Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Monday, 30 December 2013

Baccus New French Hussar's Reviewed

This is a re-post having now painted up the figures all correctly, the post remains the same (mostly) but with all new pictures so enjoy. These were my third entry into the 4th Analogue Painting Challenge.

I have to admit that when Peter said the Hussars were his favourite of the new cavalry I was surprised. They looked OK but the best? I was not sure. Obviously I have yet to paint up all four of the new cavalry so before I can really comment. But after painting up these Hussars I can see why Peter likes them so much. The detail is crisp and they even have moustaches!

These are obviously painted up for Waterloo and are the 1st Hussars from the 4th Cavalry Division, 1st Brigade. These are a nice bright blue so should stand out on the field.

Being lights it's good to see so much movement in the figures, the horses are running though the riders are upright, I think if the riders were a little bent forward it would have made them look that bit better but then it would have been a pain to paint. And yes I am being picky, but that's me.

Paint wise it was an easy job and nice and fast. This is the thing that Baccus seem to do so well, the detail is good and he clean up is minor so the vast amount of the time your on this is painting the figures. So time wise it was a quick paint and very effect. I can say for sure this is a major upgrade for Baccus.

If a picture paints a thousand words then maybe I should shut up. Here you can see the lace on the Pelisse and the straps on the Sabretaches.  

So wrapping up, the new Hussars have certainly been worth waiting for. Would I replace all my old units? No but I can see why Lee gave me his old figures and I have to admit these will now see service as allied cavalry rather than in my French army just like the old Infantry. So do I think the Hussars will be the best? I hope not (I would love the others to beat these out) but it's fair to say they have set a high bar.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Project Quatre Bras December Update

How fitting as the year approaches it's final days I have an update on Project Quatre Bras, especially as the game is now less than seven months away! 

I guess this update started in WH Smith's whilst flicking through the new issue of Wargames Illustrated. It was advertising it's Mega Battles special edition with the recent battle of Quatre Bras at Crisis.  If I was not so involved in the battle myself I may have took the displayed game on face value but knowing the layout of the terrain it was VERY obvious that the actual game had little in common with the actual battle from a point of view of terrain. It was almost portraying a massive urban fight. The boards were filled with buildings and troops, not a lot of green to be seen at all. Overall a poor advert for their publication. Seems Mega Battles stands for a table chock full of beautify painted figures and buildings that will make the table groan! I am not meaning to knock the Crisis game beyond it's unhistorical terrain lay out as it did look stunning but for me it displayed all the problems you can have with 28mm Naps. Too big units on too small a table, however 6mm has it's own challengers.

Viewed fro the East, French start on the left.
I got to Lee's for a game four hours after looking at W.I. to see the boards moved on a lot further than last I saw them. As yet the buildings need placing as does the woods and any hedges or walls that are required but you get the lay of the land rather well.

The more block like brown area's are where the villages and large farm complexes will be positioned (within the confines of the brown area's) with other two to three building clusters on other parts of the boards. As you can see from this we have a lot of ground to fight over, though the woods actually cover chunks of space as well.

The small pond.
Lee has done sterling work, not least on the ponds, which are layers of varnish over painted and highlighted and shaded detail. Lee has also used a wide pallet of greens to bring the boards to life. We will be shading the wooded area's a darker green to show the woods boundaries so the trees can be moved around to allow troops to move through them.

Large Pond.
The larger pond really looks great as Lee captured the depth of water really well. The stream cuts through the road and we have yet to add the bridge that existed at this point. In the original playtest this was a major stumbling block on my attack, next time it's hit it with an extra large force or just cover the exit to stop an Allied counter attack on this flank. As you may have noticed on the right is a built up area so it's easier for me to defend but really difficult for me to work my way through the village and then assauly over the bridge.

Stream runs under the road.
The stream peters out (goes underground) just past the man road through Quatre Bras, but even this small terrain feature becomes a major obstacle as a small hill is just north on the stream which will be defended by the allies so another difficult objective that needs capturing.

