Newer Normans

23 November, 2017

My first pair of DBA armies were Normans and Anglo-Danes. I didn’t entirely like either of them. I now have an Essex Norman army that has evolved out of getting some Essex dismounted knights, which I like, and getting given a bunch of Essex mounted knights years back. These knights had spaghetti spears and my interest in painting them was not high. When I replaced their spears I got a lot more interested, though progress is still slow, and there are many more elements that could be painted.

The Normans arrayed.

Currently I can field plenty of knights, mounted and dismounted, as well as archers and some very ragged horde. Spear, more archers and some pilgrims wait to be painted. These would allow them to morph into other armies around this time, such as Communal Italians and Early Crusaders.

The Norman camp.

I have quite an assortment of Essex camp followers and horde figures, so this camp was spoilt for choice for figures.

The mounted knights.

Another angle.

And another.

If you look closely at the banner in the last photo, you can see it’s unfinished. It should be a cross, but I used one off a round shield transfer, and forgot to paint in the centre. I’ve now done this.

The archers.

Another angle.

And another.

I somewhat regret giving the archers uniforms, of sorts. It was lazy. I almost mixed them up at the last minute, but didn’t. I didn’t take any pictures of the dismounted knights. I painted them ages ago. I’ll do that some time. The rest of this army, and heroes to allow it to morph as a HoTT army, are down the priority list at the moment; Mitanni come first, and then maybe Armenians and others to allow me to field a BBDBA Mithridatic army.

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BBDBA Pyrrhus

22 November, 2017


In order to get my Successor and Hellenistic figures able to be fielded as a BBDBA Pyrrhic army I needed to get the Campanians painted, which I did. I also needed two other elements, one of Xystophoroi (3Kn) and one of Tarantine light horse. Fortunately I had these in my lead pile. The extra element of xystophoroi were originally Hellenistic heavy cavalry, but I can’t really see how they differ from the Freikorp xystophoroi. They’re nice figures.

Pyrrhus and his Xystophoroi.

Another angle.

And another.

The extra element of Tarantine light horse are Essex, but they match the Freikorp ones well enough.

Tarantine light horse.

Another angle.

And another.

Strictly I need to get a couple more elephants with turrets instead of using early successor ones, and paint a few more elements of pike, as two that I use for this army are actually Asiatic levy ones with trousers. However, as they fought bravely down at Conquest, I’m not in any hurry to do this.

Campanians at last

21 November, 2017

I’ve got a bit of catching up with putting my painting on the blog. I’ve spent a bit of time today using a new camera (and a tripod) and getting the settings right for the lighting I’m using. I’d say the results are better than what I was doing last year.

I have a nice little painting tray now, and storage for my paints.

The painting tray, lamp and other equipment.

The picture shows the lamp I use, one that has a magnifying glass built into it. It also shows my wet palette, which was working well last year, but now the baking paper is curling off the palette; perhaps it’s not damp enough. On the tray can be seen my Mitanni army taking shape. the foot should be done soon, and the chariot crew are progressing well. Then it will be a matter of getting the chariots assembled and painted, and the camp.

Otherwise I’ve updated the Army Page for my Southern Italian armies. The Campanians can now be fielded. I’ll aim to update the Numidians, Normans and Pyrrhic pages soon too.

The Campanian army.

Getting the Campanians done is quite an achievement, as they were started in 2010, and the figures may have been bought earlier than that!

A few updates

13 November, 2017

It’s over a year since the last post. Straight after Conquest I got busy with a new job; it’s quietened down a bit now, but I’ve not got back to the blog to update what I’ve been doing recently. Since I last posted, and mostly in the last few months, I’ve played a few games of DBA, and got a couple of armies finished. These were preparation for Conquest 2017, which was last weekend. Therefore, it’s time to get some reports posted.

Firstly, when I decided to go to Conquest, I decided on two armies that would encourage me to get some armies finished, much as I’d done last year. This time I decided to get my Normans to a stage they can be fielded. This involved finishing four 3Kn that had been mostly done for over a year or more. In addition, I did a camp and three 3Bw. There are stacks of Sp to do, and more crossbowmen and archers, but I could field the Normans. I’ll look to getting the rest done soon to allow these to morph into some of the other armies of that period, such as Early Crusaders, Communal Italians and Papal Italians.

