Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Governor Barbula pays a visit to his generals

Governor Barbula first came to our attention on this blog in this post in October of last year and since then he's been a busy chap! His plan to march on Rome with his army of loyal followers and band of mercenaries has been picking up speed over the last few months and has just this morning been photographed visiting one of his generals at a training camp just outside the city walls.

This can only mean one thing, his army is nearing completion and he is merely making the final preparations before he sets his plan in motion. It should be an interesting and testing few months for the Roman Empire...

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Partizan - Newark 5th September 2010!

Just a little reminder that I will be putting on my first game at the Partizan Show at Kelham Hall in Newark tomorrow (Sunday 5th September. Doors are 10am - 4pm and I think it's £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.

It's a Spanish Peninsular Napoleonic game which features 3 companies of French pitted against Sharpe and his rifles (assisted by some pesky Spanish Guerillas). I'll be in command of the French and Paul Darnell of Touching History will be in charge of the combined allied force. The photo at the top of this post shows the terrain we will be gaming on!

In this photo, my mighty French force advance along an exposed road, open to fire from Sharpe and his 95th rifles (hopefully they wont be as accurate as they're famed for in tomorrow's game!)

Another French force advance towards the town using the cover of the farmer's fields and a low stone wall to avoid the fire coming from the guerillas holed up in the town.

I think our game will be in the main hall so it should be easy to find. I should also be easy to find if you fancy a chat! Just look for the young looking chap next to the game and that'll probably be me - I'll have a checked shirt on if it's any help.

I'll post pictures of most of the games on show at Partizan throughout this coming week along with photos of our game and a battle report. I look forward to meeting those of you who visit the table and fancy a chat.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Campaign Map Progress Update

Just a quick update to show the map so far. As you can see, the sea has been completely coloured in. The next stages are to colour in the land and divide it up amongst the tribes and also to add a key, title and any features such as existing towns to the map. After that, I'll try and write down some of the rules and perhaps post them on here.

Thanks again for the interest!

Campaign Map Update

Just a quick update on how the campaign map and rules are going. The picture above shows my progress with the map on Photoshop (I've been colouring in the sea hence the seemingly slow progress!). I've also marked out the major rivers and you can just see Gaul in the bottom right of the picture (coloured red, marking it as Roman territory).

I'm currently deciding whether or not to try and divide Britain into provinces or regions. In the previous post, I mentioned I was adapting a game meant for raiding Vikings along the Eastern coast of England and that didn't use or need the country to be divided up. But i'll have to do a trial run.

In the game, you also have the option of building roads, towns, ports and various forts and defences to guard your land which are all marked on the map in turn.

I'll probably work on this again this evening and may do a post either tonight or tomorrow. Thoughts and suggestions welcome!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Just a quick update - Campaign...

I've been very busy lately, hence the lack of updates.

I used to play a campaign with Saxons and Vikings on the English coast some 10 years ago which only involved a map and some dice (and a pad of paper to keep notes). One person played as the Vikings and one as the Saxons. It was much like a role playing game where you rolled on events tables and could construct buildings, roads, forts etc to keep you newly acquired or heroicly defended lands safe. Remembering this, I've decided to adapt the rules for a Roman conquest of Britain. I think it would translate perfectly but will need some modification.

I'm just working on the map and the events table at the minute but expect an update in the next couple of days.

The original was a very fun game. You either had a choice of gaining lots of money through pillaging and raiding along the coast or trying to grab some land and try and settle.

Any questions or suggestions are very much welcome.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Conquering the lead mountain (4)

Here's the fourth drawer which has been labelled 'Misc. Ancients' and includes Greeks, Spanish, Parthians and a number of other different races and cultures. This probably has the most in it out of any of the other drawers and also includes some painted and part-painted miniatures which you can see below.

Expect photos of the last two drawers tomorrow. I can know go to bed and I've cleared it off soldiers and modeling supplies. I will also be going to the local hardware store to pick up some basing material so I may do a post on that too.

When I first started sorting out my stuff it suddenly hit me that I have A LOT of stuff but actually, now I've sorted it into these drawers, it feels like I have a lot less than I thought I had (although I've still probably got too much!). This would take me many many years to paint so I'm not quite sure what to do with some of it as I may never get round to painting it.

