Saturday, February 25, 2012

Front Rank Pavlovsk Grenadiers - Completed

Well I broke down and used a hair dryer to speed up the Minwax drying time - it seems to have worked as the Testors Dullcote is pretty flat. Added some highlights to the green coat, as well as a little black-lining around the chest straps. The mitre plates and bayonets were dry-brushed with gold and silver - just to make them a little shiny again.
My buddy will be giving me some Foundry Russian Cuirassiers in exchange for painting a few figures for him. Hopefully, they won't be too small next to the Front Rank guys. Eventually I'll also add either some Warlord Games or Old Glory 2nd Edition line infantry - or wait for the Perry plastics.
In the meantime, these guys will hang out in their barracks and let the British fight the French.

Front Rank Pavlovsk Grenadiers - WIP +1

Gave the remainder of the grenadiers a brush-on stain of Minwax Tudor Satin. Once the stain dries overnight they'll be given a finish of Testors Dullcote, followed by some highlighting of the coats. The mitre plate will also get a dry-brush of gold, and the trousers a dry-brush of white. Then they'll get based on 40mm square Litko plywood stands.
Prior to the stain they were given a production-line block paint job. I used a darker green than the first test figures.
Tomorrow I'll meet my buddy Pat L. at The Game Matrix to pick up some plastic Ancients he asked me to help glue together for a Lydian WAB army he's building for Adepticon in April. He's giving me some plastic stuff in exchange. Pat just returned from Strategicon where his Early-Macedonian WAB army was undefeated - and incidentally beat Jeff Jonas' Ptolemaic army. Pat is tireless and is running a WAB Dark Ages Campaign for some of us here in WA State; he's also going to GM a WAB "tournament" at Enfilade! in May. Although I've really come back to playing, and enjoying WAB, I do plan on running a largish Trojan War game using Hail Caesar. I hope to have that project up and running after Enfilade!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Front Rank Pavlovsk Grenadiers - Test Figures

Decided to try using a white undercoat - thinking the Minwax stain would darken the final product appropriately. It looks okay, but I'll go with a darker green on the coats for the rest of the figures. These are Front Rank figures that I won off of ebay for a great price (about half the normal cost). No highlighting has been added to the basic block painting prior to the dip. Here is how they look after a finish of Testors Dullcote.
The stain didn't black line the straps as well as I wanted, so I'll likely go over these areas. I also gave the metal areas (mitre plate and musket barrel) a wash of black first. The Vallejo Gold didn't cover the white undercoat that well at first.
Anyway, the sculpting and poses really simplify painting - no hard nooks and crannies to get to. Here's an interesting surviving example of a grenadier cap; with musket ball holes, presumably.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Front Rank Chasseurs a Cheval - Completed

Here they are - based two per on 50X50mm squares. I added a bit of highlighting after the Minwax stain - the green looked too plain if not.
I really like their simple, yet elegant poses; very nice looking in ranks. The horses' tails are a bit long, so I had to bend them to the sides to allow the second rank.
This unit will replace the Cuirassier/Carabinier unit for the Salamanca game. I hope to get a Front Rank Lancer unit in the future - either Polish or Dutch.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

WAB AoA Gaming - 2/18/12

Several WAB gamers made it to the The Game Matrix today; including Old Bob all the way up from Oregon. At first I was going to play Bob, but then switched to take on James R.'s Hussites with my Late-Japanese. Adrian ended up taking on Bob's Macedonians with his Medieval English.The Japanese took a beating from the Hussites. The Japanese didn't have anything in their army that could destroy the wagons. With the crossbowmen and handgunners manning the wagon, it was an impossible task for the Japanese.
A decimated unit of Retainer spear did mange to reach a wagon; however, hardly anything could be done to the Hussites behind their well-defended position.
Soon all four Retainer units, two each bow and spear, were destroyed - mostly by long range fire from the Hussites in their wagons. By turn 5 it was declared a Hussite victory; practically all of the Hussite units were still intact, and only the Bushi infantry remained in strength. Even the Bushi cavalry had taken a beating - again from long range covered fire.

