Sunday, 6 December 2009

The Eagle's Claw completed

So, finally, here is The Eagle's Claw in all their fully painted glory!

Record: P3 W0 D1 L2 F3 A7 Pts1 GD-4
They've been close to complete for quite a long while now. It has been one of those things where because they were basically finished I decided it was worth focusing on other things but never actually got round to completing the project ... until now. There was a slight delay when it came to applying transfers. I tried to apply them to the players' curved shoulder pads but, try as I might, I just couldn't get them to sit so I had to scrape them all off again with a craft knife. Anyway, here they are finished and ready for the field.


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

More miniatures

Over the weekend I decided to order the bulk of an English 1330-1415 Hundred Years War army for Basic Impetus and I was surprised to find that it had been delivered on Monday morning. Unfortunately I was not in so this morning I went down to the post office to collect the box. I opened it up as soon as I got it home...

What a beautiful sight! The miniatures are all Corvus Belli and they were ordered from Vexillia Limited. I will continue to flog off the bulk of my Games Workshop stuff on eBay and will focus on this project. Also, in other hobby news, my Blood Bowl team (The Eagle's Claw) is now complete and so I will put up some pics soon.


Saturday, 31 October 2009

First steps

I have finally got round to taking some pictures of the beginnings of my latest project- 15mm. I have already decided on my first project in this scale which I have detailed in the previous post. 15mm does seem to polarise opinion: for some (me included) the minis are small enough to achieve mass effect and large enough to appeal to the painter in you, but for others it's the complete reverse: too large for true mass effect and too small to bother picking out all the detail. I have only completed one mini as a tester but I though I would take some pictures of the various ranges I have samples from to show how they scale up next to each other in case anyone else is interested in buying some.

From left to right: Mirliton (from their 'Condottieri Italiani' range), Venexia ('Italian Wars 1495-1559), Corvus Belli ('Hundred Years War'), and Peter Pig ('Wars of the Roses' and 'English Civil War').
Below are some better pictures of the painted Italian light halberdier.


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Scaling down

So as the temperatures tumble and the nights draw in you'd think that this time would be perfect for getting some hobby activities underway. Unfortunately life has got in the way for both me and Tom and so things have slowed down a bit over here.
Despite this I have managed to get some painting done, and I also intend to use today to crack on with my current obsession: 15mm. As an incredibly slow painter of 28mm, I am enjoying the novelty of actually starting and finishing a miniature in the same day! I'm also finding that due to the relatively cheap miniatures, it is easy to build up an impressive looking force in a short space of time. Those who've been playing 15mm will know this already but it is a bit of a hobby revelation for me!
I have been asking around for samples to try and decide which period to go for and I think I'm settled on the Hundred Years War- I will use Corvus Belli minis, and the rule set will be Impetus. This decision was mainly inspired by a similar HYW project going on over at the fantastic Geektactica blog- you can view it on our blogroll. I have also collected samples from Venexia, Mirliton, and Peter Pig (whose great WotR range I may collect next) and pictures will hopefully be up at some point this week.
In other gaming news, The Eagle's Claw, my Human Blood Bowl team, recently played Tom's Bolog's Brayn Broozaz again and this time managed a hard-fought draw: 1-1! I was a bit disappointed because I lost the lead in the game but I was pretty pleased because most of my players finished the game in one piece!


Saturday, 5 September 2009

The Punic Project

Ever since reading the Fall of Carthage: The Punic Wars 265-146BC by Adrian Goldsworthy a couple of years ago I have been keen to wargame this very interesting and colourful period of ancient history. The Punic Wars spanned decades as two major superpowers struggled desperately for dominance in the Mediterranean. Its a period of history that has everything a wargamer could want; interesting characters, high drama, empire building, tactically diverse armies and a multitude of classic battles which are still studied for there tactical principles today.

