Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Wooden Toys

I remember when you could buy comics that had illustrations drawn and painted by hand by artists.  Similarly a number of books had colour illustrations for the younger reader that were just wonderful pieces of art.
Now imagine combining that style with wooden soldiers.

Hopefully the gentleman won't mind be publishing his photograph and providing a link to his website.
The figures have a certain style and presence and although a little large are appealing to say the least.  I would love to get some of these and create a small game (with big figures) but I fear my painting skills are not to this standard.

Monday, March 02, 2015

A busy Weekend at the Paint Table

I quite used to enjoy going away on business trips but I've found that is not the case recently.  I don't know whether it's the increased time it takes to get through airports (despite the ease of online checking) or the fact that living out of hotels is not always a pleasant thing to do.  Either way it is good to get back and get some painting done.
 Regiment Clare is complete.  Bases have been painted and landscaped with a variety of flora. 
The battalion has also received its colours.  These are from Warfare Miniatures and are easy to use and very well printed. Printed on quality paper they simply need to be cut out and glued (I use dilute PVA) to the staff.  I've touched up the white edges with the appropriate colour to finish and am pleased with the end result.
 I've also brought my first 15mm Seven Years War battalion to the basing stage.  Regiment No10 Kanitiz of the Hesse-Kessel contingent have a Swedish look to them with all that yellow - I'm not quite sure why they have an orange colour or orange finish to the drums.  The flags are from Maverick Models and I am very leased with them.  These are their standard size 15mm items although they will resize them on request if you want them larger.
My experience with this first battalion was a good one.  The sculpting is sufficient for the details to be picked out quite easily and the belts all line up.  Well except the shoulder straps on the infantry which seem to be half way down their backs on some of the poses.
 Additional figures for the French WSS command base have also been finished.  A trooper to act as bodyguard and a trumpeter will go alongside the other command figures.  The trooper is from that well known range of "Where the bloody hell did I get him from?" and came in a goodie bag from a long forgotten bring and buy - if anyone does recognise him let me know because I'm quite taken with him and his mount.
 Not quite sure what to do with the two scantily clad ladies from the "Belt Fed" range available through Colonel Bill.  The sculpting didn't look too promising initially but they seem to reward a bit of attention in the painting. The at ease pose is the nicer of the two to my mind but I think the face of the other slightly better done.
Finally I also prepped the next battalion of the SYW project.

A busy weekend and more rewarding than cheering on a male English national team in sport this weekend.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Workbench Update

With wide and various forms of crap at work at the moment it has proven difficult to get out to the club for a game.  However, that hasn't stopped me altogether and whilst progress has been slow there has been some painting taking place.
Regiment Clare. which is one of the battalions I've committed myself to fielding at Partizan in May for "A Military Gentleman Game", has now had all the figures painted and mounted.   The figures are all Front Rank and based in the new convention of three ranks.
 One thing that I can't seem to get right is consistency in painting the faces.  For some reason the Cote D'Arms flesh wash doesn't hold on every figure the same way.  All figures have a basecoat of tanned flesh and then a wash of the aforementioned flesh tone.  On some it stays nicely in the folds and creases, whilst on others it is less pronounced.  Same pot of paint same method of application.  Oh well.
 I just have to complete the basing texture and fauna and give them their standards (from Flags of War this time).
I've also made a start on the next batch as well.  Some figures for the command base for the game in May where I'm going to rebased my Commander in Chief in a more dramatic setting.  Currently all my officers are on single bases and I intend that the Marshall will be on a multi-figure base and then use a convention of wing commanders being three figures to a base and brigade command having two.
Next them is the new Seven Years War project.  The first of the 15mm (from old Glory) battalions for the Hesse-Kessel contingent has been blocked in with blue and flesh before being a wash of Army Painter Dark tone.  I'm trying a different way of painting these figures to try and brig out the colours on these smaller figures.  My usual style of painting doesn't work well at this size and so something new is required.
I thought blocking in and then washing to accentuate the recess and shadows before a brighter highlight might work.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Lobositz - victory from the jaws of defeat

I posted a thread on a forum a while back about how much I dislike the "Black Powder" rules.  I've played in a number of games with them and have yet to be convinced of their quality.  As a result of that post I was invited to the far north to play a game to try and change my mind.
Saturday saw me on the road north to play a long anticipated game against some members of the A Military Gentleman Forum.  Colin and Robbie had kindly organised a refight of Lobositz using their figures and in Colin's terrific purpose built wargames room.
I don't want to give too much away since I'm sure Colin will have a full and detailed write up in his "Carry on up the Dale" blog soon.  Robbie has already beaten us to the web with a post in his "Independent Wargames Group" blog on the left.
Essentially Colin provided all the Prussians, scenery and provisions whilst Robbie brought the Austrians.  Lovely figures from all and a superb table setting for the game. 
Prussian foot making hard work of attacking Lobositz
 In essence I felt like Stuart Lancaster.  At half time I was staring defeat in the face.  We were playing well but the opposition were playing better and were in the lead.
Prussians attacking the Austrian Grenadiers barring their way