On the other table, it appeared Adrian's English were getting the better of Bob's Macedonians
In spite of the feeling like the Takeda at Nagashino, it was still a nice game day - two diverse WAB games being played simultaneously, as well as a large Martian game also going on with most of the NHMGS regulars. It was very nice to have Bob make it - considering he drove up from another state! We plan on more games in the near future - WAB and others too.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Front Rank Chasseurs a Cheval - WIP

Nursing a bad toothache I focused on the Front Rank Chasseurs I recently won off of ebay. This time I'll wait a day or so for the Minwax stain to dry completely before spraying with Dullcote. Luckily I'll be playing some WAB tomorrow so I won't be tempted to use the hair dryer on them.
Prior the stain they were given a pretty basic block paint job; the black parts were given a little bit of dry brushed highlights. I had started to shade some of them, but stopped after I realized it would take way longer than using the stain. For rank and file guys like these, I've found that once in formations a basic paint job looks fine.
I like how most Front Rank cavalry have the saddle and carbine attached to the figure - this not only speeds up painting, but makes for a sturdy gaming model.

Warlord's Maximus and War Dog

Finally finished this set; I had to take a bit of a break as I had a minor medical procedure (let's just say it's part of an exam for those of us 50 & over), as well as still nursing a pretty bad toothache. Anyway, the horse is really nicely posed and sculpted. The rider, Maximus Overdrivus, isn't bad, but seems to be lacking some details. The facial features and the armor embossing are hard to make out. To be fair, very little of the face and armor embossing are exposed in the first place. The head and helmet do seem a bit undersized though; maybe that's the look the sculptor wanted - to exaggerate the the body size and sword. The dog is very nicely detailed, but I think the pose with the legs all drawn in doesn't look as dignified as it could've been otherwise.
Once again I couldn't wait for the Minwax stain to dry overnight on the horse. I used a hair dryer to speed up the time and sprayed with Testors Dullcote. As you might be able to tell, the horse still has a sheen to it; maybe the stain underneath is reacting to the spray coat. It won't really matter much on the gaming table though. Speaking of which, tomorrow is another day of WAB gaming. I could take the EIR army too - now that the general is finished. One more thing, I see that Blogger recently started using a comment verification code that is hard to make out - so if it gets to be pain to leave comments, I understand. Best, Dean

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Late-Japaneses WAB Army - Rebase

I went ahead and rebased all of the Retainer bowmen and most of the Retainer spearmen. The bowmen are on metal washers that came off of the Victrix stuff that were rebased onto Litko squares. Initially, most of the bowmen and spearmen were on 40X40mm squares - I was thinking that they'd be used for Hail Caesar, but this way, they can be used for WAB also.
The bowmen will be used in Open Order formed units and the spearmen, having upgraded to pikes, are Close Ordered. I spent a long time cutting CD cases for movement trays, but decided to just use some plasticard. I don't plan on having edges to the trays, except for the front.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

WAB Gaming with a Tournament Veteran - 2/11/12

Had a great time gaming - actually being schooled - by longtime gamer and tournament veteran Pat L. Pat was kind enough to share some of his vast WAB knowledge with me before heading out to Strategicon next week. Pat brought his Macedonians (with stand-ins for his Scythian cav - still on the workbench). I again used my Late-Japanese army.
We threw a few ad hoc terrain pieces on the table that The Game Matrix has on hand. I won the roll to start the game and opted to go first. Again our armies were capped at 2,000 points in anticipation of Enfilade!
My Japanese had Bushi cav and spear on their left flank and two each units of Retainer spear and bow in the center and on the right flank.
In Pat's turn, he maneuvered a few of his Macedonian units around, as well as firing, unsuccessfully, his bolt thrower. Pat taught me a lot of useful moves, and formation changes with both Close and Open Ordered units. One of which was to have my Bushi in Open Order reform into two ranks to best utilize their massed-missile fire.
My Retainer unit with pikes did some damage to his Companion wedge - enough to make the unit flatten for their turn of combat.
The Macedonian phalanx on their left defeated a Retainer pike unit in combat; not helpful that the Retainer unit only had two ranks and aren't allowed a standard. They were within 12" of the Japanese army general though - who had a Leadership of 9. However, they rolled double 6's and ended up routing off the table. Due to their breaking, the general rolled and passed, but two other nearby Retainer units ended up rolling 10's! Another Retainer unit in the center ended up losing in combat to the remnants of the Companion wedge. The Bushi cav and spear on the left held up well with their BS and WS of 4 - not to mention the Lords in each of the units.
At the end of Turn 6, it was declared a Macedonian Victory - they had most of their infantry units intact and also controlled most of table.
As I mentioned, I really picked up a lot of tips and tricks from Pat. After the game he gave me some detailed pointers for the Japanese, as well as other armies, I plan to use in future games. One thing I plan to incorporate right away is the use of generic movement stands. This would, for me anyway, make formation changes more readily implemented during a game. Specifically, with nicely edged and flocked movement trays, I tend to want to leave the unit as is during the game, come what may, regardless of the tactical advantages otherwise.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Warlord Eastern Archers

