Friday, October 7, 2011

Hussars, CHARGE!

Hello all, it's been a while I know. Partly from low energy, mostly from doing things that weren't camera-worthy. Until now.

You may recall from an earlier post, during the Great Wargame Purge, one of the genres I didn't throw out was my Napoleonics. This is what I've been occupied with lately. (Don't worry Ogre lovers, I'll get back to you.) One of the armies I'm working on is an 1812-1814 Russian force. Previously I had been concentrating on the infantry elements, so now it was time to break out the cavalry. I am sold on AB Miniatures, so when I went to his US distributor's (Eureka Miniatures) order site, I found he had added Front Rank Hussars w/Lance, Charging. I had to have some of these guys. I placed the order.

Let me step aside here for a moment and say a few words about Bob at Eureka Miniatures. He is simply the best. I have dealt with many vendors over the years, a few wretched, most good, and a couple exceptional. Bob is the best. For instance, I placed this order of Hussars online in the very early hours of Sunday. Sunday. I received an email from him Sunday evening, Sunday evening, that my order was picked, packed, and ready to be shipped Monday morning. Have I mentioned this was on a Sunday? Anyway, the package arrived Wednesday, great time from NH to FL. Every order I've received from him has been this fast. And if you have a special request, he tries his best to accommodate you.  I wish all my ordering experiences were as good.

One of the reasons I wanted these figures is they were charging with lances lowered. That is the way I like my minis, animated to the point of attack. Cavalry at parade rest or infantry at march-attack do not interest me. I was not disappointed when I opened the package.

Here is the figure before any prep work has been done. AB figs are always crisply cast with minimal flash, and that is easily removed with a knife and sandpaper. (I used to use files to remove flash, but had to worry about damaging surrounding detail. I now use a small piece of 320 grit wet-and-dry, folded over, to get in the nooks and crannies. The natural give of the paper protects against unwanted damage.) The horse and rider are cast as two separate pieces. The hardest part of the clean-up is filing the underside of the saddle so it fits naturally.

I've had experiences with lances in the past, and no matter how careful you are, they will get bent, broken, and lost. Even before I received this order, I knew I was going to replace them with brass rod.

I wanted all my lances to be the same length, so I took a few minutes to make a jig. Taking the measurement from the figure, I cut a small plastic tube 33mm long. After gluing to a strip of styrene, some square stock capped the end and reinforced the sides.

Now I simply slide a brass rod in (.028 in this instance) and clip it off.

On the underside of the jig is this slot that ends at a semi-circular cutout. Why the cutout?

To position this punch. The reason I use brass is it's both stiff  and malleable.

Three solid taps with a hammer...........

...........and I have a lance point. Well, I have a flat spot.

A little filing and now I have a lance point. Don't make it too sharp, your fingers will thank you.

I've clipped off the cast-on lance and drilled out the figure. It has also been cleaned up. (Notice how much better the saddle fits.)

I've clipped the pennant from the cast lance, removed the shaft, and filed a concave  at the top to fit the brass lance.

And here it is on the lance. Now just prime and paint.

Let me know what you think.  Don

Sunday, whew. Go watch a football game, Bob.