Sunday, September 28, 2014

Moving on from a project....

Selling off my 15mm Late 17th Century collection. I realized I wasn't ever going to get around to painting it all up. Maybe I will re-visit the late 17th century in 10mm at a later date. This is what the collection entails:

Musketeers (472 pieces):
130 Lancashire
32 Mick Yarrow
310 Venexia

Pike (149 pieces):
95 Venexia
24 Lancashire
15 Mick Yarrow
15 Scottish Pike (for Killiecrankie)

Grenadiers (56 pieces):
45 Venexia
11 Lancashire

Command (66 pieces):
58 Venexia
11 Lancashire

Cavalry (73 pieces):
60 Venexia Cavalry
9 Mick Yarrow
4 Lancashire

30 Mick Yarrow rebels (Sedgemoor)
15 Venexia Dismounted Dragoons with 5 horses
1 small artillery piece w/ 3 crew

54 painted Figures (3 regiments: 2 British, 1 French)
3 painted Rebel cavalry (Sedgemoor)

I am asking $280 plus shipping (continental US only please). 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

10mm Dark Ages: Step by Step

After posting some Saxons and Late Roman Cataphract pictures on The Miniatures Page, two colleagues (Zargon and CPBelt) mentioned something about providing a tutorial of sorts on how I paint the 10mm figures. I doubt this series of photographs describing the process is all that informational, but here goes:

First step in process is to clean up the figures (filing flash, mold lines, etc.), rinsing them in soapy water to get any grease and dirt off, and gluing them to popsicle sticks. Below are two "sticks" of 10mm Irish.

Once the figures and glue are dry, I prime them tan. If I am out of tan, they can be primed grey or light green. Any lighter, neutral color will do.

After priming, I take Vallejo "Sepia" ink and give the figures a wash. This allows me to see all the details and provides a "black lining" of sorts in recesses which makes painting them much easier. In the case of the Irish, I forgot to take a photo of this stage, so here are some Arthurian cavalry in this stage as a proxy.

Next stage is the most time consuming. I "base-paint" the figures. I usually paint clothes, then flesh, then wood and leather and finally metallics, but it isn't always this order. Fine lines and details don't need to be perfect, no hi-lights, just paint each section the basic color I want it. I usually don't paint shield details or clothing trim yet.

Next up comes hi-light work and trim. Colored bands and borders around cuffs are added. Also, I take lighter versions of all the base colors are used on the figures and add some hi-lighting. Shield designs are painted hi-lighted in this stage. I should add here that I use a wet palette and most of my paints are those found in the eye-droppers (Reaper, Vallejo, etc.). Figures are given a gloss-varnish (I use Testor's) after hi-lighting is complete.

Once the varnish dries (ideally 24 hours but I am not normally that patient), I give them an "ink wash". I used to use a mix of Liquitex acrylic Payne's Gray mixed with Magic Floor Wash. More recently I have been using Army Painter "Soft Tone" from their eye-dropper paint series. It seems to really settle in recesses, even shallow ones. I often add some of my old Paynes/Magic wash to the "Soft Tone" to give it some black hue. The figures below have received this treatment.

After this dries (usually in a matter of minutes), I remove the figures from the popsicle sticks and glue them to bases, along with some pebbles. Below are the Irish alongside some Saxon pals...

Next up, I coat the bases with Liquitex Natural Sand textured gel, which goes on white and dries clear.

After the Liquitex gel dries, I use white glue to apply some Games Workshop loose gravel.

Next up is a base of watered-down brown paint. I use cheap craft paint for this stage. The pebbles are painted gray. I use beat up brushes for this work.

Finally, I drybrush the brown bases with a light tan, and use watered down white glue to add flocking in random patches. Once this is dry, I use super glue to add some Silflor bushes and then dull-coat varnish the stands. They are now complete!

I hope this is informative for some people, I apologize about the poor photos and the lack of detail. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Some gaming to go with my painting...

Last night was a rare moment where I had an opportunity to game at my club, the Dulles Area Historical Gamers (DAHGS), with my long-time gaming partner Frank. Frank and I share a love for Sam Mustafa rules, we have played some Grande Armee, Maurice and Longstreet. The figures were 10mm, the conflict was the American Civil War. The scenario was "Walled Farm" or something like that (page 129 of the rules). 

