Saturday, 31 December 2011

Work in progress....

The list of items mixed up on the worktop covers a range of scales and periods. The 15mm Napoleonic French are still awaiting any work at all, while a renegade saker and the Kings lifeguard ECW regiment of foote have taken painting priority and are at the skin and armour stage.  Finally tonight I've been preparing my new roman auxiliary cavalry for the sticking bit. The bases are ready and most of the flashing is cut off. The job would be finished but with one rider and a shield to go I successfully sliced the craft knife into the tip of a key finger. Cue much swearing and bleeding, and they have been left for another day!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Work in progress....

With the Romans shoved off, a regiment of pike and shotte complete and their officer done suddenly the work desk looked empty!  Filled it back up a bit though.  It now contains a second regiment of pike and shotte who have already had some painted done but need a refresh and a major completion job.  My 15mm French Napoleonic troops also stand ready for some trial painting experiments using the dipping process, and finally a number of roman auxiliary cavalry men need bases cutting and cleaning up and building.  Despite their status as a Christmas present I'm counting them 'as new' for my total.

Cavalry count as one, so does the mortar because its one piece (despite having several crew).

Years totals from 1/10/11:
Purchased - 12
Painted - 106

Declaring for the King - Part 1

A new start to an old subject; I began my English Civil War Royalist army, both in 28mm scale and in earnest, in early 2009 and have put some bits about it on both editions of the RGMB forum, but the first vanished and the second doesn’t have any room for more pictures so its moving onto the blog, especially now I’ve a progress report!

Better start at the very beginning, a very good place to start……..All to be played using Blackpowder etc rules.........

The Army List:

Lord Flashearts Army of the West

Foote - Sir Hugh of Beeston
Regiment of Foot (Stradlings; Blue jackets) - Standard -16 pike, 16 muskets
Regiment of Foot - (The King’s Lifeguard; Red jackets) - Standard -16 pike, 16 muskets
Mortar Battery - 1 gun

Foote - Bishop of Bath & Wells
Regiment of Foot (Talbots; White jackets) - Standard -16 pike, 16 muskets
Regiment of Foot - (Hopton’s; more Blue jackets) - Large -16 pike, 24 muskets
Forlorn Hope - Standard - 18 musketeers
Saker Battery - 1 gun

Horse - Brigadier Wolfe
Regiment of Horse (Sir Marmaduke Langdale) - Standard - 8 horsemen 
Regiment of Horse (The Duke of Dorchester; aka ‘Mad Frank’) - Standard - 8 horsemen

The less interesting ‘who, what and why‘ part:

Most of my troops are Renegade miniatures models, with the exception of Lord Flasheart (Warlords Charles I model) and Hopton’s foote (more Warlord pike and shotte).  This makes them reassuringly heavy, and they have a nice level of detail on them.

Onto the tricky part; making and painting.  Basing is the key to the making, all but the Warlord lot are already one-piece metal models (except the cavalry which are two piece, and the guns which are a few more).  Having originally tried moving my (individually based for Warhammer) regiments around, and found they annoyingly fall over everywhere, I decided to base up my infantry in fours (a square 4cm by 4cm base), and my horse in twos (on a square 5cm by 5cm base), all based up on plastic card - so much cheaper and better than GW slotta bases.  The artillery have a base per gun and team, which depends on their size.  Here Blackpowder is handy because I don’t have to remove any models until the entire regiment is destroyed!

The Whole Damn Process:
This is all remarkably identical to my process for painting my Roman army, those who have already seen this might want to skip to the pretty pictures.  On the bases are stuck the models, then the bases have sand stuck on with PVA glue, then the whole thing is sprayed black (GW Chaos Black spray paint).  Following this the model is painted a brown (paints are primarily Vallejo, much easier to use than GW), then dry-brushed two more shades of a slightly lighter brown, before the main colours are picked out (coats, flesh, guns etc) very roughly.  After the base painting is complete the model’s off for a dip in the Army Painter Dip tin, then after drying it gets the flock treatment, and finally a coating of matt varnish to take the gloss of the dip off it.  The object is speed painting, something which I normally fail in miserably, being a stickler for details even if I‘m hopeless at picking them out!  This will leave most of them looking quite rough around the edges, but hopefully will help me finish the army once and for all!  I must at this point aim a finger squarely at Aidan because this is his style of painting, and I’m hoping it works for me to a similar standard as it works for him.