On another note, visitor numbers to the blog have shot through the roof since I've made these posts so that's very exciting too!

Conquering the lead mountain (3)

Here's the most relevant drawer to this blog - the Roman drawer. There's lots of packs of Copplestone Foundry legionnaires and all-sorted auxiliaries plus a few painted figures in here. This isn't the extent of my Roman collection as some of it is being stored elsewhere in a Warhammer carry case.

Conquering the lead mountain (2)

Here's the second drawer done. This contains my English Civil War project, incorporating figures from Renegade Miniatures and Bicorne Miniatures. It's a project I should be underway with but sadly I just haven't had the time to do much more than just paint those few figures in the bottom right hand corner (2 of the three aren't even finished!). Hopefully this will pick up soon.

For more information about the project you can go to my other blog by clicking here. I've decided to just operate two blogsnow. This one for all my ancients projects and the other for all my projects that involve guns such as English Civil War and American War of Independence. If you're even remotely interested in any of these periods, please follow my blogs!

Conquering the lead mountain (1)

I've desperately needed to sort out and reorganise my wargaming and hobby supplies for some time now and I've chosen today to finally do it! I've got boxes, blister packs, cans of spray paint and half painted miniatures all over my desk and my bed so this could take a while (I may not be able to sleep tonight unless I get it done!). I'll do a series of posts throughout the day documenting the contents of each of the 6 drawers which were previously full of Warhammer but now lie empty by my desk. The first drawer is shown below.

This draw contains all the bases I need for the various periods I game in and these come from East Riding Miniatures but the small square and circular are from Foundry. There's also all my spare weapons such as pikes, javelins and spears along with all my spare shields and some tree stumps from Redoubt Enterprises. There's also my penknife which I use to trim flashing and the files and drill I got from Games Workshop to tidy up the mould lines. Also present are my toolset from Foundry and some 'green stuff' used for modeling and some lolly sticks which always come in handy!

Hopefully this series of posts will be very interesting for the fellow gamer as it reveals the real inner workings of my hobby and what it consists of.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Don't vote Conservative today...

...or my parents, who are both public sector workers, will be out of a job.

Also, I will have to live in poverty for the rest of my life.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Expansion of the farm

You may remember the farm I had built for me in an earlier post, well, I've been inspired by a photo I came across to build a vineyard that will sit adjacent to it.

This photo which comes from Paul Darnell's Touching History blog shows the sort of thing I'm aiming to achieve. Bill Gaskin made the vineyards, terrain board and painted the figures - Paul made the hundred or so buildings.

The vineyard looks like quite a simple design. A large rectangular base with some stakes stuck in it with wire running between them. Then some trunks added and some foliage. Can't be too hard - can it?!

I've bought issue 1 and 2 of Paul's 'Touching History' scenery making guides in the hope something like this is covered. These books cover the Spanish Napoleonic period (don't worry - I'm not starting a new period!) and the English Civil War which will be helpful for my other project. I thought, as my Romans will mostly be fighting in a mediterranean environment, the Spanish scenery would be fairly similar and so this book would be useful!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Travel Chaos

As I'm sure you're aware, there has been unprecedented disruption to European air travel as a result of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. What was meant to be a nice little break in Florence, Italy, soon became the holiday from hell.

You'll be pleased to hear I'm now safely back in the UK and ready to get back on with my ever-growing list of things to do. I have a very busy period over the next month with coursework and exams for University but finish on the 25th May. Following this, I'll be focussing solely on my wargaming projects until the end of July when I go to London to work for the rest of my summer holidays.

I wouldn't expect many updates between now and then but I can assure you, when I have a spare few hours, i'll be working hard on my Roman and ECW projects along with my multi-period terrain board!

Apologies for the lack of posts since Christmas when it was all looking so promising! But thank you to those who keep coming back for reference or new visitors looking for help and advice! For details of my ECW project, check out my other blog here.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Here are a few snaps of the river I received a few weeks ago from prolific blogger and wargamer Simon, otherwise known as BigRedBat. They're made from modelled polystyrene but I can't tell what they've been textured with.

