Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Kings Lifeguard ... slow progress.

I'm not sure where the last couple of weeks went, but I have been busy on the domestic front with our house going up for sale, and the game remains set up just as it was. I have however made a bit of progress on painting what will be my ninth regiment of foot, The Kings Lifeguard of Foot. The 12 pikemen are finished as are the three command figures. I am still toying with the idea of having two flags on the rear of this regiments base but not sure yet. The pike are a mix of two codes, ECW4 (Pikeman plumed hat, pike up), with head swaps to helmets on some of them and all with the buff coat fronts painted as tassets, and ECW22 'Pikeman at ease in helmet'. These two codes work well together to produce a nicely varied armoured pike block. The drummer is code ECW 32 'Drummer marching', I drilled out his right hand and added a couple of drumsticks, as he looked a bit odd without them!

It's worth noting here that the original range as issued ran from ECW1 through to ECW 22, that was the full extent of the infantry range back in the late seventies when I was buying them originally. Codes ECW 23 to 34 were later additions and look to be by a different designer as the figures are slightly larger and chunkier with noticeably different facial features, not the fine features of the earlier figures. These latter codes are marked  with the year '1980' on the bases so can be easily identified, the drummer figure shown below is one such.The vast majority of my collection is from the earlier figure codes of the original range as designed by Peter Gilder.

Now working through the 24 musketeers in batched of six at a time, this will be another 39 figure unit when finished. One slight issue I have had from the start is that some of the musket rests arrived broken or with some missing below the hand. However, it has been a very quick and easy repair job to make good the rests, simply by cutting away the cast rest and replacing it with steel rod superglued into position. I'd say about 10% of the musketeers required this fix, but no problem and worth the little effort.

Broken musket rests require to be cut away with snips.

And replaced with a length of rod, quick and effective.


  1. I do like your painting style, it's one I've never been able to match - do you use gloss enamels and how do you produce the different tones - adding black/white? As you say the musket rests are an easy fix and it occurs to me that they'd be really sturdy if you drilled up through the base and into the hand so you have a 'socket' for both ends - you can feed them up through the base when you glue them in. Don't suppose there's any chance you're moving to south of the country where some of us might get a chance to see - if not play with your armies?

    1. Hello Rob, thank you for the comments :) To try to answer your questions, I use only Vallejo matt acrylics over a flat black undercoat. For this unit where I wanted a fairly dark red finish as I already have two other 'red' regiments, I started with vallejo 'Burnt Red' and then highlighted with 'Flat red' leaving the darker red to show in the creases etc. For buff coats generally I start with 'Flat Earth' and then add about 50% 'Buff' to that for the highlights. For officers buff coats etc I add more pure Buff to represent the better quality. To add that extra touch of highlight to the red uniforms I sparingly use 'Amaranth Red' which is quite orange looking but tones down well on plumes etc. The drummer has a touch of Amaranth added to his coat and montero cap. I think the shine that you see comes from my use of Vallejo Satin Varnish, quite a thick coat applied by brush. Re the broken musket rests, I try to get a tight fit between musket and base before adding a touch of superglue, so far so good :) I always paint my faces using just two shades, 'Light brown' base with 'Flat flesh' highlights, these I add just to the nose and down and along both cheeks, followed by a touch for the mouth, I never paint eyes, just leave the darker shade to give the impression of them. For steel I start with straight 'Natural Steel, then add a touch of Silver for the highlights. Rob, I currently live on the Kent coast and plan to go to SELWG next week at Crystal Palace.

    2. Never been to SELWG - but I'll try it on Sunday as I've nothing else planned that day - maybe see you there?

    3. Apologies Rob, never made it due to domestic upheaval. Whereabouts are you? I'm down in Kent and trying to arrange a game.

    4. I'm up in Harrow - you should've been passed my email address by Wellington Man when he passed on some comment for me. I was down at Brighton this weekend gaming with some friends. Some of my stuff is on his Hinton Spieler Blog and there's more on the SSM site and the General E Pickled blog.

  2. Thanks for description of your painting technique - the Vallejo might explain a lot - I've heard they have very dense pigment so will cover well in one coat. Always been a Humbrol man and it's probably too late to change now. Just cleaning some Hinchliffe Romans and Britons to paint a few more for a long term skirmish project, which if it goes well could be expanded to a Pony Wars variant. I'm really doing these as a break from 15mm Essex Jacobites (now complete) and my Spencer Smith stuff - see the SSM site for some of mine or the Wargamer Notes Quarterly.
    Never been to SELWG, in fact not been to any shows for some time (usually did Salute and Warfare in the past) might just give it a go this time, although I'm meant to be getting rid of stuff rather acquiring at present as I have no more room.
    Kent? I somehow thought you were up in Durham? Are you staying in the South-East?

  3. Coming along nicely, to me there isn't that much noticeable difference between the drummer and the rest, they all look good!
    Best Iain


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