Sunday, 24 June 2012

Blimey, that was a gap.

Hi everyone. I thought I'd better do an update before Blogspot deletes this thing through inactivity. September to June is quite a gap and, although I've not been posting on here, I've been busy, particularly in the last month. A few weeks ago I decided it'd be a good idea to put on a small Very British Civil War display game on one of the Manchester Area Wargames Society tables at Phalanx 2012 but, needing to wait until payday for most of the materials, it ended up just being a mad week-and-a-half rush with no sleep the night before.

I'd decided I wanted to do a locally themed layout and went for the typical terraced houses of a Lancastrian town and a colliery with headgear (of which all but one have disappeared from our fair county). It soon became clear that I'd seriously underestimated the amount of time it would take to build terrain and it wasn't until the last day that I'd finished building the terrain, and painting was only started in the afternoon. There was a little disaster that means bits will need redoing. Not having enough time to cut out strips of roof slates, I decided to cut a corner by scoring a pattern into pieces of textured thin card for both the roofs and the pavement flagstones. The pavement stuck down fine but didn't pick up the drybrush so I will have to paint the flagstones individually (eek). The roofs were much worse. Being the first time I'd made terrain I had no idea the degree to which the card could warp due to the glue. I'd added superglue dots of superglue to the card as well as the watered down white glue, and whilst the superglued bits stayed in place, the bits with just the white glue started to come away from the foamboard and actually bend it outwards as well. The roofs will have to be redone but at least I'll have time to do a proper job this time. I'll also be adding windows, doors, civilian vehicles and some street furniture. One of our club members (SuicideBadger) took a few photos at Phalanx and has done a write up of the event on the MAWS 40k blog. I've nabbed a couple to post here, mainly to show that I'm not a complete slacker.

The starting position for both small forces. I'd only managed to get twenty or so Wiganers and Liverpudlians (and only started painting Artizan's miniature of George Orwell at 5.30 on the morning of the show).

Wigan Rugby players and Liverpool Revolutionary Sailors in their starting positions.

A WIP photo of the Rugby players under natural lighting rather than that in the Sports Hall, that I originally took for a project log on the new VBCW forum.

And a WIP photo of the Sailors

I really enjoyed the show and it was great getting to meet loads of new gamers and have a good chat. I think there will definitely be another game done for next year, but it won't be a complete rush job again. I'm not sure whether it'll be VBCW or something else.

I've also actually started to reach the point where I'm beginning to enjoy the painting part of this hobby (or at least not finding it as much of a chore) and over the next couple of days I'm going to be painting some archers from GW's Bretonnian range of about 1990. These figures in particular and nice to paint and are essentially just early 14th century English Archers with no fantasy elements modelled on them at all - but loads of nice detail like gloves stuffed into belts etc. Then over the next couple of weeks I'll be painting up some French Infantry for a Muskets and Tomahawks game which means (drumroll) that after 2 years this '18th Century Painting blog' will soon have some painted and based 18th Century miniatures on it.

I also recently bought some 18th Century miniatures last month for a new project but more on that when I get round to it.

Anyhow, back to the painting.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Uniforms of Genoa and Modena

Recently I've been taking a bit of a detour through the War of the Austrian Succession with my reading and at the moment the campaigns in Italy have particularly grabbed my attention. I think the uniforms were what drew me in initially, especially those of Savoy which are beautiful in their simplicity. That, and perhaps the scarcity of books in English on the subject initially gave it an air of mystery. For the past week or so I've been reading Duffy's The Wild Goose and the Eagle and when I reached the section dealing with the fighting against Genoa I remembered some absolutely lovely plates on the New York Public Library's Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms. I first ventured there a couple of years ago and spent most of my time perusing the sections on the big players (Prussians, Austrians, French, etc.) but there are some real gems hidden in some of the smaller nations so I thought I'd post a few and the links to them, as they are really worth a browse if you get chance.

The plates in question all seem to be done by the same artist and cover the uniforms of Genoa and Modena. There are also some more by him of later Italian uniforms from the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. All of the plates take the form of scenes and this gives them a real character and charm. I don't know the artist's name, but if you happen know anything about them (who did them, did he do any other mid 18th century, are books available with them in etc.) please let me know in the comments section of this post. I'd be very grateful for any help you can give. 

Anyway I'll stop waffling on now and post a few pictures:


A little bit of information on Genoese uniforms can be found on Uniformology's website.

 Officer reading a message while Swiss and Genoese soldiers, and what I think is a scout or light infantryman of some kind, look on.

Genoese soldiers march down a dusty Italian road under the watchful eyes of their sergeant.

Swiss infantry marching behind their fifers.

A rather forlorn-looking Piedmontese prisoner (from a Swiss regiment, I believe) is brought before relaxing officers and a lady.


A soldier and follower dance in camp.

 Swiss soldiers go for a stroll.

A selection of uniforms, I particularly like the combination of colours on the two gossiping in the middle.

Towards the end of the century a soldiers' fight rapidly escalates into bloodshed.

If you haven't been on the New York Public Library's Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms I can't recommend it enough. It's great that such a valuable resource has been made public, and on top of that they actively encourage sharing by providing links to embed the pictures in your own websites. More plates by the same artist as did these can be found in the Italy section under Genoa, Modena, Italy 1796-97, Minor States and probably more besides.

My painting has stopped completely over the last few months as I've been cramming in as much overtime as I can but I hope to get something posted in the next couple of weeks or so. I really can't let myself down this month. I've got a bit of extra motivation, though, because as soon as I get through the stuff I have on the go already I can get on to painting some lovely Minden Miniatures hussars currently sitting in the cupboard.

A few more books

I've added a few more books to the Seven Years War book list (although one is strictly about the War of the Austrian Succession):

Irish Brigades

By John Cornelius O’Callaghan

By Mary Anne Bianconi O 'Connell

By Andrew O’Reilly

War of the Austrian Succession

By Richard Rolt