Frank played the Confederates, I was the Union. I had a 46 to 32 stand count and was the attacker. Frank had to defend an objective near the farmhouse and had some reserves available in the 6th turn. The Union troops were Enthusiastic Recruits and the Confederates were Seasoned Vets, so the Union were good at the attack and the Rebels better at defense. The card decks (which give the flavor) were for '62-64.

We hadn't played the rules for some months, so we were a bit rusty but Longstreet is a very easy to learn/re-learn ruleset. We were back in the swing of things after the 2nd round.

Frank's brigade was based on a brigade formed around Northern Virginia, where we both reside. My Union force was based on a Pennsylvania brigade that one of my ancestors, Charles Brooks, was a member. 

My artillery was commanded by none other than Abner Doubleday, who is credited with inventing baseball. I mentioned the figures are 10mm, mine are almost exclusively Old Glory. To be honest, I didn't put alot of time in the basing or painting of these figures. They were more of a rush job. The ACW isn't one of my big passions, so I just wanted average figures painted on the table. I still need to finish the basing on some stands.

A rare victory for me, which I think was more because of the scenario and die rolls than any great strategy on my part. Frank usually whoops me when we face off on the table top.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Indulgences: Saxons and Cataphracts

While I should be plugging away at more Irish and British to complete my armies, I decided instead to give into something different. I opted to paint some Saxon Warriors and Late Roman Cataphracts, now that I finished I can return to completing my Irish and British armies.

The Saxons are a hodgepodge of figures found within the ranges of Magister Militum and Pendraken. Saxon foederati from the Pendraken late roman range, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings from Pendraken/MM dark age ranges, and some Magister Militum Dacians.

I decided to go with a dark red, black and off-white color palette for the Saxons. Since one of the original invaders was "Horsa" (which I believe means horse), the white horse was used as their icon. I added simplistic white horse motifs to the banner and two of the shields.

The Late Roman cataphracts are from Pendraken. Beautiful two piece castings, I had some difficulty aligning the torsos with lower bodies in anatomically accurate poses. I should add that was an issue with my poor concepts of anatomy, not any fault of the castings.

I went with a purple, red, silver and gold color palette since they represent the cream of the Roman heavy cavalry. They may also represent a British warlord's companions in other battles.

I hope to update soon with more British and Irish additions to my 10mm Dux Bellorum collection.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Age of Arthur: A Book Review

Decided to take a pause and explain this recent surge in Dark Age Britain for me. It all started with Dan Mersey's "Glutter of Ravens" rules many years ago. I loved them, and made many 15mm purchases for my armies. That project never was fulfilled, and then Osprey came out with the first of their rulesets: Dan Mersey's "Dux Bellorum". I ordered them, read thru them and loved them. Ordered more 15mm figures, but it didn't feel right. I decided to sell off the 15mm at a loss and re-engage the project at 10mm. Ranges were more limited, but it felt right. Then I began reading actually about the period:
Dux Bellorum: A fantastic ruleset. I have read it, re-read it, discussed it and played it. I love it. No other Osprey ruleset has come close to this one.

As Told in the Great Hall: This came across my Amazon recommended list and I ordered it on a lark. Great decision, lots of scenarios, information included. It has army lists, descriptions, scenarios and even rules. Very nice inspiration. TMP link here:

King Arthur: I bought this book on a whim from Amazon. The author goes thru great effort to prove that Arthur may have existed, which I don't mind. I am not finished the book yet, but I will recommend it based on the fact it includes more maps and family trees than any of the other books I have read (and its a cheap paperback). If you want a name for your warlord and a kingdom for him to fight over, this is your book.

Lords of Battle: A tad dry, but very useful. I enjoyed reading how the comitatus and military structure of the combatants in Britain had many similarities (motivations, etc.). This book certainly re-enforces Mersey's approach to designing his ruleset in my opinion.

Battles of the Dark Ages: First time I tried to read it I found it incredibly boring. Then I picked it up a second time and realized something was very wrong with me! The book is very, very interesting. The author goes thru a great deal of work to try and pinpoint the location of battles and what type of forces were involved. A definite must-have if you are to game this period. Good maps of battles too.

I hope this brief review has assisted some, these are the books that have really spurred me on to the period. I also used some Warhammer Ancient Battles books and the accompanying eye candy to motivate/inspire me.

As Told in the Great Hall....

