Carthaginian War Elephants

Through some not-so-subtly-dropped hints I got a few superb presents for my birthday. One of these was a copy of the WAB supplement Hannibal and the Punic Wars which she managed to find cheaply on Ebay, and, well, what’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hannibal?

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These are the new plastic elephants from Victrix ltd. A great product – besides obviously being plastic and thus a treat to assemble, it comes with plenty of options for Ptolemaic, Roman, Numidian and, of course, Carthaginian versions. For me, that’s great – I used the linothorax-armoured riders with Carthaginian heads, but I can also use the Roman bodies in chainmail as veterans or Latin deserters, and the Numidians as allied infantry. Great!

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I used the Little Big Men Studios decals as they are simply lovely – I can freehand, but not to anywhere near the level I’d need for this kind of patterning! A word on this to those readers who are interested in doing the same: It’s much, much easier to apply the decals before you affix the tower to the elephants. I had to cut down the decals on the ‘saddle cloth’ and had a lot of trouble getting the smaller ones to stick where they had to.

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Other than that, painting was straighforward. The crew were painted identically to my other Carthaginians (more news on those soon, I hope), but the elephants were, naturally, rather a different matter. I drybrushed a dark grey and then a middle grey over a black undercoat. This looked crap, so I went in with the middle grey again but applied it as a layer highlighted, in angled streaks so as to get the right skin texture. The edge of the ears received a small layered highlight of medium skin tone applied directly over the grey, before everything was washed agrax earthshade.

Overall I had a great time painting them, even though it took nearly a month of on-and-off work! Right before they were done I already played a WAB battle with them, and they were quite effective. WAB is the reason why I decided to base them on 50x50mm bases; for those games which specify a unit breadth of 12cm I’ll prepare a bare 20x50mm base to put in between the two models.

There! Hope you like these as much as I do. I’ll have more Carthaginians ready in a bit, so there might be more Ancients on the blog very soon.

Ceterum censeo Duvel esse bibendam!

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HYW French Foot Knights

I have had a few weeks of comparatively few results to show – which is strange, as it’s usually the case that I paint a lot but don’t manage to get the results up on the blog! The reality is that I have been working on several batches of models at once, and didn’t finish them up in due course. However, one batch is done and ready to show.

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Although I had decided not to add any new projects to the lineup for 2018… here we go, promise broken in the first quarter. These models were given to me by my top chum Eddy who is really too kind. They came in a mixed bag – literally – of assorted foot knights, and for this unit I decided to pick out all of those with double handed weapons and some command models. There are shield-armed knights in there, too, but I’m looking at converting those to hold two-handed weapons, too – more suited to late HYW battles, when the shield had largely become obsolete with white armour having become the norm.

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I based the heraldry of these models upon the actual knights who were present at Azincourt, although I didn’t get into who was where in that battle – so some models in this unit of foot knights might have rather fought on horseback during that particular battle. No matter!

After a basecoat of AP plate metal spray I used brown and blue washes, then lightly drybrushed a bright metal upon it to get the sheen back up, I then went in to get all the jupons blocked in, shaded, highlighted, added the designs, and so on. I think they came out well, but my next unit will be some plain crossbowmen with a white cross upon an otherwise simple aketon. Thank God the peasant wives couldn’t embroider anything better!

Hope you like these, but stay tuned… Something slightly bigger is coming to the blog this very weekend!

 

Empire Elector Count on Griffon

With having moved house, my parents have been demanding I clear out my old bedroom and… It’s going a little slow! I already cleared out some boxes, binned a few unsalvageable abominations fromthe beginnings of my hobby years, and put aside some old models to be sold second-hand. I did,however, find a gem I’d completely forgotten about: an old Empire Elector Count on Griffon. I really like the sculpt – classic Trish Morrison griffon plus classic Perry rider, from the year of our lord 2000,
so I really wanted to give it another go. However, the model had become detached from its base, the rider was in a completely different box and had lost its shield… And, to top it off, I remembered I had once converted it into a High Elf prince on griffon, and there was a pair of plastic Silver Helm legs still clinging to the saddle. Snippety snip! I placed the model on a 50x50mm square base, gave the rider a new shield from the Empire Knightly Orders box (a kit which is soon to be 18 years old, too!) and
started on my quest to give the model a more decent paintjob.

