Monday, 13 November 2017

Warlord Romans Part 3

Next stop highlighting;

That took 1 hour 3 minutes, then some detailing taking another 50 minutes.

That brings me to 8 and a half hours. Tomorrow night a wash to bring a few things together, decals later in the week and then to be based after I have picked up the bases at Warfare.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Warlord Romans part 2

The next step is a quick wash of brown shade on the shield backs and black on all the armour. This is a step I like do either before bed or before going to work so I'm not waiting for it to dry.

Took 14 minutes, bringing the elapsed time to 1 hour 12 minutes.

Next job is the leatherwork, tunics and the wood part of the pila. Having to be a little more controlled with the brush so slower work. 90 minutes later bringing the total time to 1 hour 42 minutes.

Next task is the shield bosses and base colour for the flesh areas.

This takes a further 70 minutes, bringing the total so far to 2 hours 52 minutes.

I got a bit of a longer session today, flesh tone, gold and a few little details took 3 hours and 45 minutes, bringing the total time spend to 6 hours and 37 minutes.

Figures are coming together nicely. Next week will see highlights for the tunics and metal work.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Warlord Games Plastic Romans - a retrospective

My original WAB army purchased in the early 2000's was made up of the original Perry sculpted Foundry figures bought from a bring and buy, figures were tarted up and rebased. I have added to it and have a supply of unopened blisters along with some 1st corps casts which scale in well.

When Warlord sprang in to being and launched Hail Caesar, the plastic Romans were one of their first ranges. How well have they stood the test of time? I managed some time ago to pick up the Roman Army box of approx 120 figures for around £45 which represented really good value (brand new on eBay expect to pay £65 currently), the box was duly stashed away.

I've just listened to Mary Beard's SPQR and along with a series about Rome on the telly, my mind goes back to Romans, Hail Caesar and Swordpoint. I have grabbed a couple of sprues from the box and built them, I thought I would share my thoughts and take you through painting them.

Firstly these aren't going to stand up to the new Victrix plastics, those are fantastic with some of the best chain mail seen on plastic figures to date. The Victrix are also a full head taller so incompatible with my Foundry and 1st Corps figures, price wise the come in at nearer a £1 a model, not helped by the number of alternate parts on the sprue. Warlords Romans come nearer that price unless you buy the army box or one of the many cheap sets on eBay.

There's not too much variation on the poses you can build and generally come in at 4 parts so easy and quick to build. I mounted these on wooden sticks, grouped in similar poses to speed up painting.

After 58 mins we have the metalwork base coated on the models, using thinned Vallejo Model Air gun metal and the back of the shields with Vallejo Model Colour middlestone. The shield back colour was inspired by the replicas made by English Heritage although in reality no shields survived from the periods as the wood rotted leaving only the metal fittings.

Just in case anyone wonders why I've used paints designed for airbrushing, colour pigments are ground finer and make brush painting easy, especially metallics - give it a try.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

6mm Update

Painting and gaming time has been in short supply lately. I have found a little time to paint and base up some British cavalry for our Sudan games. Five squadrons will be plenty.

Another couple of houses, this time from Leven, to add the scenery collection.

Some more Leven, this time a bridge and parts of La Haye Sainte.

We did get another game of Battlegroup on Sunday, this time with more tanks and Fat Frank roads. Fields provided by artificial grass samples from B&Q. Tonight's lesson is Sherman tanks are poor, I need to get the 76mm turreted versions painted up.

Currently being finished on the painting table is a selection of British and French Napoleonic casualties, pulled from the 'box of shame', Perry plastic and Front Rank metals.

This week whilst looking for Footsore Miniatures Guinevere figure, I managed to buy a small selection of Romano British and a copy of 'Songs of Arthur and Merlin', well I do have all the Saxons and the buildings already painted.

I'm still continuing to sell off surplus bits and pieces on eBay. The big surprise was the demand for Dystopian Legions, I'll be trying to continue this as its raises £'s for new projects, makes space and feels good to move things on. It's easy to have too many projects and dilute your attention as well as painting and gaming time, to that end I'm resolved not to start any further projects. But then it's Warfare in a couple of weekends ......

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Terrain and basing update

We can't always be painting miniatures, sometimes we need to do stuff that's not as exciting but none the less essential.

First up I am restarting my 15mm terrain collection for WW2, I knocked out a couple of Peter Pig farm buildings, I'm avoiding anything too urban and just going for rural stuff where possible.

I've had a bag of Noch fir trees for ages and had started basing them and then moved on to other things, I forced myself to finished them. These are good for 6mm or 10mm and I fancy adding another bag of these.

I have based up some of the cheap Chinese trees, noticeably not as good as the firs but these are pennies per tree. I've more of these to base.

More Warbases skirmish trays for Sharp Practice to save me having to swap figures around.

These are single penny rings that I have added tiny 2mm high numbers, this gives me with this set 8 red and blue big men numbered 1 to 8 and green numbered 1 to 4. Useful in identifying your character figures during the game.

As an example here's red one and two.

