I reported recently that my British Heavy Dragoons regiment made it into the excellent Benno’s Figures Forum newsletter. Well…it’s happened once again!
This time it was my Silesian Hussars that made the ‘headlines’. Actually, my figures sort of made the headlines twice over. The picture at the top of the newsletter depicts the diorama display of the Benno’s Figures Forum Famous Waterloo Project, for which I humbly contributed 4 figures earlier in the year. Clicking on the picture below should take you to the full newsletter.
Once more, I can only say that I’m very pleased to see that they were considered worthy of inclusion and it gives me great encouragement to continue with the project. Now – must get back to painting those British Horse Guards…
I’m pleased to report that my figures have received some wider exposure. I’ve received in my email inbox recently a newsletter from the very wonderful Benno’s Figures Forum and was delighted to see that my recently completed British Heavy Dragoons regiment has made it in! See below…
The feature on my British Heavy Dragoons, bottom right…
“Napoléon avait cinq cents soldats, Marchant du même pas.”
I painted a far larger number of figures for the BFFFWP group build than I actually sent (only the four figures). One of the sets that I was working on with an eye to submitting to the project was the Strelets French Infantry in Advance set. I only had a box in the first place because my local retailer was sadly closing down and selling remaining stock at stupidly cheap prices. I had little intention of painting them any time soon until the BFFFWP spurred me into action.
Well, it’s a typical Strelets set, with its distinctive sculpting style and emphasis on plenty of character in the poses. Strelets actually brought out two sets of these marching French Napoleonic infantry, resulting in no less than 24 different poses of soldiers simply marching with their musket! The other feature of this set is that they are made to look distinctly campaign weary and footsore; wearing greatcoats, sometimes covering their shakos from the vicissitudes of the weather and occasionally even sporting patches for their threadbare uniforms.
Certainly not the prettiest set ever produced, they are nonetheless easy to paint and make for an effective and evocative display of marching Napoleonic soldiery. Painting these troops put me in mind of a song I learnt in my French class at school; “Napoléon avait cinq cents soldats“. I’m ashamed to say that my knowledge of the language isn’t great but I well recall reciting this song – I was delighted to learn it for fairly obvious reasons! I might not have “five hundred soldiers marching” and they’re most certainly not in step, but I might just like them enough to paint the full 96 in my possession…
As a postscript to the above, I found the following nugget of information on the web about the “Napoléon Avait Cinq Cent Soldats”song:
[After singing the first verse in full] Then the second time you drop the last syllable from the Napoleon line: “Napoléon avait cinq cent sol—“ The last line (Marchez en même temps) is sung with full gusto. The third time, you drop the last two syllables and successively down the line to the song’s conclusion.
I’ve been singing it all day but I will get that song out of my head eventually…
And hot on the heals of the last post, here are the almost finished figures for the Prussian Jager. I say “almost” because I’ll select a couple from this half-dozen to send on to my forum friend in Germany; Jan, aka ‘MABO’. These two selected soldiers will probably be subject to a little bit more tinkering before I’m satisfied enough to send them through the post.
They’ll have to wait though; the HaT Nassau Grenadiers need finishing off next. They seem to be coming along nicely so they shouldn’t be too much longer.
Interestingly, I compared these finished figures with ones I’d painted a few years ago, which were amongst the first model plastic soldiers I’d ever painted. The old ones were okay, but I like to think that these last few years have enabled me to make these new ones distinctly better.
Now, on a personal level, I have to state that this past week has been something of a challenge. Problems with my health (very uncharacteristic of me) have seen me struggling. Even today, I’m finishing off these figures with nerve damage to my painting hand that’s lasted for over a month now (a consequence of D.I.Y. and not figure painting: a salutary lesson there to us all, I think!). In addition, I’m struggling with a winter cold and a muscle spasm in my left shoulder! None of which has stopped me from nearly finishing this pleasurable project, I’m happy to say. Ah well, I’m feeling a little better today and have rediscovered some positive attitude, so I can at least state that I seem to be on the mend! Enough about my moans: here are the Prussians!
This is just a quick update to reveal some news, namely that I’ve put my name down for the BFFFWP (the acronym’s explanation is shown in the post title!). Benno’s Figures Forum is an excellent place to find great painters from all over the world with an interest in military figures. I occasionally post some images of work done but never got involved with a ‘group build’ before. I noticed however a new initiative designed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the immensely significant battle of Waterloo. The idea is:
“to represent the different armys, nations, and different armed services with figures from different manufacturers, that are important for our hobby – like some kind of an overview.”
As you can see above there are two different types of Nassau Grenadier from separate releases. I’ll choose which one I like best soon but it will probably be the more dynamic grey-coloured version.
These, when complete, will be sent over to Germany to join the others painted for display at the FIGZ 2015 convention in Arnhem later this year. All of a sudden I feel a sense of responsibility! There’s no rush whatsoever as I’ve got until nearly April to paint just two figures but the pressure comes from Suburban Millitarism actually creating something for public display. The HaT ones probably wouldn’t have been the ones I’d have chosen to display my, ahh, talent, but I’ll do my best and keep the blog update with progress.