They'd make great additions to any battlefield from Ancient times to WWII and beyond. They could even act as canals, given the raised lip of the bank

This pic shows the full extent of the pieces that make up the model river and as you can see, there's quite a number of different options for potential layouts!

Things I hate this week: basing and the weather (it's stopping me going out to undercoat and varnish figures!). Into the ECW and AWI? Click here for my latest project.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Quintus Pompeius Falco

Quintus began his career as a Quaestor in Rome but his talent for management and financial acumen was soon recognised and saw him reassigned to Spain where he would oversee the development of this new and prosperous land. Quintus spent much of the day studying his charts and writing letters to his superiors in Rome, detailing his progress. There was little time for fun and games.

Under his leadership Spain flourished. Towns sprung up across the country and new roads were built to connect them to the thriving coastal ports that fed the empire with food and tradable goods. Mines were constructed to extract valuable resources from the land and farms fed the burgeoning province. Not even the widest or fastest flowing river could stop his expansion, he simply bridged them and continued with his aggressive expansion. Of course, the locals didn't take too kindly to the loss of their land and rebelled, causing widespread damage to the new Roman infrastructure. This angered Quintus who had spent many months trying to Romanise these people and bring prosperity to the land. He raised an army and marched on the rebel camp, slaughtering all who defied Roman rule. You do not want to stand in the way of this man or you'll end up as part of his next project, probably as part of the mortar!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Fortified Farm

As mentioned in the previous post, I recently received a farm house from Paul Darnell of Touching History fame. I had an idea to eventually fortify the Roman/Greek farm for a future defense scenario and have had a go at this by using a wooden palisade wall with a ditch. I can't wait to use this on the gaming table! It looks great!

What do you think? Any comments or suggestions? The photo is fully clickable.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Roman farm

I received this rather marvelous model Roman/Greek farm in the week from Touching History's Paul Darnell. You can see it pictured above with two of my half-finished Romans for purposes of scale. They are both 28mm Foundry Caesarian Romans.

In time, I intend to add some removable barricades for a defense scenario I have in mind and add a vineyard and olive grove. The farm buildings represent only a quarter of its eventual size as I'm going to add another three terrain tiles the same size as this one to hold the olive grove, country lanes etc. It should become an awesome centerpiece of any battlefield!

I really like this building. Buildings of a similar style were scattered all over the mediterranean where the Greeks and Romans had any influence and so making it an incredibly versatile piece of scenery. I can use it across hundreds of years of warfare and in different locations around the mediterranean.

For more information on my Macedonian/Greek project, go to my other blog here.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Command Stand

Here's a fully clickable photo of my first command stand. The figures have been painted and matte varnished and as you can see, this makes quite a difference. They still need basing material applying to the base but I want to order some static grass before I do this. I will have one of these command stands for every 1000 points I use.

Note: the standard bearer was painted entirely using the traditional multi-colour, layered shading method and not using the army painter (my first figure like this!). All my standard bearers will be painted like this. I did however ink the flesh.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Project List

Influenced by the latest post on BigRedBatCave, I thought it may be interesting to create a list of my current projects. I too am a bit of a period hopper but still don't have much to show for it!

Current projects - this is the year of the ancients!
  • Cesarian Romans (should finish my first 1000 WAB points by April)
  • Spartans
  • Macedonian/Successor
Projects on hold - these are projects I have some figures for but am currently not working on
  • American War of Independence (don't 'dip' very well so will have to reevaluate my painting method)
  • WWII 1944 (got enough troops for Regiment of Brit Paras - camo is scary!)
  • Very British Civil War (painted half the miniatures for this so may take this up again soon)
  • Crusades (didn't like the variety in shields or figures so may give this up altogether)
Future projects
  • Persian (to fight all my Greeks)
  • English Civil War (to fight some smaller scale skirmish battles)
  • Dark Ages (Arthurian to Viking invasion)
I hope to have made considerable progress on my current projects by the end of the year and have at least two 1000 point, game-able armies available to play at game at Christmas (hopefully will have had a chance to work on some terrain too). I really need to sort these into short and longer term projects and then I can allocate my time a lot better.

