Tuesday, 4 May 2021

The Unquiet Dead

    I've made a bit of a concerted effort to paint this week even though life has been pretty busy again. The lists I put together for a Middle Imperial Roman vs Undead Dragon Rampant game last week were small due to how cheap Undead units are compared to Romans, so while my Romans should be the priority, I decided to get moving on some Undead instead.

   While I was mucking about I, also, painted up a unit of praying monks. Quite a few of the historic novels I've been recently have had mentions of the commander at the back of the field, surrounded by a crowd of aides to advise, religious people to advise and pray and hangers on just getting in the way and this is a lot of the stuff I want to start getting onto the board. These monks are from Essex Miniatures and are part of my first small order where I wanted to check scale with other ranges - figuring a stand alone side unit doesn't matter if it is slightly out - and while I mostly plan to use them in future Dark Age/Medieval projects, what I thought I could do with them for the short term was give them to my Middle Imperial Romans for their fantasy games. While I am aware that the Romans I am painting would be mostly pagan, in a fantasy world where the risen dead are shambling towards you, any divine favour wouldn't go amiss.

   I've ordered the fantasy version of Sword and Spear, so that I can work out how to base up my necromancers for my Undead army, but I suspect it will be the same as I plan to do my captains for historical Sword and Spear.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 26 April 2021

A busy week

   This is a bit of a mixed post, but here we go. As with past years, I don't plan to post about every game I manage to play but with it being nearly six months since I last played a physical game, I though I would celebrate the UK starting to open up and start to arrange would games I could.

   The first game I managed was of Warhammer 30k with my podcast mate, Keith, and was in fact 2 games (as I lost the first so quickly) and was, also, last weekend. He wanted to get his new Imperial Fists on the table to try and motivate himself into getting them finished and I used my favourite legion, my Sons Of Horus. As I have already mentioned, the first game was a complete loss with the final score being 17-0 to Keith, as his first turn of shooting neutralised the two tanks I was relying on. The second game was much closer but was still a loss, but only 2-0 to him.

   Then this week, I really went to town with arranging games to test gaming on our new(ish) garden bench. When we picked the bench I pushed for one 6 foot long, however it isn't wide enough to play a decent 28mm game on - although I plan to rectify that by buying some board to sit on top of it - but for 15mm it is a perfect width, so that is what we did. 

   The first game we tried was after work early in the week and was Rebels and Patriots using my epic scale Warlord and Kallistra ACW stuff. While I lost, again, I'm really taken with Rebels and Patriots at this scale. We played with 38 points a side, which was 4 or 5 infantry blocks depending on the side, a cannon with limber and 2 units of light cavalry each, which is a big game at 28mm. In 15mm it was a couple of hours where we had space to manoeuvre and attempt to flank. I want to get more 15mm on the table in the next few weeks but it's really made me feel more confident with this scale shift.

  We then arranged an afternoon of gaming for Saturday which was going to be another test game using my 15mm Lion/Dragon Rampant armies to see how that looked in 15mm for which I did some frantic late night painting of a unit of Undead Knights and Undead Chariots. Both units are entirely Alternative Armies figures. The knights I'm not hugely keen on as they look too fantasy for me (in my head undead knights should just be skeleton knights, they don't need bat banners and skull shields) but I couldn't find another model range I liked more, I also, just about fitted the 8 cavalry on that my basing requires, but it was tight! The chariots have had a crew swap as I have other plans for the drivers and I've put them on half width bases to allow a bit more flexibility in future gaming.

   It was all moot in the end as time and other stuff meant we played a couple of board games instead - something for the future.


   I also saw online that Mike Hobbs has sadly passed away this week. He was a play tester for various rulesets, was a co-host on Meeples and Miniatures, was seriously entertaining on Twitter (both for his hobby and for his cats), was a friendly person you could ask questions of and was the cause of a lot of my hard earned money being spent on projects I didn't know I wanted to get involved in. My thoughts go to his wife and family at this time. He will be missed.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Sani Scale

    One of the real stand out series I've been reading since the first lockdown is The Burning series by Evan Winter, a big story fantasy tale set a non-Earth version of Africa. Its the classic big bad is coming but we need to sort ourselves out first genre, but with dark twists that keep you guessing at what is going on. Plus there are dragons, how can you not like a good book with dragons in it?

