Napoleon – Tinder profile vs reality

20180923_130341_s

Have you ever happened to pick up a miniature you painted many years ago, but which you’ve hardly taken any notice of since, and examined it afresh? That happened to me today when I was clearing a wall-shelf in preparation for some house repairs we’ve got coming up. As I was moving a group of rather dusty figures off the shelf, this 28mm model of Napoleon drew my attention.

A handwritten note underneath the base informs me that I painted this figure (made by Wargames Foundry, if I recall correctly) fifteen years ago. Since then, I’ve walked past the shelf where it sits numerous times every day. But only today have I actually picked the figure up again and studied it carefully through new eyes.

Speaking of eyes, back in those days painting eyes was probably my biggest problem area. I mean, jeepers, creepers, look at those peepers! He’s like something out of Thunderbirds! Nowadays I only hint at eyes with a wash of a darker shade, rather than trying to paint them in detail.

20180923_135928_s

The figure is based on the famous painting of ‘Napoleon Crossing the Alps’ by the French artist Jacques-Louis David.

This painting is a strongly idealised view of the real crossing that Napoleon and his army made across the Alps through the Great St. Bernard Pass in May 1800. In reality Napoleon made the crossing a few days after the troops, led by a local guide and mounted on a mule. However, as this painting was first and foremost propaganda, Bonaparte asked David to portray him mounted calmly on a fiery steed.

Sort of a Tinder profile vs reality!

t0drffa4qyc01

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Foundry, Napoleonics, Uncategorized

More cardboard buildings from Paperboys

Palace_3_a

I’ve been quietly boxing on making some more of the cardboard models from Florian Richter and Peter Dennis’s book European Buildings: 28mm paper models for 18th & 19th century wargames.

20180901_125008

In addition to the windmill I have previously posted about, I now also have a mansion, a church, and a watermill.

Palace_2_a

This impressive mansion will be perfectly at home as either a country house or a town hall.

The book also provides roof connectors to so you join more of this model together to form a larger building – making the entire Palace of Versailles wouldn’t be out of the question!

I’ve made this and the other models straight out of the book. The only additional work I have done was to strengthen the inner structures with some heavy card.

Church_2_a

The northern-European church looks surprisingly solid for a cardboard model. I think it is the buttresses that make it so sturdy-looking.

If you wanted to super-detail this model, you could cut out the windows and then re-inset them behind the holes to give more depth. However, the original artistry is so good that the windows look sufficiently 3D just as is.

20180915_201426_a

I did this watermill in one afternoon.  I’ve made it fit with my existing latex river terrain by adding a foundation to the main building so that the wing with the wheel sits on the upraised bank, and the wheel itself hangs down ‘into’ the water.

I also added some piles made from sprue to support the overhanging wooden outhouse.

Windmill_a

Here’s the first building I make from the book. It was probably a brave move to pick this one as my prototype, as it is the most complex. But it came out surprisingly well.

There are still plenty more buildings to make in the book – a Spanish-style church and windmill, farms and houses from both northern and southern Europe, bridges , walls …

1 Comment

Filed under Eighteenth century, Paperboys, Terrain, Uncategorized

Simple-to-build cardboard European windmill

20180901_122117

I made this complex-looking cardboard windmill in just one evening! It’s a cut-out model from Helion Publishing’s latest Paperboys book, European Buildings: 28mm paper models for 18th & 19th century wargames by Florian Richter and Peter Dennis.

Despite the intricate design of this windmill, with protruding attics and overhanging annexes, it was surprisingly easy to make. It was simply a matter of scoring all the folds, cutting out the pieces, folding them into shape, and gluing. Everything fitted perfectly.

20180901_125008

This windmill is one of the many cut-out buildings included in the book, which covers both Northern and Southern Europe settings. Other buildings include two churches, a mansion, a watermill, houses and farms, bridges and walls, and much more.

Unlike the Paperboys model soldiers I’ve made, which need to be photocopied before assembling, these buildings can be cut straight out of the book. The pages are printed on light card, with only some instructions and explanatory photos on the back of each page, which (if necessary) you can simply capture with your phone camera before you start cutting out the model.

The book’s front cover also shows a column of figures from Peter Dennis’s other new Paperboys book The War of the Spanish Succession: paper soldiers for Marlborough’s campaigns in Flanders.  I bought this second book too, intending to use it just as reference.  But, boy oh boy, Peter’s figures are just so colourful and eye-popping (especially the French Maison du Roi) that I don’t think I’m going to be able to resist assembling some regiments!

20180901_123818

The figures shown in these pictures of my windmill aren’t paper, though – they’re from my Minden Miniatures army.  But they show how well these cardboard buildings will go with any traditional 28mm army.

Peter’s preference is that his buildings are a little smaller than true scale so that they have a smaller footprint on the battlefield. But you can easily photocopy them larger or smaller if you wish.

20180901_122823

Probably the most complex part of the assembly was the beam structure on which the windmill sits. But in fact this was surprisingly simple to put together. The trick is to score all the folds first, and then use Uhu All Purpose contact glue for very fast bonding.

The finishing touch with any cardboard building is to use a wash (I used green wash) to disguise any white card that shows through the folds or on exposed edges.

So there you have it – a wonderful windmill in one evening …

2 Comments

Filed under Eighteenth century, Minden Miniatures, Paperboys, Terrain, Uncategorized

Gorgeous 3D-printed governor’s mansion

house 4

‘Every local despot needs a stately mansion to flaunt his wealth and influence,’ says  Printable Scenery’s website in the description of their  model Governor’s Mansion.