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For the griffon I decided to go with a very basic colour scheme; the lion part was basecoated zandri dust, washes with agrax earthshade, then highlighted first with zandri dust and then ushabti bone. The hawk parts were a bit more involved; I started off from a dryad bark basecoat, then drybrushed the brownish parts xv-88, the white parts rakarth flesh and then white, and the black parts grey. Finally, I applied agrax earthshade to the brown feathers, and a black wash from Vallejo to the tips of the wings to turn them black. Job’s a good ‘un, in my book.

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I had less of a blank slate to work off with the rider, seeing as how the 15-year- old me had painted him to the best of his abilities – such as they were in 2001! The face is practically unchanged, apart from a purple wash I applied to counteract the apparent jaundice – back then I painted skin with bronzed flesh, applied a flesh wash and highlighted with bleached bone, which is incredibly yellow! I applied a final highlight of kislev flesh which came out okay. Otherwise, everything was fairly standard. I washed the armour – which had been drybrushed with some old metallic – with drakenhof nightshade, added some gold detailing with retributor armour (a
great paint, gold with great coverage!) which was washed with druchii violet, and then highlighted everything with stormhost silver. Some guilliman blue was finally applied to the sword to give it a magical glow.

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So there you go, one model salvaged. I based the model identically to those of my landsknechts – the idea is that, if I ever touch Warhammer again, I can use my landsknechts as state troops. When pigs fly!

Vespero’s Vendetta

Quick update as I’m working on a few extensive articles plus a big commission. I painted these guys in November but didn’t get round to taking pictures of them until today.

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I received these three from top chum Eddy who dug them up during his moving house. Now I’ve always loved GW models from around the turn of the millennium – in many ways I think their metal models were at their best back then. It’s also a nostalgia trip for me!

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I especially loved painting the cloaks on these models. Top sculpting there. In general I find them really dynamic for twodimensional sculpts.

As I have no intention to start a Dogs of War/Regiments of Renown army I decided to base these the same as all my Frostgrave stuff. They’ll hopefully see some action in Felstad soon!

Until next time, when I’ll have a big article or two ready for you!

The Big End of Year Update

It’s been a very quiet year on the blog – buying a house tends to impinge on spare time! Over the past months I’ve painted not just models but walls, too. And I hate painting white even more than I used to…
Still, I haven’t forgotten about this little blog of mine, and I intend to catch up a little on the major projects which I started and/or finished in the course of 2017 as well as offer some thoughts about the direction I’ll be taking in 2018. I’ll handle my work by era rather than specific project as it’s a bit easier to keep focus.

Ancients – Greeks

Years ago I purchased rather too many plastic Greeks from Victrix and, after painting up a sample unit, I left the project by the wayside for a long while. However, I’ve finally continued work on them this year, and have painted up a second unit of armoured hoplites as well as a foot commander. Funny anecdote: I painted the unit up whilst on holiday in Sicily, and on one occasion I had all 24 models standing on top of my box of paints when I went back into the hotel. I proceeded to stumble over my own flip flops, twisted my body so as not to fall on top of the models, hit the stairs with my side, and in doing so catapulted the entire unit across the hotel patio. No one but my girlfriend witnessed this…

In the next year I’d like to continue on with the project and perhaps finish it. I still have a good chunk of models to do, so the jury’s out on this one.