The Famous Woods.
A large part of the battle was fought over a hill that had a large wooded covering. Both sides fed troops into this woods throughout the day with first one side then the other gaining the upper hand and then losing control again. Our test game saw this action being just as brisk and confused and a real drain on offensive power for both sides. It is critical to the game that this wood keeps it's importance during the demo though it is just one part of the whole.

So the boards are mostly finished, just a few touch ups and final placement of buildings need to be sorted out which is all told possibly just one session as we have the buildings in hand and mapping the forests is just a repeat of what has already been decided.

Figures wise and OOB both are very much in control. The French are all done, or will be by New Years Day whilst the British are also all done. The rest of the allied force is well in hand and should be finished by May I believe so all we need to do is run another practice, make up the correct tabs for the units and away we go.

Project Waterloo is somewhat further away from ready, we have yet to start the boards but this is not a worry seeing how Lee has progressed these boards. 

The French still have a lot of work ahead of them but they are on track. The Prussians are well ahead of schedule but I hope to get them finished in 2014 and if possible the first half of the year. 

The British are nearly ready whilst the rest of the Allied troops look to be finished around the time as the Quatre Bras forces so really it's looking very good for the 2015 anniversary.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Partisan Christmas Gift

I saved this last Christmas present for a post of it's own as I am sure a lot of the figure painters will appreciate what a nice gift this is.

This is a hand painted ceramic tile and was a gift from one of Cath's friends. Her daughter has a shop selling various crafted items but this tile the daughter did based on one of the figures I have painted and shown on my blog, anyone remember it?

As you can see from the two images above it's been nailed and I am more than pleased with this present and will be sure to keep the tile close at hand. My painting area is nicely filling up with little fun items that make me smile when I look at them and gives me that little more of  boost when I want lifting up. This is sure to be a big smile generator.

I a not sure if tiles such as this can be ordered if you would want some of your artwork restyled but it's a question I have asked Cath to check out so look here for further updates.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Snow on Christmas day

The family also looked after me on Christmas Day and reinforced my hobby funds and victuals. As you may have already gathered I really don't need any more figures right now so it was great to be able to get the support gear added to.

Cath bought me a Deluxe Materials Snow Effect Kit, the speed of delivery was really fast even ignoring the time of year. These look great, you get their standard snow that you can add with multiple layers to get the depth of snow you require. On top of that you get glitter snow that when added on top of the normal snow gives the look of frosted snow for those sub-zero moments you want to share with your troops. I wanted the pack mostly for the Winter War figures but will also be adding it to various Sniper Reminders as well.

My Mum and Sister each bought me some Vallejo paints. This was a bit of a surprise as originally Marie had asked about paints so I gave her a list of paints I would be interested in but was just expecting a few of so when I ended up with all the paints on the list and one extra it's fair to say I was wrong footed, but in a good way.

Cath also bought me a headset for gaming to replace my battered and well used set. No not the usual computer games but ASL via VASL. We also got my Nephew a set for the same purpose. I hope to test them before the year is out ;-)

I also had money that brings my Wargames Neutral back into the black and has allowed me to order a new camera so future photo's should be less of a problem. 

So with fund's sitting in the warchest I am ready for what 2014 throws at me. I am already thinking of more cowboys and maybe a few buildings but I will not jump just yet, that can wait till we have had a bit of fun with what we have. Hope you all are now recovering from the trials of Christmas Day and are as happy with your presents as I with mine.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas Secret Santa and Santa Clause THANK YOU

Just a quick post to say THANK YOU to both my Secret Santa and Santa Clause for helping make this Christmas rather special. I have also received from family various hobby related presents which I will post about tomorrow as I have only just got back home and need to take pictures of the loot.

First up is my Secret Santa, which is a veritable mix of all things hobby related. I will start with this most excellent monk who is blessing a die. It's a great present and I am looking forward to using him in games so opponents beware!

