Friday, January 12, 2018

Giant Commission -- Waterloo Allied Cavalry

These 56 cavalry represent all the horse from the Brunswick and Netherlands contingents at Waterloo.


Brunswick Hussars





Brunswick Uhlans






6th Dutch Hussars






8th Belgian Hussars






4th Dutch Light Dragoons






5th Belgian Light Dragoons






1st Dutch Carabiniers






2nd Belgian Carabiniers



Now I am priming the British cavalry, which has 78 mounted figures.  I hope to have them done by early February.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Review

2017 was another productive painting year, with 2,342 figures passing across the painting desk, or 6.4 figures per day.

It was another year dominated by my enormous commission, with 2,086 of those figures going to Glenn’s armies.  Another commission for my buddy Kevin saw me deliver 44 28mm cavalry for his colonial armies.

Commission Work
15mm Napoleonic Austrians, 30 foot
15mm Napoleonic Prussians, 678 foot, 91 mounted, 21 guns
15mm Napoleonic French, 219 foot, 18 mounted
15mm Napoleonic British, 1,029 foot
28mm Colonials, 44 cavalry

The little painting I did for myself was scattered throughout various small projects. 

1/600 Ancient Ships, 12 ships
15mm Napoleonic Prussians, 12 cavalry, 6 limbers, 12 horses, 12 horses with riders from Austin’s trove
15mm Sci-fi, 10 infantry for gaming with my son
28mm ACW, 12 mounted generals, 22 cannon, 48 mounted cavalry for Pickett’s Charge
28mm Star Wars, 17 foot for Imperial Assault
28mm Napoleonic French, 2 cavalry, plastic figures from Warlord Games
1 mounted 28mm Napoleon
54mm Ancients 14 Roman infantry and 32 Gallic infantry for gaming with my daughter


For figuring my Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge points, I counted the following:

12 1/600 naval vessels, for 720points
1,966 15mm foot for 3,932 points
166 15mm mounted and artillery for 664 points
6 15mm vehicles for 36 points
17 28mm foot for 85 points
129 28mm mounted and artillery for 1,290 points
46 54mm foot for 460 points

That makes for a grand total of 7,187 points, an increase of 41% over last year.  I felt like I was accomplishing a lot this year, and the end of year counts bear it out.  In fact, 2017 was the most productive painting year I have had since I started keeping count in 2007.

My gaming group managed to fit in more than one game per month in 2017.  We played Seven Years War, Napoleonics, ancients, colonials, and American Civil War.  This year saw as many board games as miniatures games.  I learned three new board games rules and Honours of War for SYW.  My two eldest children are now confirmed Commands and Colors addicts.  All in all, this has been one of the best gaming years of my life.

I have not mentioned the biggest news of 2017.  I built a new detached garage for my house.  In addition to a lovely, deep garage with plenty of storage and work space, I added finished gaming space on the side.  It’s two levels, with a 1,152 square foot main floor and a 640 square foot basement.  Honestly, it’s the size of a new house.  I built a 9’x5’ miniature gaming table into the concrete basement floor, and the walls are covered with shelving for painted armies, source materials, terrain, rules books, and the lead pile.  Upstairs I am finally able to display all my board games.  It has a bathroom, two televisions, and a refrigerator.  I imagine hosting a dozen games in this space in 2018.

So what will 2018 bring?  I’ve read over my previous years’ goals to see how I did, and my record is decidedly mixed.  I did not finish my giant commission in 2017, although I am close to the end.  I have a deadline of late April, and I should meet that easily.

Once I finish, I will just be painting for myself.  I am thinking of ceasing commission work.  It’s nice getting the money, but it does turn my hobby into a job.  I’ll probably paint the occasional force for Glenn or Kevin, but the rest of my time will be for me.

I have a few hundred 28mm ACW figures in winter attire to paint, and I would love to get enough done to play a Stone’s River scenario on the anniversary.

I enjoyed my dip into ancient naval enough to paint more.  Maybe 2018 will see my group game Salamis or Lade.

I was in the middle of painting Blue Moon’s beautiful 18mm ACW Union figures, and I should probably resume that project.

