Category: World War One

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:


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.

Product Review: 1914 German and Belgian Line Infantry by Van Dyck Models & Figurines

Thank you, Games Workshop!

I know that this is a very strange way to embark on another blog post of mine, but bear with me and I’ll explain why. Thank you, Games Workshop, because without your products to enter into the bring & buy section of our local convention, I would never have wandered among the traders in a protracted attempt not to be bored, and I would never have had the pleasure of running into the friendly guys from Van Dyck Models & Figurines. The who to the what now, you say? Read on, or if you don’t trust me, visit their website:

They have some lovely Romans for sale, but today I’ll be covering their Great War models. These are pewter 12mm scale models; a bit of a novel format as far as I’m aware. My reasons for purchasing them is that there is a WWI supplement for Bolt Action in the pipeline, and rather than going with 28mm models again I thought I’d mix things up. With sculpts like these, it’s hard to say no. So let’s take a look.

Lovely models by Van Dyck. Not to be confused with the Baroque painter of the same name.

Lovely models by Van Dyck. Not to be confused with the Baroque painter of the same name.

These line infantry are packaged per thirty models, with two sergeants and a variety of poses (I counted about seven or eight different ones). An extra sergeant sculpt wouldn’t go amiss, as currently both the Belgian and German NCOs are waving their troops forward – a nice pose, to be sure. The infantrymen themselves have a range of poses, running, advancing, servicing their rifles, etc. and these are fantastic. The proportions are superb, with none of the oversized heads and hands as can be found on similar small scale models.


Same sergeant, different uniform? This is the only gripe I have with these excellent models.

Same sergeant, different uniform? This is the only gripe I have with these excellent models.

As well as the models themselves being great, they’ve also thought about basing. The models have separate integral bases – part of the reason why I chose them for Bolt Action – which rather handily slot into the resin-bases-cum-magnetised-sheets system which are separately available. The tops of these bases are pretextured – I slapped on two coats of brown wash over a white undercoat and some static grass and called it a day.


The French, of course, rarely saw the backs of these uniforms ;)

The French, of course, rarely saw the backs of these uniforms 😉

Both these units were painted over a white undercoat. For the Germans I applied a single wash of drakenhof nightshade with a bit of nuln oil and then blocked in the rest of the colours. You’ll appreciate the deep detail on these models, which really surprised me for the scale. Perfection, as far as I’m concerned.


And just when you think I've painted enough blue...

And just when you think I’ve painted enough blue…

Similarly, with these models I worked with washes, but I first applied a lothern blue basecoat to their greatcoats before washing the models with drakenhof nightshade entirely and then nuln oil on just the greatcoats. On both units, I painted the skin with cadian fleshtone, washed it with reikland fleshshade and then highlighted with kislev flesh. Highlights on this scale are madness, so I just hit the nose, cheeks and parts of the hands as best as I could. Also, though I’d really like to, I won’t be able to paint their moustaches. Straightjackets simply aren’t fashionable this spring!

Overall, I can but give the guys at Van Dyck the praise they deserve. Much like Baccus in 6mm, the scale of 12mm wargaming models should be synonymous with ‘Van Dyck’. I just hope their releases follow apace – at the time of the convention they were finishing up their Great War officers, with – and this will surprise you – separate pistols, holsters, binoculars and the like to personalise them… in 12mm.

I won’t be attaching a quotation as reviewing is something I rarely do. Nevertheless, I heartily recommend you give one of their efforts a try, as they’re democratically priced and a joy to paint. You’ll thank me later!