Wednesday, 23 November 2022

We Can Get Off Our Horses?

   A project I didn't expect to be painting this year was American Civil War in 28mm. We played a lot of it in 2019, it was my go to club night game for a fair while, then other things came along and the collections dropped to the bottom of the boxes stack and remained there ever since.

   Then this year, my mate Neil decided to get his Confederates out and wanted a test game to see how dismounted troops for his cavalry could work - something that R&P doesn't normally do. This, however, brought to light the gaps in my collections and that, as a historical gaming period to game, it is brilliant for a club night. A few sizeable orders later and we have a fair bit to paint;

   The first thing onto my desk for this gap reducing drive are dismounted Union cavalry units. This means three bases of horse holders (as I already had one in my collection) and 4 units of dismounted cavalrymen - I seriously doubt I will need all 4 units at one point but it stops issues mid game. 

   I probably need to bulk up the horse holders so that every horse is represented rather than it being a token holding base, but then I need to represent the holders themselves in the unit and it starts to get messy fast.
   We played another game using these new additions and obviously neither side's cavalry wanted to follow orders and were shot off the table before they could deploy, so I'm glad I got them painted up in time . . .

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 20 November 2022

ECW Topups

   Another project that I did want to get on the table this year but just hadn't managed was the English Civil War / War of Three Kingdoms. There is something about the conflict that means I've had thoughts bubbling away about it for months and months but too many projects to really go back and do anything about it.

   My Covenantors and Highland Scots / Jacobite Rebellion projects were given a kick start when my mate Neil was in the process of painting up his ECW army, but there was more I needed to get done once I had some time. This post is about some of the odds and sods that I had in my backlog for the project.

The cannon limber from Warlord Games to go with the cannon I painted a couple of years ago. No idea how this one took so long to get done

Wagon from Redoubt with a cut down load from Colonel Bills

Warlord Games surgeon to add a bit of character to my bag lines

An artillery officer from 1st Corp, although I plan to use him as a staff officer just keeping an eye on the battlefield

Thanks for reading

Friday, 18 November 2022

Rohan Answers

   This post is another hard to justify job. I've said before that while I would like to get the last of my Rohan painted so they are off my backlog, I know have more than I can ever reasonably see myself using - although, having a large army in case I ever use them for Lion Rampant or War of the Ring makes selling the remainder feel like a bad idea.

   The models painted here are another whole sprue of plastic Rohan infantry with the only extra being a finecast horn blower which my brother bought in a mixed lot of bits off eBay and sent my way. I'm still not a fan of finecast, but the figure is a useful addition to the force.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 14 November 2022

Righting A Wrong

   To date* my most played army has turned out to be my LotR Haradrim. This came as a bit of surprise to me when I realised, as it's an army that I've put next to no pressure on myself to paint, with models just being added as and when I have spare time and as such, none of them have made it onto the blog yet. They are, however, the army I picked, precisely because they were unpainted, for the Battle Companies campaign I've been playing with my brothers.

*with 2 months of gaming left to go

   So far I have painted up a box worth of foot infantry, a box worth of riders, a pair of captains and all the Serpent Guard I am ever likely to buy**.

**have you seen the price of the serpent riders online?

I still need to paint another box of infantry and another box of riders for a game I'd like to play, then I have 2 of the 3 Mumuks I need . . .

Thanks for reading

Friday, 11 November 2022

The Last Of The Egyptians

   While my New Kingdom Egyptians are a project that are on my list to finish this year* the influx of Ancient Egyptian tv programs to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb mean I have ancient Egypt on the mind. So to finish this project off, here are the stragglers from my New Kingdom Egyptian army, a unit of Medjay Nubian archers and the Pharaoh himself.

*for multiple reasons**

**It also helps I'm working on desert scenery for another desert based project next year

I've got no plans to get these on the table any time soon, although I think one of my mates has an appropriate opponent for them, but it is useful to have them done ready for a game whenever it happens.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Macabre Cows?

