Monday, December 26, 2011

Heinrichsen Napoleonic Flats - 40mm

I recently ordered a set of 40mm flats from the venerable Ernst Heinrichsen company in Germany.  This is a 1990's reissue of a classic old set first released in 1888.  It depicts the 1813 Battle of Katzbach between the French under Marshall MacDonald vs. Blucher's Prussians.  The set contains 54 castings, about evenly divided between the French and Prussians.  Both sides have infantry, cavalry and artillery as well as casualty figures.  The set also features several very nice combination figures such as a Prussian Hussar riding down a French infantryman, artillery blasting clouds of billowing smoke and so on.

Here are the first figures which I've painted.  Looks like even 130 years ago the poor unglamorous center companies got no love from sculptors.  It's all elites when it comes to the French infantry and I'll be painting them as both grenadiers and voltigeurs.

I'm well satisfied with the style of these, toy figures back in the day but to my eyes they were designed and engraved to a high standard which still holds up well.  And, they'll work in with the semi-rounds. For example, the Creartec French Cuirassiers are true 40mm and the Heinrichsens will make good command figures for them, I think. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Reinforcements - 40mm Plastic Russian Flats

These arrived in the mail other day. Plastic Napoleonic cavalry, made in Russia. They match up with Creartec very well in size although of course they're even flatter and fairly stylized.

Russian Hussars & Cossacks

Russian Cuirassier/Dragoon types
No doubt they're dirt cheap off the rack in a Russian store, less so after passing through the hands of middle men to the US but they were still reasonably priced.  This is a good start but of course I'll need to find at least an equal amount to make decent squadrons of.  The dealer has some Russian connections so I think there's a reasonable chance of finding more. 

I have a couple of other sets in this style, but the usual favored subjects are medieval, either Russians vs. Teutonic Knights or Tartars as seen here:

54mm - painted in acrlics.
Not bad when painted.  I expect the Napoleonics will turn out pretty well painted in gloss toy soldier style although short of painting a few examples to see how they look, not too much point in moving them up in the queue until enough can be obtained to make units out of.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

40mm Scale Comparisons

Here are the 40mm figures posed together.

The infantry are from left to right, Zinnbrigade, Sash & Saber, Zinnbrigade, Irregular, Creartec, 45mm Rossner flat, Nurnburger Meisterzinn.

Cavalry from left to right, Irregular, Prince August, Creartec, Meisterzinn.

A couple more shots of the Creartec test paints.

While les Celticains are world-renowned for the excellence of their cuisine, very little of it is fed to the poor skinny troops.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

40mm Casting Report 2 - Creartec Infantry

Next up, Creartec. These come with a painting guide, two wooden holders and a robust rubber band. The molds are silicone, they feel light and rubbery.  I was concerned how they'd hold up to repeated casting once up to temperature but they can take it.  As with the Zinnbrigades, the layout and air channels seem to be well thought out. And, it's very easy to cut more if needed given the softness of the material.  One quirk of the Creartecs, the figure bases are open at bottom. It's a rude shock to see all you metal flow out the bottom of the mold if you don't brace it well against something.  For the infantry, the metal flows directly through the top of the skako, makes for reliable casts but consequently care must be taken not to lop off the skako ball when prepping the figures.

I have two molds at present, the line infantry elite company fantassin/drummer and mounted British dragoon.  I had some problems casting the dragoon but got it going just at the end of my casting session - at any rate none are yet painted so I'll save the result for a subsequent post.

As you can see, the results yield rather antique looking fellows.  They are fairly flat as semi-rounds go, in the style of the old Schneider figures. But I think they'll look good massed in formation.  That's the next unit in the queue, ready to start later this month once the first Zinnbrigades are done.

One drawback, these first infantry figures are 45mm giants, dwarfing the poor Zinnbrigaders.  I'll post size comparisons shortly, featuring PA, Zinnbrigade, Creartec, S&S, Irregular and Meisterzinn (if I can get any decent casts from the latter).

40mm Casting Report 1 - Zinnbrigade

First up for the imagi-nation of Celtica are some Zinnbrigade infantry.  The rubber molds are similar to Prince August but the rubber is heavier and denser feeling.  These molds stand up well to repeated casting without going soft as the PA molds seem to do, and the air channels well laid out such that the metal flows well to the extremities.  One peculiarity of this particular mold is the coat tail tends to cast incompletely on the right side of the figure advancing at trail arms but it's not a major detractor, I'm using those figures.

Here are the first troops, finished in glossy style although it's a bit hard to make out in the photos.

 Halfway done now, some voltigeurs for the left of the formation and the command stand still to come. I filed off the epaulettes for the center company figures. The other two Zinnbrigage molds I have are the line infantry officer/drummer and skirmishers firing/loading.