Monday, November 27, 2006

Better photos.

Sometimes we get smart early; sometimes it's late. Anyway here are the same three photos after run through a photo editor. It's always late with me!

I do like these guys.

The animation is first rate.

I'd like some ragged Swedes also.

Musketeer Miniatures GNW

I recently ordered and received a group of sample Musketeer Miniatures Great Northern War range figures. M-M currently has available four packs; Swedes in Karpus Attacking, Swedes in Tricorne Attacking, Russians in Karpus Standing and Russians in Tricorne Standing.

As a diversion I painted one of the Swedes this weekend. These are very nice castings ranging 25-28mm and very well detailed. The listing promises many more items and I am very tempted by this range of castings. The Great Northern War has been on my list for about 20 years now. I simply haven’t found to date a complete line of castings that I liked. These fellows could be the figures I’m looking for. You can see the listing at the M-M website and few castings:

The left side of the casting, one of the features of these figures is that the sword and bayonet sheath are a separate item. This has some painting advantages; however, the little pieces could be lost during mass production. I intend to paint units of 60+ figures and 60+ swords scattered about might become problematic. I suspect the prudent modeler would attach the weapons during the cleaning process.

I really like the animation in these little fellows. The Swedish drill at the time consisted of two half volleys fired during the approach followed by a charge with no reloading permitted. Fully one third of a Swedish battalion would have been pike and I suspect the site of Charles the XII’s grizzled veterans charging was more then many a Saxon, Pole or Russian could stomach.

This miniature is painted in the colors of the Västerbotten Regiment. His shoulder straps should be blue not white, I will rectify that shortly. I have read that the karpus was only issued to rank and file; NCOs’ and Officers would be in Tricorne, can anyone verify this?

Bill Thornhill the “Owner, designer, mould maker, caster and general dogs body of Musketeer Miniatures” to quote him; has promised Command, Pikes and Grenadiers next. I will certainly purchase a few of each upon release. I am eagerly anticipating the marching poses and cavalry. This line has an excellent start and I’ll post the additional figures as I paint them perhaps a Russian of Preobrazhenskii next.

If you're interested in the Great Northern War I highly recommend this line of castings!

Monday, November 13, 2006

No they aren't new elite Vulgarians!

H.G. Wells dedicated his book 'Little Wars' as "A game for Boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books." I have a niece that is certainly intelligent; although I'm not sure about liking boys' games. Regardless her brother is getting toy soldiers for Christmas this year (see my other blog: for some photos of them--yes I know it's a shameless plug!) so I thought she should have toy soldiers also. After all, when she plays princess dress up he does also. I should point out that he is a little less then 2 right now and his sister at 5 is clearly in charge! Nic Robson and Eureka make an excellent line of Teddy Bear soldiers that I thought would do the trick nicely.

They can be found in the 28mm Eureka catalog.

Since they are Teddy Bears I felt they should be painted in a few different fur colors. I selected purple as the jacket color and copper for the metals. The "J" on the cartouche box is for Jaena, my niece. Above you have examples of the front and back of the musketeers, complete with cork pop guns. Eureka manufacture Teddy Bears for the Wild West, the Zulu Wars and more SYW castings as well. I finished them in gloss as I think it'll hold up better in the long run.

I wanted very bright and happy colors that weren't garish. I painted a multicolor flower for the cockade and relied on purple, copper, yellow and white for the majority of the colors.

I like the officer a lot; this is a casting with lots of character. Wooden picket fence sword and hat in hand he leads his men (erh TeddyBears) gallantly. I gave him a rose colored sash (I just couldn't bring myself to paint it pink) and a rose nose.

I can't think of a better reason to keep the regimental colors upright, then topping them with a pot of honey! Jaena of course is the Queen Bee around the house and that made the choice of emblems easy.

The Regiment in line, I'll add to her army at Birthdays and Christmas with Grenadiers scheduled next-they are available in mitre and bearskin; although I'm not sure TeddyBears in Bearskins is completely proper! This was a fun project to paint and I suspect I'll be painting a few for my daugthers' who kept telling me how cute they were.