EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Monday, January 9, 2012

Troop Dismount! Fall Out!

To my great surprise, I find myself with no commitments this week. The first time, in, well, leaving aside the convalescing after my heart attack, the first time in 4 or 5 years! Not that there isn't stuff to do but there's nothing urgent or promised. So, I'm trying to sort out some hobby time priorities for  the next little while.

Job 1 was finish some of the started stuff that was on my desk.
The Horse-less Soldiers. Hmm, I'm going to need a cheap HO vintage railway.

After the last ACW game, I decided that some dismounted cavalry were top of my priority list. I looked longingly at some Jacklex ones on line then turned to rummage through the spares box. I came up with 1 old Airfix trooper, 2 new Italeri ones, 2 cowboys and 3 Airfix infantrymen. I contemplated adding swords, and/or revolvers to the infantry, then I thought about how fiddly and fragile glued on 20mm conversions are,
how rough the service is that troops can expect under my command and how poor the lighting and my eye sight are, and decided that trimming the muskets to make them look slightly more like carbines would be good enough.  A quick under coat in the primary colours, and......there they sat on the shelf till yesterday morning.

They have now been finished up in the minimalist style I'm using for the 1/72nd ACW guys and I'm fairly happy with them, My first impression of the Italeri figures was that they were rather chunky but though I hate to admit it, they were enjoyable to paint and I like the look of the finished figures. I feel better now about buying that box of Italeri Confederate infantry (which includes some dismounted cavalry). Some horse holders would be good, and a couple more regiments worth of mounted and dismounted cavalry but at least I have enough stands that I can dismount what mounted cavalry I have with good conscience in the next game.

There are some Elastolin dark age cavalry which have been lurking 1/2 painted for nearly 3 years now. I really ought to finish them. (or put them away...) and there's a bunch of ready to be started on things. But where to begin?

Probably the most urgent thing is to get my room cleaned up and rearranged to make it easier to do stuff. That doesn't sound like all that much fun so I may slot that for tomorrow. I haven't quite got a proper plan together yet anyway. There are two main issues. One is that stuff exceeds storage space, especially easy access storage space. I've sold enough old figures this year that there is now a little bit of not-easy-to-reach storage space available so I need to see if there are things which I can relocate there. I also need to start getting some more things ready for disposal, but again that's work.  If I'm going to offer something for sale, even at firesale prices, I don't want them going out tattered. Even if I'm giving them away I'd prefer to have them smartened up unless I know the recipient wants them for parts though I have done it to help make room, but there are a lot of old figures that are tattered and need time and effort to fix up. I know I'll be lucky to find a buyer at even token prices so its hard to get motivated. Maybe there's room in the basement.....

The other is that my last effort to maximize use of space has left me with nowhere that I can approach my main troop staging areas closer than arms length. When lifting trays of figures, this inevitably results in some tilting and some death defying dives into the dog bed, garbage can or the brush cleaning pot. There is some talk of relocating my painting desk back to the family room. That would help though it raises other issues. (where the heck is the bottle of white paint, uh oh, Travis? What have you got?) Now that the table is smaller some rearranging may help resolve it.

Next up is scenery. I've been holding off in part because I'm between camps on style of scenery, and in part because its sheer drudgery for me. Perhaps if I write a blog entry on the topic, it'll help me sort my thoughts and reach some decisions so I'll put that on the list for this week.

There is a stack of 1812 figures, but I have no officers. I resumed work on a master this morning but that's going to be slow work, probably a mold of a neutral dolly of the new pose then a mold of a dressed officer. A drummer and standard bearer would be nice too. The plan here is going to be to chug ahead and hold off painting more privates till the officers are ready.

I could use some more English archers and I have some Merten figures on hand, so that might be an easy fix, even if I did one stand. OK that's on the list then.

But, above all , I want to get "something" finished. At the moment my prime target is a 25mm vaguely historical Greco-Bactrian army for Hexed Impetus. Partly because it only needs some fixing up, a few figures and some rebasing so should be a short term thing, partly because I hope to see it in action soon and would prefer to see it all tidy like instead of a mish-mash of sabots and various bases.  I think that's where I'll start.








7 comments:

  1. Those dismounted troopers look quite serviceable. Well done. I work in a slightly larger scale and wish the Perry brothers made plastic dismounted cavalry to go w their mounted sets, of which I have two.

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  2. Great work Ross. They have come out really well.

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  3. A good list of resolutions. I seem to start with similar lists, but they grow quicker at the bottom than they shrink at the top. How about a review in a few months time?

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  4. Padre, rough & ready rather than display quality but very serviceable which is all I ask.

    I see the Perries have them in metal. I suspect the economy of plastic figures may not support plastic versions. But since they seem to have diismounted French dragoons, one never knows.

    I've had a "thing" for dismounted ACW cavalry ever since seeing pictures of a diorama using 54mm Imrie-Risly figures. Its only taken me 4 decades to paint some.

    "The oxen are slow, but the earth is patient"

    -Ross

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  5. Joppy, more of self made honey-do list than resolutions. No promises on analyzing how I do but things that do get done will show up here.

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  6. I like the dapper union fellow with his carbine on his hip.

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