Also included is this excellent Napoleonic Green of a 18mm Drummer that was suggested could be used as an objective marker. Instead I plan to just keep him as is, it's a real pleasure to own a Green and I know I will take a great deal of pleasure looking up at this fellow during painting sessions.

I also received this troll figure that will find it's way into the painting challenge and fairly far up the painting queue as you will see fairly soon. I have no idea of the make of this figure but I like the scaled skin and already have ideas working around my noggin'

Remember the Blazing Skies planes? Well I get some much needed British reinforcements. These will get started once I get some of the transfers for all my planes, this should be bought at either York or Sheffield depending if Lee can pick them up for me.

To round off this very generous gift I have these two films which will act as a most welcome foil to the sweet mush that Cath has had for Christmas  ;-)

However that was not the end of the present, along with a nice card was a present for Cath to say thank you for running the Secret Santa which has really added to her enjoyment and so a BIG extra thank you for this.

Grateful (for the) Dead
My Santa Clause was also rather stunning with a nice set of three miniatures to add to my Fantasy game. I had plans to use the undead at some point so these are most welcome.

As you can see these are rather grizzly skeletons and the bone wagon really tops this off. I really like the style and will certainly copy the style when I reinforce the skelee's later.

This is a great looking figure that screams to be used, or is that will make the players scream fro it's use? Either way I love him and want to get him on the table once I have the players ready to suffer at his hands.

This guy is just to much fun. I already have a scenario idea festering in my mind on how to use him and now just need to gather up the necessary support figures to get him into play. 

So another excellent present well and truly gratefully received but again the present included a nice card and another present for Cath which she loves so once again a big THANK YOU and I wish both parties and indeed all who follow this blog a very Happy Christmas for you and your loved ones.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Aes Sedai or Lady In Waiting

This figure is a Dark Sword Miniatures offering and they really are very nicely sculptured and detailed miniatures. I think this one is from the Game of Thrown range and is a Lady in Waiting but I am using her as a Aes Sedai or female magic user. 

As you can see from the picture above, lots of detail, just look at how the cloak gathers in her right hand. All the detail is great and looks correct rather than going against the flow.

I decided to take a punt at fairly bright colours. this gal won't settle into the background, no way. I have yet to paint a warder for her, possibly will have to hunt out a figure for that though. The campaign is now starting to really take shape and events will start to fall into place as the players gather information.

Of course she is entered into one of the fortnightly challengers, the civilian one and I have been very pleasantly surprised with how well she has done in the voting, especially as some of the competition has been truly excellent

I have my round two challenge all painted up, again another single figure but I have rather larger projects for two of the later rounds.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Baker Company Kickstarter Update

Not unexpectedly Baker Company was not able to deliver all the Kickstarter first stage orders in November and it would have been a long shot to have got everyone their figures in December. All that became a mute point when the casting machine broke down last week and now all of us who are still to be supplied have been told to expect stage one and two to be delivered together in February. That's quite a pain as I had hoped to paint some during the early stages of the Challenge. It's still of course possible to paint some of these in the challenge as long as the new date is kept to.

I am not so worried with the delay, though I was going to use some of the money from selling some of these painted figures to fund further purchases. Not that I don't have plenty to be going on with but I had planned to go to York with a nice bundle to buy what I pleased. Well the good news (if your sick and twisted) is that I can't make York as I have to work that day. Yes the ONLY Sunday I have to work all year happens to be on the one day that show is on, someone somewhere hates me.

I originally agreed to pick up stage two at York, so I can hope both stages will be ready for Lee to pick up if he still ends up going. So not a total wash, though it's possible I won't get home till Thursday night meaning Lee will have had his figures five whole days longer than me!!

Baker Company Winter War has to a large extent been a casualty of it's own success. The offer was so good that it received orders far outside it's own expectations and ability to fulfil within the time frame quoted which remember was set before any orders were received. But it has been filling the orders, they have kept us all informed and feedback from those lucky fellows who have received there's has on the whole been positive. So I am not worried about my order, just disappointed not to have already received my figures.

