Sunday, 29 October 2017

S Range French FPW Officer with binoculars - the missing arm!

If you have read my earlier post about the search for Will you will have read the tragedy of the missing arm.  If you haven't, to recap I cut the arms off a Prussian Gunners body and whilst trying to make them wider they snapped and one bit disappeared into the deepest recesses of my loft.  I then remade the figure using the arms from a British CW gunner figure. (see S Range Help to Find Will post).

I was looking through my spares box and found the other bit of the arms that I had retained and realised that this was the bit that was holding the 'binoculars' .  It also had the 'hand' from the other arm that went missing attached.  So I trimmed off the rest of that hand and sanded things down.  I then removed the arm from a French mounted general and fixed the new arm on.  Not too bad and since I don't need hundreds a worthwhile one off.

Now if only I could think of Officer on foot that would make a reasonable conversion?

His Prussian counterpart using both hands to use his binoculars and mounted on an S range horse this time..

Saturday, 21 October 2017

1866 - A Few More bits and pieces

At the risk of my blog turning into an S range remodeling site, here are a few more prototypes for my various 1866 states.

Bavarian Cuirassiers

My first thought was to use a French Carabineer to get the 'comb' on the helmet, but looking at it I thought it was too tall.  So I stuck with swapping a Prussian Cuirassier's head for a Bavarian Gunners.  Could have use a Bavarian Light horse head, but I didn't have any available!  The comb isn't quite right but they look colourful.

Now onto some incomplete units and painted prototypes

Hessen Kessel
As I mentioned in my last post I made a standing firing figure for the Saxe Coburg and then changed my mind.  This left me with a number of standing firing figures and it seemed silly to just leave them lying around.  So I decided to paint some as riflemen and others as Line Infantry to see wht they looked like;

Gave them a bugler based on the CW Caucasian figure

I think I can live with the different style, maybe the standing firing should be reserved for the riflemen but I'll see.  I used a darker green for the riflemen rather than the lighter green I used for the Saxe Coburg troops, on reflection although not right I think the lighter green was actually better, allowing more distinction between the two units.

Brunswick Jager

This is a French Chasseur's head on an ACW body. Easy paint job as they are all in black but they do look sort of Napoleonic, particularly when you come to the line infantry in Shako.  The CW British Albert Shako with the back 'flap' trimmed makes a fair 1866 Shako for the line infantry.

Austrian Hussars
I have been playing around with the bits I have in my spares box to see if I could come up with a passable Austrian Hussar.  The pictures I found are from 1859 Franco Austrian War period.  The first thing to say is that there seem to be at least 3 potential forms of head dress from a short low fur 'busby' for want of a better description to a Prussian Jager style

 to a short of brimmed hat.  For someone who can only really do head swaps this left me with either the Jager style or the  sort of brimmed hat.

I had a couple of British Hussar Officers and CW Zouave heads in turbans so I thought I would see what they looked like.  The sabre tache will need to go.  Forgot when I was making this one.

Same figure painted as the less colourful Jaczygier Volunteer Hussars(?).  

Not right, the 'hat/turban' isn't jauntily placed to the side, but they pass the 'other side of the table test' for now.  Need to try the 'jager' head dress style to see if it works out better.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

1866 - S range - Part 3 Allied Infantry Saxe Coburg and Oldenburg

Saxe Coburg Gotha

Based on this illustration I thought I would make a standing firing figure.  I used the ACW standing firing figure as the basis.  I removed the backpack and added a blanket role made out of 'green stuff'. For the head I used the Saxon infantry figure but carefully cut away the peak on the cap which left me with a reasonable field cap.

I was reasonably happy with this figure but then looked at my armies and I don't have any other standing firing poses.  So I decided to change to the classic advancing pose.  I didn't have any advancing ACW figures left so I went for the Saxon Infantry figure.  I trimmed the cap as described above, removed the pack pack and gave him blanket role.  I also added a 'blob' of green stuff to change the square pouch the figure has to a haversack.  

Once I had finished Jack made me a mould and the extra figures to allow me to paint up the unit.  At this point I realised I should have waited for my order of ACW figures from John Cunningham as they have trousers and the Saxon infantry have boots!  Anyway, I ploughed on and although as I painted the figures trousers and boots grey they looked more like they were wearing tights than trousers!  Once I had finished and glossed them it didn't look too bad and I think I can live with them for now.  Their green uniforms also break up the Prussian Blue.  I used the MP paints' Dark Green which actually is a bit light.  Probably should have gone for a more 'black' green.

Once again I am indebted to my friend Chen who again produced a brilliant colour flag based on a black and white drawing and description in the Continental War Society's Foreign Correspondent Magazine.   Join the Society and make sure you buy the flash drive with all the back issues.  There is a helpful index to all the articles. Worth every penny (cent).

As with all the other units I added my usual drummer and standard bearer conversions.  The mounted officer is the 'Officer in a peaked cap' conversion I made for John Cunningham a while back.

This 'field cap head' will do for all sorts of other nations - including the Prussians.  

