Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Friday, 28 February 2014

Viking Test Figure

Wanting to do something totally different I decided to beak open a box of Griping Beast plastic Viking Hirdmen. Not that I had any business doing so with so many other figures needing attention but lets face it, reason is one of the smallest ingredients in this type of cake.

With the plastic's you have a lot of choices for weapons, heads and even purses! This one I went with the dagger attached, though I am fairly sure it could be missed off and not make much difference to the finished model. Indeed if not for the fact that these will probably end up being used for SAGA then I would miss them off.

Clean up and assembly was fairly straight forward, much better than I had feared but I am guessing if I was doing the other 43 as one batch it would be a much different story. Maybe I will do them in batches of five or so?

Being a test figure I have gone fairly basic with the colours and pattern. I think one from each batch may get a far more detailed patterns though I do like the fairly plain look for most of them.

I meant for his hair to be more blond but in the flesh it's not so brown. I love the scabbard as it's suitably long with the hilt of the sword also proportionally long, this figure could never had been cast as one and that's a big bonus that plastics have.

 The base is a good old 2p coin which gives the figure some nice weight and makes up for it being so light. I will be basing all the WWII Winter War figures the same way. Funny thing it's cheaper to base on 2p's than it is to buy the same size bases from Warbases so I am saving money by using the coins.

You won't see more of these though till I have painted up Mats 6mm Zulu's that I would have thought I would have finished by now, oh well they will be on the desk soon competing with my 6mm Naps for time. Did I mention the Winter War stuff? I guess my tables going to be rather full of figures jostling for pole.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

54mm Aftermath of the Charge of the Light Brigade

I bought this set of three figures around two years ago off of E-Bay knowing it was just for the fun of painting them. Fast forward too the a few weeks ago and little had been done to get them done, too many other must do projects.

As soon as the bonus round was declared I knew I finally had a great reason to do them. So I pulled together as many pictures of this model and paintings etc so as to have a good stock of ideas to draw from.

This is an old set and as such the detail is a little flat in places but still enough to work with. I did get this part painted when I knocked it and a box of finished models with my elbow. I still have a fair amount of touching up to do to get the finished stuff fully repaired (some I will chuck) and had to reassemble this one and take it back to base coat and start again. That took some of the shine off it for me but at least I had not added the swords as that would have probably caused me to just bin it, oh well it happens to us all....

I wanted the casualty to look like he was suffering so painted the eye area fairly dark but the rest of the face was a few shades paler than the two Lancers carrying him. Overall I was happy with the result. 

The belts that hold the swords in place are all the same size on the trees and needed to be cut to length which was fun given I had no instructions. Same actually for the canteens as these have to be glued in place and straps cut so that they fit to match the sculptured ones.

The braids on the hats also needed to be added, including the one on the floor. Missing was the spurs which I was trying to add with fuse fire but had to accept defeat as they just did not want to stay attached looking anything but spur like.

Close up of the faces, these guys won't win any beauty contests will they? Some of the detail was so thin that I really struggled in working out what each bit should be so it's no perfect finish for sure.

I had big hopes that this would show well in the bonus round but with so many great entries I have been placed rather low, though I will admit I am surprised I have had so few votes (mumble grumble) though I am very happy to report that the six I voted for are all in the lead so I have excellent taste  ;-)

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Building of the Week Medieval Post Mill

I have been working on this for a few weeks now off and on, more off than on for sure. I have gone a little over the top on this one as I wanted to build into the base a bit more of a hill which is now in place but it's not that high, oh well.

Another Leven Miniatures model again, this time from the Medieval Range MED01 that surprise surprise has a cost of £2.50 and comes in three logical pieces. The body of the mill, the sails and lastly the steps which I had managed to wash down the sink when cleaning the mould release off the bits, but Mike sent a replacement without charge.

I based the mill on a few of the Warbases squares starting with a 30x30mm and running to 120mm x 120mm with the corners rounded off.

The mill as per normal painted up with ease though the roof of the round stone lower level was a bit more difficult but nothing that could not be dealt with. Overall the base works though it's going to take up a lot more room in storage than I should spare but I think it's worth it.

