Saturday, 27 June 2015

Work in progress

Still work in progress for the moment.  Work on the GNW stuff got side tracked by some Seleucid stuff I decided to finish off before probably selling a whole batch of ancients stuff.  Then I finished off the little dice-frame markers. 

Here's the Russian cavalry horses based with sand on the bases before I undercoat. At the front are the assembled markers to take 7mm and 10mm dice.  

The Russian cavalry horses now undercoated and wash painted with every combination of brown I could lay my hands on.  Not too bad, though the chestnuts are a bit bright and I might tone them down with a second wash of a darker brown.  

And some of the side track project, finishing off these Seleucid / successor figures that have been lying around, undercoated, for ages.  

A nice little shot of the Seleucids alongside the finished markers.  They look quite good.  

(As a side note, I used some of the markers in a game of ADG last week, but actually got to use very few markers, because my units lost heavily and fled the table. Ho-hum, isn't it always the case that your most recently painted or best painted units will do worst in their first time out on the table - including dice-frame markers!)  

The finished Russian cavalry horses. I gave these a coat of satin varnish to try to get the slight sheen of horses coats. Not too bad, though it may not appear on my clumsy photo.

The finished Russian cavalry for the horses. Hopefully, I'll get everything put together and the bases finished this weekend.

thursday nights at the club

I've been lazy in the past few, but here's what I did at the club. 

Dystopian wars, 2 a side, 750 points each on a 4 x 4 foot table.  Prussians and FSA Americans took on Antarctica and Britons.  The only terrain was an island in the middle.  Great fun and much mayhem.  A combination of FSA rockets and torpedoes from tiny fliers helped me win against the British. It was a hard fight though, specially when I came up against the British dreadnought that seemed to have more guns than crew.  
The Prussians and Antarctica bash on the other side was fairly evenly matched for the game and both sides suffered losses before the Prussian had a couple of good turns.  

I can't remember if there was another game in early June.  But on the 11th we started the first of the Waterloo anniversary games.  We played Commands and Colors Napoleonic and the Ligny scenario from the Prussians box.  
A great game against an old and valued opponent.  I had the Prussians and was able to do a bit of damage to the attacking French. It was looking like a Prussian victory for a while, but then he sent in the Guard against Ligny and my defence crumbled.  It a couple of turns I lost units and Ligny and that was enough to tip the game for a French victory.  

On the 18th we again played CnC Napoleonics, but this time it had to be the Waterloo scenario. Two of us were allies taking on 2 French players.  On an adjacent table, 2 chaps played the Plancenoit scenario from the Prussians box.  
This time the French won on both tables.  We caused a good few French casualties on the Allied right, but were forced to give up Hougoumont. On the far side, the French took Papelotte and the combination of locations and allied casualties gave them the game.  
And to cap it all, on the Plancenoit table, the French won again.  I wasn't able to watch much of the game but by the usual laughter, slagging comments and great humour, I knew it had been a good game.  

Then last Thusday was ADG.  The same 6 players who had played on the 18th played 3 games of ADG.  We'd planned the previous week that four of us would chose the Classical period and 2 dark ages / feudal. My Seleucids took on Macedonians, while on the other table, Indians took on more Seleucids.  The Seleucids were defeated on both tables.  In my case, mainly because his right flank companions and light cavalry easily overwhelmed my galatians and light horse.  I might have restored things in the centre where it was my pikes and elephants against pikes, but I ran out of time before my army morale crumbled.  
On the other table, 6mm Normans took on Anglo-Saxons (all painted by me - see earlier posts, but based by their owner). Another good game with victory to the Normans.   

Next week it's Wings of Glory. 

Monday, 18 May 2015

work in progress

I'm still working on the GNW stuff but no more finished yet. Maybe I'm trying to do too many units at once. But here's a couple of work in progress pictures. 

The 4 Swedish units.  They just need a 'top 'n' tail', muskets and pikes, shoes and tricornes plus anything I've missed.  

Then 5 Russian cavalry units. There's a sixth unit off to the left of the picture but I'm still undecided whether to do a red or white uniform.  They're in much the same state as the Swedes and just need that 'top 'n' tail' to round them off.  But I've still to do the horses for this lot.

And part of the reason for taking longer with the GNW stuff is I found these Essex Seleucid / Successors in a box and decided to paint them up before probably selling them.    

Lastly, I went to another grand show at Carronade in Falkirk. Met good friends and saw a good range of traders and saw some nice display and participation games.  The only figures I bought were some more Blue Moon Marlburian figures which I'll paint up as Danes.  Other purchases were bases, paints and books.  

And on the topic of Danes - one chap mentioned the new Danish tele series called 1864 and later gave me the book. It is another one of those episodes from history about which I was vaguely aware but knew very little.  The first episode was last weekend but I've yet to see it though I have started reading the book.    

Thursday nights at the club

I've missed a few updates, so here's a quick note of stuff played recently.  

A few weeks back it was ADG ancient rules in 15mm. I had Nikephorian Byzantine against some other flavour of Byzantine.  Friends at an adjacent table had Hungarians vs Medieval Germans. Good games had by all and I lost by a couple of points.  

The next week we played Maurice with a friend's 6mm Marlburian figures.  A good game where I was attacking with the French and Bavarians and was able to put pressure on both flanks. This caused my opponent to use up his cards to counter the moves.  I was able to use the 'Confusion' card to send one of the enemy cavalry to face off towards a wood on the flank.  

