An 18th century civilian painting project

I recently painted this pack of 28mm metal civilians by Ratnik Miniatures to populate the towns and villages of my 18th century ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia.

Whilst probably not that useful in wargames as such, they will add some interesting little vignettes from an aesthetic perspective.

I used my current preferred painting technique of a white undercoat (as above) followed by GW Contrast paints.

A gentleman in green and scarlet doffs his hat to a passing lady. Her sedan chair (with a demure hand poking out of the front window) is carried by a pair of liveried servants. A boy scurries ahead with a lantern to light the way once dusk falls.

In the market area a burly old woman pushes a barrow of bread buns, another woman carries her wares in a basket on her head, and one more pours some liquid from a jug.

Meanwhile a young man munches on some fruit that he has piled inside his upturned tricorne.

A couple of workmen are repairing the road. The chap on the right is in great danger of doing himself a back injury – ‘don’t use your back as a crane!’

Here’s another view of the whole group, bring the street scene to life.

The civilians bring me to the bottom of my lead pile, so I have thought long and hard about what to do next.

My decision is to add to my one existing unit of Landsknechts. I’ve now bought a further box of Warlord Games plastic miniatures to paint up, and have also ordered a few metal Landsknechts from Steel Fist. Watch this space for the results in due course!

Painting 40mm figures, and some tugs

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.

The 8th (King’s) Foot joins the Barryat of Lyndonia 

After a long gestation, the latest regiment of my imagi-nation, the Barryat of Lyndonia, has finally arrived. The Barryat doesn’t have its own army, but contracts foreign regiments to fight its battles (clever!).

Initially the Barryat’s contracted regiments were all ones that had appeared in the Stanley Kubrik film Barry Lyndon. But as all the main units from the movie have now been used up, the Barryat is now employing random real-life regiments such as this one, the British 8th (King’s) Regiment of Foot.

The real 8th Foot fought at a number of the more famous battles of the mid-18th century, including Dettingen (1743), Fontenoy (1745), Falkirk (1746), Culloden (1746), Rocoux (1746), and Lauffeldt (1747).

The figures are all from the range of superb 1/56th scale metal models produced by Crann Tara Miniatures, which are now owned by Caliver Books in the UK.

In fact, I’ve really got to praise Caliver Books for being able to complete this regiment. You may recall that I previously posted about painting the grenadiers of this regiment, and said I was awaiting the remainder of the figures to be shipped from the UK.

After they still hadn’t showed up by several weeks later, I contacted Caliver Books to check the date they posted the package. I wasn’t angling at getting replacements (truly!), but Dave Ryan immediately replied saying that consignments did occasionally get lost, and that he would resend the missing figures, which he promptly did at no further cost. Now that is excellent service! The 8th Foot and in fact the entire population of the Barryat of Lyndonia salute you, Dave!

The colours (flags) are by Flags of War. This is the first time I have used their paper flags, and I must say I was very impressed with them. The shading and highlighting gives the effect of the light shining through the cloth.

Two hints for using paper flags:

  • Firstly, after gluing the two sides together, lightly crunch up the flag from the top corner by the finial down to the diagonally opposite bottom corner – this gives the effect of the weight of the flag dragging it slightly down, which you won’t achieve by just rolling the flag vertically as many people do.
  • Secondly, always paint the edges of the flag to match the design, so as the cover up the unsightly white edges of the paper.

The 8th Foot carry two colours:

  • King’s colour: Union flag, the centre decorated with the white horse of Hanover on a red field surrounded by a blue garter and surmounted by a gold crown; the motto “NEC ASPERA TERRENT” underneath; the regiment number “VIII” in roman gold numerals in the upper left corner.
  • Regimental colour: blue field with its centre decorated with the regimental badge as per the king’s colour. The Union flag in the upper left corner with the regiment number “VIII” in roman gold numerals in its centre. The gold king’s cipher surmounted by a crown in the three other corners.

The drummers of the 8th Foot wore the royal livery of red cloth, lined, faced and lapelled on the breast with blue, and laced with the royal lace (golden braid with two thin purple central stripes).

By using deep bases (60mm) I can put my officers at the front, and the NCOs and drummers behind the line.

The figures were painted almost entirely with GW’s Contrast Paints. I love the way these paints flow, and how they automatically provide some basic shading and highlighting. These figures won’t ever be painting competition winners, but they look fine from normal viewing distance, especially en masse.

