Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Sacrifice WARNING Naked Female On Show

Two for one post, new figures painted up and the next instalment in my roleplaying campaign. Let's start with the game for a change.

The brother of Nancy the Barmaid visited the party at the Inn they were staying in to see if they had learnt anything about his sisters disappearance. This seemed to be due to his worry about his sister, it was evident that he was not sleeping well but early on two of the players noticed he had black ink on his hands. He explained it away as due to writing up one of his bread recipes which was half excepted (the dead kidnapper also had ink on his hands). Further questioning the players found out that his sister lived with her mother, the father dying some years ago. He was close to his sister and she often stayed at his house. They also questioned where he was when his sister went missing and the fact he was at a bakery showing a new design to the bakers was then checked out. 

Sure enough he was at that bakery, and indeed has been back several times since and had each time mentioned his sister had gone missing on the day he was there and the times did match but the players were a little suspicious that he had visited several times and was reminding the workers of the fact. This lead to asking about his recipes and writing them up. It came out that he could not write and a clerk always had to write them for him.

They found his mothers address and visited. Turned out that he and his sister never saw each other any more since an argument over a year before. Further digging lead them to find out that his two best friends had gone on to do well for themselves, one in the Soap Guild (old guild house was now unused but happened to be where the drover had entered recently) another had been a herbalist but had died a couple of years ago.

The players decided to force entry into the old guild house and searched the property after killing the guard. Finally they worked down into the cellar and came across a dark sacrifice with poor Nancy naked on the alter and her brother poised to stab her with a bronze dagger.

One arrow was all it took to drop her brother and a crossbow bolt smashed into the priest mumbling incantations killing him instantly. This being a level 20 Necromancer (the supposed dead herbalist) had Lee grinning and me wondering how to fill THAT gap in my story LOL. The four watching the sacrifice started to flee in panic but another two shots and a few hacks and all were down on the floor. Such was the rolls that none of them survived, never have I seen such total destruction!!

Nancy climbed off the alter knelt by her dying brother taking the dagger from his spasming  hand and plunged it into her heart falling dead at the players feet. 

On searching the house they did find 12 sets of city guard uniforms and weapons, the uniforms showing where they were repaired. Now they have to decide what they are to do especially as the drover was not at the meeting.

I wanted this guy to stand out, mostly for crimes against fashion and colour co-ordination. This was actually brought on by the really poor casting of the figure. It's a Black Tree Fantasy figure from I think the Harlequin Dungeon Accessory section and comes with the naked female and alter.

Not only was the figure lacking in good detail (just the opposite of their WWII range) but it looks to have had a lot of lead seep out of the mould forming the bubbles I have painted as grey to represent smoke with the idea of passing off the poor quality as a spell effect!!! I have seen the image on the site and this effect is not shown on the image so I am quite sure it's down to poor casting or worn mould. Anyway I did not plan to use it more than once and was so naffed off I gave it little time on the desk as you can see.

On the other hand I did put more effort into the rest of the pack for some reason. The alter is a one piece casting and though it has one difficult mould line it can be lived with OK. The naked women on the other hand is really well cast and the chains between her ankles is a great bit of work.

Her face does make her look a bit like a rubber doll and the red hair was a real challenge as I wanted it to look fiery. 

I really liked how the breasts were sculpted as they were far more realistic than many a fantasy figure normally provides with gravity defying uplift. In this case they were flattened with gravity taking full control , not sure I could have got away with THAT sentence anywhere else  :-)

How about a B&W shot, that should allow me to apply for some kind of grant based on artistic merit. No? oh well, I'm not deleting it now!!!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Building of Last Week - Boutemont Chateau Gatehouse

Regulars will have noticed the drop of fin posts, this has been down to being away for the Bank Holiday, change of jobs and now the failure of my daylight lamp.

The break was great as I got to spend three days with a very good wargames pal and even got to play a game of ASL. The job change, well it's been in process for a few months but it's now full time change and needs to take up extra time as I build up the customers, such is the life of a humble salesman.

The light though is a real pain, serves me right as I should have got a few spare tubes months ago but as soon as it became unusable I ordered replacements and they should be here mid to late week. Here is hoping.

