Monday, December 24, 2012

7th Cavalry Regimental Sergeant Major William H. Sharrow

The 7th Cavalry project grew out of two sources. The first was a series of wargames back in 2000-2003, right when Foundry came out with their Cavalry lines. As part of that, I'd purchased the Little Bighorn Personalities pack. They sat in semi-storage for about 10 years, until I ran across a bunch of the Foundry cavalry in a used miniatures sale in 2010. I promptly snapped them up, and thus began my colonials project.

Said colonials project has greatly expanded, with the inclusion of Africa and the Northwest Frontier to the American West and Mexico. But that is a tale for a different day.

Because I had the personalities, Custer's Headquarters detachment was the best place to begin. As part of this project, I have purchased about a dozen different books on the Old West to figure out what people looked like and how they fought. The 7th is fairly easy, because Custer tried to keep all the horses in a company the same color, and several horses (like Custer's Vic, and Keogh's Comanche) are well known personalities in their own right. However, there's always the need to figure out how to paint items like hats, facial hair, shirts or horse markings. The big names are famous, but the "lesser" identities often not.

Thus, I have consulted several Last Stand paintings for information. Richard Luce's Custer's Last Command has been especially helpful, and bears relevance to this subject:
Here is the code for the painting:
1. Lieut. Col. George Custer   2. 1st Lieut. W.W. Cooke   3. "Handsome Jack"    4. 1st Lieut. Algernon Smith 5. Capt. Tom Custer   6. Capt. George Yates     7. Boston Custer     8. Autie Reed    9. Sgt. Major William Sharrow

For Sergeant Sharrow, I chose a matching mounted and dismounted cavalry figure they designate "Sgt. Smallwood." These are how they look in the Foundry catalogue:
The mounted figure is no longer sold, but will probably be reissued as part of the Foundry reorganization. It's slightly different from the dismount, in that the mounted figure has overalls.

Thus, there were three pressing conversion needs:
  • Add boots to the mounted figure
  • Turn the issue uniform trousers into buckskin ones
  • Add a beard
The first two were accomplished with green stuff, the third just with paint. For the mounted figure, I sculpted buckskin fringe out of greenstuff and used additional greenstuff to shape the boot.

 On the dismounted figure, all I had to do was add buckskin fringes:

Here's the result, after painting:

For the facial hair, I just used paint to add a beard. I followed Barry Hilton's technique for adding a 5 o'clock shadow, and have been doing that for all but senior officers of my 7th Cavalry. The hat cords comes from Captain Richard's Miniature Civil War. I probably should have used yellow, since yellow was the Cavalry branch color, but I was afraid that they would not show up very well. The blue is somewhat off in these photos, but I am quite satisfied with how scruffy and faded it looks in reality. 

The only bit left to be done is to add his sergeant's stripes. I'd originally painted them on, but I did not like how they looked. So I am working on creating decals the right size in Photoshop and will add them once finished.

I'm especially pleased with the facial expression:

Because I started (and finished) well before the Analogue Painting Challenge start date, he doesn't count. So that's how things stand. I have another five miniatures for the HQ detachment currently on the painting table, though some may end up in E or F troop and be replaced with Sash and Saber/Perry horse holders. I also need to paint up Dr. Lord, his medical detachment, Mark Kellogg, Autie Reed and Boston Custer to finish off the command element. 

Merry Christmas to all! I'm not expecting any miniatures for gifts, but I may purchase a few for myself in the coming weeks . . . 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Unofficial Analogue Painting challenge

I'm cribbing the rules from the 3rd Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge painting challenge for my winter painting to see if I can inspire myself to increase my painting output this winter.

While too late to be one of the ronin, one can always serve as an armed retainer/hanger on.

The rules are as follows:
The Challenge will extend from 12:01 am December 20th through to the first day of Spring, 12:01 am March 20th.

Figures can be prepared and primed prior to the start date (Dec 20th), but no colour can be applied until the 20th. In order to be scored the figures have to be based and groundwork completed. The figures have to be painted by you. The honour system will be followed in the completion and entry of figures to the Challenge. Great dishonour goes upon anyone who shames themselves in the time-honoured craft of painting toy soldiers!

The subject matter can be in any scale, but must be historical in nature.