Speaking of ‘en masse’, this regiment is big by wargaming standards. There are 54 privates, 3 officers, 3 sergeants and 3 drummers, along with another 8 figures on the command stands, and of course the mounted colonel. A total of 72 figures!

Here’s a picture of how I have organised the regiment, loosely based on the battalions in the old wargaming book Charge! or How to Play Wargames.

Basing the Barryat of Lyndonia’s big battalions

Whilst waiting for an overdue shipment of figures to complete my current painting project (hopefully just held up by the international supply chain issues at the moment) I have done something I have been meaning to do for some time now – rebasing the regiments of my 18th century ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia.

When I first began painting the various foreign contingents that make up the Barryat’s army, I was inspired by the big battalions in old wargaming books like Charge! Or How To Play Wargames, with large regiments of several companies of fusiliers and grenadiers being led by figures depicting the officers and NCOs.

I achieved the look I wanted by combining six-figure bases for the soldiers with single bases for their officers, standard-bearers, NCOs and drummers.

But whilst this certainly looked good, it made the units very fiddly to set up and move on the table. So I decided to try something different.

I have now introduced a new basing system that I hope retains that same nostalgic look, but that is much easier to handle and manoeuvre. By using 40x60mm bases, I can fit two ranks of privates with the supernumeries marching in front and behind.

For flexibility, I have kept the standards on separate bases. These bases are narrow, but still as deep as the main bases, which means they line up perfectly when incorporated in their parent unit.

The flag-bases also work perfectly fine when the standard bearers are out of the line, albeit the long narrow bases are a rather odd shape.

I cheated a bit with rebasing, as I didn’t remove all the figures from their existing bases, but merely glued the existing six-figure bases on top of the new bases. As both the old and the new bases were quite thin, the combined height was still acceptable to me.

I then built up the terrain to blend the bases in. Although you can still just make out the line of the old bases (as in this French regiment), it isn’t too obvious.

I did un-base the supernumeries from their old single bases though, such as the officers and standard-bearers in this picture. But as there weren’t so many of them, this wasn’t too onerous a task.

Another advantage of rebasing was that it helped solve a problem I had with charging figures, whose muskets stuck well out in front of the old bases, and were in danger of being bent or broken. The new deeper bases will give them some extra protection frm clumsy fingers.

By the way, for the above picture of a re-based Irish regiment in French service I lined them up on a textured plank that I sometimes use for photographing my miniatures. But note that that plank isn’t part of the basing.

As you can see here, the effect of the drummers and sergeants trailing behind the line gives a great effect.

Likewise, having the officers stand out in front adds an extra dimension. This worked particularly well with my Gardes Françaises, with the officer stepping out to politely doff his hat to the enemy.

For the Gardes Françaises, I massed the drums together to form a ‘drum corps’ standing behind the line. But with all my other regiments, which are organised in a totally fictional way of three companies of 18 privates, each company has its own drummer.

One of the reasons for the separate flags is because I wanted to be able to capture the idiosyncratic way that flags are deployed in the movie Barry Lyndon. For example, in the movie the Prussian regiment carries three flags together that actually belonged to three different regiments.

But if I prefer to pose them as a real-life regiment, I can just remove the flag-bases I don’t need.

Anther advantage of the separate flag-bases is if I choose to play a game using smaller regiments, I can just divide the unit into two, and give each half a flag. Simples!

My light troops had also used the same size bases as the line regiment, but with only three figures per base. I again just glued the old bases on top new 40×60 bases, and arranged their officers and musicians behind or in front.

By staggering the figures, they give the irregular look of troops engaged in la petite guerre (the little war), like these Hanoverian Freytag Jaegers taking on French Volontaires de Clermont-Prince.

The larger bases for the light troops still work fine to depict skirmishing, as you can see with this picture of the Volontaires Étrangers de Clermont-Prince taking pot-shots from behind a fence-line.

My original artillery had separately based gunners, as you can see in the picture near the top of this posting. But I have now reverted to the traditional system of mounting the gunners on the same base as their weapon, as with the above Royal Artillery.

I didn’t feel the cavalry needed re-basing, as their existing system works quite well. So I will leave well enough alone.

So that’s my re-basing done and dusted. Now I just need to head down to my letter-box and hopefully find that my overdue parcel has finally overcome the supply chain problems and arrived safely, so I can get on and finish my next unit!

