Sunday, 13 January 2008


OK, Hi to everyone and best wishes for 2008, I hope Santa delivered what you were all hoping for, and that the new year means plenty more reinforcements for your armies. We had a nice quiet, red wine fuelled Festive Season here at HELMET HQ, and were lucky enough to receive a couple of fantastic books with loads of good info to assist the War of 1812 project. I am already working on some cavalry for a customer in the US, but also really wanted to produce some US Light Dragoons from the two Regular Regiments and the first three pictures show the result of those labours. They are made from HELMET parts, a British Heavy Dragoon head, slightly modified, with a small plume from greenstuff and a tail from white wool, the rest is a pretty standard use of spare parts with a French Light Cavalry sabre and pistol as if they are on patrol or escort duty. The uniform lacks the colour of many other cavalry units, from, say, British or French armies of the period, but in my view looks extremely smart and attractive. The saddlery and tack are at best, an approximation of the real thing, I carved down some of out pistol housings and added "fur" covers from the ubiquitous greenstuff and a saddle blanket from felt. The girth etc was made from red wine bottle foil, back to Christmas again!
I have an annoying knack of laboriously converting a whole series of figures, getting them painted and ready for action just as some company releases models of the troops I have sweatted so much blood over, and the last two pictures are an example of this. I had put off making artillery for our American War of Independence/Revolution armies for some time and as soon as I had completed two guns and their detachments for both the British and Americans, Imex brought their sets out. Rant over.
What you see here is a set of British gunners with their piece and limber with team. The horses are old Britains farm animals and the limber is made from scrap, again it does not claim to be 100% authentic, the aim is to provide something of the look and feel of the thing whilst being robust enough to be used in wargames. The gunners are from the A Call to Arms British Napoleonic set, with Accurate heads attached, pinned and glued. Where feasible I added lapels and coat tails, but luckily, the profusion of belts on these figures meant that this work was kept to a minimum. The officer is by Replicants from their Napoleonic Navy set, and very suave he looks too. The gun is a cheap model from BMC with a new barrel, I think from Barzo. Repeat the above three times and wait for Imex!
I'm planning to use the same figures to make gunners for the War of 1812, anyone else out there preparing to release ready made artillery for the period, please get in touch now.
That's all for this time, please get in touch with comments, suggestions and feedback. Best wishes,