Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Calling All Santa's and something for every one else.

OK all of you who got your details to me should by now have received an e-mail from Cath to let you know who is your target. If not leave a message and I will get her to try you again. Unfortunately I did not get the details of Donogh McCathy beyond an e-mail address which I tried contacting through but seems we are missing each other. Time being what it is I had to move on. Hopefully next year I will get all sorted a bit earlier and have even more taking part.
I advise anyone who wants to have a wish list to add it as an extra page on their blog or make a post to the effect. I may well do this but I am open to anything. Figures is the obvious choice but I advise thinking out of the box as well. Half the fun is picking something that they will love. Again lots of thanks to Cath for taking over the running of this so I could join in.
Now try and be god boys and not open the gifts before the day. If SS is put between your first and last name then you have no excuses LOL.

Players and blogs as per request
Conrad Kinch blog is Joy and Forgetfulness
Andy Mc blog Another Slight Diversion
Tim C blog Fidus et Audax
Jonathan J blog The Inevitable Spark
Phil B blog The Wargames Site
Jason B blog Dartfrogs Adventures in 6mm
Mike W blog Trouble At T'Mill
Thorsteinn E blog Dorsten A Heioini
Phil H blog Diary of a gaming Magpie
Prepping Figures, We Hates It Precious!
I have finished the figures for Andy, all 268 of them! looking at them on my table ready to be wrapped up and sent back to him it really does not look a lot but those 6mm figures have been almost all the painting  have done for over a week! No though it's prepping the next lot so again it looks like no actual painting today. But I have done a marathon prepping session that comprises of
48 Pike for my Alexandrian armies.
5 regiments of Neapolitan 6mm Regiments that will rival the Spanish for poor performance.
Four Guns and Limbers to go with those crew, two will be Horse the other two foot.
A regiment of French Lancers I bought from Adler.
These should keep me busy for a few weeks by themselves but I also have to prep some more 28mm Sniper Reminders as I finally get round to doing the bases.
Still after the figures for Andy it should be a stroll in the park ;-)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

15mm Ancient Artillery

Whilst painting up the 6mm I also had these on the go. I already had the Roman crews as part of the Roman army  was given earlier in the year but they did not have and artillery with them. I wanted to get some bolt throwers for my Seleucid army anyway so purchased just the two bolt throwers and two sets of Greek type crews (all from Essex Miniatures). The idea being that I can just move the bolt throwers between the four crews.
As you can see the bolt throwers are a tad on the large side, well given they are heavy artillery I thought I would make sure everyone knows about it!
The Greek crews are in three different poses and with the limited clothing etc. were extremely quick to paint up.

The Roman crews though are more involved making them more fun to paint. I would say that between all the figures and the artillery itself I spent less than a couple of hours so a nice and easy project to do.
The flash bleaches the colour somewhat but you get the idea. I added a couple of strands of cross stitching silks (from my own collection not the wife's LOL) which I dipped in PVA glue so that they would look as if they are snapping back after unleashing a shot.

he FoG Principate Roman Army can have unto six of these beasts or a mix of six between light and heavy so I may yet get more. Also other Macedonian armies can have up to four heavy bolt throwers so more reason to consider buying them. Te great thing about Essex Miniatures is that they supply the crews as separate items so I can mix and match saving quite a lot on the engines themselves. First though they need to be battle tested to see if they are worth the 20 points each. Lights are 17 points each, not much of a saving but at least these can move around the battlefield.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Baccus wagons and Guns

What is Napoleonic's without Artillery? I have a glut of Artillery for my Irregular Miniatures Prussian army but the French had just a few guns painted up. I then bought a Baccus army pack which comes with 4 guns and I ended up in a worse position! The problem being that the artillery size difference is far greater than that of the infantry and cavalry and that is bad enough. So once I had painted up the first four crews and guns I really now only had 4 guns! Well I have come a bit closer with the painting of the four crews below. The guns have been borrowed from the other crews as I will paint up the crews and limbers at the same time, hopefully later in the week.
At the same time I painted up a pair of waggons from a pack Barry shared with me. This gives me 4 waggons in total. Having played two scenarios already where waggons have counted towards the victory conditions I expect them not to always be just scenery on the table.
Baccus supply the waggons with this covered load that has the handy option of just removing for an empty waggon, allowing flexibility.

Give that the interior is detailed it would be a shame not to allow the load to be removed. The first scenario Barry and I played with waggons had my Heroics & Ross waggons masquerading as water waggons. Now after a small amount of knife work I don't have to again.
I attached a very old 15mm barrel to the back of the cart. I had to cut small sections out of the front and back of the cart. The result was rather pleasing.