OK so onto the main feature, the building that was almost finished yesterday is yet another soon to be released Leven Miniatures building, this time NAP07 Boutemont Chateau Gatehouse. I did search the Net for other images to go along with the one I received for the model but nothing was better than the sent image. I have to admit that I could not manage to reproduce the intricate patterns on the roof and upper level walls.

It's another great looking building from Leven and again it's challenged my painting skill and style as it's somewhat different to the usual buildings I paint. I liked the mix of plastered walls and exposed brick and as usual with Leven it painted up reasonably fast with the mix of ink and drybrush as the surface dictated. 

The rear facing is almost the same as the front but the windows do not have the frames marked in the model so I took the opportunity to leave them as larger windows. The building has no visible doors, I assume these are in the passage that is simply blacked out on the model.

One great detail that had me a little frazzled before painting was the way the chimney runs up the side of the roof. It has the tiniest gap towards the top and so the tiles and the slates need painting in that gap. It all ended well with no need to go back and tidy up. It really adds an extra touch that could have been ignored if Mike wanted but he seems to push such modelling features in so many new buildings which is great.

The building is part of the growing Napoleonic collection but indeed could be used right up to the present day and I expect to see it on many a WWII table post D-Day.

As you can see it stands up well against the new Baccus Grenadier figures in their bearskins. Unfortunately this building is not destined to see much more of my figures as it's one of the ones I need to send on to Mike for his display stand.

Of course I will be ordering one of these for myself as well so it's not all bad. It will have to wait though as I have two rather pressing building projects. One is the buildings for Quatre Bras and on from there for the Waterloo game but also a 6mm track layout I have been about to get into in earnest for the last couple of months. With only one more building to finish for Mike I can throw myself into doing this. To say Mike has been patient is a massive understatement.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Roleplaying - The Story So Far

Children of the Light
A few months ago I promised to write up a bit of a history of the roleplaying campaign I am running but never quite got round to doing so. Below is a bullet point catch up I did for the players after a month or so's break. It should give you an idea of what happened and I hope to keep events logged here from time to time. The world is a mix of Middle Earth and Wheel of Time and set deep in the fourth age and starts late summer in the north above the Trollshores.

The merchants convoy you were guarding was attacked.
1. You was not aware of the cargo of the ten wagons as all closed up and you was discouraged from getting too close.
2. You felt yourselves separate from the other guards and drovers 
3. When attacked the drovers fought just like the guards and fought well not surrendering and seemed to be all killed (it was dark so you can not be sure)
4. The bandits also fought very well, to the point of being well trained and well disciplined, odd for bandits.

Village of Ragnar and the Cave of Selija.
1. You agree to look for a fugitive of justice who you track down at the cave of Selija. 
2. Orc's (known from fairy tales) inhabit the cave, you fight and kill them freeing the fugitive who goes back to the village with you.
3. Whitecloacks (Children of the Light) enter the village read a proclamation that requires all demi-humans to register at each village or town they pass through or be named Darkfriends.
4. The village elder hides you and you escape north.

Salt Pits.
You stumble across Paco and his family who you help evict Troglodytes from the salt pits.
Paco offers you salt in way of reward, he needs to mine it so come back in a few days

Lords Manor.
1. You come across the local Lords Manor but find the people either doing minor duties as if asleep or lying dead on the floor where they have slumped overcome by hunger or injury.
2. All living are malnourished and close to death. Any attempt to revive them ended with death. One had scrubbed the bristles off her brush and then skin off her fingers cleaning the one spot.
3. You learnt that they were under the spell of Compulsion, an evil spell not used since the Forsaken were defeated and sent to their unearthly prison.
4. Lord of the Manor found dead, scrawled on paper were the words "The Forsaken are coming" over and over
5. A cellar was found and investigated. To one side of this wine cellar a tunnel had been dug to what was a way gate. 
6. Through the way gate it was discovered that Trolorc's (things of nightmares) were travelling and a fight you were lucky to survive broke out.
7. Isabella Sadi used high magic to help save you and fought a Fade that you could not defeat. She told you to make your way south to the town of Mar-Goraff where she would try and make contact with you. Told you to go to the inn called the Three Sails and let the Bar Mistress know you were sent by Istread DaValour.

