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 na├»ve 
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.

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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 . . .

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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.

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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

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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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