For years I've wanted to play a good historical game. I would honestly probably rather play it than "I forgot how to squeeze a trigger so I'll bash you in the head with this nifty club" Hammer (okay, so it's not that bad, and I do enjoy 40k, but still...). Between my Masters program, kids, and moving to the UK I haven't had time to keep up with painting my 40k pieces. However, for Father's Day this year my wife graciously consented to get me a few Perry Crusader miniatures (possibly my most wanted minis of all time, as they are gorgeous). Since starting them I've decided to finish them out, and build myself a small to medium sized Norman/Crusader army. Along the way, I've discovered Gripping Beast/Studio Tomahawk's excellent Saga game. So I'm hoping to build something suitible for it and find some folks to play it with (my wife even says she might try it as it's so slimmed down for a war game, reading through the rules I can see how you could wrap it up in 45 minutes to an hour for games we'd play in the house, which is about her level).
So, without further silly fluff, here is my Norman (and eventually Vikings for an opposing Saga warband) Blog. This is my first shot at something like this, but I've gotten on enough of a roll that I thought I'd give this a try. I'll look to showcase primarily my Normans and Vikings as I get them going and painted.
Automatically Appended Next Post: To begin with, I've built or painted stuff from Foundry, Gripping Beast, Artizan, and Perry. I have to say, Foundry is very nice but very expensive, Gripping Beast has had some okay minis and some total rubbish ones (and most of the ones I've bought from them have a lot of problems with globbed casting spots, that require a lot of time and effort to file down and work back into a proper shape), Artizan has had mostly good stuff, but sometimes I'm not super inspired by the style. Then there is Perry, which are gorgeous, fairly cheap in comparison, but horrific on the flash.
Gad, I've never seen minis with so many mold lines on them. The sculpts are easily among the best on the market (possibly the only mini co I've found that can compare is Empress Miniatures for shear awesomeness of sculpt, but Empress doesn't do Normans, although they have had the least mold lines and flash of any mini from any company I've ever seen, seriously, if you are into modern combat, look up their US and British models, simply killer stuff).
When I get a chance I'll try and show case what I mean, but here are some shots of the start of my army.
These guys are a foot command unit. I am leaning towards running them as Stipendarii for Historical, and putting them in with Thrusting Spears, Light Armor, and Shields (I would go Dismounted Milites, but very expensive that way, and would have to skimp on the missile and foot troops then).
Automatically Appended Next Post: Some close ups of the Stipendarii Command:
Yes, I do need to finish painting his eyes, but this is a blog....
These are possibly the second time I've experimented with weathering powders, and overall I'm happy with how that turned out.
Automatically Appended Next Post: First of my mounted milites done. I was a bit inspired to deck him out in a similar fashion to a local town crier (not the same, but similar color schema, taking into account a bit of fading in his tunic's red). The shield is the town's coat of arms, or was at any rate. Which I felt appropriate as the town is recorded in the Domesday Book.
I'm actually enjoying painting some of these horses. I've decided to really try and branch out a bit with design and style to capture some of the wide variety you can have with horses.
I finished off another, and have gotten well into a few others.
I'm really happy with my dapple grey horse. The lighting doesn't capture it as well as I'd like, but it may be one of my favorite horses. I plan to use this guy as either a champion or as a Comes for historical. The color scheme and badge is inspired by the Plantagenet family, notibly William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury. He was known to sport a blue surcoat and shield with a series of Lions Rampant on the shield. So I've elected for a single lion rampant on a blue field as an earlier ancestor of the Earl.
For those who aren't familiar, William Longespee was one of the mightiest men in the realm of England and Normandy in his day. He helped found and build Salisbury Cathedral, his wife founded Lacock Abbey (parts of which were used in making the Harry Potter films. Not to mention it being a really nice day out as the village is lovely), and he was an illigitimate son of Henry the Second. So a fairly mighty guy in his time. His son was a famous crusader, who may be a key point for the origin of English/French animosity.
Following with some WIP of some Milites and Stipendarii. The future Standard bearer is Perry, while the Whorl Cross Milite is Gripping Beat. On the whole the GB milite was of reasonable quality, though not nearily as finely detailed as the Perry Milite. However the horse doesn't look as good, I'm not sure what I'm going to do to tone down the bug eyes of the horse. Also, it may not be entirely evident, but I've been trying to get any 'free standing' legs to be unsupported and on the Perry minis at least I'm trying to carve out the metal between the reigns under the chin of the horse. Minor stuff, but I like the effect it gives. The Standard bearing milite does need to have one of his reigns fixed after an accident doing just that.
I've decided to build the second musician to go with my champion above, and paint him as a retainer for the champion. The stipendarii with the brown stuff is a Gripping Beast Italo Norman. I found on these the right arms tended to be one big blob, and it wasn't positioned well for carrying anything. So I hacked it up and repositioned it. He will be carrying a spear when done.
Cool! A historical blog! Great stuff. Enjoying the background you're giving us a lot. Have you seen any of Fireforge Game's plastic stuff? I dunno if it'd be useful for you, probably the wrong period I suppose, but I thought I'd point you at them in case any of it was up your alley.
Da Boss wrote: Cool! A historical blog! Great stuff. Enjoying the background you're giving us a lot. Have you seen any of Fireforge Game's plastic stuff? I dunno if it'd be useful for you, probably the wrong period I suppose, but I thought I'd point you at them in case any of it was up your alley.
I have seen their pieces online, and they do look firly nice. They aren't totally out of period, being formed between the First and Second Crusades, during that time arms and armor hadn't advanced incredibly (even by the 3rd crusade, you aren't totally beyond scope). Chain was becoming more full body over the more typical hauberks of the earlier Norman period and the first great helms started to appear by the 3rd crusade, but still similar shields and chain or chain and limited arm/leg plate (done in bands bolted to something usually, not the plate we usually think of).
I do have 9 of Perry's Hospitalers that I will be painting as Templars in their white/black livery. The nice thing about Normans are the fact you can run them for battles in France, England, Italy, Byzantium, the Crusades, Ireland, or elsewhere. From being a group relocated to help buffer against Viking raids they moved on to control a pretty wide empire under various dukes, princes, counts, and even kings. The Normans in Italy conquered Sicily and large parts of Southern Italy, conquered England (okay, so they had Breton and Flemish help in spades, but still), actually challenged the might of Byzantium several times, and then played a key part in the success of the First Crusade, successfully carving out the first of the Crusader state.
So, the Crusades, being a favorite period, will have some models done for them, to let me play a full range of Norman action. After all, how do you improve on a Viking? You put him on a horse and give him a bigger stick? How do you improve on that? You make him a disciplined warrior in a group, able to perform complex maneuvers (during the Battle of Hastings the Normans were known to charge and retreat in a way that simulated panic. This eventually tricked the English into pursuing them where upon the mounted Normans wheeled about and slaughted the English who were no longer able to have a nice shield wall to hide behind. That is an extremely complex manuever to handle and requires a lot of discipline to keep from becoming an actual panic). How do you improve again? You make make him a diehard fundamentalist...
So, back again with an update. I've primed and done some basic flesh on my first group of Sargents (made the mistake of referring to them as Stipendarii, which is where we get the word stipend from, as they were hired soldiers, the Sargents being the non Milite mercenaries, which is what I will likely use them as). I've also primed up my sword wielding Milites. No photos of them though, not enough work gone into them yet.
I do have WIP of a Milite Standard Bearer though. I've based his design on a German minestralis from a couple centuries later, Ulrich von Lichtenstein. He was a poet and a knight of the 1200s who wrote about how a knight should behave. I figured that was a good reason to base the man who will hold a 'papal standard' on. I will be doing the standard in gold, purple, and white, with various colored streamers at the end. Medieval Europe is a highly symbolic society as people could not read, by and large, so I will be choosing Red, Blue, Green and White for the for 'streamers' I will cut into the end (Normans being supremely religious each of those colors corresponds to a particular aspect associated with the Christian religion and it's primary focal point).
Okay, so not 28mm like my Normans, but here is a 54mm Viking Warrior I did about 2 years back to whet appetites for when I do get around to getting some of the 28mm done. He was actually a very early attempt with snow flock, so it didn't come out quite like I wanted, but the rest of the model turned out well.
Also, some photos of the Milite Command with some better lighting:
The horses are really striking, I think that's really important when making a cavalry army. The viking looks really good- the pose is great.
Are you planning on any scenery? I've been daydreaming about a Celt army for a while, and the idea of making some raths and Crannógs is really appealing!
I've managed to finish off two more milites. That makes 5 of 10 models I currently have, though I'll probably be happy to hit 8 and then work on a single warlord model for Saga. To go full out for a 1500 point Norman list I want a block of 11 and a block of 12, merging a Comes in with the block of 11. However, that will be a while yet.
The model with the whorl cross is a Gripping Beast mini. You'll notice the figure and horse are 'chunkier' than the Perry mini. It isn't that they are bad, but the sculpt definitely isn't as nice as the Perry mini. The milite himself was actually caked with excess metal in the hand area that took a lot of cleaning, and on parts of the shield as well.
The red/white shield is the Fitzwarren family coat of arms. One of the towns near us is Stanton Fitzwarren, and given the name is of Norman origin, I couldn't resist pulling over the Fitzwarren coat of arms. Interestingly I did find two coats of arms for the family. The red/white with the red star, and a blue/yellow quartered pattern. As I'd already just done the blue/yellow Longespee/Plantagenet coat of arms, and would be using such for the DeRedvers and a coat of arms appearing on Muchelney's Abbey's charter, I choose the red/white scheme
I've been a bit busy of late. Having taken the family up to see Sherwood forest, and with other things. So I haven't gotten as much done as I would have hoped. Although part of that may be that I'm working on so many at once. Here are some WIP shots of stuff to come, a few knights, some spearmen, and some vikings. Also I've included a recently finished knight based on the deRedvrs coat of arms. The deRedvrs were the lords of the Isle of Wight following the Norman conquest.
Soon to be done Haggar the Horrible themed vikings (you can see there a random guy with the blond beard and then Haggar, Lucky Eddie, and Honi in progress, I didn't get Snert in the picture). Note, I don't want to make Haggar, but am painting to match the comics.
Next on my Heathguard/Milite crew is a member of the Hungerford clan. The Hungerfords were a powerful family in Wiltshire whose history reads a bit like Dallas or Dynasty. Farleigh Hungerford castle often changed owners as the family went through various fortune shifts due to gambling problems or other debts. At one point the wife murdered and burned the lord of Hungerford in the castle kitchens.
They are also one of the families who donated to Lacock Abbey (while going around the cloisters, you can find a boss of their coat of arms in an area that was previously bricked up under a medieval wall painting).
I'll try and get some photos up of my market cross work in progress and another musician that I've recently finished.
As promised, here is some of my wip terrain, and some more Sergeants/Warriors.
The terrain will be a covered market cross with a slate tile roof. The 'cobblestones' are made from cut up plasticard, and the shingles so far are made from thin cardboard/card stock, though I may be moving to a similar thickness plasticard as I am running out. I haven't quite decided how I want to do the cap on the roof yet, but I have a few good ideas.
Now for the Sergeants that I've recently finished. From left to right they are de Vaux (some sources have a different color scheme, but this is the one I found depicted in a medieval manuscript, and I thought black and white would be a nice change, de Vaux as a family were donors for Lanercost priory. Today the Nave of the church is still the parish church, but the rest of the Abbey is owned by English Heritage. It is interesting because it is made from recycled bricks from Hadrian's wall. There are bits of tombs, part of a carving of Hercules, and other Roman bits in the walls. Two of the tombs may have belonged to Knights Templar, and show/depict the shell seen as a mark of those who had been to Jerusalem. Also in two of the window sills can be seen the faint traces of carvings of Nine Men's Morris and Fox and Hounds/Geese, that would have been used by the monks), a homage to the Wiltshire county flag (Wiltshire's flag is green and white with a red wyvern/dragon in the top left corner), the flutist is in the livery of the champion of the unit (blue and white with red trim), and the man on the end has no special significance. He was a part done model from years ago that I finished up and fit in. I plan to run these as Flemish Mercenaries in Saga (and have unified the unit a bit by everyone having some two of the following colors blue, white, and red).
And a group shot with the standard bearer and champion previously posted.
Here we have my first finished piece of terrain for my Normans and Vikings to fight over, a covered market cross. I haven't decided if I want to try and put "moss/mold" on the slate roof yet, for now I think I'll leave as is. Unfortunately the lighting isn't super (stupid time change in England making it dark when I get home from work now).
Life has a way of coming up to slow you down. I haven't been doing a lot of painting of late, but have managed to finish my Tithe Barn and enough Norman Sergeants to make either a Norman Warriors or Flemish Mercenaries.
My barn is inspired by the Cotswolds, and the lovely golden sandstone the buildings are made out of.
Then my Warriors/Flemish Mercenaries. I've added the Lutrell family (their actual crest has more birds, but this works. They were the lords of Dunster Castle in Exmoor national park, and donors at Lacock Abbey. Their fortunes waxed and waned over the years as they lost Dunster at one point and then recovered it. The red and white is based on a boss I saw on a sheet detailing various Wiltshire church bosses (I forget who the family was).
The first is the family shield/arms for the Meyners family which would become the Scottish Clan Menzie (which I can trace ancestry back to, which means at some point my family came out of Normandy. Which I only found out when looking up the Menzie coat of arms prior to the current one with the Saracen head. It was quite interesting to discover the clan is descended from a Norman knight who came over during the invasion by the name of 'Mayners/Meyners') and he's partnered with a Levy/Warrior customized to be similar to the statue of Robin Hood in Nottingham.
Then we have deRoche, who was also a donor at Lacock Abbey. As with my others I'm trying to get red/white/blue onto all of the Sergeants as a unifying color theme.
I'm not dead yet! I'm sorry I haven't had an update in a long time, but we moved back to the US in January, and I haven't had any of my supplies or minis while we have been looking for a house. To keep working I purchased some wargames factory vikings and saxons to build out some vikings (and I've got enough I could build some Geats that can be used as vikings or anglo-danes or anglo saxons, given that Beowulf is an 'English' poem).
Berserkers converted from the Viking and Ancient German sprues. You have to be a bit carful about what you use as the figures aren't to the same scale exactly.
I've got a score of archers under construction as well, but not far enough along to share. Sculpting in tunics takes longer than I had originally thought.
My it's been a while since I updated my blog. Moving, kids, etc has eaten up much of my time and I've allowed myself to slack off. At any rate, some more milites are in the works.
The first uses the Fitzwalter coat of arms. Fitzwalter was involved in various places in Wiltshire, signed the Magna Carta, but is also Maid Marian's family according to Robin Hood Legends (Marian Fitzwalter). Given that my bowmen are going to be loosely based on Robin Hood I couldn't resist including a knight of the Fitzwalter household.
Second is another dapple grey horse. It is the William the Conqueror mini, but I have adapted it somewhat (the knight, not the horse). I liked my first grey, and decided to do another based on the following pick:
Ultimately the heraldry for this knight is based on a clan with the same last name as my family name. I don't know that we're related, but I couldn't resist.
I need to include a nice piebald horse for my next milite I think. I have a partly done milite based on a coat of arms from Muchelney Abbey and I haven't started on his horse yet. I think a nice piebald will do for him.
