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.
Bless your lead heart, Foundry, for making these excellent WSS models! These are another commissioned unit which recently galloped off the painting desk. It’s a Dutch regiment, hence the officer’s orange sash, and the commissionaire was kind enough to specify the idiosyncrasies of the uniforms on a little paper.
One thing which might be offputting to some modellers is that there is just one sculpt for the rankers, although you do have the option of two different sword arms to add some variety. Different horse poses and the paint job itself do much to negate the clone syndrom, but still, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Thankfully the sculpting and casting quality are fantastic.
I worked from various brown undercoat sprays for the horses and white for the riders, which always saves me plenty of time. Same with washes – the white coats are just a white basecoat, black wash and white highlights. The commissionaire’s instructions read ‘rose red cuffs’ which were easily handled with wild rider red and a carroburg crimson wash before reapplying the base colour as a highlight again.
Painting this unit up was a really enjoyable experience. There’s just something about WSS uniforms that clicks with me. I’ll be handling a few infantry of the period in the near future and I’m already looking forward to it!
Up next: Dead Frenchmen, later tonight on the blog.
Another WSS commission trundled off the workbench last week, in the form of a Dutch cavalry regiment. While I wouldn’t collect WSS myself in 28mm, the models are certainly a change of pace from Napoleonics – no white crossbelts, well-documented uniforms and some snappy lace to spice things up (which is what lace tends to do on a woman). In return for a batch of 6mm WSS I’ve painted up this unit here.
Alex gave me a uniform description and the models, and off I went! As you can see I used several primers on the horses – Alex wanted them all brown but I couldn’t resist going with different hues. The riders were undercoated black then drybrushed with several greys.
I have to say I’m not impressed with these sculpts. Paul Hicks is probably in my top five of the best sculptors alive, but these are below par. The horses’ heads are too big, for one, and the riders are very squat looking, almost comically so. To make matters worse, the casts themselves were flawed: one rider is actually missing a right foot!
Still, that’s them done. Just the Prussian commission now… But first, some reinforcements for my Dacians!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Here’s another blog post, and a very important one, too! With the last batch of Rus Princes cavalry (pictures will follow) I have crossed the 500 model mark – to be precise, I’ve painted 504 models this year, and so my vow of a minimum of 500 models has been achieved – And we’ve still another month to go! Let’s do a little retrospection and see what got us this far. I’ll sum it up per project, then relate to you the future plans I have with each of them.
- Vikings: At the end of 2012 I’d already done some of the Gripping Beast plastic viking hirdmen; in fact, much of my warband was already finished. Still, this year saw about a hundred additional models added to this army; mostly plastics from the new Gripping Beast Dark Age warriors set, but also a decent slab of metal models both by Gripping Beast and Old Glory. In 2014: Finish what Vikings I have lying around, and follow up with a few loose purchases at Crisis 2014 to fill out incomplete units. Particularly, I’d like to build a Northumbrian client contingent using the box of plastic Anglo-Saxon Thegns I have around, and also a mercenary unit composed of Jomsviking models.
- Dacians & Sarmatians: This is an army I’d like to complete in 2014 and then move on to other projects. I started off with a box of Sarmatian cataphracts at a convention last March, and with a little effort the army will be done by the same time next year. This year I painted the aforementioned cataphracts (with an extra blister of them to bulk them out), two small units of light cavalry, the command models, and a Dacian warband – by the end of the year I’d like to complete a second warband. So in 2014: a further unit of light cavalry, a falx warband, and a unit of noblemen. There might be some plastic models left over which might be used for other purposes (Viking berserkers, notably) or to convert to javelin-armed skirmishers, but these are low priority.
- Greeks: The unwanted child of my Crisis 2013 impulse purchases. I bought two boxes of Victrix models and I’m currently at 1/12th of their contents painted. In 2014: This is a relatively low-priority army and will probably receive rather sporadic attention. I have nothing other than armoured hoplites to paint for this army and there’s nothing non-hoplon armed to paint for variety. I will probably get about half done over the course of next year and then plump for the new Greek kits from Victrix at Crisis 2014.
