Wednesday, 1 November 2017

'Historical' Rohirrim and Updates

First of all, I must apologise for the unintended hiatus that has befallen this blog. A number of factors have caused this: moving to Oxford, a distinct lack of a schedule, and a lack of enthusiasm, not so much for painting but for showing it off (this may also be because of a general dissatisfaction with what I have painted). Hopefully, I will get into something resembling a schedule and then can pick up with regular posts.

So what have I been working on?

I have been mostly working on low fantasy inspired humans. For all intents and purposes, these are Rohirrim, but using more 'historical' equivalents from Tolkien's legendarium and Lee/Howe's classic artwork. 

Using the Footsore miniatures Goths, Early Saxons, and Romano British cavalry I have put together a force of Eorlingas. So far I have split them along the lines of Royal Guard (using the most cloaked and fancy figures), Warriors (who have armour and helmets) and finally basic Riders (who have no armour and not all wear helmets). The biggest dilemma I have faced has been in regards to horse archers. The Rohirrim DO have horse archers, the problems arise in terms of aesthetics and miniatures. Footsore miniatures (which I would use to match the scale of the other horsemen) do not do Germanic horse archers, only Late Roman. These would be fine with some small conversions (head swaps mostly). It mostly comes down to whether I want them and do the fit the theme I'm going for? as of now, I am still undecided and as such this requires a little more research.

A WIP photograph of my Royal Guard, Banner Bearer, and Leader.

For the infantry, I shall be using the Saxon Miniatures Royal Anglians for dismounted Royal Guard and Footsore heroes/command for their namesakes. The basic warriors are to be made from Gripping Beast's Dark Age Warriors but using a mixture of West Wind dark age heads (for the helmets).

Anyway that's pretty much my update, I shall hopefully post another tomorrow with my recent trip and purchases from Spiel in Essen!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Moving and Other Stuff

Sorry for the very quiet few weeks/month I have been rather busy with organising where I am going to be living for the foreseeable future, so the old figures have been on the back burner. I would like to start rectifying that sooner rather than later, even if it is just a discussion of ideas as opposed to the posting of figures.

I have done a few 'tiny manz' related thinsg however. These have included tidying up/adding a little more to a few Romano-British figures. I have also thought about restarting/finishing off my GorkaMorka gang, although I need some decent Boyz for that. All those thoughts of GorkaMorka have also put me in the mood for some Post-Apocalytic gaming. As some of you may know I wrote a S.T.A.L.K.E.R/Metro2033 esque skirmish game a few years ago. This new adventure, however, lends itself more to the Mad Max/Road Warrior theme. Hopefully I can get a few pictures/thoughts up in the coming week!

For now, I have little to show for my efforts but soon there shall be more frequent and exciting updates.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

A Fistful of Centaurs

Having been thinking and working on Aristeia again I have had the compulsion to work on a few Greek figures. To this end I have added to the three original Centaurs I made last year. These additions include a Centaur hero and two archers. This gives a total of six Centaurs, one hero and five regular.

The full herd of Centaurs

Like the other examples these Centaurs are a conversion of Victrix plastic hoplites and Perry medieval horses. the hero is simple enough but the archers require a little explanation. The arms are from the plastic hoplites with the hands taken from some Perry plastic archers. The use of such 'long' bows, not being the type of bow found in the Aegean and its environs, is purposeful. First of all it helps to create the idea of the 'other' for the centaurs and highlights their barbaric and non civilised nature. Secondly, they were all I had available as I have no recurve/eastern style bows.

Archer Centaurs
Rear of archer Centaurs
Hero Centaur

 I think this is the full amount of Centaurs that I shall make, at least for the foreseeable future. My hopes are to cobble together a few Satyrs using Citadel Ungors. However, the kit seems to require a great deal of detail removal to be suitable so some experimentation may have to take place. There seems to be limited alternative to this experimentation as most metal examples of Satyrs lack a certain je ne sais quoi.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

M18 Hellcat and White Scout Car

The amount of painting I have been able to accomplish this month has been rather limited due to one thing or another. I have, however, been able to finish off two vehicles that I started well over a year ago now. These are a M18 Hellcat (early version) and a M3 White Scout Car. These are designed as support options for my Normandy US Paratroopers. There is not specific engagement in mind for this force organisation it is merely a collection of units that were available in Normandy. 

The M18 was used throughout Normandy but the White Scout Car is another matter. It was generally replaced from mid 1943 onwards with M8 or M20s. However some were still used in Normandy although in rather limited numbers. I remember reading very briefly about an Airborne reconnaissance unit that had one or a number of Scout Cars which inspired me, as I find the vehicle rather appealing. As such the crew are painted in the khaki/yellow paratrooper uniforms and represent a recce element of the Parachute Infantry Regiment of which my platoon belongs. 

