Monday, December 19, 2016

Orc Captain

Orc helmet

Creating Gundabad Orcs

 I have been having great fun with these Warlord plastic orcs and various Perry plastic box sets. To add a little variety to the unit I bought some 'War of the Roses' plastics for their nasty looking bill hooks. Again they work well with the orc torsos. The orc captain above is styled on the various captains taken from the Peter Jackson LOTR films with the side crest like a Centurion.
 Another little thing I'm excited about is the discovery of plastic card. I did buy some thick stuff but it proved a little too thick to cut into detailed shades, however, I found some really thin stuff which is excellent for armour etc. Orc armour is pretty rough and ready so it is great to mocking stuff up, the crapper the better with orcs.
Here I am also using the thin plastic card to create shields. The wood is cut up lolly sticks with the tiny rivets being created by Gel super glue. Looking forward to painting this lot up and seeing what they look like.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gundabad standard reference

Found this great standard design on the internet, could prove very useful. Creator unknown.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Making Gundabad Orcs

Just trying a few different ways to introduce character into a unit of Gundabad orcs. A crude 'green stuff' face mask and helmet blades made from plastic card. The helmet blades are a nod to Peter Jackson's films and I think they will look good once painted up.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Got to Love Charity Shops!

 My Wife snapped up these two amazing bargains in a local charity shop. £4 for the 40K and £5 for the massive WarHammer book. I don't imagine I will get around to playing either soon but they are a wealth of artwork and eye candy. I think they must be quite recent as the figures inside are very current. I feel sorry for the guy who had these then decided not to play it anymore, they have hardly been touched. I wonder if these books being dis-guarded are the result of the Age Of Sigmar...properly not who knows.They have found their way back to the Imperium now.
A steal though which ever way you look at it, brightened up my bad day any how. I was interested to read up about the races but found the chapters short and full of new guff which didn't really get me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Orc vs Elf

Green Stuff the Bear

I decided to issue a 'HOLD' order on any ECW activity until Pikeman's Lament is released in January.

So all my ECW stuff is packed away and out of site which feels good as now I can concentrate on the Hobbit Project again and start chipping away at these lovely armies. Above a fantastic Dire bear from Reaper Miniatures is having his joins covered ready for his role as Beorn. I really want to paint him in brown but Beorn was actually meant to be black, maybe I will give him a brown muzzle to break up the overall colour.

In the back ground is a Ral Partha Ogre who will be doubling as a Hill Troll, there will be four of these on two bases for Dragon Rampant. together they will act as a 12 point bellicose foot unit so each Hill troll is 3 hit points each.

 I don't really intend to use the point system from the rule book and will tailor the units to fit the feel of  Middle earth better. For example the Hill Trolls will end up being around 9pts a unit, with armour ( thick hide) and Great strength being added to them.
Like wise my Dwarves (8pts) and Elves (7pts) will come in very pricey compared to the massed units of Goblins (4pts) and Wargs (4pts). Really looking forward to getting some more units done and trying out some different troop types in the game. Wolf riders are on my list...

Thinking I can use the Plastic Saxon box set from gripping Beast to add some variety to the weapons of the Wolf Riders, as there are only three sculpts from Ral partha ( the best Wolf Riders around at the moment).

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Young Guard

 Having a friend who is collecting Prussians and researching Waterloo has given me a burst of life to start on a new french unit. I have researching the young guard for a while and so decided to create a unit of Tirailleurs to stop him in his tracks. In 2004 I bought a load of front rank figures to create some Young Guard, they have sat hidden away for years until now. the models are old by Front Rank standards and have been removed and up dated by now. There has been more great reference books released since I first started to look at the units which has helped a lot in researching them.

I've discovered that the Tirailleurs were given red epaulets for the Waterloo campaign. I had bought a lot of line Voltigeurs back in 2004 to convert, thinking it would be a simple painting conversion. However after a little thought I started to model some epaulets out of greenstuff. it was a lot easier than I thought and I realized doing the complete unit would be fun and also a one off. I will also look to increasing the size of the pompoms too. The great coat colour has caused all kinds of confusion. I have decided to paint most in grey and browns with just a few in light Blue. That way I've covered all the options.
The new releases from Calpe Miniatures have got me thinking about replacing my regimental command with some better figures, including the colour guard etc. I imagine that now calpe are doing French It's alright for front Rank to start doing Prussians.
The new Front Rank prussians do look good and can be bought in Regiments which is very handy, ear marked for the future I think.