Whilst it's a Medieval windmill it's still of use for plenty of other periods as some still exist today and I can see this on a ECW table as well as a Napoleonic.I now have two windmills that can either be used in the same game or just pulled at random though I think I still need one for Spain.

Here is a shot of the whole set against a 60x60mm stand of Baccus 6mm French Old Guard, as you can see it's a space hungry beast. Not sure if this model will make it onto the table for Waterloo but it will get some play in the coming months.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Chatter Behind The Bike Sheds - Home Taping Is Killing Music!

Remember this? Then it's very likely you bought music in the 90's and funny enough it did not actually manage it, but the same thing is being said about file sharing but that's not what this post is about.

No, instead I am banging on about non-historical wargaming or to be more exact near historical. I bought an issue of Wargames Soldiers & Strategy (good by the way) for my Frankfurt trip so as to have some light reading. Out of 84 pages only four pages are given over to none-historical figure gaming, double that of board gaming. 

BUT the adverts tell a different story. nearly 33% of the adverts are for near historical or altered history. I would now say that at no time  before has such a large part of the none Gamesworkshop wargaming been none historical. A Very British Civil War I believe led the way and whilst it might not hold the biggest slice of the pie possibly has the strongest attachment to a possible history whilst Osprey of all the people has embraced this trend the most via In Her Majesty's Name/A Fist Full of Kung Fu style of rules. Lets face it, if it did not sell it would not be supported. It is then obvious that there is a market for such themes and more besides. However the question "Is it good for the hobby?" is far more tricky to answer and before I do, cards on the table I do not play any of those games, or do I?

It would be a fair argument that Cowboy games often have as much to do with reality as many an alternative history game, especially those that try to mirror reality rather than morph (or twist!) reality. Something about Fantasy and alternative reality seems to turn the average frugal gamer into someone who is willing to double his spend on a single figure. I think it's fair to say that alternative history, fantasy and si-fi attract the more artistic painters and though it's a sweeping generalisation with plenty of contradictions I stand by the point in principle.

But is the sudden wide variety of alternatives to the norm actually a bad thing? Working on the principle that each gamer has a set amount to spend and other than at times of starting new projects tends to live within a fairly constant year by year budget I would say that diverting into such projects as Her Majesty's Name will actually reduce the amount of Lead/Resin bought whilst probably increasing the spend of the gamer. Given the amount the average gamer has in store I find that hard to see as a disadvantage.

Too many companies are jumping into the various off shoots for the interest to be a minor subgroup. Now if your waiting for someone to do that 28mm WWII French Colonial infantry platoon only to see the supplier doing a Victorian steam powered walker then yes your going to be disappointed. However, just how many unmade figures are their left to do? Certainly most of the core figures have multiple choices of suppliers so it's possible only pet periods or specialist figures are being hurt by the lack of availability of these.

Indeed it's just possible that such strange new quasi periods are actually bringing more money into the hobby, but for that either I have to be wrong and much more money is being spent by the existing followers of all thinks off centre OR it's bringing in a lot of new blood. The former is more likely than the latter but beyond the bloom of a new period I have my doubts that the increased spend results in continued increased spend.

Taking Saga though as an example (cowboys with swords and braids?) I don't see that doing any harm and has indeed increased the focus on all things from that period though of course that period is real and real historical wargamers have benefited from the extra attention.

Actually I blame Saga for all this alternative history stuff, this is not based on any idea if it's right or wrong and everything to do with wanting it to be there fault. After all what are all these games got in common if not that they tend to be skirmish (or small unit) driven and are a distraction to the big game player? 

Thinking about it, would that ultimately mean the cowboy game is the real problem er maybe time to move along........

I think the time to worry is when the alternative stuff starts to gain a lot more column inches in the magazines just like that Fantasy rot did at one point, I remember how that caused all sorts of rashes etc.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Scissors Cut Paper

After doing Hitler for the Villains round I know I needed to make amends so here we have Churchill doing his stuff. He is a Black Scorpion casting and has a lot of the feel of the great man though on painting him I realised he looked rather boring, too boring for the Hero Round given the standards that have been displayed in the preceding rounds so he ended up being a general entry.

