Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Commisioned Work

A fair few of you will be aware of my hobby crossover into Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) especially the sniper reminders that have popped up on occasion. However it came full circle when a friend asked me if I was prepared to paint up a trophy for a new ASL tournament he and another friend were organising. At first I was resistant having turned down the chance for doing the same for Heroes a few years ago.

However Martin's enthusiasm got me to waver and eventually I went from a bit negative to fully onboard. We actually got the idea from concept to basic positioning fairly quickly. From there it became a case of tinkering as we went.

The setting is somewhere in France 1940 as the Germans tear their way through the allied armies on the way to another blitzkrieg victory. Martin wanted African colonial troops to be depicted and even beat me to finding the Senegalese infantry that Warlord supply as a boxed set. I then added the tank and crew also from Warlord whilst Crusader provided the French ATG and Black Tree Design had the German casualties I wanted.

The rough idea actually changed little once I started to paint the bits up. Above was the photo I sent to Martin for his thoughts. To be fair he more or less left me to my own devices, never saying no but giving encouragement in line with his own preferences.

I had bought extra crew even though it comes with crew. However my plan was to have the tank knocked out so needed to make changes to the crew member bending the arm down and cutting some of the figures side and stomach off to allow him to be draped out of the turret. Not something that would have worked with the plastic figures that were too set in posture.

Crushing the gun was a bit of a challenge as the shield comes in two parts. In the end this was actually a bonus as it allowed me to bend one half out of true but still link the two parts to the barrel and trail.

I commissioned Warbases to supply me with two special sized MDF bases so I could play about and see which would work the best. Given the price I was charged it was a no brainer and even though they had a show literally days away I got the bases so quick I did not have to break stride. I wanted the MDF base so I could do all the basing and not have to worry about making a mess of the wooden plinth it would eventually be fixed to.

I also had to convert the standing and kneeling crew of the ATG which for the most part was a case of cutting bases off and filing one side of the figure down so it could be painted and then pressed down into the basing paint prior to sanding. I also made shells and empty shell cases out of cocktail sticks. I also made a ammo box with a couple of shells in it.

I added a little damage to the tank via a glancing strike on the turret (tap drill scored mark) and a pair of drilled penetrations. The killing shot though was registered to the side of the drivers viewing slit.

I also added some cast aside weapons from a German sprue again Warlord Games, also added other scatter such as a cast aside helmet and the guy who is seen with the LMG near him has a ammo belt around his neck and ammo box beside him. I added Games Workshop Stirland Mud into the areas I had scraped the basing paint marking the path of the tank as well as on the various parts of the tank you would expect mud. Finally adding some gloss varnish into the trail and parts of running gear etc.

The total cost of models etc but not paint came to £95 so added up quite a bit as I went on but overall I was really happy with the effect and would be happy to do more such bases in the future.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Dungeon Saga Heroes

As I continue to paint what grabs me rather than for a set project I decided to paint up the heroes from Dungeon Saga. I will also be doing the bad guys as well. Not to mention the furniture...…….

I have taken the player characters off their stone effect bases and added them to acrylic ones. The bad guys will remain on the original bases. First up is the wizard. I tend to mostly go for bright colours with these guys when I paint one and felt no issue doing so this time round.

The details a bit faint so harder to paint than say a typical metal fantasy figure. However for a game piece it's good enough.

Next up is the barbarian figure. Originally I was not all that struck on him but once I had undercoated and added a white drybrush I started to see the detail better. He is typically overdone with skulls, something that again I am not over keen on miniatures.

You may have spotted the doors and of course the chest, pieces that come with the game but could find use when I finally get time to run another roleplaying session with the kids.

No party can really be called a party without a dwarf! Suitably OTT I got to play with a good mix of metallic paints. 

Again like the others he did not take a great deal of work but of the four he is most defiantly my favourite. 

No decent images came out of the elf unfortunately. I was unable to get a pic from the front that was not blurred.

Group shot to finish off the set. In the background you can see the yellow skeletons that will be the next figures from the game awaiting primer. However I do have other figures already on the go. Hopefully I will get those further down the line during the next week, not that I don't have a few more units awaiting photographing.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Leven Miniatures Blood Bowl Stadium

Mick at Leven asked me to paint a rather large 6mm building for him, no rush he said, take your time.. he said...…

Well I did that right enough. No real excuses other than Mick made it real easy to allow it to slide. Eventually though I finally did get it done and Lee delivered it at Joy of Six (I had to work). It's not yet up on his website but I suspect it's available if you email him.

