Friday, March 30, 2012

Aloha from Hawaii

Visiting my family for a week. Here is a cool set of replica Hawaiian edged weapons. One is ringed with Tiger shark teeth and the other has a Billfish bill for a spear tip.
This is a nice spear; this one with a large Marlin bill for a spear point.
Stopped in Shirokiya for lunch and had to get this gratuitous photo - I think the Sengoku armor is authentic. The metal plates had what appeared to be remnants of a leather facing.
My other car's a tank. This is in front of the museum at Battery Randolph in Waikiki.
Honolulu Geek Central - the infamous "Other Realms"
Don't worry this was just the first morning, I did get out to see the waves at Diamond Head. My old stomping grounds.
Heading out to a niece's birthday now - also another birthday on Sunday at Magic Island. One plus for not living here anymore is missing all the gatherings of relatives - almost every week!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Russian Command Stand for Black Powder

Here is the Warlord Russian command set, along with another figure as yet unidentified. The figure with his musket slung came with the Connoisseur figures - so I'm thinking it may be another Elite figure. Anyway, this stand will be commanding the budding Russian brigade - now at one cavalry and two infantry units. I suppose I should start on the cannon next.
The Warlord set comes with choices of arms and heads for all of the figures; well actually the choice of using the bicorne or fatigue hat for either officer. The drummer can also use a bare head with the right arm holding the kiwer.
As in the past, the command figures are separately based and on a magnetic topped base. This was they can be rearranged, swapped out, or used in skirmish games.
They were given a decent block paint job, with a little dry-brushing on the black areas prior to the Minwax stain. I threw the can away after this set of figures. The stain became really thick and couldn't be revived well enough with thinner. Guess I'll have to invest in another can - I'm too used to using this method now. This is how they looked prior to the staining.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Foundry Lead-Poisioning

I had just started working on a Warlord Russian Command set when the postal service delivered a box of Foundry lead which I had traded for a box of Fireforge Teutonic Knights with a generous TMP member. He had answered my "want add" for three Foundry Russian Cuirassiers so I could finish that unit. He said he had a command pack as well as a lot of other Foundry he said he'd never paint. I mentioned several items for a trade, but he just wanted the box of knights along with any spare Victrix or Perry plastics. As he told me, it would be a grab bag mixed lot - but boy what a haul!

Here are the Russians. The foot figures are really nice - the infantry wearing the forage caps looks great and would be a fine unit for Sharp Practice. The cavalry figures are three each Cuirassiers and Dragoons. Also, a nice artillery piece and crew of three.
Here are some French infantry - both Line and Light - I may finally paint up a small unit of Neuchatel guys - again for Sharp Practice. I'm sure I can find some spare mounts for the Brits. The Bavarians are also nice and enough for a Sharp Practice group.
Some Austrians - mostly command figures - but also very beautifully sculpted.
The next group has some figures that I'm not exactly sure what they are. I'm pretty sure the cavalry are what they are, but the foot figures not so much. In fact, the guys with the question marks next to them don't look like Foundry - at least not in the style the rest of the figures pictured here. They are very beautifully sculpted too though - slightly taller and look like current Perry offerings. UPDATE: Those are likely Austrian Cuirassiers - I now see that their helmet plates don't have the Imperial cypher. And the infantry on the left are indeed Austrians.
The next group of Foundry are French that my buddy gave me as compensation for the figures I painted for him earlier. Mostly officers and a few artillery crewmen. I really like the mounted guy at the top - unusual that rider and mount are cast as a single model.
So, all in all a fine collection of beautiful figures that can be used in skirmish gaming; as well as nice additions to command stands for Black Powder.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Connoisseur Russian Infantry - Ready for Black Powder or WAB Napoleonics

Wow - that is a long title; but here they are based and ready for the table top, in any case.
I downloaded some nice flags from Warflag.com. The flag poles are brass rod with Old Glory spear heads attached.
I added some highlights to the green coats - hoping to make the arms looks fuller.
I also downloaded colors for the Front Rank Pavlov Grenadiers. Here they are next to the Connoisseur guys. A good match in size, if not sculpturing.
Errata: The standard bearer figure with the white flag is an Elite figure; thanks for the info Chris!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Connoisseur Russian Infantry - WIP

