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.
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!
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!
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!
And now for something completely different! I’ve been meaning to make these for quite some time but it’s one of those things, together with movement trays and the like, that just get postponed indefinitely until they’re suddenly crucial to a certain battle you’re playing. As I’m still at home recovering from surgery, I decided I’d finally sit down (carefully, mind you) and get these out of the way.
These first two chaps are Old Glory models so the sculpts aren’t that great. I just stuck them to a GW 40mm round base and, using milliput, made a sort of pit for a 10mm die to fit in to. The one on the left did get a gruesome wound which sadly doesn’t appear clearly on the picture: I drilled through his body and stuck in a spear. Your average casualty markers.
These are less off a casualty and more of a can’t be arsed, let’s go type of markers. Apart from that, the same things were done to the base, plus some spare swords and shields pressed into or onto the milliput. I’ve got duplicates of these figures which might get painted up in the near future, but not as part of markers.
These last two were very simple; the Norman infantry and cavalry kits by Conquest Games come with these casualties, so they were an obvious choice. As you can see the cavalryman doesn’t fit onto the 40mm base at all, but the good thing is that a 10m die fits between the horse’s legs perfectly – almost as if it were intentional!
One thing I have yet to add to these models is some blood. I’d normally do this with my old GW inks, but I’ve heard GW is bringing out a sort of ‘special effect blood’ paint next month and, if the price is alright (hahah…) I might try it out on these.
As said, there’s more Vikings coming soon, as well as a female ranger. They’ll be commission pieces, and the models I’ve received as payment will also be featured soon enough. Until then!
I have lost count of the amount of Vikings I’ve painted by now, but what I have kept my eye on is the number of models I’ve painted this year. So far I’m at a total of 416 models, counting infantry, warmachines, artillery, vehicles, cavalry etc. as just one model. Not too bad, eh? Nevertheless, I’ve set myself the goal of 500 painted ones by the end of the year. Whenever I have some doubts about succeeding, I grab a batch of Vikings and sit down to paint them, because well, Vikings aren’t just fast to paint, they’re also varied and I’ve got some quick techniques down for them. Let’s take a look at the latest helping!
I had these four lying around from an Anglo-Saxon starter set for Saga which I received as payment for those WSS generals of late. It’s been a while since I’ve painted mailed Vikings as I’ve been concentrating on getting more Bondi done. I tried to keep these as simple as possible as I don’t want them to stick out too much for their decidedly Saxon helmets and mail coat fringes to become apparent to nosy adversaries. Hence, no gold detailing on their helmets.
I did a batch of eight bondi separately, which were painted very quickly: some pale greens and ochres over a white undercoat, or just left white, with a seraphim sepia wash on top.
Leather, wood and metal were basecoated in respectively mournfang brown, steel legion drab and runefang steel, before these areas were washed with agrax earthshade. There’s not much more to it than this!
And now, the pièce de résistance: Eilaf the Hairless! I was in need of a new warlord model for a second division in my army when playing Hail Caesar, or as a leader for a second warband when I’m giving demo games of Saga (which has actually been fairly common this year). As I had that Anglo-Saxon warband lying around, I decided to use the warlord included therein, plus two of the warrior models which, I think, have great poses.
When painting these models I wanted to go for contrast; the front of the model incorporating a limited palette and a certain uniformity, and the back being a riot of colour. I like how it all turned out, and I believe the crowded base helps to identify this guy as a person of some importance. I don’t find the warlord model itself to be all that different from the hirdmen or thegn models I’m using, after all.
I believe that wraps it up for now. Next week you can expect the first Dutch cavalrymen to roll out, and after that, who knows? Maybe even more Vikings. I’ll be picking up some Vikings of the Baltic variety at Crisis soon, so my forays into the north are far from over. Skoll!