For myself, I decided to tap into the inner child and try my hand with some classic toy soldiers.
These 40mm beauties were sculpted, cast and cleaned (!) by my good friend John Bertolini. I always tease John, telling him that he's a bit of a Renaissance Man. He is a master timber-frame carpenter by profession, enjoys the simplicity of manual labour, but also shares a passion for food (his wife is a culinary writer), travel and history. He also has a great love of classic toy soldiers, especially those from late 19th and early 20th century Germany and Austria. John participated in a past Challenge and you can see some of his wonderful work here.
As Greg has been entranced with all things Franco-Prussian this season, I decided to ask John if he could provide me with some suitable figures so I could riff on Greg's excellent work.
In toy soldier speak these figures are sculpted in the demi ronde style, meaning that they share elements of both classic two-dimensional figures and modern 'fully round', or three dimensional designs. I really find the style charming and always find myself smiling when I was working on them. When I was building-up the units I discovered that I needed some standard bearers and drummers. John, being his usual accommodating self, simply got out the greenstuff and balsa and made me a few on the fly - wonderful!
|A French drummer.|
|French standard bearer.|
Same with the bases. No groundwork here, just a mottled effect with green paint to keep it nice, simple and toy soldier-like. The banner is from Warflag, with a bit of paint touchup.
The wonderful thing about working on these figures is how nicely they come together once they're all ranked up. I also love the sheer physical heft of them - with all this lead the bases have a substantial weight that just feels so wonderful in your hand. I don't know what it is, but the 'solidness' of the based elements really taps into my lizard brain - something that you can't find an equivalent with plastic figures.
As previously mentioned, John also provided me with a French battalion which I might take a whack at later. To be honest, what I'd really like to do is 1759 Plains of Abraham in this style as I think that it could be quite spectacular. John? Can you whip something up for me? C'mon, pretty please!
Now, I invite you again to visit the theme gallery and enjoy the wonderful entries for 'Childhood' and remember to vote for your favourite submissions (voting closes next Saturday at 11:45pm).