Got some 10mm buildings in the post from Total Battle Miniatures, and I am very impressed. I managed to get the great hall (and my is it great!) painted and based this morning. Here is how massive it is compared to a 60x30mm base of 10mm figures. A British/Saxon/Irish/Viking warlord could spill a lot of mead in this place!
 A simple paint job on the hollow, resin building with a sepia ink wash gave me a good result. Those wishing to spend more time could really make this thing look grand.

 Another angle...

 Same angle, different lighting.

More posts to follow, I should probably review some dark age books that I have been plowing thru and hope more updates on painting progress!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Dux Bellorum Project

While I haven't been posting as of recent, I have been painting (admittedly, in a rather slow fashion). I added two Irish warrior units (one noble, one regular), and some Romano-British Shieldwall and Riders. I am slowly but surely getting to the 32 point goal for Dux Bellorum. Next on my painting table is a dark ages great hall (Total Battle Miniatures), some Saxon foederati and then Noble British cavalry.

Regular Irish to the left, with the Irish Companions to the right (their warlord pointing ominously to the enemy).

The rear of the two recently finished warrior bases, I tried to add some simple plaids, stripes and also keep colors within the Irish dress codes.

The Irish are a mix of Magister Militum dark age Irish, medieval Welsh and Pendraken medieval Welsh.

My Irish army thus far: Companion warriors, two regular warriors, a noble chariot and some skirmishers; 17 points of gaelic fury.

Here is a base of British regular riders (chaps with yellow/green shields). I added a sixth rider to the base, which fills in the base much better.

Same guys, different lighting. All Pendraken.

The British shieldwall, two noble units (white/green and white/blue) with one regular unit (yellow/blue). For the Romano-British, Nobles have banners and white shields while regular units are sans banner with yellow shields.

Rear shot, showing off the draco standards...

I have 20 or so points of British in two regular rider units, two noble shieldwall, one regular shieldwall and one skirmisher with bow.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

10mm Irish for Dux Bellorum

I finally finished up some 10mm Irish/Scotti as an opponent for my Sub Roman British. The bulk of the figures are Magister Militum, with some Pendraken mixed in. I decided to start with three bases: Warriors, Skirmishers with javelins and a Chariot. I know there is debate about use of Chariots, but as a wargamer...why not? Here are the three bases arrayed for battle:

The Chariot was a breeze to assemble and paint. The rider looks a little too "celtic" for me, I regret adding a vest to him to make him more "Irish". I added some Pendraken miniatures as chariot runners to make the base less sparse.

The Warrior base. Entirely Magister Militum figures from several ranges. I tried to keep the colors along Irish laws regulating what and how many colors people could wear.

The Warriors back sides...

And yet another angle...

Irish Skirmishers, a mix of Pendraken and Magister Militun.

The Irish surging towards Sub Roman British Shieldwall.

I will tackle more Sub Roman British next, possibly some Noble Shieldwall, then some Noble Riders. After that, more Irish.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dux Bellorum

Its been about two months since my last post, real life getting in the way of painting and such. Last week I managed to get in my first game of Dux Bellorum, the fine ruleset written by Dan Mersey and published by Osprey. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, which is a good thing as I had already started painting 10mm Sub Roman British! Here are my first three units: Riders, Shieldwall and Bow-armed Skirmishers:
The host arrayed for battle.

I decided to go with a yellow shield theme for both the shieldwall and riders. The skirmishers were given blue shields. 

This is a regular shieldwall, nothing special like nobles or companions. The better armored troops are in the front ranks and the unarmored and elderly behind them. I gave the commander of this unit a Jesus icon on his shield. The absence of a draco or other standard is how I can tell its plain ol' shieldwall.

Picture of the rear, this how they will look to most Saxons as they scurry from the battlefied! I tried to give them drab clothing with the occasional red trim.

The riders, in hindsight maybe I should have squeezed a sixth rider on the base. All shields are handpainted, going for simple designs. I may order some shield decals in the near future.

 Riders as seen from the Saxon point of view.

My skirmishers, a plucky lot of gents!

I used a new "wash" for the skirmishers and shieldwall, I mixed a few drops of my normal magic wash (Magic Floor Wax and Payne's Gray) with some Army Painter "strong" tone from the eye dropper range, I am really happy with the effect. I hope to paint up some more sooner rather than later (have some noble shieldwall on the paint desk right now). I also placed some orders for more Pendraken and some Magister Militum as well!