So next time my troops need a refreshing mug of water I can help them out. I bet we won't need a waggon in a battle for an age now.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Warbase Commission

I have been using the excellent Warbase casualty counter for my Sniper Reminders ever since discovering them in a Wargames Illustrated. This was great news as I have been using Warbases normal bases since coming back to wargameing. But I was asked ages ago if I could do something a little different. Problem is the base just is not big enough to allow you much scope. The idea was for it to be more urban. I mocked up a base but it was clearly not a great finish but the idea itself was sound. So at Donnington I too my mock up and asked for a quote, bracing myself for the answer.
The Original base, score marks are all down to me.
The basic counter is 60p each, I have ordered well over 100 of these over the past year and will again be grabbing a fair few more in the coming months.
The Special Commission Base.
The new base is square and quite a bit larger. My start off order being just ten pieces but the price was a bit of a surprise. Just £1.20 each. The base being square allows for more use to be made of it and now I can really go to town. Over the last few months I have been buying brick moulds, barbed wire and other battlefield furniture.
Figure added for scale comparison.
So in the next few weeks I hope to start building the four bases that I have already in mind, just got to hope the guys who will be getting these are happy with the results.
A big thank you to Warbases for their typically fast and friendly service, I really like what they are doing with the hobby.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

If You go down to the Maelstrom Shop.......

...... might get a big surprise!

As we all know Maelstrom have had more than their fair share of difficulties lately. Whilst they will continue to blame solicitors and unforeseen delays much of the blame has to be on their shoulders for following a short term strategy for far longer than i was sustainable. For all their fine talk of excellent customer service  they have really given poor service and very bad signals out. I have now received at least four final sale not to be repeated offer e-mails which is both ironic and a little bit sad. Hell at the moment they have up to 75% off everything with 50% off what little of Battlefront they have left. The problem on going to their website though is that:-
1. If you bother reading the blurb at the top, it tells you they have financial problems. Freely they admit to cash flow issues, they use the term "Much needed cash flow" I just hope their Bank Manager does not read that or he will b pulling the plug on them. You Never, no I mean you NEVER admit to cash flow issues with your customer. They go bust with your money in their hands and you can for get it back, (best buy on a credit card that covers such events!). If I was a supplier bang as gone their credit limit. It's pro-forma until further notice and I would be chasing any overdue payments! Maelstrom are either up to their eyeballs or just totally lacking in business sense.
2. Go past the title page and be stunned by just what they don't have left. I mean almost everything is gone for the majority of customers. Want Vallejo paints? Hope you want one of the 3 bottles they have! Now this is a core item of trade, selling these off at below cost is simply crazy so on the face of it, Maelstrom is sinking and sinking fast. However, I have been to the shop*, in itself a bad sign given the serving staff were not on the floor (a warehouse lad was looking after the shop) and worse still the till was switched off! But on the positive side the shop had some of those very items that are showing as zero stock. What this tells me is that Maelstrom indeed is in a fair bit of bother but may well be able to survive. First up, they are not in administration (unless the administrators like breaking the few laws they can be done for) no signage up in the shop to say they had gone into administration for starters. But I think Maelstrom are protecting some core stock from sale so that they do not have to buy it all back in. However I remain sceptical on both the bricks and mortar shop and the on line presence can both remain a going concern. I expect the shop and gaming facilities to be dropped if it's one or the other.
Time will tell but for now I recommend taking your own basket to this picnic.
*I bought six can's of Maelstrom Purple Army Painter primer, each at £1 a can. AP had been commissioned by Maelstrom to supply this colour but it's been rather unpopular. I am currently testing the colour and it seems OK so probably will pop back and get more cans, they should have some as of yesterday they still had over 160 cans left. Also of note was that the guy who normally works the shop was on site as I saw his car parked outside.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Galatian Heavy Infantry Finished

Well in truth they still need a coat of varnish and have been at this state since Sunday but there you go. These are 15mm Museum Miniatures and are for my Later Seleucid Army. Typical of MM they  combine a shrunken appearance with some nice detail. Some MM can look really crap, other great but most fit into a strange mix. The Standard Bearer and the Musician are great figures though. Anyways they paint up nice though it was a bit of a trial doing each figure different. Just happy I only had 24 figures to paint! Well I also have twelve Galatian cavalry figures to paint but I will ignore that fact for a bit.
All 24 dressed for a scrap. These under FoG are Protected, have the choice between Superior or Average and obviously Undrilled. Weapon wise they are Impact Foot, Swordsmen so hope they can pack a bit of a punch.
Close up of the front rank. Hope I can get away with 50% of the front rank not carrying shields nor even swords! The pain in these are that they move as slow as a pike block bu being undrilled won't pivot like a well oiled machine. However they are as cheap as chips coming in at 7 or 9 points a base.
Here you can see the slight scrunched up pose of the figures better. Still I am hoping that I will be the only one to see this actual view.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Italian Sniper Reminders Blacktree Design

Last of the recently painted and based Blacktree Design figures, the time of the Italian. Of the three sets of figures these are the least interesting as they have far less kit. This also of course meant they were the fastest to paint up.

