Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Egyptian Lancers in the Sudan

Britain's Egyptian Lancers, basically repainted in matte acrylic paint.

Front view of the lancers.

Over the long holiday weekend,  I started basing individual Britain's toy soldier Egyptian Lancers for our Battle of Ferket toy soldier game later this month. I already had a dozen lancers glossed and based from previous battles. I had repainted them in gloss enamels to give them that toy soldier effect. Another dozen, unbased, were eBay purchases that I planned to base "as is" without any touching up. 

However, the third set of 12 figures (we use 12-figure squadrons) were a complete wreck and needed extensive work. I didn't have my enamel paints on hand, having put them into an offsite storage locker, so my plan was to repaint the figures in matte acrylic paint and then give them a couple of coats of spray gloss  protection. After finishing a couple of the lancers in matte, I started liking the way that they looked and so I decided to do this squadron in matte, rather than in gloss.

You can see the results in the pictures on this blog report.

I am also working on adding a bugler (second from the right) which is still a work in progress.

The Britain's figures are kind of fun to paint, not having too much detail, which makes the job go fairly fast. The thing about the figures that surprised me though, was how nice the horses are. They have an amazing amount of musculature detail such as one would find on 28mm wargame figures. This is part of what led me to the decision to go with the matte finish.

Officer (left) and lancer (right)

I gave the lances a 'bamboo effect' having seen the ones painted by Peter Gilder. I liked the look.

Lancer officer. You can get a better look at the definition in the horse, which makes for good 2-color or 3-color painting techniques/

I plan on adding a lancer standard bearer by cutting the lance pennons and lance tip off of a spare lance that I have in the bits box. I am also working a lancer bugler - basic lancer with lance arm removed and replaced with a bugle arm from a Skinner's Horse bugler.

If I had to do it again, I would do a few things differently. For starters, I would use green epoxy putty to fill in some of the holes that have developed from lead rot in the figures. I would probably rework the hands with putty to give them more definition in the individual fingers and also add a wire lanyard to the lance pole. These are toy soldiers that are meant to be played with, so I am not too concerned about the lead rot in a couple of the figures. I assume that this continues over the years and might eventually render the figure unusable, but that's all right.

I have seen some collectors do some amazing rehabilitation work on Britain's figures and so I want to try out some of these methods and see how well I can do.

These figures will be placed on MDF bases measuring 2-inches wide and 3-inches deep. I drill holes in the bases where the horse hooves attach to the wood so as to make the bond strong. Then I terrain the bases with my usual spackle paste (wallboard paste) and very fine railroad ballast.

I will post pictures of the finished figures on their bases in a future post.