It's Leven's interpretation of a Fantasy American Football pitch first envisioned by Games Workshop as Blood Bowl. A game I really enjoyed when it came out way back when. I have even been tempted by an old copy I saw at a show, fortunately I managed to resist as I have far to many distractions as it is.

I did not quite get all the pieces to fit right when I built it up because I made the mistake of trying to do the basing at the same time. A real shame as when I dry placed them they fit perfectly together with no gaps at all.

I knew how I wanted it to look right from the off. The main focus was always the roof as I wanted to try and match the roof I painted on a wizards tower for Mick a few years back. Since taking the photo's Mick wanted flags adding to the tower tops, these I did as bright red pennants on pallet paper and attached to brass pins. Unfortunately I did not get round to taking any pictures but I felt they were a nice touch.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Back in Black

Well it's been awhile again. Whilst I have painted some bits and bobs I have slowed down a great deal I suspect mostly down to not getting a game for , well since last year! However I have started to paint up more but mostly it's either a couple of big commissions or it's just stuff I just wanted to paint with little thought of actually needing too.

The first of the commissions has been for Leven Miniatures and that has got me wanting to paint buildings again and the other is a 28mm dio that I may not be able to show off till about the end of November but has been great fun to paint.

What I have painted has been a mix of 6mm and 28mm Fantasy, I am not even doing anything Fantasy at the moment!

Another big negative was not being able to make Joy of Six this year. All work related as my boss was on holiday and I also had other staff off through sickness. Given that Lee and myself had been getting our armies sorted for a rather large Ancient demo game it was a very big downer. Still we now have a whole year to try and actually play the scenario and get a better grip on the rules. Yes I am trying to polish the turd of disappointment.

Right now I have a bunch of 6mm ECW figures on the bench as I recently bought the To The Strongest For King and Parliament offshoot and having played the demo game have high hopes that these rules will in fact reignite what was once my favourite period. Better still if it does then my old 15mm army can be dusted off and brought back out to play.

My blogging won't get back to the hay day, I just don't have the time, dedication or material but I will try and get it back at least to a fairly regular appearance.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Lancashire Games French SYW Heavy Cavalry

Recently finished up a couple of heavy cavalry units for The Boy. These are Lancashire Games French cavalry from their Seven Years War range. Having painted up quite a few of this suppliers figures I do find them really quick to paint. The detail is reasonable and I do miss out a few of the smaller details to speed things up but they still come out looking fine.

We use Black Powder rules which allow you to be creative with your basing. Were not over happy with the army list book for this period but it does supply you with stats for the units but beyond that it really does not help in producing a realistic or balanced army. Indeed the author actually states he is no expert on the period!

This regiment is the Royal Cravate, having looked at a display game that used a larger than standard number of figures we decided to copy them. Light cavalry have twelve figures a regiment, dragoons have fourteen and the heavies sixteen making each cavalry unit average about £7.50 a pop. Of course any units that use most of the other suppliers the cost is somewhat more.

The second regiment is Meustre ds Camp and as usual The Boy picked which units he wanted me to paint. He still has a lot of unpainted cavalry so I will be back to this army again fairly soon. 

The flags are from Cadogan Hobbies who sell on ebay and are very good value for the quality. I have the flags for just about all the cavalry and infantry for Prussia and France and for under £28 and that's hundreds of flags!

The Boy is a bit low on unpainted infantry so will look to pick some more of those once I get a couple more battalions painted. I also bought some Blue Moon command figures for him that will give him another two command stands and allow for a mounted officer on one of his infantry bases. Will have to look for other command figures at some point to further expand his command options.

If you do go down the route of buying Battle Packs from Lancashire Games be aware that most of these packs are just the standard figures, command figures have to be bought on top of these packs, annoying if you don't realise and have to make a second order. However shooting Alan a email to check prior works well as he is quick to respond.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

6mm Napoleonic Prussian Artillery

To follow on from the last post on French SYW Artillery I felt I had to go with my latest addition to my Prussian Napoleonic Artillery.

