Friends, Romans, Countrymen…

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28mm miniatures by Aventine. Shield transfers are LBMS. 

Well, now I’ve gone and done it. An entirely new period, and my first foray into 28mm mass battles.

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These enormous Impetus bases are pretty cool. After seeing the prices for Impetus base from Litko, I did some frantic searching for an inexpensive alternative. I used 3mm PVC foam board, which is the material they make signs out of. IT’S FANTASTIC STUFF. Closed cell foam, dimensionally stable, relatively easy to cut, can be chamfered, sanded, and responds well to superglue and (slightly less well) to PVA. And paint sticks to it. I should be able to base and entire Impetus army for about $8 worth of material.

I’m planning on doing a couple of Impetus armies – Republican Romans vs. the forces of Pyrrhus of Epirus, and here are the first of them.

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These guys are Principes, who were back-up for the front line Hastati, and who were themselves backed up by the third line of Triarri (which I probably just misspelled). It’s early days, but I’m learning!

Oh, and I might have accidentally bought a 15mm starter army for DBA. In a slightly different period – Marian Romans. More on that later…

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Aventine figures have a nice level of clean detail that’s very easy to paint. And the castings are clean as a whistle. They carry LBMS transfers and wire spears in their shop, which is very convenient. My figures shipped out the next day, and arrived from Ireland in about 10 days. Better service than I’ve gotten from a number of US companies!

 

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I desperately need a Don Quixote figure…

I’ve been scratch building a Spanish windmill for 28mm skirmish gaming in the Peninsular War. Today I put together the wheel assembly, which was a major milestone. Now I need to figure out the nacelle, the roof peak, basing, and hopefully not completely ruin the entire model when I paint it.

The main body of the windmill is blue foam, cut at a slight taper using a Proxxion hot wire cutter, and crudely rendered with spackle. The blades, hub, doors, and window frames are all of various sorts of basswood. The roof is of plastic card, and was laboriously assembled with superglue, a paper form, and a prayer. That roof was a bear to figure out; I had to do MATH, y’all!

I figure this building will survive roughly 0.75 actual games before the blades are destroyed by hamfisted gamers (meaning myself, most likely).

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Windmill! And the blades spin, too. Unfortunately I can’t post video to WordPress. There’s still a ton of work to do to this thing, but I’m glad the blades didn’t end up all cattywhampus. Don’t worry, I’m going to sand on the plaster render a bit, before painting.

I’m also posting the current state of my British and allied force, so that this post contains more than just a single picture of a half finished windmill.

A few boys (lads?) from the 52nd, a gun (9 pounder, maybe?) with RHA crew, and their friends from the 3rd Caçadores. I have some incredibly cool guerrillas on the painting deck.

 

Tumbling Tumbleweeds…

Hello anyone still following this decrepit dusty old blog!

I’ve been super busy with all sorts of non-wargaming things for the bulk of this year, but recently I’ve been studying for architecture exams, which involves me listening/watching online lectures and taking notes whenever the talking head behind the videos says something interesting.

There are hundreds of hours of these videos, but the positive side of that (other than me becoming a licensed architect) is that painting miniatures is the perfect accompanying activity to consuming the lectures. I have lots of time for painting.

I’m going to be concentrating on finishing up a couple of projects that I started long ago, namely 28mm Napoleonic skirmish forces, and some 15mm WWII. I will try to blog, occasionally, but I’m also giving Twitter a shot. If it proves to be more convenient/engaging, this blog may go (even more!) dormant. If you’re on Twitter, and think you might be interested, I can be found at @arkiegamer.

Here are a couple of shaky, badly lit smartphone camera photos, just to re-break the ice on this hoary collection of bits. Nothing but quality for my dear readers!

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M8 Greyhound. I somehow managed to lose the AA MG off the back during the two years this thing rattled around in a random plastic bin. I think I’m going to try to keep my vehicle painting for this project fairly clean, with no weathering. This scout car was simply block painted in base colors, decaled, sealed with Future Floor Wax, and then I applied a filter and wash of oil paints. The oils add complexity, shading,  and a certain luster to the base colors. I like the look of it, anyway.

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M8 Greyhound as seen from a descending artillery shell. This is a Battlefront model. 

 

Recent Work…

I’ve been finishing up the primed figures that I have laying around the hobby room. I have a few more to go, but this seemed like a sufficient amount of painting for a blog post. Plus, I desperately need to get these guys dullcoted for use in games, and wanted to photograph them naked (so to speak).

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Otherworld Miniatures – Pig Faced Orcs. These are wonderful sculpts to paint…just the right amount of detail. Except for the eyes. I think I’m going to have to learn to paint eyes (gulp!), otherwise they look like they’re squinting in photos. Orc Tribe: Squintface Skullsplitter.