A last mention to some men I had already painted in a previous effort; the 18 musketeers will form the forlorn hope foot regiment and stick with their paint scheme and basing so they can skirmish and I don’t feel it was all wasted time!  

Update time!

On to the current day and the picture of the entire army below is a bit out of date. 

The red bunch are indeed still the same colour but no more work has been done, while the Saker cannon and horse are still more black than anything else, and finally the officers/commanders are all sprayed black.  Everything has had its base painted a nice brown and lined with green, but the big improvement is that of the black sprayed regiments one has its coats painted white, one medium blue, and the fourth (Stradlings) is quite stunningly finished!  I know, amazing or what?  To add to this heady mix I have also finished the mortar and an officer (Sir Hugh of Beeston).  All good stuff.  

The next step, should I ever get round to it, is to carry on where I left off doing the King’s Lifeguard (red coats).  Don’t watch this space, you might die from boredom.

Oh, and this chap kept popping up, so I painted him as well.

The Romans - A Hail Caesar Project - Part 8

A few pictures to confirm previous unconfirmed reports that I’d actually finished every legionary and auxiliary model available!  Not strictly true of course, I’ve a few more auxiliaries and a couple of legionaries, and after Christmas I am the proud owner of a bunch of auxiliary cavalry, but its still a nice milestone to have had nothing left to paint at one point.  Hopefully I might even get to use them in a game at some point, this Christmas I was the proud beneficiary of a copy of the Hail Caesar rulebook, and it would good to try and work out what they are on about in it!

Next up (after I’ve harangued Warlord for failing to put a musician arm/body in the cavalry pack) is to base up the horsemen, and to purchase some more troops!  Command groups all round, a few officers and a pack of Renegade Balaeric slingers I think, still toying with the idea of getting an elephant as a nice Christmas centre piece to the army, although where from I’m not 100%.  Renegade do one, but its without a howdah or troops, and doesn’t look as exciting as Aventine miniatures efforts.  Foundry and Warlord seem to have missed this part of history as well.  The pictures of elephants in Hail Caesar are definitely Aventine ones.  Looking to Christmas money to finish the funding for the main part of the army.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Work in progress...

Good news! The painting table is empty, and not because the biotitan has taken the opportunity to attack it either! The roman legionaries and auxiliaries are all dipped, flocked and painted, leaving no romans waiting to be done until I acquire some more. The english civil war mortar is at the same 100% finished stage, while the 32 combined pike and shot and a mounted ECW officer are painted and just awaiting the dipping etc process. Next up I'm going to look at a fast track way of painting my 15mm French Napoleonic troops, and, if no Romans arrive soon, pick a second ECW regiment to start on after the first is dipped and done.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Work in progress...

The paint has dried on the auxiliaries and the Royalist mortar, plus the remaining legionaries. A total of 16 auxiliaries, 24 legionaries and the mortar and crew have also been dipped (or rather painted on), and are now letting the flock dry on their bases. Tomorrow evening I should be able to apply a coat of matt varnish and they will join the ranks of the finished models!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

On The Painting Table

On the painting table: 24 roman legionaries 16 English Civil War musketeers (Royalists of course!) 16 ECW pikemen of the same ilk 1 ECW mortar and an ECW staff officer/brigadier Years totals from 1/10/11: Purchased - 0 Painted - 32

The Romans - A Hail Caesar Project - Part 6: A Battle Report!

Less of an update, more of a battle report as my Romans took to the (3ft by 5ft-ish) field of green baize to battle Aidan's Romano-Brits as they also took part in their first clash. As well as the two painted cohorts of legionaries I also fielded one of auxiliaries (easy to spot with their bright blue shields) and one of partly painted legionaries. The Romano-Brits, also facing their first encounter, easily outnumbered my small forces, and kindly lent me a small unit of Saxon mercenaries, a tiny unit of horse archers, and finally the Titus Aduxas model to lead my three legionary cohorts. The auxiliaries and Saxon’s being led by a random auxiliary on a horse who lost an arm (literally) half way through.

