Tagged: painting

The Union Army Thus Far

With the Great Lockdown in effect I spent the first few weeks painting up more irregular looking models, but then craved for something with uniforms. So I unearthed my boxes of ACW which had remained untouched through two changes of address, and what do you know? I fell in love. Recently I already showed off two infantry regiments, but now it’s time to take a look at the rest of the force as it currently stands.

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The thing about these old Perry plastics is that, because it was their first set of plastics, it was also their simplest in terms of options. That’s great! Most of the models in the set require just their headgear to be glued on, and as assembly is often unexpectedly time consuming, this leaves more time for painting. The downside is that, as the command options are on the same sprue, you end up with too many greatcoated models, and both the standard bearers and musicians have to be built from the same body which makes for some rather weird command stands. I circumvented this issue by outfitting some of the other models with leftover left arms from the plastic artillery set, or just clipping off a right arm.

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Speaking of converting models: as I had 20 superfluous painted Zouaves from the 5th New York regiment I painted ages ago, I decided to partially repaint these as the 140th regiment. Just the pants and the cords on their fezzes needed my attention, but also a new command stand for which I tore off the right arms of some unlucky Zouaves, added spare ones with banner poles, and built and painted a new officer and musician – the former from the regular set, the latter from a spare Zouave body with parts also from the regular set. Easy!

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The artillery was built from a box of the Perry plastics – lovely models, these. One simply can’t resist the urge to turn these into three little dioramas showing the various stages of artillery operation. The addition of the caissons is a nice touch and not even useful merely as decoration – for instance, in the Rebels and Patriots ruleset by Osprey Games, they can be an unobtrusive way of marking a gun that has the limber option,

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I had previously painted up eight Union Cavalry, so I painted up the other twelve I had lying around including command options, upgraded the older paintjobs a bit, and turned these into two 10-strong units. I will probably get some more down the line, in order to be able to field a full cavalry brigade, but that’s very low on the list of things to get for this army.

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Painting wise, I started off with the same techniques, but decided to apply some more highlights to the faces, hands and weapons – always the focal point of model soldiers! The other areas were left fairly basic, but as I didn’t varnish too thickly I can always go back in with some more highlights (Probably never going to happen, though – what’s done is done).

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The count currently stands at 6 infantry regiments, of which two are Zouaves, two cavalry regiments, two 12-pdr Napoleons and a 12-pdr howitzer. I also painted up the sniper one gets for free with the Glory, Hallelujah! sourcebook from Warlord. This brings the number of painted models in this army up to a goodly 159, and enough for two full brigades.

But wait, there’s more! I have ordered some more boxes of infantry (the newer Union boxes, as they come with skirmishing poses), as well as some essential commanders, dismounted cavalrymen and casualty figures. With these I’ll certainly have enough for another full brigade, amounting to a complete division. Looks like I have my work cut out for me…

P.S. Mainly due to how quick these painted up, my painted model count since the lockdown started is at 321. Try and beat that! 🙂

More Union Infantry

Only after an hiatus of five-and-a-half years do I present you with more ACW paintjobs!

Whilst moving boxes from room to room in these times of quarantine, I happened upon several pristine boxes of Perry ACW models. Having painted irregularly outfitted models for the past weeks, I decided I was in for some uniformed stuff, and so I set to work on adding to my long-neglected Union army.

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These are built from the old plastic ACW infantry by Perry – I don’t have the newer models (yet), but I reckon the newer ones are more time consuming to build and paint. Most of these are monopose and rather twodimensional, which I actually prefer for regimented models!

 

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Both battalions were painted over the course of the last week, with roughly two days of painting and half a day for basing each. That’s good progress for me.

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Both units were built right out of their boxes, which does account for a lack in variety in command models. The flags were also taken from the sheet included in the boxes.

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I have taken the decision to collect 20-strong infantry units instead of the 40-strong ones I envisaged before – much less work for me and much less bulky on the tabletop! That does mean I have half a unit of New York Zouaves that I won’t be needing anymore. I am currently debating whether to try to sell them, or to try and remove these models from their bases and repaint them as another regiment.

More ACW to come soon, so check back soonish!

Alexander Nevsky

It’s been a fair while since I spent this much time on a single model, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

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Excellent model by Fireforge Games, although I noticed some roughness on the top half of the sword – which I hid with some blood effects by GW.  I also wasn’t too enamoured by the moulded base consisting of a roughly rectangular rock, so I used some putty to work the rock into the base a bit more.

Apart from that, it was just painted as usual. I’m quite proud of the paintjob although the much-enlarged pictures on the blog bring every mistake and inaccuracy of the brush to the fore.

