Monday, 1 August 2011

Sunshine And Light

"Ti-ra-la-la-i-tu! I gloat! Hear me!" So crows Beetle and his friends in Stalky and Co. It's clear that while Kipling's characters received a fair number of beatings, as were routinely applied to erring children of his times, they might well have both merited and benefited from a few more. For all that, I am pleased with current events and my glee is exhibited in excesses only a degree less exaggerated than those of the obnoxious Beetle. At the age of 50+ this is I accept, albeit with no great consternation, rather sad.

The cause for all this celebration is that I have finally produced a mold for Croats, and the figures emerging from said article are - to my mind - highly satisfactory. The accompanying photo shows the first three figures at the stage before varnishing and applying metallics.

Croats At Last

Setting aside the unhappy instance of the 'mold' that turned out to be a solid block of rubber, my attempts at mold making are improving. The detail on the figure has come through well; even the moustache is being cast intact.

The pose I prefer for light infantry, with the musket held in front of the body, does not lend itself to casting so readily as the usual march attack pose does. There is no obvious plane along which the mold can be split into two halves. Instead, the boundary between its halves has to be shaped to wrap around the figure. The resulting mold has to be flexed slightly to release the casting, but with only 24 figures needed for a light infantry battalion I can hope to get them cast before it breaks up: if this was for multiple battalions of line infantry I'd be making additional molds.

There is just one sour note to add: painting all the lace on these fellows is rather like painting that most trying of personages, the drummer, with all his gaudy plumage. Only now I have no fewer than 24 lace-bestrewn dandies to deal with. I shall console myself with the reflection that intricate detail like this does serve to disguise all manner of sins in the both the sculpting and the painting.