Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Essex Miniatures Roman Infantry

The Painting Challenge this year for me has been mostly about my Dominate Roman army. I did start it with one unit in last years challenge but then I dropped it to finish Project Waterloo, but with the troops for that finished I have been able to give this army far more attention.

I really like the sculpts for these figures. Unfortunately I can only have the four bases and if I do I can't use the bow or slingers. Still they can be used in different armies so all is not lost.

I really like that they don't just have the one javelin so more look the part. These will be most useful for chasing away or fighting the opponents light infantry as their limited range and small number would make them next to useless against other heavier formations.

Fairly distinctive uniforms and I must say the availability of images on the net is rather slim so much of the painting has to be based around a fairly unhelpful Osprey as few of the images are all that clear on the uniforms making me think little is actually known of the uniforms of this period.

Keeping to the same base uniform as I like the idea that both units are somehow linked, here we have a unit of Auxiliaries I went for medium rather than heavy infantry as much to have a 6 base unit as 4 base units are very fragile.

Fairly basic shields, OK very basic, these are actually brighter in colour than I at first had in mind but they are growing on me. 

Ready for battle, here they are in the role of protecting the Auxiliaries as they close with one of Rome's numerous enemies, 

A second unit of slingers, to the ones I painted near the start of the challenge. Nothing much to say about these guys as they are fairly pedestrian.

Again went with some fairly bold colours, bright shields and deep red pattern to the tunics. One of the other Roman armies from this period allows eight bases of slingers so they can be of use.

My favourite unit of the bunch, and again on the bright side. The shields as the others are taken from the Osprey I mentioned before from a set of B&W drawings with colour codes.

This almost brings to the end the infantry I have for this army, just a few more bow troops. I plan to paint these up at the same time I finish off the cavalry and camp. That will bring to a close the whole army and I hope to get this done either as the Challenge comes to a close or soon after.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Dark Sword Monster


My Fantasy LotR meets Wheel of Time has moved on from the orcs siege of the city they were trapped in. The Fore-Runners attacked the orcs and trollorcs just as they were capturing the city and the players were deciding to cut and run or try and get back to the inn to collect their possessions and the still comatose Isabella Sedi. 

After days of travelling south through ransacked and deserted villages and farms they finally reach a village with occupants. Seems the raiding parties had either missed the village out or had not made it this far south.

Not that the village was without it's own problems, it seemed that someone was holding the village to ransom. It all started with the odd small animal or chicken going missing but soon escalated to cows being taken in the night. Then came demands of money or worse would happen.

The village at first did not pay, they agreed to lay in wait, pretend to make payments but the plans never worked and more animals went missing and the money demands became larger. In the end the village started to pay until they were desperately short of money. The demands continued to be made and then finally people started to go missing though sometimes parts of them were left behind!

This is what the party walked into. At first it was assumed that the party was behind the problems but once the players had convinced the village elder of their trust and helped out with a payment they were taken into the villages confidence. The players managed to track a creature into the woods and had a short but sharp encounter with a humanoid creature with three horns, VERY sharp claws and the ability to speak Westron. Now they have to solve the problem before everyone in the village becomes a victim of the night caller.

I wanted the figure to have more presence than normal so added the tree trunk as the plan was always to have an encounter in the woods and as such I went for a base that was more undergrowth and mulch like. I used teabag leaves (a mix of used and fresh) to layer over the grass and ground and the tufts were the more lifeless types, no bright greens here.

The figure will only be used in this one scenario so once this is over I will have no future use for it so I am offering it to the players to have. If none wanted it then I would sell it on E-bay and use the money to buy future figures but as it stands at least one of the players wants it which is fine by me.

To give an idea of the size the cowboy is a Wargames Foundry 28mm though the difference in base size gives an advantage to the monster. Next session is fairly soon so it's possible it will have a new home soon, on the other hand we could be rolling up new characters.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Taming The Mountain - February

As we all know, February is just four weeks long, add to it the various distractions and my time in front of the painting table was more limited than I would like. The first show of the year for me also was on Feb so the mountain was in danger of a growth spurt.

6mm Received a chunk of figures through the door. I bought sixteen battalions worth but having painted fifteen in January and a further four last month I am still down three overall.
The cavalry I continued to buy gaining five regiments but also painted five remaining on Plus 12 overall, really need to get working on these.
I have painted up the six elephants and the original Stone Throwers but received the four small ones from Baccus so remain Plus 4 on Guns.
Buildings have gone through the roof by adding 22 so are now Plus 29. The rest remain unchanged.

15mm Continues to be the best reduction with 52 more infantry painted in Feb, that's 154 over two months with no additions so a big lump carved out.
Cavalry have also seen progress with sixteen figures painted but I have bought the same number 
to help finish off the Roman army, March will see a chunk more 15mm Cavalry painted up.

20mm Has not been touched, maybe this month? 

28mm Thanks to Gary and receiving a payment for commission work 28mm Infantry has taken as bit of a bashing as I added eighty figures to the pile whilst only painting nineteen. Expect that bulge to remain for a few months being slowly chipped away as I don't see that much time given over to it.
No other changes to 28mm or 32mm.

So with big gains in infantry in 28mm and buildings in 6mm the mountain has grown not shrunk. The saving grace is that all these figures and buildings did not cost me any money so I can at least take comfort from that.

