Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Women's Fascist Axillary

   A quick post out of my planned group of projects and back to my VBCW B.U.F. I've mentioned before that I've started keeping an eye on Pen and Sword's website for their monthly sales and any spot sales they do, and I noticed a forthcoming book on Fascist elements in the Suffragette movement, which looks like an interesting book to pick up in the future, but that book was in my mind about the same time that my kickstarter order from Bad Squiddo turned up.
   I'd placed an order for what I planned to be a squad and a bit of differently armed women to add to my Albertine VBCW army and make the Women's Institute it's own platoon, but as I was building the rifle squad I started to have ideas. The fact the women's land army figures were wearing a uniform didn't worry me when I ordered the figures as I planned a few head swaps and some different coloured shirts to hide the uniforms, but on closer inspection I realised they looked like they were fit into a B.U.F army with a different colour scheme. I'd been planning one last squad for my B.U.F and this would solve that nicely, so the Women's Fascist Axillary was born (Sorry Annie).

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Saturday, 20 June 2020

It's Cold and the Huns Keep Coming

   Following on from the last WW2 German Post I did, the obvious project to get moving with would have been the 15mm DAK infantry as I only had the command squad to go, so obviously what I have been working on instead is the rest of my 28mm Winter Germans. Like I said, obviously.
   I've finished off the last two infantry squads along with a Leutant and adjutant so that I have a fully equipped platoon, then I have added a MMG and a medium mortar with spotter to make the force a bit more useful.
   There is more I plan to add to this army in the future (Kübelwagen for the Leutant, tank or two, a squad of the metal winter Germans to mix the look up and maybe some artillery etc) but the basic platoon is now done so can be put away safely.

  Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Almost a Fleet

  This is by far one of the weirdest projects I think I have ever done, it's given me the most frustration that a relaxing hobby has ever managed but the most satisfaction with a finished model, it's going to be a slow project but I'd quite like to get it finished before we are allowed out to play again (assuming July at some point?), but we are making progress towards that goal.
   This post is for the two 68 gun ships in the fleet and the last two of the first order I placed all those years ago. Again, the models are from Langton and these are the two ships that had suffered the most in the years of moving between shelves and boxes with multiple broken masts.

langton miniatures dutch 1:1200 rigged 68
Admiraal de Ruijter*

Admiraal Piet Hein

*I'd appreciate it if you could ignore the upside down pennant . . .

   The Two ships from the last Dutch navy post have both been given their ensigns, pennants and names too, which means I am free to start on my next batch of ships.

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Sunday, 7 June 2020

Multiple Germans

   This post is where my confessions go into overdrive. During the lockdown I have noticed that I am reading a lot more and painting a fair bit less, the 2 or 3 hours painting in front of the tv every night has turned into 2 or 3 hours of sitting quietly with a book, add to that all the lockdown ebook deals I've been stumbling across and my reading backlog is looking less manageable than my lead mountain*. This has led to a few book related projects getting a head start in either being bought or getting painted; Mercy Thompson, Dutch fleet, Tanith and the projects below.
*What a happy place to be
   Pen and Sword Publishing, do a monthly selection of cheap ebooks that I've been downloading on mass on the 1st of every month and quite a lot of them are WW2 related as you might expect. I've mostly ended up reading a lot of late 1944-fall of Berlin Eastern front books, including books about women in Nazi Germany and a few SS related books. This all gave me a serious itch to revive my WW2 projects, but with the lockdown it had to be modelling rather than gaming to scratch the itch.
   This is where I need to start the justifications. With all the winter war reading, I fancied a German army in Great Coats and as I already own a winter themed Soviet army, it would be nice to give them a home opponent. That's basically all the excuses I have for this one.

The first unit in the platoon - I even used the decals on them for the first time.