Return to the Salt Pit.
1. Your trip back south took you through the woods and back to the Salt Pit. Paco took you in for the night, it had started to snow.
2. The snow is coming from the south. Snow normally comes from the North from the frozen sea's but not for two to three months. It never comes from the south at any time.
3. Goblins (more folk from the fables) attack in the night. So many that you were being over run
4. Paco's wife Gwen turns a few heads as the clumsy farmers wife type kills a number of Goblins with throwing knives with blades shaped like leafs. The blades are coated in a nerve poison that kills on drawing blood.
5. She gives herbs to all healing everyone's wounds.
6. She goes into the night only returning in the morning with a couple of minor cuts though you had heard lots of crys (pain, fear and anger) from all quarters at different points. Obviously tired she still seems ready to continue the fight
7. Whilst she is gone Paco struggles with the idea his wife is not quite what he thought. Turns out that she tuned up about five years ago and became Paco's wife after a short courtship. Saiben is Paco's son from his first marriage his wife dying nearly seven years ago after falling ill when a disease had spread through the area. Saiben became ill but got better whilst Paco was fine never getting sick.

1. Met by mounted City guards and escorted to safety.
2. Once in the City lose site of Paco and family
3. Go to the Tavern as instructed.
4. Guards are being killed and their uniforms and weapons taken.
5. Red Haired women are being abducted around the city, the red head barmaid disappears when out collecting vegetables from the market.
6. Another is wrapped in a carpet and being taken to a wagon when two of the party come across them, a fight breaks out but two escape with the girl whilst one of the party is saved from death my Isabella Sedi.
7. One of the drovers from the convoy thought to be dead, is seen in fine clothes and takes a great interest in the south gate. Meets another at a tavern, money passes hands and they part. Drover goes to a guarded Guild House.
8. See Paco's son on way to slave market and buy him taking him back to the Tavern. Found dead hours later, killed by a nerve poison.
9. Snow becomes blizzard like and the city is surrounded by Orc's and other dark creatures.

That's where the players will pick up the game, they have several hooks to follow, all fleshed out and ready to roll so it's really down to them.

A quick note, the Cave of Selija and Salt Pit are both bolt on mini adventures from Tim at Gothridge Manor the first as a free download and the other from his excellent zine The Manor which is well worth getting. Each issue has something you can use is many a roleplaying setting.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Present for a Mate Finally Finished

All the figures were actually painted during the Painting Challenge and even based, just the German base needed finishing as I did not have the stones to do it. It became THAT PROJECT, you know the one that sit's just off the desk out of site for months unloved , untouched and almost forgotten. Well I sent the kids on a mission and they did me proud.

These are 28mm Africa Korps by Black Tree Miniatures and my friend is a big fan of ASL played in the desert. I wanted to add something that was very much in keeping with ASL. He has quite a collection of my Sniper Reminders so I thought I would go deluxe (bigger base). The difficulty in digging foxholes had to be solved by building walls out of piles of stones or Sangar as they were called. In reality these are rather large to be correct but I do like the look of them.

These were also more often than not built to cover all directions but obviously not always. The stones start life grey in colour and I have just drybrushed them in the two yellows that I add to the brown of the base. I reason that the stones would not be the same colour as the ground but would have a fine coating of sand given the way the stuff got everywhere.

Good old PVA holds the whole lot together and as I drybrushed after the sticking no tell tail signs are left. You have to love PVA, far to good to give to the kids.

I still think the standing guy is too wooden, also if he fires that rifle from that stance I am thinking he will be lucky not to end up on his back. I think he is probably new to all this war thing as his stance is poor, his rifle is not tucked into the shoulder and worst of all is stupid enough to stand up making more of a target of himself.

All in all I am happy with it, hope he likes the finished article.

This one I am more pleased about and it's the look I had in mind from the start. The idea was infantry charging through a mixed defence of wire and mines and I bought the wire about two years ago but never got round to buying the figures until about nine months ago.

To get the correct effect I had to attack one of my mine counters from ASL and make a sign, this is perfect as it says Mine in German. Given that I have two sets of basic counters for ASL I think I could spare a counter for the cause. 

