Thursday, 7 December 2017

A fiddly job.... lining up the pike blocks!

By the weekend I should have both the Kings Lifeguard and Lord Brookes Regiment completely finished in the new format of 3 deep shot wings, its just down to a bit of basing. One of the fiddliest bits of every unit is setting up the pike and command bases, especially when using the pike forward/up codes ECW1 & ECW2. I like to use 4 x ECW1 as the front rank and 8 x ECW2 as the second and third ranks, this gives the appearance of a pike block in the action of forwarding the pikes ('Charge Ye Pike'). The wire pikes are those supplied with the figures, although I cut them all down to a standard 80mm length, which looks about right to me. From regiment number 1-(and Brookes is number 10 ) I decided the easiest way to base the blocks was to stick them down on card in fours, this enabled me to get the filler onto the bases much more easily, and then one all glued down in place on the MDF its a simple matter of touching up here and there. The filler/grit/glue mix I use is now pre-coloured by adding Medium Olive Green paint, once dry this is then drybrushed with Lemon Yellow.

Pikes are glued to figures first and then carefully placed in position on the card, a bit of patience is required here to get all the pikes correctly lined up. I use gel superglue for all of these jobs.

In addition to adding a third rank to all musket wings I have also decided to add a second standard bearer to the rear of each pike block! This is going to involve a little bit of work to the rear all the completed  pike blocks, but the beauty of using filler is that its fairly easy to cut out the rear command rank with a scalpel, add the extra figure and then make good the filler around them. Once again it will be worth it as the visual appeal of the second flag is an improvement. This will also standardise all regiments at 40 figures strong.

So far so good then, pics will follow at the weekend of the first two fully finished units and I'll work through the rest over Christmas and New Year. All that remains now is to address the issue of the Horse ...... Dutch Style, Swedish Style, 6 ranks deep, 3 ranks deep, now how do I represent that? I'm thinking 2 deep for Swedish Style and 3 deep for Dutch style, certainly my units are large enough at 12 to 18 figures in size.

Musket bases require drybrushing with yellow.


Overview.

First a dry run for position.

The wire pikes will also get a final touch up.

The once happy stick them to the card bases.


Ready for texturing, second standard bearer will be added.


15 comments:

  1. Handsome - very nice. This big units look terrific.

    I had an experience a couple of years ago when one of my occasional visiting generals was seen to be wandering about the room with a block of pikemen hanging from the sleeve of his woolly jumper. Bad for the blood pressure.

    I imagine pikes were a painful experience for opposing horse, but they are certainly uncomfortable things to accidentally lean on.

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    1. Hi Tony - and thank you for the comment, I am thoroughly enjoying myself painting these. I keep pinging the pikes, they are a bit of a pain, thats one reason why I went with a single big base as lining them up was impossible especially with these fine pikes. I think wooly jumpers should be banned when playing pike and shot.

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  2. Lee - these really are units in the 'Grand Manner', this is a great project - your best yet!

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    1. Much appreciated Ian, this one has truly caught my imagination and I'm loving every minute spent painting :)

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  3. They look suitably substantial! Lovely work as always.
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain, I'm progressing through the units, 4 down now, another 6 to go!

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  4. These look fantastic, I really think depth is needed to capture the difference of this period over the later linear periods. With 2- and 3-deep cavalry it will be stunning - large units with real mass really recapture the old Grand Manner style of PG & co.

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    1. Many thanks Rob, I agree it's well worth the effort. I'll get some pics up of the first 4 completed foot regiments and some horse deployed 3 deep in Dutch Style. I'm thinking in terms of Troops of horse rather than Regiments now, as many contemporary descriptions refer to Horse that way, basing it on four figures to a troop - roughly 80 men under the WRG rules - six troops of horse, deployed 3 deep in Dutch fashion is represented by an impressive block of 24 Horse.

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  5. To quote Mr Punch "That's the way to do it "
    I've seen and heard and experienced the sharp end of wire pikes .....

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    1. Cheers Andy, Pikes are a pain indeed, I also find one has to keep a tube of superglue handy at all times!

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  6. Ye Gods, Lee, the final effect is going to look simply glorious. I am in awe.
    ....I've really got to stop salivating over these....
    Best
    WM

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    1. Thanks again Matt :) I can almost paint these musketeer codes with my eyes closed now, well maybe not but you know what I mean!

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  7. After reading your blog posts recently and seen the initial pictures of the 3 deep shot, I've decided to follow suit on my recently acquired Pendrakens and will adopt the 3 deep formation. I'm keeping command elements separate though as I have an idea to use them as a control/order marker.

    For horse I'm minded to base them in single rows with the options to deploy them one or two baes deep depending on whether they are using Swedish or Dutch systems.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Hello 'nundanket' and thanks for the comment. Those Pendrakens are really nice little figures. I should have some initial pictures of the foot regiments up tomorrow. I had little option with my command figures due to the use of some pikes at 'Order' making it impossible to place them in front!

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    2. That should be pikes at 'Charge' of course not 'Order'!

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I have disabled comment moderation as I was losing losing some genuine comments to my Spam folder. I shall see how this goes.