Monday, 3 February 2014

The project has landed...

When phoning Jan at lunchtime, a daily occurrence during the week,the door went and a parcel was duly handed to her by the postman.I had to wait the rest of the day until my return from work to see the contents.It contained Spencer Smith Plastic miniatures- a total of 125 mounted figures and 524 foot figures including about five cannon and crews!!!
They were carefully sorted by Joppy into units and types- thanks for your hard work ,most grateful.It includes some Franco Prussian Uhlans and infantry but the vast ( and I mean vast) majority are SYW.
My initial thought is to do some imagineering a la "Charge" and include the FPW types as part of the fun.
There are 6 Charge sized infantry and 3 of cavalry plus the FPW chaps.
I am daunted and excited in equal amounts...
This project will keep me going for years and years. Being plastic I am considering using multi basing to avoid paint flaking- anyone used "Charge " in such a manner? Plastic painting advice welcome too.
Off now to dream,plan and think of what my forces will be.


  1. Ah I see ! - what a magnificent project ! , I look forward to further developments

  2. Wow. Exciting times. A lot of 'training' to be done!

    I believe those uhlans are the same figures that appear in Charge! as Lanciers de Saxe.

    I have used Charge with multi based figures. Didnt work s quite so well with cavalry and skirmishers but well enough. For line infantry it worked just fine as long as you have a way to track hits. Paper steel base bottoms and magnetic movement stands also work but still involve handling figures.

    Another option would be go with a more Morschauser ish approach where you field an army of many battalions with maybe 12 figures on a single base and the whole comes off after a number of hits. You could fight big battles then and it would be something different. I can certainly see the appeal of the Charge approach though!

    May there be lots of fun ahead!

    1. I did think about the smaller option but have decided provisionally to go BIG units. What size of basing did you use?

    2. I had some of my home cast figures on 4 figure bases 2x2 but have also played with 10mm figures, 8 to a base, 2 deep.

  3. My best friend used the following technique for painting soft-ish plastic figures.

    Wash the figures in mildly soapy water, dry, undercoat in PVA (slightly diluted if fine detail on figures), paint figure, varnish using PVA then an acrylic varnish, leave to thoroughly dry for a few days.

    I was never brave enough to use PVA as an undercoat or a varnish but my method was similar substituting matt acrylic varnish for PVA.

    1. I have tried pva as a base and also on flags as a varnish.There will be fun experimenting ahead...

  4. How many!!? Time to retire and devote yourself to the little chaps.

  5. Congratulations Alan, they couldn't have found a better home, and a well done you! to Joppy too.

    Best wishes, Brian

  6. Ah painting Spencer Smith plastics........!
    A lot depends on "the vintage"; if they are brown plastic (or the rarer blue) they will take paint better than the red or the much later grey (as used by Peter Johnstone).
    The grey plastic is especially "shiney" & paint resistant. Of the older colours the brown is the better plastic; the pale white-yellow tend to be very brittle, but the grey.....
    I resorted to a gloss varnish before spraying black; still sheds acrylics.
    Enamels slightly better but still flake. Washing in detergent seems to have little effect. Painting them is an art as well. IMHO block colours on a black undercoat work best, but some of the "detail" is "challenging".....

    If you ever want to part with them, I'll give them a good home!

  7. Undercoat with PVA and a couple of coats of good varnish to finish.

    I have based my plastics (1/72 not SS) in two ranks, the first rank glued down and the second on magnetic bases.

    I have always found that some paint will flake on bayonets - however on my metals the whole bayonet tends to fall off!