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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Why do I always tell myself not to start new projects, when such good intentions are clearly in vain? Here’s another one fresh off the painting table: Celts! I was foolish enough to pick up the wonderful Vercingetorix model from Warlord Games at Warcon ’18 and think I could leave it at that – well fat chance, Victrix is releasing some terrific plastic Gauls these days and I had to bite. My friends brought a set of their new Gallic Warriors as well as one of Fanatics home from Salute ’18, and I’m happy to report they’re already done! Huzzah!
First up, we have the meat-and-bones of the force: a big warband of your ordinary Celts. These were pretty straightforward to assemble: a mix of the both the topless and the fully dressed bodies, and of both the helmeted and bare heads, with swords, spears and a few javelins thrown in for good measure. Painting-wise, I opted for a radically different technique: I undercoated the models AP skeleton bone, heavily drybrushed them white, then applied all colours with just washes. Usually several washes were needed across a given area to get the required result, otherwise things would look too pastel. For instance, the skin tone is two washes of reikland fleshshade and one of seraphim sepia. Obviously, the metallic were painted in the usual manner, and I took special care to make them look super shiny for contrast. Also, as Celts wouldn’t look the part without them, I added freehanded patterns to at least one item of cloth on pretty much every model, with regular paint of course.
Also built from the Gallic Warriors set are these skirmishers. I elected to use just the topless bodies and bare heads for these – to get the point across that they’re the poorer kind of warrior. For these I had to do some cutting on the left arm to equip them with spare javelins, which means they’re not equipped with shields – hence, they look a lot less spectacular than the others!
Penis! These are the fanatics, and they were stupidly easy to paint with the aforementioned technique. It’s a 24-strong block of troops but I think I’ll be getting some more to bulk out the unit, for games like WAB where they really shine when fielded as a big block. In the first rank you can see a druid model from Warlord Games, which was a leftover from my Dacian project. He’s a bit smaller (haha…) than the others, but otherwise fits in fairly well. Using watered down incubi darkness I added tattoos/warpaint to these models to spice up their appearance, which I think was much needed.
Finally, here are two other characters; the first is that wonderful Vercingetorix model from Warlord Games. I altered just one thing, which was to give him a spare plastic shield so that I could apply a LBMS transfer without too much of a hassle.
The second is a plastic command model from the Gallic Warriors set which I’ll be using as a Battle Standard Bearer in WAB, or a regular standard bearer for other games. This guy received an open left hand from a Victrix hoplite, so that I could portray him leaning on his sheathed sword. Not my most impressive conversion ever, but I think it’s an effective little distinguishing feature.
So, well, there you go! A whole set of Celts, ready to be fielded alongside or against my Carthaginians. As models always look better when put next to each other, I have a couple of group photos for you.
This first group shot is for those moments when I’ll be playing WAB. The two decently sized warbands will be intimidating to most opponents – the druid confers Hatred to the already Frenzied fanatics, and the Battle Standard Bearer and Warlord go into the big Warrior block to boost its staying power. The skirmishers will either be fielded as a single big unit or two smaller ones.
The second group shot shows the troops broken down into 12-strong units, for our games of Hail Caesar, To The Strongest, Sword & Spear and the like. It’s a pretty healthy division, with five standard units and two small units.
Project done – for now… I once purchased a box of Gallic cavalry from Warlord as well as a Gallic cavalry command blister to use with my Dacians but never got round to using them, and I think they’ll be used here. The new Gallic cavalry from Victrix are also leering at me, of course. As 24 or 25 is a bit small for a Naked Fanatic unit I’d like to bump the unit up to around 32, and I might purchase some metals from Warlord Games for variety as another pack of 24 plastics would be a little much. Finally, I’m of a mind to build a warband of nobles on foot, using the regular plastic Gallic Warriors but all helmeted, with swords, and with the capes attached (which I didn’t use much yet). Plenty of options!
Through some not-so-subtly-dropped hints I got a few superb presents for my birthday. One of these was a copy of the WAB supplement Hannibal and the Punic Wars which she managed to find cheaply on Ebay, and, well, what’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hannibal?
These are the new plastic elephants from Victrix ltd. A great product – besides obviously being plastic and thus a treat to assemble, it comes with plenty of options for Ptolemaic, Roman, Numidian and, of course, Carthaginian versions. For me, that’s great – I used the linothorax-armoured riders with Carthaginian heads, but I can also use the Roman bodies in chainmail as veterans or Latin deserters, and the Numidians as allied infantry. Great!
I used the Little Big Men Studios decals as they are simply lovely – I can freehand, but not to anywhere near the level I’d need for this kind of patterning! A word on this to those readers who are interested in doing the same: It’s much, much easier to apply the decals before you affix the tower to the elephants. I had to cut down the decals on the ‘saddle cloth’ and had a lot of trouble getting the smaller ones to stick where they had to.
Other than that, painting was straighforward. The crew were painted identically to my other Carthaginians (more news on those soon, I hope), but the elephants were, naturally, rather a different matter. I drybrushed a dark grey and then a middle grey over a black undercoat. This looked crap, so I went in with the middle grey again but applied it as a layer highlighted, in angled streaks so as to get the right skin texture. The edge of the ears received a small layered highlight of medium skin tone applied directly over the grey, before everything was washed agrax earthshade.
Overall I had a great time painting them, even though it took nearly a month of on-and-off work! Right before they were done I already played a WAB battle with them, and they were quite effective. WAB is the reason why I decided to base them on 50x50mm bases; for those games which specify a unit breadth of 12cm I’ll prepare a bare 20x50mm base to put in between the two models.
There! Hope you like these as much as I do. I’ll have more Carthaginians ready in a bit, so there might be more Ancients on the blog very soon.
Ceterum censeo Duvel esse bibendam!
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!
It’s Yesteryear Wednesday again, and here are those French dragoons I promised you last week, when I showed you the dismounted guys. I’ve been doing some painting today, had a mediocre run on the Finnish track, and now I’m settling down with a couple of White Chimay beers and a good Bernard Cornwell novel for the night. But first, these dragoons!
Half of this unit was painted right after I came back from France in September last year, but I was so fed up with warpstone green’s coverage issues that I let the rear rank of the unit lie unpainted until the beginning of this year. That’s how bad it was! The impulse to paint them finally came this year when I played a game of WAB – Waterloo with a few veteran players; I had to borrow part of their collection, which I never like to do. There’s just something harrowing about considering the plethora of mishaps that can befall even a veteran wargamer when handling another player’s models!
I must confess I cheated a bit: this unit did receive some brush attention earlier this week. This is because I noticed that the spray varnish I used, the GW purity seal, had left some small white stains and a slightly foggy effect on some of the areas of the models. I don’t know exactly what caused this, and other models that were sprayed with the same spray can, but I felt it had to be corrected. Apart from this, the bases also received additional tufting as I had described last week.
So that’s it for these guys. There might be further Wednesdays in the near future where I demonstrate and discuss the existing units of my French Napoleonics as I go about tufting their bases – I still have two battalions of line and a squadron of 9th Hussars which I can show you. But in the interest of variety I will try and vary my offerings, much as I try to vary my week-to-week painting projects. So who knows what next week will bring!
As for progress on those Chevau-Légér Lanciers: slow. I’ve been having a busy week at work and some equally busy evenings, as well as a rather alcoholic weekend coming up, so I might not get the riders done in time. The good news is that I’m doing all eight of them in one go, which does mean I’ll be able to immediately show you a complete unit. Vive l’Empereur, Vive la France!