Last night was a night spent gluing. filing and then gluing some more – and not just figures but fingers also got a good run in there as well. So good was my supergluing on fingers that this morning the fingerprint reader that is the security system at the office would not let me in and I was forced to use plan B. Oh well, it is the last supergluing for a while I hope.
I had planned to spend about an hour prepping these figures and getting them ready for base flocking then undercoating with the rest of the evening spent researching the book III or IV army. The evening started well enough with a fine Korean dinner at Todamgol on Tanjong Pagar Road. Apart from the food (excellent), the ambience (Korean rustic), it is the range of fine Makgeolli ((Makgeolli or “Korean rice wine”), is an alcoholic beverage native to Korea. It is made from a mixture of wheat and rice, which gives it a milky, off-white colour, and for a fermented grain, it is quite sweet. It is about 6–8% alcohol by volume. It was originally quite popular among farmers and in the countryside – my first recollection of drinking Makgeolli was sitting outside under a tree beside a Buddhist temple near Kwangju – however recently it has recently started to become more popular in cities, especially with the younger generations. Dongdongju (동동주) is a drink very similar to makgeolli and one that I also fondly recall from Korea. A favourite dish eaten with Makgeolli is Korean pancakes called pajeon(파전) and which Todomgol has quite a range)) (막걸리) that is really attractive.
Good Makgeolli is quite a healthy drink and it is also low alcohol enough that a few bowls of it will not deaden the ability to file, cut, paint or glue little tin soldiers … well OK, maybe there were some glue issues :-) . Todamgol stocks good Makgeolli ((in fact they have about a dozen different Makgeollis available, flown in fresh each week from Korea. They also have a range of about a dozen pajeon (pancakes) as well))
With the Makgeolli we ate pajeon and Budae jjigae (부대찌개) ((which literally translates to “army base stew”)) with the Budae jjigae being a soup or stew made from hot dog sausage, spam, tofu blocks, kimchi, mushrooms, onions and ramen noodles amongst other things. Kind of a clean out the cupboard hotpot. Soup over and it was back to the apartment to start on the Koreans but a fine way to get in the mood.
The picture at top left is the light horse and the cause of my frustration with the superglue. As you can see some of the figures have a separate torso to legs. These are nice because you can vary the way the figures look but a beast to glue together. It took nearly an hour to get one of them successfully glued whilst the other two took about 5 minutes each. Anyway, in the end I was the winner and the torsos were glued to riders.
The next to get the treatment were the cataphracts or knights. These are difficult as well, especially when trying to squeeze them onto the appropriate base. I must admit though, that after getting them on they do look the business – ready to roll over any wayward Khitan-Liao, Chinese or indeed other Korean.
The general’s element is the one to the left with a suitable looking general (he could have come off one of the Korean historical dramas) and standard bearing. The figures look very much like the one on exhibit in the Seoul War Memorial Museum.
Next to be prepared was the spears (above left) and again they look fairly close to the exhibits from the museum as well as the reconstructions and some of the contemporary illustrations.
The archers, crossbowmen and psiloi (light troops) were last to base up and they were also the easiest, as there is plenty of room on the base for them and nothing really bendable on the figure itself.
There is one element of bowmen, one of crossbowmen (who shoot the same as bowmen near as I can tell) and one of psiloi or light troops. The psiloi have a mix of figures on their base.
The last figures shown are two of the three elements of light horse (the other was away waiting for the glue to dry).
All the figures here are Alain Touller Figurines of France and are a good 15mm size (slightly less than the 18mm we have come to be used to) with fine proportions and good animations.
The Koreans do look the part.
The next step with the Koreans is to glue sand to the bases – the start of the flocking process. After the glue has dried there I will then undercoat it with matt black paint and then give the figures a heavy dry-brush with white. That will be followed with a heavy wash of burnt umber on the bases, then dry brushing some lighter shades of brown. After that is completed, the figures will be painted then the bases finished with static grass and the whole kit and kaboodle varnished, ready for battle.
Well, almost ready for battle. I still need to do the camp.
Whilst waiting for the paint to dry after the undercoating and wet brushing I will be researching uniform colours for the troops. Any suggestions for troop colours gladly considered (Karl Heinz – have you any research on that?).