Desperate for something to liven up the base and make the double base less obvious I was really pleased when Cath suggested covering the base with the Union Flag. Actually she suggested painting it to start with though I had more realistic views of my skills in that department!

This was my second attempt at Pin Stripes though the first one gave me a better canvas to work with as the figure was more animated and as such had lovely folds to take the stripes into. These being just the trousers were a little less fun to work with.

So here I stand, hoping that Churchill's scissors makes up for Hitler's Paper. Both figures are destined for pastures new as an ASL player in France want's them, hopefully they will bring him good luck in future games.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

It's Raining Cats and Cowboys!

A few weeks ago Dave D offered me the chance of getting some of his spare cowboys which I naturally snapped up. Well I now have them in my hands as Lee kindly brought them over Friday night and for only the cost of a coffee.

Three packs of Foundry mounted and dismounted Cowboys still in their blisters these are great as the kids will be playing a few games where one side has to ride off into the sunset. Dave also supplied two more packs that had been taken out of the blisters so I scored five packs making ten mounted and ten dismounted cowboys to add to the table.

What my son loves the most is that two of these boys are holding shotguns. After suffering many a hit from his sisters shotgun he is planning his revenge.

If that was it, it would have been a great deal but Dave also included these eleven cowboys, three from Artizan and eight from Deadmans Hand if memory serves me well. The primed ones may be the first to cross the table though both kids are pushing for others to be done first LOL

Dave also threw in his shotgun templates, searious wound markers (blood splats) and his hit location Cards and activation cards which I need to add images of the finished cowboys.

So thank you very much Dave and I owe you a beer or a coffee(or three) when we meet up again. It's this kind of generosity that makes the community such a great place to be.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Building of the Week - Blacksmiths Forge and Another Warehouse

Nearly had three buildings finished for you but fell a little short as I really need to work on the Casualty Bonus Round as I have a lot to do on it. Actually if it was not for Lee you would actually only see the one building but I had a fairly long phone conversation with him the other day during which I picked up the warehouse and painted it!!

This building was close to being finished before I downed tools whilst working away so did not take much finishing. Another new Leven Miniatures building that is yet to be released. This is ACW10 Blacksmiths Forge but will stand for any small workshop and fit into many a period or Country.

It's not easy to pick out on the images but I have tried to weather it a fair bit and added a little green to the lower planks to give an ageing effect which works quite well (trust me LOL).

This is quite a tiny building 40mm x 22mm and is a boon for gamers as it has a lot of character to the table especially if you base it up with a few bits I see a wood yard on the horizon.

Next up is a building I have now painted up three times including the original version. You just can't have enough warehousing in a growing town and by industrial quarter will be blossoming. Funny thing is that it has been painted up similar to the last one I did though that one was a little more ran down.

Not that this one is without it's grubby side most of the muck on this one is more subdued though the stains around the doors show this to be well used.

At some point I will have to do a mass basing session but I need to get more of the houses painted up before moving onto doing this. Six of the last eight buildings have been done for Mike rather than our Quatre Bras game so I need to switch into farm building mode as well as more village houses. Not that I will stop doing the new buildings as we still have plenty of time. Indeed apart from adding the darkened area's to the boards to mark out the woods we are about there for QB. Waterloo will need a lot more work obviously and it's getting closer.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chatter Behind The Bike Sheds - Winners and Losers?

Lets start with winners yes that's me. Loki over at Lokis Great Hall is running a series of Giveaways over the whole year to celebrate his great blogs serious numbers. I was one of the lucky first round of winners scooping this excellent book. Great timing too as I am reading the memoirs of a Officer of the 95th Rifles right now. This brings to a total of three books I have won in Giveaways and what a farm feeling it gives too. I am also half way through 1805:Austerlitz which was the second book I had won a few months back and I am really enjoying it.