Colin & Robbie trying to work out how they lost
 In the second half it was nearly all Prussian advantages and we managed to snatch victory from defeat.  That was largely due to the ability of John my co-commander being able to position a large force of Prussian horse on the flank of the Austrian lines.
My able wing man John plotting the downfall of the Austrians

The Prussians about to be overwhelmed

Robbie can't believe the fortunes of war
Did the game change my mind about Black Powder?  No.  But it did prevent me from throwing the rules in the bin for now at least.  I will try again, this time using some of the interpretations from the game.
I haven't enjoyed a days gaming for a long time as much as this.  The result was not as important to me as the enjoyment I had from playing with three almost strangers in an atmosphere of fun and friendship.  For me that is one of the reasons I like this hobby.  Thanks guys.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hail Caeser in 10mm

A number of the guys at the club last year started to get involved in the ancient period but in 10mm.  Principally Imperial Roman legions taking on a variety of barbarian hordes.  Having always had a desire to own a Roman legion I took the opportunity over the festive period (well actually a bit longer but not overly) to put one together.
Inspired by the Roman and Dacian Wars book I reviewed in an earlier post I bought Trajanic legionaries from Magister militum and boosted them with some Old Glory auxiliaries.  The end result is a full legion of ten cohorts, with six supporting auxiliary cohorts and four mounted auxiliary units plus sundry light troops.

Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix
 Last night these took the field for the first time against John and his Britons (with some Gaulish refugees). 
First cohort - oversized and counting as a large unit under the rules.  screened by Moorish javelinmen
Mounted auxiliaries.  Old Glory with Magister Militum command figures
 The Romans made full use of their artillery as the enemy continually struggled to get their orders through and made hard work of advancing towards the Romans.  Only in the centre did the Britons put together a concerted attack.
The lines are drawn.  Roman to the left.
 It seems that in previous engagements the barbarians had learnt to use a massed attack against the Legion and were quite successful in doing so.  Having learnt from this the Cohorts this time closed ranks and comprehensively defeated the warbands.
The Roman centre division engages the enemy
 The centre of the field was soon in Roman hands.  The Auxiliary cohorts holding the Roman left were less impressed. Half of one division was overwhelmed and the remnants forced to retreat.  It was only the covering fire from the second auxiliary division that prevented the entire flank from being broken.
As the Roman centre continues to advance the massed hordes begin to sweep around their left flank.
If the Britons had more command ability then the game would have been very different.  Whilst the Romans showed that they can more than hold their own in the melee they also demonstrated their weakness - the sheer numbers of barbarians allow them to envelope the flanks.  So for me the Romans need to either find a position where the flanks are secure or to attack quickly and throw the enemy back before the flanks collapse.  Both options are difficult when the enemy keep slinging stones at you in great numbers.

An interesting game overall.  In one night I managed to change the perception that the Romans were an easy target for the warband.  Quite why no other Roman player had chosen to the Close Rank option in melee is a puzzle (obviously commanded by nobility and professional soldiers).  The enemy went from an all out massed assault to "I'm never charging Legionaries again" in a matter of minutes.

Monday, January 12, 2015


I've agreed to participate in a large multi-player game at Partizan in May.  Organised through the "A Military Gentleman of the Eighteenth Century" this game will involve a number of players bringing along a selection of units from their collections, which for me means my French War of the Spanish Succession.
To complete my commitment I need to furnish a new unit.  Having painted enough white, grey & blue figures last year I've plumped for a red coat unit.  Regiment Clare one of the Wild Geese units (and the only one to appear at the battle of Ramillies).

Red coats, yellow cuffs, yellow waistcoats & breeches with white stockings should make for a good looking unit. 
So on Saturday I prepped twenty four figures of the thirty six figures.  Twelve of those have now been completed to about the half way point.
 Clothing has reached the point where I need to apply the final highlights.  Lacing has been base coated and washed with a non-oil based wash.  Hats & musket stocks blocked in.
  The drummer will be in the royal livery for a bit of contrast.
I want the unit to have a deeper shade of red than my British counter parts, but not as deep as those given to my Swiss.  So I used Plum Red (from Miniature Paints) gave it a wash with Vallejo Strong tone wash.  Back over it with Plum Red and then thinned down Vallejo Scarlet for the main body highlights.  I'm now debating whether to give then another highlight or just the officer coat to be brightened up.  Yellow is a base of Mustard Yellow (Miniature Paints) with Vallejo Dark tone wash and then Mustard followed by a small amount of Canary Yellow for highlights. 
Lacing is a base of washed mustard which will have a highlight of mustard only.
All the figures are from Front Rank.