Painting guide: British grenadiers with Contrast paints

After my previous posting showing off my latest project in which I used GW Contrast paints to complete a unit of 18th century British grenadiers by Crann Tara Miniatures, I’ve been asked by several people for tips on how I went about it. So here we go!

Undercoat

After the usual preparation involving cleaning up any flash and washing the figures in water with detergent, I spray them with GW Wraithbone undercoat. This is great fun, as it really brings out the detail.

I understand this undercoat is especially formulated to go with Contrast paints. But how much difference it would make to use another brand, I don’t know.

Equipment and lacing

When I paint with ordinary hobby paints, I usually do the coat and breeches first, then equipment and facings last.

However, with Contrast paints I find it works better the other way around, starting with the equipment and lacing, then filling in the uniform colours later. When the uniform is a darker colour than most of the equipment (eg red or blue), this technique gives a clean edge.

  • Lacing: Skeleton Horde (you might prefer Apothecary White for other regiments)
  • Belts and haversack: Aggaros Dunes
  • Cartridge box and sword: Black Templar
  • Sword handle and belt buckle: Basilicanum Grey with a second coat of Aggoras Dunes
  • Fur knapsack: Wyldwood
  • Waterbottle: Basilicanum Grey

Mitre caps and flesh

This was the part I was most anxious about. There is a lot of detail on those mitre caps, but it is all so minute. But if someone could sculpt it, surely I could paint it!

I start by giving the whole cap a coat of Apothecary White to bring out the white lacing. I then use a very fine brush to paint in the crown emblem with Aggaros Dunes, and squiggles of Blood Angels Red and Leviadon Blue between the raised white detail. This is where Contrast paints come into their own, as they flow quite easily into the gaps. I finish with the lightest of dry-brushing with normal white paint.

The backs of the caps are done exactly the same way – a coat of white over everything first, then filling in the red and blue gaps. Again, this is sort of a reverse from the normal procedure, where I probably would’ve painted the white lace last.

By the way, I use really cheap fine brushes by the truckload which a friend bought me from the online seller Wish. Although cheap and nasty, they actually work better and last longer than I expected. But when the point does get ragged, at just a few cents per brush I can simply throw the brush away and grab another from the box.

Adding the flesh is one of my favourite tasks, as this makes the figures come alive. I use one light coat of Gulliman Flesh, and that’s it. All the shading, eyes, fingers etc appear by themselves!

Weapons and boots

One of the parts I most dislike (and I have no idea why) is painting weapons and shoes. I start with the strap, then the barrel, and finally the woodwork. I add a highlight of normal silver paint to the bayonets to make them look a bit shinier.

  • Straps: Aggaros Dunes
  • Barrel: Basilicanum Grey
  • Bayonet: Basilicanum Grey with a highlight of normal silver
  • Woodwork: Gore-Grunta Fur
  • Shoes: Black Templar

Uniforms and leggings

Now at last the best bit – the uniforms. This is quite a painstaking stage, but great fun. The Contrast paint flows really nicely into all the little gaps, using a fairly small brush.

The leggings are done with a coat of Apothecary White. This makes all the buttons pop, and gives a line to the bands that I can later follow with black.

Up till now my figures have looked sort of French or Austrian. But now they are definitely British!

  • Coats: Blood Angels Red
  • Facings and breeches: Leviadon Blue with a highlight of normal medium blue paint
  • Leggings: Apothecary White with Black Templar bands

I paint the officers and drummers using exactly the same technique. The only additional task is the sash, painted first in normal violet paint, then covered with a light coat of Blood Angels Red, which turns it into a nicely shaded crimson.

And there we have it – a company of grenadiers all done!

But how do Contrast paints on a light undercoat come out versus using normal hobby paints on a black undercoat. Well, you choose! The three grenadiers on the left are Minden Miniatures painted the normal way, and the three on the right are the Contrast-painted Crann Tara figures.

Using Contrast paints for 18th century British grenadiers

Last night I completed painting this company of 18th century British grenadiers from Crann Tara Miniatures, the first part of my latest big battalion. They’re not based yet, but I just couldn’t resist forming them up on my desktop for a photo opportunity.

Crann Tara Miniatures (now owned by Caliver Books) make a beautiful line of 1/56 scale figures that are much more anatomically correct than most other ranges.

I decided to paint my battalion as the 8th (King’s) Regiment of Foot. My main painting reference was the above illustration by Frédéric Aubert of the Kronoskaf website.