Staying with books linked to blogs I have bought a few books that I have had recommended to me even in one case actually reading it!!! You know the problem, too many books not enough time but I will get round to 1812 Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow sometime this year. I think this is what I like most about blogging, the ability to connect with other bloggers around the world, from reading posts, being inspired to paint figures, buy books etc. through to winning prizes so nicely supplied by others and on to such as Blog-Con. We are truly blessed so it matters not when someone else's name is drawn, the connection is there.

Losing? Well not really but I am rather miffed that I am having to wait so long for my Baker Company figures. Seems everyone else has received them but me LOL. Lee went to pick mine up at York so it was disappointing when I found out they had not been sent. Worse still it looks like the balance of the first wave went out possibly ten days ago and I am still waiting. It's a tad unfair to be reading about how the second wave is about to ship when you have yet to see a single figure cross your doorstep. I just hope Gavin will get back to me soon with news as I know I have a long long wait for my other Kickstarter. That could yet prove to be the bigger loser of the day.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Building Of The Week - Timber Shack by Leven Miniatures.

It's been a tough week just gone, as I mentioned before I was away for the week. Got back late Thursday and have not touched a brush till this morning so I would have something to post about. In a few hours I am off to Frankfurt but will be back Tuesday. Not sure how much time I will have for posting as I have all the work to do on the Casualty bonus round other than a base coat I did week before last. 

Any way onto the main event. Another of the ACW building's, this time it's ACW08 Timber Shack that will soon be released. This one can be used right up to the present day and I do find it easy to see the odd Zombie shambling out of the open corrugated porch.

As you can see this building is raised from the ground and has a corrugated iron roof that I have tried to make lived in rather than new or used up. This building also has the plastic dowel chimney which works a treat.

I think this building is quite functional and has the advantage of multi-era use. I am a big fan of Leven's planking style as it really gives the feel of wood. The dry brushing really picks out this and makes for a fairly quick paint up.

I ran some brown ink into the roofs channels whilst the grey paint was still wet so that t became one with the paint in some area's whilst others it stood on top of the paint to give the effect of building up over a period of time. Mike uses a lot of corrugated effects on buildings such as his railway range which I really like to see though it does not match my periods.

So another fun paint I have one more building close to being finished that will be used for next weeks entry but after that I will be moving onto a few larger buildings that Mike has sent me to paint. I will also be starting to paint the train track layout he sent me a month or more back that will take a few weeks. Meanwhile I need to paint up a few more buildings for the Quatre Bras game planned for the Joy of Six. 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Building of the Week Leven Miniatures Yet to be Released Building

It's been five days since my last post, I am a blog-aholic. Sorry for the more than limited output at Castle Willey. I would love to claim it's because I have been painting like a demon for the Analogue Painting Challenge. Now while I have done some painting it's been disjointed and not hitting the brushes for long at a time. I'm a little unsettled as I have a few things I need to thrash out and I am also away with work for the best part of two weeks from tomorrow. As such I have spent more time with the kids and Cath as it's no longer the normal thing for me to be away. 

Of course this means I won't be doing any more painting for the best part of two weeks. I hope to submit an entry tonight to Curt but post that I will be out of touch. I come home Thursday for the night and in the office Friday before going to Frankfurt till late Monday but given I won't get a day off till the 15th don't expect to much input or comments on others blogs, simply put, I will be too knackered.

So onto the reason for the post. This building is not yet (as far as I can find) been assigned a product code so may well be the first time the building has been previewed. Though it might actually be recognised from something else.

Leven have a Timber Watermill GEN09 that this building is based on. I mentioned that this building without the wheel and trough would make a great warehouse and Mike agreed and here we have it. The same can also be said regards the stone watermill (hint hint).

This time I went with the doors being the same colour as the wood planks of the rest of the building, after all it's just a general purpose work's building and would be shown little love. 

This is backed up with the slightly untidy planking for the upper story. It's all in the small detail that have made Leven my favourite building supplier.

Detail you can see in something as plain as the roof, the texture really makes painting the roofs a breeze as you just need to dry brush and the detail comes to life.

I had previously missed a little extra texture, that on the doors, here you can see the same approach bringing to life the side door. Gosh I do like my Leven's