If you didn't already know, I do a blog solely for the progress of my Greeks which you can find here. This will get updated much more frequently after Easter.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Historical reading and WIP

I thought I'd post an image of the books I'm reading at the minute. I'm not a very fast reader (I'm not a very fast painter either!) but I am finding them very enjoyable.

I'm currently reading the 3rd in the series of Emperor books by Conn Iggulden which are a great and exciting read! They are about the life of Caesar from a young boy until his death. Obviously the author has had to fill in the gaps where historical evidence is not present but he's done an excellent job of mixing history with adventure to create a thrilling read.

At the same time I'm reading The Fall of Carthage by Adrian Goldsworthy which has been recommended to me by every single blogger I've come across. I've only finished the introduction (started reading it last night) but it certainly looks interesting and I'm keen to find out a little more of the history and rise of Rome.

The other two books 'The Age of Alexander' and 'On Sparta' by Plutarch I am yet to come to. I've had a quick flick through them and they look very exciting and I'm keen to learn about the great figures of those time periods.

This is a WIP shot of the standard bearer for my command stand (I'm currently working on another 4 for my units and a Spartan command stand). I've already applied two layers of red to the undergarment and the colour is very steadily lightening. I will need to go over the flesh again with a darker colour and then re-do this colour as it's a black undercoat and you can still see it through the paint! Hopefully a more detailed progress report by the end of the week!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Batavian Auxiliaries and 50th Post!

A while ago I thought of creating a unit of Batavian Auxiliaries after seeing this post on Iron Mitten. Secundus used Warlord Romans for his but on closer inspection of the figures, I decided they would look too out of place in my Caesarian army.

I emailed the guys at 1st Corps a little while ago to ask when they'd be posting up photos of their 'Slave Revolt' range and to my suprise, the following weekend they uploaded photos of the range! I found this pack of heavy infantry for the slave army that would look just right as Batavian Auxiliaries! Batavia is what is now modern day Netherlands and these warriors were renowned for their bravery and skill as fighters, hence why the Romans consistently recruited from the region.

Picture from 1st Corps Slave Revolt range.

I love the fact they look very rough and ready with their beards and lack of sandles - perfect for a semi-barbaric unit. Plus they have the Gallic helmets the rest of my troops have. I wanted your opinion on whether to go for all hexagonal shields like the guy third from the left or all oval shields? Would a unit like this have uniform shields? Or be allowed celtic-style shields from their home province?

Painting update: I'm a bit frustrated at the minute trying to paint over black and silver undercoats - it's not easy! In fact, I'm having to paint darker shades of the same colour on before hand which is dramatically increasing my painting time. Slow progress ahoy...

P.S. this is my 50th post since April 2009. Hurrah!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Spanish Cavalry

I first posted this image of my Spanish cavalry some time ago but it wasn't clickable then (hopefully this one is!).

I bought them painted like this but intend to add more detail to them in time (as they're fully painted - this can wait!). They look a bit like Crusader miniatures but I can't really be sure. I bought them from Partizan in Newark and they were quite expensive at the time considering the quality of the paint work. The riders are poor but the horses are painted to a VERY high standard.

They're based three to a base (can't remember the measurements) but they don't really have enough depth. You can't have them move in a column as the horses touch, increasing the distance between bases which is a bit of a shame.

Make sure to check the blog tomorrow as I'll be needing your help and advice once again! This time, for the 'look' of some auxiliaries and the composition of my Roman army.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A MASSIVE thanks!

I've had a bit of a surge of followers and commenters in the last few weeks and I thought it'd be interesting to see just how many people are visiting my site. I've been monitoring website traffic on this site since Tuesday and have been astonished at the general number of people who've visited (nearly reaching the 200 mark in under a week!). I never thought I'd get this many. As you can see from the graph below, the number has been steadily increasing throughout the week.

The blue bar shows the amount of 'unique' visitors or people visiting the site from a certain IP address. This is most representative of the people visiting the site but the green bar shows the number of page loads. This means that a lot of those who visit are opening up my blog several times a day or looking all the way back through my posts to the older ones. I can't think why there's this steady increase in visitors but perhaps it has something to do with my increasing frequency of blog posts, that seems to help when blogs become popular!

