Wednesday, 2 January 2019

2019 painting challenge

I was wondering what my painting schedule for this year should look like.

Firstly, finish the Frostgrave soldiers, the old school Persians  (foot and cavalry -riders only, the horse have been done months ago), the Sumerian buildings and a few pieces of the 6mm Napoleonics artillery left over from previously. It doesn't sound much but I'll expect to close these off by the end of March. Really, hoping to finish by the end of February.

Next will be the 6mm Heroics and Ros English Civil War armies. There are a lot. I have to break them down into two armies. I'd partly done this before they were stored away. Whenever that was!
I will need to look again. The problem will be basing. I'm inclined to put each battalion/regiment of foot on the same base. But 80mm seems too large so I will look at 60mm basing.
DBA/DBR recommend 3 bases of 40mm wide which is rather a lot of space to take up on the table for a unit IMHO, where 2 bases of shot and 1 of pike would be the norm. Where as 40mm seems too small. I'll experiment.
Further to this, unit and army frontages were never so conforming as DBX makes out.
Incidentally, I will be having variable unit sizes, as happened in reality. I'm not sure if any rules cater for this but a factor can be subtracted when shooting or in melee should the need arise. Or added.
I will set a start and end date of March through to the end of September. Rather long, granted. Fortune or mishap could easily arise to alter this.

Having written the above, the next day I got then out to check!

As can be seen, quite a few to do.
There are a few irregular miniature figures here, but not many. Mostly they are the artillery train, crews and guns. I think they are more appealing models then H&R.
Arrayed with the pile are some bases I will try out.

This is the pile mostly sorted.
I have an abundance of cavalry but not as many pike and shot as I thought. I have 6 regiments divided previously with a pack or two of pike and shot to separate.
As can be seen, a nice artillery park. Nine canon of various sizes.

So having looked at what is to do I have tried a few base sizes already and come to my preferred size.
It will tend to be 80 x 40 mm.  The number of figures will be 45, 30 shot and 15 pike. Some units may contain less to give the visual appeal I am looking for
If I do some London Trained Bands I will base them on 3, 40 x 40 mm bases with the increase in figure count accordingly. Possibly.
All, of course, subject to change on whim!

The horse, I am not sure the base size I prefer yet.

A few figures are partially painted as I bought them from eBay years ago. A bit rough but I can smarten them up a bit.

I expect I will start with the horse. It seems my default position if I have them.

This will leave October through to the end of the year to paint the French and Indian Wars figures. Hopefully I will be ahead by then to give some extra time.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Post Christmas

It has been a quiet month. Some painting done, but quite a few unfinished.
I didn't ask for a lot of wargames items for Christmas and always give the option of not buying them if they prefer to get something else. A very important point to make around present giving.
My sons, though, prefer lists to thinking!
I did receive a couple of wargames items which I wanted

The Wargames Annual is now a must. I began collecting them a couple of years ago and have purchased some back issues. They can be purchased from Caliver Bools (caliver books). Probably one of the best places to buy books on all manner of military subjects. Bookmark it!

Then there was also some buildings

Listed as Sumerian on Leven Miniatres (.leven miniatures).
I hope to get these 5mm buildings done before March. An easy target!
I just wish someone would manufacture city walls and towers in 6mm for the earlier ancients period.
They have Hadrian's wall and generic types but I would like the more easily identified Assyrian crenellations.
Please someone!

Having put Frostgrave on the back burner I am now painting some figures I had bought for me earlier.

First up was a sigilist and apprentice. Still as a work in progress I am waiting to do all the Frostgrave figures I have before working on the bases. An elementist, her apprentice and 20 soldiers are being worked on. Not without problems as the undercoat seems 'bitty' or powdery. They aren't painting up well. They are the first plastic figures I have done since the Airfix figures in the '60's!
You may notice the badly painted Cuban flag Yellow and green have significance in the Santeria religion. Not that I'm a believer in that.

This next band of misfits will be for Frostgrave. A sorry bunch by the look of them!

