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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!

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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…

Sepulchral Guard & Hi, atus!

First update in a long, long time… What’s changed?

Well, first things first: The missus and I bought a house! We moved in a few months back and are finally getting somewhere with furnishing and decorating the place. The house will be 100 years old in a few years. and was renovated by the company that sold it to us, which meant most of the hard work had already been done, but still… Moving house simply isn’t fun!

However, I finally have a dedicated hobby room. I’ll be showing it off in a future post I think, but the obvious comforts I can tell you of is that I now have a lot more room for storage, and a modest gaming table that doesn’t need to be dismantled at the end of each wargames gathering (which, having moved somewhat closer to most of my gaming compatriots, won’t be as few and far between as before).

On the subject of my hobby work: I have continued to paint a good amount of models, too much to mention in this post. I”ll do a round-up post at the end of the year with some thoughts and ponderings so you can catch up.

Now, on to some models!

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Like many people I have fallen into  Games Workshop’s latest man-trap, namely Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire. The models are awesome, the price is attractive, and the game is said to be fun – I haven’t gotten round to playing yet. These undead sculpts I have freshly painted are simply superb, as you can see.

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Over the last few years I have collected and painted a number of undead models, mostly to use in Frostgrave (hence the tombstone-turned-treasure marker). However, I have begun using a unified palette for all of them so that they can be used together for skirmish games such as Dragon Rampant and the like.  For this reason I have also opted to use regular 20x20mm bases – you never know when that WHFB nostalgia swings around again!

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You’ll notice the distinct green hue to all the colours. I started from a bone-coloured undercoat spray, and after block painting all the colours I washed the models all over with Coelia Greenshade, and the silver parts with a second wash of Drakenhof Nightshade. After that I started highlighting the colours back up again. In this manner I ended up with a very cold-looking colour scheme. I’m especially satisfied with how the bone came out – it’s recognisable as such, but nowhere near the standard type you see on most models of the type.

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The one thing I’m not 100% sure about is the fur on two of these models. I might go back over it with a select drybrush to try and turn it a little more grey. Not sure yet.

Well, in closing, I hope this post will still find some readers! I haven’t looked at this blog’s page hits or subscribers in a long, long time, so who knows… It was as lively as a graveyard in here. And on that stupidly apt remark, I shall take my leave. Tah!

 

Hengist and Horsa

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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

Franks of a Different Stripe

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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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. cofcof

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!