There are a host of other projects I have neglected since I started this giant commission: 28mm WWI, 28mm AWI Hessians, 15mm ancient Persians, 28mm Battle of the Bulge, 18mm Napoleonics.  Those are just the figures I can see from where I type, primed and neglected since April of 2015.  I wrote then that this commission would take me “a year or more!”  Instead it has taken three years!


I hope you all had a 2017 full of enjoyable games.  Thank you for your kind comments over the past year; comments make the blog worthwhile to me, and I appreciate the time you take to make them.  Happy gaming in 2018!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Giant Commission -- More Brunswick Infantry

Just making the cut in 2017 are these 54 Brunswick infantrymen.  These units complete the Brunswick infantry at Waterloo.


Leib Battalion






Avant Garde Battalion, Legere Companies





Avante Garde Battalion, Gelernte Jager Companies




Now that these are done, I am finished with the Angle-Allied infantry at Waterloo!  I have the Brunswick and Netherlands cavalry primed and will start in on them tonight.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the MacPhees!

L-R: John MacPhee (father), Gina MacPhee (sister-in-law), Julie Dahlgren (mother-in-law), Teresa MacPhee (wife), Scott MacPhee (your humble blogger), Dr. Nathan Meltzer, Dr. Julie Meltzer (friends), Kevin MacPhee (brother), Carol MacPhee (mother)

Reflected in the mirror: Craig MacPhee (brother)

We had the traditional Christmas Eve lasagna with lots of good drinks.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

1/600 Ancient Ships

As a little distraction while painting Dutch, Orange, and Brunswick infantry, I built, rigged, and painted these 1/600 scale ancient naval vessels.  They are all from Xyston, and this was my first attempt at ancient ships.

In battle, the crews would have left the masts ashore, but I like the look of the sails.  Plus sail colors can be used to mark squadrons on the table.  I did my best on the crew and marines on deck, painting the highlights over a dark brown base coat.  These figures are only 3mm high!

I painted the ships with Vallejo's "old wood" and washed with raw umber oil paint.  I blocked in the sails with acrylic paint, washed with oils, and highlighted with thinned oils.

The bases are all from Litko.  I covered the bases with automotive putty then rolled toothpicks over them to create a water effect.  I painted the water with acrylics.

Greek Triremes







Phoenecian Triremes






Transports and Hemiolia



I enjoyed doing these, and I think they turned out pretty well.  The next batch, I will probably use Vallejo's "new wood," which I used on the hemiolia with the red sail.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Giant Commission -- Black Brunswickers

Black uniforms are always tricky, but the Brunswick contingent should stand out on the table top.  Glenn will have all three line and all three light regiments in his army.


1st Brunswick Line




2nd Brunswick Line


3rd Brunswick Line



1st Brunswick Light




2nd Brunswick Light



3rd Brunswick Light

This next week I will add the Leib and Avant Garde battalions.

And now, a word about attention to detail.

One of the hardest parts of painting the Anglo-Allied Waterloo army has been keeping the troops straight.  Glenn's order was huge, and the packages came in several waves.  The sheer variety of troop types is impressive.  Some (few) of the figures came mislabeled, so I have spent a good chunk of time comparing raw lead to the pictures on Eureka's website to figure out just what I have.

I think, and I am sure Glenn can correct me if I am wrong, that I have only made one mistake identifying troops.  In my last post, you may have noticed one solitary stand of the Orange-Nassau regiment did not have shako cords and had shorter plumes.  When I started painting the Brunswickers, I found one six figure stick was, in fact, Orange-Nassau troops that I had mis-sorted.  Of course I painted the new stand correctly.

So what I had painted as Orange-Nassau?  I am pretty sure they were Dutch line infantry in a bag labelled "Orange."  Whoops.  So Glenn will get one extra stand of mis-painted troops (at no charge of course; it's my mistake).


L-R: Dutch Line, Dutch Line painted as Orange-Nassau, New Stand of Orange-Nassau

I am on my last batch of Anglo-Allied infantry!  Since I started painting this army in August, I have finished almost a thousand infantry.