Games day

 My re-enactment group organised a wargames day this weekend. I was like a boy in a candy shop, It was great for me to see other peoples work and look at new figures and try new games. These pictures are taken from a game of Muskets and Tomahawks. I really enjoyed the game partly because it gave me a chance to use all of the ACW scenery I made last year. The rail fences and corn fields really helped to top off the look of the game.
 Another great thing about the day was seeing these gaming mats, I had read a lot about them but It was good to actually see them close up, very effective I thought. They really help to work out soft cover and hills can be added by putting objects underneath the cloth. As soon as I get a little more money in the bank I will be tempted to get one. The one below is from a ACW scenario by Cigar Box Miniatures.
 A lovely era to wargame with loads of great scenery to use in setting the atmosphere. If I didn't have a to do list as long as my arm I might be tempted to collect some units. Must stay strong now and look away.
Another game I got to play was regimental Fire and Fury, I have been itching to play this game for two years now so arranged a game. It played differently from how I had imagined and we used 10mm figures. These seemed tiny to my big 28mm eyes but i could see the attraction , the units actually looked like real regiments with the dense formation of numbers. I have to admit I released quite early on that i had maybe chosen the wrong scale to game it in when I started to look at the immense army lists.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Painting Again

Last night I actually stole some time and did a bit of painting, it felt bloody great, still feeling the benefit today. Some water has been put back into the well!
I have so many things going on on my dusty old table that It's hard to think straight, last night I thought I would just dive in and start to clear some of those units that have been hanging around for a while.

 Researching Wargs again on my phone on the long trip back from London I was full of inspiration and ready to go when I finally got home. Wolves and Wargs for the Battle of the Five Armies are a joy to paint as they are basically all dry brushing and can be finished quite quickly. I'm glad to say I managed to complete all of the vicious beasts and even had time to do a ECW trooper too. Those little puppies have been snapping at my heels for months now.

Recently I have had no inspiration to pick up the brush, with working long hours drawing all day, my eyes are burnt out when I get in around 9ish at night, all I want to do is flop down in front of the TV and turn my brain off. I always end up watching other people paint figures on YouTube which seems a little odd.
I think one big thing I did recently which has helped, I bought a painting tray thingy from Games Workshop a few months ago. It really helps being able to grab it and take it into the living room and do a bit of painting while still being sociable, not disappearing into my man cave for two hours.

The man cave

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Victory without Quarter 'Trotters'

A squadron of 'Trotters' pause to work out how to engage. Thanks to some kind members of this Blog I have figured out what to do when the situation arises again.

Trotters can either stop and fire with one unit card activation...or they can charge home with a card activation. They can't do both in the same turn.

I my game my unit pulled up to a halt and fired their pistols at short range, I couldn't see how to engage them after that. On their next activation card or officer card they could of attempted to charge home or fire again. As the melee damage (3D6) is greater than the pistol damage (2D6) it would make sense to rush them into close combat.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Internet Standards

Test Game of Victory without Quarter

 Having read the rules three times I thought I would give them a run through using some units.

My wife was up for rolling some dice and then decided to take a general's roll. It was slow going at first as I waded through the simple rules trying to remember everything I had read. My wife not being a war gamer at heart thought this process was to slow and a bit boring as you can imagine. However once the units started to get closer and shoot at each other, things started to get better.

I did loads of things wrong it appears but by the end of the game I had learnt quite a bit and put a lot of that reading into practice. I didn't have the officer's roll right, when their card came up I had them just giving everyone orders so they one knew what they were doing in their card activation. It turns out officers can give a unit in their command radius an extra command which they carry out straight away like shooting or movement etc. This would have made the game a lot more action packed and more fast moving, that would have pleased the parliamentarian general a lot.

Also thanks to some kind comments on this blog and reading through a lot of other blogs I have worked out how the Event card works. My game was too small for one but I like the idea a lot. Also My General was targeted by artillery which led to me being a little confused on how to handle that, It turns out best leave the artillery shots to actual units and not small groups of men riding around shouting.