With us both being rusty we went for a straight punchup, thinking it would be best to prevent us getting into too many complicated rules areas. I hoped my legionaries (as heavy infantry apparently, and so quite good) would best his infantry (mostly a bit lighter), but was concerned about my lack of cavalry and skirmishers and so lack of flexibility. I was however confident having watched one of my three Roman period films the previous night to pick up historical tactics. None of you will be wondering which one so I'll tell you; I rejected Gladiator, and turned down King Arthur reluctantly, but felt Life of Brian was the best option. In hindsight perhaps not, particularly when the opposite army was being lead by King Arthur! 

 The scenery having barely survived a sustained attack by the bio-Titan we kicked off, my legionary cohorts on the left facing the bulk of the enemy army.

 The auxiliaries and allies on the right facing some cavalry.

 The bulk of the Romano-British army (from now on to be mostly referred to as Brits for ease), lead by a nicely painted King Arthur (centre of front line - green cloak and light blue shield, standing heroically!) and the Bishop of Bath (back on the right looking religious).

 The Romans were mainly sluggish, their CO having to remember that in Hail Caesar the troops move a bit slower.  This let the Brits allied Saxons in for the first charge, and they crashed headlong into the second cohort!  I stood expectant of these ruffians to be seen off in short order, so when the second cohort (how many hours of painting?!?) disintegrated in the first round I was slightly miffed.

 With the rest of the Brits army seemingly quite happy to sit and watch the Saxon’s then carried on into the Fourth cohort on my far left, hitting them in the flank but luckily the legionaries stood firm this time.  Rumours of big money sponsorship by Coke and Maryland cookies for the Romano-Brit faction cannot be dismissed easily.

 Rallying his men Centurion Titus Aduxas personally lead the third cohort into action against Arthurs best men, as the fourth cohort got the best of the smaller Saxons and began pushing them back.  Arthurs elite copied the embarrassing actions of the second cohort and vanished in short order, while the Saxons continued to reel backwards.  Both Roman cohorts having been fighting for a period (and my saving throws being shocking) they were both quite worn down.

 On the right the action centred around my own Saxon’s taking advantage of a rare opportunity to charge the enemy horse.  They of course counter charged, but with my auxiliaries (which I think are probably from Gaul, or Germania, while Aidan thinks they are more Spanish looking) following and hitting the enemy in the flank I was confident.  I shouldn’t have been.  More shocking dice rolls followed, and the auxiliaries abandoned ship early as well, leaving the Saxons to be harassed off the table by the cavalry.  My own tiny unit was a minor annoyance with its one arrow a turn, but nothing more.

 Having tired of the oppositions Saxons getting in the way Titus Aduxas lead both cohorts of legionaries in a charge, wiping them out.  Both cohorts then pursued into the skirmishing spearmen, with Titus and King Arthur both joining in to devastating effect.  When the round was over the Brits spearmen had gone, dragging Arthur with them from the battlefield, while the fourth cohort had also dissipated, and the third (last remaining legionary cohort) was badly damaged.  

 With the disaster than had befallen the auxiliary and mercenary wing it was backs to the wall time for Titus and his last legionaries.  The Bishop of Bath lead his infantry into the charge, as the Brits cavalry appeared around a bunch of trees and launched themselves into the enemy flank.  The legionaries held out but had to withdraw, and found themselves eventually pushed off the table giving victory to the Romano-Brits!

Analysis: I’ve never read the Hail Caesar book, and Aidan’s knowledge was rusty, so we probably got a few things wrong.  It was however, and despite defeat, fairly enjoyable to be able to use my Romans.  The rules are subtly but definitely different from Blackpowder in some critical areas, and a few games would help.  The Romans and the Romano-Brits also looked the part fighting, and in an unusual twist most of my army was actually painted!

In other news; once my Romans had finished limping off the field I got to use this lot:

 The trains were particularly effective.

