Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Baccus French 1812-15 Foot Artillery

Another new release from Baccus is the various foot artillery codes for the 1812-15 period. I actually bought just one of the three available foot types as it's just the guns that are different but I have mixed in the howitzers from the horse artillery with the 8lb foot to give me a mix.

At the moment I have just the guns for the horse artillery painted as I painted up all four guns but will get the crews painted whilst painting up the next lot of infantry so probably at the end of the month as I now have the four cavalry regiments on the table.

These guns actually give me enough for the Waterloo game so the four horse artillery will be extra which is a nice feeling. My only quibble about these figures is one of the four gunners seems to have only the one hand and a shortened arm but that could be just me not being able to pick it out. Simply not painting the hand has worked and I doubt you would notice. Again it could be me or a miscast but I could not find that arm!!!

So other than the building of the week I will be taking a short break on posting about all the 6mm goodness and will be dealing with a little fantasy and a lot more Viking all in 28mm. 

French Line Infantry in Greatcoat More New Baccus Napoleonics

Released at the same time as the 1812-15 Baccus Infantry I painted these up in tandem to the figures in yesterdays post. Again these are quick to paint and whilst I have painted up just three Battalions to show the finished look I will not only paint up the nine I have left but will buy more ready for the battles to come in foreign parts. These are NFR25 Line Infantry and NFR27 Voltigeurs (NFR26 Elite Line are also available). 

Here we have the three battalions, with just the one in line the other two in the more recognised French column. The other nine battalions will have to wait till after I have completed the Waterloo figures, only then will I get the rest up the queue.

I painted all three battalions with a mix of coats for a campaign feeling, possibly overdoing it rather. Next time I think I will limit to the odd figure in a different coloured greatcoat. Again as yesterday these were clean castings requiring little cleaning or prep.

So another new release that gets the thumbs up. Baccus have not finished yet, along with the new 1812-15 foot and horse artillery already released will be added new limbers and caissons, Guard Infantry, cavalry and guns. I think we have a few more cavalry types to join the already expanded range and of course the big man himself will follow as the last piece of the redesigned French. All should be available before the end of the year so even more excuses to buy yet more of these French boys.

I am now fixing the French in my sites and will drive these over the finish line before turning back to the Prussians for their final units turn. Tomorrow will see the new French foot artillery before moving up a scale or two. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

French Line Infantry 1812-15 New From Baccus

Baccus have released the latest Napoleonic French just in time for The Joy of Six. The very useful Infantry in Greatcoat, Elite Infantry and skirmishers in greatcoat. the !812-15 Artillery is represented with two codes of each foot and horse sets (not the limbers yet though) all of which I will post about over the coming week but lets move onto NFR22 French Line Infantry 1812-15 and NFR24 Voltigeurs 1812-15 now available on the Baccus website

I don't know if I was 'in the zone' or these are even better sculps to work with as these painted up really quickly and I felt the results were crisper than usual. 

These are from the 12 battalion pack rather than the 4 battalion pack listed above which in my mind is the best way to buy the infantry unless your starting off, in which case it's the army packs. I painted up just the one battalion in column in this bunch but the next lot will be Legere so again the line formation will be heavily used.

Basing in line shows these fellows off the best though. It was not until I had finished them that I realised I had not done any mounted command for them. Looking through my box it seems I don't have any at the moment so I will be dashing off plenty without command for awhile.

Here they are in a close up shot, obviously the quality breaks down under such close scruteny but it also shows some of the great detail you get in the castings. 

The tail on the jacket is the main difference to the pre 1812-15 uniform though other differences such as a lack of shako cords are also evident. But in fairness at 6mm you can really get away with using other period figures though the flag really is the main giveaway really. This is a good job as painting up about 80 battalions over about 10 months would have been a bit of an ask!

So these new sculps get a big thumbs up. I think they are actually better than the previous new infantry releases and are even more crisp and needed almost no prep work which is a big bonus. The Voltigeurs are just as sharp and as you would expect are a perfect fit to the main pack. 

I now have enough French infantry castings to finish off the project and more besides but will be buying packs of all the upcoming French releases and obviously when we get round to doing other larger battles will be calling on Baccus for more French reinforcements.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Building of the Week - Stone Granary

Building of he week will really come in two parts this week I show you FAR16 Stone Granary House from the Farming section at Leven Miniatures coming in at just £3.00. I decided I wanted this one to possibly be German so went for a limestone finish. Part two next week will show the farmhouse that goes with it and hopefully both based if I can find the time as I have the week off and will be doing lots in the day time so evenings may be just doss in front of the TV time.

I am a real fan of the various farm out buildings that Leven do as they can really add character to a terrain tile with the various set ups you can do. I plan to use a bunch of them in another European farm complex that could be the scene of the same desperate defence as Hougoumont in future battles.

FAR16 though is a modest building somewhat larger than the standard FAR01 farmhouse though it's not as tall allowing FAR01 to sit well with it. I went with a similar coloured roof to the walls based on a few German buildings I ran down through google.

