Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fritz Goes Shopping

Some of the treasures that Der Alte Fritz found today. (click pic to enlarge the view)

I have been painting and primer figures like a mad man, which means that I have also been running out of supplies. So I made the 30 mile journey to the Games Plus game store in Mt. Prospect, Illinois where I make most of my purchases. I was in particularly short supply of black primer and Reaper Elven Green paint (for my Russians), and as usually happens, I end up making a few (a few?) impulse purchases that make my pocket book squeal. So let us take a look at the loot that I found today (see picture above - click to enlarge).

It looks like I bought 16 jars of Reaper Pro Paints in various colors. I like the Reaper range of paints because they cover black primer very well and the company offers colors in three hues (shade, medium, and highlight) which makes it easy to select paints for the world famous Dallimore 3 color painting system, which I sort of use with my own modifications. I also picked up three larger jars of Howard Hues paints and four cans of Armoury Spray Primer - Black. The Armoury primer dries very fast and you can start painting your figures within an hour of applying the primer, something that Fritz likes when he's in a hurry to paint something new.

I also hit the Osprey rack, looking for a copy of the new book on French Infantry Tactics. This should come in handy as I work on the rules modifications for BAR-Napoleonique. Whilst perusing through the racks, I also found a book on the Prussian cavalry up to 1807 (to replace the lost copy that I couldn't find last night) and I also bought a nifty book on the Jacobite Army uniforms. Cha-ching, he shoots, he scores!

Moving on to the magazine rack, I picked up the June copy of Wargames Illustrated. My subscription has run out and I don't want to end my long run of consecutive issues of WI, starting with Issue Number 1. Note to self, resubscribe to Wargames Illustrated tomorrow. The current issue has the results of their reader poll which I found to be very interesting. It appears that Ancients and Warhammer Ancient Battles are both the most popular period requested and the most popular rules. WW2 came in second and Napoleonics was well down the list behind Colonials and a couple of other periods. However, I think that this may change as the impact of the Perry Plastics gathers steam.

Historical Miniature Gamer Issue No. 10 was also on the shelf and guess what? They have gone back to the MWAN style format in the digest size. I happen to think that this is a great idea because it harks back to the memory of MWAN at its best. I actually think that people will get interested in this publication again due to the format change. The articles look pretty decent, 103 pages in total. Most of the pictures are in black and white, but there are a few color pics as well. Again, I think that keeping in touch with its MWAN roots and identity can only help this publication.

And finally, I couldn't resist buying a box of the new Perry ACW plastic cavalry figures so that I could see for myself what all the fuss is about. I have to say that these are very nice figures. They have the lean and slender look that I like, i.e. they are in the correct anatomical proportions. I don't like the idea of gluing the pieces together, but that is a small price to pay for such nice figures. I could see the appeal of collecting armies of Perry figures.

Imperialist Miniatures

Imperialist 1806 Prussian dragoon (left), Stadden SYW hussar (center) and Crusader Austrian Horse Grenadier (right).

At this year's Seven Years War Association convention in March 2008, I purchased about 40 dragoons and 40 cuirassiers from Bob Haggerty and his "Imperialist Enterprises". Bob's range mostly covers the Marlbourian Period, but he also has a nice range of 1806 French in bicorn and Prussians in bicorn. Since I am building up armies for this period, I thought that I would add some Imperialist figures to my collection. As you can see in the picture above (click to enlarge), the Imperialist figures tower over even the 30mm Staddens and the 28mm Crusader figures. Oddly enough, the cuirassier figure (not shown) is smaller, but the horse would be the same. I recall that Bob used different sculptors for his figures, which explains the size differences.

Imperialist 1806 Prussian dragoon painted as DR2 (Konigin) regiment.

Rear view of the same figure.

I really, really, really like these Prussian cavarly figures. The face on the sample dragoon that I painted has mutton chop sideburns and a bushy Prussian style moustache that gives the figure a lot of character. The castings are clean and require little deflashing or preparation work. The details are average, but done nice enough so that you can paint them, yet you aren't overwhelmed by too much equipment and details to paint. To me, less is better. These figures find the right balance between too much detail (as in a Front Rank figure, for example) and too little (as in an RSM figure, for example). I'm looking forward to painting the rest of this regiment soon.

Old Glory (Alsop version) 1805 Russians

Dave Alsop sculpted 1805 Russians in 28mm.

I promised that I would show a photo of the Old Glory 1805 Russian in bicorn and so here is a picture of the one that I have painted. This fellow is the start of my Apcheron Regiment that I will be working on over the rest of the summer. I will use the Elite command figures to fill out the unit. More later as I paint more of these delightful figures.


  1. Jim
    A good days shopping indeed! I have just resisted the Pery figs so far but am worried! The Jacobite Osprey is a great read and will no doubt inspire you to paint even more tartans I hope. Apart from games workshop there is no hobby shop for wargamers for miles and miles . Perhaps that can be a good thing for one's wallet?
    Super pics - I do find your Napoleonic enterprise most exciting and feel drawn once more to those 1807 danes under the stair! But I must keep focussed!!!!
    best wishes

  2. Congratulations on some excellent finds, Jim. Regarding Imperialist, I have a sample set of his WSS figures, and it's interesting to note that while the 1806 Prussian you have there towers, his WSS French Horse are dwarfed even by the RSMs. Probably the difference in sculptors that you mentioned. Still, even at somewhat small size, the WSS figures are beautiful.

  3. I generally get my brushes from (I use the Kolinsky sables) but I had a chance to use the Reaper brushes at ReaperCon several times and like them. And for tradgardmastare, no one said your Imagination forces couldn't use 7YW *and* 1807 Danes. I have a MiniFig Polish Regt. waiting for paint right now which I will use as a mercenary regiment!

  4. Miniwargamer: when I get around to my Napoleonic campaign, my French forces will have a squadron of Polish Lancers, probably in the white with amaranthe facings of the Lanciers de Berg, even though it is 1805-07.

  5. Nice haul!
    Seems several of us bought that Osprey Jacobite book. :-) (ever notice some of the illustrators, such as the one for this book, seem to have the same face on all of their guys? Must be using the same model for each; maybe even their own face...)
    I love the Reaper Kolinsky brushes! I do most of my painting with a number 2, even details.

    I really like your Prussian fellow.
    Yes, mixing up units/uniforms from different eras can be fun and make for some interesting looking armies. I plan to use my AWI Americans (mostly not painted yet) as militia units for my ImagiNation (at least for the Soweiter League). Using the out-of-era guys or ones from other places as militia, mercenaries, elite units, colonial troops serving in the home country and such is a good way to go.

  6. Very nice work there, Fritz- your painting is always crisp and brings out the best in the miniatures.

    I wish more companies would do early Russians and Prussians, and actually complete the ranges. I was actually thinking one time of going the Minifigs 25mm route as their range was pretty complete.