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.
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).
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.
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 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.
When I’ve done this army, I may look to paint an Armenian army to complement my Mithridatic one.
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.
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!
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.
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.
These elements will allow me to field Gauls as mercenaries and auxiliaries in other armies, and to use them for BBDBA.
Finally, I’ve added a corpse for Androgeus, one that he got the head he’s standing on for.
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!
14 October, 2016
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The last noble also has a very fine hat, but it’s not crow-hat fine!
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!).
10 October, 2016
I got a few more elements completed this weekend. I completed four elements of 4Ax, which will be used for Spanish Scutati serving in Carthaginian, Syracusan and Roman armies. This project also saw three elements of 3Ax being rebased for the Spanish army and around six caetrae being substituted for scuta to make them proper scutati.
I also have rebased some of my Viking 3Bw and Ps to 4Bw to comply with DBA 3.0; the 4Bw get a combat bonus when in side combat with their 4Bd, so this seemed worth the effort. Once the Gauls are done, only the Norse Irish of my armies will need any rebasing for DBA 3.0.
The mercenary 4Ax are a combination of figures from Corvus Belli, which are no longer manufactured, and Xyston. I am really pleased with how they mix and I’m looking forward to getting the Gallic Xyston figures done to see how they look similarly mixed.
These figures have rocks added, along with small bushes. I’ve done the same for the Numidians I finished earlier, so they are now properly finished. I needed to refresh my supply of kitty litter, as the remaining ‘stones’ were all too small.
I’ve been using a wet palette when I paint, and I find it very effective, though it does expose those paints that I should really bin and get new ones; in particular, my black has turned and should be replaced. Next up should be nine elements of Gallic 4Wb; and then three elements of Gallic Cv. But I’m pretty good at getting sidetracked!
6 October, 2016
I had a great day at the Auckland Wargames Club (AWC) last Sunday. I took a few pictures and will write a report some time. It has started some projects that will keep me busy; see MEDBAG for details of one, the other is Ancient Naval Warfare. I’m planning to get a few Langton 1/1200 ships and start doing this with some people at the AWC.
In the midst of this I need to get figures painted for Conquest, now only a month away. To this end I got the decals on the Spanish Scutati done yesterday; they are now much nearer completion. It’s a fiddly job, and I have nearly as many to do for the Gauls, though their shields without lips are easier. Here’s how the Xyston with CB shields mix with CB figures; I think they look great. I had to carve off two caetrae off three of the Xyston figures (why did I buy Caetrati?); I also have the Spanish scuta to correct some of my Scutati that had caetrae.
After these are all finished, I’ll have four elements of 4Ax and I’ll be rebasing three elements of 3Ax (I had to get some of the figures with spears off existing elements). Then I’ll paint nine Gallic figures and rebase some of my 3Wb as nine elements of 4Wb (one is a command). Next are five elements of Gallic Cv, a Roman Cv command and a HotT Gallic Hero. I should be able to base four Norman 3Kn that are all but done too. I just need to avoid getting too sidetracked!
20 September, 2016
As I checked over the paints that I’d not used in over a year, I came across some colours that reminded me that I had a few figures I’d meant to paint. The next thing you know I’m painting a warband of Zombies that I’d based over a year ago. Not content with that I also did some test figures of Troglodytes and Lizardmen that I’d wanted to do. Then I bought some more figures from Splintered Light because they had a sale … Oops!
The Zombies were pretty straightforward. I used drybrushing after I had applied the wash, as I had gone for a pretty drab palate and wanted a bit more contrast than the wash gave.
I’m hoping to start using these warbands for SoBH in something closer to a RPG campaign inasmuch as I envisage that a warband would encounter zombies and other monsters in the course of a campaign. It gives me an excuse to paint quite a number of these warbands. To date I’ve got my Undead largely done (just some ghouls to do) — evil wizards, a vampire, wraiths, ghosts, skeletons and zombies is a bit to get going with. I’ve also got Gnolls and Goblins, along with a few larger humanoids.
The two test figures, the Troglodyte and Lizardman, were straightforward to paint. However, I’m not happy with the colour of their skin. I was hoping a drybrush would work, but I may have to start again. I want something lighter with more variation. I’ll try a heavier drybrush. If it still doesn’t work, I’ll have to redo the base coat. Otherwise, they’ll be a cinch to paint; not too many colours and clear lines for the detail.
The warbands may not get much attention, however, until more urgent DBA projects are finished (or that’s the theory).
14 February, 2015
- ERM Dwarves
I’ve done a number of posts on dwarves, but it’s been a long time since I’ve painted any. Finally, here are some of the East Riding Miniatures (ERM) dwarves that I got last year. As I said in the previous post, they actually scale quite nicely with some of the Splintered Light (SL) dwarves. As I found with other ERM figures, they don’t always look that promising in raw metal, but paint up very well. They are particularly good for using washes on.
These figures are from FT51, FT53, FT61 and FT62. On two of the shields I used a VVV transfer for hoplites of a boar’s head. It wasn’t very distinct. I think basic dark age patterns would be better. I will look to mix some of the figures I have from FT53 with my SL figures. I’ll do the same with the figures from FT61 and FT62 (as well as FT60), but only those that are armoured. I don’t see much use for unarmoured dwarves.
These are figures from FT52, FT56 and FT60. I like the cleric, and will probably use another of them in a HoTT Cleric element.
I’m not sure when I’ll get back to finishing a HoTT dwarf army; there are so many other projects at different stages, that it might be a while. Then again, it may jump to the head of the queue!
- Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Years back, when I placed my first SL order, I found a pair of figures in it that I hadn’t ordered. I didn’t realize that these were a bonus if your order was large enough. The figures are in the Archer Collection. Anyway, when I based the skeletons and zombies I had two bases left and put their ‘Northern Warrior and Thief Companion’ on them. They proved quick to paint, and were finished along with the dwarves. They’re a clear reference to the Fritz Leiber series of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser that I spent a bit of time rereading last year. I’m sure they’ll find their way into some SoBH warband at some stage.
- South Welsh Allies
For DBA 3.0 the Northern Welsh army (III/19c) have the option of a South Welsh ally. As they would otherwise have ten 3Pk, this seems very necessary. For this ally they must have a 3Cv element as the leader of these allies. I started painting these figures quite a while ago and am pleased that this is one of the many projects I have begun that is now finished.
I can’t help but feel that two 3Cv in one Welsh army, though useful, is too many, but unless the South Welsh army came with the option of a foot general, those are the rules. I’m sure it will be used as part of any Dark Age Celtic HoTT army that may one day see the light of day.
These are Feudal Casting figures, originally Irish or Picts. I’ve given them Essex shields and shortened the spears of some. I’ve got a lot more experienced at this, as I remember the first element I did years ago was a real trial!
- Painting progress
Otherwise, I’ve got the four elements of 4Pk a little closer to completion; they’re very close actually, and the four elements of Norman 3Kn are also pretty close. I’ve also added some more paint to a number of Tabletop Fantasy adventurers that I got last year. They’re also not far off from being finished. It’ll be good to get some more old projects finished before starting on any new ones!