Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Norman Chapel - Building of the Week

At Joy of Six I picked up my order from Leven Miniatures and included is this lovely Norman Chapel which is yet to be released. It's rather small as the last picture will show but really looks the part of a rural out of the way type it is meant to represent. We actually have one similar in the village I grew up in and it's this one I based this model on.

As yet I don't have a code for it nor a price but Mike will have that up on the site when it comes out. I have a feeling in might be fairly soon as he was asking about my progress the other day but that's speculation.

Whilst editing the photo's Cath looked over my shoulder and said that looks old and run down which I was happy with as that's the look I was aiming for. Obviously if your fighting Dark Age or Medieval battles then you would want it looking all fresh and new. If I was basing this one I would use the dry stone walls ACC02 selling at £3.00 per set and include a graveyard and of course a tree.

It's a quick paint, I used Vallejo 70976 Buff as a base for the stone work and added 862 Black Grey to the Buff and picked out odd stones for a colour difference. The roof I left primer grey (Lazy I know) but watered down the Buff/Black Grey mix down heavily and washed the roof with this. Following up with brown and black ink washes waiting till the first wash was almost dry and over lapping them. I repeated this a couple of times which gave depth to the washes and helped with the imprecision  of built up grime.

Last off I washed the walls in brown ink varying the amount of ink a little to add interest. I went with no stained glass as many a small Church would not have replaced any they had from the Civil War period (if in the UK) and I am not sure if Europe actually went for stained glass the way we Brits did.

And for scale we will use the good old Baccus Artillery piece and a 1p coin, that's about the same size as the US and Euro cent. As you can see it's probably the smallest place of worship Leven do but I enjoyed painting it more than I expected. Even with the extra work picking out the stones and the multiple washes I managed to get it done in an evening. 

Next weeks Building of the week will be a little different, for starters I did not paint the buildings in the post! But I am rather pleased with my input in this project, look for it next week.

Friday, 29 August 2014

History First

The wargames hobby I have always found makes the hobbiest more aware of what actually happened in the wars they choose to recreate and in doing so tend to be far less pro war than the typical bod on the street.
I have always been interested in actual items that come from wars and have collected such objects as time as gone past such as the ECW musket balls through to Medals, though I once owned a Napoleonic cannon ball fetched from the sea (not fired in anger) fetched up by my father on a dive near Cornwall, oh I wish I still had that ball.

So whilst on holiday last week I cam across a shop selling military related items including the WWII French helmet shown above. I was torn between this one and a number of other helmets including a German paratroopers but this one won the personal debate.

At the moment I am just enjoying looking at it sitting waiting for me to do something with it. I plan to get a stand for it and it can join the other items in my man cave that are just there because they can be. To some people this will be seen as glorifying war and I don't have a strong argument against such a view as the main reason I bought and will keep this is simply for the enjoyment of owning it. WWII happened, I wish we could say we learnt things from it but given the number of conflicts large and small tells me we learnt less than we should and some of the wars fought have been less about protecting the vulnerable and more about getting some form of advancement, be it for Country or personal really matters little to me.

Back to the helmet, it's certainly great to own something that not only comes from WWII but comes from neither Britain or Germany and is as iconic as I feel this is. I was told by the guy who owns the shop that some of these helmets have been sold as WWI French helmets that are worth a lot more than the WWII version. I plan to save up and revisit sometime again, my son of course was real happy picking up a 50cal machine gun round, the bloke also had a 50cal US HMG and a Russian WWII MMG on it's carriage. I did not ask how much the 50cal was but the MMG was worth between £800-850 which was lower than I would have expected.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Forest Troll & Secret Santa

I received this figure as part of my Secret Santa last year and the time was right for me to get it painted up. After all you never know when you will need a Troll do you?

Unpainted he was a rather friendly looking chap which was a worry, after all I don't want him trading cupcake recipes I want him cracking skulls. But a lick or two of paint and I thing the goodness has been left way behind. Indeed I think he is a bit of a bleeder.

So nearly nine months later here he is all painted up, hope my Santa is happy with the results. Will the players? well that's an altogether different story. I have to admit that mostly I used a series of lighter tnes drybrushed over the previous layer. 

I wanted to do something different when it came to the eyes and went with more snake eye pupils than the normal dot and it helps with the more threatening look.I also added several watered down flesh tone wash across the eyes to make them look less comfortable.