The other army I decided on was Pyrrhus for BBDBA; this required me to finish the Campanians to be Pyrrhus’ Oscan troops. It also required an extra element of xystophoroi (3Kn) and Tarantine cavalry (LH). In all, this was 8 figures of 3Ax (four were already done), 9 figures of Oscan cavalry and 5 figures of 3Kn and LH. What was particularly pleasing was that I didn’t need to buy any of these; I actually reduced the lead pile a little.

I’ll post some pictures of these figures soon. Otherwise, I played a couple of games of DBA with Joel a while back, and some with John and Nick (also now a while back). Finally the weekend before Conquest I got to the AWC for a game of BBDBA with Mike. This proved invaluable, as Mike critiqued my decisions around the commands I’d created. The changes were very effective at Conquest.

Campanians

29 October, 2016

The Carthaginians that are going to Conquest are represented by the proper nationalities, except for the spear, for which I’ve had to use some Greek hoplites. To create a bit of balance with the Carthaginian spear, I got some more of my Campanian army painted. The Carthaginians are now taking three elements of Carthaginians, three of Greek mercenaries and three of Campanian mercenaries. These Campanians have already shown some grit, which is gratifying.

Campanian hoplites.

Campanian hoplites.

These figures have been on the painting queue for a while. Since I started them the auxilia in these armies has mostly been reclassified as 3Ax, which is probably more useful. I got the cavalry prepped a few weeks back, and I hope to paint them and four elements of the 3Ax to be able to field the Campanian army (II/8b).

From the side.

From the side.

And the other side.

And the other side.

And the rear.

And the rear.

The Campanian army is not terribly exciting, but it’s not as one-dimensional as the other two that I can make from these figures, the Bruttians and Apulians. I won’t even talk about the Samnites, which under DBA are really just speedbumps for any opponent.

Half the army is now ready to go.

Half the army is now ready to go.

The four elements of 3Ax ready to be painted.

The four elements of 3Ax ready to be painted.

I got a few shields and flags for this army from the Freikorp range. Two of the ‘flags’ are actually trophies. These troops used to take the tunics and belts of fallen enemies and display them on their spears. I’ve used them as such on a couple of the Old Glory figures. Not quite headhunters, but showing promise!

The trophy tunic and belt.

The trophy tunic and belt.

The cavalry needed a bit of preparation. Green stuff filled big gaps between the saddles and horses. Shields were on some, others have been salvaged from Freikorp thureophoroi that became imitation legionaries, and others are CB caetrae from their Spanish range.

The Southern Italian cavalry. The trophy on one has had a wardrobe malfunction.

The Southern Italian cavalry. The trophy on one has had a wardrobe malfunction.

When I’ve done this army, I may look to paint an Armenian army to complement my Mithridatic one.

Gallic Cavalry

23 October, 2016

I’ve finished the last of the figures I needed to get done for my trip to Conquest in two weeks time. These are a command element for my Marian Romans, and four elements of Gallic cavalry.

The Roman command is to replace the one I have of Julius Caesar. I’ve called the commander Quintus Labienus, the only one of Caesar’s legates who did not follow him over the Rubicon. Labienus was not only a brilliant commander, but also probably a man of principle; his decision to fight for the republic rather than his commander in Gaul is likely to have been taken out of a sense of loyalty to the concept of the republic; the idea he was a client of Pompey is reductive.

Caesar and Labienus.

Caesar and Labienus.

I’m not sure I’m entirely happy with this element. They are all Freikorp figures, but the standard bearer is a giant next to the earlier figures. Nevertheless, I look forward to using Labienus rather than Caesar!

Another angle.

Another angle.

Another.

Another.

The four new elements of Gallic cavalry took quite a while to get done. At the last minute I found another figure to allow me to do four elements, rather than have a HotT hero. It involved using a figure from my Ancient British LH that are orphans until I get some more 3Wb; the horse was left over from an element of Carthaginian cavalry, which was fortuitous.

Four Gallic cavalry.