I really like the way I finally did the wire with the breaks for the troops to rush through, it's one of those were everything you thought of comes together perfectly.

I was at the local library when I saw pictures in a book of wire strung on poles, not curled but criss-crossed. This was a strange idea for me as I assumed all wire was curled. As the book was just images of the Desert War I could not resist using it.

So I will be giving my mate these later today when I see him. I should get a game in as well so hopefully he will be distracted enough for me to take the win.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Building of the Week- Two Normandy Buildings

Another two soon to be released buildings from Leven Miniatures as Mike expands the Northern France - Normandy range of buildings. No other wargames building supplier has such a release rate as Leven and I think they just might have the largest range available in 6mm

NOR12 is a rather large twin housing block and is quite a diversion from my usual style of painting as it's mostly pastel pink and has none of the usual grubbiness about it. That was quite a challenge I can tell you.

The Bank Holiday sun is bleaching the walls a little on the side but you get the idea. I am starting to think maybe I should have painted the wood work on one half the building different to the other to show it as two dwellings in one but despite that I am overall pleased.

Gamers eye view and it looks nice and solid. It took longer than I expected, mostly down to the window frames and my painting in the inner frames.

NOR11 is a detached Normandy house and is rather blocky but with the shutters and the rather interesting roof it's a nice model to add to the table. Indeed with the Normandy range now standing at 12 buildings with plenty of others that fit the area the WWII 6mm wargamer has lots of choice and these buildings again can be used for earlier periods and can be used for pre trench war in WWI a period Baccus have recently moved into.

The house is not quite as loud as it looks on the images, though it is rather blue. Hope Mike likes it or I van see a repaint coming my way. Have I mentioned the roof? I really like that.

The two buildings side by side to give you an idea of scale. I am hoping Mike will make a few more buildings in this range as I think they will benefit from a couple of variations so as to make building small towns that bit more varied but keeping similar traits between them.

Both roofs are not just typical slate or tile roofs but look to be leaded. I choose to do them in a fairly new or recently renovated finish. I wonder what they will look like after the Allied Arty has softened them up?

Almost street level shot, here I have some of the new Baccus cavalry moving into the street looking for digs for the night.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

6mm Adler Basing Session and more New Baccus French Infantry Done

No not new new Baccus French Infantry, rather the NFR2 and NFR3 that was released last year (I really did not think it was THAT long ago!!!)

These are another five Battalions that finishes off one of the Infantry booster boxes I had left over. I still have one twelve Battalion box that will be started in May if the wind is in the right direction. I have to say these for some reason was a lot of fun to paint up. I did expect to feel a little burnt out given the recent 13 Battalion charge I did during the painting challenge but no it was good to get on to these. I just have ten more each of Ligne and Leger  to do to have enough for Waterloo but of course that will not stop me adding to that number as I paint up others.

Up to now all my Battalions have had the Losange Tricolour not realising I needed to do Fanions IF I wanted to do it right. The chances are that you have seen the last French Tricolour from me for quite a while whilst I try and catch up ;-) I have added two 2nd Battalion Fanions to these newly painted French.

Here we have the 3rd Battalion, all but one of the Battalions are  in column this time but it's quite possible I will base most of the next lot in line, lets see how the mood takes me.

Having yet to put them on the table I have yet to decide I like the whole correct flags thing. It's still possible they will be torn off and replaced by a more recognised sea of flags. Here is the 4th Battalion showing it's colours.

With the Joy of Six only a few months away you can be sure that I will not get enough 2-6th Battalion flags done to make up the correct mix so I guess I will spend parts of the day admitting my lack of knowledge but that's the price of not digging the detail out. Lee you see is yet to START flagging his, so come Waterloo his will ether be correct OR not yet flagged, now that would be funny. This is the 5th Battalion, the 6th had a Yellow Fanion but not that many regiments actually had six Battalions never mind fielded it in a battle I am likely to play out.

Yes the packs also have the white straps on the back, glutton for punishment as I am. Two of them also have Adler Mounted Infantry Officers to lead them to glory, or not.

