Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Call to Arms!

A lot of the work on my Black Hat French soldiers is cleaning up. Tedious filing and trimming of excess white metal seam lines and flash. But the fitting of parts also needs a fair amount of attention as getting the heads or limbs to sit right on the torso is a wee bit tricky (or it is with me, as I keep changing my mind about whether an arm looks straight, etc).

Ironically, Black Hat does give the arms a little nub or 'peg' of sorts (it's tiny) which would be helpful in locating the correct place to mount the arm IF they had also added a hole in the torso's shoulder for it to fit into. They didn't...So, it's down to you to decide where the arm should fit exactly...


Even when you do eventually decide that you have the arm attached just right there is still the little matter of gaps between the top of the arm and the shoulder. This has to be filled with more white Milliput putty...


After filing and sanding away at seven right arms and the seven left arms you feel like a bit of a rest (it's one of those dull repetitive jobs). I'd already been through this process with the seven heads, plus had to fill the gaps between the collar and the top of the torso so the head blended into the body correctly. More putty was needed to complete the process.

Still, once all the arms are on I just have to attach the bayonet frogs (and sword scabbard for the officer) and the jobs a good 'un! On to the priming after that!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Workbench Update - March 2017

Getting back into FLW Toy Soldiers has been a little more convoluted and slow going than I expected. Even before I picked up a little soldier I had to begin to reorganise the complete mess that is my 'man cave' (stroke home junk yard). But, the good news is I can actually see some carpet now, though the mountain of boxes of 'crap' I've moved to one side of the room is threatening to avalanche on top of me every time I venture upstairs!

However, I did manage to dig out a couple of hibernating projects and I have managed to make some progress with them. So, here's what's on my workbench (come TV Dinner tray) at the moment...

1890 French Infantry of the Line
I do love my little Belle Époque French soldiers - Black Hat mouldings - and I'm really pleased to get this little half-regiment back on the march again.


They are a tiny bit taxing as there is a reasonable amount of preparation work to be done on these white metal figures. The fit is a wee bit of an issue, and pitting is the other. I've had to resort to the liberal use of white Milliput putty to fill in and smooth out some of the gaps and holes. But hey, that's white metal models for you!


Faux 1900 Heavy Artillery
I also dusted off my 'poor man's Britain's Gun'. This die cast model - by Crescent - is actually a WW2 era 4.5 inch gun, but I'm modifying it to make it look more like a turn of the century piece.


The whole reason for doing this is so I can paint this gun in 1890 Molatero artillery colours (black and white). And while I already have two examples of the lovely Britain's 3.5 Naval Gun model, I do not want to desecrate either of these by painting them. (Crescent die casts are  cheap and widely available on eBay.)

I'm just working on fixing the scratch built gun shield onto the model's chassis. And then - once I know all my plastic parts fit correctly - I will remove them again and begin to strip the green paint off the metal model.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I remember...

In fact, this is not an abandoned blog. It's just that the past year has been a bit of a funny one filled with a multitude of life events in one rather uncomfortable package! (I won't bore you, but suffice to say I've had a lot on my plate!)

Anyway, as it happens I've just been doing some work that has reminded me how much I enjoyed painting 1/32 scale figures, so I thought I'd post it up as it seems vaguely relevant...


This 1/32 scale British WW2 Tommy is, of course, a good old Airfix figure. I was using it to test out some painting techniques and colours for a 28mm figure project that I am planning.

After doing this happy little chap, I did consider maybe carrying on and doing a few more from the 'British Support Weapons' set that I have (I recall buying it so I had some 1/32 Vickers .303 machine guns to tinker with). But, I can ill afford yet another diversion.

However, it has caused me to get out some of my 1/32 Molatarian figures and stick them back in the project cue, so that I have some variation from the WW2 themed models that I am starting to amass.

I still prefer my flat 'toy soldier' painting style for my Molatarians over the shaded technique shown above. But, it's interesting to compare the two styles....

>Dust blown off blog! <

Monday, 11 April 2016

Long time, no see!

I know, it's been a while. Basically, real life stuff has been getting in the way. However, I certainly haven't lost interest in toy soldiers and so I was quite intrigued when I saw this 'Kickstarter' project online...(Video is in French but shows the scale and range of figures.)



What a smashing idea! Especially when you look into some of their projected designs...


And I especially like the modern themed soldiers...


Of course, wouldn't it be nice to see some FLW period uniforms? You never know as Kickstarters are usually open to suggestions!

Link to this Kickstarter project: Histoya, petits héros, grandes histoires by Nicolas Vauvillier.

Monday, 19 October 2015

French 1905 uniform - test complete

Australia 35 - Scotland 34...If nothing else this result got me to pour my despondency into my painting! So much so that I actually completed my test painting of my Black Hat 54mm c. 1890 French Infantryman. Every cloud has a silver lining I suppose.

So here's the result (unvarnished)...





There are certain parts of my interpretation of the uniform that I am a bit unsure about - reference material of this exact period being somewhat scarce or ambiguous - but hopefully experts will find my soldier a spirited attempt.

Next I will give it a coat of varnish and then work on completing the construction of the rest of his regiment.

Postscript: About the rifle - The French rifle of the time should have been the Lebel Model 1886 rifle, which this 'toy' soldier clearly doesn't have. I suspect that Black Hat have produced a 'generic' model of a rifle which it uses for all it's late 19th century 54mm soldiers.

I think this model is based on a British Lee-Metford judging by the magazine. Perhaps I should have filed off the magazine and painted a fake receiver to make it look more like a Lebel?