I struggled with the uniform colour quite a lot. Plenty of information on the Desert but little on fighting in Russia. Finally found a mix of grey and green - grey pictures. This will be the usual, it fades to grey kind of situation. I painted these with a mix of German field grey and sky grey. Whilst the figures have less kit at least some of them have a look of movement about them. Nice to see them in active poses and not looking like they are ready to surrender as stereotypes kick in!
The Italians have an interesting pouch system that just loops around the back of the neck where all other nations seem to go down the back for extra support. I just can't help but think if fully loaded they would drag at the back of the neck.
These I have the green starting to fade to grey. A relaxed poacher style of pose which I rather like. The rifles on these guys are all big and chunky, must not have been fun to have to lug that around all day.
Told you that rifle was heavy! The poor sod can hardly bring the barrel up to point at his target. Overall I rather like the Italian figures and again Blacktree have a good number of different poses for this neglected force. I have to say that mostly the Blacktree sculps were relatively clear of flash and mould lines with just a few minutes each for clean up. On the downside they tended to have solid lead between such as rifle and body that I would expect to be a space. Not every figure but a few and it reminded me of early Airfix plastics rather than modern metals. At least the position of such fill in's was such that they did not shout out at you but it did take a bit of the shine off them.
Taking it all into consideration I would recommend them over both the Bolt Action and the Artizan ranges. The figures seem to be that little bit more proportioned and beat Artizan over all for pose (Artizan are stiff) and whilst Bolt Action have great movement in most of their figures the need to clean flash off them drops them below the Blacktree casts. That said I am happy to paint up both other suppliers and I have some Blacktree Germans that some of the castings look like they are not quite as good as the other sculps, so watch this space.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

I need your details.

OK the Secret Santa has eleven of us taking part but I need the e-mail address and home address for a few of you. Listed below is all involved and what details I have. If you have contacted me already but  I have you listed as needing to supply, sorry but could you send again.
Conrad Kinch, need an e-mail with your address please.
Andy McMaster, I have details thanks.
Tim Callaghan, I have details thanks.
Jonathan Jaynes, I have details thanks
Phil Broeders, need an e-mail with your address please.
Donogh McCathy need an e-mail with your address and details of your bog please.
Dartfrog, need an e-mail with your e-mail and address please.
Mike Whitaker, need an e-mail with your address please.
Thorsteinn Evans, I have your details thanks.
Phil Hawkins, I have your details thanks.
So for those needing it, here is my e-mail address
ian_willey     that is underscore as in press the shift and dash (sorry for anyone just insulted LOL)
hotmail dot com. Obviously without spaces and separate lines (bet I just did it again eh?)
Anyway just to add a bit of recent activity from me. I have just about finished a six base of Galatian Heavy Infantry for my Later Seleucid FoG army. 24 figures in total which was fun to paint, all I need to do is varnish and add tufts to the bases so should be done before Homelands tonight. I have already prepped the two heavy bolt throwers I bought at Donnington (Derby) and four crews. Two for the Seleucid and similar armies and two for use as the Romans for the Roman Army. I can see me starting this army in earnest before the year is out. Talking of prepping I have all of Andy Mc's ready to paint and these will be started on Monday as I have received the new paints and a pin drill. All in all things are coming along.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

French 28mm Sniper Reminders

More of the Blacktree Design figures, this time the French. Overall I like these figure a lot but one exception and that is on two of the figures the rifles are rather short. Now this may well be historically accurate in which case no foul, however it still looks rather strange.
A nice casual figure, with the rifle cuddled. Looking at the colour guides I found that basically the whole uniform from helmet down was basically all the same suggested Vallejo colour! After finding sample picks of reinactors and original uniform pics I was able to build a series of different colours that would work and give it a bit more contrast.
This is my favourite pose of the bunch. I checked a good number of images of the helmet to see if the badge was brass finished. By far the majority had the badge painted and most of these showed the badge painted the exact same colour as the helmet so I went with that finish even though it would have looked really cool to show the badge off in a nice shinny finish.
A good mix of equipment on all the figures make them fun to paint and interesting to look at. Like the Polish they seem to have a fair bit of clobber and I am sure in those hot summer days in the field that greatcoat was very welcome!
The figure I like the least as the rifle looks tiny, possibly because part of it is almost hidden from view. What I found fun was that the canteen is unpainted metal in a canvas bag so the neck that pokes out is painted shinny. All four poses have it so it adds a nice point of difference. The French in early WWII don't get a deal of love but at least two companies do 28mm figs (Warlord being the other) and between the two you can get a fair amount of posses and figure types.