I've started on my Templars, and have finished up my first rider, the squad leader. I've tried something a little different for painting the white. I've tried to make it feel like a lived in robe for a warrior monk, not something nice and pristine.
Once my camera is charged up I will have to get some better pictures, as I've also done the skin a little different to try and capture a sun tan of some sort.
Well, I haven't been getting a whole lot done for quite a while, as you can see. Here is the main reason for that, my kid's fort which I just 'finished' today. I'm pretty pleased with myself as I designed it all by myself, and mostly built it by myself (my Dad helped with the framing, and my wife helped hold board on the exterior, but otherwise made with my own two hands). It's a 'tri' level affair. The main floor, then a landing for the slide, and then a top floor that you can see my son standing behind it's railing in one of the photos. The swords and shield are from our 2 years in the UK. Forward thinking made me buy two instead of just one (my son was like 1 month old when I bought them, he's now 18 months).
I will sand down the outside and stain it again, and I do have to add on the telescope on the top floor for them, but it's effectively done! Yay!
Okay, so not minis, but Norman themed and thus related to the blog (particularly as my main time eater for the last two months, hey, I was traveling a lot...).
I found out I was supposed to help run my daughter's preschool Halloween party just over two weeks before it was supposed to happen. Thankfully my Mother shares a passion for history and some very good sowing talents. We pieced the following costume together from bits I already owned (belt, dagger, slippers, brooch, and sundry) and I went as a Norman circa the conquest, or alternatively as a Viking if you prefer.
The dagger, and I should post a photo of it, was hand forged by a blacksmith in England using iron from the 1800s and four thousand year old bog oak for the handle. It was my piece of history I took home from England with us. My wife was very good to me for Christmas with it last year (I had been looking for a pattern welded seax, but choose the dagger as something more personal and not just a modern recreation but also something containing actual history).
The slippers aren't authentic to be sure, but were close enough. The cloak is done in the 'blanket' style, and we tried to pick only colors that you could have conceivably found, using rough linen. It won most unique costume at my work's Halloween shindig.
Fascinated by the idea of Hadrian's Wall bits turning up in Wiltshire reuse of Roman stonework is pretty common but the trek down from Cumbria to Wiltshire especially during the Scourging of the North is weird. Your terrain is absolutely beautiful.
Llamahead wrote: Fascinated by the idea of Hadrian's Wall bits turning up in Wiltshire reuse of Roman stonework is pretty common but the trek down from Cumbria to Wiltshire especially during the Scourging of the North is weird. Your terrain is absolutely beautiful.
Sorry for the confusion, Lanercost is near Carlisle. I spent a night there before we moved to England and then toured it again with my wife and my daughter the following summer. I just happened across the coat of arms while painting and had to put it in as the graves of two Templars were located at the end of the ruined part of the priory.
Da Boss wrote: Hey, this blog! Just spotted it again. Great to see you're keeping on with it. I'm starting my own Norman force and intend basing it on the Normans in my own home area of Wexford in Ireland.
You mentioned scale differences between the WGF germans and Vikings. I have the vikings and am planning on picking up the Germans at some stage, what are the differences in scale?
Thanks very much and that sounds great.
So, the WGF Ancient Germans are ever so slightly smaller and not built as in scale in and of themselves. I bought them to build berserkers using Anglo Saxon and Viking Huscarl parts to work up the bare chested bodies. The heads are just a little too big. I've managed to hide this somewhat by putting bear fur capes on my 4 berserkers, but it's noticeable if you don't do anything. Overall the Viking bodies are just a bit taller and beefier than the German models. The other problem is that a lot of the German arms are not in scale with each other. Some are obviously smaller and shorter than other arms in the same set (so the right will be tiny and the left will be long and bulging). This becomes a problem trying to get full utilization out of the pieces. It's also hard when you try and convert bodies (I'm using a lot of the rest of the Ancient Germans to build up a Levy Archer group, and I need to use arms from both groups to make it work the way I want. Difficult with some of the gimpier arms). It isn't so noticeable until you assemble the models, and then you start to scratch your head with some of the pieces.
I tried to get some photos, but I must have thrown away a lot of the tiny arms, although you can see an arm difference if you look closely at one of my berserkers (I'll try and get some photos up). So, you can do it, but be prepared to have to fudge some things a bit and do some putty work, they don't fit together quite right otherwise.
Ruglud wrote: Hey, great little blog - my mate and I used to run Norman v Viking battles (using Warhammer Ancient Battles rules) and I'm always pleased to see historic modelling blogs here
As for 1:1 scale scenery, you're on to a winner. I too have a 1:1 castle in the garden...
Thank you very much, I appreciate the encouragement. That's a great octagonal keep you have there.
Cool Castles and thanks for the info I'd wondered. Wargames Factory internal scale can be quite hit and miss. Their Skeletons are some of the worst plastic models I've purchased although their Chariots and Zulus are awesome.
Llamahead wrote: Cool Castles and thanks for the info I'd wondered. Wargames Factory internal scale can be quite hit and miss. Their Skeletons are some of the worst plastic models I've purchased although their Chariots and Zulus are awesome.
The Vikings and Saxons are both pretty good kits, and interchange very well.
Here is something to help illustrate:
The guy on the left is a WGF German and the guy on the right is a WGF Saxon/Viking. They both have Viking weapons. At first glance it looks okay right? Take a look again, they're in basically the same pose, and so should be about the same height. Yet the German is shorter by a base height and everything else is in proportion. I was able to hide the fact the head was too big a little with some putty, but without doing it the head looked huge.
Yep basically the original Wargames Factory sets were true 28mm but gradually they began to move to a more heroic 28mm. This actually was fine for my IG Zulu regiment when fighting them Marines actually look like they're 8ft tall super men.
Here are some Norman minis from a slightly different material. I'm carving/painting these for my kids for Christmas, and have carved them myself. I'm trying to achieve a worn/old wood toy look with them, and I'm happy with how they are turning out so far. I do also have a square tower done, and will be adding another wall and tower to the set. The red knight is for my daughter and the blue knight is for my son. I wanted them nice and simple in shape so that they would stand up to play, hence why you don't see arms sticking out and so forth.
The knights are carved from Bass wood, the wall from Redwood (used in the flooring of their 'castle/fort') and the gate is from Pine (the walls of their 'castle/fort'). I used scrap from the fort first because I had it, and second because I thought it would be more fun to have their fort 'inside' for play.
I've been pretty good about assembling a ton of Vikings/Geats/Normans, but don't have anything to show yet (black primed models coming out my ears now) on that front. On a slightly different note I received several books from my Amazon wish list on the Roman army for Christmas. I've always wanted to paint some Romans (mainly I've wanted to build a chess set with them, as an example). I thought about picking up some 28mm Romans, but realized it would just bog everything down as they'd take as long to clean, prepare, customize, etc so I choose something a little outside my norm. For the first time ever I've picked up some 15mm models. Corvus Belli's line of Early Imperial Romans was just what I was looking for. I wanted to build the II Legio Augusta as they were based about an hour west of where we were living in the UK (Caerleon), and these were perfect.
I have modified them a little to include a cloak for the colder climes of England (I have ~16-19 foot troops that need cloaks, and about 16 already with cloaks) and wanted to base them as if there had been a recent 'dusting' of snow. I couldn't find a definitive II Augusta shield scheme, but saw this one repeated quite often. It was much simpler than many designs, and looked different so I decided I would run with it. Pretty happy with how these first 4 have turned out, the models themselves are easily as well made as the best 28mm out there. Loads of details (individual toes, fingers, facial details, belts, etc) in them. I have 4 more at least 50% done, and a scratch built Roman Scorpion mostly done (although not with CB minis, and you can really tell the difference as the two crew are very simplistic in comparison).
The colors aren't the best, as I took them this morning. When I finish off the other 4 and the Scorpion I will try and get some better lighted photos.
I have recently been semi diverted into some Samurai/Sengoku Jidai related items. I have built and painted a mini from Kensei, which is a gorgeous mini but their prices are ridiculously high for what you get. After finishing him I decided to build some terrain, and have a few more related minis on the way. I'd like to pick up a copy of Osprey's Ronin skirmish rules, but we'll see. In the mean time I've built a walled house for a samurai, which will include a small pond with a cherry tree in the middle. The pond isn't completely done yet as I have to build up the tree (it will have rocks running around the inside as well, with a little grass island the tree sits on). Anyone have any good ideas for putting koi in the pond? Maybe paint some small slips of paper to look like koi, glue them down, and then pour the 'water' over top?
I also plan to put a small bench beside the pond, and maybe an ornamental light (although I'm still not sure about that).
Anyways, some work in progress shots:
The gold paper was a chance find at Michael's, in their scrap booking department. I had gone in looking for the corrugated paper used for the tiles, and found it. It will make some excellent cobble stones when painted, for a paved courtyard.
Automatically Appended Next Post: Some rough pics of the Samurai that inspired my building craze. I wonder if you could play saga by dividing the unit sizes by 4. Since 1 Hearth Guard = 2 Warriors = 3 Levy, play a 4 or 6 point game where each point bought you 1 HG, 2 Warriors, or 3 Levy.... instead of the 4, 8, 12 as normal. Effectively letting you play with much smaller armies. Some abilities wouldn't work right I suppose (such as the sacrifice a model to do x)....
The bulk of the model is not actually glossy, I've just covered over the black armor with a lick of gloss paint to imply lacquered armor. The cherry on his base is similar to what will go in the house's garden. I've chosen the Otomo clan for the mon to be a bit different.
Liking the samurai, blossom tree base is superb and the house is fantastic. I'm not sold on the positioning of the arms, but it's still a nice model. As far as ideas for koi, maybe doubling the height of the pond wall would allow you to place some basic fish shapes painted orange within a water effect. Placing some Lilly pads on top of the surface of the effects would obscure the view of the koi, enough so that the shapes wouldn't have to be so accurate? Hope that gives you some ideas
Thanks for the nice comments and ideas. What about painting the koi onto the board. Then laying some heavier and lighter washes of the pond color over some of them to give them the illusion of depth in the water? I could even mix that with the fin breaking the water idea.
First up is a village house with a thatch roof. This is a first for me as I've never experimented with faux fur in such a fashion before. I need to finish the windows on the side, and then it's painting time (you can see a small part where I tested painting it already).
Then a shrine wip. I've built the armatures for two of the four cherry trees which will flank the cobbled path.
I want to try and putty up the bases the tori gate is based on to look like stone.
I eventually want to build two more houses and a store, possibly a tea house/public house of some sort as well. It will give me some experience before I flesh out my Norman terrain (I have a castle keep planned out, and am most of the way through a Sarissa church, although I seem to have lost my Norman manor house when we moved this past summer, which is a shame as it was a lovely kit from Sarissa as well).
Coming along nicely. I'd say minimal weathering, just enough so that it doesn't look brand new. The amount of grime you put on the farmhouse was just right. I'm normally all for heavy weathering, but feel that these should be in good condition, although not pristine.
Some updates on my progress. I've started building an objective marker, and have mostly finished up the koi pond and a village fountain/trough (meant to be omniversal, I had originally started constructing it for my Normans, but wanted to keep it simple so it could be used with lots of terrain).
First up my objective marker with the Otomo clan mon, which I am using for my buntai:
Made with some linen cloth and some tubing.
Here is my fountain/water trough/well, made with some putty, plastruct tubing, and an old mint tin.
Finally the koi pond, tree, and bench. I have some grey touch up to do, and unfortunately I used a little to much ink to dye the water, so the koi are rather difficult to see. However, it still captures the garden feel nicely, so I'm happy enough with it.
Whew, that took forever. Some Norman crossbows. That means I've hit 4 pts for Saga completed. Now just 11 other bowmen and I'll hit 5. I have 6 more Flemmings/Warriors done, so I can either finish two more for 6 points (2 Hearthguard, 2 Warriors on Foot, 1 Warrior with xbows, and 1 bow armed levy) or I finish off 4 more milites ( which I will do anyways at some point). Unfortunately the full sunshine dilutes the color shading on these, but oh well.
I've also got a modified William the Bastard in there, now wielding a mace, as I think the club is stupid. He's just a normal milite for my purposes (although he could be a warlord if I wanted). The shield is the Coleman family crest (minus the four mini crosses).
carlos13th wrote: This thread is fantstic mate. Not only is it great to see more historicals on Dakka but your terrain is fantastic.
Thanks very much, I appreciate that.
So currently I am playing with an excellent group in Utah, the Wasatch Front Historical Gamers. They've been quite gracious in letting me join in their sessions. About 2 weeks ago I had them over to play Saga and you can see pictures of my Vikings, Normans, Anglo-Danish (using my Norman spearmen as theirs are still in progress), and Templars. This was done on my river board, which still has a little polishing to finish out, but is certainly close.
If you have a minute, I also strongly recommend perusing Warning Order. It's the club's ezine which chronicles a number of the games they play and gives batreps of the bi-weekly wargame. I've been fortunate to play a slew of different systems and periods with them. Currently I am working on some 10mm Teutonic Knights to play Warmaster with them (the club already had Normans, Vikings, Crusaders, Samurai, EIR, Late Roman/Arthurian which were all my initial choices).
Saga went over pretty well with my group, and we discussed using the rules to play different eras. In the end, we've gone with Ancient Greek/Rome/Persian/Carthage/et al. Loads of potential for boards, terrain, etc.
I suppose it might be more appropriate to call it 'Epic' now?
At any rate, I've built a large Temple of Ares. I think I will inscribe the pedistal with the greek form of 'The die is cast'. The roof lifts off so that you can play inside, and the columns are spaced to allow troops to move between them and the building. Cake toppers make up the columns, and the stone is made from thin foam that was pressed to make the dressed stones.
Fun project that I was able to involve my 5 year old in.
Short summation and some photos from a Ronin game we ran last Friday. The Sohei, peasants, defending Samurai, lord's house, shrine, some trees, and a farm house are mine. The rest is Mark's kit from our group:
Bushi: An Ikko-Ikki uprising had called away the local lord and a skeleton retainer force was left to defend the village. When a raiding party from the main Ikko-Ikki warband arrived unannounced they had to secure the lord's wife and basically half of the population. Secondary objective was to defend the houses/buildings of the village.
Sohei: They needed to rescue an itinerant monk that was in the village. While their secondary objective was to protect the villagers as the lord had allowed them to stay in the region being the practical lord that he is (bushi had teppos, under the rational their lord had converted to Christianity to secure weapons and trade concessions, but being pragmatic had not kicked the Buddhists out so as to keep those of his people who did not wish to convert happy).
Ikko-Ikki: They were tasked with carrying off peasants and the itinerant monk (can't be a real Buddhist, he's been aiding Christian and Buddhists alike!). If they could not capture them killing them would work as a secondary objective.
The Sohei and Bushi were not informed they had similar objectives, as the Sohei were told to bring models to their shrine while the bushi were told to bring models to the lord's fortified house.
I moved the peasants around to keep them as far from any party as possible for as long as possible. Two of which were ninja, who I was going to try and take leaders out with to add a little unexpected/cannot plan for this to the game. The unpredictability worked at any rate, and I swapped out the villagers. One ninja was effortlessly annihilated by the Sohei while the other killed an Ikko-Ikki monto and then chased them around the board.