I can't remember where, or why!, I got these. But they will fight as well as the next man! I particularly like the burkha dressed fighter with the staff.

I deliberately avoided asking for figures. I need to finish a bag full of 6mm Heroics and Ros English Civil War figures before even thinking about new figures. There are enough for 2 armies.  And then there are the French and Indian Wars English and French to do also.

Hopefully, I will be setting the table up for some ancients action this coming week. The dice will decide which armies get to parade their martial skills. Or lack of them.

Best wishes to everyone for the new year ahead.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Knights of Rivendell

Before I went on holiday I almost completed the painting of the Knights of Rivendell figures my son gave as a present some time ago. I'm not completely sure why he chose this present as we never played Warhammer. We had played Titan Legion's and Spacemarine, epic being a great game. We also played Space Crusade. But no Warhammer. I guess that is partly why it was somewhat down the painting order.
Thinking about painting them I looked on the web for suitable inspiration. It was a lot of the usual colours, like on the box, but there were some great exceptions.
I thought about it and as autumn was coming I thought some orange-brown combination might look nice.
The horses I decided to try my hand at painting as pintos. I had never tried to paint pinto before so it was interesting to see the outcome.
The flesh colour of the elves was difficult. I wanted them not to look too human so did a very pale colour. Actually, screaming skull.
The armour, metal parts and weapons I painted using a few washes of bieltan wash and waywatcher green glaze. Again, I didn't want them to seem too human in their colours. Is it jade? Mithril silver seems too human.
The cloaks and clothing are a mix of yellow ink and casandora yellow. Again, several layers
I'm fairly pleased with the overall look of the figures as they stand. I will no doubt work a little more on the flesh and horses.  Also, I will work on the bases when I order some suitable autumnal flock for the base to set it off.
But to all intent and purposes they are done.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Mambru has left the war

As usual, going on holiday is more relaxing than going to work. What is more, you can learn something new.
On holiday in Cuba I came across a rather strange picture of something like a bogeyman in a shop selling, IMHO overpriced Spanish ceramic ware,.
Who or what was Mambru
It turns out this bogeyman was the Duke of Marlborough!

It was explained, by my dear wife, that this was a children's song in Spain, though it was actually a French song in origin. It is about the death and burial of Marlborough. Unfortunately for the French it wasn't true. It came about after the rumoured death of Marlbrough after the battle of Malplaquet.
It is rather a long song so I won't set it down here.

But here is a more serious version in Spanish
Mambru se fue a la guerra Jose Raul

And a French baroque version
Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre Le Poème Harmonique

Rather nice.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Coincidence? I think not!

Whether you believe in coincidence/synchronicity or not,  somethings are just spookily joined in some way.
I refer to my latest post about the French and Indian Wars figures I was recently given for my birthday. And what was on TV this weekend? The Massacre at Buffalo Valley, based on the Penn's Creek raid by Delaware Indians in 1755..
Does it confirm destiny? Probably not. But still spooky!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

A new beginning. French and Indian Wars

 I shouldn't be surprised, but constantly I am.
Now I will have to buy the Musket and Tomahawk wargames rules. If I can find a copy. Or wait for the 2nd edition.
Because my son bought me a box each of the French and British for the French and Indian wars..
And the lead pile, and plastic, was diminishing so well!
But that didn't include things yet to be discovered.
Like the Chariot Miniatures ALM6 and ALM8.
The reason I have these was, long ago I tried my hand at 15mm wargaming. A Macedonian army and some English medieval armies, De Montfort and Warrene as it happens.The principal figures of which De Montfort, Warrene and sons were professionally painted. All that difficult heraldry is still beyond me.
So I sold these off years ago to the wargames shop that used to be in Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire. I'm sure they couldn't believe their luck.
So these must have been the left overs, unpainted and forgotten. Until today. Plus, some 'spare' pikemen, painted but not based.
I will probably put these on eBay as I can't see myself painting or using these. That said, I recently tried to sell some 25mm Greeks ( Museum Miniatures, I think) with the separate heads etc but to no avail.