Whilst this famous painting of the Battle of Culloden 1746 by David Morier isn’t actually depicting the 8th (instead, it shows Barrell’s Regiment), the uniform is very similar, with blue facings and breeches.

I used GW Contrast paints almost entirely for this project. The only exception was that I added a top coat of Foundry medium blue to the turnbacks, as I felt the shade of Contrast dark blue I used didn’t stand out enough.

The beauty of Contrast paints, besides providing their own highlighting and shading, is that they flow so easily. The back of those mitre caps were actually quite simple to do, as the paint filled the gaps between the lines of lacing by itself.

The biggest challenge was doing the fronts of the mitre caps. However, once again Contrast paints came to the fore. These caps won’t bear too close scrutiny, but from any distance they look the part, as you can see.

Next task will be another two companies of the same size, but of hatmen in tricornes rather than mitre caps, as well as a variety of various officers and NCOs.

PS: I’ve now posted a detailed painting guide on how I did these figures. Enjoy!

Lockdown and the Barryat of Lyndonia’s latest big battalion

On 17 August New Zealand’s long streak without local transmission of COVID-19 came to an end. This was the first coronavirus case detected in New Zealand for nearly six months.

Almost immediately the whole country went straight into what we called an Alert Level 4 lockdown, which had worked successfully for us during the initial outbreak last year.

Based on what had happened in Australia, where some states had delayed locking down when their first cases of Delta appeared, our government opted for the ‘go hard and go early’ approach. To us wargamers this strategy sounds somewhat like rolling a double-6 to seize the initiative before the enemy can!

This approach has so far appeared to be the right way to go (touch wood!). Though we aren’t out of the woods yet, especially as New Zealand’s vaccination rates are so low.

My wife and I were on holiday in the South Island when we went into lockdown. Travellers were initially given 48 hours to get home, but this was too tight for us to get a ferry booking. We actually weren’t too dismayed, as where we were staying in the town of Cromwell looked like a pretty nice place to lock down!

But despite the undeniable beauty of Cromwell, home is always best. So when the government gave travellers another 24 hours to get home, we managed to catch the last ferry to Wellington.

Of course a benefit of having made it home is that I now have access to all my hobby stuff, and time to work on it! So I have started to paint another big battalion for my ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia.

An additional British battalion means I’ll have an equal number of real-life opposing forces if I want to play a game based on actual history (British/Prussian vs French). I’m using 1/56 scale Crann Tara Miniatures, half of which arrived just before lockdown, whilst the other half are currently on their way from the UK.

I especially wanted a unit that had the blue breeches worn by royal regiments, so as to differentiate them from my other British battalion in red breeches. So I’ve chosen to depict the 8th (King’s) Regiment of Foot, which was commanded from 1745 to 1759 by Edward Wolfe, father of General James Wolfe of Quebec fame.

The King’s Regiment (centre figure above) used the White Horse of Hanover (the symbol of the Royal Household) as its badge.

Why this regiment has managed to make it into the Barryat’s army, no-one knows! But I’m sure I can come up with a suitable back-story.

This will likely be my most challenging paint job ever. These guys have lots of little bits of lace everywhere. They don’t call this period the Lace Wars for nothing! Look at those cuffs and sleeves, the lacing on the fronts of their coats, and the intricate lace wings on their shoulders. And let’s not even mention the grenadiers’ mitre caps!

Note that the above picture of the 8th Foot uniform in 1756 was created by Frédéric Aubert for the Kronoskaf website.

With my current basing system for my 60+ figure battalions, as shown with Gale’s Regiment of Foot above, I have nine bases of 6 infantry figures each, and all my officers, drummers and NCOs are on small freestanding bases. But this makes for really fiddly setting up and moving.

So for this latest unit I am going to experiment with a new basing system of just six bases of 10-12 figures each, on which character figures will also be standing alongside or behind the ranks. The only figures left freestanding will be standard-bearers and the mounted officers.

Keeping flags freestanding will allow flexibility in which units I wish to represent. And it will also allow the big 60+ figure unit to be broken into two or three smaller ones if required for a specific rule-set.

If this new system is successful, I see a major rebasing project for all my existing Barryat of Lyndonia units!

As a side project, and completely unrelated to the Lace Wars period, I have also finally assembled the Renedra ramshackle house kit I bought from our local pharmacy (true!) a few weeks ago.

It still needs painting, but looks good. I plan to use the same colour-scheme as I did with Renedra’s similar ramshackle barn kit a few years ago. This could be said to be more like un-painting than painting!