So I'd just like to say a massive thanks to all those who've visited the site in the last week (and those who've visited in the past) and to all those who have elected to 'follow' the blog or leave a comment. It really means a lot to know there are people who find some form of entertainment in the blog. This will spur me on to paint A LOT more and try and get painted figures churning out much more frequently.

I was thinking of reducing the security surrounding comment posting on this blog as I've received a lot of very helpful and interesting comments lately and I may be missing out of some vital piece of advice from those who chose not to sign up. Do you think I should allow anonymous posters to post a comment? This would allow those who don't have an account to be involved. Good/bad idea?

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Painting total increase!

My painting total has increased to 3 since yesterday. I've painted a legionary unit leader and two of the figures to go on the General's command stand. They've turned out really well and I've managed to preserve a lot of the white on the capes etc. Haha, they sound like superheros now. Perhaps that should be 'cloaks'...

Legionary unit commander

General's tribune

This is a shot to show you how the Army Painter changes the look of a figure. The figure on the right is my General character (he's since been touched up and dipped) who hasn't been dipped at this point and on the left is a character who has been dipped. You can see the effect it's had on the 'kilt', face and shoes quite clearly.

All these figures still need matte varnishing but I'll have to do that in a couple of months when I get home. This makes a huge difference and really adds to the quality.

I wouldn't expect to see anymore photos of these guys until their properly based and varnished but hopefully the command stand will make an attractive centerpiece for the army!


Friday, 5 February 2010

Painting total in the last 2 weeks


But I have many more nearly finished so hopefully that number will shoot up by the end of the weekend.

Monday, 1 February 2010

The face of 'Consul'.

As I've been blogging for some time now and have built up quite an online presence (pestering long-time bloggers for help!), I thought it rude that those who take the time and effort to read my blog and leave me encouraging comments do not know who they're talking to!

Well, below you'll see a picture of my Dad, Richard, and I who form possibly the smallest wargames group in Britain - the Mill Road Militia! We have been mistaken for brothers in the past but I am on the one on the left. We haven't played many games recently but did used to play a lot of WWII and Napoleonic games, my Dad always having to play as the 'Fatherland' (Germany and France!). Hopefully with the coming of my new ancients armies then the fights will continue and we'll be able to post up a few interesting battle reports.

My Dad started off playing role-playing games such as Rune Quest and Traveller but eventually moved on to tabletop wargaming. His period interests are classical ancients (Alexander), the Dark Ages (Normans, Saxons, Vikings), English Civil War, Jacobite Rebellion, Napoleonic and WWII. He also loves a good Vietnam game. He has figures for most of these periods in 6mm but we have 1/72 (20mm) plastic Napoleonics he spent years painting when I was little all in boxes up in the roof!

My interest in wargaming obviously comes from my Dad and the fact we had a lot of figures, Osprey books and rule books lying about the house was certainly a help! I also loved war films - Zulu being my favourite at the time. Honestly - I watched it everyday for about 2 years when I was in infant school and could quote every line (and sing Men of Harlech!)

I always thought the Zulu chanting was rather exciting and beautiful in a way. But anyway, that
video shows the exchange of chants/songs before the final battle in the film. It's all rather epic.

My main wargaming interests are ancients obviously with an emphasis on Romans and Greeks,

I hope that gives a little insight into the background behind the blog and my interest in wargaming!
I hope you aren't too offended by my ugly mug ;-)

Sunday, 31 January 2010

More wolf skins!

I painted the rest of the wolf skins last night whilst watching the second part of Silent Witness and the first two episodes Secret Diary of a Call Girl on my laptop (yes it really did take me that long). I think they look pretty good and I can't wait to get them finished and out of the way so I can go back to line infantry. I have a unit of wolf-skinned skirmishers yet to paint in a box at home which were meant to be in the 'starting line-up' of my army but a fear of the wolf skin put me off! Now I'm much more confident, I should be able to finish them pretty quickly and have a unit that looks great on the battlefield! It was inspired by this unit that Secundus created over at Iron Mitten. Those figures are from Renegade.

