Monday, 22 November 2021

New French Napoleonic Things

These have been sitting on the paint desk for a quite a while waiting for me to finish the final company of voltigeurs. They all sat around patiently whilst I painted numerous other things and didn't hassle me. I mean... What were they going to do? They're just plastic and metal after all!

So here's my newest French infantry regiment. I actually finished the first battalion a while back and posted some pics, but here it is again just for the sake of completion. They are a mix of Perry plastics and metals.
I also finished these generals a few months back and they needed a bit of dusting off before their photo shoot. These are Perry figures and I think they're supposed to be divisional generals. They're very nice figures. I think one is supposed to be Jerome Bonaparte but I don't know which one. As per usual, I'm going to use them for whatever I want to use them for.

I bought some plastic HaT Industry 28mm voltigeurs. They're very nice figures even if they are a little bit plain and restricted by the HaT sculpting & moulding methods. I painted a couple of them and gave them a very plain, flat paint job to see how they turned out. 

They are made from a softer plastic than other manufacturers but it isn't that soft plastic that 1:72 scale figures are made from. This material is easier to work with than other plastics and is far, far less brittle. Therefore the weapons and other uniform items are far more realistic in scale (look at the musket, swords and plumes) and they're very unlikely to break off. 

Scale-wise, they are slimmer and more realistically proportioned than most other metal or plastic figures. Next to Perry French infantry they're slim and fractionally shorter. I don't think they'd mix well in the same unit. But battalions of these little guys would look okay next to battalions of most other manufacturers (Not Front Rank though. They'd look like skinny little runts next to Front Rank).

All in all, these are pretty good figures for what they are. Nice detail. Easy to paint. They'd be easy to multi-base, and they're quite affordable too!

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Αντίο φίλοι μου

A quick post to say farewell to my beloved Ancient Greek hoplites. This was the first ancient army I made and it was a labour of love. I really like this army but, as with many of the troops I make, they sit in a box, on a shelf and don't get onto the wargaming table often enough. They've had a few battles but the last time they were out was about 5 years back. I'd rather see them being used for what I made them for.

So now they're moving on but... I still have my other Greek army - Macedonian Successors with lots of pikes!
The majority of these figures are AB Miniatures with a few Xyston thrown in. The reason for this is because I could visit Eureka Miniatures each week at the time and pick the AB's up directly. They're lovely little figures.
Spartans on the right. Armoured Athenians in the centre and poorer, unarmoured hoplites on the left.
When I made this army I didn't know that you could buy shield decals for 15mm. So I painted all the shields by hand. Some of the early ones are a bit rough but I got better and, in my opinion, I did a few really good ones towards the end.

So goodbye my little hoplites. Go and defend your homes and families from the Persian's once again.

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

The Dwarf Post I Had to Write

The Dwarf Post sounds like a newspaper. Like the Ancient Times - Maybe that means I've now become a journalist. 
So get prepared for some "fake news."

That can't be good!

Anyway, I've done hardly anything of note regarding wargaming. I painted up some more elves to add to my army but that didn't seem worth posting about. I also finished some ancient Iberians but I'll post them when I've finished the other Iberians currently on my painting desk. That leaves me with some dwarves.

I bought an Oathmark Dwarf Infantry box a while back and I painted a few figures. They're quite nice figures but nothing really special. Like all the Oathmark figures, they do what they were designed for but they're really quite dull and uninspiring. As it is, I had the rest of the box made up and undercoated but never bothered to finish them. 
Until now!!!
There's not very many of them but they make up the start of a nice little warband. Two units of 12 figures. I really dislike the crappy shield design I gave them. I might order some decals from Northstar and do the shields again. Decals might give the figures that little bit of extra "something" to make me love them. I often paint shields individually but I just couldn't be bothered to do these with any enthusiasm.
These are my command elements. The King, A hero and a spell caster. The metal figures are nice and a far cry above the plastics.
A couple of units. The unit above is the new one I painted. I think the standard is from a box of Warlord Celts. It had been sitting in my bits box for some time and looks good with these stumpy lads.

