Friday 19 March 2010

Peter Laing 15mm WW1 - The Insanity Continues..........

You may recall I recently acquired an early WW1 painted 15mm Peter Laing collection containing French, German and British forces. Further to this, you may additionally remember that another part of this same collection was in the hands of another member of SEEMS (my wargames club) and had lain unseen in the depths of his shed for many years. This semi-legendary collection has now officially been uncovered and is residing safely in my 'office' aka the Rayleigh Factorium.

The collection consists of two armies - one Russian and one Austrian (not German as originally reported) and are both painted and complete in every way with artillery, machine guns, command groups, cavalry and even some supply wagons and a field hospital complete with stretcher bearers. There is also an armoured car, a Russian Tchanka (the MG on a wagon), a Renault FT 17 (I have no idea why that should be included in a 1914 collection either!) and a pontoon bridge.

This means I now own representative forces for all the major powers for WW1 and the Turks and Bulgarians for 1912. It also means my WW1 project has gone from being merely huge to gargantuan! This latest addition to the collection will need a rebase and and a repaint - the painting standard is fine for the figure quality but it is sloppy, much like the other part. I have no problem tackling either of these tasks although the sheer scale involved in this project is quite intimidating - we are talking around 600 foot and a 100 mounted figures after all. The cavalry present an additional problem in that most (if not all) of the lances will need to be replaced with wire so that will be a huge undertaking on its own - not difficult, just fiddly and time consuming. I have decided on the organisation and basing convention for the figures and this will be uniform across the entire collection. I will experiment on the painting front in respect of whether or not I could get away with either:
  • 'Pickling' the figures back to bare metal and starting from scratch.
  • Undercoating straight over the figures as they are and then painting them.
  • Painting straight over the existing coat.

Obviously the last option will be the quickest and mercifully the detail of the figure is such that any loss due to paint 'thickness' would be barely noticeable. It will be essential that I get the painting technique absolutely right from the start in the interests of both speed and sanity!


Balkandave said...

I picked up some painted units to supplement my Russian WW1 armies at at bring and buy a few years ago. The painting quality was basic. However, when I rebased them to the same standard as the rest of the army the difference was not as noticeable. I suspect it is because with the smaller scales we look down on the table.

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

Wow! You are going to be busy for the next few months!

Sounds like a massive undertaking but you will end up with a very flexible collection that can be used for lots and lots of wargaming.

Good luck,


David Crook said...

Hi BalkanDave,

That was the thing that really struck me with these figures - more so than many of the current '15mms'- they look really good en masse and the paint job is largely academic. I want to tidy them up and with a uniform basing standard they will look really effective on the tabletop.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

If anyone had said to me this time last year I would be staring down the barrel of having to refurbish some 600 foot and 100 mounted with artillery to taste of an early WW1 collection I would probably have laughed........

It is huge and will take time but the long term potential is absolutely huge!

Long live Bulkrania!

All the best,


Paul O'G said...

I highly recommend a rebase, dip and the odd touch-up. You will be amazed at the difference that will make. if you reallywant to stripsome figs,just do the HQ ones andsee how you go. Otherwise it sounds awesome!!!

David Crook said...

Hi Tas,

Certainly the rebase will be a minimum requirement - the 'dip' is something I have been considering quite seriously for these in conjunction with flat block painting.

All the best,


Ian Dury said...

Having just bought a set of WW1 Peter Laing armies, I am curious how you are getting on with these - doesn't seem to be anything in your blog since 2010

David Crook said...

Hi Ian,

Welcome aboard!

Sadly the Peter Laings did not survive more than a year in my collection and were offloaded with part going to the US and the other in the UK. The collection was a great idea at the time but but the work needed to get it back to how I wanted was a lot more than I really needed to undertake.

Eyes bigger than the belly methinks!

So what have you acquired then?

All the best,