Saturday, April 23, 2016

Recent Miniatures Projects

At GwC headquarters, recently there has been a lot of work going on at my miniatures workbench.  I have been painting and rebasing large quantities of my 15mm collection, and have started painting on some 28mm projects.

First, starting really before Christmas, and only finishing sometime during the winter convention season (re: MarsCon and Williamsburg Muster), I had rebased and flocked my Mexican American War collection.  This amounted to about 2000 miniatures, mostly infantry (although a decent amount of Mexican cavalry), rebased from cardboard and balsawood onto MDF bases, of the variety I usually purchase from resellers like GaleForce9 at wargames shows.  I have, in a manner very similar to many of my other 15mm age of rifles armies, based the infantry on 25mm square stands, with three miniatures per stand, and the cavalry on 30mm square stands, with two miniatures per stand.  The guns are on 40mm bases, with crew.  I have not hosted a game (solo or otherwise) with this collection yet, although this rebasing project is complete, because I needed to finish up some suitable terrain in 15mm.  All my adobe/desert style terrain is in 28mm for The Sword and the Flame, and most of it has a distinct middle eastern flavor (some could swing to Mexico or California, but not all).

Second, I had interrupted my projects with a really satisfying game of Renaissance, using the Neil Thomas rules, and my figures for the Italian Wars (covered in this blog here and here).  A very satisfying game, but at the time I did not do anything to rebase that collection of Renaissance figures.  That could be a project in the future, and would make them compatible with other figures that I have for the period.

Third, I have begun a large project of rebasing and organizing my Dark Ages figures.  This is chiefly figures for four armies - Vikings (very large collection), Saxons, Normans, Welsh and Irish - recently added to my collection.  This allows a large variety of different battles and campaigns to be waged, but it also adds to an already decent sized collection of Vikings and Western Franks (Normans) that I had already owned.  Again, the rebasing is an attempt to bring a uniformity to the combined collection, and because I really prefer my own mix of flocking and MDF bases.  Here are a couple of pictures of figures from the new addition to the collection, in process (recently glued to the new bases, but not flocked yet).
New figures based - old bases on the slingers at the top right
In the first picture (above) you can see about seven units of figures, assuming 6 bases per unit.  Some of the units in the collection are this size, some larger, but it is very flexible, as there is very little to differentiate units, except for armament and some national characteristics in shield design, clothing, etc.  For instance, the three units in the upper left could be used for just about anything (Irish Bonnachts, Welsh, Saxon Great Fyrd), but were included with the Irish figures.  The presence of a priest and some of the banner designs indicate a Christian nationality.  On the other hand, the figures in the other units of the picture could just as handily serve as either Saxons or Vikings.  And considering, for instance at some of Brian Boru's battles (such as Clontarf), there is little difference between the Vikings on either side of the battlefield, these could also serve in an Irish army.  Notably, the Welsh also employed Vikings in their ranks as well.

The buildings in the picture feature on their bases my own mix of flocking.  It is made from a mixture of two different colors/grades of woodland scenic turf, and then has some small amounts of foliage mixed in, and some ballast to represent rocks.  I have been using a variant of that mixture since the late 1980s, off and on.

The old style of bases in the collection I recently acquired are pictured here, in the upper right of the picture.  It is a thin balsa style base, with a dark green grass used as flocking.  This is the same style that was employed in the Mexican American War collection, and also the Renaissance collection (they are from the same painter).  The style is good, and the look en masse is fine, it is just not what I prefer to use.  And rebasing gives me an excuse to spend time at the workbench, while listening to music and enjoying a pipe, so why not?  Below are some more pictures of the figures in progress.

[A word on the painting style - it is very different from my own.  These figures were painted with a white primer base under all the figures, and it leads to figures that have a very light look, overall, compared to my painting.  I will try to post some pictures of my own 15mm dark ages figures, in comparison, very soon.  I usually go for black primer, with white dry brush over it, and then paint in sold block colors, adding washes and detail last.  These seem to have a lot of wash style color areas added, which have a very good effect at a wargames table distance, and give a very colorful appearance to the army. It is just a different effect from my own figures.  I don't think the soldiers will mind, at all, being on the same battlefield, however.]

Very nice mixture of poses and manufacture - but I suspect a lot of Splintered Light

Closeup showing bases, wet glue(!) and figures.  Nice job on the banner!
I will be playing a solo game, very soon, as soon as the last of the Dark Ages figures are completed and off the gaming table (I rebase on the gaming table, and flock at the painting table - a sort of assembly line).

Considering that the theme for the Guns of August convention this summer is Medieval Battles, this collection should definitely be seeing some action at the convention.  I am considering a big multi-player Battleaxe-Blitz!  Details to follow, but think of a large many-factions Duke Siefried style game.  It seems proper.

In addition to the 15mm dark ages collection, I recently started painting some 28mm Foundry viking characters to use for SAGA and Lion Rampant as leaders.  Speaking of SAGA - this past year's Williamsburg Muster had some really great SAGA games going on, I really need to get an army finished up.  Here is a picture of Glenn from the Richmond Leisure Society, having a great time.

Great looking figures, Glenn.  I hope to put some of my own out there (I have a decent sized collection of older Ral Partha 25mm vikings, and such, but I really want to get my Foundry, Crusader and Old Glory figures painted - I have had them since Georgia, and keep putting them off).

I will most likely be missing Historicon this summer (although I do plan to be at RavenCon, playing some RPGs and boardgames, at the end of April).  The reason for that is because of my Daughter's schedule - summer camps and college preparation activities (she is in 11th grade, and deep in the process of picking a school for after she graduates).  Considering I have such a great time with her, it takes all the sting out of missing Historicon, but it means that I am deeply involved in getting prepared for Fall In as my next major (non-ODMS) convention.

Time with my daughter, the best reason to miss out on gaming conventions

In preparation for Fall In, I am working on two painting projects.  The first (to be detailed in a later blog entry) is 28mm Napoleonic British.  This will be my first Napoleonic project using plastic figures.  I am using the Warlord figures, and they are great to work with.  More details and pictures later.  The second project is getting ready for a Hail Caesar game.  This entails two things - getting my Early Imperial Roman figures rebased from individual mounts (used for Warhammer Ancient Battles) to group stands (4 men on a 40x40 base, for the formed infantry) that will be useful for a variety of different rules, including Hail Caesar (and still quite useful for WAB).  The second, and more exciting thing, is getting some Celtic units ready for a large Briton's army.  I am, again, using plastics for this (because I have the figures stockpiled already, and I have been *meaning* to get around to painting them for about 7 or 8 years now).  The first up are some Wargames Factory cavalry.  Here are some pictures of the figures I have assembled.  Yes, I know, I should have painted the riders and horses separate, but I really wanted to see what the assembled figures looked like, and I got carried away.  I think they look splendid!

Yes, you can see the gory details of the painting table, but the figures look absolutely splendid.  Can't wait to get paint on them.  Expect to see more pictures of them, once completed, here at Gaming with Chuck.