And after this final skirmish was victorious as Duke Tristram (me) foiled the dastardly Earl Erik!  More detail I suspect may be found here:

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A Lost Continent - Ancient Wargaming

I once read an article in a miniature wargames mag about the concept of fantasy-historical campaigns, being around 10-12 years ago this was quite unusual and it stuck with me. The basic premise was to create a fictional land/continent/island etc where each nation could be who you wished, for example the accompanying picture was of Norman knights charging a bridge guarded by Roman legionaries.

This springs to mind now because of the current variety of 'ancients' in terms of periods at the RGMB. Personally I'm collecting imperial Romans, AD80 or so, as is Dave, while Luke is looking at one of the Celtic barbarian nations. All fits so far, but then Aidan's troops are Romano-Brits, AD800ish, while Red swings the other way (could resist, sorry) to BC500 with his Greek Hoplites, and finally Chris is going all Viking on us.

If only there was a way of all being able to play nicely together. Like on a fictional lost continent. And there's where the train of thought currently ends, a nice fictional land with a bit of Greece, couple of roman empires, some barbarians and some celts(I know, no such thing but it's a nice generic title) and some extra unknown space for future exploration and different opponents. All fighting nicely against each other using the Hail Caesar rules. Sounds like something I may have to look into.

I also came across the following paragraph or two written by a friend.  He may have gone a bit further into the bizarre than the period I was aiming for, but he is on the right lines!


The second anachronistic war will have been fought by just about anybody who couldn’t possibly have been there due to not having been born yet, or having died a long time before. In fact the situation was so bad that it was missed from the Annals and Histories of the period simply because no contemporary that could have been there, was there, and thus the greatest conflict in history passed almost completely unnoticed. 

When the battlefields of the war began to be uncovered they revealed impossible battles between Dinosaurs and Romans, Zulus and Martians, Spartans and Americans, and more besides: It was thought to be a hoax and still is amongst conspiracy theorists. It has given archaeologists major headaches trying to work out the anachronology (warning: not a real word) of the war or the period it took place. It is currently assumed to have taken place at least partly during the beginning of the 21st century, on the basis no finds from this period will have been found on the battlefields. 

No trace of the First Anachronistic War is going to have been found yet. 

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Romans - A Hail Caesar Project - Part 5

Time for a roman update; I've not actually been too lax on this subject, with the first two legionary cohorts of 16 models a piece finished I decided to do my auxiliary bases next. There are 5 of these, each with 4 models on, and once I've bought a couple of command groups and a spare sprue of troops will expand into 8 bases, split into two cohorts of 4 bases and 16 models each, the same size as the legionaries.

I started with the same intent of quick and basic paint, then dip, flock and spray. However I found the auxiliary models (Warlord Games troops) had a few more details than the legionaries (trousers for a start!), and needed a couple of extra colours, the tunics for starters needed a better look. Having consulted the oracle (and been told I wasn't The One) I settled on a lighter brown for the tunics and a blue for the shields. I kept with the silver for the helmets, deciding bronze wouldn't look good enough to justify the extra time needed to paint it.

Having done the main colours (brown, silver, flesh then shield) which i expected to take a while, I moved onto the smaller bits. These took far longer than I had hoped, partly due to constant bio-Titan interruption (surely children need sleep prior to 10:30pm at night?!?) and partly because I fell back into an old habit. It wasn't until I was starting to curse the word auxiliary and was trying to get the line of leg vs sandal right that I realised I was trying to be perfect. This, as the more astute will try and forget, is where I've always gone wrong in the past - higher quality finish in v low quantities - very German.

Having had this moment of clarity I swiftly stopped prattling about and refocused, finishing them quickly. They still need the dip, flock and spray, but I'm going to do that en-masse when I've another cohort painted.

The 2 command groups and extra men are some of the bits I'm looking to get post-Christmas (waiting to ensure no possible duplication). On the good news front I think I need almost exactly £100 to complete (yes I said COMPLETE!) the army, and I have already obtained £62 in finance from chaos space marine sales. The cockerels have been sacrificed and the gods are clearly favouring me. Hopefully re-enforcements will be close at hand in January and with my Tuesday nights now freed up I can get the rest of my legionaries (and some ECW pikemen for variety) done before the 31st.

The Auxiliaries