Irish contingent joins the Barryat of Lyndonia’s army

Meet the Regiment di Balibari, the latest foreign unit to join the forces of my 18th century ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia.

Back when I was a schoolboy, one of the first wargaming books I ever read was ‘Charge! Or How to Play Wargames’ by Brigadier Peter Young and Lieutenant-Colonel J Lawford.

I still vividly remember being entranced by the picture on the back cover showing a close-up view of a line of red-coated soldiers. Behind them stood an elegant officer carrying what appeared to my untutored eye to be a green Union Jack. To one side waited a drummer, resplendent in his green and gold coat.

Ever since, this little group has represented to me the ultimate in 18th century sartorial military fashion. It is only a wonder that it has taken me nigh on half a century to finally replicate these childhood heroes in miniature!

Crann Tara Miniatures do a beautiful range of charging French infantry. I thought their action pose would be great to represent the fighting élan of an Irish regiment. So in went my order, which arrived in New Zealand from the UK quite quickly despite COVID.

This shot of the first few figures I painted shows the incredible detail, anatomy and posing of this range. Even un-based, they look amazing.

As with most of my more recent units, I used Games Workshop’s Contrast paints for this project. I love the way these paints flow, and the automatic shadows and highlights they provide.

In my previous style of painting, I would have started with the basic uniform colour first, and then built up the detail and clothing. However, I have now reversed this, and after a undercoat of Wraithbone, I now paint all the equipment in first, as you can see with the two figures on the left of the picture above. I leave the main uniform colour (in this case, red) till almost the last step. The Contrast paint flows into the gaps beautifully, and disguises any overflows from painting the equipment.

The flag that I thought was a green Union Jack was actually the flag of a real Irish regiment in French service, the Regiment de Berwick. However, instead of the straight lines of the diagonal St Andrew’s cross depicted on the book cover, most versions I have seen of this regiment’s flag have a wavy cross.

Also, the real Berwick had black cuffs and facings, whereas the figures in the picture appeared to have green.

So in true imagi-nation style, I decided my regiment would be fictional. And thus was born the Regiment di Balibari. This name comes from the Chevalier de Balibari, who in the novel and movie ‘Barry Lyndon’ is an itinerant professional gambler whom the Prussians suspect is an Irish spy in the service of the Austrians. He uses the Italian name ‘Balibari’ instead of his true Irish family name ‘Ballybarry’.

To represent that all-important ‘green Union Jack’, I bought a set of paper Berwick flags from Flags of War. I did think about trying to amend the St Andrews cross to match the cover photo from ‘Charge!’, but in the end I decided this was too difficult and stuck with the wavy cross on the Flags of War products.

I painted the drummers in green coats with gold trim, as per the book cover image. I think in the real Irish regiments in French service the drummers actually wore red like the men. But this is an imaginary unit, so I can follow my own rules!

Here’s a back-view of the regiment. You can see two of my four NCOs following the line to make sure no-one falls behind.

I really like the simple style of coats that haven’t been turned back. And they make painting so much easier too!

The regiment consists of 54 rank-and-file, divided into three companies of 18 figures, each company having two ranks of 9. This is fewer companies than a real regiment would have had, but matches the organisation in ‘Charge!’.

Each company has a frontage of 12cms. This does mean the figures are packed in quite tightly, almost shoulder-to-shoulder. But I think this looks more realistic than widely-spaced figures.

Click on the image above to get an impression of what the regiment’s full 36cms of frontage looks like – and that isn’t even counting the three drummers to the side!

So, what’s next for the Barryat of Lyndonia? Well, surely any imagi-nation gamer worth their salt would want to have the unit on the front cover of Charge! – the Erbprinz Regiment in their Prussian grenadier-style mitres, resplendent in light-blue and scarlet uniforms. Watch this space!

My latest article in Wargames Illustrated

I’ve been lucky enough to have another article published in ‘Wargames Illustrated’. I submitted a piece for their ‘Quick Fire’ series, and was chuffed to see it appear in Issue 397 (January 2021).

In the short article I describe how when photographing miniatures, there’s a real thrill when every now and then one of the pictures unexpectedly stands out from the rest.

The article is accompanied by some examples of what I call my ‘serendipitous photographs’ – pictures that I think came out particularly well, despite no extra effort on my part.

The limitations of a hard-copy magazine mean the published pictures are quite small. So, for anyone who may be interested, here they are full-size (click on the pics to expand).