I located the boxed set of Pig Faced Orcs from Otherwold on the Paizo website, of all places, and ordered it as a Christmas present to myself. These figures are great! I debated giving them rusty weapons, and such, but in the end decided to keep it clean. There are another 21 figures in the box set, and I’m planning to give them a variety of skin colors. I don’t think I’ll use the blue-grey you see on the center orcs again, though…it looks ok in photos, but is rather murky in real life. I’m really tempted to order the Otherworld box set of female adventurers…they’re sensibly dressed and fitted out in adventuring gear, which is important if for no other reason than we have a couple of female players in our gaming group.

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Reaper wolves and dire wolves. I think the dire wolves turned out ok, but I’m pretty sure no real-world wolf ever sported such horrible looking fur. I have fur fatigue, though, and they are unlikely to be repainted.

These worgs/dire wolves were fun to paint. The normal wolves, not so much. I need to put some real effort into figuring out how to paint fur…it’s a ubiquitous material in fantasy figures (especially monsters), and even makes an appearance in Napoleonics from time to time.

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A Tom Meier sculpt for the De Terlizzi Masterworks line from Dark Sword. Great sculpt (of course), and the casting was near flawless, requiring all of about 30 seconds of cleanup. I really love this figure, though I’m a bit nervous about transporting it around to games.

These Meier figures are great, and the casts from Dark Sword are nearl-immaculate. I only wish there were more of them available for purchase. I didn’t intentionally paint this figure up like some sort of armored pit crew for Team Lotus, but I do quite like the colors.

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A few random figures that I’ve had around forever. I’m certain the spear-armed lady on the right is a Reaper figure. I suspect the skeleton is also Reaper. The priest might be an old 25mm Grenadier figure, but its provenance is lost to me in the murky depths of time.

Verdigris is tough. It’s a lot of fun painting up 20 (and maybe older than that in the case of the priest) year old figures. I have the old Grenadier boxed set of halflings on my shelf, and maybe I’ll get around to painting them, someday.

I have a few more figures to paint up from my stash of primered models, and then I’ll be moving on to a terrain project. I had intended to do an elaborate gaming board, but I think I’m pivoting (trendy word, right?!) to cheap cardboard modular dungeon tiles, simply because I know they’ll get used many times.

There are some rear views of these figures in the gallery below. Enjoy.

 

 

Hello, 2017

Hello all. It’s been a good while since the last post!

It’s been my tradition to do an end-of-the-year recap of my hobby activities, as well as some sort of projection/prognostication about what will happen in the coming year. Well, I’m going to keep it short and sweet:

2016 was a mediocre-to-bad hobby year. 1st world problems, right? !

2017 will be better. I’m not forecasting much activity on the historical miniatures front this year. I haven’t heard from my regular opponent in quite some time, so the Lasalle project is on hold for now. Who knows, he may pop back up, and things might take off again.

The one hobbyriffic bright spot from 2016 is that I’ve been playing quite a bit of good old D&D with a couple of groups of friends. For now, I’m going to concentrate my efforts in that area. Tangentially included in said efforts will be some sort of elaborate 36″x36″ terrain board for Song of Blades and Heroes. I plan to start that project very soon!

So, that’s the plan. I hope the new year finds you all well. I’ll close this out with photos of recent work, all in 28mm…

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Mr. Rocklobber and Goblin Companions. These are all Red Box Minis. The troll/ogre fellow is a resin casting. Rocklobber is my first large(ish) monster figure, and was a blast to paint. I’m going to try and do more things of that sort in the future. Notice the long braided scalp on the front goblin’s spear? Yikes! I think he’s supposed to be the mastermind of this bunch. Pot of sky blue paint shown for scale.

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The entire Goblin warband. The guys with spears in the back were painted a looooong time ago. It’s nice to have finally finished up the collection.

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The heroes. Some are new to the blog, some are not.  I’ll break these down into logical groups, and get some closeup shots. The vast majority of these minis are Red Box, sculpted (and sold) by Tre Manor.

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The elves. The middle figure is a de Terlizzi masterwork mini, sculpted by Tom Meier. The other two are Red Box. I think these have all made an appearance on my site before, but here they are again!

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The wee folk, plus Gus the mule. The humanoids are all Red Box minis. The pack mule is a Warlord figure from their ancient Romans line. They use Pilum in fantasy settings, right?! And no, I’m not insinuating the shorties are jackasses by association. I need more halflings in my collection.

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A couple of human casters. Both are Red Box. The fellow on the left is new, and might function as a druid, or some sort of hedge wizard. The fellow on the right has been seen on this page before. He’s seen quite a bit of use, and is looking a little worse for the wear. His robes were inspired by Jimmy Page’s Zoso outfit.