The Sohei won in the end. They secured the monk and the Ikko-Ikki lacked sufficient control of peasants at game end. As such they had full-filled most of their victory conditions. Bushi came in second, with Ikko-Ikki just not getting where they needed quickly enough (as I said, lots of horrible rolling, the Sohei and Ikko-Ikki archers couldn't manage a roll over a 5 or 6 for shooting for almost the entire game, I think something like 1 light wound and two stuns out of over 20 shots).
It's been a while, but 6 points of done Normans needed to be put onto the table to play. Similarly, 5 points of Vikings plus a partially complete levy unit were itching for some plunder. I sadly don't have a lot of trees, so some imagination is needed when looking at the pics. Everything other than the 4-ground buildings was built and painted by me.
Our historical gaming group again revisited Saga for a scenario involving some Norman on Viking action. Ask most folks about when the Normans were first in England, and they’ll probably look at you like ‘who are the Normans’, but for historical folks, most will say 1066. That is, of course, somewhat misleading and untrue. The events in 1066 were of course predicated on the fact that Edward the Confessor had a lot of Norman advisors in the kingdom at that time, and if you are a conspiracy theorist, he may have been bumped off so that he couldn’t transfer power to them (Duke William at least made that claim, and there is some evidence to believe he was probably right). Edward, though, isn’t their first interference in English politics. When Cnut conquered England he took a Norman bride, Emma. So in a real sense, Edward was Norman, and Cnut was already courting the powerful families in Normandy following his conquering of England.
Thus the plot for the evening involved two Norman lords being called up Cnut for a council following his conquest. In the aftermath, Cnut’s big potential rival was Thorkell the Tall, and Cnut was calling in all lords to assess loyalty. A few of Thorkell’s retainers took it upon themselves to ambush the Normans and hopefully reduce Cnut’s clout enough to keep him from obtaining unquestioned power. Just shy of a river crossing next to a small farmstead in a wood they barricaded the road and setup an ambush in the surrounding woods. Areas in orange, below, are forested.
We played with 4 players, each with a 3 point warband. Norman player 1 had 1 warlord, 1 mounted hearthguard unit, 1 foot warrior unit, and 1 warrior unit with crossbows. Norman player 2 had 1 warlord, 1 mounted hearthguard unit, 1 foot warrior unit, and 1 unit of bow armed levy. Viking player 1 had 1 warlord, 1 unit hearthguard, and 2 units of warriors. Viking player 2 had 1 warlord, 1 unit hearthguard, 1 unit of warriors, and 1 unit of levy bow. The entire board was essentially forested, meaning the milites could not move more than one base off the path or field (small path off the field led to a ‘foot bridge’ over the river, simulating the somewhat dense underbrush that English forests can tend to have. Archers were allowed to shoot through it. The Normans had to get at least 50% of their units off the table (50% being units with more than 50% of their men left, such that if the Vikings killed 3 of 4 hearthguard, as an example, they got the victory point for that unit).
In addition, we used a hidden setup for the Vikings. They had a suite of cards that were turned face-down. All face cards were real units, non-face cards were dummy blinds. They could move each card as if it was a unit, and if a Norman came within 6 inches of a card it had to be revealed. This enabled the Viking players to move about and create some tension in terms of where the attack would fall.
In the opening phases most of the Normans moved up the path into the small farm clearing, being locked into a narrow combat formation due to the path. A lone unit of Viking warriors surprised them near the entrance to the farm, and the Normans struggled to array into formation in time to protect the column. The doughty warriors gave much better than they took, and quickly whittled down a unit of warriors before being finished off by milites. The Viking levy appeared in one of the fields of the farm, and were promptly charged by the surviving milites (who survived with 1 milite left).
Below the carnage in the town, the crossbows and Norman levy were sneaking through the trees supported by the remaining unit of warriors. They just made the field, as their warrior screen was butchered by in coming Viking warriors. At this point things were looking grim for the Normans, they were close to hitting the 50% mark and loosing. 1 unit of milites was almost gone, 2 units of warriors were gone, and the Viking warlords and hearthguard were yet to get into play.
It was here the Norman missile fire saved the day. They effectively wiped out a hearthguard, warlord, unit of warriors, and stymied the Viking movement (essentially denying them easy routes to mop up). It came down to the remaining Norman hearthguard attacking the remaining Viking hearthguard everything being butchered. The warlord’s clashed, and the Normans came out on top with just their warlords and the missile armed levy counting towards victory, winning by the skin of their teeth thanks to some last minute heroics by the missile units and warlord.
1 Vikings warlord against two Norman ones, and a full unit of levy and x-bow at the end.
Some overall comments, milites are deadly in combat, but weak in number. If you cannot soften foes up they will die. The Normans very nearly lost the game. Milites went down in droves because the bows could not adequately support them and the milites had very limited movement. Viking battleboards can dominate melee, forcing refights or bulking up attacks hurts when your Norman's forced to engage to keep from being surrounded. In the end the scenario worked out very balanced, lack of mobility hurt the Normans and the cover bonus of the woods could have saved the Vikings if it had not been for phenomenal rolling on the Norman player's part. The fact that they walked off with the milites and warriors having been wiped out to a man or close to it tells how narrow it got.
Four Warbands are now done for Saga. Six points of Normans, 4 points of Milites Christi, 4 (5) points of Vikings, and 4 points of Anglo Danish. I have two points of Levy Archers in progress, but I am not sure when they will be back on the table as I am busy with a Teutonic Knights Warmaster Ancients army and Greeks for Saga (or should I say Epic?).
Anyways a group shot of the Normans:
The Danes of course could be used as Vikings if need be.
The group I play with are big fans of Warmaster Ancients. I wasn't sure about 10mm, but the game is fun and I wanted to support the group and so I choose the Teutonic Knights after a lot of list perusing. There were already several crusaders and a Norman player, so I went for the Northern Crusades instead.
This is the start to my forces. One general, two sub commanders, a unit of Teutonic Knights, two crusader units (one as a block of mounted Teutonic Sergeants), three Order Spear (one as a block of knights on foot), two crossbow, and a unit of light cav.
Still to come is a fourth unit of spear, two more crossbow, one or two units of light cav as mounted crossbowmen, and one or two units of Teutonic Knights. Basing is snow, as winter combat was the norm due to the swampy morass the terrain became in the summer. A few units still need based, but I am saving up to do a large block at once as the snow is a pain to make and you make a lot when you do it.
My crusaders were fun as they represent towns we used to go to often when I was a boy in Germany. Front row, left to right; Garmisch, Karlsruhe, Sindelfingen (had an awesome pool complex), Vaihingen (where we were stationed), Esslingen, and Hohenzollern. Back row, left to right; Freiburg, Ulm, Schwabisch-Gmund, Tubingen, Heidelberg, and Ludwigsburg.
I have finally finished some of my Greeks for Epic/Saga. I have based them somewhat on the great Ray Harryhausen film Jason and the Argonauts. The hearthguard and Warlord are in the blackgold armor and the warriors are in a white/black linen to still cover some of the colors but still be a little different.
The slingers will serve as mercenaries, Rhodian Slingers.
Saga, as a system, has great core mechanics, and if you are willing to dabble can be made into a robust system for any small scale unit action. Case in point, the fens and swamps that Hereward the Wake's soldier's used surrounding Ely after demise of Harold and most of the ruling elite in England. Now this could be played straight up, with no twists but we decided to add a little wrinkle. Hereward was the leader of Saxon resistance after William had conquered Southern England. He withdrew into the fens around the town of Ely (with the backing of the bishop there), and made repeated sorties out to run a guerrilla war upon the Norman invaders. The fens posed a problem in both attack and defense. Large bodies of troops were difficult to move through the territory, and both sides spent time looking for paths in and out to enable or deny successful conquests.
We used a standard scenario from the book, where both sides started with 6 points and then bid to see who would defend. The lowest bidder defended the 'town' while the other team attacked. As the fens were notorious for shifting pathways, fetid swamp, and thick gorse any unit that wanted to move would have to roll a D6. On Evens they could move as normal, on odds foot soldiers moved short (instead of medium) and mounted troops moved very short. The attacking player had to find a pathway off the table, while the defenders had to stop them. We used simple stones to delineate good and bad paths across the board. Blue stones meant solid footing/clear land while red indicated muck/swamp/other slowing troops down. Anything withing very short of a path counted the same as the path, meaning a player could moved successive units up a path and branch off in new directions depending on how things went.
The Normans underbid the Anglo-Danish (Saxons) and thus the scenario was the Normans guarding a known farmstead on the outskirts, attempting to keep the Saxons bottled up inside the fens while the Duke prepared his soldiers for the assault on Ely. The Anglo-Danish had to get their soldiers off the opposite table edge. For a full victory they needed a continuous path, for a slim victory just getting off the board would do. The Norman player took two units of Mounted Hearthguard, a unit of crossbows, and a unit of foot warriors. The town would count everything within medium as firm ground with no rolling needed to move.
The Anglo-Danish spread out across the table and started a slow slog across it, with only moderate success for mobility. The Normans likewise slowly trudged out to counter at a few key points on the table. At several points the pathing meant both sides failed to get into combat. In particular the Normans failed on a few key charges, and the Anglo-Danish we able to slog across slowly but steadily. The Norman crossbow shooting ensured the 'Saxons' did not go unmolested however. In the end though, the Anglo-Danish order countering ability saw a single unit of Anglo-Danes get off the table, though not with any connecting paths. By that point the Normans had been whittled down, but the Danes couldn't get the job done for a full win.
Now this can be connected for a future game, in which the 'Saxons' are attempting a break out, but due to the slim victory the Normans might have an ambush lined up and ready to go. A simple mechanic, in this case to represent boggy/marshy ground, made for a very different version of the standard scenario, where no one could be certain of how things would play out.
A lack of interconnected paths slowing things down:
Norman Crossbows and the killing field.
These milites and Danish (Saxons) failed several charges right before this show down.
There is more to this story that is fascinating. Tintagel castle was built when a British Bishop had a vision that said it was either the birth place of Arthur or Camelot (I do not remember which, it has been a few years since I was there). The English King was persuaded to build a castle there, as it had little to no strategic value at the time, to connect himself with the legend of Arthur. There was no evidence at the time beyond the Bishop's claims
For years this was thought to have all been hogwash and that the Bishop had pulled a fast one on the king. However, during modern excavations they started discovering that there had, in fact, been a very wealthy and lucrative international trading center in the 6th/7th century. Items from as far away as Byzantium and beyond were found. Indicating that a king of some sort did in fact use it as one of his key ports and possibly towns. Someone, who may have been used to form the Arthurian legend, had in fact had troops, trading, ships, and people living on the site that was believed to have been a flim flam story.
Prime target for when a 'historical Arthur' would have lived AND fits with the legendary descriptions of who Arthur traded with and who paid him 'homage'.
Not proof that Arthur is real, but proof that someone, in that area, sure fit with a lot of the less fantastical parts of Arthurian legend.
I have recently finished up some levy and another block of warriors for Saga. The shield maidens were originally going to be for a Space Marine army many years ago. That plan never fully finished and so I stripped and repainted a few of them. Most of them are Shadow Forge, but there is a Foundry and Red Box figure in there.
The levy are all Artizan vikings. Hard to get them all different while keeping the color palette low/common. A few have blue or black garb to show wealth they have garnered on past voyages. Most have blonde hair not because the vikings were all platinum blonde, but it appears they liked to dye their hair pale blond. In India you see a lot of poorer people with red/orange hair as it is considered popular/attractive. So my levy mostly have followed suit. Dying their hair to seem more 'noble' or 'handsom'.
The Peloponnesian War is a rich source for wargamers. As the conflict spanned a number of Greek city states and colonies both on land at at sea, you can fit it into almost any style of game. Whether you are a skirmish gamer, a naval buff, or like to play the general, there is something in it for all styles of play.
I have slowly been building terrain and forces to adapt Saga into an Ancient Greek skirmish settup. This has been done before, and is typically refered to as “Epic” by those clubs who have done so. I recently finished up a modular 4x4 table with 1'x1' floor tiles. I hope to use them for Greek, 15mm WW2 Pacific, Crusader, and Pirate themed games. For the game in question, we went with the Greeks as I had finished up enough to get a reasonable game of En Garde! (perhaps best referred to as 'The Push!' given the setting).
Now, you might say En Garde! for Greek skirmish? Greek gaming without hoplite lines? That seems silly! However, it is perfectly in keeping with the war. Athens adopted a naval raiding strategy as they tended to loose to Sparta on land in a strait up slug fest. Athenian triremes spent years attacking the Lacedaemonian coast line with lightning raids meant to burn crops, raid temples, and otherwise demonstrate that the Spartans could not provide effective protection to their people or allies. It was a frustrating period for the Spartans, who would march up to Athens only to have the Athenians refuse battle and hide behind their walls.
These Athenian naval raids could be many ships, or small incursions. Very much hit and run affairs, designed to scorch the earth and then fall back. Perfect for a skirmish game. Such raids would have involved small groups of men with varying kit meant to harass the populace. Thus for the scenario each side had 10 models with a similar break down.
The Athenians had a rank 4 Commander with the Commander and Lucky Trait, medium armor, a shield, spear, and hand weapon. A Rank 3 sub officer, with Agile, spear, medium armor, and a hand weapon. Then four rank 2 Hoplites with shield, light armor, spear, and a hand weapon, 2 peltasts with a shield, hand weapon, and javelins, and two Cretan archers (rank 2, but with the Archer skill to denote the fact that the Cretans were widely regarded as some of the best mercenary archers in Ancient Greece).
The Spartans had a rank 4 Commander with the Commander and Tough traits, medium armor, a shield, spear, and a hand weapon. They also had a rank 3 sub officer with Powerful, spear, medium armor, and a hand weapon backed by 4 rank 2 Hoplites with shield, light armor, spear, and a hand weapon. Two Helot peltasts with javelin and shield backed by two Rhodian slingers (given the Sharpshooter trait, as the Rhodians were famous for their slingers).
This provided two similar, but slightly different forces. I deliberately kept them simple and straight forward so that the game wouldn't get bogged down, yet still have a few twists to mix things up. The scenario objectives and deployment served to shuffle it up a little further.
Demosthenes was deployed with the Athenians, just on the beach, a little ways from their Trireme. If the Spartans could capture him, he was worth 5 victory points. Meanwhile there were two fields that the Athenians were out to burn (two victory points per burnt field or 2 per field that the Spartans kept from burning), 2 merchant stalls to plunder (1 vp for plundering or saving them), and a Temple to Ares that could be attacked (the Athenians could plunder it or attempt to steal the statue of Ares, though stealing the statue was not reveal to them unless they got into the temple) for 5 points (or 10 if they stole the statue).
The Athenians were deployed using face down cards with two jokers used as blind/dummy cards. The Spartans then deployed having to guess how to come at the Athenians. The basic premise being that the main raiding force was elsewhere, and these Athenians were mopping up near the ship. The Spartan patrol had stumbled on them and was rushing to hold the line until reinforcements could arrive. The game would last 10 turns.