   If you are happy to believe why I needed a new German army for a period I already own but for a different front, then the figures below should be an even easier sell. In 2017 I went to a wargaming show with one of my mates (I want to say Broadside but I'm not sure) and we ended up being given a demo of the new Flames of War edition using the new 2 player starter box and it was really good. While we didn't finish painting the tanks, we did play a few more games before the tanks got lost in our respective homes and forgotten about.
   Back to this year's lockdown. Before I decided that the winter German project was a good idea (undermining a few of my justifications for the project at the top of the page here) I got it into my head that if I was going to do another WW2 German army it should be completely different and I have wanted to try Bolt Action in 15mm for a few years now, so I decided to do the desert war in 15mm. We could use the tanks we already owned, Wayland Games has 15mm desert scenery too, so it was just a case of buying figures. I ended up placing an order for a DAK platoon and a 8th army platoon from Forged In Battle which arrived the same day as my much later ordered Winter Germans.
   Below are the 3 infantry units for the German platoon, with just the tanks and command to be painted before I start on the British and think about ordering more bits.

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Thursday, 4 June 2020

Dark Age Irish

   After claiming the Moorish army wasn't a new project, this one definitely is*. Ever since the single unit of Norse-Gaels in my Viking army became a project in their own right, I've had my eye on a home bred opponent for them, pricing up a metal Gripping Beast Irish army more than a few times, but with the Wargames Atlantic Dark Age Irish kit, I knew I needed to pick up a box to have a look.
   This isn't the first box of their plastics I have tried, I already have a box of their Ancient Greek Skeletons, and I stand by what I said in that review. I'm not a fan of the plastic they use, but it goes together well and the casts are crisp, they just feel too much like the old bendy plastic toys.

*And some more confessions for later

   As per normal, I'm building the army to Lion Rampant unit sizes as this will allow the units to be broken down to suit smaller unit games like Saga if needed. The bulk of the army will be made up of Yeomen stated troops with javelins which should give a very different game dynamic to the normal dark ages shield walls we play.
   I've got another box of these on order, which will give me enough troops for 4 units of regular Irish and 2 units of wolfhounds which I will use as Ferocious Foot (although I only plan to use a single unit per game), then a unit of Foot Sgt stated fighters will round the army off with a more elite household bodyguard for the army's lord.

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Sunday, 31 May 2020

Fledgling Navy

   This isn't a project I thought I would be blogging about as it's at least 6 years old and was very much in my 'never going to happen pile', but lets start at the beginning. My mate Neil at my gaming club runs a 1:1200 naval game once every few months with his beautiful French and British Langton Fleets (and has recently added a Spanish fleet) and while I am terrible at the game, I have always been jealous of his collections. I want to say it was after the first game we played I decided I was going to buy my own fleet, because how hard could it be* and an order to Langton later and I was the proud owner of 4 Dutch 1:1200 ships.
   I duly painted them, stuck the masts into the hulls and then looked at the rigging, decided it was well above my abilities and put them away. In the years that followed I broke masts, scratched them up and decided the project was so dead that it was only laziness stopping them just being thrown away.
   Then this week I started reading a fictional naval series following a British officer called Alan Lewrie (as you might be able to see on the right if I'm still reading one) and it got me thinking again. I spent one evening following the rigging guide on the Dutch 74 and found that I could rig a ship. The end result is nowhere as nice as Neil's attempts but I then spent days afterwards going back into my man cave to pick the ship up and have another look.

*So naïve 
The first two ships in all their glory - they just need names on their bases and ensigns (which are on order).

The Admiraal Generaal - Dutch 74 

The Ajax - Dutch 24

The other two ships have been repaired as they were the worst damaged and are awaiting their rigging, which should be done within the next few days and I have 4 more ships on order. I'm really looking forward to getting these on the table.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 15 May 2020

Not Another New Project - Honest

   Answering the title, no, I'm not counting this as a new project* as I bought a unit of Moorish Black Guard as part of a Footsore Miniatures order a couple of years ago, however, the bulk of this project will be made up of recently bought** Gripping Beast plastic Arabs. I have got another couple of new projects on the go too, so I wanted to explain this one away before them.
   I plan to make a 24 point Muslim force loosely based on a Moorish army, but vague enough that I can move it around the Mediterranean as needed. So lots of light horsemen and even lighter infantry with a unit or two that will help place the army depending on the game.
*Against all the evidence

   Because of the brightness of the clothes the figures are wearing, I held off doing unit posts as I finished each as my batches were just painfully obvious, a bit more mixed up like this and I reckon they look alright. The next job is about the same again in horsemen . . .

