Friday, February 12, 2010

Perry French Infantry Completed

Finished the box of Perry French Infantry. They are painted up as Light Infantry. The finished Voltigeurs were posted earlier.
Here are the Carabiniers - these are the equivalent of Grenadiers in Line units. They have a little more oomph in Fisticuffs according to Sharp Practice rules. The premise being these were the largest and strongest men in the unit. Supposedly the Napoleonic French army fed these guys more food on account of their size and strength - I doubt that this would go over well in today's armies.

Next, the center companies of Chasseurs - the equivalent of Fusiliers in Line units. Their colored shako pom poms are the same colors for the corresponding line companies - 1st company = green, 2nd company=sky blue, 3rd company=violet, 4th company=orange.
Here's the command group - which in Sharp Practice really doesn't exist per se. There are Big Men and musicians, but standards are not really a factor - unless you make the figure a Big Man, I suppose. The two post-1812 colors included in the set are for Line Infantry units, but it's hard to see the actual numbers on the flag (or even the "Ligne" for Line) unless you look really close. The Porte Aigle on the right is a spare Victrix figure with the pre-1812 colors - if he's substituted for this unit, they can blend in with the Victrix Line unit better. The original "8" was painted as "9" to represent the 9th Light Infantry.  The 9th Legere served with distinction in the Peninsula. The guy on the far right is a regular Chasseur who failed to report for the previous photos and was just milling about - so he was ordered to cover a flank here. Addendum: The top of the drummer's left drumstick wasn't painted in the photo; Since corrected.
This is the whole battalion with Voltigeurs out front screening.

Hopefully the Perry British Rifles and Victrix Cacadores will arrive soon. Some Front Rank Spanish Guerrillas have also been ordered. I already have a name for the Guerrilla Big Man - Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez, in honor of the character famously portrayed by Eli Wallach. Last weekend, while painting this unit, the "Man with No Name" trilogy was on. The musical score and the film's location in Spain was inspiring and seemingly appropriate.

Post Script:  My overall impression of the Perry plastics is highly favorable. I have the French Heavy Cavalry in addition to this set. Both sets were very straight-forward, as plastics go. The cast-on heads  on this set are a tiny issue if you want to replace them with one of the optional heads (with pokelems, etc.). You need to be sure not to damage (or cut off) nearby parts that are also cast as one-piece on the figure - such as the muskets on the marching poses.

Compared to the Victrix sets which I also have, the Perrys are one-step faster to work on. Specifically, the heads and arms cast on most of the figures do speed up the process - more so psychologically for me. Only the six skirmish poses require any of these extra steps. Of course, the reason for this being the very fact that you can make most of the Victrix sets into skirmish, or other unique, poses. Which some may prefer over marching poses.

About 90 percent of the Perry set are marching poses. Initially, the skirmish poses were my reason to chose Victrix. However, since gaming them, even for small skirmish games like Sharp Practice, I've found that the firing and lunging poses with bayonets out front are problematic. Mainly for ranking them up for movement, and also possible breakage. So, the Perrys being in mostly marching poses for easy ranking up have me swayed more towards them.

One other difference that I notice between the two, is the type of plastics they use. The Perrys seem tougher, and the Victrix seem more brittle/weaker. Now this difference could be the reason some of the details seem clearer or finer on Victrix. The differences are, in reality, very slight and I have no reservations acquiring more of either manufacturer.

Post-Post Script: I also promised to answer another question from the previous post about how I decided on what colors to use as a base coat. Here it is:

For the previously painted Victrix French & British, white was used as an undercoat as I thought  it would be a good foundation for their cross-belts, straps, white trousers, and lapels for the French. It did, however, require black lining all of those aforementioned areas. Black was used for the French Heavy Cavalry and this Perry French Infantry set because of the large amounts of armor on the Heavy Cavalry, and the Infantry to be in predominantly dark blue uniforms. This also helped to minimize the need to black line - although I had to be a bit more careful painting on the belts & straps to stay within the black lines (just like grade school coloring books). BTW, I don't use "real" primer, but the cheap cans of flat white and black spray paint from Walmart instead.

For Ancients, with a lot of exposed flesh, I tend to use white undercoating - this way the flesh colors are built up easier. In fact, I sometimes use thinned-down flesh over the white undercoating so the recesses are a bit darker. I follow this up with a reddish-brown wash which further darkens the recesses. Finally, a lighter flesh and white mixture is added on the highlights. If the figure is wearing bronze armor, I like to undercoat those areas only with a dark reddish-brown mixture. This also works well to undercoat most horse-hair (either on helmet crests or the horses manes & tails).

Speaking of horses, I undercoated some of the horses for the Heavy Cavalry with a Sand/Tan spray. This was followed with a wash of dark reddish-brown ink/stain. A final coat of lighter reddish-brown was dry-brushed on for highlights. This was a fast process and the result looked pretty good for the effort. I plan to use this in the future for horses that are bays.


  1. Great work - I especially like the skirmishers!

    What's your overall impression of the Perry Plastics?

  2. I was starting to write a reply to your question of my impression of the Perrys' plastics, but it started to look pretty long for the comment box - I decided to write the response on the post-proper - please see it at the bottom portion of this post. Thanks again for your interest and comments. Dean

  3. Stunning. I can't imagine they could be painted any better. Great job.

  4. Hi Dean - I love your painting on the Perry's. You get a superb finish - so crisp and clean - but its the tonal depth to it that really impresses me. The highlighting on the legere's trousers for instance - its more noticeable on blue but its EXACTLY how it should look. I'm in awe my friend. These, like your cuirassiers & carabiniers are truly beautiful figures.


  5. Great Figure painting dean,
    Really inspiring. I'm trying to stick to 15mm naps but the Perry plastics are very, very tempting especially when seen like this.

  6. Gentlemen:

    Thank you very kindly for your comments. I'm honored by your approval.

    It's funny that the blue did turn out nicely. It wasn't how I initially approached it. It was painted similar to the Foundry method - which I don't normally follow - that is, darkest base coat and successive lighter highlighting. Since it seems to have worked, I used a similar method on the shako covers and greatcoats. Thank you all again for your continued interest, Dean

    P.S. I'll do some research on the British Rifles, Portuguese Cacadores and Spanish Guerrillas before they arrive - hopefully soon.

  7. A wonderwul painting job!
    Do you will wargme with them?

  8. Rafael:

    Thanks. They will be used in a Sharp Practice game soon. I'm still waiting on some British reinforcements to arrive from Perry, Front Rank and Victrix (the newly-released Portuguese Cacadores). Right now the French outnumber the British 2:1. :)! Regards, Dean

  9. These sure are nice Dean. Thanks too for the nice comparison between the Victrix and Perry figures. It's some good stuff to remember.

  10. astounding result. I´ve been looking for images of the Perry french line infantry to paint mines, and this are the best I founded. Pretty far away from the rest in painting quality.

    Congrats. And now there´s a question: would you post a tutorial or a step by step of your painting method?

    I would be thankful. (or at least show us whre did u learn it from)

    Kind regards

  11. Thank you for your kind words & interest. For a tutorial of sorts, please refer back to the earlier postings - in January. There are a couple of WIP postings with photos and details of how I painted these nice Perry figures. Warm Regards, Dean

  12. Very nice brushwork! Good basing too!

    I am enjoying my Perry infantry painting as well! I have been doing some in the Foundry style and others using an Imrie-esque base/dip/highlight method.

    I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work!

    - Jeff

  13. What tool do you recommend for removing the existing heads for the head conversions?


    1. This is a very old comment, but I feel bad I never answered it - for the record, I used a hobby saw - very carefully :)!