Yesterday I popped along to the Derby Worlds show, now sited in rural Leicestershire. The show was well lit but the hall was a little cramped as they run several competition games over both days. 

Success was had as I picked up both my wagon and limber team for my 28mm ACW collection along with the Fall of the Reich supplement for Battlegroup - sorry Stu no stats for your Maus!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Battlegroup WW2 - a first run through

The Battlegroup WW2 rules published by The Plastic Soldier Company have been around for a few years, recently they have printed a new core rulebook, a Battle of the Bulge book and a reprint of their Overlord book. A Market Garden volume is next in the works whilst a Cold War version is being worked on. Lots going on there and I wanted to have a run through the rules to see how they played.

Picking a straightforward scenario and a couple of small forces from my collection, we sat down to run through the game. I believe in the couple of hours we had, the rules certainly proved themselves, we had a few questions and I was able to solve those with a quiet read through the rule book afterwards.

Each turn you receive a number of orders, invariably less than you need, orders are used to activate teams, annoyingly called squads in the rules, the turn passes to your opponent when complete. As teams are destroyed or rallied, players draw counters and when the value of your counters exceeds your Battle Rating, your remaining troops withdraw and you lose.

My WW2 collection has been in storage for more than three years and it was good to see it again. Looking at my US vehicles I can see I need to get more decals and add some markings to many of these but it wouldn't take long. I've another 10 Shermans and some more infantry.

The Germans have some unfinished Fallschirmjager, so many plans, so little time. I'm off to the 'Worlds' at the weekend, I'll have a look out for more terrain bits and pieces.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Colours 2017

We shot down to Newbury for a few hours yesterday, I'd only a few things on my shopping list but the absence of the Foundry Napoleonic racks meant no British Marines, and no Perrys then no limber or wagon for ACW.

Essentials like MDF bases and tufts came first, 15mm walls from Debris of War and then a couple of great character figures from Gringo40s. The surprise purchase was the Sudan scenario book, this will be great for TMWWBK.

I managed to finish the ACW casualty markers, complete with horses, Union and Confederate, all with Minibits 7mm frames.

Last year I bought some great buildings from Leven Miniatures, great models and easy to paint. Here's the first few themed for ACW.

I'm working on some 15mm farm buildings from Peter Pig for our inaugural playing of Battleground, these were a pre order for collection, somehow they still came in the post?  They are all primed and ready for paint.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Summer All Day Game - ACW Sharp Practice

I was keen get some skirmishers painted for my Union forces, a quick order to Perry Miniatures brought some suitable figures through the letterbox. One is a pack of Confederates, but don't tell them - I just painted them blue! Both packs of Berdans were supplemented by the free figure from Warlord which came with the release of 'Glory Hallelujah' which convieniently gave me enough figures to field the officer as a big man in Sharp Practice.

In their first game they did reasonably well, even the Renedra barn managed to survive its first game without being burnt down. Perhaps the curse is broken?

Here's a couple of shots from our game, Stuart playing the Rebs has written the game up on his blog, the link is after the photos.

Monday, 21 August 2017

From one civil war to another

My recent game of Sharp Practice caused me to think about my ACW collections, my 28mm Union troops are desperately in need of skirmishers and my 6mm Confederates lurked nearby mocking me for being unfinished since 2010!

Whilst reviewing old blog posts I found my unboxing post and my first few units. These figures had caused me a few problems, I've based the early regiments twice as I focused on to unit bases and didn't like painting off the black undercoat. Whilst off recently I took the plunge and pulled out the part painted strips and cracked on.

Once I had some momentum up it ceased being a chore and started planning future additions, more of everything!

It's ready for a game now;

18 infantry regiments
4 combined skirmishers bases
2 cavalry squadrons
2 dismounted cavalry squadrons with horse holders
4 cannon w/ 2 limbers
5 brigade commanders
3 division commanders
1 corps commander or CinC

I have some Perrys on the painting table for the 28mm Union, now did I buy some buildings from Joy of 6 last year?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Escaping the grot box

We all have one, a grot box, a box or shelf of shame, that place where unfinished models go after we've lost interest in them. No don't confuse this with your lead or plastic mountain of untouched kits or figures - this is models we've started and lost interest, perhaps it's a dull sculpt and doesn't inspire, or we've moved on to another project.

There is a good selection of bits in mine and I'm working towards clearing it out, mixing it in with my current projects.

This week I've managed to finish a few bits and pieces. Firstly a Frostgrave bard, also good for D&D.

Next a couple of French officers, originally from Victrix but now no longer in their catalogue.

Finally a Front Rank civilian flanked by two Warlord British Officers suitable for the Peninsula War.


Recently I had the opportunity to visit friends who had moved to France, flying to Basel, we drove down the motorway through Alsace, you can see a graffiti covered pillbox in the shot below.

The Romans were also here, all that remains of the town of Epomanduodurum is the amphitheatre.

Most significantly, the city of Belfort was besieged three times during the nineteenth century, twice during the Napoleonic wars and once more in the Franco Prussian War. The statue below commemorates the leaders in each of those sieges. 

