Sunday, January 14, 2018

SYW Russian Project Update - Artillery

Minden Russian Artillery (L-R): 6-pd, 12pd, 12pd unicorn, and Shuvulov Howitzer.
Crew are available in "Loading" and "Firing " poses.
CLICK PIX to Enlarge

Over the weekend I completed another Russian musketeer battalion - Permski - and based that and four Russian artillery crew with cannons. The artillery sets had been painted quite awhile ago, but had yet to be based.

The artillery pictures in this post show the bases prior to the addition of tufts and static grass, so the models will look much better after tomorrow when I can add the greenery.

How I Base Miniatures
I use a "goop" of Red Devil Premixed Spackle Compound with brown paint, stirred together until the mixture looks like bad chocolate pudding. The goop is troweled around the feet of the crewmen and onto the base, then dipped into a box of fine railroad ballast material. I then shake of the excess grit and set the model aside so that it can dry. The goop is relatively dry within an hour or two, but I prefer to wait at least 12 hours to a day before going to the next step of the basing process.

Once the base is sufficiently dry (i.e. you can dry brush paint over the grit without any of the material falling off), I take a pot of Howard Hues Geo Hex Brown paint and with a large brush, stipple (a painting process  where the brush is pushed against the canvas rather than using a brush stroke) the paint over the grit in a random manner, and then set it aside for the next step. I don't comletely cover the base in the Geo Hex Brown, but rather, allow some of the natural color of the grit to show through. This is sort of a reverse Shade Color/Highlight Color wherein the background is a light color and the contrasting dark color is on the top.

Next I add tufts, clumps of grass, to the base - usually no more than four tufts per stand. I use regular white glue for the tufts and static grass. Once the tuft glue is set, then I brush on random blotches of white glue around the stand. The glue usually is brushed into  the depressions/low lying areas of the base, while the higher elevations are kept grass free. I then sprinkle static grass onto the wet glue and shake off the excess static grass. The glue usually sets within ten to fifteen minutes and then you are done with the basing.

The recently completed Permski regiment showing the finished bases.

Let's Get Back to the Artillery
The Minden/Fife & Drum Miniatures range of SYW figures currently has four Russian artillery pieces. These consist of field guns of 6 pounds and 12 pounds; and two different howitzers including the 12 pound Unicorn and the Shuvulov Howitzer.

The 6-pdr and 12-pdr field cannon, showing the loading and firing artillery crewmen poses.

Howitzers: Unicorn on the left and the Shubulov "Secret" Howitzer on the right.

I have a few more cannon left to  paint for my Russian Project and after that I will tackle the limbers and horse teams that provide transportation for the artillery pieces.

I am also considering painting some of the artillery crewmen as Artillery Fusiliers. I will simply take some of the crew poses that could hold muskets and then glue some spare Minden muskets that I have. Or they could depict an Observation Corps musketeer battalion.

That brings you up to date on the Russian Project. So far we have 7 battalions of infantry and 9 squadrons of cavalry plus four artillery pieces. I am about half way through the Russian infantry, for my own needs.

I need to have 12-14 battalions of Russians for my Zorndorf game at this year's Seven Years War Association Convention in South Bend, Indiana on April 5th through the 7th.


  1. They look great, Jim! That's a good basing method; thanks for sharing it.

  2. Agreed! Russian artillery crew of the era have some of the prettiest uniforms around.

    Best Regards,


  3. Excellent! I'm partial to SYW Russians.