Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Friday, 31 January 2020

First Game in About Two Years

FINALLY I got to play again :-) So Wednesday night I went over to Matts and we played a SYW Blackpoweder game of 777 points.

I was the Prussians (on the left) and Matt had the Austrian's. Lee and myself had based our units to our own base size and unit size so Mat and my bases did not all marry up and Matt fielded two battalions together to look a bit more like mine.

Matt had loaded one flank with cavalry whilst I was mostly even. This meant I had to turn round one flanks worth and fly across the rear of my infantry to give them a hand. Meanwhile I was trying to fend off Matts dragoons with a dragoon and a hussar unit.

My Hussars lost the first round and Matt did a sweeping advance and against the odds then lost the melee becoming shaken. I lost the dragoon v dragoon one but not the unit.

This however allowed me to charge both his dragoon regiments sending them from the field but I did take casualties making myself vulnerable to his cuirassiers.

I should have been in a great position with three fresh regiments turning up but on charging his hussars I did really poorly and this left the whole of my cavalry with fairly high casualties. This was made worse when my C-in-C blundered.

One battalion of infantry had been disordered and I failed to get two moves so unable to pass through the forward unit and things would start to go bad for them from this point on.

Matt got two units of light infantry round my flank, of course I got disordered and suddenly nothing on that flank could move. Time for another blunder methinks.
Just before Matts cuirassiers carve me up my cuirassiers are shaken by Matts very expensive hussars. He was a very happy chap they had done so well. Lots of laughing in our game but at this point mostly Matts lol.

One of my battalions blundered (I referred to it above) and he moved right into close range for Matts artillery and a battalion of infantry and that is all she wrote for those guys.

We made a few mistakes and had heads in the rules as neither of us had done enough pre-game reading and remembered things a bit less than we thought but we still had a heap of fun. Next time I think we will have a better idea and should get a better balanced game.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Bounding Fire Trothy Build

Some of you will remember that I did a diorama for a new ASL tournament in 2018. Well I was asked to do the 2019 one as well. However this time I wanted to make a larger impact and well you could say it got out of hand as I ended up having to learn a number of new skills, I mean no real pressure.

The original idea was sketched out and Martin one of the two organisers was happy to go with it. In fact Martin never really tried to control me just accepting the changes and additions as it sailed further out in to the either.

The first big step was actually deciding the height of the main area, the situation was based on possible action from the final scenario and it called for a deep river so I wanted to give it height. I knew I could not go deep as such but extra height would work with the scenario.

I added cork bark that I had bought from a pet shop whilst on holiday. The river bed I wanted to give the appearance of depth so carved the poly to give different heights. This would be painted dark through light to make bits look like varying depths.

I sprayed the whole thing black and added my usual basing system learnt from Lee to both the upper level and the riverbed. Note the holes in the bridge for where the figures would be pinned.

The cork was cut back to allow the ply frame and then dry brushed 50 shades of grey  ;-) this was to change to stone though I was tempted to leave as was as I really liked the real look. I then added brown ink wash in parts and mud effect to boost the natural feel.

The water was the biggest leap for me, going from never used to a large amount was a big ask. I tried a few tests which went well but when it came to the real thing I was very nervous. Worse still was this was not deep pour as I wanted to be able to add things as I went so it is applied in 3-5mm depths that shrink back to about 2-3mm meaning it took about ten applications and did cloud towards the end. This layer has a bucket made from a pen clicker and small fish. These fish were my wifes idea, grass seeds that I painted silver or gun metal, some even curled making them more realistic. Believe me after a few layers of resin they looked really good.

Whilst I was building up the layers I created the falling soldier part. This is a different water effect that stays as you work it so I was able to make the splash and have nice pointed peaks. It took days to go clear and I did think it had gone wrong as it stated would be clear in 24-36 hours. 

Alarmingly when added to the base with more water effect acting as glue it went white again!! This is a few days into it clearing but not quite done yet.

Once I was happy I then had to remove the wooden sides. I had prepared cuts in the wood and Sellotaped the wood hoping the resin would then break free and not be damaged. It was a difficult to separate but finally it came away and overall I was very happy. The edges would need painting to rid me of the filler but I was OK with that.

I also added the rifle and started building up the jungle. I was originally using railway paper flowers but the cost was terrific. I then read about a product called Neutral Protection. You basically get real plants and soak them in this resin over 24 hours and then they will keep the colour they have at that point. So me and Cath searched out loads of plants that would look like jungle in 28mm. Here you can also see the rope that holds the bucket to the bridge, it was held in previous pictures at the right angle with bluetac.

I crafted the sandbags (a bit clumsy) adding jute like texture using xstich fabric pressed to the shaped clay. The jug near the bottom of the photo has more water effect pouring out of it and puddling in the foxhole. Also the plates of curry are greenstuff plates with mud effect and snow effect for the rice. I wanted it to look like the attack was a surprise.

The Japanese are all Warlord, the ones with leaves are the elite squad the casualties including the one in the water are plastic sprue ones.

The Dutch marines are made by May '40 Miniatures and had just been released at the time. Since then they have had a Kickstarter so a lot more figures are now available. I even found images of a Dutch paper so one of course is on the dio.