I don't need a massive amount more artillery for my Prussians in total so these are a bit of a tidy up. All four guns and crews are Baccus, the limbers are from Commission Figurines and the horses and riders are Adler. Yes the bits box was raided!

The Adler bits were actually bought ready painted  but were missing some of the limbers (some were used as wrecked ones on bases due to damage) so I broke into a pack of Commission Figurines as I can still use the horses etc without the limbers.

As you would expect these did not take much time to paint up and are now tucked away in a box awaiting future play. Problem is that I have enough for Waterloo which is about as big as my Prussians are likely to get for a long time yet. However my Prussians are not really about painting for a game so much as I have them and want to carry on till I have enough for the whole of 100 days campaign and possibly then look at earlier campaigns, who knows. Whilst it's fun I will continue to paint the odd unit or battery up.

At the moment I have the last of the infantry and cavalry for our game for Joy of Six in a couple of months. The plan is to have them all finished before the end of this month and then sit back and enjoy painting just what I want, expect a right mix of toys.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

French SYW Artillery - Lancashire Games 15mm

The Boy's army continues to grow, he has had noticeable success in a recent game with his guns, blasting my poor infantry to bits as I advanced towards his troops so it was not surprising that he should favour yet more guns.

As such I painted up a couple of battalion guns and a medium giving him a little more flexibility. He will need a couple more battalion guns when I paint up a few more infantry battalions for him.

As he has a artillery Battle Pack from Lancashire Games so still has plenty of guns left to go at. I also have one as well as the Blue Moon gun pack so we won't go short.

In fact these have taken the table once already but suffered from the usual luck that first time used troops tend to suffer. Still The Boy's army continues to grow, he even has two regiments of heavy cavalry on my workbench at the moment that will soon be finished.

His next troops though are likely to be 6mm British Napoleonic's he is hankering after a few horse artillery batteries having played against my French ones a few weeks back.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Three Prussian Landwehr Battalions

I continue to expand the Prussians for the 100 Days Campaign with the three battalions of the 3rd Westphalie from the I Corp, 3rd Brigade. You Napoleonic experts will note that these did not get to fight at the Battle of Waterloo itself but did take part in the campaign. 

These for the most part are Adler figures but as Adler do not do a skirmish figure for the Landwehr I have used Baccus for these. I have painted up the three battalions in column as Adler just don't base well and the spacing is all wrong to have them in a two deep line though I sometimes do the Prussians in a three deep line.

As often mentioned here Adler do excellent little figures, the animation and detail make them a joy to paint but a devil to clean up. When I am finished my Prussian army will be about 80% Adler, whilst my French are about 90% Baccus. Maybe one day I will get all of both armies out and take a group shot.

I think of the Adler infantry for the Prussians the Landwehr are the nicer figures. With the mix of blanket roll and bread bag these are more interesting. Of course painting a few thousand of the buggers does take the shine off them.

I don't see me finishing them all off in the next twelve months, nor even probably in the next twenty four but you never know. I don't have much left to do with regards the Cavalry or Artillery it's mostly infantry and possibly a few command stands but with other projects also demanding time I will have to make a conscious effort to keep these ticking over.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Two 15mm French Seven Years War French Infanty

I continue to add to The Boy's army, this time with Regiment 43 Bourgogne and as usual these are from Lancashire Games but a slight change to normal I had included grenadiers on one stand.

Having painted a reasonable number of these fellows up it was straight forward, the flag is from Cadogan Hobbies I bought the sets for French infantry and cavalry and the two sets for the Prussians  so literally have hundreds of the buggers.

These have already seen action in a rare loss for The Boy. The three bases allow us to move them in march column or deploy in line. The cavalry come on 60x60mm bases that conform to three bases of infantry.

Just four grenadier figures on the right hand base allows them to have the correct position and adds a little something to the base. Difficult to believe we have been building these armies for over two years now. Still once I have a couple more cavalry units painted he will have a reasonable force for a full game.

It's never worth just doing one regiment so her we have Regiment 37 Royal Roussillon, The boy picks the units he wants painting based part on uniform and part flag. Mostly the flag is the driving force behind the regiment, here the two uniforms colour pops nicely.

Again I did grenadiers for this regiment, not sure how many more units worth of infantry I have for him left to paint but I have at least two units worth plus at least four of cavalry.

