Sunday, January 25, 2015

Prussian Uhlans of 1830 - 33mm Flats

Here's painted samples from a nice set of Rieche uhlans which I've had on the back burner for some time now.  No particular project in mind here, it was just a good set of castings for which curiosity finally got the best of me to see how they'd look with the paint on.

Rieche Brothers was a flats firm located in Hannover.  Love their figures, beautifully engraved and well animated. Nominally 30mm, they all seem to measure consistently at 33mm.  I have two other sets of 19th Century infantry from this maker, one painted and the other as yet unpainted castings, both very appealing as well.  The factory was destroyed by Allied bombing during WW2, unfortunate collateral damage so far as flats collectors are concerned.  I'm no Rieche expert but their sets do pop up on German eBay and the Berliner Zinnfiguren Flohmarkt now and then so apparently they produced in enough volume that the figures can still be found.

This set of castings contains 11 figures, an officer, two buglers and eight lancers. No standard bearer although one of the buglers could be converted. 

I originally had in mind some other army, but they match the figures illustrated here so exactly that I just painted them as Prussians.

How'd they turn out ?

Although not exactly posed for battle, they're still quite lively and I do like this set.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Spenkuch French - 35mm Flats

I'd bought this set of Spenkuch French infantry from Berliner Zinnfiguren a couple years back.  As well as pretty much splitting the difference between 30mm & 40mm, they also fall between the two camps of semi-rounds and flats as they're quite flat but retain elements of semi-round style.

My first reaction upon receipt of the figures was disappointment.  Primarily due to even the lowly privates being shod in officer's boots. So they remained in their box until recently when I thought of using them for this possible project for the Italian Wars. Giving them another look, they seemed not so bad as I remembered them, so let's see what can be done about the problem with the high boots.

Yup, green stuff to the rescue.

And these are the test figures I modified first.

The figure with the lowered rifle remained French. The other figure was a test conversion to Piedmontese.  Uniform details have been surprisingly hard to pin down for them but apparently they campaigned in 1859 wearing overcoats even in the summer months.  Thus the conversion wasn't difficult, just a matter of bulking up the kepi into shako form with the green stuff (sorry, the photo of these two figures in pre-painted state came out unacceptably blurry). 

So, I think this now becomes a usable set of figures.

Friday, January 2, 2015

French Infantry of 1845: Old 40mm Flats


I'd mentioned in the previous post that this one would cover Spenkuch.  And so I'd intended, only to find the in-progress photo of the castings I'd modified to be unacceptably blurry upon uploading. More about those soon, but in the meantime, here's an interesting small group of antique 40mm flats which I found on the Berliner Zinnfiguren Flohmarkt.

BZ attributed the editor as Ramm of LüneburgThis venerable 19th firm seems to have gone under ca. 1904 with the death of Johan Friedrich Heinrich Ramm. While stylistically they seem a bit different than most of the Ramm offerings, there's no reason firm reason to doubt it. 

The section about Ramm on the Zinnfiguren-Bleifiguren site offers this critique: "Alle diese Typen sind ziemlich ungeschickt in der Stellung und zum Teil auch im anatomischen Bau", which Google translates as "All these guys are pretty awkward in the position and to some extent in the anatomical structure."  That nicely sums it up, although I must say these particular castings look good to my eyes.  At a casual glance they appear a bit ungainly and long-waisted, but upon closer examination I think it's due to the long frock coats and quite baggy trousers.

How to paint them ?  One guy had no shako decoration, so why not French infantry ca.1850, he could be a center company figure and then of course we must have voltigeurs and grenadiers to balance it out.  Thanks to the Humbert & Lienhart plates come in handy.

And the painted result:

Not bad. The "eyes right" pose is always a nuisance with flats because painting the faces frontally is harder than the standard profile. I'm afraid I made a mediocre job of the faces here but they're at least tolerable, and if I can copy the figures successfully, I'm sure to pull off at least a few good ones within a battalion.  Other than that, I think they're well-posed and appealing once the paint goes on.  No copyright issues in play so I've reserved the three castings shown above to try making molds of.