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French and Indian War in 28mm

French and Indian War in 28mm

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Project Blog by brizzlerob

Recommendations: 124

About the Project

My second PLOG to track progress creating French and Indian War (FIW) forces, scenery, and little extras. The initial aim is to create terrain and a British Provincial force for forthcoming Sharp Practice event at Bristol Independent Gaming. There is lots to do and I'm keen to crack on!

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Retour à Saindoux

Tutoring 5
Skill 8
Idea 7
No Comments

So January was a busy month preparing for the A Most Despicable Place event, run by Dave Hunter (of Sharp Practice Open Event fame), and hosted at Bristol Independent Gaming.

I knuckled down and completed painting the figures you see in the gallery below.  I’m reasonably pleased with the result, I always come away thinking I could do better or different…I guess I need to apply these lessons to the next in the painting queue!

I’m not going to write a lot as I’ve already attempted to make this post (unsuccessfully) once, and you’d rather see the photos (N.B. I may attempt to add a gallery at a time to this plog).  Special mention to Dave Hunter for masterminding the event, Lance from Galloping Major who attended with his lovely figures (most of my figures are from GM, and it was really interesting learning more about the production of them, and future lines), the Lardies themselves who popped in on the Sunday (listen to the latest Oddcast), Jim and Ellen for running BIG, and all the gamers at the event.  The array of figures and scenery was truly impressive, and I was particularly taken by Jenny’s stunning tables of terrain.

My force list for the eventMy force list for the event

Below are a whole host of phots my brother Ju, mate Ben and I took over the course of the weekend.  The bulk of the early photos focus on the modest success my Provincial force had in completing its missions:

  • Defend the settlement at Big Bottom with Jenny’s Rangers (one of her fantastic tables).
  • Assault the Heights of Gideon with Dee’s 60th Foot.
  • Cross a river within the wilderness, again with Jenny’s Rangers.
  • Rescue the Colonel’s daughter from Huron village, with Ben’s 44th Foot.

These were all good game, and the diversity of terrain and tasks just emphasises what a fantastic period the French and Indian War is to play.  We were fighting over settlements and in the wilderness, as well as a small number of European style engagements.

The remaining photos are an assortment of other tables and battles fought over the two days.  These give you a flavour of the forces being fielded, the range of terrain, and an appreciation of some of the (generally better) paint jobs on display.

So whats next?

Well the date is in the diary for Dave’s next event, Where the Leaf Falls, back at BIG (see the Sharp Practice Open Event group for details).  I’m really looking forward to it, and hope to improve on the terrain I was able to loan.  The painting queue is as large as ever, with a host of different systems and periods all vying for attention, but I’m just starting on the next force for FIW, some Milice Canadienne from Galloping Major…

Retour à Saindoux

On the Wagon

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

Following the season’s festivities I’ve returned to my FIW project…but with one slight distraction from the main effort; I decided to build and paint some carts and wagons instead of pressing on with the Mohawks I must have painted!  Oops…but doing something of associated benefit is better than doing nothing at all.  It all helps eat away at the painting pile.

The wagons, carts and horses shown in this entry are from Warbases, with the exception of this lovely supply wagon from Perry Miniatures (I plan to swap out drivers).

Assembling the Warbases models was a doddle but I soon realised that I wanted to put these on bases.  I’d intended to be able to swap the few horses I had between carts/wagons as required, and the bases would allow me to move the combined unit more easily.  I also didn’t want to glue the carts/wagons to the bases as I could use them as scenery, so the bases would have a slight interference fit to snugly hold the cart/wagon.

I used the same fibreboard from my last post to make individual bases.  On these I glued thin strips to hold the models in place, and some random bits dotted around to provide elevation.  This was liberally covered with filler and then textured with fine sand.  At this point the bases were far from impressive but some paint and a blend of flock (different colours and different lengths) produced a result I’m pretty pleased with.  When flocking I find keeping some patches bare helps give a credible look, although I will probably add a few flowers as a finishing touch.

On the Wagon

Progress (at last!)

Tutoring 8
Skill 10
Idea 7
3 Comments

Goodness, how little has been achieved in the last month.  Work (and cats) have really hampered any tangible progress on this project.  Thankfully the arrival of Christmas leave has given me a couple of days to sit down and have a good concentrated effort at chipping away at the painting pile.

Connecticut Provincials

The primary focus has been on the core of my force, the Connecticut Provincials.  Now I’m not the greatest painter in the world but this (fairly slow) process appears to work for me.  I’d welcome any hints and tips of doing better and faster!

  1. Apply basecoats.  I used Vallejo Dark Vermillion (70.947), Deep Yellow (70.915), Black Grey (70.862), Pale Sand (70.837) [N.B. I hardly ever use pure black or white now], Army Painter Barbarian Flesh, and various browns and tans.
  2. Initial highlights.  This is probably where I struggled most.  I typically added a spot of Pale Sand to my base colours to produce a lighter tone.
  3. Apply washes.  Two washes were applied separately (allowing each to dry!).  The first was a careful application of Army Painter Red Tone over the red fabric, with Army Painter Soft Tone over the remainder.
  4. Final highlights.  In most places I’ve reapplied the basecoat, thinned sufficiently to remain opaque .  Sometimes I’ve added a little Pale Sand or a similar lighter colour to the basecoat (i.e. Salmon Pink 70.835 was added to the flesh tone).
  5. Rework!  Now I wasn’t happy with my red tunics, these appeared to purple or pink to my taste, so I glazed the high points with the Dark Vermilion.

