Posted by Martin on May 2, 2010
Several views of the finished casualty figure.
After the mud-related comments on the WIP picture of this figure, I thought I’d better press on and get him finished. You all seem to like it when I apply mud, so this chap has got a fair amount of it all over his boots, gaiters, knees and coat. No particular variations on my usual painting approach to note here.
I’m also growing increasingly confident that I’ve at last hit on a photography routine and set-up that gives me the consistency of results I’ve been hankering after for ages. That, plus the fact that I’ve become a bit more dextrous with post-processing the pictures on the computer, means that the results (on the right) are starting to come out how I’ve always envisaged them in my mind’s eye. Hopefully, that’ll continue to be the case when I get to taking pictures of complete bases of figures.
I’m starting to suspect that I’ve got some sort of addiction to casualty figures. I really enjoyed doing this one plus I now have a healthy (or should that be unhealthy?) pile of plastic Perry casualty figures thanks to Frank and Ken. I’ve found myself minutely examining these with a view to how I might paint them up. The quality of the sculpting is very high, which I think is a combination of the twins putting their very best efforts into these figures combined with the masters being “three-ups”. On the flipside, the actual castings show some of the weaknesses of plastic when compared with metal. There a several areas where the detail has come out too soft or has been lost completely. I can feel the urge coming on to tweak them with some green stuff.
Posted in Landwehr Infantry, On the Workbench | Tagged: Calpe, Painting, Prussia | 1 Comment »
Posted by Martin on April 20, 2010
Landwehr infantry casualty WIP for horse artillery base.
I’ve made a bit more progress on the figures for my first Prussian horse artillery base. However, the observant among you will spot that this figure is a landwehr infantry casualty rather than an artilleryman. This chap is intended to add some extra visual interest to the base – especially since I’m going to be using quite large bases for each gun and crew that are 60mm wide by 100mm deep.
Of course, I won’t be able to get away with a casualty on each of the four bases in the battery so I’m going to have to think of three more visually pleasing ideas. Any suggestions?
Back to the figure…
There’s nothing unusual about the paint palettes for this one. It’s pretty much my usual combinations for basecoats and successive highlights. The remaining work is almost all, if you’ll excuse the phrase, below the waist: trousers, gaiters and boots. I really enjoy painting these Calpe casualty figures because they seem to be almost perfect examples of Peter F’s sculpting style. He manages a blend of historical accuracy, an eye for detail and an understanding of what makes a figure ideal to paint. I must keep bothering him to do some casualty figures for the Saxon range.
Posted in Horse Artillery, Landwehr Infantry, On the Workbench | Tagged: Calpe, Prussia | 4 Comments »
Posted by Martin on March 11, 2009
Cigarette card with levels adjusted
A couple of days ago I posted the first results of my experiments with photographing cigarette cards. At the time I mentioned that the outcome was sub-optimal because of how the white background on the cards was coming out grey.
Well, my thanks are due to Pete B, who posted a comment with a link to a tutorial on Cool Mini Or Not (CMON) that explains how to edit the Levels settings in photo editing software. So here’s my attempt to reproduce that piece of digital wizardry for you to compare and contrast with the first image.
Not bad at all – and only a few seconds work. I wonder if an even better result could be achieved when I have a better source image to manipulate.
Posted in Landwehr Infantry, Photography | Tagged: cigarette cards, Doncella, Prussia, Uniformology | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Martin on March 8, 2009
Doncella cigarette card
Over the years I’ve acquired several sets of cigarette cards on the theme of the Napoleonic Wars. The intention has always been tp mount them in frames for display in the study at Bfk HQ. The other thing I’ve also planned to do is photograph them for archival purposes. That part of the plan has gradually been inching towards becoming feasible. First, with the purchase of our second hand (but nevertheless excellent) Nikon D70 DSLR. Then, at Christmas, I received an infra-red shutter release control as a present. Finally, this week, I bought a tripod. Only one step remains before I conduct a full-on photography session – the construction of a home-made light tent.
However, in the meantime, I was keen to test out the kit to see what sort of quality I could achieve. So, this afternoon, I took several test photographs in natural light by the french windows at the rear of the house.
The image shown here is an example of the results. This is card no. 18 of a set of 24 entitled “Napoleonic Uniforms” from Doncella (a division of John Player and Sons, Imperial Tobacco Limited). The set was issued in 1980 and it was probably actually issued with cigars rather than cigarettes. For the record, I’m not a smoker – I purchased this set in an antiques market over ten years ago for the princely sum of four pounds.
This card is captioned “Drummer, 1813: Landwehr infantry of the Rhine”. Which clearly isn’t accurate given that Prussia didn’t raise landwehr in the Rhineland until 29th March 1815. However, if we assume the red provincial colour and white buttons are accurate, this is more likely a representation of an East Prussian landwehr drummer. I think the shoulder swallows aren’t quite right and the drum seems too large but otherwise this is an evocative illustration and in many respects historically accurate.
For your entertainment, I’ll also quote the rest of the text on the rear of the card:
Although eighteen was the lower age limit for enlistment in the Prussian army of 1813, drummer boys several years younger are known to have marched into battle with their regiments – and on at least one occasion a young girl, masquerading as a drummer boy, died on the field of battle (Eleonore Prohasta, 16th September 1813). Deceptions of this kind were facilitated by the haste with which the militia was summoned to arms when Prussia withdrew from the French alliance in January 1813. Within a few months the army of 42,000 – the limit imposed by Napoleon – was expanded to more than a quarter of a million men under arms, albeit poorly clothed, trained and equipped. These were the men who drove Napoleon’s Grand Army back to Paris, and dashed his hopes at Waterloo.
That paragraph leaves quite a lot to be desired in terms of accuracy but it did pique my interest about the drummer girl’s fate. It should come as no surprise that the card is inaccurate about her too. I think it actually refers to Marie Christine Eleonora Prochaska who served with Lutzow’s Freicorps, She was badly wounded in action at Göhrde on 16th September 1813 but didn’t actually die until 5th October 1813 at Dannenberg where her funeral was held. As with so many members of Lutzow’s Freicorp, quite a lot of romantic mythology seems to have built up around Eleonora and there’s a monument to her in Potsdam.
Back to the photography. The focus and resolution are good on the original capture but these cards have white backgrounds and you can see that it has come out rather grey. I think the light tent and a better understanding white balance will help me to fix this problem.
Posted in Landwehr Infantry, Photography | Tagged: cigarette cards, Doncella, Prussia, Uniformology | 4 Comments »