- Arabs: I painted an entire Arab warband for Saga at the beginning of this year, nearly 50 models in all, and they haven’t received any love in quite some time. A shame! This is mostly due to the Saga Arab list out of Wargames Illustrated being somewhat bland. Still, I consider them finished at the moment. In 2014: with the Crusades supplement for Saga probably available at Salute 2014, these might leave the cupboard once more. I have eight light horsemen left unpainted, and depending on the nature of the battleboard I might do these up as well.
- Dutchmen: Plumped for a box of Swedish infantry in May when Warlord held a deal on them, and received a box of cavalry in August as payment for commission painting. Nice models, but the lack of interest amongst my gaming associates means that I don’t have much impetus for this project. In 2014: Left to be done are a company of shotte and half the unit of cavalry. These will be handled as soon as possible – I want to get the project squared away. I also bought some casualty models on the cheap at Crisis 2013, so they’ll be done, too. Despite the lack of interest I love the models, and so the For King & Country set from Warlord Games might be snapped up end of 2014.
- Frenchmen: Things have been a bit quiet for my Frenchmen this year – if I have any hopes of ever fully owning the French OOB for Quatre-Bras, I’ll have to get going soon! Still, I managed to paint some cannon, a unit of lancers, and some command models and infantry here and there. In 2014: Painting more infantry is top priority for this army – I’m looking at a battalion of lights and two of line to be done. Also some cuirassiers, and some command models and battlefield markers. Merde!
- Brits: I’ve just started this project but I absolutely love painting Red Devil models. Done so far are an infantry section, command section and light mortar team. Further up this year is the rest of my current collection – another infantry section, a PIAT team and a Vickers team. Just fifteen models, shouldn’t be too hard, right? In 2014: Who knows? With no other Red Devils to work on, these might be considered finished… unless a friend or relative treats me to another helping (and the wishlist function in the Warlord Games webstore is rather helpful).
- Flemings: I took it easy with this project in 2013, with just sixteen infantry and eight crossbowmen done. However, three commanders are currently on my painting desk, so this year will be ended with a decent batch of models done for them. In 2014: I’d like to have these Flemings as one of my main projects for the year, and I’d also like to finish enough of them for a full Saga warband with options. Later on they might be expanded upon even further, and turned into a Hail Caesar/Impetus army, or even a Bretonnian army for Warhammer Fantasy.
- Fantasy & Sci-fi: Really quiet on this front! I painted mainly some Bloodletters, some Space Marines (ewww) and some Space Orks, to a total of about 50 models. However, I’m thinking of picking up the gaming side of it fairly soon, and that might get me interested in painting the masses of plastic and lead I have lying about. To conclude, in 2014: More Space Orks and maybe some extra Chaos releases, but no new purchases of any kind for these projects.
- Japanese: Just bought them at Crisis, will probably have to wait until next year though. So, in 2014: A handful of sohei monks for Ronin, probably around 20. Not much is needed for this ruleset.
- Commission work: About a quarter of the 500 models I painted this year were done for friends. Chief among these were a full Jomsviking warband and two Napoleonic cavalry units, with more still underway. In 2014: While I will probably accept more commissions, I will do my best to focus on my own projects. Otherwise, I don’t see any of them being completed. I’ll go for a selection of small commissions and see how they proceed.
TL;DR version for 2014: More of everything, especially Vikings – but no new projects. As for next year’s painting goal: I’ll start counting from the moment I went over this year’s mark, but next year’s goal is a total of 600 models painted. This means I’m currently at 4/600. Motivating? Hell no! But I’m sure I’ll boost the figure up towards a decent mark soon. Do check back to see the score, my good readers!
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.
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.
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!
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!