Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Two More ACW

Two More ACW

Louisiana Tigers CSA - more converted Mahdists

Charleston Zouaves CSA - converted from French Foreign Legion

I have managed to find the Airfix guide.  Confederate units are 20 figures per unit whereas Union units only have 15.  Looks like I have made Zouave units only 15 strong no matter which side they are fighting for.
Now I have to search for the cavalry and artillery - it may take some time!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

ACW to the Fore

ACW To The Fore

Inspired by the blog "The Airfix American Civil War Project"

I delved into my attic to find the file boxes of ACW figures.  Here's some of what I found:

front - 17th Virginia CSA
rear - 8th south Carolina CSA

front - 19th Virginia CSA
[some Russian Napoleonics mixed in]
rear - 11th Virginia CSA

44th New York Zouaves USA
[French Foreign Legion conversions]

Keystone Zouaves
[I think these are Mahdist foot conversions - plus an odd standard-bearer]

All these figures have been gathering dust for years.  Still if we are dealing in nostalgia some leeway has to be allowed......I hope!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Not What It Seems

Not What It Seems

Last Saturday (17th Nov) I purchased two boxes of plastic soldiers:

HaT 8024 - Numidian Cavalry [12 figs for £4.25 - 35.4p each]
Zvezda 8049 - Russian Infantry of Peter the Great 1695-1725  [43 figs for £3.80 - 8.8p each]

The latter have long coats and wide cuffs but at this scale are still suitable for frontiersmen, settlers, riflemen or other irregulars for the French-Indian Wars and the American War of Independence.

The former were a bit of a surprise.  The box was standard, as were the illustrations on the side.  the contents, however, were far from it..  Instead of light horse there was cavalry.  These are the riders:

The one on the left seems to be of early Italian origin.
On the right we have a Gaul.

Both of these are Hellenistic types.

The one on the left shows Spanish influences.
On the right is another Gaul.

Not sure what either of these are supposed to be.

Juba I (55-46 bc) had a Gallic and Spanish bodyguard so presumably that is what these figures are meant to represent!   

Can anybody throw any light on this?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Club Medievals

Club Medievals

Finished a batch of club medievals / Wars of the Roses.  Andrew acquired a job lot from Ebay and I got lumbered with painting them. All these are Museum Miniatures.

MD10 HYW French Brigans - brigandine, plate, helm
(and yes Pink was an official colour of the time)

MD15 WoR Lancastrian Billmen - HI, chain, plate legs, bill, upright
(given that these chaps are likely to end up as levy I only gave them plate knee protectors)

On the Left - MD05 HYW French Crossbowmen - MI, mail, hauberk, kettle, firing.
On the Right - MD04 HYW Genoese Crossbowmen - LHI, mail, hauberk / brigand, pavase.

It seems that mercenary 'Italian' captains outfitted their troops in their own, preferred, livery but the shields showed their area of origin.  In this case it is Asti or Savoy (had I put red on white it might be Genoa, Milan or Padua).  Some 'Italian' states had really complex designs that I would not want to try in 15mm.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Finished At Last

Finished At Last

Well that's one small project finished....


5 Daleks - still think the orange one is a bit strange though!

And here's the assembled company

You may notice that one of the Silents is listing badly to the left.  The Silurian on the left is leaning backwards as well - no matter what I do the horrible plastic seems to remember its distorted shape.

Oh well only another 34 Daleks to go.  I am modifying them to various degrees but this takes time.

Almost finished some club medievals as well.  Watch this space.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Catching Up

Catching Up

Bit of a mixed bag today - starting with Dr Who figures:

Minotaur in the centre - Cyberman to the sides.  

Added some lighter silver  in places to give more contrast to the Cybermen.  Also added a purple wash to the head.  If not for the feet it's hard to tell which way a cyberman is facing.  I think they are improved but still not entirely happy! 

Haven't got the Minotaur's antlers quite right either - will have to think again.

Only the 5 Daleks left to finish the batch.