Friday, 19 October 2012

AAR Campo Mayor 25th March 1811

One area ASL wins hands down on normal wargames is the richness you tend to find in the scenario choice and victory conditions. For instance last night I won a game where my Italian infantry force had to gain victory points by a mix of getting troops over a bridge and killing Greek troops who were trying to prevent my escape. Every year over 100 scenarios are produced that give you a mix of nationalities, victory conditions and special rules for the situation. Last night it was ground snow, my latest league game involves falling snow. Rain, mud gusts of wind and indeed wind direction are all part of the mix that can be played out in ASL. It's not that all wargames rules do not cater for such things but so often it's x points across a table. Of course books are available of scenarios and we have scenarios on the net we could pull out but I think the average figure gamer is leary of such scenarios. So with this in mind I designed this scenario that breaks just about all the rules. I as the French was guaranteed to loose, the question was always by how much?
Campo Mayor was one of many minor battles or skirmishes that opportunities for a greater victory was lost. In this case General Long had a column of French infantry with baggage and guns  with only a light screen of Dragoons and Hussars to protect this cavalry mans dream of a target. Given that Long had on hand the 3rd Dragoon Guards, 4th Dragoons, 13th Light Dragoons and two regiments of Portuguese light cavalry he was well positioned to make a killing. Directly below is an account of our battle followed by what really happened.
Barry representing Long has to gain 25VP's for a total victory. 15VP's will be good for the papers back home, 5-14 will end in an unfortunate breach with Beresford his commanding officer and less than 5 and he will be cashiered! 
1VP for each French Cavalry unit routed (max of 2)
3VP for each baggage captured (max 2)
5VP for each gun (max 2)
5VP for each Infantry unit routed (max 4)
so 38 points possible.
My column only has to make it off the table to be safe. The British have two clear objectives at the start of the game,clear off the two weak French cavalry units and send at least one unit past the column to block off the escape. Barry grasped the former but failed to realise the need to get in front of my column.
I had inserted a few SSR to add flavour to the game. First of all Beresford and the foot arrive on a 10 on 2D6, clearly not something that should happen early. Second, given the British horse on the day having routed the French they continued to pursue leaving the French infantry and guns standing on the road. Due to this any horse unit that routed French horse would pursue off board except the Guard Dragoons who were better restrained in the action. Last up the Portuguese horse had to roll 4-6 to advance closer to the French once within a move of the French and needed a 5-6 to actually charge. Long could add one to the roll by joining the unit.
The guns and the baggage at the head of the column. Once the rear infantry unit is engaged in combat the columns speed dropped by a third, in the end a saving grace for the British. As expected my cavalry were soon put to flight despite one unit managing to almost last it's second round of combat. Both my units dropped two levels of cohesion which put paid to them in round two. Only one British regiment was lost as the other attacker was the Guards. Barry though had kept his other cavalry behind the attack so had lost time on the column as it was at this point out pacing the horse! Worse still for Barry his most forward cavalry attacked the rear infantry unit of the column that had gone into square. The Portuguese were taking it in turns to refuse to advance but the Light Dragoons after finishing off my square with some critically low rolls was finally trying to get in front of my column. He had taken a cohesion hit taking down the square but other than that OK to go.
As the Light Dragoons approached the head of my column on my left and the better of the two Portuguese advanced on the right supported by the Dragoon Guards I started to deploy the two forward infantry units and the rear gun. I was hoping the two waggons and the last gun would at least escape.
My rear unit was forced into square by the less enthusiastic Portuguese horse and for the next about four or five turns I would fire at them whilst they refused to charge me. I dropped them one level of cohesion so it was probably a good job they did not go in, even with Long joining the regiment to boost it's chances. Th only thing that frustrated Barry more was the lack of Beresford's presence. More than once Barry was to query why the number needed did not go down (little did he know that the LAST thing he needed was Berseford turning up).
The forward units started to take charges, the Dragoon Guards took three attacks before they finally cracked the square above. Meanwhile the brave Portuguese regiment passed close enough to be fired upon but to no effect. Both guns ended up in action and both caused distress for the British units fired upon but not enough to stop the Light Dragoons charging home and receiving it's second round of canister. More casualties but they took the guns to add to the waggons already captured. This left open another charge into the rear of the other gun and both were captured. The square broke under the Dragoon Guards and I was down to two infantry cut off from escape and a lone baggage off board.
Failing to do much in square I had come out of square hoping to send the Portuguese packing and possibly sneak off. Time though was called and Barry had the required points for a full victory and saved Long falling out with Beresford that would long term had grave effect for Long who whilst a most capable cavalry commander would be shipped back home prior to the end of the Peninsular campaign.
The real thing.
Long sent his Light Dragoons and some of the Dragoons against the French which in every case ended with the defeat of the French. The vast majority of the French taking to their heels quickly followed by the British who gave chase for the best part of ten miles. The French infantry seeing this and that the British still had cavalry in the field started to ground weapons in expectation of surrender. Long tough was having problems getting the Portuguese to close further with the French and the ground was such that he ha to make a long pass around to get in position to attack. He sent his best cavalry to take up position to block the French withdraw and unknown to him his pursuing cavalry had also captured the guns and some of the baggage.
At this point an Aide of Beresford had been sent to the blocking cavalry telling them to reposition back with the infantry and were not to engage the enemy. Next Long was also ordered to return with his out of position cavalry! The French infantry seeing this reformed and not only marched off but repossessed the majority of their guns and marched away to safety. Beresford then blamed Long for the whole affair and got him a reputation for being just another galloper. The repetition for being a hothead and argumentative subordinate was all Long's own doing.
So if Barry had rolled a 10 he would have seen his infantry arrive at a rather good position and then watch as one after another of his cavalry were taken out of his command and even possibly see guns reappear on the field under the French!
The scenario played out well, and could have gone either way. It was fun watching Barry curse his dice for failing to get the reinforcements, especially as he really did not need them. The square rules need some more work though. I want a better chance of fail when the enemy are as close as they were when I was passing the checks to form and the +3 to attacks whist in square is a bit much (these rules you want to roll low). Also the damage done by the horse was too high even taking into account Barry was rolling low so will add a + to attacking square not just remove the charge bonus. Fun game and for me proved you can have ASL live victory conditions in a miniatures game.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