Little bits that are hard to see are bits of piano wire cut into shell casings, a fair bit of leaf scatter and some paper leaves for dead vegetation. I have to say I was very pleased with how it came out though it took well over 100 hours and cost more than I charged for it. However it was a great experience and something I will happily continue to do as a sub hobby though next years trophy will be a simpler build.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Frozen German Soldier at Stalingrad

Frozen was released by Stormtrooper Miniatures some time ago and unfortunately is no longer available though they still have plenty to choose from. They seem to cater for other periods more than WWII though I really like the French Revolutionary 1/6th scale bust. However I will have to raise my game before trying him.

The base is from Model Display Products and is resin and I used my airbrush to spray Vallevo Model Colour Dark Seagreen which is the same base colour as the material wrapped around his head. The snow effect I have used before but on much smaller models is Deluxe Materials Scenic Snow and I found using normal PVA better than using the glue provided that I found tended to colour the snow. 

The MP40 was a challenge (and yes I need to trim the barrel as pointed out by a friend) the wire stock came in three pieces! The rest of the figure came in the same number! The only other use of the airbrush was undercoating. The rest is all Vallejo Model Colour but applied with normal brushes.

Overall very happy with the finish. Being less involved than Rollo he was a quicker paint and having no deadline helped with the stress levels. I am now moving to Napoleonic's with three battalions of Adler 6mm and a bust of a Polish Lancer at Waterloo.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Rollo The Viking

In my last post I touched on having recently finished a bust. This was for my Nephew for his Christmas present. I really enjoyed working on him. He is supplied by FeR Miniatures and a relatively recent release from what I can gather.

The quality of the casting and details is excellent, that face is the size of my thumb nail. Super proud of the eyes as I really thought I would make a mess of them. First time I have used a iris colour!

The figure comes in 4 parts plus either a helmet (three options between full and open faced) and helmetless but I did not like how the hair ran and besides the helmet is kickass. Tried a bit of free hand and know I need to raise that game but pleased overall with it.

Not over happy with the wolf but by this point I was rather up against time and let it ride. If I had time over again I would have tried harder. 

Yes I know the helmet was wonky, fortunately this was a test fitting the final fit was straight. Great detail on the helmet, hope you can see why I could not leave it off. The other options is nose bar and upper cheek and eye cover. Not quite full face but enough to obscure the eyes.

Again I kind of shortcut the shield going for a basic finish. Considering it's going to be facing away from you when displayed I don't feel bad about it. Still did a fair bit of picking out chips in the wood for that used in battle look.

Again the helmet was not yet positioned and I never got the chance to take a final pic as it was whisked away to be wrapped up.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Something For This Year

I painted up my first high detail bust towards the end of last year and have ordered another seven. Three are WWII ones I probably will look to sell on when painted but I have four Napoleonic ones that I plan to keep. This will be the first one I paint up and all I can say is that it looks gorgeous. Will really enjoy taking my time with it. Some one I know through work is making me a couple of painting sockets so will try and hold off until I get them. In the meantime I have a WWII German infantry man on the desk to keep me entertained.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Cath's Figure

I bought this figure at Triples and not even the last one, that's how long I have had it sitting unpainted! It's from Model Display Products and is called Rose, Female Sorceress and costs £16.50 and made of resin. The casting was fairly clean, not a great deal if clean up required. I have to admit that part of the reason for buying it was that the guy who runs the company is a very likeable fellow. It was also a kind of if I buy this and paint it maybe then I will buy more stuff later. Well I have bought a few plinths and paints but yet to buy any more miniatures but I will be doing so. I want to work up to doing one of his dragons.

Not the best picture but was not originally going to use it for the blog. The figure is a one piece casting and comes with the stone slab base and cat. I always saw her as an autumn witch so that's how she got painted. Plus the colour is similar to a t-shirt I bought Cath so many years ago so seemed right.

This figure marks the first use of my static grass applicator and also has some autumn leaf scatter that I bought for the 2019 Bounding Fire ASL Tournament which will follow in a future post.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

First Finish of 2020

And just like that I equalled the posts of 2019 LOL. These are three battalions of French SYW infantry for use with Blackpowder and belong to my son. I actually started these in last years painting challenge and their they sat. In the end three painting sessions saw them finished. Always a bit embarrassing when they finish so fast given the time lapse.

He has three more undercoated so I should get those done in the next month or so. A few things ahead of them in the queue. I know after that he still has some artillery and dragoons but not really sure if he has any infantry left.

The three regiments they depict from the left are Picardie (Regiment 1), Due Roi (Regiment 12) and Briqueville (Regiment 23). The figures are Lancashire Games from their 15mm range. I find size wise they fit well with Old Glory. I also have the Prussians and I find those castings better than the French in that the French have a little bit of misalignment on the standard infantry figure (turnback slightly worse than the full frock coat) which shows worst on the cartridge box at the rear of the figure. Still at the price they are tough to beat for value for money and are really quick to paint.

The flags are from Cadogan Hobbies and are the best priced flags I have ever got my hands on. The print quality is not at all bad and you get all the available flags. I had difficulty finding the Prussians originally and at this point no French are showing but if you contact them they will make them available. They also do the cavalry ensigns as well.

I am waiting for a bust and brass rods to arrive so will be playing around with my airbrush which will allow me to play catch up with the other finishes I managed last year.