   I was reading the memoirs of Trevor Greenwood - D-Day to Victory: The Diaries of a British Tank Commander - and one of the things he mention is how many fields they advanced past had whole herds of dead cows in. Most seemingly dying from sheer fear or the shockwaves from bombs rather than direct hits.

   I mentioned to one of my brothers that I was half planning on buying some dead cows to put in a field on a WW2 board and then to my surprise a blister pack of Warlord Games Dead Cows turned up on my birthday. While its a bit ghoulish (especially from a vegetarian), I think the war should be portrayed as accurately as possible and with a game lined up, it seemed the right time to get them painted.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Fantasy Dwarves?

   Advanced warning, my next few posts will be bouncing all over the place. I've got a few projects I want to finish before the end of the year and a few things to do for games in between, plus posts like this, that quite frankly, I can't justify well enough.

   I want to do a whole spiel justifying this, but I can't so I won't waste your time, but suffice to say I got carried away and bought about 24 points (possibly slightly more) of Oathmark Dwarves. The project is nowhere near the top of my list and to date I've only built this one test unit, so don't expect to see more any time soon, but as a cheap project to scratch an itch, I'm looking forward to getting them all done and on the table in the new year at some point.

   I spent a lot longer than I should have trying to decide what direction to take the paint jobs on these models. My choices were to go as historical as possible and treat them as short vikings, or embrace the fantasy and go with bright unified colours. As you can see fantasy won, simply because it scartched the itch even better and I've got dark age armies so I don't need a fake one.

   My only disappointments with the regular dwarf infantry sprue are that there aren't enough helmeted heads for every model (more cloth hats etc) and that the missile option is a bow and not a crossbow - but that might be Warhammer colouring my expectations for the whole race. I've got half an idea on how to convert up some crossbows but I have emailed North Star Miniatures to ask if they would do them as a metal upgrade pack like they have done for their other plastic kits.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 6 November 2022

A Lowland Bash

   Upon finishing the highlander elements of my Culloden themed army, I am pretty sure I admitted to having bought more infantry for the project but that I wasn't going to work on any of it. Well that turned out to be a lie. When the lowlander musketeers turned up from Front Rank/Gripping Beast I built and sprayed them within 24 hours and put them onto the to do shelf as part of the immediate painting queue.

   Historically, I believe these units should be much more of a militia than a raised unit and thus shouldn't have a uniform jacket, but the thought of painting different jackets, trousers and tartan sashes filled me with dread, so I went for a uniform for the jacket and mixed everything else up*. I've not gone for a banner in either unit to show they are more ad hoc than other units that will be coming. The tartan is mostly earthy colours as I want to show these guys don't wear tartans on a regular basis and have probably bought cheap cloth just to show allegiance, but there are a few of the more modern brighter tartans mixed in for variety.

*if I do another unit in the future I'll do a different jacket colour and mix them in

   Figure wise the bulk of the units are made of the 3 lowlander sculpts in the Front Rank back catalogue but once you get to the point you are ordering 8 of each of 3 figures for only 2 units even my lack of worry about variety started to get nervous. To remedy this I added a highlander officer, a single guy in a kilt and 3 government deserters. This bought the other sculpts down to a mere 6 each. . .

I'm now fairly close to finishing this project, so do I focus on more important stuff or just carry on?

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Medieval Wagons

   Have a called a post this before, I feel like I have? My drive to add wagons to every army hasn't diminished in the slightest as I think they add so much to the feel of a game even if they aren't part of the game itself.

   I've had an open basket with Colonel Bill's for a good few months that changes weekly as I have different ideas. In it I've had a couple of wagons for my crusade era armies to allow a escort scenario, ACW wagons to boost that project, various other medieval or dark ages wagons, then at SELWG  a couple of weeks ago, I noticed Colonel Bill was there, so I had a quick look at the shelves while my little boy was distracted by his grandad and made some decisions.

   It was the agricultural loads that really got my attention and with a bit of going back and forth with what wagons sizes each era had to match loads (sadly I couldn't fit the looted goods into a medieval wagon) I picked up an ACW wagon*, a pair of mules and a pair of medieval carts.