I also took the opportunity to base up the three French Adler guns and crews I had got amongst all the Prussian and other painted figures at Blog-Con. I have quite a few French guns already but these will still come in handy as well as the unpainted ones in with the Adler French Division pack not to mention the new Baccus I also bought recently. I bet I still need more before I am finished too.

Not that I stopped there as I still had a bunch of Prussian cavalry to base up including four bases of Hussars. Unfortunately only one of the four can be used for Waterloo, meaning three will be used for other battles and I still have plenty more to paint for the big game.

I am not really concerned as they will come in at some point and I have the unpainted figures in hand for the ones I do need to paint up so all is good as I still have plenty of time to get them done. 

I also have six bases of Prussian Dragoons and again can only make use of one of these. That's a bit more of a pain as six is a lot to not get much use from but again I will get use out of them for other battles.

So all told a fairly productive basing session, one I expected to drag on as it's not painting but they were done fairly quickly and are now all stored away awaiting the call. I suspect knowing that they will get used reasonably soon was enough to get me to push on with the basing.

I still have some Prussian command to base as well as a fair few Prussian guns and limbers but once these are done that will be it for the Blog-Con painted figures until I move onto the Early French or the Poles which I have a few Battalions needing attention.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Stocking Up

OK no Salute for me, and even though I have never been I really don't feel I missed anything (other than the meet up with fellow bloggers).

Of course it's easy to think that when you have never made the trip but I will be honest I am not that bothered finding out the truth. It probably has more to do with the fact that I have not really been grabbed by conventions since coming back to the hobby near on three years ago. The buzz has gone like a jaded relationship, almost like you want the con's to tell me it's over and they see no future in our relationship and they need someone new to give them meaning. It's so much more about the people than the toys, I guess it's the internet showing me all these shiny things. Internet dating of the wargaming kind.

Even though I have those new and yet UNUSED Windsor & Newton series 7's I bought some old faithful's in Rosemary & Co. Series 33 zero and one brushes as well as six Ebony Short  Flat (size 1) that have really long handles. These I use for dry brushing the terrain and it wrecks the bristles but they are great for the job in mind. At just £1 delivery you can't go wrong with them and as I still have five of the smaller brushes still unused they will see lots of action with the 6mm. The W&N will finally get used on the 15 and 28mm figures awaiting my attention.

I also added to the Dark Sword miniatures, though I intentionally have taken the shot so not to be too detailed. Some of these are needed for the Fantasy Campaign I am running in the near period though others won't be needed for some time yet. In the background are the figures I am working on now, a mix of old Grenadier and newer GW Orc's, 15 all told, I bet the players are a little worried about that!!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Building of the Week Fortified Manor - Leven Miniatures

Whilst many lucky wargamers were travelling home with supplies topped up, I was painting up this little treasure. It really painted up quickly even though it's not small it reacted well to ink washes between dry brushes to give good layered colours.

This building is yet to be released but it's code is NAP06 - Fortified Manor House and hopefully will be up for sale soon as it's listed as it is on the coming soon section. Again this is one of the larger buildings that Leven produce so I expect it to be in excess of the usual £2.50 mark he often works to.

I love the tower as it adds a lot of character to this building, which otherwise would be just rectangular. I would not be adverse to having the building made without the tower as a second building though.

I also like the small windows and the odd height to them, shouts out that a set of stairs run up that wall. Again some real nice detail is that windows are at different height's. Not a common feature of buildings but it fits well with this building and I can visualise a step down from the adjoining rooms!

Did I mention I like that tower? Stonework is again nice and varied with the surface not only being irregular but also sections stand slightly more proud than others allowing the paint to be taken more on some sections than others. The sculptor of the model really helps you paint this building. 

being very sunny today the sun was bleaching some of the work so I took this one as well to show the stonework a little clearer. For colours I used Vallejo Buff, Iraqi Sand, German Camouflage Beige and Ivory as well as GW Agax Earthshade and various greys and Nulan Oil on the tiles and windows.

For size, this time I used the new Baccus Grenadier figures putting the Manor onto a base for the shot to give a better idea of the scale. I will, not surprisingly be buying this model when it comes out as it's a great fit for the Napoleonic games we play. It actually is in the Normandy area so great for WWII as well.