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Super Heavy for the Ultramarines

   In late March I was supposed to be at the 30k tournament The Company Of Legends up in Durham, I had my list all planned out and every model was finished ready to go, however, after taking a stripped down version of the list to a tournament in Southampton earlier in the month, I realised the list was never going to work. This called for a rethink;

   One of the big things I realised was that my list didn't have a huge amount of punch, so I fished around for ideas that had to fulfil 3 main criteria; 1. They had to add punch (obvious but worth mentioning). 2. They had to be fairly cheap (I didn't want to blow a huge amount of cash on an idea that also didn't work). 3. I had to be able to get the bits I needed fast as I had 2 weeks until the next tournament.
   What I settled on was a terminator squad in a landraider. While it didn't quite fulfil the first criteria as terminators in 30k are nowhere near the threat they look like they should be, they fulfilled it enough that it was a road worth going down. I stuck with the Mars pattern for the landraider to match my rhinos, while the terminators are cataphracti to make the army look more 30k again.

   The next model is the Cerberus super heavy tank, which was where the bulk of my extra points was already coming from. This was the last model I had needed to paint up for the army, working on the theory that there is no point painting a model you can only use in big games, until you have a big enough army to play big games. The tank is a super heavy killer based on a spartan tank chassis. I picked this tank up because you just don't see them on the table at all, as their sister tank (the typhon) seems to take all the glory.
   After using this tank in a game (vs a typhon) I would have to say that in a choice between the two, the typhon is the better tank. However, in a game where the two are on the table, the typhon will be dead turn 1 or 2 every time.

   Lastly are some bits for another idea I had. Since The Company Of Legends was postponed due to the virus, it gave me a chance to get a game in just before the lockdown hit and this was when I realised that the revised list still wasn't up to much. While I am still having a think about how to make it work within a fairly tight financial constraint (other projects need the attention now) I decided to get on with the last unit I had bought for the project, a unit of reconnaissance marines.

   The very last idea being a librarian (who is technically in the wrong mark of armour for 30k) who the idea for came to me on a hang out and hobby chat with a couple of my mates. As a small project it seemed worth the effort and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. I want to use his to learn how the psychic phase works as my next project involves a lot of stuff in that phase.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Inspired by the Tanith 1st

   This is one of those projects I'm going to try and justify*, but that has been on my to buy list for a very long time, that I have no real ultimate use for. I've been reading the Tanith 1st novels (Gaunt's ghosts) for probably more of my life at this point than I haven't been reading and rereading them for and I always wanted to do an army of them. GW bought out a character box set and a couple of blisters worth of metal infantry for them over ten years ago, of which I only ever managed to get a single blister's worth as my finances at the time (pocket money) didn't spread far enough to get any more of them. Then a few years back I found Victorian Miniature's Border World Rangers and I have drooled over this models on and off ever since, but between our plummeting exchange rate, postage from down under and the inevitable customs charges, it was going to end up being a very expensive project.
   Christmas 2019 gave me a bit of a break, however, with a postage free deal on their site. So I added up my basket** and eventually got brave enough to place an order. The eventual order was downsized slightly from my initial plans, but was for 2x 10 man squads and a 5 man command squad - the minimum size for a platoon in normal 40k - which felt like the right size for what was only going to be a dabble. The plan was that I could use bits of each squad to plan Kill Team, but have enough figures that they could be an allied detachment for a full 40k game***.

