O.k., it took a while, but I finally figured out how to log back into my Blogger account. Anyway, I have a cyberbuddy, Scott Erdo who posted some excellent pics of Old Glory 15s French Chausseurs a Cheval. I can't really do justice to the figures, but here are some pics of the same figs I painted about 10 years ago. The thing is that I'm not sure about the colors. I think that perhaps my color choices are a tad too bright, but then again, I look at figs on the table and two things come to mind. First, at 15mm, no one really notices, and second, who really cares? It's a 15mm game, and the focus should be on the game, not on the color of the cuffs of the uniforms of the figures. The thing for me is that I paint WAY more than I game, and I love trying to recreate the figures in miniature. There is that, and so I changed brands to AB because the sculpting is outstanding. On the other hand, the general spirit of the OG15s is hard to beat. Here are a couple of pics from about a decade ago. The paint job probably could be better, but the spirit of the sclupts is really great.
After a bit more work today, this figure is headed toward being finished. Now I have to pick out an ADC figure to put on the division command stand. Unfortunately, the lighting and the camera make the blue look a lot brighter than it actually is.
I looked up various pictures of horses, and liked this color scheme, so I decided to recreate it in 15mm. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble with a loss of feeling in my painting hand (probably carpal tunnel), so painting is painstakingly slow. I'll post another update when I get the figure finished.
I attempted to paint a French ADC figure while being overserved. This is the result. If you can't tell, I tried to paint this while inebriated and watching a Batman movie with Heath Ledger in it. If this isn't evidence that making ANY decisions while tipsy, nothing is. Damn!
Here are some Spanish figures from Fantassin/Warmodelling. I figured that the best place to get Spanish figures is in Spain, right? Here they are, painted as a generic Spanish line battalion. The figures are about the same size as AB, with a good degree of detail - though not quite as comprehensive as AB in that respect. The proportions of the figures are probably a shade better than Old Glory, but mix well with either AB or Old Glory.
I painted these figures years ago, but got to reflecting about the general look on the Facebook group "Napoleonic Wargamer" (https://www.facebook.com/groups/247145792126789/). It's a closed group, but people on it are very active and there are great pictures and opinions about painting, gaming, strategies and history of the Napoleonic wars. My perspective is that AB has the best sculpts on the market - with as much detail as can be crammed into 15mm, but they seem very placid for soldiers about to meet their prospective doom. Old Glory 15s, on the other hand, cast figures that are full of personality and energy - much better suitable for the field of murder and mayhem. So, I give you Old Glory's rendition of French Infantry in March Attack/campaign dress. This is good stuff. Kudos to Steve and Steve (the O.G. USA manufacturers).
This time I thought I'd describe the brushes I use and how I maintain and use them.
Below is a picture of the brushes I use. I don't have a whole quill full, just these five (that I use regularly). I do have some backups in a package, but I've been using these for over 10 years, and they serve well. It is important to note that you don't need to get the best, most expensive sable brushes that money can buy. These were bought off the rack at a Hobbytown USA store for a pittance. The big difference is maintaining the brushes so they keep their original shape and softness.
From left to right, the brushes are 1) about a size 6 flat brush used for painting glue on masonite stands, and putting down the pigment after the glue and sand dry. It is also used for drybrushing the lighter sand colors on the bases after the earth color is laid down. The second brush (2) is a size zero brush with the point judiciously cut off it with really sharp scissors. This is for painting large areas on horse figures, and touching up bases after the glue and first layer of pigment dries. The third brush (3) is for finely localized dry brushing techniques - specifically the musculature of AB horses. It is another cropped size zero brush, but shorter so that it acts as a miniature shaving brush. It's singularly effective for that purpose. The brushes I use on the actual figures are brushes 4 & 5. These are kept to a very fine point so that fine detail can be achieved. The larger brush (4) is a double-zero size, and the smaller brush (5) is a 10/0 brush. The important thing is to keep the points very sharp on these brushes.
The next picture shows the 00 and 10/0 brush next to an unprimed and unpainted AB figure, so you can see the relative size of the brushes and the 15mm figure. In this picture, you should be able to clearly see the advantage of keeping the brushes clear and pointed, especially when doing very fine work like collar piping, faces, etc.
To maintain the brushes, I always wash them with soap and water after a painting session. After rinsing the soap out of the brush, I twist the point so that it stays good and sharp for the next painting session. Simply doing that has allowed me to use these relatively cheap (inexpensive) brushes for over a decade.
That's most of the secret to making highly detailed Napoleonic figures. The other issues are a) have good optics. I use the Opti-Visor #5 (available at most hobby stores). The advantage there is that you see in macro (like the photo above), but with binocular vision. This means that you can see depth as well as detail - you always know exactly where the brush is on the figure, and how the paint attaches. The last ingredient is a sense of color, which I'll post about later.
Here are a couple pics of a French Command Stand. The figure manufacturer is AB. I'm now working on some more command stands for Shako II. As I mentioned earlier, I'm thinking of rebasing everything for Age of Eagles.
Here's another plug for AB. One thing I really like about this line is that the horses really look like horses. Here's a sample - a French command stand. These are very nice figures. It's hard to find really nice horse figures in 15mm - as far as I'm concerned, these are the best.
I'm thinking of switching from Shako II to Age of Eagles. I'd just use the same bases, but the OOB and the play system are different. Does anyone have any experience with this? One problem I can see is that I haven't found any AOE scenarios specific to the Penninsular campaign.