Two recent purchases - HaT 8054 Italian Ally Cavalry
                                    HaT 8055 Spanish Cavalry

Neither of them are new issues but both are destined for long-term projects.

The Italians will be converted into Araucanian figures to fight the Spanish in Chile.  I'm wading through "The Grand Araucanian Wars (1541-1883) in the Kingdom of Chile" by Eduardo Agustin Cruz.  It's not an easy task as the translator hasn't done the author many favours - sometimes it flows but otherwise its Pidgeon English.  Still I'm soldiering on (ouch!).

The Spanish are destined to be added to my Renaissance Arabs fighting in North Africa versus a Portuguese adventurer.

Thinking about the number of projects I have on the go - and not being in the flower of my youth - I will need to carry out a review to see what is really viable and what can go to the bring-and-buy.  Don't want to go into 2013 with a huge pile of unfinished metal and plastic do I?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

New Purchases

New Purchases

Recently purchased - Caesar 032 - Chinese Ming Dynasty Troopers
                                 Caesar 033 - Chinese Qing Dynasty Troopers

The latter box contained one (additional) painted figure - shown above.

The Qing dynasty lasted from 1644 to 1912 so it's a might difficult to determine what the box figures are supposed to represent.  Looks like some research is needed.  More later.......

Friday, 5 October 2012

Second Tranche

2nd Tranche

Silence/Silents - Sontarun - Silurian

Ood/Oud - Handbots - Judoon

Painting these has made me realise just how single-coloured most of the Dr Who monsters are.  I have taken some liberties by adding a few extra colours.  I couldn't do much with some of them though.  Only the Minotaur and 5 Daleks to go.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Some Progress

Some Progress

Weeping Angels - I didn't quite believe the originals.  If I had walked into a graveyard or ruin I might find the sight of statues in pristine light grey a might suspicious!  I tried to give my angels a weathered look - and think I succeeded.

Cybermen - not happy with these.  The latest version is pretty much one colour - silvery grey.  I inked and dry-brushed them but....  Any suggestions on improvements?

Getting on with the rest whilst simultaneously painting War of the Roses and Zulus - it's all go!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Dr Who Miniatures

A short review of miniatures on the front of "Dr Who Adventures" issue 284.

The assembled company:
5 x Daleks (1 blue, 1 red, 1 orange, 1 white & 1 tangerine) - 36mm
2 x Weeping Angels (grey) - 38mm
2 x Silents (flesh) - 43mm
2 x Sontaruns (blue) - 32mm
2 x Silurians (light green) - 41mm
1 x Ood (flesh) - 40mm
1 x Judoon (dark grey) - 38mm
2 x Cybermen (dark silver) - 39mm
1 x Minotaur (flesh) - 42mm
2 x Handbots (white) - 42mm

17 figures for £2.75 (approx 16p each)

General - lots of seam lines, horrible bendy plastic, very static poses.
I suppose I can understand the last point as there is a race game in the magazine for them to be used on.  Still it wouldn't hurt to have made them a bit more animated.

Weeping Angels: Probably the best of the bunch - but the arms are too short on the second one.
Dalek: bog standard - I already have 34 of them.

Judoon: OK but very static
Silents:  very thin and the horrible plastic meant that they were very hard to straighten
Handbots: look as though they are just going into a dance routine!
Silurians:  another to suffer from the bendy plastic   

Ood: Another static piece
Cyberman:  head is elongated - has he been switched off?
Minotaur: Interesting, somewhat hunched, figure
Sontarun: Are they really that small?

So far I have carried out the first prep stage - Arial concentrate, rinse, thin white glue, dry.
Next comes out the knives and files.  Undercoat to follow.  Watch this space.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

At the Beam End of the Universe

I have played quite a few Sci-Fi games in the past - from Laserburn to 40k.  Great fun - especially the 'bucket of dice' approach of the latter.  Not to be taken too seriously - after all it's only disguised colonial warfare.  Ah! but that's where the niggle is. 