The Spartans won priority and moved their hoplites and commander up the middle of the table while their hero/sub officer moved down the left flank with the peltasts and slingers. The Athenians cautiously moved their hoplites, commander, and sub office up the middle with the archers and peltasts on their right flank.
Shooting opened with a spate of missile fire between archers and slingers, who manged to stun and wound each other, but only superficially. The peltasts engaged in petty squabbling while the Spartan sub officer slowly worked his way forward under covering fire.
For several turns the main lines sat facing each other in a scene straight out of a Sergio Leone movie which seemed somehow appropriate. Meanwhile on the flank the archers whittled down the slingers, eventually killing both while being wounded in return. The peltasts managed to start to maul each other, but by then it was too late as the Spartan rank 3 hero hit the Athenian peltasts like a sledge hammer. Without even trying he mowed them down in true Spartan style. Given their merciless treatment of the Helots, it is perhaps fitting that the Spartan thrashed what would have been considered the side show soldiers in Greek warfare of the time.
By the time the second Athenian peltast was down the two lines had clashed home and proceeded to give each other a mauling. The Athenian decision to keep their rank 3 with the main group proved to be key, as the Athenians slowly turned the flank and began to roll up the Spartan line. This was perhaps fortunate, and eventually the Athenian light infantry would be killed to the man with a greviously wounded Spartan peltast, one fresh peltast, and a fresh rank 3 moving into their backfield.
While the commanders did not anchor their lines, in true heroic fashion the combat came down to the two of them before the rank 3 Athenian also came into the fracas and attacked the Spartan commander from behind. That combo proved to much, and despite a valiant effort the Spartan was hacked down. At this point the Spartans failed their morale and shifted to wavering, but perhaps showing proper historical spirit they passed all of their rolls to move their men anyways.
Surprisingly, the Spartan rank three moved in with the peltasts to try and avenge their leader, when they had a clear run to Demosthenes for an easy 5 points given how few turns were left. Instead, it was their turn to get butchered and ultimately fall to routing.
In the end, one Athenian Hoplite, their rank 3, and their commander were left standing. However, the Spartans had successfully defended all objectives and at this point the game was called a Spartan win as the Athenians had to flee back to their ship as the Spartan reinforcements were arriving.
However, it wasn't a total route as each commander had a secret secondary objective. The Athenian leader had to kill 3 enemy models to prove himself a hero (The Spartan Commander had to end the game on or in the temple with no Athenians on/in the temple), which he nobly accomplished over the course of the game. Thus it is only a minor Spartan victory. They saved their crops, but the Athenians setup a trophy and the fame of their commander would spread to rally other cities to their cause and spread fear along the coast.
It is getting close to Christmas and this year I decided to paint up some Late Roman cav as presents. One will go to my daughter, one for my Mom, and one for my wife's mom. These are Footsore Late Roman heavy cavalry.
I think that I will have to build up a Late Roman Warband now. Studio Tomahawk is releasing a Late Roman Saga supplement. My daughter is turning 7 so perhaps I will try and teach her to play and help her paint up some Goths to oppose the Romans.
This is the start of an expirement for me. I've had a Japanese Tea House in mind for a while for Ronin, and have decided to give it a go based on some stuff I've read around building out of balsa struts and a first foray into lighted terrain. I bought some model train window film a little while back, and this is a chance for me to try it out (granted they did not have glass windows, but it will work for velum or paper windows). My walls will be wood and paper, which is 'traditional'. The main concept is an L shaped building with a small pond/garden enclosed by a courtyard with two entrances.
The initial concept drawing I developed is below.
To start with I cut struts to make the two ends of the L, and cut out the windows which I will put the film behind. I will likely need to put down a second layer of paper or paint the back of the paper that isn't a window so that the light doesn't shine a whole lot.
I've designed the walls so that the window will indicate a raised floor, and will be making steps up into the house. I am still trying to decide on tile or thatch for the roof. I may do both as I want an awning over the steps/porch, with the main roof in thatch and the awnings in tile. I also have to figure out how to hide the battery and switch for the terrain. I have a push button switch that I am thinking about trying to make a shrine or lantern out of, but I haven't drawn anything up yet. Perhaps the battery hidden in a rain barrel?
Automatically Appended Next Post: Slowly building up my walls here. I think that I will not go with the L-shaped stairs, and just do flat stairs. I will cut a notch out of the bottom strut/frame to run the wires either along the bottom of the L or through that wall. Funny how glue/time can ever so slightly warp things. It won't be noticeable once I put a roof on, but the rear wall is slightly skewed, perhaps due to the balsa itself.
For my daughter's 7th birthday, I have purchased her a set of Onna-Bugeisha to paint up for Ronin. While rare, there were female Samurai in combat, and if she wants to paint them pink or purple it will actually be okay. I think she is probably still a little young, but I thought I would give it a try. Adding up the modifiers will be good for her, and the small model count will make it useful for simple gameplay. They (both my son and daughter) show a high level of interest in my modeling, and both like to craft. Should this go well in about 2 years I'll try it with my son, and then I'll have gamers to play with at home!
It also means, by myself, I have insufficient Japanese terrain. So I have joined the current League of Extraordinary Riveters Terrain Contest. I will be building a small peasant cottage, and lighting it. This will be a good place to try out some ideas I've had for the tea house seen above. I want to use an electric tea light, and thus have to make the building removable so that I can fit it in the building. It will also be a good excuse to try and make some bamboo trees.
The contest is giving extra credit for putting it on a CD, so here we go (actually good in that it will encourage me to keep the cottage smaller).
My concept pic:
I've already come to realize that the bi-fold sliding doors will have to go on the back side of the house, and I'll be putting windows in where the doors are on the drawing.
Top down scale:
Some initial raw materials:
Ironically, bamboo skewer bamboo tree start:
Initial attempts on the bamboo:
I have the old GW How to Make Wargames Terrain, and their bamboo is actually colored in reverse. So if you have it, buyer beware. The joints should be dark green with a lighter green band around them, not a light green band with a dark body as GW does it. I couldn't find my book, and went to look at some trees for ideas. I have some sea moss that I've been making trees with that I want to try and make some side shoots/off shoots with. Not a lot, but something to dress it up a little.
Thank you guys, hope to live up to your expectations. I like that bamboo, did you use straws or coffee stirrers?
Alternately, and I didn't think about it until looking at yours, one could pull some wild grass/thin reeds. Varnish/glue would stiffen it up enough that you could paint it and use it for terrain. That would give you some of the knobs/joints plus off shoot/leaves. With the snow in I likely cannot try it out, but I might have to look into that next fall when the wild grasses all start to dry out.
Automatically Appended Next Post: I spent quite a bit of time tonight working on the cottage. Pardon the glue in spots, it was still drying and will be hidden once done.
First I built up my rain barrel using spare slotta round bases. This makes it big enough for a bath if the peasant so chooses. Given the high degree of bathing in Japan it can thus be viewed either way (though not as both, I grant you). Card for the boards and paper for the hoops. When I paint it I will fill the top with faux water.
Then my first two trees. I am quite happy with them, but the moss is fragile like this. I won't do all the trees like this, but a few will add flavor.
Lastly, I have my walls roughed up so that I could double check the tea light and the fit on the CD. It will just make it, so next will be to bust the legos out and glue the wall together.
I've made some progress with the base and walls. The cottage walls are all glued together, and I've started running the planking and framing around. I've also got all the trees together. I need to add a little flock to the off shoots of two, but here is a mock up of what this will look like in the end.
Thanks! The group I play with has been amassing stuff for 30 years, and thus has a wide range of games they play or are willing to play. Makes it fun to have variety but can mean that we get systems confused sometimes.
This is what I will be filling the windows in with.
Also, paint has started going onto the walls. I also have the roof mock up so that I can cut out my thatch.
Hopefully I will get this most of the way through over my break here.
Automatically Appended Next Post: As can be seen above, I have slowly been working on small bits of terrain for my Greeks. As olive oil was central to Greek society, I wanted to build an olive press to add to my table. Manor House makes a very nice one with a large millstone and that was apparently common. That would have been problematic to make, and while searching I came across example of some stone plates with a rope or hemp basket that had a weighted arm running across the top. Apparently this was a common type of press whereby the olive where inserted into the rope/hemp basket and a lever arm was weighted down so that it would press the olives. The oil would run into a recipticle and from there it could be transferred into amphora.
Here is my take with a column in the background to add to a board.
The faux water spilled a bit, and I have some clean up to perform, but it is otherwise ready.
Automatically Appended Next Post: I also have a kiln or bread oven in the works. Puttying the tree has been a bane for a while now, but the half of an easter egg was too good to pass up.
I've mocked up the roof, and have segmented it for now so that I can trace the patterns onto the faux fur that will make up the thatch. I've painted the walls, and put the initial flocking down. I put the trees on to see how I will have to set them so that I can get the roof on/off. Overall coming along nicely.
I will glue the fur to the roof, and then need to run a small section to go over the door. I want that to be slats of wood, so more card for that. Along the top roof line I'll probably run a bamboo skewer as a pole similar to what I've done for other houses.
I'll need to add some bushes/shrubs and what-not to the ground.
Automatically Appended Next Post: Windows are in and tested. The tea light works, but isn't amazing. It will not work for larger structures, unless there are multiples inside the building.
So here we go with a finished roof, lighted, water poured, and my kanji.
Here I've poured the water and put some green ink into it. Swirl it around and it will tint the water so that it isn't perfectly clear. It will still look like water, but like real water now as there would be a depth/hue to it.
With my kanji streamers 'nailed' to the trees (we decorate trees at Christmas, so this was a double hidden meaning in them for the contest). It reads, "A savior born for mankind". That would have been a key concept for converting the locals, and one that kept Christianity alive even after the Portuguese were kicked out, that Jesus had come for all peoples. It is also a little ironic, as to my knowledge the Portuguese never allowed any Japanese priests.
I think I previously mentioned it, but for my daughter's birthday I bought her some Onna-bugeisha to paint up for Ronin. She just turned 7, which could prove to be tough in the short term, but she loves to craft so that is a big help. To get us started, I picked up the Osprey manual on Samurai Women to look up some color schemes. To say she was thrilled would be an understatement, and for the last ~two weeks every day has been 'can we paint my samurai Daddy?'.
I have been counseling patience, and planning to her, which is helping so far. We sat down for about an hour and flipped through the osprey book to pick out colors and talk about designs. Afterwards I went and found some line drawings online so that she could color them up and pick out what she wanted them to look like. After a number of color combos she's finally settled on the following for the hakima/skirt, but wants to give them blue shirts with pink accents instead of the yellow in the picture.
I'm glad Fanitization Miniatures sent the minis in partial shipments, as this let us get started painting (the Bushido mini for her leader came after Christmas, but the Onna-Bugeisha came before Christmas, letting me modify one to hold a bow an arrow so that she'd have a ranged option in her force and it would come out of the box that way, ensuring she'd be okay with it). I'm still waiting for a Hasslefree mini to use as a Ronin for her force, which I will paint up for her, but off we went last night:
I had to help her clean up around the edges so that there were no white spots showing, but overall she did a good job getting several coats of teal down, plus the first round of flesh. She took instruction on brush care, cleaning, and drying very well and I'm hopeful she will see it through and be happy with her pieces and playing with me.
For myself, I always seem to have about a dozen projects going on, and these two are no exception. I've built up some extra shoots of bamboo and started on some bases so that I can include them as scatter terrain. I will have to stay on it so that they are mostly ready when her pieces are done so that we are ready to play.
The larger, CD base is covered with some faux flower basing from Michaels. They sell several different kids of it, but all are essentially a backing with bits of moss, twigs, and similar items tacked onto it. It works really great as a base for woods/forests. I cannot take credit for it, as another member of our group did it first, but I have stolen it and used it on some of my other trees.
Lastly, Christmas was good to me on the hobby front. I received a number of Late Romans from my wife, Footsore (plus some Gripping Beast Plastics), which I have started on. I'll say this now, I hate making spears. Brass cuts easily enough, but then you have to sand the rough ends down, shape one end to a point, and I hammer that end a little flat to make the spear tip. They hold up REALLY well, but it is slow making them, drilling out the hands, and getting them in place.
It is a Dutch re-enactment group who have undertaken various projects to recreate authentic Late Roman equipment. Their gonfalon experiments are quite interesting. They also have some useful links for historical sites.
Next year my wife and I want to take the kids and go to Germany for a family vacation, I may have to look at hitting Xanten.
I'm still trying to decide on colors for the tunics. My un armored ones are already off-white/unbleached wool with red, which seems to be popular. However, I'd like to paint my armored infantry and/or cavalry with something different to differentiate the combined units of a Late Roman army. That, and white is a pain. I haven't decided on color yet, but lean towards a green or red tunic. Any advice on color schemes or if we can trace those back to where units served?
When I painted up all of the skewers for my entry I ended up with a lot left over that I wasn't initially sure what to do with. In the end I've decided to mock up a few stands of bamboo in place of the normal trees I usually build or purchase.
When I was given a set of lamps from the Michaels After Christmas sale an abandoned shrine immediately came to mind. So the first bamboo grove comes on an old CD with a stele/shrine that is slowly tipping over and sinking into the ground.
The base ground cover is material typically used in faux flower arrangements. It usually comes as a matt that may or may not be sticky on the back side. It is messy, but works great for a forest floor.
To go with my Late Roman soldiers, I've started on a villa. I plan to have the main house, kitchen (which you can see cut out and mocked up), bath, and probably stables. I am debating on servant quarters as well, but may use one of my existing building for that. The building morphed on me, as I had originally planned on a second story balcony, but decided to just do a porch instead. Currently I think I will leave the bath and kitchen un-attached and just build the door on the side of the building so that I can pull them off and separate the buildings as desired.
View of the front:
View from the rear/side (no windows on the rear, for security reasons as I envision the villa somewhere near the German frontier).
Kitchen mocked up:
I may put the kitchen on the other side of the villa and put the bathing complex on the side the kitchen is on in the photos. The Chedworth Roman villa is a fun day out, and it had a natural spring off the villa next to where the kitchen is sitting right now. I think I may mimic that. I'll need to make some steps that can go on the villa if I don't attach the out buildings, and for the outbuildings if they are un-attached.
If you happen to live in England, and are near Cirencester, I highly recommend it for a lovely day out. Cirencester used to be a major center for mosaic production, and Chedworth is right outside of it. The church of St. John is lovely, and the gorgeous golden sandstone of the Cotswold's is on display through most of the town.
Does anyone have any good ideas for a semi circle cone roof? I want to build two half cylinders on the back of the bath house, but am not sure of a good way to bring the roof up to the wall. I can run some trusses up to the apex to support it, but making the convincing curve/cone may be hard.
In essence, make the curves of the bath the outside wall.
I would make a normal full cone rof. (cut a disc, cut a slice out and overlap to desired incline.) Then add internal structure to half the roof and after I could be assured it had enough structure, cut the other half off. The structure could be as simple as a triangle of card running across at the centre line, but you could make it fancier if you wish. Then finish with required roofing. You may have to short lengths of the roofing tiles to make it a convincing curve.
Yay! Saga: Aetius and Arthur showed up today along with my blank purple dice.
Not my best, but they work just fine.
I have also been busy with my Romans.
