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!
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’ve been waiting for the opportunity to use a Blackadder quote on the blog, and now was the time. At Crisis ’15 our club is holding a massive d’Erlon – La Haye Sainte battle using the Black Powder rules, and my French must be fit for duty. So I’ve finally built some casualty markers to that end, and here they are.
These are casualty models which come in one of the Perry Miniatures cavalry boxes, and I was fortunate enough to have six of these lying about on the plastic pile. Fortunate, because I currently have six battalions painted. I’ve mounted these on 40mm round bases and left a gap in the tufting to allow a dice to rest there snugly. They were painted in much the same way as their living counterparts, of course.
That’s that then! I hope I won’t be needing them too much during the battle, but if history repeats itself…
Other than that, I’m expecting to be able to paint up a French marshal model as well by the time the convention happens. Just two weeks away now! I hope many of you readers will be able to attend Crisis, and if you do, look out for us – we’re the Red Baron club out of Ghent – and shake hands with your humble servant. Come one, come all!
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.
It’s not every day a Napoleonic personality graces the blog, so harken! Those Prussians I have been working on for Henk for a while now finally have a set of commanders to lead them, with none other than Blücher at the helm. Let’s take a looksie.
I’m very glad to have been able to paint these models as they were an absolute treat – but you wouldn’t expect otherwise from Perry Miniatures, right? Just look at Blücher’s massive pipe! Reminds me of Christopher Waltz’ character in the opening scene of Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
I started off these models from different brown undercoat sprays, as I wanted to tackle the horses first. It was a toss-up between that and the usual blue undercoat, but I’m glad I went for browns. Lots of time saved.
These are focal models for the army, so I took more care with these models than with the ordinary rankers – an extra highlight layer here and there, primarily on the blue and the skin, makes everything pop just a bit more. Of course we’ll have to wait for the commissionaire to base them before their true beauty is revealed, but just look at those characterful poses!
That’s it for today! I have a final batch of Prussian musketeers which I’ll commence with soonish, but other than that I have a lot more material for blog posts which I’ll be covering over the weekend. So stay tuned, and auf wiedersehen!
Similarly to the amazing Black Tree Design FJ which Flor gifted me for my birthday (scroll down on the blog a bit) I received some Red Devils as well. I’m going to be blunt: the new FJ models were great to paint and will see their use in my army, but these here Brits are an absolutely essential addition to my Red Devils. So thanks again, matey!
First up, here are four of the more belligerent-looking chaps. The guy on the left will probably join my force as a regular SMG trooper, to his right there’s a sergeant-like type, the prone one as well, and the one on the right will probably become an officer. Nice touch with the pipe!
Then the fun part: the observers! These are the truly useful additions – in Bolt Action (most) British armies receive a free artillery observer on top of the one you can pay the points for – and I’m going to go with two. All four of these can be readily used for observers, or for spotters for my mortars and howitzers. Check the leftmost fellow sitting on a tree stump – the essence of the unperturbable British officer stock!
That’s it for today – I’m working on a couple of things in one go but it’s all fairly rudimentary, so no more updates for a good week or so. Tally ho!
Still slaving away at the Prussians? Yup. I’m trying to get it all squared away before Crisis 2015 rears its expensive head and my lead pile gets an (un)welcome injection (depends on who looks at it, me or the missus) and I’m happy to say I can report significant progress. I’ve completed a total of 36 musketeers – which I won’t be showing you as they are identical to those fusiliers I showed earlier and so contribute nothing to the blog – but I’ve now also churned out some Jaeger. Let’s take a look at these.
Splendid models, these. The commissioner sourced these from Calpe Miniatures, a company I was previously completely unaware of, and I had a great time painting these up. The models are fairly broadly built but otherwise realistically proportioned as far as hands and feet go. I think they match up better with Warlord Games’ scale of Napoleonics rather than the Perry Miniatures’ battalions of Musketeers they’ll be fighting in, but they won’t stand out like a sore thumb at all.
As you can tell from the bases I went with a green undercoat from Army Painter; other than that the painting process was exactly identical to that of the Musketeers – same colours, same application. These models took even better to my wash-heavy painting style, with their deep detail.
I used a chopping block as background because my big sheet of white paper is still at my parents’ house… but I thought the chopping block would be a great way of telling Henk what’s in store for these chaps once they meet my well-oiled French fighting machine in battle! At any rate, I hope he’ll be as happy receiving them as I was while painting them.
Last on the list for the Prussians this year are 24 further Musketeers and six mounted officers, including Blücher and his coterie. No more Napoleonics this month though – it’s time to recharge my batteries (12-pounders, if you’ll pardon the pun) by tackling some other stuff that’s been cropping up. I have one further update for you very soon, in fact. So stay tuned and hit that sexy follow button!