These came in the mail today - not bad as I only ordered them last week through Maelstrom Games in the UK. I also got the mounted general (Maximus). They painted up really quickly with basic block painting and a Minwax Tudor stain. I did highlight the clothing a bit too. I also used a hair drying to get the Minwax to dry faster - probably should've waited overnight, but I'm gaming tomorrow and wanted these done. These guys will be Elite Archers for my early EIR army - Ballistic Skill 4!
Prior to the stain & highlighting; Maximus and his loyal hound behind the archers.
Before checking the mail after coming back from lunch, I had started on the Front Rank Chasseurs. Gave them a black undercoat and cut 50X50mm bases from some 3mm plywood I got from Jo Ann's. I'll get back to these after Maximus and his dog are done. Plan to use the Chasseurs in place of the Cuirassiers for the Enfilade! Black Powder game.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Warlord EIR Legionaries - Completed

Finished the box of these guys - still need to make the movement tray for this unit. I'm curious to see how they'll perform with such a wide frontage of 10 figures. Their ability to fight in two-ranks with heavy throwing spears (pila) is too much of a temptation for me not to try out - at least once.
The unit will be classed as Seasoned (per the new Armies of Antiquities EIR list). For a 2,000 point EIR early army, they will be fielded along with two slightly smaller Elite Legionary units, a small unit of Elite archers, the General (Maximus Overdrivus), and a Light Bolt Thrower. Until I get a Warlord model for the bolt thrower, I'll use a 1st Corps Oxybeles I already have painted. The two crew are spare Warlord figures with their weapons removed.
Based - 21 Attacks (the Optios should get additional attacks too :)!); Strength 4 hits during first round of Combat!
Here is the army so far - two units of Elite Legionaries and the just completed Seasoned Legionaries; and one Light Bolt Thrower. Waiting on the arrival of the General and unit of Elite Eastern Archers. This will take the army to 2,000 points. Eventually some Warlord Praetorian cav and Auxiliaries will join the army.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Late-Japanese vs. Medieval English - WAB Armies of Antiquities