Really pleased with the progress of my Roman project as that should be finished no later than end of April and possibly before. Most of my time will be spent painting up 6mm this month, both Steve's and my son's British Naps and Lee's ECW Parliament army. However I will throw in a few bits of my own to keep the interest a little keener. 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Civil War:The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660 Book Review


As The title suggests this is not just a book covering the English Civil War but also the Bishops War and the following wars up to the restoration of the monarchy with Charles II. In fact it goes further with a short section running up to 1690 and the fall of Charles II

The book has just over 800 pages of written word with the rest of the 888 pages dedicated to index and bibliography. Indeed the list of books used is very expansive and probably less than the whole truth. Today's insistence on listed as many books as humanly possible is really off putting to me, especially as the list does not seem to match up to the references. 

Royle's style is relatively easy to follow and whilst this book does not roar along (over 800 pages of close printed text is never going to be a quick read) however it's engaging and for the most part an interesting read. It may be a bit much for anyone who does not have an active interest in the period but for those who do it is likely to have some details you may not already know and possibly a few you might question his view.

Given the page count you can expect most subjects to get good coverage, this is true for most events but others get quite little attention and some times I was left wanting him to go deeper into the subject. What you don't get is a great deal of social history or any real feel for what it was like for the common troops etc. This for me was not an issue as so many books these days are written with this as the main focus and I am more interested in the larger picture when it's the whole war theme. 

What I was a little disappointed in given the size of the book was the restricted detail of the battles. Given the thickness of the book I would have expected more detail. I know there are books catering for single battles but it left me thinking Royale may not have a good understanding of such subjects, a worrying weakness in his work if so. However he makes up for it in other parts of the book where he is more detailed and clear in his writing. Political and Religious subjects get full measure and how each group effected the others was well written. Also the sections covering Ireland was far more in depth than the typical book. 

I suspect the author is both Scottish and slanted towards Parliament from his interpretation of the events and his portrayal of some of the leading personalities within the book. From his feeling that Charles I was so divorced from reality to his indulgence of Cromwell when Cromwell deserved a greater censure.  Though this is nothing new as so many histories are towards one side or the other.

The only real issue I had with the book was the almost slavish reliance in Lucy Huthingson's published account of her husbands involvement in the Civil War and later events. He seems to take what she has written as gospel even though it was clearly written to place him in a good light (difficult as he was a Regicide and died whilst imprisoned) and drips venom on anyone she felt did not see events in the way she did or had any part against her husband. Hutchinson is quoted far more times than any other source, something that should not be considered anything but a worrying sign of over reliance on a dodgy source.

Apart from that rather glaring concern I think the book is well worth getting if you want a book that covers the whole period and helps you understand the wider picture without being too partisan to one cause or the other. Unfortunately it's not on Kindle as that would be the best method of reading as it's quite a heavy book.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Walkers of Rohan

At The World Wargames Show at Castle Donnington last year I picked up a couple of GW plastic Middle Earth figures as I thought they would make good NPC guard types, not realising that they had horse images on the shields.

They cost me just 25p each so would owe me nothing if I did not get round to painting them or if they were never used. They had sat ever after but with so many challenge posts having some form of Middle Earth posting I had the incentive to paint them up. I even have a scenario in mind that they can get used so 50p well spent.

So these will make an appearance at some point in a future roleplaying session before possibly descending to the NPC graveyard. For colours I just followed a few images on line and worked in a bit of my own but overall it's almost a total lift from what I have seen on line. The detail as many of the GW old plastic tend to be, great in parts but soft in others. The scale armour on the left being in the better category and gloves and hair in the not so great. So quite a pleasant diversion from the usual fair for me.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Oh Shiny, oh Shit!

Not only did I get home to be greeted by three packages but I got to open them early having been shall we say let go. So on the bright side I now have a bit extra time to paint some figures, maybe even catch Dave up? OK pure fantasy that last part so lets move along.

First up keeping with the alphabetical theme of yesterday.....

Four packs of Essex Miniatures for the Roman Army, these have arrived to possibly included in the batch I am prepping at the moment.

Anyone recognise this building? hint, it's far Project Waterloo and will be released by Leven Miniatures at a future date. I have two to paint up so will get this cleaned up at the same time I do all the others ones I picked up at York.

Tajima 1 Miniatures also arrived (always a fast service from these guys). these are the smallest tuft size they do. Until recently the only colour available was a dark green. The ones on the left are called moss and will fit best with the basing I do. The light green may be a little too light but will still see some action.

So not a bad day at all hobby wise, now I need to make use of the extra time before I hopefully get back into work.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Postman Blues



I have numerous orders in the pipe line at the moment with a few landing tomorrow I guess. So what, who and when?

Baccus for a few bits such as my son's British Skirmishers, some Brit Nap flags and a few bits for me to make up the order  ;-)
I was speaking to Peter at the show and he was telling me the new flashy website is really attracting a lot of hits, not just the buying pages but all the other cool information, forum etc. If you have not been over for a look then check it out, shopping Baccus has never been so easy and er tempting.

Essex emailed me Monday saying my Roman cavalry have been dispatched, this will allow me to finish off my army possibly before the challenge finishes. If not I will still have a good number of cavalry finished before the challenge finishes in three weeks.

Mike at Leven was pulling my leg that building of the week has been er, absent of late. Given the tonnage of resin I have I have no right to be sitting back and to get my juices running he is sending me his La Belle Alliance. That should have arrived today so will land tomorrow.

Tajima tufts, I am getting two boxes of the small clumps, should be here by Wednesday. I am really looking forward to these as they are not the standard green which is looking too dark on my Ancient bases.

Lastly Warbases, I need a base for my Roman camp and some movement trays for my 20mm Gaul's that are still waiting on their sprees.

So looking forward to tomorrow as something has to land, I hope.