There are times, not often, where I just catch up on stuff and do an odd figure or two or rework some old figures! Way back, not long after I got married, I spotted some sets of painted figures for skirmish games advertised in Miniature Wargames magazine. Since Christmas was approaching, I mentioned to my wife that I’d quite like a set and that she could choose the period. So . . . she chose World War One and I’ve never looked back!
The figures were Britannia Miniatures early WW1 Brits and Germans, painted and then shaded with a black wash, each side having 10 infantry and a medium machine gun team. As time went by I added more troops and guns, but since I could never master washes I just painted the figures in black (for shading) and layered the normal colours over that – the contrast is stark but looks OK! Britannia figures are “chunky” but have good detail and paint well.
The rules I used called for weapon crews to be based together with their weapons, but in my own rules nowadays I base artillery crew figures individually. This also reduces storage space and that’s important now, since the house isn’t getting any bigger (I rarely use prone figures for the same reason – they take up the same space as two standing figures)! So I’ve just removed my British and German gun crews from their large bases, re-based them and painted and textured the new bases. The base styles don’t match the older figures but I’m not bothered about that!
Next bit of tidying up was for the Franco-Prussian War, which has had a bit of a chequered history for me. I think I’ve actually only painted four specific FPW French figures (foot artillerymen), with my early WW1 French infantry passing for Republican troops and colonial war Turcos finding themselves shipped to France to fight the Prussians!
Having bought some B&B Miniatures Garde Mobiles years ago, I filed some shakos down to kepis and painted them as . . . WW1 Romanian reservists for the Eastern Front! But having decided I probably now have enough Romanian regular infantry, I decided to let them revert to Garde Mobiles. Since I’d painted them in blue jackets with grey trousers and some red distictions (apart from one guy in a white shirt and red trousers) they look fine for French without any changes. Since I’d originally painted the unit flag as a Romanian tricolour, I just needed to repaint the yellow bar in white, although I think I overdid the grey shading!
I was a figure short for the unit, but I still had some unpainted Garde Mobiles, so I rapidly painted an extra guy, leaving most of his shade coat in black for quickness – he’s the soldier to the right of the colour bearer in the photo above but, apart from the different texturing on his base, he fits right in! Some of the others had some new static grass glued onto their bases and that was me sorted!
Well, apart from a beer!