   With the second book coming out recently and me reading it even more recently, I got thinking about this twist in a fantasy army. When we think of fantasy games its a very white affair with maybe an Arabic looking race as one of the bad factions but wouldn't an African army look really interesting on the battlefield - effectively Evan writes the Omehi armies as (and probably going to show some ignorance here) looking like Zulu armies but with access to unridden dragons, and instead of married/unmarried being a distinction in Omehi armies it is Noble/Lesser that is the distinction. So I plan on using Married Zulu as Nobles, using the Foot Serjent profiles in Lion Rampant and Unmarried Zulu as Lessers, using the Yeomen profiles.

   The figures are from Essex and are properly nice to paint, but a nightmare to put together. I only bought enough for a single unit as I wanted to test a theory (there are more single units from potential armies coming) and, once they were built, I enjoyed the rest of the process a lot.

   So here is Sani Scale* - Omehi Nobles. 

*In the theme of dragons the minimum unit of organisation is a scale

Again, sorry for my shocking photography

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 15 April 2021

5th Line KGL - light Company

    A bit of a let down after the amount of finished figures on the last post, this week I think I burnt myself out by pushing too hard over the long weekend, so to ease myself back in, I picked a fairly easy job, two units of light company from the King's German Legion 5th Line Battalion. If I've got my history right, the light company were sent to reinforce the KGL 2rnd Light Battalion at La Haye Sainte, so this is my representation of that company (12 figures per company at the sec until I can get a game in and see how it looks).

   Like the other 15mm Napoleonics I've been painting, I've used the same recipe I use for my 28mm, just with grey trousers rather than white.

   The only thing worth noting more for how much it annoyed me when I realised was that in my haste to order the first batch of bases for my 15mm Napoleonics project, is I ordered the wrong size bases for my skirmishers. The guy I copied (can't remember which blog it was now) put his skirmishers on 25/15mm bases to match the width of his line infantry who are on 25/20mm. I, for some unknown reason, ordered 20/15mm - in the long run it doesn't matter, all my skirmisher will match and I have no real interest in rebasing figures so recently finished, but it's something I will remember every time I look at these armies.

Again, I apologise for the photo quality.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Smashing Through The Rank And File

   This week has been a bit of a breakthrough in terms of getting bulk loads of figures done, the long weekend is what you are expecting me to say, but mostly it's the fact my son has learnt to put himself to sleep, which has freed up an extra hour in the morning before work and untold hours afterwards, and that's not including weekends.


   With that in mind and still waiting for my Old Glory Napoleonic's back order to arrive I went back to my neglected 15mm projects - Middle Imperial Romans and Undead. I still plan to split my Romans in half for their first proper game, before I really get on with buying and painting an enemy for them, but I've also had half a thought that they might end up fighting my Undead army in the short term as well. Using Lion/Dragon Rampant means it doesn't really matter what is on each side. With a unit of Legionnaires being 6 points to a regular skeleton unit's 3, I'm going to need to get cracking with undead, but as a quick reward for each Roman unit finished, I think they will make both projects move fairly quickly now.

   So, this is what I managed to achieve this weekend:

   Firstly, I finished the remaining two units of Legionaries, this time with shield transfers that I discovered that Forged in Battle had added to their range since I bought my army - this now leaves me the issue of going back to the two units that I painted shield designs on, which I am not looking forward to.


   Next are my Medium Cavalry. I had already finished one and a half of these units - which was when I found out my plan of 12 cavalry to a base wasn't going to happen, however, this has the happy accident of meaning that I get 3 units out of 2 packs of models, which is nice. Thankfully, sorting out the transfers on the finished models was a simple process. I have half a plan of buying another couple of packs and giving them a different shield design but that is a problem for later.

   Lastly, the the Romans, is a unit of Auxilia. I got 3 units wearing similar gear to my Legionaries as part of my kickstarter, so when I wanted to round the force out, I purposely picked something different. A bit of a shame I can't get printed shield designs for these guys, but they are supposed to look a bit like a rushed raising of local militia rather than a standing unit.

   As I was on a roll, I decided to get some undead units moving too, just to keep myself a bit more refreshed. Nothing particularly exciting here as its a lot of quickly painted mass infantry but I've got two more units of regular skeletons, a unit of skeleton archers and a mass unit of zombies off my painting list. The regular skeleton warriors are made up of a slightly better mix of figures than the first unit I did, as on my second order I realised Alternative Miniatures have a pack of skeletons with swords. I probably need to put a small pennant on a spear in each unit, but I'm not too worried at this stage.

   I've put the zombies on a base 50% deeper 80/60 instead of 80/40 with an extra 11 figures to try and make the unit look like a cheap horde - in game play it won't make any difference but I like the idea of fantasy zombies being so easy to kill that units need to look intimidating - I also think Sword and Spear uses bigger bases for horde units, so it will allow them to work with that ruleset too.



