Sunday, 8 September 2013

French Artillery 9.9.13

As you will know if you've been following my blog lately I have been mostly concentrating on late war allied armies as my brother and nephew are meant to be working on the French. Anyway I burned myself out on Prussians this past couple of months so I have been messing around killing time cleaning up the odd unit while waiting for my painting flow to return. 
Well a few years back my wife wasn't working and despite myself working horrible, horrible extra hours I didn't have a huge amount of spare cash to buy unpainted armies from Fighting 15's. So I was always on the look out for a bargain (eBay lots with 'out of focus' pics and the odd low priced 'buy it now' item etc). In the end I picked up quite a few batches of heavily painted AB figures. Some I thought I could save but most that I felt were destined for a swim in the green. 
In amongst these lots was a number of French artillery figures poorly based with sand up their legs plus the flash left on and very roughly painted with a gloss dark blue finish. Well last week I took the notion to get stuck into them, I pulled them off the bases then cleaned off the flash and sand and tried my best to take the colours to an even base coat before mounting them on bases (I felt if I could get them on the bases there would be a better chance of me finishing them!).
Then I planned on what paints to highlight with and really went to town with them. I had no idea how the uniform highlight would look until I matt varnished them. I was amazed how well they came up but I did spend an awful lot of time on them. I have 2 batteries based up but stopped short of doing the 2nd at the moment as the 1st was a killer!
So now I have a new French battery to add to my collection and I'm chuffed how they turned out. The crew men may be out of position around the guns as I haven't looked at this for years, I did have a good search online but couldn't find the info I needed so they will just have to do.
Out of all the figures I picked up I have 2 foot batteries as well as a 3 gun guard horse battery (that may need to go swimming in simple green?), as well as 2 guard foot batteries. The guns all worked out across the batteries but I'm not sure if some are from the original battle honours guns. I picked up all the howitzers later from Fighting 15's to complete the batteries.
This is how far I got with my Silesian landwehr cavalry before I hit the wall.
I'll get to them at some point . . .

I would like to add I am not being critical of whoever painted the figures originally. Everyone does their troops to the standard they are happy with and what they can manage with their budget and time and that's cool with me. I knew what I was getting and was very happy with what I got for the price they sold them to me at as it was below the unpainted cost of AB figures and I very much appreciate that!

Anyways I'm not sure when my next unit will be finished as I will need to learn to walk again now and hopefully soonwill  be back to work.

Happy wargaming!


John (Von Blucher) said...

French!! Not that surprised though.
Very micely done though, for repaints and they don't look it at all though.

Any of those batteries have the
12lb's that you purchased from me?

paulalba said...

Hi John,
Yeah you knew they were coming lol

I have the 12lb guns bagged with the guard foot at the moment (young David is wanting some AB artillery off me so he may end up painting them). I have plans for them all over the years to come.

My Prussians are coming together well now so only need to do some more Russian cavalry and then I can work on doing the French and her allies.

Gary Amos said...

The French artillery looks really good. I;m sure you'll finish off the Landwehr soon enough, You're far more disciplined than me so your distractions are at least in the same period!

paulalba said...

Thanks Gary,
Yeah I'm happy that I have stayed with the Naps at least however we did just play a game of FOW and I have a lot of kit sitting around to be painted. I may just start some Americans for Normandy now.

Chasseur said...

Very nice, always good to save some second hand figures and turn them out like this!

paulalba said...

Thanks Chasseur,
Yes I know what you mean. It's nice to base up and use figures that someone else had put to the side gathering dust.

Johnny Rosbif said...

Nicely done, Paul!

I would have liked to see a couple of 'before' shots to see how well you've done resurrecting them. They look up to your usual brilliant standard, so it's hard to judge how much effort and elbow grease you've put into them!

Phil said...

Very nice Paul, I can hear from here the artillerymen : "Visez les Landwehrs...Prêts?...Feu!"...Great work!

Rodger said...

They have come up a treat Paul. Very very nice work!

Stryker said...

Lovely! Do you find it easier to touch-up someone else's paint work than to strip the figures and start again?

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Great looking French artillery! Very nice turn around on these!


James Fisher, FINS said...

I was going to type, "they have come up a treat Paul", then read Rodger's comment... so snap!!

Mad Tin Hatter said...

Having seen the state the originals were in, I have to say Paul's ability to save them and get them to this state is nothing short of miraculous!

Ray Rousell said...

Well done Paul, they look great, its great when a plan actually works even if it took a while!

Chris Stoesen said...

Great looking artillery unit. Nicely done.

paulalba said...

Thanks very much guys,
Hi Ian,
It all depends but I would much rather paint a figure from metal. I only bought these figures because of the price out of necessity. I am a bit of a pain when it comes to my figures as I spend a good while cleaning away any excess metal with a scalpel and files and fill any holes, clean between the legs and ears of horse and supporting any areas I think will be weak. You will see with the guns there is a slight line on the barrel in the pic, that kind of thing bugs me.

Hi Jamie I forgot you seen the other battery after it was cleaned up and stuck on the bases ready to be painted.

Hi Ray you are right, I actually thought I would never do these guys.

I think this will be my last troops for a wee bit so thanks for all your encouragement guys while I have been off work!

Best regards

Millsy said...

Lovely stuff as always. I'll echo you point regards other people's paint jobs. Well said.

Craig said...

Great work as always Paul. What is the "green stuff" you refer to? Is it a paint stripper?

paulalba said...

Hi Millsy, yeah I know its all in howling people can and want to use on our hobby. I appreciate everyone who sits down and puts paint to metal.

paulalba said...

Hi Craig the 'simple green' is a none toxic house cleaning product from the US. It is also a superb paint stripper! Ot appeared here a few years back and it is superb. However I have read online somewhere they are planning to change the formula slightly and this may take away the paint stripping ability?

Gonsalvo said...

They look great... good to see you add a few Frenchies! :-)