Sunday, November 29, 2020

Basing up the 7th

I’ve chosen to base these guys on round bases to represent a skirmish formation. I’ve used a mix of 40mm and 35mm round bases just for variety. The mounted troopers will be mounted on 40mm square bases as these will look the best in column.

Two figures on a base should be quite easy to remove casualties and keep track of wounded.
A rough and ready skirmish line. I’ve placed a couple of casualties in bases these do not count as lives, they just make the bases look better.
I bought these kepi equipped figures from eBay, This horse holder will make a good standard bearer.
I extended the blue paint below the belt and gave it a black line at the bottom, this produced good looking soldier tunics.

Having all the troopers in shirts and braces just isn’t right so a few tunics really helps break things up.

The old plastic bristle pistol trick turns this horse holder into an officer.

Reference for Little Bighorn

Another load of reference material showing the 1876 uniform. 

I have just ordered a few civil war cavalry with slouch hats, hopefully these will look good mixed in, the tunics will help break up all the shirts and braces in the Newline 20mm range.


Painting the 7th Cavalry

I’ve pushed on tonight in to the small hours to get some paint on these little chaps. They have been sculpted with Hollywood webbing braces, I’ve tried to ignore them. However, with the ink wash they are very noticeable, I may have to paint them in. Also they have Hollywood neckerchiefs, I did try very hard but in the end I caved in and painted two yellow.
Apart from the 60’s film characteristics, I found them really fun to paint. It was great looking through books and copying characters. The white shirt, blue waistcoat combo was a particular favourite. 

After all the colours had been blocked in a wash of brown ink was added. This will do as the minis are so small I don’t think it is worth going too crazy with detail.

Most of the troopers I painted in the grey shirt as you can see their braces.
They make for quite a rag tag bunch, very 7th Cavalry.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

7th Cavalry 20mm Newline Designs

Well I couldn’t resist just tinkering with the 20mm 7th cavalry from Newline. The sabres still bother me so I thought I would try out a theory and I think it worked.
I dug out some small bristles I had cut from an old brush, these are very tough and retain their shape if bent, perfect for flag poles and pikes. So I measured up the standard pole that came with the set and cut my own from the plastic bristles. The end can easily be flattened with pliers and cut to shape with a pair of scissors. 

I chose the sword wielding figures to be the new standard bearers, the one that comes with the pack is in a buck skin... I thought he would be better as an officer, or even the big man himself. Newline don’t make a mounted Custer figure... yet.

Once I had poured out the figures from the bags and got my file ready, I noticed just how clean the sculpts were. Hardy any clean up was needed, just a tiny mold line over the top of the hat. I was impressed.
While I was cutting the Guidon poles I had a brain wave, why not see if you can bend a plastic bristle and shape it to become a pistol. Why it was easy to do, the tricky part was drilling the hand.
Once the bristle was in place I bulked it up with some Gel superglue, just to give it some shape. Once painted, I will be able to cheat some detail into it with silver paint. You can see now the buckskin rider makes a much better officer now he has a pistol rather than a Guidon.
The cut bristle is bent and flattened near the bend, the barrel is left so it is still round.
Another trooper puts away his sabre and pulls out his long barrelled Colt.

The new weapon wielding troopers ride off into the sunset together.
I might keep a sabre wielding guy or two just for variety. They look more like officers with everyone brandishing a Colt pistol.

I think the experiment has worked out and the good thing about being just that little bit smaller in scale, is that you can get away with more. A few painted details should make them indistinguishable from the other pistols from a distance.

Well that’s the idea anyway...we will have to see.


Getting Started

I decided to start the new painting era with something nice and simple, some more union infantry. These are from Steve Barber which I bought back in 2014. I’ve been meaning to get around to them for years, being on the large size for 28mm, this means I can mix in some Renegade figures into the unit. Renegade are the largest of all the ACW figures and I have quite a few, so it’s nice to mix some into a unit without them standing out. 
I’ve really got into the swing of painting Federal troops and I’m finding it quite hard to imagine painting anything else at the moment. They are so simple and with the quick shade Dip, so quick to turn out numbers. 


Finally getting set up

Well I’ve been in this new rented house for just over two weeks and I thought it was time to set up my paint station. It’s quite annoying to feel like painting and then realise the amount of work it will take to set up. So today I bit the bullet and started unpacking the boxes.

It looks so neat and tidy at the moment... almost seems a shame to start mucking things up with smelly paint. Well I’ve got a photo reference now so I can look back and enjoy the tranquility of the untouched landscape.

The annoying thing is I’ve put all my spray paints in storage but accident so I’ll have to hand undercoat everything...sigh.

I run quite a loose ship but one thing that has really helped me out is to keep all my inks on the top ledge where I always know where they are. I use them all the time so it saves a lot of time searching around. The real tip I have taught myself to do is to always put them back after I use them.

It’s a lot lighter in this room due to the over head ceiling lights... bonus!