Mike has done a number of new buildings with turrets recently and he seems to have it all sorted from the turret itself. This building would benefit from the painter using a little filler but in this case I was just too impatient for that! Also from a reasonable distance they fade way back so it's not really needed, unless of course you decide put images at least twice the size of the building on your blog.

View from above showing the tiling effect. I really like the finish ad looks even better from just a little distance away. Once I have this and the farmhouse based it will be a real keeper.

Scale shot, though the guns are on a base so makes the building look a little smaller than it it. Also this is a sneak peak at the new 1812-15 foot artillery, though I have subbed a howitzer onto this base.

Most of next week will be dedicated to 6mm as I have finished the 1812-15 Infantry, the French in Greatcoats and the other three 1812-15 guns and will be showing these off as well as the completed farm tile. It's a bit ironic then that I am working on the first two points of my SAGA Vikings which should be finished off this week if all goes to plan.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Project Waterloo The French are Coming (along)

Project Quatre Bras (image curtsey and copyright Leven Miniatures)
Project Waterloo will be four times larger
I knew I was doing OK with the French, but was not really paying that much attention to them so when I loaded up the spreadsheet to update with the progress I was mighty happy to see exactly where I stood. So much so that after adding the almost finished to the list I just wanted to share.

Huss 1 0
Chassers 3 0
Lancers 4 2 On The Table
Dragoons 0 0
Curris 6 1 two on the table
Guns 28 4
Limbers 8 0
Line 52 4
Light 20 7

So as you can see they are close to being finished. I have cleaned up and primed the last of the French Cavalry and will get them painted up once I have finished the basing of the six battalions of French infantry. This will complete all the cavalry I need for Waterloo, though I still have plenty of cavalry figures in stock and will continue in the future.

The guns will also be finished at the same time as the infantry so that needs updating further. As for the infantry I will do these to follow the cavalry. I still have nine battalions of the new 1812-15 French so will paint these up after the cavalry. This will mean I will literally have just two battalions of line to do and since I have around 12 more Baccus pre 1812 battalions I can get these finished without buying any more for the time being. In fact I have about 40 battalions of French infantry that will now go onto the back burner until I have the Prussians finished. Also about 20 regiments of cavalry and a few more guns so expect the odd one done every now and then. Especially when I get the urge to do more Peninsular French and allies.

The Prussians though have rather more cavalry and guns to paint up but seven cavalry regiments, eighteen infantry battalions and ten guns and a few limbers to do. If I can get the French done quickly and I think I can then I should have the two orbats for my commitment to the project all wrapped up for Christmas which would be great. That may still leave me a few command bases yet to do but if so I am not worried as these will be quick enough and a fun diversion.

I will still have a lot of buildings to paint up but given the new batch I have received I should be also looking at the end of the year as a reasonable target. The boards are being worked on by Lea though not at the moment as he is away with work most of the time but he will get back to them once back on normal footing.

I have to say I am really happy where we are at. Lee has his half of the figures well in hand and I know he is just filling in the gaps in his orbat.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Winter War Kickstarter Wave 2 News and Arena Rex

I have had two lots of Kickstarter news this week but lets start with Winter War from Baker Company here is the bones of the email.

Hi everyone,
Just a quick note to say I have just packed up the last of the second wave parcels to be posted and couriered on Monday :)
So you should all have received them by the end of the week (or beginning of the following week for those further afield).
Please note, if you received a second wave early on with fewer items than recently advertised, don't worry, you will be first on the list to get the third wave where these will be included.

Third Wave and Bulk delivery

As mentioned in the comments a few days ago, the third wave and Bulk deliveries will be starting to go out in a weeks time once I have made a few more moulds and caught up a bit with casting. This will take a month or so at least to complete, but I will keep you all informed of the progress. Photos soon once I have recovered from completing the 2nd wave...
Lee received his last Friday so again has had his before me even though he ordered his a month after me. This does bother me a little, the sense of fairness seems to be the main reason. When it was the first lot and Lee had had his well over a month and I was still waiting I had notified Gavin. Actually I notified Gavin two or three times but to no avail, seems me agreeing to have mine taken to a show to save him postage was a big mistake, not least because most of us failed to get them due to a hitch at Baker Company. So yes I am disappointed that I again have been left to the last batch when I was further up the chain but it's really irrational as I have not touched wave one yet! 

I also know that other than a look at them and a quick post these will also be assigned to the wait for another day pile. Indeed they will only heap shame on my mountain in a section I have little expectation to get down the huge pile in the near future. Maybe keeping track is a bad idea LOL.

The other kickstarter is my Arena Rex from Red Republic Games. Famously late and until recently without a shipping date. Well the date is yet to be cast in stone but they are looking at September to October for the majority of the figures along with rules, tokens and dice. Just a couple of the more difficult and larger figures will be sent on at a later date. Looks like the whole of my set will be sent together and so I am expecting these in the October to November period and wincing at the customs hit I may take.

So two kickstarters both late but both looking to deliver, how have my views changed since first looking at kickstarter in general and these in particular? 

