Category: Pike & Shotte era

My hobby turns 18 – congrats, I guess!

 

Since I last posted, I have more or less gone back to where it all started, with fantasy wargaming. Together with the rest of my club I have been mostly playing A Song of Ice and Fire: The Miniatures Game since it came out, but I have also been collecting several Warhammer armies for Oldhammer, or more exactly, Middlehammer purposes.

Here, then, is my brand new Empire army. First, though, a little history lesson.

I was just a fifteen-year-old boy when I started the hobby. Back in the summer of ’69, pardon, ’01 I was walking around in Brussels with my wallet stuffed with Belgian Francs after passing my third year of high school, when I chanced upon a Games Workshop store with the usual displays of excellently painted models in the window. I thought to myself: “Hey, you can do that too!” and left with the 6th edition starter set and a paint set. From then on, every Saturday I’d take the bus to Brussels, spend my allowance on a blister or two, and be home for supper ogling my new acquisition at the table.

Empire was my first army, and let’s just say I learned a lot by doing things wrong – very wrong. Things like:

  • Thinking that I could wash every colour with black ink, because black is the absence of light, innit? No, it isn’t.
  • Trying to glue a metal Warrior Priest to a plastic base using plastic cement.
  • Using blood red on the back of shields.
  • Painting the inside of a model’s mouth blood red – because it really is!!!
  • Putting a broken pot of plastic cement in a spare GW paint pot, which began to melt, turning into a sort of Nurgle paint pot (and a health hazard, too)
  • Attempting to melt a blocked superglue nozzle by holding it over a flame. A bit of molten plastic fell onto my right index finger, producing a T-shaped scar which I carry to this day.
  • Unsafe cutting, clipping, ruining clothes, licking brushes, and so on, and so forth.

This time around however, I used my eighteen years of experience to produce somewhat better results.

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You already saw my Empire Elector Count on Griffon in a previous blog post, so here are the other characters. From left to right, we have a Captain, a Battle Wizard, the Battle  Standard Bearer, a Warrior Priest and another Captain. Apart from the Wizard these are all Warlord Games models.

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Pikes! Pretty much all Warlord Games models, some with heads from old Empire models for variety, and a few Foundry models such as the one all the way on the right. I’ll be using these as plain Spearmen when playing vanilla Empire, or I could play a Marienburger Empire army using the back-of-the-book list from the 6th edition armybook and use them as Dogs of War Pikemen. I have two 30-strong blocks of them at this point, the other one is just more of the same.

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Halberdiers. I only got 12 halberd-armed Warlord Games halberdiers in my set, so I had to be creative to get a 20-strong unit. The musician and standard bearer add two models, the unit champion is actually Georg Von Frundsberg (what a demotion!), the model all the way on the right is the sleeping guardsman model from Warlord, and there is a unit filler on a 40x40mm base in there. Sorted! I do have 12 more Halberdiers on the way – Warlord was friendly enough to send me another batch of bits – and I can always try to convert some more with old GW bits.

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Handgunners, of course. This unit is almost completely Foundry with just two Warlord models, and I have another comprised entirely of the latter. As you can see here I went for some rather simple colour combinations – the tendency with landsknechts is to paint every little sash and puff and slash and hose and feather a different colour and then stripe it with yet another, but in order not to go mad I went for simple halved or quartered designs of contrasting but not clashing colours. Here and there I did add some stripes, but only sparingly. I think the models still look Landsknechty when ranked up into units.

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I wanted my Greatswords to look more armoured than the other guys, so I used the three arnoured bodies fron the Warlord kit, I also wanted a little bit more uniformity in these guys, so I gave almost all of them plumes on their helmets or hats and painted those a simple white and red.

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I also wanted me some Flagellants, but as the old metal models are hard to come by for a decent price, I went with the different vignette models from Warlord Games and rolled them into one chaotic 20-strong unit. If I do ever find an actual Flagellant unit these will instead serve as Free Company Fighters.

 

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These Knights from Foundry have been lying around in my drawer for years, but have now finally received a coat of paint (and therewith a coat d’arms, ha!). I have just the six models, so in order to buff their size I decided to use a vignette to fill it up for the time being. I’ll get more Knights from Foundry at a later date.  Although I had the greatest fun painting these models up, the riders kept detaching from their horses all the time, due to an imperfect join.