That’s all I have to say! Stay tuned as more Landsknecht/Empire are on the way.

From Russia With Love

Here we go with another small project: medieval Russians.

The reasons for collecting the army are manifold – I”ve never collected an Eastern Medieval army, my friend Flor has a large Teutonic Order to field against them, and my other wargaming compatriot Pascal just happened to offload two boxes of Fireforge plastic Russian infantry last year!

After many swervings through different historical rulesets I think I’ve settled on WAB as my go-to framework for composing armies. In this case I’ve chosen to build up this project as a Western Russian army from WAB: Age of Chivalry, mostly because it was the Western Russian states that came into contact with the Teutonic Order and because it has a lighter emphasis on the cavalry arm.

One issue with the plastic Russian infantry from Fireforge with regards to my own project, though, is that they are rather too well-armoured and well-equipped to make for convincing city guards – the bulk of the Russian army. Fireforge do sell bow- and spear-armed city guards, but these are single-pose resins which can look a bit samey in a big regiment, not to mention the cost when compared to plastics. All of which means I have had to be slightly more creative with assembling these models – let’s take a look.

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This smallish 12-strong unit is all I have right now – I’m an inveterate batch painter so even my test models come in batches!

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In WAB: Age of Chivalry, many units can have a mix of archers and melee troops, with the former usually standing at the back. With some well-timed reforming when enemies approach, this means you have a unit that can do a bit of both.

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Experienced Dark Age hobbyists will undoubtedly spot the Gripping Beast plastics I used. For these archers I used the two bodies on those frames that don’t have their left arm in front of their stomachs, and clipped off the left hands to replace them with the bow hands from the Fireforge Russian plastics. I also added the quivers from that set. Lastly, for the right arms, I mostly used a few different arms from a stray Wargames Factory Bondi set, which allowed me to create a few poses where the archers are grabbing an arrow from the quiver, and one who actually does have an arrow in his hand – sourced from a GW Skeleton set. Bitz boxes galore!

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For the unit leader and bannerman, I did use the Fireforge Russians in their entirety – although I used a slightly longer banner pole taken from their Templar Knights set as it’s slightly longer than the supplied spears, and a resin banner from their Russian command set.

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For the rest of the infantry, the other three Gripping Beast body types were used, with a mix of the Gripping Beast handweapons and some taken from the Fireforge set as you can see on this warrior on the left, and the GB musician’s horn also came in handy as the Fireforge set doesn’t have a musician option – an unfortunate omission for WAB players! The shields and heads on these warriors were also taken from the Fireforge set, and these two parts were really critical for the Russian city guard theme to come together!

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Putting those Russian armoured heads on plain dark age warriors meant I had to take out the modelling putty, and as it has been ages, the result is far from perfect. I had to make do with 15-year-old Milliput – not even the fine version! – to add some mail coifs to these models.

Painting-wise I’ll be brief – I used three different reds plus a few other colours, with the red being a focal colour for this regiment. I’ll probably do a second city guard unit with a different scheme to get the point across that they’re from another city, and I’d also like to do more heraldic types of tunics with split or quartered schemes. The reason I didn’t do it on these models is that I made the mistake of undercoating them black which meant I didn’t want to go in with fifty coats of white for that kind of scheme. Lessons learned! I did add some different kinds of patterning to many of the models, which took me right back to Viking times!

Lastly, I really like how the bases came out – it’s sand painted dark brown, drybrushed white, with some arid-looking static grass and snow effects from Vallejo. It fits the bill for Lake Peipus and surrounds!

What’s next for this army? Well, I have all these Russian plastics, so I’ll probably be making a largish unit of dismounted Druzhina from them. The excellent Alexander Nevsky model from Fireforge is also on the painting desk. Sadly, the rest of the unit will have to wait until later this year, as I am out of Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors to complete this unit.

I hope you liked reading this article as much as I liked writing it. See you next time, tovarich!

 

 

 

Everything Vampire Counts In Large Amounts

It’s a beautiful Spring day, so what better way to celebrate it than to show off the massed ranks of my Vampire Count army eh?

As usual, this army kind of snowballed from a few select models for Frostgrave, like the Tomb Banshee and the Spirit Hosts, via a short Shadespire detour with the Sepulchral Guard, to where we are now – at a rather big army. It all happened so suddenly… Actually, most of the models were purchased second-hand for the insanely low price of 50 euro for 40 skeletons, 10 Black Knights, Vlad and Konrad Von Carstein, 20 Zombies, 10 Grave Guard and a Corpse Cart!