I posted these figures below some time last year ~
Hese is a closer look at the metal figures that I just finished. The hero figures is very nice. His face looks odd because his helmet has a mask and the camera in my new phone doesn't capture the image well enough (because it isn't very good in my opinion!). The other two figures are quite nice too
And that's them. Only a small warband but I have a couple of things that I could use to enhance them and give them a bit more potential. I could give them a pet Umber Hulk which would fit into their underground/tunnelling aesthetic and I could also give them some northern barbarian allies. I'm not sure at this stage if I want to increase their numbers as, who knows, I might sell them.

P.S. Why did I have to make this post? Because the blog was getting stale because I haven't posted anything for the past few weeks. So I hade to find something to put up.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

The Unquiet Dead Have Arisen

I love the dead before they're cold.
Their bluing flesh for me to hold.
Cadaver eyes beyond me see...

(Alice Cooper 1973)

In my ongoing pursuit to work out what figures I own, I've I laid out my Unquiet Dead: The Danse Macabre to get an understanding of how many there are and exactly what I have. As it turns out there are not as many as I thought, but I do have quite a few still on the sprue (so to speak) waiting for me to make and paint them.
All of these figures are individually based and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing at this stage. I originally made this army for SAGA - Age of Magic and I'm inclined to think of it more for this type of large skirmish game such as Dragon Rampant rather that a full on big battle game. I don't even know what some of the units are or how they would fit into a large army yet. But I'll work that out some time later.

I've kept the colour pallet of this army very washed out. I want it to look misty and insubstantial. This isn't easy to do with physical models. My solution is to go for a lack of colour and heavy dry-brushing using very pale greys on top of very heavy dark washes.

Obviously the top photo is the whole army as it currently stands. It's made up of figures from a variety of companies. The chaps below are Wraiths from Reaper Miniatures. These are actually glow-in-that-dark Reaper Bones that I painted. I've used them as a Wraith King and Hearthgurad in Saga - AoM. In a big battle game I'm not sure what the "hearthguard" would be. Captains and hero characters most likely.
My cavalry is pretty dismal being just this single box of FireForge Undead Knights. Not bad figures but somewhat uninspiring and static. The guys in front are newly painted Oathmark Undead Revenants. Nice figures. They have a nice ancient dead vibe and could be used as regular fantasy troops with just a head-swap.
The main body of the army is made of these GW figures. I've stated in previous posts that I got a bunch of cheap GW undead. I added to these ones last year when GW brought out a magazine that was going for $8.99 with a sprue of these figures included. I bought a few of them to boost numbers and still have 40 more figures to add to the army. I intend to use these and a ghostly hoard. I currently have 60 of them painted.
A bat swarm made using Reaper Bones bats. I also have half a dozen giant bats that I could fit into the army somehow. More on the enthroned eyeball figure later.
Another unit - this time axmen - from the Oathmark Undead Revenants box. Again; these look great and a simple head-swap could see these figures as regular ancient fantasy troops or even orcs.
Another unit made from the GW magazine series. These are really lovely figures and I think they're some type of banshee or other howling spirit. I'm not sure how they fit into the army yet but they look really nice.
Some more GW from my initial cheap purchase (a couple of years back). I don't know what they are supposed to be but they're nice looking models.
I have a second one of these undead knight figures and I just recently did some conversion on it so that it's carrying a spear with a banner. It's based and undercoated and it's awaiting it's first coat of paint. I was going to wait until it was done before doing this post but then I thought: Why bother? 
A Bone Dragon (I think) from Reaper. This is another Bones figure and fits well with the rest of the army. As usual these large Bones monsters are great value for money.
This an old CItadel figure from the late 80's early 90's called Souron: Lord of the Rings. I had it for many years still in the blister pack and only painted it last year. It's a great figure but not exactly how I picture The Dark Lord on his Dark Throne! However, this figure could add a lot to the army as a necromancer or spell caster. What I need to do is mount it better. Maybe put him on some sort of wagon or mobile dais with a compliment of dead 'uns to serve him.
I made these movement bases to create hoard units. Each base has 15 figures so the 60 that I've finished will make up 4 units. I'm not sure if this will work or not. They do look okay but, as stated, I'm unsure how I want to use this army at this time.
Finally there's this guy. I haven't included him in the other pics. It's an undead troll from Mantic Games. The figure looks okay but I'm not sure if it will work with the rest of the army.
To finish off: a few pics that better show off some of the detail on the Oathmark Revenants. 