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The last argument of Elector Counts, eh? These Great Cannon are great models from Foundry. Still on the lookout for a Mortar though, and I should have an 18-year-old Helblaster somewhere…

So, what’s in store for this army? Well, as I’m writing this I have just played my first 2000-point battle with it against my friend Jonas’s Skaven. Despite having the worst of luck with the dice I managed a draw, but there was much fun to be had in returning to 6th edition Warhammer.

Another friend is gearing up to start a late medieval Swiss army, meaning I will be able to use my models as landsknechts and play games of Warhammer Ancient Battles and Hail Caesar with them.

At any rate, I have further additions in store for this army. Those extra Halberdiers are nearly done, and then I have some Archers, a 24-strong block of Swordsmen, some Crossbowmen, perhaps more Handgunners… I also have a Steam Tank lying around somewhere!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 18 years of painting, it’s that the painting never stops…

 

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Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

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:

855

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.

A Scotsman on a Horse!

 

My father-in-law being a huge Monty Python fan (and I am, too) I thought this would be a nice little Christmas present for him:

Originally Lord Levin, by Warlord Games.

Originally Lord Leven, by Warlord Games.

This is the first time I’ve had to paint tartans and I have had to experiment with them. I’ve mostly followed the clothing John Cleese wears in the sketch, although the actual outfit of the model is somewhat different.

Another look at the two different tartans.

Another look at the two different tartans.

In absence of decent natural lighting conditions I’ve had to take recourse to a few desk lamps set up in different angles. Not so very pretty, unfortunately.

Up next: an official price list for my commission painting services for 2015. Spam!

2014: The Great Wrap-up – and Christmas Presents for 2015!

Just as I did last year, this post bookends the painting and modeling activities I pursued in 2014. It’s been a year full of a change for me: I was fired from one job and hired by a much better company straight away, I’ve picked up sports again, and I’ve taken on way too many commissions leaving little time for my own lead and plastic pile to be reduced! At any rate, let’s take a look at the various projects I have completed or are still running:

  • French Napoleonics:
    • 2014: I’ve picked up a bit of the slack and have doubled my infantry battalion count from 2,5 to 5 over the past year, which the army sorely needed! Some more guns were added, but sadly the cavalry was completely neglected.
    • 2015: I’d like to add a sixth battalion to the army as soon as possible, and then it’s on to the cavalry – chiefly cuirassiers, but I’ve also picked up horse artillery and a Chasseurs-à-Cheval unit at Crisis. My mother and my girlfriend also conspired to give me Napoleon’s Berlin carriage and Baron Larrey and his ambulance for Christmas. Both are fantastic models and I can’t wait to get started on them.
  • Vikings:
    • 2014: Not too many were painted this year, especially after the summer. Chief among my exploits were the jomsviking mercenaries, and that Jarl Rognvald fellow who was completed just in the nick of time.
    • 2015: They’ll probably continue to be on the backburner in 2015. I purchased a couple of the new Shieldwall vikings which will be handled in between other projects.
  • Flemish Crusaders:
    • 2014: I put a fairly heavy focus on these guys this year, didn’t I? I’d consider the army mostly done at this point, with about sixty spearmen, 24 bowmen, 12 crossbowmen and 12 cavalry. It certainly is playable in Sword&Spear, Saga etc.
    • 2015: I’d like to add some more pilgrims and/or clergymen to the army, and maybe some more cavalry as well. It likely won’t be happening soon, though!
  • Dacians & Sarmatians:
    • 2014: I completed most of the army this year, but then I decided to go ahead and buy more at Crisis. Idiot!
    • 2015: These new purchases should be dealt with soon enough – a unit of light cavalry, a warlord on horse and a small (literally) unit of Foundry cataphracts. My girlfriend also gave me a pack of Druids for Christmas, which is superb as I was lacking in the command model department.
  • World War Two:
    • 2014: Both my Fallschirmjäger and British Airborne had their basic forces completed early in the year – it’s a shame I didn’t get more Bolt Action games in, but the game is gaining ground. I really love painting up those camouflages, so more’s on the way!
    • 2015: I’ve purchased additional models for both armies, and I can’t wait to go to town on them! The krauts are getting a Hanomag with a PaK 36 my mother bought me for Christmas (she’s nice like that). The Airborne are getting a bit more love, with two jeeps, a 17-pdr AT gun, a plastic Sherman and… a Welbike-mounted section!
  • Pike&Shotte Dutch:
    • 2014: I’ve been rather unkind to this army, and I’ve only managed to paint up a firelock storming party. Shame!
    • 2015: While I don’t have a lot of unpainted Dutch on the plastic pile I’d really like to paint them up – just two companies of shotte to do. But I do have plenty of blue to paint already, which brings me to…
  • ACW Union:
    • 2014: Speed-painting 40 Zouaves in four days was ridiculous; I’ve also painted up half a unit of cavalry and half a regular infantry regiment. Not quite playable yet, but we’re getting there!
    • 2015: What I’d like to do ASAP is to paint the two other halves of said regiments. I’ve got plenty of infantry left after that, and I’ve also picked up a box of plastic Perry artillery which I can’t wait to open up. Still, interest in the conflict has died down a bit in my club, so I’ll take things slow.
  • Medieval Arabs:
    • 2014: Nothing at all!
    • 2015: I’ve still got eight cavalry lying around… Maybe it’s time to give them some love?
  • Jugula:
    • 2014: Eight gladiators done, which is the bare minimum to play with.
    • 2015: I hear rumours of other people in the club expressing an interest in the game, so I’ll paint up the models I have left for variety and see where it goes. I’m not ruling out additional purchases for this game, as it’s very cheap.
  • Late Romans:
    • 2014: Just a colour scheme test, nothing more! Although it still amounts to a single completed unit.
    • 2015: I’ll be focusing heavily on this army in the new year – almost all of it is second-hand so it’s been an ideal way to get a new project started up. I’ve managed to find a striking colour scheme without having to invest oodles of time into layering, so you’ll see some results quickly!
  • Greeks:
    • 2014: Just the one armoured hoplite regiment done – which I haven’t even shown you due to it still needing to be based.
    • 2015: I really need to get going on this army, but I’m considering selling them off as I just don’t have the time for them. But who knows? Maybe I’ll suddenly be inspired to continue working on them.
  • 6mm Catalans for WSS:
    • 2014: one regiment of foot and one regiment of horse done, and I really like the scale for how different your approach to painting has to be.
    • 2015: I’ve acquired a batch of infantry, horse and artillery and I’ll be painting these up in between other stuff. The scale isn’t very popular in our club, apart from one guy who has a massive 6mm WSS army already… Small engagements first!
  • Hospitallers:
    • 2014: Just sixteen foot knights were painted up this year.
    • 2015: I still have half a box of Fireforge knights and a full box of mounted sergeants lying about… as well as more foot sergeants, more foot knights… But with all the crusader craze I’ll get to them eventually!
  • Commissions:
    • 2014: many, many crusaders for Kurt, some WSS for Alex, and some Prussians for Henk. All in all I think I’ve painted over 200 models for other people, which is a bit on the high side.
    • 2015: More Prussians – I’ll be doing quite a bit more infantry. Also Kurt has provided me with a small bag of Hashashin for use in Saga, and I’ll be doing these up soonish. Should be fun with all the robes! I know I said exactly the same last year, but I’ll try and keep 2015 light on new commissions – there’s just so much of my own stuff to be done!
  • Western:
    • 2014: Just two guys done.
    • 2015: Finding a decent ruleset for cowboy skirmishes is a top priority for the new year, preferably as cheap and as simple as possible. I’m open for suggestions!
  • Warhammer (40k)
    • 2014: Hahahahaha…
    • 2015: …hahahahahaha

 

Now, one final item, and it’s really simple:

816

That’s the number of models I’ve painted in 2014. Slightly higher than my goal of 600, so what I’m going to do is I’ll start counting for 2015 from 216 on, and set a goal for 600 models again. Before you cry havoc – I’ll be moving house sometime next year which will impinge drastically on my painting time, so I’ll be hard pressed to get to 600!

That’s it for the wrap-up, folks. I’ll be posting a few small updates before new year, but the coming days will be busy with work, a surprise weekend trip to Waterloo (courtesy of my fantastic in-laws) and luxurious, decadent, gluttonous feasting. Let me wish you readers all the best for 2015, and I’ll try to keep the blog as entertaining as possible. Arrividerci!