Veteran readers of the blog might also remember the Undead Great Cannon I displayed many moons ago. In essence, this is the second VC army I have painted up in my career as a hobbyist, although this one is much lighter on the conversions, with a much larger emphasis on the colour scheme.

Let’s take a look at some of the units, one by one. Disclaimer: the pictures are far from ideal as I currently don’t have a setup for photographing large units let alone entire armies. I’ll make sure to photograph my character models in the lightbox soon!

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There it is in all its glory! Infantry to the front, special stuff to the rear.

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One of two 30-strong units of Skeleton Warriors, these are armed with hand weapons, the other with spears. I painted these up identically to the Sepulchral Guard.

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A nice big block of 40 Zombies. As you can see these were repurposed from my previous VC army, as these models have been kitbashed extensively with Empire Free Company parts. I actually repurposed them by dumping coelia greenshade, the driving force of the eerie colour scheme I have going, over the old paintjob and then highlighting the colours back up.

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A unit of 10 Direwolves, which will probably be split into two units of 5 in-game. These were my least favourite models to assemble and paint, and I was happy to finish them off. Never again!

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A big 10-strong unit of Black Knights, which took me quite a long while to finish. Lots of intricate detail like the vines.

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One character to show here, though, as I’m not sure it’ll fit into my light box! I found this Zacharias the Everliving on the shelves of my local game store as a leftover from a round of Made To Order and could’t say no. Perhaps I wish I had… The model was a pain to assemble, as parts somehow didn’t take my superglue very well. Just before shooting these photographs I actually had to glue Zacharias’ right hand on again as it had somehow fallen off whilst sitting on a shelf. To make matters worse, I managed to drop the model during basing… Lessons learned.

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An unconverted Corpse Cart this time. The model had been completely assembled by the previous owner which made some aspects of painting it a veritable challenge, but it worked out alright. For this one I used a barbarian flesh undercoat from The Army Painter rather than skeleton bone, as much of the model is defined by fleshtones. A couple of the army’s spot colours tie it in nicely.

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Finally, some Ghouls. I ended up buying the Ghoul warband from Warhammer Underworlds, which comes with a Bat Swarm as well. If I can get my hands on an old Bat Swarm or two that would be nice! The reason I went with this set is that I’ll mostly be playing this army under 6th edition, in which Ghouls are small skirmish units rather than the main battleline blocks of later editions.

What’s next for this army? I still have a 20-strong unit of Grave Guard to tackle, another 6-strong unit of Ghouls (the 6th edition metals), and around 20 more Zombies which are in absolutely dire shape. I’ll try and keep you updated on their progress.

That’s all for today. I hope you’re staying safe and getting lots of painting time in – since the quarantine began some three weeks ago I’ve managed 159 models!

Empire/Landsknecht Mortars

So I finally got a photobooth! It was a birthday present from my lovely wife, and so I decided to try it out forthwith and catch up on things a little. I have had a growing feeling of embarassment over the quality of my pictures these last years, which definitely had its impact on the frequency of my posts. What’s more, the hassle of gauging light sources and the correct angles was always a chore, and I could rarely if ever achieve any sort of consistency between sets of pictures. Nevermore!

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I got these Empire mortars NiB second hand for an absolute steal, which delighted me as as they still are excellent models. They were assembled straight fron the boxes, with the exception of a few alternate heads and arms from the bitz box for variety.

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As per usual, the crew were painted in flashy Landsknecht colours – no Empire State Troop uniformity!

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These relatively old plastic mouldings didn’t come with wood grain detailing on the mortar carriage, so I had to paint my way around that. The wood was painted Citadel XV-88, washed agrax earthshade and highlighted with balor brown.

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All in all, I have been rather busy with this Empire army over the last year. My previous blog post from quite a while back covered most of the army; as I am writing these words a number of unit fillers and a few extra townspeople are on the painting desk literally inches away from my keyboard, and then I’m getting really near to wrapping this project up.

Hope you enjoyed this update!

My hobby turns 18 – congrats, I guess!

 

Since I last posted, I have more or less gone back to where it all started, with fantasy wargaming. Together with the rest of my club I have been mostly playing A Song of Ice and Fire: The Miniatures Game since it came out, but I have also been collecting several Warhammer armies for Oldhammer, or more exactly, Middlehammer purposes.

Here, then, is my brand new Empire army. First, though, a little history lesson.

