Friday, May 22, 2009

Visit to Grenadier Books

I was able this past weekend to visit Grenadier Books in Port Perry, Ontario. This was not my first visit to this great shop. In fact, I've spent many hundreds of dollars there in the past. I was able to pick a few goodies without having to re-mortgage the house.

The first is Napoleon's Shield and Guardian by Edward Ryan. I've only just jumped into this one but it looks to be quite good. I found an interesting review here.

What looks to be a good deal was The Reluctant King: Joseph Bonaparte, King of the Two Sicilies and Spain, by Michael Ross. I haven't cracked this one open yet but for $5.00 CAD I couldn't resist.
A visually exciting item I picked up is An Illustrated Encyclodedia of Uniforms from 1775-1783: The American Revolutionary War. At first (and second) scan, this book provides some great artwork and uniform descriptions for this conflict. This will help me greatly in picking units to paint for my budding 54mm AWI collection. But more of that anon!

Recently I have delved into a new project (I always try to keep my active projects to a minimum so as not to dilute my efforts but that never seems to work). This time my choice was motivated not by an interest in a particular period or gaming genre or by reading an interesting article or book but by a range of figures. This, I think, is a first for me. When I first saw the Perry Miniatures Carlist Wars range, I was hooked. I knew nothing about the conflict (and even now I'm really just a neophyte) beforehand but decided fairly quickly to "get into" this period/genre. I even hooked a friend into the project with me (the same apparently impressionable soul who agreed to the Theatre of War campaign play-test). Knowing little about the period, we ordered copies of The First Carlist War 1833-1840, A Military History and Uniform Guide, a new publication from the Perry brothers. The book was enough to confirm our choice to work on this rather esoteric period. From a general perspective, it could be described as Napoleonics with different uniforms. The weapons and tactics would be familiar to any Napoleonic gamer and the uniforms are just cool! I decided to work on the Cristinos (or Isabellinos...or the legitimate government forces, depending on your preference). With this army I get, besides the normal line troops, a substantial choice of guard units, some very nifty lancers and line cavalry in yellow uniforms (yes, yellow). Granted, my opponent gets infantry with some very sexy red bonnets (check the Perry site for some nice photos). I've managed in the last weeks to paint up a few units. The first is a Cristino line infantry unit. I've mounted the figures singly on round bases for use with Sharpe Practice from Too Fat Lardies. Our object is to have some small forces to play with these pseudo-skirmish rules. I decided to also add the unit movement base in case I decide to expand the collection and do larger battles (bases from Gale Force Nine). I also went the somewhat lazy route with the flag. I had several Napoleonic Spanish flags from GMB (avaialble from Triangle Miniatures) packed away. Since there were only very minor differences between the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars versions, I decided to mount the former until I can get a hold of some of the latter. GMB flags, I think, are some of the best on the market; the results are evident in the photos. The second unit finished are light infantry made up of the elite companies from regular line battalions. I had some issues with the dull-cote on this unit but I think the end result is still reasonable. Next up is an artillery battery. I'm really enjoying painting these figures. Partly this is because of the inherent beauty of the sculpts but also because I'm under no real pressure to produce. This is a side project compared to my others and such I'm doing it for the enjoyment factor. I'm also trying some new additions to my painting technique, specifically layering. Although I'm not up to the Foundry style of layering (far too time-consuming, I'm afraid), I have begun to try out a simple two-step layering technique. This will be more apparent when I upload some pics of the artillerists.

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