Anyway that brings me to Secret Santa, with the kids about to go back to school it must be time to start the ball rolling for this years Secret Santa. Same rules as last year. Each person who enters gets a target picked for them at random(ish) by my wife Cath. Cath intends that no one gets the same person as the previous year, so some slight re-drawing may have to be done. You need to be a follower of this blog, or have your own blog or know me. Minimum spend is £15 plus cost of postage. I recommend if you get someone in a different country to try and buy their gift from their country to cut down on the postage.

I will do a separate post next week on the subject but how about it, anyone interested?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bloggers For Charity I had a Winning Bid

I did not get involved in the Bloggers For Charity as I was/am heavily committed to painting my Waterloo stuff and have little interest in the period. However I did follow the project and coveted a couple of items. I never expected to have a chance at either of them and when they were auctioned as a set I accepted my fate. However for some reason these pieces were still on a very low bid so I thought I would play the role of spoiler and at least increase the selling price by putting in a £30 bid. I was amazed when that was enough to win the two items and yesterday they arrived which was just what I needed as I had been sent home from work ill.

Cath went out and got me a frame based on my request of something natural looking. I think she hit the jackpot and whilst I really like this frame it's a temporary home till I get chance (and the money) to get it framed professionally with a mount as befitting such a fine work of art. 

As you can see it's signed by Pete and I have to say that I am chuffed to bits and until it was in my hands I never fully appreciated how happy I was to win the auction. Thanks Pete could I be any happier?

Well it seems wrong but yes I could. That's because I also now own a Loki and what I feel is one of his best pieces of work I have seen of his, this being.....
I mean just look at this guy! It's almost enough to make me want to take up the period just to be able to use him in a game! However he will join a select few figures that's only purpose is to make me smile.

Though I can't help but think that run screaming would be more appropriate! How often can you blow a figure up that much and get away with it. Andrew I salute you! Actually I not only salute you but need to have a little chat about commissioning your talents

So I am rather uplifted by the whole experience and want to thank Andrew and Pete again for their fantastic donations to this great cause and of course to James for the original idea and running the event. By this time next year I will be free of commitments so you never know I may well be able to join in the next event.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Saga 2 Points of Vikings

Whilst I was on my weeks holiday I managed the last few bits on 11 Vikings allowing me to have two points of a warband. My son has 4 points already of Anglo Danes but these are not quite finished, these are going to be finished by me over the next week or so.

The image above includes the test figure I painted earlier in the year. All figures are Gripping Beast Plastics, from the Viking Hirdmen boxed set. I doubt I will paint up all 44 of them as I don't need more than 32 of them for a four point army, though I would more likely use even less than that.

 Six figures carry axes with the other six armed with swords allowing some flexibility as to how they will be used. Whilst the test figure had a lot of time spent on it, these are basic table standard as I expect them not to stand up to the rigours of playing games with my seven year old. Over time I will replace them with metals and will do a better job on them. Indeed I have 24 Blacktree figures on order as unarmoured versions to make up the 4 points. Of course my son also has a further 24 figures also coming, can you see where this is going?

The shields have the Battleflags shield decals that are made to fit these figures shields and after a few mistakes started to work well. I started with trimming them with too much of the clear decal left on. I recommend keeping close to the actual detail, less than 1mm overlap is best.

One figure in each group has a shield with two spears clasped in the shield hand these add a certain something to the group, I guess if I use them with other rules these could be used as minor commanders or such.

The right hand figure is the originally painted figure and looks a lot sharper when you check him against the others but really not so you would notice if just playing a game.

I like the various combinations you can get with the different bodies and arms etc allowing you to have a reasonably mixed force from the box. You also end up with a lot of spare parts for later use or just dumped in that bits box!

So overall I am a lot happier with the plastics than I thought I would be. I have based them on 2p coins which gives them some weight which I hope will be enough to keep them together fr a few games at least. The usual wash on top of a one colour base, in this case Nulan Oil from GW.

Three of these were used Saturday in a roleplaying session, they did not stick round to actually fight the players as they had dispatched the orc's with reasonable ease, well all except the female scout who took a kicking but that was the exception.

So my view on the plastic figures have moved in their favour to an extent. OK I still am not 100% fan but they add a good filler to your armies and can look rather nice. The biggest issue being the making them up but that was actually faster than I expected. I had got these finished except the shields weeks ago but that final stage was just an evening. Makes me wonder why I did not finish them sooner really.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Building of the Week - Farm Finished

We have been away the last two days (thanks auto post) and the rest of the week we were out all day visiting all sorts of places so painting time has been really limited, but still had time to finish this.

