Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Monday, 1 September 2014

Angst of August

I am willing to bet that August is the slowest month for production of figure painting for the majority of bloggers. For me it certainly is as a mix of a weeks holiday and a week off work sick has all added up to make this month really flat. Sure it started well but even with this under consideration the month looks bad as you will see.

It was also a slow month for buying with only thirteen 28mm figures (twelve being half price so I could not pass them up. So at least I did not increase the mountain by much and whilst I reduced many sections I am still up on almost every category since starting to keep track!!!

6mm Infantry are still suffering from the 24 battalions bought recently but with six more painted I am up by just nine Battalions and plan to get that number painted in September so should get this back down to zero for the worlds.

6mm cavalry just got 4 regiments under the wire meaning I still have seven more to paint before I break even. These won't be touched till possibly October and it's quite possible I will be buying more at the Worlds so still looks some way off before I can get these under control.

6mm command and limbers remain the same with no change which I am afraid is as good as it gets.

6mm Guns and crews well I have 4 guns painted as well as 4 guns and crews so only the crews need to get painted. Unfortunately I bought 8 sets in July so technically I am still up by 4 sets until I get the crews done. At least that will also happen this month.

6mm Wagons remain plus 4 as I did not manage to get the one I planned done. Just like the artillery it's no big shakes as is a small paint.

6mm Planes after the first rush I have failed to paint any. As I plan to get more in October I had better get a shake on this month. Still up nine.

6mm buildings, this is going to sting as I picked up 36 in July but at least I got a good lick done painting 10 bringing the mound down to a still dizzy plus 25. Given the nature of my buying of Leven I will always have this sudden bulge appear in the mountain but each time it should be brought under control with regular painting sessions.

28mm also see's a bunch painted, this time 13 figures bringing the increase down to a manageable plus 12 and as they are for Saga I can get these off the table in October if all goes well. Nothing to worry about there then.

28mm wagons and horses remain untouched through the whole month, I really need to get those horses out of the blisters!! both remain plus two.

In case your late to the show, in May I started to record purchases against painted. Rather than reset the clock each month all buying is carried forward so it's a real record of the growth or culling of the lead and resin mountain. 

Project Waterloo and the aim of buying and painting each new Napoleonic French model released by Baccus will keep the 6mm under control and should see the end of 2014 with a reduced stash of unpainted 6mm, though this does not mean I will have no 6mm left in hand at the end of 2014!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Norman Chapel - Building of the Week

At Joy of Six I picked up my order from Leven Miniatures and included is this lovely Norman Chapel which is yet to be released. It's rather small as the last picture will show but really looks the part of a rural out of the way type it is meant to represent. We actually have one similar in the village I grew up in and it's this one I based this model on.

As yet I don't have a code for it nor a price but Mike will have that up on the site when it comes out. I have a feeling in might be fairly soon as he was asking about my progress the other day but that's speculation.

Whilst editing the photo's Cath looked over my shoulder and said that looks old and run down which I was happy with as that's the look I was aiming for. Obviously if your fighting Dark Age or Medieval battles then you would want it looking all fresh and new. If I was basing this one I would use the dry stone walls ACC02 selling at £3.00 per set and include a graveyard and of course a tree.

It's a quick paint, I used Vallejo 70976 Buff as a base for the stone work and added 862 Black Grey to the Buff and picked out odd stones for a colour difference. The roof I left primer grey (Lazy I know) but watered down the Buff/Black Grey mix down heavily and washed the roof with this. Following up with brown and black ink washes waiting till the first wash was almost dry and over lapping them. I repeated this a couple of times which gave depth to the washes and helped with the imprecision  of built up grime.

Last off I washed the walls in brown ink varying the amount of ink a little to add interest. I went with no stained glass as many a small Church would not have replaced any they had from the Civil War period (if in the UK) and I am not sure if Europe actually went for stained glass the way we Brits did.

And for scale we will use the good old Baccus Artillery piece and a 1p coin, that's about the same size as the US and Euro cent. As you can see it's probably the smallest place of worship Leven do but I enjoyed painting it more than I expected. Even with the extra work picking out the stones and the multiple washes I managed to get it done in an evening. 

Next weeks Building of the week will be a little different, for starters I did not paint the buildings in the post! But I am rather pleased with my input in this project, look for it next week.

