Wednesday, 28 September 2022

One Delivery... And Then Another...

 A package arrived yesterday. It was soft a squishy, like a pillow. What could be within?
It was a mat from Geek Villain. I can't remember what inspired me to order this but I did and it arrived (from the UK to Australia) within a couple of weeks.
It's very nice and very well made. It's the 6' x 4' "Autumn" design. It's fleece and has a really nice feel with a very clean print. I chose this one because I like the non-uniform look with those sandy/bare earth patches that break up the grass pattern.
It's a bit larger than 6x4 with a few inches overhang on the long edge and a small overhang on the short edges. One reason I wanted a fleece mat is so that I can place hills underneath to get that seamless effect as well at the prospect of placing small pieces of cottonwool (or whatever) to take away some of that that golf course flatness we all know and love.

There were creases in it (see pic above) from being folded and packed but the creases were almost undiscernible once it was laid out on the table.
As I said it has a really nice pattern with little patches of printed shrubbery.
I'm very happy with this purchase and there is only one thing better than this mat that I can think of. And that is...

A second mat!

Yes I ordered a matching pair so I can use them on either 6' x 12' or a 6' x 8' table.

And a second delivery arrived just this morning.
Two days in a row. 
What could this one be?

I tried to pick this up whilst I was in the UK recently but I was just out of time to get it. I think it was released the day I left for Greece so I had to wait until I got home to order it. When I did go to order it I discovered that the average price in Australia is about $60.00 which is one of the reasons I wanted to get it in the UK. However, I ordered it from Book Depositary instead and it cost $41.00. How is that possible?

Anyway; it looks nice and I'll delve into it this evening to see what goodies await within...
Nice artwork, that's for sure!

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Guns & Powder for Lancaster!

Work continues on my Lancastrian army. I say Lancastrians but these troops could just as easily be used by either side. However, for the moment they are in the service of Henry VI, the rightful King of England and France. As with all my other Wars of the Roses troops, these figures once again come from Perry MIniatures. The handgunners from their plastic European Mercenaries set and the gun is from their metal range. 
I decided to do the handgunners as French to keep with the same theme as the band of pike that I painted previously. With only two bases they are considered a small unit. I thought this appropriate as handgunns were not common on English battlefields at the time.
I'm pretty happy with how this little unit turned out. The most difficult part about painting them was trying to get the crosses straight and tidy. Other than that they were a breeze to paint. The flag is from one of the Perry boxes. I actually scanned the pamphlet in the box and printed it out to make it easier to manipulate and manage the colour.
This gun, on the other hand was a pain in the butt. Putting it together was a nightmare and took several attempts. It needed twisting and straightening, drilling and trimming and gluing, and re-gluing and re-gluing. Throwing in the bin... Retrieved from the bin... Twisted, drilled, etc... And finally it went together. What a drama.
As it is, it looks good now that it's done. The reason I bought it is because I thought it looked like a pretty funky little model and I still think it has a lot of charm. On the battlefield I don't expect it to be very effective but... You never know what the dice may have to say about that!
The figures themselves were easy to paint and needed a moderate amount of cleaning up. Not the best and not the worst. They look okay. I painted them in non-partisan colours so that they can fit into any army. 

So that's my latest WotR's update. I have another gun that I hope will go together a bit easier than this little beast. I'm not sure what to do next. I'm torn between some heavy cavalry or more pike. I'm leaning more toward cavalry mainly because there is a lot of armour involved and that means easy painting. We'll see.

Sunday, 18 September 2022

Prussian Skirmishers ~ Tyrolean Jagers

After quite a long time away from Napoleonics I've made a brief foray back into the era to bolster my Prussian skirmish line. I'm hoping to play some General D'Armee in a few weeks and I need to get my thinking back into a Napoleonic Wargaming frame of mind. I now have a 15 bases of skirmishers, but I think I could do with a few more.
So, where do these troops fit in to a 1813/14 Prussian army, I hear you ask?
In Lutzow's Freikorp I tell you!

I've had these jager figures half painted for a couple of years. They are Perry Miniatures from their range of Austrians as far as I can recall. I remember that I couldn't find any actual Prussian Tyrolean figures. As it is, I collected and painted three battalions for Lutzow's Friekorp a few years back and found that there were a couple of companies of Tyrolean Jager attached. From what I remember they were attached to Lutzow because those in charge didn't know where else to put them. 
Anyway, I ordered them, prepped them, half painted them and them put them aside. The reason being that I really don't like these figures. I find that many of the older Perry metal figures to be pretty horrible to prep and paint and, with these figures I don't really like the final result. I did the same type of paint job that I've done for the rest of my Prussian: That means pretty much 95% flat paint with minimal shading and only using washes on the flesh areas. 
I'm sure they can be painted better but I just don't like that actual figures and couldn't be bothered making the effort. They have been sitting around for a long time collecting dust and making me feel guilty. At least they're now painted and based. Hopefully the can perform well on the battlefield and reignite my initial affection for them.

As mentioned above, I now have 15 skirmish bases. These include regular fusiliers as well as volunteer jager. I also have three bases of kit-bashed Guard Jager which were attached to the Leib regiment in 1813. There should actually be two companies of them but decided to interpret that into 3 skirmish bases (instead of making up a useless half battalion). I plan to increase my Lutzow's Fiekorp to include artillery and uhlans so I may as well add some 3rd rank skirmish bases at the same time.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

French Pikes and a Friendly Fiend

 Another day and another unit added to my growing Lancastrian forces. This time it's a company of French pikemen. Once again the figures are Perry plastics from their WotR range. This set has the same basic torsos and heads as the WotR bill and bow set but with different weapon options (pike, crossbows and handgunners). They're okay.