My buddy Adrian gave me these yesterday after our WAB game. He in turn had gotten them free from a fellow TMP member. There are some really great (and generous) folks on TMP. Anyway, I wanted to see how they would look painted, so worked on them non-stop today. To be honest they do look a bit funky - skinny arms and somewhat "flattened" poses. But for free I am not complaining at all - just making an observation. I've never seen Connoisseur figures before - or at least not knowingly. I do like there overall size - comparable to Victrix and Perry. They remind me a bit of Old Glory 1st Edition types; although I think OG may be the better of the two. Anyway, here is how they look block-painted and with a little bit of dry-brushing on the black areas. Some of the buttons were painted on as they weren't sculpted on - no biggie - it's actually easier this way sometimes.
Here they are just having Minwax Tudor stain added with a brush.
Some of the sculpting is surprisingly good - like the grenade badges on their ammo pouches.
Otherwise, the detailing is somewhat minimal, but takes to painting well; especially with a black undercoat. The black undercoating not only allows for easier black-lining, but also allows for less defined areas left alone and "lost" in black.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

WAB Dark Ages Campaign - Game Day #2 - 3/17/12

We had a nice turnout today for our second game day of the Dark Ages Campaign Pat L. is running. We had four games running concurrently in two separate rounds. I showed up with my Thematic Byzantines - two units of combined Elite cavalry and one of combined Elite infantry as we're still at only 1,500 points. My opponent for the first round was Ron with his all-infantry Vikings. His skirmishing archers were doing a pretty good job at whittling down one of my cavalry units. However, my other cavalry unit with their bows was doing some damage to his main infantry. His skirmishers ran off the table and I ended up winning this game on points.
Adrian also had a Thematic Byzantine army - although his cavalry wasn't combined with bows. He also had one cavalry unit as skirmishers. He went against Dan's Vikings in the first round - I believe Dan won both of his games today.
I failed to get a photo of Pat's Thematic Byzantines that fought against Bruce D.'s Arthurians in the first round. I did manage to get a photo of James' Early-Byzantines going against Old Bob's Ostrogoths. I think James won his first round too. Bob braved some early-morning snow to make up all the way from Oregon.
Some of us, like me, who wouldn't be able to attend our next game day went ahead and fought another battle. I won against Adrian at the very end of Turn 6. My single foot unit defeated his cavalry unit along with his Army General - nothing like a clear victory. So far, for the three games I've played, I've won two and tied one - the first game against Pat. Interestingly (or maybe uninterestingly) most of us have either Thematic Byzantine or Russian armies - no one wanted to go with the less sexy-types, I guess. Pat will be posting an update of our standings in the campaign soon on his site, Northwest Historical Wargames.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fireforge Knights - Glued - Nekkid Plastic

Just wanted to show off these nice models after gluing the parts together. All the parts fit together very nicely.  There really aren't that many parts too. For the horses: two halves for the bodies, separate tails and choice of head/neck (some with cloth barding and some without). The knights have torso and legs as one-piece, separate head/helm and arms; there are options with left arms molded onto the backs of the shields too. The plastic is very sturdy and should hold up well for gaming - including the lances. I only armed half of the guys with lances, actually one was converted to be the unit standard (a cross). Also, I plan to only paint half as actual Teutonic Order; the rest will be painted as other historical personalities with nice heraldry - maybe even a rouge Templar or two.
They are really cleanly cast - no mold lines and barely any flash. Details - like the eyelets and breath holes for the helms are very clear. There are a lot of spare parts - including helms, shields and arms holding weapons. Note that all of the heads are wearing great helms, so I substituted the musician's head with a spare without a helm - how else could he toot his horn?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

FireforgeTeutonic Knights!

