Tuesday, March 31, 2015

War of the Spanish Succession - 30mm Flats

I've hit a bit of a lull in terms of new things to post. Still painting, but nothing quite ready yet. Here's some filler, flats that I painted some 20 + years ago.  I have to say, my style then was a bit blander when it comes to colors and less proficient in shading.  Still, better eyesight and steadier hands made for more precise work so there has been a gradual tradeoff over the years.

The photo on top and the one below are figures from the WSS staff officers set from Golberg. They closed the shop several years back, not sure what has become of the molds.

Here's a set of Austrian dragoons, the editor is Siegbert Wagner.  He had a lot of WSS sets, as I recall you could get the horse in standing, walking/trotting and galloping poses. I don't recall why I opted for this static group.

I liked dealing with Wagner. Although he spoke no English, thus in that pre-internet era everything was done by means of sending letters, obtaining catalog sheets then sending international money orders.  I don't know what has become of Herr Wagner as I believe he was already a mature gentleman at that time.  I also have his set of 300 WSS uniform plates, black and white line drawings with German text.  Again, these pre-date the ease of buying the Hall CD's although they had a charm of their own.  If anyone is interested, I could post a few examples.

Here's a set Austrian infantry advancing, Kieler figures.

Not every man was in accord with the plan to assault the enemy guns.

I hope you enjoyed the old figures, although perhaps my photos didn't do justice to the castings.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

War of the Spanish Imaginations - 45mm Wooden Flats

No doubt some of you are familiar with Wooden Wars toy soldiers made by the very talented Thomas Foss. as seen on his blog Skull and Crown.  Lots of good reading about them, but suffice it to say they're larger scale and beautifully done Napoleonic flat toy soldiers used to introduce children to wargaming.  And no doubt bowling them over is fun for adults too.. 

When Thomas unveiled a WSS era figure as a part of 54mm commision project, and showed a "45mm" figure alongside it, he really got my attention.  Particulary since I have the 45mm Schmittdiel flat infantry in frontal poses, so possibilities for actually getting some use out of them in conjunction with the wood figures came to mind. I contacted him about it, resulting in what you see here.

Please bear in mind that these are still prototypes, and the figure on the left below is the only good one.  The other three are rejects from the laser tuning process which Thomas sent along as practice figures.  That's why they look rather blurry because indeed they are, and the laser scribed detail is rather deeper than on the good one.  But it does serve to give a small preview of how they'll look in formations.

The bayonet scabbard is also something I painted on, if it's not good that's on the painter and not the designer.

I'll delve into some of the challenges involved with scaling these down from the kid's toy soldier size in a subsequent post, and as Thomas and I work through continued development.  Besides pushing the laser process at the lower limits, another issue is this:  although they're "flat", they are also multi-part figures glued together in layers. So what works quite well visually at 54-60mm doesn't necessarily work as well at 45mm when the thickness remains the same and the ratio of height:width:thickness now altered.

More to follow. I also got reinforcements for the Toy Town soldiers, and am still working on those.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Horse - Toy Town Soldiers 4

After completing the newly sculpted horse master shown above, for better or worse it was into the casting fires.  I was definitely concerned about being able to mold it but it turned out okay.  The main problem was the base collapsing under pressure. Otherwise it cast to the extremities well enough.  Certainly I encountered none of the problems with the impression as I did with the Toob horse mold. I gave up on the cast base, just sawing off it off at the hooves and making new bases from 1mm styrene.  As the scribe and break is easy, that's the way forward.

One other issue, couldn't free the right leg from the mold after the first casting. I cut some of the silicon rubber to free it up but clumsily cut a bit too much, leaving metal residue to be cleaned up on all subsequent casts, but the results are tolerable. At some point I'll make another mold but this will suffice for now.

So how does the completed horse look ?

And in comparison with the Toob pony.

Steve's horse left, Toob horse right

One last shot.

I'm reasonably happy with it. If I had a do over, I'd have made it smaller but at this point I'm not about to spend more time sculpting another.  I think the same horse can serve for the heavy cavalry, just need to file the shabraque into a rectangular shape. And now I'm out of riders until the next shipment from Eureka.