Sunday, December 30, 2012

Changun's Choson Korean Army - Farewell 2012

"The host thus forming a single united body, it is impossible either for the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat alone. This is the art of handling large masses of men." - Sun Tzu.
And so 2012 comes to a close, not with a bang but a whimper. Here is the Choson Korean army built in honor of my beloved canine companion, Changun - who through a series of unfortunate events is no longer by my side here on this earth. The stand for the Army General includes a figure of him in miniature.
All of the figures are Perrys, with the exception of the Changun miniature and the allied "Ming" Chinese cavalry. The dog mini is a modified Black Cat Bases figure, and the Chinese are from The Assault Group - actually Song Chinese, but close enough.
I wish all of you well in the coming New Year and hope you all have a great time painting and gaming. Warmest Regards to you all.

Friday, December 21, 2012

General Huang Zhong - Flying General Workshop

This is that plastic figure from Flying General Workshop that was advertised as 1:56th scale. It is probably closer to 40mm, though. I decided to paint it up anyway - and will give it to one of my wife's friends as a Christmas gift. Her friend always looks at my figures in a cabinet and asks if she can have one. She can't understand why my wife tells her no because I have to use them all. Anyway, I hope she likes this over-sized figure that can't be used with my 28mm stuff. Her husband is a retired SF guy who practices Korean and Chinese martial arts - mainly staff weapons - so I had to make sure this figure will stand up to his scrutiny.

This is taken straight off of the box (the only thing in English, as everything else is written in Chinese): "Huang, Zhong - One of the Five Tiger Generals of Shu Han. Huang Zhong had always been portrayed in popular literature and arts as an elderly general with youthful vigor and constitution. Even now, the spirit to strive for excellence despite old age is often attributed to him."

I painted the figure as one piece - the rider was glued to the horse and everything sprayed black for an undercoat. For some reason, I painted the horse first and then the rider - kind of out of normal sequence.

Bright colors were chosen, as this seems what is depicted in Chinese art.

It may not be apparent in the photos, but the head of the rider (Huang Zhong) is really about 28mm, but the rest of him and the horse are much larger in scale.

Here he is compared to a 28mm T.A.G. Song Chinese cavalryman.
On the gaming front, my buddy Pat Lowinger and I got in a nice WAB refresher game today at The Game Matrix. My Trojan War Chariot army defeating his Successor army. He did leave out his elephant today - so next time it may get a bit more complicated for my Chariot army. On the home front, my oldest son will be home tomorrow on leave for about a week from his Air Force technical training. He's been gone for a total of 6 months - which includes his basic training. We can't wait to spend some quality time with him - especially during the holidays. Happy Holidays to all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

T.A.G. Song Cavalry

Still need to add a banner to the guy with the trident - also looking for an appropriate figure to round the unit to 10.
Addendum - based on a movement tray with a Korean officer added to the rear rank; also a modified Perry Choson flag - a tail was added.
I plan to use these as Ming allies for the Choson Korean WAB army. I did a little internet research for these guys and noticed most illustrations of Chinese metal armor from this period is shown to be iron or steel. I would’ve thought they’d use bronze, but it appears the Chinese moved away from bronze quite early on – at least for the most part.
As this unit is supposed to represent Song Dynasty troops, they are a bit anachronistically armored. By the time of the Song, most armor was brigandine, or coats of plates, types very similar to what the Koreans wore – or vice versa. However, I wanted a contrast for the Chinese, so figured the exposed metal armor would make them look more foreign or exotic, as allies should.
Possibly the more elite Song units may have retained this type of armor, but I’m not sure if any of these types of troops were deployed in the Imjin War. This unit should complete the Choson Korean WAB army. I would like to add a unit of unarmored Choson Korean mounted archers, if the Perrys would ever make them.
The next image is a period painting of Ming cavalry - they are heavily armored and the helmets are similar to the ones worn by the Song cavalry above. The horses lack any armor or barding though. Granted the dynasties typically ran through several centuries, so some overlap in appearance would be plausible.
The T.A.G. figures strongly resemble the cavalry illustrated below in a Song Dynasty manuscript.

Monday, December 10, 2012

T.A.G. Song Cavalry - WIP +1

Started on the riders - just a little tidbit, but I'm trying to get back into painting more.
I can't figure out what kind of weapon the third guy on the right is holding in both hands (like large maracas). It's from the  pack with "exotic" weapons. The Ancient Chinese sure came up with some strange weapons.

Here is  link to some nice images of Ming Chinese. I plan to use these Song guys as Ming allies for a Korean Imjin War army.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

T.A.G. Song Cavalry - WIP

Here are the horses for a unit of Song Cavalry from The Assault Group. Although they have a style all their own, they are very nicely sculpted. I picked these up from a very generous TMP sale offered by TMPer Iain - aka "The Hobbybox." He still has a ton of other TAG figures for sale.
I have some TAG Samurai and these are similarly styled/sculpted - somewhat stiff, but not excessively.
Proportion-wise they are pretty good - IMO. These have been given highlighting after a block paint job and Minwax Tudor Satin stain. The stain is pretty old and is getting very thick - I used a lot of thinner and the result isn't as good as if from a new can.
Here they are with a basic block paint job.
Krylon Brown Boots Satin was used as a basecot.
In other news, I had ordered some figures made by a Chinese company called Flying-General Workshop. These were on sale at the Michigan Toy Soldier Company.
They are advertised as 1:56 scale, and the two resin (gray) figures are pretty close to that, but the plastic (tan) figure is a lot larger - possibly 40mm or so. I had planned to use them to increase the size of the TAG unit, but may not as they don't blend in too well

