Friday, 23 February 2018

From SidneyR: More Troops in 'Flight': Laarden, 1688 (50 points)


Way back in early January - hands up, Challengers, who can remember the early days of Challenge VIII? - I did some bases for the “Flight” themed round. I carefully (and naively) prepared six bases. “They’ll not take long, there’s hardly any figures on each base”, I reassured myself. Oh, such bold dreams without any contact with reality!

I think what’s taken the time is two things. First, I’ve tried to jumble and mix up uniforms in each "Flight" base, creating an impression of units, brigades and even a full army in flight. Second, I glued the figures directly onto the “Flight” bases. This saved time when the figures are painted (no need to base them once completely painted), but takes longer to paint each figure. Swings and Roundabouts, dear Challengers...



So here are bases 'four' and 'five', one being Spanish and one Flemish. The figures are a jumble of Dixon’s, Foundry, 1st Corps and Perry. These manufacturers mix well together, being in the 25-28mm camp. I used some of the ‘newer’ Dixon figures (circa 2006). If you’re hesitating about using these 2006-era Dixon Grand Alliance figures - (which at first seem far less lovely that the Mark Copplestone Grand Alliance 1987 originals or the Gary Morley Grand Alliance second wave from 1989-90) - then please don’t. 

The newer-2006-vintage Dixon Grand Alliance range are very clean sculpts, paint up very well and actually look great on the table. OK, before painting they do look just a little odd (some slightly strange hand and leg positions), but persevere, Challengers - they do look good when painted. Both standard bearers here are from the new Dixon set.



I green-stuffed a broken drum (with ripped drum-skin), added a sprig of Scalelink brass fret oakleaves to the German soldier dressed in green helping his comrade to stand, added cuffs for a late 17th Century 'look' onto the prone/ wounded figure, added a couple of feathers in the hat of the officer and added finials to each standard (Bicorne). The scattered muskets are Dixon flintlocks, as is the discarded powder scoop.

The irregular-shaped bases are Warbases (thanks Martin!) and the standards are from Flags of War. The Flemish standard is cut with a scalpel before gluing, washed with a very, very pale wash of dirty green and then spattered with muddy coloured paint (... go on, paint flicking is fun... ). The aim is really to show a standard carried to safety from the shipwreck of a battalion after heavy fighting, the preciou cloth and silk shredded with musket and canister fire.



The damaged cannon is from 1st Corps. The 1st Corps figures (being the prone soldier reaching for a musket and the two soldiers propping each other up) are lovely to paint and have a few similarities with the Dixon sculpting style. For those with good eyesight there is a curious anatomical anomaly on one of the figures, which reminds me of an air-brushed ‘third hand’ in a celebrity photo shoot. 

I like these strange oddities in figures - I’m definitely towards the end of the spectrum which likes my wargames figures a little chunkier and ‘toy soldier-ish’, rather than super slender and realistic. 


The tufts are from WW Scenics. I’m really happy with the products from this small terrain maker. They’re a bit more robust than the Silfor tufts. The tufts’ bases are dipped in PVA before being placed on the base. I got carried away, as you can tell.  I dry brushed the tufts are flying with Vallejo German Camo Ochre and Medium Grey just to tone them down a little.

Painting wise, all Vallejo paints. Again, I tried the trick on the Spanish base with focusing on brown as the theme colour. I should have done the same on the drum but could not resist a deep Hapsburg red and castle tower to try and match the standard.


One more “Flight” base to go, so hopefully I can have that dropped in a submission in March.

On a forthcoming Challenge-submission note - I’m still working on the Lorrainer Horse (and desperately trying to find some... any?... details of their standards). The regiments I’m painting are Luneville and Garnier.... so if anyone has any ideas.... well, you know where to find me. I’m the chump with the crystal ball and the confused expression on my face.

Points-wise: 4 standing figures (20 points), two prone figures (5 points) and a seated wounded drummer with drum (4 points for the seated drummer and 1 point for the drum?) and a damaged cannon (10 points?).  Does that make 40 points, Curt?

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Absolutely superb work Sidney. I loved the original three bases from this series and continue to be amazed with these two new additions. These are truly artisanal little gems of imagination and craftsmanship. Each are packed with such storytelling detail - a real feast for the eyes. 

I also like your detailed description of the materials and method behind your work. So much of it is common sense but much of it is pure inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing these with us.

As to points, let's start with a base of 40 and give another 10 for the banners and various conversions/additions.  So 50 sounds about right to me.

Again, beautiful stuff Sid!

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24 comments:

  1. Truly inspirational Sidney! The flags are superb as is your painting. I‘ve never been into that particular period but you really make it hard to resist. All those small details you pay so much attention to, bring these bases to life and help to tell the story.

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    1. Thanks Nick! All credit for the flags should go to Iain at 'Flags of War' which has been a Godsend this Challenge. Iain is a great chap, and his sit has lots of great eye-watering flags for the 17th and 18th Centuries.

      I'm really pleased you're enjoying it, Nick - not least as painting like your sepia-scale figures were a big part of the inspiration for the Spanish brown/earth tones used here.

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  2. Impressive work as always Sidney :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Tamsin, and thanks for being there with all of us this Challenge, at every post along the journey. Really fantastic support!!

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  3. Awesome work Sidney, the figures together with the bases and banners work brilliantly together

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    1. Thanks so much, Sander, really appreciated.

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  4. Excellent work as always, Sidney - a Flemish masterpiece in 3D!

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  5. Top work once again! I've not seen those 1st Corps figures before. I shall look them up!

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    1. Cheers, Ray! The 1st Corps figures are very nice. They have a real charm to them, and are perfect 25-28mm figures. They do look great on the table when done. They do come in 'shiny metal' castings - and I felt a lot better about them once undercoated - so, persevere, mate, if you get some!

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  6. Marvellous stuff Sidney. Please sir we want some more!

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    1. Thanks so much, Peter. More is coming hopefully on Friday...

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  7. A gorgeous old master vignette, another triumph! The composition and conversions are brilliant and the painting superb, love it!
    Best Iain

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    1. Really appreciated, Iain! Thanks so much, Sir!

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  8. Incredible work as always Sidney! I particularly enjoyed the different background on the manufacturers, and the discussion of the different waves/rounds of the castings from the same manufacturer/caster...sounds like there is an entire deeper and more complex story even beyond these lovely bases!

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    1. Thanks very much indeed, Greg. I wasn't sure if people wanted all the background about the castings and the bases, but I am really glad you liked it. I'm really hoping you'll like what's (hopefully) coming over the next few weeks as we round off Challenge VIII. Thanks again, Sir!

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  9. Fantastic comes to mind! Top drawer work once again Sidney.

    Christopher

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    1. ... but lots of this is inspired by you and your wonderful basis, Christopher! So, 'thanks' back at you, Sir.... but I'm really pleased you like them!

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