It would seem all I’m painting lately are dark age-themed models, but that really isn’t the case. It’s just that I really like painting them and then showing them off. The two models below are for my friend Alex’ warband so I’ll be passing them on in a few days, and as I really like these Footsore Miniatures sculpts I thought I’d show them here first.
Both were completed over the course of a day, I can’t really time them. I started out with a drybrush of all the metallics, then blocked in all the colours, washed them with the appropriate GW washes, then highlighted everything at least once.
As you can see these models carry enough fur to make those PETA nutjobs cringe, which is precisely why I lavished extra attention on them! You can’t really see in the pictures as they’re a bit overexposed, but I managed to create a lovely gradient towards the edges of the furs, all the while keeping the textured effect intact.
Dark Age models lend themselves particularly well to some freehand patterning, so I opted for some simple lines and dags on these two fellows. I think they’d be a bit too plain looking otherwise.
That’s it for now! As far as Footsore Miniatures are concerned: in my experience they’re the best Dark Age models currently available. I’ve recently painted a small Irish warband of theirs (just awaiting a flag for the standard bearer) which was equally well-sculpted and cleanly cast. Their ranges are still showing large gap but they seem to be filling these at a fair pace. Do give them a try if you haven’t already!
More Franks were painted over the course of the last few weeks, but as you’ll see they’re nothing like the previous lot. These are Carolingian Franks from Gripping Beast, and they’re a commission from my friend Alex.
First up, the Warlord. He’s the more colourful of the lot, and I gave him a white horse to stand out that much more.
Two points of mounted Hearthguard. These were also done rather colourfully. I had a good time mixing and matching colours on different garments to make each model unique.
A point of mounted Warriors. For these lower-ranked guys I opted for simple, neutral colours on their garments but then made the shields stand out.
Finally, two points of foot Warriors. As with their mounted comrades I used neutral tones on the garments, and as you can see from their bases I used four different undercoat sprays which would form the base of the models’ tunics. That certainly sped up the painting process!
I’ve just completed painting the last of these models this morning and I’ll be handing them over tomorrow evening. I’m glad to be shot of them, as that means I can focus on my own lead pile again!
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’s been a multifarious outpouring this year on the blog, hasn’t it? A couple of new historical projects were added, sci-fi and fantasy were revisited after a long break, and despite moving house and breaking my elbow I somehow managed to paint up a good number of models. One project was curiously absent, though – Vikings! After painting rank upon rank of Napoleonics, I recently felt the urge to paint up some more Northmen, and so here we are. These are both the first Vikings of 2015 and the last painted models I’ll be posting this year, so I hope you’ll enjoy them.
In spite of having enough Vikings already I couldn’t resist picking up these models at Crisis ’14. The fat warlord especially is a new favourite of mine.
I decided to base and paint these as per my original Saga warband, which I started working on around three years ago. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion! Since then I’ve painted many Vikings but I’ve mostly used much easier techniques – I hope you’ll notice I put some extra man hours into painting these up.
I’ve always been dissatisfied with my original berserker models, which were nothing more than overly-armoured plastic hirdmen with dane axes. Thus I have chosen to replace these with the models above. I have a difficult time picking my favourite out of these four, but I think the one named Gorm does it for me – that stripped-down tunic, the rags of which have been expertly sculpted around his waist, is a fantastic feature.
It’s a bit tricky not to overdo, but I felt compelled to add some blood effects to their weapons, as they are, after all, completely bonkers. All the more to set them apart on the tabletop, although that won’t do them any good in Saga at all!
That’s it for today! It’s Christmas, so I thought, why not grace you with a blog post full of pagans, eh? I have one more update for you this year, which is my big look-back-at-2015-and-look-forward-to-2016 list. Stay tuned for hints of what is to come, and Merry Christmas or Happy Yuletide – whatever floats your longboat!
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!