Ancients – Carthaginians

This project is currently on hold, pending further purchases to finish the project. The Greeks mentioned above could technically count as mercenaries for this force, but I’d also like to add some more Libyans and veterans to the army. Not to mention elephants! Other than that, the force can currently be used as two or three divisions in Hail Caesar, or around 1500 points for Warhammer Ancient Battles, which certainly is playable. I’ve played several battles of the latter ruleset with them earlier in the year, and it’s certainly a fun force – decent infantry, excellent foot and horse skirmishers, and plenty of options for mercenaries from across the Med.

The aforementioned elephants, which were just released by Victrix in plastic, will certainly go onto my wishlist for collecting in 2018. This is a project which I can foresee adding to for years to come, but I’d rather keep the backlog manageable.

Dark Ages – Salian Franks

This is a smaller project which I started at the very beginning of the year, with the aim of collecting a small force for use in Saga or as allies with my Late Romans. I have painted enough elites, which have already featured on the blog, but I still need some unarmoured warrior types which I somehow forgot to purchase at Crisis this year, and maybe some cavalry.

So for 2018 I’d like to get those last few blisters I need from Foundry and then I’m calling the project done.

Dark Ages – Irish

I was overjoyed to get a starter warband of Footsore Miniatures Irish for my birthday this year – actually that birthday qualified as one of the best I’ve ever had. Being admitted into the Belgian Army Museum free of charge by casually mentioning my birthday, along with copious amounts of lasagna and red wine and the company of the best girlfriend in the world.
Anyway, I made quick work of painting this warband but haven’t gotten round to showing them off because I’d prefer finishing the warband first.

I’ve purchased more models for them at Crisis, including some warhounds and Brian Boru, and I’ll commence work on these shortly. I’m considering expanding these further and further into a small force for WAB, but I’ll do this piecemeal because the quality of painting on these chaps is rather above what I’m used to doing – you’ll see soon enough!

Dark Ages – Late Romans

This force has been pretty much finished for a while, although as I built them in smallish units for Sword & Spear and Hail Caesar I might have to reimagine the unit counts for WAB and maybe get some extra rank ‘n’ file models to fill them out. I received some extra command models from my chum Flor which I painted up a month or two back, otherwise there’s simply no models left for me to paint currently for this project!

I don’t think I’ll expand these any further in 2018, although I might like to add some priest models to the force, and maybe some more of those delicious Footsore character models. We’ll see.

Middle Ages – Hospitallers

Another army I’ve neglected for the longest time received some much-needed love this year. I’ve painted 18 knights, some mounted sergeants and around 20 foot, as well as some lovely characters from Gripping Beast which were recently put up on the blog.

In 2018 I’m looking at painting up the rest of my mounted sergeants and then I just might call the project finished! However, I was gifted a large bag of assorted early Hundred Years War models a while back, and some of these just might be pushed into service.

Pike and Shotte – Landsknechts

This is another project I’m taking things slow with. So far I’ve painted around 30 landsknechts from Foundry’s excellent range as well as a small pack of ex-Pro Gloria models. In order to give these my fullest attention I paint them in small batches. Landsknechts tickle both my ‘colour scheme creativity’ with their riotous uniforms, as well as my nostalgia – Empire State Troops were some of my first models after all.

In 2018 I’d first of all like to paint up the final blister I have lying around for the project, which is of some Renaissance knights. Intimidating models – oodles of detail! After that I might continue to pick up a few select blisters, maybe work my way up to a small force for The Pikeman’s Lament.

Pike and Shotte – Dutch

These will be one of my main projects for 2018, as nothing was painted for them in 2017, nor in 2016… Shame! A few months back I chanced upon a great deal for the For King & Country starter box as well as some Swedish cavalry from Warlord Games, and although I have so far only read the included rulebook, the Dutch are definitely beckoning once more. I’d like to get a force of these together for The Pikeman’s Lament first off, and then get the rest done. More purchases will be needed, especially for commanders and artillery, but for the moment I’m rather flush with plastics, and not with cash…

Black Powder – Napoleonic French

It was a fairly quiet year for this project, but a very interesting one! Apart from another battalion of line infantry I spent a hell of a lot of time preparing a little diorama for an HQ. Many generals, ADCs, bodyguards, a mameluke and a white horse… I still have a few models left to paint, plus I’d like to create a custom diorama tray into which the individual models fit. Once done I’ll be proud to show it to you all.

