Friday, 5 June 2009

Austrian Infantry Flats: 1680-1700

First, thanks to Ralphus for inviting me to participate in his blog. Bill's mention of "old school" in the Zvezda post makes for a good lead in to my personal bias towards 30mm flats or zinnfiguren. And they're about as old school as you can get. At Ralphus' kind invitation, I'll be posting about them now and then.

For openers, here is a unit of Kieler Zinnfiguren / Aloys Ochel Austrians suitable for the siege of Vienna, painted in the livery of regiment Solari. The figures come from two different sets, the pikemen and the advancing musketeers. The fixed plug bayonets on the latter are a nice touch. All bear the initials of master engraver Ludwig Frank on the bases.

Kieler Zinnfiguren was one of the great makers of flats in the early half of the 20th century. Now, it's not so easy to get the figures new, although Frau Ochel is still running the business. That they have recently opened a website is a promising sign. As can be seen from the "1700- Typenlist" the quantity of sets produced was impressive. These days, the figures can also be found on eBay. Don't be put off by the crude factory paint, beautiful castings lurk beneath.

Massed together in formation, they have an appealing style.

Steve Cady


Ralphus said...

brilliant stuff Steve - I am sure lots of folk will find this very inspiring

Corporal_Trim said...

Thanks, Ralphus. And I don't know how on earth I managed to create a big gap at the bottom of the article, perhaps it can be edited ?

I forgot to mention, I paint with water-based acrylics. And with whatever is at hand, Vallejo, GW, Winsor & Newton in the tubes, etc. So no need buy oils and learn a new technique if you want to give flats a go.


Sir William the Aged said...


I "cleaned up" the end of your post, basically it just had a bunch of extra html paragraph code, probably from moving pictures or editing. No problem.

Brilliant first post and paint jobs! I actually painted a set of flats waaaay back when I first got started painting collector's figures. The man who was my mentor of sorts gave them to me to paint, along with instructions, to teach me to use washes and layers in my painting and to develop a feel for "light source" in my shading. Yours are excellent and make me want to try some more.

I also love the way traditional flats were often sold in vignettes depicting events or scenes. The one I painted was the "Death of Wolff" and my mentor, who owned the biggest collector's shop in Dallas "Militaria", had several vignettes of flats that he had collected.


Dur Ecu said...

I've known many wargamers who game(d)with flats, and the effect on the battlefield was always magnificent. One always had the sense that the figures were historically correct because of the great diversity of those available and the true scholarship in the marvelous little journals that supported the "industry."

I think flats remain a bit of esoterica for those of us on the outside looking in, but we can't help but admire the exquisite results. Thanks Steve!