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Levy Bowmen for SAGA

Painted up some Wargames Factory Numidian Light Infantry as Levy Bowmen for a SAGA Viking Warband. They are pretty much as is from the box, except for the composite bows being straightened and shortened a bit. Most of the bare legs and arms were painted like they had long sleeves and trousers. I had used the other 12 figures as generic Ancient javelin men, and these can be used as generic Dark Age/Medieval bowmen. After a second, and very entertaining, SAGA game this past Saturday, I decided my Viking Warband needed bowmen that looked more the part of levies. I had used mail-clad Norman Bowmen that looked too "Warrior"-like.
Here are the 12 Levy bowmen out in front of the Warlord (w/uncounted musician), a unit of 8 Hearthguard, and two units of 8 Warriors. My buddy is giving me four Beserkers to round out a 6 point Warband. The two-handed axemen are Crusader figures that I've used for a WAB Norman army in the past.
Although I've only played two games of SAGA, I enjoy the rules and find the Battle Board system an ingenious way add a lot of variety to Warband factions. So much so, that my Norman opponent, luckily for me, forgot many of his special rules. My Vikings still got hammered, but it was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to more SAGA games in the near future.

Here are the bowmen prior to Minwax staining and highlighting. Using the Minwax process, the initial painting is reminiscent of how I painted 1/72nd plastics in days gone by - and fun days they were!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Viking Warlord and Dragon Ship Helmsman

This is a Crusader Miniatures figure from the Harold Godwinson set - he'll serve as a Viking warlord for the Dragon Ship, as well as for SAGA. Yes, I've been a bit taken with these rules along with many of the local crew here in Washington State.
This is the helmsman that came with the Old Glory Viking Ship set. I may add a pin to one of his feet and attach him permanently to the ship - currently he's on a washer.
Here are some close ups of the sail assembly that was scratch-built using a wooden dowel, bamboo stick, cloth and some thread.
Speaking of SAGA, we're having another go at it next weekend. I plan to use some of my existing figures from a Norman army for a Viking warband. The figures are actually Crusader Miniatures Saxons, but they will double as Vikings.

Added a few more photos with the ship based - now all I need to get is more ships and a game mat with 1.5 foot hexes.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Old Glory Viking Dragon Ship - Completed

Fashioned a mast out of a 1/4" dowel from Michael's; used a piece of bamboo stick for the crossbeam and a piece of cloth soaked with white glue for the sail.
The flash from the camera kind of washes out some of the colors - the red stripes on the sail are a bit darker in natural light.
I'm not a navy man so not sure how the sail would actually be rigged, but I used thread to tie the sail to the crossbeam. Thread was also used to cinch up the sail; the red strips were painted on prior to rolling it up.
Not sure if you can tell in the photos, but the oars don't line up with the rowers' hands that well, but they look okay overall though.
I'll try to take some more photos when the lighting is better - also need to add the helmsman and leader too.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Old Glory Viking Ship - WIP +1

Here are the rowing crew. Again, a stain of Minwax Tudor Satin over a block paint job - Testors Dullcote'd too.
I may add highlights to the clothing, but I wanted to show the results of just the stain and basic painting.
The crew were painted with basic colors already attached to their seats.
After staining and Dullcote.
Next up are the helmsman and leader, as well fabricating a mast and furled sail.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Old Glory Viking Dragon Ship - WIP

Here is a resin model that has been sitting in a box for several years now. It was ordered way back when, when I had an Old Glory Army membership. Anyway, it's one of those things you just have to get when you have the chance. It is a really nice model and figured I'd get it painted. Here it is Dullcote'd after a Minwax Tudor Satin stain over a basic finish.

The shields are basic patterns using only five colors: red, blue, green, white and yellow.
Prior to the stain, the ship itself was given two shades of light brown using a mixture of Vallejo Flat Yellow and Cadmium Red. I use those two colors in varying combinations for most wood and leather.
Here is the ship with shields and rowers attached. Since only basic patterns were used for the shields, they were painted after being glued to the ship.

The kit was missing the wooden dowels for the mast, but I should be able to find a replacement.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Perry Choson Korean Cavalry

Here is the cavalry for Changun's army - this unit is comprised of a set each of the Perrys' two-handed swordsmen, flailmen and bowmen. I plan to use them as either bows or flailmen. I know this may be pushing the what you see is what you get rule, but all of them have bows and quivers. One set was missing their bows and quivers, and I'm still waiting for the missing parts to arrive.
Plan to add the two earlier completed officers to this unit, as well as adding a standard. This will make it a 12-man unit. The army is now close to 2,000 points, with enough remaining points for another unit of either armored infantry or light cavalry. Perry currently doesn't make cavalry without armor, so this second option may need to wait.
As there are only a few references for Choson Korean cavalry, I took some liberty with the color scheme. Basically gave their armored coats subdued colors and gave some color splash with the horse furniture.
The flail staffs were red according to Turnbull's sources. Also according to Turnbull, Korean cavalry seems to have only appeared in any numbers at the Battle of Chungju. They were decimated by Japanese arquebuses at this battle and not much more is mentioned of their use thereafter.

All of them were block painted with rider and horse as single units and given a Minwax Tudor Satin stain. After a finish of Testors Dullcote some highlighting was added to some of the coats and clothing, as well as the horse furniture. Anyway, I'm happy with the way they turned out and I continued to rely heavily on Minwax to get me through this project.