As for the Arena Rex, well I obviously still want them but right now I know they would be sidelined until post March so not bothered if they do not arrive till post challenge.

However, I am concerned. The figures are still very slow moving from design to greens and the current rate V figures to be sculptured would mean 2014 is unlikely to see the project through. Meanwhile it's more than a little likely that the money in hand will continue to drain away until they don't have enough to supply the promised figures even if they do have the moulds ready to go. It's very possible this was money thrown away and that does bother me, especially as it's possible I influenced others to back the kickstarter as well.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it's doomed to failure but I rate it red for delivery and orange for failing to launch. It's three months late already and one update every 6-8 weeks tells me they either have nothing good to say or have lost interest in pushing the project through.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Building of the Week Bavarian Church

I bought this Church simply as I liked the look of it and whilst it's not really got that much of a Belgium Church it's going to be used on both the Bras and Waterloo boards unless something else takes our fancy. It's real role in life is that of a Bavarian Church from the Leven Miniatures range. CHU05 predictably costs £2.50 and can be found on the Church page. This is the fourth Church from Leven that I have painted up so far and I think it's my favourite as it's the most colourful.

I went for a grey stone finish again to fit in with the town I am building but went with a red tile roof as seems popular in Belgium. Bavaria seems to favour white finished church's with various coloured roofs but I would not have issues adding this building to my town for German states use. 

I have gone for stained glass windows effect via random dashes of paint. Went for a dull finish as stained glass from the outside looks very dull and sometimes the image is difficult to make out. Good job really or I would be done for. The tower windows I worked on the idea they would be unglazed so left out the reflections (i.e. left dark grey).

I think the buildings great except the one point. That of the door, it's plain with no detail. The problem with that is it more looks a recessed entry with no actual door there. It's easy enough to rectify, a little filler would add texture or a few runs with the scalpel but I have been spoilt with the overall detail Mike adds to his models left me a little disappointed. Not to the extent that it spoilt the model, it's much too nice for that.

Texture, texture, texture. I can't say it enough. It's what makes Leven so good in my mind. It's raised enough so that it can be picked out with the brush but soft enough that it does not wear on the brush. This whole model took less than two hours to paint allowing the painter to knock out these buildings at a good rate so it's rather lucky the price is low or else I would be skint!

Long term this will be based but that may not be that far in the future. Lee has finished the boards for Quatre Bras so at some point in the next week or so I will be taking some of the buildings over to see if they look better on bases or loose. If on bases then I can continue to fork on the town whilst also adding to our display games commitment.

I'm expecting some more Leven buildings any time with the request to paint them up as soon as I can as they are yet to be released buildings. That my friends is rather exciting.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Dominate Roman Legion An Analogue Entry

Got my first unit into the 4th Annual Challenge off to Curt before I was forced to down tools due to a combination of Roleplaying and Office Party. I should have been out tonight as well but the cars died for one last time and we had to go shopping for a new one. Looks to be sorted but you know it will cut back the painting even further LOL.

Here we have 24 Essex 15mm figures that took paint fairly quickly and overall were not bad at all to paint. They are a mix of old Essex and new castings as I have been given a 15mm army about 18 months ago and I have been wanting to get them started for ages and this seemed the best time to get it on.

I really enjoyed painting the Draco but the other legions need to wait for the book to arrive before I will try painting them up though that could be any day now.

I am looking forward to doing more of these as they are not the typical Roman army, maybe one day I will paint up one of those but for now I will keep with something a little different.

I managed a couple of longer sessions so to be able to get them in before the few days break and pushed the basing a little as I should have left them over night before the final stage but went for it.

A watered down ink was used on the white clothing as pure white seemed so wrong. These will be used in Fields of Glory which is still our preferred rules and the system we were supposed to be playing tonight before my hopes were dashed.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

I'm Fading Away!!!