Friday, 29 August 2014

History First

The wargames hobby I have always found makes the hobbiest more aware of what actually happened in the wars they choose to recreate and in doing so tend to be far less pro war than the typical bod on the street.
I have always been interested in actual items that come from wars and have collected such objects as time as gone past such as the ECW musket balls through to Medals, though I once owned a Napoleonic cannon ball fetched from the sea (not fired in anger) fetched up by my father on a dive near Cornwall, oh I wish I still had that ball.

So whilst on holiday last week I cam across a shop selling military related items including the WWII French helmet shown above. I was torn between this one and a number of other helmets including a German paratroopers but this one won the personal debate.

At the moment I am just enjoying looking at it sitting waiting for me to do something with it. I plan to get a stand for it and it can join the other items in my man cave that are just there because they can be. To some people this will be seen as glorifying war and I don't have a strong argument against such a view as the main reason I bought and will keep this is simply for the enjoyment of owning it. WWII happened, I wish we could say we learnt things from it but given the number of conflicts large and small tells me we learnt less than we should and some of the wars fought have been less about protecting the vulnerable and more about getting some form of advancement, be it for Country or personal really matters little to me.

Back to the helmet, it's certainly great to own something that not only comes from WWII but comes from neither Britain or Germany and is as iconic as I feel this is. I was told by the guy who owns the shop that some of these helmets have been sold as WWI French helmets that are worth a lot more than the WWII version. I plan to save up and revisit sometime again, my son of course was real happy picking up a 50cal machine gun round, the bloke also had a 50cal US HMG and a Russian WWII MMG on it's carriage. I did not ask how much the 50cal was but the MMG was worth between £800-850 which was lower than I would have expected.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Forest Troll & Secret Santa

I received this figure as part of my Secret Santa last year and the time was right for me to get it painted up. After all you never know when you will need a Troll do you?

Unpainted he was a rather friendly looking chap which was a worry, after all I don't want him trading cupcake recipes I want him cracking skulls. But a lick or two of paint and I thing the goodness has been left way behind. Indeed I think he is a bit of a bleeder.

So nearly nine months later here he is all painted up, hope my Santa is happy with the results. Will the players? well that's an altogether different story. I have to admit that mostly I used a series of lighter tnes drybrushed over the previous layer. 

I wanted to do something different when it came to the eyes and went with more snake eye pupils than the normal dot and it helps with the more threatening look.I also added several watered down flesh tone wash across the eyes to make them look less comfortable.

Anyway that brings me to Secret Santa, with the kids about to go back to school it must be time to start the ball rolling for this years Secret Santa. Same rules as last year. Each person who enters gets a target picked for them at random(ish) by my wife Cath. Cath intends that no one gets the same person as the previous year, so some slight re-drawing may have to be done. You need to be a follower of this blog, or have your own blog or know me. Minimum spend is £15 plus cost of postage. I recommend if you get someone in a different country to try and buy their gift from their country to cut down on the postage.

I will do a separate post next week on the subject but how about it, anyone interested?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bloggers For Charity I had a Winning Bid

I did not get involved in the Bloggers For Charity as I was/am heavily committed to painting my Waterloo stuff and have little interest in the period. However I did follow the project and coveted a couple of items. I never expected to have a chance at either of them and when they were auctioned as a set I accepted my fate. However for some reason these pieces were still on a very low bid so I thought I would play the role of spoiler and at least increase the selling price by putting in a £30 bid. I was amazed when that was enough to win the two items and yesterday they arrived which was just what I needed as I had been sent home from work ill.

Cath went out and got me a frame based on my request of something natural looking. I think she hit the jackpot and whilst I really like this frame it's a temporary home till I get chance (and the money) to get it framed professionally with a mount as befitting such a fine work of art. 

As you can see it's signed by Pete and I have to say that I am chuffed to bits and until it was in my hands I never fully appreciated how happy I was to win the auction. Thanks Pete could I be any happier?

Well it seems wrong but yes I could. That's because I also now own a Loki and what I feel is one of his best pieces of work I have seen of his, this being.....
I mean just look at this guy! It's almost enough to make me want to take up the period just to be able to use him in a game! However he will join a select few figures that's only purpose is to make me smile.