I was just a fifteen-year-old boy when I started the hobby. Back in the summer of ’69, pardon, ’01 I was walking around in Brussels with my wallet stuffed with Belgian Francs after passing my third year of high school, when I chanced upon a Games Workshop store with the usual displays of excellently painted models in the window. I thought to myself: “Hey, you can do that too!” and left with the 6th edition starter set and a paint set. From then on, every Saturday I’d take the bus to Brussels, spend my allowance on a blister or two, and be home for supper ogling my new acquisition at the table.

Empire was my first army, and let’s just say I learned a lot by doing things wrong – very wrong. Things like:

  • Thinking that I could wash every colour with black ink, because black is the absence of light, innit? No, it isn’t.
  • Trying to glue a metal Warrior Priest to a plastic base using plastic cement.
  • Using blood red on the back of shields.
  • Painting the inside of a model’s mouth blood red – because it really is!!!
  • Putting a broken pot of plastic cement in a spare GW paint pot, which began to melt, turning into a sort of Nurgle paint pot (and a health hazard, too)
  • Attempting to melt a blocked superglue nozzle by holding it over a flame. A bit of molten plastic fell onto my right index finger, producing a T-shaped scar which I carry to this day.
  • Unsafe cutting, clipping, ruining clothes, licking brushes, and so on, and so forth.

This time around however, I used my eighteen years of experience to produce somewhat better results.

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You already saw my Empire Elector Count on Griffon in a previous blog post, so here are the other characters. From left to right, we have a Captain, a Battle Wizard, the Battle  Standard Bearer, a Warrior Priest and another Captain. Apart from the Wizard these are all Warlord Games models.

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Pikes! Pretty much all Warlord Games models, some with heads from old Empire models for variety, and a few Foundry models such as the one all the way on the right. I’ll be using these as plain Spearmen when playing vanilla Empire, or I could play a Marienburger Empire army using the back-of-the-book list from the 6th edition armybook and use them as Dogs of War Pikemen. I have two 30-strong blocks of them at this point, the other one is just more of the same.

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Halberdiers. I only got 12 halberd-armed Warlord Games halberdiers in my set, so I had to be creative to get a 20-strong unit. The musician and standard bearer add two models, the unit champion is actually Georg Von Frundsberg (what a demotion!), the model all the way on the right is the sleeping guardsman model from Warlord, and there is a unit filler on a 40x40mm base in there. Sorted! I do have 12 more Halberdiers on the way – Warlord was friendly enough to send me another batch of bits – and I can always try to convert some more with old GW bits.

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Handgunners, of course. This unit is almost completely Foundry with just two Warlord models, and I have another comprised entirely of the latter. As you can see here I went for some rather simple colour combinations – the tendency with landsknechts is to paint every little sash and puff and slash and hose and feather a different colour and then stripe it with yet another, but in order not to go mad I went for simple halved or quartered designs of contrasting but not clashing colours. Here and there I did add some stripes, but only sparingly. I think the models still look Landsknechty when ranked up into units.

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I wanted my Greatswords to look more armoured than the other guys, so I used the three arnoured bodies fron the Warlord kit, I also wanted a little bit more uniformity in these guys, so I gave almost all of them plumes on their helmets or hats and painted those a simple white and red.

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I also wanted me some Flagellants, but as the old metal models are hard to come by for a decent price, I went with the different vignette models from Warlord Games and rolled them into one chaotic 20-strong unit. If I do ever find an actual Flagellant unit these will instead serve as Free Company Fighters.

 

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These Knights from Foundry have been lying around in my drawer for years, but have now finally received a coat of paint (and therewith a coat d’arms, ha!). I have just the six models, so in order to buff their size I decided to use a vignette to fill it up for the time being. I’ll get more Knights from Foundry at a later date.  Although I had the greatest fun painting these models up, the riders kept detaching from their horses all the time, due to an imperfect join.

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The last argument of Elector Counts, eh? These Great Cannon are great models from Foundry. Still on the lookout for a Mortar though, and I should have an 18-year-old Helblaster somewhere…

So, what’s in store for this army? Well, as I’m writing this I have just played my first 2000-point battle with it against my friend Jonas’s Skaven. Despite having the worst of luck with the dice I managed a draw, but there was much fun to be had in returning to 6th edition Warhammer.

Another friend is gearing up to start a late medieval Swiss army, meaning I will be able to use my models as landsknechts and play games of Warhammer Ancient Battles and Hail Caesar with them.

At any rate, I have further additions in store for this army. Those extra Halberdiers are nearly done, and then I have some Archers, a 24-strong block of Swordsmen, some Crossbowmen, perhaps more Handgunners… I also have a Steam Tank lying around somewhere!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 18 years of painting, it’s that the painting never stops…