This is what I'm working on today. The three figures to the left make up the General's command stand - not sure what he's called yet though. I had a crisis of confidence over the naming of my characters last night so that's all changed! I wont post anymore photos of these guys until they're varnished and based so they really make an impact on the blog. Next along are the two leaders of my other two legionary units. And then the next two figures are the 4th figure that make up the front line of each Legionary cohort (4x4). I'm painting these are a test figure for the unit, shields and all. The un-armoured unit will have a mixture of coloured tunics and patterned shields to make them look much more like a hastily raised unit.

Hope you enjoy! I'm trying to get as much done on these today as possible but an afternoon in the pub watching the Arsenal game may stop my ambitions in their tracks.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Wolf skin take 2

I decided to add a few more lighter highlights to the edges of the wolf skin on the advice of others. I know the photo isn't the best and there are different light sources but you can just about make out the differences. It's a subtle improvement I think - makes it look realistic but I haven't over done it. I still don't know what it'll look like with the 'dip' applied so we'll have to see. Hopefully it'll look good as I'll be painting on the wolfskins of the 6 others I have to paint for the army this evening.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

First attempt at wolf skin

I've always been too scared to paint wolf skins so my units have always been incomplete but not anymore! I've plucked up the courage to finally try one out for real! I decided to slightly differ from real life and just go for the black undercoat and light grey dry-brushing all over but I think it looks pretty good. I'm sure once the rest of the colours have been blocked in then it'll look fine (it's a bit dark at the minute!)

I thought it'd be better to dry-brush the skin first rather than paint the rest of the miniature so as to save having to go over each colour all over again. I'll just have to be really careful not to overlap onto the skin anywhere!

I might add some much lighter highlights on the edges of the fur later on and i'll paint the visible underside of the skin a sort of tan leather.

Comments and suggestions welcome!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

My painting area

In response to several posts across the blogging world I've decided to post up a picture of my painting area at University. When I'm at home, I tend to paint whereever I find space. I usually end up on the dining room table making family members eat their tea amidst the legions of Rome and some paint.

This is where I paint at University. My paints are usually all over the table with notes scrawled on bits of paper, detailing the paints I need and what order I will paint them onto the miniatures. I got the lamp, laptop stand and keyboard for Christmas to help with my painting. The lamp will help me paint during the long, dark winter's nights. The stand helps keep my laptop out of the way and allows me to have reference pictures up on the screen at the same time as painting. I can also hide the keyboard away underneath the laptop to keep the space clear. The three figures waiting on the table will form the command stand of the army once painted and based. I'm currently painting all the command figures first, then moving onto the monotony of the line troops!

This pic shows my Foundry and Vallejo paints (I have some more of these in the drawer but don't use them so often), brushes, tin of Army Painter, water pot and penknife I use for removing flashing and opening the tin lid! - all stored in some of the packaging sent with Foundry figures.

I hope this provides an interesting insight into my painting area. With my laptop infront of me, I can also watch DVDs, iPlayer and all sorts to keep me entertained. I've tried to hide my hobby from my flatmates but there's no getting away from it now and they think it's kind of cool anyway!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Governor 'George C. Scott' Barbula

This is the figure representing Governor Barbula which I've been working on recently. He's been dipped, varnished and based making him my first completely finished miniature! The detail on his face is incredible giving a very realistic look and feel. It really ranks up there with some of the better miniatures painted using the shading technique (I've used the Army Painter for this one). This is also my first attempt at a horse - it looks rather demonic - but it hasn't turned out too bad! I really like the base which looks very realistic. The sand at the front of the base looks like little stones but they are in fact grains of sand, painted brown then dry brushed with 3 shades of sand. The grass tufts are from Silfor. Let me know what you think and any questions will be answered asap (the picture is clickable too!).

I'm now back at University and I've taken my first 1000pt Roman army with me to paint up. There'll be more posts over the next few weeks showing the progression of the Romans and a few Greeks i'm working on and hopefully a few posts relating to the campaign too. Keep checking back for regular updates or 'follow' the blog!

Friday, 22 January 2010

The Army of Syria

I've just made an order for the bulk of Governor Barbula's Syrian army. This will oppose my main force on the battlefield and should make for an interesting battle as 50% of its points are spent on horse archers. Anyway, here is the WAB list, costing up each unit that makes up the army.