And some legionaires:
The Gripping Beast plastics are decent models. Very low in terms of varierty, but the sculpts are decent and they go together easy enough. The Footsore cav and infantry are really nice and very well made.
I was able to get in a fair bit of time this weekend to work on my Late Romans. That helps, as I am a fairly slow painter. There are a few last bits to do (a few pupils, some crests, add some base elements), but these are mostly done.
I choose blue for the equites' tunics. Progressively wealth was displayed in a very open fashion. It was sort of a self full filling ideology. Well dressed, expensive clothes meant that people should pay deference to you, and if people paid deference to you they expected you to look the part. As such, I view them as having chipped in to purchase some expensive blue dye for their regiment. In particular, the general has kicked in some funds, as generals were known to do, in order to improve his men's loyalty. Caesar was known to put up his own funds at times to keep his legions loyal, and the trend continued long after he was gone.
I am still debating on the gonfalon. I like the three yellow bands, representative of the triune God. However, I'm not sure if I want to leave it like that, or make the rest striped as well.
The shields are Little Big Men shield transfers, a first for me. They work well enough, but I'm not sure I really dig them. I will use them for the rest of my equites, but my legionnaires may end up with some painted shields. It wasn't initially clear that they were for metal Gripping Beast shields when I bought them, and those are slightly smaller than the Footsore ones.
Overall, happy with the results so far, and with just a few bits to polish they'll be ready to hit a table top. The other four hearthguard are also nearing completion, and with luck I will get there by next weekend. Just in time to brew up a batch of Hefeweizen.
My second unit of Hearthguard are almost there. I will say that Little Big Man Studios' transfers are bizarre if I haven't already. They are more of a sticker than a traditional decal, and can be problematic if you get them wet before adhering them to the target, they have problems that you wouldn't normally associate with a typical decal. Also, the plastic layer over top, which keeps them from adhering prematurely can be problematic in getting off so that they can be applied. Lastly, I got some white/black shields for my warriors, and the white is not printed, it is clear which was not obvious upon purchase. With the black not being a strong/dark black, this can be problematic when applying to a white background/primed shield. In the end, I think the foot troops will just have painted on shields.
In short, nice designs, but I'm not sure I'm that keen to use them again.
Painting has also started on the villa. I haven't decided yet on the woodwork. I could go with a pale sand/buff/off-white for new wood, or go with something very dark for stained/treated wood. I want to avoid grey/weathered wood so as to maintain a visual appearance of a villa with money. New/pale would do that, but I worry it would look washed out with all the white.
I got to field test a few of the new Ronin pieces this past Friday. There was only three of us, and I adapted a scene from Shogun.
The plot revolves around the dying Shogun having collected a bunch of hostages in order to coerce various Clan Daimyos into supporting his son. The concubine of one of these Daimyos and her son were quartered with a small chaperoning force in the suburbs. Her lord had decided to try and smuggle her out and thus relieve the Shogun of his hold over the Daimyo. A rival, mean while, sent in a force of ninja to assasinate the concubine and drive a wedge between factions vying for favor. Finally, the Shogunate Troops were ordered to bar the concubine from leaving. Each side had competing objectives that could see them support each other and then break apart as needed.
Things looked very grim for the concubines party as most of her guard were annihilated by the Ninja ambush. Fortunately the guards stalled the Ninja just enough for her party to make a break for it down the side of the table. Even then it was a near thing as the guards actually managed to capture her briefly before her bodyguard broke her free and the two made it off the board.
I enjoy the duplicitous nature of things that you can setup with a little creativity. It really helps capture the free for all, stab you in the back politics that characterized various parts of Feudal Japan.
For a follow up scenario one of our members has a bunch of mounted models and I think I will setup a chase scene, with some ambushes, through a forest. One side chasing another with a few log jams/delaying forces on the road.
We played at the local game store on Friday and those were their old tiles. I like the idea of tiles in that you can vary the layout, but it does lack a little with the seams.
You can see where I've experimented with some laminate floor tiles with my Greek stuff. Currently I am experimenting with interlocking floor mats and teddy bear fur. Essentially you glue the fur down to work floor mats and then shave the fur to make roads, fields, grass. I'm not sure how well it will work, but it is worth a shot. The mats have an interlocking mechanism to hold them together, so that will help. One gamer that I saw using this let the fur hang off just a tiny little bit so that it masked the seam somewhat.
Here is a full mat made from it, I'll see if I can find one of the interlocking mats
Roman Scorpion for Saga using a combination of Gripping Beast and Warlord plastics. I haven't decided if I am going to putty pants on the kneeling trooper or just paint his legs as if wearing pants.
I'll have some clean up on the cloaks, but not a ton. Then I need to add basing material for it. I may cut the rope off the end. I've been trying to get it to dangle down, with little success so far.
More work on the villa:
I decided to add color to the wooden parts as a way to display wealth. I don't think I will do the checker pattern windows, but will do two yellow and one blue on the second floor. The checker was a good idea, but is being a pain to implement as the yellow and blue do not cover well.
The bath house is nearing completion. Some touch up and the windows and it will be good to go.
Unfortunately the subtle weathering doesn't show well in the photos.
The warriors are coming along nicely. I've used a red tunic with off-white trim for the guys in armor, while the unarmored levy will be off-white with a red trim. The off-white/unbleached white with a red trim seems a popular pattern, and would have been cheap to produce. Perfect for what was progressively seen as the inferior soldiers manning garrison forts, i.e. levy in Saga. Meanwhile, the real soldiers have a more expensive, dyed kit, with mail to go with.
Lastly, my current dabbling for terrain. Interlocking tiles with teddy bear fur covering. I'm leaving some of it long, and will shave around it to hold my hedges so that It will have fields that I can remove for storage. I would have prefered a more honey colored fur, but this was given to me as a gift and I think it will work once I start painting it. I'm just going to do the one tile, and see how it looks for now. Then I will come back and add to it if I like how it turned out.
Warlord's Romans look very reasonable from a sculpt/detail perspective, but they are small vs other manufacturers. They are closer to true 25mm scale than most of the 28mm figs from other companies.
As a comparison, here are some shots vs Victrix, Footsore, Gripping Beast, and even a Warlord Greek. The bottom sprue being the Warlord Greek, the top being their Imperial Roman Veteran sprue, and then as follows:
Victrix Greek Hoplite:
Gripping Beast Late Roman:
Footsore Late Roman:
You can see that the Warlord Greek Hoplite is smaller than most of the other company's figs, and the Imperial Roman is smaller still. I think they would do fine by themselves, but not mixed with other manufacturers other than maybe Old Glory.
Thanks for that comparison shot, that is quite some food for thought, as one could never underestimate that they could end up next to some GWIG troopers...so I have to be carefully planning purchases...they're planned as stand alone...but you'll never know...
My demo tile is shaping up nicely. I need to add some work in the fields and work on the road, but it looks like this will work out okay. It is incredibly time consuming, but hopefully it will be worth it.
Like a Magpie, I seem to be easily distracted with minis. I am reading a book about the Roman frontier (along the Rhine), and there is a great photo of a reconstructed watch tower in it. I couldn't help myself and have started on one for my table. It has an extra story, but I thought this would help make it more impressive on the table top.
Knocked it up last last night and today. The heat gun helped a lot with bending the stone textured plastic sides. I have to do the roof, railings, and some putty work before painting.
Finished up a unit of Late Roman foot over the weekend. I will see if I can get some better photos, but I'm fairly happy with out they turned out. On one of them you can tell I started with a LBM shield transfer, and opted against it for the rest. I think I will stick to painting by hand. It is slower, has less 'flavor' (i.e. scratches and what not), but ultimately seems to be easier/look better. Getting the decals just the right size and matching painting without having an obvious decal edge (as their stuff is really thick) is not easy. For these figures a single model made it apparent that I would have spent just as much time messing with the decal as painting. I do still need to add iris/pupil, but...
Once I get the watchtower railing on, and painting started I will try and get a better picture with it included.
I finished up the railing yesterday and finished painting today. I think I will try LEDs inside it and the window film so I can light it. Now I just need to build a ladder or stairs, any opinions on which?
I have recently finished Edge of Empire: Rome's Frontier on the Lower Rhine by Jona Lendering & Arjen Bosman (which inspired the tower). I found it to flow well and have a lot of interesting information. It is a little colored by modern morality in the need to make opposing nations seem more similar than they perhaps are. The authors at least note on this and admit their research is a little biased by modern ideology. Still a good resource on the area and time for any historical gamer interested in life on the Roman Frontier.
Their tower was an all wood one, but in looking through other examples I found loads of half and half or all stone towers.
It has been a while, but I have been working on my Samurai lately, and have finished the first of my Shimazu Clan bushi. I chose Shimazu as my main force is the Otomo Clan who were eventually defeated and absorbed by the Shimazu. Also, the Shimazu traded heavily with the Portuguese, and were the first to use firearms in Japan.
I am thinking of building some palisades for the watch tower, and/or using them for a small fort. Most of the wood i'll do with a brown undercoat dry brushed up with grey to depict wood that is mostly a few years old. I wonder though about making some of it lighter/cream colored to suggest repairs to the wall or do you think that would look odd?
I'm going to use a berm system similar to this:
However, I will use bbq skewers to build up the palisade with boards as the walkway and rear support. I might do part of the rear retaining wall as stone, I'm not sure yet.
In terms of wood, I envision something akin to this for the most part:
Then a few boards or sections of skewers done in a lighter brown like this:
After all, a wall would have been a living thing, kept under regular repair or it was worthless.
Also, I'm pretty sure I want to do a stone, or half stone gate. This would have been the first part of the fort to be replaced with stone, and I like the dual arch motif:
I have recently been working on a mass of figures on my desk, making slow but sure progress. This chap is a V&V Miniature, and is an amazing cast. Very high quality piece that will work as a Viking, Anglo-Danish, Anglo-Saxon, or similar warlord. I notice I need to clean a little static grass off of his cape, but otherwise I am quite happy with him.
I have been on a roll lately and have finished up a 4th point of Romans. These are Gripping Beast plastics. There are a lot in the box, but the poses are very limited and I like the Footsore stuff better. Mostly done with the Levy unit as well, maybe a few more days of work for them.
Then something different. My gaming group plays Blitzkrieg Commander, and with the release of a new version I painted up a US P-47 for our group. Red Tails were highly sought after by bomber crews, the Tuskegee were famous for staying the fight longer and for more crews making it home again. This one is being fired at but still coming in for some close air support. All figs/vehicles are 1/285th scale.
Automatically Appended Next Post: Then we have some whip. The will be the banner bearer for my Geats/Saxons. Beowulf is tied with the Iliad as my favorite book, and so I choose to use a Dragon for the banner instead of the common Raven. Beowulf as a boy fights monsters in the sea and later dies from wounds received in combat with a dragon. Lastly, longboats are often called out as dragon ships for their carved headpieces. Once the filler dries I can base and weather him.
Ectheow the banner man for Schild.
Then a present for a friend. My wife and just finished watching Hell on Wheels. It is a fictionalized account of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. The title character, Cullen Bohannon is fictional, but many others are not such as Thomas C Durant and Collis P Huntindon. Part way through the series Cullen is wounded and walks with a limp for the rest of the show. I modified a Knuckleduster Virgil Earp to make Cullen with his cane. I hope he will like it as my friend is a mechanical engineer.
Limes is the Roman term for Border or Boundry. The Roman Frontier forts were/are known as Limes Forts. In this case I was making a play on "Hold the line!", although I do love limes (the fruit). My Late Romans are a mix of Gripping Beast plastics and Footsore metal figs.
Warlord Scorpion with some Gripping Beast parts and putty
Automatically Appended Next Post: Wait half a tick, those are half men:
These are the first two of my Halfmen from Westfalia miniatures. Lovely figs, very well detailed, and I love the more historical feel than the typical Halfling. I will be doing them with a fall themed color scheme.
Work hasn't stopped on the villa, just stalled on the main buildings somewhat. I picked up a grain storage building from Warbases (https://warbases.co.uk/) who make some lovely, affordable, MDF terrain. I know I have the Tithe Barn, which I built, but this looked like a lovely building and I couldn't resist it. I've done most of the building with a white wash, and added some moss to the roof to give it some character. It can go in as an out building for the villa once done:
I've started work on the covered walkway for the villa as well. It took me a while to decide how I wanted to do it, but here she is at her most basic form. There is a gap I'll have to fill, but that should be easy (the angle lines helped getting the cuts close, then some manual adjustments brought everything back in line for the support pillars. I do have another pillar to put at the back corner to suggest a diagonal support structure):
Next is an oasis/pond that has been a long time coming. The ruddy faux water bubbles, and those bubbles don't rise up, so be careful how you pour it. Still, a good use of an old cd, some foam, and sea moss:
Last, but not least is my bannerman for my vikings. Wait, you say, that isn't a raven! True, for while the raven was a symbol of Odin (Hugnin and Munin, sic, were his ravens that brought him knowledge and gossip, their names meaning Thought and Memory), it wasn't the only viking banner. I've chosen a stylized bear for several reasons.
1. Bears were common enough, and feared/respected enough that the name Bjorn effectively means 'bear'. Bjorn Ironsides was one of the most successful and ruthless viking leaders, so a bear totem seems plausible
2. Berserk may come from a number of different sources. One theory is that it comes from two root words that means 'bear' and 'shirt', and that berserkers wore bearskins. Again, another good reason to use a bear
3. My favorite animal is a Polar Bear, so that didn't hurt any.
V and V miniatures really makes some gorgeous stuff. I may find myself breaking down and buying their Vikings with Dane Axes (to swap into my Anglo-Danes) and possibly some Normans. I really would like some unarmored Normans (Saxon miniatures, I'm looking at you), but their Normans look so darn nice that I might have to pick some up anyways.
Maniac_nmt wrote: Limes is the Roman term for Border or Boundry. The Roman Frontier forts were/are known as Limes Forts. In this case I was making a play on "Hold the line!", although I do love limes (the fruit). My Late Romans are a mix of Gripping Beast plastics and Footsore metal figs.
Well, so much for minis between now and Christmas. We took our kids to Disneyland and California Disney for the first time and my son has asked me to build him Radiator Springs for Christmas. If you haven’t been there, it is easily the coolest land in Disney:
Neon is beyond my skill, but the buildings I can do. On a 4’x2’ board, I should be able to get the Courthouse/FD/PD, Ramone, Flo’s Cafe, Lizzie’s, the Cozy Cone, Docs, luigi’s, and two generic buildings.
Thanks. I worry if I'm building it tough enough to survive kid contact. As a result, I think I'm going to scrap the 2' x 4' board and mount each building to an individual board and either add half of the road to it, or make the road separate pieces. 1' x 1' will work for most of the buildings, with bigger ones on a 2' x 1'.
Not much work done on Sunday as I spent most of the day brewing beer (making a rum barrel stout for Christmas, hoping it turns out okay as I'm deviating from the recipe).
To make the 'tires' on the posts, I think I will find myself some fender washers and notch the posts with a dremmel tool. Then sink them in slightly to help them stay in place.
Got the facing and walls up for the Town Hall, and started adding siding to Ramone's:
Man, the face of the building was originally going to be plywood, but it was a royal bugger to cut and sand correctly. So I mocked up card for the front and will do the same for the sides. It also means I've left the rear wall flat instead of also adding the arch.