28mm WWII Sniper Reminders The Poles

Well these have been a long time coming. It's about a year ago that I started to paint up the Sniper Reminders starting with he Germans, Russian and American as these are the most popular ASL nationalities. These have done really well and when I next added the ANZACs, Japanese and British I was surprised that these were nearly as well accepted. The British due to a brain fart ended up with an extra pack and just so happens to be the least popular (figures) but here I expect a fair bit of a drop off. Reason being the next three are some of the least played nationalities in the game at the moment, these being the Polish, French and Italian. Well I will break them down here into three posts, one nation at a time.Lets start at the beginning.
I've painted up two of each of the sculpts. Here we have the poor bugger trying to chamber another round. All the Polish figures from Blacktree Design seem to the weighed down with more kit than you could ever wish for. Lots of leather belts as well. These took a fair chuck of extra time to paint up. I just went for Summer Dress and none of the French equipment as I did not want to confuse matters with the French later in the process.
My favourite of all the figures from the three latest nationalities. Still burdened down but at least he does not have a helmet to carry as well. I really like the Blacktree figures as they ave good detail. Even the standing pose has movement to them. Talking of detail this guy has a bayonet over his entrenching tool, a nice bit of detail that adds layers to the figure.
Not sure how this guy manages to get enough energy to run but watch out here he goes. I did the straps on his backpack in a different colour to the rest as per a couple of examples I had seen and no I was not heavy handed those straps are double layered so are THAT thick. I think the Poles lost because they could hardy walk from all that kit  ;-)
This pic shows off that entrenching tool but without the bayonet. So here we have the Poles, I have just painted up eight for the time being but I think I will need at least another four. Took me an age to get them started but I managed to get all 24 across the three Nations painted up fairly quickly. At the moment I have 24 Galatian heavy infantry in 15mm on the go. These have all the tricky stuff done except the shields and I now have the instructions for Andy Mc's next three regiments but I have had to order five more pots of paint so these will have to wait for these to arrive. Plenty of time then to finish what's on the desk.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Secret Santa Last Day of Signup

Last day to enter the Secret Santa. Tomorrow I will collect all the names from the three threads into a list. If you get this late then it's still OK to jump in but the plan is to get the name selections done before the end of the week.
Could all those who have shown interest please e-mail me with your name, full address and your blog name so Cath can then e-mail each of us (yes I'm in after my wife's kind offer to run it!) the details of our targets. Then we have plenty of time to check out what the recipient is in to and get it to them.