There is a rule that had me scratching my head a little and that was the combat involving Trotters vs Gallopers. Trotters charge up to the enemy but stop eight inches away and fire their pistols. (2 D6 per base) This is very in keeping, but my question is do they ever close to combat with sword (3D6) and if so when . It lead to a strange stand off when Gallopers drew up short and just stood there getting shot. I reread the rules trying to work this out but so far have not found how trotters can close. Maybe it's a case of rolling a morale check after they have fired and sending them in if they pass. Don't know still trying to work this on out.
 Above a Royalist blew coated regiment shuffles forward with lowered pikes, in the distance a Roundhead yellow coated Regiment moves to intercept.
 Purple coated cavalry charge across the field towards the parliamentarian line. Crossing the field of fire of their own cannon. playing these rules was a joy once things started to slot into place, my favourite thing was how the regiments fired at each other and very gradually started to take damage. My wife was a little annoyed at how ineffective the shooting was but I thought it was spot on. Lots of smoke and noise but not a lot of men going down. Very realistic I thought, of course when the units got closer more men started to drop.
 I also liked the way the units became shaken for a few rounds and then managed to pull themselves together. A great test game which I know both I and my Wife enjoyed, the fact she is related to Stonewall Jackson was not lost on me as I retreated with my tail between my legs. I really enjoyed this game even with all the mistakes, next I will create some paper units so we can have a bigger game with event cards.
I don't normally sell any of my wargames armies but in this rare case I am prepared to let these two armies go.
The Blew Regiment of foote £265, Roundhead Yellowcoated Regiment of Foote £200, cavalry units £180, cannon £26 and Generals £20. The paint work and colour schemes are minimal but very in vogue at the moment great for old style games. So don't hang around or you will lose a great bargain. if interested drop me line. Put your faith in God and keep your powder dry!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Basing idea for Victory without Quarter.

The top unit is the one from the rules, the bottom is my tweaked version, bulking out the regiment slightly by adding more men so that the figure count is around 25. My version has been inspired by the great looking units from Warfare Miniatures and their Lilly Banners regiments, units struggling under pressure. I always think of regiments in 28mm being around 24 figure mark, this probably coming from my old ACW regiments, I think 24 is a good number for a unit.

 Just WIP at the moment but exciting stuff and lots of food for thought. I need to get out more...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

More ECW Temptation

 Although I am loyally waiting for' The Pikeman's lament' that is released in January 2017, I have also been tempted by another set of ECW rules, 'Victory without Quarter' I down loaded the free PDF and I'm quite impressed.

 Unlike Pikeman's lament with VWQ you can field larger forces. I do like the idea of having different coat colours etc and the idea of doing dramatic bases is a real draw for me, a bit like my ACW bases with loads of drama as the unit struggles on the field. I may have to buy a few more causality packs. Pikeman's lament is more of a regimental skirmish game with each block of muskets and pike fighting as separate units.

My only slight worry with VWQ is that I like my armies to look like armies so I'm thinking of ways to increase the figure count in the regiments, maybe by making the bases bigger and adding 8 figures per base rather than 6 the regiment will look more substantial. However this may effect the shooting, not sure yet.
If anyone has played Victory without Quarter please let me know what you think of it, so far I like what I see.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

ECW House WIP make over

Last week I started to improve the model I bought from Emperor Toads Emporium by adding finer details. I also added a leaning shack type affair ( not painted yet), This is so skirmishers can get in amongst the beams and planks to take cover.

ACW Regiment Reference

I saw this illustration in a book and thought I would post it on here for reference for later use. This is a great image to draw inspiration from for when basing up my ACW regiments.

For years (1995-2012) my armies were units of the same figure in the same poses, at the time I thought this looked good until I saw armies based for the original Fire and Fury game.
Now I try to mix them up as much as I can, firing, advancing, right shoulder shift, loading, wounded, kneeling etc all in the same unit. If everyone is different, so much the better, I think this picture captures that exactly.
I always go on about the staggered, struggling line which I think captures the dramatic feel and atmosphere of the war, this basically means an advancing line that is all over the place and certainly not straight, again I think this image illustrates that.

Below is a shot of one of my Union Regiments with the new basing principle, I greatly prefer it to my old style of basing, much more dramatic and realistic.

Monday, October 17, 2016

BUF in action

 More shots of the ECW village from Emperor Toad's Emporium. these BUF troops were painted last year for a game with a friend, they were fun to do and made a nice change. I added the arm bands with 'green stuff', they are used here to show the scale of the buildings.

