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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
It would seem all I’m painting lately are dark age-themed models, but that really isn’t the case. It’s just that I really like painting them and then showing them off. The two models below are for my friend Alex’ warband so I’ll be passing them on in a few days, and as I really like these Footsore Miniatures sculpts I thought I’d show them here first.
Both were completed over the course of a day, I can’t really time them. I started out with a drybrush of all the metallics, then blocked in all the colours, washed them with the appropriate GW washes, then highlighted everything at least once.
As you can see these models carry enough fur to make those PETA nutjobs cringe, which is precisely why I lavished extra attention on them! You can’t really see in the pictures as they’re a bit overexposed, but I managed to create a lovely gradient towards the edges of the furs, all the while keeping the textured effect intact.
Dark Age models lend themselves particularly well to some freehand patterning, so I opted for some simple lines and dags on these two fellows. I think they’d be a bit too plain looking otherwise.
That’s it for now! As far as Footsore Miniatures are concerned: in my experience they’re the best Dark Age models currently available. I’ve recently painted a small Irish warband of theirs (just awaiting a flag for the standard bearer) which was equally well-sculpted and cleanly cast. Their ranges are still showing large gap but they seem to be filling these at a fair pace. Do give them a try if you haven’t already!
More Franks were painted over the course of the last few weeks, but as you’ll see they’re nothing like the previous lot. These are Carolingian Franks from Gripping Beast, and they’re a commission from my friend Alex.
First up, the Warlord. He’s the more colourful of the lot, and I gave him a white horse to stand out that much more.
Two points of mounted Hearthguard. These were also done rather colourfully. I had a good time mixing and matching colours on different garments to make each model unique.
A point of mounted Warriors. For these lower-ranked guys I opted for simple, neutral colours on their garments but then made the shields stand out.
Finally, two points of foot Warriors. As with their mounted comrades I used neutral tones on the garments, and as you can see from their bases I used four different undercoat sprays which would form the base of the models’ tunics. That certainly sped up the painting process!
I’ve just completed painting the last of these models this morning and I’ll be handing them over tomorrow evening. I’m glad to be shot of them, as that means I can focus on my own lead pile again!
Who knows, I might even manage to finish a project this year! Incredible! These Late Romans have been on my plate for a little over a year now and I’m actually close to completing them. They’re a relatively small force, but I think they’re among the better-looking of my projects, what with those shields. It’s a double update today, with some artillery which I finished in late January on the one hand, and the companion cavalry on the other. Let’s take a look.
First off, these two scorpiones. I could have based these a little bit smaller, but as I’ll mostly be playing Sword & Spear with them they do have the mandatory 12cm frontage. I wish Gripping Beast did more than one set of poses for the crew, as it looks a bit strange this way, but otherwise they’re just fine.
Next up is this ballista. They came with a third crew member, but as the model in question is a fairly imperious looking chap I decided early last year to press him into service as one of my commanders. Still, even with just these two lads to man the thing I think it looks fine.
Finally we have these companions, which were an absolute breeze to paint up really. I started off from an AP fur brown undercoat spray which was mostly useful on the horses. The rest of the models were handled in the usual fashion, with the one exception being their golden shield rims and their purple helmet plumes, just to get the imperial theme across.
I originally didn’t plan on taking any cavalry beyond the mandatory clibinarii and some assorted horse archers, but when my gaming compatriot Eddy Maes decided to pass his bag of unused Late Roman lead around I couldn’t resist a good rummage! Once again Eddy, my sincere thanks for selling these on to me for a great price.
The one thing I’m lacking for the project in terms of models are dracones. I’ve prepared some long spears (stupidly long in this case) in the hands of the standard bearers to receive these later, but it’s holding back the completion of many a unit. Hopefully I’ll be able to track some down at Salute this year, which will be my first foray into that great convention!
Hope you liked this update, and until next time!
A quick update to show you some progress – I haven’t had much time to photograph models lately!
These Gripping Beast sculpts are always a joy to paint, with their deep detail and chunky faces. Their shields are also a big canvas on which paint some of those lovely shield designs which I shamelessly stole from Little Big Men – if you don’t feel like freehanding these, order from them as I hear they’re great.
On to some cavalry now! Either some companions or some horse archers, I’m not too sure yet. First off though, some more 6mm WSS. Stay tuned!
End of year means yours truly takes stock to consider the past year of brushwork and how to continue doing what one does best – painting some models! I’ll cover each of my projects one by one and ramble a bit. No pictures of models in this one, so if you’re the kind of fellow who looks at shinies without reading the context – check back later! Here goes.
- Napoleonic French: I’ve added a squadron of Chasseurs and one of Cuirassiers, two line battalions and a couple of vignette models over the course of the year. It’s my first historical project, and it’s still going strong. Next year I’d like to get at least two further line battalions ready for duty, paint up more cavalry as well as horse artillery. There’s also Napoleon’s Berlin Carriage…
- Vikings: My second project, and one that could almost be considered finished, were it not for the fact that I continue to collect and paint Northmen for the sheer joy of it. I’ve actually sold off a portion of my Viking army this year – mainly duplicates and plastics – and I might continue to do so, just to keep the collection fresh. In 2016 I have no immediate plans to purchase or paint new Vikings.
- Flemings/Crusaders: I’m fairly satisfied with my collection, so much of the past year was spent filling in some gaps; priests and pilgrims, a bishop, etc. What I did paint a lot of were Maltese crosses, with a decent number of sergeants and foot knights being added to the army. In 2016 I’d like to get some more cavalry done for the army, but it’s fairly low priority.
