Saturday 25 July 2015

Swedish expansion

Another two infantry units added to the Swedish army this week, the Vasterbotten and Ostgota regiments are now represented:
The Vasterbotten regiment with white facings make a nice change from the traditional picture of blue and gold in the Swedish army.
The Ostgota regiment with the blue and yellow candy stripe lace on their hats.
Advancing together.
The Swedish army so far.
I have one cavalry regiment and a gun to paint for the Swedes and that will be the halfway mark for them. Then I'll get into the Russians. I've got another commission of 30 figures coming from Geoff, so won't be able to keep my pace of two units a week up, but I might be able to get one done in a week.


Sunday 19 July 2015

Viva el Paraguay!

As the American Civil War rolled towards its conclusion at Appomattox in early 1865 another war had broken out far to the south. The second bloodiest conflict in the history of the Americas involved Paraguay taking on the Empire of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. This slightly lopsided affair was the brain-child of Paraguayan President Francisco Solano Lopez and would see the population of his country reduced from somewhere around half a million people to 160,000. Losing 60-70% of your population is a pretty impressive record of incompetence even by 20th Century dictator standards.
The conflict has always intrigued me, and earlier this year I bought some figures from Freikorps to game the period. Her is the first painted unit, some Paraguayan militia:
Tough Guarani peasants who don't need trousers!
The Paraguayans quickly ran out of proper uniforms - loincloths and chiripa kilts replacing trousers in many cases.
A close up of some of the spear armed soldiers making up numbers.
The Paraguayan troops were incredibly brave, but often ill-equipped. They relied on their cavalry to break the enemy with a charge at the beginning of the battle, something that it continually failed to do. The infantry fought resolutely and suffered horrendously. Their victories tended to come from prepared positions, echoing the way that warfare was evolving around the world.
Figures are Freikorps 15s from QRF.


Saturday 18 July 2015

Smaland cavalry

The first 15mm cavalry unit for the Great Northern War. Some painting for myself this time.
'Ga Pa!'
A Russian point of view - emphasis on the point!
These are Irregular Miniatures figures which are nice basic casts. They paint up OK. 
The armies I aim to build are based on units that were present at Poltava, but I'm looking at using them for a campaign based in Livonia which was created by Angus Konstam for Wargames Illustrated a hundred years ago (well, at least last century).
The standard comes from the excellent Tacitus website. If you are going to do a Great Northern War project, or even if you are just a little bit interested in finding out more about the conflict, take a look.


Friday 17 July 2015

Viking heroes

The last figures from my latest commission.
Time to go a-viking
Right, let's leave.
Errr, I think the boats are this way.
Geoff gave me a transfer for the shield, but I once again proved I have no idea how to use Little Big Men transfers. I just wish they made waterslide transfers like normal people. Obviously semi-competent people can use them to great effect, but for those of us who don't make it into that category they remain an enigma. Anyway, the upshot is that I had to paint the shield design by hand. I hope that Geoff is OK with it.


Thursday 16 July 2015

Painted prizes

Ray's giveaway in technicolour!
8 Victorian types.
Just a reminder, this is how they looked when last spotted on his website:
'Won't somebody paint us, please?'
And now for the obligatory close-ups:
2 Victorian about town types 
Two private investigators
Ready to go hunting
This looked like Jack the Ripper, but he only had a tiny knife and his head was on backwards (?). A couple of quick conversions and here we are.
Cabin boy and Turkish chap
I had an ulterior motive to getting these guys painted so fast. They are destined for Geoff's games table as a way of saying thanks for all of the LotR figures he sent me. I must confess, that was my hoped for intention from the moment I entered Ray's giveaway, but the universe has balanced itself quite nicely.
So these figures will be joining some others that I was painting for Geoff anyway:
Can you see who that is over there?
It's just Jamal looking grumpy as usual.
'So where is this giant snake you said was out here Mr Jack?'
'Oh you'll see it soon my love.'
Google 'Swami' and what you get is lots of orange. They call it saffron, but it's orange.
'I say, have you seen any elephants around here old chap?'
'Steady on old chap, I've got the beggar right in my sights!'
I have two SAGA warlords to paint tonight and then should be sending these all off tomorrow.
I've altered my style a tad recently in light of the tips that I've got from the 'Painting Wargames Figures' book, and am now leaving black lines to break up colours. Is it noticeable? Do people prefer the more recent figures or the older style, or quite probably - haven't noticed a difference?

Meantime, I've undercoated a couple of units of 15mm Swedes just to try and make a little progress on that project before returning to 28mm Romans and Gauls. I've also tarted up an old piece of terrain I found in the attic the other day:
Why I shouldn't be allowed to try DIY on my house.
It's one of the card buildings out of the third Warhammer Fantasy Battles boxed set, but I've strengthened it with polyfilla and a base. I'm pretty sure the top part at the front is missing, but it was well lost somewhere. Should make a good piece of terrain for some LotR gaming, or even Lion/Dragon Rampant.


Sunday 12 July 2015

A paean to generosity

I've been the recipient of a ton of generosity since being part of the wargaming community. It never ceases to amaze me how giving my fellow gamers can be, and a lot of my hobby would never have got off the ground without it. The most recent example is after my recent post asking if anyone had a few spare Lord of the Rings Orcs, I had an e-mail from Geoff. He had some Orcs if I wanted them, and a few other bits and pieces as well. Here they are:
The Orcs and a few friends.
The goodies.
The above cost me $50 discount off the next lot of painting I do for him, and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't even have asked that if I hadn't pressed him. Thanks Geoff, and there will be a few extra goodies in the next parcel you receive!

