - you can imagine as much detail as you wish to see! There'll be some more pics later.

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    2. Jon - re-read your comment - all my figures look Old School - I even manage to give modern castings an Old School look! In fact it's just the way I have always painted, but I can justify it a bit by critical mass arguments - if I changed now, I'd have a good few thousand previous offences to make good!

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  4. I too await the flammes! How do you pipe? Do you paint a block white and then flow the red up to the white, leaving a line, or do you paint the red and blue and then line the pipingin white onto the join?
    Looks good .

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    1. Hi Roy - I always use block colours - piping is the subject of a re-education for me. In the enamel days everything had to accurate first time or you wasted a lot of time. With acrylics (and I still have to struggle to remember this) I can put in the piping colour, and if it's not crisp enough I can retouch one or both adjacent colours to clean up the lines. Much easier - much less stress for me! I also learned some things that work best (for me):

      * I don't use washes or shading - some of the castings I am using are not good enough for washes

      * I spend a lot of attention on shoulder straps, cuff flaps - including full piping - and buttons. If I get that right, it draws attention away from the generally humble state of the figure (people will see what they choose to see). For cuff flaps I paint the full flap in the piping colour, and overpaint the middle - gives good results quickly.

      * in some contexts piping makes figure look worse - e.g. the drummers in the photos here have white piping separating blue and red, and that is worth the trouble; if I have unit in white with purple lapels, officially piped white around the edge, attempted piping can just give a scruffy edge to the lapel - in that case, I find it better to paint the full lapel casting purple.

      I found this stuff by trial and error - none of my work is brilliant, obviously - in fact some of it is not very good at all! - it's just a question of doing the things I know work.

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  5. Those really are lovely sculpts and you've painted them beautifully, Tony.

    36 figures is still along way to go. That would count as three batches for me as I can only stand 12 at a time!

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    1. It's a lot for me too - these are simple uniforms, and in any case i aim rather lower than your paint quality. My big batch of 46 is probably organised liked a few smaller batches!

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  6. Marco Benavente very kindly emailed from Chile, to point out that Spanish captains wore two epaulettes, and enclosed an illustration from his book on the Chilean War of Independence. Thanks Marco. I do still have an issue with Falcata's rank distinctions, since they manufacture(d) a Spanish general officer and a mounted colonel, both with full, French style epaulettes, which seems wrong to me. Whatever.

    Painting update: I did a couple of trial figures - one with pale grey undercoat and one with white, to see how they looked under a white uniform. Having looked long and hard at the result, I have to say I cannot see any difference. I could try a darker grey, I suppose, but I'm bored with this experiment. I'll just use white.

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  7. They look great to me Tony.

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