With my 6mm Napoleonic project now well on its way to completion, and having received the latest edition of Ancient Warfare magazine (highly recommended if you have the money by the way) which focuses on the doings of the Barca family during the wars, my interest in this period has been re-ignited. Some of the excellent illustrations in the magazine reminded me how ethnically and culturally diverse the armies where with a large percentage, if not the majority of the armies fielded, being made up of a mix of client states, allies and bands of mercenaries. These could be Numidians, Iberians, Ligurians, Gauls, Celtiberians and Italian tribes which fought at varying times on both sides; the shifting alliances between the two major superpowers and the various smaller kingdoms, tribes, mercenary and ethnic groups being very dynamic. This is another useful aspect of this period as it allows you to use lots of the same miniatures (Gallic warbands, numidian light cavalry, Iberian Scutarii etc) for both sides or on their own as independent armies.

My plan is to do a lot of reading up on the period (with Nigel Bagnalls' The Punic Wars: Rome, Carthage and the Struggle for the Mediterranean next on the reading list) while I sort out the dilemma of what figures to use from the extensive variety of ranges available. I already have a rule set picked, which is of course the excellent Impetus. I have been using these rules for games of War of the Roses recently and I think they will work well for games set in the Punic period. There are special rules for Roman line-relief, using pilum and the way that the 'Impetus bonus' works means that you will have to use different tactics depending on whether you have 'Impetuous' or more steady units. The large base sizes mean that whatever scale I go for the units should look impressive.

The Dilemma
So I have my period and my rule set, the problem is I am having a rather difficult time deciding which scale and manufacturer to go for, but I have narrowed it down to three options:

6mm is the scale I originally intended to do this period in. Using Baccus figures I was going to go all out for mass effect with lots of 6mm figures on the 15mm size bases (8cm x 3 or 4cm for heavy infantry). I would have to sacrifice a lot of the detail that distinguishes the various units but the armies would look more like real armies and would suit Impetus' top down approach to the battles. A typical unit of Hastii/Principes having 60 figures on a base but despite the large number of figures it would still be reasonably cheap with a base like this only costing a bit over £3 and bases of skirmishers and other looses order troops costing much less. This would allow me to collect more than the main two armies with enough miniatures to do all the other nationalities that participated in the wars and also collect some of the contemporary Successor forces. However with the prospect of this range (one of Baccus' older ones) being re-sculpted next year and doubts about whether I would find it satisfying to paint large numbers I have some reservations.

10mm is the compromise scale that would still have some of the mass effect of 6mm but with a bit more detail giving me around 30 Hastati/Principes figures to a base with more variety of poses but 50% more expensive. Magister Militum, have an excellent and large range of figures covering all the various forces with a nice level of detail for the scale and some nice characterful figures for the generals. Though I would have to compromise on just focusing on the main armies, if painted well they should look very good, giving a less generic looking army than 6mm. However I'm not sure whether the extra detail would make up for the loss of mass look.

28mm is the scale where any hopes of creating some the 'mass' look go out the window. One of the advantages of 28mm with Impetus' large bases is that you can create some nice diorama type bases with wounded figures or terrain pieces built in. This option appeals to the painter more than the wargamer in me with the chance to have a stunning looking army. Both Gripping Beast and Crusader, plus Armorum & Aquila, have some excellent ranges with a variety of stunning looking transfers for shields that would make the figures look extra special. However this is by far the most expensive option and I would probably have to invest the majority of my hobby budget and painting time into it to get it done to the standard I would want.

A tricky dilemma but I suppose quite a good one to have; lots of options all with their own pros and cons. I thought I would write this post in the hope that it would help me decide but am finding myself even more torn between the scales, so if anyone has some views or advice especially if you have embarked on a Punic wars project I would be very happy to hear from you. Meanwhile I'll keep painting my Adlers.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Limbering up! - French Foot Artillery

Completed this four gun battery a while ago and I am quite pleased with how they have turned out. One of the many advantages of doing Napoleonics in 6mm is that its not too much extra effort to paint up the nice little extras that make a collection of miniatures extra special. One of my pet hates are 'levitating' artillery batteries that seem to maneuvre themselves around the battlefield by some magical force or are man handled by crews who must have muscles the size of the incredible Hulk! So I'm doing my artillery in two versions; limbered and unlimbered which I can swop round when they deploy or need to make a quick get-away.