I am going to recess the roof, and may or may not add the capitals on the wings. I need to see if I can find a suitably size round like below for Ramone's roof:
For Christmas I've decided to clear out some of my sprues and give my gaming group some 4 pt Saga warbands. To go with I've customize 4 warlords, left to right: Saxon, Viking/Jomsviking, Visigoth, Anglo-Danish
They are from a mix of Gripping Beast and Conquest Games parts with some putty.
I'm also working on Wyatt Earp for my daughter (she'll get a mini plus a book about his life). I will try and get some cleaner pictures of him to share.
This was our first chance to use the Aetius and Arthur battleboards, and the Roman Levy were the heroes of the day (not something you usually say about levy). They refused to die, having one foot plus one member of the ballista crew survive to the end. The ballista itself did very little, but was frightening enough that the Saxon levy and a unit of warriors never got into town for fear of the carnage it 'might' wreck. Then the levy locked up one unit and blocked off another while the reinforcements slammed home. Some rough rolling by the Saxons coupled with good rolls on the Roman side. In the end, the Saxons just couldn't capture/kill enough people.
They held up/held off several units of Saxons intent on plundering the town.
Unfortunately, my board is showing some of the design flaws and the cracks between bits of Styrofoam are showing badly. Perhaps in 2018 I can come back to the floor tile idea (though I think I will adopt felt covered tiles with accouterments instead of the fur approach, making them better suited for multiple scales).
Automatically Appended Next Post: Building work continues. First is the Town Hall ready for paint, more work on Ramone’s, and the start of Flo’s V8 Cafe.
That is the start of the headers for her cafe. I tried making the supports but the initial attempt did not work, so back to the drawing board there. I also need some 0.5” dowels to insert into the nuts for spark plugs.
For the diner I need to find a 2 or 2.5 inch pvc pipe. The 3” and 4” are too big vs the air filter I could find.
Here we go with a mock up of one section of the V8 headers.
Then some more work on the other header:
Automatically Appended Next Post: Then, I found my answer for Ramone's Paint Shop. I bought a desert from one of the local grocers, and the cup it came in was perfect. I filled it with some expanding foam to keep it from collapsing and hold the spire steady:
First up, I've almost finished a new unit of warriors using Red Box Games figs.
Then a lot of works in progress.
Then some conversions of Warlord Saxons
I also got my daughters Scots/Picts built up and primed, and have them primed, but I have to figure out a banner and help her start painting. Have any of you tried tartans on 28mm figs before? I know Tartans were not yet in swing in this period, but I'd like to do a simplified version of either Clan Donald:
I'm descended from Clan Donald of Skye on my Mother's side and Clan Menzies on my Father's side. Personally, I'm a fan of the Menzie's black/white tartan (it's pretty unique) , but I'm not sure which she will want to borrow from.
I made some more progress on the gatehouse and the stable. First up is the wood hording on the gatehouse:
I need to add a wood sill/step to cover the bottom of the second story door ways. Also, I need to make the wooden doors for the first floor.
Then for the stable, I got the 'thatching' on, and primed it with Tamiya Wood Deck. It's ready to paint and then set on a small base. I still have some coconut matting that I want to throw down as straw for the horses bedding. For that, it has to go onto a fairly small base, but painting it separate will be easier.
I've been following your newest project from the start and I've gone through the rest of your projects on this thread. I enjoy your work and I think it's excellent to see Historics as a project theme. A friend of mine used to play 25mm Romans (I've forgotten which system it was for). He and I spent many hours building things like this, which gives me a distinct appreciation for what you are doing here. Looking forward to seeing how all this turns out.
Some work done on the walls this weekend. It is much faster with an electric pencil sharpener, but still not the fastest. I need to find my paintable caulk to coat the foam with. The 'cobble stone street' vinyl should do nicely for the stone retaining wall.
I am testing out a small corner to see if I like it or if I end up with two sides slightly shorter than the others (with rounded corners on the ends).
Maniac_nmt wrote: Some work done on the walls this weekend. It is much faster with an electric pencil sharpener, but still not the fastest. I need to find my paintable caulk to coat the foam with. The 'cobble stone street' vinyl should do nicely for the stone retaining wall.
I am testing out a small corner to see if I like it or if I end up with two sides slightly shorter than the others (with rounded corners on the ends).
I like the wall exposed maybe put a small wood fence along the landing to match front of wall
Automatically Appended Next Post:
Maniac_nmt wrote: I finished up the railing yesterday and finished painting today. I think I will try LEDs inside it and the window film so I can light it. Now I just need to build a ladder or stairs, any opinions on which?
Well that is fantastic bud, really fantastic, really nice work, you have done a lot more than I thought you were doing, and it is looking brilliant. Always love your terrain especially, and this one is adding to the list.
Thanks, that means a lot coming from such an excellent terrain maker.
Have you ever dabbled with chalk? I read a tutorial a while back that used chalk to fill in the gaps and then wiped it over with a damp cloth/towel. This left the chalk in the cracks and cleared off the surface.
Alternatively I can use some gel medium to make an antiquing gel of whatever color I want and that works similarly.
Chalk (conversely crushed water color paint) is a completely viable media to work with, though weathering powders may be more to your liking if this model is going to see any amount of use. Chalk and weathering powders are essentially the same, except weathering powders have an adhesive in the powder that helps it stay where you want it. Chalk can brush or knock out of recesses. I've tried a lot of different applications with chalk and weathering powders. My best weathering powder result was rubbing chalk into the recesses, lightly brushing away excess from flat surfaces, and multiple light sprays of flat base coat. First coat be very careful and keep the nozzle much further back than you normally would, otherwise you may blow the chalk from the recess.
I'll shamelessly plug MicroMark becasue they are just awesome. I've ordered from them countless times and they have been amazing each time. dsteingass will sing their praises as well (he's the person that turned me on to them). I use Doc O'Brien's but there are many other options available elsewhere online.
Hope this helps. You have an excellent project and I'm really happy to see Historics mixing it up with all the sci-fi around here.
I came across Pink DAP, which is spackle in a tube, the other day. It comes out pink and dries white, and is marvelous. The tube keeps it from drying out, and the color change lets you know when to paint.
Anyways, the barracks and the commanders office/store room:
Thanks guys! I also manage to finish up 2 more points of Geats/Saxons this weekend.
I think I mentioned this elsewhere, but if not...
I've given most of them a fairly uniform hair coloring. Not because everyone was a platinum blonde, but for two other reasons. The first is that it was common to control lice and similar critters. They would have used lye which would kill off said insects/pests to enable more comfortable living. The second is this sort of thing can also be a fashion statement.
I've spent a fair bit of time in India, and it isn't uncommon to see folks with their hair dyed red or a reddish-orange. It isn't so common among the upper class, but in every days folks on the street I saw it. We know the Romans used to dye their hair various colors, so I've gone with various blondes in a similar fashion among my Geats/Saxons. My Hearthguard I plan to have a bit more natural variety (while still also having some lye washed hair), but among the most common soldiers this is something that I can see being done to achieve a certain look, while also enabling better health.
Hold the Limes! – Saga Battle Report Forces
1 Centurion (Warlord with -2 att)
2 Mounted Hearthguard
2 Foot Warriors
1 Levy with Manuballista
1 War Banner
2 Foot Hearthguard
4 Foot Warriors
1 Levy with Bows
Special Rules Javelins
• All Roman units in the fort may use javelins at a range of M+S (10”) until they have engaged in melee, at which point they can no longer use javelins
• All Saxon units have a once per game use of javelins at normal range
Ladders • All Saxon Warriors and Hearthguard have 1x ladder per unit
• A unit may place its ladder at the end of a movement which touches the palisade
• A unit may make a ‘charge’ up the ladder with a single model per ladder within 2” of the central ladder. Up to two defending models may attack the model climbing the ladder and vice versa. If the climbing model wins, move the next model in the unit up and repeat. If the climbing model loses, move it back down the ladder and the combat is over. If the combat is a tie, fight again until either the defender or the attacker wins
Bows • Any unit in the Limes Tower may use bows out to a range of L+L (24”)
• Units within S (4”) of the exterior of the palisade or gate cannot be targeted.
Deployment Saxons • Saxons may deploy anywhere behind or even with the tree line, either side of the river
Romans • Romans deploy the Centurion, both Warrior units, and the Levy in the fort
• The Roman Warlord and both Hearthguard deploy on turn 6 on the path, up to L (12”) from the edge of the board
Victory Conditions Total Saxon Victory 3 Invasion! – Saxons eliminate the defenders in the fort and kill the incoming Warlord
Major Saxon Victory 2 Raid! – Saxons eliminate the defenders in the fort and either their Warlord or Banner Survive
Minor Saxon Victory 1 Pillage! – Saxons eliminate the reinforcements but fail to take the fort. Both Warlord and Banner survive
Draw 0 Blurred Limes! – Both Romans and Saxons achieve an equal victory level
Minor Roman Victory 1 Orderly Fallback – Romans capture the bridge over the river and eliminate the enemy Warlord or Banner
Major Roman Victory 2 Unbroken Limes! – Romans retain control of the fort and eliminate the Warlord or Banner
Total Roman Victory 3 Romans retain control of the fort, Roman Warlord survives, Romans control the bridge and eliminate either the Saxon Warlord or Banner
Total up the Saxon Victory Points and subtract the Roman Victory Points to determine the final result.
A Small, Bloody Affair
Of the six of us, only 3 were available, and as I had just finished up a dark age fort we broke it out, my Late Romans, and my newly finished Saxons (with a few loner units from my Anglo-Danes/Vikings). Saga is a great game to play with small to medium numbers of people or when you aren’t after something really big. By and large we played version 1, even though v2 is out. I’m not sure about a lot of the new changes, and the original version plays very well.
The board has a river which cuts down the east side with a single bridge across it, for tonight I did not setup the small ford down stream, so there was only one crossing point. The south side of the board had woods, and a path entered from the North on both the East and West side from which the Roman reinforcements would come one. The fort and tower sat on the West side, about 10-12” from the tree line. The Romans deployed first, Manuballista above the gate with the Centurion, the warrior units spread along the East and West wall, and the remaining levy in the tower to provide archery support.
The Saxons had one warrior and one hearthguard unit across the river, with the rest strung along the tree line before the fort. They won initiative and came out of the woods still fired up from the previous nights mead and promises of a poorly defend fort filling their heads.
The Romans attempted some desultory fire with a few initial casualties from the Manuballista and the bow armed levy. Not a lot, but 3 Saxons were down as the swarm approach the defenders. If they could manage to whittle them down over the next turn or two, maybe the Romans might stand a chance against a sea of ladders.
Alas that wasn’t to be, over the next several turns the Roman missile fire dried up quite drastically, while the Saxon Levy slowly started trying to find Romans silly enough to poke their heads out. Shockingly, the first Saxons to close in and hurl javelins managed to fell several defenders. By this point neither side was using many abilities, being content to move forces and fling pointy sticks at each other, with the Saxons giving about as good as they were getting.
The Saxons elected to try an overwhelm the defenders and deployed most of their ladders on the SE corner of the fort. The Romans would get one last round of javelins off before the barbarians started shoving swords in their faces. Alas, it wasn’t much help, and by now the Manuballista could only fire ineffectively at the Saxon levy as the rest of the Saxons were out of arc or to close to aim at.
The initial Saxon attempt caught the Romans a bit off guard, as they were a little to strung out, enabling a Saxon to get onto the wall, and kill off several defenders in the process. Still, all hope wasn’t lost as the defenders manage to whittle off a couple figures before the rest of the ladders hit home and the Saxon bull rush wiped out the east flank. By turn 4 and 5 it was looking very grim for the Romans. The East wall was over run, with the West wall having to slide along to try and plug the gap. The Saxon levy were managing to land hits on the Ballista crew, and the tower levy could only manage a few shots at the one or two expose Saxon units.
Two Saxon units made it relatively unopposed over the wall, and at this point the Roman player was starting to see the wisdom in battleboard abilities as Scuta helped the remaining Roman warriors plug at least some of the gap while the ballista was finally killed under a black cloud of Saxon arrows.
We weren’t sure the Roman could hold out much longer when the cavalry showed up. They made a mad dash across the bridge and slammed into the Saxon Warlord with several abilities primed to help them. Then, it seemed Woden was with their foes as all four hearthguard were cut down for what seemed far to few Saxon bodies. The Roman Warlord was forced to flee while more Saxons poured up the wall, dropping into the courtyard in preparation to storm the tower.
The centurion, in true Roman fashion, grimaced and prepared to sell his men dearly in an effort to plug the remaining ladders. While the other mounted hearthguard changed directions and swung around behind the fort to link up with the Roman warlord.
A mostly untouched Saxon unit stormed up the tower, killing the levy with only minimal losses. Still, the plucky centurion and his squad where fighting hard and nothing the Saxons could do would dislodge them. At this point the Roman warlord slammed back into the Saxon warlord for try number two, and this time was successful, killing off a host of warriors and the warlord himself. It cost the Romans, losing all but one hearthguard and their warlord, but it was a badly needed safety valve release that let the centurion and crew head up the tower.
In a turn of events they killed off the Saxons who had just stormed it, while the Saxon levy killed off the last Roman hearthguard. Still, the warlord maneuvered to try and kill the banner before having to retreat to the bridge to hold out to the end.
It was a surprising turn of events that saw a 3 man unit of Roman warriors and their Centurion hold the fort in the end. Only 3 Saxon warriors were left, and the levy out of position to save the day in turn 10. It was very close in the last few turns. The Saxons definitely had the bodies, and a lot of success in killing foes. However, the Romans just refused to capitulate and ended the game with a total victory. Full possession of the fort, control of the bridge, and killed the enemy warlord with their own still breathing. It is perhaps a hollow victory, there are always more Saxons waiting to pour over the Limes, and heavy losses in Roman manpower could not be borne as easily.
In retrospect, the Saxons were perhaps a little too cautious with the banner. Had it been closer, it could have been drawing down fatigue and the Saxons would have gotten a lot more bodies over the wall. It would have put it in danger of Roman missile fire, but we felt could have been the deciding factor in what was very nearly a Total Saxon Victory.
Most of these are up in the voting thread, but I'm posting them here as final shots of the fort:
I really like the Tuscan Red, it gives a very nice earthy red for a tiled roof.
Lastly are four assault ladders that I was talked into making after I was supposedly done. Sigh, no sooner were they done than the group was telling me I needed a battering ram... Maybe someday, at which point I wouldn't mind taking a stab at an onager/catapult. However, that is for another day.
Putting the ropes on was far more tedious that I had thought it would be, but it looks nice in the end.
Automatically Appended Next Post: Currently, I'm trying to decide how to build some movement trays for Hail Caesar, and have converted up some Norman crossbow and unarmored cavalry. For the Cav I used Conquest Games heads and the Gripping Beast plastic Dark Age Cavalry. The heads are a little big, but once I added the putty coif/hood it wasn't noticeable. A true rivet counter will notice the lack of spurs, but this was a cheap way to get some unarmored Norman cav put together. Given how few people make them, and how expensive the metal varieties are, it was a worthwhile trade off.