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Various humans from Red Box minis. I think these three have all been seen on the blog before. The fellow on the left is Ivan Brown-cup, my 5th level Cleric of Chauntea. Man, that’s nerdy!

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A couple more humans from Red Box. The fellow on the left is new to the site.

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Every now and then I get a wild hair, and paint a fantasy figure, or two. There’s no sort of project attached to these figures, though they do occasionally make it onto a table for roleplaying games. Here are a couple of my recent efforts.

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I painted this Dragonborn wizard for a friend. It’s a reaper figure. I have to say it was a real pain in the ass to clean up…all of those spiky bits and undercuts meant lots of flash, and I’m not sure I managed to get it all. On the other hand, the level of detail makes for a really striking figure in the end! Can I officially say that I REALLY hate slot bases? There I said it. Hate them. I wish they weren’t so prevalent in fantasy figures.

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Balasar the Dragonborn and Ivan Browncup venture forth into the dread Plane of Blue Posterboard. (Ivan is a Red Box Miniatures figure)

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This is a “DeTerilizzi Masterworks” miniature, sculpted by the completely masterful Tom Meier. Meier absolutely captures the feel of the DeTerlizzi sketches these figures are based upon. This particular figure came in 3 parts, and was an absolute breeze to put together. Fantastic casting, too…cleanup took all of five minutes. A real treat! I think it may be time for me to learn how to paint non-metallic metals. Also, her face needs some more attention!

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By request…

 

A Place to Call Home

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Apples and ale

Not too much progress on the hobby front over the past couple of weeks, but I did make up this deployment point vignette for Sharp Practice II. It’s carved out of polyiso rigid insulation, which is something of a new material for me to work with. This was a practice piece. I think my texture work needs some…work, and the paint job got away from me a bit. I wanted it to look like a weathered ruin, but it’s kind of a muddy mess.

I thought about adding some stacked muskets to the vignette for extra ambience, but left them out for the moment, leaving the piece is period-neutral.

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Rubble filled stone wall.

The only figure I’ve painted since the last post is the colonel of the 1/52nd that you see in the pictures. It’s a Perry figure. He’s quite dashing, with his pelisse thrown carelessly over his shoulder, and bright orange mutton chops. I’ll call him Opie.

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You’ll never fit through that door, Opie.

 

Cacadores the 1st

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1st Cacadores in line. No skirmishers.

With unparalleled swiftness (unparalleled by myself, anyway), I’ve completed another battalion for the Lasalle project. Ladies and gents, the 1st Cacadores. This is a four base unit (24 figures) with a couple of skirmish bases. Much like the 3rd Cacadores, they are very brown. And black. With a dash of light blue.

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The 1st, with skirmishers out.

This battalion of Portuguese lights completes the core brigade of my Lasalle division. Well, sort of. I’m supposed to have two more battalions when on the offense, and support brigades can be added to flesh the division out.

My additional on-the-attack battalions will be red-coated regulars, if for no other reason than it will put more flags on the table. I may do a brigade of light dragoons for my first support force, but I’m also tempted to do a brigade of Portuguese regulars in their sweet barrentina headwear. Decisions, decisions.

In any case, here’s the infantry portion of the core brigade. The artillery is beyond the hills, still advancing into position.

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From left to right…52nd Oxfordshire, 43rd Monmouthshire, 3rd Caçadores, 95th Rifles, 1st Caçadores.

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Now with Photoshopped sky!

Tabletop Workshop

A NICE RESOURCE

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Don’t bother clicking this image. I don’t have WordPress premium, so can’t embed video.

 

I think I might have found the best terrain building tutorial channel on YouTube. Unfortunately (for me), all the narration is in German, which means I need to pay close attention to the visuals. That said, the tutorials are very easy to follow even for a non-understander.

Here’s the link to Tabletop Workshop YouTube Channel. You’re more than welcome (nay, encouraged!!) to pass on your favorite terrain tutorial video links in the comments.

‘Goons

Dra-goons, that is. This week’s work involved the painting of a handful of 28mm Dragoons for my Sharp Practice project.

Another five dismounted dragoons await the tender ministrations of my paint brush, and then I will have to order the mounted versions. Though it will hurt my wallet, particularly with the aforementioned mounted figures, I think I’m going to stay with metal miniatures for this entire project.

These figures are from Brigade Games’ Napoleonic line.In my opinion, (obviously, since I wrote it), Brigade’s figures are every bit the equal of Perry (which I also love). To forestall any confusion, I’m speaking of Brigade Games in the USA-I don’t think they have any affiliation with the UK company of the same name.

Until next time…