Saturday, 28 May 2016

Not done yet....

With 28mm that is.

The last time I posted, I mentioned my proposed move away from 28mm on mainly cost, space and time grounds, but I still have so many 28mm figures in the lead and plastic mountain and I have no intention of disposing of them. I just have no intention of adding too many more...(maybe...)

I have promised myself some games of "Muskets & Tomahawks" since the rules first came out and have failed dismally to get anything done! There has always been something else in the way and, in truth, there still is, but I do have a sort of plan to get this completed to basic game level by the end of this year.

I have enough figures for something rather bigger than a basic game, in truth, but I am trying to keep things realistic! Looking at what I do have, for example, I reckon I could cover a force of French regulars, French irregulars, British regulars and Indians and have enough Indians spare to add a cadre of allies to the two European forces. Apart from specific terrain, the only thing I do not seem to have acquired over the past few years is some rangers.

So, here we are, in the flesh (quite literally!), are the first few figures for the French & Indian Wars, in the form of a half dozen Woodland Indians.

Purists will no doubt claim (undoubtedly with some accuracy and authority) that I have mixed different tribes together based on the figures' hair styles or equipment or something, and this would usually bother me as I can be anal about such accuracies (don't get me started on the use of a 1930's steam locomotive in a Sherlock Holmes story on television, for example!!!), but this does not concern me in this case. I am either:

a) getting too old to care;
b) becoming uncommonly lax in my attitude to life and in dire need of beating myself with something vaguely whip-like, or;
c) realising that it does not really matter...

The figures are AW Miniatures I picked up last October at the Derby Show. I have another fifty-plus Indians to add to their numbers, including a Sachem or two, but I think some civilians and Coureurs de Bois are probably up next, some time, whenever...

These figures took an age to do, in that it took me 64 days just to paint them. It has taken another 30 or so to get around to finishing them. I put some serious thought into flesh tones especially, but also buckskin colour, having never painted anything of this ilk before. The sad thing is I did not write down the methods and colours I ultimately settled on, so it will be another 64 days' worth of experimentation when I get around to painting some more! I am happy with the finished result though.


The half dozen in their entirety.

Some shooty goodness.

Something a bit more traditional.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Two months' labour (of love)

The absence of a major project for next year's show circuit has certainly not seen me switching off the paintbrush or evicting the muse, but has seen me doing something slightly different.

For the past several years, I have painted almost nothing except 28mm figures, anything from Dark Ages (SAGA) to late 17th Century (my stalled "1690" stuff), with mostly Medievals in between, and mostly with next year's show game firmly in mind. The few other things have included Mad Mullah Chapman's Turbaned Terrors (20mm Afghan insurgents) and some 15mm 2nd SS Panzer Division.

That was until now.

I bought two 10mm fantasy armies from Pendraken at the Derby Show last October, largely on that whim that grips me whenever I go to a show or see something new (magpie, me???), and in the esteemed hope that I would indeed see this one through. Well, I have seen this one through (almost...), by not only painting all the original figures I bought for my chosen Goblins and High Elves, but most of the extras I bought in April to fill things out a bit! I am averaging at least a couple of units painted a week, which is light-speed in my book!!! I approached the project with a little trepidation though, as I was simply unsure how I would paint figures so much smaller than the norm. Would I enjoy it? Would I be trapped in trying to do everything my 28mm way? Would I like or want the end result?

I am not one of those wargamers who are fantasy-averse, nor one who only ever buys metal figures, plays Napoleonics exclusively or only collects 15mm offerings, etc. I thought I had become a confirmed 28mm man, though, given my recent buying and painting history of the past five years or so, but life is getting in the way...

I'll explain.

1) 28mm figures are not cheap and I like lots of figures in the main rather than skirmishes, though will happily play those too.
2) 28mm figures take up a lot of time to paint, a lot of space to store and a lot of tabletop to have in the average British dwelling.
3) My eclectic tastes would see me firstly bankrupt, secondly divorced and thirdly deceased long before I ever got around to doing all the stuff I would want to do.

In light of all this, 28mm is a nice to have, though I am still committed to getting some French Wars of Religion figures done for 2019 (400th anniversary of Moncontour, Jarnac, etc) and to eventually finishing my "1690" project. I seriously doubt my Ancient Indians will ever be matched by some Macedonians/ Successors (though I have the figures), whether my Celts will ever see the light of day (though I have the figures), whether my Pacific WW2 forces will ever be done (though I...yeah, you guessed).
The way forwards for me has to lie in smaller scales in the main, however, simply for cost and storage issues if nothing else.

I expect future, big projects to be in smaller scales than 28mm.

Still, I do have an on-going quandary with these small figures, especially when multi-based, though it will be a no-brainer to those more versed in their completion. That quandary is around texturing their bases. I usually use textured paint rather than sand and glue, but either way, I need to work out my technique for completing these bases. Then I can play some games and decide if I like the rules! This basing quandary is a "biggie" for me, as I like basing marginally more than I like varnishing, and that and preparation are my absolutely least favourite things to do with a wargames figure.

And there's still the 7 Years' War in India, 1859/ 66, Eastern Front, Great Northern War...

Here are some samples to date.


"One rules set to rule them all, One rules set to find them, One rules set to bring them all and in the darkness bind them..."

Some trolls. I like trolls. As anyone who has ever fought my old, 28mm Orc army, you can have lots of fun with trolls. Well, your opponent can, when they wander off in a daze, not knowing why they are where they are or what they should be doing, whilst the rest of your Orc army is ground into the dust or shot down by silly Elves with uber-accurate bows...

Mirkwood's finest. I actually plan to get some of these for Lord of The Rings and similar 28mm fantasy games. They are about 30mm across which would be 6 feet in GW-scale! That's a Giant Spider in my book, if not exactly the fully-fledged Shelob!

The Goblin command group. They are all shaded and highlighted, just like my 28mm's, and still easy to do despite the small size. I like the aesthetic, so I will persist!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Bling/ Booty/ Swag/ Loot/ Lucre/ Goodies

The absence of an "official project" has not stopped my purchasing, much to the consternation of my wife and the joy of my bank manager.

We at the "Wyrley Retinue" believe we have much of what we need for next year's planned show game, so I am in the rare position of being able to paint what I like. I am not actually sure I want to be in that position, however, as there is nothing like a looming deadline to focus the mind!

Nevertheless, I am progressing at some pace with some things, which I will post on in due course. In the meantime, here are a few samples of my current thinking aka my recent purchases.

Let's see which ones see the light of day and the odd post or two first...


The WMMS Show goodies. The usual "Wargamers' Annual" (I buy every one as I love the idea and the delivery), some archers to boost my SAGA forces, a copy of "Black Ops for some modernist COIN OPS fun, some French Wars of Religion cavalry and. most notably, some 10mm ACW from Pendraken, that I want to use for Regimental Fire & Fury games eventually. That is my preferred route into ACW I have decided.

The trouble with taking your daughter to a wargames show is that they "want something". The good news is that she wanted a SAGA Saxon/ Anglo-Danish force. Job done. Now she just has to build and paint them...I can it hear now. "DAAAAAAD!!! I NEED YOUR HELP!"

A true historical love. Ever since I did my A Level history course on 17th Century Europe and discovered the Swedish Empire, I have had a love for the period and the main protagonists. This two volume, single print run spread from Caliver Books was well worth the asking price. Now, 10mm or 28mm?

And a little light reading. I was not intending to get into ACW using Black Powder", but this offering, as expected, has so much more. Well worth it on first perusal.