My mail is   ian_willey at hotmail dot com

Monday, 15 October 2012

Anglia Rediviva Book Review

This review I fear will be of little use to all but a few readers and as such I will be keeping it brief. Anglia Rediviva was originally written in 1647 by Joshua Sprigge who was Sir Thomas Fairfax's personal chaplain whilst he was the commander of the New Model Army. The book relates to the forming of the NMA through to the surrender of the last Royalist Garrison on the mainland. It has received a number of reprints but currently out of print but still possible to get hold of.
This book has been used by generations of historians as a corner stone of their own books and remains to this day a very important text for anyone wanting to understand the final two years of the First Civil War. Though it's value does not stop here as it gives a good idea of what it was like to campaign during the mid 17th Century. Sprigge goes into detail of some of the more mundane aspects which is a boon for those interested in the day to day stuff.
Also included is a list of Officers names and which regiments they served in, final rank achieved or fate for the unlucky. Another really useful appendix is a log of the armies main line of march including the dates and miles travelled. Again great stuff for wargamer and history fan alike. Often detachments of the army were sent off to either to blockade or lay siege to locations or to screen or block enemy forces. This Sprigge covers fairly well as he does events away from the army. Surprisingly Sprigge does a good job of linking this as a whole narrative and was way ahead of his time. One major item he has neglected to record (as has everyone else) was the make up of the colours of the New Model Army of which we know next to nothing about.
Reading this book is always fun in that it is written in early modern English or as Sprigge would have it Englifh. With far to many f's and v's and a real shortage of s and w just to name two letter changes. Once you get used to it all is fine, Latin sometimes gets thrown in as a quote but you still get the gist.
However you need to know the period fairly well or read a modern book on the same subject at the same time or run the risk of taking as fact some of the assumptions both of the day and of the political stance. The book being published less than a year after the final garrison had fallen and whilst the king was a prisoner but still treating with Parliament whilst trying to gain advantages with any party that would support him and the New Model was clamouring at it's loudest for money, rights and power. Sprigge is unashamedly pro Fairfax who to be fair everyone likes, possibly because he did what he was paid to do then dropped into the background having done his duty. But he also sees God's hand in all that goes Parliaments way and ignores when it does not. What Sprigge fails to acknowledge is that in the final months of the war when all was seen to be lost it was not providence that delivered such strong garrisons but a realisation that defeat had already overtake their cause when the King surrendered himself to the Scotts.
The best book on The New Model I have ever had the pleasure to read  is The New Model Army by Ian Gentles published by Blackwell. Amazon has this book for between £450.00  and £37.53 for hardback (yippee my copy is MINT) and £22.70 and £14 for paperback.
Anglia Rediviva is also available on Amazon for between £200 and £8 based on hard back, softback or limited numbered edition.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Production Line

Despite all the set backs and issues of this last week I have managed to paint up the Italian figures to finish off the third set of ASL Sniper Reminders. Now all I need to do is base the lot of them. as always I am using the Casualty Markers from Warbases to give me the sliding numbers, in my case 2-7 but 0-12 is n the dial.
All I need to do now is paint the bases and base green, add the rough ground and then flock. Just a light top up varnish of the whole and then add the tufts and there you are all done. So I expect in the next two days to have them finished and close up shots taken. All the Polish, French and Italian figures are by Blacktree Design and overall are I feel a upgrade on the Artizan and Warlord figures. This said the German and Russian castings I received from them this week don't look quite as good as plain lead. How they look once cleaned up and undercoated could well be better. The Polish and French were fairly slow to paint up as they have a lot of extra equipment all over them whilst the Italians were all painted up in a day as they are very basic. In the background are the painted 28's I showed a few weeks back which are waiting on some custom bases to be made up so I can finish them off. Behind them are some 15mm that are suffering from queue slide, not so much because I don't want to paint them but because I need to paint other things up.
I have been let down again my Maelstrom Games, went over to pick up an order that was put to one side. They can't find it and it's possible they already sold the figures. That is three times I have gone over to collect stock only to find out they don't have it. Not that i stops them taking the money on order. Really they need to sort themselves out with blogworld already up in arms over failure to supply (mostly warehouse move related). This puts a kink in a special base I am trying to build, at least I have the German to go against it ready to start.
However Andy Mc has supplied me the other figures for the trade and I can at least clean these up ready for when he is happy with the colours he wants me to paint them. I have held off over this week in fear of wrecking them through the curse I obviously have brought down on my family ;-)
Once all these are done then I have to decide what next to prep, I think it may well be the buildings that I got at Derby, though the Persian Cavalry and the Bolt Throwers are also trying to gain my attention. In the background I plan to finalise which three new subjects will be up for the Sniper Project and hope to pin Lee down on what the hell he is up to with regards my future painting schedule (Chaos rules!)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Rosemary & Co A Second Look

