Saturday, October 5, 2013

Victrix 54mm Voltiguers Project-Work in Progress

Ken Cliffe from All the King's Men Model Soldiers twisted my arm severely (not really) to start a 54mm Napoleonic journey.  I've recently returned to regular life stuff after a month in hospitals. It sucks to get old but at least my hematologist nailed why I kept having recurring issues.  For the past 20 years, I was being treated for the wrong issue. Resolved now and set on the right path.  I'm learning to walk again and will translate from my pimped out walker to a cane. It is my intention to walk on two feet again as my leg can't figure out how to follow instructions from my brain to move my foot.  Hey, it coulda' been worse!  Enough about me, now moving on about what Ken Cliffe "made me do".

I've painted some Warlord 28 mm ECW plastics previously and was a bit wary of painting 54mm plastics because I felt the Warlord figures weren't "cut deeply" (folds, etc.) enough to work with my painting style.  When I got the Victrix figures, the old wariness set in again. I was put off by having to assemble each figure.  No fault of Victrix mind you; the box set contains a multiplicity of arms, heads, swords, and "stuff".  I am spoiled to the quality of ATKM figures so there it is...I posted it.  
My concerns were alleviated after putting all 16 of these figures together.  They glued together easily, had a lot of mold lines/flash to scrape and cut,  but the final product was OK.  I also like the idea that the box set produces enough figures to fill out 8 battalions of line infantry volts. or two units of "Light Infantry" if played in the ATKM rules format.  Good value. 

Here are several figures in the process of basic block painting of colors.  Shading and lining will happen once I finish out the other figures in the unit.  I've glued the figures down to an ATKM line infantry base instead of a circular ATKM light infantry base. Again, my thinking is to put these guys straight into my French line battalions.  Looks as if I'll "need" another box set to paint the Grenadier companies.  Darn the bad luck right?  My current plan is to paint a brigade of French, a brigade of British unless Ken brings out Russians or I find the address of the manufacturer that does them in plastics heh heh heh, a brigade of light horse for both sides, a brigade of heavy horse for both sides and artillery for both sides.  Yes Virginia, I AM an addict! 
You might notice the different plumes on the figures. I'm taking a different tack (go figure...I NEVER follow the leader on much of anything) on this collection.  I've been a collector of Napoleonic reference materials since 1980.  This box set just begged to be painted as a "series" or a rendition of a "change and continuity" of uniforms over time.  I pulled out my old Funken series, my copious collection of Osprey "comic books", an old edition (1974) of Military Uniforms of the Peninsular War, just had to pull out my "Otto von Pivka" (sic) Armies of 1812 and hit the Internet to gather enough plates and pictures to paint each of of these figures in either a different uniform or as an evolution of uniforms from 1809-1812.  I'm also including several allied contingents such as Westfalians (because I like them and can), Swiss (because they are red), Neuchatel (because they're the Canaries), Italians (I don't know why but I'm basically lazy and the majority of their uniform is white).  This little project is going to be a blast and will lend some color to my collection when plonked on the game table.  
Here's what started this mess....I'm sure you purists and Napoleonic experts in the ethersphere will snicker, laugh derisively and flame me for "trusting" Funken, Osprey, ad nauseum for painting references. OK, now that all that is done; I wanted my collection to be different than a standard wargamer's collection. 54mm collecting is a little different than my 28, and 15mm collections. The ideas of producing vignettes, constructing figures using themes,  and just having a little fun is intriguing and has kept my interest while painting mass quantities of 54s.  
Here's that old copy of Military Dress of the Peninsular War. It was copyrighted 1974.  It's been one of my best friends for years. I like the campaign look of the plates. That's why some of my figures will have patches on the knees and will sport "appropriated" brown pants (taken from monk's cassocks) in Spain.  

I'll post more regularly now that I'm feeling better and hopefully you'll be able see some progress on this project.  Now how to squeeze in completing my Napoleon at War British, French armies, paint more 54mm AWI, complete the terrain/buildings/table eye candy to paint.  Lots o' projects, lots o' time.  Keep checking back for updates.  That is all!