   The next problem I had was whether to try and model specific named characters, or even to buy the metal GW characters to mix in, and my answer came back as an eventual, no. These guys would stay as Tanith inspired rather than specific Tanith, simply because every time I've seen someone do a Tanith army online their characters always look too wrong in my head for me to be happy to attempt it myself. So here is my first unit of Tanith troops including the platoon's sniper.

*pretending to myself that I have been successful while I crash and burn
**I dread to think how many times
***Not that I've played 40k in a good few years now

victoria miniatures border world rangers tanith 1st 40k

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 7 May 2020

For Odin!

   Carrying on with the last post, this is the more elite troops for my Viking Shieldmaiden army; 2 units of Hurscarls and (a saga sized) unit of berserkers. While I think the newer Gripping Beast sculpts have become some of the best models in their ranges, there are a few of their shieldmaiden hurscarls that take that to the next level and my painting does not do them justice, they just have so much character.

The first unit of Hurscarls including my Warlord (the woman with the bird of prey). While I wasn't a huge fan of the model when it was released, its one of those models that looked better in person than it does on the website.

The second unit of Hurscarls including the army banner - the figure isn't sold as a banner bearer but she looked so much like the fantasy Viking version of a roman banner bearer that it seemed daft not to make her one.

viking shieldmaiden berserkers gripping beast amazons saga
The berserkers, these are a bit of the ginger step child of this project. I have them because they came in the starter set (it was cheaper to get them than not to) but they haven't really had a place in the project. Ideally what I need to do is pick up two more packs and build a full ferocious foot unit - which sound like a really good idea now I'm thinking about it. . .

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Monday, 4 May 2020

For Thor!

   I've still got more English Civil War to paint, but one of the big things I wanted to do in the lockdown was finish some projects off* and my shieldmaiden army was an obvious choice. While I've only had a single unit of regular troops on the blog (not counting wolves) the army was being painted in my batch system, which meant the rest of my units were actually a lot further along that they seemed, so I made sure there was a batch on my painting desk at all times.
   I'm splitting it into two posts just because it is a fair few units but here are the rest of my regular troops;
*While trying not to buy any more projects to replace them

Every army needs some archers and this was no exception. This unit was the only one that wasn't picked up at last Salute in some form or another as they hadn't even announced them by that point. As soon as they put them on preorder last summer, I had a pack in my basket ready to go.

gripping beast shieldmaidens saga amazons
My other unit of regular shieldmaidens. I've topped the unit up slightly with models from Bad Squiddo but I don't really think they stand out.

A unit of old GW giant wolves. I was having a bit of a tidy up and I found an old 13th company Space Wolves army which wanted to donate some wolves to a good cause, which I happily accepted. These will go a bit further towards making the army a Lion Rampant or Dragon Rampant force depending what mood I am in.

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Saturday, 2 May 2020

Draw Up The Artillery

   Before I even started thinking that a second army for my English Civil War project would be a good idea, I had already been fishing about online to add a few more units to my Parliamentary force that weren't going to constitute another major project on their own and a cannon was one of the obvious answers.
    The cannon I chose was from Perry Miniatures and is a properly nice model, as you would expect. I painted it and it's crew blue so that it isn't tied to either side to give me some flexibility in assigning troops to either army when I come to set up a game. It could do with a limber, baggage train and guards in the future - where will this project end?

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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Fight for the village!

   I was researching the English Civil War both in terms of historical research, but also looking at how other hobbyists have approached the subject, and I ran across the ECW posts Rob did at Four Colour Supers Minis. I've followed him for a while, but going back over his ECW stuff really got some ideas into my head and I found myself looking for Clubmen online.
   The two sites I found (I have no doubt I missed others) were Warlord Games - who sold packs of 8 when I needed 12 - and Redoubt Miniatures - who let you buy by the figure, perfect. It probably has to be said at this point that the Redoubt figures weren't the best cast models I've ever received, but once I had them cleaned up I was pretty pleased with how they looked.
   I'm not hugely sure what I plan to do with them, but I have a vague idea of sitting them in a settlement on one side of the board and firing at anything that gets within range, but that's a problem for after the lockdown is lifted.