Thursday, 14 October 2021

The Goblin Muster

After setting out my Elves to see what I have and get a good headcount, I decided to do the same with my evil-doers so I could decide what I need to add to their ranks. I thought I had more goblins but I don't. The Elves outnumber them quite significantly. The difference is: the evil doers have a lot of trolls, ogres, spiders, wolves and other nasty creatures that the elves don't have on their side.
That's the whole army. I have ten units of actual goblins/orcs. I decided on ten because it's equal to the cohorts in a Roman Legion and Tolkien often refers to "orc legions." However, I do wonder: should I make the individual units double ranks or keep them as single ranks? I do have a box of the new, excellent looking, Wargames Atlantic goblins on the way. I'd like to make them as a solid pike block for the center of the battle line. I hope I can.
The cavalry figures above are from the Mantic, Kings of War range. I think they're called Gore Riders (or something similar). They're big orcs mounted on boars. Horrible figures to put together and they're made of that horrible Mantic resin but they look good when they're painted.
I don't have any formed missile troops for these guys. Instead, I have a whole bunch of skirmishers - 30 of them to make up five skirmish units of 6 figures.
This wolf-pack looks pretty tame by fantasy standards. These figures are from Reaper and they are far too well proportioned to look ferocious and mean as fantasy wolves should. These are more of a harassing unit rather than a frontline fighting force.
The big guys at the back. A unit of trolls and a few other evil creatures. In the rules I'm writing I added rules to integrate single creatures into the ranks of some units (mainly warbands). This rule doesn't work very well with single ranked units, hence my thinking about double ranked warband units.
This is the general on his mighty big, horned dire wolf. This is a Wizkids figure with a little bit of conversion done on the weapons. If he's not in the role of General he can be used as a hero to lead the orc boar riders. The spell casters: The one on the left is an Oathmark metal figure the other two are Reaper Bones.
The giant Dire Wolf (from Wizkids I think...?) - I've used this as an alternate general in the past. It's seems fitting as Sauron, in the Silmarillion, sometimes takes the form of a giant werewolf, so I can't see why my general can't do the same. As it is, it's a big mean looking model. The ballista are (again) from Wizkids. A great, versatile model and you get two in each pack.
Giant spiders as light cavalry. I've had the figures for a while and they fit the part well. I could add riders but do they really need them? Werewolves up the back. My rules have a special rule called: Lycanthrope. With this rule a were-creature can be added to a unit but only revealed when the unit goes into combat for the first time. That's how I've used these figures so far by adding one to the wolf pack. I made this original unit of three for Dragon Rampant.
In the pic below you can see what I mean about the units not looking quite right. To me, they don't look deep enough for a massed goblin/orc host. I think they should be two ranks deep because they just look too thin on the ground. I could field them as five warbands of 8 bases or six warbands of 6 bases with some big creatures added here and there, to make up a seventh warband. But... I don't know which way to go.

And that's them for now. Not as many as I thought but I do have the box of Wargames Atlantic on it's way to boost their ranks. Because of the way I paint these guys (which is pretty rough) I can pump them out at a rate of about a dozen a day. I'm unsure how much detail the WgA figures will have but I'm hoping they won't require me to paint too many fiddly bits. I like my orcs to look dark, grimy, rough and ready. If the painting is a bit rough it just makes them look even more evil!