Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Crude yet strangely charming

Some might say that title well describes me! But no, I'm not talking about myself, merely a bunch of little metal chaps that will be gracing my table in the next Imagi-Nation game.  I've had a go at home design, casting and animation and shared the results only with a few trusted wargaming friends because I was a bit ashamed that they weren't more polished. But when Phil Olley says "publish and be damned", you've just gotta do it! First an overview before I tell you more.
Chasseurs de Fischer use a line of trees to defend a bridge
I'd already painted a squadron of plastic Perry Hussars as my version of Chasseurs de Fischer but I couldn't find any satisfactory information about the foot chasseurs of this corps. The nice thing about Imagi-Nation wargaming is you can get close, but if it's not quite right, so what? So I looked among my piles of unpainted figures but found nothing suitable. I looked around the web and decided that it wasn't worth shelling out yet more hard earned quids for commercial figures that I didn't think were "right". So I opted to make my own master figure as some kind of generic soldier in a tricorne and minimal equipment that could pass as a light or irregular infantryman. I wanted some variety of poses in a "small wars" unit so made the master with arms wide apart to be bent in varying positions and "open" hands to take a musket in a variety of ways.

Well, I've got a lot of practicing yet to do with my own masters and making moulds, and to cut a  long story short the figures turned out intact but with skinny legs, "non-open" hands and loads of flash!  It was so much work to clean up and animate them that I decided the make the unit only 18 strong instead of 24 (life's too short and I had other projects to progress). Here is a photo of the master at left (made from ProCreate "Grey stuff" on a wire armature) and the first few successful castings.
I suffered some teasing from Phil about using the penny as a base
and then casting  more as a get rich quick scheme - I think not!
Much, much later I put together all  18 and painted them in the same colour scheme as my "hussars" but with yellow Hungarian style trim on their tight red breeches. So now to some closer views.
I was pleased with the loading poses.....

...and the standing firing is not bad
Two Foundry officers and a drummer by Old Glory add a touch of  class
to the uncouth "old school toy soldier" style home castings
And here they are hastily being joined by their mounted cousins...."Make way there you foot sloggers!"

Passable to game with but don't stand close inspection. Nevertheless I'm sufficiently inspired to design a simple march attack figure and use it en masse (but only when I've depleted the boxes of the hundreds of unpainted little men I have in store!)

Oh, and if you are partial to tight red breeches ( aren't we all?) then check out my next posting, hopefully in a few days.


  1. A lot of castings that look "rough" in lead end up looking fine once they are painted. Yours are no different, sir. They look fine once they have their uniforms on . . . and we don't look at gaming figures up close; we look at them en mass from a distance.

    "Well done, sir", I say.

    -- Jeff

  2. Agreed! And looking very forward to thos snug red breeches too.

    Best Regards,


  3. I have to agree too. Look at wargame figures en mass from a distance.The model is the unit, not one figure. Great work I say.

  4. They look good in their natural environment Chris. They probably mean more to you too as they are all your own work.
    I agree with the others, wargames figures should be viewed en-masse and at normal table top distances.

    Like Stokes, looking forward to those red breeches appearing on the blog!

    all the best


  5. Chris.
    Well done. I am looking forward to seeing them put through their paces during the August games.
    I am sure that down the years you will come to 'value' the little fellows and have a special affection for them, especially if the do well in a couple of battle.

  6. Thanks for all your support guys. Yes Terry they will be present in August but my past experience is that newly painted units rarely distinguish themselves in their first takes time to warm up!

    Hope you all like the red breeches now they are posted