So for 2018 I’ll finish off the last few models, source or build a diorama tray, maybe get a few extra models whilst at it? Because Perry’s range of vignettes is extensive… In other news, I did make the rather massive purchase of the La Haye Sainte box from Warlord (it was half off at a certain trader at Crisis!) and painting all of that up will take a fair while, too!

Black Powder – Second Empire French

This is a 6mm project with a bunch of models which I took over from my friend Kurt in exchange for painting services. They’re mainly meant for Risorgimento purposes, although they’ll serve (with less happy results if history is followed) for the Franco-Prussian War. In 2016 and 2017 I have painted most of the infantry – around 15 bases – along with some cavalry and commanders.
For 2018 I’d like to finish my backlog, which consists of 4 extra cavalry squadrons and some artillery. I’ll then put this project on the backburner until such time as my opponents finish up their Austro-Hungarians and Prussians!

Black Powder – Congo

Another project which has never been featured on the blog is my models for Congo, the game by Studio Tomahawk. In 2017 I painted Forest Tribe warband plus some extra fellows, as well as the encounter box which featured a lion, some crocodiles and such. Great fun to paint! So much fun, in fact, that I also purchased a box of White Men expeditionaries, the new campaign book, and another box of encounter models at Crisis. The White Men were finished just today!

So in 2018, the encounter models will be handled, and then I’m calling the project done.

World War Two – Fallschirmjäger

Sadly my Jerries received no love in 2017, so that needs rectifying next year! I still have a few plastic models unbuilt, as well as two StuGs and a Hanomag which I received from my top chum Jonas. The trouble is, I don’t like painting vehicles…

 

World War Two – 14th Army

I’m super proud of the work I achieved on this project in just a month’s time. I painted around 70 infantry and an armoured car at a decent level, going from zero to 1500 points in just weeks! I had a box of plastic Perry Desert Rats and a couple of blisters lying around for years on end, and finally decided to do something with them. My best wargaming bud Flor has some Japanese coming up, so I’m looking forward to getting my lads skewered upon bamboo spears in the new year!

My force is currently centred around the fall of Singapore, which means predominantly infantry with little back-up. However, in 2018 I’ll be looking to expand to mid-and late war options; some armoured support is underway in the form of a Lee, and perhaps a truck or a jeep would be fun. Plenty of options, but again, I don’t like painting vehicles…

World War Two – Tommies

Quite different from my own Brits is a fairly sizeable British army which I painted for my friend Yves. Around 60 infantry as well as a few artillery pieces, armoured cars and tanks were painted, largely to the same level as my own British Paras – so this was quite the chore at times!

I just heard Yves has yet more tanks on the way as he’d like to play the army with the Battlegroup ruleset as well, so I guess I have my work cut out for me.

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Frostgrave continues to be a good reason for me to dig out some old Warhammer models and get all nostalgic, although I couldn’t resist some extra purchases – Shadespire being the chief culprit. I did also paint a few more Adeptus Mechanicus units but, as the sole 7th edition 40k game I had with them was frustratingly unsatisfying, I might sell these off. Who knows.

In 2018 I’ll continue on with painting those models that interest me. No set goals – I still have dozens left in boxes. One important exception is Dreadball 2.0. My kickstarter should be underway and, with the many, many models included in it, is sure to occupy me for a long time. Really looking forward to that one.

Scenery

With the acquisition of a gaming table, that table needs filling! I have done woefully little work on scenery over the last year, with the exception of the aforementioned La Haye Sainte set which has been all but completed.

In 2018 the main focus will lie upon making jungle terrain for my 14th army and my Congo models to fight over. I’ve already purchased different kinds of aquarium plants and the like, now all I need is some baseplates and a hot glue gun. I’d like to collect some typically Far Eastern houses and watchtowers and the like, but funds likely won’t permit it yet.