Limbered up and on the move (click to maximise):

Like the rest of my collection I've based these on magnetic bases, so its easy to swop the guns around and keep the limbers and teams on the table so the battery takes up a more realistic amount of space.

Crews hard at work preparing their guns:

The battery even comes with some neat artillery officers (I especially like the one with the telescope) and drummers which I put on a seperate base to prevent crowding the guns:

''Austrians? Where?'', ''The white bits over there, sir!''

Just a Legere regiment and a regiment of Chasseurs to do then my French division will be complete. Hope you like the pictures.

The Fellowship of the Ring (one down, eight to go)

Here are some pictures of my recently completed Pippin figure from Citadel. Legolas and Gimli will follow next. I have also tried to brush up a bit on my photography skills - I messed around with the brightness and contrast as the pictures were quite dark. I am quite proud of his cloak but it looks quite flat in these.


Monday, 3 August 2009

Last Chancers - 2 down, 10 to go

I thought I would post something other than 6mm for a change. These two are 'Grease Monkey' and 'Fingers' from Colonel Schaeffer's Last Chancers. I bought these years ago and have finially decided to paint them up so I can sell them to fund my next projects.


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Skirmish Screen

I haven't been posting as much as I would like to and Joey seems to have disappeared into the ether (i.e. the real world populated with real people rather than little toy soldiers ; ). So as my Napoleonic project progresses I will endeavour to post more pictures and hopefully in the next month or so maybe even a battle report. Anyway I finished my voltigeurs in skirmish order and am very pleased with them, so I thought I would take the opportunity to post some pictures of my collection so far.

The French advance (click to enlarge):

The voltigeurs screen the advance and hold broken terrain like forests:

The voltigeurs make their way through the trees to the edge of a field ready for harvest:

On the other side of the crop field the Austrians wait, positioned on a hill:

French artillery and cavalry are next on the hit list and maybe a couple of the those humongous 28mm miniatures as well.


Wednesday, 8 July 2009

March of the Austrians (3)

Its been a month exactly since my last post; the blame for this can be fairly and squarely placed on the fine weather we have been having recently. It seems wrong to sit inside hunched over the painting desk when the sun is shining and there are barbecues to go to, so progress on the Austrians stalled slightly. Then the rain came back, I got back to work and have made lots of progress, in fact I have finished painting the little blighters! So.......

Step 7: Now all the white is done I can do all the fiddly bits. First up are the cuffs, collars and turnbacks. Turn backs are easy, cuffs are ok but those collars can be quite tricky. The trick as with all steps is to find the right angle of approach so you hit the area you want. These have been done in the regimental colours for Reuss-Greitz's regiment no 55 and Czatoryski's no 9 as below:

Step 8: Next up is the musket which I do with Mahogany Sand/Brown 846 and GW Mithril Silver.

Step 9: Then its the back pack with Flat Earth 983 and Neutral Grey 992 for the rolled up great coat which is just done by dotting the raised areas.

Step 10: The brass plate on the helmet is done with Gold 996. These details which can be quite tricky are made so much easier to paint thanks to the excellent way these guys are sculpted allowing you to just run your brush along the detail to pick it out.
Step 11: The crests on the helmet are done with Flat Yellow 953, followed by black to give a nice neat stripe. This is the final step for the basic infantry and for me makes them look really smart.

Step 12: Next up I do all the last little fiddly bits like the drums, Officer's mounts, blood and hair colours on the casualty figures which makes a nice change from the production line approach.
The horses are the only stage at which I do more than one layer. I've used GW Devlan Mud wash which seems to work well.
Well that's, that. Quite a hefty amount of painting and from now on I think I will only take on single regiments rather than brigades at a time. However now these are done I have all the regulars I need for a division, so I can enjoy doing more interesting bits and pieces like cavalry, artillery, skirmishers and commanders. As ever if you have any questions feel free to ask.
Happy painting,