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 turns out I had a blister of Artizan Design Vikings lying around from the Marie-Louises De Flandre convention last year, so I decided to open the pack up and paint them as a break from my current projects.
The models needed a lot of cleaning up, unfortunately, and it’s something I noticed on their Arab sculpts as well. Nothing my x-acto blade couldn’t handle, though.
Painting was pretty much the usual, although I did use VGC silver instead of Citadel runefang steel. I still don’t like the Vallejo metallics too much, so I’ve mixed the two brands into one pot – let’s hope I don’t get crucified by purists!
So that’s more vikings done – I really should do a head count of the entire army, maybe get another wide shot of the entire thing. Maybe soon? They’re not really an army I’m able to focus on right now – and my Late Romans currently give me my Dark Age fix – but vikings are always a delight for me to paint. Bright colours, functional sculpts, luxurious beards… they have it all. So these are certainly not the last Northmen you’ll see from me. Up next: effeminate types from Blaland. Also known as Arabs.
I thought that, since my Viking army is already fairly extensive, I’d best find an alternate place for half a box of plastic Dark Age Warriors. With my Late Romans being in the spotlight, I thought I’d add some barbarians to their ranks.
I built most of the models stock from the box, but I opted to use some Old Glory models’ shields which have no leather covers. They simply look more low-tech, especially when compared to those of their overlords’ scuta.
I chose to use a Late Roman to lead the unit. The way I see him, he’s an old veteran, having to lean onto his spear, and perhaps he wears a face plate so as not to show his age to his oft-unruly men.
Apart from the leader, I painted these models from a mournfang brown basecoat with drybrushes of several brown, ochres and beiges – I really didn’t want them to look uniform. Still, I did add a touch of green and white here and there to tie them in a bit. On the other hand, the shields have the same colours of those of their overlords, but applied in a variety of simple patterns or with no pattern at all.
And that’s that, now I’m really laying off the Late Romans for a while. Up next: Dreadball!
I’m not a pagan at all, but then again I’m a Viking enthousiast as you readers will have surmised over the course of the blog. So whatever your religious persuasion: I hope you enjoy the end of the year and here’s to a great new year!
More stuff coming next week – I’ve eating and drinking to do now, folks. Enjoy your evening and check back soon!
Just a quick post before I have to go and visit the in-laws’ relatives with my girlfriend, but here’s a fellow I painted last night and today. His name’s Thorbjorn Two-Bears, and he’s a massive model! I don’t know what make he is, as I was given the model by my wargaming compatriot Eddy – thanks again!
I had a lot of fun working on this guy – many different textures to tackle.
I particularly like how the ginger hair came out – it’s a jokaero orange basecoat with stark dorn yellow highlights, which was then washed with reikland fleshshade and seraphim sepia.
So there you go, another warlord done for my ever-growing Viking army. Skoll!
As promised, here is the second blog update for today. A short while back I showed off the first eight Jomsviking mercenaries for my Viking army, and I’m happy to report that the rest are done, including their battle leader. They’ve even had a first outing in a game of Hail Caesar last Tuesday, and they more or less wiped the floor with most of their opposition. Good stuff!
Whilst painting these units was a blast, assembling them was rather the opposite. I don’t know why Musketeer/Gripping Beast still insists on having modelers drill out the models’ hands to get the weapons in. It’s 2014 and plenty of companies either cast their hands open or on the weapons – I’m not saying GB doesn’t do this on some of their models , but I’d really like it if they would do all of their future models that way as well. Despite this, these Jomsvikings are fantastic sculpts, so it’s a minor gripe.
I only managed to snatch up twelve Baltic-looking armoured vikings at Crisis 2013, so to top up the unit to sixteen (a standard unit in our Dark Age games of Hail Caesar) I’ve dragged in some loose models from my lead pile. I made good use of the rectangular shields I had lying around from last year’s Jomsviking commission to tie in these ‘ordinary’ vikings with their ‘official’ brethren. The one on the right in the picture above still needs a flag or totem on his spear, though – I just haven’t come across the right bit yet.
I’ve painted this guy before for my friend Kurt’s Jomsviking warband, and I definitely wanted to get him for my own collection. I really, really like this sculpt, you see.
So there’s the entire deal – a standard-sized Viking Mercenary unit for Hail Caesar including their own commander, or a Warlord and four points of Hearthguards for Saga purposes. Yet another part of my large Viking collection – if I’m not mistaken I’ve 217 painted models – is thus completed. Now it’s on to more Northumbrian subjects!
When yours truly needs a break from doing his other stuff, Viking paintjobs happen. I decided to get some metal models done, which were tucked away in plastic bags here and there, and this allowed me to impose some order on my collection.
First up were a batch of twelve Old Glory models. I’ve already painted each of these sculpts, many times in some cases, and these are some of the last guys in the bag.
Nothing special about these paintjobs, they’re the standard colourful stuff.
Much the same was done for these fyrd. They’re half of a unit for the Northumbrian division in my army, and they’re actually Anglo-Saxon levies from the Anglo-Saxon starter warband for Saga which I got last year. Some of these models are fighting barefoot, but I painted them as having shoes – no hippies in my army!
Other than a quick shield swap, these guys were very straightforward as most of my Vikings are done. I’ve done a quick headcount, and I’m currently sitting at 208 Vikings painted – I never would’ve guessed! There are still some metal models left, as well as quite a few plastics… I guess I’ll never run out of them.
That’s it for today, though – later this week I should be able to show you some of the last Dacian units, and then it’s on to more commission painting in the form of WSS infantry and some Praetorians. Stay tuned for more!