I also have a couple of different MDF buildings lying around in various states of assembly and painting – these I’d like to also finish next year.

Synopsis

2017 was an active year – 764 models were painted to be exact! In general, I think I’ve changed in my painting habits in recents times. Whereas previously I found myself needing to skip between projects from batch to batch, meaning I painted half a Napoleonic battalion, then a squad of WW2 models, then some Vikings, then back to Napoleonics etc., I seem to be more thorough about continuing and finishing projects than I used to be. My 14th army force for Burma is a great example – I painted nothing else but Brits for a few weeks on end. I’ll try and keep this momentum going next year as well.

An important decision was also made: I sold off my Viking warband, which were among the first historical models I ever painted. I was no longer happy with the difference in basing and painting quality between the core warband and the rest of the models I painted afterwards – and I’d rather go with metal Vikings in the future. With having sold off most of my tabletop-standard Vikings a year or two ago, I’m currently rather Viking-less… A poor predicament for one of my tastes!

So for 2018 I wish all you readers an excellent year full of satisfying accomplishments, both within and without the hobby. Now I’m off to another attempt to jog off my holiday paunch…

Hospitaller Characters

It’s the end of 2017, and another project has come to a close – huzzah! These hospitallers were actually among the first of my historical projects, being started up all the way back in – I think – 2012 with a box of plastic knights from Fireforge. I grew disenchanted with the models after having painted up just half the box’ contents, and the cavalry wing of the army has been neglected far too long, until this year. The rest of the cavalry will have to bide its time until it can appear on the blog, though, as the matter at hand is rather more interesting!

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First up, we have the supreme commanders of the army – the grandmaster and a priestly fellow! Notice how I have tried to make them stand out a bit by using the idiosyncrasies of the figures – which are actually from Gripping Beast’s Teutonic range – such as the hair, the mitre, and so on. Colourwise I have added yellow to the palette, as white and yellow are papal colours. Stoving in Saracen skulls, approved by every pope since 1098!

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Next up, these are two battle standard bearing types, predominantly to be used in WAB. As you can see I have used some leftover plastic bits from Fireforge kits to add some flair to these Gripping Beast models.

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Finally, here are four other seneschal models. Most of these are from the Gripping Beast crusader command set, with one other stray Teuton (the one with the fur, of course!) added in. These have also all been modified to carry leftover weapons from Fireforge kits, as there is certainly a scale and style difference between the two manufacturers.

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As well as painting dragging on for years on this project, rolling dice in anger with them is long overdue! So, to that end, my friend Flor is coming over with his Teutonic Order soon and we’ll duke it out using the WAB rules to see whether black with white accessories or white with black accessories is best. Groovy, baby!

Shadespire Orcs

Well, here’s more Shadespire stuff! I finished these a while back, but have now had the time to photograph them. It’s a very bleak day out here in Belgium, so the colours appear very washed out. Regardless, I wanted to get another blog post out there, so we’ll make do!

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As ever, I wanted to do something a little different with the paintjob of my warband – especially as GW’s official yellow armour scheme doesn’t sit well with me – so here they are. More metallics, dark green lacquered plates, red cloth and spots of rust to contrast all of it, and of course copious amounts of blood effect.

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These plastics, although unipose and push-fits, are very well thought out, so kudos to GW’s design team. I did end up sticking them together, though. I did consider swapping out their bases for squares so as to use them in WHFB or somesuch, but as the feet are moulded onto the bases themselves this was not an option. Oh well.

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Still no game of Shadespire under the belt, though! It doesn’t seem quite to have taken off in my area as it has in many other places. Regardless, I’ve had a lot of fun painting these and the other models. I’m still on the fence about picking up the other expansions due early 2018 – that’ll depend on the models and the rules.

At any rate, I hope you liked these, and I’ll be sure to add to the blog soon enough. Expect a massive update soonish…