I think the biggest issue with reviews, and this goes for almost all reviews never mind us amateurs, is that the product just does not get enough time under the spot light before we rush off to supply views. This is down to the time between discovery and so yesterday being so short. Some things such as figures, on the surface are easy to review but look again. Are they historically accurate? How about how well they take paint? Any area's that the brush can not reach but the eye can? etc. etc. Well at least with paint brushes it's simple, yes? Obviously tat would be a no, why else bother with this post?
I first bought the Sable Blend Series 401 from Rosemary & Co. and found the tip to annoyingly curl at the end. Not a total surprise as they were very cheap and you know what they say. So I moved up a couple of gears and bought a 10/0, 3/0, and 2/0 Kolinsky Sable Series 33 brushes for a princely sum of £10.50 for the three. Basically on a par with other Kolinsky brushes. Now on the web site or in the catalogue I read that many of the  brushes that are supplied as Kolinsky are blends at best ad often total fakes. This point was not lost on me as I had in the past noticed my brushes bristles changing colour as time and wear worked them over. From the start I noticed a difference between these series 33's and the blended ones prior and indeed other brushes I had used up to this point. First up them seem to hold more paint, second the point kept it's shape without the need for regular trips to the mouth to re-point. Sure I have to do it (it's a habit anyway) and another thing, I can paint better lines than I could in the past. However these were new brushes and if they did not hold up for the price I paid then really what could be said?
Anyway fast forward a few months and I am still using the same brushes, the picture above was taken this morning showing the points of the two brushes that I use the most. These being the 10/0 and the 3/0. I estimate well over one hundred painting hours with each brush (yes I know I do spend a lot of time painting) and they are showing no signs of slowing down. I can not guess how much loner each brush has left in them but what I do know is that any of the other brushes I have used in he last year or so would have fallen by the wayside by this point. So price to service I have found these brushes to score very highly, post to the UK is just £1 whilst posting abroad is estimated. This is not something that fills me with happiness as the winner of the give away lives in the USA and the estimate was £10! sure they would refund the difference if it was over but in my case I got them posted to me then sent on myself. So if I was you I would contact them for a quote and then pay, I am sure they would be fair but I did not risk the price of postage working out to be the same as the product!
Not wanting to finish on a negative let me state I have little doubt that my improved standard of painting owes not a little to better light and better brushes so I can say confidently that the Rosemary & Co Series 33 Pointed brushes will out perform like for like priced brushes.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Adler Leger Unit Finished.

