I had intended to get some of the figures painted up before showing them here, but subsequently I thought it might be best just to get a picture out there, since they are for sale now, apparently, and the photos on the Hagen site seem to be of the masters. These are, as you see, Peninsular War Portuguese from about 1811, with the later shako. From my personal point of view, they are intended to fill the gap left by the much-missed NapoleoN figures, and they are an excellent size match for the OOP NapoleoNs and the 1/72 plastic sets available - they are slightly taller than Kenningtons, but could appear on the same tabletop with no problems. I have a conspicuous hole in my Anglo-Portuguese army - I have the Portuguese brigades attached to the Third and Sixth Divisions, but the NapoleoN team went bust before I got to the Seventh Division, so that is the immediate target of these new chaps.
Two packs are available from Hagen, a Command set (containing a standard bearer, a drummer, an officer on foot in a greatcoat and a mounted colonel) and a set comprising three marching soldiers (two fusiliers and a grenadier). I am also in the process of commissioning some Cacadores to go with these (which will contain some skirmishing poses), and I hope these will be available in a small number of weeks. Hagen also have plans to produce Portuguese cavalry and artillery from the same period - I hope these will all prove to be useful to Peninsular War disciples of this scale.
As is increasingly common these days (Art Miniaturen, Perry etc) some of these little figures require some assembly - separate arms for the officers and the grenadier, and a separate drum and arms for the drummer. Everything goes together without much grief, but this brings me nicely to Subject Two, which is the small matter of modelling glues (again).
As I get older, I have found that a number of things are not what they used to be. Bananas don't taste the same, flowers don't smell as sweet, and so on; in my wargaming activities, I have found that rulebooks are much longer than they used to be, that 20mm soldiers are smaller, and that Superglue is a feeble imitation of the stuff I loved and used in the 1970s (good grief - that is a long time ago).
|Polymerisation of methyl-2-cyanoacrylate (well, naturally)|
I only think about this occasionally - I keep buying in tubes of Loctite glues of various types from my local hardware store (because they have a short shelf life, and always run out on a Sunday in the middle of a job), and I keep coming back to the same basic problem. Using the methods I have learned over some 40 years of hacking and tacking, I now have a lot of trouble getting heads, arms, drums, flagpoles and whatnot to keep still long enough to make a decent job - and I am keen enough to file joints to a mirror finish and put little wire dowels in and all that. It's just the glue, Your Honour.
I have heard that they (who?) have deliberately reduced the spec of off-the-shelf superglue, so that users do not stick their fingers together - to make it - that's right - safer. There are rather depressing threads on modelling fora where some chap will say, "Ah - but the secret is Gorilla Glue - I use Gorilla Glue and my models stick instantly, so why don't you use it and be ubercool as well?", and some other chap will dismiss this as nonsense, claiming that anyone with any idea at all uses something different.
Uwe makes positive claims for a product called Bondic, which I have not used (though you may well have) - this is a liquid plastic which hardens when exposed to a UV LED lamp, which comes as part of the kit. There is a similar product called Blufixx, apparently, which also gets good reviews, but I am concerned that fastening a flat-ground arm to a flat-ground shoulder on a little soldier produces the sort of joint which would not readily allow you to shine in UV light - I mean, it's dark in there, man - which might make the Bondic kit just another of my collection of expensive modelling white elephants.
I have read vague references to the fact that you can still buy "unaltered" superglue which works like the original, but this gets confused by advertising and by inter-forum squabbles.
Yes it does, no it doesn't, Gorilla is the thing, no it isn't, you need 2-part epoxy, you are an idiot, etc.
I am confident that few people can be as ignorant in this area as I am - any enthusiastic users/endorsers of a product which will change my life? I have used what seems like a wide range of products, but there are still many out there of which I have never heard, and the subject is complicated by the fact that some of these are available only in the US. What I need is a one-tube, convenient, non-toxic glue which sets in a few seconds. Oh, and available in the UK, without breaking the bank.