   While I was there I also picked up a few other bits and pieces, never turn down the opportunity to top units up, and I picked up a few locals to fill my villages - the double of the same model was a freebie that Redoubt threw in (along with the extra clubman from the unit above).

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Monday, 27 April 2020

Ready to Charge Up Senlac Hill

   Another one of those long over due posts, these figures were finished in early March but kept managing to avoid the varnish and photo queue.
   They are the last unit of Norman Cavalry (plus the warlord) needed for my Norman army (although who can say it won't have an extra unit or two added in the future) and are Gripping Beast as the rest of the army was. I still can't say I'm a fan of painting cavalry but they do look good on the table and are fun to use, so I am pretty sure I'll end up adding a lot more of them at a later date.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 17 April 2020

For Freyja!

   As we are at what would have been the weekend of Salute, I figured it was time to start posting about the other big project I bought at last Salute 2019. Viking Shieldmaidens.
   To be fair, this wasn't a project I caved and bought on the day, Gripping Beast had been doing sneak peaks for a few weeks before hand and then helpfully did a preorder scheme so you could pay in advance and pick up on the day. One drink lead to another and we all know what happens when you drunk shop. In the end, between preordering, picking up another blister pack on the day and a quick order when they released a unit of archers, I reckon I have about a 24 point Lion Rampant army which might need the odd unit or two topped up with one of the Bad Squiddo Shieldmaidens that are currently in my main Viking force. Plus with the two units of wolves from an post earlier this month, I'll have just over 30 points for a Dragon Rampant army.

   The unit below is the first fully finished unit in the army, and is the basic foot Sgt (Lion Rampant terminology). The big thing that surprised me when I opened the box was that Gripping Beast have tried a new system for their weapons on this release, instead of drilling out hands the hands come with weapons already in them and its the hand that needs to be stuck to the wrist with a pin and predrilled hole. They were actually nicer to build than the older Gripping Beast ranges. It was another one of those projects where I topped up my wire spear collection ready and then didn't need to use them.

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Tuesday, 14 April 2020

English Foot Sgts

   Nothing majorly exciting for this post, but the free time is giving me a chance to get on with units that might not be at the front of my to do list. I've still got 4 or 5 units left to build and paint for my 100 years war project (before I buy any more mounted knights) but it has fallen by the wayside as newer, shiner projects come along. However, this unit of English Men At Arms (Foot Sgts) was already built, sprayed and sitting in batches ready to be done, so it was just a matter of a couple of evenings of painting to get the unit finished, although in hindsight I probably need to give the unit a banner.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Mercy Thompson - or a Dracula's America Tangent

   Settle down, this is going to be a long post.

   So, one of the things that's been keeping me sane in the lock down is a series of books I was recommended by one of my mates - Mercy Thompson. I've been describing it to people as Twilight if Twilight was any good. It's a similar premise, a girl who lives in a world of werewolves, vampires and fae, except the main character (Mercy) is a shapeshifter who can turn into a coyote and instead of moping around, she's actually a full blooded, problem solver who has help from the men around her and doesn't just happen to be in a supernatural story.
   The series has set off quite a few ideas in my head, the first of which was a straight 'what's the closest game that I can get into cheaply that will scratch the itch'. The answer turned out to be Dracula's America, a game I completely overlooked when it was released as I thought it looked stupid, but which on closer inspection looks like a clever set of rules (so sorry North Star).
   This idea is as loosely influenced by the series as it's possible to be. The game only allows 2 supernatural figures per gang, so doesn't quite hit the idea of a full pack of werewolves going on a hunt but if we are merely taking the influence into a different system we can make this work. So, I bought the Vampire posse - Red Hand Coven, a pack of werewolves and the Twilight Order pack as something completely different.