Though I can't help but think that run screaming would be more appropriate! How often can you blow a figure up that much and get away with it. Andrew I salute you! Actually I not only salute you but need to have a little chat about commissioning your talents

So I am rather uplifted by the whole experience and want to thank Andrew and Pete again for their fantastic donations to this great cause and of course to James for the original idea and running the event. By this time next year I will be free of commitments so you never know I may well be able to join in the next event.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Saga 2 Points of Vikings

Whilst I was on my weeks holiday I managed the last few bits on 11 Vikings allowing me to have two points of a warband. My son has 4 points already of Anglo Danes but these are not quite finished, these are going to be finished by me over the next week or so.

The image above includes the test figure I painted earlier in the year. All figures are Gripping Beast Plastics, from the Viking Hirdmen boxed set. I doubt I will paint up all 44 of them as I don't need more than 32 of them for a four point army, though I would more likely use even less than that.

 Six figures carry axes with the other six armed with swords allowing some flexibility as to how they will be used. Whilst the test figure had a lot of time spent on it, these are basic table standard as I expect them not to stand up to the rigours of playing games with my seven year old. Over time I will replace them with metals and will do a better job on them. Indeed I have 24 Blacktree figures on order as unarmoured versions to make up the 4 points. Of course my son also has a further 24 figures also coming, can you see where this is going?

The shields have the Battleflags shield decals that are made to fit these figures shields and after a few mistakes started to work well. I started with trimming them with too much of the clear decal left on. I recommend keeping close to the actual detail, less than 1mm overlap is best.

One figure in each group has a shield with two spears clasped in the shield hand these add a certain something to the group, I guess if I use them with other rules these could be used as minor commanders or such.

The right hand figure is the originally painted figure and looks a lot sharper when you check him against the others but really not so you would notice if just playing a game.

I like the various combinations you can get with the different bodies and arms etc allowing you to have a reasonably mixed force from the box. You also end up with a lot of spare parts for later use or just dumped in that bits box!

So overall I am a lot happier with the plastics than I thought I would be. I have based them on 2p coins which gives them some weight which I hope will be enough to keep them together fr a few games at least. The usual wash on top of a one colour base, in this case Nulan Oil from GW.

Three of these were used Saturday in a roleplaying session, they did not stick round to actually fight the players as they had dispatched the orc's with reasonable ease, well all except the female scout who took a kicking but that was the exception.

So my view on the plastic figures have moved in their favour to an extent. OK I still am not 100% fan but they add a good filler to your armies and can look rather nice. The biggest issue being the making them up but that was actually faster than I expected. I had got these finished except the shields weeks ago but that final stage was just an evening. Makes me wonder why I did not finish them sooner really.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Building of the Week - Farm Finished

We have been away the last two days (thanks auto post) and the rest of the week we were out all day visiting all sorts of places so painting time has been really limited, but still had time to finish this.

I had actually finished the farmhouse last week at the same time as the Granary but the basing was done on Tuesday and Wednesday before going away. You should recognise the farmhouse as Leven's FAR01 at £2.50 this is either the third or fourth one I have painted and I have plans for doing another somewhat different which may have to wait as I am not sure if I have one in hand.

Total cost for the lot must be a little over £6 with £5.50 on the buildings £0.60 for the Warbases tile and the hedges and tufts are bits from various packs. I think given the cost and the ease that painting these buildings up (see my tutorial on the Leven website) and basing them there is little excuse not to have a few of these type of features for games. 

I used some of my coloured flock to add flowers to the tufts, I did this last night and I am thinking I should have mixed the colours now. At the time I was just wanting to get it done for today though doing a mix would not have added too much time to the job. Impatience is my biggest failing.

It's fun to plan out these tiles, I always play about with them until I am happy with the placements and then draw them out on the base and after that it's far less work than you would think. I always add the Sandtex to the base then glue down the buildings with superglue before actually sanding the base as this limits the amount of brown paint getting onto the models.

I went with hedges on this one which are just clumps from Woodland Scenic's but I really like the irregular pattern they do for untrimmed hedges. 

I wanted a lane leading from the rear of the farm, the hedges boarder the farm itself and adds a little bit more to making the farm defensible given the way a lot of farms were built.

I have now assigned almost all my Warbase tiles up so will need to buy some more. I still have five sets of buildings to tile up for the town. They are all planned out but need the actual work doing on them. These should be the subject of coming Building of the Week but first I have a Norman Church to finish as a certain Mr Mike may be waiting.

The final shot being from above, I am rather pleased with the result :-)