Not a fan of stiff flat flags I like a little movement in them so some repainting tends to be required where the flags show white crease lines but it's worth the extra effort.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

1812 Napoleons Fatal March on Moscow

It's a few years ago, but I read a review of this book and decided to buy it. Once bought it sat waiting for an opportunity to read it and was almost forgotten. Problem was that every time I thought about it I had a couple of books already waiting a turn. However I finally got round to reading it and have to admit I really enjoyed it. Part of the reason I took so long to actually read the book has been the idea that the part of the book dealing with the retreat would be repetitive and so grim as to wear down the reader. Whilst it is grim by the very nature of the retreat I feel Adam Zamoyski did a great job of narrating the events and kept the text fresh as he moved along the retreat.

Not that the book was all about the retreat of course, much of the book deals with the build up of events that lead to the forming of the Grande Army and how Napoleon and Alexander slipped towards a war neither really wanted and how the tragic events unfolded. Most interesting was the level of losses taken by the advancing army to which Napoleon was for the most part unaware as commanding officers gave false reports so as not to anger Napoleon. Indeed the whole venture showed that Napoleon seemed not to be his old self and the steady erosion of the army was avoidable to a fair extent and the rushed preparations and fairer to follow up orders sent was a root cause of the eventual loss of the campaign and the fall of France as the major power. Shades of Hitler's invasion from start to finish really are apparent.

Adam Zamoyski's view of Kuturzov being extremely cautious and incompetent really makes interesting reading and leaves the reader with the thought that if overall command had been given to a more aggressive and competent commander then far less of the Grande Army would have made it back to friendly bases and the 1813 campaign would have been much shorter if it had happened at all. This leads to the question of the possibility of the return to power of Napoleon and the whole 100 days campaign being a none starter? 

The book provides less meat for possible battle ideas than I was hoping for but certainly will add some flavour to anyone thinking of wargaming this campaign. I can fully recommend picking up a copy of this book though don't sit on it like I have done.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Baccus Slingers

For Project Magnesia I need a few units of slingers so added these to my Christmas wish list. Santa was kind and along they came with the three pike blocks, three elephants and a couple of scythed chariots. The phalanxes are painted and based just needing the pikes adding (like that's a five minute job!). The rest are still in their packets, maybe next week.

Very basic paint job so really quick to paint. Rather than the usual nut brown ink I washed in Nuln Oil which gave a more Mediterranean flesh tone and stopped the white tunic's going reddish brown. You get two poses so a little bit of arm bending helped flesh these out a bit. In To The Strongest these are the weakest units out there and have a very limited use and survival prospect, I wonder how they will do against Romans?

For the game I think I need two units so have plenty here. I also kept a few back to add to the elephant bases as escorts to make them more interesting.

This leaves me the last few peltasts to paint up along with the elephants and chariots. I have also made a start on the Gallic cavalry unit that will complete all the cavalry for the game. I still have to check if I have enough phalanx units, it's possible I need two more units which will be a pain as I feel I have done enough already. Still with only a couple of months to get everything sorted I need to really get my head down and get done.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Not Dead Yet, Christmas Based

Hello and welcome back to the Blog with No Game. It's been awhile and as I stated before I went off the air I was in need of down time. Unfortunately it's far harder to just get on with a fresh post rather than just keep on not doing. I have instead through a lot of energy into my ASL blog that had previously suffered this blogs fate. Now at last I feel the urge and ability to post on. So where better to start than a couple of very nice Christmas gifts.

I received enough figures for me to base up four units of peltasts, these will be used for the game Lee and I will be doing either at this years Joy of Six or next year dependant on painting and opportunities to play. As you can see these are a colourful bunch and I will be using them as guides and inspiration for the other peltasts units I need to paint up.

As you can see lots of detail went into painting these guys and they will fit in very nicely with the rest of my army. These are Baccus figures and will be part of my Seleucid army that is pitted against Lee's Romans.

I also got enough figures for four units of Gaul's, these are the same models as I bought, though my version I clothed so now I have both options. I really like the shields too.

These boys are a bit fresh as you can see from behind, or should I say from their behinds. So too very nice gifts that have now been based for a couple of months awaiting photo's. Mostly I can blame the weather but more than once I had the opportunity to take the pics but cried off.