I was initially going to paint them up as Scots I eventually decided on French because I wanted to add a unit of handgunners and thought that would better suit a modern European contingent rather than Scots. Another reason for doing them as French is because Margret of Anjou always seemed to manage to persuade the French King to loan her troops. 
The flag is fairly generic. I wanted something larger than the French options included in the boxed set so I made this one in photoshop. It's nothing special but the actual flag looks much better than these photos represent. It has some subtle shading that my new phone/camera can't seem to capture. (For instance: There is no black outline on the cross. It is actually a grey shadow in real life.)
Overall they came up looking pretty nice. The command sprue has some nice options including a tambor (hand drum) to add a bit of variety. The figure I used for the standard bearer is nice. I have another one that I think I might use on a Jasper Tudor command base.
And what is this Friendly Fiend I hear you ask?

I picked up this figure when a friend was selling it at my club. It's resin and I have no idea where it comes from or who makes it. I thought it could look good alongside my other undead and it does. It has been sitting partially painted on my painting desk for a long while and only took a bit of effort to finish.
The base is interesting. It's resin and is a left over that I bought for a 40K Chaos army that I made back in about 2008/9. So it has been sitting around in the bits-box for about 12 years awaiting for its day to shine. 
I don't know what this figure is supposed to be so I decided to label it as a barrow wight. I like the rust effect I managed to get on the metal parts and the patina on the bronze parts. It came out looking pretty nice after all that time that it spent feeling unloved and neglected.
And that's it for now.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Home Again: and Here's Some Tudors

 I have retuned from the UK and Greece. We had a great trip and got to see plenty of historical places.

Before we left I had almost finished another unit for my growing Lancastrian forces. This time a band of Tudor retinue foot knights. Once again these troops are from the Perry's plastic range and they came out as expected. I mashed up the flag on photoshop but I'm not overly keen on it because the dragon design looks too modern. At this stage I'll leave it as it is but I may replace it in the future.

Picture Quality: Unfortunately I stood on my phone in a Greek change room whilst trying on a pair of shorts. It still worked (only just) but I needed to buy a new device. I'm not sure if the quality of these photos is due to the new camera or poor lighting. As it is. I'm not very impressed with the quality of these images. Hopefully I can improve this issue with time and practice.


Also: I picked up these:
The book speaks of it itself and I hope to play some 1940 games in the near future. As for the chocolate... As you can see it is Alexander the Great Chocolate. Not just your everyday chocolatey treat. As far as I am concerned each block should give me enhanced powers of command on the table-top. If I eat just one square before a game I should be granted the power of Alexander himself and I'll be rolling 6's every time (or 1's if I need to roll low). My little troops will march on to eternal glory and build me an empire worthy of the great man. To the Strongest, say I! 
(Unless my wife eats all of it before I get a game happening!)

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Margret D'Anjou & Buckingham

My War of the Roses output slowed a bit because I received an order of metal command figures from Perry and I wasn't sure what to do with them (I also decided to rebase a couple of hundred elves but that's another story!). Eventually I decided to do a base with Queen Margret and the Duke of Buckingham.

They came out looking okay and they make a very colourful command base. Overall I'm pretty happy with the result. I made Margret's banner from scratch in photoshop and I downloaded an image of Buckinghams standard and worked it in photoshop where I enlarged and cleaned it up into a printable version. I don't know who made the original but I apologise if I stole it. I just found it as a small image online. Fear not. This will be the only one I'll use and it won't be passed on to anyone else.
I also finished a unit of levy archers. I gave a couple of them a general dark blue and red livery that represents nowhere in particular. I gave them the Banner of St George which I made in photoshop because I couldn't find any other relevant banner to give them and I didn't want to tie them to any particular faction/lord.

They came out looking okay.

That's it for now. I'm going to the UK and Greece in the next few days so I don't expect that I'll be posting anything for a while. Maybe I'll see some interesting places and turn this place into a travel blog for a couple of months.


Saturday, 16 July 2022

A Somerset! A Somerset!

I finished a bit more of my Wars of the Roses stuff. I'm still waiting on the 6mm stuff I ordered but to be honest, I'm not sure I really want it now. It's been months since I ordered the stuff and I should have been able to have most of it painted by now. 

I took my time with these latest additions because I wasn't sure about painting the command stand. In the end I just got stuck into it and it came out okay. I don't think it's great but I intend to do a few mounted command stands and this one is really just a practice. It's passable though.

Duke of Somerset with his standard bearer Sir John Flory.
I also finished Somerset's armed retainers. They came out okay but I'm not sure about the banner. I just didn't want to do another one with the gold portcullis on blue and white. Maybe I should have given them the Duke's coat of arms? I don't know. I can always change it if it's wrong.
This unit is the last of Somerset's retinue that I'll do - 2 units of retinue bill & bow and these men-at-arms. 
My next unit was going to be a band of shire levy archers. Instead I decided to start doing a Tudor retinue, so I gave them a unit of retinue bill & bow. I'm not really sure which Tudor this is supposed to be; either Owen Tudor or Jasper. I guess it's very much of a muchness. The main reason I wanted to do these guys was so I could use a pseudo Welsh flag.
I'll add a unit of men-at-arms and that will be their entire retinue. I've done the same for Exeter. I gave Somerset two units of retinue bill& bow to show that he has more wealth and can, thus, maintain more men in the field. I'll start adding some shire levy archers and billmen and some cavalry. After that I'll do some mercenary pike (Scots or French - I'm not sure yet) and maybe a unit of handgunners as well. When these are all done I'll add some other smaller retinues. Then, when I have a large enough Lancaster army I guess I'll start making Yorkists!