Depending on how they paint up, I may make a second unit of them, giving me a full 9 points of Normans for Saga, or well on my way to a Hail Caesar! army if I so choose.
With the last warrior unit, with shield designs borrowing some German municipal flag themes (from towns near where I lived in the 80s). The single based warlord has the rampant black horse and yellow field of Stuttgart.
Automatically Appended Next Post: Normans based and primed:
Automatically Appended Next Post: I'm not sure if any of you have tried Spectre Miniatures, but they make some lovely modern warfare minis.
I've made movement trays from plasticard and bassword before, both worked well but the basswood does have a tendency to warp if painting after built, would recommend painting and allowing to dry completely before adding supports etc. I can post some pics if that would be helpful.
That would be very helpful. I started out with some basswood, reinforced down the sides with balsa wood. The I laid down some flexible steel sheeting as I plan to magnetize the individual figures to hold them steady during play.
I can't help but feel I am over engineering this.
I've thought about trying these guys, but I'm not sure if they are still around or how good their trays are:
Mmm...bottled a batch of cider today and finished painting a cider orchard for my Normans. I really do miss English Cider. We do actually have a good cidery here in town, but they are a bit spendy (Mountain West Hard Cider). They do mostly English style ciders (i.e. dry) vs the American syrup most American's call cider.
Not my first batch, but the first batch I've made in months and it tastes good... Hopefully the apple tree we planted will yield enough to eat and mix with store bought apples to press my own in a few years time (I've pressed two batches before, but to have my own apples in the mix will be nice).
I wonder if I can find a small basket or two to put in the corner of it. Still, not bad for something I knocked up in a week.
I also made some decent progress on my Norman's as well. I need to figure out what I want to do for shields. I am trying to decide if I want to put some more Lacock shields on them, or go with the red/white favored by a group of reenactors (sic) we used to run into at various English Heritage events
At some level, painting them after a reenactment group has a certain humor to it.
Thanks very much Syro. The guys playing had fun, and have requested a second try at it.
I decided in the end to give the pueri 'historical' shields, and have started working on them:
Top to bottom, left to right: Despenser (from Tewkesbury Abbey), Baynard (Lacock Abbey), de Percy (Alnwick, which we visited in 2009), de Hautville (the same family who conquered much of Italy, I am not happy with the check pattern, so I will have to redo it, apparently very prolific, it made sense to have a son who never amounted to anything show up in England), Crume (my mother's maiden name and family), de La Zouch (of Ivanhoe fame, there is actually a de La Zouch castle, although we never made it there), Fitzherbert (Lechlade, a pretty little Cotswold town on a river. We would occasionally go up there for lunch and feed the ducks), and lastly de Clare (a family involved in the Welsh marches, it also needs some touch up).
I'll do the red/white pattern on some foot soldiers at some point. That feels even more appropriate.
I finished up my Norman unarmored cavalry (pueri). Well, I need to paint a banner, but have not decided what I want to do yet. I have enough to do a second eight man unit, but have lots of other stuff to jump on first. I also picked up some unit trays from Shogun miniatures, so I will put some magnets in their bases and be sitting pretty on that account.
Next up will be either Vikings or some 10mm Landsknechts.
My wife, kids, and parents went to Germany in June (been back about a week and a half now). As a kid my Dad was stationed at Patch Barracks, and since I'm turning 40 this year we decided to go back to Germany and show the kids around where I played as a kid (my daughter is 8, which is what I was when we first moved across the pond in 1986). We spent 13 days, starting in Stuttgart and making a ring (Stuttgart to Rothemburg ob d Tauber to Ulm to Lindau to Friburg to Heidelburg and back to Stuttgart). Lots of fun hitting both new and old places. The kids loved the Marchen Gardens in Ludwigsburg and all of the castles (ruins and not). One that was cool was Hohentwiel, which I'd never been to. It's a massive ruin up a steep hill (I pitty the poor souls who tried to assault it, it would have been murder in the rain or snow).
Plus, I got to drink the beer and wine this time around. Alpirsbach Dunkel Weizen may be my favorite beer now, usurping Weihenstephaner and Erdinger. Perfect banana and clove mixture in a dunkel weizen. Its got me wanting to finish up a Landsknechts army to use in our annual New Years tourney. I started a few units a while ago, but it has languished for quite a while. I'm basing the units on cities/towns I've been to, predominantly in Baden-Wurtemburg:
Army as it stands:
Rothemburg ober der Tauber pike:
Heidelburg Halbardiers with some Stuttgart Dopplesoldaten (zweihanders/two handers) in the background:
Kingdom of Wurttemburg commander:
Kingdom of Bavaria commander and the start of pike from Boblingen in the front, start of Schiltach pike (where we stopped on night and had a lovely dinner on the river bank) in the middle, and Esslingen pike (start) in the rear):
I'll say it now, 10mm is not fast. Even simplifying the Landsknechts and unifying their color scheme, it is slow going. It you do ever start playing in 10mm, I hope you have patience.
Had a great day starting with our local parade, swimming, grilling brats, and finally setting off fireworks ourselves. I have never done that myself, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved these little paratrooper mortar tubes which shot little plastic army men into the sky. I will definitely do those again.
Also saw a great parade which honored our US WWII vets including 3 survivors from the battle of the bulge. A huge convoy of US WWII vehicles including ammunition carriers and howitzer . It was pretty great.
I haven't been up to a ton of stuff of late. Work is keeping me pretty busy, then with some travel/camping I haven't been super motivated to work on a ton of stuff. I do have a few things to share though.
First, I've finally taken the plunge and started building a 3D Settlers of Catan board. It's been good practice for using the hot wire foam cutter, as well as experimenting with how to make wheat fields.
Below is the board, still in progress.
The wheat is extremely slow. I bought a static grass applicator, which works, but isn't dense enough to make the wheat fields. So it's an entirely by hand process. Using brushes and hot glue didn't yield good results either. So a think mat of glue, then tuft by tuft of loose bristle material. It looks nice, but is no fun. I will have to rethink the overall fields, as I think I won't cover the whole surface. Maybe some barns or silos... I do have some farmers threshing to put down on them.
Also, the clay will get a few layers of dry brushing, and the some flocking. Then I have some sheep to distribute on the fields. The deer are a nice touch, I think anyways.
Later today I will try and get some photos of progress on the 10mm Landsknechts. Slow, but I finished up a unit of Arquebus (Kirkheim unter Teck) and a unit of pike (Esslingen).
Thanks Syro. I finished up the clay, and once I finish the wheat I will post some more pictures. I need to see if I can find some small scale boats to put on the harbors when I get around to making sea hexes.
As promised, some Landsknechts. First, here is my working coat of arms map for the various units:
I've painted Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Esslingen, and Kirkheim, Heidelberg, and started on a few others. This year we did not go to Kirkheim unter Teck, but I went there as a kid when my Dad was stationed in Germany. In the foreground is the Esslingen pike. The main colors on the flag are red/green, and the shield with the eagle is centered between the two halves (split vertical as on the shield). I did the same, with the black and yellow of the shield for the head wear.
Kirkheim I've gone with Blue/White as the primary color, with yellow accent feathers.
Next up will be Filderstadt, Duchy of Wurtemburg, Schiltach, or Meersburg.
wow those sheep and people are such a small scale. Where did you get them, model railroad? The tiles look great, and look like a lot of time and work went into them. As for the desert, I don't think cacti or cow skulls are necessary unless you want them. I'd try making the desert tiles more 3D like your other tiles by making sand dunes.
They look fantastic as they are, love the little touches with the sheep etc. Providing it doesn't interfere with game play, on the desert tiles you could add small cairns of "rocks", and to blend them into the other tiles maybe a few dry tufts of grass. Have to say though agree with Syro, don't realistically think they need anything.
This is fantastic! I was following your thread very closely for a long time, but allowed myself to get distracted by other things, so I've missed all this board development. I agree with Cam and Syro, I think your work is excellent as it stands now.
Meersburg Pike ended up being next. Burg Meersburg is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Germany. On the North shore of The Bodensee, it sits atop a large outcrop of rock. You drive pretty close to it, and then down a winding street to a parking lot at the bottom of the hill, only to then have to hike back up the steep grade to reach the castle. It had a nice collection of tournament helmets on display, and although besieged several times it was never successfully taken. In part due to several wells and a tunnel down to the Bodensee which enabled resupply by water.
It was my son’s favorite castle, due to the armory.
BLARG! I've finally finished two more units for my Landsknechts; Filderstadt (pike) and Schiltach (Halberds). You'd think painting this small would be quick, but it isn't. The tiny details are easy to screw up and a pain to go back through and fix. I cannot even imagine trying to paint them in a truly random style. That would take forever.
The army so far:
Still two units of pike, a unit of Arquebus, 3 units of skirmish arquebus/crossbow, two units of skirmish cav, two cannons, a unit of Gendarmes, and the general. Augh, what did I do to myself.
They are 10mm. The army is a mix of Pendraken and Warmonger. The Pendraken stuff is cheaper, but it shows. The War Monger stuff is beautiful. A better painter then I could do amazing stuff with it. The casts are top notch and the detail is amazing for something so tiny.
I think, if I knew then what I know now, everything would be War Monger. I'm a decent painter, but they models just look so much better. There is a lot more variety in the poses than Pendraken.
Given the amount of stuff to finish by Christmas, I'm not sure I will finish up my LOER work, or at least not all of it. I have managed to finish up one light freighter and landing pad, a crashed escape pod, and done a fair bit on a second ship.
I think I might add some smoke to the rear of the pod, but I'm not sure yet.
I've tried to give the two ships a grime-y feel, like the original Star Wars films, but I'm not sure how well that's coming through with the lightning.
I also tried a variation on the salt weathering method using sugar crystals to weather the red, bounty hunter, ship. I'm not sure it worked great, but it is what it is now. Using actual sugar to make the model should count as brownie (ha ha) points right?
The ships look great, and I think you captured the grimy feel nicely. The right side of the bounty hunter ships definitely looks like it is suffering a serious rust problem, on the left it looks more like it was damaged by gun fire which they started rusting. I think both look well.
I appreciate it guys. I had, what turned out to be, a fairly productive weekend. Got part of the way through a Christmas present (a diorama), the main coat on a castle for my sun, got the two ships done, and three units for Warmaster:
Our group played a large Hail Caesar game today, and I was inspired to finish these up. They have been mostly done for months, pending shield work. I should have some peltasts and a few more hoplites done over the break as well.
That will be enough for one Saga force, now should I expand into Hail Caesar!?
As for hail Caesar, I’m a little burnt out on Warlordgames stuff right now and have not gotten into Hail Caesar, but if you have a local group I’d say go for it. Being able to use the same figs in multiple game lines is always a plus.
One of our members has painted up a slew of Successors and Republican Romans to play with. We have five players and he had stuff not on the table for at least two more. Gorgeous game, and a fun successor to Warmaster Ancients. Greeks would fit in well. At a minimum I could add a division as allied Italians or Mercenary Greek.
I like it overall, and could see building a force for it.
Yes, just sand/paint and some basic flocking/tufts sparsely placed. I wanted something fairly low key to mimic the dusty plains that hoplites battles often were held on. Thank you guys for the positive feedback.
The last of the hoplites for Argonaut warrior units:
Then a unit of pelasts for the Spartans to act as warriors for them.
That is a "happy face" on one of the shields, although I'm sure that isn't what it was seen as then. It came up while looking for peltast shield designs, and is even on the box for victrix's plastic peltasts. On some level it feels a bit cheeky in a war game.
We went to Germany this summer with my folks and came across a some really great shadowboxes using painted tin flats. I was a bit disappointed I couldn't find any for sale, as I remember them being all over when I was a kid living there in the 80s. I usually paint a figure for my Mom for Christmas, and this year, since she like the dioramas as well, I decided to try it with 28s instead.
The walls are made from foam, and I used some mig weathering solution to grout the bricks. The tree is some sea moss that I pruned up, and the figs are converted Fireforge and Gripping Beast models. I was able to add the wings on the helmet as it will never see the playing field, otherwise I don't think they would hold up well. Snow is made with some model railroad snow mixed with glue and water to form a thick paste. It holds up and covers better this way.
I wanted to do a Landsknecht group, but the minis from the kickstarter (that were supposed to be here last Christmas) still haven't arrived. So, I chose Teutonics instead as something 'German' and medieval. Most of their castles were made of brick, as there was no good sources of stone in most of the Baltic area of the Northern Crusades. I also find the Teutonic Knights interesting, in that while they eventually were pushed out, they were ultimately successful in ways the Templars and Hospitallers were not. They carved out Eastern Europe and ensured it stayed 'converted', and the land was never 'recaptured' until the Soviets took it after the second world war, unlike Outremer which was lost and never recovered.
These pieces compose my final entry for the League of Extraordinary Riveters, round 27. These are intended to be used with Galactic Heroes, from the guys who did A Fist Full of Lead. It's a pulp sci-fi skirmish game.
So far I have Noble Team (from Halo: Reach), Master Chief and ODSTs, a start on Goth Sullus (from Galaxy's Edge) and shocktroopers, Aeson Keel and crew (from Galaxy's Edge), and will be adding Flash Gordon and crew, Star Trek (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and probably Checkov or Sulu), Darth Vader and some snow troopers, and a bounty hunter crew.
That should give a nice mix of 5-man teams to duke it out with my kids.
First up, the Prof. Zarkov (made from a Juicy Fruit gum container):
The merc Red Ryder's ship, in for a refit after another successful mission (made from a tape measure, and with some coffee/sugar stirrer straws).
A freighter running 'goods' out from under 'imperial' noses (made from a gum container and the cover for a sonic tooth brush):
Some trees in planter boxes (made with sprue, sea moss, and leftover MDF from a Sarissa building).
An old orbital defense missile silo, opened once, never fired (from a gum container):
A billboard (made from, a Cliff bar duh):
A crashed escape pod (made from a dental floss container):
Now to work up some buildings and play with the kids
I have to admit, I was interested in Halo long before most of the modern world knew it existed. It debuted in a pc gaming mag as the future of online gaming when Tribes 1 was all the rage. It was originally intended as an online pc game like Tribes, but with very different sides. It was supposed to feature some of the earliest takes on gaming clans, the ability to recruit players, and specializations.
IMHO ODST was the best of the series. Your character was more rainbow six than the Master Chief, and it centered on humans vs a faceless protagonist. The interweaving of the storylines was very well done, being both a detective story and various action movies all mixed together.
Which makes me a bit bummed for how things progressed by Halo 5. The novel, which chronicled the lead up was a tad disappointing.
Ah well. Up next will be some Hawkmen and the rebel alliance.
Tonight we played the first of three rounds for our annual Warmaster Ancients tourney, and my boy did pretty good. The gun line did a number on my first opponent, scoring over 440 points (out of a 1000pt army) and breaking his army in the final turn due to some reasonable shooting rolls. In the second round, I was less capable at shooting, but manage to hold the Roman advance up long enough to eke out the win, with a little over 25 points more then my opponent, though neither side broke.