The good news is that I have also taken pics of the other finishes. Most of these have been finished a month or two though until last week I had not painted anything since end of February but just finished off three battalions of Old Guard for my French Naps. Next on the desk is two regiments of SYW French cavalry for The Boy, these are Lancashire 15mm and come in at sixteen figures a regiment so I may be at them some time.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Civil Strife in the Midlands 1642-1651 Book Review

I have promised myself that I will try to blog about all the historical books I read this year, something I got out of the habit of over the last couple of years. I have owned this book for years, it was published in 1974 but uses a lot of first hand snippets that have become favoured more recently and as such has one foot in modern day writing. Indeed this could have been written more recently than it's actual date.

For anyone interested in the English Civil War (first) then this book is worth picking up, especially if you live in the UK with a price tag of £1 on Amazon, plus postage of course. Those who are looking for ideas for a skirmish game then this again will be a source of information. Some of which would transfer to other periods so has some use outside wargaming the ECW.

The main point behind the book is that the Midlands suffered more during the First Civil War and was more important to all sides than any other area. My view has always been that it's ironic that the first Civil War started and ended in Nottinghamshire but overall the war passed us buy in this area for the most point. This book goes someway to redress such a view but the truth is that it actually had less effect than the author claims. Sure both sides did march and fight their way through the Midlands but most of the actual battles that actually happened in the Midlands were on the midlands boarders rather more central (ignoring Naseby). I would argue that the North has a much better claim to most effected region, especially when you consider the time the Scottish field army spent in that area before coming south. 

However few books sell with tag lines of "not the most important, but things did happen here" OK not really fair as quite a bit happened in the Midlands and my main grip is the lack of detail R E Sherwood put into such activities but this is not a book about battles but social upheaval. I am not sure Sherwood actually had a good understanding of the periods weapons, tactics and battles and seemed to take too many sources at face value even giving many of the pamphlets the benefit of the doubt which is risky indeed.

So a book that took too long to get round to reading and a little disappointing but I am still happy I have read it and as mentioned at the price it goes for on Amazon it's worth getting for the reasons mentioned above.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

To The Strongest Test Game

A few weeks ago Lee and myself threw a few units on the table and tried some test fights whilst trying out the rules. Our lack of a proper gridded battlefield did not help but we had enough of an idea for Lee to get a cloth and me another set of the rules. Fast forward a couple of weeks and armed with a set of rules each, a pair of decks of cards and the trusty game mat we were ready to try again, that much larger and that more prepared.

Now don't get me wrong, this was no well balanced game, merely a mixed force to see how the rules handled and how well we could come to grips with the mechanics. No winner or loser here, that is unless the rules rock or flounder.

Lee's favourite saying "To see what would happen" was thrown around all over the place. Lee has small compact Roman commands whilst I am using a massed block of troops the main battle being 12 phalanx's with around 6 units of supporting troops and two wings of cavalry.

The rules allow two units in a box, being one in front of the other. We went 4 units to a box as our display game will have a massive force. The idea seems to hold up fairly well, more testing to be sure but so far so good.

Lee also bought a load of counters though the ammo counters seemed to be the only ones required in this game. Future games may have the numbered counters instead of the modified card decks.

A view from Lee's side of the table. I was really struggling to get my blocks moving forward as we expected. The lights went ahead of the blocks whilst the cavalry attacked on both flanks.

The square grid is clear enough for you to focus on when required but does not stand out when looking at the game as a whole. We both really like the look at the mats and have no problem recommending them. Here  my cavalry get in my own way.

Lee just needs to grass his bases and he will have almost his whole army ready whilst I still have around 500 figures to paint. Such is the difference in our troop strengths.

So after a stop start evening we remain quite happy with the rules. Lee being Lee is looking at using the rules for 15mm, we both have quite a few figures and 28mm, Lee has a few units. Whilst I am happy to try 15mm without the added changes, I still enjoy Hail Caesar so suspect this may or may not remain a 6mm rule set for us but 28mm would require a lot of units or the games would be really short.

Of course we made plenty of mistakes and still need to get the rules sharpened but I really think we have the rules for the demo game. How they will actually work full blown is something we will have to wait and see but such a mass of pike is a bit of a knee trembler for sure.