Saturday 31 May 2014

The Greeks Completed

I love skirmish games. They don't take long, so if I am getting my tail kicked I can look forward to playing another game in a relatively short space of time in order to retrieve my honour.  Best of all, I can paint an army to completion in a (relatively) short space of time.
Such is true of the Achaean army for my Trojan War project using the Of Gods and Mortals rule. I finished the figures this week, and finally got around to photographing them this afternoon. So here they are.
The goddess of wisdom herself - she could do with getting outdoors more...
The long haired Danaan warriors ready to fight for their long haired goddess - Homeric heroes are a hairdresser's dream
The same warriors serried in their ranks on a movement tray
Trojan javelinmen audition for the Full Monty.
The complete Greek army - 900 points worth - ready to take on the Trojans - who are not yet ready...
You may be wondering why Athene seems to be so scared of getting a tan. I've been using Peter Connolly's book The World of Odysseus as a reference, and he has painted the goddesses this way. In Mycenaean times the noblest women did not leave the house in order to preserve their honour, and so were not exposed to the sun. The whiter you were, the more perfect you were to marry. Obviously goddesses are perfect, so Athene gets an albino complexion. 
I've taken a brief break from the Trojan War project just to keep it fresh. The painting tray currently has a section of World War Two British infantry, four 15mm Char B tanks for John, and just completed are some sheep and pigs. The archers for my Norman SAGA army are on their way, so I'll get them painted before getting stuck into the Trojans.


Thursday 22 May 2014

I've been liebstered

I'm quite excited that Brendon over at the Gamer's Table has nominated me for a Liebster award - a chain letter award system for bloggers to raise the profile of blogs that they like. It isn't quite an Oscar, but certainly better than an Emmy...
The idea is that blogs with less than 200 followers are nominated by a person who has received the award already and the recipient is to pass the award on to 11 blogs they think are worthy of attention. The rule is to copy and paste the award to your blog linking it back to the person who nominated you. It gives exposure and warm fuzzy feelings - and I'm getting all those warm fuzzies now. Also included in the package is the necessity to answer a few questions, so here we go:
1. Why did you start blogging?
To keep me on track with projects; to form a diary of my work; to record what I had painted due to my propensity to sell stuff.
2. If you could change one thing about the wargaming hobby, what would it be?
Nothing. It is a great hobby and has provided me with hours of entertainment, some good friends and the zen-like trance that comes over me when painting (where does the time go?).
3. What is best in life?
To be content with oneself and not take anything too seriously.
4. Do you want to live forever?
Yes. I'm really worried that the day after I die some really important discovery or event will happen and I'll never get to know.
5. Fame or fortune?
Fame. Money means nothing compared to happiness and I have that in abundance, but it would be great if in 200 years someone said, 'Remember Nate? Man I wish I could paint toy soldiers like that.'
6. What miniatures are you most proud of having painted?
Photographed before I had totally finished the horse, I believe this miniature from 2010 marks a significant improvement in my painting style.
7. How do you deal with burn out?
Do something different for a bit. 
8. Why is a raven like a writing desk?
They're both in Game of Thrones?
9. Star Wars or Star Trek?
You're kidding right? See my tagline.
10. If you could only buy from one miniature company from now on, which one would it be?
I'd like to say the Perrys, because I love their figures, but they don't do anything 18th Century, and I'm certain that one day I'll be building the greatest Marlburian wargames armies of all time. So although it would render me totally bankrupt, I'd say Foundry - their range just can't be beaten for variety.
11. What is your favourite takeaway?

Indian. I love a hot curry, even if no-one can be in my vicinity for the next 24 hours...

Which blogs am I passing this on to? I read a lot of blogs with over 200 followers, and they are all in the column to the right, but I'll highlight the following chaps:
Dr Merkury's Lab
The Monkey that Walks
Herkybird's Nest
Wargaming for Grown-ups
Wargaming with Barks
Cor blog me!
Grimsby Wargaming

So eight very worthwhile blogs which deserve to have more than 200 followers.
This is as good a time as any to say thank you to the 80 people who follow my ramblings and to celebrate over 25000 pageviews since December 2012. For a little blog that has been updated on average once a fortnight, I think that it has done OK. I certainly appreciate every comment that is made here.