- WW2: My Fallschirmjaegers and Red Devils both received a decent amount of attention this year, with a couple of big cats for the former and a big gun for the latter. More bodies, especially officers, for both sides as well. I have plenty of models on the lead pile to carry over to 2016 and I will certainly be adding further to both projects!
- Late Romans/Arthurians: I’m deliberately keeping this army fairly small – I’ve painted up most of the infantry this year, and I just need to finish basing one last unarmoured unit to be done. Cavalry wise I have a unit of companions and of horse archers to be handled, and then a small selection of artillery. I’d like to handle all of these in 2016 and finally finish a project for once!
- Dacians and Sarmatians: These were sidelined in 2015, with just one falx unit being completed. I purchased some cavalry at Crisis last year but still haven’t gotten round to them, and I also received some Foundry foot archers from a gaming compatriot which have yet to be handled. In 2016 I’ll try and finish them, but interest is currently low.
- TYW Dutchmen: Well, shit. Nothing whatsoever was painted for this project in 2015. Better get going again or it’s Ebay time!
- 6mm WSS Catalans: No loving for them in 2015, but just before writing these words I dug them out of the lead pile to recommence work on these imps, so how’s that for progress? I have just one foot and one horse regiment done, and my projected force will count four of the former and eight of the latter, plus artillery and commanders. At the moment I have everything but the commanders in my possession, so whils I’d like to finish the project this year I’ll have to figure out how to get a hold of more Baccus stuff. I don’t think I saw them at Crisis ’15…
- ACW: Painted a couple of ACW units in 2014, but lost interest in 2015 completely – I guess all those Prussian uniforms put me off Union blue! Perhaps I’ll pick up the trail again in 2016, as I did see good progress on the Black Powder supplement for the ACW. Who knows?
- Fantasy & Sci-fi: As you might have noticed on the blog recently, Frostgrave has grabbed me firmly and won’t be letting go in 2016! I’ve dug out many old Warhammer models and made some additional non-GW purchases to complement them, and I’ll continue doing so in the foreseeable future. On the 40k side of things, 2015 saw – shock and horror – a new project in the form of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but this has fallen by the wayside a bit. I just find assembling these newer models so bloody tedious, as even the infantry models don’t go together without having to look at an assembly leaflet and match numbered parts. Still, I’d like to pick up where I left off in 2016.
- 12mm Great War models: These were a fairly cheap purchase at Warcon ’15 of which I have painted just a third of the models. They’re great sculpts, certainly, but the scale is difficult – neither my tried techniques for 28mm nor those for 6mm work well. I’ll probably get these finished in 2016, maybe buy officers for both sides, then shelve them.
- Scenery: I built a couple of items in 2015 but didn’t finish them off and, as a result, didn’t show them on the blog. I’d like to collect and build even more, but with the small apartment we’ve moved to I don’t really have the room to store an expansive collection. Choices, choices… So my pledge for 2016 will be to finish and preserve what I currently have.
- Commissions: 2015 was a busy year with a lot of Prussians (I reckon around 200 of them?) and some Arabs thrown in for good measure. As always, I’m stating now that 2016 will of necessity be a year of fewer commissions and more personal work; we’ll see how long I’ll keep that up!
So that’s the main overview of my futile attempt at coherently outlining my painting work in 2016. As ever, stuff gets dumped due to waning interest or laziness, new purchases are made because I am a wargaming magpie who likes shinies, and whole projects get shelved for a year or more because I have the attention span of a toddler in a liquor cabinet. Nothing is set in stone!
Still, despite moving house and breaking my elbow, my year of miniature painting was successful. The figure below will tell you just how successful:
That’s how many figures I painted, with each cavalry model and vehicle counting as a single model, and artillery pieces having the gun and each free-standing crewman count as a single model as well; and this across all scales. I was going for 600, so that’s not too shabby, eh? For next year I’m upping my goal to 700, but as I did last year I’m counting in the 255 surplus models from 2015. I’m devious like that.
It’s been a multifarious outpouring this year on the blog, hasn’t it? A couple of new historical projects were added, sci-fi and fantasy were revisited after a long break, and despite moving house and breaking my elbow I somehow managed to paint up a good number of models. One project was curiously absent, though – Vikings! After painting rank upon rank of Napoleonics, I recently felt the urge to paint up some more Northmen, and so here we are. These are both the first Vikings of 2015 and the last painted models I’ll be posting this year, so I hope you’ll enjoy them.
In spite of having enough Vikings already I couldn’t resist picking up these models at Crisis ’14. The fat warlord especially is a new favourite of mine.
I decided to base and paint these as per my original Saga warband, which I started working on around three years ago. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion! Since then I’ve painted many Vikings but I’ve mostly used much easier techniques – I hope you’ll notice I put some extra man hours into painting these up.
I’ve always been dissatisfied with my original berserker models, which were nothing more than overly-armoured plastic hirdmen with dane axes. Thus I have chosen to replace these with the models above. I have a difficult time picking my favourite out of these four, but I think the one named Gorm does it for me – that stripped-down tunic, the rags of which have been expertly sculpted around his waist, is a fantastic feature.
It’s a bit tricky not to overdo, but I felt compelled to add some blood effects to their weapons, as they are, after all, completely bonkers. All the more to set them apart on the tabletop, although that won’t do them any good in Saga at all!
That’s it for today! It’s Christmas, so I thought, why not grace you with a blog post full of pagans, eh? I have one more update for you this year, which is my big look-back-at-2015-and-look-forward-to-2016 list. Stay tuned for hints of what is to come, and Merry Christmas or Happy Yuletide – whatever floats your longboat!