Emperor Toad's Emporium

Just received my order from Emperor Toad's Emporium, he makes scratch built war games terrain at a reasonable cost. I opted for the ECW village and a stable type barn.

ECW village £50

 I have in fact bought off him before from eBay but didn't realise it, my ACW fences posted earlier in the Blog are defiantly from Emperor Toad. Anyway back to these models. They are quite crudely made and have obviously been created at speed, the model is criss-crossed with glue gun strands.

However for all the quick dry brushing and crude painting the models do have bucket loads of charm and a kind of realism to them. At first glance you can get quite disheartened but once you take a picture of them or view them from the table they seem to spring to life.
This building had come lose in the post but nothing some glue won't fix.

 I would go as far to say these models make a great starting place to creating scenery, being a bit OCD I will go over these models and tidy up some of the detailing. Also I love the idea of fighting in half open building, so I plan to add a barn to the side of one of the houses. You know so guys can cram in there and get some cover.
 At £19.99 I didn't think this half timbered open barn was too bad, in fact I think that most of his stuff is good value for money. I certainly haven't got the time any more for making buildings, those carefree single, childless days are long gone. These building are the way forward for me and It also gives me a very fun project to do in tweaking them with washes and extra flock. I have just got Net flicks and released that it is the enemy of all things creative so might have to stop watching it for a month or two.

 Above is the barn as it appears on the web-site. The barn I got looks very rustic but I will cut the beams down to make them thinner.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Field Sign Standoff

Early war officers meet in the swirl of battle, however who they actually fight for is another matter.

This was inspired from a story I heard about parliamentarian officers being shot in the early stages of the war by accident because they were wearing red sashes. I guess they learned pretty fast, although It wouldn't be the last Civil war this would happen in either.

 Personalizing your kit and keeping up with fashion carried its own risks in the 17th Century.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Raiding Roundheads

These two parliamentarian troopers prepare to burst into an old mill and loot grain and other useful vitals for the cause. The good Lord will provide...and he certainly does.

This picture was done to try out a new white pen I have, great for doing detailing on black.

Iron Mitten tip on Great Ironsides

 I've been collecting historical figures for many decades now but have always struggled to find a good lobster pot Ironside. Well after a chance buy on eBay I was delighted and thought I would share the tip.

Over the years I've watched the old companies like Essex and Dixon get over shadowed by newer companies like Perry, but actually these old companies are worth a look as a few hidden gems can sometimes crop up. These cavalrymen are a prime example. They are listed as Royalist heavy cavalry on page two of Essex Miniatures, English Civil War category.

In 1997 I bought two ECW armies from Dixon...these are now adding to the lead pile in the loft, although like Essex some of their heavier cavalry are quite usable.
 The nice thing about these sculpts is that they match in size the Bicorne and Renegade figures that people tend to go for when collecting this era. The large pot helm is a perfect match for these other ranges, although it has to be said the arms are thinner in the Essex sculpts. There are only two helmeted sculpts available but this can be counter balanced by mounting them all on different horses. Essex does do a wide range of horse for this range. Although I think their later sculpts don't fit with these newer horse models so some filing is advised.

It seems the money I saved on eBay was soon spent on buying different horse poses from the Essex website. Some of the horses haven't got pictures so it's a bit of a lottery as to what might turn up. As I say a lot of the later horse standing poses needed to be filed so the musket holsters could fit on the horses back.
 However, for me as well as the nicely sculpted pot helm another great point was the open hand which can be cut free from the body and bent into different positions. I also bought a few packs of pistols and muskets from the web site and these look great in different resting positions.
 A trooper with a fitted wheel lock pistol and altered arm. Cut the thumb away from the leg and bend the arm up for different poses. It creates great diversity in the unit.
 One thing that I was rather disappointed with Is that I also bought from their Web site some of their new New Model Army cavalry to add some variety to the units. These did not match up at all with the older Royalist range and were rather small and crudely sculpted. The pistol holsters were down by the troopers feet. I might still try and mix them in as I have them now, It's worth saying they do not match the larger Renegade and Bicorne ranges. Below is one of the smaller New Model Army figures.
Anyway, If you are collecting ECW and want some great parliamentarian troopers, then I would certainly give Essex a look, just be careful not to mix their Royalist and Round head ranges.