Imperial Commanders, Space Marines and their like are vastly over-powered and over-armoured.  The 'natives' have to rely on numbers and fieldcraft.  I prefer more evenly matched opponents. 

A scamper back through history shows that where extreme conditions prevailed the 'Imperials' didn't do so well (Viet Nam, Afghanistan, etc).  Science fiction is full of such worlds - and you can invent even more.

So Why would anyone (or anything) fight on these worlds?  Who get's assigned to remote places and hopeless causes. Well here's a few suggestions: 

Those who have fallen foul of the authorities for political, religious or family reasons (think Romulans or Klingons).

Those who have proven to be less than enthusiastic when it comes to fighting (cowards, conscientious objecters, pressed men, etc).

Those who have reason to run away (criminals, loosers in love, persecuted minorities).

I'm sure you can think of others.

Example One: Jungle world

Conditions - High levels of moisture (in the air and under foot); lush and dense foliage; a breading ground for bacteria and fungi. 

Force One - a small group of Imperials charged with keeping this sector free of enemy incursions - and keeping the natives in order.  Advanced equipment and armour soon become useless because of voracious microbes in the atmosphere.  Power cells the same.  Armour is improvised from the shells of various sea-going creatures.  Weapons are simple slug-guns using explosive propulsion.  Swords and spears are not unknown.  Chain saws are just for show.

Force Two - the natives - at home in the terrain.  Armed with powerful bows and exotic melee weapons.  Semi-aquatic. Small in number. 

Force Three - orcs from the wild fringes of space.  Settled, many generations ago, in areas that the natives don't use.  Apart from trading they ignored each other until the Imperials turned up.
Rely on melee weapons and shields.  More intelligent than their mainstream relatives.  Small in number.

Situation - High Command expects even these third-rate troopers to do their duty.  Being remote from the planet means they know nothing of the prevailing conditions nor care.  On the ground it's improvise, adapt and survive. 

The locals see the Imperials as invaders and exploiters.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Not Forgotten

The loft men came and went.  I have a house in chaos with boxes everywhere. 

Found quite an assortment of figures, terrain and other wargaming paraphernalia.  An awful lot of unpainted plastics and metals - including some 25mm ancients from the seventies! 

Still I managed to sort through it.  Doubtful stuff was either given away or went to the dump.  The 25mm metals will get sold at Recon in December (I hope).

Now I am left to climb that lead and plastic mountain.  Where's Sherpa Tensing when you need him?

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

My first step in minnie photography.

Couldn't wait to try out my camera especially the macro / super-macro facilities:

 Using my painting table and one inspection lamp - unfinished Zulus.

 Addition of one extra lamp - really shows colours (but distorts them slightly) - too much light 'bounce' as well.
 Don't know how I achieved this effect - the searing sun... Gad Sir!...the flies...the dessert....

 Stage 2 - using photographic (white) boards as base and back-plate.  Two overhead lamps.

Managed a close up of a single figure.  Doesn't it show the lack of facial detail and the incomplete painting?

Took other pictures of British colonial forces but the colours were wrong.  You cannot tell dark green from dark blue.  I must get around to building a light box.  Trouble is that other priorities are pressing - loft insulation workmen coming soon.

Any suggestions from the more experienced photographers would be welcome.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Wednesday (just) 25th July 2012

Just a brief introduction.

I was determined to set up a wargames blog as soon as I acquired a digital camera.  Now a proud owner of a Fuji S5700 (thanks to Carole for the donation).  It has far too many gadgets and settings at the moment and my first attempts at photographing minnies have been somewhat less than successful.  I need to build myself a light-box and get used to the macro and super-macro buttons.  Time will tell.

My main interest has been Ancients with Colonial, American War of Independence and Renaissance as secondary periods.  Have ventured into Sci-Fi and even WW1 in East Africa but I am not interested in WW2 or Napoleonics (although the South American wars tempt me).

Hopefully when I get to grips with the camera and have built the light-box I can really start posting!

By the way the title comes from a quote by Oliver P Smith - Korea 1950.