Monday, 26 January 2015

Franco-Prussian Terrain: Alsacian house

The Lindenau House from Grandmanner's 28mm Napoleonic collection. 

In 2014 I had the privilege of visiting the now docile battlefield at Woerth in a rural part of beautiful Alsace. Earlier the same year I was bordering on fiscal collapse by melting my Visa at the ever-bustling Salute, spending a sunny April weekend in London. Both these visits are combined in this week’s project.

The unpainted resin model with a 28mm miniature for size comparison.

Building a collection of miniatures for a certain period often has us focus on the soldiers and their colourful uniforms, dashing cavalry squadrons or hard hitting artillery batteries with the occasional diversion into character units. But terrain has for my part so far taken the backseat. However, things are about to change.

Front view of the finished model.

Personally, painting military miniatures always takes me into a dreamy state, where I project myself to the era of the soldiers I’m painting. Whether they be the snappy marching columns of Napoleon or the well-drilled grenadiers of Frederick the Great, I find myself mentally marching alongside them.

The village of Woerth as it looked in August 2014.
My fiancé on the left, Johanna, was kind enough to join my battlefield walk.

This imaginational access to a period in history gets further nourishment when the painted soldiers march onto the wargaming table – if the scene is properly set that is. Setting the scene with the right quality of terrain can really enhance the experience of one’s miniature collection, and help make that imaginative leap back in time to a certain faithful day in history.

Picture of the back side, with worn down stairs
and stacked firewood adding details to the model.

Partaking in the very active wargaming scene in Stockholm, I’ve had two big inspirations when it comes to terrain. Fellow club member Michael, who meticulously addresses all the small details on the table and have a sharp eye for what will work and how to arrange it. My second big inspiration, and a very accomplished painter, is wargaming friend Rickard, who is among the most talented terrain constructors I’ve come across.

Further inspiration for the color scheme.
Painting by Edouard Detaille "La charge du 9e régiment de Cuirassiers à Morsbronn"

With these two gentlemen in my hobby-sphere I have decidedly made a plunge into the wonderful world of terrain. First stop on this journey is my Grandmanner “Lindenau House” from their 28mm Napolenonic range. The model was purchased in London at Salute from Grandmanner’s vending stall, with a clear aim to apply it as a Alsacian house for my Franco-Prussian collection. 

Prussian troops crossing through Alsace 
after the initial victories of Woerth and Spichern.

Visiting the battlefield at Woerth last summer fuelled further inspiration to this painting project, and with my holiday pictures from this sleepy corner of Alsace in hand, I set out to finished this lovely detailed model.

The result is the product of about 4-5 full afternoons of painting. The target was to go for a classic color scheme resembling what can be found on the paintings from the battles of Wissembourg, Spichern and Woerth. I imagine it would work very well for a timeframe of 1740-1918 – enabling me to cover the SYW, Napoleonics, Franco-Prussian and Early WW1 “Battle of the Frontiers” with this model.

The Lindenau House could easily be adopted for other periods,
here shown in a SYW scene, as Frederick scouts for an Inn with 
good potato soup.

Also purchased from Granmanner at Salute was a XL redoubt position with three canon positions incorporated in the superb resin cast sculpting. This was carried home as an unplanned impulse purchase, but fitting nicely into my 1812 Borodino project.

I look forward to getting more brush time with Grandmanner’s excellent models in the months to come.

Thank you very much for reading!


38 comments:

  1. Can we perhaps tempt you into running a game at FlemCon this year? We, Sandinavian Lardies, will be there, but it would be nice to not be the only miniature game. And to see your stuff live.

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    1. Absolutely, it would be my pleasure! Please send me more info on your event via my e-mail: sorenralph@gmail.com

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  2. Very inpsired, creative and beautiful job on this building...atmospheric and full of details!

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    1. Thanks Phil, I still miss the Flammkuchen and the great wine we got in Alsace, perhaps 2015 shall hold a return visit to this beautiful region of France!

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  3. You've done a wonderful job on that house, doing full justice to the excellent Grand Manner casting, and faithful to the current village scene and historic painting. Just beautiful.
    http://notjustoldschool.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you very much Chris, appreciate your visit and kind comment!

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  4. That is a very lovely looking piece of terrain, Soren. So much wonderful details. It compliments any of your wonderful figures. I don't think it would look out of place in a Medieval (Lion Rampant) setting too.

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    1. Cheers Dean, appreciate it - you may be right on the Medieval adaption, something to think about since these models also come with a thatched roof option!

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  5. Great job on that house. Well done!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by for a read and a comment, appreciate it Steve!

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  6. What a lovely chunk of resin and so expertly brought to life!

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    1. Thank you very much Michael, it was a real pleasure painting this piece. Looking forward to getting more terrain on the painting table in the near future.

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  7. Great work Sören! This will be handy for quite a long period in history indeed. I really should get my arse up and do some terrain too.

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    1. Thanks - and yes, it's worth prioritizing this on the painting table! It certainly breathes more life into one's miniatures collection.