As always with my 15mm stuff, I apologise for my photos. 

As this whole 15mm thing is a bit new to me and 15mm fantasy ranges seem to be the worst for websites that don't have pictures of the product, I've had a bit of a splurge and bought a single unit for a few different fantasy armies with the plan of seeing how they look next to other models in different ranges and whether my 24 infantry and 8 cavalry fit on a base - I don't want to place an order for an army and find I'm a few figures short and I really don't want to be buying a whole army and finding I really don't like the look of the models - so expect to see a few projects appearing that don't seem to go anywhere for a bit.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 1 April 2021

KGL 2rnd Light Battalion

    Everything came together a bit quicker than planned with this post, so it's going to be a similar job to the last one, with scenery and Napoleonics.

   So first up are the figures, in this case it's a whole project - the King's German Legion 2rnd Light Battalion. There is a risk I might need to buy some more to defend the whole of La Haye Sainte, but 8 units worth of skirmishers felt like more than enough to start with as I need to add a couple of units of light company from a KGL line company, which will bring the defending force to 72 points, which when a normal size game of Rebels and Patriots is 24 points, means the game is already pretty big.

   The figures are from Essex Miniatures, breaking Old Glory's monopoly on my 15mm Napoleonics. I have to admit, I wasn't hugely impressed with the figures when I saw them online, but they were cheap and would arrive quickly, so I figured they would do the job, in person, however, I'm much more impressed with them. I assume the squat nature of the images online is due to compressed photos rather than compressed sculpts, so I'll be visiting Essex Miniatures when lockdown is over.

   Lastly are the extra tree clumps I said I had ordered on the last post. Once I knew N Gauge trees would work for what I was doing and I could get them cheaply enough to build a decent collection of clumps, I decided the next step was to add in the one type of tree I will always pay extra money for to put on a railway layout, the willow. There is something about a model willow tree that breaks the tree mould of any model as we all know model trees are either clumpy deciduous or are cone shaped pines, add a willow and your eyes are drawn to it every time. I also bought a much wider tree than the ones that come in the box sets, again, to break up the silhouettes and make sure the trees had enough variety to look believable. These 3 new clumps get me to 13 in total which fills out a decent sized lump of a board.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Skirmish Line in the Trees


    As ever, while I should be focussing on getting a single project ready for the table, I'm instead bouncing around like a crazed grasshopper, but I scrounged a few hours of hobby time and wanted something fairly simple I could enjoy painting in that time, so the two units of 15mm French Voltigeurs, ready sprayed, fitted the bill.

   The figures are from from Blue Moon via Old Glory (I think?) and are, in my opinion, the nicest 15mm Napoleonic sculpts out there. It's just a pity the range isn't a bit bigger. I also had a spare flank company figure from my grenadiers, so I decided to use one of the officers from the command pack and create an extra base - as in a few cases coming up, I'm not sure how this will be used, but it solves the problem I'm starting to have with 15mm of the spare figure.

   As ever, I apologise for my photography, 15mm isn't my friend for close up shots.

   Sadly, I'm now waiting on a back order for the rest of my French troops - I gather Old Glory UK ships over figures in bulk, so I'm waiting on the next shipment - which means I'll spend a bit of time painting the other side while I wait for the rest of my order to arrive.

   However, this gave me an opportunity to look at another recent purchase. One of the things halving my scale has done, is it has meant most of my scenery now looks a bit daft next to these new figures, so I'd been on the hunt for ways to bulk up my scenery collection fairly cheaply.

   The roads in the top photo are part of a big set I bought from eBay and are better than I imagined they could be, so I'd tempted to buy a few more just to make sure I always have enough matching roads. Then I got an email from Warlord games saying they had partnered with The Model Tree Shop and were offering their N Gauge tree collections as scenery for the Epic ACW range. Now, I've bought loads of trees from them in the past for my model railways, so I knew they would be good and I put a basket or two together but didn't know how many trees I would realistically need, then it dawned on me, I had loads of Warlord medals to use up. . . Two heavily discounted boxes later and I was on my way.

   24 trees has made me 10 bases of various densities and I've painted an over sized base without any trees on that I can put the clumps on during a game to represent wooded areas and move trees off as figures move through. I plan to paint another couple of big bases so I can have 3 big woods, and I have since placed a little order with the model tree shop for 2 or 3 small bases worth of trees just to keep the numbers up.


Thanks for reading and sorry for the terrible photography