Army of Syria - 1016 pts

Senior Officer - 110pts
20 Horse archers @ 24pts each (480pts)
24 Legionaries of the III Gallica @ 16pts each (394pts) +10 for Centurion
8 Slingers @ 4pts each (32pts)

Obviously this is just the beginning of something bigger but will certainly give me a good range of figures which could be used in other armies. I watched a documentary on Alexander the Great this morning and this reignited my interest in my Macedonian army which is all boxed up somewhere. Some of the troops from this Army of Syria could be used in his army or against him, fighting for the Persians. But of course that will have to wait, probably until next year!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Making room.

With my growing collection of miniatures and modelling equipment I thought it time to get rid of some of my old Warhammer figures, which currently use up 6 drawers in a small chest of drawers, and make some room. Whilst rummaging around in the piles of poorly painted miniatures I found a few gems which I painted at the then peak of my painting ability some 6 years ago when I was about 14 (after that, I gave up Warhammer and concentrated on being 'cool'). The following pictures are representative of my work at the end of my Warhammer career and I thought you'd like to see when I considered 'good' all those years ago (it hasn't improved much since then!)

This was my favourite painted model at the time. I think it's from the Wood Elves range and I was given it in a carrier bag full of all sorts of old GW figures (including a complete blood bowl team!) by a family friend who'd found it in a charity shop. I had spent a lot of time put a lot of work into this figure and was using something similar to today's 3 shade method (dip wasn't invented) which achieved pretty decent results. He was used quite a lot as an Ent in LOTR games.

I think this is Samwise Gamgee from the Weathertop boxed set GW do. I used to spray ALL my figures black and then leave 'shading gaps' to simulate shading. For some reason, the paint was always rather sticky which meant you could do this really easily - it was a lot like drybrushing actually but I have no idea why my paints all went like that. I also used to paint the faces dark brown and then paint fleshy highlights, as you can see in the pic. We played a lot of LOTR games as it was the only range we had complete sets of figures for (because they were small scale skirmish games).

I don't know if any of you remember 'City Fight' by GW but me and my friends all built armies for it. I had built a sort of rag tag band of hardy Imperial Guard which included Cadian, Valhallan and those ones that were supposed to look a bit like the Nazis (Steel Legion or something like that?) which always seemed to be the ones who would fight to the death to defend my team mates' retreat as I was set upon by hordes of Tyranids or Orcs. The rest of the 'army' was of a similar standard - I was quite proud of the camouflage at the time!

So there you go, a little look back at my career as a painter. Of all the GW things I've got, the only one I'd seriously consider revisiting would be the LOTR skirmish games (not the War of the Ring) as they were always very fun and action packed. My friend who lived behind my house used to come round every weekend for a game of something (he used to climb through a hole in our hedge!). Playstation 2s were invented a little later on and so our lives ended...

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Progress Report (4)

I've been working on another unit of 12 foot - this time Spanish Scutari, making the most of the light we had up North today. The shot above shows a photo of the first 6. They have been dipped AND matte varnished (my first unit to receive the complete treatment) and they look great. The varnish makes them look almost cartoon-like but they look a lot better now than they did before.

This is a close-up of one of the figures after the varnish had been applied. Not shiny at all!

I had originally intended these Spanish troops to form part of the auxiliary section of my core 1000pt Roman army but I changed my mind, opting instead for some raw recruits. These Spanish troops (available from 1st Corps) offer great flexibility and could be used with most armies across the Mediterranean as an infantry option. I had intended to base them individually using GW style bases but have instead decided to base them on 60mm square bases - 6 to a base.

Today's attempt (left) with an earlier attempt at basing (right).

I also had another go at basing, this time with much greater success! The stones on today's attempt look almost real. This is only my second attempt at 'dry-brushing' and I think it went quite well. I wrote a post about my first attempt with you can read here.

All photos are clickable. Feel free to leave thoughts and suggestions.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Progress Report (3)

I thought I'd give you a little look at the army in its entirety. The units represent 998 points in WAB terms and as you will see, only one unit is nearing completion! Each photo is clickable and annotated underneath. Comments and feedback welcome!