So I'm sitting at two wins, with one more match against a massive horde of Indians to come. That could be a slog. I do need to adjust the way I use the arquebus units, I had them directly in front of my pike, and they need to sit on the side of the pike blocks instead (slightly in advance, but no in line of charge). I'm also not sure the cannon is worth it. Maybe vs an armored army and assuming I can roll. It just doesn't put out a lot of shots, and needs help from arquebus to be effective.
Whole Army shot:
Vs Hittites (you can see his casualities pilling up in the bottom left, vs my scant few casualties in the top right. In the end, it was a desperate chariot charge that got him most of his points. Up to that point it was decidedly in my favor, and he pushed his luck a little too hard causing his force to break.
Setup vs Romans, which was a much closer fought game as I had a very ineffective charge from my Gendarmes and my shooting was pretty poor for much of the match. Only slowing his advance down without causing many casualties. Still, I did finally do in his cowardly sneak attack cav on the flanks in a following charge after the initial semi inconclusive scrap (3 hits on 15 dice, needing 4s to hit, blarg!)
Oh no, he's been hacked...well, not quite yet. I found the original Ancient Greek for the opening line of the Iliad (my favorite book, followed very closely by Beowulf). It was fitting given the start of a Hail Caesar! army, Greek Hoplites to be exact. A member of our group has Republican Romans and Successors, and these would have fought Hoplite armies to some degree (Alexander faced hoplite heavy armies, and not all Greek city states were quick to abandon the hoplite phalanx). Plus, it's hoplites!
In the end I'll have 4-5 blocks of Hoplites, a small unit of Cretan Archers, a small unit of Rhodian slingers, a unit of Hamipoi (light cav with peltasts who run along with them), a unit of peltasts, and a unit of Heavy cavalry plus the associated commanders. Eventually I will add a unit of Thureophoroi (mercenaries). My black armored Argonauts will be stand ins for Spartans. I am breaking somewhat with the 4 ranks for hoplites, and just doing 3 ranks as 24 figs for a unit seems perfectly satisfactory vs the 32 you would have otherwise (given many of mine are already on 1" or 25mm washers instead of 20mm squares, this seems reasonable and keeps overall formation size within the guidelines)
This is just the start (well, beyond what's already in this thread):
I've got some heavy cavalry figures from Aventine coming, as well as more hoplites and some horses from NWS Gaming.
Lastly, I have to mention Shogun Miniatures. I've ordered twice now from them, and their bases are excellent. The metal is beveled so there is no sharp corners unlike most other metal bases. They make movement trays and magnetic bases as well. If you are in the money for any sort of formation based army, check them out. Prices are very reasonable.
The middle row isn’t attached to hopefully help with painting. We will see how it goes. I also have to say that I hate plastic spears. If it wouldn’t take forever, I would love to replace them with wire spears. However that just seems masochistic.
Looking good. So the middle row is removablefor painting, but that means your still trying o get in between the first and third row with a brush? And you think changing out the spears would be masochistic
As to bases etc. to paint the middle row, stick them to a popsickle stick, or ( I have just got) try the painting crocodile clip sticks off wish. Couple quid got me something like 40 of them, and yes they took months to arrive, but the idea is sound, and they work well for small parts/people.
As to the trays, I have been toying with an idea for a while ( here is an example, but they have them in lots of different sizes, and come cheaper than this if you get them from the right place. Just sharing a thought I have been mucking about with for ages. Not sure how much yours are costing so may not be worth messing about.
As to bases etc. to paint the middle row, stick them to a popsickle stick, or ( I have just got) try the painting crocodile clip sticks off wish. Couple quid got me something like 40 of them, and yes they took months to arrive, but the idea is sound, and they work well for small parts/people.
As to the trays, I have been toying with an idea for a while ( here is an example, but they have them in lots of different sizes, and come cheaper than this if you get them from the right place. Just sharing a thought I have been mucking about with for ages. Not sure how much yours are costing so may not be worth messing about.
Crocodile/alligator clips are a great idea. I might have to look for some without the teeth.
The bases cost $0.45, so quite reasonable for what you get. I probably should have gone with 60mm by 80mm, to account for some variance in washer size, but oh well.
Over that few days I have been doing some minor conversion work to mount Aventine Miniatures onto Wargames Factory horses. Mostly they fit, and I just have to sculpt a cloth to ride on and a belly band. I did modify the unit leader to be holding a sword.
My green stuff skills are merely passable, but it should look fine painted.
Automatically Appended Next Post: Denizens of a wretched hive of scum and villainy, a notorious bounty hunter crew. Red Ryder, the most famous bounty hunter in the galaxy, has hired a motley crew to assist him on his latest caper.
Most of the figures, save Ryder himself, are Khurusan which I have modified in various ways (save the for the guy in beige/green/purple).
I backed Bad Squiddo's female samurai campaign on kickstarter and picked up a couple pieces. That inspired me to dig out some of my Kensei figures and start painting up a number of figures. This will be one of Otomo's daughters and her retinue. I can either use them as unarmored Bushi or as Koryu.
The old man from scene 24 was mildly converted using some wargames factory parts to be holding a sheathed katana. Still all very work in progress.
This past Friday was our regular gaming night. I volunteered to host and come up with a scenario for Saga involving Normans vs Saxons. This was a four player game, with two Norman players and two Saxon players, all with 4 point warbands. The scenario was set as a continuation of past scenarios, which synced up with actual history (yay!). Last time the Normans had captured the treasure chest and foiled the Saxon plot involving it to hire mercenaries and oppose Norman occupation. Unhappy with the continued "disloyalty", William has ordered the Harrying_of_the_North. The Norman players are one of these warbands sent to burn and destroy (remember pillage then burn) Saxon villages as part of a scorched earth policy. The village is just outside the walls of a fort or burgh, and the Normans have arrived early in the morning to the shock and surprise of the locals. Thus there were a number of civilians out and about, including the wife of the thane and the local bishop. The Norman objective was to kill as many people as they could, loot buildings, and capture the bishop or the lady if they can for ransom. The Saxons were trying to get the populace into the fort and stop the looting. Half the Saxon force started in the fort, and half just outside it, spread out around the village. The Saxons could not close the gates to the fort if a friendly model was within 6" of them, potentially letting the Normans storm the fort. To loot the building the Norman's rolled a D3 (1-2 they looted it that turn, 3-4 looted it on the following turn, 5-6 the turn after that) to see how much effort it took to find the valuables. The bishop and lady were worth 5 points, the peasants worth 1 point, and loot was a random selection (outer buildings were 1-2 points, inner buildings such as the church and tithe barn 4-7). Woods acted as light cover and reduced movement by one level (12" to 6", 6" to 4", 4" to 2") as per the standard Saga movement lengths.
I used a fixed turn sequence (mistake number one), Norman player A went first, then Saxon A, then Saxon B, then Norman B. In retrospect I should have randomized it. It let certain players dominate the tempo vs their respective opponent in a way that wasn't intended (Saxon B could always setup a particular way, being closest to Norman B, he knew what the first moves would be each turn). The second mistake was not giving the Normans a free move to start the game. The positioning was right (either end of the main cross road), but letting the game start as normal gave the Saxons too much of an advantage in maneuvering out of the gate.
The Normans opened up sending their cavalry in advance of their foot troops and missile support. With no Saxon hearthguard on the table, they assumed the fyrd would be easy pickings (I included no hearthguard, as by this point much of the Saxon nobility was dead/wounded, and it worked better with their battleboard to bulk up on Warriors). Overly impetuous, they slammed into the first block of Saxons without setting up for the charge. The first clash was a defeat for the Norman Hearthguard, who tried to regroup but were quickly over-run by the Saxon warriors. Determined to try and slow the Saxons down, Norman warriors charged into the Saxons who were by now prepared for them, and Clash of Shields (which cut the Norman attacks by 6, due to 11 men in the Saxon unit) saw them butchered to a man.
The doughty Saxons were slowly ground down, but more then made up for it by then chopping up a unit of warriors on foot. On the otherside, the Normans couldn't get their crossbows into position, and were again unprepared when combat started. The Saxons had by now come out of the fort, and seeing the first building go up in a blaze (Wace, you idiot, pillage it first then burn it! Oooh, right...) angrily rushed in to defend. The second Norman Hearthguard was more successful in that they survived their combat, but had only one man left who they rode down two peasants deep in the heart of the rapidly forming Saxon lines before also being cut down. Ivo Talifer's twin brother perhaps?
The Norman bow finally broke cover and shot up some Saxons after looting a house, but otherwise were too late to save that flank. In the end, the Saxons rolled up both flanks, even slaughtering the levy. Only the warlords survived to run away and try and grovel before William for another chance. Odds being high he hung them and proceeded to promote new leaders who could get the job done.
So in hindsight, two glaring mistakes on my part setting up the scenario.
1. fixed turn orders - Norman player B got massacred due to Saxon player B knowing who would go first each time. Saxon B could stack his board to really cripple the Norman player with no risk to himself.
2. Not giving the Normans a free move - this meant the Normans lost valuable time and could not advance far enough up the field before the Saxons started grinding them down
Not mistakes, but lessons learned:
1. The Norman players had not used them in a while. As a Norman player you MUST soften up your foe before you charge in or you must have some potent abilities stacked up. Cavalry are not auto win units. The Normans advanced way to far ahead of their foot and missile troops.
2. Bad dice can't save you, particularly if the plan isn't effective. Norman player A split his forces slightly, bogging part of his men down in the woods trying to setup a killing field. Then proceeded to roll very poorly against a unit of warriors who almost single handedly decimated his entire force. They finally died, but not before crushing his hearthguard, Norman B's hearthguard, Norman A's mounted warriors, and Norman A's foot warriors (at one point actually pivoting after smashing one unit to ram home into the next who had setup right behind them). There are epic songs told about their heroism, let me tell you.
An office building/apartment building for 15mm. This had a number of first for me, such as a curved wall, and doing something other than painted windows (GCminis show some cool blue film for this but are out of stock, so I found some foil at Michaels to try out). The original plan was to make it section-able, so that you could play inside it. However, that was way to ambitious for this, and I'll try that on something two story and simpler.
I also finished up the samurai pieces. Some good stuff for a koryu (school) or random hire-able folks for other buntais (plus a peasant for scenarios) I need to make some bandits at some point.
The building seems to have some rough joints, but paint may take care of that, I like the 70s office building future, reminds me the Gil Gerard Buck Rogers with all these concrete buildings masquerading as the 25th century.
I picked up a new 'toy' recently, and have been experimenting with it. I bought an Anycubic Photon 3D printer, which is a small resin printer, to print minis/terrain/misc. I had some initial failures, and I'm learning a few things with it. Namely it will be a good learning curve on how to get minis to stick to the build plate (the printer has a vat of resin, with a clear film bottom. This sits on a LCD screen which flashes uv into the resin which cures the layers. These then have to stick to the build plate which pulls the mini up). I think I've hit on two items that may help yield success, but time will tell given the half dozen or more failed prints I've been through.
My 'first' mini which worked, and where I learned about neededing supports. This is a Mechwarrior Awesome. I didn't know to add supports to the model, and the arms never properly printed (essentially just small puddles of hardened resin at the bottom of the vat). I've replaced them with some parts from a broken wizkids figure I had lying around (I used to customize my Awesome to pack either 2 PPCs, 4 Medium Pulse Lasers or 4 PPCs, so the arms work out fine).
Then some test 15mm/18mm minis. The one on the left I'll have to sculpt a right arm for, which should be easy. K2-SO was originally a much larger model I shrunk way down, and the blue mini is a different batch of resin, of which she is the only model which has printed so far (fingers crossed for today using some things I've learned). Oddly, the arms on the two outside models did not work, even with supports, but K2, with ones I added instead of the automatic ones did.
I've learned there should be a very audible sucking sound when the build plate lifts up, which is it pulling the new layer of resin off the fep film. The other thing was zeroing the build plate with the vat and resin in it, and making it super snug vs using the sheet of paper they recommend. It worked last night, and I have pikachu (for my daughter) curing in the window sill today, and I'm trying it on some Tron lightcycles and a squirtle (for my son).
It is proving a little challenging getting stuff to print correctly. I want to test it out with some terrain here this weekend, but the film on the bottom is not very durable (which the uv shines through to cure the resin). So keeping it ship shape is proving difficult.
I have some small 15mm sci-fi stuff and a japanese castle I want to try. I may have to find a 3D design software or a suitable file, because I think this would be ideal for printing out walls for warmaster. Something about 123-125mm long (to accomodate 3 bases) with a 25mm deep platform (to have it support 3 40x20mm bases.
Oooh. How are you finding managing resin smells and dealing with iso to clean the waste.resin? Very interested In the Photon myself, but don't really have a suitable room for a super stinky and messy chemical process.
Some of the Awesome surfaces look super smooth, but the chest plates look a bit ridged. How are you finding the detail amd surface finishing on it?
Flinty wrote: Oooh. How are you finding managing resin smells and dealing with iso to clean the waste.resin? Very interested In the Photon myself, but don't really have a suitable room for a super stinky and messy chemical process.
Some of the Awesome surfaces look super smooth, but the chest plates look a bit ridged. How are you finding the detail amd surface finishing on it?
So, it does smell somewhat. It isn't horrible, but the smelly bits are cleaning the resin off bits and washing. I keep mine in my garage, so it isn't too much of an issue. The garbage does smell, kind of a sweetish smell to it. So if you don't have a closed garbage can it could cause issues.
As to striations, to some degree it depends on the level of layering you set it to. It can go from 0.05 to 0.01. The smaller the longer it takes to print. It is a little messy cleaning stuff up, but not too bad. It has done VERY well with curved surfaces. It does seem to matter how you set things based on the resin. The green did have some minor striations, but nothing too major.
See the following prints with a different resin (the dice are 16cm by 16cm):
I have a print of a small light cycle I plan on using with Galactic Heroes and it is super smooth. The main negative is the supports, which really help models adhere to the platform. They end up requiring that you still have to do a lot of smoothing/trimming like a molded model.
1. Sanding your print pad/base with some 150-200 grit sand paper very lightly helps
2. Clean out your resin after every print, successful or not - i.e. run it back through a filter, into the bottle, shake, and repour it out
3. Make sure you have the print pad tightened down far more that you think is necessary (you can see one of the pieces is too warped to use, because the bed was tilting ever so slightly).
4. Supports are a must. This does mean you have to clean the minis much like mold lines, but they fail without it.
5. Going with 4, a good base is key. Supporting just the rifle on the clones doesn't work, their feet don't have enough surface area to hold them to the bed. Adding a lot of supports to build up a solid base meant more cleaning, but enough surface to actually print worth a darn.
6. Have the print bed snugly against the resin tray. Snuggly enough that it won't move without force. Then use that as your zero. Don't use the some resistance with a sheet of paper method.
Any rate, some samples of success using the above:
Clone Troopers at about 30mm scale:
Top to a tower with a radar dish (15mm scale, I have some work to do to print the walls out):
Japanese Castle Keep, first floor (10mm scale):
Japanese Caslte Keep, rock base, warped (10mm scale, you can see the print bed shifted imperceptibly during print, but cause a mashing on one side):
Overall though, very impressive level of detail out of the printer. It does still require cleaning of minis, which is a bummer, but it will be nice to be able to clone certain pieces instead of having to build multiples (such as wall sections), and lets you customize things a little.