Tuesday, 1 November 2011

O'er the Hills and Far Away

Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain... Today is a new project for me, a Waterloo Napoleonics army and as musically astute fans of the series Sharpe will have guessed, the first unit is the 95th Rifles:

The unit is based for the Warhammer Historical game Waterloo. Anyone curious about this game should get it sooner rather than later, as it is currently half price. Just £18 for a full cover book the size of the Warhammer 40k hardcover. It is a thing of beauty, really. Rules wise it seems to pull together the best elements of War of the Ring, Warhammer and Warmaster. Really cool. Armies are chosen in companies rather than individuals. A company is a base of troops, 6 per base for infantry, 2 per base for cavalry. The 95th Rifles are light infantry and are thus represented by three models per base to give them more of a skirmishing feel.

Another slightly denser shot to make it easier to see the models. The sharp (badum-tish) eyed among you will notice that the officer commanding the regiment bears a resemblance to a certain Northern major from a popular television series.

The reason for this is that I converted up the model from a plastic Perry Napelonic rifleman with the head of another of Sean Bean's characters: Boromir from Lord of the Rings.

(image from Games-Workshop.com used without permission)

I removed the head and shaved the facial hair down to create the clean shaven look of Sean Bean's Richard Sharpe from the series. I carved the lip and chin into an approximation of Sean Bean's face. I also needed to shorten the hair a little. Attaching a sword to the model taken from the spare officer's weapons from the Perry line infantry set in place of the bayonet finished off the model.

Simarily I needed a bugler and not wanting to buy a command pack just for the musician I decided to convert him. A bugle from the Empire Pistoliers box set (acquired from Let the Dice Decide) with the cloth and hand shaved off made an acceptable representation. Painting wise the models start with a basecoat of Orkhide Shade followed by a coat of a 50:50 mix of Orkhide Shade and Dark Angels Green. All the black areas of the model were basecoated in a 60:40 mix of Adeptus Battlegrey and black. The rifle furniture received a coat of Vallejo Chocolate Brown and all the metalics were picked out with Boltgun Metal. After giving the water canteens a lick of Fenris Grey the whole model was washed with Badab Black.

Following the wash I picked out the satchel in Vallejo Pale Sand and the canteen straps in Calthan Brown, the blankets were base coated with Adeptus Battlegrey. The brass areas were painted in Vallejo Brass and then all of the areas mentioned in this paragraph were washed with Devlan Mud. Rehighlighting the satchel with Pale Sand and the blanket in Adeptus Battlegrey. After painting a 95 on the backpack and an attempt at the regiment powder horn on the canteen in Fortress Grey I painted the flesh the usual way. On the subject of the flesh, painting the faces was very, very hard with the wrist brace on, (see a Warning to Painters). I really struggled and ended up having to remove it and just tough it out for the short amount of time required. I decided to do as good a job as I could and return to finish eyes and final highlights after healing up.

Something I am very happy with are the bases. With the bigger size I felt I needed to go the extra mile on these. Mixing cork boulders and my usual modelling sand created the groundwork. This was base coated in Scorched Brown after sealing it in watered down PVA. All of the larger stones were picked out with Charadon Granite. Then the whole base was drybrushed Khemri Brown, this bound the rocks and soil together and created a very realistic look. A light drybrush of Bleached Bone finished off the groundwork, time for foliage. First, patches of static grass were added (a new mix that I am using from two Antenoceti's Workshop colours Dark Green and Parched, I mixed the two together and then decanted them back into their containers). Next I used a few Army Painter 6mm Swamp Tufts to mix up the grasses. (Next time I am buying these direct from Antenoceti and buying the Mini-natur ones as they have twice as much for a little less money). Finally some tufts of coarse turf as small bushes finished the effect. I'm delighted with the finish and will be definately going the extra mile more often on the bases. It is really worth it.

To bind the models to the base I also weathered the trousers with dried mud using what I call the Ruin of Arnor method - as this is where I first encountered the technique. Simply sequentially drybrush (meaning add a little less each time) Scorched Brown, Graveyard Earth, Bestial Brown, Vomit Brown and Bleached Bone. Really looks like dried mud. Campaigning in the Napoleonic wars was hellish and the filth of the road was an ever present problem.

The above army list shows the full first thousand points I have planned. With the Rifles finished I am about one sixth of the way through. The other regiments have twice the number of actual models in them so they are going to be much bigger projects!

With that my experimental phase of painting is over, the wrist brace is both a bigger and smaller inconvenience than I thought it would be. Bigger because I am much, much slower, all told those fellas took me four days. Normally I would knock them out in a day, day and a half tops. Smaller because my dexterity with my fingers is surprisingly high in the brace. The problems come from the clumsiness of having to align my hand via my elbow. Very frustrating. Still, at least I can physically work which is a blessing. Until next time...



  1. Fantastic work, you've actually made me buy the damn book, and the models are stunning. You mention the Sharpe figure is from a Perry plastic, are the troops also Perry or are they Victrix?

    **warning: pedant alert** I seem to recall that the Rifle regiments didn't use bugles, I think they used whistles instead...

  2. Yeah, the officers certainly had them, Waterloo though has the command company with officer and bugler. The models are all the perry plastics, I just swopped the arms and bodies around to create variety. Given that you give a spare 4 riflemen in every box of the perry plastics then its an easy unit to build.

  3. Sigh. Look what you've made me do...


    (Actually I should be thanking you for your inspirational blog) Thank you! I look forward to see the rest of your force.