The city was protected by fortifications designed by Vauban. The city successfully resisted the Prussians and the defenders marched out with their weapons after the armistice. Because of this success, this part of Alsace was not handed over to new German empire.

After the 1871 war, the French built more forts in this area, their large cannon would give mutually supporting fire. This example Fort du Mont Bart was only open to school parties on the day we were passing.

The French like to leave anachronistic vehicles at their historical sites, Belfort had a Sherman, Mont Bart had this Panhard EBR. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Is there a hole in your (photo) bucket?

The recent change in Photobucket terms and conditions have made massive waves across the hobby. Many forums have had much of their content replaced with the "upgrade your account" message, online retailers have also been affected.

Ultimately we have to wonder to their business model, income was from, I believe, from ads which we were displayed when users accessed online albums. Only problem was, they weren't. PB become the go to site for photo storage specifically so people could host images on forums, in the Internet age storage is incredibly cheap, bandwidth is not and nor is it predictable.

With the Internet as always "If you're paying for the product, you are the product" most definitely definately being true, users are trying to download the photos and move them to alternate sites although they might just be causing the same problem elsewhere, we will have to wait and see.

Years ago, when I started taking digital photos I started using a site called Fotki, currently about half the photos from this site are hosted on there. When I started blogging directly from my iPad I started loading photos directly in to Blogger. Fotki has managed to lose some photos as they have become corrupted in their database, also links to files became broken as some photos had their file paths changed somehow, this on top of a confusing cost structure caused me to give up.

I'm currently replacing all the old linked images with ones uploaded on to Blogger, so if old posts are appearing in your feeds, my apologies. Swapping images out has lead me to read some old posts and remind me of old games and projects.

Here's a couple;

  • Uncharted Seas - Easy to paint models, straight forward rules and still may favourite of all the Spartan games.

  • Lost Worlds - I have cave men, neanderthals and dinosaurs but it's never seen the light of day, I never found rules I was happy with.

  • 6mm ACW - Really disappointed I'd never managed to get a playable force together, messed about with rules and basing before settling on 60mm x 30mm and Black Powder, not to mention I wasn't happy with the black undercoat. Galvanised in to action I have grabbed some started strips and cracked on.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

A barn and Bluecoats

Here's the Renedra barn, bought from a club member as a kit. This is a very simple job to assemble, primed with some cheap black primer from The Range and then base coated with Halford's brown camouflage spray. Some dry brushing later and we have something that will easily cover 400 years of history from English Civil War to the twentieth century.

It's important to remember those are wooden shingles on the roof and not slate tiles so it might be a little more American than European but it would be an easy task to cover with thatching, if done right it could just pop on when needed. I'll get some cheap towelling and give it a try before popping it on a base.

Next up is the first batch of my forces for The Pikemans Lament, I've started with one of the cheap plastic infantry boxes, I effectively got 2 for the price of 1. The figures are a little simple in places, showing their age but they are a quick paint.

I have managed to get the full 42 figures from the box, the box says 40. The secret is to have the firelocks box, which has two sets of arms for each body as so plenty of spares. This gives me 2 12 man shot groups, a 12 man pike group and 4 command figures which can be incorporated in those groups. 

I settled on a generic blue colour scheme, Blue was worn by both the Royalist forces occupying Evesham during the Civil War and the Gloucester Trained Bands who were part of the Parliamentarian forces who stormed and took the town in May 1645. 

These figures need a varnish, grass and tufts - that's a job for the weekend. Before starting on the next batch I shall tackle a few pieces from the 'grot' box - models long started but never seem to inspire me to complete them.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Finished something at last ....

It's been ages since I've posted, it has been too warm to paint here but I've finally got somethings finished

Last night we dragged our ACW collections out of storage for a run through Sharp Practice 2. I'm told it's been years, this is the first outing under the second edition of the rules and I'm converted to using the chips rather than a card deck. Card decks quickly become a bit tatty with all the handling, chips are so more resilient.

We played the Encounter scenario, in 1864, with the base forces brought up to 100 points, we were quickly in to the swing of it and we took our time with the game. We had a race to the high ground, the Union were fortunate and were able to first onto the Rebel line. Both Rebel groups were badly shot up, whilst their C in C was traumatised by stepping in something smelly.

A lone group of Rebel skirmishers made a break for the Union deployment point, their numbers were depleted by a group racing off after ladies of dubious virtue. At the end of play, A Union victory was declared as they had more troops on table and a higher force morale.

The General about to mess his boots up.

Meet the Ladies

The glue is still wet on the flock

In my last game of Antares, I managed to have my skimmer team crash, Warlord made an objective marker so it seemed like an ideal purchase.

I stocked up on drones, adding Targeters, Batters, Compression and Weapons drones, all in my red Algoryn colour scheme.

Nolzur's Magnificent Miniatures

Earlier this year Wizkids, in partnership with Wizards of The Coast, released the first wave of their primed plastics for D&D. Wizkids had done a similar deal with Piazo, there is also a Pathfinder range, both ranges are quite interchangeable.


Banshee and Ghost

Displacer Beast

Blink Dogs

Coming soon - the first box of ECW figures for Pikeman's Lament.