But then came combats and my army morale started to crumble. In the Maurice rules, each unit that routs has a variable morale value loss to the army of between 1 and 3 depending on a die roll.  My opponent rolled 1's and 2's for a 1 morale loss where I was rolling 4's to 6's for a 2 or 3 morale loss.  Eventually the French morale crumbled.  But still a great game.  

The following week was mid-war Flames of War. We had a two-a-side game, with one half of the table an urban setting the other, rural.  I took Russians and normal army rather than my usual Guards.  Hey-ho; morale crumbled; troops became pinned and tanks were lost, and I didn't have enough reserves for the final fight round the objectives.  Next time I'm using the Guards again. 

And last week was Wings of Glory.  All the planes belonged to the club or to one of the players. We had 7 of us round the table with a plane each.  The players with the 3 most expensive planes against the others. I had some Italian fighter.  We actually managed 3 games in the evening; 2 games were with opposing sides, then a final game of last man standing (or flying), basically every man for himself.  I managed to stay on the table till the last two. 

This week will be a two-a-side Dystopian Wars bash.  750 points for each player. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

experiments with washes and inks

So here I am testing some washes and inks.  I got a batch of stuff from different places on t'internet.  Vallejo washes and Army Painter inks I got as new, then I was able to win some Citadel stuff on t'interbay which luckily included both washes and inks. 

And so I grabbed what undercoated figures I had to hand and set to work.  The figures are all Essex 15mm and were undercoated white; good old Halfords matt white car spray has been my standard for years.  I've put little captions in the pictures to show what's where.   

First on some Napoleonic figures. 
The effect was good in all cases, though I have a slight preference for Army Painter Strong Tone. I've not much to say on the blacks, but all the browns have possibilities for me.  

Then the Army Painter colours.  Amusingly, the colours were slapped over Napoleonic Austrian figures; chaps usually in white.  I can't see much use for the purple at the moment, but the others could be used on uniforms.  Indeed, I reckon I could use the blue just as it is for ACW union uniforms.  

Now a repeat exercise on medieval pikemen.  Just to see the colours side by side.  

Now the Citadel stuff.  A friend told me that Devlan Mud is no longer available, which seems a pity since it's a nice effect.   

And now to put them side by side.  I saw a video on the youtube where a chap compared Devlan Mud with Vallejo Umber.  There wasn't much difference to him, and he's right. So if Devlan Mud is no longer available, then Vallejo seems to fit the bill.  (If it doesn't seem right here, it's because of my photo.)  And I'd cast a vote for AP Strong Tone as another good substitute.  

And now a side-by-side comparison of AP and Citadel colours.  Not much to add here, except the Citadel stuff seemed a bit darker (or richer), though I prefer the AP green and blue.     

And, finally, I thought I try the Citadel inks straight from the pot.  Ooh, err, the green is a bit bright and the black seemed so much like an undercoat that I grabbed another brush and slapped some water on the far right figure.  Maybe too much water, but, well, that's what experiments are about.  I don't know if I'll use these inks; perhaps the brown on some horses, but I don't yet see a use for the others.  

So, there we go. So far the AP Strong Tone is a favourite, followed by Devlan Mud, then Soft Tone and Sepia and Vallejo Umber.  If Devlan Mud is no longer available, then I'd better make best use of the two pots I've got and mostly go with the others that are readily available. 

And I may still make my own washes. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

new non-shiny toys

Got these the other day from the nice people at Minibits.  They are intended to be markers for ADG or Maurice or anything else that might benefit.   Up till now I've just used dice or counters.  

What I got were 20mm and 15mm round bases, dice-frames for 7mm and 12mm dice, and a selection of 10mm dice with frames.  

I'd seen Minibits stuff at shows and I'd bought some bases, but not bought the dice frames. Then I was prompted recently by a picture on a friend's blog where he incorporated a dice-frame into the base.  

See picture here,

Then I saw the blog,  where the chap cleverly put the dice-frame on a circular base and coloured the base the same as the units.  That sold me on the idea.  

Here's an example of what's intended.     

This is one of my Blue Moon 18mm Great Northern War units with the dice-frames in front.  I was trying to see what might look best for this scale.  

Left to right there are a 20mm round base, a 15mm round base with a 7mm dice-frame, a 20mm round base with a 10mm dice-frame and two 12mm dice frames, one on top of a 20mm square balsa base.

For 15 - 18mm figures, I reckon the best choice will be the 7mm dice-frame on the 15mm base.  I'll do some more experiments at the weekend.  Then I may see about gluing the frames to the bases and doing some textured basing.     

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Ongoing work

Here's the ongoing work with the Great Northern War stuff.  

Mostly this is just the first wash of the uniform coat.  I was going to carry on with lining round the belts and cuffs and so on, but my brain turned towards commercial washes or inks.  Up till now I've always been DIY on washes.  I asked some friends and got good suggestions, and so I sent off for Vallejo washes and Army Painter inks.  I'll push ahead with the Swedes where I've done most of the painting and leave the rest till the washes and inks arrive.  Then I'll do some experiments.      

At the front of the picture are the first measuring sticks to use with Maurice.  Each space is 30mm, a base-width.  Just for the fun of it, I'm making yellow and blue sticks for the Swedes and Red, Blue, White and Green for the Russians.         

Finally, the Swedes on which most has been done.  Hopefully I'll get these done in the next week.  When I'm doing these I'm thinking about the colour combination of uniforms and standards, so 3 of the units below will have yellow facings, but one will have red and the flag of the Narke-Varmlands regiment.