Four Gallic cavalry.

These were hard to fit on the bases. Both the CB and the Xyston figures are a bit animated. Keeping ‘hands inside the bus’ hasn’t entirely worked, especially on the sides of the elements. However, I’m pleased with the way the Xyston figures look amongst the Corvus Belli ones (and with the news that CB will be back in production again.

One side.

One side.

The other.

The other.

These elements will allow me to field Gauls as mercenaries and auxiliaries in other armies, and to use them for BBDBA.

All the Gallic cavalry.

All the Gallic cavalry.

Finally, I’ve added a corpse for Androgeus, one that he got the head he’s standing on for.

Androgeus and the decapitated Roman.

Androgeus and the decapitated Roman.

The head is now not so drained of blood.

The head is now not so drained of blood.

Fresh blood from the Freikorp corpse.

Fresh blood from the Freikorp corpse.

Next up may be a Campanian army, or I may start on some 1:1200 Langton ancient galleys. I’m keen to start doing some naval warfare. Then again, Nennius wants a corpse for his head too!

The new look Gallic warband.

The new look Gallic warband.

The last of my rebasing projects has been completed. The remaining elements to paint for my Romans and Gauls are new ones. I’m really pleased with how the mixing of Xyston and Corvus Belli figures has turned out. When I saw the Xyston figures I had to give them a try; they had the essential ingredient for a warband figure — panache. I could see each of them being the armoured leader and focus of an element, and I think they’ve done that.

The elements now combine figures from three different painting times, and the change in quality is noticeable. The first lot of Gauls had some pretty heavy wash on them; the next lot were lighter, and the last is even lighter again. I still feel I’m a bit hit or miss with the cloth colours I use; this time I did them last, but still ended up with an odd pink instead of a slightly faded red; I probably have the recipe for what I want somewhere, but I went with my ‘bit of everything’ approach and used it in the hope the wash would improve the colour.

The redoubtable Androgeus does not deign to share an element with a Xyston noble.

The redoubtable Androgeus does not deign to share an element with a Xyston noble.

Only one element does not have any Xyston figures; instead it has two figures from the CB Victory and Defeat pack. The noble standing on a severed head already has too much panache to have a rival on his element. He even has a name, Androgeus, so as I needed one more figure for the numbers I used a figure who looks very unwell. Whether he is queasy at the sight of the head, or has had too much pre-battle beer, I’ve not decided. If I wasn’t in a hurry I could have added a decapitated Roman corpse behind the noble. I may yet do this.

The splendour of crow-hats!

The splendour of crow-hats!

The two nobles with crow-helmets are rather spectacular; not only do they have large boulders to glower over, but the hats add to their height considerably. They have the ancient equivalent of the propeller-hat (an image that is detrimental to their panache). One is now clearly the commander of the Wb command element, even though the old commander is still on the element. Let’s hope there’s no friction between the two of them.

From the side.

From the side.

Windswept nonchalance.

Windswept nonchalance.

There are a pair of nobles being very nonchalant with their helmets in their hands (the Xyston sculptor may be a heavy metaller with the amount of hair these guys have!). I added a shield rested on their leg too.

From the side.

From the side.

The other side.

The other side.

Lucterius on the far right.

Lucterius on the far right.

The noble pointing his sword at the enemy exhorting his men to attack is very fine. One of them has Lucterius on his element, so I expect great things! Lucterius earned his name in a single-handed defeat of Romans in the great Dumnorix revolt. He also looks like a Roman out of Asterix in Britain.

From the side.

From the side.

The other side.

The other side.

Triangle hat with feathers.

Triangle hat with feathers.

The last noble also has a very fine hat, but it’s not crow-hat fine!

From the side.

From the side.

The other side.

The other side.

Rebasing is a chore, but when the result is an enhanced effect, I don’t mind so much. In this case, I feel I have achieved that, and been reminded of how much I like my Gauls; I’ll have to make sure I have an excuse to get Nennius and the other naked headhunter out as well (how did he not acquire a name? Clearly I need to read more Geoffrey of Monmouth!).

The naked headhunters, more work for rebasing if I choose.

The naked headhunters, more work for rebasing if I choose.