Once again, Maelstrom Games has exceeded expectations - not only are their prices unbeatable, their delivery is super fast. I just ordered these guys a week or so ago. I also picked up a command pack of Warlord's Russian Napoleonics.
Here are the types of sprues that come with the set:
The horses are similar to GW Bretonnian types -the tails can swivel if not glued directly to the bodies.
The Great Helms are really nice - who can resist the fantastical crest these guys are normally portrayed wearing - whether historically accurate or not! It is very cool that the capes are separate and can be left off if desired.
I promised someone on TMP that I'd post comparison shots of these figures with Gripping Beast and Mirliton. Fireforge are larger overall, but if you have them based in a unit, they should be okay. Note that the Gripping Beast horse is an older model - I understand that they re-sculpted most of the horses, which may be a bit larger now.
Head on, I bet they blend in even better. They even have separate ailettes which can be added - the guy with the couched lance has them.
A very nice set of late-13th to early-14th Century knights. The plastic seems very sturdy and durable - the same as the Perry plastic Napoleonics, I think.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Warlord Roman Ballista

My buddy Pat L. gave me a box of Warlord Roman War Machines the other day; here is the ballista and crew painted up.
The ballista itself is plastic, but the figures are metal - including an Optio directing the crew.
A very useful addition to an Early Imperial Roman army - this thing can lob stuff up to 48" and using a 3" blast template can cause some casualties; or at the very least cause the enemy some concern.

I painted the crew and weapon up quite quickly hoping the Minwax stain would do most of the work. I think the Minwax came through. Here they are with a very basic, and somewhat crude, block paint job.
Here they are after the stain; also the stand with magnetic sheet and acrylic caulking to accept the figures.
It is very refreshing painting up figures quickly and rather carelessly knowing the Minwax stain will "cure" many of the ills. In fact, when painting up figures this way I reminisce about my childhood days of painting up Airfix 1:72nd figures - before I knew about staining and dry-brushing, that is.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Foundry Russian Cuirassiers - Completed

Actually need a pack of three more troopers to make this a 12-man unit.
I added some height to the horses by gluing some plastic card beneath their bases.
As can see, one of the bases awaits another trooper. Since I use acrylic caulking to texture the bases, adding another figure to it is no problem. I also need to add a standard - or at least the pole.
Here is what the horses looked like prior to a Minwax stain. Really basic block painting (and a little sloppy too) with just the mane and tail given a dry-brush for highlighting.
And after the stain and a finish of Testors Dullcote. Nothing award-winning here, but it definitely is fast and works well enough for ranked unit basing.
Here a couple of comparison shots of the Foundry Russians next to some Perry French heavy cav.
Not so bad at all for battlefield purposes IMO; the biggest difference that I can tell is the sculpting of the horses.
The Foundry ones are a bit bulky looking, whereas the current Perry ones are much more elegantly sculpted.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Foundry Russian Cuirassiers - WIP

Riders are done; granted only 9 - the unit will need at least another 3. As these are older Foundry models, they are slightly smaller than the current generation of Napoleonics. Not matter - they'll be fine on the table; especially when the cannons roar.
They're painted with green facings to represent the Klein Russland Regiment. The metallic areas were touched up a bit after the Testors Dullcote - to bring the shine back.
Here is how they looked prior to the Minwax stain. I used a black undercoat to allow for blacklining prior to the stain. There wasn't a dramatic change from this to the stain. I think I may need to get another can of stain since this one is just about empty and I had to add some thinner to the remnants as it's getting dry. Probably get a new can after I use this one up for the horses.
Speaking of which, as I was preparing the horses I found that one of them had a missing foot. I super-glued a section of a paperclip to the offending area and then added some Green Stuff.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Foundry French O's Completed

Here is General Sycophant and his trusty aide Colonel Lackey. These are part of the figures my buddy asked me to paint for him in exchanged for some Foundry Russian Cuirassiers.
I gave the horses a very basic block paint job (with some highlights on the saddle cloth and holster covers).  For the general's mount (with the red saddle cloth), I just left the white undercoat as is for the stain.
Then brushed on some Minwax Tudor Satin stain. Today being somewhat warm, and using a hair dryer, I was able finished them with Testors Dullcote
I kind of rushed the French so I could start on the Russians - here they are primed black (Black Russians?):
Some nice images of Russian Cuirassiers (as well as other nations' heavy cav):