This is the unit led by the Tribune Gaius Sempronius. The legionaries are finished but just need their bases sorting out and their wolf skin-clad standard and musician painting. The figure on the left of the front row gives an example of what a completed miniature would look like (not all will have tufts on their bases).

These are the two command stands but only one will be used for this Vexillation (1000pt army). They need individually mounting, ready for painting.

This is my second cohort, led by Centurion Spurius Maximus and that pile in front of them are their shields.

This is the third cohort which represents a newly raised, un-armoured unit led by ex-gladiator trainer Lucius Murena (he's a bit of a brute).

This is my unit of horse led by L. Aemilius Paullus. They aren't glued to the horses yet and will only be properly mounted once both horse and rider are painted (I've found a fellow blogger who has kindly offered to paint the horses for me! Hurrah!)

The army looks quite impressive in my not-so-impressive display cabinet (i'll post a picture of it in another post) and I'm looking forward to seeing it complete and on the table although I have another distraction to fight!

In December's issue of Wargames Illustrated I read an article on the American War of Independence and my Dad and myself decided to buy some Perry Continental infantry and militia as a start with a view to building both a British and an American army. This will be a slowly progressing, long-term project which will only be added to once current figures are painted! Below are some progress shots. Please note, they are only WIPs and I tend to just hastily block in the colour, not worrying about overlap of colours as I go back later and ensure perfect colour joins before using the AP. I will be trying a new technique following Saxon Dog's blog which is where you highlight you miniature AFTER applying the AP which is supposed to make them look even better, especially is the miniature has lots of whites.

One of Perry Miniature's Militia command packs.

Still plenty to do on this one!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Not so much a resolution... a list of aims and objectives for the new year.

My blog hasn't been running long enough for me to have any resolutions from last year to compare with but I want to make some for this year, as it will interesting to see what I can achieve in a year and hopefully a written list will help motivate me to get it done! So here we go, my aims and objectives for the next year (well, more a list of things to do):

1. Finish a Roman army of 1000pts for WAB (hopefully by March)
2. Finish Governor Barbula's revolt army (1000pts)
3. Settle on a rule system for AWI (I'm currently looking at British Grenadier)
4. Purchase an American army
5. Paint an American army
6. Purchase a British army - £128 from Wargames Foundry using their 20% discount offer
7. Paint a British army

I have a Greek/Macedonian army to paint at some stage but some units may be painted up as part of Barbula's army (utility troops such as archers, skirmishers, etc). I also have some VBCW and WWII figures but I'm not sure where they'll fit in at the moment.

Now i've committed myself, I feel very under-pressure to get all this done!

NOTE: I have tagged this post with a label so you will be able to click on that tag to view current progress on my projects.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Painting Celts with Army Painter (Guide)

As I'm sure you're aware, I use the Army Painter dipping method to paint all of my troops. I've had a go at painting a Celt using this method to see how it fairs on a mostly flesh figure. The following is a methodological sequence from start to finish showing each stage in clickable picture form.

First, I sprayed the miniature with a white primer available from Warlord Games. Once dry, I blocked in the flesh colour.

After that, I blocked in the gold (bronze) on the shield and the sword handle.

I then used a colour from my WWII collection (German Camo Beige) to paint his trousers.

I then painted his hair and shoes. Note: not taking care on the hair! But I would go back later and touch up the flesh.

I then painted in the shield colours.

This photo shows a comparison of the miniature before he was painted with the dip and afterwards. As you can see, it's superbly shaded the areas you would want it to. The photo on the right was taken immediately after he was painted with dip and as a result, looks 'wet'.

This picture is a comparison before and after, this time showing the rear of the miniature. As you can see, it's done a great job!

I stand by Army Painter or the 'dip' method as a great way of getting better looking miniatures without having to be as good a painter (which I am not). If AP wasn't invented, I probably would have just left the figure how it is in the left of the comparison shots. I actually think the AP can make figures look more realistic than using the traditional shading method. Please note that this miniature still needs to be matte varnished to remove the shine.

It must have taken me about 20 minutes to paint this miniature (very brief drying time included in that!) and I could easily paint a warband within an evening or two using the method!