I’m reasonably happy with the outcome (its good for me – and I can see improvement), but I suspect I had to work a lot harder for the result than was needed; all those washes and glazes.  Any tips from the community here?  I’d particularly welcome hints on painting red.  How do you highlight it?

Deployment Points

All Sharp Practice players know they need a deployment point (or two or three) for their games.  When I was suffering from a lack of tangible hobby time I decided to do something quick rather than anything detailed and complicated…so simple and generic deployment points were it.

Many gamers create impressive scenic centerpieces for their deployment points; Dave Hunter, and also Jim at Bristol Independent Gaming have some stunning examples.  I didn’t have the time and just wanted to make something functional, which my brothers and I could use irrespective of the forces we used…so these had to be generic.  There is no science or real skill to making these generic pieces, but this was my approach:

  1. Cut disks.  I used a 2″ hole saw to cut a load of disks out of a fibreboard fruit container found in one of Britain’s largest supermarkets.
  2. Cover hole!  I roughly cut some good card to stick on top, covering the hole from the drill bit.
  3. Texture and paint.  I used sand but considered tile grout for a finer texture.  Once dried a quick basecoat of brown poster paint was applied, and later a rough dry brush of the same brown paint with a spot of white.
  4. Decorate!  This is the interesting bit.  Because I wanted these to be generic I knew my designs were going to be fairly simplistic.
    1. Luke’s APS pine forest ground cover provided the finer ground cover.
    2. Fallen branches were created from twigs and roots I had dried out.
    3. The camp fire was circled by larger bits of grit I’d had sieved out of builders sand, with the ash make by fine sand.
    4. Leaves were dried herbs bought online in a vast 1kg packet.  I plan to use a LOT of this for my FIW model and terrain basing.
    5. Grass tufts and flowers were homemade by me.

These aren’t going to set the world alight, but I’ve got plenty to get playing with, and they can be used whether I’m fielding (or facing) British, French or Indians.

Next...

I’ve got to pull my finger out to be completely ready for a FIW Sharp Practice event at Bristol Independent Gaming later in January.  On the to do list are:

  • Mohawk Indians
  • More civilians
  • Carts
  • Terrain (assorted – trees and rivers)

The real work beings...

Tutoring 9
Skill 7
Idea 7
3 Comments

Here is the start of the substantial work to have a British force ready for January.  At this stage my Provincial force will require:

Provincial infantry
4 groups of 8 men = 32 and 3 leaders

Mohawk allies
2 groups of 6 men = 12 and 2 leaders

I’ll also be painting more civilians from Foundry, and Indians from Warlord.  All the Provincial figures in this initial force are from Galloping Major.  These are lovely models, nice and clean with lots of character, and whilst ‘generously proportioned’ I’m hoping this makes them easier to paint.  The steps I’ve taken so far have been:

  • Clean models
  • Glued to a copper plated-steel base (you can buy for 1p in the UK)
  • Quickly apply sand to the base
  • Primed with Halfords grey primer
  • I glue little unit identifiers under the bases to assist others (and me) in distinguishing between the range of unit types.

 

P.S
Yes I’ve now noticed the horrible line of flash around one of the Mohawk figures photographed (from Warlord’s Last of the Mohicans set).

Provincial infantry

I’m going to paint my men as Connecticut Provincials.  I’m keen to theme my force around a personality based on William Johnson, and the Connecticut were with him at Lake George in 1755.  In addition to the books I’ve picked up on the subject, the Kronoskaf website is a fantastic reference for uniforms and histories.

As the Connecticut Provincials mainly wear red jackets and breeches I’ve started with couple of thin coats of Dark Vermillion from Vallejo (70.947).  I’m not too concerned about being overly neat as I’m comfortable my other paints will go over this later.

Closing comments

Thought I might be interesting to compare the scale differences between companies.  Galloping Major and Foundry compare very favourably, whereas Warlord models are noticeably slighter and smaller (‘true’ 28mm?).  From left to right in the photo below… Warlord, Galloping Major and Foundry.

The real work beings...

Wildlife

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 8
1 Comment

Any FIW table needs a good smattering of wildlife to help set the scene.  I’ve bought most of my animals from Foundry, and I think it was only the wolves I bought from North Star.  Nothing particularly special here, just some quick painting to get these ready for basing.  Tufts and oregano to follow.

Wildlife

And so it begins!

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 8
1 Comment

As ever I’m been distracted from my personal “15mm WWII” October (see here) by some of the gorgeous Foundry, Galloping Major, Warlord and North Star figures I’ve amassed in preparation for a Sharp Practice French and Indian War event early next year.

So in a break from painting khaki, and to maintain my painting mo-jo (I’m keen to paint whatever I want instead of stalling – avoid painters block!) I picked up some of the female civilian figures who I knew I wanted painted in bright and distinctive colours.

The five ladies are from Foundry (three on the left) and Warlord (the two smaller ladies on the right).  I also banged out some of the wheat sheaves that came with one of the Foundry sets.  Down the line I intend to flock the left-hand lady and the sheaves with 2mm straw flock, to represent a cut field.  The other ladies will have a very few grass tufts and then a liberal covering of oregano (leaf litter).

And so it begins!

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