Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

La Bricole painting competition

Posted by Martin on December 31, 2011

Primed figures for first base in La Bricole painting competition.

Primed figures for first base in La Bricole painting competition.

Regular BfK‘ers will know that I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions or entering painting competitions but coincidence has thrown something seasonal into my path. Over at the La Bricole discussion forum ran by my virtual friend in Tokyo, Robert Swan, (previously founded by Iannick Martin), there’s going to be a friendly Napoleonic painting competition running through the the end of the first quarter of 2012.

Given my pre-disposition against resolutions and entering painting competitions, why would I bother with this one?

Well, it has several interesting features to recommend it. Firstly, it comes at a time when my painting motivation needs a kick-start after an end to 2011 that saw my time heavily committed to the day job and my involvement with school governorship to the complete exclusion of hobby activities. Secondly, La Bricole is a small and friendly forum where a group of people with similar hobby values to my own hang out, so I almost feel a duty of camaraderie to participate. Lastly, the rules of the competition have been designed in a way that really appeals to me. There’s a goodly length of time to get entries completed (until 31 March 2012) and the scope of what’s required for a valid entry fits in nicely – the theme is militia and line units and we can opt for infantry, cavalry or artillery. I’m going for the former which, for 28mm scale, means I need only produce an entry of 18 figures.

And that’s the main attraction – this competition will, hopefully, give me sufficient motivation to make some real painting headway as we hurtle into the New Year. Doing 18 figures will get me halfway to my first completed battalion of French line infantry using the Calpe Route March figures. Once I get up momentum, I’m hoping it’ll carry me over into even more productivity as the year progresses. My plan is to complete at least one six-figure base per month of the competition and I’m hoping to throw in a couple of surprises as we go along.

Each entrant has been offered the opportunity to show work-in-progress updates in a special thread on the La Bricole forum and to offer encouragement to fellow participants as we go along. Of course, as well as doing that, I’ll be posting updates here too. I’ve already prepped and primed the figures for the first base and that’s where the first couple of interesting little surprises come into play. Firstly, I’ve done a head-swap on the drummer to give him a shouting barehead stolen from a Calpe Saxon infantryman; secondly, for a bit of scenic enhancement, I’ve added some putty straps to a backpack from the Perry plastic French infantry box to represent some discarded kit on the groundwork. The idea is that these touches will keep up my interest levels in the project and give my fellow competitors something to think about.

I’ve got some more sneaky ideas in mind to up the ante on the second base 🙂

I’m also going to use this competition for some experiments I’ve had in mind for a while. Having prepped the figures for the first base, I’ve primed them grey (a continuation of an ongoing experiment) but this time I’ve used Army Painter Uniform Grey spray paint for the job. It was certainly a quick job but somewhat smelly and you do need to be careful that details don’t get obscured by overspraying. Looking at the photo above, it would be easy to believe that these grey figures were Perry plastics rather than primed Calpe metals (well, apart from the backpack). More about other experiments as we progress.

6 Responses to “La Bricole painting competition”

  1. figvfig said

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I think you will find grey a pretty easy colour to work over with just about any colour. Wood primer and car primer, both are grey primers because it provides a neutral base to work from and covers easily. Good luck.

  2. rob said

    Looks like an interesting experiment for 2012!

    Any news on Peter F’s painting notes for the French? Really looking forward to seeing those!

    Happy new year,


  3. Errr, what’s with all this grey? Shouldn’t you be using raw umber, or white mixed with raw umber as your undercoat?! 8O)

    With humble apologies to them not in the know.

    More sensibly, time for an update on the competition painting and news from Calpe Towers please. 8O))

    von Peter himself, pushy beggar

    • Martin said

      Well, I’m going to resist the temptation to take umbrage at that 🙂 I suspect this is a jovial act of revenge for my teasing you and the Son & Heir about piping. Well, young sir, I shall “call you out” by asking if wither of you have put brush to metal on your entries for the competition yet?

      More seriously, if I get the chance this weekend, I’ll take some photos of the face and headgear painting I’ve been doing on this first batch of six figures. Oh, and taunt you with a little painted piping I’ve done too.

      Not much news from Calpe Towers other than we’re planning a trip North to visit Bill Gaskin’s collection. No dates confirmed yet.

  4. Touché! 8O)

    Actually I have long been an enthusiastic protagonist of the ‘why the hell aren’t you painting the piping’ school. It gave The son & heir and myself something to talk about. 8O))

    Re the painting competition:
    The son & heir has painted 3 horses (greys) and has just today stuck the arms on his troopers. He has had a delayed start as he was finishing his first Bavarian battalion … not to mention painting some Calpe Landwehr.

    Me … ah … errr, not much. Though I did finish off a few Calpe French last night so have freed up some painting bottles. A start is imminent. No, really!

    I am envious (again!!) of your trip to see Bill Gaskins collection. A trip was mooted while we were in the UK but it never came to pass. Drats!

    Looking forward to photos of your progress.

    von Peter himself

    • Martin said

      Looks like you and I could be in a race to see who’s last to finish their competition entry. All the other Bricoleurs seem to be progressing at a highly alarming and productive pace!

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