Thursday, January 30, 2020


Redone high command stand: now with two mounted figures.

In this post, dear readers, we report on a modest project, the reworking of a command stand.  This is in keeping with the last few projects, which were "upgrades" (for lack of a better term) to replace and/or enhance the collection by incorporating newer figures.  In this case, the temptation of a newly released Prussian High Command set with a mounted officer in the Northstar 1866 Line was too much to resist.  
The original high command stand: both figures are conversions. 

When I was doing my Prussian contingent, I had a smattering of out of production Helion Prussian mounted officers which I needed to use for my lower level command stands (each being a single mounted figure).  This left me with the high command stand to do, for which I decided (above) to convert Great War Miniatures 1914 figures to represent Prinz Friedrich Karl and an Adjutant of the General Staff.  For the curious, this project is more fully addressed in an earlier post. Given that all of my other high command stands have two mounted figures, I decided that I "needed" to upgrade the Prussian stand with a mounted officer from this new set (the fellow in the middle below).  

One interesting sidenote--the Northstar Prussian High Command set has a Prinz Friedrich Karl figure (above left),   but I prefer my Friedrich Karl conversion--so I'm not "upgrading" that one!  As usual, you may clix pix for BIG PIX in this study.

For me, the points of emphasis on command figures of this era are often the sashes and sword knots. The small metal square to the left is a feature of all of my high command stands.  This allows for the addition of a flag (which has a magnet in its base)--just a bit of optional extra eye candy (or in case we have a game where the presence or absence of the flag might signify in some way).            


Saturday, January 18, 2020


Northstar 1864 Danish Infantry in Shako

Greetings, dear readers.  In this post, we return to earth in the form of an infantry unit (as opposed to the steady diet of horse of late).  A combination of wishing to make my Danish contingent a bit more robust and the relatively recent release of a specialty set of figures in the Northstar line (above), caused me to produce a one-off unit: the Danish 18th Infantry.  The 18th retained the shako after the rest of the Danish infantry had gone to kepi.  
My Danish Infantry in Kepi: Converted Perry Union Infantry in Sack Coats

Truth be told, the 18th infantry are a bit of an anachronism.  The overall look of my Danes is more in keeping with the 1848 1st Schleswig Holstein War, the infantry in particular being in the earlier transitional uniform.  The 18th in their greatcoats are in keeping with the timeframe of the 2nd S-H War of 1864.  A minor niggle, and one that could easily be overlooked given the greatcoat (which transcends eras, really).  Anyway, what respectable miniature gamer would let such a thing stand in the way of adding such a unique unit to their force? (Not me, obviously!). Anyway, here is my study of how I rendered these figures (as usual, you may clix for BIG PIX).
 Like some of my other units, each of these stands delivers a small vignette in itself--an indulgence made possible by doing these small figure-count units. 

The Officer with raised sword arm (As shown with the Northstar Command set)
The sword arm of the officer was detached.  Experimenting, I was quite taken with the determined stride this figure delivers with the sword arm lowered (it couldn't have been that I got it upside down by mistake).  

 Bringing out the distinctive lower sleeve chevrons of Danish NCOs was one of those points of emphasis that this NCO figure seemed to call for.

I like to do a few extra figures on individual stands: these come in handy as markers or to represent pickets in some scenarios. 

These figures were a study in blue. My base for the distinctive Danish Dark Blue is Humbrol Matte Oxford Blue (104).  The greatcoats are Humbrol Matte Oxford Blue (104) highlighted first with Humbrol Matte Blue (25) followed by Matte Mid Blue (89) and then a lighter highlight of Humbrol Matte Aircraft Blue (65).  The trousers are Humbrol Matte World War 1 Blue (109) highlighted with Humbrol Matte Aircraft Blue (89) and then a touch of Model Master Flat Light Gray. Getting the pompoms to stand out against the black shakos presented a bit of a challenge.  Sticking with the Oxford Blue would have been too dark.  So I underpainted them black and then heavily highlighted them with Humbrol Matte Blue (25), which is a shade lighter and more vibrant than Oxford Blue. I then highlighted them with Humbrol Matte Aircraft Blue (65) and a touch of Model Master Flat Light Gray.  The shakos are flat black highlighted by Model Master Gunship Gray (a combination that I find works really well for things like black headgear and similar features). For those following along, these are enamels--so you kids don't try this at home!


Thursday, January 9, 2020


Northstar 1866 Prussian Dragoons

Although this is the first post of the new year, the subject matter reaches back to the last. These figures were among those shown in the October  "To Arms! To Arms" work in progress post and were the last of that batch to be completed (in the last weeks of 2019).  Being able to field a dragoon brigade of two regiments was among my plans for my Prussian cavalry (similar to the impetus for adding the second Northstar  Hussar).  The same slippery slope applied in this project: I already had a single regiment of Foundry Prussian dragoons, but I didn't want a brigade with mixed figure lines. So I decided to just go ahead and add two new regiments of the Northstar figs. I can still put the third (Foundry) regiment on the table as needs be; given that its lines are distinct from the Northstar figs, it would actually serve very well as a dragoon of one of the other German states (many had similar if not the same uniform).  But I digress.  Here is my study of these figures (as usual, you may clix pix for BIG PIX):
1st (Lithuanian) Dragoon Regiment.
2nd (Brandenburg) Dragoon Regiment
I decided that I'd have one regiment with trumpeter and one with standard bearer. 
Although not as challenging as the Prussian hussar shabraque edging, the double line edges on the dragoon saddle furniture took quite a bit of tending to. It's not much of an issue to get a nice parallel set of lines on a single figure, but getting a consistent pattern across multiple figures is another matter. It winds up being one of those inverse painting effects, something you expend extra effort on so that it doesn't get noticed.
For me, each set of figures tends to call for a different emphasis.  On these figures, it was bringing out the details of the strapping and equipment against the palette of the utilitarian dragoon uniform.
Although the 1st Dragoons have a standard bearer instead of a musician, I couldn't resist doing their trumpeter, too--so I added him as a specialty/command figure. 
The newly fielded Northstar Prussian dragoon brigade on parade.

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