*future post

   It was only that night as I unpacked my bag that I noticed I had forgotten to buy any animals to pull the vehicles and another order had to be made online. . .

   I decided to mount the mules on a single base rather than separate figures like I tend to do. I think this makes a better looking scene and probably makes them more useful in game too, so it's something I expect to do going forward with any others.

I have my eyes on more wagons from Colonel Bill's now that I've had some in my hands. Maybe something for my Ancient British to add to the Laager, or those crusade wagons I had an idea for. So many ideas.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 31 October 2022

That They Would Be The Lord's People

     I pushed this post back slightly to focus on the stuff for the Agincourt game but I actually painted these figures about mid point into my slog of French knights as a bit of a palette cleanse and to empty some space on my to do shelf.

   Nothing major to say about these that hasn't been mentioned before, but with this unit being finished I can count the project as done. I might add some odds and sods for the project in the future, but for now a captain, unit of pikes, 2 units of musketeers and 2 units of horse, covers what I set out to do.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Agincourt Refight - With Added Knights

   So, I said on the last post that the biggest issue I had with the first game of Agincourt we played was the lack of French mounted aristocracy. In the mixed bag of goodies I bought off my mate Neil, there was the best part of 4 or so units of knights, but for the game I only managed to paint up 2 units. 

   I have supplemented the unpainted knights with another box and a half (don't ask) of plastic knights along with some more Perry command figures for a bit more variety. Then, being the idiot I am, I painted other things right up to a couple of weeks before the planned date for the game and had to panic paint the 30 knights in next to no time*.

*I really need to stop having to do this

   My first two units of knights (from the last game we played) were painted in whatever colours I had to hand and were just painted to be bright, with no thought to accuracy or real heraldry. This time I've tried to base every knight on a real knight who was at Agincourt, which is where the book below came in. I was recommended Knights of Agincourt by someone on twitter (Raglan I want to say?) and it has been immensely useful, with simple renditions on who was at the battle (for both sides) and what their shields looked like.

Charles, Duke of Orléans

Charles I d'Albret, Constable of France

Jean II le Meingre Boucicaut, Marshall of France

Louis, Count of Vedome

Edward, Duke of Bar

The rest of the flower of French nobility;

   There is no real methodology behind which commanders I chose to pick out with banners, other than I picked the 3 main named commanders, Vedome because the model I had from Perry had sculpted on heraldry and the Bar because his banner is a fish . . . As mentioned before, the knights are all Perry Miniatures, either plastic or metal, and the banners are from Freezy Waters.

Also, can I mention how much I dislike white metal lances as my parting shot . . .

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Agincourt Refight

   One of the projects that was hit hard by covid was my 100 years war project. The Agincourt game had already been rushed to make sure it hit the table*, which is lucky as it turned out to be the last I managed to play before we were hit with the first of many lockdowns. I did finish the game with loads of ideas, for a start I didn't have anywhere near enough French Mounted Knights** but a couple of months of painting it meant that I needed a break from the project and with how the rest of the year panned out, I never went back to it in any real meaningful sense. Until now.

*rushed because of a deadline not because I knew what was coming
**which was something I knew going into the game
   So for a refight of Agincourt my hit list of what I need to add goes like this; 
  • More mounted French knights, top of the list, no questions asked - minimum of 2 more units but ideally another 4+, but ultimately we will see what I can paint in time
  • Henry V and some serious banners for him
  • If I go as high as 4 more units of knights then I might need more English archers (but might just use some WotR archers from my Lancaster collection although I am still undecided whether to boost the archer numbers)
  • Finish the last few infantry I had bought for the project (think it's only about another 20 men?)
  • Lastly, if I'm giving the English a big block of banners and important men, then I should do the same for the French
  • Ploughed Fields - already started
So, that's the plan but what have I done about it?