I liked the way that the trees in my garden accidently came out looking like a castle on a hill overshadowing this unit of Landsknechts. (Warlord Games)

There’s more info on this unit in my old posting: https://arteis.wordpress.com/2020/06/02/lockdown-landsknechts/

This is probably my favourite photo – a recreation of Philippoteaux’s famous painting of the Battle of Fontenoy. (Crann Tara and Minden Miniatures)

There’s more info on the original painting and my diorama version in this posting on my blog: https://arteis.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/at-last-my-favourite-painting-in-miniature/

British and French third-rate ships-of-the-line battle it out, as a Spanish brig circles warily. This photo was taken with a simple hand-painted sky background, and sitting on the paper sea that comes with the Warlord ‘Black Seas’ starter set. (Warlord Games)

You can find out more about these models in this old posting: https://arteis.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/black-seas-fleets-finished/

A battalion of French light infantry marches forward in the moonlight. (Front Rank)

This is a really old picture. I recall I added in the ‘moon’ using a graphics programme, as the lighting of this photo came out by chance looking just like moonlight (well, I thought so anyway!).

There’s more info on this unit in this old posting: https://arteis.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/tartanish-and-thunderbirdish-napoleonics/

Māori warriors from the colonial New Zealand Wars perform a fierce haka (war-dance) in the face of the enemy. (Empress Miniatures)

There’s more info on this unit here: https://arteis.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/photos-of-finished-colonial-new-zealand-wars-figures-and-terrain/

A pre-war colonial French column of Panhard armoured cars arrives in an oasis village. (Mad Bob Miniatures)

Below is the same picture, but with some special effects to make it into an old-fashioned snapshot. 

You can read more about these models here: https://arteis.wordpress.com/2020/02/15/motorised-foreign-legion-security-patrol-in-1930s-morocco/

On parade! The Barryat of Lyndonia’s artillery contingents

In Part 8 of this series of postings in which I am reviewing the armies of my ‘imagi-nation’, the Barryat of Lyndonia, it’s time to take a look at the artillery contingents.

As described in Part 1, rather than having its own army, this imaginary eighteenth century state contracts its troops from real-life European countries of the time.

The artillery contingents come from Britain and France – which has no doubt led to many a fisticuffs argument in local hostelries when carousing gunners from these two habitual enemies run into each other!

The French gun and limber are made by Fife and Drum Miniatures (also available from UK company Crann Tara Miniatures).

Apart from the horses, they are all painted with GW’s wonderful Contrast paints (which have truly revolutionised my style and speed of painting).

I’ve chosen to paint the guns red, which means they are from the mid-part of the eighteenth century, as the French later converted to blue. I reckon the red looks more dramatic!

Whilst the gun crew are all glued onto the base, I’ve kept the gun itself removable so it can be attached to the limber if I wish to portray the piece on the move.

The number of horses is really just representative, as I think this would be far too much a load for just two horses to haul!

And here’s the British Royal Artillery contingent. This model also comes from Crann Tara Miniatures.

Gunners normally wore quite subdued uniforms (maybe due to how they could get so worn and dirty working the guns). But the British bucked this trend, and festooned their Royal Artillery’s uniforms with lashings of lace and piping.

I thought all this decoration would be quite hard to paint, but the Contrast paints almost did the job by themselves, with just the barest modicum of precision on my part!

I particularly like the British officer with his crimson sash, whom you can see on the left of the above photo.

Note the civilian driver on the right. During his period armies hired civilians to lug their guns about. Once in battle, I bet many drivers would’ve scarpered off, leaving the guns pretty well fixed in place.

Again, the gun can be attached to its limber.

British guns were painted a grey-blue. I must admit I didn’t get the shade quite right on the gun, compared to the limber. Maybe the gun is older and has faded in the sun!

Whilst painting the big guns, I also took the opportunity to re-base the smaller battalion guns that I had painted several years ago.

Battalion guns were the small-calibre cannon that formed integral parts of some individual infantry units.

Here we see the battalion gun of Gale’s Regiment of Foot, supporting the advance of the company of grenadiers.

These figures are by Minden Miniatures.

And here’s the battalion gun of le Régiment des Royal-Cravates.

Battalion guns were often manned by infantrymen from the regiment, rather than actual artillerists, which is why these gunners are in white rather than French Artillerie blue.

Go back to Part 7 of this series: the Truchseß Dragoons.