Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Finished at last: Victrix British lights

I've scribbled already about assembling Victrix British Napoleonics, but I finally sat down and painted the little boogers.  I feel they turned out reasonably well, but they do pose some interesting problems.
This a 24 figure converged light infantry unit.  I based them on 20mm X 40mm bases from Litko.
First some nuts and bolts observations.  On metal figures mold marks can be a real problem.  They require your attention in getting them ready to paint with your file and X-acto blade. Usually they can be clearly seen.  Plastic figures are different, and there definitely is some flash and mold marks down the leg on these figures.  They're also kind of stealthy.  Often they aren't seen until primed, and even then some are hard to locate.  My least favorite are the little bits of flash that hang onto the canteens or bayonets.  I'll have to look harder next time.

Another issue is the casting differences between metal and plastic figures.  When a metal figure is in an advancing pose, the arms are usually molded close to the body.  The arms become part of the body, and that's that.  Certain parts aren't paintable and we don't worry about it.  Plastic figures are different.  With the arms glued on separately, every part of the figure is accessible . . . sort of. It's still hard to reach everything with a brush, so I painted what I could.

That said, Victrix figures are very nicely detailed.  The figures are well proportioned.  The shakos are nicely shaped, with nice cords and plate.  The myriad belts and straps are all there, and it's pretty clear which is which.  The muskets are nice, though the barrel was a bit too fine for me to blackline.  The face is nice, but very small.  I went with a simple wash for the face and hands rather than trying to brush detail it.

A somewhat tighter look.  Most of my units are based 40mm X 40mm, but because they can form a single line, i.e. extended order, they are on the shallower bases.
The tunics are painted Vallejo vermillion, with Vallejo orange-red highlights.  The haversacks are Ceramcoat ivory white and lined with Ceramcoat gray-brown.  The belts are Ceramcoat white.  The trousers are a mix of your basic Ceramcoat gray and ivory white. I reasoned some of the British were issued white linen trousers during the summer in Spain, and they may have brought them with them to the Chesapeake during the summer.

If I have one beef with these figures, it is the figure mix.  In the effort to provide considerable figure variety, Victrix has made it more difficult for those of us who create units on stands.  What do I mean?  For each figure sprue (there are basically four sprues per box, with another four sprues of equipage,) there are two in a march/attack pose.  That means eight march/attack figures per box.  There are similar numbers of firingish (yes I know that's not a word, but you get it.)  Some figures advancing plus command figures.  It seems to me I should be able to cobble together three 32 figure units out of three boxes of miniatures boasting 52 figures per box.  Yet, that's not at all clear to me. The figure selection is great if I'm mounting them individually, but if I'm mounting them four to a base, there needs to be a bit more uniformity. 

I did manage to complete the three War of 1812 units I had on the docket this summer and I'm going to fiddle with some mounted troops from my Mississippi and HYW projects before painting more Baltimore militia types. 

1 comment:

DougH said...

The early boxes of Victrix are a !!!!! to get uniformity unfortunately. My suggestion is not to strictly follow the the manual but to cross-pose arms in an effort to have the figures doing kinda the same thing.
So, even if the torso is marching, glue an arm grasping a musket (for example) on it with the other arm extended, and with the pose stepping out a bit, it is as if to take a cartridge from another. A marching pose, yet not marching.

Or, perhaps, have the 'firing' poses (stand no doubt), with different arms from the marching poses, so to portray some of the unit temporarily halted.

If you glue enough of these in various poses, and using your imagination construct a 'story' for each helps in the posing for each stand. In this way you can get whole units doing the same-ish thing.