M18 Hellcat

M3(A1?) White Scout Car

Interior of the Scout Car, note the Airborne uniforms.
This miniatures were also my first experimentation with weathering powders. It is a technique/material I have wanted to try for quite a long time. What I attempted here was quite simple, merely muddying the tracks/wheels but it looks alright and breaks up some of the shapes.

The other problem was I have no transfers/decals for the large allied stars, so I freehanded them. While not as good as a transfer, they certainly came out reasonable. Due to the positioning they may look a little off but this is partly done by the slope and some hinges on the engine of the scout car.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Aristeia Activation Methods

Work on Aristeia still continues, even if the blog is not updated with much. This work however, is relatively slow. A lot of it is me second guessing my methods or reasons for having something do a specific way, which does not help. In the example used we are going to look at the activation methods.

The original activation that was to be used for Aristeia was something quite simple; IG/UG or just alternating units. I have scrapped these methods for a number of reason
  • It limits the way in which units and players can interact
  • IG/UGs not 'responsive' enough while alternating does not give enough variability
  • Alternating focusing too much on many small units?
In light of some of these complaints I have decided upon a card based activation system. These have been quite popular over the past few years with many games (Sharp Practice, Muskets and Tomahawks etc) using this method. I feel that such a method allows for a relatively responsive system where the choices are important and the for the ability to add cards throughout the deck during the game. These may be random events, Hero or Deity abilities and the like. It also gives some greater weight to NPC interaction and 'decisions' as it is unsure when they will take a turn.

I am unsure whether a hand system (where you draw the cards but add them to your hand to be played during the turn rather than instantaneously) would limit some of the randomness and allow for a more 'tactical' approach while still keeping a level of uncertainties, especially with cards added during a turn.

Hopefully I shall get a quick set of mechanics written down to test out in the near future.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Osprey Modelling Competition

A little while ago (mid march) I entered the monthly Osprey Modelling competition. The theme was 'Dark Ages' and as such I used some of my Romano-British figures as my entry. Below were my entries, I'm not sure which was used in the end. The Osprey Blog should showcase these next week (commencing May 1st, 2017) I have been informed.

My Dux/Comes
The Infantry

It turns out that I won! I was rather surprised as I thought my efforts distinctly average, especially in comparison with some of the fantastic figures seen online. Anyhow, my prizes finally arrived today and I'm quite chuffed with what I received. All of it rather interesting and useful to my wargaming/historical interests. I have not heard anything at all about the game Scrappers but I intend to have a good look through and see if it is suitable for my modern/near future Eastern European post -apoc needs.

My Prizes!
With the Muskets and Tomahawks game fast approaching I have been finishing off the last few figures required. I have also been (finally) getting to grips with my 28mm WWII US Paras from Artizan. Compared to the 18th Century uniform the dull colours certainly make painting a lot easier and faster. Hopefully the reinforced platoon should be ready soon, pictures to follow.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Compagnies Franche de la Marine 400pt List

This is my 400 point list for the upcoming three way/two sided game of Muskets and Tomahawks. The force is formed around a core of Compagnies Franche de la Marine regulars with some irregular Marine/miltia support with a few Ottawa to round the numbers out.

The thoughts behind the force are quite simple; the line infantry are the decisive arm and to be used to deliver the important blows via volley. The militia to harass, redirect the enemies attempts. Finally the Indians for scouting and aiding with the harassment, due to their small numbers they can not stand up in a fight but can make a few shots. Hopefully the force can do reasonably well and isn't picked apart due to the larger blocks of Marines.

1x Compagnies Franche de la Marine Officer - Regular, Light Troop, Visionary      32

1x Compagnies Franche de la Marine Officer - Irregular, Light Troop, Inspiration    32

10x Compagnies Franche de la Marine                                                                     80

10x Compagnies Franche de la Marine                                                                     80

6x Canadian Militia w/native                                                                                       60                                                                                           
6x Canadian Militia w/native                                                                                       60

4x Indians                                                                                                                   28

4x Indians                                                                                                                   28

Total                                                                                                                          400
For the officers some background has been created using the TFL Sharp Practice character creator. This is not anything overly serious but more some limited characterisation and role play elements outside of the narrative tables at the rear of the rulebook. The names are as of yet undecided as nothing suitably amusing has come to mind.

  • Military family but poverty stricken, a Gentleman
  • Honourable
  • Strapping fellow, fair face and affable
 A Canadian born fellow? would explain the relative poverty and military nature. Generally honourable makes for a good leader type character that cares about his men and useful for general interactions with natives/enemies.

  • Nobility with wealth and influence
  • Rake
  • Average Build, Handsome devil, dullard
 A younger son sent away due to causing mischief in the family home/operations? interesting counter point to the Capitan.