In order to be scored, photos of all figures/units along with a short descriptive note must be submitted to me for posting on the Analogue Hobbies blog. Up-to-date scoring will be maintained on the main page.   

The Judge (me) will participate, but my score will not have any standing in the Challenge.
The scoring mechanism:
6mm foot figure = 1 point
6mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 2 pts
6mm vehicle = 3 pts

15mm foot figure = 2 pts
15mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 4 pts
15mm vehicle = 6 pts

20mm foot figure = 4 pts
20mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 8 pts
20mm vehicle = 12 pts

28mm foot figure = 5 pts
28mm mounted figure, artillery piece or crew served weapon = 10 pts
28mm vehicle = 15 pts

54mm foot figure = 10 pts
54mm mounted figures, artillery piee or crew served weapon = 20 pts
54mm vehicle, limber, etc. = 30 pts 

Other scales and miscellaneous models/figures will be scored on a submission-by-submission basis. 
The reward/glory: 
Running a game with all my own miniatures and terrain!

Based on my previous painting output and all 28mm figures, 200 points is reasonable and 300 is ambitious. The first 75 points are on the painting table and serendipitously complied with all the rules - some prep work of mold-line removal and gluing to painting sticks/wine corks, but not a lick of paint applied until the 20th:
  • 1 Mounted 28mm Lt. W. W. Cooke (Foundry)
  • 1 Dismounted 28mm Lt. W. W. Cooke (Foundry)
  • 1 Mounted 28mm Regimental Standard Bearer (Foundry)
  • 1 Dismounted 28mm Regimental Standard Bearer (Foundry)
  • 1 Mounted 28mm Trumpeter (Foundry)
  • 1 Dismounted 28mm Trumpeter (Foundry)
  • 2 Mounted 28mm Greenhorns (Foundry)
  • 2 Dismounted 28mm Greenhorns (Foundry)
 Here they are in all their primedish glory:
Note, the sailors and spaceship seen in the background is not eligible, though there is a cavalryman and horse or two skulking in the back who are and may be part of my next entry.

Rumors of the demise of my miniatures in the recent Mayan Apocalypse are greatly overrated

I'm still painting, I promise!

A lot of work has actually been done, the problem is that not a lot of it has been photographed!

Since May, I have finished the following:
General vignette: 1x 28mm A&A mounted Sassanid officer, 1x 28mm A&A mounted Clibinarii converted to a standard bearer and 1x 28mm Gripping Beast musician

Injurius Games Mecks:
1x 28mm Jumper robot
2x 28mm Spartan robots
2x 28mm Runner robots
2x 28mm rocket pods
3x 28mm autocannon mounts
2x 28mm microwaver arms
2x 28mm laser arms
2x 28mm twin laser turrets
1x28mm Street Rat Grenadier
All from Red Shirt Games

Baluchi Mercenaries:
1x 28mm Baluchi Swordsman on Foot (Foundry)
4x 28mm Baluchi Matchlockmen on Foot (Foundry)

30x 28mm Masai purchased at Origins (Foundry)
1x 28mm Masai leader (Foundry)

7th Cavalry:
28mm Captain Tom Custer (Foundry), mounted and dismounted
28mm Scout Charley Reynolds (Foundry), mounted and dismounted
28mm Sgt. Robert Hughes, Custer's personal guidon bearer (Foundry), mounted and dismounted
28mm Regimental Sergeant Major Sharrow (Foundry conversion), mounted and dismounted
28mm Chief Trumpeter Voss (Artizan), mounted and dismounted
28mm Orderly Trumpeter Giovanni Martini (H Troop), (Foundry), mounted and dismounted
28mm 2nd Lt. William van Wyck Reily (XO F Troop), (Artizan), mounted and dismounted
28mm Private John Burkman, Custer's Striker (Company L), (Foundry), mounted and dismounted
28mm Corporal John Briody (F Troop Guidon Bearer),  (Artizan), mounted and dismounted

8 palm trees  scratch built from Michaels' Boston ferns.

I also have the 12 Copplestone sailors that just need their bases flocked. The problem has been photography. With the closure of my LGS and my own camera issues, I've been reduced to photos on the painting table with my cell phone, which are less than satisfactory. So, I promise, there will be more photos once I get enough terrain done for a good photo shoot. I may post a teaser of the conversion work needed for RSM Sharrow over the weekend.