Having bought a single Regiment of Adler infantry to compare it against the Baccus I felt it was the obvious place to start from my swag from the weekend. Well What can I say but the figures are so very well detailed and the poses are excellent. The fact that the light regiments have three different poses for the standard infantryman is a big plus. Add to that the slight variations you get within some of those poses and you end up with units that are anything but wooden. However the downside to this is a slight slowing down of the painting of the figures. This is indeed a mantra that Adler force me to come back to again and again. At no point did I have a good run to really be able to give a full comparison of painting a Adler unit against a Baccus but enough to be able to come to solid conclusions.
In the spirit of full disclosure the Adler unit is 38 figures strong compared to my Baccus of 29 figures. This allows a bigger and more expensive wholesome unit which really adds to the finished base. The picture above shows off the three poses that the skirmish elements come in opposed to the two poses of Baccus at this point. Of all the Baccus figures the only one I have found I dislike is the skirmish figures. This is especially bad when they are out front! The Adler win hands down in a rather unfair fight.
The Baccus flags fit with no problem, other than having to take the figure off the base to attach, so next time I will remember to add before basing. I really like the front rank presenting their muskets with the rank behind holding at port but slightly different angles. This is the firing and advancing posed figures, they also do marching which I assume is similar to the Baccus figure.
I always thought the roll on top of the backpack was a blanket. Turns out it's their greatcoat which should be rather more grey than blue! Next lot will be done correctly. Note the soldier to the rear who has taken time to check on a fallen comrades er valuables. Maybe he owed him money?
The very thing that allows you to make the line less line like also really adds to the finishing time. Right from cleaning up the figures (and they do have a fair amount more flash than Baccus) through cutting them off their strips and sticking on painting sticks and on through the painting procedure it all takes more time. In some cases not a great deal but others such as separating the figures which need excess base cutting off on both sides of the figure which exceeds the Baccus prep time four fold. Lee said Adler always command good prices of E-Bay, well given the work involved in just getting a brush to the figure I am not surprised!
Time to paint is one important comparison but far more important is a comparison of figure sizes, if it's too obvious then it's hardly worth bothering with both. Well when in line and next to each other it is a bit too obvious but when I placed a unit in column next to them you don't notice half as much. All in all I am happy to mix between the two makes and still look forward to the redesigned French that Baccus intend to bring out soon.
Last shot from above, again the way they are based really changes the final look. The Baccus can be very close whilst the Adler would need closer clipping to get them in closer order. Not that I don't like the look a looser formation achieves.
The Big question though from the point of getting the lead on the table has to be quality V quantity. I found these figures more of a challenge than Baccus but the again I have painted up a fair few hundred Baccus so I should have it down. I used the same spray them blue, ink them blue and dry brush the correct blue over. Very easy when they are Leger as you don't need to go back to do the trousers. How ever not only have you got more detail to contend with but some of that detail is actually easier to paint than Baccus. Witness the painting of the Shako cords. Tried with Baccus and made a mess of it (though I have now twigged how to do it with them!). Painting time I would hazard a guess it's about 20% longer once I get in a groove, at the moment it's about 40% which could be the reason you see so many part painted Adler on E-Bay. The most frustrating is the basing. Baccus is strips of 4, Adler is tweezers and single figures. Sure you can be very creative (as I hope to show) but the time spent is a pain. Again you get faster but it will always be well over four times the speed of doing a Baccus base!
The long and short of it though is that Adler are well worth buying, look great, will take longer to do but hell it's not like I am supposed to paint up a few thousand for a display game is it? Lee, you want to repeat that a bit louder?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Last Call for Santa

OK so that everyone who wants to take part can get organised for the Secret Santa I think we have until this time next week to register their interest. So far I have interest from Conrad, Andy, Tim and Jonathan, which is less than I hoped but with Christmas being so far away I guess not everyone is thinking about this yet. If I don't get many more I will also enter, though the plan was just to run it.
A quick re-cap (original post here).
Spend is between £10-£15 plus postage. The idea is if the person lives in another country you buy from a on line retailer in their country. You blog post a wish list on your blog, either as a normal post or as an extra tab. I will randomly draw who your target is and let you know.
Simple really and a way of making sure you get something you really will like for Christmas. Of course you could leave it up to the buyer who can gain clue from looking on your blog.
So you have about a week to join in. Please feel free to advertise the Secret Santa on your blog's even if you yourself will not be joining in.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Adler Casualty Figures

The first of the Donnington Worlds purchases were painted up late Sunday. Please note that these figures still need to be matt varnished and placed into units for added looks. I bought a pack each of falling and lying casualties. I really like the animation of the figures (even the dead) and the detail for 6mm is breathtaking. I would go as far as to say they are too well detailed you feel like you are not doing them justice.
Painted up as light infantry for the unit I am working on at the moment. Note the musket sling, I have 28mm that don't add the sling! I have stuck to my usual painting style for 6mm but added Andy M's flesh style which takes more than twice as long but I think it's more than worth it. The figures are shinny as they have a Nut Brown ink wash on them.
Same figure showing the flesh off a bit alongside Line Infantry dead.  The only real bugbear for me is the size of the bases, these all need to be cut back for the standing figures which is a drag.

Another Light and this ones dead Jim! Even has the musket complete with sling along side him and backpack and bed roll along side him but detached. Maybe someone has gone through his gear?
Line falling towards his shako that is already on the ground. Again a well posed figure hat has to get full attention. My plan is not to make centre pieces of these figures but to try and meld them into the unit so are not obvious.

Both figures are similar posed but the one on the left has a shako that needed gluing to the rear of his head. Fiddly but looks good for being stuck on.
Another two dead, bags of character with the musket under the face down guy. I have more poses on top of the 6 figures shown. I recon these could as easily have been 15mm for the detail shown. Being close to finishing a full regiment I can state that at every stage these figures take longer than Baccus to complete but will add a lot more character than Baccus have available at the moment. However until I get them all based up I will have no idea how well they will mix with Baccus. I am still looking forward to the new Baccus French which may still make it out before the end of the year but no promises are offered. However unless Baccus at least change their scale of horse head I am fairly sure the cavalry will be Adler as will the rest of the command. Well I did buy a lot of Adler Command at the Con.