So, I'm not over-keen on painting these F&I Wars figures. But I will put my best brush forward when I catch up to them. I have a maximum of 3 years to do them but each painting day brings the numbers to paint down.
Except I'll need some woodland Indians. Some militia for both sides. Some civilians, for both sides.
I think I'll have a lie down!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

6mm Ancients Battle report, Early Achaemenid Persians vs Assyrians

The premise for the battle was reports of a member of the ruling house surviving the fall of Nineveh. They could be the rallying point for any army elements remaining so must be eliminated.
A force was sent to capture or kill the aforesaid person, said to be in a town in the north.

Little did I know that this would be an 8 day battle! First it was the heat in the conservatory then it was work commitments. Luckily, I could leave the game set up.
It has somewhat interfered with the painting though.

The Persians had a higher points total as I felt that the Assyrians would have had the bulk of any forces defending the capital.
I am, again, using the 'In Death Ground' rules.

The Persians, as the attackers, are delegated as side one. This means they go first each turn. Again, I thought this appropriate.
The strategy of each was the Assyrians would be on the defensive and the Persians would advance to attack. With a larger force I didn't expect too much trouble for the Persians.

The Persian host.

On the right the Assyrians defend the town

As can be seen, the Persians have the larger force. The lighter elements of the army are raw.
There are:-
2 large, 4 elements in DBA, units of Sparabara
3 heavy cavalry units including the general
1, 4 element light cavalry with javelins
1, 2 element unit of Scythian horse with bow.
1 unit, 4 element, of raw, warriors (Mesopotamian infantry)
1  element of raw, skirmishers.

The Assyrians have:-
2, single element units of warrior bowmen.
2, single element units of armoured warriors,
1 unit of 2 elements of elite armoured warriors
1 unit of 2 elements of warrior bowmen.

The Persian light cavalry advance on both wings. The right having a heavy cavalry unit.
The Persian advance.
The Assyrians are quite nervous.


The Assyrian cavalry advance on the left.
and into contact

inflicting the first casualties

This cavalry battle was to last quiet a few rounds.
The Persians were confident and advanced their army regardless.

The L/C of the left wing advance on the town.
The Persians close and set to shooting.
Meanwhile, the right wing cavalry lose an element of light cavalry,after the reserve Assyrian heavy cavalry move up and flank them.  The Persian reserve heavy cavalry move into a position to intervene the next turn.
Which they do the next turn as the second element is eliminated
Bow fire from both armies is not causing many casualties.
After turn 4 the Persians move to contact.

and stop short!
The left wing cavalry action
Seeing the light cavalry heading for the town the armoured warriors move to intercept, which they do. The cavalry bounce off and spend the rest of the battle skirmishing to little effect.

The chariots arrive!
After 2 rounds of combat, and terrible dice rolls for late arrivals, the Assyrian Chariots make an appearance.
The combat between the foot soldiers was slow and heavy going. Not many casualties inflicted. Those that were, were successfully diced to be removed. This makes armies very resilient under these rules.
The morale check for seeing enemy chariots caused some reaction..

Once into contact the battle was hard fought.
The Persian right wing cavalry began to lose and were eliminated.
The victorious Assyrian cavalry attacked the back of the Persian line killing the general.
The Persians gained disorder points for failing morale checks but held the line. But the battle was lost the next period as the first of the sparabara units was killed

There are elements of these rules I like.
But it was an overlong game. I am not sure I like the prolonged combat. Taking off the disorder points is all well and good for the first points but I feel it may be best not to continue using that rule. Disorder is quite hard to inflict in the first place IMHO under these rules.Yes, there may be times when disorder could be restored but I don't think it should be done every turn.
I'll probably try that the next time if I use these rules.

Honestly, I couldn't believe the Persians were going to lose this battle. That was especially so when the chariots didn't show until move 7. I always thought the numbers were going to overbear the Assyrians.
I need more of them!

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