Tuesday 13 May 2014

The eyes don't have it (and a neigh)

The poll is closed and it is a narrow win to those who advocate dispensing with ocular detailing. To be honest, I'm still not 100% certain that I'm going to listen to the people as a sizeable and persuasive minority have argued otherwise, and one can't be the tyrant of one's own Natholeonic Empire without doing as one pleases. I have the rest of the Achaeans on the paint tray at the moment and hope to have them complete by next week. As the finishing touches are applied I'll eye up a final decision.
Thanks to everyone who voted, commented here or on TMP.

Just to prove that I have no stickability whatsoever, I painted up the first figure in next year's project - an honourable but uptight ECW Roundhead:
'Bah! Christmas is the work of the Devil!'
'Folk dancers!? Has God abandoned this land?!'
This was an experiment with painting the Foundry figures and I wanted to see how well I could differentiate a dun horse with a buff coat. I think I managed it. The mental thing is that I didn't even quibble about painting eyes on this figure. My whole issue with painting eyes is the impending eye-pocalypse that is painting up two whole ECW armies. Yet I did this without thinking - even the horse has eyes! This does not bode well for my sanity in the year of the buff coat that is 2015...
OK, back to the Achaeans.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Menis! Rage, goddess...

The first Danaans are ready to fight at Troy. These Long-haired Achaeans, led by cunning Odysseus and Diomedes, master of the war cry, are prepared to seek the aid of Athene in their conflict with the sons of Priam.
'Let's go get us some aristeia, Odysseus!'
'I think the Trojans are actually this way Diomedes.'
'First we need to kill some cows for our nifty shields.'
Archers - providing inadequate covering fire since 1250 BC.
'We're a long way from Ithaca boys. Never mind, if we follow Odysseus I'm sure we'll all make it home.'
'For Athene's sake Gymnos, this is a family blog! Here. let me strategically place my spear.'
'Close up men! Don't step outside of this rectangular movement tray!'
'Spread out boys - we have a whole CD for just the five of us.'
I'm aiming to use the Of Gods and Mortals rules from Osprey for the Trojan War. The main reason is that I wanted something that captured the feel of heroes and gods intervening directly in the battle. I also really liked Song of Blades and Heroes and as this rule-set is also written by Andrea I can imagine that I will enjoy it. A quick read-through also seems to confirm this.
The figures are all Black Tree Designs, except Odysseus and the shields which I purchased from Redoubt Enterprises. They are fantastic figures to paint up, but this time around I decided that I wasn't going to paint eyes. It would probably take me about half an hour to do them all, and that may not be much time in the grand scheme of things, but I don't know if they need them.  It isn't really noticeable at a distance, and not even that bad close up. What do you out there in blogging land think?  I've added a poll to the right. Please take a second and vote.
I've got another unit of spearmen and a unit of light javelinmen to go - and of course big bad Athene! Oh, and the Trojans.


Finishing my French 9 Years War

Something a bit different. In the dark mists of time I bought two armies of 10mm Nine Years War figures to use with a variant of DBA that I came up with (called DBD). The idea was to have a French army and an Allied army for quick solo games. As always the project stalled due to the 'ohh, shiny!' complex, but I managed to finish off the French last weekend and based them up yesterday. Now I just need to complete the Allies... stay tuned for a few years down the road!
Gardes Francaises deployed on the right of the line - the Swiss down the end. The five elements of infantry in the army.
Artillery and Dragoons. The Dragoons are mounted on 2 bases so that I can swap around who is in front to indicate whether they are mounted or skirmishing. A pity I don't have the French Dragoons in stocking caps. Pendraken do them in their beautiful new range of League of Augsburg figures, but I only need three and they come in packets of 30! 
Five elements of French Cavalry led by the Maison du Roi with the general.
These are all from the old Pendraken League of Augsburg range, because when I bought them the new range hadn't been sculpted (that long ago). I'm half tempted to upgrade because the new figures are fantastic, but that defeats the purpose of trying to put this game together as cheaply as possible.