Henry V and his banners;
  • Sir John Codrington carrying Henry's personal banner
  • Sir Thomas Strickland carrying the Cross of St George
  • The banner of St Edward

   I have to say on these that the banners (and I wish I could remember where I bought them from so I could block their webstore in my browser to stop me doing anything stupid in the future) were horrible. The art is gorgeous on them but they are decal banners*** and had aged really badly. I've fixed them as best I can but they do not stand up to close scrutiny.
***always a bad sign

   Slightly cheating, I did also finish two more units of French infantry that I drafted a post about but then never posted, so here they are below;

Thanks for reading

Monday, 17 October 2022

A Highland Quarrel

   The last bits I needed to paint from the 1st phase* of the Jacobite Rebellion project were the cannon, associated limber and an ammunition wagon for the cannon. The crew have already been painted, so at this point it's just the horses and constructed bits left to go. The figures are from Front Rank as they just do gorgeous limbers.

*can you tell it's escalated?

   So, I said 1st phase earlier as Gripping Beast had a sale a couple of weekends ago which included their Front Rank ranges, so a pair of lowlander units were purchased at a slightly earlier time period than planned - other projects should probably be getting priority after finishing these. Then not long after I had placed that order, my mate Neil, discovered he had too many troops for this period and has agreed to offload some troops that would be appropriate for the Royal Ecossais and the Irish Piquets. We shall see how quickly they get painted but the anniversary of Culloden is only 6 months away and on a Sunday, so a perfect gaming day . . .

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 8 October 2022

Back In Old Cold Germany

   I'm pretty sure I declared that I had finished all the infantry for my WW2 Winter German project and yet here we are. While I didn't actually NEED them, I had long converted the metal winter German squad box that Warlord produce, for no reason other than for a bit of variety. I also don't have time to fit these into my painting schedule as there are far more important projects, but, again, here we are . . .

   These are just the contents of a single Warlord Games metal Winter German box, and the thing I liked about them was the lack of a solid uniform. The plastics need to be fairly similar so that everything in interchangeable, but with these metals we have a mix of long coats, white over coats, white over trousers and everything in between. Mixed into squads they should look the part*

*the photo is a tad bleached out

Now I'm sure I had I had more pressing projects to do . . .

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

He Also Made A Covenant Between The King And The People

   Again, during 2019 when I was just buying boxes of Warlord Games English Civil War plastic boxes whenever I saw them cheap or had points to spend online, one of the boxes I picked up was of cavalry. The plan for the box was to split it evenly between Royalist and Parliamentarians to boost each side to 3 units, however, with the Royalist gaining two units of dragoons, I felt like I needed to give Parliament two units of cavalry back.

   At the start of the summer when I was painting a lot of horses, I remembered I had this box, and as I was starting to build it, it dawned on me that it would make sense to make the riders Covenanters. The addition of the famous bonnet (which I had bought spares of) felt like enough in my head to prove the point and off I went. The horses were painted in big batches during July, but the riders have waited until now.

   Depending on my needs for the particular game, these will give me either the cavalry wing of a smaller Covenanter force or a boost to the Parliamentarian cavalry, boosting me to 4 units which could still be improved upon, without costing me too much in metal figures.

   This just leaves a single unit of musketeers to paint and this project is done. I still need to go back to the Jacobites/Highlanders too but I have other projects that are demanding attention.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 2 October 2022

Jehoiada Then Made A Covenant Between The Lord And The King

   In what tuned into less of a flurry of Scottish themed posts than I had planned to end the month on, due to work levels and general real life, but I have been trying to keep painting in whatever free time I can slot it into* and then I only just realised I forgot to post anything this weekend.

*these projects won't move themselves

   This is the pikeman unit for my Covenantors with the Earl of Buccleugh's banner. Nothing particularly different from the first musketeer unit except I've given the officers a bit more colour in their clothing - but not too much that they stand out in this unit.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 24 September 2022

A Highland Squabble

   The last two batches of highland clansmen were always going to be in a more historically accurate tartan* and I had the batches split up on movement trays ready to paint, but in an extended session pushing Edward on a swing, I realised that if they were all going to be various shades of brown, it made more sense to just do them as one big batch and damn the consequences. I hate doing big batches**, but sometimes they just make sense, so in this case I set aside any notions of the speed in which the batch would be completed and knuckled down.