So the rest of this post is just to acknowledge those who have been generous to me in this hobby. First and foremost Dan who has given and given and not received a lot back in return. I can't even list the number of projects he has helped fund from Age of Arthur to English Civil War to World War One. The same for Marcus without whom I would not have an airbrush amongst other things. John who has bought so much of what I have painted. When I look at my cabinets full of unpainted figures and despair I can just go to his house and see much of my output for the past decade. Chris who gave me the bulk of a 15mm Soviet Flames of War infantry army. Ray, Millsy and Evan, Captain Arjun, Dan Mersey, Tim Knight for the blog competitions and draws that I've won something in. If I've missed out anyone, I apologise, I am sure there are others. Certainly I haven't mentioned people like Owen who helped me out with the Flames of War Arab Israeli project. Those who have contributed intellectually are even more numerous.

Hopefully I've given back at least a little bit to the community. but the ledger balance is firmly in the deficit. I recently filled in the Wargames Soldiers and Strategy survey and in terms of the state of the hobby said that there was nothing I would change - that this was a golden age, and I wasn't just talking about the availability of well sculpted figures. The wargames community is fantastic to be a part of. Thank you to all who make it so.


Wednesday 8 July 2015

Dr Whos?

About to head off to the beach for a mid-winter holiday for a few days, but before I do, here are a few pics of the latest commission for Geoff.
The 2nd and 3rd Doctors, split personality.
Sontarans in their classic tin foil suits.
Ogrons with two different shades of hair.
Photos were taken quickly on my phone, so apologies for their quality.


Monday 6 July 2015

Mid year update

At the beginning of this year I outlined my plans for 2015. I thought it might be fun to review where I am at with these.
Plan 1 - WWI 1914 in 15mm. Grand total of elements painted = 9. Elements left to paint = I can't count that high. But I have bought armies for the big five - France, Germany, Britain, Russia, and Austria-Hungary.

All of these photos are merely a recap and have appeared before in previous posts.

OK, so that is one project that isn't going anywhere very fast. How about project number 2?

Plan 2 - the Great Northern War in 15mm:
1 battalion of Swedes
1 battalion of Russians
A redoubt - at least the terrain is sorted...
So 1 battalion of Swedes and 1 battalion of Russians. Pretty good. That only leaves 12 battalions of 16 foot, 5 guns, and 9 units of 8 cavalry left to go. Almost there! Not.

Plan 3 - Gallic Wars Eagle Rampant in 28mm. These are my forces for the conversion of Lion Rampant for the Roman world. I have 15 units to paint along with casualties for battered markers and some civilians and carts etc. Of these I have completed 4 units.

But I've also completed this awesome fort
Not too bad, but I had hoped to have this project a bit further along by now.

Plan 4 - DBA Punic Wars - sold the figures. I guess that isn't going anywhere.
Plan 5 - DBA Samurai - still have the figures but now planning to use them for Commands and Colours instead. Project way down priority list.

Plan 6 - play more Star Wars. You must have seen all of the AARs on this blog for my Star Wars games? No? 6 fails from 6 so far then. 

Plan 7 - the things I'm not likely to get to this year - 
28mm WWII Bolt Action - very unlikely - I've sold all the figures.
15mm Hordes of the Empire - still have the figures, but packed away in a box somewhere.
Purchasing 15mm armies for Dux Bellorum - Maybe in 2018? Right off the radar.
Pie in the sky plans - things I'm interested in but don't know if I could make them happen:
The Russo-Polish War 1919-21 (Peter Pig) - nope
The Taiping Rebellion (Irregular) - nope
Aztecs and Conquistadores (Black Hat) - nope, but a little more on this further down
The War of the Triple Alliance (QRF/Freikorps) - YES! I've bought the armies. But I haven't painted them.
The War of the Pacific (Chile, Peru and Bolivia) (Outpost) - Nope
The Chaco War (Irregular) - Nope
The Sikh Wars (Black Hat) - Nope
German-Danish War 1864 - Nope

Plan 8 - Planning to buy WWI Russians in 15mm - Yes!

Commissions for Geoff:

OK, so I make that 95 28mm figures I've painted for Geoff, plus a dozen figures for John and two Battlefront Afrika Korps units for Terry. I think that is a pretty good output for half a year, but it does mean I need to be a bit more realistic about how many personal projects I expect to complete this year. 

Nate's mark for 2015 - F (or Not Achieved in the NCEA school system)

2015 - the new improved version

Plan 1 - to complete the forces for Eagle Rampant.

The end.

Well, not quite. I'm planning to put together a Star Wars variant of the Lord of the Rings rules and PLAY SOME GAMES before the end of the year!
These holidays I'm aiming to get all of my WWI figures based up (I paint them on their bases), glue together the last box of WotR infantry and finish the latest batch of figures for Geoff.
I want to get some more 28mm Perry Samurai for the Lord of the Rings variant that Geoff sent me.
I want to get some Outpost games Aztecs and Conquistadors for another LotR variant.
Geoff has got me an excellent start on some forces for Lord of the Rings, and I'll be keeping my eyes open for bargains to expand this.
The Sudan project will go on the back-burner while I concentrate on buying forces and terrain for the above.
I want to get into the 15mm WWI project when the Gallic Wars are finished. This will probably be the aim for 2016. One project a year is probably the most realistic expectation for so long as I look at painting other people's figures, but I am enjoying the variation in the commissions and a lot of this stuff wouldn't be happening if it wasn't for commission money. I've also reached a point where all of the projects in my cabinets are passion projects. The wars and eras that I've loved since childhood and always wanted to game. I doubt I'll be selling anything from these collections from now on.