Firelock Storming Party

For the first time in years I got some models for Christmas from my parents – they rarely if ever buy me models because they believe I’m already well-supplied by now. I think not! Anyway, most of these new miniatures were Fallschirmjägers who have all been painted up by now, but the Firelock Storming Party box by Warlord Games was thrown onto the plastic pile. Until now!

Plastic models with metal command sections by Warlord Games.

Plastic models with metal command sections by Warlord Games.

These are really simple plastics – a tiny sprue with the body, two hats, and two types of arms holding a firelock. As you can see I added some different headwear from the other plastics plus a few metal Swedish morions. Other than that these guys are straight from the sprues.

 

You can see the unipose models in all their monotonous glory in this picture.

You can see the unipose models in all their monotonous glory in this picture.

I opted to use another colour spray can, guilliman (or girly-man if you play Ultramarines) blue in this case. I then differentiated the models with various blue tones, by highlighting the blue with caledor sky, teclis blue, thunderhawk blue, celestra grey and white, before slapping on a drakenhof nightshade wash. Afterwards some more highlights and the usual leather , metallics and woodwork. Simple as that.

Not the whole box was used to build this unit, as I still have six firelocks left. These will probably be mixed in with my musketeers when I continue work on them. Other than that, I’ll let the project go for a short bit as I have plenty of other projects to complete!

More Dutch Cavalry

Phew, these guys took me a long time to get started on. Way back last year I talked about feeling less inclined to paint a model when it consists of multiple separate parts that need gluing on later, and while the subject was entirely different this time (read: not an Ork trukk) I still felt the same ennui. That said, they’re finally done, well, apart from their bases. Let’s take a look.

Plastics by Warlord Games.

Plastics by Warlord Games.

I put some more variety into this second batch with regards to the colours of their coats and such, but still adhered to the same palette so as not to estrange them from their fellows in the first rank of the unit. Other than that, painting them was identical to the first batch, apart from the fact that I was wise enough to glue their helms on after having painted their faces. And that’s where things went wrong: I really don’t like painting incomplete models.

 

The bases obviously still need a lot of lovin'.

The bases obviously still need a lot of lovin’.

Still, that’s them done. The rest of these Dutchmen are another project I’d like to hedge in this year; I’ve still two companies of shotte, a firelock unit and some casualty markers to do before putting this on hold, until the time arrives for me to take the plunge and buy the For King & Country starter set for Pike & Shotte. Maybe next year, who knows!

Dutch Pike Company

Hello and welcome back to the blog for another update! I trust you’ve all recovered from the Monster Update feature. It was a huge success for the blog – I broke my views-per-day record with a mighty 154 views, which is really good for a non-advertised blog of this sort. I guess you have to be a young girl talking about fashion to get to the 5.000 view per day I hear people talk about from time to time. As my sole interest in fashion consists of the clothing and armour of my miniatures, such follies are beyond me!

This rant aside: it’s time for another batch of models: the pikemen of my first (and currently only) Dutch battalion. These were actually completed a few weeks ago, but kind of fell off the grid for a while. But here they are.

A mix of plastic and metal models by Warlord Games.

A mix of plastic and metal models by Warlord Games.

These were actually assembled and undercoated quite a long time ago, but unfortunately I had a case of bad undercoat spray conditions. As a result, I had to strip the metal models in the command group, and some of the plastic ones were left with a bit of a gritty surface effect.

The kit allows for some posability, but not as much as I would've liked.

The kit allows for some posability, but not as much as I would’ve liked.

So I let these models lie around untouched for a while before I finally gathered my courage and put paint to them. I rushed some of the stages of the models as I found out I quickly tired of them; especially the lack of detail on the plastic parts affected by the undercoat spray were very difficult to get right. Still, I tried to incorporate some variety in the models which you can see in the second picture: those trousers!

Pointy death.

Pointy death.

I’m really glad to be done with this pike block, and the second shooting company might rear their (painted) heads before the year is out. Of course, there’s also the second batch of cavalry that needs to be done for this army. When these are done I’ll probably put the project on hold; depending on commission work I might be acquiring a further box or two of plastics, but I’d rather focus on my bigger projects in 2014.

Apart from that: more ashigaru inbound, as well as some British Airborne. I’m especially proud of the latter. Check back soon!