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  8. Soren, you have really brought out the very fine details in that resin model. Fabulous!

    Like you, as modeler and gamer, my eye is always scanning while traveling and especially on battlefield tours. How many times have you either walked or driven by a terrain feature and wondered, "how would I attack (defend) it?" Maybe, I am alone in this odd habit...

    Nevertheless, great work and enjoy seeing your battlefield photos!

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    1. Thank you very much for the kind words Jonathan! And you're not alone, my past battlefield walks had me daydreaming myself - probably one of my most notable experiences in this regard, was when visiting Omaha Beach 6 years ago - those boys had a very long way to go before any hope of cover, and it was only when I stood at the water's edge looking in across that broad flat strip of beach towards what would have been well defended slopes, that I fully understood the severity of that task. Like you, I then wondered how I would have acted if thrown into such a situation.

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  9. Lovely work on an excellent piece! Like you I intend to work more on my terrain as I feel one should put as much effort into terrain as one does in miniatures as both need each other to get the best effect. It seems your starting with what I consider to be the Rolls Royce of wargames terrain in that Grand Manner is at the top and equally commands a high price. I have the good fortune to own 3 pieces that I plan on painting up this year.

    Christopher

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    1. You're very kind, thank you Christopher! I'd agree on the Rolls Royce part - in a time when more and more innovative and interesting laser cut terrain is hitting the market, I still find it hard to match Grand Manner in terms of quality and detail. Like the quality the Price is premium, but worth every cent if you ask me. I look very much forward to seeing your pieces, hopefully I've sparked some painting motivation then :0)

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  10. That's a beautifully painted building!

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    1. Thanks Ray -appreciate the kind comment!

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  11. That's impressive! A truely nice piece of terrain/ building.

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    1. Thanks Jesper - speaking of terrain, I'd love to see a rerun of all your wonderful ACW houses on your blog. Those piece are very impressive, and your ingenuity on the scratch build stuff is admirable.

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    1. Cheers Gordon! - Thanks for dropping by for a read and a comment

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  13. Very nice job. Could I ask what brand of paints you used for the roof, daubing and timber framing? It looks very effective.

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    1. Thank you very much Lawrence - in terms of paints, I'm afraid it's rather a hotchpotch of brands, but here goes: The roof is based with Foundry Scarlet A, and Vallejo Chocolate in a mixed sequence to create variety. The whole thing is then washed down with GW Agrax Earthshade and then highlighted with GW orange. The beams are Foundry Bay Brown, washed with above GW wash, and then highlighted with GW Baneblade brown. The walls are Foundry American Tan highlighted with a Vallejo bone white. Hope this was just a little helpful, and please excuse the inconsistency in my paints supply.

      Cheers,
      Sören

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    2. Thanks Soren, much appreciated. I am a big fan of Foundry paints and thought that the frames looked like Bay Brown (one of my favourite Foundry triads, especially for horses), along with the Scarlet A which always seems to provide a nice coverage. I too also like the GW washes (the old Devlan Mud especially, but quite like the Agrax Earthshade), but wouldn't have picked the Foundry Tan in a hundred years though, nor thought of using the GW orange highlights, so many thanks for that. As with many of the other comments, this has inspired me to focus more on terrain this year.

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  14. Lovely painting Sören. I really like how you've personalized the piece by adding some ivy.

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    1. Cheers Jonas, glad you noticed the wine, it was the final "Alsace" spice on the model. I think we were actually walking Salute together when I picked up this piece at their stall! The quality was amazing, and I'd be very surprised if no further Grand Manner models make their way into my collection.

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  15. Great work on an already beautiful model! For me the scenery is as important to my enjoyment of the hobby as the miniature soldiers themselves. And I recently discovered that I actually enjoy working on buildings more than I do painting miniatures. A bit of a problem really as you can have a good wargame with miniatures and no buildings but not the other way around. :-)
    /Mattias

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    1. Well Mattias, I'll have to bow to your talents, the terrain pieces I've seen from your hand truly justifies your preference to this part of the hobby. I'm hoping to see more of your work soon matey!

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  16. Beautifully painted.

    I had the pleasure of being involved in the sculpting of some of these models and agree that they are just ram-packed with detail. Detail that you have captured perfectly.

    Regards

    Tony

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    1. Thanks Tony, really appreciate you dropping by for a comment on this piece. You guys did a hell of a job on these models, and it was a real pleasure having it on the painting table. I hope to return with more stuff from Grand Manner in the near future!

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  17. Very nice building and good paintwork.Nice indeed.I love the greens it gives the scenery more atmosphere.

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    1. Thank you Peter! The extra wines are my an attempt to create as much of the Alsace atmosphere as possible, glad you liked the outcome.

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  18. Superb paint job Soren, I share your sentiments on mentally trying to connect with the period you are painting.

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  19. Soren this is an inspirational post and your work and attention to detail are first class! Thanks for sharing this!

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