I am purposely timing this post to appear after the start of tonight's roleplaying session. It's my first entry into the Annual Painting Challenge and was a good figure to kick off with as it was a challenge with black being the leading colour.

Fades are very unpleasant, their faces are devoid of features other than flat eyes and they are very powerful and hard to kill. They control the Trolorcs when together are are bound to cause lots of problems for the players. I have also added a little magic via the staff this one hold's. It's my first go at magical flame/ice and I am really pleased with it. I just did not have the nerve to try and add the reflected colour to the clothing.

Whilst it's a 28mm figure in reality it's really tall which is perfect for what he is. Overall it's a great figure but has one major failing, look at the position of the sword hilt and then the scabbard!!! Personally I think the figure should have been withdrawn from sale and corrected. Being my first Reaper figure I can't comment on if this sort of mistake is rare or regular though it's not put me off trying more when I need them.

When I bought the figure I did not see the rear view and was disappointed when I took it out of it's packet to find a backpack and other kit and would not have bought the figure if I knew it had such gear. During painting though I came round to the idea, after all even the most mean monster needs kit to carry around. So tonight will tell what the players think of this guy, what I can say it's quite likely they will be seeing plenty of him through the coming months.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Check Your Six AAR, Battle Over Britain

Yes not Battle of Britain as it should be, well it should get another couple of looks just for that. Apologies to all as I have been preoccupied trying to get some points stacked up for the Painting Challenge and did not get around to posting this Sunday or Monday.

Starting positions for our little scrap. I had to be within six hexes of my four Stuka's with both my 109's and 110's which at this point in the battle were still classed as fighters. My mission is to take out a Chain Radar along the table and the Stuka seems the plane for the mission. I just have four Hurricanes to fend off and it's happy days. My real problem is the speed of my Stuka's and the need to try and keep in formation.

I rolled the pilots for both of us, I received an ace in a Stuka and 110 with just the one green pilot in a Stuka and most of the rest veterans whilst Matt had the one ace one skilled and two veterans. This was an unusually good selection of pilots and aces can really come into their own (unless flying a brick with wings).

I gambled on Matt not taking the risky move and immediately paid the price by losing the less experienced 110 to a lot of rear fire. The only Hurries that Matt has are desert war so please forgive the incorrect planes but I said I wanted to go BoB.

With one of my fighters down I was at a bit of a disadvantage but I had the 109's coming in from the other side. Oh the place the Brit's came on was random and at the time both of us thought they came with a disadvantage.

Next the Stuka formation was broken up and two were damaged, one with a engine hit and the other with body damage. One of the others did not suffer damage other than the loss of the rear gunner through a critical hit (one of the other two also suffered the same crit).

The damaged Stuka getting a lot of attention but at least I was starting to mix it up with the Britishers. The mix of failing to give out damage when I did get in position to fire (either missed or Matt saved on his rolls) and poor flying was putting my planes in a difficult place.

My ace took an engine hit, this is really bad news as it was not the fastest or most agile so now I was struggling. Worse still one of my 109's was under the hammer.

Well it has got to get worse before it gets better. My 109 took an engine hit whilst my other 109 blew a Hurricane out of the sky with a blistering shot. 

Another shot from a different angle, SSSD for sure ;-) In the distance you can see the Chain Radar. Well that's as close as I got as I lost the 109 and everyone else broke for home but even that went wrong as a few planes failed to get home.

So overall a disaster as far as my performance went but I am really enjoying the games, just got to get better at it and even though I did er, not so well it felt right. I learnt to fear those modern broadsides from the eight MG's cutting up my poor planes.

Better yet we had a right old chin wag afterwards which was a real pleasure as we compared notes on our respective Waterloo plans and just chewed the fat.

Next Friday I have a game booked with Lee but this time I am keeping my feet well and truly on the ground as we go FoG Ancients.