I had actually finished the farmhouse last week at the same time as the Granary but the basing was done on Tuesday and Wednesday before going away. You should recognise the farmhouse as Leven's FAR01 at £2.50 this is either the third or fourth one I have painted and I have plans for doing another somewhat different which may have to wait as I am not sure if I have one in hand.

Total cost for the lot must be a little over £6 with £5.50 on the buildings £0.60 for the Warbases tile and the hedges and tufts are bits from various packs. I think given the cost and the ease that painting these buildings up (see my tutorial on the Leven website) and basing them there is little excuse not to have a few of these type of features for games. 

I used some of my coloured flock to add flowers to the tufts, I did this last night and I am thinking I should have mixed the colours now. At the time I was just wanting to get it done for today though doing a mix would not have added too much time to the job. Impatience is my biggest failing.

It's fun to plan out these tiles, I always play about with them until I am happy with the placements and then draw them out on the base and after that it's far less work than you would think. I always add the Sandtex to the base then glue down the buildings with superglue before actually sanding the base as this limits the amount of brown paint getting onto the models.

I went with hedges on this one which are just clumps from Woodland Scenic's but I really like the irregular pattern they do for untrimmed hedges. 

I wanted a lane leading from the rear of the farm, the hedges boarder the farm itself and adds a little bit more to making the farm defensible given the way a lot of farms were built.

I have now assigned almost all my Warbase tiles up so will need to buy some more. I still have five sets of buildings to tile up for the town. They are all planned out but need the actual work doing on them. These should be the subject of coming Building of the Week but first I have a Norman Church to finish as a certain Mr Mike may be waiting.

The final shot being from above, I am rather pleased with the result :-)

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Battle of Bosworth 22nd August 1485

We decided to nip over to Bosworth last Sunday but before setting off I thought I would check the website to make sure all was OK. Turned out it was the planned re-enactment of the Battle as it's anniversary was the following Friday (today). A laying of roses on the Sundial will mark the event today.

 Their was quite a few re-enactors at the battle and a large living history camp you can just part of in the background. I do have a problem with the bright shiny armour almost all of them wear. Why people who are supposed to want to portray their period as accuracy as possible continue to turn a blind eye to such foolish peacock attitudes as wanting to be nice and shiny rather than dull and accurate.Worse still was that all but one of the women none combatants were wearing metal headgear, these often was the most polished!! In other cases women in skirts were also fighting in large enough numbers as to make you ask why? It just made it look like women were common in pitched battles. As the general public become more knowledgeable the more this society will look a joke which is a shame as overall they do a good job but obviously those in control lack the ability or interest in closing down these errors.

Lots more was going on other than the battle and  whilst entry came in at £50 for the four of us it was worth it. Richard III was holding back in the battle but eventually was to charge into the battle, I think we all know what's coming.

We missed taking shots of the arrows coming towards us earlier but you can see some on the way in this shot. The weather held off up to the end of the battle then it came down in sheets!

After Richard III had been killed all his armour etc was stripped from his body. Here he is being returned draped over the saddle.

The two Kings, Henry holding the crown yet to have it lifted to his head and Richard III stripped even of dignity. The battle and commentary was very good and lasted about fifty minutes which was about right. I would say a couple of hundred were on the field with about 10-15 on horseback in full armour.

Anyway this is an annual event so if you are interested in a full days entertainment it's worth putting in your diary for next year. I am already planning a boys day out for my son, Lee and me when we can get it together.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

A Little Bit of Fantasy - Frodo

Not that I will be using the figure as Frodo rather he is an open figure for anyone who wants to play as a Hobbit. It's a great looking figure as well. A Games Workshop metal from way back I assume. Jonathan from The Inevitable Spark gave me the figure along with a bunch of others more than a year ago! So it seemed only right that I get it painted up and now seems as good a time as ever.

Apart from the waistcoat I went for muted country colours as the last thing a Hobbit needs is to stand out in a fight! Most adventurers lack any form of storage for their needs but Frodo comes with a nifty backpack but unfortunately has no where to stick his sword, other than the odd Orc of course.

Just for scales sake I have included a Dark Sword Lady in Waiting, you get the picture. So that's another figure finished for the roleplaying group though when or if someone will take up with an hobbit is anyone's guess.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Baccus French 1812-15 Foot Artillery

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

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

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

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

French Line Infantry in Greatcoat More New Baccus Napoleonics

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 18 August 2014

French Line Infantry 1812-15 New From Baccus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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