The simplest of the lot.  I just repainted the ACW advancing figure and gave them a converted Drummer and standard bearer.  I think they look quite convincing.  Again uniform information varies. the Knotel illustration shows them with grey trousers and only red collars.  Uniformology adds red piping on the jack and kepi.  I went for a hybrid and left the trousers grey and adding the pipping for a bit of extra colour. 

I didn't have the 'Jacklex back pack'  I have used on the Hungarian Infantry figure at the time so stuck with the back pack and blanket roll of the original figure. They would have been better for the conversion I think.  The ACW figure is really helpful as he has trousers and a lot of the Knotel illustrations show troops in trousers rather than boots.

More to follow.......

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

1866 - S range - Part 3 - Nassau - then Sachen-Meiningen and Hesse Damstadt

Nassau - and then Sach Meiningen!

I  found a picture of a Nassau Infantry in a sort of 'picklehaub'.  Which looked a lot more fun. Different from the Prussian one - more helmet like.  

I used the FPW Saxon Infantry figure and made an infantryman using the Prussian Dragoon head which I had left over.

However, I thought the helmet wasn't tall enough, so fell back on the CW Russian Guard 'helmet'. This looks much 'grander'.  Again the Saxon officer provided the body.  Just for the fun of it I also converted the Caucausian bugler as an alternative to a drummer.  

I then found the picture for the 1866 uniform and realised that I had been working on the 1862 uniform!!!!!  The 'Jacklex backpack' would probably be a better fit than the Saxon one..  

So these guys are repainted - belts from buff to black to make Sachsen- Meiningen troops!  The Nassau regiment will probably be l based on an ACW war figure with the 'Jacklex backpack'.

Hesse Damstadt

I also made this trial figure based on a picture of the Hesse Damstadt Infantry.  Again didn't look at the date so he will remain a one-off although I do like the figure a lot. Need to look at dates not pretty pictures!!!!  

Sunday, 8 October 2017

1866 - S range - Part 3 Allied Infantry - Baden

Moving off of the Austrians themselves, I have also been playing around with some of the allied armies.  

This figure is a simple head swap of a Saxon Infantry head on the Algerian Infantry body.  I painted him in a blue greatcoat and grey trousers as a bid of contrast, but them found a picture showing the infantryman in a grey greatcoat and trousers.  Then one with dark blue trousers!

My friend Chensie Chen (Chen) put together the flag for me based on a description in the Continental Wars Society's excellent Foreign Correspondent magazine.  We guessed a bit at the scroll under the Baden coat of arms.

Another alternative would be to paint Saxon infantryman and change the back pack using the 'Jacklex back pack' I used for the Hungarian Infantryman in the earlier post.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

S range Help to identify Will - S range Officer with binoculars

In a blog on the Hinton Spieler the excellent 'Dust Up at Dapol' the Prussian Artillery commander orders his men to 'Fire at Will'.  The gunners ask  'Which one is Will?'.  A fair question, and on a crowded battlefield the more help the better to help locate him. 

So with my trusty scapal and a lot of work I have deployed a Prussian FPW officer with binoculars to try to help.This is how I did it.

As you and I know I am not very good with 'green stuff', so had to try to find some arms holding binoculars some other way.  Nothing out there with binoculars, so I looked at the S range FPW artillery figure holding a shell. 

I thought if I could get the arms away from the body I could file the point of the shell and paint it to look like binoculars.  This was very difficult and took forever.  Eventually, I managed to separate the arms.  I filed the point off the shell and made two small drill points which looked like the lenses of binoculars.  At this point I was pretty pleased with myself.

Now how to fit them to the body of the Prussian FPW Mounted Officer?  I cut away the officers arms and offered up the gunners arms to see how they would fit.  They needed to be opened up a bit, but couldn't just be stuck on.  So I put pins each side of the Officers body and drilled holes in the arms.

All was going well until I tried to open the arms a little wider to go over the new pins. SNAP! the arms split and one went flying across the room to disappear into the deepest recesses of the carpet.  No amount of crawling about on the floor could reveal it.  I simply couldn't face the FPW figure again to get a new pair of arms.  So I had another look and realised that the arms of the British Crimean War gunner with ball have less 'fixing' them to the body as they are set slightly away from the torso.

Not the best picture but there is clear space between each arm and the body on the British gunner, so less to cut away.
 As a result these were much, much easier to remove, taking a fraction of the time.  The arms were also slightly wider apart to start with making fixing to the pins on the generals body much more simple, although they still needed to be opened a little.  Some filing and rubbing down with sandpaper and job done.  Mind you all he can see is the horses mane!  Will is definitely not hiding in there!

This took about and hour, most of which was spent getting the arms off the FPW gunner with shell which eventually I couldn't use and crawling around the floor looking for a tiny shard of metal!.  If I was EVER to try this again, I think I would I use the same British gunner but just use one arm, so the Officer is holding the binoculars in one hand.  This would make the removal from the body much simpler and also mean that I only had to remove one arm from the receiving general's body.

I had to press a Warrior 25mm horse into action as I didn't have any S Range horses readily available.

Just a bit of nonsense really!