Arena Rex was the first I backed and I backed it as I went back to work when really I should not have as funds were still stretched. I admit that this did put the whole project under strain for me but I really liked the figures and wanted in. Unlike many kickstarters the stretch goals were not actually that good in comparison to others, indeed rather tight but that did not stop it achieving it's goal and beyond. It was disappointing that delays have made it now more than a year late and the updates stopped almost altogether at one point and I was ready to write it off as a bad experience. However whilst late it looks great, will the rules work well, I am not sure but if they don't work fully or suffer unbalanced gladiators then tweaking may sort this. I have high hopes on this and the figures look fantastic so if only for the joy of painting it will still be great. 

Winter War, Gavin has had far better coms and better reasons for his delay. Also the task was far greater than that or Red Republic's who gave reasons of moving house, new job and baby for the three guys making delays whilst Gavin had a long running problem with his casting machine.
Other than having delays the two could not be more different, Baker Company gave huge additions as stretch goals and I think he just got carried away with the giving. It was hugely successful raising many times more than the original goal and became a victim of it's own success. The time frame became impossible simply down to the amount of figures that needed sculpting due to the additional figures added to the pledges. Unfortunately sculpting was rushed and standards slipped so far below what is acceptable. Whilst Gavin has many supporters who will be positive about the project the truth is that too many of the figures are so badly sculptured as to be a real negative to the project. The vehicles are fantastic and some of the figures of wave two are much better but plenty are not. The net result will be that I will paint up some of these and offload all of them possibly keeping some of the vehicles. I plan to make back my money and walk away meaning we will not be wargaming the Winter War. Instead we will probably go with WWII in 28mm as the Winter War project has at least caught our attention.

So where am I with Kickstarters now? Actually this could be seen as a good record, backed two and receiving two. Both late as is very often the case, one will deliver what it promised the other less than was expected but still massive in quantity. 

Timing though is the key, if you want to see results soon it's going to disappoint. Mantic have a Dungeon Crawl up at the moment which I was tempted to back but have decided to walk away from. That would have a good chance to arrive when expected but I don't see that as a true kickstarter as most of the work is done. It's a glorified pre-order system and as such works very well.

Lack of immediacy kills that excitement from the projects first showing and whilst I look forward to the Gladiators I know it's now a back burner project. Since committing to buy these I have since started six new periods or scales some of which are small such as WWI Planes. Others are much larger such as the Saga and Cowboys as these will take a life of their own. Delivery will tell if this will jump back up the painting queue or be like the Winter War and still be in it's box months after delivery.

The more the items are conceptual the more likely you won't get what you expect. Gavin did show us some of the finished figures both painted and as castings, these were not great and I amongst others chose not to see them for what they were. I was blinded by what I wanted to see and many a kickstarter backer falls into that home made trap.

Yes I may well back other kickstarters but not now and not soon. I need to get done some of what I already have in the wings done first and really I don't need to look further ahead than where I am right now. I will be a little wiser in future (I hope) but don't feel I have had a bad experience from either project but would now be happy to have not backed either and actually if offered my money back on both would do so without a backward glance. That's not meaning they were bad choices but I could have made better ones.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Blasts From The Past Part Three

Books are not the only source of inspiration, the most obvious other diversion made of paper has to be the wargames magazine. My first experience of this was whilst in sixth form bought from the newsagents in the local town and being.....

Yes issue ten, and whilst I still have this issue it's not in the best of shape with the cover being detached and dog eared. Looking at it these days and you have to think it's not that polished but back in the day it was EXACTLY what a new gamer needed. I do wonder if the modern editors could do well to revisit such early publications and try to emulate some of the feel that these old mags produced at the time. I subbed to this magazine well into the 100+ though by this time I was also getting Illustrated Wargames. Anyone remember the days of MW for the articles and WI for the eye candy?

Eventually I found that I was reading less and less till I was often doing little more than flick through them. Finally I cancelled both and have never had a full time professional mag since, unless you count Arquebus or English Civil War Notes and Queries in the same category as wargame mags. Still these magazines introduced me to many more periods scales and ideas. I was like a sponge in those early years and I think a lot of my preferences remain fixed due to those mags and it seemed that anything was possible though I think all the images of those beautiful 28mm Napoleonic's actually put me off trying Napoleonic's in that scale. Indeed it was quite a while before I actually tried Napoleonic's at all.

Of course the other big influence has to be ones mates. Andy who was my first wargame opponent and the one to get me into the hobby in the first place also had the Avalon Hill WWI boardgame The Guns of August and the idea that this type of game actually existed was a revelation to me and we played it a few times and whilst it's not the best game in the world (yes it replicated WWI fairly well) it was the game that got me into war boardgames and for a time I had quite a collection though one game was to take the centre stage and it's grown up brother is still with me to this day.

Squad Leader and Advanced Squad Leader deserve a post all to themselves which will be the following Blast but it's a fitting place to end tonight's post. If on discovering this game I had found an opponent who was as into it as I was I am fairly sure I would have dropped out of figure gaming many years before I did. I sure am glad this did not happen as I would not have developed my painting to a point I would have come back to the hobby and when all is said and done ASL is one hell of a jealous girl when it comes to sharing you with the rest of the hobby.