Sunday, 7 June 2009

Bit of a mixture this time and a chance for me to catch up on some ongoing and perhaps neglected projects.
I have always wanted to add limber teams to tow my guns, rather than having to imagine them being dragged along by invisible horses and drivers, or even worse by some strange earth force that dates back to ancient times when people painted themselves rather than toy soldiers. The French Napoleonics are reasonably well catered for with two Italeri sets, which although of some inaccuracies are pretty good material, however there is nothing for the Brits or other nationalities, so I decided to make a 4 horse team that I could use for the Napoleonic War, The War of 1812, The Crimea and anything else in between. So far it has been a labour of hate, but with some useful learnings on the way. The first two photos show the (nearly) completed drivers and their mounts. The men are simple adaptions from HELMET spares, nothing really special about them, however the horses were the real problem. The third picture shows construction of the four horses before painting, as you can see I did head swaps on the driver's horses, and also a tail swap on one for a bit of variety and to use heads that had moulded reins. Much of the simplified harness uses milliput and/or greenstuff, but my real problems arose from my opting to use decorative gift wrapping tape for the main strapping. My (obviously logical) reasoning being that this was pre-cut- although I had to cut it in half lengthwise, as it was too wide - so I would have to do less tedious cutting, secondly I chose the metallic type as I knew this to be stronger.
Alas dear reader I could not find a glue that would stick the damn stuff to the plastic of the horses. Super glue wouldn't touch it, I spent a whole evening, the air rent with numerous foul expletives, sticking my fingers together and to the horses, even when I thought I had achieved success as soon as I put the ****ing thing down, the joints slowly and provocatively slid apart, cue more swearing. Eventually I used a contact adhesive and a couple of coats of strong varnish. Learning Point? "Check what glues will work on the proposed materials before construction work begins, and try not to swear too much in the course of what should be an enjoyable hobby."
The fourth picture is a better photo of two of our new Prussian Hussar kit, it and the Uhlan should be up on the website this week - please spend generously.
Lastly a picture of some more of my War of 1812/ Peninsular War British Infantry, these are made from a variety of bits see if you can guess the source. Ken C this means you!
That's all, next time some more Napoleonics.
Take care, play fair and keep your powder dry.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Greetings to one and all.
This edition of the Blog is a shameless attempt at generating income for HELMET Soldiers and shows some stuff I'm currently working on.
I would be really grateful if people who read this could post comments and suggestions, I want to make HELMET a success and the only way I can achieve this is through satisfying my customers.
Not much writing this time around, hopefully the pictures will tell their own story, however the photos were taken on Saturday afternoon during what alarmingly seems to have become a British summer, so they are a tad bright, apologies for that and sun glasses are recommended!
First up is one of our new hand made accessories, an archers' mantelet, this and a couple of other pieces are now for sale on the website are ridiculously low prices.
Next the first in a range of 54mm/1:32 flags. These are for the 1st Footguards at Waterloo. They come on the same sheet with a cavalry standard as bonus and will retail at 2 GBP plus postage. We previewed these at the Plastic Warrior Show in Richmond, and actually sold some! They are not computer generated, but I paint them in watercolours at twice full size. I have completed a sheet with 8 Parliamentary cavalry standards from the English Civil War, and am working on French flags for 1815, they all should be available shortly.
Lastly there are two photos from a projected range of allied cavalry for the Napoleonic period, first to see the light of day will be the Uhlan followed soon by the Hussar as shown here. We are also working on a new body ( aren't we all?) so that we can produce Dragoons, Cuirassiers and Landwehr cavalry. More news soon.
Ant reaction/comments gratefully received.