The Red Hand Coven pack is a collection of figures that has left me with mixed feelings for a start I got two of the same gunslinger by mistake (I mention it to avoid it being pointed out in the comments, I'm sure North Star would have fixed it if I'd been in contact with them).
Positives; I think the creepy gunslingers you get in the pack are brilliant and really look like wanna be vampires rather than random cowboys painted in blacks. The two vampire fledglings (two with feathers in their hats/head dresses) are, also, brilliant looking vampires - looking the part without going over the top.
Negatives; The vampire broodlord I think it is called looks so out of place in this pack - the only reason I painted it up was because it was a quick job and I didn't really need to add it to my backpile for later.

The two werewolves - or Accursed - are probably my favourite werewolf models that I've seen on the market and I suspect I'll be buying another pack or two of them in the future. The rest of the gang will be made up of cowboys from my collection as needed.

My attempt at a Twilight Order, a gang that is purely Dracula's America and nothing at all to do with the Mercy Thompson influence. In this case I bought the Crusaders (the equivalent gang upgrade of the vampires) and the Templar that came in the same pack. Delores and the preacher are from the Dead Man's Hand range and were bought to add a bit of flavour - the gang will then be bolstered by other cowboys from my collection as needed. 

While I was in a Mercy Thompson and Cowboys mood, I decided to dig the pack of Great Escape Games Coyotes out of my backlog and get on with them. I've got no real plans for them beyond dressing the board but I might use one in a game as a skinwalker at some point, who knows.

 The coyotes and werewolf tangent then led me down another path, wolves. I've got another fantasy/historical mixed army that's been a slow burn project for a few months now and it dawned on me a month or so ago that if I was going to do the project properly I needed to really go nuts with the theme and I bought myself enough wolves to give me two units of lesser beasts for Dragon Rampant. I then used the same recipe as I did for the werewolves. I'll explain their army in another post.

I've got ideas on how to make a more authentic Mercy Thompson game in the future. but in the short term I now have 3 gangs for Dracula's America to get on the table.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

ECW Royalist Cavalry

   In a mirror to what I think was my first proper post of the year, here we have the painted results of another box of plastic Warlord Games ECW cavalry, this time for the Royalist cause rather than Parliament's. I've got quite a bit more to paint for both sides of this conflict but it's good to be in a position where I can get the game on the table as soon as the lockdown is over.

   Like I said in the last post, I've been churning out figures at a fairly quick rate, so there are a lot of posts coming, but I've also had a chance to go through most of my backlog* and catalogue it, so I have a better idea of what I am dealing with**. See this as more of a warning that anything could get painted in the short term while going out isn't an option.
*I've also done the same with my books which is no less a scary proposition
**It's scary how many bits of projects I've not finished

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Monday, 6 April 2020

Muster for the King!

   As I suggested in the last post, I spent March churning figures out at a considerable rate (not going out will do that to you) but I have been pretty bad at taking the photos and doing posts, which is something I plan to get better at now I'm getting a bit more of a routine going.
   This post is the rest of the minimum troops I need to get 24 points of Royalist English Civil War infantry onto the table (with the last points taken up by more cavalry), in this case another unit of musketeers and a block of pikemen. As in the other units, the figures are all Warlord Games plastics although I have bought a pack of their metal command figures who will be spread across multiple units going forwards.

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Friday, 27 March 2020

Royal Musketeers

   Another new game I am keen to get on the table sooner rather than later this year is Pikeman's Lament. I've got my minimum Parliamentarian army ready to go but I need an opposition for them.
   I picked Sir Allen Apsley’s Regiment of Foote simply because I wanted a unit in red jackets and I thought the banner was cool, so a nice historical reason I am sure you will agree. This is another of those projects where I am a bit further along than this single post will suggest, so hopefully, it will hit the table before long,

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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Armoured Diversion

   This post is another of those projects I'm going to struggle to explain, so I'm mostly not going to bother. Suffice to say, I always fancied at Soviet KV2 and I found myself with cash in my pocket and the chance to buy one.
   There is just something strangely pretty about the blocky tank that I can't explain. It was painted up in an evening using the same method I used for my other Soviet tanks and was a really nice pallet refresher after so many infantry projects.

Thanks for reading