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!
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.
No, not the tank. The fellow down below has been sitting on my desk for far too long in inglorious white undercoat, so I finally decided to take a moment off between batches to paint him up.
I previously painted this model up for my friend Kurt, but I decided to go with a more pontifical white-and-yellow combination. Some black was added in order to tie in with both my Hospitallers and my Flemings/Early Crusaders.
It’s been a while now since I’ve touched anything medieval… but I’m sure it’ll come back to me soon. Frostgrave and Guillotine are taking up most of my painting time, and then there’s the final Prussians that are staring at me hard. We’ll see who gets right of way!
Apparently pilgrims are pretty damn good in our currently favoured ruleset Sword & Spear. Pretty damn good, if you just use them to generate order dice, that is! With that in mind I picked up some neat models from Dave Thomas at our recent convention in Ghent, and they’ve been a blast to paint up.
I picked up a couple of blisters, one with armed male pilgrims, one with women and children, and then spread them out over a number of 40x40mm bases. A loose formation fits these models best, plus it means a lot less models to collect and paint in order to compose a unit!
I painted them starting from a mournfang brown undercoat, blocked in some colours common to my other crusaders plus some that wre not, then washed with agrax earthshade. A couple of highlights, then the flesh and metallics and hair, and done. Really cheap, but quite effective.
That’s it for this weekend’s triple blog update! I’ve a couple of things I’m working on simultaneously at the moment, so I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be covering next. As ever, I hope you enjoyed the article and check back soon for more. Tah!
Yet more Arabs were completed recently. These form part of my friend Kurt’s growing army, which was aimed at Saga but has already been seeing action in games of Sword & Spear. That’s the beauty of historical wargaming: the words “I’ll get just enough for a skirmish game” have barely escaped your mouth and then you end up with a hundred or more models. It’s happened to everybody! Anyway, on to the models.
I must confess I really like painting camels. It’s probably to do with the simplicity of the painting process – they already look the part with a single basecoat, wash and highlight all over!
As with the other models I’ve done these up with just washes, although I have used a few more freehand motifs to spice the models up just a tad more. The sculpts themselves are very clean, so these were a joy to work on.
This warlord on camel is fantastic as well. I’d be happy yelling at my troops from the comfort of a pillowy chair atop a smelly camel as well! The blue gemstone was painted in the age-old tradition of Eldar collectors and I think it came out rather well.
This marks the temporary end of all things camel-mounted in my painting queue. For the Arabs I’ve got some light javelin cavalry coming up as well as a few more foot soldiers – more on those next month.
Updates on the blog have been sparse these last weeks, but never fear! I’ve two more updates coming up for you this weekend, one more for the Crusades and one for Napoleonics. So check back soon!
As promised, here’s the third and final update for the long weekend. Not really much to say about these guys, though, as they’re really basic.
I’ve done these up as a quickie over a couple of lunch breaks at work, and they were perfect for it – limited colour palette, easy drybrushing and simple but effective sculpts.
These form part of my Crusader army and will be mixed in with my peasant pilgrims in larger battles. Non-combatant casualties will likely be high!
That’s them done. I really like these sculpts, it’s just a shame that the Perry range for the crusades isn’t bigger. I’d have liked some more priestly figures, perhaps some bearing arms even.
I have more pilgrims coming up as well, mostly from Crusader Miniatures (what’s in a name…) as well as some more Arabs. It’s shaping up to be a very medieval month of May!
Chugging along nicely is my Arab commission, the multicultural and multicolourful bunch of stallion jockeys I’ve been painting up for Kurt over the last few months. I’ve currently a unit of camel riders on my desk, but today I simply wanted to show you the second unit of Turcoman horse archers to gallop off the painting queue.
These were painted identically to all the models in the force – lots of washes over a white undercoat and some freehanded designs to liven things up a bit.
One particular difference between the first unit and this one is that there are three female horse archers in there, courtesy of Perry Miniatures. Quite different from the cruder Gripping Beast models in terms of sculpting style, but I don’t think they stand out too starkly among the males in the unit.
That’s it for today – tomorrow I’ll post up another Crusade-themed update, but completely different in subject. Until then!