*earthy colours

**and yet keep coming back to them for some reason

   Finishing these means that all my planned clansmen are now complete. Four units of regular clansmen and two units of commanded shot for Pikeman's Lament or five units of "natives" for Rebels & Patriots. All I need to paint now to complete this army is a cannon and limber (crew being done in the clansmen batches).

   In the fullness of time I plan to buy a couple of units of lowlanders to provide a more stable shooting line and probably a couple of units of Royal Ecossais, although I am a tad nervous that if I buy, what are effectively French infantry for the Seven Years War, then all I need is a cannon and some cavalry*** and I have another army almost by accident****.

***Cavalry which would also be appropriate for this project . . .

****am I doing a 7 Years War French army?

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

For Religion, King and Kingdom

  When I visited Marston Moor in 2020, I'd just finished two sides for ECW, played my first and only games of the period and was busy buying up boxes of figures aware that with lockdowns and a kid on the way, a backlog wouldn't hurt. I came away from the battlefield as inspired as you might imagine but also having learnt how important a role the Covenantors had played in the war, so I was still in sight of the battlefield when I placed an order for a box of Warlord Games Covenantors*.

   Two years later and I feel like the box has matured quite nicely, so it's time to crack it open and get to work. I'll go into detail about which regiment these are once I do the pikemen, but for now they are wearing the favoured Covenanter grey jackets and blue bonnets.

*this being the same holiday I started ordering early imperial romans as well**

**which turned out to be interesting as I think there ended up being 3 packages from that company waiting at my local Royal Mail depot

   Also, it was quite interesting on my last post that I got picked up on the phrase "our king". I can only assume I ended up on an anti-monarchy facebook page somewhere as my page views sky rocketed with anti-monarchy comments from anonymous posters. I explained to the first one my view point and why I had used the phrase, then as I received about another 20 or so over the next 24 hours, some of which were getting fairly nasty, I decided to delete all but the first comment.

   I suppose at this point I should probably thank the commenters as they have helped my blog's SEO - not something I care about, but never hurts.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 16 September 2022

A Highland Brawl

   Hot on the heels of the last batch is another, this time in my attempt at Stewart Hunting Tartan, something our new king has sported himself on numerous occasions according to my research.

Again an empty flag pole as I'm waiting on the flags*

*on which note I might chase as they were posted 2 weeks ago

   I also ended up with a little Warbases order recently and I added a couple of packs of highland cows to that delivery, working on the theory that they will help place the game in Scotland . . .
warbases highland cow 28mm

   I'm well over half way on this project now with only two batches of clansmen left to go, but I can feel myself losing a bit of steam on it. The next two batches are both built and sprayed ready to go, but are going to be in a slightly more muted/earthy tartan as I have been painting (purposely) anti-historically bright tartans so far, I'd like to tone them down for the remainder of the project, so I might have a look at the other side for a little bit to have a break before coming back to finish this off.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

A Highland Scuffle

   With a week or so off of painting with a trip to the Lake District and Hadrian's Wall, I'm back to painting my Highlanders. My next batches were always going to include some sort of royal tartan but with the current news it felt right to push Royal Stewart Tartan up the painting order.

   So I said last time that I planned to paint each box in a different tartan colour, but looking at what I have left to do (4 batches from 2 more boxes*), I think it makes more sense to do each batch in a different tartan.

*ish - actually 2 boxes and some extras

   As with my first whole box, this batch of 12 will be mixed between different units and will be used as clansmen and commanded shot for ECW using Pikeman's Lament and mixed Natives units for Jacobite Rebellion using Rebels and Patriots.

As always, I have about 20 projects I want to be getting on with, so I'm going to just knuckle down and get painting.

Thanks for reading