I’ve been really enjoying painting this 3D-printed model over the last couple of nights.

house 3

I love the quaint look for this building, with its saggy roof, diagonally-placed overhanging tower and intricate half-timbering. It wouldn’t look out of place in the city of Ankh-Morpork (as per the screenshot below from the old Discworld computer game).

znaeysk

The model was a cinch to paint, with lots of luscious detail that was easily picked out by dry-brushing. I chose a colour scheme that hinted at Bavaria, with its light blue and white shutters and doors.

house 2

Printable Scenery deliver this model as a .ZIP file pack containing STL files for use on a home 3D Printer. The files are set to 28mm scale but can be rescaled before printing.

If you haven’t got access to a 3D printer, Printable Scenery have a list of licenced third party printers all over the world.

house 1

4 Comments

Filed under Terrain, Uncategorized

Paper buildings for the Jacobite Rebellion

To complete my paper armies for the Jacobite Rebellion, I’ve put together some of the lovely Scottish buildings that are included in Peter Dennis’ book Battle for Britain: Wargame the Jacobite ’45. Whilst the figures in Peter’s books are flats, the buildings are fully 3D.

aa_20180805_182952 (002)

Firstly, here’s a hamlet of four typical turf, stone and thatch ‘Black Houses’. As the only chimney was a hole in the roof, these houses became blackened both inside and out, thus the name.

The book also includes a peat pile, which I assume is a feature characteristically found in the Highlands.

The civilians, too, are paper figures from the book.

aa_20180805_182750

And here’s the ‘Big House’, with its exterior circular stair turret. The windows come separate for you to glue wherever you like, and the wings and tower can be configured in different ways – so you can make more versions of this house with no two alike.

By the way, the figures in the second picture aren’t paper, nor are they flats – I have included them to show that these buildings will work just as well with metal fully-rounded figures too.

This is actually the second version of this model that I have made, as the first one (see below) suffered a spray varnish disaster when I tried to give it more of a matt finish and the varnish went white. Frustrating, but in the end it was just some time that I lost, as I only had to pay the cost of another colour photocopy.

Na_IMG_1385

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Eighteenth century, Paperboys, Terrain, Uncategorized

Plug pulled on New Zealand’s massive Chunuk Bair diorama

t_IMG_2047

Back in 2015 about 100 New Zealand wargamers volunteered to take part in the nation’s official World War One centennial commemoration by participating in a crowd project to paint over 5000 specially sculpted 54mm figures for a massive diorama of the Battle of Chunuk Bair.

The diorama was to be part of Sir Peter Jackson’s The Great War Exhibition in Wellington’s former Dominion Museum. The building was leased until November 2018 from its current owners, Massey University.

t_IMG_2303

Now the time has come for the lease to conclude. Massey University will return to the Dominion Museum building in 2019, so The Great War Exhibition will close shortly after after Armistice Day in November 2018.

I haven’t yet heard what will happen to the diorama or its 5000 painstakingly painted figures. I just hope it will remain intact, and can be housed in a new location. Maybe the National Army Museum at Waiouru might take it?

armymuseum

But if the worst were to happen, and the diorama is broken up (oh, that’s so painful to even contemplate) we must lobby that the 5000 figures themselves are preserved for posterity. You can read all about the sobering experience of painting these figures in this article from Wargames Illustrated.

I’ve got a personal stake, too, in hoping to preserve the special figure that the Perry twins sculpted of me, pointing the way in the below pic!

16t_MK3_9190

Anyway, let’s keep our fingers crossed that a new home will be found for the diorama. In the meantime, you’ve got till 2 December to see it in its present location.

If you can’t make it to Wellington before The Great War Exhibition closes, take a look at these amazing photos by Andy Palmer on the Mustering The Troops blog to see what you’ve missed. These are the very best photos that you’ll find anywhere of this diorama, professionally taken just before it was enclosed in glass.

t_IMG_2213

Here are just a few sample pics from the above blog. Click each picture for the full effect, and be prepared to be especially shocked by the last one. Please do go to Dressing The Lines for plenty more of these pictures, along with detailed captions.

06t_MK3_9032

13t_MK3_9114

21t_MK3_9241

22t_palmer_9205

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under WW1

A quirky Netflix doco on Napoleonic reenacting

220123_550x814

On the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, thousands of enthusiasts reenact the epic clash. But there can only be one Napoleon.

I’ve just finished watching a quirky documentary on Netflix. Being Napoleon is a feature length documentary that follows the stories of several historical war reenactors as they prepare for Waterloo 2015.

Over 6,000 reenactors gather for the 200th anniversary of the epic Battle of Waterloo, from humble foot-soldiers through to officers and even the great Marshal Ney (who is unfortunately less adept at horsemanship than the original).

But the real battle is taking place elsewhere, as two contenders vie for the vital role of being Napoleon. Frenchman Frank Samson, uniform-maker extraordinaire, takes on American Mark Schneider as to who will be Emperor on the day. By the way, my son and I saw the latter in action ten years earlier when we took part in the 2005 Waterloo!

rolyandoli0133

There was only one Napoleon in 1815, so there can be only one Napoleon in 2015. But the Belgians are in charge, and unrest is growing in the ranks.

There’s also an outstanding prison sentence to be served, an unpaid bill for parking to which Empress Josephine has something to say, and a motley group of elderly Grenadier reenactors gamely trekking Napoleon’s route from where he landed after his escape from Elba in 1815.

The movie concludes with some amazing footage of the Waterloo event, especially the last stand of the Guard.

As to which of the two contenders ends up being Napoleon, you’ll just have to watch.

emporer0124

1 Comment

Filed under Movies, Napoleonics, Uncategorized