After a long hiatus, I’ve finally painted a few more miniatures. They are 40mm metal figures from a New Zealand supplier, Triguard Miniatures, so I feel I am doing my patriotic duty to support them!
On a whim, I bought two sets of these figures to try them out. I chose two of my favourite uniforms of the 18th century. Firstly, the Gardes Françaises.
And secondly, some British grenadiers.
Each pack contains twelve figures, basically two variants of the privates, and one officer.
Here’s the final result of the grenadiers. As you can see, they look pretty good, even just quickly painted with GW Contrast paints, and with no attempt at basing.
There was a small amount of assembly required (heads, arms and swords). I really hate glueing together metal figures, as I always worry how sturdy they will be. Though I did manage to pin their heads on, so at least they shouldn’t come off in a hurry!
To face my grenadiers, here are the Gardes. The complex lace on their uniforms was quite easy to pick out in this scale.
Again, some assembly is required, and I must admit I wasn’t so happy with how some of the head-to-neck joints turned out – some of them look quite gawky!
The muskets also look rather precariously balanced on their shoulders so as to fit around their tricornes. How in the world did 18th century soldiers ever shoulder arms without knocking their hats off!
Here we see the 40mm figures arranged beside a base of 1/56th (roughly 28mm) figures by Crann Tara Miniatures. They are indeed very hefty models!
I don’t know if I will ever actually game with these large figures, but they will look gorgeous in my display case.
I’m actually dithering whether to make them look more like traditional toy soldiers by gloss varnishing them and leaving the bases untextured – something I would never do with my 28mm miniatures.
So why has my figure painting been in a bit of a hiatus, as I mentioned in my opening sentence? Well, its because I have been spending time painting pictures, a new hobby I have taken up in my retirement.
This is the tugboat ‘Natone’ moored at the Wellington docks in the very early 1900s. She was actually skippered by my wife’s great-grandfather. I did a lot of research to find photos of her, and then spoke to several steam-tug enthusiasts to get the colours right. The buildings in the background are still there today, though of course ‘Natone’ has long since gone to that great shipyard in the sky.
One of the enthusiasts I consulted for ‘Natone’ was so impressed with the final pic, he gave me my first ever painting commission. He wanted a picture of the steam-tug ‘Toia’ in Wellington Harbour during the mid-1900s.
I depicted her backing over her prop-wash as she manouevres out of the tug berth. Again, the background is researched to be as authentic as possible.
I’ve also painted a couple of birthday presents. This one was for my wife. It shows, Mount Ruapehu, her tūrangawaewae.
The tūrangawaewae is the Māori concept of tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet), often translated as ‘a place to stand’. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. My wife has been coming to this mountain for skiing ever since she was a child, so it is a very special place to her.
For my 94-year old mother, I painted her childhood home in the town of Weert, the Netherlands, where she lived until she emigrated to New Zealand in 1953. Her house is the one with the round window in the attic.