Played a very enjoyable game today with my buddy Adrian. We used the new WAB Armies of Antiquities lists for my Late-Japanese army and his Medieval English. This is the first time we've played WAB since last May's Enfilade! convention. To be fair, we GM'd that game and most of the games leading up to it. So, to actually play our own armies again was awesome! Our armies are at 2,000 points for the pending WAB "tournament" at this year's Enfilade! I may switch to an Early Imperial Roman all-infantry army for the convention though. We tried to do everything by the "book" for this game. We started by rolling for terrain set-up. As I won the initial roll, we used the Far-East options. Adrian's army had the Stratagem option, so he ended up moving some of my terrain at the end! Anyway, here's what our battle lines looked like after deployment - Adrian placed his first as he had more units.
We had the same basic set up; bowmen interspersed with other infantry. In my case, a unit of Bushi with thrusting spears and bows, and two units of Retainers with pikes. In addition to several strong Longbow units, Adrian's English had dismounted knights in plate armor wielding double-handed weapons. The Japanese army had the only cavalry - a potent unit of mounted Bushi in skirmish order with bows.
At the start of the game our units in skirmish formation got to do a free 4" move. I tried to move my Bushi cav in skirmish a little closer for bow fire.
Adrian moved his bowmen forward and then placed his stakes (which he claims he couldn't find in the new AoA but insisted on using the Armies of Chivalry rules - whatever).
I won the roll to go first and opted to start using my mounted Bushi's awesome firepower. They have Ballistic Skill 4, and also had two Lords with Ballistic Skill 5 - how can you not score hits. Well, I'll tell you, with bad die rolls - like I did. That said, I did manage to attrite some of his forces; even his dismounted knights in plate armor with a 3+ Save.
The English Longbowmen were no slouches for missile fire either. What with their ability to mass fire both ranks in full and outranging my bowmen, they managed to have a couple of my archer units Break.
The Retainer bowmen ended up Breaking one of the English bow units - and off the table they went. The Japanese themselves ended up losing one unit of bowmen, but the most tragic thing is I kept forgetting my Bushi spear unit also had bows - with Ballistic Skill 4. Serves me right for not having the models with bows too!
We called the game after turn 4 (or was it 3) a near thing - we both had lost a unit of bowmen, and most of the other troops were still holding back from actual Combat. We ended the game early because we're both on the planning committee for Enfilade! and we had to start the meeting. Anyway, I had a great time and it was so refreshing getting to play WAB again. I had thought I'd get into Hail Caesar after really liking Black Powder, but it seems, to me anyway, that it's horses for courses. That is, I really like Black Powder for Napoleonics, but I still like WAB for Ancients/Medievals. I definitely want to get more WAB games in this year.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Warlord Roman Legionaries - WIP +1

Just about done with this unit; only need to finish the 3-man command group and movement tray. Initially, I was going to go with a 32-man unit (4 ranks of 8), but decided to go with a 30-man unit (3 ranks of 10). I had added two more figures to up it to 32, but now I'll likely add a Light Bolt Thrower and have them crewed with the extra two figures - almost the same cost for two Seasoned Legionaries - using the new WAB Armies of Ancients lists for EIR.
BTW, I was hoping to achieve a more muted red for the tunics after staining. It's kind of a brighter red than I had wanted, but the shields and close-order ranking should minimize the effect.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Front Rank Ebay Score

Won these Front Rank figures last week on ebay - no one else bid on them and I couldn't pass them up as they were going for about half-price. The figures are 12 French Chasseur a Cheval - including command and two elites in colpacks; and 24 Russian Pavlov Grenadiers - including command. I definitely can use the Chasseurs, as they were present in almost every major battle. The Pavlov Grenadiers, on the other hand, will likely be just an interesting unit to have in a collection, as I don't plan on building a Russian army - at least at this time. I do love their old-fashioned mitres. Anyway, I am in no big rush to paint either units - I'm just happy I won them at such a great price. Now back to those Warlord Romans.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Warlord Roman Legionaries - WIP

They've just received a coat of Minwax Tudor Satin; I always brush on the stain as opposed to actual dipping. I also used some paint thinner with it as it seems to have dried a bit since opening. My buddy gave me a box of these figures for gluing some Victrix plastics together for  him.
Prior to staining, they were given a basic block paint job - except for the caliga (sandal-boot) which were dry-brushed. Admittedly a crude finish, but one which is enhanced a lot by the Minwax stain and the later close-rank basing and addition of the large shield - which will hide many imperfections.
The tunic color is a mixture of Vallejo Red and Medium Flesh; Vallejo Saddle Brown was used for the pteruges and other leather parts. For basecoat, Krylon Brilliant Silver was used. It's the same can that I used for the basecoat of two boxes Warlord Praetorians, as well a unit of Foundry Silver Shields a while ago. There's still a lot of paint left in the can too.
Hope to have the shields done tomorrow - adding the beautiful decals supplied with the box.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This silver undercoating method is borrowed (aka stolen) from the blog of painter extraordinaire James Brewerton I've used the method in the past and can attest to it's effectiveness and speed when coupled with the Minwax stain. Cheers!